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Subject: Ten Thoughts on this years WBC rss

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David desJardins
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Statalyzer wrote:
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.


This is already in the GM Guidelines.

KIBITZERS & DISCIPLINE: Allowing bystanders to give information to any player or to hassle or otherwise distract a player is prohibited. GMs who see this taking place should announce that onlookers are welcome only if they remain silent. Those who violate this rule should be removed from the premises.
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Gareth Williams
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Putting in chess clocks seems an excellent way to help the event drop out of the Century

It should be fairly simple:

If lots of games are running late it's a scheduling/format problem and responsibility lies with the GM. It doesn't even need to be a lot running late. If the game, has say, a two hour window, then 90-95% of games should be finished within two hours.

If a game or two is running late, then it's a player problem and the GM needs to deal with it.

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Max Jamelli
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actuaryesquire wrote:
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.


In the few tournaments I played in, my experience was similar to yours. Maybe we're just the happy go-lucky gamers.
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Robb Effinger
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Eric Brosius wrote:
Would chess clocks be a useful tool to control game length?


Rob Flowers has what I think is a fairly eloquent rule for dealing with the time constraint of fitting El Grande in a 2 hour slot. It is something like this:

"If the game needs to be adjudicated, then all players secretly/simultaneously write down the name of the the slowest player at the table. If the 4 out of 5 players (all but the perceived slowest) agree, then that player is not eligible to win".

(He also does the additional work of monitoring the games in progress, and prodding slower tables).

I'm not sure if this rule has ever been used, but I think it's nice to have.
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Curt Collins
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Agreed, that was one of the best new rules I've heard in quite some time.
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Richard Irving
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Robb wrote:
Eric Brosius wrote:
Would chess clocks be a useful tool to control game length?


Rob Flowers has what I think is a fairly eloquent rule for dealing with the time constraint of fitting El Grande in a 2 hour slot. It is something like this:

"If the game needs to be adjudicated, then all players secretly/simultaneously write down the name of the the slowest player at the table. If the 4 out of 5 players (all but the perceived slowest) agree, then that player is not eligible to win".



A few problems with this:
- What if TWO players are primarily responsible for the slow play?
- What if people vote for the winner because he pissed them off during the game (for reasons other than being slow)?
- What happens if the set up is particularly difficult slowing down play for everyone? (Maybe doesn't apply much in El Grande--but other game it certainly can.)
- Only really helps if the winner is the slow player. And frankly, AP players usually are NOT strong players (usually because they often focus on things things that aren't all that important.)
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David desJardins
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rri1 wrote:
And frankly, AP players usually are NOT strong players (usually because they often focus on things things that aren't all that important.)


Now are we going to have the discussion against about whether "AP" refers to everyone who plays slowly, or only those who play slowly and badly?

There are plenty of people who play slowly and well.
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Richard Irving
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Wilphe wrote:
Putting in chess clocks seems an excellent way to help the event drop out of the Century


Chess clocks do not really work for multiplayer games. (Yes there are a few multiplayer game clocks, but they are thin on the ground.)

n general chess clocks officially work because a player "losing on time" is technically conceding the loss. In multiplayer games, one player cannot concede the game, because it screws up the game--what happens on his turn. Putting a time loss in, either he sticks around to play out the game (making hima kingmaker) or simply passes on each turn (which really warps the game and gives advantage due to position or turn order.)

Quote:
It should be fairly simple:

If lots of games are running late it's a scheduling/format problem and responsibility lies with the GM. It doesn't even need to be a lot running late. If the game, has say, a two hour window, then 90-95% of games should be finished within two hours.


No ALL of the games should be finished in 2 hours if the GM selected a 2 hour time slot. If 10% of the game end in longer than 2 hours, then he should have selected a 3 hour slot to be safe.

Quote:
If a game or two is running late, then it's a player problem and the GM needs to deal with it.



90% of 20 games is 2 games--isn't this same situation as above?

Of course, the GM should monitor and warn everyone of the impending time limit and prod obvious slow players.

However if it is not effecting further rounds of the event (or following events in that room) and if ALL of the players want to complete the game, I'll allow it to continue.

If one player has to leave at the time limit or the game has to end that time, then I will adjudicate in that case. But adjudications suck, for the GM and the players. I avoid them unless I absolutely have to.
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Eric Brosius
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rri1 wrote:
Chess clocks do not really work for multiplayer games. (Yes there are a few multiplayer game clocks, but they are thin on the ground.)

We were originally talking about War of the Ring (Second Edition), which is a 2-player game.
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Christopher Yaure
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Eric Brosius wrote:
rri1 wrote:
Chess clocks do not really work for multiplayer games. (Yes there are a few multiplayer game clocks, but they are thin on the ground.)

We were originally talking about War of the Ring (Second Edition), which is a 2-player game.


Eric - I must have missed when War of the Ring was identified as a problem. It is a particularly bad example of a slow play issue - depending on the strategies employed by the players, the game can run from 7 turns (both sides focus only on their respective primary victory conditions) to 18 turns plus (both players focus on defense) - so length of game and speed of play are not highly correlated.
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Eric Brosius
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Eric Brosius wrote:
rri1 wrote:
Chess clocks do not really work for multiplayer games. (Yes there are a few multiplayer game clocks, but they are thin on the ground.)

We were originally talking about War of the Ring (Second Edition), which is a 2-player game.

At least, that's what I was thinking of. I may have just had a loose thought.
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Craig Yope
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My original point still stands- an experienced GM (or in this case, an experienced asst. GM/former GM of said event) knows what is acceptable as a start time of an event heat.

To ignore that knowledge is to court disaster.

I think that the CD was doing the best that he could with the resources available but there had to be an alternative. Hopefully everyone learns from this and it can be avoided in the future.
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Andrew Drummond
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rri1 wrote:
However if it is not effecting further rounds of the event (or following events in that room) and if ALL of the players want to complete the game, I'll allow it to continue.

If one player has to leave at the time limit or the game has to end that time, then I will adjudicate in that case. But adjudications suck, for the GM and the players. I avoid them unless I absolutely have to.


I had games run into the time limit multiple times during Orleans this year. (I think 5 out of 30 heat games) The primary reason for this was new players. With players who all know the game, it should finish in 90 minutes or less. But new players can really get overwhelmed with too many options.

I did warnings at 60 minutes and 90 for tables that were behind time.

For the ones that went over, if all players agreed I let them play. If any player had somewhere to be at the 2 hour mark, I twice allowed that player to set their final turn and I or my designate finished the final round for them (making no decisions, just playing out preset actions in order).

That did work this year, and I think it will be a little easier next year as players will be a little more familiar.

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Devin Smith
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ardrummo wrote:

For the ones that went over, if all players agreed I let them play. If any player had somewhere to be at the 2 hour mark, I twice allowed that player to set their final turn and I or my designate finished the final round for them (making no decisions, just playing out preset actions in order).

That did work this year, and I think it will be a little easier next year as players will be a little more familiar.



I disagree with this method of adjudication in many cases, as the player that has to leave will be disadvantaged thereby. Orléans might have low enough player interaction that it's fine, but. . . .

Finals games running slowly drives me up the wall. Yes, I know this game is important, but some people play slowly better than others, and all of us get to leave later. I ran into someone during the final of PR last year (while I was running to the can for a break) and complained about the pace of play, they responded "it's always like that".

There was at least one final in a Euro this year than ran more than an hour over its slot. This is unacceptable, and GMs often don't help the players that would like a reasonable pace of play.
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David E
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Excalabur wrote:
There was at least one final in a Euro this year than ran more than an hour over its slot. This is unacceptable, and GMs often don't help the players that would like a reasonable pace of play.



I played in an Ivanhoe game that ran more than an hour over its slot.
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Duncan McGregor
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Excalabur wrote:
There was at least one final in a Euro this year than ran more than an hour over its slot. This is unacceptable, and GMs often don't help the players that would like a reasonable pace of play.


I have been consistently surprised that Splendor playoff games tend to take most of an hour. We have the quarters, semis, and finals in a three-hour block, so it isn't a problem, but it does show how players will think to fill the available space.
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Duncan McGregor
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Excalabur wrote:
ardrummo wrote:

For the ones that went over, if all players agreed I let them play. If any player had somewhere to be at the 2 hour mark, I twice allowed that player to set their final turn and I or my designate finished the final round for them (making no decisions, just playing out preset actions in order).

That did work this year, and I think it will be a little easier next year as players will be a little more familiar.



I disagree with this method of adjudication in many cases, as the player that has to leave will be disadvantaged thereby. Orléans might have low enough player interaction that it's fine, but. . . .


As the AGM involved in one of these games, I made no decisions while processing the player's last turn. The player told me on his way out "Do this action first, the order of the rest don't matter," and he was right. Orléans does have quite a bit of indirect player interaction - racing for a given space on the board, or the remaining resources - but those decisions are almost entirely made while programming actions.
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Christopher Yaure
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AmadanNaBriona wrote:
Excalabur wrote:
There was at least one final in a Euro this year than ran more than an hour over its slot. This is unacceptable, and GMs often don't help the players that would like a reasonable pace of play.



I played in an Ivanhoe game that ran more than an hour over its slot.


And if it was the game I heard about, it ran very long not because of slow play but because of the gaming equivalent of lots of foul balls.
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Marty Sample
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RobRoy wrote:
[q="Excalabur"]but it does show how players will think to fill the available space.


This is absolutely true.
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Andrew E
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rri1 wrote:

A few problems with this:
- What if TWO players are primarily responsible for the slow play?
- What if people vote for the winner because he pissed them off during the game (for reasons other than being slow)?
- What happens if the set up is particularly difficult slowing down play for everyone? (Maybe doesn't apply much in El Grande--but other game it certainly can.)
- Only really helps if the winner is the slow player. And frankly, AP players usually are NOT strong players (usually because they often focus on things things that aren't all that important.)

If two players are responsible for slow play, then presumably the entire table won't agree on one of them as the slowest.

If the entire table conspires to vote you as the slowest because you were a jerk, I can't really conjure much sympathy. Trying to rally a tactical vote to alter the winner shouldn't work unless the entire rest of the table both agrees who's winning and thinks they personally have a chance of being second. Anybody who doesn't think they're second has no incentive to go in on it.

The rule helps whether the slow player is the winner or not. The point of the rule isn't to alter game outcomes, it's to discourage slow play. Everybody presumably wants to win, even if they don't in fact win, and they can't win if the table goes over time and they're the slowest. So there's an incentive for every player at the table to play within 1/5 of the time slot.
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Marty Sample
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actuaryesquire wrote:
AmadanNaBriona wrote:
Excalabur wrote:
There was at least one final in a Euro this year than ran more than an hour over its slot. This is unacceptable, and GMs often don't help the players that would like a reasonable pace of play.



I played in an Ivanhoe game that ran more than an hour over its slot.


And if it was the game I heard about, it ran very long not because of slow play but because of the gaming equivalent of lots of foul balls.


This can happen in the later stages of a game where a player will already have a chip of a certain color, but still enter the round to prevent another player from winning that color. If he wins, nothing happens and the round is essentially wasted. Or they call a color they already own in order to stall.
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David E
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Marty S wrote:
This can happen in the later stages of a game where a player will already have a chip of a certain color, but still enter the round to prevent another player from winning that color. If he wins, nothing happens and the round is essentially wasted. Or they call a color they already own in order to stall.



Pretty much.

Actually, the only slow-playing that really annoyed me this year was in Open Gaming.

I try to be sympathetic because I've been known to tank on occasion, but when it's every single turn... angry
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David desJardins
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RobRoy wrote:
I have been consistently surprised that Splendor playoff games tend to take most of an hour. We have the quarters, semis, and finals in a three-hour block, so it isn't a problem, but it does show how players will think to fill the available space.


But presumably that's a GOOD thing. You do want the final to be more carefully played and people to play their best and it's reasonable for it to take SOMEWHAT longer than a normal game, right? An hour for the finals of Splendor seems perfectly reasonable to me, even though I would call it "normally" a 30-45 minute game.
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Michael McKibbin
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I was involved in a game this year (which will remain anonymous, to protect the innocent) where one of the players asked the GM specifically how he would adjudicate the game if time were to run out. The game in question was in a three hour time slot, and after 2 hours we were only a about 1/2 way finished. The player in question was in a position to win at that point, and could have gone for a quick, game-ending victory. Instead, the player in question chose to sandbag for the rest of the game, trying to run out the clock. What really irritated me was that I had to GM a demo directly afterwards and absolutely could not be late. Fortunately, and to his credit, the GM refused to state in advance how he would adjudicate the game and then worked to stepped the game along to its natural conclusion.
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Michael McKibbin
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DaviddesJ wrote:
RobRoy wrote:
I have been consistently surprised that Splendor playoff games tend to take most of an hour. We have the quarters, semis, and finals in a three-hour block, so it isn't a problem, but it does show how players will think to fill the available space.


But presumably that's a GOOD thing. You do want the final to be more carefully played and people to play their best and it's reasonable for it to take SOMEWHAT longer than a normal game, right? An hour for the finals of Splendor seems perfectly reasonable to me, even though I would call it "normally" a 30-45 minute game.


Five Tribes follows a similar pattern. Despite being a notoriously AP prone game, most of the heat games finish in between 60 and 90 minutes, and I don't think I've ever had a heat game go past 75 minutes. The semis play a bit slower. One game this year was right at 2 hours, and the finals are even slower. At least 2 hours last year and about 2-1/4 hours this year.
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