Hosting tournaments with 2 player teams

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  • Hosting tournaments with 2 player teams

    Hey there everyone,

    I am in charge of setting up our yearly tournament in the Pacific Northwest USA. Last year we had a showing of 14 players, and are hoping to hold steady or grow with a handful more players. The overall event, which hosts many different games, has a tradition of holding sportsmanship and fun as the primary goal, rather than figuring out who is the best general. The event is two full days, which traditionally since the WHFB days, has come out to be 5 games (3 and 2).

    With that in mind, I was asked by several of the players from last year to consider a team tournament. Assuming we get another 14 players this year, the only team size which would be realistic would be 2 player teams. This would pair me out with 7 teams. Therefore, each team would have a maximum of 6 other teams they could potentially face. With 5 games total, this just barely works out.

    I had some issues with this idea and wanted the communities input.
    The first concern is that traditionally, we always use swiss matchups. The problem with this is that after about game 3, if the top teams had played each other, then they will not have another challenging game left. So basically, the idea of having a "top table" is not realistic. To that end, I fear I would need to abandon the idea of swiss matchups, and simply just randomly pre-pair out all of the matchups. If I have more players, perhaps at some point it would make sense to go back to a swiss style matchup, but at what player size (or number of teams) would that become useful again?

    My second concern is how the teams themselves work out pairing. Lets say Team Red and Team Blue, each with players 1 and 2 meet up to match. Team Red wants to pit Red 1 against Blue 1. Team Blue wants to pit Blue 1 against Red 2. So basically, they both want the opposite pairings (as there are only two choices for pairings). In 4 person teams, there is bargaining leverage. For instance, you can allow the opposite team to pick the first matchup, you get to pick the next two, or something like that. In this situation, there is no bargaining leverage available, basically one team will have to bend to the will of the other, unless they both agree to the same pairings. I am wondering if anyone has seen this issue before. I am not opposed to adding some sort of additional mechanic to the tournament to balance out the choice of pairings. For instance, Team Red can choose the pairings, but Team B then gets to automatically choose which players play at which tables and/or get to choose which sides and/or which scenarios, ect. Any thoughts on how that might work?

    Last year I ran 4 out of the 5 matches with homebrew scenarios. The results were not as good as I was hoping, so I will be returning to the official scenarios, with some minor twists for flavor. The problem I saw with the homebrew stuff is that it was either imbalanced, too complicated, or the players just forgot about it.

    Any thoughts on how I might make this work, or why I should avoid 2 player tournaments would be greatly appreciated!

    Cheers,
  • Hi there Beninator,

    Nice to hear that the team tounraments are doing ok. I would recommend starting in the tournament pack, found in the download section. It has a lot of good, basic stuff on pairing and such. It is a bt lacking in how to pair two player teams or matchmaking with few teams, so I will try and give some tips from personal experience.

    With the match-ups, you can either go full Swiss (but as you say, there is a "top table" problem), purely random or go with having fully random matches on day 1 and then do Swiss on day two, so that you get true top tables where the teams with the highest score gets to face of. I would kinda recommend the half/half approach.

    As with pairings, it is harder. The first thing to decide is how much to bring in to the pairing. Is it only match-ups or will the tables/scenarios be part of it as well? I´ll give two tips.
    You could make it purely random (Team A places an army face down, B does the same, they flip and thoose two get to meet and the ones kept on hand will meet) or make it a roll (Team A wins the roll and B puts down an army. A decides the match-up, but B gets to pick the tables, deployment and scenarios to play).

    I hope this helps some.
    ETC Team Sweden 2016 - Infernal Dwarves
    ETC Team Sweden 2017 - Infernal Dwarves
    WTC Team Sweden #2 2018 - Empire of Sonnstahl

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