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 Post subject: Re: So how do we put a stop to this?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:23 pm 
Sith Apprentice
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Perhaps a simplified version of MandalMauler's idea. You score 1 win for winning the game, and half a win if you reach the point total. So someone winning by getting 150 points gets 1.5 wins vs. someone who wins by time.

You'd want to include the 'getting gambit prevents the 10-turn finish' rule so that someone who manages to win by betrayal, but is shy of 150 is not penalized.


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 Post subject: Re: So how do we put a stop to this?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:32 pm 
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We've discussed various incarnations of that idea over the years, and in the other current thread on the topic.

It always comes back to the same problem--the losing player can reach the point of knowing they have lost and then play only to prevent their opponent from getting the "full" win. Then you're punishing the player who did everything right due to the actions of the player who did everything wrong.

That said, I still wonder if it would end up being better than what we have now. There would be a real incentive for people to go for full games and to be sure to report slow play early in the game.

And then it becomes sort of a pipe-dream because most solutions require a change to the DCI software that is entirely unrealistic to expect WotC to make.

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we put a stop to this?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:48 pm 
Sith Apprentice
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I don't know... to me, as an opponent, it seems like it's always been my objective to make the win as difficult for my opponent as possible, even when it's clear that I'm likely to lose. Within the scope of good sportsmanship, of course. In fact, you're really not being a good sportsman to your opponent or to the other players if you just roll over and give you opponent the win.

I can think of at least one case where I was playing in an 'iron man' style tournament. Any pieces that died were no longer available for later rounds, but players had a side board they could pull from. I had suffered a bad loss in the prior round, and was going in weak. My opponent had two very strong pieces. So I went in with the minimum goal of at least taking out one of his strong pieces. I knew I was unlikely to win, but I could take advantage of the fact that he needed to look beyond the scope of the single match and had to protect his units.

The fact that gambit exists, even if my opponent does lock his last few pieces into a room that I can't open, I can still get gambit points and try to make the total that way.

Aside from stalling or locking my opponent's remaining forces into a room, I'm not sure how many ways there are for one player to deny the other points?

I don't suppose there's any way to scale a win inside the DCI system? Or to add a checkbox which gives a bonus to the win?

Beyond tournament standings, the scaled win could also be reflected in cumulative standings. I know that might be asking a bit of the DCI system, but the original premise of this thread was to brainstorm ideas, and you start that by bringing all ideas to the table, regardless of how practical it is to implement.

On the subject of changes to the DCI system, is it still being updated or revised from time to time for Magic? If so, then it may be possible to get some change made that's relatively minor to code, but makes a big difference for the game.


Last edited by eMouse on Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we put a stop to this?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:55 pm 
Black Sun Thug
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So...why don't we just institute the use of a literal chess clock?


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 Post subject: Re: So how do we put a stop to this?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:57 pm 
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Yeah. I totally hear you.

When you start really thinking how the good players will play, they'll all want their loss to be a 1 point loss vs a 0 point loss. The scores are all too close at the top to worry that your opponent is getting a 3 point win vs a 2 point win at the same time.

And then the good players should be able to beat the bad player in time regardless and depend on judging to handle any attempted slow play or stalling tactics for a game that really should finish. (ie grant another round if it's 140-10, or issue a match loss if it's clearly decided but slow play is preventing the full victory.)

I'm sort of an optimist about he competetive spirit of the SWM community as a whole. I think the state we're in is completely unintentional to the vast majority of players who are guilty of perpetuating it.

The big hurdle would be that the DCI system just doesn't have the options needed to tailor scoring in the best way.

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we put a stop to this?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:03 pm 
Sith Apprentice
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It's something I thought about, and I've heard it considered with other games.

The problem is that SWM, unlike chess, requires player interaction during most turns. If I attack, I'm going to ask you to check your defense value. If the player has evade or other similar values, they need to make rolls and decisions based on that.

Throw in line of sight and cover decisions, and there exists a lot of potential for an unscrupulous player to eat time off of the other player's clock.


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 Post subject: Re: So how do we put a stop to this?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:37 pm 
Sith Apprentice
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Just a thought on the chess clock idea. If you have an iPhone or iPod touch, you can download a chess clock app to test out for gameplay. I got one for $.99 just for fun and plan to use it in some games just to see what happens and how long some players actually take. It not the big expense of buying a chess clock just to do some playtesting if you already have the hardware.

One idea that might help your opponent play a little faster (or at least remove some of the downtime) would be to bring a photo-copy page of your entire squad cards to hand to the opponent. Less time asking about what defense the pieces have especially for the newer players who aren't familiar with all pieces. Would not be mandatory, but would show newer players a way to accelerate decisions. Maybe a bit extreme when some scrap paper and a list of defense ratings would work the same way, but just a thought that came to me.

Judges might help more by calling time updates more frequently. I know they are very busy, but someone else could help (a store owner/employee or a person with a bye). hearing how much time every 15 or even every 10 minutes could cause some to feel the time crunch and speed up a bit, but not to the extreme of sloppy play. I know many judges do this now, but more could help.

Certainly not perfect solutions, but a couple simple ideas to start - couldn't hurt to try.


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 Post subject: Re: So how do we put a stop to this?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:51 pm 
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Squid89 wrote:
Judges might help more by calling time updates more frequently. I know they are very busy, but someone else could help (a store owner/employee or a person with a bye). hearing how much time every 15 or even every 10 minutes could cause some to feel the time crunch and speed up a bit, but not to the extreme of sloppy play. I know many judges do this now, but more could help.


This was something that the judges for the Champs at GenCon did an excellent job of this year (not saying they didn't in previous years, I just can't remember that far back, lol). Somebody called out the 30 minute mark pretty faithfully every single game. And I think the couple of games where we were still in round 2 or 3 at that point, I made a point of saying "Oh man, we need to be playing faster." Didn't accuse my opponent of playing slow (really never felt like that happened, perhaps a bit in one of the 100 point games, but we finished under time anyways). But it was a great reminder that time was ticking down, and we maybe hadn't been going fast enough up to that point. Usually made a nice difference during the 2nd half of the game.

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we put a stop to this?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:54 pm 
The One True Sith Lord
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I tried to faithfully call at every 15 minutes.... until the last 15. At that point I shoot for every 5 minutes.

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we put a stop to this?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:17 pm 
Imperial Dignitaries
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There are several ways to make games faster:

1. Judges
At our LGS (and obviously at Gen Con) we use to let players know the time at the latest 15 minutes before time is being called. This way players that are behind tend to tell their (slow) opponent to play faster.

Of course, there is the obvious warning for slow players that are for all to see stalling the game.

2. New tie-breakers
Points scored and points scored by the opponent should be noted and used for DCI. Also an in-time win should give the winner 3 points and the loser 1 point. If you don't finish in time, both lose 1 point, so the game ends 2-0 instead of 3-1. These would be superb tie-breakers that would encourage both players to end the game in time, since both have something to lose, if they don't.

3. Reinforcements
Let players score points by killing Reinforcements. No easy gambit grabbing and hiding anymore.


A chess clock wouldn't be a good idea, IMHO, since not everybody can afford them and have you ever tried to give out a chess clock to 100 participants at a major tournament...? ;)

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we put a stop to this?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:18 pm 
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I'm all for alerting to time remaining, but sometimes it goes unheard, and other times it may not matter anyway. Or worse they don't start stalling until the final 5 minutes

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we put a stop to this?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:29 pm 
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dnemiller wrote:
I tried to faithfully call at every 15 minutes.... until the last 15. At that point I shoot for every 5 minutes.

Yeah, thanks; it made a big difference. I had my timer going on my watch so I could look at any time, but it was a good reminder to check which round we were on (usually we were pretty much on track).


One idea I had was to have the players call out when they're about to start a new round. "Starting Round 3" when they roll init for Round 3, for example.

This does a few things:
--It gives the judges a clear designation of who is going fast and slow. Like, if one table says "Starting 2" at the same time as another table says "Starting 4", the judges know they may have to look at something.
--It could be seen sometimes as a race between games..."Oh yeah, we'll get to the next init before you!:P" or something like that. I could imagine this kind of thing only boosting the comraderie at an event like Gencon.
--By calling out which round they're in, the players are reminded of how many rounds they've played ("Wow, 5 already! W00t!" or vice versa), and the rest of the players in the other games also get a sense of how fast the other games are going too. I think that sometimes people don't really realize how fast or slow they're playing until they are reminded to check.

It might be something similar to the "Bonzai!" cheer that some other game in our hall has before every tournament at Gencon.

And the best thing about my idea: it doesn't require any changes in DCI software or money or anything else beyond our immediate control. :)

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we put a stop to this?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:38 pm 
Ugnaught Master!
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Well, I keep reading, and evaluating, and hoping we come to a great idea, however, Trevor's is the one most right up my alley. Now, I know there are some people who just won't do this, b/c they get deep in thought, like so deep they should be wearing high waters, that they might get out of the zone if they do it. However, I think it would be a great thing! If you hear someone, "Starting Round 3" and you haven't finished the first round, I have a feeling the two players might look at each other (if they are paying attention) and figure out they need to speed it up.

Other than that, though, I have seen many good ideas, some far stretches, too. As someone who prefers to judge more than play in huge tourneys, I leave it up to the players to decide what might work best for them, and then how we, as judges, need to gauge the games.

Let me admit one thing, however. Not to rehash the past, but the instance where slow play was brought up to me in the first Gencon tourney this year, that was the first time ever that someone brought it up to me in all of the tourneys I have ever been involved with, either as the official or un-official judge. I didn't know the best way to handle it (yes, I knew the DCI rules and such). I didn't freak out, but I did feel put on the spot. Anything we can do to better the community as a whole, I am all for it!

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we put a stop to this?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:05 pm 
Moff Disra
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Grand Moff Boris wrote:
I didn't mean this to be an extension of the other thread.

Let me ask the question again: how do we compel people to want to complete the game rather than get a points lead and hide until time is called?

In WaS, there are three objective areas on the board. Controlling each is worth 1/3 the build total for the game. It really forces the ships towards three different points.

Generally, the sides are each taken by a player (with small ships) and the center is where the large battle takes place.

This could translate over to SWM. Gambit was set as 4 from the center of the board (without any thought to the maps). We could just as easily say there are 3 Gambit area's on a map (in the line across the center of the map). If you have the only piece in that area, then you get 50 points (in a 150 game). The games sure would not go to time in this environment.


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 Post subject: Re: So how do we put a stop to this?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:17 pm 
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Engineer wrote:
Grand Moff Boris wrote:
I didn't mean this to be an extension of the other thread.

Let me ask the question again: how do we compel people to want to complete the game rather than get a points lead and hide until time is called?

In WaS, there are three objective areas on the board. Controlling each is worth 1/3 the build total for the game. It really forces the ships towards three different points.

Generally, the sides are each taken by a player (with small ships) and the center is where the large battle takes place.

This could translate over to SWM. Gambit was set as 4 from the center of the board (without any thought to the maps). We could just as easily say there are 3 Gambit area's on a map (in the line across the center of the map). If you have the only piece in that area, then you get 50 points (in a 150 game). The games sure would not go to time in this environment.


Probably not. It's interesting, Gambit was created to stop lock-out victories, and now Gambit and the way it has impacted the game is causing almost the same amount of stir that Override did back in the day lol.

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we put a stop to this?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:33 pm 
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Nah. Gambit improves the situation immensely.

Someone can almost always get a 5-4 or better lead and force the action.

No forcing the action when it's 0-0 and the only solution is to wait 10 rounds and try to be closest to the center with the largest piece.

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we put a stop to this?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:42 pm 
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NickName wrote:
Nah. Gambit improves the situation immensely.

Someone can almost always get a 5-4 or better lead and force the action.

No forcing the action when it's 0-0 and the only solution is to wait 10 rounds and try to be closest to the center with the largest piece.


Honestly, Tanner, do you really think that Gambit as it exists today "forces the action?"

If it did, we wouldn't be having this very heated discussion about how the point scoring system has slowed the game down.

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we put a stop to this?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:09 pm 
Sith Apprentice
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I know i'm not as exprince as some,but what about this along iwth the point cost of the piece you get an addtionial 5 points for each piece killed or some sort of sliding scale depedning the point cost of the charcter for example

1 to 10 =10 extera points
11-20 = 20 points
and so on

I would think that could see more action but on the flip side it may also cause a slow down,so what do you more exprinced fellas think?

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we put a stop to this?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:23 pm 
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thereisnotry wrote:
One idea I had was to have the players call out when they're about to start a new round. "Starting Round 3" when they roll init for Round 3, for example.

This does a few things:
--It gives the judges a clear designation of who is going fast and slow. Like, if one table says "Starting 2" at the same time as another table says "Starting 4", the judges know they may have to look at something.
--It could be seen sometimes as a race between games..."Oh yeah, we'll get to the next init before you!:P" or something like that. I could imagine this kind of thing only boosting the comraderie at an event like Gencon.
--By calling out which round they're in, the players are reminded of how many rounds they've played ("Wow, 5 already! W00t!" or vice versa), and the rest of the players in the other games also get a sense of how fast the other games are going too. I think that sometimes people don't really realize how fast or slow they're playing until they are reminded to check.

It might be something similar to the "Bonzai!" cheer that some other game in our hall has before every tournament at Gencon.

And the best thing about my idea: it doesn't require any changes in DCI software or money or anything else beyond our immediate control. :)


I like this idea the best. I really do.

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 Post subject: Re: So how do we put a stop to this?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:41 pm 
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I would be in favor of a timer rather than a massive rewrite of the rules.
The only concern is how to make it easy & inexpensive.
I could do this on my iphone easily but not everyone has an iphone or ipod touch. But many cel phones could perform this function.
I think 60 seconds per activation or 90-120 seconds per phase is fine & 60 seconds after intitiative checks to decide who's going first. To keep it simple, maybe just 90 seconds for everything. Activation (if you happen to be using a tempo control piece), post initiative check & phase (traditional 2 activations). So the timer doesn't have to fiddled with.
If you win initiative & fail to decide who will activate first within the time alloted, then your opponent decides. If you fail to activate a piece (or pieces) within the alloted time, your opponent activates a piece (or pieces) for you.


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