Ragnarocktoberfest 2024 KotH Rules Updates & Field Layout

With the Ragnarocktoberfest King of the Hill tournament roughly 5 months out, our yearly testing for rules and layout updates has finished and changes are now reflected on the King of the Hill Tournament Rules page. I’d like to go over a few of the changes that may be the most relevant, and some that didn’t change and why. Of course read the rules in their entirety for everything.

Rule 1.5 has changed from 15 seconds to 10 seconds. The respawn time greatly affects the flow and speed of the game, so dropping the time by a third has decreased the punishment for players attempting to make moves that impact the game for their team. This change carries over into the penalty section as well, as penalties are based on multiplied respawn timers, so a double respawn penalty has changed from 30 to 20 seconds and a triple from 45 to 30 seconds.

Rule 2.1 has changed to reflect that there’s no reason for players to be required to hold their hands above their head prior to match start, this was originally done as a way to signify readiness of a team, but verbal checks are done so this is an unnecessary redundancy that we can remove. This does not change the requirement to display player status while out of bounds before respawning, only the beginning of the match.

Rule 3.5 has changed from preventing substitute players from holding blasters until they have subbed in for a teammate to allowing it so long as they are not presenting themselves as an active player or player attempting to spawn in to create confusion for the other team. This change allows subs to happen more smoothly than before, especially with the shortened respawn timer.

Rule 1.4 has remained the same at 320 darts per team per match. After testing multiple different dart caps this remained the most balanced, even minor jumps to 350 darts per team created situations where less movement was happening on the field due to the extra suppression ability that teams had. When we went to higher numbers like 500+ darts we found that effect was only exacerbated, at worst leading to instances where neither team could reach the middle hill timer until halfway through the match, leading to very stagnant gameplay. This does not mean that this number will never change, testing happens every year and combined with the next point may lead to balance shifting in these numbers.

We tested adding more cover in the form of taller stand up cover, however we did not get as much testing with these added pieces to ensure that the positioning would be balanced for gameplay, so they have been held back for this year, but will be tested with from the beginning for next year to see what they can add to the gameplay flow to improve it.

I hope that these explanations help inform you on the reasoning behind them, as always if there are suggestions please share them and they will be added to the testing list for next year, regardless whether they result in changes or not, the insight is always valuable to add to the testing process. I look forward to seeing everyone on the field that makes it to compete at Rag this year. I’ll leave you with the field layout and measurements for those that are looking to practice: