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Green Knight

Nationals format

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I think there was a fairly good discussion on this point in the GenCon thread.

Having played at Worlds where they did a 3rd/2rd/cut tournament I will say that after 5 rounds over 2 days I was still eager for an opponent. If I had gotten less rounds, I would have felt like it wasn't worth my flight.

For Nationals, I think if they are going to do a single day tournament, having 4 rounds and a cut would be the minimum.

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48 minutes ago, BrobaFett said:

I think there was a fairly good discussion on this point in the GenCon thread.

Having played at Worlds where they did a 3rd/2rd/cut tournament I will say that after 5 rounds over 2 days I was still eager for an opponent. If I had gotten less rounds, I would have felt like it wasn't worth my flight.

For Nationals, I think if they are going to do a single day tournament, having 4 rounds and a cut would be the minimum.

I think I could even live with 4 Swiss and no cut, but that's a bare minimum.

My problem is I don't want to fork out money for a flight and hotel if I'm going to play 3 games of Swiss.

I can do that at home.

But the organizer won't confirm anything.

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3 rounds doesn't seem like it would even be possible. Honestly, it would be awesome if FFG introduced some sort of formula to how tournaments are structured. It seems like OP is a big deal to them, but then they leave a huge area like how the tournaments are actually laid out to the organizers. Seems like it would be a simple thing to just lay out a standardized format so people wouldn't have to guess every time.

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1 minute ago, BrobaFett said:

3 rounds doesn't seem like it would even be possible. Honestly, it would be awesome if FFG introduced some sort of formula to how tournaments are structured. It seems like OP is a big deal to them, but then they leave a huge area like how the tournaments are actually laid out to the organizers. Seems like it would be a simple thing to just lay out a standardized format so people wouldn't have to guess every time.

Problem: the tourney regs just say "Custom structure" for Nationals. Which can be anything really.

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A few thoughts from my impressions.

Store and regionals should be done by tournament rules. It will be most of the time a 3 round swiss. This if fine for one day. For the player and for the TO.

Nationals should be one round more. We did 3 rounds in 2016, and this was a bit close. We had a clear winner, but 3 round with around 30 player is a bit to less and could result in not so clear standings. In 2017 we did 4 rounds (32 player) and a cut for top 2. The cut was maybe a bit to much. Especially because it can only hurt the first player and not help him :). 4 Rounds were fine.

On the European Championship we were doing 7 rounds and a cut for top 4 (over 3 days). This was really great and i can only encounter this way. It gave the player a lot of games. After all it is what GK said. Player travel all the way and planed the whole weekend for it. They should have their games :).
This many round still give a good winner, and everyone has the chance to come back after a bad defeat. 

The same should count for the worlds. In 2016 there were two days with 40 player each. 4 rounds on each day and a cut for top 2 on each day for the final day. This is really not enough for a world championship. And it is really frustrating to travel this long way just for 4 matches. The worlds should have as well 6-8 rounds and a cut for top 4 in the end. 

 

There is as well one other reason for more rounds. The bye card is gaining more value if there are more rounds played. The 8 points are more worth if you have a game with more rounds.
If you play more rounds, the average point value to get into the cut is going down. With 3 rounds you need an average of 8.xx points to win (in this case a bye card is a bad idea, it will be under average need). And sometimes this is even not enough. You could be second with 25 points. And this is a bit frustrating. 
As more rounds you are playing, as lower will be the average points for the cut. On the EC an average of 7 was enough for the cut. On the US Nationals it was 6.8. On these a bye card is better and worth to be used.
Basically if you are playing more rounds, the "luck factor" is going down and the skill is more important. And it even allows you to make some tactical decisions in games that you normally could not do (for example don't risk to much on a hard opponent).

 

But there are even downsides if there are more rounds. More rounds are shifting the meta for this tournament. it encourages list that can win, but cannot win high on a regular basis. A good example might be the Hammerhead swarm list from Yosh at the US Nationals. I have no idea how he was playing in the heat. I only know that he won 4 matches, lost 1 and had 36 points (out of 50 max) in the end. That's an average of 7.2 points and an average MOV of 143. From my impression of this list, he won most games with 7 or 8 points and lost the one with 3-4 points. And this is as well what happend in the Top 8 cut. 7-4; 4-7; 7-4. I guess there were no extreme high wins and the loss was as well not extremely high. It looks like a list where you can make close games. But this is only a guess from me (and from the impression of this list).
And these kind of lists gain a lot if you are playing more rounds (i know, it was a long example).

 

So my view on this is: higher tier of the tournament => more rounds should be played. Even with the downside. The gain (more games, more skill factor, less luck) is bigger than the drawback (corrupted meta).

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I really liked what they did at US Nationals. This mainly works for a three day event,  but you could even consolidate it for a larger group into 2 days. 

Two heats,  each had 5 rounds (I think you could safely reduce this to 4, nobody got 40 points even after 5 rounds).   The top 2 of each heat got into the top 8.  Then,  the next 4 highest places from both days combined were put into the remaining slots.  In a full 2 day event,  this would ensure the top 8 players got into day 2.

With the finals being 8 players, they made it 3 rounds of swiss with a score reset.  This allows everyone to play more aggressively without risk of auto-losing a 6-5, and ensured that you could take winning strategies straight from the Swiss rounds into the cut.

The biggest barrier is making sure that each day is attended by the maximum number of players.   At NOVA, Friday had several more players than on Thursday.  This necessitated the change to scoring,  as the initial plan would have meant that Thursday players had a drastic advantage in getting high scores. 

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See my thoughts from Nationals...

Day 1: 4 Rounds

Day 2: Depending on how many peeps show up on Day 1... (let's default to 16)... play 4 Rounds of Swiss to determine the winner.

4 + 4

Peeps get their money's worth of 4 games on Day 1 (5 in one day is too much to play/ref)... on Day 2, everyone is good so minimizes big point swings from matchups.  4 Rounds is the optimum for fighting hard to score to qualify but gives you a bad game matchup.

@Vorn  and his crew for serving as inspiration for this format.

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Q and I have been discussing this 4+4 idea of his since Nationals. There's a lot of benefits.

First of all, 5 games in a day is brutal. Every time I've done it, nobody actually wants to play that last game. Games 1-4 are a blast. Game 5 is a chore. 

Second, swiss makes for far better games and a more interesting tournament. Remember the World's streams this year? Ugh that was boring. 4 rounds is the sweet spot where you can recover from a bad match up, but doesn't overcorrect by making the top players endlessly beat up on each other and knock themselves out.

Third, Q's method actually shortens the length of the tournament for the venue. Day one has literally everybody. You then cut to the top 25% or so for day two. Suddenly a three day tournament is only two days.

Finally, half the top players don't have to show up for one game and then get nothing else. If you make it to day two, you get a whole day of games. 

Edited by Truthiness

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As a counter point, we just did a 5 round day and it wasnt as tough as useful. Rounds didnt overrun and the TO made sure it ran like clockwork. Kicked off at 9:30am and were done by 10pm. It was a lot easier to handle than last year.

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18 minutes ago, Ginkapo said:

As a counter point, we just did a 5 round day and it wasnt as tough as useful. Rounds didnt overrun and the TO made sure it ran like clockwork. Kicked off at 9:30am and were done by 10pm. It was a lot easier to handle than last year.

Indeed, but we all aren't as young as you.  :-D

Understanding that some tourneys may not have critical mass, but a Top 4 cut could have a round robin on playoff day.  That way, you can stream to where the action is.

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12 hours ago, Ginkapo said:

As a counter point, we just did a 5 round day and it wasnt as tough as useful. Rounds didnt overrun and the TO made sure it ran like clockwork. Kicked off at 9:30am and were done by 10pm. It was a lot easier to handle than last year.

I can only comment on the event I went to,  but I went to a major convention where I played almost 20 hours of armada (including too-short meal breaks) starting at what was,  to me,  6am in the morning.  4 rounds would have let the event start later and end earlier,  and provided additional time for players to get a few minutes of rest in.  I also don't think it would have ultimately changed scores too much,  and I say that as someone who got a 9-1 loss in round 4.

One thing I do like about 5 rounds was that it made the average score necessary to advanced go down.   So a player with 5 wins at any score was much more likely to advance than a player with 3 big wins and two big losses.

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