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Author Topic: Tourniment Rules  (Read 6653 times)

Klaxas

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Tourniment Rules
« on: October 29, 2012, 11:48:28 AM »
since everyone has had a chance to digest the game a bit, i thought this would be a good time to  discuss tourniment rules and such.  i have a fairly major concern that i discussed with shadow at gen con, and wanted everyones thoughts.  and also i have a suggestion on tie breakers.

my concern is must reveal enchantments.  how do you police this in an official tourniment?  here are the options i see.

1) have a judge look at all hidden enchantments when there is a chance that one is a must reveal.  this would require a greator number of judges per event most likely, and may not be feasable.

2) ignore the must reveal requirement.  this would alter game balance considerably, but how much of an issue it is?  you could then stack up cards like nullify and jinx and only use them when needed.

not sure what else your options are.  any thoughts and ideas welcome.

as for tie breakers after time runs out, here is my idea.  others are welcome.

use a point system to determine tie breakers.  give points for different conditions that encourage different strategies.  for example.

1 point for most remaining health (difference between life and damage)
1 point for most controlled zones (encourages creature heavy)
1 point for most remaining zone exclusive conjurations (encourages destruction of conjurations)
1 point for most equipment (encourages equip heavy melee builds and dispells)

the list can be modified as new strategies are uncovered, this was just a starting point.  if just the life condition is used then the priestess has a huge advantage both in healing and life gain.  but with the point system and many other conditions for gaining points, she will have to do more than rely on her healing and stalling.
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Shad0w

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Re: Tourniment Rules
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2012, 12:34:17 PM »
These are still in the works and have been for a while. Do not know how far along the full tourney rules are. :unsure:

1) have a judge look at all hidden enchantments when there is a chance that one is a must reveal.  this would require a greater number of judges per event most likely, and may not be feasable.

At most events having a Judge at every table is not possible.

2) ignore the must reveal requirement.  this would alter game balance considerably, but how much of an issue it is?  you could then stack up cards like nullify and jinx and only use them when needed.

I have play tested this both ways and yes it does up the power level of those enchants but not to a point that they become abusive.

use a point system to determine tie breakers. give points for different conditions that encourage different strategies.

I like this but each tie break has to be easily verifiable. So things like points left in book are not an option. Because the would bog down the judging staff.
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Klaxas

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Re: Tourniment Rules
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2012, 12:41:00 PM »
which is why i thought a discussion at this point might be appropriate
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piousflea

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Re: Tourniment Rules
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2012, 02:35:19 PM »
For "Must Reveals" - in the rule book it says that if you fail to reveal a "Must Reveal" card at the right time, and you try to reveal it later, the card is destroyed without effect. This seems reasonably easy to enforce IMO.

For tie breakers, IMO the fairest measure would be "Total Damage Taken by Mage". Have some kind of counter next to the board that keeps score with any effects that either cause damage or decrease maximum Life of a Mage. This would discourage abusive healing strategies such as multiple Grey Angel sacrifice on the final round of a timed event.

Shad0w

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Re: Tourniment Rules
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2012, 05:40:45 PM »
Quote from: "piousflea" post=2759
For "Must Reveals" - in the rule book it says that if you fail to reveal a "Must Reveal" card at the right time, and you try to reveal it later, the card is destroyed without effect. This seems reasonably easy to enforce IMO.

For tie breakers, IMO the fairest measure would be "Total Damage Taken by Mage". Have some kind of counter next to the board that keeps score with any effects that either cause damage or decrease maximum Life of a Mage. This would discourage abusive healing strategies such as multiple Grey Angel sacrifice on the final round of a timed event.


How can you prove when a certain card was played unless both players agreed.

Check out this example. Player A put  enchant X, Reverse attack, then enchant y on a creature. At the current point in the match the creature has no damage currently on it. Player A flip Rev attack Player B calls the judge over to say he already attacked that creature before so the rev attack should not work. Player A claims clearly this creature had not been attacked because it has no damage on it. Player B says he rolled all 0s for damage before that is why it has no damage. Player A claims that it was on another creature and not the current creature in question. Who is correct?

For total damage taken how do you track that. Do you trust each player to keep a tally of the damage. It is hard enough to get people to bring the minimum items the are required to without adding on extras.

How about this your judging and you get called over to resolve a tie breaker and both players in question have already packed up the spell books and are looking over the total damage sheets and they have near perfect notes about each source of damage and where it came from. You find the issue was on turn 8 7th action it is listed as 6 points of non crit damage and the other player has 4 points of non crit damage listed. Who is correct?

[spoiler] The majority of the time as a judge you should be enforcing the rules. Not trying to guess who is lying to you.[/spoiler]
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Nihilistiskism

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Re: Tourniment Rules
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2012, 09:06:25 PM »
Having played a lot of games, I can say that, while Mage Wars takes a new slant on many things, and brings several things together in one game, it does not, mechanically, represent anything "new" to the world of competitive gaming. There is precedent existing for other games that can easily be adapted to Mage Wars.

In the example of "must reveal" enchantments I would apply the golden rule, which is that each player is his or her own opponent's keeper.

In the case of Must Reveal enchantments:

As a player, I am responsible for ensuring that my opponent is not cheating (intentional or unintentional...doesn't matter either way) in the matters of activation tokens, spell choices, mana use and management, life tracking, etc. The burden of responsibility is on me to keep an eye on things, and make sure the game stays kosher.

In the Game of Thrones LCG, published by Fantasy Flight, at major events there is one judge per long table. For reference, a "long table" hosts approximately 15-20 games, or 30-50 players. A parallel mechanic would be that "In Shadows" mechanic. In GoT, certain cards can be (must be, whatever) played "in shadows." It is an illegal play to put a card without the Shadows mechanic into Shadows as there are many cards that specifically interact with cards that are In Shadows. At any point a player can request the judge to confirm the cards his or her opponent has in shadows. Judge comes over, takes a quick glance, nods, and moves along.

Here's the thing: Even with only a single judge per long table, there is no lack of a judge when you need one. Judging competitive events, at a high level, should be done quickly, mercilessly, and professionally. The average question should not take more than 5 seconds of a judge's time. That allows the "un-average" question to take more. It allows judges to be more free with their positioning.

What is all this in aid of?

Well, simple. As my opponent's keeper, if I take issue with a play, or suspect deliberate cheating, I call over a judge. That judge probably isn't able to do anything at that moment. As has been discussed, the must-reveal enchantments will be hard to weigh on, because it's player A vs. player B, and neither is going to capitulate fault on his or her part. So what's a judge to do? Simple. The judge keeps an eye on things. It happens all the time. It's not an unreasonable expectation for a judge, alerted to a possible cheat, to pay special attention to that person's games. Active judging takes hold, and if the judge catches a cheat, then it's a DQ. No questions asked.

Alternatively:

Active Bystander judging is another option, or an option to be applied in tandem with the former. Active Bystander Judging is implemented by Wizards of the Coast in all Magic: the Gathering events. Players not actively participating in a game are encouraged, required even (as per the official tournament doctrines of WotC), to "speak up" in the event of anything amiss. Mob Mentality rules on this side of the coin. If 5 people see that there was a duplicated enchantment, and only 1 dissents from the opinion, it's pretty clear which way to rule.

Bottom line:

People are going to cheat in any game where they feel the reward outweighs the risk.
People are going to cheat in any game where they feel they can get away with doing so simply for the sake of winning.

That combination = PEOPLE CHEAT. You can't build rules around it. The more rules that stack up the more people are going to try and beat them. You can't account for everything. The simplest, most effective deterrents to cheating is to enforce strict penalties for the action, because the more strict the penalties, the greater the chance that the first category of cheaters (the ones who cheat because they feel reward > risk) will shrink.

I'll elaborate:

If you tell people that persons caught duping enchantments* will receive a warning, a second warning, and then a disqualification, well, you're basically inviting people to cheat until they are caught twice, and then stop cheating.

If, however, you tell people that persons caught duping enchantments* will be disqualified, and banned from future sanctioned events for a period of 4 months, then you  are encouraging them very strongly to not cheat in the first place.

* a judge rules that enchantments were duped

-nihil
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Shad0w

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Re: Tourniment Rules
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2012, 09:25:56 AM »
Quote from: "Nihilistiskism" post=2769
As a player, I am responsible for ensuring that my opponent is not cheating (intentional or unintentional...doesn't matter either way) in the matters of activation tokens, spell choices, mana use and management, life tracking, etc. The burden of responsibility is on me to keep an eye on things, and make sure the game stays kosher.

Here's the thing: Even with only a single judge per long table, there is no lack of a judge when you need one. Judging competitive events, at a high level, should be done quickly, mercilessly, and professionally. The average question should not take more than 5 seconds of a judge's time. That allows the "un-average" question to take more. It allows judges to be more free with their positioning.

As my opponent's keeper, if I take issue with a play, or suspect deliberate cheating, I call over a judge. That judge probably isn't able to do anything at that moment. As has been discussed, the must-reveal enchantments will be hard to weigh on, because it's player A vs. player B, and neither is going to capitulate fault on his or her part. So what's a judge to do? Simple. The judge keeps an eye on things. It happens all the time. It's not an unreasonable expectation for a judge, alerted to a possible cheat, to pay special attention to that person's games. Active judging takes hold, and if the judge catches a cheat, then it's a DQ. No questions asked.

Alternatively:

Active Bystander judging is another option, or an option to be applied in tandem with the former. Active Bystander Judging is implemented by Wizards of the Coast in all Magic: the Gathering events. Players not actively participating in a game are encouraged, required even (as per the official tournament doctrines of WotC), to "speak up" in the event of anything amiss. Mob Mentality rules on this side of the coin. If 5 people see that there was a duplicated enchantment, and only 1 dissents from the opinion, it's pretty clear which way to rule.

Bottom line:

People are going to cheat in any game where they feel the reward outweighs the risk.
People are going to cheat in any game where they feel they can get away with doing so simply for the sake of winning.

That combination = PEOPLE CHEAT. You can't build rules around it. The more rules that stack up the more people are going to try and beat them. You can't account for everything. The simplest, most effective deterrents to cheating is to enforce strict penalties for the action, because the more strict the penalties, the greater the chance that the first category of cheaters (the ones who cheat because they feel reward > risk) will shrink.

I'll elaborate:

If you tell people that persons caught duping enchantments* will receive a warning, a second warning, and then a disqualification, well, you're basically inviting people to cheat until they are caught twice, and then stop cheating.

If, however, you tell people that persons caught duping enchantments* will be disqualified, and banned from future sanctioned events for a period of 4 months, then you  are encouraging them very strongly to not cheat in the first place.

* a judge rules that enchantments were duped

-nihil


Nihil is correct on both active and passive judging. These are used all the time. No matter what you do people are going to find ways to cheat. The real goal behind tourney rules is so the the judge can take the time with the truly hard questions. While the majority of rulings can be made in almost no time at all. For those who do not know it could be as simple as asking players to read the cards.  To the more complex case like the ones talked about previously.

Yes both players should be responsible to maintain game state but the problem comes trying to make the rules as clear as possible and remove as many loopholes as you can to try to mitigate the amount of cheating that will take place. This is why when it comes to things like mandatory enchants I am in favor of removing the mandatory part rather than banning them from events.

MTG came up with the IPG along with several other tourney level documents. Most people do not know what the IPG is or have never heard of it. TheINFRACTION PROCEDURE GUIDE or IPG provides judges the appropriate penalties and procedures to handle offenses that occur during the course of a tournament held at Competitive or Professional Rules Enforcement Level (REL), as well as the underlying philosophy that guides their implementation. It exists to protect players from potential misconduct and to protect the integrity of the tournament itself. Rules violations usually require a penalty or they are unenforceable. Tournaments run at Regular REL should use the Judging at Regular REL document.

DEFINITION OF RULES ENFORCEMENT LEVEL (REL)
Rules Enforcement Level is a means to communicate to the players and judges what expectations they can have of the event in terms of rigidity of rules enforcement, technically correct play, and procedures used.

The REL of an event will increase based on the prizes awarded and the distance a player may be expected to travel. People who travel further are often more competitive and are likely to desire more precise adherence to rules and procedures. The REL of the event should reflect this.

Regular
Regular events are focused on fun and social aspects, not enforcement. Most tournaments are run at this level unless they offer sizeable prizes or invitations. Players are expected to know most of the game rules, may have heard of policy and what is “really bad”, but generally play in a fashion similar to the way he or she does at home. Players are still responsible for following the rules, but the focus is on education and sportsmanship over technically precise play. Handling infractions in these tournaments is covered by the Judging at Regular REL document.

These are often store level events and loosely enforced.

Competitive
Competitive events are usually those with significant cash prizes or invitations awarded to Professional events. Players are expected to know the game’s rules—but not to a technically detailed level—and be familiar with the policies and procedures, but unintentional errors are not punished severely. These are events that protect the interests of all players by providing event integrity while also recognizing that not all players are intimately familiar with Professional-level event structure, proper procedures, and rules.

This would be event such as State Championships, Regionals, Higher level store events basically anything above the weekly casual league.

Professional
Professional level events offer large cash awards, prestige, and other benefits that draw players from great distances. These events hold players to a higher standard of behavior and technically correct play than Competitive events.

Pro tours, National championship, World championships.

To give you an idea of how detailed they had to get This page contains the rules for playing in sanctioned WoTC tournaments. After years of trial and error WoTC has made a single place for judges and players to go and learn the full rules governing events.

I know it may seem like a lot to consider now but players like Nihil and I have seem the pitfalls of a bad tourney system and have also seen events run flawlessly. Before events are run beyond a store level I would like to have at least a rough draft of the tourney rules.
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SeanDeCoy

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Re: Tourniment Rules
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2012, 05:04:44 PM »
Mandatory Enchantments and Official Tournaments have been a big question for us over at MWHQ. There's a few different options that we see:

1. Let it go - in our years of playtesting, it never became an issue, maybe it still won't be. However, when we playtested the game, there was no incentive to cheat as we would simply be breaking a game we were helping to create. Clearly there are some people out there who cheat. So what do we do with them?
2. Let the Judges decide - players with a reputation for cheating will slowly not be welcome in gaming groups and retail stores, so in that regard, the problem works itself out at the lower levels. But what about in official tournaments or at tradeshows where a persons reputation won't stand out amongst all the other players?
3. We could enforce a kind of stack - where you have to keep your enchantments in the correct order, so that a player can always see what order they were played in.
4. We could have players use colored sleeves to indicate when an enchantment is mandatory or optional
5. We could make all mandatory enchantments now voluntary (which will throw off some of the balance and require some errata. I also personally don't like the flavor of this and remember fighting pretty hard against it).
6. Players could keep personal records of when enchantments were cast. It's not terribly difficult to do, but it is another annoying step to add in. However, some players may already be doing this with their Mana. It's not terribly hard to bump your status board and move a cube, it's usually accidental. But an opponent might not miss 1 extra mana every now and then, and that extra mana could be the difference between revealing a block at the right time, or having enough mana to pay upkeep to keep your creature in existence. How do we defend again that? Well, for the most part it's simply just cheating - but records could help here as well.

A large part of this will be determined by the kind of culture we create as Mage Wars players. Will we be super cutthroat and competitive? Will we be gracious and understanding? Will we largely turn out to be a casual play kind of game or will there be a hardcore tournament league? Time will tell on a lot of these issues, and I'm sure it won't just be black and white. We'll have players of all types playing in all sorts of ways. That's an amazing thing!

However, at the end of the day Mage Wars was created as a game by players for players and we want to make decisions that positively impact not only the gameplay and mechanics, but the experience players have playing it.

What do you guys think?

Dapuma

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Re: Tourniment Rules
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2012, 01:32:57 AM »
i have played a lot of games for a long time, and when competition is involved and there is a prize, people will cheat to win if they can, call it a competative advantage, gamesmanship, etc (i have seen it happen over and over at Gen Con)

I think it comes from competition, as well as immaturity (many gamers are younger and/or have less refined social skills), accountability (you generally do not have to see the people you play in a tournament again or will only see them once or twice a year) so who does it really hurt

I like the idea of the people not playing watching the players i.e. your friend is watching the other player to ensure fairplay and speaks up if something is out of wack, generally we have policed our own games - a judge at every table would be nice but probably not feasible

I like chess clocks on each table to ensure equal time...that ensures a winner as well, run out of time you lose, 30 min for each player on the clock or whatever time you want to use per round -  no tie breakers and eliminates stalling type of gamesmanship - realativly cheap investment

I also like harsh penaties, i.e. insta disqualification for "error" if the opponent wants to take it or they can let them off the hook, but put that in the hands of the opponent to decide what they want to accept, then if the opponent believes it is an honest mistake they can let it go, however if they do not, or just want the win they can take the dq

I am looking at it more from the competition side, so that slants all my views on the topic FYI

Shad0w

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Re: Tourniment Rules
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2012, 08:15:51 AM »
Quote from: "SeanDeCoy" post=2940
Mandatory Enchantments and Official Tournaments have been a big question for us over at MWHQ. There's a few different options that we see:

1. Let it go - in our years of playtesting, it never became an issue, maybe it still won't be. However, when we playtested the game, there was no incentive to cheat as we would simply be breaking a game we were helping to create. Clearly there are some people out there who cheat. So what do we do with them?

2. Let the Judges decide - players with a reputation for cheating will slowly not be welcome in gaming groups and retail stores, so in that regard, the problem works itself out at the lower levels. But what about in official tournaments or at tradeshows where a persons reputation won't stand out amongst all the other players?

3. We could enforce a kind of stack - where you have to keep your enchantments in the correct order, so that a player can always see what order they were played in.

4. We could have players use colored sleeves to indicate when an enchantment is mandatory or optional

5. We could make all mandatory enchantments now voluntary (which will throw off some of the balance and require some errata. I also personally don't like the flavor of this and remember fighting pretty hard against it).

6. Players could keep personal records of when enchantments were cast. It's not terribly difficult to do, but it is another annoying step to add in. However, some players may already be doing this with their Mana. It's not terribly hard to bump your status board and move a cube, it's usually accidental. But an opponent might not miss 1 extra mana every now and then, and that extra mana could be the difference between revealing a block at the right time, or having enough mana to pay upkeep to keep your creature in existence. How do we defend again that? Well, for the most part it's simply just cheating - but records could help here as well.

A large part of this will be determined by the kind of culture we create as Mage Wars players. Will we be super cutthroat and competitive? Will we be gracious and understanding? Will we largely turn out to be a casual play kind of game or will there be a hardcore tournament league? Time will tell on a lot of these issues, and I'm sure it won't just be black and white. We'll have players of all types playing in all sorts of ways. That's an amazing thing!

However, at the end of the day Mage Wars was created as a game by players for players and we want to make decisions that positively impact not only the gameplay and mechanics, but the experience players have playing it.

What do you guys think?


1. Let it go -


2. Let the Judges decide -


3. We could enforce a kind of stack -
This sound good in theory but you still have the issue with "missed" triggers also refereed to as  "forgetting". This is when a player does not respond to a required trigger because it slipped their mind that they had to do it. Often times unless you are taking full notes on the match if the player has played no other

4. Colored sleeves to indicate when an enchantment is mandatory or optional-

This is basically giving away too much info. It tells the other player this is a trap.   Another problem with this is you would have to make sleeves mandatory for tourney play. This is a problem if you have a person who buys the game at an event am wants to play in the tourney. You then have to tell them that they cant play unless they sleeve the card. This would then add another 8 to 12 dollars on top of the 60 to 80 they just spent.


5. We could make all mandatory enchantments now voluntary-

Yes it does make them more powerful


6. Players could keep personal records of when enchantments were cast-

When looking at this option our group quickly realized that you would have to find some way to make a list that the other player could verify but did not give them any extra info about the match. I do not see a way to make non public match info that can be verified by the other player.


I will finish this later it is kind of busy at work.
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Klaxas

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Re: Tourniment Rules
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2012, 04:48:17 PM »
this is a rough thing to deal with.  any other ideas are welcome.  as for the types of players, i myself am mostly a casual gamer and do not cheat although i do plan on going to tourniments i could continue this practice and still consider it a casual game.

my friend dan whom i play with is a strictly competitive gamer, comming from a MtG tourniment background.  he doesnt cheat but he is strongly in favor of making all enchantments non mandatory, where i prefer them like they are.

as a side note if all enchantments are non mandatory, for the same reason you could probibly stack them.  ie 4 nullifys etc.  even though not allowed by the rules.
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Re: Tourniment Rules
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2012, 06:02:15 PM »
Sean, I think the best solution is that if you forget to activate a mandatory enchantment, you can't activate it later.

So, for example, if you put a Nullify on your creature, and that creature is then hit with Chains of Agony, if you forget to Nullify the Chains, you'll have to leave your Nullify face-down for the rest of the game, or destroy it. This gives an incentive to the player with the reactive enchantments to react, and keeps the bluffing element of the game strong.

Shad0w

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Re: Tourniment Rules
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2012, 06:09:34 PM »
Quote from: "the_iron_troll" post=3005
Sean, I think the best solution is that if you forget to activate a mandatory enchantment, you can't activate it later.

So, for example, if you put a Nullify on your creature, and that creature is then hit with Chains of Agony, if you forget to Nullify the Chains, you'll have to leave your Nullify face-down for the rest of the game, or destroy it. This gives an incentive to the player with the reactive enchantments to react, and keeps the bluffing element of the game strong.


The problem is how do you prove when it was played if you had no spectators or judges watching the match.
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Hedge

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Re: Tourniment Rules
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2012, 12:20:45 AM »
I plan to videotape all my games.

paradox22

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Re: Tourniment Rules
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2012, 12:23:50 AM »
Quote from: "Hedge" post=3021
I plan to videotape all my games.


LoL.... Seriouosly?   :blink:
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