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Mage Wars => General Discussion => Topic started by: SharkBait on August 23, 2017, 06:31:24 AM

Title: Tournament Scoring
Post by: SharkBait on August 23, 2017, 06:31:24 AM
This is a sub topic of the conversation in the restore thread without actually trying to derail that one. So, with that in mind, I want to address this.

In timed Mage Wars games i think its to strong.

Just had 3 matches that went to time at Gen-Con, were playing that card in the lasts rounds would give me an almost 100% sure win.

What if I suggested that the problem doesn't lay within the cards, but in the way we define a "win" and the way we score tournaments? IMPORTANT NOTE: This is not an indictment of Grizzly or his crew, I have very much enjoyed my last few years of playing tournaments run by them. However, we can always strive to improve.

I think the real root of the problem is that due to the nature of adding a time limit to the game, in general we've also added additional "win" conditions (namely, have more life remaining than the other person at the end of the game.) These are actually two additional rules (1. Time limit, 2. Win condition for something other than mage death) that have been added to deal with real life time constraints. Now the discussions are moving towards adding more modified rules (limits on "restore", counting only the starting life, etc) to deal with some of the abuses that are potentially there from the new "win" conditions.

I propose instead that wins only be awarded in the case of mage death, as laid out on page 6 of the rulebook. Something along the lines of 3 points for killing the other mage, 0 points for being killed seem fair to me. If the match ends with no death, both players receive a 1 point draw. This requires only 1 rule modification (Time limits) and encourages people to play within the bounds of the tournament. If someone comes to a tournament like GenCon with a book that's meant to live until time is called without killing the other mage, then they will never win the tournament. Instead, they should (and I suspect most actually WILL) focus on killing the other mage in time alotted.

The above proposal is simpler than the current scoring system (only 1 rule modified, no grey area), stays true to the intended nature of mage wars (2 mages enter, 1 mage leaves), and will avoid many of the problems that arise with "modified wins" based on current/ending life totals that ultimately mean nothing in an un-timed match.

Thoughts/other ideas?
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: jacksmack on August 23, 2017, 07:41:02 AM
3 points for winning.

0 points for losing.

-1 points to each if both are alive.
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: silverclawgrizzly on August 23, 2017, 08:37:33 AM
While I do not discount this idea out of hand I'm going to lay out a few points. These are NOT arguments but just some points.

1. This rewards the heavy aggression style of play and punishes the slow burn style. While it's all cool to go "Kill the mage and win the match or else" realistically as a responsible event coordinator I don't see telling someone their play style is invalid just because of time limits. All styles and perspectives have to be respected as much as possible even with time limits. Furthermore newer players, who are already at a massive disadvantage fighting guys like Sharkbait, Biblofilter, Jimillia, etc are slower players by default anyway and this punishes them. While we can discuss the "spirit of Mage Wars" or the "original intent" all day long, at the end of that day any event organizer who's not trying to be as fair to every single player there doesn't need to be running events.

2. There are to the best of my knowledge no available online Organized Play rules. Or at least I searched the Arcane Wonders website, searched via online sources, and couldn't find them. That being said it would then be up to each individual event coordinator(who's not always the same guy as the judge) to determine the set up in advance. As Sharkbait mentioned to me those rules should be posted online as early as possible. Technically I break from the old rules by making my championship matches untimed for example. I do know organized play is being revamped but a time line on that is not available to me. I mention all of this so as to make clear, whatever decision is made for events like Gen Con are NOT binding to anyone else. If someone can find the link to the official rules let me know please.

3. Now in terms of quick advantages like Restore. There is not currently a viable method of stopping a last turn, final Quick Cast of Restore that reveals immediately. If I call "Last Turn" and your opponent holds their final Quick Cast until the end you do not get a chance to respond. The only thing you can do is try to bring Finite Life into the equation some how. However there are only two methods to do that. Poison Blood and Deathlock. Now obvioulsy the Deathlock is a guaranteed way to have shut that down sure as it can't be Nullified so thus putting a Deathlock in every book would deter that Restore stuff. I 100% do not believe in the concept of "Auto Include Cards" and I certainly do not believe in everyone not Dark having to spend 4 spell book points to counter a Level 1 Holy Mage Only Enchantment. The "include this card or you lose" mentality is beyond idiotic in this case and it just will not be advocated by a responsible(to say nothing of mature) event organizer. Not to mention that ties up 4 spell book points you can't use until the very end for fear of losing it. Now Poison Blood shows up in a lot of peoples books for all sorts of mages but that's a crap shoot at best given Nullify, positioning, etc. Yeah I can get it on you in a game if I really want to.....but last turn with limited margin for error?

4. Finally and this ties into #2 again, I'm debating responses to this perceived issue for events I run. I do not work for Arcane Wonders in an official capacity, just a lucky ambassador who's run events for them a bunch of times and gets told he does pretty good. I have not decided on any one correct course of action, I in fact do not believe there is one single "correct" response and that includes ignoring it. That being said while I don't claim my response is mandatory for everyone, I am going to do something and I have until November to figure it out.
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: theasaris on August 23, 2017, 09:11:23 AM
Hello all,

we have had a lengthy discussion at the German Nationals as well, which led to the majority of players (~24) and judges involved come up with a new scoring system which has in the mean time already been tested at a few organized play tournaments in Germany.

A time limit of 90 minutes is in effect. After 90 minutes both players note their remaining life (current total life minus damage). Points are then scored as follows:

2 + x if the opposing mage is dead
1 + x if own mage has more life remaining
1 - x if opposing mage has more life remaining

x equals the difference in life remaining between both mages divided by 20 to a maximum of 1.

* If both mages are dead players score 1 point each.

Some examples (sorry for the bad formatting):

Own Life remaining   Opponent Life remaining       Score(old)   Score(new)
   32--------------------------------0---------------------------4:0-----------------3:0

   20--------------------------------0---------------------------4:0-----------------3:0

   10--------------------------------0---------------------------4:0---------- ----2.5:0.5

     2--------------------------------0---------------------------4:0---------------2.1:0.9

   32--------------------------------1---------------------------3:1-----------------2:0

   21--------------------------------1---------------------------3:1-----------------2:0

   11--------------------------------1---------------------------3:1---------------1.5:0.5

   32------------------------------31---------------------------3:1--------------1.05:0.95

     2--------------------------------1---------------------------3:1--------------1.05:0.95

   32------------------------------32---------------------------2:2-----------------1:1

    1--------------------------------1---------------------------2:2-----------------1:1

    0--------------------------------0---------------------------2:2-----------------1:1
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: Sailor Vulcan on August 23, 2017, 10:08:19 AM
Quote
What if we put time limits on phases instead of games? Like a three minute time limit per phase per player. If someone goes over that time limit perhaps it means they aren't familiar with their spellbook enough to play faster. Give them a warning or two and if they're still going past the three minute mark on phases they lose the match. Also because games of arena vary so much in their length, it might be necessary to find a way for shorter games to compensate for longer games. Instead of waiting for that one 15-20 round game to finish while everyone else waits for them or cutting them off prematurely, simply give players a score card which includes a list of all of the opponents they will fight in the tournament, which will be randomly generated in advance. Each time they finish a game they can put a check mark next to that opponent's name. And instead of having separate swiss and elimination portion of the tournament, just combine them into one swiss style tournament. Whoever wins the most games is the winner, and if they're a tie you have a tiebreaker match. I know it's more dramatic for TV if people can be eliminated from further participation in the tournament, but it's always more fun to play more mage wars games rather than fewer mage wars games, and swiss style tournaments are probably more fair in general because the results are determined by just a simple win count out of a certain number of games all against different opponents.

I really don't see the need for elimination rounds in Mage Wars Arena tournaments. All it does is make things appear more dramatic on TV and increase the tournament length unless you use time limits to prematurely cut games off. And it's not like mage wars is a media sensation like some other games.

Then again it might be harder to cover a bunch of games in a swiss tournament then focusing on the "Finals" because then you have more games to focus on. But the solution to this is obviously to have some partipants volunteer to write about their matches afterwards, and to have some people taking pictures of different games at various points. While it's not the same as full video coverage of the entirety of any one particular match, it's still plenty comprehensive, and you could still sometimes video record some of the more interesting matches.

Another option which no one's mentioned yet, why not just block out more time for tournaments?  Increase the time limit to 1.5 or maybe even 2 hours per game. Explain to the event hosts why this is necessary. Alternatively just host your own events in a location where you're not competing with other shorter and more popular games for time and space.



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Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: zot on August 23, 2017, 10:19:43 AM
i think the scoring 7/3/2/0 used worked as intended. wins were worth more than ties, and the top four at gc had at least 20 points. life gain strategies,including restore, or stall tactics gains only one point more for the player versus not playing such a strategy. ties sre 3/2 win/loss. those tactics will lose overall to books out there winning. now slow build decks  have a difficult time. i like the idea of 90 min rounds. that should be good enough for most builds and help even slow players have enough time to get the match decided. 

i felt the recent tourney was run and handled very smoothly. i did not hear of any issues or comlaints from anyone. other than the arctic conditions of the hall. maybe it was just me.

note, no one seemed to be playing such a strategy and all folks competed very hard. the best level of competition for any tourney. i have been in over four years.
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: silverclawgrizzly on August 23, 2017, 10:30:57 AM
@ Sailor Vulcan: We don't book more time because that costs more money. Arcane Wonders made some serious dollar bills at Gen Con this year but it isn't cheap man lol. That booth, the table space, the rooms for ambassadors(and that includes judges), all of that costs money you and I don't even want to contemplate. Getting extra time is a matter of availability from Gen Con(you may have noticed we had neighbors every second of the con) and funding.

@ Zot: You're not the only person who found that play area chilly. Though I think the hoodie and cap look makes you look like a dark and gritty battle tested warrior I'd prefer it if we weren't cold all the time also. I like the current scoring system but am looking at making a small change, maybe increasing the time limits(we do have some wiggle room) during the Friday matches.

I'll also say I don't believe a single person came to Gen Con to stall or did anything other than their best to kill the other mage. The inherent issue with the "win by life" method is it's an enormous gamble and if you put all your eggs in that basket it can do horrible for you. In the case of Biblofilter had he lost a single match he'd have never made it to finals and he came VERY close to losing at least two of his qualifiers.
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: DevilsVendetta on August 23, 2017, 10:38:15 AM
I'll have more to say later when I'm not at work on my phone, but I have a real issue with reducing timed wins to meaningless and changing rules to really limit certain playstyles. I don't think anyone goes into a tournament with a stalling strategy but neither do I believe everyone goes into a tournament with a 5 round kill or be killed strategy. There are certain cards and schools that become unusable with some of the options presented here. Priestess, pointless to play without the inherent life gain ability or pointless to play if heals are meaningless to just get 0 points, might as well just concede and let the opponent win.

There are other points to make too but I'll get to them later.
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: Sailor Vulcan on August 23, 2017, 10:41:58 AM
@ Sailor Vulcan: We don't book more time because that costs more money. Arcane Wonders made some serious dollar bills at Gen Con this year but it isn't cheap man lol. That booth, the table space, the rooms for ambassadors(and that includes judges), all of that costs money you and I don't even want to contemplate. Getting extra time is a matter of availability from Gen Con(you may have noticed we had neighbors every second of the con) and funding.

@ Zot: You're not the only person who found that play area chilly. Though I think the hoodie and cap look makes you look like a dark and gritty battle tested warrior I'd prefer it if we weren't cold all the time also. I like the current scoring system but am looking at making a small change, maybe increasing the time limits(we do have some wiggle room) during the Friday matches.

I'll also say I don't believe a single person came to Gen Con to stall or did anything other than their best to kill the other mage. The inherent issue with the "win by life" method is it's an enormous gamble and if you put all your eggs in that basket it can do horrible for you. In the case of Biblofilter had he lost a single match he'd have never made it to finals and he came VERY close to losing at least two of his qualifiers.
That's kind of dumb. Does gen con literally know nothing about games? Different games take different amounts of time to play, and setting up a system where time spent playing has a direct relationship with cost regardless of game length unfairly penalizes longer games compared to shorter ones. Obviously what they should be doing is making time costs be proportional to game length and player turnout. The way they're doing things now is ridiculous and I don't understand why they do it that way when any experienced gamer should be able to tell how ridiculous it is. Is it like this at ALL cons? Or just gen con?

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Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: SharkBait on August 23, 2017, 10:44:07 AM
There are some interesting points here that I would like to address to further discussion of this topic.

1. This rewards the heavy aggression style of play and punishes the slow burn style. While it's all cool to go "Kill the mage and win the match or else" realistically as a responsible event coordinator I don't see telling someone their play style is invalid just because of time limits. All styles and perspectives have to be respected as much as possible even with time limits. Furthermore newer players, who are already at a massive disadvantage fighting guys like Sharkbait, Biblofilter, Jimillia, etc are slower players by default anyway and this punishes them. While we can discuss the "spirit of Mage Wars" or the "original intent" all day long, at the end of that day any event organizer who's not trying to be as fair to every single player there doesn't need to be running events.

This is a place I think we fundamentally disagree on 2 separate points. I'll point them out so that we can discuss them  :).

1. I do not agree that this rewards "heavy" aggression style of play, nor does it punish the "slow burn" style. I have personally played both in these types of conditions and have never once gone to time. Another example from both Origins and GenCon this year: A double battleforge warlord (an extremely opposite style to "heavy aggression") was able to finish almost every match before time was called. If I remember correctly, he only went to time once at Origins. While I agree that all styles should be respected as much as possible, the literal point of the game is to win by killing the enemy mage. If someone can't build a book that does so, then they honestly don't deserve to win a competitive match in my humble opinion. Someone who brings a book designed to play a strictly 4 hour game has no business winning in a 75 min timed round tournament. You're supposed to build a book to win the tournament environment in which you're entering.

2. While I respect that newer players are at a massive disadvantage in tournaments against more experienced players, I do not feel that the playing field should in any way be "leveled" to help them in what is effectively the North American Championship tournament. Instead, those newer players interested in joining the competitive events should become accustomed to what is actually required and not given points for being "slow".

3. Now in terms of quick advantages like Restore. There is not currently a viable method of stopping a last turn, final Quick Cast of Restore that reveals immediately. If I call "Last Turn" and your opponent holds their final Quick Cast until the end you do not get a chance to respond. The only thing you can do is try to bring Finite Life into the equation some how. However there are only two methods to do that. Poison Blood and Deathlock. Now obvioulsy the Deathlock is a guaranteed way to have shut that down sure as it can't be Nullified so thus putting a Deathlock in every book would deter that Restore stuff. I 100% do not believe in the concept of "Auto Include Cards" and I certainly do not believe in everyone not Dark having to spend 4 spell book points to counter a Level 1 Holy Mage Only Enchantment. The "include this card or you lose" mentality is beyond idiotic in this case and it just will not be advocated by a responsible(to say nothing of mature) event organizer. Not to mention that ties up 4 spell book points you can't use until the very end for fear of losing it. Now Poison Blood shows up in a lot of peoples books for all sorts of mages but that's a crap shoot at best given Nullify, positioning, etc. Yeah I can get it on you in a game if I really want to.....but last turn with limited margin for error?

My opinion on this issue is that one should be prepared to deal with it when 3/14 potential mages can run it. You point out plenty of ways above to combat the issue, and that doesn't even include killing the other mage (Which would prevent restore shenanigans :D ). I'd also point out, that giving a draw for those not killing the opposing mage also sorts out the problem to some degree by not giving one player more points than the other for a temporary boost in their life stat. I can find videos of multiple competitive matches and can recount many instances of the saying "X person would have won in a timed match, but lost in the end" for evidence that the life total difference is not a reflective enough measure of someone winning the match.

4. Finally and this ties into #2 again, I'm debating responses to this perceived issue for events I run. I do not work for Arcane Wonders in an official capacity, just a lucky ambassador who's run events for them a bunch of times and gets told he does pretty good. I have not decided on any one correct course of action, I in fact do not believe there is one single "correct" response and that includes ignoring it. That being said while I don't claim my response is mandatory for everyone, I am going to do something and I have until November to figure it out.

Apologies if this discussion turns problematic, but i figured it'd be a good one to have to see where the community stands. At worst, it's other data to consider. I have faith that you'll make a good call either way  8)

Hello all,

we have had a lengthy discussion at the German Nationals as well, which led to the majority of players (~24) and judges involved come up with a new scoring system which has in the mean time already been tested at a few organized play tournaments in Germany.

A time limit of 90 minutes is in effect. After 90 minutes both players note their remaining life (current total life minus damage). Points are then scored as follows:

2 + x if the opposing mage is dead
1 + x if own mage has more life remaining
1 - x if opposing mage has more life remaining

x equals the difference in life remaining between both mages divided by 20 to a maximum of 1.

* If both mages are dead players score 1 point each.

Hello theasaris :). That system definitely looks interesting, and is similar to the way Star Wars Armada tournaments are scored. How has it worked out in your tests? Has everyone been pretty happy with it? I have very little experience applying that kind of system to MW.


i think the scoring 7/3/2/0 used worked as intended. wins were worth more than ties, and the top four at gc had at least 20 points. life gain strategies,including restore, or stall tactics gains only one point more for the player versus not playing such a strategy. ties sre 3/2 win/loss. those tactics will lose overall to books out there winning. now slow build decks  have a difficult time. i like the idea of 90 min rounds. that should be good enough for most builds and help even slow players have enough time to get the match decided. 

i felt the recent tourney was run and handled very smoothly. i did not hear of any issues or comlaints from anyone. other than the arctic conditions of the hall. maybe it was just me.

note, no one seemed to be playing such a strategy and all folks competed very hard. the best level of competition for any tourney. i have been in over four years.
I agree that in general, the point system above would work out too. I just am opining that the points should take priority over "wins" as the wins are currently defined, or that we should change the definition of "win". I don't personally agree that a person wins at time unless you have killed the enemy mage. And as much as I would like 90 min rounds, I'm not sure that the money situation can allow that.

I'll have more to say later when I'm not at work on my phone, but I have a real issue with reducing timed wins to meaningless and changing rules to really limit certain playstyles. I don't think anyone goes into a tournament with a stalling strategy but neither do I believe everyone goes into a tournament with a 5 round kill or be killed strategy. There are certain cards and schools that become unusable with some of the options presented here. Priestess, pointless to play without the inherent life gain ability or pointless to play if heals are meaningless to just get 0 points, might as well just concede and let the opponent win.

There are other points to make too but I'll get to them later.

This is sort of addressed above, but I don't want to discount your views. I am of the opinion that the perception that one must win in 5 rounds or be killed in order to play in a 75 min timed round tournament is a little extreme. I find that I get through 10-15 rounds of play in that time frame and that is typically more than enough to get a mage kill even when playing a defensively minded book. Priestesses can definitely throw enough damage out to win in that timeframe, and heals are far more than meaningless. All that happens is that heals are no longer a part of the win condition outside of the fact that they may help prevent you from losing. I am interested to hear your extended viewpoint later though, you have good insight.




Ok, I think I covered most of what wasn't covered elsewhere  ;D
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: zot on August 23, 2017, 10:44:29 AM
make no mistake here. cons are almost all about making money. time is money. space is money. and gen con is very good at it having now 50 years to hone it. attendance is max as the con sold out.
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: Biblofilter on August 24, 2017, 05:10:36 AM
Im a fan of Two Man Enters, One Man Leaves.

But we still need to find of what to do if people don´t manage to kill each other or they actually do exactly that.

One of the issues is the current format of the Tourney: 4 rounds qualifier then a semi-final and a final (without timelimit) As the final is unlimited it does make sense to build a book that could go on forever.
Besides how are the semi-finals going to be determined?

In Sharbaits system you might end up with a larger bunch of players that have an equal amount of points (3-1-3-1) How do you determine who is going to qualify?

One thing you could do is to play knockout matches - if you limit the tourney to 16 players we only need to play four matches. So you could make a timelimit of 90 min or even 150 min.

Youd still need rules handling people going to time or killing each other.

I also like the system they used in Germany even if you have to watch out for something like: "I could kill my opponent now, but I would make more points if i heal first"

And i do think more points or a better winning chance should be awarded if you have a clear lead in life. (even if more remaining life doesnt always tells us who would have the best chance to win the actual game if they had finished it.

Lets say you keep the current structure 4 rounds qualifying then semi-finals and final.

To determine the winner you could use the yellow D12 :)

Life Difference: 0-10    = 1-6 you win
                       11-20  = 1-7 you win
                       21-30  = 1-8 you win
                       31-40  = 1-9 you win
                       41+     = 1-10 you win

I would mean that the "losing" player in a timed match would have a pretty good chance to advance.

You could use something similar for a scoring system:
                      Kill        =   7-0
Life dif             31+       =  6-1
                       20-30    =  5-2
                       11-20     =  4-3
                         0-10    =   3½-3½ 

A strict point system would mean no semi-final/final, in fact you might have a winner before last round.

Getting knocked out of Gen-Con after only 1 round wouldnt be fun i guess. But if your mage is dead..
                 

Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: wtcannonjr on August 24, 2017, 06:37:52 AM
make no mistake here. cons are almost all about making money. time is money. space is money. and gen con is very good at it having now 50 years to hone it. attendance is max as the con sold out.

This can vary by convention. Those that are run by gaming associations or publishers are profit based, but there are some that are run by non-profit organizations managed by players. I am most familiar with the Boardgame Players Association and the World Board Gaming Championships that are held at the end of July each year. The WBC is a nine day convention and does not charge separate tournament fees for players. Players pay an annual membership fee based on the number of days they attend WBC. $20 per day or $100 for all 9 days. Other membership levels are available that provide additional benefits.

Events are organized into Open Gaming, Tournaments and Trial Events. The Open Gaming and Tournament events have no additional fees. Trial Events require a $500 sponsor level membership to run each year, but once attendance is high enough to make the top 100 list it become a full tournament and no longer requires the sponsor fee until attendance drops below the threshold in future year. This is a smaller convention than the industry run GENCON or Origins style conventions and is focused on game play rather than product sales. For example, vendors only arrive the last 3 days of the convention.  Games can take 1 hour or 6 hours for each match. There are some 'mega' style games that last multiple days to complete such as A World at War.

This year the WBC Mage Wars Arena Trial Event used the 5/3/1/1/0 scoring system and a 5-round Swiss style tournament with 23 players. The tie breaker used was the Total Tournament Points scored by each opponent a player faced. This was a measure of how tough your schedule was during that tournament and worked well.
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: Grimstringer on August 24, 2017, 09:03:03 AM


@ Zot: You're not the only person who found that play area chilly. Though I think the hoodie and cap look makes you look like a dark and gritty battle tested warrior I'd prefer it if we weren't cold all the time also. I like the current scoring system but am looking at making a small change, maybe increasing the time limits(we do have some wiggle room) during the Friday matches.




Where is your frost resistance now people?!?!!

frost mage hinted?????
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: silverclawgrizzly on August 24, 2017, 09:58:24 AM
Oh boy lots of to reply to and I'm happy to have a civil discussion on this topic as we seem to be having. I'll handle the light stuff first.

@Grimstringer: Why yes a Frost mage has been hinted if you know where to look....:)

On the topic of conventions. There are as Wtcannonjr stated several different types of conventions. Here in my town we have a very good gaming convention known as Mace run by some friends of mine where I could run Mage Wars from 3pm Friday to 4pm Sunday non-stop through the night if I were so inclined. I don't do that mind you but we do enjoy a very healthy and competitive tournament there every year, to the point I jokingly refer to it as "Gen Con II: The Revenge." Gen Con however is there to make money and anyone who thinks or tells your otherwise is dead wrong brother. That's why each and every dealer is there and that's why the events costs money to buy tickets for.

All right now lets get into the meat of it shall we?

1. The idea was mentioned about invalidating timed wins completely. Let me just state this as clearly as I can: That just isn't an option. Every time I picture that in my head I can hear the complaints forming already. It's abstractly not a terrible idea but the fact is too many matches do go to time. The main thing that'll draw out a match is two players of equal skill range. You can actually quote me on that. Two new players are gonna play like turtles trying to figure things out, where as two skilled warriors will be able to counter each others crap. Take Zot and Biblofilter for example they had an insane match that went to time at Gen Con because they both knew each other so well.

2. No instances where the D12 determines anything relating to who advances will ever be used lol. I am however known to issue a "bonus match" if things are tied with one or more player. Yeah times an issue and all....but flexible judges and all can sometimes manipulate even that on occasion. I mean hey you came to fight....so expect to fight.

3. Tell you what we could do as we have a pretty good fanbase, and I honestly think this would fly at Gen Con is once time is called if a match is tightly in the balance I could offer the players an extra round. Normally you get an extra round anyway if time is called and both players haven't had an equal amount of turns with initiative.....but I've seen a lot of matches where I'm pretty sure even the person winning at the time would like to see it finished. May just delay the problem but it may also resolve some issues too. I know it'd help with some at least.

I don't expect a perfect answer for every situation because there isn't one but I do appreciate the ideas on how to smooth things out some what.
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: Zuberi on August 24, 2017, 02:32:06 PM
What to do when a game runs out of time? Seems to me like there are two dominant camps, with several sub camps. Makes it hard to please everyone.

First major camp sees this issue as resulting in a draw. Technically speaking, they are correct. Neither mage has managed to win, under the normal definition of a victory in Mage Wars.

The other major camp wants to have a victor. Perhaps this is desired because time running out happens so often. Perhaps it's because the time limits are already so unfair to so many strategies. Whatever the reasoning, if a victor is desired it requires either a tie breaking method or an alternate victory condition (not really much difference between the two). This camp can also make the claim that although neither mage has won, they've also not drawn as far as the rules are concerned. A draw is when both mages die at the same time. Instead, this is an unfinished game.

It may not be possible to reconcile these camps. You're never going to please everyone. Other factors to consider though are how fair the system is, how easily it is understood and implemented, and how consistently it is enforced. Counting it as a draw is super easy. But may be considered unfair to those who aren't able to finish in time. It would skew the meta towards aggression and make people much more focused on fast play.

On the flip side, any tie breaker / alternate victory condition will skew the meta to take advantage of that condition. You're not going to be able to predict who WOULD have won with perfect accuracy, if that's your reason for wanting this method. But, I've seen a very large number of people who seem to want this type of approach and this is the way MW has always gone in the past. The method of comparing life remaining is also super simple and easy, and seems fair. If you consider mage death as a finish line, this is seeing who was closest to that finish line. Fair, simple, consistent, and makes sense.

They both have flaws. But they're also both workable systems. What we're seeing now though, is backlash over strategies arising to take advantage of the tie breaker. This was bound to happen though. If we're going to use a tie breaker, people will play with it in mind. However, it is compounded by the fact that the cards weren't designed with the tie breaker in mind. Restore was designed to be a temporary effect, delaying the game. It is now being used as a finisher to win the game. That's not its intended function, and so could be considered a bit of abuse or an exploit of the system rather than merely planning around the tie breaker. It is defintely overpowered when used in that function.

To address this, we could change tournament rules. We could errata the card. We could ban the card. There's lots of options. None of them joyous, because nerfs are pretty much never something to get excited over. Switching camps to that which considers time running out to be a draw has some appeal, as we no longer have to worry about competing victory conditions. It'd nip this problem square in the bud. If you don't want strategies taking advantage of alternate victories, then removing those alternate victories is the only sure solution. However that is a pretty drastic change and trying to keep things consistent with smaller adjustments also has a lot of appeal.

I made a suggestion to Grizz that if we keep the current tie breaker, we just add an extra rule stating that all disippate effects are destroyed at time. This would stop effects that are meant to be temporary from being used in other capacities. I think I kind of ended up rambling and I apologize for the long post. I'm not sure what my point was other than that this isn't a simple problem with simple solutions, and I think many of the different views and approaches have merit. There's no right way. Just being mindful of what the different ideas will affect and picking one.
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: zot on August 24, 2017, 04:03:40 PM
this does help describe things really well. i feel there is a simple middle ground here too.

   you can increase the time alottment for matches to give slow builds a bit more time to win, this also helps newer players who may simply play slow because they are not fast making decisions, or slow handling the physical aspects of the game. combine this with a point system that favors wins over unfinished games. calling it a tie for simplicity. give both players the same points for the match, rather than declaring a winner. those points could total the value for a win. say 4 or 6 for a win, and 2/3 for each player for the unfinished match. this mitigates cards or strategies used to eek out extra advantage for rules regarding a winner of an unfinished match.

   like everyone understands, there is no likely solution that pleases everyone. however given the spirit of the game and the intent for it to be won, i would guess many more would side in favor of a system that favors actual wins. as long as it was reasonably balanced to allow for the most strategies or builds to compete fairly.
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: Sailor Vulcan on August 24, 2017, 09:34:21 PM
What to do when a game runs out of time? Seems to me like there are two dominant camps, with several sub camps. Makes it hard to please everyone.

First major camp sees this issue as resulting in a draw. Technically speaking, they are correct. Neither mage has managed to win, under the normal definition of a victory in Mage Wars.

The other major camp wants to have a victor. Perhaps this is desired because time running out happens so often. Perhaps it's because the time limits are already so unfair to so many strategies. Whatever the reasoning, if a victor is desired it requires either a tie breaking method or an alternate victory condition (not really much difference between the two). This camp can also make the claim that although neither mage has won, they've also not drawn as far as the rules are concerned. A draw is when both mages die at the same time. Instead, this is an unfinished game.

It may not be possible to reconcile these camps. You're never going to please everyone. Other factors to consider though are how fair the system is, how easily it is understood and implemented, and how consistently it is enforced. Counting it as a draw is super easy. But may be considered unfair to those who aren't able to finish in time. It would skew the meta towards aggression and make people much more focused on fast play.

On the flip side, any tie breaker / alternate victory condition will skew the meta to take advantage of that condition. You're not going to be able to predict who WOULD have won with perfect accuracy, if that's your reason for wanting this method. But, I've seen a very large number of people who seem to want this type of approach and this is the way MW has always gone in the past. The method of comparing life remaining is also super simple and easy, and seems fair. If you consider mage death as a finish line, this is seeing who was closest to that finish line. Fair, simple, consistent, and makes sense.

They both have flaws. But they're also both workable systems. What we're seeing now though, is backlash over strategies arising to take advantage of the tie breaker. This was bound to happen though. If we're going to use a tie breaker, people will play with it in mind. However, it is compounded by the fact that the cards weren't designed with the tie breaker in mind. Restore was designed to be a temporary effect, delaying the game. It is now being used as a finisher to win the game. That's not its intended function, and so could be considered a bit of abuse or an exploit of the system rather than merely planning around the tie breaker. It is defintely overpowered when used in that function.

To address this, we could change tournament rules. We could errata the card. We could ban the card. There's lots of options. None of them joyous, because nerfs are pretty much never something to get excited over. Switching camps to that which considers time running out to be a draw has some appeal, as we no longer have to worry about competing victory conditions. It'd nip this problem square in the bud. If you don't want strategies taking advantage of alternate victories, then removing those alternate victories is the only sure solution. However that is a pretty drastic change and trying to keep things consistent with smaller adjustments also has a lot of appeal.

I made a suggestion to Grizz that if we keep the current tie breaker, we just add an extra rule stating that all disippate effects are destroyed at time. This would stop effects that are meant to be temporary from being used in other capacities. I think I kind of ended up rambling and I apologize for the long post. I'm not sure what my point was other than that this isn't a simple problem with simple solutions, and I think many of the different views and approaches have merit. There's no right way. Just being mindful of what the different ideas will affect and picking one.
I mostly agree with everything you just said zuberi. However remember that the game does not exist in a vacuum. There are multiple values being traded here, not just fairness vs desire for a victor.

In reality the values are as follows: monetary expense, event time, table space, player count, fairness, openness to newer players, ease of tracking/management, the quality of the player experience, and a catch all category for everything else that might become an issue depending on what sort of solution gets implemented.

I think we're all in agreement that for most large cons like gen con etc it's very unlikely that we'll be able to get more table space or time for tournaments in the near future. Not unless AW wants to spend more money, which I would assume for now that they don't. So increasing expense, tablespace or event time is off the table.

I honestly think it's a REALLY REALLY bad idea to trade away fairness under any circumstances for a game like this. Not unless you literally are pidgeon holed into it and have absolutely no remotely better options on net. So trading away fairness is off the table—I hope.

That leaves player count, ease of tracking and management, openness to newer players, and the quality of player experience.

One possible solution is to cap the number of participants at a lower number, like 8 or 10 or something. Increases fairness but decreases accessibility.

Another solution is to eliminate the elimination rounds, use "dance cards" with a list of opponents for each player where the matchups are randomly generated in advance, then when you finish a game you check off your opponent from your card and immediately move on to another available opponent on your list. Increases fairness while also making MUCH better use of the time we already have by not making people wait half an hour or so for the longer games to finish. If you use this solution you could get rid of the individual match time limits, and just say whoever has the best win:loss ratio at the end of the tournament time is the winner, with people who've won a greater total number of games preferred over those who've only won a few in the event of a tie. Unfortunately this would make it harder for judges to keep track of because games would not be starting all at the same time. The dance cards would have to be visible to judges at all times, so that judges can keep track of how many games a player has played so far and which opponent they are facing right now. It's not as intuitive to keep track of matchups as keeping track of rounds, but I think it should be doable. Not sure if you would need to hire more judges, or if people constantly changing seats would be a problem.

The third solution is to use timed phases rather than timed matches. It's possible that if you set the right time limit on individual phases, the shorter matches will naturally compensate for the amount of time taken by the longer matches, not to mention that people who take too long thinking during each phase might not be as familiar with the spellbook they're using, so so if they're taking too long to think during phases they probably wouldn't win anyways. This solution would have to be tested however.

My vote is to test solution #3, and then if it doesn't work well enough, try some combination of #2 and #3 and see if that works. Then if it's still not good enough to be tolerable, we can start thinking of some more ideas.

For testing solution #3 we would need at least one volunteer ambassador who can run a series of tournaments. Set a timer for 8 hours each time, and then keep track of how far past the 8 hour mark each tournament goes, and adjust the time limit for phases until it is somewhere under 8 hours. The lower you can get the tournament length to the better, because that way you can have even bigger tournaments take place within 8 hours, not just the average sized ones.

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Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: DevilsVendetta on August 24, 2017, 09:41:46 PM
Adding time is not really a possibility at most conventions. Taking 4-5 hours just for the tournament is already a pretty big time commitment and I will admit that if matches went even longer, I might have to start taking myself out of them because when I'm at a convention, as much as I love Mage Wars and I do, there are a bunch of things I want to do that I already take time away from.

I just don't understand the problem with the rules as they are. KO win gets the most points, timed win gets about half as many points, timed loss gets half as many as that, and KO loss gets none. I would think the most fair scoring system would then be 8/4/2/1/0 with 2 points being the draw and 1 being the timed loss.

And if the problem is specifically Restore or anything similar...plan for it.

Nullify, Jinx, Seeking Dispel, Dispel, or just have it so you're more than 10 damage up on your opponent if you're worried about that card. I get that it might suck to lose that way, but it also sucks to lose to a 10 critical damage boulder when you have 5 armor on and have your opponent down to 2 health remaining and they are guaranteed to die during upkeep, not that I'm bitter or anything about a match I had tonight.

I just honestly don't even know what the issue is. I've been a part of 2 tournaments at MACE, 1 at ConCarolinas, 1 at HoshiCon, a few other random semi-big tournaments, and then a bunch of in-store mini tournaments and Timed Win/Timed Loss has never caused a major issue.

In an ideal world, board gaming conventions would last 2 weeks and we could have unlimited time to complete a tournament with untimed matches, but that's what OCTGN is for really. In person tournaments have a different strategy and you have to prepare for that.
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: Sailor Vulcan on August 24, 2017, 10:00:49 PM
Adding time is not really a possibility at most conventions. Taking 4-5 hours just for the tournament is already a pretty big time commitment and I will admit that if matches went even longer, I might have to start taking myself out of them because when I'm at a convention, as much as I love Mage Wars and I do, there are a bunch of things I want to do that I already take time away from.

I just don't understand the problem with the rules as they are. KO win gets the most points, timed win gets about half as many points, timed loss gets half as many as that, and KO loss gets none. I would think the most fair scoring system would then be 8/4/2/1/0 with 2 points being the draw and 1 being the timed loss.

And if the problem is specifically Restore or anything similar...plan for it.

Nullify, Jinx, Seeking Dispel, Dispel, or just have it so you're more than 10 damage up on your opponent if you're worried about that card. I get that it might suck to lose that way, but it also sucks to lose to a 10 critical damage boulder when you have 5 armor on and have your opponent down to 2 health remaining and they are guaranteed to die during upkeep, not that I'm bitter or anything about a match I had tonight.

I just honestly don't even know what the issue is. I've been a part of 2 tournaments at MACE, 1 at ConCarolinas, 1 at HoshiCon, a few other random semi-big tournaments, and then a bunch of in-store mini tournaments and Timed Win/Timed Loss has never caused a major issue.

In an ideal world, board gaming conventions would last 2 weeks and we could have unlimited time to complete a tournament with untimed matches, but that's what OCTGN is for really. In person tournaments have a different strategy and you have to prepare for that.
Im not sure what it is you don't understand. The current rules penalizes people for playing playtyles that would be perfectly viable if not for the time limit. This severely limits spellbook design space for comeptitive events and puts some mages at an unfair advantage or disadvantage on average. Mage Wars Arena simply is not a 75 min game on average. It usually takes more like 1.5 hours on average. And that's only on average. A natural game of Mage wars between experienced players using good spellbooks takes anywhere from 30 min to 3 hours, although the vast majority of natural games between experienced players are between 1 and 2 hours. A hard 75 min cutoff just doesn't work with that. Not everyone who has been complaining about this is inexperienced or unskilled at the game, so saying that "better players play faster" isn't enough to explain it.

If you still don't understand that then I have no idea what I can say that will make you understand, except that in MTG person1 says X is OP, and then person B says X is not OP because there is a card that you can use to counter it! Your argument here strongly resembles that one and is wrong for pretty much the same reasons.

The health of a metagame is not a binary value that turns on when a particular card has at least one counter and off when it has no counters.

This is especially true in mage wars because of the spell point system, as demonstrated by the problems we were having with the wizard and his tower before the errata. People could still counter the wizard, but only by over-investing spell points to deal with him specifically and leaving themselves vulnerable to other non-wizard strategies.

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Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: Zuberi on August 24, 2017, 10:18:43 PM
@Sailor Vulcan: I don't feel like we are talking about exactly the same things. My commentary was entirely on how to handle matches that run out of time. None of your proposed solutions address this at all.

@DevilsVendetta: By choosing a winner via the current tie breaker at time, it encourages play styles that wouldn't be seen in a normal game and has started to involve using cards in ways that they were not designed or balanced to be used in. Restore is the current poster child for this problem. It is a comparable life swing to Drain Soul. However, it is only 5 mana instead of 16. That's a big difference. The reason why it is so much cheaper is because it's supposed to be temporary, which isn't the case when it's used in this fashion. The fact that it can be cast in advance and you can reveal it when needed makes it even easier to abuse like this, since you don't have to anticipate when time will be called. Grizzly seems, to me, to be primarily concern with this use of cards against their intention and wanting to tweak the rules as slightly as possible to account for it. Others, however, see this as endemic of a bigger problem with the way tournaments are handled and have taken the opportunity to voice their concerns.

Chief among these concerns is coming from an entirely different camp, or school of thought, who think that timed matches shouldn't count as a win at all, but rather a draw or at best a partial win (which seems to be how you think they're currently handled). Currently, a win is a win. The points system is only used when two people have an equal number of wins. Otherwise a timed win is as good as a kill. If you have 3 kills and I have 4 timed victories, then I've won more matches than you and I advance. However if we both have 3 wins, then we look at the points and timed wins THEN count as less. Only then. Grizzly can correct me if I got any of this wrong.

Which is basically saying that their solution to the misuse of cards is to completely get rid of the tie breaker, or at least significantly devalue it, so that there is no reason for people to play for a timed victory, and thus won't use cards towards that end. You either kill your opponent within time or you're screwed. A valid approach, but a significant deviation from the current system.
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: DevilsVendetta on August 24, 2017, 10:31:21 PM
In all the tournaments I've played, I've never seen one player with a strategy to play for timed wins. Now when the time limit is approaching, they'll adjust some strategies but I've never ever seen anyone play with the idea that they will delay the entire match to win that way. If that was the case, I'd throw on a sunfire amulet in the first round and then just put 30 walls and steep hills in my book to block line of sight and stay in my corner.

And I'm not exactly sure of the way scoring works at a tournament if 4-0 with 4 timed wins is better than 3-1 with 3 KO wins and 1 KO loss, but if it is, maybe there's a compromise to be made there that the 2 best records and the 2 most points advance and if there's any overlaps, you add a quick match to get the right number of people for the semifinals and finals.

I'm not saying the rules are perfect and can not continue to be fine-tuned, I just don't think a massive overhaul needs to be done since in my experience the tournaments I've competed in have been amazingly run and judged and I've heard the same about tournaments I haven't competed in.
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: Sailor Vulcan on August 25, 2017, 04:23:01 AM
@Sailor Vulcan: I don't feel like we are talking about exactly the same things. My commentary was entirely on how to handle matches that run out of time. None of your proposed solutions address this at all.

@DevilsVendetta: By choosing a winner via the current tie breaker at time, it encourages play styles that wouldn't be seen in a normal game and has started to involve using cards in ways that they were not designed or balanced to be used in. Restore is the current poster child for this problem. It is a comparable life swing to Drain Soul. However, it is only 5 mana instead of 16. That's a big difference. The reason why it is so much cheaper is because it's supposed to be temporary, which isn't the case when it's used in this fashion. The fact that it can be cast in advance and you can reveal it when needed makes it even easier to abuse like this, since you don't have to anticipate when time will be called. Grizzly seems, to me, to be primarily concern with this use of cards against their intention and wanting to tweak the rules as slightly as possible to account for it. Others, however, see this as endemic of a bigger problem with the way tournaments are handled and have taken the opportunity to voice their concerns.

Chief among these concerns is coming from an entirely different camp, or school of thought, who think that timed matches shouldn't count as a win at all, but rather a draw or at best a partial win (which seems to be how you think they're currently handled). Currently, a win is a win. The points system is only used when two people have an equal number of wins. Otherwise a timed win is as good as a kill. If you have 3 kills and I have 4 timed victories, then I've won more matches than you and I advance. However if we both have 3 wins, then we look at the points and timed wins THEN count as less. Only then. Grizzly can correct me if I got any of this wrong.

Which is basically saying that their solution to the misuse of cards is to completely get rid of the tie breaker, or at least significantly devalue it, so that there is no reason for people to play for a timed victory, and thus won't use cards towards that end. You either kill your opponent within time or you're screwed. A valid approach, but a significant deviation from the current system.

So far I'm pretty sure we ARE talking about the same things. The solutions I proposed potentially could address that but would need to be tested to make sure they work. The idea is to PREVENT matches from going to time as often as they currently do if not just stopping that from happening altogether, without breaking the game or requiring more table space or event time. I'm not sure what wasn't clear about that.

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Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: Biblofilter on August 25, 2017, 05:13:31 AM
Try to answer this question:

How do you want to resolve a match that goes to time?

a) Keep the rules as they are
b) Switch to a scoring system of some kind
c) Roll the dice!
d) Something else

Some of us already talked about this. I want Mage Wars to be about killing the other Mages and did propose a scoring system (and have tried it) where an kills was worth more than a timed win. And worth a lot more than a small timed win.

For b) to work i think you have to give up on both the semi-final and the final. Else you have to come up with someway to determine a winner in the semifinals. That´s true for the finals as well, even if currently the final is "unlimmited time"


Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: RomeoXero on August 25, 2017, 11:32:23 AM
I honestly didn't know this was as big an issue as it appears to be. Tournaments need space and time, all that costs money. This isnt MtG or academy that play in one zone on one spot and can be played multiple times in an hour. Its a bit bigger than that in the most literal sense.

I did not see one game get stalled. Nor one mage sandbagging or loading up on restore, bull endurance, gator toughness, and sunfire amulets (though that sounds like the way to do it). In fact if that is your aim priestess would be the mage for you and i don't even think there was one at Gencon.

For what its worth i believe that a kill should count higher I  point value than a timed win and the way Griz is currently handling it is quite the elegant solution. If we see 90 percent Holy mages at the tourney next year well then we may have a problem but i think it worked out pretty well.
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: silverclawgrizzly on August 25, 2017, 11:51:06 AM
I'm reading this and there's a lot of good points on every side. So I'm a tell you what I'm thinking right now. I'm thinking I'll increase time limits at Gen Con by about 15 minutes while keeping the championship untimed.

I'll also continue to keep lines of communication open on this topic while diligently following the results of other big events around the world. I follow tournament results any way of course but I'll keep a special war for this topic as it relates.
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: Coshade on August 25, 2017, 01:15:59 PM
Just wanted to say that i think Zuberi summed up the entire thread really well. I look forward to seeing how different tournaments runners results are of how they try to tackle the problem.
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: Schwenkgott on August 25, 2017, 02:31:14 PM
I can recommend the system Thesaris explained. It is bulletproof!  8)
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: theasaris on August 26, 2017, 06:23:32 AM
Hello all,

we have had a lengthy discussion at the German Nationals as well, which led to the majority of players (~24) and judges involved come up with a new scoring system which has in the mean time already been tested at a few organized play tournaments in Germany.

A time limit of 90 minutes is in effect. After 90 minutes both players note their remaining life (current total life minus damage). Points are then scored as follows:

2 + x if the opposing mage is dead
1 + x if own mage has more life remaining
1 - x if opposing mage has more life remaining

x equals the difference in life remaining between both mages divided by 20 to a maximum of 1.

* If both mages are dead players score 1 point each.

Hello theasaris :). That system definitely looks interesting, and is similar to the way Star Wars Armada tournaments are scored. How has it worked out in your tests? Has everyone been pretty happy with it? I have very little experience applying that kind of system to MW.

So far there have been two smaller tournaments using this system (5 players and 8 players). While the vast majority of players was quite happy with it, there was also some criticism. I would like to point out some of the implications of this scoring system:

- A win by mage death is not always equal: Killing the opposing mage with zero damage taken scores 3 points, while a mage kill where the own mage has e.g. 10 life remaining scores 2.5 points.

- Close matches that could be decided by the next attack and end by mage death are much better represented.

- A loss by mage death can be more rewarding than a loss over time: The losing player can score up to 0.95 despite getting his mage killed, while surviving with a life difference of 20 or more to the winning mage scores 0 points.

- Close wins over time can score almost equal points to both players: If there is a difference of only 1 point in life remaining (whether both are at nearly full health or close to death), players score 1.05 and 0.95 points.

- After 4 rounds of Swiss pairings (regular tournament standard), a player with 3 wins by mage death and 1 loss by mage death can have a higher score (max 9.95 points) than a player with 4 wins over time (max 8 points).

- Instead of dealing the death blow a healing spell can be the better strategic choice. This brings with it a significant risk of forfeiting a sure win by mage death though, if the match is already close to timeout as the other player could use the time and flee or heal as well.

- An aggressive strategy that has the mage taking some damage (most melee strategies) is at higher risk of scoring fewer points than a strategy that has the mage stay in the back and let creatures and conjurations do the damage dealing.


Some of these implications can and have been pointed out as obvious disadvantages of the scoring system and have caused some debate already. Nevertheless, the majority of players involved so far believes that the trade-off with regards to the benefits is worth it.

I would greatly welcome other local groups to try out this scoring system too! The more data we can collect the better!
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: Arkdeniz on August 27, 2017, 08:00:23 PM
Intriguing discussion, this.

Another option for scoring seems to me to have been ignored.

Eliminating the enemy mage is still a straight out win, of course.

But don't measure a time-out victory by the difference in remaining life.

Instead, keep track over the game of how much actual damage has been scored against the opponent's mage from all sources. The winner would be the mage who has caused the most damage, irrespective of any healing or life gain.

I see three reasons why this might work:

1) It follows the ethos of win-by-elimination, and rewards those players who are endeavouring to kill the opponent.
2) It rewards the offensive tempo. Mages who have to step back and heal/restore/defend rather than attack are clearly on the back foot, and thus the opponent has the tempo advantage. In rugby, the sport I follow, there are many instances where the referee will award a free kick or other advantage "to the team going forward", that is, the side holding the tempo. I think this could be considered for board games/card games like MW.
3) It will not necessarily encourage crazy over-aggro or over-defensive builds, either. Defensive plays like aegis or armour are useful, in that they will reduce the damage made by the opponent in case of a tie, but without aggression and attack you will not win. 

That's my two cents worth. All it would take is a piece of paper and pencil to record damage caused overall. 
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: zot on August 27, 2017, 08:06:08 PM
this method was used at gencon2013. you have to rely on folks keeping accurate track of the dmg they deal. it turned out to be a bit of a pain/hassle in practice.
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: Arkdeniz on August 27, 2017, 08:18:42 PM
this method was used at gencon2013. you have to rely on folks keeping accurate track of the dmg they deal. it turned out to be a bit of a pain/hassle in practice.

But other than being a bit of a pain, did that tourney have balanced, well-fought matches? Notable benefits/penalties for certain types of mage? Overuse of specific cards?

This thread, and others, seem predicated on the basis that a holy mage with restore has an unfair advantage in a timed match that breaks ties by the amount of health left. I think a little work on the players' parts that eliminates the potential for such debates would be worth the effort.
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: zot on August 27, 2017, 09:16:30 PM
such strategies only have an impact if tied wins count as much as outright wins. and that is part of the discussion. from what i recall yes the matches were all fought to win back then. note, after that event, they did away with the tracking component.

Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: silverclawgrizzly on August 28, 2017, 08:38:41 AM
The issue with the damage tracking component is simple: Players can lie. In a tense match where I need to concentrate on what I'm doing I likely don't have time to spare keeping a critical eye on an enemies side sheet he's tracking his damage.

We tried it a few times locally and while nobody ever cheated, it was determined it was too much hassle.
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: DevilsVendetta on August 28, 2017, 12:01:59 PM
And it completely nerfs healing. If I have my opponent three away from death having done 30 damage and my opponent has me 20 away from death having done 40 damage, how would that be a fair loss to me?
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: Sailor Vulcan on August 28, 2017, 01:15:48 PM
@Sailor Vulcan: I don't feel like we are talking about exactly the same things. My commentary was entirely on how to handle matches that run out of time. None of your proposed solutions address this at all.

@DevilsVendetta: By choosing a winner via the current tie breaker at time, it encourages play styles that wouldn't be seen in a normal game and has started to involve using cards in ways that they were not designed or balanced to be used in. Restore is the current poster child for this problem. It is a comparable life swing to Drain Soul. However, it is only 5 mana instead of 16. That's a big difference. The reason why it is so much cheaper is because it's supposed to be temporary, which isn't the case when it's used in this fashion. The fact that it can be cast in advance and you can reveal it when needed makes it even easier to abuse like this, since you don't have to anticipate when time will be called. Grizzly seems, to me, to be primarily concern with this use of cards against their intention and wanting to tweak the rules as slightly as possible to account for it. Others, however, see this as endemic of a bigger problem with the way tournaments are handled and have taken the opportunity to voice their concerns.

Chief among these concerns is coming from an entirely different camp, or school of thought, who think that timed matches shouldn't count as a win at all, but rather a draw or at best a partial win (which seems to be how you think they're currently handled). Currently, a win is a win. The points system is only used when two people have an equal number of wins. Otherwise a timed win is as good as a kill. If you have 3 kills and I have 4 timed victories, then I've won more matches than you and I advance. However if we both have 3 wins, then we look at the points and timed wins THEN count as less. Only then. Grizzly can correct me if I got any of this wrong.

Which is basically saying that their solution to the misuse of cards is to completely get rid of the tie breaker, or at least significantly devalue it, so that there is no reason for people to play for a timed victory, and thus won't use cards towards that end. You either kill your opponent within time or you're screwed. A valid approach, but a significant deviation from the current system.

So far I'm pretty sure we ARE talking about the same things. The solutions I proposed potentially could address that but would need to be tested to make sure they work. The idea is to PREVENT matches from going to time as often as they currently do if not just stopping that from happening altogether, without breaking the game or requiring more table space or event time. I'm not sure what wasn't clear about that.

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No one is responding to any of the three specific potential solutions I posted earlier in the thread. Does anyone have any thoughts on them?

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Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: RomeoXero on August 28, 2017, 01:31:09 PM
 Well sailor, if we didnt convent on them its probably because we found them untenable. But if you want specific reasons here ya go.

1. Completely unacceptable. Limiting what equates to the US championships to 8 to 10 people, especially in as new a game as arena neither raises awareness of the game nor makes money for the con. Lose lose as far as the game, the con, and the players are concerned. This kind of treatment is reserved for invitationals and we dont have the meta for that yet. 

2. Equally handicaps slow books. So why change one problem for a different style of the same problem. A fast kill book still has the advantage In this match style and it arguably handicaps both players when one guy is playing aslowburn deck. One player is stuck at the table with the slow guy while the fast books are churning through opponents. You might lose without a chance at a high enough win count by getting hamstrung by a slow book.

I don't remember 3 hang on
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: RomeoXero on August 28, 2017, 01:33:34 PM
3. Timed phases is the same problem only now the pressure is on  the players to keep track of even more and not on the judges. Its the same issue just in a different box. 
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: silverclawgrizzly on August 28, 2017, 06:40:42 PM
I'll respond Sailor.

1. As Romeo said this is unfeasible. Trying to grow the crowd at these events, not restrict them.

2. I had an idea similar to this but for a casual thing you could do at a big con. For a tournament though it's be unsustainable. Main reason is most folks only have so much time for any one game at Gen Con and other huge events. They want to do other stuff too so I can't see punishing them for that.

3. Nope. Players need to focus on their match when it's go time, not helping me keep track of stats.
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: Zuberi on August 28, 2017, 09:08:34 PM
I will mention an idea I heard someone else give at one point that is similar to the timed phases. Use chess clocks. Take the allotted time for the game and divide it evenly between each player. For example, each player could have 37 min (giving a total time for the round of 74 min). You stop your clock whenever you're done with your tun. If a player runs out of time, they lose.

So basically instead of giving the win to whomever we think was ahead, or calling it a draw, we punish the person who actually went longer than time allowed. Given that time is the real enemy and issue at hand, this seems fair. However there are a couple of problems with it. First, it requires equipment, acquiring the chess clocks, which costs money and involves transportation and storage logistics. Second, people have to use the clocks, which they're probably not used to and could be a little distracting. Finally, and most importantly in my opinion, is figuring out how to handle the ready stage, when so much is done simultaneously.

The idea as it stood when previously discussed was to have the clock start on whomever has initiative for the ready stage and they pass time when they finish planning. Which I think could work but I'd want to test it before trying it at an event.
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: Zuberi on August 28, 2017, 09:29:25 PM
I don't really think that's the right way to go for GenCon. For the reasons mentioned. But it is another approach and might work for other events that have a time constraint.
Title: Re: Tournament Scoring
Post by: DaveW on October 02, 2017, 06:25:23 PM
The issue with the damage tracking component is simple: Players can lie.

We were playing with a lot of players who were just in it for fun... the guys I played back then sometimes just let one of the two players keep track. From what I saw and experienced, there wasn't any lying.

With prizes and such, I can see it possibly happening though.