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Subject: An oddball Aeronauts Tournament: Tips&Tricks rss

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Vincent
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Arnhem
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I'm planning on organizing an oddball Aeronauts tournament at my FLGS. I have eight PnP decks to run this for sixteen people. With this post I'm hoping for three things:
1. Organize my thoughts on how to plan this event and get feedback from others.
2. Ask for ideas, experiences and everything else that would help me (and others) organizing a(n oddball Aeronauts) tournament.
3. Post my experiences after the event, to provide a lessons learned for both myself and hopefully others.

I have played the game and I'm hoping to play a lot more before the tournament to thoroughly understand not just the rules, but the game itself. But with the PnP out there, there are plenty of people who have this knowledge already. The same goes for organizing tournaments, I would love feedback from people with experience (and even those without).

The biggest decision I think is what kind of tournament format should I use. I have been contemplating both the Swiss format and the double-knockout.
Swiss (players are randomly assigned opponents, each following round assigments are based on their previous results)
Pro
- Only four rounds
- Results can be win, lose or draw
- Everone plays four rounds, there is no elimination
Con
- You have to play four rounds, you cannot really drop out if you don't like the game (most people won't have any experience with oddball Aeronauts)
- Round assignments can be complicated. I know there are tools for this, but I haven't used any of them.

Double-knockout
Pro
- Easy setup, easy execution. Players follow their brackets. Easy to do on paper.
- Players that loose twice are out of the game. Some people might actually prefer that, than keep on playing.

Con
- You need five rounds
- There are no draws, only winners and losers.

Because the tournament will be played on gamenight, I'm not really worried about player elimination, there will be plenty of alternatives. And because oddball Aeronauts is a light tactical game, I don't want the tournament to go for hours and hours. It has to be fun! So I have decided (for now) to go for the double-knockout system. Players that win will keep on playing (and game length will go down the more games they play) and it will be easier for me as organizer.

A match between two players will consist of two games. This nullifies the idea of one faction being stronger. One player decides the faction, the other decides starting player. Switch for the second game and play again.

This leaves me with one problem: the draw.
My plan is for players to write down the number of cards the winner has left. The player with the most cards after two games wins. The only problem is that I have no idea how often this can still result in a draw. And should they play a third game (which takes time) or is there another decider?

Something else I have to remember is that most players will never have played the game. This means I will have to create some kind of quicksheet with rules and open with a short intro about the game. Hopefully this will help speed up the games. Unfortunately this also means I probably won't be able to participate in the event itself (unless there's only a couple of us ).

We have approximately three hours for the whole tournament. With twenty minutes per game, two games per round and five rounds it will be close. I'm hoping later rounds will become shorter. I would love some feedback about playing time.

TL DR
I'm organizing an oddball Aeronauts and I'm asking for tips and tricks.
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Nigel Pyne
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I think you're breaking new ground with this Vincent. The first oddball Aeronauts tournament. I'll definitely be watching with interest.

I think your choice of format is right. If you get a regular group then the Swiss format is probably better.

Using the number of cards remaining as a tie breaker is good and should work out 90% of the time. There is a possibility that even this could be tied. As you suggested playing a 3rd game would take too long. Maybe a 'sudden death' match - shuffle your decks and first player to win 1 or 2 rounds wins?

Nigel
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Vincent
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the_vinman wrote:
3. Post my experiences after the event, to provide a lessons learned for both myself and hopefully others.

Last week I organized the first oddball Aeronauts tournament. There were sixteen people and we had a lot of fun. I just want to write down a lessons learned for myself for next time and for others.

1. Be prepared
I was well prepared: I had quicksheets printed, I had a double knockout bracket. I picked a location with plenty of space. The one thing I underestimated was explaining the game to sixteen people. I played the game several times and I have a good grasp of the game. But explaining it to one person is different then explaining it to sixteen. I should have done a bit more prep regarding the explanation.

2. Try to get enough people to join
A tournament with four people is not the same as a tournament with sixteen (or thirtytwo). I had invited some people so I knew I wouldn't be alone. I also knew there would be people hanging around because it was a regular gamenight. In the end it was relatively easy to get people to join in and at sixteen I had to stop recruiting.

3. The first game always takes a long time
My original idea was to play two games per round. But remembering a couple of practice games with different people I thought, maybe one practice game and then only one game per round. On the actual evening I decided to just start playing the tournament. Still, the first couple of rounds took quite some time.

4. Be available for assistance when it's a new game
In the beginning I was just running around answering questions, correcting mistakes and giving general tips. There was no way for me to even think about participating in the tournament.

5. Know the game
I made sure I played the game a couple of times. I also read all the questions on the forum and made sure I got answers to my own questions. I had read the rulebook multiple times and I was able to give everyone the answers they needed.

6. Have fun
Make sure it's something you like to do. It took quite some time to prepare and I had my hands full during the tournament, but I enjoyed it immensely. I made sure I stopped at every table for a quick chat, to get to know the players. Made sure I was available when they needed help. I was having fun, making sure others were having fun.

At the end of the night everybody had a really good time. People really enjoyed the game (and the tournament). It's a great way for people to mingle, to play outside of their usual group. Players told me they enjoyed it and I know I certainly did.

I just want to thank Nigel again for donating the demo games and giving me the opportunity to organize this event.

ps. We did have one houserule. With a double knockoustsystem, there is no possibility of a draw. It did happen in two of our games and I decided that the winner of the last battle, was the winner of the game. This worked well for us.
 
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