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Monday, December 16, 2013

Bolt Action - Captain TO's Big Survey Results

(For those of you interested, the good Captain has brought us the results of the survey he ran after the Fall-In tournament. It, of course, by no means represents the opinions of anyone other than the respondents. Obviously, it neither is, nor intends to be, any attempt at establishing a "right" or "wrong" in Bolt Action, but serves as a guideline for future Stefan-run events. As an aside, I found some of the results quite interesting. - Judson)

During the tournaments I ran or played in, a number of players have voiced concerns about, or expressed a desire to, modify certain rules. So, I asked the players from the five tournaments I have run what their opinion was regarding the most popular house rules from the internet (...the source of all truth). (Duh. Of course. Listen to The BAR. - J)  I received twenty responses from the thirty-eight requests - a 52% response rate. Pretty good as far as surveys go. The players are all from the Northeast and mid-Atlantic USA.

The survey...

Four out of the twenty responses were all or nothing; e.g. three responded "NO" to all questions and one answered "YES" to every question. Of the three that said no to everything, two of them wrote that they agreed with some of the proposed rules, but were opposed to using house rules and wanted to only use official rules. The following chart shows how many YES's and NO's each player answered showing how much or how little change they want.

The columns show the percent of answers that were NO and percent that were YES (corresponding to the left vertical axis). The count (corresponding to the right vertical axis) is the number of players who answered in a like manner. So the first column shows that three players answered 100% NO and 0% YES. The last column show that one player answered 0% NO and 100% YES. Note that if you remove the extremes where someone answered all NO or all YES, we have a normal distribution where the majority of the players answered about 50% YES and 50% NO. I would not have expected that the 50% YES and 50% NO would be the norm of opinion. I would have thought we would have seen a skewed result where more were saying NO to house rules; or, if you base it on internet forum opinion, more players indicating more YES's than NO's.

The results...

I arranged the results in the order of the most YES's to the least YES's to make it easier to pick out what most players want to house rule...meaning the order of the questions on the graphs will not match the order of the questions on the survey form. Please use the chart after the graphs to reference the question coding at the bottom of the graphs to the survey form.

The results including the responses where everything was either YES or NO:

The results EXCLUDING the responses where everything was either YES or NO:

I am going to comment on the results without the extremes, as I think they are more representative opinion about the proposed house rules. Surprisingly, with all the controversy of vehicle flamethrowers, 20% do not want to limit their range. A clear majority want something done about the ability of armored transports to fire onboard weapons. And a significant majority would like MMGs and HMGs to suppress better than they do currently.

There is no clear consensus regarding Recce vehicles having to pass an orders test, LMGs causing two pins, and heavy weapons with a penetration value of one being able to pin heavy armored vehicles.

Yet there is a majority who do not want IFT, LMGs, VB launchers, and Light Mortars within infantry squads to be able to fire at different targets, removing the ability of small arms to suppress open topped vehicles, and modifications to the aircraft rules.

Based on the internet chatter, I would have thought most players would want infantry weapons being able to fire at different targets; would want heavy weapons with PEN 1 to not cause a pin on damage values 9+ or higher (here's looking at you HMGs); and would want LMGs to cause 2 pins. Well, I guess there is a difference between the internet and who plays in the tournaments I run.

What are your thoughts? Comment in the WWPD forums...

(TO has also provided a little key to explain the column titles. - J)Graph to Survey Form Reference:

(Well, well, well! This article was definitely not for everyone out there; but then again, neither are product reviews or battle reports or - well, anything! I think there's enough to chew on here to drive a good many pages of lively discussion on the forum. Hop over there and lay some down for the community!

First dibs on commenting: While I love the idea of a survey, it's hardly the perfect resolution to many of these common internet hot button issues. For an example, maybe the people that voted "NO" on LMGs inflicting extra pins would have voted "YES" on reducing the points cost of LMGs. This is, in my opinion, an interesting exercise but not an attempt to suggest solution x, y, or z should be attempted in all future Captain TO tournaments.

Care to respond? Check out the forum! - J)

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