So with several months of 6th ed under my belt now I have had some thoughts about 6th ed for tournament play (and perhaps just general play), that I am hoping for some feedback on as I am looking to test them and perhaps implement them next year at CT con.
Thought 1.) Warlord Traits can SUCK...
Now as opposed to many people who have been opposed to the use of warlord traits at all, my experience has been this. Firstly they are not game breaking, I have yet to lose a game because of a warlord trait. In fact more often than not they are fairly useless (gaining outflank bonuses for armies that don't outflank, furious charge for a Bloodthirster[who already has it], getting the night fighting power Immotek etc.), and it is simply not fun when you get a power that does nothing(having one that is not good is not great either but at least it is better than completely useless). I have seen various ideas around fixing this issue.
a.) Not use traits at all. Which I am against as the traits are part of 6th ed.
b.) Re-roll a trait if you absolutely cannot use it/already have the ability. I'm not a big fan of this one either, as it can lead to people picking a tree they cannot use a lot of traits from with one or 2 really good traits. Also, it can delay the game due to needing to roll multiple times.
c.)Pick two trees and roll once on each: I'll get to try this one at NOVA and I think it is a decent solution. The one downside is it is still possible to get 2 really bad rolls/useless roll, though it is less likely.
d.) Roll once and then pick a tree. I.e. if you roll a 3 you can pick any of the #3 traits. I have used this once and I quite like it as it really reduces the occurance of completely useless traits. The potential downside to this might be that you end up with really good traits every time (though if this is true for everyone it is not a big deal.)
Needless to say at the moment I am leaning toward d.) that said I need to play around with it more, and I will have experience with c.) in two weeks.
Thought 2.) Less random mysterious terrain/objectives
Most tournaments I am seeing are going with not using mysterious terrain/objectives at all because it can randomly have great effects on the outcome of the game. I can understand that, and I actually agree in a tournament setting you don't want random terrain/objectives determining outcomes, it also makes it such that each table is playing a slightly different game, which is less effective for evaluating players.
That said I am also intrigued to try out some of the terrain effects. My thought at the moment is given a stock terrain/objective set-up for each board. Having pre determined mysterious terrain/objectives built into the missions. For a game including Emporers will (capture and control) have the objectives be skyfire nexuses, etc. Having this built into the mission, would allow it to be used, avoid randomness, and provide some interesting dynamics. Now i will need to test out this idea some, to see how it works but I think it has promise.
Thought 3.) Tournament Missions: One of the major things I have seen so far in 6th is that some missions if played straight out of the book are just not great for tournaments. Emperor's Will is a very easy mission to tiethough secondary objectives help this over Capture and Control from 5th. The Relic very quickly becomes a tabling mission if one player can capture the Relic Turn 1. It is just not fun to steal the relic and then run away the whole game to win the game. Scouring, while decent has randomly assorted objectives worth different values. Played straight out of the book this could have a particular player winning prior to the game even starting.
All that said my idea is to stack the missions together (kind of a 2 for 1) This was fairly common in 5th (with the Bay Area Open and NOVA formats), in 6th I think just assigning VPs to particular objectives works nicely (will need to test to see how balanced my thoughts are but none the less, they seem like a good idea. Here are some initial mission thoughts:
Balanced objective placement, rewards movement toward the center and mobility. Good number of VPs (21 minimum total possible, Max not capped due to Kill points but is 21 + KP total for either side.) Balances KP mission some as Objectives account for 15 VPs.
As per the book in all missions (this was included in totals above.)
So max win is 15 points, Rewards losers for keeping it close. Rewards Playing the mission, as even if you table if the game is close on the mission (i.e. it is objectives and you have no troops left you cannot recieve maximum points.)
Anyway those are my thoughts for now. After some play testing I'll be back with my reviews (hopefully get to use some in a few RTTs to get them tested by more people.)