European Team Championship (ETC)
The ETC is one of the largest tabletop miniature gaming tournaments held in the world. It was first created in 2006 and has been running every year since. The event aims to bring players from around the world together. Formally it was designed for the European scene; however this expanded to Oceanic and South/North American countries.
Since its introduction, the ETC has grown from around 200 players to well over 1000 players attending. The ETC has always been held in a different country every year, this gives country’s a chance to provide a new environment for gamers, but also as a new holiday destination. Some countries would not perhaps be visited before by most players as it may not be a top holiday destination, so it gives people a create chance to see some parts of the world they may not have otherwise see. This gathering of players and cultures creates a huge bond and friendships spanning across the world. Not only is it foremost a competition, but a fantastically large scale social event, where gamers from America pit themselves against some of the biggest drinkers the world has to offer, the crazy Danes and Swedes!
During the ETC there are 3 large events; 40k, Flames of War and 9th Age Warhammer. There is also side events held for Xwing, Age of Sigmar (new this year) and the Horus Heresy. This collection of gamers brings people together from their own countries that they may not see in their own tournament scene.
How does the ETC System Work?
Each country selects 8 players and sends them to the ETC to compete for a chance to win one of the most prestigious events of the year. Each country selects their team differently, but the following basic rule applies: the country must contain 4 players from their country (decided via passport) and may have a further 4 players who do not have to be from the country (although it is recommended) and may instead be mercenaries. This allows some smaller country’s to compete as the ETC is an expensive trip for some. Each country may also have a further 2 assistant players, such as a coach or spare player. This means each country can contain a total of 10 players.
Lists are submitted in advance, and each army can only be chosen once across the entire team i.e. if player A chooses an Eldar detachment in the 40k team, no other player may choose any units from the Eldar. This provides a lot of variation to the game; otherwise we could see a team simply taking 8 Eldar armies, which is not fun for anyone!
Once lists are submitted, the 1st round draw is predetermined. Some countries may decide to challenge one another for glory or a history grudge! There is usually good spirited banter between the teams in the first round. After the first round finishes, the ETC uses a Swiss system to decide who plays who next. No country can play the same country they have previously played again.
The way a round works is as follows (this may be different depending on the system, but the following example is used in 40k and Warhammer 9th age):
Both country’s choose a player to be put forward first (these are known as “defenders). Team A, for example, puts Eldar forwards, whilst Team B puts Imperia Guard forwards. Both teams then decide in secret which 2 armys to put against the defender. Both teams then reveal these armies (known as “attackers”) at the same time. Team A puts Grey Knights and Tyranids to play against Imperial guard for example. The teams then decide which one their defender will play. Team B chooses to take the Tyranids to play Impeiral guard. Team A then gets given grey Knights back, to be used later. Team B then gets to choose one of the 8 tables available, as the defender to play Tyranids. This means that although the Impeiral Guard player has the disadvantage of having to face a bad matchup, he could choose a table which suites his army best.
Both teams continue this process until the last 4 armies need to be picked. This is where it gets interesting. The attacker army that was not picked to play the defender play one another, and the last army left in each teams hands, also play one another. This means tactical decisions and potential guesses could lead to better or worse matchups. The match-making process is extremely tactical and part of the way to win the tournament.
How does the 20-0 system work?
The 20-0 ETC format was originaly developed for team event play, however this soon becomes a platform for multiple large events across the world as it become very successful even in single player events. The reason for this is it makes every game tactical and gives both players something to play for, rather than a simple win/loss/draw.
If you have a bad matchup at a tournament, you would still have the ability to play for as many points as possible rather than just lose by 1 point and lose the entire game. This tends to bring out more tactical plays rather than just giving up turn 2. Many a game have I almost called the game turn 2, only to play my hardest to scrape some points which later on have helped put me in a better overall position.
The way it works is:
- Maelstrom points (36 cards, max 3 of which can be scored a turn. D3 are worth 2pts, D6 are worth 4 pts)
- Killpoints (max differential of 6)
- Objectives (either end of the game scoring or every turn scoring).
- First Blood/Linebreaker/Warlord
Each player adds up the score at the end of the game and the difference is calculated to create the 20-0. For example:
- Player A scores 9 Maelstrom points, holds 3 objectives worth 2 pts each, has 3 more Killpoints than Players B and gets First blood. Total: 19pts
- Player B scores 10 maelstrom Pts, holds 1 objective and gets Line breaker. Total: 14.
The difference is 5 points in favour of Player A. As it is an odd number, this is rounded upto 6. Now halve the number and add it to 10, making 13. Player A gets 13 points, whilst your opponent gets 7. This means that although there is a clear winner, Player B managed to get some points out of the game. This creates some crazy close tight games where both players gain something from it.
Hopefully this brings more understanding to all of those interested in the ETC, and we at Glasshammer Gaming hope to see more players playing this great system!