The Limited Pool Draft Format
Hello. I’m Gearbox and I’ll be your guide to the Limited Pool Draft format of Godtear tournament play. Before we begin, I'd like to outline that this format is a community format, therefore it's unofficial and ineligible for prize support from SFG. If you'd like to play the current official tournament format, you can follow the rules outlined in this document.
What is a Limited Pool Draft format game and how is it different from a normal game of Godtear?
Each round, after learning which scenario will be played, the players will draft from a limited pool of 12 champions, 3 from each of the 4 classes (Guardian, Maelstrom, Shaper, and Slayer) in a manner described below.
After setting up the board for that round’s scenario, players roll off 5 dice each and the player with the higher roll chooses whether to be first or second player.
First player then Bans one of the 12 champions in the Limited Pool. Then the Second player Bans one of the remaining 11 champions.
Then players alternate picking Champions to play, starting with the First player, until both players have three champions each, leaving 4 champions in the limited pool that were not banned or picked.
Now that each player has three champions, assemble each player's warband by grabbing each champion’s respective followers.
Play now continues as normal with the First player forced to deploy first and go first on the first turn.
How does one setup a Limited Draft Pool?
Each limited draft pool is composed of 12 total champions, 3 of each class. That’s 3 random Guardians, 3 random Maelstroms, 3 random Shapers, and 3 random Slayers. To randomize a pool for a round, simply randomize 3 of each class from the available models to make up the Limited Pool.
For a one off game on Tabletop Simulator, you can just press this button when the board is empty and the script will set up the pool for you! Tournament Organizers should follow the instructions below.
How does one organize a Limited Pool Draft tournament?
There’s a little more work on the Tournament Organizer’s part for this format, but I think it’s worth it. Each round the TO randomizes a Scenario and a limited draft pool.
For fairness, each table should have the same draft pool each round. This is done so that everyone is playing the same pool for each round. It also simplifies the TO process, by only requiring one Limited Draft Pool be randomly generated for each round. This means that, for the sake of this tournament, the TO must have access to at least 1 copy of each crew (which is composed of a champion, their banner, and their respective followers) for each table being run in the tournament. While this makes running an in person Limited Draft Pool tournament almost impossible due to the need to bring one of every champion for every two participants, it is perfect for online play where everyone has access to every champion.
To prevent certain warbands from being too prevalent in the tournament, and to encourage variety, after a warband appears twice in a row in the draft pool, it is taken out of the randomizer for a round. For example if Titus appears in the limited draft pools of the second and third round of the tournament, he will not be available in the random pool for the fourth round only, and the TO would then be randomly selecting three of the other, non-Titus, Maelstroms for that round. He would be available as an option in the random maelstrom pool for round five.
Wait, there’s a Draft format in a Miniatures Skirmish game?
Yeah! Cool, right? Since there are no factions in Godtear, and every champion can be played with and against any other champion, a draft format makes tons of sense. The community took inspiration from the MOBA video game genre and started trying to develop a viable draft format almost from the very first days of the online Godtear community. This format is the best result of multiple attempts at that noble goal, and seems to be the most fun way to play Godtear while ensuring there are no mirror matchups. Not that mirror matchups are impossible in most formats of Godtear, but I find that most players have more fun when they see six different crews hit the table
How did Limited Pool Draft originate?
TheOldeCrow, Godtear’s most prolific Twitch streamer, invented this format for a one off tournament in July of 2022 and it has taken off in the online Godtear community. It is a fun, fantastic format I have waxed rhapsodic about previously. It also seems to have sprung, almost full form, from Crow’s head into the world. All I am doing with this article is codifying it. The only changes that have occurred in the past nine months are how the TO generates the limited draft pools and what frequency of reappearance removes a champion from a round.
That’s it. This format was called Crow Draft before the publication of this document. And the only reason the name is changed here is because Crow himself asked that it be changed to a more descriptive term. So here we are, with the Limited Pool Draft format.
Historical photo of TheOldeCrow flexing on the entire Godtear community by creating the Limited Pool Draft format
How do I prepare to participate in a Limited Pool Draft tournament?
You don’t really need to prepare in particular for any Limited Pool Draft. With 28 champions (7 of each class) there are 1,500,625 possible draft pools. Since each champion’s strength is dependent on Scenario, with only 6 scenarios that still leaves you 9,003,750 different combinations of Scenario and Pool.
No one can study over 9 million possible drafts, especially since each draft can go one of 19,958,400 different ways. With 179,700,444 MILLION possible drafts I think we can safely say that, on the scale of human comprehension, each draft is unique. So, how can you prepare in general for a unique draft every round?
Your Draft Pool + Scenario combination visualized
Firstly: Know the full roster of champions.
While this seems like a huge deal, with over 25 champions to learn, it isn’t as bad as it appears at first. With very few outliers, champions in Godtear are fairly balanced but very unique. The more you play with and against a diverse roster of champions, the more you’ll learn what they do and how they do it. So the first step to preparing for a Limited Draft Pool game is to play a bunch of Godtear games. Win win!
Secondly: Know which champions are good in which scenarios.
Some champions are amazing at particular scenarios and terrible at others. Helena is good on Knowledge, Rhodri can be amazing on Life, Kailinn tends not to like Construction, etc. Being at least aware of these general trends can help you prioritize winning picks and bans during the draft. For example, Rhodri on Quest tends to be terrible, while Kailinn on Quest is amazing; on Life, I would reverse their places in that statement. Each scenario has its own power ranking across the whole gamut of champions. The better you understand the scenarios and how the champions interact with them, the better you’ll perform in the draft and in the gameplay itself.
Thirdly: Know how the champions matchup against other champions.
As you’ve likely read many times on this blog, counters are more important than synergies in Godtear. Many scenarios create distinct lanes of action where certain crews duke it out for battle ladder steps. Knowing who you can bring to make it difficult for your opponent helps you draft and set up the first turn so that you have an advantage going into the higher scoring turns. Lorsann and Maxen prey on Mourneblade; Kailinn runs roughshod over Shayle; dwarves hate to face off against Lily; you get the idea.
Now that you’ve prepared yourself before even knowing the draft pool, it’s time to get down and dirty and draft out of a limited pool! There are four stages to the draft between sitting down at the table and starting the game: analysis, rolling off, banning, and picking.
Analysis is the time you spend looking at the draft pool to get an idea of what you want to draft. You’ll be applying the knowledge you acquired during your preparation and evaluating each champion against the scenario, the potential matchups, and personal preference. I mean, no one is forcing you to play Rattlebone. You’ll want to take some time before announcing you’re ready to roll off. Remember, you will know the scenario and the pool before anything else. I’ve taken to taking notes when doing my analysis. Just little observations like, “Luella strong into this pool,” and “no Mourneblade counter,” or “Morrigan good here?!?” These are all real notes I’ve taken when analyzing Limited Draft Pools.
Once both players are satisfied that they’re done analyzing in the vacuum, it’s time to roll off. 5 dice each, reroll ties, and the high roller gets to choose whether to be first or second. These positions are wildly different in effect even though they are identical in procession. The first player will be dictating the tempo of the draft and has the first choice of champions. The second player will likely be reacting to the first player’s choices and has more control over the matchups, both in the draft and on the tabletop, since they pick and set up second. If you win the roll, I recommend choosing to be first player if you like taking the initiative, and to be second player if you like to respond on the fly.
There are a few ban strategies in Limited Pool Draft. There tend to be one to four champions in the pool that are considered power pieces. These are ban or first pick worthy champions that are at a high priority for both players, due to their influence on the rest of the draft, impact on the scenario, or just sheer power tuning. If there is only one power piece, the first player should let it through the ban and force the second player to spend their ban on it or risk the first player first picking it. If there are two power pieces, the first player should spend their ban on neither and first pick whichever one the second player doesn’t ban. If there are three power pieces, the first player should ban one to put the second player in an awkward position; for now the second player can either ban another one to force the first player’s first pick, or ban neither to ensure that they themselves get a power piece. Finally, if there are 4 power pieces, the first player should ban one and, likely, so should the second player so that each player gets a power piece.
Now that you’ve banned, it’s time to pick. The instructions here are simple: pick the champions that you think are most likely to help you win. Luella if there are a bunch of 1 armor followers remaining in the pool; Kailinn on Quest; Lily to chuck around their Helena, etc. All of your preparation and games and banning come down to these three decisions. Which three champions will help you win the game of Godtear you’re about to play?
And that’s it! You’ve successfully drafted from a limited pool of champions. With 2 champions banned, 6 picked, and 12 total in the pool, there are 4 champions left over untouched. Set them aside and set up the board for your Godtear game. Remember to be courteous, to put sportsmanship above all else, and most importantly to have fun!
There you have it. Limited Pool Draft codified. I hope you enjoy this Draft format as much as I do. If you need a refresher on how to set up the game, refer to the first two paragraphs. For organizers, remember that you can use Longshanks to help setup and run your tournament. For everyone else, I’ll see you on the Discord and on the Seat of the World.
Jeff “Gearbox” Mitchell