Tournament Format

TZOLKIN 2017-2018 BPA TOURNAMENT FORMAT

NOTE:  One format change for the advanced rounds is detailed below.

GM:  Rob Flowers (epworthian1@gmail.com)

Assistant GMs:  TBD

Boardgame Players Association:

In order to play, you must have at least a PBEM membership at the time of tournament start.   This costs $10 and can be accomplished at their website.

http://www.boardgamers.org/

Calendar Period: (pending BPA approval)

  • Signups accepted by email (epworthian1@gmail.com) until 6 PM Eastern Time, Monday October 23.
  • Games will start one week later (October 30) pending BPA membership confirmation.
  • Currently plan to have ten (10) week time limits.
  • First round will be 3 simultaneous games, October 30 – January 8
  • Second round, 3 simultaneous games, January 8 – March 19
  • Semi-final games, about March 19- May 28
  • Final game following

NOTE:  A minumum of 25 players are required for this to be run as a BPA sponsored tournament.   Should we get less than the 25 required, I will offer to run it as an unofficial tournament.  (Chances are good I will retire after the season if participation is low.)

Website:

We will be using Boite a Jeux.

http://www.boiteajeux.net

Players must register on boiteajeux and let the GM know of their usernames.     The site does function in English, among other languages.  The site is also free of charge, although you may pay for some premium services (like note taking).

I recommend that you at least try starting a pickup game to get a feel for the mechanics of how the game interface works.

The site generally allows you to backup and restart your turn if you have not completely finished.  HOWEVER, when you are offered the chance to double-spin the wheel, there is no takeback of that choice.

One disadvantage of this site is that while you can get email alerts for your turn, the emails are only sent out every 12 hours.   Players should try and check the site at least once daily, when not on vacation.

The other (slight) disadvantage is that you cannot directly assign other players to games that you start.    When you start a game, you can invite other players, and only those players can see the game in the waiting room for the first seven days.   After that time, the remaining slots are open to other players.   I hope we can circumvent this by naming the games correctly so others don’t join.  (and by getting everyone to sign up in a timely fashion to begin with).

We will be using the basic game for all rounds.  (No Tribes and Prophecies)  HOWEVER, please note that the basic game includes the two mini-expansions which have been released since.   This includes the following extra Starting Wealth tiles and Monuments:

Starting Wealth:  Gain 10 corn, all other players lose 1 corn

Starting Weatlh:  Gain 6 corn and 4 wood, go down one step on the Brown temple.

Monument:  Cost 3 stone, 4 wood.   Gain 13 points and 13 corn.

Monument:  Cost 4 gold, 2 stone.   Gain 40/31/22/13 points if finished in the 1st/2nd/3rd/4th quarter of the game.

In particular, the first starting wealth tile can mess you up if you are counting on a particular amount of corn being available to you at the start of the game.

Initial Rounds:

During the preliminary games, we will default to 4 player games, with 3 player games as necessary.   Players will be distributed so that nobody plays more than one 3-player game MORE than other participants.

Scores for 4 player games will be 3, 2, 1 for 1st, 2nd, 3rd places, respectively.

Scores for 3 player games will be 3, 2 for 1st and 2nd places, respectively.  (No points will be awarded for 3rd place in a 3-player game)

In addition, each player will have a running “tiebreak factor” which will be the sum from all games of that player’s score to the winner’s score; this tiebreak value will be separate.   So for a 2nd place finish where a player scores 90 while the winner scores 100, that player will get 2 points and have a tiebreak factor of 0.9.

Tiebreakers WITHIN each game will be as follows:

  • Most pieces left on the wheels end of game
  • Player order at end of game

Round Length:

The round length will be 10 weeks.   Last year showed this to be sufficient, even with some vacations, although some prodding was required.

If players will be on vacation without internet access, they must let the GM know and post a message within all their current games.   If you plan to take more than one week of vacation, please clear that with the GM before starting.  (You can, in addition, set your status on the page to show you are on vacation, if you wish.)

If a player is NOT on vacation and fails to take a move within 48 hours, please alert the GM.   If a player has more than one complaint for the game, that player will be penalized one point per week of absence (but only if the game runs past the current round deadline).

Advanced Rounds:

The top eight players after the preliminary rounds will advance to semi-finals.  Top players will be determined by total score, and then the tiebreak factor.

In the semi-final round, each player will play two simultaneous games (which should result in four total games among the group).   Winners will advance to the final. The remainder of the players will be ranked by a) most seconds, b) most thirds, c) tiebreak factor from these two games only, and then d) finish from preliminary rounds.   This will be used to determine 5th and 6th place as well as if any second place finishers advance (should there be one or two double winners).

For Laurel purposes I will still calculate the 5th and 6th players, although they will not advance.

The final will be a single four player game.

NEW for the Advanced Rounds (both Semi-Finals and Finals).   Due to the slight advantages/disadvantes granted by player order, players will automatically be handicapped depending on the starting player order.   These adjustments will be made to the final scores at game end to determine finishing order:

First Player (-5 points)

Second Player (0 points)

Third Player (0 points)

Fourth Player (+2 points)

Notes:  These values are based on point spreads as averaged over approximately 140 four-player games in previous years.   Many factors contribute to the point spread including skill level, available monuments, starting tiles, etc.   I believe there is a small advantage and this is an attempt to address that.   I do NOT claim this makes it balanced.   This is also the easiest method for me to implement in an online tournament without slowing play.

Drop Outs:

Players are expected to complete all games they are invited to.   If you wish to drop out after the first or second set of preliminary games, that is fine, just let the GM know.     I would hope that people would not drop out in the advancement rounds, but if so, the criteria for advancement should stay the same.

If a player drops out DURING a game (or doesn’t take a move for at least 2 weeks with no vacation or other notice), the GM and assistant GMs will consult and decide whether to adjudicate the game or restart the game without the player.

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