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 Post subject: Question and Concern over DCI Event - Need Advice
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:19 pm 
Really Cool Alien from a Cantina
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Ok, this seems like the best place to post this, and you guys are the best people to ask. Recently, a friend of mine in another state (seriously, this isn't one of those stories where "my friend is actually me" :wink: ) went to his first DCI event in that state. In fact, it's the only place in his state that holds DCI tournaments. He had played with me in my home state a lot and was used to the high caliber of play here. So the event he went to was a 200 point SANCTIONED DCI Swiss-style event. He had made a decent Imperial squad and was ready to face some good competition. When he got there it seemed pretty laid back, and his first opponent was just a kid with a squad consisting of separatists and fringe. Other than that, the only somewhat odd thing was that the kid had never heard of gambit area and victory points. No biggie, some kids don't know about that.

Then the second match up. This was against the #2 in the state, someone with a very high ranking and in the top 50 in the world. My friend placed down his squad of Imperials and Fringe. His opponent then placed his down, consisting of Rebel, Republic, Vong, and Sith figures. My friend was confused and asked him about it, but the guy just said mixed faction was fine. Being the new guy, he didn't want to press the matter since it was his first time. Of course the guy beat him (again, no gambit) and even had some "suspect" rulings. So my friend at this point assumed this just wasn't a DCI event and he was just misinformed.

The final match-up was a similar mix of factions and this person actually argued with him over playing with gambit points. Again, no biggie, it's just a fun game.

After the match-up he asked the administrator. It was in fact a scheduled 200 point DCI event. Rather than press the matter, my friend was just content with his first tournament there, and gave me a call asking me about sanctioned DCI mixed faction events. Of course I told him there is no such thing (at least not to my knowledge). He got a little bummed at this point since he was hoping for some real DCI game-play, and not casual play where you get ranked. Not only that, but he said their understanding of the rules was horrendous, and there were times where he knew an obvious ruling but everyone disagreed with him (Boba Fett evading non-attacks for instance). He said he actually had a good time, but was concerned over their format, and felt slightly abused. I told him they are abusing himself as well as the given format.

So here's my question and problem. Is this even supposed to be going on? Should this place even be running DCI events with their own house rules? Should someone be notified? I don't want to get the place in trouble or anything; in my opinion any place that gets people together for gaming is obviously a terrific idea, and SWM even more so. But something about it really bothers me, especially when I'm so used to quality DCI events in my area.

Is it our responsibility to even address this, or should things be best left alone? I actually feel really bad for my friend. He says he had a good time, but he played a legal squad against illegal ones. He used erroneous rulings against himself just to fit in. And this place runs DCI tournaments like this EVERY WEEK. They have players in the top 50 of the country. Is this even allowed? Is this not allowed but is a common and often overlooked part of the game? Should my friend be concerned? Never mind us, should HE say something?

Please let me know guys. You guys are THE people to ask. I'm sure some of you veterans will have interesting opinions on this, and the opinions of the people on this forum I respect the most. Thanks in advance for your advice.


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 Post subject: Re: Question and Concern over DCI Event - Need Advice
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:46 pm 
Warmaster
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YES,
someone should be notified-
as to which order of importance... well...

(My opinion ONLY)
I would suggest FIRST:
Bring the Copy of the SWM floor rules
BEFORE the next match - seeing the "Standards" of play in black and white is very hard to deny

NEXT:
Inform the organizer that "He" should begin adhearing to the "Standards" OR
STOP Sanctioning Illegal Matches- as your friend wants to earn REPUTABLE standings and not get hosed in a manipulated system

based on how it goes from there-
Send (Repeated, you do have to send repeated) email messages to the folks at DCI, not only challenging the results but with an explanation of the "Impropriety"

Also Consider calling the local WOTC rep, explaining how the system is being abused



All that said
here's another approach:
register a "Proxy" DCI # so that your friends Actual Record doesn't get smirched
play, and manipulate Their rules untill they see how "Off" they are...
Running squads like
BDO
Dark Troopers
Darth Sidous
Darth Vader Unleashed

you get the idea...

Best of luck
and wher is this venue so I don't gete mixed into this depravity...?

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 Post subject: Re: Question and Concern over DCI Event - Need Advice
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:53 pm 
Imperial Dignitaries
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This is a tough situation. I ran into some rules issues with tthe last release tournament. The bad thing is that I had the questions and i am one of the two local guys that have been deemed the rules gurus. The other guy was in the middle of his game, so I didn't want to bother him. My opponet won the game, but I really didn't feel it was quite right. I just brushed it off at the time.

Now however, my feelings have changed. People need to be called out on stuff that is wrong. When you are the only guy it is really difficult to get the balls to to it though especially when you are the new guy.

If I were him and going back i would have as many of the FAQ printed out as well as the newest version of the rule book, plus the DCI rules. That way he can say here look at this. As mentioned before it is hard to argue with a hard copy of the rules.

I wish him luck.

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 Post subject: Re: Question and Concern over DCI Event - Need Advice
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 6:01 am 
Black Sun Thug
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This is something that confused me :
Quote:
Boba Fett evading non-attacks for instance
:boba:
So does he, or does he not ? :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Question and Concern over DCI Event - Need Advice
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 6:46 am 
Really Cool Alien from a Cantina
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I agree with all of the above. If your friend wants to continue to play there, he needs to address the issues.

A copy of the rules is critical- both the rulebook and the DCI rules.

He should absolutely ask the organizer if there are special 'exceptions'- for example, a place may have a rule that first-time players are exempt from the build rules due to their small collection. He should also call attention to someone he feels is abusing those rules (e.g. the same player for several weeks being a "new player")

Lastly, he needs to control his game, and any time there is a rules issue, stop play and look it up. If the rule says X, and the organizer says differently, then that needs to be reported.

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 Post subject: Re: Question and Concern over DCI Event - Need Advice
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:21 am 
Big Bad Brad
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Something similar happened to me during my first SW DCI event. I had been playing for awhile but there were no DCI events in my area and I was able to take one up in Northern Indiana (about 3 1/2 hrs at the time) for the A&E Release.

First thing was I only got one booster of A&E, the second was COTF, but that was no big deal.

First game I am playing for gambit, my opponent had never heard of it but before the game began I explained it to him. I am winning the game the entire time bc of gambit, and win time is called I announced I won, then my opponent argued saying that he had killed more figures..(not more points, more figures) in actuality he had killed 32 pts. of a 147 point build and I had killed 30 of 150 with 25 gambit points. The judge then said that according to DCI rules gambit was only used in a tie...I scoffed, but didn;t argue anyf urther. I ended up going 3-1 after that, pissed off I simply manhandled the weake competition. Prize support still worke dout the way it would have if I had won, but I haven't been back since.

On a side note, my friend was there and several times when I was watching his games and rules issues came up...I backed up this judges "altered" rulings when they favored my friend....justice....

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 Post subject: Re: Question and Concern over DCI Event - Need Advice
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:10 am 
Master of the Order
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That really is a tough situation to deal with.

Like everybody else said, first and foremost, bring a copy of the rules with you. Bring the full rulebook, the errata, and the FAQ, and then bring the DCI Floor Rules too if necessary. The biggest issue, IMO, is the actual rules of the game. People making up things to favor themselves (i.e. Boba's Evade) is flat-out easily disproved if you have a rule-book on hand. That should solve most of the frustration.

As far as running things as a DCI legal event....that's tougher to deal with, but there's two solutions there. Follow Madman's advice above and show them the Floor Rules, and then complain to DCI if necessary. The other option, and probably better, IMO, is to show them the Floor Rules, ask if they realized they were wrong, and see if they're willing to change. Ultimately though, if you want to continue playing there, just determine a way to contact the Tournament Organizer before each time your friend goes to play, and figure out what the plan is for that game day. If they're doing 200 points, no faction restrictions again, then he'll be prepared.

Honestly, we do some off-the-wall stuff at our LGS that isn't exactly 100% DCI legal all the time, but we typically report everything. However, we do this under the policy that if anyone at the store, regular or visitor, has a problem with it, we'll gladly revert to the straight up standards. We've had no problems with that system at all so far.

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 Post subject: Re: Question and Concern over DCI Event - Need Advice
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:07 am 
Master of the Order
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My advice is tell your friend to politely explain the situation to the organizer. Bring a set of floor rules and the rulebook along. Your friend should explain to the organizer as well as the store owner (if it's a different person) that while casual play is acceptable official rules are expected to be followed in official sanctioned play.

The store could get into some trouble with WotC if the tournaments are not conducted as close to the letter as possible. Setting "casual agreements" is one thing; blatantly thumbing your nose at the basic rules is quite another. For example, I know of a place that once asked ALL of the players if they would be interested in doing Dynamic Duo on a day that 100 points was sanctioned. It was not required to only run 2 characters, but it was suggested. No one was made to do it, but everyone wanted to.

Explain, again politely, that you don't want to see the store get into trouble over this, but that it could.

If this doesn't work, and I know this sounds harsh, report the store to DCI and find a different place to play. Their disregard for the rules affects all of us who play SWM DCI tournaments regardless of where we are.

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 Post subject: Re: Question and Concern over DCI Event - Need Advice
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:12 am 
Really Cool Alien from a Cantina
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Thanks for all the feedback guys, I really appreciate all your opinions. I'll relay all your advice and messages to my friend and see what he feels is appropriate. I'll let you guys know if anything comes of it. Thanks again for your collective wisdom. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Question and Concern over DCI Event - Need Advice
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:05 am 
Name Calling Internet Bully
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I have no problem with a local group using some house rules, and special formats and reporting it to DCI as a regular event. However, to not explain that to a new person and to not seem to recognize they are doing this, it suggests they dont know or care.

So I would approach this gently. There is no need to make a stink about it, or to report them, etc. That will only burn bridges. Do as has been suggested, to go to the organizer and ask if they know the DCI rules, and if they have chosen as a group to ignore some of them. The in game rulings however, need to be adjusted. Again, no need to report anyone, or challenge the previous result, etc.

Since you know what rules are being violated, talk to the rule guy before hand and have him/her explain the correct rulings before the next event. This way, everyone has a chance to benefit from learning ahead of time, and no one feels cheated or gets a bad taste from a ruling mid game they do not expect.

The best bet is to help them get in line with DCI rules over time, rather than some kind of abrupt change. Talk to the players and find out what kinds of things bug them about the game. If your buddy understands gambit well, talk to the organizer about giving a brief clinic before an event, so that everyone can learn the correct rules at once.

He did the right thing by not making a big fuss his first time there. Lots of venues knowingly and more commonly, unknowingly violate DCI rules all the time. Anyone remember the guy who showed up at Gencon with a mixed-faction squad because he didnt know it wasnt allowed??? Its nothing to make them feel bad over, and nothing worth reporting at this time.

Now, with that said, if you work slowly to change it, and they are completely unwilling, and so forth, you can warn them that you might have to report it if they do not, that is one thing. But please, use that as a last result because nothing will kill a healthy venue like a new player/rules nazi (even if just in appearance) who comes to make a stink. Be gentle, offer to help, be a good sport about it, and teach rather than complain. Give away your prizes for a while, and heck, even give a few extra rares to the kids who dont have a lot. They will be much more likely to listen and learn from you if you do. That is my method anyways. Hope this helps.

Bill - DCI venue trainer for 900 years. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Question and Concern over DCI Event - Need Advice
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:24 am 
Master of the Order
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Oh for God's sake do NOT threaten the people at the store that you're going to report them! Especially not if you plan to continue playing there. Regardless, that is just a tacky approach.

But as I said, do politely caution them about the implications of not running sanctioned events by the rules (again, within certain parameters).

If you do report them then just do it. They don't need to know about it. And threatening them with it puts you in a position where you will have to follow through or never be taken seriously again.

From the sound of it, it doesn't seem to matter whether your friend incurs the store's anger or not, if he was so uncomfortable with the way the event was run that he started seeking advice on how to deal with it.

I remember one time when I first visited a store after moving to the local area where the people playing didn't have a rulebook and had learned just about everything wrong. I was as polite and as calm as I had ever been during one game when I whipped out the rulebook no less than 10 times to show my opponent the definitions, and try to explain with the rulebook how things worked. He lost his temper with me, and I finally conceded the game, as politely as I could. It was a very tense situation, and one I wouldn't wish on anyone.

Confronting the store with the rules in hand is going to have a similar effect, but if the people there want to play fairly - and correctly - they will listen as long as you are polite with them. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Question and Concern over DCI Event - Need Advice
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:09 pm 
Name Calling Internet Bully
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Boris wrote:
Oh for God's sake do NOT threaten the people at the store that you're going to report them! Especially not if you plan to continue playing there. Regardless, that is just a tacky approach.


I really hope that was not responding to my post, but I could see no other. Time to leave the past arguments behind Boris, as that is clearly not what I said...

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 Post subject: Re: Question and Concern over DCI Event - Need Advice
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:25 pm 
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There is some good advice by various posters above.

1. For the short term, your friend must adjust. Play by their rules, and beat them at their own game. It's not really SWM the way it was intended to be played, but if they're friendly people to play with, it should still be a fun evening of gaming.

2. He should print out the appropriate docs and mention whenever incorrect items come up. The method should always be stating that it's incorrect, but playing by whatever ruling the judge decides on, and not arguing about rules during the game. Any discrepancies can be discussed with the judge in a friendly manner before or after tournements.

3. Convincing other players that playing by the correct rules is better than their flawed methods by showing them how their incorrect rules can be exploited is another good tactic. "Yeah, I'm crushing you because of this bad ruling you guys play with--the correct rules would prevent me from doing this and I'd really prefer that anyway but it's up to your judge, not me."

4. And the cold hard truth is that DCI will do nothing if you try to "report" a venue. There isn't even a mechanism for doing so. The threat of such a report might influence some venues, but the reality is there will never be any action taken from WotC's side. So it's typically not worth even bringing up.

5. Don't worry about DCI rank. It's fun, but it's not an accurate ranking of much. It will still show the reletive skill of the game played under incorrect rules on the local level just fine. It's terribly innaccurate on a national level for a variety of reasons aside from the house rules issue that plagues many venues.

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