Monday, November 8, 2010

NOVA Invitational - 5 Games in 1 Day Schedule Notion

So one of the things on the plate for the NOVA Invitational is 5 games in 1 day.

The question then becomes - how do you schedule such a thing?  The important note behind things is this: 5 games in a day is BRUTAL, but probably an acceptable challenge for those who've earned the right to be there, want to be there, and are in it for a huge cash prize.

My thoughts behind the initial schedule idea are this - time in BETWEEN games.  What kills you, what exhausts you over the course of a day is just finishing a brutal game, getting your stuff reorganized, and instantly having the next assignments in your hand and racing to digest a new mission and get there.

To that effect, here's the first schedule idea ... thoughts?

Check-In - 7:00AM
Round 1 - 7:30AM - 9:30AM
Round 2 - 10:30AM - 12:30PM
Round 3 - 1:30PM - 3:30PM
Round 4 - 4:30PM - 6:30PM
2 hour break before the rubber match
Round 5 - 8:30PM - 10:30PM

The goal here is breakspace; 2 hours is plenty of time for the "best of the best" players with referees to prevent slowplay and solve disputes at every table to get a game in.  One hour in between each round gives players plenty of time to finish games, get a drink or a bite to eat, settle down / calm down from a tough opponent, etc.  Before the "final" round we give people 2 hours, to get dinner and calm their nerves as necessary before the big play.

In order to limit tension, we'll have a referee over every game - preventing people from cheesing movements, breaking rules, cheating, etc. (instead of their opponent having to call them on it, resulting in bullying and other sorts of things).  In order to calm nerves somewhat, and give people something other than "win it all" to play for, we'll have a Renaissance Man equivalent for a % of the Cash prize.  50% painting, 50% competitive rating.

Back to a ton of work on my desk "in real life."


  1. Drop the point total to 1500 and then drop the round duration to 1:45.

    This still allows for extended breaks but doesn't run the tourney into a 16 hour marathon.

    Problem Solved.

    Besides why have multiple 2000 point tourneys over the weekend? Switch it up and make the players innovate.

  2. How does one qualify for this event?


  4. I like it...hard core event for hard core players.
    I would suggest making the lunch and dinner breaks both an hour and a half.

  5. Like I said in a previous post, i vote for 1750 or 1850 point games to speed the game up a bit. I understand the idea of the best players and play the game the best and should be challenged with playing faster-ish games, but it seems unnecessary on top of playing 5 games in one day. 7am-10pm is a LONG day. i don't care who you are. I think there's enough to think about and enough stress involved with playing the best of the best to have to also worry about finishing your game due to time constraints. And for games involving horde armies (ex. my game vs orks in the semi-finals) there's a very good chance you won't make it to the end of the game. And ending early commonly favors one player over the other (again, reference that game).
    And like Kevin Nash said, mix it up a bit. there's already going to be a 2000 point tourney going on.

  6. I think it sounds cool... though I'm sure it would be exhausting, it would be a lot of fun to fight through fatigue against great players.

    Also, I like 2000 points. I honestly don't see a need to change it. I went to BoLSCON this last summer, and I never had any trouble at all finishing any of my games within the 2 hour time limit. 1750 isn't going to change the time it takes to play a full game too much, and 1500 really isn't very fun to play at, since it's hard to make a truly balanced list (especially with some of the weaker codices out there).

  7. Again Nick Nanavati, nova invitational attendee.

    Personally I don;t mind the point value so long as it's 1500-2000. Each of the values between all have their own value and bring a different perspective of the game to the table top. I'm sure after 5 games in one day my mind (and everyone else's) will be gone, but I suppose that's something that can't really be avoided.

    If you are going to have 5 games in one day (hopefully Friday!) I strongly suggest thejudges give constant reminders of the time durring the game, so when inevitably time runs out on the already very tight schedule no one plays 10 more minutes to get the bottom of the turn in.

    Also something needs to change so that after awards are said and done the tournament does not end at 11 at best. If you can shave an hour off at least somewhere that would truely be the best way to handle it.

    Here's how I would run it.
    7:00 register
    7:30-9:30 round 1
    9:30-10:15 break (10:00 table assignments)
    10:15-12:15 round 2
    12:15-1:15 lunch break (1:00 table assignments)
    1:15-3:15 round 3
    3:15-4:00 break
    4:00-6:00 round 4
    6:00-7:15 dinner break (7:00 table asignments)
    7:15-9:15 round 5

    Sould be done with no later than 9:45 after awards shaving off an hour and 15 minutes. Free drinks like water and small snacks would also be very important to be passed around durring or right before games aswell.

  8. 1750 is much more balanced anyways. We all know army's get rather stupid at 2k so make it more challenging!

  9. I'd do this with the proviso the point value is smaller:

    Check-In - 8:00AM
    Round 1 - 8:30AM - 10:15AM
    Round 2 - 10:20AM - 12:05 PM
    Lunch - 12:05 PM - 1:05 PM
    Round 3 - 1:05 PM - 2:50 PM
    Round 4 - 2:55PM - 4:40 PM
    Break - 4:40 - 5:10 PM
    Round 5 - 5:10 PM - 6:55 PM

    If you're really a firm believer in short rounds you could go 1500 / 90 minutes and save even more time. But again, remember that the shorter the round the less time you leave for finishing early and getting that break time to begin with.

    The above schedule lets players sleep in an extra hour, gives them a lunch and finishes just before dinner/drinks.

    From my POV the easiest way to save time is to make the games smaller, not shoehorn a 2000 point game into 2 hours. Great players or not, you're going to have far too many instances where players are running into time on turn 3 and that makes for a kinda lame gaming experience.

  10. Nick Nanavati speaking again.

    I think it might be more beneficial to have it be a Thursday/Friday event. Here's the main reason why. In trying to plan my weekend, if I were to play in the invitational I would have to arrive Thursday regardless due to it's early start time. So having a late 5:00 (before dinner) or maybe even 7:00 game (after dinner Thursday to allow for properly timed 2000 point games Friday and make everyone's schedule a bit easier, and the players less drained.

    I strongly encourage 2000 point games or at least 1850, because before this point value many codices don't rech their true potential, and others remain unplayable. It's just a fact of the game, not many armies scale up poorly anymore, but many don't work at lower values, such as tyranids.

  11. Nick Tyranids do fine at lower point values. In fact some armies that people write off at 2000 do quite well in lower point games, like Chaos Space Marines.

    2000 isn't "better" it's just different. The game does change at 1500 or 1750 but saying that larger games are better for more codices isn't accurate.

  12. 2k actualy break some armies and make some armies too good i.e. blood angels guard & wolves. Choas and orks are very good at 1500pts, and all armies become comptetative at 1750. Try it and see. Thats why orks are so competative here in the UK ebcause we play 1500 & 1750 but they suck at 2k because of the amount of firepower other armies get. Eldar are also very effective at 1750.

  13. It's really hard to say what points values break what armies, I hear a lot of people "opine" on it and am often flabbergasted.

    Orks, for example, around here are still VERY good, especially if the terrain is appropriate (LOS blockage, 25% "real" coverage, etc.) in the central regions of the board and elsewhere, and set up by a neutral 3rd party. I.E. good tournament terrain.

    If you don't do this - if you have crappy terrain - it changes things. Razorwolves and Gunline IG are all directly impacted by far more than points level. Even mission and deployment comes heavily into play.

    So ... maybe we can avoid points accusations regarding army strength, and focus on scheduling :p

    That said ... everyone certainly plays at different levels nationwide; I'm entertaining 1750-1850, but it would also be a lot easier on the players attending for both events / for the weekend in general to be able to just plan and build a single army (aka 2k).

    All good input though, at this point.

  14. I personally play at the 1750 level and lower here in the UK. We have had 2k games at tourneys and still the top results tend to be one of 3 armies. I think I could go on all day how some armies (mainly the new codex's with cheaper options and more access to MSU) can potentially break off and lead the way at 2k. I can’t see what you mean by plan and build a "simple" 2k army.

    1750 is less and just as simple, so I’m not entirely sure on that logic. Don’t get me wrong, I can see the benefits and the reasons why you guys play 2kpts, but here in Europe, we have all come to the same conclusion that 2k starts to really give certain armies an edge whilst others suffer drastically. Don’t get me wrong, some armies such at 1750 and lower, but I think the majority of the games set are fairly even and not too dramatic. Seer council elder, for example, is very successful at 1750pts, but at 2k there are just too many guns for them to even have a chance, especially going 2nd. Terrain and the missions is definitely also a part of that which I totally agree, however I think you are overlooking the potential arguments for and against 2k pts. Those for tend to be Guard/Wolf/BAngel players, and yes there are of course a few who don’t fall into that category, but the majority do. Im a wolf & Guard player and can safely agree that my army tends to get a bit too good at 2k pts, which I tend to feel bad for my opponent who simply cannot fit as much msu/units as I can. 1750-1850 breaks that gap, even if ever so slightly, and gives the players the choice to truly think hard about what they want in their army and more effective builds.

    This is ofcourse my opinion, so people will tend to disagree, but If you want 5 games in one day, not only is that hard on the players, its time consuming. Reduce the points level means reduce the models on the board, therefore reduces the time play.


    Alex Harrison

  15. The old official UK GTs were 1500 over 2 hours and that was pretty hard going for the bigger armies out there, they only stuffed three games a day in too.

    Still, if everyone is playing to the same schedule then everyone faces the same challenges, which makes it fair.