Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Quick and the Dead: Designing a new tournament format


               I have been experimenting with a format to try and conduct tournaments of online Malifaux since shortly after I moved to my current locale and realized how few players are nearby. Earlier efforts have led to mixed results. My first thought was to run a league with swiss style pairings. Early on, that looked to be working well. The problems began to creep up after a few rounds, when players started to drop off from lack of interest or motivation to keep playing after a few losses put them in danger of not winning. To address this, I’ve crafted a new ruleset, which I’m calling the Quick and the Dead format. It’s based on the single elimination tournaments that have been held off and on for a while now, particularly in the Gencon finals. I’ll post the ruleset here. My goal is to run a tournament this summer using this set. Any input from the community would be greatly appreciated.

Malifaux Musings Vassalfaux Tournament
The Quick and The Dead

Dates: TBD

Entry: $5 for general public, Free for Patreon supporters

Prizes: TBD

Rules: All rounds of this tournament will follow the Gaining Grounds 2018 ruleset, with the following exceptions:

-Crew Size and Composition: All players will, along with their entry, select a faction which they will play for the entirety of the tournament. Prior to Round 1, after strategies and schemes have been announced, players will construct a 25SS crew led by a henchman to use for their first game.
After round 1 has completed and round 2’s schemes and strategies have been announced, they will use the same crew from round 1 and will hire an additional 10SS worth of models and/or upgrades to it.
After round 2 is completed and round 3’s strats and schemes are announced, players will add a master to their round 2 crew, who will then become the leader. Any upgrades on henchman that are leader only may be switched to the master or discarded at this time. Any additional upgrades for the master must either be purchased from the remaining soulstones in the round 2 crew’s cache or by removing models/upgrades from the round 2 crew. No additional models or upgrades beyond the master or the master’s upgrades may be added.
Finally, after round 3 is completed and round 4’s strategy and schemes have been announced, players will add 15SS worth of models and/or upgrades to the previous round’s crew, bringing the total to 50SS.

-Tournament Format: The Vassalfaux Quick and the Dead tournament will be organized in a single-elimination format. Players will be randomly paired in round 1 into a 16-player bracket, and from that point on pairings will proceed down the bracket. The final winner will be the player at the end of the tournament with the highest overall tournament points, with victory point differential as a first tie-breaker and overall victory points scored as a second tie-breaker. If a player loses a particular round, their entry into the tournament is considered “Dead” and will no longer compile tournament points/differential/victory points. If players tie, both entries are considered “Dead,” and the opponent with which they would have been paired the next round will receive a bye. Those who wish to continue playing with others who are “Dead” will be paired up each round in a swiss style format. TP/Diff/VP will still be recorded for these players, and the one who finishes in first place will receive the “Golden Zombie” award (a mindless zombie painted gold.)  
At the beginning of a round, a strategy, scheme pool, deployment, and vassal map will be posted to the tournament dropbox, the Malifaux Musings facebook group, and into that week’s blog post. Players will then have 2 weeks to construct their crew, deposit it in the tournament dropbox folder, and play their game on Vassal with their opponent. If a game is not completed in that time, and one player can show a good-faith effort to try to schedule the game, the tournament organizer will elect to make the entry of the player responsible for the match not happening “Dead”. If neither player can demonstrate a good-faith effort to organize the game, or if both players made an effort but neither can be found to be responsible for the game not happening, the tournament organizer reserves the right to mark the entry of both players “Dead.” The tournament organizer will make every effort to avoid this outcome, if at all possible.
When a game is complete, players should submit their results to the tournament Dropbox folder, along with a screenshot of the Vassal board with the final score indicated (if possible.) If a rules dispute occurs and neither player can determine the correct ruling, players may either attempt to contact the tournament organizer to resolve the rules dispute immediately or, failing that, save the game, contact the tournament organizer for a ruling, and then resume play at a later date.