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Reflections on Regionals


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#1 TheProfessor

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 02:23 AM

 Great fun at Regionals this past weekend.  Talking with the participants, we felt there is the opportunity to change one aspect of FFG's Tournament Rules.

We had 8 players and ran 4 rounds, so 16 games.  4 of these games ended in a tie (1-1) with the third game underway when time was called.  One game ended 1-0 with the other player likely to win the second game if there was more time.

We thought that if the games ran 80 minutes instead of 50 there would be less ties.  When 1/4 of the games end in a tie because of time, that might be too much.

On the other hand, there was sympathy for the games that finished quickly - some 2-0 games were done in 40 minutes, so those players would have more down-time between rounds.

What do you guys think?  Was it just our tournament that had this problem, or is 50 minutes a little too short for a best of 3 tournament?

Another way of looking at it is that there were 2-1 wins.  So either the games finished 1-0, 2-0, or 1-1.  Never had a third game played in any of the 16 matches.



#2 B_P

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 03:20 AM

In Belgium, we play one game per round in tournaments. It's a little bit sad if you have a very bad starting hand but we have a free mulligan.



#3 TheProfessor

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 04:00 AM

 Yes, the Mulligan is part of the standard rules now.  But the best 2 out of 3 follows from the official Tournament Rules.

Because this was an officially sanctioned event (Regionals) we had no choice in the matter.  The rules state:

Tournament Format
All officially sanctioned tournaments for Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game will use the following format: 
 
Swiss Format
 
50 minute rounds
 
Best 2 out of 3 games

and further, they say

5. Match Structure
Players play best 2 out of 3 games in a round.
 
If time is called and the players have not completed their round, then the player who has won the most completed games wins the round. 
 
For example: If Matt and Bob play a round, and when time is called, Matt has won the game 1, and both players are in the middle of game 2, then Matt is the winner of the round. This is because he won the most complete games (1-0). If both players are tied at (0-0) or (1-1) and time is called. Then, the match is scored as a tie. 

 



#4 Hybrid

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 05:29 AM

The '3 of ' limitation of the LCG format  makes deck builds less consistent. 

I would hazard to guess that is why the mulligan was added, to make up for terrible set up draws.

If the mulligan was not added more adventurous builds would not have a chance in competitive play.

As the card pool grows perhaps the mulligan could be dropped. I never liked the mulligan but I understand

why it is necessary. I would like to see all the deck types mix it up at the competitive level. If the mulligan promotes this

when it would otherwise be absent then I see it as a necessary evil. Ties during a tournament can complicate things and

the ideal outcome of a match is that 3 games are completed. 50 min rounds should maybe be an option afforded to tournament

organizers. Single game rounds would be a last resort in my mind. The Event Center regional had no 1-0 results as I recall,

and at least 1 or 2  three game round.

 

Thanks for the reports Proff!  

I'd like to hear more color commentary and faction/deck analysis of your event.

Maybe some of the other participants will add to your efforts.

 



#5 Penfold

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 07:39 AM

 I'd like to see the amount of stories won in a game be used as a tie-breaker. So if we go 1-1, then whichever of us has won the most stories in the third game is given the win. It does benefit rush decks... but there is a fair chance that the reason why a third game couldn't be played was because of a control deck. 

Another possible option would be counting the total number of success placed in the tie-breaking game.

They could always change the entire format... back to single games over 50 minutes, and instead of using won/loss records of the games, use number of stories won to determine the final four.

Personally no matter which format (the current, the old, these, or any others) I believe there will always be things wrong with it, and things that are good with it. In the end as long as we know ahead of time what the format is going to be we can build decks that will be able to perform the best under those rules. Players who choose not to have no one to blame but themselves if they can't win within the rules... of course the other side of that is your opponent is doing everything they can to keep you from winning within the rules, so sometimes you are just going to have to accept a tie as the best you could do against that deck.

No one really likes ties, but it is better on your record than a loss.



#6 B_P

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 06:42 AM

TheProfessor said:

 Yes, the Mulligan is part of the standard rules now.  But the best 2 out of 3 follows from the official Tournament Rules.

Because this was an officially sanctioned event (Regionals) we had no choice in the matter.  The rules state:

 

T

 

I don't care of what ffg says. They don't play chtulhu lcg in my area. My players are and they don't have the time to play 2 best of 3 in 50 minutes. Like you said yourself, it's 1-0 or 1-1 most usually. I hated that so I changed to 1 best of 1 :D

I'm playing cthulhu since the arkham edition. I saw 2 maybe 3 different game designers for this game. I know perfectly how much time takes a game of cthulhu. Furthermore, this 2 best of 3 pushes the players to make rush decks. Sooo funny. I prefered to build tournaments rules that pushes my players to be creative in deckbuilding.



#7 Danigral

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 09:49 AM

B_P said:

TheProfessor said:

 

 Yes, the Mulligan is part of the standard rules now.  But the best 2 out of 3 follows from the official Tournament Rules.

Because this was an officially sanctioned event (Regionals) we had no choice in the matter.  The rules state:

 

T

 

I don't care of what ffg says. They don't play chtulhu lcg in my area. My players are and they don't have the time to play 2 best of 3 in 50 minutes. Like you said yourself, it's 1-0 or 1-1 most usually. I hated that so I changed to 1 best of 1 :D

I'm playing cthulhu since the arkham edition. I saw 2 maybe 3 different game designers for this game. I know perfectly how much time takes a game of cthulhu. Furthermore, this 2 best of 3 pushes the players to make rush decks. Sooo funny. I prefered to build tournaments rules that pushes my players to be creative in deckbuilding.

QFT. I played in the MD regionals last weekend and it was the same (1-0, 1-1, 2-0; never 3). For AGoT, there is only 1 match in 50 minutes, and there was a big debate on the forums about extending that to an hour. How can you expect to play 3 matches in the same timeframe if it's not rush? I was surprised looking at the tournament rules. I wonder when the last time was that they looked at or revised them... 

 



#8 Penfold

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 07:06 AM

 I got a chance to hang out with the designer this weekend. He said the switch to best 2 out of 3 was something the last designer pushed for. He actually personally prefers 1 game per round, and you use your mulligan and your skill to rack up enough points in swiss to make the top 4 cut or be declared the winner. I was under the distinct impression (though I don't think he actually said the words directly) that if we all petitioned he would see about changing it back.

I do know he'll be at GenCon and is planning on sitting down with the players and getting their thoughts on the state of the game. I suspect if we send emails and/or talk to him there we can convince him to switch it back. That said... if you really prefer the best 2/3 you should probably let him know as well. Just because I don't like it doesn't mean I don't think the majority shouldn't get there way in this case.

(he also made some hints about a special deck he was bringing to GenCon to play anyone with a bye or valiant players during the con, not sure what faction/s he was planning on running but I got the impression it was a very nasty deck)



#9 TheProfessor

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 08:36 AM

 I like 2 out of 3 - it reduces the effects of a really good or really bad draw.  I know the mulligan is there for the same reason.  I just want a little more time - like 20 minutes more.



#10 thorondor

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 09:25 AM

why not giving the TO the possibility to choose, how the tourney is going to be played (either one game per round or best of 3). he knows the preferences of his players best, and both is viable imo.



#11 TheProfessor

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 09:44 AM

thorondor said:

why not giving the TO the possibility to choose, how the tourney is going to be played (either one game per round or best of 3). he knows the preferences of his players best, and both is viable imo.

Well, for an official event you expect "outsiders" to attend the event, so knowing your players is not a fair mechanism for an official tournament.  We had a guy travel 2.5 hours to get to our Regionals - if we had some store specific aspect to the tournament it would have been unfair to him.

Also I think that in a strong competitive environment (not that CoC has reached that yet!) standardization of format is important for development of strategies.



#12 thorondor

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 11:50 AM

of course it the format should be announced in advance. and with "his" players i meant all that are going to "his" tourney.

i just wanted to say, that maybe the tourney guidelines could be open for both and leave the decision to the TO.

 



#13 B_P

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 01:46 AM

To rise the amount of time of games could be difficult.

In October, i had a 18 people tournament.

Inscriptions began a 10 h30.

First game 11h.

I had to organize 4 games (45 minutes +3 turns = about 1 h X4)

They had to eat (1 h)

Then There was the top 8 deathmatch games.

quart - demi and finale 1 h X 3.

Then, the results and the prizing stuff.

 

We finished the tournament at 20 h 45.

To rise the amount of time per round will send us o 22 pm, 23 pm. Then, they have to eat again (yes, my players are hobbits). I don't know if it's possible.

It depends of the players. I can accept new players in my tournaments. They have the time to talk, to learn some strategies explained by ancient players.

And, furthermore, I can build other decks than rush ones.

 

Like thorondor said, it would be more comfortable to let the to choose.



#14 TheProfessor

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 02:04 AM

 Well, you probably didn't need to run 7 rounds - a top 8 was probably not necessary with 18 players - top 4 would have been sufficient, reducing 1 round.  Some tournaments I've attended don't even bother with a "Top N" round - just the results of the main tournament determine the winners, etc.



#15 B_P

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 08:22 AM

With a top 8, players can have a loss and still participate to the finals.



#16 Magnus Arcanis

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 07:58 AM

B_P said:

With a top 8, players can have a loss and still participate to the finals.

Thats true, but almost half your field is in the finals and many of them would've had 2 losses.

I think 18 ( I could easily be wrong on this) players = 4 rounds. By the end of the 4th round you would've had at best 2 undefated and 2 players with one loss

Round#. Undefeated/1 Loss
1. 18/0
2. 9/9
3. 5/4
4. 3/2
Cut. 2/2

 

Anyway. Best 2 out of 3 is still the needed in my opinion. I could easily see the mulligan disappear and a time increase to a full 60 minutes. Which essentially would add near (or even more than) 15 minutes of actual game time. So discounting say 6 minutes for setup(s) that gives each game an average of 18 minutes for 3 games. I imagine that this should yeild a significant increase of 2 game completions. To combat the crappyness that is a 1-1 tie with an incompleted 3rd game I'd like to see an overitme rule. Finish out the active turn (having the game stop mid turn is just aweful), and then give players 1-5 (total, and I'd vote for 3) turns to complete the game. Then hand out a win based on stories won, then a tie. Granted this will extend games beyond the 60 minutes, but still gives the organizer time to make all other prepations for the next round so the time 'in between rounds' isn't so severe.

This would GREATLY cut down on the number of 1-1 ties. For a major tournament, and I mean major as in worlds, regionals, stalheck, or any other championship... I'd expect/want to play in a tournament for 6,7,8,9+ hours. While I know it often is, major events shouldn't be treated like local events where the game ends when its bed time. Granted, knowing your playerbase and meeting there needs should take higher priority, but I would hope that for a 'major' event people would be make the time.

Then again, this is partly due to me thinking if it seems more important perhaps people will make it more important so it actually becomes important. Don't get me wrong, I love this game's community and don't want to see it turn into some 'other' game's playerbase(s), but part of the draw of a tournament is that it is important.

Organizer: "Oh, I don't know if that'll be the best day. I have a major Call of Cthulhu tournament that day."
Potential Player: "Hmm, how long is it gonna run?"
Organizer: "Based on our playerbase... probably 6-7 hours or so."
Potential Player: "Oh wow, I never heard of that game, whats it like?"
Organizer: "Its great! I can show you how to play if you think you'd like to play. Its a major tournament, but its pretty open to new players as well."
Potential Player: "Ya, maybe I'll give it a shot. How does a deck normally run?"

So on and so forth. *mumble something about it being a really affordable game mumble*

I know that I've picked up dozens of games simply because there was an important tournament around. Granted, I haven't stuck with all of em (some my choice, some not my choice), but I played! And thats the first step.






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