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Twilight Struggle» Forums » Organized Play

Subject: AREA Rated Games rss

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Matthew Cromartie
United States
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Can any experienced AREA rated player answer a few questions for me?

1) To play a rated game, does it have to be sanctioned in someone by the folks that run AREA or can any two AREA rated players play a rated game?
2) Assuming any two players can decide to play a rated game, do both players have to report the results at the end of the game for it to be rated, or just one person?

On a related topic, assuming it is possible, would anyone like to play an AREA rated PBeM game via ACTS with me?
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Ron Jacobsen
United States
Yellow Springs
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Hi Matthew,

I am not only an experienced AREA player, I am the AREA representative responsible for rating games of Twilight Struggle.

Any two players can play a game for AREA rating, even if they are not already in the AREA system. While there are many tournaments, leagues and ladders that report their games to AREA, it is not necessary to play within one of these forums to have your games rated.

You may self report your games, and only one person from the game (either a player or the moderator, if there is one) has to make the report. If you wish to report a game of Twilight Struggle, please send the report to (Please do not attempt to report games on Boardgamegeek, either in a forum or through geekmail, as I am not on BGG often enough to ensure your report will be found.) If you are not getting a response from me at the above address, a good alternative is to e-mail Daniel Hogetoorn at Dan is assisting me in TS ratings.
[Note: If you are seeking rating in a game other than TS, then contact Glenn Petroski at and he can get you to the AREA representative in charge of your game.]

When you report a game, include the following information.
- Winner and Loser
- AREA ID for each player, if you know it
- Whether this is the FIRST AREA rated game between the players for the game title in question. (We use this to keep track of the number of different opponents each player has met in his career. Note that all variants of a game are the same title. Whether you are playing 2nd Edition, Deluxe, with or without optionals, CCW, or some combination of these, it is all just Twilight Stuggle for rating purposes.)
- Whether the game is face-to-face or remote (meaning PBEM, internet play, or even good old play-by-mail).
- The date of the game.

Note that players do not have to already be in the AREA system to play a rated game. An unrated player will be added to the system and assigned on AREA ID on his first play of any game (after which his AREA ID is good for all different games he/she might play for rating). If a player in your game is not already in AREA, then please report the following as well:

- Full real name of the player (not a handle like you might use on BGG).
- Location of the player. City/State/Country is generally fine. AREA is just using this and other information to distinguish between players with similar names. (With over 13,000 players on the list, name confusion happens quite often.)
- An email address. Again, primarily to distinguish players. AREA is not going to contact you unless there is some specific issue with your rating record that they need your help to clarify.
- Any other distiguishing information that you think will help identify you clearly relative to other players, such as nicknames you might play under, your WBC badge number (if you attend the World Boardgame Championships), etc.

Note that AREA does not share its master list, doesn't email its members except regarding specific rating issues and does not mass email its membership at all. On its website, it does not share any player information other than Name, AREA ID #, and rating record for the games in which the player is rated. That other information you provide stays internal. If a player has any concerns, it is possible to have your name suppressed on the lists (identified by AREA ID only). Or you can just talk to any AREA player you happen to know and he will tell you that he has never had a spam problem with AREA. :-)

Now, two important points of honor:

1. You should only report at game to AREA if both players understood and agreed in advance that the game was being played for AREA rating. If both players don't understand the competitive context of the game, then it is not fair to have it rated, as it may change a players strategy or attitude toward risk taking.

2. If a game is understood and agreed to be played for AREA, then it MUST be reported, regardless of outcome. The ratings lose their meaning if you cherry pick and only report your wins. And please note that, over time, your rating will affect all other players' ratings. So if you distort your record, your are distorting everyone's record to some degree.

Finally, advice on obtaining rated games and a good rating: It is fine to play and report games against your friends, your weekly gaming group, whatever. But if you want a meaningful rating, you should seek to play a wide range of players. 10 or 20 games against the same opponent will not give you a very robust or representative rating. Indeed, if you and your friend only play each other, and no one else, your rating will be pretty meaningless in terms of representing your strength relative to the world at large. So seek out games against a variety of opponents. Joining a ladder or league, or particiapting in a tournament are good ways to get match-ups against a very wide range of players. If you like PBEM, then the Ladder I run (same email address as above), or a BPA sponsored tournament (one may start later this year) are the best options. If you like live internet play, then Dan Hoogetoorn's league or the Wargameroom league are good. (For Dan's league and other TS events he runs, google "United Friends Twilight Struggle"

Hope this helps. Enjoy.

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