2021-22 Tournament Format and Play

Tournament Format: This tournament is planned to follow a triple elimination (TE) format with Swiss style pairing. Players remain in contention for 1st place until they have lost three games. Players with three losses remain in contention for 2nd through 6th place as per the tie-breaker criteria listed below. Depending on the size of the field, the tournament is expected to take 12-14 games to determine a champion, though over half of the field will be out of contention within 6 rounds. (The prior tournament with 78 entrants took 13 rounds to determine the order of all 6 Laurelists, though the Champion was determined in round 12.)

Depending on the size of the field, and the GM’s personal bandwidth, the GM may arrange consolation games for players who are out of contention that wish play additional games.

Game Play: The GM will notify players of pairings by email, including opponent’s name, PlayDek handle and email, and which player bids first. The winner of the bid is responsible for starting the game on PlayDek, inviting his/her opponent to the game, and reporting the result of the bidding to the GM (twilightstrugglegm@gmail.com). After play is concluded, the winner of the game is responsible for reporting the game result to the GM, including type of win (e.g. normal VP, Wargames, DEFCON, Euro, Concession) and time of win (e.g. Turn # or Final Scoring). In the event of DEFCON or Concession, a comment as to the circumstances is appreciated.

  • The default variant is with Optional Cards included. [Note: In PlayDek, optional cards are included when red + sign is illuminated. ] This can be changed only if both players agree in all details prior to bidding. Without agreement, play of the default variant is required.
  • The default platform for play is the PlayDek app. This can be changed (for example face-to-face, telephone/skype/discord, or other on-line method) if both players agree, but the announced end date for the round remains in force, and there is no moderator support for other methods. Without mutual agreement, play on PlayDek is required.

Bidding : The player designated first in the pairing announcement bids first. This will normally be a random selection. However, the GM will change the bid to the other player in cases where this will tend to equalize the number of times players have bid 1st or 2nd over the course of the tournament. (I.e., if one player has had fewer first bids than his opponent, that person will be given first bid.)

Bidding should be conducted by email although players can agree by email to use the bidding mechanism in the PlayDek app. However, be aware that PlayDek will assign sides randomly if there is a tie bid, with no rebids. A proper bid specifies the side you want to play and the non-negative number of influence points (IP) you will give your opponent at the start. A proper response either accepts the bid, or states the side desired and increases the number of IP. [Example: If you have first bid, but prefer to play the US and receive 2 IP, you cannot bid “US and -2 IP”. Instead you have to bid “SU and 1 IP” and hope your opponent raises to “SU and 2 IP”.]

Influence received from the bid is placed after initial setup IP placements, and may only be placed in a country that already contains friendly influence. Placement of bid influence for over-control of a country is permitted.
Both players should confirm that the game is properly set up with the correct starting conditions before accepting and playing. If it is discovered that a game is not setup correctly, the game can be nullified and restarted by mutual agreement of the players, but this will not extend the deadline for the game. Restarts after the Turn 3 reshuffle are not recommended.

Time Control: The time limit for each round will be approximately 6 weeks (and possibly shorter in later rounds). The firm end date for each round will be posted at the top of the round’s website page. The time limit is for both players in aggregate and there is not a fixed limit for either player. This is to allow maximum flexibility for the intrusion of vacations or personal emergencies. Players should work together to make sure they meet the time limit. While there is no specific limit per player, if a game is not complete before the deadline, time consumption will be considered as a factor in adjudication. If both players are more comfortable with individual time limits, and agree in all details, they you may set a time limit for your game within PlayDek. But let’s be clear: Your GM hates seeing games determined by time default, and strongly dislikes having to adjudicate. In the two previous tournaments, 377 games were played with zero time defaults and only one adjudication. Let’s keep it that way. My thanks in advance.

Pairing: There will be no formal seeding of players. All players with the same number of losses hold equivalent rank. Pairing for players in contention will be carried out by the following rules:

  1. Rematches between players that have faced each other previously in the tournament will be avoided if at all possible.
  2. Players within each given “loss group” will be paired randomly, with adjustments as needed to comply with rule #1.
  3. If there are an odd number of players in the 0-loss group, a random player from the 1-loss group will be selected to play in the 0-loss group.
  4. Then if there is an odd number of players remaining in the 1-loss group, a random player from the 2-loss group will be selected to play in the 1-loss group.
  5. Then, if there is an odd number of players in the 2-loss group, a volunteer (called an “Eliminator”) will be randomly solicited from the group of players most recently eliminated from contention to play an additional game. This game does not affect the tournament record of the Eliminator and serves only to provide a win or a loss for a person in the 2-loss group. (Note: The game will count toward the Eliminator’s AREA rating.)
  6. If no suitable Eliminator can be found, then a random person in the group with the most losses may receive a bye. Note, however, that great effort will be made to use Eliminators to prevent players from receiving byes, as this would present some challenges for the GM if a player with a bye survives to contend for a top-6 position.

Note on random pairings: The GM, in consultation with is Asst GM or other appointed observer(s), will execute an unbiased algorithm for randomizing players. Typically, this will be done by creating a table in Excel of the players in each loss group, with an associated random number between 0 and 1 generated for each player, using the RAND() function. The player list will then be sorted within each loss group from lowest to highest on the random number column. Adjacent players in the sorted list will be paired. Then the list will be checked for rematches. Going down the list, any player with a rematch will be swapped with a nearest neighbor in the list, until no rematches remain. In the event that all rematches cannot be eliminated by this procedure, the GM may swap a player in the loss group with a randomly selected player from an adjacent loss group in order to comply with rule #1 above.

Due to the convenience of using Excel to perform the large number of “die rolls” involved, this randomization will NOT be executed in any public forum (e.g. ACTS). You’ll just have to trust the GM and his observers on this.

Standings: After each round, standings will be shown on the “Standings” page as the groups of players with 0 losses, 1 loss, 2 losses, and Eliminated. Within each loss-group, any players with a bye (and are thus 1-win behind the group) will be noted.

Ties: Tie games in Final Scoring count as a US win and a USSR loss for tournament purposes. A tie resulting from Wargames is a win for the player who did NOT play Wargames, which is how PlayDek adjudicates such games. (Note: Any game that ends in a tie will still be reported as a tie for AREA rating.)

Determination of Laurel Standing (1st through 6th place): The nature of this tournament is not primarily to win the most games, but rather to avoid reaching 3 losses. The Champion will be the ONLY person not to have accrued a third loss.

Positions 2 through 6 (for BPA laurel purposes) will be determined by play-offs between players in groups that receive their 3-loss in the same round. Such play-offs will be single-elimination, with the help of Eliminators when the group has an odd number of players.

Extended Example: Players A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H enter round 10, A and B with 1-loss each, the rest with 2 losses.

  • During round 10, players B,F,G,H are defeated. F,G,H, each now with 3 losses, have been eliminated, but need to play-off for 6th place. (Note: If any of them has previously received a bye, such players have one fewer win than the others and are demoted from the play-off field.
  • During round 11, D is randomly selected from the 2-loss players to play against A. C is randomly selected to face an Eliminator. Among the players in the 6th-place play-off, H is also tapped to face an Eliminator. In a case like this, where two players need an Eliminator, the play and serve as each other’s Eliminator. C,D,E and G all go on to lose.
  • In round 12, G faces H (who beat C in their mutual eliminator game) to determine 6th place. A and B will play-off for 1st and 2nd, but as A only has 1 loss, B will have to win twice to claim 1st. C, D and E play off (with the help of an Eliminator) to determine positions 3rd, 4th, 5th. C beats E and D beats the Eliminator. E finishes in 5th.
  • In round 13, A plays B play there second game if needed. C plays D with the winner finishing 3rd and the loser 4th.

Reporting Results: The winner of each game must report it via email to twilightstrugglegm@gmail. com. Include the following information:

  • Name of winner and superpower played.
  • Name of loser.
  • The bid (positive number if IP given to US, negative is given to USSR)
  • Variant played ( only if other than standard with Optional Cards).
  • Type of victory (VP, Euro, DEFCON, Wargames). If the game is conceded, please indicate the reason (e.g., time constraint) and the likely outcome toward which the game was headed.
  • Turn of victory, or Final Scoring.
  • Feel free to include highlights. If the game finishes in DEFCON, a brief description of how it came about would be appreciated.