Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
18 Posts

Android: Netrunner» Forums » General

Subject: Seeking advice on planning and holding a tournament rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Isaac W
United States
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
And yet, I still bother.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have gotten into my mind lately to hold a Netrunner tournament. Unfortunately, I have never undertaken such an endeavor. So I come here to the combined wisdom of these forums to ask for some general advice. Prize support should not be an issue, but I am asking for advice on actually planning and holding a successful tournament.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
El-ad David Amir
United States
New York
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd love to help but require more details. What exactly do you need to know? What are the main challenges/obstacles you foresee, or issues you might need to tackle?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bobby Picker
United States
Edwardsville
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Get the NRTM (Tournament Manager)for Apple IPhone or IPAD. It is the best program for tracking rounds and scores. Easy to use and setup. Just make it a regular scheduled event, even once a month works great to start.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Wood
United States
Grapevine
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Without knowing what your concerns are, one really cool thing a local store did here is they have a TV monitor that is mounted on the wall that they put a timer on so that you could easily look up to see how much time was left in the round.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Isaac W
United States
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
And yet, I still bother.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
IirionClaus wrote:
I'd love to help but require more details. What exactly do you need to know? What are the main challenges/obstacles you foresee, or issues you might need to tackle?


A big issue is the relative lack of players/geograhic dispersion thereof. Not sure how help could be found for this particular area, though, save for scouring the internet for Meetup/Facebook groups.

The main questions I have are things like:

Quote:
Are there any pitfalls or easily overlooked areas that I should look into?


For instance, a nearby Store Championship recently had the issue of cancellations causing there to be no one present who actually knew the tournament rules. I heard they simply decided to "wing it."

Quote:
Is there a software program that works well to track the tournament results?


I am aware of an iOS that has received great reviews in this regard, but I am unfortunately restricted to Android and a Windows laptop. I have found one program that was in Polish(translatable into English) when I opened it from
Selverin
Poland
flag msg tools
as well as an Excel spreadsheet from
Tobin Lopes
United States
Thornton
Dark Side of the Moon
flag msg tools
Serving the Emperor since 1971
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
.

Quote:
What sort of structure works for a given number of players?


I wouldn't want to cut to the top 4 if only 6 players attend, but if more do, for how many players would it be beneficial to cut to top tables? Or should I just stick with Swiss rounds?


Those are the questions on my mind right now. Perhaps mor will come up in the future.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Isaac W
United States
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
And yet, I still bother.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Vandal2002 wrote:
Get the NRTM (Tournament Manager)for Apple IPhone or IPAD. It is the best program for tracking rounds and scores.


You posted as I was typing my last response. I unfortunately have no access to an iOS device, and I would hate to borrow one for the tournament and not have ant practice with the program. I feel I should stick with the platforms I have easy access to.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Justin Dugger

Corvallis
Oregon
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I ran a tournament back in January. A few lessons:

1. Demographics matter. You need to be recruiting players, making new friends, etc. Because reality is that only a fraction of the player base will make it out on any given day.

2. Automate as much as possible; you seriously don't want to be fucking around with a spreadsheet if you're also going to be playing. Especially given how tie-prone the tournament rules are at the moment, it's a serious hassle for small tournaments.

3. Prepare for a 3.5-4 hour time investment minimum day of. Clearly demarcate times.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tobin Lopes
United States
Thornton
Dark Side of the Moon
flag msg tools
Serving the Emperor since 1971
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've run regular tournaments and I've some chances to observe rookie TOs.

-Use tourney software - NRTM, my spreadsheet, and the polish .Net program seem to be the most popular. What ever you get, get familiar with it BEFORE your tourney. Make up names, put in results, get used to it because you don't want to have to learn so much during the tourney. If you don't automate the Swiss pairing rules can get very difficult to manage VERY fast.

-Use those player sheets FFG has (I also included a version for printing in my spreadsheet. They work well during the logistics of calling out matches, randomizing players, etc.

-If you use my sheet you need to randomize players for the first round the old-fashioned way - using a 20-sided die. Roll, put number on the sheet, repeat. THEN put sheets in order from lowest-highest (or vice versa). Then enter the pairings for the first round.

-Enter the results as quickly as they come in. If you see people are playing their second game, ask the results of the first and enter them. This won't work for 20+ person tourneys as well but let's hope you have that problem soon. By putting the stuff in immediately (not waiting until you get "official" sheets you are able to prep the next round much faster. There are usually 10 min between rounds when I do this. I've been to one where the TO didn't do this and it was almost 30 min between rounds!!

-Breathe. The best way to learn how to do something is to practice, practice, practice DOING it. The ANR community is a good one and they'll understand that it's your first time and they shouldn't be hard on you. That doesn't mean you get to be a complete dunderhead. whistle If they see you prepared and are trying your best things'll be fine. Anyone who doesn't understand is an a$$hat.

Hope that helps.

-tpl

-
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
El-ad David Amir
United States
New York
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
isaacw2008 wrote:
A big issue is the relative lack of players/geograhic dispersion thereof. Not sure how help could be found for this particular area, though, save for scouring the internet for Meetup/Facebook groups.

There is a lot of work involved in starting and maintaining an active player base. I got it relatively easy, since I'm in New York, and even here I get stressed when numbers fluctuate (as they are bound to). Here are some ideas:

1) Organize a regular meetup. Once a week, same time, same place, either a cafe or a board game store. Advertise wherever you can: meetup, BGG forums, FFG forums, Facebook, hang fliers in board gaming stores in the area, roleplaying venues, etc. Make sure that you're ther, and get a couple of friends to join you to beef up the appearance.

2) Even after a couple of meetups, continue advertising. Never stop. Ask attendees to tell their friends to come. Go to local board gaming meetups and tell people about Netrunner. Get business cards with the meetup info or give fliers. Whenever you meet a new player make sure to tell him about the meetup.

isaacw2008 wrote:
For instance, a nearby Store Championship recently had the issue of cancellations causing there to be no one present who actually knew the tournament rules. I heard they simply decided to "wing it."

If you're the organizer you have to know your stuff. Read the tournament rules and the latest FAQs back-to-back. Follow the rules forum here. Play the game and make sure you answer any rule questions you encounter.

Staying organized is key. Start on time. Make sure matches start and end on time. Announce the structure of the tournament in advance (how many rounds, when is the lunch break, etc.).

I would stick to Swiss for your first tournament. Just have 3-4 rounds, irregardless of the number of attendees.

isaacw2008 wrote:
I am aware of an iOS that has received great reviews in this regard, but I am unfortunately restricted to Android and a Windows laptop.

You do not need a tournament software to run a small event. All you need is a piece of paper for every player. They write down their matches on it, at the end of every round you sort them by score and do the pairings. This method easily works for up to 20-30 players, and for the first couple of tournaments it's easier than using a computer.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
I've never personally hosted a tournament, but a buddy used to run Magic tournies back in the day, and despite how little I know about Magic, I lent a hand in helping him set things up. I guess this is what I can offer.

1) Pick a tournament structure and stick to it. Most Netrunner tournies seem to use the Swiss style set rounds system; I find this more fun than single/double elimination since all players get to play an equal number of rounds, save for the top eight/four. No matter how well/poorly they do, everyone is playing more Netrunner!

2) Understand the rules of that tourney structure so you can answer any questions that come up about it.

3) Understand the game rules or hire/recruit a TO who does!

4) Have a good way of tracking scores/wins/losses. Typically everyone just gets a sheet to fill out and they turn them in after the round is done.

5) Make sure your facilities will accommodate a flexible amount of people. You need gaming tables, chairs, standing room, etc. You don't want it boiling hot or freezing cold, and make sure everyone has access to bathrooms.

6) Advertise! You don't want 3 people showing up to your tourney. Use facebook, CL, meetup, your FLGS, whatever. Get the word out there.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ravlin Bay
msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Biggest peeve as someone who travels for a LOT of tournaments.

START ON TIME, or at least close to it. When a tournament starts 45 minutes or more late thats just a problem. If there are extenuating circumstances I get it, but with no word to the players I get frustrated.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gregory Pettigrew
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Play only if it causes there to be an even number of players. I know it kinda sucks to go through all the work of organizing things just to sit out and watch people play, but if someone has to sit out, it might as well be the person who has work to do, and maybe someone will show up late and you can play against them first round.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bryan Blumklotz
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If this is a one off, it's going to be difficult to build something up. If this is going to become a regular thing here are some things that I have done to build up Netrunner in my area.

1) Communication/Social Media. It sounds like there isn't a resource for your area. You have two choices, find one that is within striking distance of your area and coat tail off it or create your own and start getting the word out. If you want to see the site I run, check out:
PDX Netrunner (Facebook)
Having a central resource will help you keep in touch with potential players and if the group reaches critical mass eventually folks will start to host their own stuff.

2) As TO you have three basic jobs. Judge, Scorekeeper, and Timekeeper. If you are it, you cannot play. If you have a second judge you can play and run the tourney. I cannot stress the importance of keeping players informed of time remaining. A visible countdown clock is ideal, but verbal interval warnings will do in a pinch.

3) If a majority of the players are brand new to tournaments consider adding the optional 5 to 10 minutes to the round clock. If you have only a few players its not going to kill you to run 70 - 75 min rounds. Once you get things dialed in run them at the standard 65 min. Let your players know they are going to be under pressure to complete 2 rounds.

4) Print your player trackers, blank deck list sheets, and any other materials you need the day before. Don't print them day of or on demand. The gods of variance will kill your printer (it has happened to me).

5) As it has been stated before, whatever you use to track rounds, play with it in advance to understand how it works and the quirks that each bring to the party. Tobin's spread sheet is a good option for PC. The last thing you want to to hit the learning curve while running your first tourney (like I did), you will be nervous enough.

6) Work out in advance what will happen with tourney entry fees once the cost of the prize support and any cut for the store space in advance. My store gives the balance back in Gift Certificates. This adds to the prize support and gives back to the store in sales.

Example: Season Kits are $20 USD (at the writing of this post, it can be more for locals outside the United States), store takes $20 use fee (space, ordering, employee time), that means you break even at 8 players with a $5 entry fee. Any number of players after that you can start kicking back store gift certificates as prize support. This will encourage folks to patronize the store, a win/win.

7) I have a thin 3 ring binder with the rules, the current FAQ, the tourney rules, organized play guide, and multiple copies of the Timing Charts for reference. Read and grock the rules.

8) Write down your pre-tourney announcements in advance. This will keep you focused and on point.

9) Relax and had fun.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
El-ad David Amir
United States
New York
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
etherial wrote:
Play only if it causes there to be an even number of players. I know it kinda sucks to go through all the work of organizing things just to sit out and watch people play, but if someone has to sit out, it might as well be the person who has work to do, and maybe someone will show up late and you can play against them first round.

I actually disagree with this. In the first few Manhattan tournament I sat out if we otherwise had an even number of players, which happened about half the time (surprisingly!). It just wasn't fun. Players are generally content to get the occasional bye (especially when it means an auto-win), so you should not sit out and get grumpy all the time.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Isaac W
United States
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
And yet, I still bother.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
IirionClaus wrote:
etherial wrote:
Play only if it causes there to be an even number of players. I know it kinda sucks to go through all the work of organizing things just to sit out and watch people play, but if someone has to sit out, it might as well be the person who has work to do, and maybe someone will show up late and you can play against them first round.

I actually disagree with this. In the first few Manhattan tournament I sat out if we otherwise had an even number of players, which happened about half the time (surprisingly!). It just wasn't fun. Players are generally content to get the occasional bye (especially when it means an auto-win), so you should not sit out and get grumpy all the time.


I had actually planned, if there happened to be an odd number of players, to sit out myself in the random selection of the first round, then follow the tournament rules for the remaining rounds.

I had a pool of "bye prizes" in mind to be selected by the bye player in the second round and forward, both to keep any "I am missing a game/sitting around for an hour" grumpiness to a minimum.

Also, since the bye player will by definition be on the bottom of the bracket, it gives him a chance to select a prize that may be unavailable to him at the end of the tournament proper.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aaron Smith
United States
Kalamazoo
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
isaacw2008 wrote:


Quote:
Is there a software program that works well to track the tournament results?


I am aware of an iOS that has received great reviews in this regard, but I am unfortunately restricted to Android and a Windows laptop. I have found one program that was in Polish(translatable into English) when I opened it

I've used that ANR Tournament software to run the two local tournaments where I play. It's excellent. You can switch the language from Polish to English in the options. If that doesn't work, it's because you unpacked the .RAR file incorrectly. When you unpack it, you need to make sure it creates the proper sub-directories to hold the language files. However, I see that the most recent version of the software comes in a much simpler to extract .ZIP file.

Quote:
What sort of structure works for a given number of players?

I wouldn't want to cut to the top 4 if only 6 players attend, but if more do, for how many players would it be beneficial to cut to top tables? Or should I just stick with Swiss rounds?


I believe the general guidelines are to cut to a top 4 if you have 14 or more players. In the tournaments we've had locally, we've had, at most, 10 participants so we've just done a series of Swiss rounds and it was fine.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anthony Martins
United States
Eugene
OR
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The first time you run a tournament, don't play; even if that requires making a bye. You'll be nervous, and putting all your mental energy towards the one task is really a better idea.

After the first time, I think it's better to play when there is an odd number of players and sit out when there is an even number. This avoids creating byes.

Announce the pairings and results between each round, reading off the data you entered. This is fun; everyone gets to hear how everyone else did. Also, if you messed up in your data entry, or if the players messed up in their record-keeping, the players have a chance to say, "No wait... that didn't happen!"
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Kincaid
United States
Toms River
New Jersey
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
I've run my fair share of tournaments now (including a store championship). I've got a few pieces of advice for you.

1. Be punctual. I cannot stress that enough. Make sure you start on time. A few minutes after the scheduled start time is fine , but no more than 10 minutes after the scheduled start time. Plenty of tournaments fall flat because they started late , and players don't want to hang around that much later than they were planning to. Especially if they have work tomorrow or something.

2. Don't wait until the end of the 65 minutes to start the next round if everyone is finished with their matches. I've seen some TOs wait until the end of the time limit , eventhough everyone was already done. It doesn't make for a punctual tournament. If everyone finished in 30 minutes , then start the next round. Shaving off operational time is actually a plus. It gives players time to just hang out after the tournament , schmooze and make new friends , further growing the netrunner meta in the long run.

3. Advertise at least two weeks in advance. Give players notice so they can request off from work if they want to go. It also gives time for the tournament to be spread by word of mouth if players don't use reddit/bgg frequently.

4. Get to know the players in your tournament. Schmooze and have fun with them. Be a fun guy. It'll bring people back to your tournaments. Not every netrunner player wants to be surrounded by alpha gamers. Don't be that guy.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.