Maelstrom of War Missions in Tournaments & Fixing Scoring

At my FLGS we’re a pretty relaxed group with Warhammer 40K. Everyone I talk to enjoys the Maelstrom of War missions and since 7th edition came out we have been running the monthly tournaments using them. Everything with the missions had gone smoothly but over time a trend started to develop, something that TheRhino pointed out the other month.

What TheRhino noticed was the disparity on points between top runners. We have been simply scoring players by the points they get in the mission. So, you win your game 10-5 then you get 10pts and your opponent 5pts. What do we is play three games and the player with the most total points wins. This leads to problems though.

The Example

Round #1
Player A wins 20-1
Player B wins 10-1

Round #2
Player A wins 12-3
Player B wins 8-0

Now come round #3 these two players face off. Going into this round we have Player A with 32pts and Player B with 18pts, a 14pt margin. What are the odds that Player B will defeat Player A by 15pts to achieve victory? Not very likely at all.

In using raw scores you can create such a disparity between winners, and all players in general, that victory can be numerically implausible. If two players are going into the final round 2-0 to play one another, and both have done well against their opponents, then that 2nd place player should have a reasonable opportunity to win the day. This isn’t an issue if you’re just doing pure wins and losses with the undefeated player winning. However, for most small tournaments like this it’s a more manageable day to play a set amount of games and tally points.

The solution that was brought forward was to score points based on a margin of victory. Instead of just getting what you scored in the mission you instead gets points based on the difference in points between you and your opponent. Below is the chart showing the point difference and value.

Margin of Victory Chart

Point DifferenceWinner’s PointsLoser’s Points

The addition to this that another player mentioned, Steve, was that for every 5pts you score you get +1pt. This applies to both winner and loser. This helps eliminate ties at the end of the day and also still gives value to players doing extremely well in their games but not so much that they become out of reach in points.

Revised Example

Going back to the original example, under this system the scoring would look like:

Round #1
Player A wins 20-1 = 24pts
Player B wins 10-1 = 20pts

Round #2
Player A wins 12-3 = 20pts
Player B wins 8-0 = 19pts

So, going into round #3 where they face one another we have Player A at 44pts and Player B at 39pts. With a different of 5pts between them that means Player B can win 1st place by winning his/her match with a margin of 4pts in their game to give a score of 15-5 for a final result of Player B at 54pts and Player A with 49pts.

This of course applies to all players. Not only does it keep the top players in contention with one another but it also keeps all players in a tight race because it’s margin if victory and not raw points.

Putting it to Use

The above scoring method is what we used in the last tournament we held and it worked great. Those points in the examples were made up but the scenario was very much what we had happen in our tournament. We had the top table with both 2-0 players and only a 5pt margin between them going into it. Again, that meant the 2nd place player needed a 4pt margin if victory to win 1st place. Under the previous method we were using the 2nd place player really stood no chance, however in the margin if victory method there was an achievable chance.

I’m sure there are other places out there doing tournaments using Maelstrom of War missions and I wanted to share what we have learned with everyone. TheRhino’s idea, combined with Steve’s bonus points, really makes for a much closer day of gaming and in turn makes it more fun for everyone.

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Hmm, interesting! Have you guys thought about trying the LVO modified malestrom secondaries?

I’ve also seen a new style of “first blood”, called “uncontested” blood. Or something similar. You can only get first blood if you can kill an enemy unit without losing a unit in the same turn, and both players can get it in any game turn. (max of once)