The Objective Hex Open III - Drafts and Results
Updated: Mar 10, 2021
I won the tournament again. It was a small affair, though, with only three rounds and six players. I think I am going to take a break from running tournaments for a bit. Others should have a go *cough* Steamforged *cough.*
At the top, I'd just like to say how great a game this is one more time. Obviously, if you are reading this, you probably know, but this game is fun and deep and elegantly designed. I recently got a buddy of mine who is a very experienced wargamer in other systems to give it a try. Within a few hours of being introduced to it, he was messaging me questions about whether or not Lorsann was trash and whether or not Rodhri's speed was too big of a liability to use him, etc. This game is just crackling with possibilities and variation whilst being extremely lightweight. Ah. Thanks, SFG. Great job.
The draft results, I think, reflect this diversity of options and approaches to the game. This was my first chance to see Helena and Maxen in tournament play, and I think it's clear that neither is useless or dominant. Helena and Shotgun Max were both 2-1 in games where they saw the table. Once again, SFG seems to have created useful pieces that don't invalidate previously existing ones. It's great.
The format was to draft two lists of five unique champions (no mirrors). After that, each player got to ban one of the opponent's drafted champions. Each player then simultaneously revealed the three they would use in the game. The player who drafted first was also forced to go first on Turn 1.
I liked it! The players were kind enough to share their draft results for eight of the games which took place. They are below:
The column on the left is the draft of the player who had first pick; the column on the right is the draft of the player who had second pick. Each column shows the player's draft in descending order. The champion in red was banned by the opponent, the champions in gray were left inactive by the player who chose them, and the champions in green actually saw the table. Round 1 was Life, Round 2 was Quest, and Round 3 was Death.
If you want to just look at the original spreadsheet, you can do so here.
If you want to compare these to the results form last time, those are here.
We've got the results of 8 drafts in this table. That means that there were 80 draft picks, 16 bans, and 48 instances of a champion actually hitting the virtual table.
Here were the most picked champions. After each name is the number of times they were picked:
Sneaky Peet 3
Rangosh was picked in every round. I'm so proud of him! This might be because Life and Death are rather combat-heavy scenarios or it might just be because he's such a sweetie cutie muffin. Keera was only picked 3 times? Less than Lorsann? Mind blown.
It's also noteworthy that 19 of the 20 champions in the game were drafted! Only poor Morrigan was not picked. It is what it is.
Here are the most banned champions:
Still a lot of hate for Raith, but he did hit the table once. I got to put him out there in the finals, though.
Rainbow Connection vs. Myklock - Rd. 1 Life
Rainbow Connection, formerly AngusJoe, is the champion of the first Objective Hex open and still the #1 American player on Battleladder. He faced off against Myklock, an Irish player who brought a fresh take on the champions to this event. The results of their draft make me happy.
RC went first and took Maxen. Hell yes. Not Raith, not Shayle, not any of these consensus meta champions. No. Shotgun Max. The new kid who some of us (me) struggled to understand initially. Fantastic. Myklock counters with Luella? Again, not one of the usual early picks. She does have an easy time killing birds, I guess.
Next comes Helena. So RC has led off with the two new champions. What a baller. Myklock follows up with Rangosh. Sure. Makes sense. The next two picks are Titus and Grimgut. I get it.
Then it gets weird again... Rattlebone and Blackjaw? RC has a long and well-documented love affair with the Rattlebusiness, but it's still refreshing to see her. Then Blackjaw? He's back! Halftusk and Mourneblade round out the selections.
I've played both of these folks, and I assure you that both are very capable players.. They are both proving in this draft that all the champions live. It's great. This game is in a fantastic place.
Reflections on the Experience
A word about the final round. mbauers got there by defeating the legendary Rainbow Connection and by bringing Halftusk, a champion who has been a bit overlooked. Last tournament, mbauers beat ellio (another top tier player) by allowing ellio to play Raith. That didn't work out this time but I have to admit that I admire the chutzpah. Here is a player who is not afraid to think independently and win doing it. mbauers has style, and I always enjoy our matchups.
Who knows... Halftusk meta coming? It would be cool.
Reflections on the whole OHO thing thus far.
The first Objective Hex Open was kind of just...hey... what if we drafted? It seemed like what players wanted to do. It was what lots of us were doing in our casual games. It was fun and felt right.
That said, SFG set up their pick 4 format for some good reasons. The game needs to grow, and letting players who have only a few of the champions still have a legitimately competitive, tournament-ready list is great for that. The logistical burdens of bringing all of the champions for every player are annoying. The SFG format lowers barriers to entry, and we should not overlook the value of that. We need to keep growing this game. It's just too good to be lost in the shuffle. Get your friends playing, even if that means narrowing the scope of the champions they have to consider.
Still, the four champion list is very restrictive. I am eager to see if SFG makes changes to their organized play document. I won't be mad if they don't, but they are better at game design than I ever will be and perhaps they have a brilliant idea for incorporating some draft dynamics while still maintaining that sense of access for new players. We'll see.
Sadly, full-on open draft format tournaments might ultimately only be digital ones. They might, in fact, be a quirk of this pandemic time which is (hopefully) headed for a conclusion. If so, I am just thankful to the people who joined in. I had a great time, and I hope you did too. That said, I would still want to play in tournaments online even after we're back to in-person events if that's the only way to do a draft format.
For now, I'm going to pause on the Objective Hex IV.
I'm not saying I wont run any more of these, but I am saying that it's time for a break from doing so. I don't know if there will be appetite for this when that break ends. I hope there will be. We'll see.