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Summoner Wars: Alliances Master Set» Forums » Organized Play

Subject: Tournament System rss

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Josef S
United States
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SW has been out for a while, and I know board games can have either a very long or very short lifespan. To see this particular game fall by the wayside, however, would be a bitter thing. Few games have this level of tournament potential which could, if nurtured, grow into one the greatest competitive scenes in gaming, board, video, or otherwise. Plaid Hat has published a PDF of hosting and running SW Tournaments, but I've haven't found their system to garner that much enthusiasm. After talking with other fans, I've worked out a system which I'd like to hear some input on.

1. Tournaments are Double Elimination.

2. One full set of all game factions, second summoners, reinforcement packs, and master sets is needed. More will make it go faster, but it can be done with a single complete set.

3. Extra equipment needed is a coin to flip, different colored markers for a blind bid, and extra boards and damage markers which competitors can provide for themselves.

4. Each pair is set on the bracket. For each game, follow this set up.
a. Indicate which side of the coin is "Single Factions" and "Allied Factions"
b. Have one person call Single or Allied. Winner of coin flip chooses A or B
c. A chooses 2 factions of those decided from the coin flip (Single or Allied).
d. B chooses which faction of the two picked they wish to play.
e. If A did not pick Mercenaries or Swamp Mercenaries as one of the Factions, they now choose whether or not to draft Mercenaries by blind bid.
f. Each player is given 10 tokens - 5 each of two different colors, one representing Magic and the other representing Life Points. Each player secretly chooses which color to wager (put them in one hand), removing other color from game entirely, and places a number from 0 to 5 in their other hand. Players may only choose ONE color - not a combination of both. Reveal bidding hand simultaneously. Winning bidder gets to pick 6 Mercenary units to add to their deck building pool. Lower bidder now picks 6 to add to their deck. Tokens bid are removed from play A Tied bid results in no mercenaries and the loss of tokens bid. Remaining tokens from those wagered are added to player pool as follows: Magic are added to the magic pool and can be used to summon just like a card, but are removed from game when played, and can IN NO WAY BE AFFECTED BY OPPONENT DECISIONS, and Life Point are added to players Summoner and can be used in place of a wound or given to a card summoned to be used in place of a wound, and removed from play whenever done so. Any player who will PLAY as Mercenaries or Swamp Mercenaries forfeits all tokens, and opponent adds all five of one color to their magic pool or Summoner.
g. Players are given all faction decks, reinforcements, and mercenaries if applicable. Ten minutes is allotted to build their deck. B chooses to go first or second. Game plays as normal.

Note the being either A or B, or winning or losing the bid offers huge advantages. A gets to pick the sides, but doesn't want to pick a high-tier faction and a low-tier faction for risk of getting the low-tier thrust upon them. They may more likely choose two highs, two lows, or two mids. B gets to pick who to play and who goes first, which confers a strong position, but is still in a reactionary role, and they better know each faction inside and out to know which to pick. The winner of the bid gets to pick which Mercs to use from all of them, but the loser (who may have bid nothing) gets to skim the Mercs to see what the winner chose and react to that. The loser of course doesn't reveal their selections. Deciding to play as Mercs or Swamp Mercs (or forcing the opponent to play as either) gives a huge pool of cards to draw from, but gives the opponent a powerful head start.

This system has gone through a few revisions over the past few years, but I would very much welcome input and thoughts (or, more likely, something I left out or described horribly). SW has so much to offer, even potentially surpassing major competitive tournaments in other spheres. To see if fade away would be a true shame not just to board gaming, but to competition as a whole.

Thank you for reading!
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Thomas PDX
United States
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I would also like to see a SW tournament system, and most importantly a SW tournament scene. For that, I feel we need players more than we need rules. But that's another discussion.

I am not a fan of the bidding system. But that's perhaps because I am not a fan of Mercenaries in the first place. I feel that many Mercenary units are rather useless and a few of them are notorious for negative play experience (Rune Mages and Etch being at the top of that list). I would rather see tournament rules banning or limiting Mercenaries.

What I like about your proposal is the 'you pick, I choose' approach which helps avoid lopsided match-ups.

Also, this allows for deck building with knowledge of the opponent's deck. I think this is also nice as better players will get an edge from better deck building.

Given that there is some luck in the game, I would consider playing a round as best of three games.

Lastly, to promote faction diversity, you could chose to remove played factions from the rest of the competition.
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