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Subject: Are Tournaments Something You are Interested in? rss

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john m
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I asked a question about what makes a great gameday "fest" and got some great feedback. Thank you.

I wanted to follow up with another question.

What do you think about tournaments in boardgames? This seems normal in Chess (which I have played much of), but what about other boardgames and cardgames? I see a lot online for money, but outside of the virtual world what do you think? What might do well at a tournament? For example, would a lot come to a San Juan or Bohnanza tournament? What about Memoir '44?

I realize this will very from game to game and location.

thanks for help.
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Gabe Alvaro
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I've never participated in a gaming tournament, but two player competitions seem a likely draw. Though I've just begun playing it, I would very much consider entering a BattleLore tournament.
 
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Lajos
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No.
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Leo Zappa
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I'm another who isn't into tournaments at game fests or cons. It's all open gaming for me.
 
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Charles A. Davis
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I like both. The idea of playing several rounds of the same game in a short time period is the rub. The World Boardgaming Championships are all about tournaments and they draw 800+ people so some people really like it. Other events are mostly open gaming.
I suggest you try a few tournaments at your game fest and see how the folks like them. Scheduling is a big problem for the organizer and you should have a GM for each game. Good luck.
 
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Gary Sonnenberg
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Another option is the Kniziathon or some variation thereof...

http://www.convivium.org.uk/kgkniziathon.htm

We're going to try something like this soon, only with anyone's games, not just Reiner's.
 
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Fraser
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Lajos wrote:
No.
Seconded
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Mike K
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While I do get enjoyment out of the gaming experience itself, I subscribe to the Herman Edwards school of thought:

"HELLO!!? YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!"

To this competitive end, I very much enjoy tournament-style gaming. I went to the WBC in 2005 (and hope to get back this year), and thoroughly enjoyed my time, in spite of my mostly mediocre record there. Also, I get the most enjoyment out of my gaming experience by playing strong opponents where a win is earned, as opposed to a more 'friendly' game with possibly one or more newbies. (I gravitate to the same opponents at my regular gaming group for this reason.)
 
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john m
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Karlsen wrote:
Lajos wrote:
No.
Seconded


I think there's something wrong with me. I just don't get the open gaming. Maybe becaues I've never experienced it. I tend to like very controlled and set circumstances, no milling around looking for something to do.
 
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Randy Cox
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Tournaments are fine (e.g. WBC), if you approach them in the right frame of mind. For those who don't like unstructured time, they're great--just like open gaming with a matchmaker (the GM) to get people together to play.

Now, if you treat the tournament as a must-win endeavor (and very few do), it gets dicy. I've heard tale of people who take the competition a little too seriously being disinvited to the WBC.
 
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I'm not a competitive person, but I like tournaments, which is why I organize an Amun-Re tournament and leagues on SBW- I like tournaments because they are like an extended, epic gaming experience and I like to appreciate the structure of a tournament (which is why I love creating them).

But at gaming conventions I find that tournaments force me to play the same game over and over, and moreover leave me less flexible with my schedule. So at gaming conventions I have grown a little weary of them unless it is a game I'm quite in the mood to play several times over the next couple days, and I'll limit myself to playing in only one or two of them.

 
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J C Lawrence
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johnnyLikesGames wrote:
What do you think about tournaments in boardgames?


They add no value for me. I have on interest in playing tournaments, and actively dislike the fact that they add something extra to the individual games being played. I don't want that extra; I want it to not be there. I'm interested in just the game being played.

Open gaming, only open gaming, all the way for me please.
 
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Hunter Shelburne
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I don't see the harm in having Open and Tournament gaming at an event. Tournament gaming is great for those who like truly competitive experiences, that are really rewarding for them, and casual gaming is great for those who get great experiences out of just playing with nice people.

I personally fall into both categories, when playing different games, so thats why I take the moderate approach to this. I play Magic: The Gathering very competitively, and get the most enjoyment out of it when I play in a tournament setting, yet I play games like Railroad Tycoon and others casually, but still slightly intensely, so its actually a game, not just sitting around and talking. Thats the point.
 
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Rich Shipley
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At conventions I love tournaments for the heightened competition. Scheduling longer games is good too. I can do open gaming pretty much anytime - I wouldn't make much effort to go to a game event that didn't offer something more.
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Tuomas Riekkinen
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I was organizing an convention and had the same toughts. Playing same game over and over again can be pain. Thats where Command & Colors system comes in. Run the first round/rounds with memoir 44, semifinals with C&C:A and final with Battlelore.
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Michael Debije
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john m
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kj869 wrote:
I was organizing an convention and had the same toughts. Playing same game over and over again can be pain. Thats where Command & Colors system comes in. Run the first round/rounds with memoir 44, semifinals with C&C:A and final with Battlelore.


That sounds like a good idea. So are you having open gaming and tournaments?
 
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Stven Carlberg
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Weapon wrote:
I don't see the harm in having Open and Tournament gaming at an event.


I've experienced a big mess because of there being open and tournament gaming at the same event. Several problems arise. One is the "Do you want to play a game?" "No, I'm scheduled to play a tournament round in 20 minutes, so I can't start anything." This works to the detriment of the tournament player, who has dead time he can't do anything with, and at the same time to the detriment of the other players, who have more trouble getting games organized.

Even more aggravating is the "Do you mind if I step out of this game for a little while? I know we all started it in good faith, but I've got to get this tournament round in." Somehow this tends to happen over and over. I had a game of Freight Train take up several hours of a Saturday night because players had to suspend the game in order to play in a Crokinole tournament round -- which, unfortunately for the Freight Train game, they won, so they had to suspend it again for the next round.

This sort of problem is so unavoidable with tournaments that I don't believe they should be held at a gaming event unless: a) they are the whole focus of the event; or b) the event lasts more than four days and has an attendance of more than 300 people, so that the people who don't care to be inconvenienced by the tournament don't have to be; or c) the "tournament" can be conducted in one sitting, with a start time, players being eliminated, and the whole thing being over in an hour or two.

I run an annual convention of about 100 people where a "no tournaments" policy has served us very well since 2003.
 
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Neil Carr
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The only tournaments I've enjoyed have been laid back ones in which the whole group of gamers at the con particpate. I've played in games where 40+ people played Take it Easy or Liars Dice and they were fun and only competitive on a casual level.

Then I've heard the horror stories of the WBC when you get to the hyper-competitive levels of play. Here players form teams so that they can help each other get to the top tiers in multiplayer games. Each player helps the other out by targeting a known heavyweight in that particular game and then suicidally plays against the heavyweight player, hopefully knocking him from the highest tier. Multiplayer game tournaments sound like a nightmare at that level.

All of that being said, I've always wanted to see hobby games have some tournament outlet that would award cash prizes. I know Magic and Monopoly have that, but magic is a whole lifestyle and Monopoly is lame. I want to see huge purses for winning Settlers or Paths of Glory or whatever high rated games there are.
 
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Richard Irving
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I can't let this bit of nonsense go unchallenged.

ssmooth wrote:
Weapon wrote:
I don't see the harm in having Open and Tournament gaming at an event.


I've experienced a big mess because of there being open and tournament gaming at the same event. Several problems arise. One is the "Do you want to play a game?" "No, I'm scheduled to play a tournament round in 20 minutes, so I can't start anything." This works to the detriment of the tournament player, who has dead time he can't do anything with, and at the same time to the detriment of the other players, who have more trouble getting games organized.


Stven, what you say goes for ALL scheduled events.

"I can't play now, I am going to play the M'44 Overlord game scheduled at 2:00."

"I am going the flea market when it opens at 4:00--the good bargains go fast!"

"The family needs to get dinner--I told the kids I was going to collect them at 6:00"

"The Knizia game design seminar is at 8:00."

"I have to leave by 10:00 so I can catch the last train home"

Etc.

Funny, only tournaments get blamed.

Scheduling events of all kinds (not just tournaments) has advantages for the players:
-- They can know when certain games will be playing that they want to play, they don't have to stand around trying to collect the necessary passers by. Precense, or lack thereof, of scheduled gaming DOES NOT significantly increase ther time to put together an open game-any who doesn't really want to play WILL find an excuse. Anyone really wants to play will find the time.
-- They can plan around other events and make actual choices.
-- They can still try to play the game in open gaming later.

Quote:
Even more aggravating is the "Do you mind if I step out of this game for a little while? I know we all started it in good faith, but I've got to get this tournament round in." Somehow this tends to happen over and over. I had a game of Freight Train take up several hours of a Saturday night because players had to suspend the game in order to play in a Crokinole tournament round -- which, unfortunately for the Freight Train game, they won, so they had to suspend it again for the next round.


This is even sillier--it is not the tournament's fault.

It is either:
- If the tournament player did not inform you that he would stepping aside frequently before the game, it is HIS fault.
- If he did inform you and you let him play anyway, then it is YOUR fault. YOU accepted the situation--YOU have to live with it. You have NO reason to complain.

I also note most of the tournament detractors ALL say things about second hand: "I HEARD there was hypercompetiveness." People who actually enjoy tournaments don't say that.


Tournament advantages:
- Tournaments are a great place to learn how to play a game--not just its rules, but also strategies.
- Tournaments are great way to play games with people you don't normally play against. You may end up playing against some of the strongest players in your area.
- Everyone plays their best to win--there is actually LESS metagaming than goes on in open gaming.
- Yes, they have competitve players, but in every case I have seen those players are JUST as competitive in open gaming. The only people who say they "over competitive" simply not used to actual competition.
- There is a neutral official, the GM, to enforce the rules so everyone is on the same page.

The most important reason is tournaments in no way detract from playing the game and add a fun element--to see who is the best player today.
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john m
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rri1 wrote:
I can't let this bit of nonsense go unchallenged.

ssmooth wrote:
Weapon wrote:
I don't see the harm in having Open and Tournament gaming at an event.


I've experienced a big mess because of there being open and tournament gaming at the same event. Several problems arise. One is the "Do you want to play a game?" "No, I'm scheduled to play a tournament round in 20 minutes, so I can't start anything." This works to the detriment of the tournament player, who has dead time he can't do anything with, and at the same time to the detriment of the other players, who have more trouble getting games organized.


Stven, what you say goes for ALL scheduled events.

"I can't play now, I am going to play the M'44 Overlord game scheduled at 2:00."

"I am going the flea market when it opens at 4:00--the good bargains go fast!"

"The family needs to get dinner--I told the kids I was going to collect them at 6:00"

"The Knizia game design seminar is at 8:00."

"I have to leave by 10:00 so I can catch the last train home"

Etc.

Funny, only tournaments get blamed.

Scheduling events of all kinds (not just tournaments) has advantages for the players:
-- They can know when certain games will be playing that they want to play, they don't have to stand around trying to collect the necessary passers by. Precense, or lack thereof, of scheduled gaming DOES NOT significantly increase ther time to put together an open game-any who doesn't really want to play WILL find an excuse. Anyone really wants to play will find the time.
-- They can plan around other events and make actual choices.
-- They can still try to play the game in open gaming later.

Quote:
Even more aggravating is the "Do you mind if I step out of this game for a little while? I know we all started it in good faith, but I've got to get this tournament round in." Somehow this tends to happen over and over. I had a game of Freight Train take up several hours of a Saturday night because players had to suspend the game in order to play in a Crokinole tournament round -- which, unfortunately for the Freight Train game, they won, so they had to suspend it again for the next round.


This is even sillier--it is not the tournament's fault.

It is either:
- If the tournament player did not inform you that he would stepping aside frequently before the game, it is HIS fault.
- If he did inform you and you let him play anyway, then it is YOUR fault. YOU accepted the situation--YOU have to live with it. You have NO reason to complain.

I also note most of the tournament detractors ALL say things about second hand: "I HEARD there was hypercompetiveness." People who actually enjoy tournaments don't say that.


Tournament advantages:
- Tournaments are a great place to learn how to play a game--not just its rules, but also strategies.
- Tournaments are great way to play games with people you don't normally play against. You may end up playing against some of the strongest players in your area.
- Everyone plays their best to win--there is actually LESS metagaming than goes on in open gaming.
- Yes, they have competitve players, but in every case I have seen those players are JUST as competitive in open gaming. The only people who say they "over competitive" simply not used to actual competition.
- There is a neutral official, the GM, to enforce the rules so everyone is on the same page.

The most important reason is tournaments in no way detract from playing the game and add a fun element--to see who is the best player today.


You've restored my faith. Structure can be good. But how many games should a tournament be about? I wonder which games I should consider for a tournament. I guess it better be which ones I know the rules of I'm thinking Memoir '44 and Puerto Rico might be nice.
 
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Rich Shipley
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echoota wrote:
Then I've heard the horror stories of the WBC when you get to the hyper-competitive levels of play. Here players form teams so that they can help each other get to the top tiers in multiplayer games. Each player helps the other out by targeting a known heavyweight in that particular game and then suicidally plays against the heavyweight player, hopefully knocking him from the highest tier. Multiplayer game tournaments sound like a nightmare at that level.


I think you are repeating second hand speculation based on misinformation here. Teams are just another fun competition sanctioned by the convention. Any support for this stuff?
 
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Rich Shipley
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johnnyLikesGames wrote:
You've restored my faith. Structure can be good. But how many games should a tournament be about? I wonder which games I should consider for a tournament. I guess it better be which ones I know the rules of I'm thinking Memoir '44 and Puerto Rico might be nice.


You should probably base your choice on what your likely players will play, but there are other considerations. Two player tournaments can take a while even if you use single elimination. In multi-player tournaments, people often want more than one chance to advance, but then you can have problems where too many people make it into the elimination rounds.
 
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J C Lawrence
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rri1 wrote:
Stven, what you say goes for ALL scheduled events.


Yup. I'm also not a fan of any form of scheduled event at a gaming convention. I know people have lives, have to go pick up the kids, meet the wife, have dinner appointments etc but those are comparatively infrequent items and the general assumption at an open gaming convention is that anybody standing about or about to finish a game is available to fill a player slot, and in pure open gaming conventions that's almost invariably reliable. Start injecting scheduled gaming, sales, auctions, flea markets, tournament heats, massive werewolf games and the like and of a sudden, much as you describe, that base assumption is no longer reliable. Among the reasons I so like BAP is because it is just pickup/open gaming, ditto for the Los Altos gamesday, the Endgame gamesday, Unitygames, the monthly Middlefield gamesday, etc etc etc. Walk in, grab a game, find some people, repeat. Kublacon, conversely, with its abundance of scheduled gaming slots was very annoying.
 
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Dave Lartigue
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No tournaments for me, thanks.
 
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