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воскресенье, 8 сентября 2013 г.

Team tourney theory – Composition

Composition is, actually the list of armies in a team or the army lists included in your team.
For simplisity lets assume that all the players are of equal strength and there are no luck or unluck in the games and the outcome of each game depends only on army lists. I mean that Tyranids with 18 raveners looses to venomspam DE, DE looses to mech IG while mech IG looses to Tyranids:)
I'll cover the game for 6 persons in a team again.

How to build a perfect team?

1. Toolboxes. We can take the most powerful army lists possible, according to the results of the singles tournaments - they are called toolbox lists or allcomers. It's easy - just look at the top-10 of the Grand Tournaments around the world and choose the best armies. For example: Tau+SM, Eldar+Tau, CSM+Necrons, Necrons, Tyranids, Daemons+CSM. Looks solid and every list is designed to play with any kind of the opponent army.

2. Focused armies - most common to see compositions with pre-defined roles. All the team is devided onto attackers and defenders. The defender's task is not to loose in any match up. The attacker's task is to win in a good match up. Generally, attackers optimize their armies against most popular defenders. Example of the defender is an IG with two full platoons, Aegis, Vendettas, Manticore and SM librarian for prescience. The army just hold the ground, trying to take 10 points from the game with no advancing maneuvers!
Attacker variant is a venomspam DE - it can take a lot of points from tyranids, but suffer from mech armies.

3. Optimized composition - the phenomenon of optimized composition is what I try to discover. The optimized composition must take into account the meta first of all. So, for example, you can try to estimate you opponent's lists and then try to create the best composition to play the game of pairings against that opponent - you'll get the optimized composition to play with that opponent. Then you can change one army in opponents composition and repeat the optimization, taking into account both types of enemy compositions. The main problem - is a criteria for such optimization. I think, every captain has his own criteria.

Composition and the game of pairings
To estimate the effectiveness of team composition one can make a pairings estimations table like this:

0 stands for a DRAW
+1 is a victory like 15-5
+2 is a 20-0 victory
-1 is a 5-15 loss
-2 is a 0 point match up!

I made a zero-sum table (sum of all estimations in a table = 0). If teams compositions are of the same strength the tables usually are zero-sum ones. If the sum is positive - it's a game with an advantage in composition. If the sum is negative - the game is with disadvantage in composition.

Lets look again at composition variants:

1. Allcomers composition will have a lot of zeros with a few 1 and -1 estimations. With this composition type you cannot gain advantage over opponent with a game of pairings actually. The result will depend on personal skill first of all.

2. Attacker-defender. Splitting the roles in the team increses the dispersion of the game of pairings. So, you can win by many points by a smart game of pairings or you can loose heavily if opponent outplay you. So, this type of composition is very interesting to play the game of pairings!

3. Optimized composition must be based on the idea of minimizing possible loss. It doesn't mean that one must create the team full of defenders! It means that the composition must be playable against any opponent. And the optimization should start from the weakest but not the strongest points of composition! I have no optimal composition formula for today (have you?) but just as an idea:

a. Pure defender (I call them STOPPER).
b. Semi-defender (allcomer) with the possibility to attack mech-spam lists.
c.  Semi-defender (allcomer) with the possibility to attack platoon and greentide-like armies. 
e. Attacker for mech-spam lists.
f. Attacker for  platoon and greentide-like armies. 

So, we can play with team that have all-mech defenders and all-platoon like defenders, and we have a first defender and a number of variants for champion game. The game of pairings is very interesting with the focused composition like this and it's also not easy for your opponent. Also, it gives you the possibility to outplay more powerful teams in a game of pairings, actually.

In the next article I'll try to describe the approaches to win the game of pairings when you have a zero-sum estimations table and how not to loose when you have the advantage in composition.

As the topic is new to me and I have a little experience in team tourneys (only 2 as a captain) I'm extremely interested in your ideas on team composition. How to build a perfect team?

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