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View Full Version : Open vs. Closed Lists at Tournaments



The SkaerKrow
30-04-2010, 01:28
I was having a discussion with a friend about the merits of Open List tournaments vs. Closed List tournaments. For those that don't know the difference, an Open List tournament is one in which you show your opponent your army list, magic items/assassins/sneaky things and all, so that they know exactly what you do (and don't) have in your army. A Closed List event allows you to keep all of your magic items and other hidden objects a secret. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but I was wondering which option was more popular.

Hence...a poll. Feel free to chime in with your reasons for taking one side or the other.

Lordsaradain
30-04-2010, 01:40
closed list is best imo. If your opponents knows about your fanatics for example they become much less usefull. :P

ChaosVC
30-04-2010, 01:43
closed list simply because I am too use to it and its also fun when you use things that are hardly used by most people and suprise your friends with them.

J.P. Biff
30-04-2010, 01:44
Since there are magic items that reveal other magic items/abilities/hidden models etc. I can't see the justification for open lists at all. And like Lord said, fanatics/assassins etc become way less effective.

meneroth
30-04-2010, 02:07
the thing i love about magic (the gathering), and hated about 40k, is the fact that trickyness makes the game so much more fun. sure, the battlefield tactics are great and all, they really are, but announcing your ASF banner right after that charge or putting your tomb scorpion markers right under the enemy's jezzails is what makes this game sweet. even getting duped is alot of fun, in my opinion.

shakedown47
30-04-2010, 02:30
For fun games, I say it's up to you and your group. For a tourney environment, open lists are all that make sense to me.

The reason is simple; unless you're a huge douche, you're not going to ask me to prove that I had 2 dispel scrolls. 2 seems like a reasonable number, I had a scroll caddy, and 2 dispel scrolls is generally what a scroll caddy carries. Well, my caddy only ever carries one scroll. Even if you know the WoC book by heart, you'd never know there was an extra 25 points slipped into my 2250 list. Even if you did discover I only had 1 scroll but used 2, if I acted very recalcitrant I doubt you would ask me to concede any victory I might have gotten that round, let alone get me kicked from the tourney.

At our local tourneys we not only have open lists, we take five minutes to inform our opponents about any special rules/magic items we may have. However, we don't reveal assassins or fanatics for reasons already stated. People with very shrewd math skills and knowledge of army books may be able to spot the missing points in a DE or greenskin list, but they will still have no idea what unit they are part of.

Open lists just make sense to me, and remove any chance of dishonesty or discrepancy between rounds (I.E. Hellfire Sword when facing ogres but magically switching to Aethersword when facing Brets.) And let's face it, nobody takes the "item revealing" items in tourney lists anyway. If you go to the trouble of spending 3 precious power dice to cast Vaul's Unmaking or Law of Gold in the first place, you already know what you're going to use it on.

R-Love
30-04-2010, 03:31
A note on most Open tournaments I have seen - most will make you declare if you have fanatics, assassins or such, but not where you put them. so you know they are there, you just don't know where they are. That being said I still prefer closed lists, even though most of my opponents already have a good idea what I'm taking :D

Ethriel
30-04-2010, 05:18
It depends on the tournament setting.

If it's just a local tournament, where all the players tend to be the usual gamers, they tend to know what's in my army already, or since the tournament is so small, after the first game almost everyone knows the combos that have come out.

If it's a larger tournament, I won't show the list until after the game, and would expect my opponent to do the same. It makes the game more tactical that way.

Tekomandor
30-04-2010, 05:43
Open lists all the way in tourneys; because IMO they are 'cheat-proof'

Dungeon_Lawyer
30-04-2010, 06:35
For fun games, I say it's up to you and your group. For a tourney environment, open lists are all that make sense to me.

The reason is simple; unless you're a huge douche, you're not going to ask me to prove that I had 2 dispel scrolls. 2 seems like a reasonable number, I had a scroll caddy, and 2 dispel scrolls is generally what a scroll caddy carries. Well, my caddy only ever carries one scroll. Even if you know the WoC book by heart, you'd never know there was an extra 25 points slipped into my 2250 list. Even if you did discover I only had 1 scroll but used 2, if I acted very recalcitrant I doubt you would ask me to concede any victory I might have gotten that round, let alone get me kicked from the tourney.

At our local tourneys we not only have open lists, we take five minutes to inform our opponents about any special rules/magic items we may have. However, we don't reveal assassins or fanatics for reasons already stated. People with very shrewd math skills and knowledge of army books may be able to spot the missing points in a DE or greenskin list, but they will still have no idea what unit they are part of.

Open lists just make sense to me, and remove any chance of dishonesty or discrepancy between rounds (I.E. Hellfire Sword when facing ogres but magically switching to Aethersword when facing Brets.) And let's face it, nobody takes the "item revealing" items in tourney lists anyway. If you go to the trouble of spending 3 precious power dice to cast Vaul's Unmaking or Law of Gold in the first place, you already know what you're going to use it on.

open lists all the way for a tourney---for all the reasons stated above. By tournament I mean 50+ players.

J.P. Biff
30-04-2010, 06:35
If it's a larger tournament, I won't show the list until after the game, and would expect my opponent to do the same. It makes the game more tactical that way.

Exactly. And showing your list AFTER the game helps all those people who worry about cheaters.

Urgat
30-04-2010, 06:46
For fun games, I say it's up to you and your group. For a tourney environment, open lists are all that make sense to me.

The reason is simple; unless you're a huge douche, you're not going to ask me to prove that I had 2 dispel scrolls. 2 seems like a reasonable number, I had a scroll caddy, and 2 dispel scrolls is generally what a scroll caddy carries. Well, my caddy only ever carries one scroll. Even if you know the WoC book by heart, you'd never know there was an extra 25 points slipped into my 2250 list. Even if you did discover I only had 1 scroll but used 2, if I acted very recalcitrant I doubt you would ask me to concede any victory I might have gotten that round, let alone get me kicked from the tourney.

At our local tourneys we not only have open lists, we take five minutes to inform our opponents about any special rules/magic items we may have. However, we don't reveal assassins or fanatics for reasons already stated. People with very shrewd math skills and knowledge of army books may be able to spot the missing points in a DE or greenskin list, but they will still have no idea what unit they are part of.

Open lists just make sense to me, and remove any chance of dishonesty or discrepancy between rounds (I.E. Hellfire Sword when facing ogres but magically switching to Aethersword when facing Brets.) And let's face it, nobody takes the "item revealing" items in tourney lists anyway. If you go to the trouble of spending 3 precious power dice to cast Vaul's Unmaking or Law of Gold in the first place, you already know what you're going to use it on.

You can alwyas have the tourney allow list swapping after the battle. One of my favourite tactics is to make my opponent believe that I have fanatics (I have quite a few night gob units) while in fact I usually have none (or a couple in a unit that will have them conveniently released early to show that I got a lot of the buggers). Speak about gimping my tactics with open lists :/

Woodsman
30-04-2010, 09:50
Yeah, we always play closed, even in friendly play.

Anything else seems crazy and if I'm too worried about my opponent cheating then he's probably not someone I want to play.

sorberec
30-04-2010, 09:53
I'm a closed list person all the way (well in theory since I'm only going to my first tournament in June this year) for the reasons stated below:

- The existance of spells and magic items that are used to reveal magic items to me indicates the intent by GW that such things should remain hidden until they are used.

- Much though I hate playing against them, fanatics and assassins, plus certain magic items, lose their potency if your opponent knows you've got them in your army as they can probably guess where and avoid the unit (or at least try to)

- As was discussed on one of the podcasts recently (think it was Heelanhammer), certain army builds become totally ineffective if your opponent knows that a certain item is in the army and where (think the example was the Helm of Commandment)

- You don't get that shock factor if someone has taken some unusual combo of equipment on a character. i.e. again on an early episode of Heelanhammer (I think around episode 6) Dan recounted how he got taken by surprise by someone running a Vampire Lord with the Frostblade.

- Lists can (indeed should) be swapped after the game a) to stop cheating, i.e. by people using more dispel scrolls than they've actually bought etc and b) so that players can double-check each other's victory points (although this is more due to my ability to add up properly if I'm quickly adding up using pen and paper :) )

Desert Rain
30-04-2010, 10:33
I almost always play with closed lists, but I can't say that I have a real preference to either of them. In a big tournament I would probably prefer open lists since you can't beat someone with a Surprise!! item then, thus encouraging the use of actual tactics instead.

Master Jeridian
30-04-2010, 12:28
Warhammer seems to be designed with Closed Lists in mind due to abilities to reveal magic items in enemy units, and the need for some units to be 'invisible' until the enemy strays too close like Fanatics.


That said, in all my other game systems I prefer Open Lists, because then I win because I outplayed the opponent in movement and location of force, not because I held back Special Rule X, or Secret Character Bomb Y.

wilsongrahams
30-04-2010, 12:40
The general consensus seems to be that friendly games should be closed, and tournaments open, however, I don't think they should be any different. I'll vote for closed but reveal after, as selecting the army is as much a part of the fun and plays it's part in beating the opponent as much as the tactics - it's tactical selection and deployment rather than just leaving the tactics til turn 1.

~PrometheuS~
30-04-2010, 13:01
Closed, i dont want the person i am using an assassin on to see it before its done, however after a game, id show my list, if any cheating took part by either party, i would either conceed or expect them to do so

Gaargod
30-04-2010, 14:06
Closed (and of course, show after), but only for larger tournaments. I've played a couple of tournaments with 15-20 odd fantasy players, from 3 or so stores, but after the first game or so everyone knows what everyone else has, more or less.
Lists become one trick ponies, and that's not a good thing.

Mind you, my friend was screwed over totally by a closed list. Everyone was carrying their armies on trays, but his first opponent had a ton of stuff hidden in ambush - obviously, he wasn't expecting it because you normally put all models out at the start, and things went badly. Next game, i played him but knew what was coming so could adjust the plans.

Malorian
30-04-2010, 14:23
I think closed is best.

It's good to have a few surprises during a game.

rtunian
30-04-2010, 14:39
we play closed lists, with list exchange after each round. so you walk into the tourney with 4 copies of your list, and you walk out of the tourney with 0 copies of your list and 1 copy of each of the three people you played (the 4th list goes to the judges).

i agree that the game is designed with closed list in mind, judging by certain magic items

Malorian
30-04-2010, 14:46
i agree that the game is designed with closed list in mind, judging by certain magic items

Otherwise the Empire crystal ball is pretty pointless...

Jind_Singh
30-04-2010, 15:58
i like closed lists - its more fun - sure show me the list after the game, and during a game I'll always ask which model used a scroll for e.g. but otherwise I like the surprise factor

pointyteeth
30-04-2010, 18:00
My group has played closed lists since 4th edition. We find it more fun that way. We've been to quite a few tournaments (all of which are closed list), but its almost always been a rule that you bring one list per battle and give a copy to your opponent after the battle if they ask for it.

Dungeon_Lawyer
30-04-2010, 19:06
Yeah, we always play closed, even in friendly play.
In freindies, totally closed all the way.


Anything else seems crazy and if I'm too worried about my opponent cheating then he's probably not someone I want to play.

Again I agree but for one difference: You are not afforded such luxeries at large tournies. With different gaming groups entertaining different "house rules" , open lists keep the tournament moving at a good pace cause such differences can be hashed out before the first dice roll of the game -in consultation with the tourney organizer if need be, and not in turn 5 when respective commanders have already ordered that "no quarter" be given.

________
Am I the only one who thinks placing fanatics and assassins that you did not take in your list in a visable spot to confound your opponite really cheesy?, ahhhh who am I kidding, thats soo outright dirty and underhanded, lol, I luv it.:evilgrin:

I think I am going to start taking teto-eko and 10+ terradons I did not include in my list just to mess with people too!

CrystalSphere
30-04-2010, 23:34
I personally prefer open lists, but then several mechanics of the game should be reworked (like nigth goblin fanatics). I think open lists make for less misunderstandings or discussions while playing the game, and result in a more friendly game. But given the current ruleset i understand why closed lists are the norm, the game just promotes that and open lists can destroy some of the battle plans who rely on surprise.

Truckeye
30-04-2010, 23:45
Closed (and of course, show after), but only for larger tournaments. I've played a couple of tournaments with 15-20 odd fantasy players, from 3 or so stores, but after the first game or so everyone knows what everyone else has, more or less.
Lists become one trick ponies, and that's not a good thing.

Mind you, my friend was screwed over totally by a closed list. Everyone was carrying their armies on trays, but his first opponent had a ton of stuff hidden in ambush - obviously, he wasn't expecting it because you normally put all models out at the start, and things went badly. Next game, i played him but knew what was coming so could adjust the plans.

OK this is why lots of regular and traveling tourney players prefer open lists. Because everyone knows the teams and buddies talk and the bigger your club the more you know while others will not have that advantage.

Open lists not only discourage cheating, but help prevent honest mistakes that effect the game. Even players on the bad end of a honest mistake will often let it go and not ask or force the other to concede.

I think closed is great for friendly games and game nights, maybe even local RTTs where most of the people know each other and wont be talking up other lists as much and tempted to cheat their pals, but a big event should have more openness, especially with the competition being pretty elevated to start with and often more on the line as far as prize support and bragging rights.

PS Ive been playing WFB for 8yrs and been to many tourneys. Never seen the "reveal item" items actually used. Mostly because tourney players pretty much know what to expect.

Chaosminon
01-05-2010, 10:52
I prefer closed lists, it helps add strategy and mystery to the game.