When talking about tournaments players tend to get hung up on many things. Some cry about comp scores, some put leeches on their eyes over victory conditions. What players usually overestimate is the difference among…

tournaments that post their missions before hand and those that do not.

It is pretty standard practice to post a scoring system, but often events do not post their missions. Either approach can make for very different game play, assuming every participant took the time to read the missions and plan for them. Having played both ways I can tell you honestly I have never changed my army list to fit the missions. I just went with what I had and hoped for the best.

That being said which one should I prefer? Typically I am a opinionated bastard, but this one has me flummoxed. Here is a list of pros and cons which should help you decide which choice is better, even if I am riding the short bus.

+ pre-tourney mission release:

  1. No surprises, making for faster deployment.
  2. Test out missions before hand with local gaming group.
  3. Can tweak army lists if deficient for certain missions.
  4. Organizers can get direct feedback and make changes beforehand (which could cause other types of player whining).
  5. Players cannot bitch about not knowing the missions (who am I kidding really).

– pre-tourney mission release:

  1. Assuming players have read the missions.
  2. Advantage to players that played the missions.
  3. Losing sleep going back and forth tailoring your army list.

+ day of event mission release:

  1. Even playing field.
  2. Having to adjust on the fly (yes that can be fun).
  3. Focus on playing the mission not the list.
  4. Create a sense of surprise or suspense for missions. (better if organizers have a great track record of fun missions).

– day of event mission release:

  1. No recourse for bad missions
  2. Possibility of insider information for local attendees knowing missions before hand.
  3. Slower game play.

Then there are events like the Wild West Shoot Out. They released four of the five missions beforehand then spring a secret one. It seems that the players enjoyed the secret mission, but like the sun rising every day the Internet non-participants love to call shit in a shoe for such an affront to their existence.

Leaving the million dollar question. Would you rather have players bitch before they even play or bitch during or after an event?

Questions for comment:

  1. Which way do you like it?
  2. What do you think about the Wild West Shoot Out approach?
  3. Does it really matter either way?