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Subject: Race Games and Tournament Scoring rss

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Jimmy Okolica
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So, I'm organizing Ohio Heavy Con and I wanted to run a tournament for bragging rights. Nothing too serious, but a chance for someone to say they were the #1 Heavy Gamer.

There are a bunch of issues with trying to come up with a consolidated scoring for games of multiple lengths, player counts, etc. Most of these, I can figure out but one is bugging me.

First off, I'd like to award points for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. based on # of players in the game (e.g., a 6 player games scores the first 3 places, a 4 player game, only scores the first two). I'd also like to grant points based on how close 2nd and 3rd place are to 1st place (e.g., a 4 hour 18XX game where player 1 wins with $5416 and player 2 has $5408 should give both players approximately the same amount of points or players will spend way too much time checking each other's math -- no, most people won't, but there's always one).

My one problem is race games, e.g., Antiquity. I'm good with who won, but how do I know who's in second place, never mind how close they are to the leader. For most of the end-game conditions, I could do a percentage of how many dudes/buildings/food they still need, but how do I handle entrapping?

I'm actually less concerned about Antiquity per se and more interested if people have run or participated in tournaments like this, and if so, how they've seen second place scored.

Also, as a side note, what other heavy race games can people think of besides Antiquity?
 
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Michael Berg
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Scoring the margin of victory is largely irrelevant. Games vary tremendously in how close their end games tend to be - some games are designed to be tight all the way through, while others have runaway leaders. It also encourages players to be more conservative.

Even balancing for game length is problematic, as a game you expect to last two hours can last much longer with newer players, or much shorter with experienced ones.

Will players be able to play the same game multiple times? Will they have the chance to play all of the games available? Will they be able to cherry pick their opponents?
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Paul Smith
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No matter what you do, the scoring will have some controversy. Gamers will be gamers.

In race games, I prefer giving everyone who would "cross the finish line" next 'turn' - second place, then the 'turn' after that - third place, etc. If it's just for fun there shouldn't be a problem awarding the same ranking to multiple players.
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Jerry Schippa
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I've never taken part in any tournament for gaming...so take my advice with a grain of salt.

But this reminds me of F1 and Indycar.

Id suggest this.

1. Come up with a set scoring system. Example
Winner - 10 points / game-hr
Second - 7 points / game-hr
Third - 3 points / game-hr
The remaining players score no points

2. Take your games and come up with a sensible length or size of game. For instance if BGG or your personal experience tells you game A takes 60-90 minutes, choose to either favor the high or low end (but be consistant for all the games).

Game A: 60-90 minutes --- 1 hr = 10/7/3
Game B: 90-120 minutes --- 1.5 hr = 15/10.5/4.5
Game C: 120-210 minutes --- 2 hr = 15/10.5/4.5

For games which playing time can vary greatly, again, choose a reasonable value. Say 120 - 360 min, choose 180 minutes (30/21/12).

Awarding points for a narrow loss doesnt do anything in my opinion. And trying to base points off a real life time is too much work and can throw off any balance in your scoring system.

Sounds fun, good luck
 
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J C Lawrence
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Butterfly0038 wrote:
So, I'm organizing Ohio Heavy Con and I wanted to run a tournament for bragging rights. Nothing too serious, but a chance for someone to say they were the #1 Heavy Gamer.
I suggest also allowing players to declare that a given game will not be counted towards the tourney, whatever the results are.
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Russ Williams
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I'm another who is very leery of using score differences; I'd prefer just using ranks.

For handling games with various numbers of a players, a nice simple clean system (which my old group used for years) is:

You earn (# players you finished ahead of) minus (# players you finished behind).

This also handles ties.

E.g. in a 4-player game with no ties, the winner gets 3 points, 2nd place gets 1, 3rd place gets -1, 4th place gets -3.

If there was a tie for first place, then the players get 2, 2, -1, -3.

Someone who beat everyone in a 10-player game earns 9 points.
Etc.

A nice property is that the points awarded to all participants for a game (regardless of number of players) sum to 0.
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Michael Berg
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russ wrote:

A nice property is that the points awarded to all participants for a game (regardless of number of players) sum to 0.
I like that a lot, it certainly handles having different play counts among players. If you, say, double the scores for games that have a minimum recommended playing time over two hours and half the scores for games that take less than an hour, you're set.
 
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Russ Williams
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CasualSax wrote:
russ wrote:

A nice property is that the points awarded to all participants for a game (regardless of number of players) sum to 0.
I like that a lot, it certainly handles having different play counts among players. If you, say, double the scores for games that have a minimum recommended playing time over two hours and half the scores for games that take less than an hour, you're set.
If you want to weight for playing time, why make it that choppily stair-step? You can just multiply by the actual (or published, as you wish) playing time directly.
 
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Jimmy Okolica
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clearclaw wrote:
Butterfly0038 wrote:
So, I'm organizing Ohio Heavy Con and I wanted to run a tournament for bragging rights. Nothing too serious, but a chance for someone to say they were the #1 Heavy Gamer.
I suggest also allowing players to declare that a given game will not be counted towards the tourney, whatever the results are.
Definitely. That's implicitly the case already. All they need to do is not report the results. However, that needs to be decided before the game starts
 
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Jimmy Okolica
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russ wrote:
CasualSax wrote:
russ wrote:

A nice property is that the points awarded to all participants for a game (regardless of number of players) sum to 0.
I like that a lot, it certainly handles having different play counts among players. If you, say, double the scores for games that have a minimum recommended playing time over two hours and half the scores for games that take less than an hour, you're set.
If you want to weight for playing time, why make it that choppily stair-step? You can just multiply by the actual (or published, as you wish) playing time directly.
Alright, Russ. Two good ideas. Now for the third... how do you handle race games (e.g., Antiquity)? First is easy. How do you figure out the placement for the rest? or do these games just need to be first only and players know that going in (which will still discourage people from playing them)?
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Russ Williams
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Butterfly0038 wrote:
Alright, Russ. Two good ideas. Now for the third... how do you handle race games (e.g., Antiquity)? First is easy. How do you figure out the placement for the rest? or do these games just need to be first only and players know that going in (which will still discourage people from playing them)?
If the game rules don't explicitly define later ranks (e.g. some games say "remaining players continue playing to see who comes in 2nd, 3rd, etc") then I would be tempted to say the game simply ends with a winner and N-1 tied losers. But you could easily leave this to the players: at the start of the game, they can agree to continue play to see who crosses 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. You as tournament director could say "All need to agree in advance for that to happen", or "A majority need to agree in advance", for example.

(BTW trying to end the game after one player reaches the finish and then decide based on the current game state who is 2nd, 3rd, etc seems problematic to me, e.g. ambiguous argument-causing stuff like "Bob is closer to finish than Charles, but Charles is going faster and still has more fuel than Bob". But simply playing it out - like a real-life race - and seeing who literally reaches the finish 2nd is pretty unambiguous.)
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Michael Berg
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russ wrote:
CasualSax wrote:
russ wrote:

A nice property is that the points awarded to all participants for a game (regardless of number of players) sum to 0.
I like that a lot, it certainly handles having different play counts among players. If you, say, double the scores for games that have a minimum recommended playing time over two hours and half the scores for games that take less than an hour, you're set.
If you want to weight for playing time, why make it that choppily stair-step? You can just multiply by the actual (or published, as you wish) playing time directly.
The stair step is to keep the math easy, both for the contestants and the scorekeeper. When you start getting into 45/60*(3-1) + 65/60*(1-4) mistakes are made. I don't think that level of accuracy is needed.
 
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Russ Williams
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CasualSax wrote:
The stair step is to keep the math easy, both for the contestants and the scorekeeper. When you start getting into 45/60*(3-1) + 65/60*(1-4) mistakes are made. I don't think that level of accuracy is needed.
I suppose some software will be used for all this anyway, e.g. a simple spreadsheet!
 
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Michael Berg
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russ wrote:
CasualSax wrote:
The stair step is to keep the math easy, both for the contestants and the scorekeeper. When you start getting into 45/60*(3-1) + 65/60*(1-4) mistakes are made. I don't think that level of accuracy is needed.
I suppose some software will be used for all this anyway, e.g. a simple spreadsheet!
Yep! It definitely isn't the end of the world sort of deal. It is nice from a usability perspective for a player to be able to say, "If I win first in this game I'll gain 2.5 points." More down to the preference of the organizer than anything.
 
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