Friday, November 26, 2010

Competitive vs. Competitively EVALUATIVE - 5 seconds of holiday post

So I keep seeing this misused, join with me, and comment on your own pet peeves about the same or similar subject:

Competitive = directly proportional to the average skill difference between all players present
Competitively Determinate = effective at evaluating the best competitor at an event

FluffBunny40k, where the ultimate winner is determined by who can dance best, but where everyone is almost identical in skill and army list ... vs. NOVA format (or, in comparison to that, ANY format) ... one is by nature Competitive (The first), the second is simply Competitive Determinate.

MOST 40k events are COMPETITIVE, made more so with larger crowds and more rounds, where your later rounds are probably going to be pretty "close" in terms of skill matching.

NOT all 40k events are competitively determinate.



  1. Or, like me, you can use a small and capital 'c' to distinguish... :p

  2. Bloated on leftovers =p Rather than being an IS/IS NOT descriptor, I'd expect that varying tournament formats represent a spectrum of being competitively determinant. The GW format of judging top finishers by codex isn't competitively determinate across the total attendance by design. Tourneys that use a simple or singular set of determiners (using just KPs for instance) are a step above GW but still end in a bunch of ties. Swiss vs random vs round robin.. etc...

    Having said that though - I would like to see some way to encourage increased codex and list diversity though. Comp scoring always felt subjective as hell though. Gotta be a better way.

  3. The best lists minimize luck's influence, but even the best players' dice can falter or they can run into a hot opponent. As long as tournaments are played, fickle luck can always influence the result. Players and organizers alike must accept this.

    Competitively determinate events attempt to minimize luck's influence, by incorporating other factors such as sportsmanship and painting/theme. That help create an award that can be won on a slightly fairer playing field.

    However, inconsistent codices are always going to cause problems in terms of fairness and results. My life these days as a CSM player is always fighting uphill, so I do like the GW design of top players by army. My direct competition would have the same options as I would. However, extending this logic out to its end point, every players gets a participatory trophy.

    The most immediate compromise I can fathom is a hybrid of sorts, a tertiary catagory tacked onto the NOVA format. Best Overall (results, painting & sportsmanship) by each codex. $5 McDonald gift certificates to the winners. More work for the organizers, that's not a problem, is it? :P

  4. "Competitive = directly proportional to the average skill difference between all players present"

    I think you need to qualify that. You can say "he brought a competitive list," meaning he had an army that technically would give a good account of itself. This has no bearing really on the demeanor of the player with that list. He might be a kumbaya-lets-all-be-friends player, unskilled and just using a list he found on the web, or unfocused on what he's doing, etc. He may be skilled or not. His main thing is he wants to win worse than most other people.

    Competitive players aren't necessarily skilled at all. They just have a strong desire to win. often they have a very...strong...estimation of their capabilities, as well. It may not jibe with reality, but it is their self-image. Just like a person sees themself as a leader, intelligent, charming, so too they have an image of themselves as a competitor.

    So for me a competitive player is one with the desire to win and the will to stick to his guns on pushback points. This is the guy who will check rules rather than shrugging or rolling off, the one that never takes his eyes off the game, and the one who will be very nice and convivial while winning (for the sports buff)but not so much when the game is tight.

    So, more of a focus thing than skill, really.

  5. One could argue that focus is a part of skill. Being focused on the game minimizes mental errors, which could play a huge part in how a game goes. Focus is a trait that is shared with the majority of “winners”.

    On the original topic: If any tournament/event/game has a set of rules and goals, and every player participating is aware of these rules and goals, then the event is competitive, in it’s own way. The winner will be the player who can best adapt to the rules and goals, and win within them. The same is true for every game/sport out there.