# Going To Time

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Posted (edited)
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Going to Time

1. Each player who has 6 or more Æmber forges 1 Key (removing the 6 Æmber from their pool as usual). Cards that affect Æmber costs have no effect during this step. Each player can only forge 1 key from this step.

2. The player with the most Keys forged is the winner. If there is a tie, proceed to step 3.

3. The player with the most remaining Æmber in their pool is the winner. If there is still a tie, proceed to step 4.

4. Each player selects one of their houses. Then, each player totals the number of friendly creatures in play of that house and adds the amount of bonus Æmber from that house’s cards still in their hand. This is that player’s “potential Æmber.” The player with the most potential Æmber is the winner. If there is still a tie, proceed to step 5.

5. The first player is the winner

I just recently lost a game that went to time. Time ran out on my turn, so I got to finish my turn, and then the opponent got a turn. My big problem is that at the end of my opponent's turn, I had enough amber to forge my 3rd key. My opponent won because they were able to focus on generating amber instead of making any attempt to stop me from winning, which I don't believe they were capable of anyway. Officially they won on step 5 of the tiebreaker, but they could have won on step 3 if they suicided on my Grabber Jammer with 3 captured amber instead of reaping. It would be nice if the tie breaker changed to account for this.

The simplest solution that comes to mind is to end the game after the forge a key step instead of at the end of a turn.

Edited by Revert

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Posted (edited)

Let me make sure I understand:
Time is called during your turn. You finish your turn with 6+X Æmber and two keys. Opponent takes a final turn, and ends up with 6+X Æmber and two keys also.

1. Each of you forges a key, leaving you both with X Æmber (Keys are always 6 Æmber in the tiebreaking resolution)
2. Each of you has 3 keys.
3. Both of you have X Æmber (still after step 1)
4. Each of you calls a house and have the same number of creatures on the board.  In that house, you also have the same amount of bonus Æmber icons in your hands.
5. Opponent wins because they went first.

I'm not understanding how your suggested resolution is better than the outcome here, especially considering, as you say, opponent could have just grabbed captured Æmber and won.

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The only thing I think would be nice to change, is the player that went second got the last turn regardless.

time is called and then the game is over when the second player completes his last turn.

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I completely understand this position. It feels like the player who only gets part of a turn should get to play out the forge a key step of their next turn, before going through those steps.

The player with a part turn has to prevent their opponent forging during their last turn, but their opponent has no pressure to do so - they have an advantage.

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1 hour ago, dpuck1998 said:

The only thing I think would be nice to change, is the player that went second got the last turn regardless.

time is called and then the game is over when the second player completes his last turn.

I don't think this is necessary considering the first player is handicapped on their first turn to only be allowed to play one card.

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Let me make sure I understand:
Time is called during your turn. You finish your turn with 6+X Æmber and two keys. Opponent takes a final turn, and ends up with 6+X Æmber and two keys also.

1. Each of you forges a key, leaving you both with X Æmber (Keys are always 6 Æmber in the tiebreaking resolution)
2. Each of you has 3 keys.
3. Both of you have X Æmber (still after step 1)
4. Each of you calls a house and have the same number of creatures on the board.  In that house, you also have the same amount of bonus Æmber icons in your hands.
5. Opponent wins because they went first.

I'm not understanding how your suggested resolution is better than the outcome here, especially considering, as you say, opponent could have just grabbed captured Æmber and won.

Because everything about the current board state and flow of the game was saying I was going to win. I only lost because my opponent felt no pressure to prevent me from winning on their final turn. If the time limit would have been reached before I chose my house and started playing it, I might have been able to choose a house that produced even more amber instead of choosing a house that let me kill a couple creatures. I'm not that upset because the game in question was for very low stakes, but if that was a match that actually determined if I got a prize or not, it would have felt really ****.

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I don't think this is necessary considering the first player is handicapped on their first turn to only be allowed to play one card.

But a extra turn is still a pretty big deal.  Also considering the first player really can mulligan hard without any worry there isn't a lot of downside.

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45 minutes ago, Revert said:

Because everything about the current board state and flow of the game was saying I was going to win. I only lost because my opponent felt no pressure to prevent me from winning on their final turn. If the time limit would have been reached before I chose my house and started playing it, I might have been able to choose a house that produced even more amber instead of choosing a house that let me kill a couple creatures. I'm not that upset because the game in question was for very low stakes, but if that was a match that actually determined if I got a prize or not, it would have felt really ****.

That's a bit of the balancing penalty in the event that someone is trying to stall the game. I don't know what happened in your game, but if I'm in the lead, it's to my advantage this way to play faster so that time is more likely to end on my opponent's turn.

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I'd say the simplest solution is don't let the game go to time in a way that doesn't favor you if it's going to get there no matter what. Had you pulled things off different your opponent is the one going to time, meaning you get to play your next turn and forge to win.

I apologize because I don't know what exactly went down in your session and I can't find a way to soften that suggestion; I know it comes off as harsh but sometimes it's important to hear a hard truth. Bottom line you have to be aware of time and make decisions when you realize that it is going to factor into the end result of a game. The tie-breaker system is stern but fair in that regard.

It would be interesting, at least to me, to look at the tournament metrics and see how many chain-bound games have gone to time AND been resolved by going all the way to the final step of the tie-breaker system. I would be willing to wager that it is much rarer than any other part of the tie-breaker process.

Win or lose those close games are my favorite ones to be involved in, so I hope it was fun even if it didn't ultimately turn out the way you wanted it to.

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Again, I don't know what happened, so I don't know if you were just unlucky or if your opponent slowrolled you into a favorable position. If it were up to me, I would just use a chess clock on the game, and if one person  runs out of time, all their turns become automated, and if both run out of time, the game ends according to the end of game procedure. I have little sympathy for anyone who takes most of the match time in an attempt to ride out the clock. It's hard to judge when there's a shared timer, but blatantly obvious when each person gets their own timer. I don't mind people wasting their own time, but when they waste everyone's time, I get concerned.

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12 hours ago, dpuck1998 said:

But a extra turn is still a pretty big deal.  Also considering the first player really can mulligan hard without any worry there isn't a lot of downside.

It's not an extra turn, at least not provided you know how the tiebreakers work.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, TheSpitfired said:

I'd say the simplest solution is don't let the game go to time in a way that doesn't favor you if it's going to get there no matter what. Had you pulled things off different your opponent is the one going to time, meaning you get to play your next turn and forge to win.

...

Win or lose those close ﻿games are my favorite ﻿ones to be involved in, so I hope it was fun even if it didn't ultimately turn out the way you wanted it to.

I don't like the idea of players wearing stop watches just so they can ensure they get the advantage if the game goes to time. This was my first game going to time, and it probably happened because we were in a low stakes game and occasionally making jokes instead of playing. I suspect the other player used more time than me, but at no point did it feel like they were stalling. In the end, it was a fun game it just had an ending that was a real buzz kill.

12 hours ago, TheSpitfired said:

I apologize because I don't know what exactly went down in your session and I can't find a way to soften that suggestion; I know it comes off as harsh but sometimes it's important to hear a hard truth. Bottom line you have to be aware of time and make decisions when you realize that it is going to factor ﻿into the end result of a game﻿. The tie-breaker system is stern but fair in that regard.

I think the goal of a tie breaker should be to award victory to the player who was probably going to win if play continued. If players are incentivized to play differently because they suspect a tie breaker is coming, then I think the tie breaker should be examined for change.

12 hours ago, TheSpitfired said:

It would be interesting, at least to me, to look at the tournament metrics and see how many chain-bound games have gone to time AND been resolved by going all the way to the final step of the tie-breaker system. I would be willing to wager that it is much rarer than any other part of the tie-breaker process.

That is actually the reason why I called out the player could have won at step 3 instead. Even if the tie breaker ended at step 3, the game would have still gone to a different player than the one who should have won.

Edited by Revert

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Posted (edited)

Another way that the end game could be changed is this:

time is called, active player is player A, completes their turn.  If the game does not end, player B gets to play out their turn.

If the game does not end at the conclusion of player B's turn, player A is allowed to forge a key if possible, if this is their 3rd key, the game ends, if not, player B then gets to forge a key if possible.

The simple change of having players forge their last keys in turn order prevents the player B situation you were describing where they no longer have any pressure to stop player A, just simply out generate them.  I agree, knowing that your last turn, if you are tied for keys, you don't have to stop the other player, you just have to have more aember to win.  Player B gets a completely different win opportunity than player A gets since if both players are tied for keys, player B ONLY has to have more aember.  Player A had to stop player B from forging, while still having the most aember.  (except for Shadows) most houses EITHER control aember, or generate aember.

Edited by backupsidekick
changed from player 1/2 to A/B for clarity

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Posted (edited)
On 3/12/2019 at 8:15 AM, Revert said:

That is actually the reason why I called out the player could have won at step 3 instead. Even if the tie breaker ended at step 3, the game would have still gone to a different player than the one who should have won.﻿

As swingy as turns can be in Keyforge, I don't think this is true at all. When you can go from being a key down, to forging 2 keys in a turn and winning, you can't say that the tie breaker is flawed because it doesn't match your expectation that you should have won.

I'm sure this wasn't your intent, but the fact that we're talking about a game in which you feel aggrieved to have lost 2 days ago via a legitimate, play-tested, published, and well-defined tiebreaker ruleset is making this whole thread start to reek of sour grapes.

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As swingy as turns can be in Keyforge, I don't think this is true at all. When you can go from being a key down, to forging 2 keys in a turn and winning, you can't say that the tie breaker is flawed because it doesn't ﻿match your expectation that you should have won.

I'm sure this wasn't your intent, but the fact that we're talking about a game in which you feel aggrieved to have lost 2 days ago via a legitimate, play-tested, published, and well-defined tiebreaker ruleset is making ﻿this whole thread start to reek of sour grapes.

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On 3/12/2019 at 11:15 AM, Revert said:

I think the goal of a tie breaker should be to award victory to the player who was probably going to win if play continued. If players are incentivized to play differently because they suspect a tie breaker is coming, then I think the tie breaker should be examined for change.  ﻿

I am in full agreement with this statement.

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On 3/12/2019 at 10:15 AM, Revert said:

I don't like the idea of players wearing stop watches just so they can ensure they get the advantage if the game goes to time. This was my first game going to time, and it probably happened because we were in a low stakes game and occasionally making jokes instead of playing. I suspect the other player used more time than me, but at no point did it feel like they were stalling. In the end, it was a fun game it just had an ending that was a real buzz kill.

I think the goal of a tie breaker should be to award victory to the player who was probably going to win if play continued. If players are incentivized to play differently because they suspect a tie breaker is coming, then I think the tie breaker should be examined for change.

I see it more as "I'm winning; I should make sure this doesn't go to time where a tiebreaker (which is really a modified coin flip) will decide the game, possibly not in my favor." And from what I'm seeing about this game in particular, this seems to be a corner case where it didn't work out as expected.

Let's look at each individual piece and see what it represents and if it is contributing to the idea of being more likely to reward the one who would have won had there been no time limit and how it impacts time decisions:

1. Active player completes turn. If there is a Key Charge or similar card that would be used to win, it still can be. This is appropriate and good. If this doesn't end the game, there is still the chance of earning enough Æmber to forge afterward, which means there is incentive to generate Æmber and reduce the opponent's total.

2. If game still not finished, other player gets one turn. It is here that the other player is incentivized to take the "net Æmber lead" assuming there's no more than one key difference between the players.

3. Now each player gets to forge one key at 6 (no more, no less) if they can, and we go by Most Keys/Most Æmber, most "potential Æmber" and then "first player". Clearly, most keys should be the first tiebreaker, as that is the goal of the game. Most Æmber is a good second tiebreaker, as that is what you need to forge keys. The "most potential" is an abstraction of how quickly you can get to the goal of forging another key, so that makes sense. The only thing that seems a bit strange is the first player tiebreaker, but that seems to be a balance against the debilitating first turn rule that limits you to playing or discarding one card on the first turn.

So what happened here? Let's assume the worst that the opponent could not have stopped the key forging on that turn and instead used the tiebreaker to "go wide" and generate a net Æmber lead. In this case, it's not what would have happened had the game not gone to time. But as I mentioned above, if someone is winning, it is to their advantage to complete the game.

It is possible that the opponent would have played differently had it been a normal turn and not a tiebreaker turn, and the key could have been stopped. At that point, who knows what would have happened, so it's hard to speculate. All we know is that it was a tiebreaker turn.

Some people will ask why the opponent even gets a turn in this case. This to me makes sense, because without it, I could deliberately stall out the game just before my opponent wins and crank out a net Æmber lead on my finishing turn. It would be your situation just with a different player doing it. So if we are going to be faced with the same possibility no matter what happens, I would rather have it on the person not taking the final turn. Why? Because the way it is now incentivizes players to play quicker so that they are less likely to be the one taking the turn at the moment the round ends.

Now if I had my way, I'd go to chess clocks, but that's another story for another time.

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Well there hasn't really been any official big stakes tourneys yet, so I guess we'll find out this weekend as there are two vault tour events.

My guess is that there will be a larger number of games that go to time than you would normally see with other competitive card games.

My experience at local events has been that there are new players that show up to each event.  We had back to back to back events which had the same 6-8 people plus 10-12 different people at each event.

That 40ish number of players could potentially be at the vault tour but only a small number of them are players with a significant amount of experience.

Anytime you get a large number of inexperienced players together, you can expect a lot of slow games where people are putting a lot of extra thought into their turns.  Especially when the event is sealed since the players are only guessing at what the other person could have.

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My experience is that Sealed events often got o time,  but regular end faster because once the combos start rollign it's hard to really come back.

Reversal usually lasted a bit longer as well.

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Question: when going to time we both get a chance to forge a key for 6 at the end. If I still have my The Sting in play, will I get the aember my opponent used for that? (Obviously i cannot forge at that point, but lets say my opponent does and we end on 2 keys both)

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Similar question: If I play Miasma on the last turn, does that stop the opponent from forging? (I guess not because it doesn’t happen in the Forge a key step, right?)

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3 hours ago, Palpster said:

Question: when going to time we both get a chance to forge a key for 6 at the end. If I still have my The Sting in play, will I get the aember my opponent used for that? (Obviously i cannot forge at that point, but lets say my opponent does and we end on 2 keys both)

3 hours ago, Palpster said:

Similar question: If I play Miasma on the last turn, does that stop the opponent from forging? (I guess not because it doesn’t happen in the Forge a key step, right?)

Once it goes to tiebreakers (i.e. after the active player and the other player have taken their turns after time is called), the only card effects that matter are the Æmber bonuses if we have to declare a house for that step.

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On 3/11/2019 at 4:16 PM, Elsefar said:

I completely understand this position. It feels like the player who only gets part of a turn should get to play out the forge a key step of their next turn, before going through those steps.

The player with a part turn has to prevent their opponent forging during their last turn, but their opponent has no pressure to do so - they have an advantage.

That is a bit of my frustration with my timed loss yesterday. I chose a brobnar turn only to have time called in the middle of it (and only able to get up to 5 aember) while my opponent then had a "free" turn to pick the house that would net him the most aember. Needless to say, had I known time was about to run out, I would have chosen a different house & built up as much as possible.

Maybe if the game had a 2 minute warning.

On 3/11/2019 at 8:29 PM, Revert said:

Because everything about the current board state and flow of the game was saying I was going to win. I only lost because my opponent felt no pressure to prevent me from winning on their final turn. If the time limit would have been reached before I chose my house and started playing it, I might have been able to choose a house that produced even more amber instead of choosing a house that let me kill a couple creatures. I'm not that upset because the game in question was for very low stakes, but if that was a match that actually determined if I got a prize or not, it would have felt really ****.

On 3/14/2019 at 8:24 AM, Deuzerre said:

My experience is that Sealed events often got o time,  but regular end faster because once the combos start rollign it's hard to really come back.

Reversal usually lasted a bit longer as well.

My opponent is a great guy, I definitely don't mind playing him (especially if he sees this post), but it was a sealed game and he's still kind of new so he plays a bit slower than others. (there were also some rules questions as I had a deck with Nexus while he had several artifact I hadn't seen or experimented with their interaction before so we were asking the TD questions) The winner of our game went on to play the other 2-0 player for tournament victor so the loss stung just a little bit.

I get why they do the time game rules the way they do but it still feels... like the last player has too much of an advantage. Not sure what would be a better system, maybe try out some methods in casual games like "hands down, count keys then count aember" for winner.

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On 3/25/2019 at 9:35 AM, Simplegarak said:

Maybe if the game had a 2 minute warning.

When judging Magic events, I usually gave time warnings when I wasn't busy doing something else.

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Every event I went to has had time warnings (including Vault Tour)

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