I hate miniatures tournaments. First of all, I have no desire to spend the better part of a weekend playing only one rules set, leading to exasperation and long rules debates on all sides. Secondly, every tournament devolves into everyone trying to identify the best possible competitive army, making many interesting armies completely unplayable.
This is why the only miniatures tournaments I'll consider entering is DBA. The rules are short. However convoluted they might be, nobody gets terribly upset worrying about interpretations, since it's hardly worth taking too seriously. This doesn't entirely address the problem of killer armies, though. True, people are more likely to bring along what they have, rather than refining the best possible army, but I suspect that most people will leave their Early Lybian armies at home.
Marty Schmidt regularly runs DBA tournaments at Siege of Augusta which try to get around the killer army problem in innovative ways. (Unfortunately, I've never attended these, but know Marty from when he lived out here in California.)
One idea I've been considering is to put together a precolumbian American-themed tournament. I would provide a half-dozen or so pairs of armies for people to try. In addition, players could bring their own armies from the theme. Failing in that, I'd allow Western Hemisphere armies with the following restrictions:
- No elephants, chariots, or artillery. Elephants and artillery are to be replaced by psiloi, and chariots by psiloi, bow, or auxilia.
- No more than one mounted element in the entire army. Light horse dismount as psiloi, cavalry as bow or auxilia, knights as spear or blade, unless the elements are already specified as dismounting as something else.
- An American army fighting a Western Hemisphere army always fights as defenders.
- Each player must provide a suitable crackpot theory as to how the army arrived in the Americas.