Another Monday another Three Box Challenge! This time: turning it into a tournament!
To be quite honest, this has been a while coming. With each Three Box Challenge written I’ve thought more and more about a Three Box Challenge format. There is a lot of discussion in the community about the disparity between entry level players and people who buy all the boxes for every single tactic and crisis card. Something that concerns me, not necessarily for the validity of this disparity (recently AMG has mostly done a great job of upping the power level of affiliation and character specific cards rather than leaving unaffiliated cards king) but rather the core mechanics of how communities are built and maintained for tabletop games.
Every store community will have a (usually slow) inflow and outflow of players as new players are drawn in and older players move on. Retention is hard to put effort into, because new editions or specific metas or even just the people at the store might cause people to quit. So, naturally for a healthy community to flourish you have to focus on onboarding. If new players don’t feel enfranchised sufficiently compared to the psychos like me buying every box you’ve got an uphill battle. The natural solution? Limited formats.
Formats with limited resources are a hugely important part of many long standing tabletop/card games. The most infamous instance has to be Magic: the Gathering, with every format in the game allowing you to only use a subset of cards in its history – ranging from no holds barred Vintage down to a rapidly rotating Standard format. For a more wargaming based example, Warmachine had (has? its been a while) Champions, a format which cuts down the themes and Warcasters/Warlocks you could take for a Champions tournament. And I think the Three Box Challenge could be an interesting option for Marvel: Crisis Protocol.
Unlike card games which use a booster model there’s no opportunity for a draft system like MtG – draft systems have been run in the past in the MCP sphere but it requires TTS or a relatively enfranchised community to have all the models collectively to function. A rotating format like Warmachine’s Champions (or as I’m told ala Guild Ball’s seasons) would also be intriguing but wouldn’t necessarily lessen the scope to a new player’s level. And since you are picking what boxes you take, veterans can coexist with more casual/new players by picking weirder/more off meta boxes – which will at the same time let them play with pieces that they often don’t, making for a fun experience despite losing the competitive practice element.
For anyone who read this far into the article without knowing of the Three Box Challenge, power to you (though I highly recommend checking one out here), it’s simple – what affiliated rosters can you put together with just the core set plus three boxes of your choice. The idea is with the core box and 3 boxes of your choice you should have a full tournament viable roster, all the necessary widgets and a table’s worth of terrain for ~$200. Which for any wargame is an absolute steal.
But enough about my ranting about community building and the importance of a limited format, I mentioned a tournament. I proudly present the Three Box Crisis!
Sixteen content creators locked in for four rounds of bitter swiss to determine who is the Three Box Champion. Each participant will build a roster adhering to the challenge rules and duke it out with limited resources. Our esteemed participants:
Sploosh + Dyzard + Xavier Protocols’ Jacob:
KennyG + Merzain- https://anchor.fm/advancedrnd
Lexa White – https://morlockmcp.podbean.com/
NateGG – https://youtube.com/c/TheGamersGuild
Pat Dunford – https://acrossthebifrost.com/category/podcast/atb/
Quinn Duggan – null
QTR_Quotemyname – https://youtube.com/c/QuoteTheRavenGames
Rich Mid Gaming – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJiJrp1_YbL1klxpJ8ZsUxQ
Sooner5 – https://anchor.fm/turnzer0gaming
Fingerguns – https://acrossthebifrost.com/author/fingerguns/
UtilityCookie – https://acrossthebifrost.com/author/utilitycookie/
and of course, myself! A week from today the tournament will begin in a weekly league style with all (most?) games recorded & put up on youtube (I’ll have a playlist on the Roster Doctor channel for you to find everything). And be sure to check out these creators’ content as I’m sure they’ll be covering this list building process on their podcasts and in their articles. A lot of it will of course grace the front page of this wonderful website but I highly recommend checking out their pages as well, and subscribe/follow on youtube/twitch to make sure you catch matches live! To check out rosters as you wait for our articles/podcasts on our list building strategy and decision making you can go here:
There was some coordination in order to try and get a good spread of factions but other than encouraging people to pick affiliations other people weren’t picking there were no rules on what to pick. Personally I’m excited to give my Spider-Foes a go and will be writing on them soon. But until then I’ll bid yall adieu.
That will wrap us up for this special Three Box Challenge article here on acrossthebifrost.com! Make sure to check out the Roster Doctor on Facebook, Youtube and Anchor.Fm!