Format And List Building
The format for a Godtear match substantially affects the list building process.
If you are playing an SFG standard tournament, you get a fixed pool of 4 champions and a choice of three each game. You get to pick with knowledge of the scenario and your opponent’s list of four. You and the opponent simultaneously reveal your lists of three.
Under these circumstances, should you take Jeen?
Jeen is very strong in certain matchups. She can ensure that banners get crushed and rack up steps when soft targets present themselves. Jeen is fantastic in scenarios which call for a long-range banner game. In a fixed four list, though, she feels like the wrong choice to me. She has rough matchups into tough followers and/or slayers who can burn through her low health. She struggles in more bunched up scenarios. I need more flexibility from one of my precious four.
If you are playing a draft format tournament, you will usually have knowledge of the scenario before drafting. You and your opponent might draft any champion which has not been previously drafted. This gives you definite knowledge about their picks as they happen. It gives both players far more options in general and prevents mirror matches.
Let’s say your opponent just drafted Grimgut and the scenario is Change.
Now, I want Jeen. Her shrikes will part the slime allowing Jeen or someone else to get to the fat zombie’s banner. Jeen has the attack volume to make killing the retchings efficient. Jeen has has good tech to resist the repeated but weak attacks Grimgut’s snot goblins will bring. The shrikes will run circles around the lot of them. The scenario lends itself to a spread-out banner game that’s perfect for speedy flag crushers. Jeen all day.
A fixed list format encourages you to build lists based on scenarios rather than matchups since a list of four can cover six scenarios more easily than 22 champions. A draft format encourages you to draft more based on head to head matchups since you have much more certainty about what you are facing and far more options for facing it.
I think most people playing in person right now are playing an SFG format. I would also guess that most people who play online right now are drafting.
Delicious Games on Draft
I’m here to recommend that folks try out drafting in person as well. You may or may not have all the models. It’s fine. Just meet up with your opponent or group, pool all the champs together, and have at it. If you’re not too squeamish about loaning your models to someone, it’s a blast. Godtear minis are durable. It’s fine.
Drafting is fun because it raises more specialized interactions and creates the potential for more champions to be desirable in a given game. This gives players more incentive to explore a wider range of champions to play. This is fun for me. Others seem to enjoy it as well.
Drafting for scenario (as one does for a fixed list tournament) means that more flexible champions become a focal point at the expense of more niche ones. Raith’Marid, Rangosh, Titus, and Finvarr will show up a lot because they are all versatile and effective. You might get cheeky and try to bring a list that counters the most flexible champions, but you cannot be sure which of them you’ll be running into in any given round, so this becomes a bit rough.
In a draft format, taking counter picks becomes much easier and, in fact, opens up a deep and interesting game of matchups. If someone takes Raith, Keera looks very good. If someone takes Rangosh, consider Halftusk or Peet. If someone takes Finvarr, consider Styx. If someone takes Titus… well… Rangosh. Rangosh is still good.
The point is, you will play with and against a wider range of champions. That’s cool, right?
Yeah, not everyone has every champion, but two player’s collections might make for a broad enough selection for drafting to be fun. Godtear is a relatively inexpensive miniatures game to to collect. If you have the interest, funds, and leisure time to show up for a game, you might have more than four models. A fun way to build a collection might be to occasionally buy champions from the store where you are playing as the desire to draft them arises. That’s the kind of thing that encourages stores to have Godtear nights and stuff.
I have hosted several draft tournaments. We have tried a few permutations, but here is my personal favorite.
1. Randomly determine player 1 and player 2. Player 1 drafts first. The players alternate draft picks until each has five. No mirror matches.
2. After each player has five champions, player 1 bans one of player 2’s choices. Player 2 then bans one of player 1’s choices.
3. Players secretly choose the three champions they will play from their 4 remaining draftees. They reveal their choices simultaneously.
4. Player 1 goes first on turn 1 and begins normal deployment.
I like this format because it really mixes things up. Being Player 1 is a mixed blessing because player 2 gets to pick and deploy reactively. It feels balanced. The ban is nice because it serves as a check on a few champions being just a bit too troublesome and potentially unfun to play against in a particular situation. There are arguments for making this simpler and for making it more complex, but this is the sweet spot for me based on my experiences. I recommend trying it out.
There are arguments in favor of the SFG standard format. It has a low barrier to entry both in terms of models purchased and the range of models you need to learn to use. It’s also logistically easier to bring 4 champions than to bring your whole collection. I get it, but I think those tradeoffs are worth it for the variety and depth you get in drafts.
I have fun with SFG standard format, but I think it’s worth exploring other ways to play. The possibilities for formats are kind of endless. Limited, random draft pools might be fun. Pre-draft bans? More intricate drafts? Draft two lists and then assign them randomly? Go nuts.