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Subject: How do you balance a tournament game? rss

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David Barlowe
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Clarks Summit
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After reading John Weber's excellent recap of PR at the WBC, I was shocked to see a later post regarding the victory results by seating position:
Quote:

#1 indigo: 42.18 ppg (11 wins)
#2 indigo: 41.77 ppg (13 wins)
#3 corn: 44.79 ppg (27 wins)
#4 corn: 43.71 ppg (23 wins)


This scary statistic means that even in tournament play, many games will be severely handicapped by simple chance.

I would be curious to get ideas from folks on how this imbalance can be rectified. It may not matter in a home game for many of us (although it does to me), but certainly tournament games must have some type of system to balance the win rate of the first corn players in 4-player games.

Here's a few quick proposals I can think of, and I would appreciate your ideas (select one):

1) Players 1 and 2 in a 4-player game start with 1 extra doubloon.
2) Players 1 and 2 in a 4-player game start with 1 victory point.
3) Players 1 and 2 in a 4-player game start with 1 indigo produced (even without the production building in play yet).
4) Tie-breaker rule change: the lowest seating position wins any tie in victory points (e.g. player 1 would win any tie against any seat position, player two would win any tie but against player 1).

Thoughts?
 
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David desJardins
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Phuntom wrote:
2) Players 1 and 2 in a 4-player game start with 1 victory point.


Wouldn't +2 VP seem more balanced, given the statistics?
 
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Evertjan van de Kaa
Netherlands
den haag
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Just play 4 games?, at 1,5 hour per game this would mean you need about 6-7 hours. (i know this is like an open door)

a bidding system?

Evertjan van de Kaa
 
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Phuntom wrote:
2) Players 1 and 2 in a 4-player game start with 1 victory point.


Wouldn't +2 VP seem more balanced, given the statistics?


I would think that you would need to look at a few more statistcs to adjust opening VP points... like what was the average difference between the winning score and the player 1 score?
 
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Adam Smiles
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Dedham
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You could have players bid VP's for seating position, Amun Re or Evo style. If someone thinks sitting 3rd or 4th is important, they can pony up the VPs for the privelege. If you don't care where you sit, take the seat no one is bidding on and don't sacrifice any VPs.

I was in a Princes Tournament where this mechanic was used. One player bid 2 VP to sit 2nd in a 5 player game. I took whatever seat was left (either 1 or 5). He had 2 more VP than me, but I won the tie breaker after he gave up the 2 VP he bid to sit 2nd.
 
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John Weber
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Adam, this type bidding system has been in use in the Princes tournaments at WBC (semifinals and final games only) starting in 2004. However, I believe the bids in Princes are in 100-florin increments, not VPs (a typical bid for the preferred #2 seat is 300, although I have seen bids as high as 500). I have used optional bidding systems in the 2004 and 2005 WBC events (2004 for five-player games only, 2005 for the finals) and players have for the most part declined to use the options--mainly because they are too complicated. I am considering mandating its use in future finals, starting with the 2006 WBC. I often reward players with better records in preliminary round games with an earlier "choice" of seat position in later elimination round games.

In an ideal world, you would have a number of competitors that divides evenly by 4 or 16 and have everyone play four games versus different opponents, each of the four games in a different seat position. At WBC running this back to back would consume about eight hours' playing time and would be a headache for the GM to administer in terms of making the proper pairings in each round. Yet this is precisely the format (called Swiss Elimination) I am considering for next year's tournament.
 
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Evertjan van de Kaa
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John Weber wrote:

In an ideal world, you would have a number of competitors that divides evenly by 4 or 16 and have everyone play four games versus different opponents, each of the four games in a different seat position. At WBC running this back to back would consume about eight hours' playing time and would be a headache for the GM to administer in terms of making the proper pairings in each round. Yet this is precisely the format (called Swiss Elimination) I am considering for next year's tournament.


can you not find an example of this on the internet somewhere?

Evertjan van de Kaa
 
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B C Z
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I am watching this with extreme interest for precisely the reasons mentioned above.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/80885

(in the ANNOUNCE section of this very board.)
 
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