Vassal PBeM mini league competition

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1 month 3 days ago #6494 by Leadleader15
Hi everyone, are there any tournaments likely to start soon?

If not I would be happy to host a mini league competition. Organised along the following lines...

- 6 Participants drawing lots for each of the major forces. Anglo-Allies, French, Spanish, Russian, Prussian and Austrian.
- Games will be played by email unless agreed to play in a sitting by both players.
- There will be 10 rounds each lasting a week. (Do people think a week is sufficient for a PBeM game if people are across time zones?)
- Each player plays the other competitors twice once home and once away.
- When playing at home the player selects a scenario from his armies expansion pack and plays with his army. (Anglo-allies and French select from the base game). No player should play a scenario more than once during the competition.

The competition will be organised as a league...

- Players will be awarded 2 points for a win and a count of flags won and flags conceded will be noted for each game.
- An unfinished game will be awarded one point to each side with 0 flags awarded to either side.
- Where a player is AWOL for a round his opponent will be awarded a 3-0 Flag victory.

If anyone is interested please sign up below.

Any advice on running such a tournament is welcome to as I am rookie tournament organiser and I am open to revising the above rules before the competition start based on others experience and advice.

If its important to some my timezone is London currently GMT+1.

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1 month 2 days ago #6495 by Mark-McG
Various information about current and past tournaments is available here
www.commandsandcolors.net/napoleonics/articles/tournaments.html
I suggest you have a look at the Open & Mini-Tournament rules to get some ideas. Those rules are well tested over many years.

I couldn't play PBeM, and I'd estimate it would be closer to a month than a week to play a game. There are too many choices about things like retire & reform, First Strike and the Tactician cards that would bring each close combat to a crawl. Depends on speed of response, but a logfile per day would be average.

Also, I'm not sure how drawing lots for the Army is intended work, but you will need as many French players and Allied players.

Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.
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1 month 2 days ago #6496 by Leadleader15
Hi Mark thank you for your reply and advice...

Your right, maybe a week is too quick a turn around. I suggest we can schedule the rounds as one month long with the proviso the next round may start early, five days after the final game of that round is completed and registered with the organisor. When I played PBeM like this before we got through games fairly quickly. But working from home i could reply 2-4 times a day sometimes even more if we were both online at the same time. I realise that may not be the case for everyone especially in different time zones.

I would be happy to set up a discord channel which would allow players to notify each other once a logfile was emailed which could speed things up a bit. Players are welcome to play live if they prefer, we could even have a designated games evening set for those who wish to be social. But the default would be set to PBeM to allow those of us that have trouble to find a block of time to play to participate.

With regards to game continuity in close combat, 1st strike and other cards etc. These are gentlemanly games so an element of trust is assumed. For 1st strike for instance. As a player is cycling through a logfile if he wants to play 1st strike he interrupts the logfile at that point and starts his own logfile to play the card. This must be done before he proceeds to view the rest of the logfile which is now a defunct alternative reality. ...It can be fun or infuriating to see how it would have gone if you hadn't played the card!

Likewise to ensure the game runs a little more smoothly with less interruptions for combat. The active player rolls all dice in his turn. For square, retire & reform and retreats the active player decides on the most likely move for his opponent for these situations, ensuring to annotate each assumed decision. The opponent then plays through the turn and stops when a decision is made on his behalf that he does not want to make. Or if he wants to interrupt with a card at which point he starts his logfile and makes his (corrected) move. He must do this without playing the rest of the now defunct turn beforehand of course.

Example Player 1s original logfile:
- My cavalry attacks your line:
-Square?
-I assume so.
- ...Rolls dice & resolves combat.

Example Player 1s logfile read by player 2:
- My cavalry attacks your line:
-Square?
-I assume so. --- Player 2 would stop here and start a new logfile if for instance he did not want to go into square and/or chose to play his 1st strike in stead. He would only look at the rest of the logfile after he had played and sent his move back to player 1.
- ...Rolls dice & resolves combat. --- These results were not viewed by player 2 before he made his move and are now defunct.

This approach worked quite well when I played PBeM before. Especially if you have played your opponent before or later in the game once you have an idea how he is playing.

With regards to drawing the armies sorry for not being more clear, I will try again.

There will be six players in the competition. Each player will be randomly allocated one of the six armies. They will play each of the other competitors both home and away.

A home player will play with his allocated army and will select a scenario from his armies expansion box (or the Base box for French and British). The away player will simply play the opposing army from that scenario (not his own army). This means each player will play five times with his allocated army and five times as whichever opponent he is allocated when playing away.

One restriction is that a home player may not select a scenario either player has played in the current competition.

So I realise this competition is a little different to the usual ones. But it may be fun for people to give something different a go! I am happy to put in the time to organise it. I would point out that because it will be PBeM you will be able to play it at times where you would not normally have time to sit down for a full game. So it would potentially not impact on your current CCN time.

So if anyone is interested please sign up!

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1 month 2 days ago #6497 by Mark-McG
perhaps you should have a look at the Mini-tournament format, because that would allow the PBeM games to be played concurrently.
A PBeM game might take a month, but 5 PBeM games running concurrently would also take a month.

In terms of a ' game evening', I think you are limiting that to Europeans.

Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.
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1 month 2 days ago #6498 by Leadleader15
Your tournament rules are excellent and well written. With your permission I will adopt them ...with one or two small tweaks for this tournaments format. Different tournaments should have a different twist and flavour I feel. I may of course come to regret that but I shall give it a go! I will flesh out the final tournament rules this evening.

Playing games concurrently is a great idea to speed up the tournament and will ensure people aren't sitting too long without a game waiting for the next round. I think I will take that idea on board, thank you.

Also a fair point on a games evening being geocentric. If organising a PBeM tournament the whole point of it is to enable people to play in their own time. So any meet ups should be left down to be organised by the players spontaneously rather than setting set day or times beforehand as part of the competition.

Thanks again for your help

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3 weeks 6 days ago #6506 by RiverWanderer
Playing a lot of C&C PBEM and looking back over log files during the period when I was returning turns promptly (1-3 turns per day), many games were completely within a week, almost all with 2 weeks. Typically 30 log files created (range 20-60 approx).

I quickly focussed on the base game for PBEM, simply to minimise the interruptions and re-dos inherent in the Tactician Deck. However, I have played a couple of full team Epic / LGB games that went (to me) surprisingly well - probably due to commitment of all the players, giving prompt turnaround and supporting the logs with email communication.

Simultaneous games is a great idea; I do this with one player. In that case, we play each side in parallel and then start a new scenario as soon as one of those games ends. Playing games in parallel would make a PBEM version of Mark McG's more intensive "OT" format more feasible.

Trust aside, you might want to consider using an external die rolling system to remove the most obvious temptation. As you are using Discord, the Rolisteam Discord bot would be a good choice (a macro for the CCN die is easily created). Your tournament conventions/rules could address how to coordinate between log files and die-rolling. e.g. one channel per active game, and a reference that links bot die rolls with the log file.

In my games, we try to cover alternate forks where they are obvious and allow completion of the turn (usually). This applies to squaring, r&R, & retreat. All the opponent needs to do in these circumstances is open a log file at the appropriate point, start re-playing the incoming log into their new log and comment yes or no before the event outcome is displayed. Rarely, an opponent might want to decline a battle-back, using the same method. For complex situations I often find it easier to return the log file for a decision, but for players who are attentive on the game's Discord channel, a lot of these situations could be resolved in semi-realtime. Some changes will compromise subsequent decisions in the log file. First Strike is the obvious one; e.g. results might prompt the active player to take advantage of banners for example, so they need to make that decision without knowledge of the alternative outcome. Any situation which opens up the *possibility* of a changed decision by a player who knows the downstream log has to invalidate that remaining part of the logfile - including card draw. First Strike will often fall into this category anyway, if you are to stick to the strict card draw order ruled by the card.

Hope some of this helps. Good luck!

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