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Terra Mystica» Forums » Organized Play

Subject: Season 33 of the Terra Mystica tournament rss

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Juho Snellman
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Season 33 of the tournament starts in a week and a bit. Signups are open at http://tmtour.org/

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Henric Barsk
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And most intriguing; Will steve496 survive one more season in div1?
 
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John Fitzpatrick
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Would someone familiar with the scene please explain the tournament system for this game and others like Through The Ages?
 
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Steve Haas
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Henok wrote:
And most intriguing; Will steve496 survive one more season in div1?

Sorry, may have missed something. Why is the coming season particularly significant in that respect?
 
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Henric Barsk
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? Considering the strong players who doesn’t manage to stay in div 1 as you have. The margins for error are small and being able to stay in div 1 for 11 consecutive seasons is impressing.
 
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Steve Haas
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I mean, I agree with all that, and I wasn't interpreting your comment as criticism - I'm just a little confused why you're highlighting it. The fact that you asked if I could "survive one more season" made it sound - to me at least - that there was something particularly significant about this coming season relative to the previous 11 (now 12). I guess I do have a chance of passing Juho for 3rd on marathon with a good season, but that's going to take a little more than just surviving.
 
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Henric Barsk
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The main intention was to boost the upcoming season!! (I edited my previous post.)
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Ryan Feathers
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airmanfitz wrote:
Would someone familiar with the scene please explain the tournament system for this game and others like Through The Ages?

TMTour, along with some of the TTA leagues, or many of the Meeple Leagues (https://www.meepleleague.com/) use a very similar/identical system.

During an individual season, players are assigned to various divisions, consisting of a varying number of leagues. Each league contains 7 players playing a total of 7 games. Each individual player will play in 4 of those games, with all games having 4 total players. (On top of that, each player will play against each individual opponent twice).

Some type of tournament points are awarded for those who place 1st/2nd/3rd/4th within their games. TMTour assigns points on a 6/3/1/0 scale while the Meeple Leagues use 10/6/3/1. Whomever gets the most tournament points in their four games will win the league, and they will be promoted into the next higher division for the next season. The two players with the worst results will be relegated to the next lower division for the following season.

To make this all work then, division 1 features 1 league, division 2 2 leagues, division 3 has 4 leagues, division 4 has 8 leagues, and so on down.

Assuming all players return, the next seasons Division 2 for example would contain 8 players who remained in Division 2 from the prior season (by placing 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th in either of the two D2 leagues), 4 players who won one of the 4 D3 leagues, and 2 players who were relegated from the 1 D1 League.

Things get a little trickier than that due to not all players returning, leaving some openings for extra promotions, and it gets even trickier with players re entering the tournament after having not played in the immediately preceding season. Finally most of these leagues allow as many players to sign up as want to, which means often the player base isn't perfectly divisible by 7, so the lowest division sometimes has a few leagues with 6 or 8 players to make the numbers work.

New players always will enter the tournament in the bottom division and if you're good you'll find yourself slowly moving up the ranks. The general idea is that people should quickly find themselves playing games against opponents of similar skill.
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Itengast ze dragone
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Hi all,

first post ever! I first wanted to thank everyone involved in the tournament organization, it is a lot of fun!

Also, I would like to throw in an idea.

In a couple of months, the new extension will be released and it will change the game quite a bit. Would people be interested in having 2 tournaments running?

1- continue the vanilla tournament as usual
2- start a tournament based on the new extension.

The way I see it, as the tournament last for 2 months, let say the vanilla season starts in February and last until April, the tournament using the extension rules could start in March and last until May. Most games are over after the first month of a season anyway.

I have no idea if people would be interested and how much work it would involve, but I would love to have this kind of formula.

Variety = fun!

Anyway, thank you all and have a great season 33!
 
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Ryan Feathers
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I suspect there are two major factors that will make such a thing impossible.

1. I suspect Juho isn't implementing the Merchants of the Seas expansion. I could well be wrong on this, but I haven't seen any discussion that it is coming to snellman

2. I suspect there's really nobody around to program and set up another tournament.

With that said, who knows. Fruity put in a bunch of work a while back to set up the Fire and Ice Ladder. So if somehow snellman (or in my mind, more likely BGA) adds the Merchants expansion, perhaps we will see someone trying to organize another tournament/competitive option.
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Davide P
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Hello all, thanks for the useful information in the thread.

I signed up and got into my league, but I have a doubt: how do they manage the different efficiency of the factions? I thought that in the tournament they were going to use the "2017 vp" map, in order to equalise somehow the factions, but it doesn't seem the case.

Doesn't this mean that the first players would usually pick the most favoured factions, and that for example there are other factions that never get picked?
 
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Steve Haas
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In theory, yes. And in the top end of the tournament, you will notice certain matchups are very common for exactly this reason. However, in the lower divisions of the tournament, people's personal preferences play a larger role, and even to the extent that the best factions are often played, the game is more often determined by who plays best than who got the best faction.

(And at the risk of editorializing: I think there's legitimate debate over whether the 2017 VP actually fix that problem. It moves the imbalances. And we don't necessary know where the new imbalances are. But I'm not at all convinced that, if we played the 2017 VP for the next year of tournament, we wouldn't wind up with the exact same problem reemerging.)
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Davide P
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My first tought is that the VP correction, taken over thousands of games, should smear out any effect and leave a final scoring that only depends on the set up and on the ability of the player to take advantage of the chosen faction and of the game mechanics.

But of course I have no big experience in the game, I just played it a few times with friends and I started on the site few weeks ago. I would be interested though to be pointed at any thread where this subject is discussed. If anyone could provide a link, I would be grateful.

In the meantime I found the original thread where the change was announced (https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1758810/new-starting-vps-ba...), I'll start reading that one.
 
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Ryan Feathers
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That's a reasonable spot to go look.

Interesting enough, there kind of isn't a great singular thread about this topic. It instead kind of keeps popping up all over the place in balance discussions with some fervent supporters advocating for the 2017 vp offsets while some others are much more dubious about them.

 
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Steve Haas
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A sampling of my previous posts on the topic:

* High-level summary
* A more succinct summary
* A detailed discussion of specific problems
* More detailed discussion.
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Greg W
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Steve496 wrote:

Steve, I really appreciate your organizational instinct on these forums - I like to imagine you have lists prepared for each line of argument you have offered on a TM-related topic.

For those who don’t have time to read all that, I’d say the fundamental disagreement comes from a) the debate whether map-balanced VPs are a short-term or long-term solution to a long-term problem, and b) how bothered people are by inelegance in game design.

I am convinced map-balanced vps are a short-term solution, and find them to be jarring to play with, so I do not plan to play with them going forward. But others may (and do!) disagree.
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Steve Haas
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greenraingw wrote:
Steve, I really appreciate your organizational instinct on these forums - I like to imagine you have lists prepared for each line of argument you have offered on a TM-related topic.

I suspect you'd find the reality disappointing. But its nice to know that I do a decent job of hiding my disorganization .
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Francesco Bardi
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DavideP wrote:
Hello all, thanks for the useful information in the thread.

I signed up and got into my league, but I have a doubt: how do they manage the different efficiency of the factions? I thought that in the tournament they were going to use the "2017 vp" map, in order to equalise somehow the factions, but it doesn't seem the case.

Doesn't this mean that the first players would usually pick the most favoured factions, and that for example there are other factions that never get picked?

Most valid answers have been given already but I'm going to add on one point that has not been touched.

The tournament is in part self-balanced by the fact that each player plays exactly four games and in each one of these games he'll be on a different seat. So everyone will have the privilege to select the faction he likes best (or considers most appropriate) in only one game but then he'll be second, third and fourth in the other three games.

Of course this mechanism only makes sure that faction selection is fair but doesn't prevent strong factions to be selected more often than weak factions. So, like you said, some factions are hardly ever selected. But, beside the debate about whether or not 2017 VP map solves the issue, one should also ask himself: is that actually an issue?


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Ryan Feathers
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Welcome to the glorious faction matchups in D3L1 everyone. We are playing 4 games of DECM and 3 games of DECW snore

I am kind of guessing this is some new record in terms of a single league...having only two distinct faction pairings across 7 games seems pretty unusual, as does having all 7 games featuring 3 of the same factions.

I really have no right to complain given the only factions I seem to pick lately are those ones. Might be time for me to take up Ozy on trying to purposefully inject a bit more diversity into my own faction picks.
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Daniel soto
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If it makes you feel better, I'm basically trying out Chaos Magicians for the first time and promptly getting rekt. Its round 3 and i only have a SA and d.
 
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Davide P
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Scops wrote:

Most valid answers have been given already but I'm going to add on one point that has not been touched.

The tournament is in part self-balanced by the fact that each player plays exactly four games and in each one of these games he'll be on a different seat. So everyone will have the privilege to select the faction he likes best (or considers most appropriate) in only one game but then he'll be second, third and fourth in the other three games.
Yeah, I noticed that, and I appreciated.
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Of course this mechanism only makes sure that faction selection is fair but doesn't prevent strong factions to be selected more often than weak factions. So, like you said, some factions are hardly ever selected. But, beside the debate about whether or not 2017 VP map solves the issue, one should also ask himself: is that actually an issue?
The message just below yours partially answers the question: it would be nice if, at a high level, players didn't feel compelled to choose only a small amount of factions in order to be competitive. But maybe most games of this kind suffer the same problem,I don't know.
Of course, there could have been less clunky ways of doing that, but if even the game designers didn't find one, maybe it wasn't possible. Or maybe they were lazy. laugh
 
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Lumin Sperling
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Ranior wrote:
Welcome to the glorious faction matchups in D3L1 everyone. We are playing 4 games of DECM and 3 games of DECW snore

I am kind of guessing this is some new record in terms of a single league...having only two distinct faction pairings across 7 games seems pretty unusual, as does having all 7 games featuring 3 of the same factions.

I really have no right to complain given the only factions I seem to pick lately are those ones. Might be time for me to take up Ozy on trying to purposefully inject a bit more diversity into my own faction picks.
There's some really solid work in D1 and D2 this season - 2 Alchemists picks in D1 and D2L2 has a Giants AND A FAKIRS
 
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Steve Haas
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DavideP wrote:
The message just below yours partially answers the question: it would be nice if, at a high level, players didn't feel compelled to choose only a small amount of factions in order to be competitive. But maybe most games of this kind suffer the same problem,I don't know.
Of course, there could have been less clunky ways of doing that, but if even the game designers didn't find one, maybe it wasn't possible. Or maybe they were lazy. laugh

I will say, for whatever its worth, that I don't particularly mind playing the same factions and matchups in many seasons. To use the example that I've used before: chess and go start every game the same way, but are still diverse and interesting games because the game still goes many different directions from there.

Now, Terra Mystica does not have the pure strategic depth of those games, and if we played the same exact setup 1000 times we might well start to hone in on the optimal way to play it for each player. But because there is still random setup for the game (in terms of which bonuses and turn tiles are available), each game is a little different, and each is still interesting even if its a faction matchup you play frequently. At least to me.

Not that it isn't still fun to get unusual matchups from time to time - the improvisation makes for an interesting counterpoint to the better-understood matchups. But I think there's entertainment to be had in the subtle tweaking of the better-understood matchups, so I'm perfectly happy to keep playing them as well.

(Although we probably should see more diversity in the 4th seat than we do. I totally get why we're seeing a lot of Witches-Darklings-Cultists, but at some point it must be acknowledged that we pretty much know what happens to Engineers picked 4th in that matchup. So picking literally anything else will at least add some uncertainty and interest to the game, and can't possibly do any worse.)
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James Ataei
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Every season I see complaints about the same factions showing up again and again at high levels. We have been through this before... I know exactly what would help change things up, at least for 5 to 10 seasons, maybe more. Use the map balanced vp.

Another choice would be to add in several of the new round scoring tiles that will be coming in the Merchants of the Seas expansion. This would be up to Juho though. They would probably not be too difficult to add.
 
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Oedipussy Rex
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habahnow wrote:
If it makes you feel better, I'm basically trying out Chaos Magicians for the first time and promptly getting rekt. Its round 3 and i only have a SA and d.

I've won games with only the SA and a TP going into round 3. That might say more about my opponents than it does about me.
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