Dear fanatics, today we continue going on with some number crunching and comparing and general g(r)eek philosophy. ITC is a generally accepted format for major tournament events and it is reaching further and further internationally. In the small kingdom (yes we are actually a kingdom) of Sweden, we do not generally run ITC-format, but instead we have are own system. But which one is better?

 

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The ITC

The ITC shouldn’t be that foreign to my readers from the U.S or other countries that run the ITC as the general tournament META, however in Sweden I think it is still somewhat unknown to people what the ITC is. I am probably no authority on ITC at all, having basically read the rule outline and prepared one army list to fit into the system. But the ITC breaks down like this:

ITC stands for Independent Tournament Circuit that is the exclusive tournament format for several events across the globe from the U.S. to Europe to Australia. The system has a built in rule system for building legitimate lists, where the major parts are that spamming certain formations is prohibited, certain combos are prohibited, certain minis such as huge LoW (titans mainly) and it also regulates some choices you can have for your units, including upgrades and psychic powers. It sounds like a lot, but it is a very specific and quite modest list of restrictions. Basically if it is official and printed, with certain exceptions as mentioned above, anything goes. For a SweKomp-player who has not encountered ITC before, on a general basis, an ITC list would not komp higher than 5-6, rather have an average komp of 3-4.  ITC also comes with 6 standard missions that are pre-made, thus giving players access to them all year around, in order to practice and game-test your lists for upcoming competitions. For a link on more detailed information press the cool logo they have, or just press here!

SweComp

Now for EVERYONE outside of Sweden, SweComp is a restriction system for playing 40k tournaments used only in Sweden. It is slightly more complicated than the ITC, in my humble opinion much more complicated. SweComp is based on a point system where every unit and every choice per unit in every army list is worth a certain amount of penalty points. After calculating an army’s sum of penalty points, you get a one to two figure number usually ranging between 1-24. 24 meaning the list is the nicest and most vanilla list you will ever see (no grav, no drop pods, no cabals, no jet bikes, no formations) most likely a nice and neat CAD, whilst 1 is close to a strong ITC list. However, ITC allows all publications, even official experimental Forge World rules. SweComp doesn’t allow much or anything at all really from Forge World, based on the notion that Imperial Armor entries are very over powered and unbalanced compared to the standard codex units. How they further regulate the tournaments is that they set up a comp span, say a tournament allows armies in the comp range of say 6 to 20. Sometimes they are even more restrictive, starting the lowest allowed comp at 10, or even higher. You can download the SweComp manual here!

It’s time to run some numbers then fanatics.

I recently played in a tournament that had no SweComp restriction, but was called a beginner’s tournament and had the restriction of creating your army consisting only of one CAD, 1500 points. Said and done. I packed my boys in brown and purple and off we went! Out of curiosity, I ran my list through the SweComp system, just to get a feel for what I had created. Here is the list:

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++ Space Marines: Codex (2015) (Combined Arms Detachment) ++

+ (No Category) +

Chapter Tactics [Imperial Fists]

 + HQ +

Librarian [Mastery Level 2] ··Power Armour [Bolt Pistol, Force Stave]

Pedro Kantor [Dorn’s Arrow, Power Fist]

+ Elites +

Sternguard Veteran Squad ··Drop Pod [Storm Bolter] ··Veteran [Bolt Pistol, Combi-melta] ··Veteran [Bolt Pistol, Combi-melta] ··Veteran [Bolt Pistol, Combi-melta] ··Veteran [Bolt Pistol, Combi-melta] ··Veteran [Bolt Pistol, Combi-melta] ··Veteran [Bolt Pistol, Boltgun] ··Veteran Sergeant [Bolt Pistol, Combi-melta, Melta Bombs]

+ Troops +

Tactical Squad [Plasma Cannon, Plasma Gun, 9x Space Marines] ··Drop Pod [Storm Bolter] ··Space Marine Sergeant [Bolt Pistol, Boltgun, Melta Bombs]

Tactical Squad [Flamer, Plasma Cannon, 9x Space Marines] ··Drop Pod [Storm Bolter] ··Space Marine Sergeant [Bolt Pistol, Boltgun, Melta Bombs]

+ Fast Attack +

Drop Pod [Storm Bolter]

+ Heavy Support +

Centurion Devastator Squad ··Centurion [Grav-cannon and Grav-amp, Missile Launcher] ··Centurion [Grav-cannon and Grav-amp, Missile Launcher] ··Centurion Sergeant [Grav-cannon and Grav-amp, Missile Launcher, Omniscope]

Devastator Squad [4x Space Marines] ··Missile Launcher (Frag & Krak) [Add Flakk Missiles] ··Missile Launcher (Frag & Krak) [Add Flakk Missiles] ··Missile Launcher (Frag & Krak) [Add Flakk Missiles] ··Missile Launcher (Frag & Krak) [Add Flakk Missiles] ··Razorback [Twin-linked Assault Cannon] ··Space Marine Sergeant [Bolt Pistol, Boltgun, Signum]

So a fairly hard hitting drop pod list, ran as Crimson Fists, nothing too fancy, two semi-death stars, one with librarian centurions, and one with Kantor and sternguards. Now this list landed me on a Comp score of 7. I am not even mentioning ITC here because this list is by no means anything out of the ordinary there (well maybe the fact it is a single CAD). A score of 7 is considered a powerful list (1-9 in swecomp is considered powerful), and certain tournaments, that start at the comp score of 10, this list would be out of the question. At an ITC event I imagine they would just feel sorry for me and laugh a little (we are getting to my ITC list, that is why I know they would laugh).

So in less than two months I am heading to an actual ITC format tournament (from what I understand, not official event, but one running the ITC system). And as many of you fanatics know, I paint, a lot. And I decided to focus on my Tau army, going head first into trying to create something very esthetically pleasing. But with an army list to it 😀 Here it is:

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(The entire army isn’t painted yet but here is one of the Riptides)

+++ Tau ITC – Southern Dawn (1850pts) +++

++ Tau Empire: Codex (2015) (Tau Hunter Contingent) ++
+ Core +

Hunter Cadre

··Command

····Commander ······XV8 Commander Crisis Suit [Blacksun Filter, Drone Controller, Fusion Blaster, Multi-spectrum Sensor Suite, Multi-Tracker, Shield Generator, Stimulant Injector, XV8-02 Crisis ‘Iridium’ Battlesuit]
··Elite

····XV104 Riptide Battlesuits ······Riptide Shas’vre [Heavy Burst Cannon, Riptide Shield Generator, Stimulant Injector, Twin-linked Smart Missile System, Velocity Tracker] ········Riptide Battlesuit [Blacksun Filter, Multi-tracker]

····XV8 Crisis Battlesuits [Bonding Knife Ritual] ······Crisis Shas’ui [2x Missile Pod] ········Crisis Battlesuit [Blacksun Filter, Multi-Tracker] ······Crisis Shas’ui [2x Missile Pod] ········Crisis Battlesuit [Blacksun Filter, Multi-Tracker] ······Crisis Shas’ui [2x Missile Pod] ········Crisis Battlesuit [Blacksun Filter, Multi-Tracker] ······Crisis Shas’vre [Command and Control Node, Drone Controller, Missile Pod] ········Crisis Battlesuit [Blacksun Filter, Multi-Tracker]

····XV8 Crisis Battlesuits [Bonding Knife Ritual] ······Crisis Shas’ui [2x Plasma Rifle] ········Crisis Battlesuit [Blacksun Filter, Multi-Tracker] ······Crisis Shas’ui [2x Plasma Rifle] ········Crisis Battlesuit [Blacksun Filter, Multi-Tracker] ······Crisis Shas’ui [2x Plasma Rifle] ········Crisis Battlesuit [Blacksun Filter, Multi-Tracker]

··Fast Attack

····Drones ······8x MV7 Marker Drone [8x Markerlight]

··Heavy Support

····KV128 Stormsurges ······KV128 Stormsurge [Cluster Rocket System, 4x Destroyer Missile, Early Warning Override, Pulse Driver Cannon, Twin-linked Burst Cannon, Twin-linked Smart Missile System, Velocity Tracker]

··Troops

····Strike Team [5x Fire Warrior with Pulse Rifle, Photon Grenades]

····Strike Team [5x Fire Warrior with Pulse Rifle, Photon Grenades]

····Strike Team [5x Fire Warrior with Pulse Rifle, Photon Grenades]

+ Auxiliary +

Firebase Support Cadre

··XV104 Riptide Battlesuits ····Riptide Shas’vre [Early Warning Override, Ion Accelerator, Riptide Shield Generator, Stimulant Injector, Twin-linked Smart Missile System] ······Riptide Battlesuit [Blacksun Filter, Multi-tracker]

··XV88 Broadside Battlesuits ····Broadside [Early Warning Override, Seeker Missile, Twin-linked Heavy Rail Rifle, Twin-linked Smart Missile System] ······Broadside Battlesuit [Blacksun Filter, Multi-tracker]

··XV88 Broadside Battlesuits ····Broadside [Early Warning Override, Seeker Missile, Twin-linked Heavy Rail Rifle, Twin-linked Smart Missile System] ······Broadside Battlesuit [Blacksun Filter, Multi-tracker]

This nice little list is well within the allowed ITC format, but it would land me on a wopping comp score of 2. According to SweComp this is a filthy powerful list. Basically nearly no tournament in Sweden would allow me to play this list.

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So what seems to be the problem?

Well dear fanatics, the problem for me is that, even though I know I will meet some hard hitting lists in the upcoming ITC format, I am actually more excited about that than playing in an official SweComp tournament.

-”But Battesai, aren’t you a hardcore hobbyist and fluffplayer?”. Well yes but not entirely, mostly because of my participation in the beginner’s tournament a while back. I have changed my stance on competitive play somewhat, because I believe it to be an equal part of the hobby. Broken down like this, the hobby consists of three main elements: Narrative, Creation and Competition. To enjoy the hobby fully, one can focus on one of the elements, or several. Not one of them excludes another.

The problem I have, is SweComp acting like a big brother. I am probably going to receive a lot of slack and criticism for this, but it is to me completely mind boggling how a small elite of 40k players can sit down, subjectively score armies, and then promote this as a general consensus for the national 40k community. Continuing with my problems with SweComp is that it excludes many cool elements of the product. No Forge World basically, no cool themed armies. Basically the whole competition scene becomes pretty bland. I understand that this prevents an army creation meta, and ”everyone can come play” with a list that normally wouldn’t be so powerful in a ”everything goes environment”. But I can’t help feeling there is this sort of self-righteousness in SweComp, a holy hand of God if you will. If tournaments are supposed to be competitive, let the reins run free a little more, and let people find the most optimal list, with all possible choices. Competition lies as much in preparation as it does in the actual event. It becomes like ”list-building socialism”, everyone is to be on equal terms, or else. This according to me is an inherent oxymoron, as the game is not made to be balanced in the first place, however with detachments, formations and allies it actually becomes balanced, the only obstacle is you. Don’t be a 3,5:er, be creative instead.

Also one argument to exclude Forge World I hear time and time again is the financial argument, that Forge World are elitist expensive models. Bollocks. They don’t cost that much more, and they only add flavor. Deal with it.

The problem I have with the ITC (it’s a rather small problem), is that it creates a status quo meta, that only changes with edition, FAQ and errata, making lists a standard, and instead your ability to control said list determines who well you fall out (sounds surprisingly like any competitive game out there, like MtG for instance). But then again new, previously unthought of lists that dominate the scene pop up regularly. And isn’t competition meant to weed out the best of the best? ITC, in my humble opinion, allows for more creativity when creating lists, it has sensible restrictions to the things that are, in fact, pants-on-head-retarded OP. And it promotes originality. Added into the ITC are also regulations for hobby points and sportsmanship, something SweComp has completely left out and left it in the hands of organizers.

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Parting words – a modest proposal

I don’t have to tell you again in my summary where my bets stand. I am all for introducing ITC as the international standard for competitive 40k tournaments, in order for it to make it easier to make a world ranking (which it already does), promote people to hobby more (renaissance man) and is THE format being discussed on international forums. Take it one step further and implement more elements from #bringinghobbyback from The Long War and we could have an international hobby focused, dakka promoting tournament circuit where everyone, anywhere can join! So please Swedish 40k Elite, consider looking at the ITC format, make us hobby international!

 

 

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