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Author Topic: How best to run a 3-player tournament  (Read 21432 times)

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Tejayes

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How best to run a 3-player tournament
« on: July 16, 2012, 11:30:20 am »
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Hi, guys! I'm fresh back from the US Dominion Finals (don't ask how I did, though...), and the basic agreement is that, sorry Jay, but your format needs work.

This topic is meant to gather ideas for improving the kind of tournament that Jay wants for the Dominion Regionals/Nationals/Worlds/Universals? (any aliens playing this game?). Don't just say "Make it a 2-player tournament" because, as much as I know how most players prefer 2-player games, Jay has made it clear that he wants 3-player as much as possible.

Here's a reminder of how Nationals worked: For preliminaries, each player played three games, once in each seating position. You get 5 points for a 1st place, 3 for a 2nd, and 1 for a 3rd. Ties get a split between positions (e.g. a tie for 1st gets 4 points each). Once everyone plays their three games, the top nine (yes, we played three games each just to eliminate two players) start the process again with a clean slate.

Ideally, the player with the most points would win. That did not happen. There was a tie for first place, and Jay did not want a 2-player tiebreak. He wanted to put the third-placer in the tiebreak game, but there were two of them, too! After a heated discussion, we just did a 4-player final game that was overly Witch-centric. Not the best way to end a tournament, for sure.

After that final game, we talked about how tournaments should progress in the future. Jay firmly established that the format should stay 3-player, and I agree. ednever talked quite a bit about implementing a veto mode of sorts, from the standard veto format to one that favors the third player a bit more. I brought up a few ideas for a seeded elimination format, at least for the post-prelims, that uses the same point system to determine a single player to advance out of a group of three. I don't really remember the rest of the discussion, so if anyone who was there can help me out, I'd appreciate it.

Now's your chance to say whatever you want. Here are a few points of discussion that I want to focus on the most:

  • For the point games, should there be more games? Obviously, the more games you get to play, the less likely a tie at the top will occur. To me, this seems like a no-brainer, but if people with brains have an objection, make it known.
  • If there is ever a tie for qualification or the title, how should it be resolved? Three-way ties are optimal for the format, but how often would that happen? Larger ties could use the point system again, even though it'll take a long time, perhaps. Two-person ties are the big issue, due to the lack of desire to host 2-player games here.
  • If we do use a seeded elimination system, how do we group up the seeds? I mentioned in a topic in the IsoDom board that I've been working on two such formats: double underdog (1-8-9, 2-6-7, 3-4-5), and what I now call "Magic Square" (1-5-9, 2-6-7, 3-4-8). One person at the tournament (I can't quite remember his name, so I'll just call him "Mr. Vegan") suggested sort of a split difference between the two that would look like this: 1-6-9, 2-5-8, 3-4-7.
I would like to host some test 3-player tournaments on Iso to help determine what would work best. This will be after I get more input, of course. So please, start discussing! And thank you in advance!
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dondon151

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2012, 12:02:39 pm »
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2 player ties should use 2 player games. It'll only happen probably once per tournament, if even that, and the rules that we were given pretty clearly indicated, in my opinion, the possibility of a 2 player tiebreak.

I don't understand why 4 player games are admissible but 2 player games cannot be played, ever. I agree as well that 3 player games are the most interesting multiplayer subset, but the only players that should play a tiebreaker are the players that are actually tied for the top position.
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Lekkit

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2012, 12:13:22 pm »
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The way we did it at our Nationals was sort of round robin, with higher seeded players getting the advatange of not playing each other during this phase. That was mostly due to the lack of time for the guy who made the seating system. The optimal system would've been for players to play random players all games without having to play the same opponent more than once. And since we played 6 rounds we all got to play as first player, second player and third player two times each.

After that we had the best player move on to the finals directly with the second, third and fourth best player duking it out for the final spot in the finals, which was a two player game. Making the finals a three player game could easily be done with either three three player games with seeded groups or two three player games and one person advancing as the best player from the first phase of the game.

As for the finals, I would say that the best thing would be a set of games, not just one. First to two wins shouldn't take too long time, even with three players, but it would take more time than just playing one, obviously.
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greatexpectations

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2012, 12:50:46 pm »
+1

Don't just say "Make it a 2-player tournament" because, as much as I know how most players prefer 2-player games, Jay has made it clear that he wants 3-player as much as possible.

if this needs to be forked, then so be it.  i think the arguments that 'Jay wants' or 'this is how we did it in the past' are horrible reasons to maintain the status quo. 2 player had been the dominant competitive environment for most of isotropic's existence, with 3p only gaining popularity in preparation for this world's tournament. really, there are just too many technical issues in 3/4 player vs 2 player. the exaggerated effects of seating order, kingmaking, collusion, point systems for placing, tie breakers, and potential length of game issues. i'm sure i'm missing something, but the main issue for 2p tournaments IRL are related to actually having enough copies of the game, something which can be alleviated by the existence of the base card expansion, preset kingdoms, and/or the funsockets app. 

donald x., creator of the game, has stated that he prefers 2p for competitive play. (though he adds that you could also run multiplayer tournaments for those that wish) 3 and 4 player tournaments are the result of jay's desires to help promote the game, and i personally haven't ever seen any other logistical or competitive reasons why he prefers 3/4p. any gains he might imagine from having 3p tournaments are likely lost when anyone views the circus of events that has surrounded the tournaments.

as the hardcore fans and competitive players, i think that we should have some right to flex our muscle and seek some serious discussion with jay while we can. the community seems to be rapidly growing, and the existence of an official app for tablets/phones could potentially explode the user base. yeah, improving the 3p system is nice, but why not seek a legitimate overhaul before we become too set in our ways. maybe this needs to be forked or maybe it needs a poll.  i just don't think i like sitting idly by with 'Jay said...' as the only reason we don't seek to move from what has been a pretty ugly system.
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Lekkit

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2012, 01:05:46 pm »
+1

I don't get the "I've been playing 2p games all my life, I would rather die than play 3/4p!". I think the reason why many people prefer 2p games is because that's how they're used to play the game. I've seen a lot of players who started playing IRL and did that for a while. Most of those players have no problems at all with playing 3/4p. The ones who are usually saying 2p is better are the ones that has mostly played on isotropic and not much outside that.

Our nationals this year made Fabian the champion. He claims never to have played 3p games before. Yet he won 5 out of 6 3p games and ended up second in the last game. Was he just that much better than everybody else, or are the "disadvantages" of playing 3p games not so huge as people have theorycrafted?
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Tejayes

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2012, 01:12:33 pm »
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i think the arguments that 'Jay wants' or 'this is how we did it in the past' are horrible reasons to maintain the status quo.
Quote
3 and 4 player tournaments are the result of jay's desires to help promote the game, and i personally haven't ever seen any other logistical or competitive reasons why he prefers 3/4p. any gains he might imagine from having 3p tournaments are likely lost when anyone views the circus of events that has surrounded the tournaments.

Except that Jay paid for this Nationals, including the very nice hotel rooms and food and travel (I think -- I paid my own way), so he has final say over what format the tournament takes. He does want the tournaments improved, as he stated at the end of Nationals on Saturday. Still, when the owner of the publishing company that put this game on the map sponsors the tournament, you can't just look this gift horse up the you-know-what.

Also, as Lekkit just said, it's a little hypocritical to complain about the status quo of 3-player tournaments when you espouse the status quo of 2-player gaming.

Quote
2 player had been the dominant competitive environment for most of isotropic's existence, with 3p only gaining popularity in preparation for this world's tournament. really, there are just too many technical issues in 3/4 player vs 2 player. the exaggerated effects of seating order, kingmaking, collusion, point systems for placing, tie breakers, and potential length of game issues. i'm sure i'm missing something, but the main issue for 2p tournaments IRL are related to actually having enough copies of the game, something which can be alleviated by the existence of the base card expansion, preset kingdoms, and/or the funsockets app.
Quote
donald x., creator of the game, has stated that he prefers 2p for competitive play. (though he adds that you could also run multiplayer tournaments for those that wish)

If tests prove that 3p just doesn't work compared to 2p, perhaps that'll convince Jay to run tourneys in 2p mode. Anyway, the point of this thread is not to complain about 3p over 2p -- it's to figure out how to improve 3p tournaments and then test those methods on Iso. If you have nothing to add to that discussion, please add no more.

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Fabian

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2012, 01:18:23 pm »
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Lekkit, for the record I probably played some 3p back before I found isotropic, the first time or two I played. This was back when the Village piled was auto-emptied in the first two turns etc though, so I wouldn't really call it much "real" 3p :)

As for my games at Nationals, the kingdoms happened to turn out in a way where very few attacks came into play (no Amb, no Hag, no Witch, no Mountebank until the 2p final, no Swindler until the 2p final, etc). Without wishing to put down any of my opponents at the tournament, I think when playing "solitaire dominion" I can expect to do very well in the long run, whether it's in 2p or 3p mode.

I do think 2p Dominion is a much better game than 3p Dominion. I would in general prefer tournaments to be 2p rather than 3p (4p is comparatively pretty awful, there would be none of that if I was in charge), but some variety isn't the worst thing either. I'd save the 3p tournaments for less "serious" things than an actual world championship though.
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greatexpectations

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2012, 01:28:42 pm »
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sure, jay paid for food and travel. but we are the people who pay for his product.  our opinion should theoretically be worth something.

and no, i did not simply espouse the status quo of 2 player gaming. i pointed out a few of the major flaws we have had with 3/4 player tournaments and stated why i thought 2p was better.  the only reasoning i have ever seen for 3/4 player tournaments is based on jay wanting it that way for marketing. that is it.  if you or anyone else has any reasons in favor of 3/4 player i would love to hear them.  as i stated in my post, my biggest issue is not with 3/4 so much as simply going along with the 'jay wants' argument.

hey, if im such a huge nuisance i will gladly go and start another thread and poll on the issue.  but before i go i might as well point out there has been tons of forum speculation (and argument) on these exact issues already. you are not quite breaking new ground.

and fwiw, using 2p as the dominant format does not mean 3/4 player tournaments can not occur, just that there are multiple reasons why it should not be the dominant competitive format.
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greatexpectations

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2012, 01:35:28 pm »
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Our nationals this year made Fabian the champion. He claims never to have played 3p games before. Yet he won 5 out of 6 3p games and ended up second in the last game. Was he just that much better than everybody else, or are the "disadvantages" of playing 3p games not so huge as people have theorycrafted?

Fabian is one of the top players out there, and i'm pretty sure he has been the top ranked player on isotropic too.  i don't see how this is a convincing argument in your favor.  if i remember right from Fabian's writeup, he seemed to suggest that he had probably 15-20 levels of isotropic skill on the other players.  you could have went and played with some home-brewed dominion rules made up on the spot and Fabian still would have been the favorite to come out on top. 
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theory

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2012, 01:49:14 pm »
+6

We can run both; Jay does his 3/4p thing, and DominionStrategy hosts the 2p tournament.  Is it the imprimatur of "official-ness" that bothers you?
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Lekkit

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2012, 01:59:11 pm »
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I think there were at least three or four players who are about the same playing level as me, and I'm currently 4 levels behind Fabian on the iso leaderboard. My dad is currently lvl 19 on iso and he was the only one to knock a game off Fabian. Luck did play a bit of a role there, but then, Fabian was first player and missed to win with his first player advantage, so they had an equal amount of turns. I'm not saying Fabian is a bad player, not at all. I wasn't the least surprised to see him win. What I'm saying is that there were other good players there, Fabian played really well, even from second or third seat and that iso levels isn't the only true way of measuring skill.

@theory: We've been having an IRL League, and to be honest, I feel like the seriousness of that was about the same as during our nationals. So just because it isn't leading to worlds doesn't make it less of a tournament. I guess I'm trying to say I think I agree with you.
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greatexpectations

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2012, 02:02:03 pm »
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We can run both; Jay does his 3/4p thing, and DominionStrategy hosts the 2p tournament.  Is it the imprimatur of "official-ness" that bothers you?

i would personally love to see a championship in both, personally. my concerns are:
- the recent 3/4 tournaments have been an absolute mess.  the points systems and tie-breaking issues especially stand out, both of which are less of an issue in 2p.  and i think that 95% of us will agree that 2p, ignoring aspects such as time or resources, is better for determining who the best player is. 
- i am not sure we will ever see a consensus from the participants, so it will come down to someone higher up just making a decision.  but if the opinions of the players are to be heard, why not hear input on 2/3/4 player instead of just how to make 3 player tournaments better.
- i think i have seen more formatting complaints and trouble from just the US finals themselves than from the entire DS.com tournament and all of the IsoDom tournaments put together.
- jay's reasoning. i might have missed other reasons, but per my understanding it is entirely based on his ideas of marketing.  sure, there is no evidence that 2p marketing is better but i don't know of any evidence that it is worse. and as the people who help pay his bills, i feel that we should have at least a little input.
- the 'official-ness' is certainly one aspect, as is the potential prizes.  no offense at all meant to the DS.com tournament (which i thought was spectacular), but room/board/travel for a tournament is a nicer prize in itself than what you/we can offer on this site. 

fwiw, i am totally ok with sticking with the 3p format if need be.  i would just like to see some more discussion on it, especially if that would include some more input from jay. and to not hijack this thread any further, i would direct people to throw a vote and a comment at the poll i set up.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 02:04:30 pm by greatexpectations »
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Fabian

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2012, 02:02:23 pm »
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I'm level 42? Jeez I really need to get that uncertainty number below 11.5 or whatever it is :(

Edit: FWIW it seems to me that Lekkit is definitely the second strongest player in the room during our tournaments, by a pretty wide margin, but speculating too much about other peoples' relative skills probably isn't the best thing to do so I'll leave it at that.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 02:04:27 pm by Fabian »
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Tejayes

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2012, 02:14:36 pm »
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sure, jay paid for food and travel. but we are the people who pay for his product.  our opinion should theoretically be worth something.

Unless you are only playing on Isotropic at the moment, in which case you're not paying anything to complain about 3-player tournaments.

Quote
and no, i did not simply espouse the status quo of 2 player gaming. i pointed out a few of the major flaws we have had with 3/4 player tournaments and stated why i thought 2p was better.  the only reasoning i have ever seen for 3/4 player tournaments is based on jay wanting it that way for marketing. that is it.  if you or anyone else has any reasons in favor of 3/4 player i would love to hear them.  as i stated in my post, my biggest issue is not with 3/4 so much as simply going along with the 'jay wants' argument.

I'll put this in bold up top, but I'll write a reminder here, too: The sole purpose of this thread is to discuss ways to improve 3-player Dominion tournaments, then use Isotropic when we can to test these improvements as much as possible. If you do not wish to add constructive suggestions to this discussion and instead just complain, I cannot stop you. I will, however, ask you to keep all posts as constructive and relevant as possible.

As for reasons in favor of 3-player, here are a few:

  • Donald X. himself has stated that he personally prefers 3-player and even 4-player games over 2-player due to the increased interaction and social atmosphere. While he did state a preference of 2-player in tournaments, he never said he was completely against them.
  • As you stated earlier, when playing with physical copies, you need fewer sets of base cards to accomodate for more players in 3p than 2p. Since this game was designed to use physical cards, official in-person tournaments using computerized versions of the game would be silly.
  • More to come once I get a longer break from work...

Quote
hey, if im such a huge nuisance i will gladly go and start another thread and poll on the issue.  but before i go i might as well point out there has been tons of forum speculation (and argument) on these exact issues already. you are not quite breaking new ground.

I realize that I'm not doing anything revolutionary here, but I'm hoping that people will provide genuine ideas towards the topic at hand rather than just waste everyone's time by continuing to rant about the drawbacks of 3p tournament play. You have every right to start a thread titled "Why 2p Tournaments are Better than 3p Tournaments" or something. I would likely agree with that sentiment at the moment as well, even though I prefer 3p play. My only wish with this thread is to figure out if and how a 3p tournament can work as well as a 2p tournament because my experience at Nationals showed that the current way of doing 3p is far below optimal.

Quote
and fwiw, using 2p as the dominant format does not mean 3/4 player tournaments can not occur, just that there are multiple reasons why it should not be the dominant competitive format.

Again, the point of this thread is to improve 3p tournament play, not just complain about it. Even if Jay decides to adopt 2p tournaments from here on out, people might still want to run 3p or even 4p tournaments. In those cases, we should know the best method of doing so.
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theory

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2012, 02:22:03 pm »
+1

Yes.  Let's keep this topic focused on how best to run a 3p-4p tournament, as flawed and problematic it may be.  And we'll can have a separate discussion on how to run 2p tournaments.
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Tejayes

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2012, 02:23:24 pm »
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i would personally love to see a championship in both, personally. my concerns are:
- the recent 3/4 tournaments have been an absolute mess.  the points systems and tie-breaking issues especially stand out, both of which are less of an issue in 2p.  and i think that 95% of us will agree that 2p, ignoring aspects such as time or resources, is better for determining who the best player is. 
- i am not sure we will ever see a consensus from the participants, so it will come down to someone higher up just making a decision.  but if the opinions of the players are to be heard, why not hear input on 2/3/4 player instead of just how to make 3 player tournaments better.
- i think i have seen more formatting complaints and trouble from just the US finals themselves than from the entire DS.com tournament and all of the IsoDom tournaments put together.
- jay's reasoning. i might have missed other reasons, but per my understanding it is entirely based on his ideas of marketing.  sure, there is no evidence that 2p marketing is better but i don't know of any evidence that it is worse. and as the people who help pay his bills, i feel that we should have at least a little input.
- the 'official-ness' is certainly one aspect, as is the potential prizes.  no offense at all meant to the DS.com tournament (which i thought was spectacular), but room/board/travel for a tournament is a nicer prize in itself than what you/we can offer on this site. 

fwiw, i am totally ok with sticking with the 3p format if need be.  i would just like to see some more discussion on it, especially if that would include some more input from jay. and to not hijack this thread any further, i would direct people to throw a vote and a comment at the poll i set up.

Then provide some discussion on it, why don't you?! All you have been doing is complaining about 3p tournaments, not providing ideas on how to make them better. If I wanted to see people claim to improve ideas by just shutting them down with no positive input, I'd go to Capitol Hill.

If you have anything to say that might make 3p tournaments better, I'd like to see it.
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greatexpectations

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2012, 03:19:26 pm »
+2

Then provide some discussion on it, why don't you?! All you have been doing is complaining about 3p tournaments, not providing ideas on how to make them better. If I wanted to see people claim to improve ideas by just shutting them down with no positive input, I'd go to Capitol Hill.

If you have anything to say that might make 3p tournaments better, I'd like to see it.

i wanted to see discussion on 2p vs 3p vs 4p in response to jay's uncontested assertion that the tournament be 3p. i was not looking for more discussion on 3p, we had some of that already here, here, and in the preparations for the online qualifier. if that wasn't clear from the rest of my post discussing that issue, than that is my fault for not being clear and hey now you know.  i'm really not sure what you are getting so worked up over though.  that last post was a direct response to theory, and i stated in it that the poll and discussion could be found elsewhere. if the tangential posts are such a big concern i will gladly delete my other posts.

but hey if you'd really like my thoughts on 3p well then here they are:
- formats, tiebreakers, etc. should to be consistent across all tournaments feeding into the nationals.  this means that the rules need to be able to accommodate a tournament of 8 players as well as 200 players.
- how do you adjust to odd player totals in tournaments? round robin setups will not always be viable or fair. seeding and byes means either a random draw or some previous input.  and capping tournament sizes seems in contradiction to jay's whole marketing argument.
- the amount of money in the copper/silver/gold piles needs to be specified. these pile sizes become more important as you add more players. to my knowledge there is no rule on this outside of isotropic. your argument that 2p requires more setups is directly dependent on this. 2p and 3p both have the same amount of vp per person, so it is the number of coin cards which limit things.
- games should be formed from fully randomized sets of cards OR pre-designed from a combination of at minimum 2 different sets.  base only tournament sets are luck dependent and flat out boring, both of which will hinder jay's efforts of trying to sell the game to outsiders. look to the DS.com championships for evidence of this. well designed sets with competitive players is a great thing to watch.
- 2p and 4p games should be avoided in a 3p tournament.  determine seeding or tiebreakers some other way.
- alternating seats in a 3p set so that everyone gets a chance at each seat seems silly to me.  the impact of seating order will vary wildly from game to game. i would just organize people by how they finished the last set.
- one of your arguments pro-3p was the increased interaction and social environment.  i completely disagree. i think that there needs to be strict limits on what can and should be said during a game.  speculation on strategy, comments on points remaining, and comments on pile sizes all carry far more weight in 3p games.  it is simply too easy for seemingly offhand comments to influence the other players decisions.  i will freely admit to being a manipulative SOB in competitive gaming.  i pull all sorts of these shenanigans in playing settlers and puerto rico, and i have done the same in IRL dominion.
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ednever

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2012, 03:27:20 pm »
+3

After competing in three multi player tournaments this year, i gave a lot if thought to these tournaments on the trip home. here are my thoughts (Detroit, DS.com, us nationals)

This is how I would run a 3p in-person tournament if I ran one tomorrow:

Prelims:
If group is divisible by 3, play 3 prelim rounds (or 6 for an "epic" tournament that runs longer). Everyone plays once from each seat.

Each table has two different sets. Cards are randomly determined from those two sets. Every game is different. No two people play each other more than once.

If not evenly divisible by 3, then have four rounds with every player getting a buy in one round to keep it to all 3p games.

Advancement to semi finals:
Players advance based on rank order with a cut off of 9 people (or 27 if there are two rounds)

First: players with the most wins (in practice this means 1-1-3 beats 1-2-2)
On a tie on wins, number of. 2nd place finishes
On a tie on second place finishes, wins in the last game of the match (which helps solve the "I've already locked it issue now I play for fun)
On a still tie: second place finishes in last game
Still tied: wins on second last game, etc

Only ties remaining would be those with absolutely identical records. For them either flip a coin, or wins vs top 9 players or something.

Semi finals:
9 players put into 3 seeded pods:
Pod 1- 1-6-7
Pod 2- 2-5-8
Pod 3- 3-4-9

Top player from each pod advances based on the same criteria as above (wins, 2nds, wins in last game)

In the case where a player comes 3-3 in the first two games, last game is played 2p (this means that every player has a chance to win in every game- there are no spoilers). Top seeded player plays p1 in the last game.

Finals:
Top player from each pod play another set of 3 3p games under the same rules as the semi.


All the semi and final kingdoms are designed kingdoms using all the sets.

Total time to play:
Prelims: ~40m per round x 3-4 rounds= 2h-2h40m
Semi finals: ~30m/round (since not slowed down by slowest game in each round)- 90m
Finals: same, 90m
Total: ~5h

Time can be extended by 2h by adding 3 games to prelims.

I've almost finished the excel model that does the seating for non-divisible by 3 prelims.

Happy to expand on reasoning as requested (particularly why no designed kimgdoms in prelims. I tried but unless you make some serious compromises - ie people playing the same kingdom more than once, or having an absurd number of kimgdoms, it's not possible...)

Ed
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Beyond Awesome

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2012, 03:30:51 pm »
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I think a committee should be formed that helps hammer out rules and takes into consideration the needs and desires of various players. Also, I don't think the final say should lie with Jay regarding 2P/3P even though he feels that way.

Also, I do think that every tournament sold have a final round that pits the two best players in 2P mode.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 03:42:27 pm by Beyond Awesome »
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ednever

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2012, 03:40:29 pm »
+7

One more thing:

I have seen it written in many places that "Jay wants to do 3p for marketing purposes". I have no idea where that came from , but after talking to Jay this past weekend, it is absolutely not true.

Here is my interpretation on what Jay thinks:
1- he does not like tournaments. He sees them as a (potentially) necessary evil
      (he made a point at nationals of having a dinner before the event with all the participants so that we would know and like each other before we started playing. He wanted to do pickup games the evening before, etc)

2- jay doesn't really believe in marketing (at least the traditional kind). He wants to make good games that people want to introduce their friends to - that's his marketing

3- so why 3p? Two reasons:
   1- jay really doesn't like the way the game plays in 2p (call it personal preference)
   2- jay spoke to Donald (he trusts and respects Donald a lot), and together they agreed that 3p would be a great tournament format

That's really it. No conspiracy or big company manipulation. Just a guy trying to make the experience the best he knows how to do.

My personal belief, after a very recent adjustment, is that while Doninion is an amazing 2p Gand (the best in my opinion), and a pretty good 4p game, the full complexity of the game really shines in a 3p format.

I did not believe that until recently after playing a lot of 3p games.

I'm happy to write another post sometimd on why Dominion is at its peak in 3p, but that's for another day.

Ed
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ednever

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2012, 03:43:19 pm »
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I think a committee should be formed that helps hammer out rules and takes into consideration the needs and desires of various players. Also, I don't think the final say should lie with Jay regarding 2P/3P even though he feels that way.

I think anyone can run any tournament they like using whatever rules they like (they can even call it the world championships if they want the way they do at boardgame.org's event). But that in the tournament Jay runs (and pays for) I'm pretty sure he has final say...

Ed
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Lekkit

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2012, 03:44:38 pm »
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Ed, wow... Just wow... That is how it's supposed to be done.

The only thing I can really think of is that you probably need to have a time limit for each round in the prelims. This is coming from experience. While I'm not really fond of it, I'd rather have it that way and the time can actually almost be calculated, rather than one game dragging on for an hour (this can happen, and will happen if there will be no time limit).
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greatexpectations

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2012, 03:52:23 pm »
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I have seen it written in many places that "Jay wants to do 3p for marketing purposes". I have no idea where that came from , but after talking to Jay this past weekend, it is absolutely not true.

i think that is a result of this (and any other similar post) post by Donald and a lack of any other real commentary from Jay. we don't usually hear a lot from him on the tournament front, something which is evidenced in not only 2p vs 3p vs 4p but also in the spread of information on qualifying tournaments.  this makes the information in the rest of your post super useful to the rest of us who have not ever interacted with him, so much thanks for it. 

but again, it brings up the question: if jay is not himself particularly interested in tournaments then why is his word the final say? i feel he could benefit some from interacting more with the community here.
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ftl

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2012, 03:56:48 pm »
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Ednever, I think your thoughts are spot-on. I like what you say and would subscribe to your product and/or service. I had a post written, but yours is better.

I would just add that for a very large tournament - like >81 players - you could also do something like a single-elimination tournament. Split the round up into groups of 3, each group of 3 plays some number of games, whoever has the most wins advances.
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ftl

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Re: How best to run a 3-player tournament
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2012, 03:57:45 pm »
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if jay is not himself particularly interested in tournaments then why is his word the final say?

Because he's the one who's actually running the tournament... of course his word is the final say... Tournament Organizer always gets the final word...
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