Seeking tournament suggestions

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skyscraper
skyscraper's picture
Seeking tournament suggestions

Hello,

I am organizing a small DDM tournament with the help of John_Flipp (JP) that lives not too far away from where I live. We would have players from his and my gaming groups. Up to now, we have 7 players confirmed. I expect a couple more on my side. So, we should be around 8-10 players.

This will be my first time organizing a DDM event, so I seek suggestions and recommendations.

The tournament would take place at my home. I have a two large tables allowing two games to be played side-by-side, that would be installed in the same room; and two other smaller tables each allowing one game, in other rooms.

My present intention is to have a smaller format to increase the likelihood of the games finishing in time; and to have games be a bit shorter; as opposed to winners being decided on points for most games and/or games last longer. I am thinking about 150 points / 5 minis per warband limit. JP and I discussed this a bit, and the 150-6 format also came up during discussion as a second option. We would play on small maps, Arena-style.

My intent is to have a 50 minute time limit for games to conclude, including setup. 10 minute break between games.

All players that will be present are not used to playing quickly/to timed tournament style play. So although we will still indeed impose a time limit to games, I hope for this to be softer than the 1 hour time limit for 200-8, which I have not managed to achieve in 95% of the games that I have played in our laid-back game style.

Tournament format would be round-robbin only, winner is the player with the best final score (Wins, with points being the break-even).

Game day could look like:

10:00 a.m. players arrive
10:30-12:30 2 games
12:30-13:30 lunch
13:30-16:30 3 games
16:30+ overspill in case it took longer than anticipated, + beer
18:00 end of game day

Apart from JP and I, only a couple of players at most will make their own warbands. So JP and I are likely to make warbands for most others players. For now, we plan on each making warbands for our respective gaming groups. It is likely that we will both judge other games as well, while playing simultaneously, since most players will look to us to settle any rules question.

I plan on using new V3 rules as much as possible.

Any thoughts on any of the above is welcome, including game format, rules to be used, judging, playing/judging, timing for the entire day, time awarded for each game, tournament format, etc...

Thanks in advance,

Louis

tried
tried's picture

Hey, back on the web and soon to be back to home, (next tuesday), but great to hear all the goings on.

This sounds like a good plan, Louis. You might even allow the less experienced players to pick from a number of different warbands. A round robin tournament with 7-8 is tough, and it might be easier to play brackets.
(that is 3 rounds) but also run a consolation bracket. You could theoretically do two tournaments in the same time.

I'd consider arena as a format.

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skyscraper
skyscraper's picture

Thanks for the comments

Why is it difficult to conduct a round-robbin for 7-8 players? My idea was that even though you lose the first game, you can still theoretically win the tournament. Does that make sense?

plastic finn
plastic finn's picture

Good luck with the tournament, in advance! You know your group and it sounds you've thought it out well. So I'll rather write about my own experience than try to give you advice.

Whenever preparing for less than an hour's time, I choose Arena. For me, the bonuses are: games nearly always reach "decided" stage AND when playing while judging, you have more time to share to help, advice and to judge while finishing your own game as well. Keep in mind that you may get 7-8 activations even in Arena, although, in your case being able to guide the environment to preferred direction by building most of the warbands should help quite a bit.

I like the regular tournament pairing system for a couple of reasons: After the 1st round it allows weaker players/warbands to hopefully gain speed through playing each other, to settle after maybe getting steamrolled in the first round. It has the warbands of same level playing each other in the rounds 2-3, when everybody's usually at their sharpest. Also, after 3 rounds, the standings are close to where they will end up anyway, so if you for some reason run out of time, you have the option cut it short and still have valid results. Does not happen very often, but I've experienced it once or twice.

We use round robin in more casual tournaments sometimes. It's a good way as well, certainly at its best when you're sure you have time for enough rounds. Of course you can do favorable pairings to start it with, so you can either have the most experienced players advising the greener ones etc. or players of the same level facing each other in the first round.

Smile Again, I believe you'll have a great time with two organisers that know their groups and that many players. Looking forward to hearing how it goes!

skyscraper
skyscraper's picture

Thanks for your comments Antti.

To both you and Dwayne: how do you handle tournaments where you don't have 8 players, say: 7? Does the player that does not play the first round, get to play in the loser's or the winner's bracket?

And how would you handle 9 players?

TheWoodcutter
TheWoodcutter's picture

In the case of a bye: this counts as a win, but with no victory points (and yes that can be harsh).
So if you have 7 players.
1 vs 2
3 vs 4
5 vs 6
7 bye
If 1,3,5 win, you pair 1 vs 3 and 5 vs 7 (winners of those matches play against each other in round 3 and decide the winner of the tournament most likely), in the losers bracket for round two you have one match: 2 vs 4 and 6 gets the bye. The loser of match 2-4 gets the third bye. Simply said.

EDIT for the 9 players question. This one is about the same:
1 vs 2
3 vs 4
5 vs 6
7 vs 8
9 bye
Again with the odd numbers winning, you let 1 vs 3, 5 vs 7 and pair 9 against the best scoring (victory points!) loser of the first round. You give the second round bye to the player with a loss and the lowest amount of vp. For the third round, you can either have it easy, if player 9 lost , or a bit harder if 9 won. In either case the bye for round three will go to the player with 0 wins and the least amount of vp.
You need to be a bit more careful now with which players have played against which in rounds one and two (considering some might have won round one and lost round two), but a simple table and a bit of administration will help you out.

If in either case you were going round robin (which is actually better for 5 people or lower: because you need about one round for each player)
For 2 players it's one round, for 3 it is 3 rounds, for 4 it is also 3 rounds, for 5 it is 5, for 6 it is 5, for 7 it is 7 and for 8 it is 7 rounds as well.

__________________

Commoner: No one will hear you, no matter how loud you shout. Just think. Which one of these stories do you believe?
Woodcutter: None makes any sense.
Commoner: Don't worry about it. It isn't as if men were reasonable.

plastic finn
plastic finn's picture

In the case of uneven amount of players I always use byes, no matter what the tournament type. The first bye is decided with dice (or whatever is used for lottery). Bye counts as a win for scoring, so player in your example would play as if he/she won that first game. In a tournament of 7 players that means for the second round you have 4 winners forming two pairs, two losers playing each other and one loser getting the bye. In a tournament of nine you'd have five winners, so one W'r vs. L'r game in the second round.

Many people actually enjoy byes. Smile You get a breather and get to see other games for fun and learning experience.

(EDIT) Laughing out loud Joost beat me to it! He has it well put in that post.

skyscraper
skyscraper's picture

Thanks for the detailed responses, this is helpful!

skyscraper
skyscraper's picture

When you play Arena 200-5 on small maps, is the time limit also one hour? What percentage of the games actually make it to 200 points in Arena, approximately?

TheWoodcutter
TheWoodcutter's picture

45 to 50 minutes should be enough to finish most games. Although if people try to stack the different additions (like Mercenary General, Snig and the like...) and they try to play really carefully that might not be enough, but for most players 45 to 50 is enough to finish or like Antti mentions, finished to a clear conclusion.

__________________

Commoner: No one will hear you, no matter how loud you shout. Just think. Which one of these stories do you believe?
Woodcutter: None makes any sense.
Commoner: Don't worry about it. It isn't as if men were reasonable.

tried
tried's picture

The reason for two small tournaments is that some new players will make terrible mistakes in the first matches, and then learn quickly in the next game or two.
If they then start a new tournament, they start fresh, unencumbered by the initial mistakes.

__________________

Guildmaster Head of Organized Play

Ira
Ira's picture

Round robin typically means "everyone plays everyone else." With 4 people in the tournament, this can work well, since each person will play 3 games. With 8 people, that means a really long day, since you would need 7 rounds to complete a round robin.

A more common tournament format for anything bigger than 4-5 players is called Swiss, or Swiss System. The basic idea of Swiss is that players get 1 point for a win and 0 for a loss, and each round, players with the same total score are paired with each other. So in the first round, you pair everyone randomly. With 8 players, you'll end up with 4 people with 1 point and 4 people with 0 points. You then pair the four 1-point players among each other, and the four 0-point players among each other. The idea is that over the course of the tournament, players of equal skill will play each other, and that will make for a fun and fair event.

If you have an odd number of players in swiss, you give a bye to a random player with the lowest score, and a bye counts as a win. If you have an odd number of players in a particular scoring group (e.g. 6 player tournament, so after round 1 you have three 1-point players and three 0-point players), you randomly pick someone from the lower group to play in higher group.

One other thing about Swiss is that players never play the same person more than once in the tournament.

With 8 players, you can have a single winner in 3 rounds, which is why Dwayne was saying you might even be able to fit in 2 separate events.

I agree with the 45 minute time limit in arena (200/5), though maybe with new players you want to go with 50 min.

Other practical advice: Have one index card per player. At the start of the event, write each player's name on top. You can shuffle the cards to make random pairings. Put the card on the table where the player should sit at the start of each round. Write the results on the index cards, win/loss and point total.

Take pictures/notes, including any rule questions that come up!

Have extra dry erase markers, dice, etc. on hand.

If these are new players, it might be nice to give prizes. Even a few minis can go a long way to get people started playing. That was one of the reasons I wanted to do the "cheap, thematic arena warbands" project (and now I can't find that link...) I think you could make most of those warbands for <$10, probably <$5, then each person could have their own warband. You could let the best ranked beginner pick first, but every beginner will get a warband.

skyscraper
skyscraper's picture

Thank you for all the comments and suggestions, this is very informative.

FYI you are convincing me of going for 200-5 Arena format.

A question: in the V2 rulebook, I have noticed it says that Huge creatures are not legal in Arena. Is this rule usually upheld? This means that all SKT giants for example would be out Sad What is the idea behind this rule, so that I can consider whether I want to houserule it out or not?

Thanks,

Louis

TheWoodcutter
TheWoodcutter's picture

It says "No Larger Than Huge Creatures". Which means huges are fine. It is the bigger ones (like icing death, which is on a 4x4 base) that are not allowed. Smile

__________________

Commoner: No one will hear you, no matter how loud you shout. Just think. Which one of these stories do you believe?
Woodcutter: None makes any sense.
Commoner: Don't worry about it. It isn't as if men were reasonable.

skyscraper
skyscraper's picture

Oh yes! I misread! Joy!

Thanks Smile

skyscraper
skyscraper's picture

What about maps?

We won't have 4 or 5 of the same map, at most 2 copies.

Should I form a small pool of maps and winner of champ test chooses from available ones? Or attribute a random one, selected from a small pool of maps, to each game?

Can any of you suggest what maps you would use and what format you suggest using for map attribution/selection, for the Arena format? I have played but a few games in Arena format, ever.

tried
tried's picture

Place all maps down. One at each table.
Then seat randomly each round. Winner of map chooses the 'side' to use.
((assuming two sided maps).
/d

__________________

Guildmaster Head of Organized Play