So, we're starting up the prep for next year's Open convention, and there are a few things we're working through.
One of my areas of concern right now is the NOVA Invitational, and how best to integrate it into the weekend (or whether to at all).
At present, here's the folks who are attending ...
1. Andrew Sutton (NOVA Open Ace)
2. Mark Ferek (NOVA Open Ace)
3. Sam Penson (NOVA Open Ace)
4. Justin Hilderbrandt (NOVA Open Ace)
5. Alex Fennell (BFS highest general score who hadn't already qual'ed)
6. Simon Leen (BFS Renaissance Man)
7. Dan Matulich (NOVA Open Renaissance Man)
There would be 8, but Tony Kopach's list was 3 points over
The next spots firmly offered are for:
Adepticon - 4 slots
Wargamescon - 4 slots
Bolter Beach II - 2 slots
Mechanicon - 2 slots
Sprue Posse Invitational and Grand Prix - 1 slot each
At-Large Invites - 4 (NOVA Open final discretionary choices)
Spots in discussion w/ event organizers:
Las Vegas Iron Man - 2
DaBoyz GT - 2
That's 29 total, leaving 3 unassigned/ungranted, and a possible up to 4 ungranted (the at-large)
It's important to note - the competitiveness of an event is as important as its format. Some of the best players around show up to DaBoyz, for example - so even though it is a heavily comp'ed tournament (which SOME folks would consider not a good "format" for competitive eval), the competition level is likely to be quite high, and the quality of the event is also very high. Whoever gets awarded invites from it is likely to be very worthy of attending any caliber of invitational.
In terms of timing and format, here's my *CURRENT* thought process
The NOVA Open next year runs Thursday PM --> Sunday PM. The Open GT in 40k is probably the headline event, a 256-person GT running Saturday and Sunday, 4 rounds each day for all players.
So, my initial thought is to go with Thursday PM Round 1 for the Invitational, and then Friday all day (4 rounds) to determine it. That puts pressure on the attendees to play up to 13 games of competitive 40k over the weekend (5 in the Invitational, 8 in the Open), which might not augur well for their performance or even possibly participation in the Open itself.
So, the question then becomes - hold the Invitational on a different weekend (this can be difficult, harming the venue / etc. of the invitational, and still harming the possibility of those players participating in the Open)? Change the timing of the Invitational rounds? Reduce the # of rounds of the Invitational, and use more of a "battle points" approach to break ties between top undefeated finishers (explicitly against all of our principles)?
Also, should it be seeded, and if so, how?
My initial thought would be to come up with a rubric of % of possible competitive score for each player's top performance at a qualifying event, moderately factored by # of attendees at event (so, someone who scored 90% of possible battle points at Adepticon would have a higher seed than someone who scored 90% of possible at Battle for Salvation, due to Adepticon being a 256 field to battle through, and BFS being a 48 person field). First round random pairing vs. first round seeded pairing is an important question; usually difficult to do, but we'll actually have data to manipulate and use for it in this case.
Input welcome, as well as input from event organizers / players who wish to be invited.