Preview: The 2018 Tournament through Time

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Preview: The 2018 Tournament through Time

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 04 Aug 2017, 23:34

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The 2018 Tournament through Time

Dear Play-by-Forum players of PlayDiplomacy,

Next year, I plan to GM a campaign of five variants here on the PlayDip forums, and I'm calling it the Tournament Through Time. Ten small teams of players, called Dynasties, will compete for ~11 months across variants spanning over 230 years of history.

And there will be prizes of some kind.

What is a Dynasty?

Think of a Dynasty like a team of athletes in Track & Field. There are multiple events and teams of different sizes. Some teams field the same athletes for several events, while others delegate. A Dynasty will be similar. Your Dynasty will have some number of players that will stay connected throughout the tournament. Each Dynasty will compete in four of the five games, and it's up to your Dynasty to determine who plays what. Your Dynasty should also be able to provide substitutes and replacements should they be required.

There will be ten Dynasties total, and there may be a pool of free-agent alternates to help with replacements in a pinch. Your Dynasty will compete for glory across the series of variants.

What Variants will be Played?

The following variants will be on the docket. Some of these variants will receive rules or map updates between now and when they're played, but a current version of the rules & map is linked for each variant to give an idea.

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Ambition & Empire
  • 10 Dynasties playing 10 powers
  • Set in 1763, just after the Seven Years' War. This variant introduced the Diplomacy Points (DP) system for voting on neutral units' orders.
  • Approximate Start Date: January 1, 2018
  • Recent Rules
  • Created by Baron VonPowell & Jeff Kase, with collaboration from W. Alex Ronke for version 6.0
  • Max length for tournament: 7 game-years

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1812 Overture
  • 6 Dynasties playing 2 powers each
  • Set in 1811, in the Napoleonic era, just before the start of the War of 1812 in North America and the Patriotic War of 1812 in Europe
  • Approximate Start Date: March 19, 2018
  • Example Rules thread from the most recent PbF session
  • Created by W. Alex Ronke
  • Max length for tournament: 9 game-years

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1900
  • 7 Dynasties playing 7 powers
  • Set in 1900, this popular variant captures the spirit of classic Dip, but with some tweaks to the map and rules to provide it with more historicity
  • Approximate Start Date: May 3, 2018
  • Example Rules
  • Created by Baron VonPowell
  • Max length for tournament: 9 game-years

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1936
  • 7 Dynasties playing 7 powers (and 2 factions)
  • Set in 1936, just before the second World War and at the outset of the Spanish Civil War. Two of the powers (Italy & the Soviet Union) control one Spanish faction each in that conflict. This is a DP-based variant.
  • Approximate Start Date: June 28, 2018
  • Example Rules
  • Created by Charles Feaux de la Croix
  • Max length for tournament: 9 game-years

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Распад (Dissolution)
  • 10 Dynasties playing 10 powers
  • Set in 1992, just after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. This is a DP-based variant that also features permanent neutral units, Wing units, and a system of tracking foreign relations between your power and the neutral Nuclear powers.
  • Approximate Start Date: October 4, 2018
  • Example Rules thread from the first playtest
  • Created by W. Alex Ronke
  • Max length for tournament: 6-8 game-years, depending on schedule

Scoring System and Turn Limits

Each variant will be played and scored using a rank-based system inspired by the Carnage & European face-to-face tournament structures. Solo winners will get a huge amount of points to reflect a "real" win. Draws will be DIAS, and players will receive points based on their rank and SC's at game end. Full points details to come later.

Rank-based systems aren't typical to variant games, but they work very well with games that have a maximum number of turns. This will be the case for the Tournament Through Time, as each variant will be terminated in a draw after the 7th or 8th game-year between 6-9 game years, depending on the variant (and assuming it didn't end in a draw or solo prior). This will prevent any one variant from running overlong, and it will limit the amount of concurrent overlap between variants. It should also provide some fascinating meta-game strategy for Dynasties as they move from era to era.

Slack Communication and Other Miscellany

There's a lot to like about the simplicity of phpbb forums (like this one). However, one of the things that phpbb forums do poorly is person-to-person private messaging. It's workable, but it's not mobile-friendly, and it lacks many of the features found even in a typical email client.

To that end, I will also create and moderate a Slack "team" to facilitate inter-player communication. If you've never used Slack, I recommend having a look. It's fantastic for being able to communicate with multiple accounts across vastly dissimilar teams and being able to maintain separate identities in each team. Your personal anonymity will be preserved from other players should you choose to preserve it; all I'll need is an email address to add you to the roster (that only I will see). Other players should only be able to see your PlayDip forum handle, your Dynasty, and the powers you are currently playing in tournament games.

Orders submission will still use the Forum private messaging system, and I'll still use the forum to host adjudication posts and major announcements. This will still be a series of Play-by-Forum games.

I will also be inviting several players from the Play-by-Email (PBEM) group that I regularly GM for to join us (some of whom already play on this forum).

What Next?

This is not the official recruitment post for the tournament (Edit: but this is!), but I'd be happy to hear from you if you have interest in playing in it. I plan to begin a more formal process of recruitment and can assist with matching players to Dynasties, especially for those players that think they'll only be able to commit to 1-2 of the variants.

I'm happy to answer questions about the tournament, and I hope that you will consider pencilling it in for your 2018 forum game participation.

Update 08 Aug 2017: Per some understandable player concerns, I have adjusted the schedule estimates to allow for a little more game-time. The middle games will now run with a max of 9 game-years instead of 8.
Last edited by NoPunIn10Did on 24 Aug 2017, 04:17, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Preview: The 2018 Tournament through Time

Postby asudevil » 05 Aug 2017, 01:18

Ill be honest...I stopped reading...but the LAST time...we did a PbF dip "tournament" style run by Pedros...I ran team FANG and we won...so I figure I better throw my name out there...and then go find who else was on team FANG so we can defend our title...I know Giriom...I gotta find the F and the N

EDIT...Flatley...and Noosh32 but we were carried by Giriom's solo
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Re: Preview: The 2018 Tournament through Time

Postby RedSun » 05 Aug 2017, 01:45

I'd like to play but don't have a team. Would like to form one with other interested players or join one with a player short. Just let me know if you have space or are looking for a team
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Re: Preview: The 2018 Tournament through Time

Postby asudevil » 05 Aug 2017, 02:09

Ok...I read..I would encourage going 10 years...cause nothing is ending in 7...and if something was wrapping up while the next one started...it would be fine.

Also, you said we get to chose what maps to play...we clearly are all playing the first and last...although what if we didn't want too...but that's obvious

But the middle ones...what if 8 of us want to play the 6 person variant...and only 5 want to play the 7 person variant...who gets what they want

Also are all games being run blind auction?
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Unless I am in the cheater's subforum. 99% of what I say is NOT as a mod.

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Re: Preview: The 2018 Tournament through Time

Postby asudevil » 05 Aug 2017, 02:16

Also, I have already started recruiting...Im ready

EDIT...I already have my first team member...shh...it's a secret.
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Part of the surviving nations of WW4/Haven

Unless I am in the cheater's subforum. 99% of what I say is NOT as a mod.

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Re: Preview: The 2018 Tournament through Time

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 05 Aug 2017, 03:47

asudevil wrote:Ok...I read..I would encourage going 10 years...cause nothing is ending in 7...and if something was wrapping up while the next one started...it would be fine.

Also, you said we get to chose what maps to play...we clearly are all playing the first and last...although what if we didn't want too...but that's obvious

But the middle ones...what if 8 of us want to play the 6 person variant...and only 5 want to play the 7 person variant...who gets what they want

Also are all games being run blind auction?


Good questions. Some clarifications.

  • Allocating Games:
    • Each Dynasty will play in 4 of the 5 games.
    • All 10 Dynasties will play the first and last variants.
    • Each Dynasty will play in 2 of the 3 middle variants.
    • Within your Dynasty, you sort out between yourselves which variants you want to play.
    • But which two of the three middle variants your Dynasty competes in might not be 100% voluntary.
    • I have some thoughts on how this 2/3 selection will occur, with more on that in the next topic.
  • Choosing Powers:
    • There will definitely be some type of blind auction for the first round, Ambition & Empire.
    • Subsequent rounds may use an auction or they might tie into the same system for the 2/3 selection.
    • At the moment, my plan is to use a Dynasty's cumulative performance so far to determine picking order for subsequent rounds.
    • Most likely, last place will pick first (like the NBA Draft).
    • That part is not finalized yet.
  • Length of Games:
    • I don't want the two bookend games to run concurrently with any others.
    • Only the three middle games can run concurrently (but no more than two at a time).
    • Eight years is a typical deadline for face-to-face tournaments, and the scheduling works out well for it.
    • Ambition & Empire tends to be a shorter game anyway, so it will run 7 years. Also, it's set right after the Seven Years' War, so there's some thematic connection there.
    • The three middle games will run 8 years each.
    • Dissolution will run between 6-8 years depending on when 1936 ends.
    • If there have been lots of delays, the final round may be shorter. If some games end faster than anticipated, Dissolution is going to party like it's 1999!
    • My goal is to end the tournament with time to spare before Christmas.
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Re: Preview: The 2018 Tournament through Time

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 05 Aug 2017, 04:04

RedSun wrote:I'd like to play but don't have a team. Would like to form one with other interested players or join one with a player short. Just let me know if you have space or are looking for a team


When I come back around to start an official recruitment list, I'll make sure you get a notification. I may be able to match you up with a Dynasty that could use an extra, or you might be able to find some teammates on your own.
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Re: Preview: The 2018 Tournament through Time

Postby Subotai45 » 05 Aug 2017, 04:28

This seems interesting
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Re: Preview: The 2018 Tournament through Time

Postby RedSun » 05 Aug 2017, 04:28

Subotai wanna be in a team with me maybe?
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Re: Preview: The 2018 Tournament through Time

Postby nanooktheeskimo » 05 Aug 2017, 07:13

I'm in. Will play every game but the last one (too much going on in dissolution for my taste).

START RECRUITING ME, captains. ;)
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