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Author Topic: Dominion US National Championships  (Read 14374 times)

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ednever

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Re: Dominion US National Championships
« Reply #50 on: July 15, 2012, 12:55:23 pm »
+2

Yeah. Really sorry about that...

That's why there should be point counters in real life games. ;)

I'm stuck at the airport (a mess! I'm lucky to get out today at all!). So I'll try to have a full write up done for layer today with my full take.

Ed
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: Dominion US National Championships
« Reply #51 on: July 16, 2012, 12:50:34 am »
0

At least it's not just our online qualifiers that are filled with controversy :)
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Beyond Awesome

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Re: Dominion US National Championships
« Reply #52 on: July 16, 2012, 03:12:55 am »
+1

Wow. The format of the nationals sounds horrible, especially the way the playoffs were handled and that kingdom is absolute garbage. It lacks in strategic depth. It seems like the winner at the end was decided entirely by a coin flip. Anyway, no offense to you dondon. This is really Jay's fault. From the sound of things, the tournament could have been handled a lot better.
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meow

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Re: Dominion US National Championships
« Reply #53 on: July 16, 2012, 01:46:55 pm »
0

Thanks for the posts, guys.
I definitely agree about the organization and format being unimpressive.  Having a preliminary round to eliminate 1 person seems absurd, especially if the scores didn't carry over to the semi's (that part wasn't entirely clear to me). 

With 10 people I would just do a "swiss-like" setup for the whole thing, potentially dropping 1 or 4 players after X rounds.

Quote from: Jay
No player may choose to opt out because they feel they will not advance to the next round.

This rule is humorously similar to the original point counter ruling: it is unenforceable, and there can be no consequence for breaking it. I'm sure everyone who qualified is an honorable and wonderful person who will play to win even when they are out of contention, but forcing already-eliminated players into kingmaking positions is just ugly.

Barring someone from future official tournaments could be a consequence.  On the whole I think I agree that it's not a great rule.
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Personman

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Re: Dominion US National Championships
« Reply #54 on: July 16, 2012, 09:49:39 pm »
0

o_O didn't expect Randy to be there! That is awesome! I was all settled in to being happy I didn't make it since it meant I got to go on an awesome road trip with my girlfriend instead, but damn, I could've played Dominion against Randy Buehler...

Agree that just about everything about how it was run seems awful. The stated format (3p) is bad enough; but suddenly changing it to 4p finals on a whim? Restarting games when you can figure out who screwed up? Ew.

Anyway, congrats to dondon, and to ednever for making it to the finals! Thanks for the pictures.
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yuma

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Re: Dominion US National Championships
« Reply #55 on: July 16, 2012, 10:48:01 pm »
0

Thanks for the posts, guys.
I definitely agree about the organization and format being unimpressive.  Having a preliminary round to eliminate 1 person seems absurd, especially if the scores didn't carry over to the semi's (that part wasn't entirely clear to me). 

With 10 people I would just do a "swiss-like" setup for the whole thing, potentially dropping 1 or 4 players after X rounds.

Quote from: Jay
No player may choose to opt out because they feel they will not advance to the next round.

This rule is humorously similar to the original point counter ruling: it is unenforceable, and there can be no consequence for breaking it. I'm sure everyone who qualified is an honorable and wonderful person who will play to win even when they are out of contention, but forcing already-eliminated players into kingmaking positions is just ugly.

Barring someone from future official tournaments could be a consequence.  On the whole I think I agree that it's not a great rule.

Using door prizes as an incentive to complete could be used. Everyone that completes all rounds gets ____. If you leave early you get nothing. Rewards are often better than penalties.
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Personman

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Re: Dominion US National Championships
« Reply #56 on: July 16, 2012, 11:01:43 pm »
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Using door prizes as an incentive to complete could be used. Everyone that completes all rounds gets ____. If you leave early you get nothing. Rewards are often better than penalties.

This is solving the wrong problem, though. A serious tournament shouldn't /want/ mathematically eliminated players to play. They can show up for the door prize and screw with the game in any random way they want with no consequence. A big part of managing a tournament experience is getting players' motives to at least vaguely line up with each other. When they don't, you get weird politics and personality quirks deciding matches, rather than anything like skill.
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O

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Re: Dominion US National Championships
« Reply #57 on: July 17, 2012, 03:38:54 am »
+1

Using door prizes as an incentive to complete could be used. Everyone that completes all rounds gets ____. If you leave early you get nothing. Rewards are often better than penalties.

This is solving the wrong problem, though. A serious tournament shouldn't /want/ mathematically eliminated players to play. They can show up for the door prize and screw with the game in any random way they want with no consequence. A big part of managing a tournament experience is getting players' motives to at least vaguely line up with each other. When they don't, you get weird politics and personality quirks deciding matches, rather than anything like skill.

Close but still wrong. A serious tournament shouldn't want most of the players to be mathematically eliminated from any prize winning slot. Solution: More prizes (they don't have to be huge).
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theory

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Re: Dominion US National Championships
« Reply #58 on: July 17, 2012, 09:09:20 am »
0

Quote
Then I saw Herbalist and Philosopher’s Stone, and I knew right away that Ambassador and Sea Hag were traps in this kingdom. I was hoping that my opponents would pick up these power cards on instinct and not consider that Herbalist + PS counters these attacks extremely effectively.

It seemed that Ed (ednever) had also considered this, and we both opened Potion/Herbalist.

You should thank Geronimoo's article.
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Undrdatree

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Re: Dominion US National Championships
« Reply #59 on: July 19, 2012, 05:20:20 pm »
+2

Hi,first post but since i was at the final table I think i should add my two cents. (Joseph)
The restart at the final table was pushed by Randy and myself primarily. Joe, the player at the final table who "forgot" to pick up his curse, had at least one shuffle with one fewer curse than he should have had. During that same period of time Joe very suspiciously pulled throne room and witch 2 out of 3 hands. Unfortunately for me Joe chose to "forget" about his curse when i had the luck of having a 2/5 opening. a 2/5 was my only real chance of winning the tournament since I was last.

At the restart randy and I pushed to cut decks every shuffle. The second time around We all got 3/4 except for Dondon and since most of us at the final table were great players dondon maintained the 5/2 lead and took the trophy. There were two of us waiting for him to make the slightest mistake but he didn't. I'm very glad we had a restart at the final table even though it didn't affect my eventual placement, Joe was in first by a considerable margin. I have come to the conclusion that Joe cheated his way to the finals. Once the table decided to cut decks Joe was never a threat and eventually came in last by nearly a province to 3rd place (me) who had one fewer turn than everyone.
My main quibble with the tournament (in hindsight) is allowing Joe to make it to the finals. DSF's own ednever really deserved to take his place at the final table. Upon speaking with randy(briefly) he divulged some instances where Joe drew incredibly lucky hands.
Ultimately, however I'm very glad DonDon won to save the integrity of the tournament.
Another minor quibble, which ultimately caused Jay to do the final 4 table, is the uselessness of the first round. In the first round of the tournament i swept the field winning my first 3 matches by 6 or more. Equally as troubling with the first round was the result. If jay had eliminated one more player (hypothetically) that player would have been randy. Again in hindsight I see randy played Joe more than any other player, that is what i would attribute Randy's slow start more than any outplaying.
When discussing (it never became an argument in my mind) the finale Jay's primary defense for a 4 player final table was if he looked at the tournament as a whole the final tallies were much different.

In the next round of play i won my first and last game (detailed by dondon) but came in last in my middle game. Guess Who i played? Joe. Ironically every player at the table started 5/2 on a table with chapel and mine. I chose to go Chapel Silver. the other players went chapel Mine. on turn 3/4 neither hit both terminals in one hand and both mined copper in addition to buying silver. Again in hindsight, hands 5/6 is where either incredible luck or cheating happened for Joe in back to back hand he drew mine and both silvers. Of course he mined his silver for gold and bought gold, his next hand was identical just replace the second silver with gold so he trashed his silver and had 7 and bought a gold. to cut to the chase he won by a considerable margin 6< in a chapel game. i came in last by 3 points but had one fewer turn.

None of my comments critiquing certain times of the tournament are not to discount DonDon's victory he deserves it.
Although i am critiquing the tournament, it was a fantastic experience.

Good luck Donald.
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dondon151

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Re: Dominion US National Championships
« Reply #60 on: July 19, 2012, 05:51:31 pm »
+1

I'm not going to confirm or deny accusations of cheating, but the one game that I did play against Joe, I won extremely handily with an SP engine.

I as well was somewhat surprised at how well he did in the tournament, because I'm pretty sure that he had never seen some of the cards before. He claimed to not have played with Trading Post before, which I found odd at this level.
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GigaKnight

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Re: Dominion US National Championships
« Reply #61 on: July 19, 2012, 08:52:09 pm »
+1

I wouldn't be too quick to jump on whoever Joe is.  When I was about 3 months new to the game, I went to an informal tournament that was won by somebody who had literally never played before that night.  Granted, it's anecdotal and not nearly the level of play that happens at a national tournament, but there were multiple people there who knew the game well.

So, as much as I love Dominion, I also think there several key issues that prevent it from being a good tournament game.  The biggest one is that there's enough luck to require somewhat large sample sizes before you can confidently determine relative skill; that's hard to do in a day / weekend.  Obviously, the variance in starting 4/3 vs 5/2 on a given board is also huge.

A more subtle issue is that Jay (who I don't know and can't speak for) seems (based on hearsay / forum reports) to have what I would call a "casual gamer" mentality.  It's disappointing to hear that he "really hates" 2-player, as I see a lot of value in it as a competitive format.  Also, I get the impression that he's focused on a nebulous idea of "making it fun", which sounds really weird to say.  Dominion should be fun, but people have fun in different ways.  A community that cares about tournaments also cares about technicalities, rules decisions, and minimizing variance.  That is part of the fun for competitors.  I'd be really disheartened if I flew to a tournament and felt that the weekend amounted to "hey, let's hang out and play some Dominion."  A tournament should be about determining skill because that's a lot of why competitive players even show up.

This is all from my limited perspective; I'd love to hear others.  Again, I don't know Jay; I don't want to vilify him or accuse him of anything.  But my impression is that the guy in charge of official Dominion tournaments is a pretty casual about it, and that makes me a little sad.
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dondon151

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Re: Dominion US National Championships
« Reply #62 on: July 19, 2012, 09:47:47 pm »
+1

I wouldn't be too quick to jump on whoever Joe is.  When I was about 3 months new to the game, I went to an informal tournament that was won by somebody who had literally never played before that night.  Granted, it's anecdotal and not nearly the level of play that happens at a national tournament, but there were multiple people there who knew the game well.

Yes, there are things like good intuition that will beat mid-level players, which is why Joe lost against a far more intricate Scrying Pool engine. I can't very accurately comment on the overall quality of the players at Nationals, but my impression was that not many of them were "great" at the game (say, level 35+ on Iso). I know for sure that Ed is a decorated player, and Joseph looked like he was very good at the game as well, but none of the other players stood out.

So, as much as I love Dominion, I also think there several key issues that prevent it from being a good tournament game.  The biggest one is that there's enough luck to require somewhat large sample sizes before you can confidently determine relative skill; that's hard to do in a day / weekend.  Obviously, the variance in starting 4/3 vs 5/2 on a given board is also huge.

That doesn't get in the way of tournaments for games that require much larger sample sizes to confidently determine relative skill, like riichi mahjong and poker. I actually think that Dominion falls towards the middle of the spectrum in luck dependence, especially if you remove and/or mitigate the glaring contributors, such as seating position and opening split.

Also, I get the impression that he's focused on a nebulous idea of "making it fun", which sounds really weird to say.  Dominion should be fun, but people have fun in different ways.  A community that cares about tournaments also cares about technicalities, rules decisions, and minimizing variance.  That is part of the fun for competitors.  I'd be really disheartened if I flew to a tournament and felt that the weekend amounted to "hey, let's hang out and play some Dominion."  A tournament should be about determining skill because that's a lot of why competitive players even show up.

I agree that fun and competition are not mutually exclusive, having been a part of communities where there is a clear dichotomy between casual and competitive (or at least, high-level) gaming. I don't really like Jay's approach to the matter, either. For each person that channels competitive Dominion negatively through anger over subpar luck or whatever, there are many more that appreciate playing the game at a high level.

That said, let it be known that Jay never expressly stated that he opposed the creation of a healthy tournament Dominion setting. It's just that he himself doesn't want to do it because he couldn't care less about tournament play. On our first night at the hotel (and Ed should remember this), there was a guy sitting at the table that Jay wanted to help coordinate future tournaments. For all we know, this is in someone else's hands. The only thing that Jay did say was that both he and DXV agree on 3 player being the preferred tournament format.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 09:50:32 pm by dondon151 »
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GigaKnight

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Re: Dominion US National Championships
« Reply #63 on: July 20, 2012, 01:08:44 am »
0

That said, let it be known that Jay never expressly stated that he opposed the creation of a healthy tournament Dominion setting. It's just that he himself doesn't want to do it because he couldn't care less about tournament play. On our first night at the hotel (and Ed should remember this), there was a guy sitting at the table that Jay wanted to help coordinate future tournaments. For all we know, this is in someone else's hands. The only thing that Jay did say was that both he and DXV agree on 3 player being the preferred tournament format.

Oh, I don't think he (or anyone) really opposes a tournament Dominion scene.  I just think it's unfortunate that he doesn't seem to care much about tournament play WHILE he's in charge of fostering it.  I don't think a lasting community can easily form around that, so it's very encouraging to hear that somebody else may take the helm for future tournaments.

If a real tournament scene does emerge, it'll be interesting to see what the final format is.  Sounds like it will start at 3 players but I hope it ends up wherever the community as a whole prefers it, whether that be 2, 3, or 4 players.
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DoxyLover

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Re: Dominion US National Championships
« Reply #64 on: August 08, 2012, 02:03:55 am »
+1

Hi all. Ted Marshall here. I'm the one who stepped into the Potion/Herbalist trap. I'd completely missed the strategy until I went to play my first Ambassador and realized what trouble I was in.

I'm not a regular on this board; I'm a good player but not in the league of most of the players there. I will say that it was fun and an honor to play with all of you. I'm quite happy to have ended up in a 3-way tie for 6th :-)

Anyway, I just wanted to wish Donald good luck in the finals.
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theory

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Re: Dominion US National Championships
« Reply #65 on: August 08, 2012, 10:12:38 am »
+1

Hi all. Ted Marshall here. I'm the one who stepped into the Potion/Herbalist trap. I'd completely missed the strategy until I went to play my first Ambassador and realized what trouble I was in.

I'm not a regular on this board; I'm a good player but not in the league of most of the players there. I will say that it was fun and an honor to play with all of you. I'm quite happy to have ended up in a 3-way tie for 6th :-)

Anyway, I just wanted to wish Donald good luck in the finals.

Hello!  No worries, I don't think many people realized the strength of Herbalist/Phil Stone until Geronimoo's article a couple of weeks before the tournament.
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