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Kyle Ren

The World Cup

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Hey there, soccer [or as the rest of the world calls it, football] fans! (And also people who don't care about soccer [football] at all). So, it's 2018 and the World Cup will be happening once again, and it has me thinking - why does X-Wing not have, and/or why did it stop using a system like the World Cup for tournaments? 

I'll caveat this here by saying that I don't play in a ton of tournaments but I have run several tournaments, and the way they have to be set up always baffles me. I also don't have any personal reason to be salty about the current setup, I've just noticed that it seems to reward a less than fun playstyle.

First off, the flat-out win/loss system. I don't get this. Having stuff go to MOV and/or final salvo all the time doesn't reward even fighting your opponent in many cases, but instead rewards the kind of FIFA-faffa that won Spain the 2010 World Cup. Second, the time limits. Why most games end up being called before a player's list has been killed off is beyond me, and I think this is mostly what causes that first problem. So, as a relatively uneducated person about this, I'd like to humbly suggest some ways to fix this, inspired by  the World Cup.

The time limit - soccer [football] games [matches] last 90 minutes, plus stoppage time (which is similar to our "finish your last round" time). So I'd recommend that the time limit for X-Wing games be increased by a measly 15 minutes, which, in the long run, is just one extra bathroom/water/beer/burrito/pizza/nap break for games that finish quickly, and gives longer games a little more time to finish. 

The group stage - this is pretty similar to our Swiss Rounds, but has a little more nuance. Basically, you get 0 points for a loss, 3 points for a win, and 1 point for a tie. What I'd recommend is that in X-Wing, you could get 0 points for being tabled 0-100, 3 points for winning 100-0, and 1 point for any game that doesn't end on time. While this seems harsh, it rewards people for playing the game through to completion, because a tie is almost pointless. It also means that if you're just really slow to play all your games and they all end in ties, you're very unlikely to advance, but one or two ties don't really hurt you if you flat out win some. Extended Strength of Schedule is a nice way to make sure that everyone gets a decently fair set of opponents. And then MOV can still be used for tiebreakers, and SOS when there's still a tie after MOV. 

The round of 16/8/4/final - So these are the cut to top 4/8/16/32. I think these are fine as played currently, but I'd extend the time limit to what it is in soccer [football], 120 minutes. 

So what do you think? Would you prefer a tournament set up like this? Granted, the changes aren't that drastic, and they make the event longer, but I think they might reward a more enjoyable style of play.

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How would X-wing incorporate the "pretend you're hurt to get preferential treatment" aspect of soccer (football)?

Obviously it would require doing something unsporting while the judge doesn't have a good view or is looking the wrong way...but it can't be game ruining either.

It needs to be something that makes the sport less enjoyable, but not bad enough that it would warrant a rule change.

I'm stumped. 

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2 minutes ago, Sekac said:

How would X-wing incorporate the "pretend you're hurt to get preferential treatment" aspect of soccer (football)?

Obviously it would require doing something unsporting while the judge doesn't have a good view or is looking the wrong way...but it can't be game ruining either.

It needs to be something that makes the sport less enjoyable, but not bad enough that it would warrant a rule change.

I'm stumped. 

Yeah, diving is a concern, but the TO can also give folks yellow cards for simulation. 

As long as you don't bite anyone you're probably ok. 

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Note, x-wing used to have to 3 pt win, 1 pt tie, and 0 for loss.  It was changed last year to the system we have today.  I am new so didn't play in the old system but I am sure we have lots of veteran players who can give you their experiences on both systems.

 

Also, I do not think going to time should give a tie.  What if ur opponent has only 12 points alive on the board and you have 100 pts alive.  If there is such a rule, they could just keep flying their 12 pt ship out of harms way to get that 1 pt.  

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14 minutes ago, Sekac said:

How would X-wing incorporate the "pretend you're hurt to get preferential treatment" aspect of soccer (football)?

Obviously it would require doing something unsporting while the judge doesn't have a good view or is looking the wrong way...but it can't be game ruining either.

It needs to be something that makes the sport less enjoyable, but not bad enough that it would warrant a rule change.

I'm stumped. 

Anytime your opponent attempts to damage you but fails (I.E. You rolled enough evades or they simply rolled no hits) you are allowed to overact and pretend they did the most egregious offense ever.  Bonus points if you roll your eyes and throws hand in the air when a TO does *not* red card them and immediately award you a win

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Yeah, I played with that system once or twice. I kinda liked it more. But I think the tie was only when there was no MOV. Besides, that's kind of the point - to win, you have to hunt down that last little TIE fighter to make sure that he can't get back to his base and warn of Rebel activity!

Edit: this was in response to Rexler Brath's post

Edited by Kieransi

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1 minute ago, piznit said:

Anytime your opponent attempts to damage you but fails (I.E. You rolled enough evades or they simply rolled no hits) you are allowed to overact and pretend they did the most egregious offense ever.  Bonus points if you roll your eyes and throws hand in the air when a TO does *not* red card them and immediately award you a win

Only works if your name is Christiano Ronaldo. Then they have to give you player of the year as well. 

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Ties were absolutely awful. They led to situations on the cut bubble where one of them should get in but instead neither do which then in turn leads to collusion to determine who forfeits. It also led to situations where the 1 point was enough to guarantee a place in the cut wheras a loss wouldn't and so players would collude to intentionally draw. The current system, while not perfect (final salvo is often such a statistically foregone conclusion that it's not worth rolling for) causes way less drama and hurt feelings than the old one.

Having said that, I do think there is a problem with the current tournament structure that ends to encourage getting up on points and then running away. More importantly it encourages list building specifically to exploit that peculiarity in the system. But reimplementing ties, and especially making them super common by not even requiring even points, isn't the best way to fix it.

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1 hour ago, Sekac said:

How would X-wing incorporate the "pretend you're hurt to get preferential treatment" aspect of soccer (football)?


Well, diving is basically faking something to get an opponent penalized... so there are plenty of ways to do this in X-Wing!


During a round as your opponent rolls dice onto the board or is moving something, just start loudly complaining that your "bumbling opponent" bumped a ship/obstalce and has given it a new position that favors him.  Then, call the TO over and tell them this (false) story, and  hope that either the TO allows the ship in question to be repositioned (in a way that now favors you) or that the other opponent is given a game loss for an 'unfixable' board state. Worst case, the TO might just issue you both a "ok try and be more careful, guys" (most likely).  Since there are no floor rules for X-Wing, you're basically just rolling the dice on TO discretion.  Either way, the resolution will either favor you or retain the board state as is, so no risk to yourself (as long as, like with diving, you don't do this too often at the same event). 

Alternatively, you could carry a stacked damage deck (eg, remove all of the Blinded Pilots or Direct Hits and replace them with something else).  When the opponent is not looking swap the deck out with their own.  Then, at some point before or after the game, demand to check their damage deck and reveal that they have stacked an illegal deck, likely getting them kicked out of the event (and maybe even on FFG's ban list!).

Alternatively, as your opponent is setting and placing dials, quickly just grab and spin one of their placed dials while they are distracted with setting a current dial.  When they reveal the dial, their ship will be executing some random, sub-optimal maneuver (maybe even onto an asteroid or off the board!).


Basically... we should be thankful that (most) X-Wing Players have more integrity than the "Dive-Takers" of professional futbol.

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Scaling and maximum amount of games for everyone involved. 

A 32 tournament can easily put into 8 groups of round robin (3 games) plus a cut 8 (another 3 games), you end up with just as many games as in FFG swiss (5 rounds swiss, and going straight into the quarter-finals), but everyone not making the cut will play two game less. 

On top any groups which end up not full will have even less games, something which is a significant advantage in x-wing, because endurance is one of the main factors to keep up performance once you made the cut. 

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X-Wing used to do:

  • 5 points for a Full Victory (12 or more points than opponent)
  • 3 points for a Marginal Victory (1-11 more points than opponent)
  • 1 point for a draw
  • 0 points for a loss

This not only caused the above-mentioned collusion for intentional draws, but also collusion around Marginal Victories. Note that there was no reward for a Marginal Loss. You got 0 points either way; you were just trying to hose the other player out of points. It led to awful situations where you could go undefeated and miss a cut to people with two losses, simply because of the way your list was built.

Just counting wins and then MOV is a much cleaner system that leads to a lot less monkeying around with the gears.

And adding 15 minutes per round is great when it's just 15 minutes. Over a 6-round day, you've just added another hour and a half to what is already a 9+ hour day. No thank you.

Also, you have scores for 100-0 and 0-100, and "doesn't end on time." You are aware that you can kill some ships from the enemy squad and lose and still end on time, right? This is the whole MOV system in a nutshell. You died, but you took some with you, so you are ranked higher than the guy who just died.

Soccer games are not 120 minutes in the elimination rounds, unless they are tied. And they are only tied if both teams have the same score. Soccer has the decency to end after 90 minutes when one team has more points than the other, even if it's not a shutout.

Edited by skotothalamos

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Having run a fair number of tournaments myself I could see how a lot of these points are very interesting indeed. 

The only problem arises because we don't have floor rules, so what constitutes a warning?  Ejection? 

I would like the option to give more time, the end of the round being a "suggestion".  The only problem is that that one extra round may be the thing that decides, and judges shouldn't be put in the position to decide a game by giving one more round, or something similar.  It may not even be obvious to anyone.  Say time is called, and I take Soontir Fel and Kylo and run them towards a board edge to preserve the win and MOV.  Then a judge comes up and says I can have one more round after time has been called because they noticed my opponent took 10 minutes setting dials in one round.  Then both ships fly off the board.  Obviously a corner case, but as a judge I could see things like this happening. 

1.5 hours for a match?  With a slidable time scale?  I'd hope not.  I'm much more favor the 1:15 we have now and 15 minutes to get the next round moving.  I could see time creep going to 2 hours in this situation. 

Cut rounds:  as long as cut rounds are no more than 4 in one day, I'm okay with everything store champs and above being 2 day events.  But are all the participants good with this?  2 day events mean you should have a side event for those to plan on 2 days, but don't make the 2nd day.  FFG would officially need to support this.  

I played ages ago with the 0/1/3 points rules and never actually liked them.  There are many levels where it would be more advantageous to collude with your opponent to fix the standings than to play the game.  See:  Roanoke 2016 or some such right before it changed.  You shouldn't penalize WAAC types for doing stuff like this, but if we as an x-wing community decide that colluding is bad, then you shouldn't have the advantage to do so.  I ran a tournament for Armada (I don't know much about it) and the scoring there is 11 points split between two players depending on basically MOV and objectives.  I had a guy win my Armada tournament because his opponent conceded, giving him the 400-0 win.  He beat a 3-0 player as 2-1 because of the tournament points.  Doesn't sit well with me, and again could possibly lead to collusion amongst players to fix standings. 

Objectives, however, are really neat.  I can't wait to run a tournament with the objectives set forth in the podcast collective.  I would think that having a list adapting its strategy to differing objectives would be a great way to decide who is a more strategic player given their list.  :)

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Speaking of world cup, there is an annual X-Wing tournament where players gather up in national squads of six people and compete. It is called ETC, look it up. This August in Croatia, come and join in.

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0/10 no mention of A-wing soccer... ;)

you bring up some interesting points. Your system mirrors the old system which wasn’t terrible but had some serious flaws. I think our current system is better than the old system. That Being said, I wish the old system had been tweaked instead of overhauled.

And while it would be nice to go to 90 minute rounds, you’re essentially adding an extra round to the day, so it either needs to be fulfilling (125 mov for a match win, or 4 points awarded under your system) to make up for that lost round. Also longer rounds take away from the core idea of this being a “quick” game.

The other alternative is going to 60 minute rounds. This however encourages alpha strikes and more point fortressing than we already have going on. 

Edited by FlyingAnchors

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1 hour ago, jonnyd said:

Objectives, however, are really neat.  I can't wait to run a tournament with the objectives set forth in the podcast collective.  I would think that having a list adapting its strategy to differing objectives would be a great way to decide who is a more strategic player given their list.  :)

Objectives doesn't fix anything, it just moves the goal posts slightly.

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8 hours ago, Timathius said:

I ran the top 50 invitational in World Cup format. Was a nice change of pace we had a couple groups of death. Tyler Tippet, Paul Heaver, Duncan Howard, Jeremy Chamblee for example.

As someone who enjoys the actual World Cup more than basically any sporting event on the planet...the idea of a related format making its way into X-Wing makes me happy. 

Completely neccessary gif of how broken Engine Upgrade can be against an indecisive opponent.

SphericalInbornHartebeest-size_restricte

Edited by Boom Owl

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5 minutes ago, Boom Owl said:

As someone who enjoys the actual World Cup more than basically any sporting event on the planet...the idea of a related format making its way into X-Wing makes me happy. 

Completely necessary gif of how broken Engine Upgrade can be against an indecisive opponent.

SphericalInbornHartebeest-size_restricte

man, that last guy needs to get better at blocking.

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25 minutes ago, Boom Owl said:

As someone who enjoys the actual World Cup more than basically any sporting event on the planet...the idea of a related format making its way into X-Wing makes me happy. 

So, if we use the World Cup as a way to design X-Wing, which do we use? Golden goal or penalty shootout? And how would we do either? 

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8 minutes ago, Kieransi said:

So, if we use the World Cup as a way to design X-Wing, which do we use? Golden goal or penalty shootout? And how would we do either? 

Thats easy. Old School MLS Shootout.

Edited by Boom Owl

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12 hours ago, Sekac said:

How would X-wing incorporate the "pretend you're hurt to get preferential treatment" aspect of soccer (football)?

Obviously it would require doing something unsporting while the judge doesn't have a good view or is looking the wrong way...but it can't be game ruining either.

It needs to be something that makes the sport less enjoyable, but not bad enough that it would warrant a rule change.

I'm stumped. 

You used Jumpmasters Captian Nym? Okay I better call the TO and start accusing you of slow play weighted dice and such. Because you play with the noob ships I can easily claim grievance and get sympathy from the community that hates what is top of the meta.

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@Kieransi, I love the concept. I was disappointed when the old lose-tie-win system was abolished, although it did streamline things a great deal.

I'd vouch for even greater granularity to the scoring system. Since all major events are handled by software now, there's really no keep to keep it super simple for smaller tourneys. I'm thinking of a thematic system where the difference in points destroyed matters, as it would in a real war of attrition:

A difference of 100 points destroyed between the two players. In other words, a 100-0 tabling of the opponent gives 10 points to the winner and none to the loser.

A difference of 75-99 points destroyed between the two players leads to 9 points to the player who destroyed more ships and 1 point to the player who destroyed less ships. For instance, if player A kills 85 points of a list and player B kills 0 points, but has a TIE fighter remaining, player A is awarded 4 points and player B is granted a single point.

A difference of 50-74 points leads to 8 points for the player who destroyed the most, and 2 for the player who destroyed the least.

A difference of 25-49 points leads to a 7-3 split.

A 1-24 point difference leads to a 6-4 split.

Finally, a complete TIE (haha) in the event of no ships being destroyed or equal points being destroyed leads to a 4-4 split. The total TIE intentionally gives less points to both players than the next best outcome in order to encourage true completion of the game.

A system like this enables MoV to be almost entirely removed from the equation, save as a final TIE breaker. A regional 6 round tournament can now lead to a tournament point variation of 0-60, with the full range in between. Personally, I'd vouch for the wins vs losses swiss pairing structure to be removed entirely, and have the seeding based entirely on the tournament points. As it stands now, an early pair of  losses pretty much eliminates you from the cut, whereas in this system it's entirely possible for you to come from behind with a quadruplet of 100-0 wins and make the cut.

I think this - or something like it - is the fairest possible tournament structure, encouraging a great variety of lists (alpha strike for early points, point fortresses to preserve points, jousters to win the attrition war and arc-dodgers to avoid it altogether) while still keeping the pace of the game. In the current system, it's entirely possible to snipe a single ship and then run away for an hour (looking at you, NyManda) and receive a complete victory, whereas the new system would punish that player severely by awarding them significantly less points, and also giving the loser a decent consolation prize.

On 13/02/2018 at 3:39 AM, Sekac said:

How would X-wing incorporate the "pretend you're hurt to get preferential treatment" aspect of soccer (football)?

Obviously it would require doing something unsporting while the judge doesn't have a good view or is looking the wrong way...but it can't be game ruining either.

It needs to be something that makes the sport less enjoyable, but not bad enough that it would warrant a rule change.

I'm stumped. 

Bumping the table forcibly to shift the position of every ship slightly at a key moment. Ideally while both your opponent and the judges weren't looking. Feign clumsiness throughout the whole game, too, to point your arcs wherever you want.

Subtly swap out a card from your list, after avoiding giving your opponent a printed copy of your list, then using said upgrade at a crucial moment.

For maximum points, feign a sight and/or motor skills impediment and play for time as much as you possibly can while making thinly veiled remarks about "unfairness".

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