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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: Formal tournaments rss

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Andrew Johnson
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Those familar with formal tournaments or with mathamatical acumen may be able to help here.

Say I have organised a tournament for a game which plays with 4 players - must be 4 players. I will use Puerto Rico as an example. For the first round I would make sure there is a multiple of 4 players using qualifiers. Winner of each game goes through.

However, following ties and my insistence no player wins through with a bye I would imagine it would almost always be necessary to make up players for subesequent rounds with "best placed 2nd placed players". OK?

My question is this: How would I decide this criteria? Taking Puerto Rico as the example I could use total VPs - but would this not advantage those players who played in a "shipping game" at the disadvantage of those in a "building game"? Is it possible (mathematicians please) to somehow average or standardise the scores in some way to give a fair indication of success in that game?

Hope this makes sense.
 
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Roger BW
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I think you'd do better with a modified Swiss tournament system. Say you have 24 players - you organise six tables, and a succession of rounds, and shuffle the players around so that they don't play against each other more than once. (This is obviously easier for a two-player game - the system was invented for chess, see Wikipedia - but you can do it with more.)

Then at the end of your N rounds of play, each player has a number of wins, and the highest one is the overall winner. If you like you can take the highest four scorers for a final.

(Even if you could slide scores up and down, consider what happens when there's a weak player who lets everyone else in that game score higher than usual.)
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PJ Cunningham
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You could consider the winning score of each game to be "par", then measure relative scores of the 2nd place players. In the example below, player F was closer to the victor of their game than Player B was, even though their score was lower.

Game 1
Player A - scored 53
Player B - scored 49 (-4)
Player C - scored 47 (-6)
Player D - scored 40 (-13)

Game 2
Player E - scored 42
Player F - scored 40 (-2)
Player G - scored 31 (-11)
Player H - scored 29 (-13)
 
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Ron Dempsey
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A common method I've seen is to use the percentage of the winning score from the previous game as the value for determining who moves up. So someone who scored 95 points in a game where the winning score was 100 (95%) would be ahead of someone who scored 99 points in a game where the winner had 110 points (90%).
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Andrew Johnson
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Firedrake wrote:


(Even if you could slide scores up and down, consider what happens when there's a weak player who lets everyone else in that game score higher than usual.)


Interesting point.
 
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Michael McKibbin
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How many players are you expecting? How many round do you expect to take to complete the tournament? Will players want to play multiple games whether they win or lose? There are a number of tournament formats which you could use (pure knockout, Swiss, preliminary heats advancing to a knockout round, double elimination, etc.), but a lot of the time the best tournament format depends on the answers to the questions above.
 
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Andrew Johnson
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hgman3 wrote:
How many players are you expecting? How many round do you expect to take to complete the tournament? Will players want to play multiple games whether they win or lose? There are a number of tournament formats which you could use (pure knockout, Swiss, preliminary heats advancing to a knockout round, double elimination, etc.), but a lot of the time the best tournament format depends on the answers to the questions above.


The players will not want to play endless games. Maybe 3 over 3 rounds for around 20 to 30 players.
 
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Michael McKibbin
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infectedeggs wrote:
hgman3 wrote:
How many players are you expecting? How many round do you expect to take to complete the tournament? Will players want to play multiple games whether they win or lose? There are a number of tournament formats which you could use (pure knockout, Swiss, preliminary heats advancing to a knockout round, double elimination, etc.), but a lot of the time the best tournament format depends on the answers to the questions above.


The players will not want to play endless games. Maybe 3 over 3 rounds for around 20 to 30 players.


Optimally, for a pure knockout tournament, you would want 4^n people where n = the number of rounds desired. 4 players for a single round, 16 for a two round event, 64 for a three round event, etc. Since the number of people participating the tournament is unknown, this is probably not the best format to use. (However, if you had exactly 32 entrants, you could run a three round, singe-elimination tournament where the 16 winners and 2nd place finishers all advanced to a round of 16 semi-final).
Given the variable number of players, you could be seating anywhere from 5 to 8 +/- tables per round, each of which would yield one winner. This is an awkward number of winners to try to slot into a single-elimination semi-final and final round. Suppose you have 24 people show up. After one round, you will have 6 winners, 6 second place finishers, 6 third place finishers, and 6 fourth place finishers. If you are trying to seat 16 people into a 4 table semi final round, you'd have to resort to some method to sort out the third place finishers. Likewise, if you had a two table, 8 person semi-final (with 1st and 2nd advancing to the final), then you'd be faced with trying to rank the second place finishers (as per your original question).
My solution, were I organizing this tournament, would be to run two (or 3) preliminary rounds and assign points to each player based on how they place: 5 points for a win, 2 points for second, 1 points for third, and 0 points for last. (you can adjust the point values if, for example, you feel that a player with two second place finishes deserved to finish ahead of a player with a win and a 4th place, etc.) After the first game, shuffle up the seating assignments and play a second game. After two games, anyone who managed to win two games will have 10 points, someone who won one game and came in second in another will have 7 points, someone who had two second place finishes will have 4 points, etc. You can then take the top 4, 8, or 16 ranked players and place them into a semi-final round or directly into the finals, depending on your preference. This method can even accommodate a player who has a lousy first game and decides to drop out for the second round. It also gives players who lose the first round (and there will be 3 losers for every winner) a second chance at making the final rounds.
To return to the example of a 24 player tournament, after the first round, you would have 6 unique winners. After a second round, you would have anywhere between 6 and 12 unique winners (depending on how many double winners there were after the first round), who could easily be slotted into a semi-final round of 8 or 16.
 
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