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Subject: Using Challonge to set up and run A:NR Tournaments rss

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Introduction
The tournament structure for Android:Netrunner was published shortly before Gencon on FFG's website. ( http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/android-netrun... )

One of the unique things about Android:Netrunner is that in a tournament, a match consists of two games, unlike the normal 'best of 3' model often seen in other tournaments. This requires a little bit of finesse when defining the tournament rules, and the document linked above covers all the bases very well.

What that document doesn't do is make it easy to set up tournaments unless it is manual process, which can be error prone.

Enter Challonge (www.challonge.com), an online tournament system that can be configured how you like. Sadly, no online configuration will meet the the A:NR tournament scoring - most systems presume a few things such as 'high score always wins' and 'most games won wins the match', but with the following procedures, I was able to modify Challonge's Swiss tournament to be A:NR ready.



I am not affiliated with www.challonge.com nor am I being compensated in any way for this guide. My goal is to give tournament organizers a straightforward way to set up and adjudicate their tournaments with a minimum of fuss.

0) Create an account on Challonge.
Email address and chosen password. Your participants don't need to sign up, just the person entering the scores.

Tournament Setup

1) Set up a tournament.
In the upper corner of the site, select 'New Challonge'. You'll be taken to the setup screen.

Event Name: Something descriptive

Type: Dropdown select to 'Swiss' and then modify the values as follows:
[2.0] points per match win
[1.0] points per match tie
[1.0] points per game/set win (I'll explain this in a bit)
[0.0] points per game/set tie
[6.0] points per bye

Ideally you won't have to worry about the byes as you'll have an even number of participants.

Category: Board or Card Game

URL
: challonge.com/[something useful]
** For URL choices, I recommend creating your own naming convention that is unlikely to be duplicated. For example 'test' is not available, go figure. I recommend inclusion of the date of the tournament to help you find it later.

Description: [something useful]
I suspect this is only for the online pages - and if you're just doing a local tournament probably isn't necessary.

Sign-ups: Dropdown to 'I will provide a list of participants', unless you want Challonge to post a signup page.

Checkboxes
On the right are a number of chec kboxes. Click the ones you care about. I'd recommend considering selecting at least the following:
[x] Review results before ending this Challonge
[x] Exclude this event form the public browsable index

When finished, select 'Save and Continue'
Don't worry about making a mistake, you can come back and edit these settings later.

3) Add Participants
You can either enter the participants one at a time, or use the 'bulk add' feature to enter the participants all at once. Pick your poison and put in unique names for each player.

If this is a random tournament with no history, after all participants are loaded, hit 'Shuffle Seeds' to mix things up. If you have actual seeding (perhaps from a previous tournament), drag/drop into seed order.

Once all players are entered, either 'Reload the page to enable Bracket View' or click on the tab in the upper right to 'Preview the Bracket'.

4) Preview the Bracket
There's not much to do here except select the number of rounds you want in the tournament. The site will default to the recommended number for a clear victor given the number of participants. You may want to back off on that number a bit if you are planning on having a Single Elimination Quarter/Semi/Finals set of games after the Swiss.

Save the number of rounds you want if you change it.

5) Publish your Tournament
When everything is set, in the upper right corner again, "Publish" your tournament. It is now ready for you to 'start it'.

Tournament Running

You'll be taken to the URL you entered: challonge.com/[your URL]

Remember this URL, or navigate to it via 'My Challonges' if you need to.

6) Start the Tournament
Hit the 'Start this Challonge!' button and begin.

7) Enter Scores
Once the Challonge starts, you will see green question marks next to the names of participants that have not reported their scores in. There are two ways to enter scores:
7a) Click the '?' next to the person's name reporting the scores and you'll be taken to a score entering interface
7b) Click the 'Report Scores' tab in the upper right corner to see all unfinished matches.

Partial scores can be reported (such as the results from only the first game after it finishes), or you can wait until the Match is over.

See below on how to actually score the games.

At the bottom of the bracket page you'll be able to see the current seeding. Score is the current total 'match points' (aka prestige points). You'll also be able to see the Match W-L-T records as well as the player's tiebreak scores, which is functionally the strength of schedule. Either way, the site's doing all of the work for you so the numbers are just there to look nice.

After the last game in each bracket completes, Challonge will automatically set up the next round for you and indicate the pairings.

Keep doing this until the tournament is fully recorded and you have a victor or winner circle (and if you do a single elimination tournament for that, you can set up another Single-Elimination tournament for that purpose).

Limitations
Per the popup over tie breakers, here is how Challonge handles tiebreaks:
CHALLONGE! primarily uses the Median-Buchholz system for breaking ties. The "tie-break score" displayed in the results table is the sum of a player's opponents' scores, with the best and worst scores discarded. Should players be tied by score and tie-break score, they are sorted based on their records relative to one another. Seed breaks up any remaining ties.

Unfortunately, 'opponents scores' is not their game scores, but their match scores. I have an open trouble ticket in to Challonge! and will report any responses I get.



How to enter scores
The scoring we set up during the first half of these instructions put a few strange numbers into the system, such as winning a game giving only 1 point. This was necessary to allow us to handle the special cases that can come up in the tournament rules, such as incomplete games (which Challonge is not set up to handle natively).

Here's how it works:

A complete match will consist of four 'games'.

Game 1 is the actual Agenda scores of the first Game. For example if Alice beats Joe 7-3, record '7' and '3' in their scores. If a player wins with more than 7 Agenda points, just enter 7.

Game 2 is a 'bonus points' game where the winner of the first game gets more points to bring their total to 10. Since the winner always gets recorded as 7 points, always enter 3 here. In the above case, Alice gets a second game of '3 vs '-1''. Why? Because we've set up each game to give 1 match point, and the victor of a game needs to get 2 match points. '-1' is used to indicate a null value and you'll ignore it when calculating the match victor in a second.

Game 3 is the actual score of the second Game in the match.

Game 4 is the bonus points to bring the victor to 10 just like before.

Total up the points for each player and grant the winner of the match the match victory. In the case of an actual tie (win-4 vs 4-win), then grant a tie. Remember to ignore any '-1' values.

SPECIAL CASES
Partial Game
The first special case is a partial game. In a partial game, players gain 1 prestige point each, splitting the 2 points for the game win. Mark this as two separate games, where each player scores their Agenda total against an opponent's '-1' score. This will grant each player 1 match point.. When calculating the overall match victory, use only non-negative scores (skip over the -1s) when determining the match winner. Note that it's possible to tie on match points, and if you do, mark the match as a tie. That case is already handled in the setup.

No second game
The second special case is not having a second game. This is most likely after a partial first game, but could also happen if time is called at the very tail end of a finished first game.

Regardless, to handle this, simply don't enter games 3 and 4 (which represent collectively actual game #2) and everything will work out as expected with only 4 prestige points being awarded.

Flatline/Decking
In a flatline or Corp deck-out case, treat the victor as having earned 7 Agenda points and give their 'bonus' game a value of 3 vs -1.

Drop Outs and Ejected Players
After running two of these events, I've realized this guide doesn't cover the inevitable situation where a player drops out or is ejected from the tournament.

In general, it is best to handle a drop/ejections BEFORE the round rolls forward. This prevents the player from being paired in the next round, compounding the problem (especially in an online format). Never drop players as the last action in the round. Always have at least one score left to enter after you've handled all drops/ejections. I typically leave my own score as the unentered one, but if you need to, just reset one of the reported scores before managing your drops/ejections.

In order to drop a player from Challonge once the tournament is underway, go to the left and click "Manage Participants" under the ADMIN menu, then select 'remove' next to the name of the player you are removing from the roster.

Before dropping a player, it is important to enter their score for the round prior to the drop, otherwise Challonge may enter some incorrect values.

Case 1: Dropping only one player.
If the match has not occurred, give the remaining active player a bye and records a double 10-0/10-0 match. Then drop the player.

Case 2: Dropping both players.
Record a single 0-0 game with a tied match for the two players being dropped, and then drop them.

-=-=-=-

I hope this helps tournament organizers prepare for their events, freeing up some time to allow them to participate (just remember to name a second tournament organizer).


Appendix A: Scoring Examples

Example 1: Alice wins both of her games against Bob

Alice Bob
Game 1 7 3 Alice will get all 6 Prestige Points
Game 2 3 -1 Bob will get 0 Prestige Points
Game 3 7 5
Game 4 3 -1
-------------------
Match: Alice


Example 2: Charles and David each win 1 game, but Charles wins the match

Charles David
Game 1 7 3 Charles will get 4 Prestige points
Game 2 3 -1 David will get 2
Game 3 4 7
Game 4 -1 3
-------------------
Match: Charles (with 14 Game points vs David's 13)


Example 3: Ethan and Frank have an outright tie

Ethan Frank
Game 1 7 5 Ethan will get 3 Prestige points
Game 2 3 -1 Frank will get 3 Prestige points
Game 3 5 7
Game 4 -1 3
-------------------
Match: TIE


Example 4: George and Hank have a strange match. George wins the first game, they don't finish their second game, but Hank still wins the match!!!

George Hank
Game 1 7 6 George will get 3 Prestige points (win and an unfinished game)
Game 2 3 -1 Hank will get 3 Prestige points (unfinished game and the match!)
Game 3 1 -1
Game 4 -1 6
-------------------
Match: Hank (Hank has 12 game points when time is called, so he wins the match!)


Example 5: Iris and Jen finish their first game but not their second.

Iris Jen
Game 1 7 4 Iris will get 5 Prestige points (win, unfinished game and the match)
Game 2 3 -1 Jen will get 1 Prestige points (unfinished game)
Game 3 5 -1
Game 4 -1 3
-------------------
Match: Iris


Example 6: Ken and Laura don't finish their first game.

Ken Laura
Game 1 4 -1 Ken will get 1 Prestige points (unfinished game)
Game 2 -1 6 Laura will get 3 Prestige points (unfinished game and the match)
-------------------
Match: Laura


Example 7: Moe flatlines Norm in game #1, Moe decks Norm in game #2

Moe Norm
Game 1 7 4 Moe will get 2 Prestige points for the flatline, 2 for the deck-out and 2 for the match.
Game 2 3 -1 Norm will nothing
Game 3 7 3
Game 4 3 -1
-------------------
Match: Moe



____
Edit: Added scoring for flatline/decking and Example 7 to cover it.
Edit: Added section on limitations with respect to tiebreaks
Edit: Updated to always give 7 for a 'win' and 3 bonus points, which has become the convention in the OCTGN tournaments.
Edit: fixed example 7
Edit: added drop-out instructions.
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Wesley Kinslow
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Really invaluable resource here. I was dreading fumbling through how to set this up and I see you've not only figured it out but provided easy to use instructions. Really great stuff, Byron.
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Added examples, which cover most of the strange cases and show how you'd record a Match using this system.
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byronczimmer wrote:
Added examples, which cover most of the strange cases and show how you'd record a Match using this system.


Very helpful, thank you.
 
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Great post! I don't think challonge seems hard to use, but figuring out how to make the A:NR point system work within it should make putting up a future tournament much easier.

If these forums had stickies, this should be one of them.
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What do you do if the Corp has less agenda points than the runner, but flatlines the runner?
 
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Jythier wrote:
What do you do if the Corp has less agenda points than the runner, but flatlines the runner?


floor rules cover this. Corp wins, getting 10 points for the game, while runner gets points equal to the number of AP he had already scored as he died.

However, a "flatline or bust" strategy for the Corp (such as TagNBag) has a major disadvantage in a tournament, since if they LOSE, they only get points equal to the AP they had scored, which will likely be very low if their focus is on combo death and not scoring agendas. it makes cards that require agenda forfeiting like Archer even more of a hard choice too, especially if you dont have the win locked up.
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flamejuggler wrote:
Jythier wrote:
What do you do if the Corp has less agenda points than the runner, but flatlines the runner?


floor rules cover this. Corp wins, getting 10 points for the game, while runner gets points equal to the number of AP he had already scored as he died.

However, a "flatline or bust" strategy for the Corp (such as TagNBag) has a major disadvantage in a tournament, since if they LOSE, they only get points equal to the AP they had scored, which will likely be very low if their focus is on combo death and not scoring agendas. it makes cards that require agenda forfeiting like Archer even more of a hard choice too, especially if you dont have the win locked up.


I know how to score a tournament, but given this you'd end up giving a point to the wrong person.

0 - 1
10 - -1

Would give 1 point to each instead of 2 points to the victor.

I would use
7 - 1
3 - -1

So that the points get distributed correctly.

But, it wasn't addressed in the OP that I saw.
 
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Jythier wrote:
flamejuggler wrote:
Jythier wrote:
What do you do if the Corp has less agenda points than the runner, but flatlines the runner?


floor rules cover this. Corp wins, getting 10 points for the game, while runner gets points equal to the number of AP he had already scored as he died.

However, a "flatline or bust" strategy for the Corp (such as TagNBag) has a major disadvantage in a tournament, since if they LOSE, they only get points equal to the AP they had scored, which will likely be very low if their focus is on combo death and not scoring agendas. it makes cards that require agenda forfeiting like Archer even more of a hard choice too, especially if you dont have the win locked up.


I know how to score a tournament, but given this you'd end up giving a point to the wrong person.

0 - 1
10 - -1

Would give 1 point to each instead of 2 points to the victor.

I would use
7 - 1
3 - -1

So that the points get distributed correctly.

But, it wasn't addressed in the OP that I saw.


It was not addressed, I'd give the victor in a flatline '7' points {edit: originally '9' points, but we determined that knowing the win type wasn't desirable} for the flatline (and the 3 bonus points in the extra line)

Updating OP
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9 points, eh? Then 1 - -1. It doesn't make any difference really, does it? But it's good to be consistent so that's what we will do. Thanks for updating. I know we probably could have figured that out without you spelling it out for us.
 
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Jythier wrote:
9 points, eh? Then 1 - -1. It doesn't make any difference really, does it? But it's good to be consistent so that's what we will do. Thanks for updating. I know we probably could have figured that out without you spelling it out for us.


Didn't mean to indicate you couldn't, just hoping for a consistent way to mark wins via flatline/decking. Thank you for pointing out an untouched on case.
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byronczimmer wrote:
Jythier wrote:
9 points, eh? Then 1 - -1. It doesn't make any difference really, does it? But it's good to be consistent so that's what we will do. Thanks for updating. I know we probably could have figured that out without you spelling it out for us.


Didn't mean to indicate you couldn't, just hoping for a consistent way to mark wins via flatline/decking. Thank you for pointing out an untouched on case.


No problem. I'm cool like that. Sometimes.

I'm just really excited about Netrunner.

And tournaments.

I love tournaments.
 
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I hadn't bothered with any other LCG's before, but I was under the impression that FFG had a program that you could use to run your tournaments,similar to MANTIS by Upper Deck, COSSY by Konami or DCI by Wizards of the Coast.
Is that wrong, or is it that FFG's program hasn't been updated yet to accommodate the peculiar A:NR rules?
If there is no officially sanctioned program, how are hobby leagues run for all the other LCG's?

Also, am I correct in assuming that Challonge can not work in an offline environment?I hate to think that if I were to run a tournament somewhere where there was no Wi-Fi I'd have to use my phone's connection to run it.

EDIT:Is Challonge able to print out match-up slips?I couldn't find something akin to that...
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hunk wrote:
I hadn't bothered with any other LCG's before, but I was under the impression that FFG had a program that you could use to run your tournaments,similar to MANTIS by Upper Deck, COSSY by Konami or DCI by Wizards of the Coast.
Is that wrong, or is it that FFG's program hasn't been updated yet to accommodate the peculiar A:NR rules?

If there is no officially sanctioned program, how are hobby leagues run for all the other LCG's?


Not aware of such, would love to be made aware if such a thing exists and hope that you or someone knowledgeable will start a thread explaining how it works.

Quote:
Also, am I correct in assuming that Challonge can not work in an offline environment?I hate to think that if I were to run a tournament somewhere where there was no Wi-Fi I'd have to use my phone's connection to run it.

EDIT:Is Challonge able to print out match-up slips?I couldn't find something akin to that...


Yes, Challonge requires a net connection, which makes it ideal for 'online tournaments' or locations with wi-fi. I have not turned up any decent standalone tournament system yet.

Regardless, the underlying principles of how to score tournaments would likely apply to any other system that had similar scoring techniques.
 
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Added a picture of the mock tournament in progress I created to make this guide.

 
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I just posted a guide on how to run tournaments offline, for anyone that might be interested.
Take a look and tell me what you think.

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/861828/running-offline-tourn...
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Noted a possible limitation with respect to tiebreak scores.

And submitted a ticket to the Challonge! site to ask about it.
 
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byronczimmer wrote:
Noted a possible limitation with respect to tiebreak scores.

And submitted a ticket to the Challonge! site to ask about it.


What's the deal? Just curious on the details in case I use Challonge! for a tourney.
 
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I posted the details in the OP under the section 'Limitations'
 
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byronczimmer wrote:
I posted the details in the OP under the section 'Limitations'


Interesting, I hope they can modify it to suit our needs.
 
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Jythier wrote:
byronczimmer wrote:
I posted the details in the OP under the section 'Limitations'


Interesting, I hope they can modify it to suit our needs.


Probably not for the Oct 1 tourney.
 
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byronczimmer wrote:
Jythier wrote:
byronczimmer wrote:
I posted the details in the OP under the section 'Limitations'


Interesting, I hope they can modify it to suit our needs.


Probably not for the Oct 1 tourney.


I plan to be so low in the standings it won't matter for me.
 
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Jythier wrote:
I plan to be so low in the standings it won't matter for me.


Aim low, shoot high.
 
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Heh.

There's just so many good players out there.
 
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Someone posted over on the FFG forums suggesting an alternate tournament format where you play a single game against an opponent, with the standard Chess black / white assignments being used to assign Corp Runner.

I think it's possible to pull in some of that notion into the standard FFG format (still playing a full 2-game match each round).

I think most players will go into a tournament feeling better about one of their decks than the other. Although it is supposed to be a random determination who makes the choice of what to play first, I think this is not really good. Let's say there are 4 rounds of Swiss, and I have some bad luck and my opponent wins the coin toss at the start of each match. This is a 1 in 16 chance, and so it will on average happen to 1 person in a 16 player tournament (and correspondingly, odds are that one player will win every coin toss for first pick in a 16 player tournament). Again, not so good.

Edit : part of why I think this matters is that I expect a lot of matches will not complete both games in the time limit. If that's the case, you'll want to play your strongest deck first to have a better chance of winning the match if the second game doesn't complete. If it turns out that few important matches time out, then this doesn't matter.

So, what I've been thinking to do is to use a Chess system randomizing and blocking of Black and White (initial assignment is random, then when possible, you alternate between black and white, and the system tries to avoid repeats as much as possible). I think Challonge! and other bracket software can assign Black/White according to standard Chess rules.

Now, there are two ways to do the translation from Black/White into Runner/Corp :

(1)White gets first choice of which deck to play, or
(2)The TO arbitrarily decides that, say, White plays Corp first and Black plays Runner first

I honestly think the second way to go is the best, but the official FFG rules would arguably allow the first approach but definitely not the second. Here are the relevant words from the FFG official tournament rules :

Quote:
For the first game of a match, the players must decide who will play Corporation and who will play Runner by using a random method (such as a die roll or coin flip). The winner of this random method chooses which side to play.
 
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