GW: Open War Card Events – Proving It Can Be Done

Games Workshop said that you could run an event by using the Open War Cards – And the Throne of Skulls is proving that statement true!

When the Open War Cards were announced we thought they were a great way to rebalance the random pick-up game. We also caught on to the message that GW was putting out there: “Just because they are designed for Open Play, doesn’t mean you can’t run an event with them!”

And they are.

The Throne of Skulls on 11th and 12th of November is going to be using these cards and that is a really good testing ground, not just for the cards themselves, but also for players of all skills types.

via Warhammer Community

Open War brings the truth of war to the gaming table: few plans survive contact with a howling mob of Orks under the cover of night. With literally thousands of combinations, the Open War cards allow you to create a unique game of Warhammer 40,000 with less effort than it takes to draw three cards from a deck!

So as you can see the great strength of the Open War format for playing games is that each game will be different as you will never quite know what to expect. This makes it perfect for our Throne of Skulls, where sportsmanship and attitude are prized as highly as your ability as a general. We expect to see true generals temper themselves in this crucible, as they adapt to changing circumstance with a smile on their face and a laugh on their lips.

The randomized Deployment, Objectives, and Twist cards are going to be used at the Event. We’re not 100% sure on the Ruse cards because their article mentions using them but it’s unclear if they mean in general or for the event. The Sudden Death Cards, however, are not going to be used at Throne of Skulls because each player should have a 120 Power Rating list.

Having said that, this sounds amazing. There are thousands of combinations that are going to be up for grabs at the event. Heck, even if the event completely sells out, they won’t end up using all the different combinations. That means each game at each table is going to have a slightly different experience and take on the games they play. That’s a feat that you can’t accomplish with a standard tournament.

I think this is going to be a challenge no matter what you bring. Every list-type out there is going to have an Objective, Deployment or Twist that is just going to be rough (or awesome) for them. Going for a Rock-Paper-Scissors “standard” meta type list might not be the best way to go for this event. At the end of the day it’s going to take a lot of skill to pull off an over-all victory for this event! That sounds pretty amazing to me.

You can sign up for the event now – tickets are going quick

 

Randomized missions that no one can optimize lists for? An event that will boil down to player skill and not who has “the most meta” list? Awesome terrain and enthusiastic hobbyists with awesome armies? Where do I sign-up?! Oh right…the link above.

  • euansmith

    So is the tournament being run with Power Ratings? I thought there were issues with how many “points” different forces get per Power Rating; with some forces getting to take more options? Not that I imagine that the more granular Points are much more accurate in the grand scheme of things than the broader Ratings.

    • GrenAcid

      I think they use PR only for sudden death and other stuff that might be generated by cards that give advantage to player with lower rating.
      There would be so much flame-salt going on if no standard point system was in place we would see/hear about that.

  • I_am_Alpharius

    I think this a great choice and tester for a tournament structure. Not only does it place an strong emphasis on constructing a really broad, and strategically flexible, army lists; thus to some extent, mitigating the presence of uninspiring list. It is also going to separate the ‘men from the boys’ (or ‘ladies from the girls), in terms of those being skilled and adept enough to react, strategically and tactically, to the scenario presented to them; rather than knowing what the missions etc.. are going to be before you arrive.

    It’s really going to show which gamers that are truely good at the game, rather than the gamers that rely on one strategy to win. Great stuff.

    As an aside, if I were a betting man, I think that there are strong odds that, at some point in the future (say in a couple of years), ‘granular’ points will disappear and ‘power’ points will be the name of the game.

    • benn grimm

      How can you say that without knowing what the missions involve? You think maelstrom proved which gamers are ‘truly good at the game’? Or just who happened to draw better cards?

      • I_am_Alpharius

        Well the cards are getting drawn by the WHW team. So every round of games everyone is using the same rules.

        The point is, that is all random. Which makes it harder to tailor a list from know what the scenarios will be before. Therefore make your skill at adapting to the mission far more important. The players best at the game will be the ones that utilise their list the best during every game.

        • ZeeLobby

          Probably true to some degree. The problem with 40K has never really been lists tailored to the scenarios though. It’s usually lists that don’t care about the scenario but can remove your opponent from the table by turn 3, or prevent then from interacting with you (conscript spam).

          • Marco Marantz

            Got to agree with this. This is why the alternating turns model is well past its use by date, as opposed to an alternating action model or that which Bolt Action uses, which is the best system IMHO.

        • benn grimm

          If the missions etc are fair, then it sounds like a fine idea. Otherwise it sounds like a pain in the rear, like maelstrom was. Random or not, regardless of objectives, people who like to do so will still bring broken lists, comp restrictions being the only way to prevent this I would contend. Though I look forward to hearing how this goes.

        • Bootneck

          Or get the most luck.

          I went to the Emperors Tarot event earlier this year and lost 2 of my 5 games just because the cards that came out were the worst ones in the deck and my opponent got the better ones.

          In actual fact what any model did on the game was irreverent once you had 5 cards in your hand, you just cycled through them to get better ones.

          It was fun but you soon realized that nothing you did really meant anything much.

          • I_am_Alpharius

            The Open War Cards are not, and do function, in the same manner as the ones used at the Emperor Tarot event. There no cycling through cards etc..

          • joetwocrows

            Oh, you mean just like in the 40k Universe?

      • Markus Beckers

        Both players use the same objective, deployment and twist card, so no one can draw “the better cards”.

        • benn grimm

          I guess it depends on how universal the cards are. You could still draw cards which are useful for one player and not for the other. A mission awarding victory points for slain psykers for instance is not going to be much use to someone playing against Crons, Tau, DE etc, particularly if you happen to be running Daemons or Eldar.

    • Zingbaby

      But but how can I netlist win if I don’t know everything before hand?!?

  • benn grimm

    Yay, more fun via randomness… Sounds suspiciously like maelstrom missions, not sure how entertaining it’s going to be getting random objectives you can’t complete. All the skill in the world makes no difference if you get a bad draw. Fingers crossed they anticipated this and made sure this wouldn’t be a problem, though I highly doubt it going on past form.

    • Markus Beckers

      There are no “random objectives you can’t complete” in the cards.

      • benn grimm

        So you’ve seen all the cards?

        • I_am_Alpharius

          Well given that you can already buy the Open War from GW (or any good stockist) then yes he quite possibly has. I have, and indeed all the objective are possible; indeed there is not anything in the Missions, the deployments, twists and ruses that are overtly unfair one way or the other.

          • benn grimm

            So you will know the missions before you go, but they’ll be randomly selected from a bigger pool. Doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Didn’t realise it was an existing deck, quite a lot of different card sets to try n keep track of. I’ll have to grab a pack and take a look for myself.

          • I_am_Alpharius

            Yep. There is something like over 60,000 combinations. The video below explains the set in a little more detail. There is also a set for AoS (which came first I believe)

            https://youtu.be/PPRJvIfJ9Vg

      • Bootneck

        The last lot of cards I played at WHW had loads of objectives that couldn’t be achieved and with no way to discard.

        • I_am_Alpharius

          Not the same cards.

          • Bootneck

            I’m not saying they are, but that I have been to many similar events at WHW andin my experience they all tended to have some random quirkiness by nature.

            That being the case it doesn’t always necessarily make for a fun game depending on what list you have and the scenario drawn.

            At least with conventional Maelstrom or Eternal War missions you can plan around those.

  • Are they running it based on power level rather than points? That would be awesome to see, points are the worst

    • I_am_Alpharius

      Powerpoint. Each player with a 120pt list.

      • Bootneck

        I was going to that tournament until i found out it was power levels and opted for the Battle brothers one which is based on points and can’t be abused like power levels.

        • Bootneck

          What you soon realize too is that 120 power is a lot when you have to get 3 games in on the first day and 2 on the second day and the award ceremony.

          Depending on unit composition its anywhere from 2500pts ish to 3000pts ish.

          • I_am_Alpharius

            It not hard to get through 120lpt’s game in 8th. Things can die very quickly. You get 2hr 1/2 hours to play a game! If people can’t play the whole game in that time, then people are playing too slowly.

            Given that 50lpt’s is roughly equivalent to 1000pts. I can’t help but feel you’re really exaggerating the variance at 3000pts. 120lpt is roughly equal to 2400pts.

        • Apocryphus

          I have one group of friends who use PL and one that uses points and I find no real difference between the two. My lists always fall at 100 PL and ~2000 points and they always have all the wargear and whatnot I want in the list. The only thing I’ve noticed is that horde armies tend to have to bring less models since they can’t squeeze extra models into units with leftover points.

    • ZeeLobby

      Lol. So because GW is horrible at creating accurate point costs somehow PowerPoints is better? I fail to see how less granularity makes the system any more accurate.

      • I mean, power levels are great, yes?

        • ZeeLobby

          Yeah. Adding numbers like 8 and 12 is easier than 365 and 113. My elementary school self would probably appreciate that. Beyond that not sure there’s actual positives.

          • It’s the fact that there’s no “oh I’m 5 points over, I have to swap out something to fit” you build your squads how you want and don’t have to worry about points costs

          • ZeeLobby

            5 pts over vs 1 power point over. No difference. I’d rather remove one combine weapon then not play with an entire unit because it’s 6 power points and not 5. Or just let them play 5 pts over. It’s an identical system with less granularity. But I guess if it gives you more peace of mind, then go for it.

          • I think the granularity of points is a bad thing, it’s one of the best parts of AoS, and 40k would be a better game if they stopped obsessing over balance and points

          • ZeeLobby

            I guess if they didn’t need to hire game developers anymore they could hire better writers. If tight game mechanics and competitive balance is not possible for them they could spend the money elsewhere. It’d be like playing gi Joe’s with better fluff.

          • euansmith

            I was surprised to see that Power Levels allowed options rather than just having set squads; like a the old tactical squad standby of 10 marines with a missile launcher or heavy bolder, and a flamer or meltagun.

  • ZeeLobby

    Still not sure balance via RND is really strong game development, but alas…

  • Calgar

    We usually play with the open war cards, but use book missions. However we had one interesting game where we pulle the Acid Raid twist, which gives -1 to hit shooting on turns the rain is going, then we rolled the Mission that starts off using the night rules (-1 to hit from over 12″). So on turn one, my opponents Wyverns (and everything else) needed 6’s to hit. It was a bit chaotic.

    However he did win the game by charging his Wyvern into a Rhino on the last turn to get into my deployment zone and grab the tie breaking Line Breaker point.

  • I_am_Alpharius

    Just for completeness, since the BoLS guys couldn’t be bothered to look that rules pack, here is the rules of the way the Open War deck is being used (and link if you wish to read more):

    “Before each game starts the Events Team will draw a Scenario card, an Objective card and a Twist card for the entire hall. Everyone is expected to play the same game throughout, in order to make sure everyone is playing the same game. This will be same for the whole weekend so expect the unexpected!

    At each table there will be a single deck of Open War cards so you can easily reference what we draw for each game by having the cards on your table.

    Finally, every player will be required to draw a Ruse card during registration. This Ruse may be played once during the weekend,
    during any game. Once it is used, your opponent will sign off on your scorecard that you have used it.

    https://20889-presscdn-pagely.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/TOS-Open-War-MK-I-1.pdf

  • Matthew

    How can you say that without knowing what the missions involve? You think maelstrom proved which gamers are ‘truly good at the game’? Or just who happened to draw better cards?

    • I_am_Alpharius

      See various replies above. But in summary. The WHW team draw the cards for everyone; so all gamers are playing the same mission each – there will be no drawing better cards and no imparity.

      Any game is far easier to plan for if you know the missions in advance. Its like if in an exam you’re given the answers before hand to revise; the test is going to far easier to pass. If you know all the mission objectives before hand you can optimised you list for them. However, if the pool of missions is larger (+60,000 combinations in the Open War Deck), and the 5 games you play over the weekend are randomly picked, then it places a lot more emphasis on how you play. The best players will have to adapt to the situation presented, use skill and the list they have to win – indeed the tournament, effectively, is far more competitive and difficult.

  • Marco Marantz

    Outstanding. I hope they have success. From what ive seen of Open War its the most fun to be had….the achilles heel will still be detachments