Agricola Online Tournament

Agricola Season 9 Online
Tournament Sign Up Open

Sign Up for Season 9 of the Agricola Online Tournament

Sign up for Season 9 by going to

bucketofdice.com

If you don’t already have one, create an account for the new sign up system the Meeple League will be using in 2019. Be sure to add your boiteajeux user name (and any others you have) to your account.

Under the Play! menu select Register for Tournament to see all the events open for sign up.

Players are sorted into groups of 7 players based on previous results.  In a season, each player plays in 4 games. Each other member of your group will be in 2 games against you. See scoring rules below.

Divisions are based on previous Season results. New players enter at the bottom level for their first season.

Our Agricola tournaments use the online implementation at www.boiteajeux.net. We use the original version of the game with drafting.

You’ll receive a notice in your email once the pairings are ready. If you do sign up, you are committing to checking the website a couple of times on most days (it’s OK if something comes up every once in a while, or if you’re out of town for a weekend (for example), but in general we’re hoping game lengths will be measured in weeks not months.

Season 8 Standings

As games end the standings are updated. See how each league is doing and check on your friends and rivals. You can see lifetime standings HERE.

If the frame below is hard to read on your device follow the link:

Tournament Results

Report Season 8 Agricola Online Tournament Game Results

Only the winner of each game should record the results using the form below.

If you have trouble using the form shown, click on the title below to open the form in its own tab or window.

Game Report Form

Season 9 Game Assignments

Season 9 Game Assignments will be here when sign ups close.

This Agricola league uses the online implementation at www.boiteajeux.net. Games must be created with the Tournament mode setting (which just means the banned list used in most tournaments is implemented) and “Draft 7” will be used to distribute occupations and minor improvements from all 3 of the implemented decks: E, I, and K, though there are a few cards from the printed version of the game that have not been implemented  (see the article about online Agricola).

Be sure to name the game using the game name below and invite the other players listed. Any player may set up the game, but the winner of each game is responsible for entering the results using the form further down the page.

If you have trouble reading the iframe, click on the title below to open it in its own tab.

Game Assignments

Game Assigments will be here.

Previous Season Results

The results of the last season are here. The overall standings are on a separate page. Please see the menu under Standings.

If the frame below is hard to read on your device follow the link:

Tournament Results

Through the Ages Online Tournament

Through the Ages Season 9
Online Tournament Sign Up Open

Sign Up Open for Through the Ages
Online Tournament Season 9

Sign up for Season 9 by going to

bucketofdice.com

If you don’t already have one, create an account for the new sign up system the Meeple League will be using in 2019. Be sure to add your Czech Game Edition online user name (and any others you have) to your account.

Under the Play! menu select Register for Tournament to see all the events open for sign up.

Our TTA event uses the online implementation on ios, Android and now Steam (for Mac and Windows) from Czech Game Edition. The app is based on the most recent edition of the game (“A New Story of Civilization”) and no house rules.

Players are sorted into Groups of 7 players based on previous results.  In a season, each player plays in 4 games and each other member of your Group will be in 2 games against you. Winning a game is worth 10 points, 2nd is 6, 3rd place gets you 3 points, and 4th nets 1. You can read more details about the rules for Meeple Leagues HERE.

Divisions are based on previous Season results. New players enter at the bottom level for their first season.

You’ll receive a notice in your email once the pairings are ready. If you do sign up, you are committing to checking the app a couple of times on most days (it’s OK if something comes up every once in a while, or if you’re out of town for a weekend (for example), but in general we’re hoping game lengths will be measured in weeks not months.

To sign up for this (and future) season of Through the Ages, you must create an account at BucketofDice.com.

Add your user name on the Czech Game Editions application and then sign up.

This system is run by the Meeple League, but has a separate domain name because it isn’t part of our WordPress system. We are developing it on our own.

The reason we are doing sign ups with it now is to make sure players are credited for participation in all Meeple League events. Mis-typed and slight variations in names causes many problems with our previous sign up and score reporting system. Having your own identity for use in all events saves a lot of sifting through data.

Season 8 Standings

As games end the standings are updated. See how each league is doing and check on your friends and rivals.

If the frame below is hard to read on your device follow the link:

Tournament Results

Through the Ages Online Tournament
Season 8 Report Results

Only the winner of each game should record the results. Use the form below.

If you have problems using the form on this page CLICK HERE TO SEE JUST THE FORM.

Season 9 Pairings Will be Here

Pairings will be listed when Sign Up closes.

See below for your group and match assignments. When each game ends, the winner should report the scores using the form on this page.

The Through the Ages tournament uses Czech Games Edition application ofthe game.

Select to see pairings in a separate view.

Pairings will be here.

Previous Season Results

Season 7 games should be over. If any new results have to reported, email the game coordinator.

If the frame below is hard to read on your device follow the link:

Tournament Results

Castles of Burgundy Online Tournament

Castles of Burgundy Online
Season 9 Sign Up Open

Sign Up for Season 9
Castles of Burgundy Online Tournament

Sign up for Season 9 by going to

bucketofdice.com

If you don’t already have one, create an account for the new sign up system the Meeple League will be using in 2019. Be sure to add your boiteajeux user name (and any others you have) to your account.

Under the Play! menu select Register for Tournament to see all the events open for sign up.

Standings Season 8

As games end the standings are updated. See how each group is doing and check on your friends and rivals. You can see lifetime standings HERE.

If the frame below is hard to read on your device follow the link:

Tournament Results

The winner of each game should record the results using the form below

If you have problems using the form on this page CLICK HERE TO SEE JUST THE FORM 

Report Season 8 Game Results

Season 9 Game Assignments

Group and Game Assignments for Season 9 will be here.

The Castles of Burgundy tournament uses the online implementation at www.boiteajeux.net. Use the “single random board” variant, which means that all 4 players in a game will play on the same board, and which board it is will be determined randomly.

Be sure to name the game using the game name below and invite the other players listed. Any player may set up the game, but the winner of each game is responsible for entering the results using the form further down the page.

If you have trouble viewing the list below, click here to see just the listing.

Pairings will be here.

Last Season Standings

Season 7 games should have ended.

 If you need to report a late game, email the results to online_league@meepleleague.com

If the frame below is hard to read on your device follow the link:

Tournament Results

Overview & News

Season 7 is complete and all results have been posted.

Meeple League’s Season 8 of Castles of Burgundy is starting. Season 8 is part of the 2019 set of online tournaments.

Players are sorted into Groups of 7 players each based on previous results, so you should be matched against players of about your ability. In each season, you will play in 4 simultaneous games and each other member of your league will be in exactly two of them. Do well and you’ll get promoted to a tougher division. Do badly and you’ll drop to an easier one. Full details about our format and scoring system (which is the same for all our online leagues) are here: rules page.

Our Castles of Burgundy tournament use the online implementation at www.boiteajeux.net. We  use the “single random board” variant, which means that all 4 players in a game will play on the same board, and which board it is will be determined randomly.

After signing up, you will receive an email notifying you once the schedule has been posted. If you do sign up, you are committing to checking the website multiple times on most days (it’s OK if something comes up every once in a while, or if you’re out of town for a weekend, for example), but in general we’re hoping game lengths will be measured in weeks not months.

The event sign up form will email you as soon as you submit it.

BPA Through the Ages PBEM Tournament 2019

This is the home page for the 2019 Boardgame Players Association “Play By Email” tournament for Through The Ages. It is open only to members of the Boardgame Players Association (BPA). It you attend the World Boardgaming Championship (WBC), and are up to date on your registration fees, then you are already a member. If not, you can purchase a “PBEM Membership” for $10 from this website: www.boardgamers.org. This tournament will award laurels and contribute to the annual Caesar award, all of which is tracked through that same website.

GM: Randy Buehler

Format

Games will be 4-player games whenever possible, using the app that launched in 2017 for iOS, Android, and Steam. You must own the app in order to participate in the tournament. Games will use “Rules: Digital” (which, yes, is slightly different from the tabletop version of the game but the massive quality of life gains are worth it) and “Default Asynch” timing (which means you have 24 hours to make a move once it is your turn, plus a time extension bank that refills whenever a new age begins … if you run out of time you will be dropped from the game and replaced by a bot). 

Heat Stage: Everyone who joins the event will play in 3 asynch games, which will launch simultaneously. They will be paired randomly within the constraint that we will do our best to avoid putting people into multiple games together. If you win any of your games, you advance to the semifinal.

(Quarterfinal Stage: If more than 50 people enter the event then single winners from the heat stage will be entered into two quarterfinal matches each. Winning either earns advancement to the semifinals along with the double winners from the heat stage.)

Semifinal Stage: You will be placed in 4 simultaneous asynch games. They will be seeded based on the results from the Heat Stage as much as possible (details will depend on the number of semifinalists who qualify). In addition, we will avoid giving anyone repeat opponents if possible.

You will be awarded 10 points for winning a game, 6 for finishing 2nd, 3 for 3rd, and 1 for 4th. The top 7 point-earners will advance to the finals, with heat performance serving as the first tiebreaker and percentage of winner’s score in the semifinals as the second tiebreaker (and from the heats as the 3rd tiebreaker).

(This stage will be eliminated if there are 7 or fewer heat winners.)

Final Stage: You will be placed into 4 simultaneous games. Each of the other finalists will be in 2 of them. We use the same scale of points for each finish position as in the semifinals and the final standings go by these points. (Ties in the overall standings will be broken by semifinal points, then heat points, then % of winner’s scores in the finals, then semis, then heats.)

Note on Ties: We will not use the in-game tiebreakers for finish positions. In the heats, anyone tied for 1st gets credit for a win. In the semis and finals the points for tied positions will be divided evenly among the tied players.

Pace of Play: You are expected to check your games and take your turns (at least) once per day. It’s OK to have an occasional break of a couple of days, but we expect most games to finish in less than two months. Games that haven’t finished in 2 months are likely to be adjudicated, and the adjudication will include demoting slow players to lower finish positions.

Platform

Games will be played exclusively on the (awesome) app from Czech Games.

Schedule

Registration Opened: October 2018

Registration Closed: January 13, 2019

Heat Stage Began: January 15, 2019

There will be no Quarterfinal stage 

Semifinals Begin: March or April 2019

Finals Begin: ~June 2019

Game Assignments

Everyone in the Heat Stage should be in 3 games with no overlapping opponents. Matches should be created inside the app using “Rules: Digital” and “Default Asynch” timing.

Click Here to See Just the Assignments

Game Results

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Tournament Results

BPA Through the Ages Tournament
Report Results

The winner of each game should record the results, unless otherwise arranged. Use the form below.

If you have problems using the form on this page CLICK HERE TO SEE JUST THE FORM.

Sign Ups Are Closed

The tournament has started.

Players in BPA Through the Ages PBeM Tournament

These people are signed up for the tournament:

Players will be listed here as they sign up.

Thurn & Taxis Online Tournament

Season 11 Standings

As games end the standings are updated. See how each Group is doing and check on your friends and rivals.

Lifetime standings can be seen HERE.

If the frame below is hard to read on your device follow the link:

Tournament Results

Thurn & Taxis Online Tournament
Season 11 Report Results

Only the winner of each game should record the results. Use the form below. Be sure to add the seat number of the player who triggered the game end.

If you have problems using the form on this page CLICK HERE TO SEE JUST THE FORM.

Game Assignments

Season 11 Matches

Our Thurn & Taxis tournaments use the online implementation at www.yucata.de. We use the original version of the game – no expansion content, and no special options.

Players are sorted into leagues of 7 players based on previous results.  In a season, each player plays in 4 games. Each other member of your league will be in 2 games against you. See scoring rules below.

Divisions are based on previous Season results. New players enter at the bottom level for their first season.

If you have trouble viewing the list below, click here to see just the listing.

Thurn & Taxis
Sign Ups Closed

Use this form to be Notified about Season 12!

New System for Sign Ups!

You need an account to sign up:

  • Go to bucketofdice.com.
  • Login  OR
  • Create an account (Register on the menu), if you do not already have one. Then activate it. If you do not receive an email quickly, please check your spam folder for the activation email.
  • Under Manage Account, select Game Names and enter your game name ids. You only need to do this once for each id.
  • Under the Play! menu, select Register for Tournament.
  • You should receive a confirmation email. If you do not, check your spam folder.

The Meeple League is using a new system for signing up for tournaments. This is part of our ongoing effort to build a robust system for entering and tracking Meeple League events.

We will be using this system for all future online events (and eventually making it available for live events). The main purpose is to make sure you are correctly credited for all your activity. The old system using Google Forms meant that minor differences or errors in spelling would result in not matching your scores without serious effort. We will expand the system to include score reporting soon, but this tournament will still use the current reporting form.

Last Season Results

Kyle Smith won Division 1 again, making it his fifth win in 10 seasons.  It’s safe to say this is Kyle’s league and everyone else is just playing in it.  He will have some strong challengers joining him this season, as Steve LeWinter won his way back in after a close finish in Division 10, and all-around gaming guru Allan Jiang has completed his sweep – Allan is now an active player in Division 1 for ALL FIVE Meeple League events concurrently.  That’s truly outstanding!

Lifetime standings can be seen HERE.  They will be updated following the official conclusion of Season 10.

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Tournament Results

Brass Online Tournament

Season 10 Game Assignments

Group and Match Assignments for Season 10 are here. You may choose any color, as the webmaster of Order of the Hammer has confirmed that Start Player can not be predetermined and this capability will not be instituted.

Be sure to name the game using the game name below and invite the other players listed. All games should be password protected using the word “meeple” in all lowercase letters.  Any player may set up the game, but the winner of each game is responsible for entering the results using the  game results report form.

See in separate tab.

Season 10 Standings

Season 10 results will be here as the results reported. You can see lifetime standings HERE.

Click to see results on separate tab

Brass Online Tournament
Season 10 Report Results

Only the winner of each game should record the results. Use the form below.

CLICK HERE TO SEE JUST THE FORM.

Sign Ups Closed For
Season 10

Season 10 Registration is Closed

Sign up for notification of next season below by using the form OR click on the link for just the form in a tab:

Brass Online Signup

Last Season Standings

Season 9 results should all be in. If you get a late result, contact the tournament administrator. You can see lifetime standings HERE.

Click here to see standings is a separate tab/window.

 

Brass Online Tournament News

Jon Wilcox joins Allan Jiang as two-time winners of the Brass league, after firing off three wins in Season 9.  After spending the first nine seasons in Division 1, Rob Flowers’ streak came to an end and has been relegated to Division 2.  Rob was the last remaining player (by far) to remain in Division 1 since the very first season – an impressive feat!  Maciek Dud will return to Division 1 after winning Division 2-A, spending just one season in D2 after his Season 8 relegation.  The Season 1 winner, Rob Murray, also returns to Division 1 after spending several seasons in the league’s lower divisions.

Tournament format:

Players will be sorted into Groups of 7 players based on previous results. In a season, each player plays in 4 games. Each other member of your Group will be in 2 games against you. You can read the full details about league and scoring rules HERE.

Brass is Martin Wallace’s game of economic development in the early Industrial Age around Manchester and Liverpool.

Our Brass tournament will use the online implementation at brass.orderofthehammer.com. We will use the original version of the game – no expansion content, and no special options. You’ll receive a notice in your email once the matchups are ready. If you do sign up, you are committing to checking the website a couple of times on most days (it’s OK if something comes up every once in a while, or if you’re out of town for a weekend), but in general we’re hoping game lengths will be measured in weeks not months.

Good luck!

BPA Brass Tournament 2019

This is the home page for a Boardgame Players Association “Play By Email” tournament for Brass. It is open only to members of the Boardgame Players Association (BPA). If you attend the World Boardgaming Championship (WBC), and are up to date on your registration fees for 2019, then you are already a member. If not, you can purchase a “Associate Membership” for $10 from this website: www.boardgamers.org. This tournament will award laurels and contribute to the annual Caesar award, all of which is tracked through that same website.

GM: Allan Jiang

AGMs: Bruce Hodgins and Rob Murray

Format

Please note that the format is different from the WBC tournament. All games in this tournament will have 4 players, and players will be randomly be assigned a starting position in each game.

We will use the implementation of the original Brass: Lancashire game at brass.orderofthehammer.com. Rules for this version of the game are available here. This implementation does not include the minor changes made in the more recent Roxley version.

For new users to OrderOfTheHammer, please note that accounts will have to be manually activated by the webmaster here. You may sign up below once you have created an account, even if it hasn’t been activated yet.

Ties: We will use the in-game tiebreakers for finish positions. The 1st tiebreaker is income space, the 2nd tiebreaker is cash on hand, and the 3rd tiebreaker is hypothetical turn order in rail turn 9.

Standings: In each stage, you will be awarded 10 points for winning a game, 6 for finishing 2nd, 3 for 3rd, and 1 for 4th. Any ties in the standings will be broken by average % of winner’s score. Standings will not carry over between stages, although semifinal games will be seeded based on heat standings.

Heat Stage: You will play in 4 simultaneous asynchronous games, all against different participants as determined by a roll of the dice. If we have at least 32 participants, then the top 16 in the heat standings will advance to the semifinals.
 
3/5 Update: We have 30 participants confirmed, so the top 15 in the heat standings will advance to the semifinals.
 

Semifinal Stage: All qualifiers will play in 4 simultaneous asynch games. If we have at least 32 participants, then the 16 qualifiers will be divided into quartiles based on the heat standings. You will play every semifinalist not in your quartile exactly once, according to the game assignments below. The top 7 in the semifinal standings will advance to the finals.

[If we have less than 32 participants, the top half (rounded down) in the heat standings will advance to the semifinals. This is to comply with BPA regulations. In this case, the semifinal game assignments will be adjusted at the start of the tournament. The first priority for these assignments would be to minimize the number of repeat matchups, and the second priority would be to minimize the number of matchups between the top 4 players in the heat standings. The top 7 in the semifinal standings will still advance to the finals.]

3/5 Update: The top 15 in the heat standings will advance to the semifinals. Each of the qualifiers will play all the other semifinalists except for 2 with similar records. Each of the top 4 from the heat standings will play no more than 2 of the other top 4 players.

Final Stage: The 7 qualifiers will play in 4 simultaneous asynch games. Each of the other finalists will be in 2 of them. The top 6 finishers will be awarded BPA laurels.

Pace of Play: You are expected to check your games and take your turns (at least) once per day. It’s OK to have an occasional break of a couple of days, but we expect most games to finish in less than two months. Games that haven’t finished in 8 weeks are likely to be adjudicated, and the adjudication will include demoting slow players to lower finish positions.

Schedule

Registration Opened: January 2, 2019

Registration Closed: March 5, 2019

Heats Began: March 7, 2019

Semifinals Begin: April 14, 2019

Finals Begin: Late May (tentative)

Signups are now closed

Report Results

The winner of each game should record the results, unless otherwise arranged. Click here to see just the form.

BPA Terra Mystica PBEM Tournament

This is the home page for a Boardgame Players Association “Play By Email” tournament for Terra Mystica. It is open only to members of the Boardgame Players Association (BPA). It you attend the World Boardgaming Championship (WBC), and are up to date on your registration fees, then you are already a member. If not, you can purchase a “PBEM Membership” for $10 from this website: www.boardgamers.org. This tournament will award laurels and contribute to the annual Caesar award, all of which is tracked through that same website.

GM: Ryan Feathers

Format

All games will be 4-player games. We will use the base game rules with the following additions and modifications:

We will be using the variable turn order (VTO) rule introduced in the Fire and Ice Expansion

We will be using the following content from the 2015 mini-expansion

  • 4 new town tiles
  • Shipping bonus tile
  • Temple round scoring tile

Group Stage: Everyone who joins the event will play in 4 asynch games, which will launch simultaneously. As best as possible, players will be put into 7 player groups. Within those groups you will play every other player in your group exactly twice. Every player will start from each position (1st pick, 2nd, 3rd, 4th) exactly once. As necessary there may be a few groups of 6 or 8 players to make the overall numbers work. Players in those groups will still pick from each position exactly once.

You will be awarded 10 points for winning a game, 6 for finishing 2nd, 3 for 3rd, and 1 for 4th. Players who drop from a game will be awarded 0 points. The top point-earners from within each group will advance to the next round. As needed we will advance additional players to the next round based on the remaining player(s) with the most points. Tiebreaker will be average percentage of winners score across all 4 games played.

Semifinal Stage: This stage will only be necessary if 57 or more players enter the tournament. All group winners will advance to this stage. Then, we will advance additional players based on those who have the most points until we have a total player count that is a multiple of 7. These players will be put into groups of 7 and play 4 asynchronous games, just like the group stage. Group winners will advance to the finals, along with those remaining players who have the most points from the Semifinal round. Tiebreaker will be total points in the heat round, then percentage of winners score across the 4 games played in the SF stage.

Final Stage: 7 players will advance to this stage. They will be placed into 4 simultaneous games with each of the other finalists in 2 of them. Every finalist will be seated in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th seat exactly once. Furthermore the games will be set up such that every finalist will be seated before every other finalist exactly once, as well as being seated after every other finalist exactly once. We use the same scale of points for each finish position as in the semifinals and group stages, and the final standings go by the points earned in the final stage. (Ties in the final stage will be broken by semifinal points, then group points, then average % of winner’s scores in the finals)

Note on Ties: There are no in game tiebreaker rules in Terra Mystica and this tournament will not use any either. For all players who end a game tied at a certain position they will share the points. For example if two players tie for 1st within a game they will both be awarded 8 points. (Splitting the 10 and 6 points for 1st and 2nd place).

Pace of Play: Games will be on a timer. Every player has an 8 hour grace period for every move, so their timer does not start deducting until after 8 hours. Therefore if a person diligently checked and made their moves every 8 hours they would never have any time deducted off of their clock. Games will be set to a time of 5 days plus 1 day per round. This still allows for a fairly leisurely pace of play while ensuring very slow players will get dropped so that games can end in a reasonable amount of time. In general this timer should ensure that games finish in about 8 weeks, with most finishing quicker than that. If you do wind up dropping in a game due to slow play you will be awarded 0 points for the game, regardless of your actual finish position.

Platform

Games will be played on https://terra.snellman.net/ using the above described settings. Just to reiterate that means games will have the following options in effect: Mini Expansion #1 (town tiles), Shipping bonus tile, Temple round scoring tile, and Turn order determined by passing order. Additionally the Time limit will be set to Chess Clock with settings of 5 days initial, 1 day added per round, and a grace period of 8 hours.

The platform does have one ease-of-life adjustment to the game rules; it does not strictly enforce turn order on leech decisions. This means that players can take turns even while another player may still have a leech decision to make. This helps speed up the pace of play dramatically. If you ever want to strictly enforce turn order for a leech decision, you can use the wait command to force that player to make their decision before you take your turn.

If there are any questions about how to use the platform please reach out to the GM Ryan Feathers.

Schedule

Registration Opens: September 17 2018

Registration Closes: February 1 2019

Group Stage Begins: Early February 2019

Semifinals Begin: Early April 2019 (If Needed)

Finals Begin: Early June 2019, or if no SF needed, Early April 2019

Sign Up for BPA Terra Mystica PBeM Tournament

If you want to play, please sign up below by using the form OR click on the link for just the form in a tab:

Terra Mystica PBeM Signup

Players in BPA Terra Mystica PBeM Tournament

These people are signed up for the tournament:

Insert an iframe for the list of players from the appropriate tab on the Google Sheet for the tournament

Game Results

Note: Unlike other Meeple League events, players do not need to report results of their games. The GM is notified whenever a tournament game finishes and will be entering all results, as such players do not need to do so.

As games end the standings are updated. See how each player is doing and check on your friends and rivals.

If the frame below is hard to read on your device follow the link:

Tournament Results

Insert an iframe for the tournament standings tab of the tournament's Google Sheet.

Game Assignments

League and Game Assignments will be posted here.

The GM will be creating all games, players will be placed into the games they are assigned to. (Unlike most PBEM websites, snellman.com allows game creators to just add players to a game without any action required by the player).

 

Insert iframe of game matches generated for the current round of the tournament.

Andy Latto’s Tie-Break Rationale

Andy Latto is a very competitive gamer. Beating him at Thurn & Taxis was when I knew I understood the game. Having him win a game that you are teaching him is no longer a surprise. Andy is also generous with his time and talent to the hobby. Andy is the Game Master for the Thurn & Taxis tournament at the World Boardgaming Championships every year. To keep track of his tournament, Andy created a Google Sheets spreadsheet to register and track entrants in the tournament. He has, generously, shared it with other GMs and I will be using it for the 2nd time for my Puerto Rico tournament at WBC this year.

Along with other clever programming throughout, Andy implemented his tie-breaker rules for advancement. As part of the documentation, Andy explains why he uses certain tie-break rules. I found that so interesting (and well explained) that I felt compelled to share just that with other folks who may never explore Andy’s GM spreadsheet. So here, in his own words (and with permission), is Andy Latto’s tournament advancement tie-break philosophy. You may disagree, but if you do, I hope your reasoning is as clear as Andy’s.

Thurn and Taxis tiebreak system is as follows:

Each game you play that you finish first or second, you score points as follows:

  • Win in first game played: 1500 points plus (your score/second place score)
  • Win not in first game played: 1000 points plus (your score/second place score)
  • Second place, 4-player game: 100 points plus 10 * (your score/winner’s score)
  • Second place, 3-player game: 50 points plus 10 * (your score/winner’s score).
  • Top 16 scores qualify for the finals.

This scoring system was designed to fulfill the following goals:

1. Playing never hurts

People should always be encouraged, not discouraged, from playing a game. So I never want to put people in the situation of “I qualify now, but if I play again, and do badly, I might not qualify”. So playing an additional game can only help, not hurt, your qualification score.”

2. Reward achievement, not attendance.

The best players should qualify for the semifinals. Showing up for a heat and finishing last doesn’t show you are a good player; it just shows that you showed up. So points are awarded only for finishing at least average, which in a game with 3 or 4 players, means 1st or 2nd. If you play a heat and finish 3rd or 4th, it doesn’t hurt, but it doesn’t help, either.

3. Scores should only be counted as score differentials.

In many games, a game may be high scoring for everyone or low scoring for everyone, depending on how the game goes. A Thurn and Taxis or Saint Petersburg game with many turns will have higher scores for everyone, but doesn’t mean that everyone is a better player. So the absolute score should never be used in the qualification formula, since it gives an incentive to aim for a high-scoring game, which can be in conflict with the main objective of scoring higher than the other players.

4. Score differentials should be measured by ratios.

If scores are higher, we expect score differentials to be higher, too. So winning 15 to 10 is a more impressive achievement than winning 20 to 15, and should get more tiebreak points. So the tiebreak always measures the ratio of your score to another’s score, rather than a difference. This has the added benefit of producing far fewer ties; since an 18-17 win is just slightly better by ratio than an 18-19 win, exact ratio ties are very rare except when both compared scores are the same.

5. Compare to other good players where possible.

Tournaments will always include some beginners who play poorly and finish with very low scores. The difference in skill, and therefore in score between the best and the worst players can be quite large, and the luck of having a very weak player at your table should not be rewarded. Some luck of the draw is unavoidable, but if we say that it’s unlikely that there will be more than two very weak players at a table, their effect on qualification is minimized if the first player is only compared to the second player, and vice versa, rather than comparing to all players or to an average.

Also, to the extent that one can make plays that target particular other players, I’d rather the first and second player target each other, rather than target the players who are losing, which I think makes a more fun experience for all.

6. Count closeness of seconds as more important than big firsts.

A close second means you did well against a player who won, while a win far ahead of second only means you did well against a player who came in second. There’s less evidence you did well against a good player, so you get fewer tiebreak points.

7. First in a three player game counts as much as first in a four player game, but second in a three player game counts for less than in a four player game.

If first didn’t count as much for three players as four, a player in a three player game would be at a severe handicap in qualifying. A second in a three-player game is easier to achieve than a second in a four-player game, so it counts for less. The fact that you can’t get full credit for a second balances out the fact that it’s easier to get a first.

8. For simplicity, incorporate the HMW (heats: most wins) rules into the formula

Technically, the point formula should only apply if the list of precedence rules for qualification reaches the ‘GM specified tiebreak rule’. But I think it’s easier to understand a rule that says “Add these up; highest score qualifies” than one that says:
“First see who has most wins; then see who has a win in their first heat entered, then…then add these numbers up and see who is highest”
So the size of the bonuses for win in first heat entered, other win, and second place ensure that the standard HMW rules will be followed, with the tiebreak points only mattering in comparing people with the same number of firsts and same number of seconds, and both or neither having a win in first heat entered.

If your tournament is HSW (heats: single win), rather than HMW, so that a win in the first heat entered is more important than two wins, you can achieve this by modifying the points for win in first heat entered to be:

Win in first game played: 5000 points plus (your score/second place score)

Feedback on this scoring system is welcome; email me at andy.latto@pobox.com.

Thanks, Andy, for permission to publish this. If you, gentle reader, have different view, please add it as a comment to this article. If the terminology of tournament structure is unfamiliar, you should read the WBC GM Guidelines at

http://www.boardgamers.org/wbc_gmeventform.html

Agricola Online Season 1 Report

Agricola Season 1 Wrap-Up

by Randy Buehler

Season 1 of the Agricola league was a smashing success, with the Meeple League’s largest turn-out for an online event so far and some great matches up and down the ladder. 77 players signed up to play, which meant 11 leagues spread across four divisions. I was the biggest winner, but by the narrowest of margins as I defeated Sceadeau d’Tela for the Division 1-A crown *on tiebreakers* (3 match wins to 2). Congratulations are also due to Bernt Nodland and Steven LeWinter, who won the two leagues in Division 2 and thus earned spots in the top division for season 2. (Steve’s win was particularly close with only 3 league points separating 1st from 4th in his league.) You can see all the standings HERE.

Season 2 is about to start, and the field has expanded to 96 competitors. That means there will be 7 leagues in division 4 and 14 leagues in total. Good luck to everyone as they try to win promotion, and have fun playing.

With season 1 in the books, I thought it would be interesting to see how accurate the initial seeds were. As you may recall, I did the initial player sort first by looking at BPA laurels and then at Elo ratings on boiteajeux. There has been some debate (bordering on trash talk) about how accurate Elo ratings are, and I saved a copy of everyone’s rating before the season began. I then looked at the absolute value of how far each player’s finish position was from the position that would be predicted by Elo or laurels. (In other words, if you had the 5th highest Elo in your league but finished 1st then you were 4 spots away from where you were predicted to be.)

Laurels did a significantly better job of predicting division 1 than Elo did (8 spots off in total versus 18), but in Division 2-A it was the other way around (20 spots off versus just 4). Meanwhile Division 2-B was close to a wash (12 off for laurels versus 10 off for Elo). If you add up all 3 leagues that included at least some players with laurels, Elo comes out looking a little better at 32 to 40 (or an average of 1.5 spots off per player versus 1.9). Meanwhile in Division 3 there were some major upsets, including division wins from each of the two lowest rated competitors, but Elo was a quite reasonable predictor if you ignore those two players (1.7 spots off per player, or 1.1 spots off per player if you ignore the two outliers).

One surprising fact about season 1 is that only one player managed to collect exactly a first, a second, a third, and also a 4th place finish. Ed Fear is apparently the Epitome of Average. Meanwhile the triple winners club included only 3 people and exactly one person managed to win all four of their games: William F, aka wsefranc, from league 4-D.

There were, unfortunately, some players who played too slowly in season 1. The vast majority of games were done by the end of March and I think that two-month timeline is what folks should see as acceptable (we started in the last few days of January). The truly unfortunate part of having a slow player is that they impact four different games. My only real recourse to deal with this problem is to tell those players they aren’t allowed to play in future Meeple League events, and while most of the slowpokes from season 1 did not choose to sign up again, I did decline one registration attempt for season 2. For the handful of matches which haven’t finished, I treated them as 4-way ties when determining promotion and relegation and I will add the real points to the lifetime standings page once they finally do complete.

All of which brings us to season 2, which has quite a few interesting storylines to follow. A few more well-known WBC ringers have entered the league now (Jon Senn, Eric Wrobel, Josh Cooper, Rob Kircher), but they will have to fight their way up from the bottom. Turambar will be the champion of the pro-Elo crowd as he joins Division 1 and is the only player there without a WBC pedigree. Rob Murray and Petri Savola barely missed getting themselves promoted to division 1 and will be trying to finish the job. Meanwhile Daniel Eppolito will have something to prove as he was a consensus pick to finish in the top 2 of division 1 according to the fantasy league participants, but instead got himself relegated to division 2. In my own case, Agricola has not historically been one of my best game but I have invested a lot of time in the last 18 months or so trying to bring my game up to a world class level. I don’t know if I’m there yet, but I will do my best to claim back-to-back titles.

I’m confident there are many other interesting stories around the players I’m not yet familiar with, but that’s the beauty of a league like this. As the seasons go by we’ll get to see who rises and who falls. Good luck to everyone, and have fun in season 2!