GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters at year's end: 1000!

7,999 Supporters

$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
21 Days Left

Support:

Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
35 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Conventions » WBC

Subject: Always random seating? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Kevin Warrender
United States
Rockaway
New Jersey
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I realize there are some games where position or seat is bid on, but for those that aren't, is the seating always chosen randomly or does it vary based on the game and/or GM?

And if not, is there any specific reason why not?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Drummond
Canada
Burlington
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
WBC Team Captain
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
For the late night games that start at 11pm (Las Vegas, King of Tokyo, Can't Stop, Liar's Dice, Pro Golf, and Slapshot) players typically choose their own first round table. With fields that large and games that simple, the goal is more efficiency in the early rounds rather than competitive integrity. (rounds 2 and later are usually random)

Most other games are seated randomly though it is up to each individual GM.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael McKibbin
United States
Clemmons
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Any game where game owners are allowed to set up at their own table will never truly be random, since game owners will not be paired against one another in the heats. Assuming that those who own copies of the game are the "better players", this acts in a way to seed the field as the better players won't necessarily face one another in the heats.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Warrender
United States
Rockaway
New Jersey
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
hgman3 wrote:
Any game where game owners are allowed to set up at their own table will never truly be random, since game owners will not be paired against one another in the heats. Assuming that those who own copies of the game are the "better players", this acts in a way to seed the field as the better players won't necessarily face one another in the heats.


Yeah, that part I get. It was more of "once we've established the tables" seating I was talking about.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Duncan McGregor
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
jerkules wrote:
Yeah, that part I get. It was more of "once we've established the tables" seating I was talking about.


Most of the time, GMs assign tables, but not seats. When the players get to the tables, they will sort out seating order and start player for themselves. In heats, this usually just means that people sit in open chairs as they arrive, and then a start player is chosen; if it's a playoff round, or a more competitive game, someone may ask if seating can be fully randomized.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew E
United States
flag msg tools
mbmb
It varies based on the game, the GM, and how far in the tournament you are. Some games, like Puerto Rico have seats that play very differently, and who your right hand opponent is matters a lot. And so the GM might say to randomize seating in addition to turn order, or might have a system already in place to randomize seating position (like Stone Age or Ticket to Ride).

Other games, like Dominion, who you're next to matters less or not all, so everybody is more lax about it, and "find your table and sit down wherever" is a perfectly fine protocol. At pretty much any game you can request to randomize seating position if you like (provided the protocol for seating hasn't already provided it), and you'll only get weird looks if the nature of the game is such that it really doesn't matter at all.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Curt Collins
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
IMO, you are always better off assigning seating order as part of the random table assignment. It only requires minimal effort and it prevents players from choosing their right or left hand opponents. Some games can be won simply by sitting in the right chair.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew E
United States
flag msg tools
mbmb
Also, I'd like to take a moment to shout into the void that half the time when I receive a seating card that says

"table 142, seat 1"

Half the time I'm start player, and half the time I'm not.

I want all GMs that bundle seating position with table assignments to tell me, in writing because I'm late and/or not paying attention, whether their seating position card is also bundling start player information on it. Also a pony.

"table 142, seat 1 ([not] start player)"

Or put it on the information sheets. At the top. In bold. Preferably circled with no less than 3 arrows pointing at it. Because I asked for GM rule clarifications about 8 times that week and every single time was this.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Bohnenberger
United States
Swarthmore
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
"Back in the day" the Formula De GM would allow "track shopping" as long as all tables ended up with about the same number of racers. Current GM assigns randomly.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Curt Collins
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It's awkward to sit at the table and it seems at least half the time, the player with the worst seat position asks (are we going to randomize start player?). It would be nice if it was clear what the rules were. Often, SOMEBODY is getting hosed by turn order, it would be nice to take away the pleading by the player who believes it's them out of the seating process.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gareth Williams
Morocco
flag msg tools
Nap Wars:

1st Heat:

Randomly Assigned Tables, game owner stays with own set, Assigned (random) seating order

Though I will probably change this to "Assigned Table, Assigned bid order" for next year

2nd and 3rd heats:

Randomly Assigned Tables, game owner stays with own set, Assigned seating order based on previous performance and sides played


I will however be accommodating to a group that wants to play only with their friends but it hasn't been asked for a few years

Semis and finals:

Game owner stays with own sets (usually), assigned tables and bid order based on prior performance in the heats



I like the HIS and VQ system in some ways:

Draw random playing card, this indicates table and bid preference. Table owners stay with their own set.

I think I will try to adopt a version of that for TNW next year, because its puts the onus on players to find where they are supposed to go rather than me telling them and herding them about
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Duncan McGregor
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
Dweeb wrote:
"Back in the day" the Formula De GM would allow "track shopping" as long as all tables ended up with about the same number of racers. Current GM assigns randomly.


It really does depend on what your players want. Empire Builder allows you to choose your own board, since there are a lot of crayon rail games, and different people like playing on different boards. I didn't play this year, but I've enjoyed Iron Dragon in previous years, or British Rails if I wanted a shorter game, in addition to the defaults of Empire Builder or Eurorails.

Spleen wrote:
IMO, you are always better off assigning seating order as part of the random table assignment. It only requires minimal effort and it prevents players from choosing their right or left hand opponents. Some games can be won simply by sitting in the right chair.


"Minimal" is understating the matter a bit, especially for GMs who may not know of a system for this, and would be trying to prepare one from scratch. So, here is my recommendation:

1) Acquire a quantity of opaque card sleeves. If you know Magic: The Gathering players and are willing to accept worn ones, this shouldn't cost you money; new sleeves will run you about $7/hundred.

2) Prepare and print out paper slips that indicate table and seating. For example:

Table 1
Seat C

3) Cut the slips out and put them into the sleeves.

When hosts register, they get Seat A for the next table in line. When you are ready to randomize the players to tables, they get assigned to a specific table and seat, and then can randomize start player after that.

If you are willing to put the time in in advance, you could randomly select a seat for each host instead of always giving them Seat A; then the seating can indicate start player as well as turn order. (Thanks to Sara VanderWal for doing this for Splendor!)

If doing this, please make sure to prepare more cards that you think you'll need by a fair bit - just in case. The extras can also double as emergency backups for when a card or two inevitably wander off.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robb Effinger
United States
Bothell
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
AndrewE wrote:

Other games, like Dominion, who you're next to matters less or not all, so everybody is more lax about it, and "find your table and sit down wherever" is a perfectly fine protocol. At pretty much any game you can request to randomize seating position if you like (provided the protocol for seating hasn't already provided it), and you'll only get weird looks if the nature of the game is such that it really doesn't matter at all.


Amusingly enough, Dominion does have a seat order protocol. I think the thing is, once you're using your own system/index cards for randomizing table, it's easy enough to add seat randomization in there.. and since it makes for a better experience, why not do it?

6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Curt Collins
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
RobRoy wrote:

"Minimal" is understating the matter a bit, especially for GMs who may not know of a system for this, and would be trying to prepare one from scratch. So, here is my recommendation:

1) Acquire a quantity of opaque card sleeves. If you know Magic: The Gathering players and are willing to accept worn ones, this shouldn't cost you money; new sleeves will run you about $7/hundred.

2) Prepare and print out paper slips that indicate table and seating. For example:

Table 1
Seat C

3) Cut the slips out and put them into the sleeves.

When hosts register, they get Seat A for the next table in line. When you are ready to randomize the players to tables, they get assigned to a specific table and seat, and then can randomize start player after that.

If you are willing to put the time in in advance, you could randomly select a seat for each host instead of always giving them Seat A; then the seating can indicate start player as well as turn order. (Thanks to Sara VanderWal for doing this for Splendor!)

If doing this, please make sure to prepare more cards that you think you'll need by a fair bit - just in case. The extras can also double as emergency backups for when a card or two inevitably wander off.


Alternatively, you could assign all of the people who brought boards with A, and distribute as normal. Before the games begin, you simply roll a die, or draw one more card, and announce that player A,B,C,or D, (depending on what you drew, is the start player for each table.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Saccenti
United States
Colora
Maryland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
RobRoy wrote:
So, here is my recommendation:

1) Acquire a quantity of opaque card sleeves. If you know Magic: The Gathering players and are willing to accept worn ones, this shouldn't cost you money; new sleeves will run you about $7/hundred.

2) Prepare and print out paper slips that indicate table and seating. For example:

Table 1
Seat C

3) Cut the slips out and put them into the sleeves.

When hosts register, they get Seat A for the next table in line. When you are ready to randomize the players to tables, they get assigned to a specific table and seat, and then can randomize start player after that.


This is exactly what I do, for every game that I GM (at WBC and elsewhere). If we are going to take competitive gaming even a little seriously, there should be no gamesmanship on trying to pick your seat.

I have witnessed middle-aged men scurry around a long table to try and seat themselves after one of my kids in seat order. Well, actually I haven't seen this in a few years, now that people know my kids.

After seeing this kind of thing, I resolved that if I ever GMd a game, I'd have seat order be a part of the randomization process.

I'm also a strong advocate for bidding for seat position/turn order for any game that this makes sense for, once you get past the Heat stage of the tourney.
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Blumentritt
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A lot of two-player games especially match players by formula instead of by random, which I think in a vacuum is the best way to do it, but isn't necessarily feasible for a lot of larger events.

Quote:
"Back in the day" the Formula De GM would allow "track shopping" as long as all tables ended up with about the same number of racers. Current GM assigns randomly.


I'm glad they don't do that anymore. Choose-your-own always results in some seeking out newbie tables, or trying to play with their friends/family and helping them out.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew E
United States
flag msg tools
mbmb
Robb wrote:
once you're using your own system/index cards for randomizing table, it's easy enough to add seat randomization in there.. and since it makes for a better experience, why not do it?

I guess I forgot how Dominion worked.

But, not everybody uses index cards for randomizing tables. I don't, and can't imagine that I ever will, because where you sit makes literally no difference in Egizia, and a deck of cards gets the job done faster and easier.

Prep time on a deck of cards much lower than index cards for obvious reasons. They're easier to shuffle, and those of us with bad handwriting won't get any 1's mistaken for 7's.

If you have index cards, you really want to also have markers for the tables, adding even more prep time. Roll for the galaxy had index cards, but no table markers, so I got table 3. Is this table 3? I walk all the way over and look at the dude's card. Nope, it's table 8. How about this one? Table 2. That one? With playing cards, the table owner can hold the card up and it's legible from more than 3 feet away.

Of course, printed and sleeved table/seat cards with nice stands for each table indicating number like Stone Age had is excellent, but also maximum effort. (Just tell me if seat 1 is start player!)
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Max Jamelli
United States
Chambersburg
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I GM a game that the "where you sit" quandary couldn't make less of a difference. In Air Baron, turn order changes randomly every round. Of course the people who bring/own games don't match up in heats but for me it's a case of first come, first set up.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ricky Boyes
United States
Washington
flag msg tools
saccenti wrote:
This is exactly what I do, for every game that I GM (at WBC and elsewhere). If we are going to take competitive gaming even a little seriously, there should be no gamesmanship on trying to pick your seat.


Exactly. I don't want to try and optimize my seat position in this way, on the other hand I don't want my opponents doing this either. I applaud the GM's who take this issue out of our hands.


The problems I have encountered too often(2-3 times per WBC) when I try to get a table to sit randomly are these two statements:

"Isn't this random"-implying that nobody is thinking about this except me.

and

"You're taking this too seriously"-sometimes this comes out first, but it almost always follows my questioning of "Isn't this random".


What should I do in this situation?

Nothing?
Immediately summon a GM/AGM?
If it's my game, suggest that the party offended by random seating ask to be reseated?
Look at the badge of the objector and ask specifically to be sat to their left or right depending on my preference?(Hypocritical, but it might make a point)
Other Suggestions?

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Bohnenberger
United States
Swarthmore
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Statalyzer wrote:
Quote:
"Back in the day" the Formula De GM would allow "track shopping" as long as all tables ended up with about the same number of racers. Current GM assigns randomly.


I'm glad they don't do that anymore. Choose-your-own always results in some seeking out newbie tables, or trying to play with their friends/family and helping them out.


Ah, it's Formula De - not only is there very little opportunity for collusion, but everyone is always really helpful to newbies.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael McKibbin
United States
Clemmons
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
With regard to the same issue, I would like to applaud the GMs who do post-tournament statistical analysis of win by seating order to see if it makes a difference in their game. This gives them a huge leg up in recognizing a potential structural bias of their game for which they can seek a remedy.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Curt Collins
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
itsaratio wrote:


The problems I have encountered too often(2-3 times per WBC) when I try to get a table to sit randomly are these two statements:

"Isn't this random"-implying that nobody is thinking about this except me.

and

"You're taking this too seriously"-sometimes this comes out first, but it almost always follows my questioning of "Isn't this random".


What should I do in this situation?

Nothing?
Immediately summon a GM/AGM?
If it's my game, suggest that the party offended by random seating ask to be reseated?
Look at the badge of the objector and ask specifically to be sat to their left or right depending on my preference?(Hypocritical, but it might make a point)
Other Suggestions?



I've certainly seen the fake ignorance of someone trying to change the seat order. "Shouldn't we randomize seating?"(meanwhile they drew table 7 seat 3). I've also seen the guy sitting to the left of a child ask "Isn't this random already?". People will pretend to not be thinking about this because everyone wants to win. Manipulating the seat order IMO is so borderline to actual cheating, it might as well be banned.

I usually have a copy of whatever game I'm playing. I'm local and can pile my trunk with loads of games. I usually sit at my table and let the players come to me to take away the temptation to try and mess with seat order. It does irritate me though to watch someone scope my table out and make a beeline for the seat on my right.

Honestly, in all fairness, I think that if seats aren't assigned a,b,c,d, or in some other fashion, and player that speaks up and asks for random seating should get it. That should just be the default standard at any tournament table. Many people don't care, but if someone does (even if it's because they found themselves sitting to my left <which can really suck for them>, this request should be honored, and you should not feel bad for requesting it. Obviously seating that is already randomized by draw.. that's where you sit.

Maybe I'll bring something to carry around that will help determine seating in case this comes up.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christopher Yaure
United States
Plymouth Meeting
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
jerkules wrote:
I realize there are some games where position or seat is bid on, but for those that aren't, is the seating always chosen randomly or does it vary based on the game and/or GM?

And if not, is there any specific reason why not?


To get back to your original question:
1. When I GM'd Yspahan and Tzolk'in I assigned seating position (who sits next to whom) and start player.
2. This year I GM'd Roll for the Galaxy. RftG has simultaneous play and seating position and order have very little impact, so I did not assign seating position (and there is no start player).
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Max DuBoff
United States
New Brunswick
New Jersey
flag msg tools
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: / Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
badge
Habeo in animo vivere in perpetuum aut mori dum conor.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Robb wrote:
AndrewE wrote:

Other games, like Dominion, who you're next to matters less or not all, so everybody is more lax about it, and "find your table and sit down wherever" is a perfectly fine protocol. At pretty much any game you can request to randomize seating position if you like (provided the protocol for seating hasn't already provided it), and you'll only get weird looks if the nature of the game is such that it really doesn't matter at all.


Amusingly enough, Dominion does have a seat order protocol. I think the thing is, once you're using your own system/index cards for randomizing table, it's easy enough to add seat randomization in there.. and since it makes for a better experience, why not do it?



Yeah, when I GMed Ingenious, I just wrote a little 1, 2, 3, or 4 on the playing cards I used for table assignments. It didn't take much effort at all. And then, when people were signing in, my AGM handed out cards to table owners and randomly picked one of the 4 before adding the rest to the stack to give out to everyone else.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rahul Chandra
Canada
St. John's
Newfoundland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In Titan and 18XX we had random seatings, Merchant of Venus and Small World just random start player, Castles of Burgundy chosen seating but random initial turn order. Small World probably could have used a full random, I don't think it was needed for MoV or CoB.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
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.