Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The NOVA Open is Better for CASUAL GAMERS TOO - The 16 Best Generals

So, we all know that we at the NOVA have spent a TON of time on making a format that is competitively evaluative, and enables players who are hardcore competitive to compete for the Best General (aka Tournament Champion) spot as the sole undefeated at the end of the weekend.

What about players who don't consider themselves aces in the hole ... superior generals of the highest order ... but still consider themselves gamers (and not just "hobbyists" or "painters" or what-have-you)?  What's for them that don't think they can win 8 in a row to take home the gold?

Well, 15 other Best General awards.

You've heard me in my Incidental Comp post talk about this before, but I wanted to go into the benefits and purposes in explicit detail.

Let's say you attend the Open with a fluffy army, or a very laid back gaming attitude, and (heaven forbid) go 0-4 on your 1st day of the 2 day Tournament.

What do you do, then?  You don't have a gorgeous army, you don't think you'll win Renaissance Man (Best Overall), and you just lost 4 in a row ... do you go home, quit halfway, sullenly look forward to getting punked the next day for no reward?  NO.

We will be giving a Best General award to the winner of each Incidental Bracket on Day 2.  The way Incidental Brackets work is we simply rack and stack players by 16 brackets of 16 on the 2nd day, and you ONLY play amongst your bracket.  The way a 256 person w/l event works, everyone in each bracket will have the same record, and within groups of players that have many brackets at the same w/l, you'll have people stacked in brackets according to their seed.

What this means is that if you go 0-4, even if you win your 5th round to go 1-4, you don't get "stacked" with the people who were 1-3 on the first day and just lost (And are theoretically a bit above you skill OR list wise).  Instead, you play someone ELSE who was 0-4 on the 1st day.  Let's say you win that also, advancing to 2-4 ... you still subsequently play another person who was 0-4 on the first day.  No matter what happens, if you go 4-0 on the 2nd day, you'll win a plaque and a significant prize as a Best General, in the case of the 0-4 player you'll be a General of the 16th.

No matter what, you'll be playing with your skillset, not struggling to advance only to end up with your head under water in a pool of players who've dropped from 2-2 or 1-3 after punking your type to get there in the first place on Day 1.  More importantly, someone who went 4-0 on the first day can't lose one and find it easier to go from 4-1 to 5-1 ... no, they'll keep playing with the other 4-0's nonstop ... meaning that the 0-4's can take solace in the fact that someone who went 4-0 on Day 1 ... one of those 16 WILL go 0-4 on Day 2.

So what's the point here?  People in this hobby choose to critique tournaments or stack them as being one way or another ... competitive or casual ... hardcore or fun ... etc.  Doesn't have to be that way.  The NOVA will be fun by design for the artist, the competitor, the casual and the intense all at the same time, within the same event.  Those players, commentators and critics who believe this can't happen, open your eyes - it IS happening, and not just with the NOVA.  TO's are listening to the community at large, and providing innovative events that take everyone into account, instead of exacerbating divides or escalating conflicts.

Join the party.


  1. I have to wonder how well the principles of the NOVA would work with a smaller group of players and a shorter event, of the kind that tends to be run over here in the UK. Normally I'd stop and muse this out, but I don't have time this morning, so the comment must remain a fly-by-night. However, I did read this, I did take it in, and I want to apply it to the tournament environment I know, as long as I can work out how...

  2. I'm not seeing how this is a better solution unless I missed how you set up the initial 4 games-- all it does is increase the importance of how lucky you get in your competition the first day.

  3. Mike, you may have posted this somewhere, but correct me if I'm wrong. At the end of Day 1 you will have the follow record breakdowns:
    4-0 16 players (1 bracket day 2)
    3-1 64 players (4 brackets day 2)
    2-2 96 players (6 brackets day 2)
    1-3 64 players (4 brackets day 2)
    0-4 16 players (1 bracket day 2)

    Curious, do you have set criteria for separating the records with multiple brackets on day 2?

    @Vapor - the initial 4 games are set up so that the result is the breakdown above. After round 1, there will be 128 people 1-0 and 128 people 0-1. The 1-0's play each other and the 0-1's play each other. After round 2, there will be 64 players at 2-0, 128 players at 1-1, and 64 players at 0-2. etc. etc. until you reach the breakdown shown above.

    So, your day one pairings aren't luck of the draw, but are determined by how well you do.

  4. Mike, are there diminishing prizes for the lower brackets? If so what is the rate of diminishment? I would be somewhat concerned about people sandbagging on the first day and then slaughtering everyone in their bracket on day two.

  5. Purg,

    There will be diminishing prizes for lower brackets, in comparison to the higher ones. Intentionally losing just to massacre won't get you anywhere better, plus if you happen to lose one of your 4 games in a lower bracket despite trying to cheat the system, you get nada AND wind up lower on the final tally.