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Crimsonwarlock

Ethics Question: Concessions

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I had an interesting scenario come up at a Hyperspace Trial last weekend.

 

Going into round 5 I was 4-0 with 1st place MOV about 200pts ahead of my nearest competitor.  I got paired down vs a 3-1 that needed to win to make the cut.  We played the match out and I was winning solidly.  I had most of the opposing ships destroyed as time approached.  Would it be ethical for me to concede the match right before the end, but after destroying a significant portion of his forces?  

Other relevant Info:

In this particular situation I felt my list had a solid matchup vs his and could win a rematch.  Given my MOV and record I would seed second and my round 5 opponents would seed near the bottom of the cut. (I can't say that a rematch would have been guaranteed, but certainly possible)

Would this change if my round 5 opponent was a friend?

 

In all cases assume that none of this was discussed with my opponent.

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10 minutes ago, Crimsonwarlock said:

I had an interesting scenario come up at a Hyperspace Trial last weekend.

 

Going into round 5 I was 4-0 with 1st place MOV about 200pts ahead of my nearest competitor.  I got paired down vs a 3-1 that needed to win to make the cut.  We played the match out and I was winning solidly.  I had most of the opposing ships destroyed as time approached.  Would it be ethical for me to concede the match right before the end, but after destroying a significant portion of his forces?  

Other relevant Info:

In this particular situation I felt my list had a solid matchup vs his and could win a rematch.  Given my MOV and record I would seed second and my round 5 opponents would seed near the bottom of the cut. (I can't say that a rematch would have been guaranteed, but certainly possible)

Would this change if my round 5 opponent was a friend?

 

In all cases assume that none of this was discussed with my opponent.

Ethical? No. Stacking the cut in your favor, as you in effect outline as a possible reasoning for the decision, is a strong reason why. Friend or not.

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6 minutes ago, Hiemfire said:

Ethical? No. Stacking the cut in your favor, as you in effect outline as a possible reasoning for the decision, is a strong reason why. Friend or not.

Interesting points.  What if there were no perceived advantage (assume mirror match or equivalent).  What if the only reason for a concession was to allow a friend into the cut?

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Crimsonwarlock said:

In all cases assume that none of this was discussed with my opponent.

I assume that you mention that so that we don't think about the "no collusion" rule of a tournament.

 

Ethics aside, let me actually twist the question around: you are a player having a match when you notice that the player next to you suddenly concede, despite the fact that he is clearly winning.  Would you hesitate to call the TO over and easily demonstrate that something fishy is going on?  Maybe collusion occurred before the match even got started; just because you did not see it does not mean it is not happening anyway.

 

Basic rule of the thumb, if a behavior could get you kicked out of a tournament (one that you are winning on top of it), then it's not worth doing.  Even if everything works as planned, anyone witnessing it will have their doubts about you from this point on, and that's not a fun reputation to have.

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2 minutes ago, Crimsonwarlock said:

Interesting points.  What if there were no perceived advantage (assume mirror match or equivalent).  What if the only reason for a concession was to allow a friend into the cut?

 

 

Still a no in reference to if it is ethical or not. At that point you've stopped playing the match and are looking to game the tournament system for someone's benefit.

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3 minutes ago, dotswarlock said:

I assume that you mention that so that we don't think about the "no collusion" rule of a tournament.

 

Ethics aside, let me actually twist the question around: you are a player having a match when you notice that the player next to you suddenly concede, despite the fact that he is clearly winning.  Would you hesitate to call the TO over and easily demonstrate that something fishy is going on?  Maybe collusion occurred before the match even got started; just because you did not see it does not mean it is not happening anyway.

 

Basic rule of the thumb, if a behavior could get you kicked out of a tournament (one that you are winning on top of it), then it's not worth doing.  Even if everything works as planned, anyone witnessing it will have their doubts about you from this point on, and that's not a fun reputation to have.

Excellent points on all fronts.

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People view concessions strangely, and rarely well. I was playing an Armada tournament that, frankly, I was having zero fun at because a plethora of very serious try-hards flew in for it. Long story short, mid way through the third round I knew I'd made an early missplay and was really hungry, so given the game state I offered to concede. The guy was literally offended, and in very clear terms told me I was worth more points to him by playing, and refused my concession, then spent the rest of the game criticising how I was playing, because I wasn't being aggressive, and then because I was apparently "needlessly sacrificing ships".

 

This isn't an answer to your question, but just an example of how wildly weird the attitudes towards conceding can be.

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Similarly to @dotswarlock, ask yourself:

If I'm on the cusp of the cut, competing with X for the last spot, and I see a top-record player (soundly beating X) inexplicably concede to X, making it likely X would beat me into the cut ... how do I feel?

if the answer is "denied my fair chance to make the cut," you are correct.  And you have your answer.

There are definitely ethical reasons to concede (and even ethical reasons to concede that concretely benefit your opponent while hurting another unknown player) ... but this is not one of them.

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Posted (edited)

This is in the new floor rules. Give me a sec.

“Please note that concession, in and of itself, is not collusion. Players are allowed to concede a game at any time before the end of the game, so long as there was no discussion or solicitation involved. However, convincing or manipulating an opponent to concede in order to give any person a distinct advantage is dishonest and is considered a form of cheating. Asking an opponent to concede in any shape or form falls under collusion and is grounds for Disqualification.”

 

So don’t talk about records before hand, if you know it will help him then it’s “wrong”. However, if I’m going into the last round and not needing to play it, I would concede to make sure I can get a long rest before the cut and have some dinner. I may play the game if I knew a teammate from a different game going on was on the grasp of the cut and needed some help rising in the standings by me beating the opponent. 

 

 

Edited by Quack Shot

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1 hour ago, Jeff Wilder said:

Similarly to @dotswarlock, ask yourself:

If I'm on the cusp of the cut, competing with X for the last spot, and I see a top-record player (soundly beating X) inexplicably concede to X, making it likely X would beat me into the cut ... how do I feel?

if the answer is "denied my fair chance to make the cut," you are correct.  And you have your answer.

There are definitely ethical reasons to concede (and even ethical reasons to concede that concretely benefit your opponent while hurting another unknown player) ... but this is not one of them.

You make an excellent point here.  Had I conceded I would have definitely knocked out another 4-1 that was expecting to make the cut. 

 

Continuing this thought experiment, the table next to mine had the 2 4-0 players heading into round 5.  Both players decided to final salvo and rest since they were "Guaranteed" to make the cut.  The judge declared that the rules did not allow the players to arbitrarily final salvo and that he would have to record the match as a concession.  The players agreed.

 

My fellow 4-0's got to take a break on the last round.  Would I not be entitled to that same break?  Does the ethics of me conceeding to coast into the cut change because I had the pair-down? 

 

Interestingenough, had I conceeded, the player that would have been bumped out of the cut would have been one of the players who "Salvoed" their game, another good reason not to try to concede into the cut.

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20 minutes ago, Crimsonwarlock said:

Continuing this thought experiment, the table next to mine had the 2 4-0 players heading into round 5.  Both players decided to final salvo and rest since they were "Guaranteed" to make the cut.  The judge declared that the rules did not allow the players to arbitrarily final salvo and that he would have to record the match as a concession.  The players agreed

Um... That was Collusion (and specifically cover by the second example given). They should have been DQd as the Floor Rules required, and the judge should be reported since Collusion also covers players discussing the match and deciding to have one concede. The judge participating in the discussion makes it worse, though it is FFG OP's call on what happens there. Collusion rules on Page 14 of the Floor Rules (going to skip the bribery part that is paired with it).

"C. Bribery and Collusion – Disqualification
Players come to Organized Play events with the intent to enjoy themselves playing a game they
love while competing against others in a welcoming environment. Bribery and collusion can
violate the integrity of this environment by putting more emphasis on manipulating the system
than actually playing the game, which is not the kind of event that FFG wants to promote.

<Bribery section skipped>

Collusion occurs whenever two or more players discuss an outcome for their game before the
game’s conclusion and then artificially or randomly determine the results of the game based on
that discussion. Collusion can take place at any time, even between tournament rounds, and is
never tolerated. Collusion violates the integrity of a tournament as a whole by invalidating the
efforts of those who earned their place in the standings purely through the skill of their
gameplay. This can drastically decrease the enjoyability of the event as a whole, and thus
collusion warrants a Disqualification for each player involved.
Please note that concession, in and of itself, is not collusion. Players are allowed to concede a
game at any time before the end of the game, so long as there was no discussion or solicitation
involved. However, convincing or manipulating an opponent to concede in order to give any
person a distinct advantage is dishonest and is considered a form of cheating. Asking an
opponent to concede in any shape or form falls under collusion and is grounds for
Disqualification.
The following are some examples of collusion:
1. A player offers to concede to their opponent in return for some of the prizes their
opponent will win.
a. This is also a form of bribery.
2. Two players realize that they both will make the top cut regardless of who wins. After
discussing it with each other, they decide to randomly determine the outcome of their
game rather than play it out.
a. As soon as there is discussion, the integrity of the game has been lost. If players
do not want to play the game, then one of them should concede."

Floor Rules pdf: https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/e0/4f/e04f6d73-6e5e-4351-b067-0020f070365a/fantasy_flight_floor_rules.pdf

I do suggest reviewing the document.

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1 hour ago, Hiemfire said:

Um... That was Collusion (and specifically cover by the second example given). They should have been DQd as the Floor Rules required, and the judge should be reported since Collusion also covers players discussing the match and deciding to have one concede. The judge participating in the discussion makes it worse, though it is FFG OP's call on what happens there. Collusion rules on Page 14 of the Floor Rules (going to skip the bribery part that is paired with it).

"C. Bribery and Collusion – Disqualification
Players come to Organized Play events with the intent to enjoy themselves playing a game they
love while competing against others in a welcoming environment. Bribery and collusion can
violate the integrity of this environment by putting more emphasis on manipulating the system
than actually playing the game, which is not the kind of event that FFG wants to promote.

<Bribery section skipped>

Collusion occurs whenever two or more players discuss an outcome for their game before the
game’s conclusion and then artificially or randomly determine the results of the game based on
that discussion. Collusion can take place at any time, even between tournament rounds, and is
never tolerated. Collusion violates the integrity of a tournament as a whole by invalidating the
efforts of those who earned their place in the standings purely through the skill of their
gameplay. This can drastically decrease the enjoyability of the event as a whole, and thus
collusion warrants a Disqualification for each player involved.
Please note that concession, in and of itself, is not collusion. Players are allowed to concede a
game at any time before the end of the game, so long as there was no discussion or solicitation
involved. However, convincing or manipulating an opponent to concede in order to give any
person a distinct advantage is dishonest and is considered a form of cheating. Asking an
opponent to concede in any shape or form falls under collusion and is grounds for
Disqualification.
The following are some examples of collusion:
1. A player offers to concede to their opponent in return for some of the prizes their
opponent will win.
a. This is also a form of bribery.
2. Two players realize that they both will make the top cut regardless of who wins. After
discussing it with each other, they decide to randomly determine the outcome of their
game rather than play it out.
a. As soon as there is discussion, the integrity of the game has been lost. If players
do not want to play the game, then one of them should concede."

Floor Rules pdf: https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/e0/4f/e04f6d73-6e5e-4351-b067-0020f070365a/fantasy_flight_floor_rules.pdf

I do suggest reviewing the document.

If they both made the cut already, there is nothing stopping them from simply flying off the board on turn 1 and ending the game. It's a game with no relevance to the tournament (besides top pairings)... Fly casual applies. "Play a meaningless game or you are disqualified" is crazy harsh.

As to the original post, you conceding the match to let a friend make the cut would have me disqualifying you. If you just flew like **** and handed him the game then that's really just on your consciousness that you removed someone from the cut who earned it to help your friend who did not.

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5 minutes ago, Icelom said:

If they both made the cut already, there is nothing stopping them from simply flying off the board on turn 1 and ending the game. It's a game with no relevance to the tournament (besides top pairings)... Fly casual applies. "Play a meaningless game or you are disqualified" is crazy harsh.

As to the original post, you conceding the match to let a friend make the cut would have me disqualifying you. If you just flew like **** and handed him the game then that's really just on your consciousness that you removed someone from the cut who earned it to help your friend who did not.

The example given by FFG is exactly what @Crimsonwarlock outlined happened at the Hyperspace trial he had participated in.

"2. Two players realize that they both will make the top cut regardless of who wins. After
discussing it with each other, they decide to randomly determine the outcome of their
game rather than play it out.
a. As soon as there is discussion, the integrity of the game has been lost. If players
do not want to play the game, then one of them should concede."

If they discuss it they are to be ejected per the regulations they agree to play under when they participate in an FFG Tourney (Hyperspace trials are included in this). If one of them just chooses to do it without discussing it then what ever. By doing what they did they gained an advantage, even if it didn't pan out for them the roughly 75 min they didn't have to concentrate on the game and were able to rest counts as an advantage, over the other players that actually played out their games and the judge supported them doing it despite altering the manner in which they did needs to be reported. 

Take this next part up with FFG OP if you have such a big issue with how they want their games' tournaments run: 

"Bribery and collusion can violate the integrity of this environment by putting more emphasis on manipulating the system than actually playing the game, which is not the kind of event that FFG wants to promote."

Fly Casual means nothing when it is being used to excuse gaming the system to gain an advantage.

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4 hours ago, Hiemfire said:

The example given by FFG is exactly what @Crimsonwarlock outlined happened at the Hyperspace trial he had participated in.

"2. Two players realize that they both will make the top cut regardless of who wins. After
discussing it with each other, they decide to randomly determine the outcome of their
game rather than play it out.
a. As soon as there is discussion, the integrity of the game has been lost. If players
do not want to play the game, then one of them should concede."

If they discuss it they are to be ejected per the regulations they agree to play under when they participate in an FFG Tourney (Hyperspace trials are included in this). If one of them just chooses to do it without discussing it then what ever. By doing what they did they gained an advantage, even if it didn't pan out for them the roughly 75 min they didn't have to concentrate on the game and were able to rest counts as an advantage, over the other players that actually played out their games and the judge supported them doing it despite altering the manner in which they did needs to be reported. 

Take this next part up with FFG OP if you have such a big issue with how they want their games' tournaments run: 

"Bribery and collusion can violate the integrity of this environment by putting more emphasis on manipulating the system than actually playing the game, which is not the kind of event that FFG wants to promote."

Fly Casual means nothing when it is being used to excuse gaming the system to gain an advantage.

Except that's not gaming the system to gain an advantage. Either one of them could have just lined up there ships backwards. And then been at the same "advantage".

 

 

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I'm very concerned by the idea that people might have an issue with someone conceeding a game because they're feeling tired/hungry.  If I was 4-0 in a five round event and knew I was making the cut regardless of how that last game went, I'd much rather conceed, get some food and deal with the likely headache that I'll have at that stage of event than play a game and not really enjoy it.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Hiemfire said:
8 hours ago, Crimsonwarlock said:

Continuing this thought experiment, the table next to mine had the 2 4-0 players heading into round 5.  Both players decided to final salvo and rest since they were "Guaranteed" to make the cut.  The judge declared that the rules did not allow the players to arbitrarily final salvo and that he would have to record the match as a concession.  The players agreed.

Um... That was Collusion (and specifically cover by the second example given). They should have been DQd as the Floor Rules required, and the judge should be reported since Collusion also covers players discussing the match and deciding to have one concede. The judge participating in the discussion makes it worse, though it is FFG OP's call on what happens there. Collusion rules on Page 14 of the Floor Rules (going to skip the bribery part that is paired with it).

I saw it at the Paris Open where the new floor rules were in application and no one was DQ. Just my two cents.
(Also the rules were very new, just published the day before)

Edited by Ximatique

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9 hours ago, Jeff Wilder said:

Similarly to @dotswarlock, ask yourself:

If I'm on the cusp of the cut, competing with X for the last spot, and I see a top-record player (soundly beating X) inexplicably concede to X, making it likely X would beat me into the cut ... how do I feel?

if the answer is "denied my fair chance to make the cut," you are correct.  And you have your answer.

There are definitely ethical reasons to concede (and even ethical reasons to concede that concretely benefit your opponent while hurting another unknown player) ... but this is not one of them.

id have to agree with this 100% 

 

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5 hours ago, Hiemfire said:

The example given by FFG is exactly what @Crimsonwarlock outlined happened at the Hyperspace trial he had participated in.

"2. Two players realize that they both will make the top cut regardless of who wins. After
discussing it with each other, they decide to randomly determine the outcome of their
game rather than play it out.
a. As soon as there is discussion, the integrity of the game has been lost. If players
do not want to play the game, then one of them should concede."

If they discuss it they are to be ejected per the regulations they agree to play under when they participate in an FFG Tourney (Hyperspace trials are included in this). If one of them just chooses to do it without discussing it then what ever. By doing what they did they gained an advantage, even if it didn't pan out for them the roughly 75 min they didn't have to concentrate on the game and were able to rest counts as an advantage, over the other players that actually played out their games and the judge supported them doing it despite altering the manner in which they did needs to be reported. 

Take this next part up with FFG OP if you have such a big issue with how they want their games' tournaments run: 

"Bribery and collusion can violate the integrity of this environment by putting more emphasis on manipulating the system than actually playing the game, which is not the kind of event that FFG wants to promote."

Fly Casual means nothing when it is being used to excuse gaming the system to gain an advantage.

What advantage are they gaining? They've already advanced.

Matt Holland has also indicated that the section on collusion will be revisited as it current iteration isn't enforceable.

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2 hours ago, Jarval said:

I'm very concerned by the idea that people might have an issue with someone conceeding a game because they're feeling tired/hungry.  If I was 4-0 in a five round event and knew I was making the cut regardless of how that last game went, I'd much rather conceed, get some food and deal with the likely headache that I'll have at that stage of event than play a game and not really enjoy it.

The issue is giving someone a win they didn't have to play for. You're not being fair to the rest of the players.

On the one hand you're not necessarily out of of line. You got the wins and more or less "earned" a chance to rest. It is a competition and if you've earned an advantage you should be able to use it.

Your advantage though should not be a disadvantage for someone or an unearned advantage for someone. You are not the only one affected by the choice to concede. 

I'm not sure it is wrong. I'm sure it isn't clearly right. 

12 hours ago, Crimsonwarlock said:

Going into round 5 I was 4-0 with 1st place MOV about 200pts ahead of my nearest competitor.  I got paired down vs a 3-1 that needed to win to make the cut.  We played the match out and I was winning solidly.  I had most of the opposing ships destroyed as time approached.  Would it be ethical for me to concede the match right before the end, but after destroying a significant portion of his forces?  

No. That would be wrong. It is clearly an attempt to manipulate the draw in the next round. If you'd conceded at the outset before even seeing the squad I'd put it in the gray area of not wrong nor right like wanting to skip for a rest.

Giving away a game you are clearly winning is improper conduct on a number of points. I wouldn't want put in the bind of having to accept a concession in such a circumstance. You put me in the spot of having to start an argument to be allowed to lose. I wouldn't want a, as someone noted, a pity-victory so you could beat me up again in the next round. I'm not going to take that very well aside from any other considerations.

Then I'm faced with having to stick around for a bad matchup and possibly still be out of the prizes (and if there are prizes for making the cut they are now prizes I didn't earn) or else be unfair to other players. I've to a degree a responsibility to make you play the round at the least. I've a responsibility to myself to try and win. 

I tend to think a player has a responsibility to play all of their matches when entering a tourney. 

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13 hours ago, Crimsonwarlock said:

In this particular situation I felt my list had a solid matchup vs his and could win a rematch.  Given my MOV and record I would seed second and my round 5 opponents would seed near the bottom of the cut. (I can't say that a rematch would have been guaranteed, but certainly possible)

From an ethics viewpoint? Seems fine.

Given the new rules, it's in a weird spot, based on whether you had a "discussion" or not, but loosely, no, the concession itself is fine... the "discussion" though, may cause you problems, and given that a match has actually started and progressed, depending on the Marshal, it may cause issues?

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I didn't read anything in the original post that indicated any collusion. I might ask those around the table if they heard any discussion that would raise any flags. Beyond that, it's legal.

Ethically? If it benefits you in some way for the tournament then it's a good decision for you. There's always going to be someone that gets upset that some other match caused them to miss the cut. The community is also very against anything other than "play as hard as possible all the time!!!" If it didn't benefit you in any way and you just did it because, the community is likely to come down on your harder. Still not against the rules, just makes people uppity and they'll assume foul play.

I've seen team in other sporting events play hard against certain teams, only score a certain number of points, run up a score, or even score on themselves to set a seed in cut. The system is there, do what you gotta do within the rules.

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