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Subject: Ten Thoughts on this years WBC rss

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Craig Yope
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Yoper wrote:
The only scheduling issue I would bring up is that you can't start a six hour game at 8 pm.


Much better than 8 am. meeple


No, it's not.
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J. R. Tracy
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KingPut wrote:


1. Open gaming Hotness= T. Mars > Time of Crisis > T&T (maybe the length or total hours played vs. games played) > Great Western Trail (Euro) > Various Coin games. Code names is still very popular because it can take so many people. Of the hot games I played T&T and ToC and GWT no Mars for me.


Agreed - TM and ToC were everywhere.

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2. I really want to Angola face to face one of these days. If you ever need a 4th I will probably drop everything to play.


Let's pencil it in for next year; Angola was one of the highlights for me last week.

 
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Kevin Wojtaszczyk
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Yoper wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
Yoper wrote:
The only scheduling issue I would bring up is that you can't start a six hour game at 8 pm.


Much better than 8 am. meeple


No, it's not.


If all the games go 5 or 6 hours, it would keep many awake late. But it is the GM who asks for the times and some events (wotr) only have 1 or 2 slow tables that go the distance, so only a few people have to stay up late and it is their own game pace that controls if they stretch the game out for the full 5 hours or not.
 
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Michael Sosa
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I do think War game vs euro game tracks is likely a good idea. While many of us play both sides, many of us prefer one to the other. So while I will occasionally play a non wargame (Battle Line) I would not travel to WBC to do so. If I play a euro it's because I'm in between war games.

PrezCon has these mini- convention tracks that I think work well. Columbiacon is all Columbia block games that don't conflict with each other.
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Curt Collins
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You are assuming that there are only two tracks. War and euro. There are far more than that, and people cross pollinate a ton. Personally, I think having time slots where you line up as many games as possible to end at the same time and begin anew is the best bet.

For instance: Several games start at 9 AM. Only allow 3 hour, and 2 hour games to start then. 1 hour games may start at 11AM. This way, someone could either play the 3 hour game, or the 2 hour and 1 hour game. Perhaps the 12AM slot is also a 1 hour slot, and 1PM is again a 2 hour slot, with 3 hour games also starting at 12PM.

This is very simplistic, and either with tracks or time slots, you'll have to do an equally insane amount of work, but having tracks based on types of games is going to cause a load of grumbling.
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Kevin Wojtaszczyk
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At the end of the day it all rolls back to the GMs. They are the scarce resource at the WBC. If more people step up to GM there would probably be more options. Eric Freeman does an outstanding job getting a euro style schedule in place, but it is voluntary and only GMs wanting to be in the track are in it. That has worked well and keeps the GM flexibility across the board.

It is all up to the GMs. If a block of GMs hash out a schedule of days/times/events that don't overlap and then submit the completed schedule to Ken by January 1st?, there is probably a very high probability that such schedule would be just assigned appropriate rooms and be all set.

The key is getting the GMs involved early and a schedule submitted before many of the other events have GMs or have submitted their forms. Then if such a schedule is posted somewhere, everyone else has some idea of where a block of games would be run and could put in their event form requests accordingly.

It won't prevent all overlaps, but for the block of GMs working together, those events could have heats/semis/finals all non-overlapping.

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Craig Yope
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kwojtasz wrote:
Yoper wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
Yoper wrote:
The only scheduling issue I would bring up is that you can't start a six hour game at 8 pm.


Much better than 8 am. meeple


No, it's not.


If all the games go 5 or 6 hours, it would keep many awake late. But it is the GM who asks for the times and some events (wotr) only have 1 or 2 slow tables that go the distance, so only a few people have to stay up late and it is their own game pace that controls if they stretch the game out for the full 5 hours or not.


Having been the GM of HotW multiple years I know this was a bad idea from the get go. I contacted Ty (GM) as soon as the previews came out to have him make sure this wasn't a typo. The CD said it wasn't and that it was based on room availability. Yes, they blew right by his requested start time. One that had been used for many years without issue.

Even if the majority of the games end at 1 am (as most did since they were 5 player games) there are always those that go the distance or more. Going to bed after 2 am puts a real crimp in your ability to get up and be ready for a 9 am event the next day.

GMs are volunteers that are there to do the job and to enjoy themselves too. There had to be a better way to work with the GM of such games to come up with some alternative times or places for a reasonable fix.
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Frank McNally
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wcraigtrader wrote:
FrankM wrote:
Would it help if a website be available with living tentative 2018 schedule? The basis of the tentative schedule would be the previous year schedule and be editable by the previous years GM unless a new event form has been submitted at which time it locks the new proposed time in?

This sounds challenging to support (likely requiring GMs a login process) but would provide a single location to see time shifts from previous year to inform GMs open to moving their events. It has the most value if GMs with no desire to move get their forms in early.


I know that Ken's goal for 2018 is to get schedules out and in front of people sooner, both for GMs and for the people who update the scheduling apps. That would give more flexibility for everyone to see the schedules, and for GMs to negotiate changes.

(We also want to reduce the manual processes involved in producing the printed and online schedules.)


Yes a negotiation period would be helpful. I had the impression that the negotiation/coordination is mostly supposed to happen before posting. Having it up for GM review would be great. If the data were available in a format to allow a script to be run to list conflicts that would be helpful (or if a text file listing conflicts for each title was available).
 
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Eric Brosius
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FrankM wrote:
Yes a negotiation period would be helpful. I had the impression that the negotiation/coordination is mostly supposed to happen before posting. Having it up for GM review would be great. If the data were available in a format to allow a script to be run to list conflicts that would be helpful (or if a text file listing conflicts for each title was available).

Eric Freeman already runs such a process for the Euro games, as mentioned above. If you wanted to do this on a wider scale, I'd suggest looking at his process and thinking about whether it would serve as a good basis for what you want to do.
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Christopher Yaure
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With respect to Eric Freeman's process, he has three tracks (heavy, middle weight and light). He appears to try to minimize conflicts among events in the same track, although I doubt there are enough hours to avoid all conflicts, even if GMs were highly flexible. He also specifically seeks to avoid conflicts between games with large draws.

As for the specific Robo Rally - Power Grid conflict, Robo Rally does not appear to be part of the euro scheduling effort.
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Marty Sample
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I do wonder if it's going to go out as a preliminary proposal if it should be done offline or in an environment only accessible by GMs. Esp for a new GM, I could see it being overwhelming if the proposed schedule were thrown out for everyone to see and for there to be instances where players campaign for schedule changes to fit their own personal needs.
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Eric Brosius
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actuaryesquire wrote:
As for the specific Robo Rally - Power Grid conflict, Robo Rally does not appear to be part of the euro scheduling effort.

Yes; no GM is required to take part in any of these coordination efforts; it's purely voluntary. People take part both as a public service and to increase the number of participants. However, some GMs are under constraints that force them into certain time slots, and that's where they go.
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Eric Brosius
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Marty S wrote:
I do wonder if it's going to go out as a preliminary proposal if it should be done offline or in an environment only accessible by GMs. Esp for a new GM, I could see it being overwhelming if the proposed schedule were thrown out for everyone to see and for there to be instances where players campaign for schedule changes to fit their own personal needs.

I believe Eric Freeman's process is visible only to the GMs.
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Gareth Williams
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You can already see what is proposed to be run where, as when an event form goes in it gets updated on the Orphans list.
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Gordon Stewart
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Personally, there was much less overlap this year. Kudos Eric Freeman!
 
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Gordon Stewart
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In answer to the requests for an “accessibility-challenged" viewpoint of Seven Springs:

The elevators and a ramp have made every game room accessible including Open Gaming!
And brightly lit! And bathrooms everywhere! Access items mentioned elsewhere:

1. SIGNAGE: The mysterious but beautiful Alpine Room needs several signs to
lead people from the “Season’s hallway” up-and-over to the other side of the wall.
The convention elevator could use a floor index + renumber the floors inside (ie. 3=4).
Detailed floor plans are needed at the Ski lodge entry and the hotel 4th floor elevator lobbies.

2. BATHROOMS: I’ve visited all 10 men’s bathrooms in the convention/lodge areas, with doors
propped open most can be entered except that tiny ski lodge one too small for even Winnie the Pooh.
For wheelchair-users the handicap stalls, grab bars, and under-sink clearance vary greatly.

3. DOORS: As an architect I learned that automating each pair of M/W’s doors in a restroom group
costs about $250,000 to retrofit, not to mention maintenance. A doorstop to keep them open is better.
Once the Ballroom door was jammed open, I had no major problems; someone who was going my way helped.

Misc. for later: thick carpet between Ballroom and Open Gaming, Festival Hall, rain, rental electric chair, etc.
Having a 3-wheeled “Golden” scooter eliminates any problems of distance and access for me.
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Rich Shipley
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actuaryesquire wrote:
As for the specific Robo Rally - Power Grid conflict, Robo Rally does not appear to be part of the euro scheduling effort.


Probably since it isn't a euro. The schedule does seem to work well with the other racing games.
 
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Richard Irving
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capt yid wrote:

The elevators and a ramp have made every game room accessible including Open Gaming!


The one area I am not sure there is no elevator/ramp access is the third floor of the ski lodge (aka Foggy Goggle) Unless someplace I never found.

Quote:
1. SIGNAGE: The mysterious but beautiful Alpine Room needs several signs to lead people from the “Season’s hallway” up-and-over to the other side of the wall.


The closest elevator to the Alpine seems to the on the old section of the hotel. Quite some distance away.

Quote:
The convention elevator could use a floor index + renumber the floors inside (ie. 3=4).

Confusing that they misnumbered it this way.

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Gordon Stewart
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rri1 wrote:
capt yid wrote:

The elevators and a ramp have made every game room accessible including Open Gaming!


The one area I am not sure there is no elevator/ramp access is the third floor of the ski lodge (aka Foggy Goggle) Unless someplace I never found.

[q


Yes. The elevator to the top floor of the Ski Lodge is very hard to find on the first floor!

The Festival Hall requires going outside and up the parking lot ramp near the registration room.
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Daniel Blumentritt
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Quote:
If all the games go 5 or 6 hours, it would keep many awake late. But it is the GM who asks for the times and some events (WotR) only have 1 or 2 slow tables that go the distance, so only a few people have to stay up late and it is their own game pace that controls if they stretch the game out for the full 5 hours or not.


The couple of the games I saw that started at 8 and went to 2am-ish were ones that reliably take 5+ hours. That's really late for a scheduled game to go when you have another game at 9am the next morning, especially if staying off-site.

Just in general this year for me was plagued by more slow play and minor poor sportsmanship than usual. No idea why; I'll just chalk it up to random variance, but it did drag the fun down ever so slightly. Nothing egregious but little things that added up - and I wouldn't surprised if the people in question didn't even realize it. But it's pretty clear to me that commenting on a game in progress is not ok. Specifically a former champion walking by as someone thinks over a move and then saying "I thought that choice would be quite obvious" which not only is a strategic hint for the future but was also rather insulting. And while we all expect some whining over bad die rolls, card draws, etc (and it's inevitable that some people will do this despite their luck not actually being bad), I saw several instances - and only one was against myself FWIW - of a player going on and on to their opponent after a game about how they "should" have won as if trying to take something away from the victor.

The slow play stuff really gets me though. Thankfully I don't think I saw deliberate stalling like I've seen in the past. And I get that some people will naturally be faster or slower than others. However, it's right there unambiguously in the program - the show must go on, events must conclude by their end time (and that includes any adjudication process). Nobody should have to choose between abandoning a game in progress or missing the next event because one event ran over. In a couple of cases this was due to GMs who simply refused to take charge and enforce anything on the players, while other players for the next round were kept waiting far beyond the official start time. But mostly it's a player problem - the GM shouldn't have to and often can't watch every single table to tell who is holding things up. It's up to everybody to do their fair share of making sure nobody else has to miss an event that is not scheduled to overlap.

Quote:
5. The app was screwed up and me and Malloc showed up to Star Wars Rebellion a day late


There were a couple of cases of the printed program and/or the projector schedule in open gaming also having schedules that weren't in line with reality (e.g. RoboRally was listed at 4 hrs long but was actually only 3, which was really really tight even though our entire group was moving so fast that the newer players were having a hard time keeping up with what was going on).

Quote:
For instance: Several games start at 9 AM. Only allow 3 hour, and 2 hour games to start then. 1 hour games may start at 11AM. This way, someone could either play the 3 hour game, or the 2 hour and 1 hour game. Perhaps the 12AM slot is also a 1 hour slot, and 1PM is again a 2 hour slot, with 3 hour games also starting at 12PM.


It's also tough that there aren't 1.5 hour time slots allowed. I'm not saying there should be (there are good reasons to keep everything in hour-long increments after all), but there are some Euros that tend to take somewhere in the 60-70 minute range, and the only options are just to make everybody play really really fast, or to schedule a 2-hour time slot and lose players.
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Eric Brosius
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Would chess clocks be a useful tool to control game length?
 
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Kevin C.
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Quote:
Just in general this year for me was plagued by more slow play and minor poor sportsmanship than usual.


I noticed a bit of this also. My conjecture is that because overall attendance is down, we are left with the harcore gamers. We don't have many day casuals, if any. So, you are more likely to get one of these types at your table than you were in Lancaster.

I still had a blast and will still be coming back wherever they have the WBC. But the attitudes were a little worse than in years past for me.

Kevin
 
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Christopher Yaure
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My experience was different - there was more laughter and good cheer at the tables I played, and not just late night games. At two different heats of Ra we had players laughing so hard they had trouble breathing.
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Kevin C.
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Quote:
My experience was different - there was more laughter and good cheer at the tables I played, and not just late night games. At two different heats of Ra we had players laughing so hard they had trouble breathing.


For sure, that was the overwhelming majority of interaction. It's entirely possible it was me being overly sensitive or something. It just seemed wherever I sat, someone was complaining about the "guy to his right" or some mistake someone else made that cost them the game.

I get it is a game convention and this is par for the course. It certainly happened in Lancaster. I just noticed a bit more of it.

Like I said, maybe I was more sensitive to it or looking for it because of a couple of threads here right before the convention.

It's just something that really grinds my gears.

But, again, the overall convention was awesome.

Kevin
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Marty Sample
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Eric Brosius wrote:
Would chess clocks be a useful tool to control game length?


Yes, but at the expense of attendance - many dislike using them.
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