Thursday, March 27, 2014

Handicap Gaming

Tim's come up with a plan to make club games more challenging and fair on those who are not as experienced (or talented; I count myself in this category!) as others, allowing a closer result and, let's be honest, a more enjoyable gaming experience. 

He's proposed a handicap system where more experienced players have a lower handicap (or  Force Differential / FD), which gives them fewer troops to field against someone of a higher FD, ie. an relatively experienced player with an FD of 200 playing against a newbie with an FD of 500 will get to field a 1200 point army against the neophyte's 1500 points.

It seems, at the moment, that a player's FD will be self-determined to be altered at a later stage if it proves to be unrealistic!

I'd be interested to hear from anyone if any club you frequent has tried something like this and what benefits or drawbacks arose. Do you think a Darwinian survival of the fittest is appropriate, or should all ace players be condemned to playing also-ran armies like Spain or Naples?

How I see my own tactical abilities!


  1. I cant help thinking this is wrong and really becomes a penalty for playing well as you get penalised for using your brains and making better decisions. In life I have always learnt from the mistakes made so as to be better next time, and as a gamer I have the same attitude. If I lose, I learn from it and hopefully become a better player.

  2. People should play what they like playing. if you want to balance things based on experience/skill somthing like the scoring System used by Sam Mustafa in Maurice is probably the best way to do it. Give a new/less experienced/less skilled player and extra "underdog" point in campaign scoring for taking on "higher rated" player.

  3. I think you're onto something even if there is disagree with the method. Every group is unique so I won't judge. This has been on my mind lately as we struggle to grow our gaming group, and keep the few players we have.

    A friend of mine played an intro game of SAGA with another fellow. My friend laid the wood to the new guy and rolled him off the table in very short order. The new fellow told me SAGA sucked and the game seemed broken. THAT is exactly what I want to avoid.

    In our FoG group, we've welcomed back a lapsed player. He's very rusty and its going to take hims some time to catch up with the rest of us. Ive been helping him via email and refresher games. If he's blown off the table repeatedly, there'll soon come a day when he won't come back.

    Every human has an ego. When someone hits 0 wins and 20 losses, it's natural to think about playing something something else.

    1. Monty, I might have laid the wood to your friend. What fun is it to thoroughly tramp an opponent new to the game or system? New players require a bit of nurturing to get them interested and maintain that interest. Sounds like you are setting a good example of nurturing in your FoG group. Good job!

  4. If handicapping players makes for a more even and enjoyable game for your group, then why not give it a go? I suppose for competitive play, a handicapping system might be warranted but I don't play competitively. The only time I have used a handicapping system is in campaign games. In fact, it really is an anti-handicapping system because experience and success is rewarded in later battles as both troops and leaders gain experience.

    I say Survival of the Fittest!


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