Monday, February 6, 2012

Changes to NOVA Scoring / Formatting for 2012 - 40k GT


Just a quick couple of changes for everyone to be aware/reminded of.

1) Many players were fatigued when they were knocked out of contention and still gaming their 7th and 8th rounds at the NOVA 2011.  That said, many people were still enjoying their games come Rounds 7 and 8, even if knocked out of contention.

So, the solution is as follows:

  • More time for each round, 2.5 hours instead of 2.25
  • Rounds 1+2 on Friday afternoon (when most players had registered anyway) and evening
  • Rounds 3+4 on Saturday AM
  • Records reset and rebrackets completed during Saturday Lunch
  • Rounds 5+6 on Saturday PM
  • Best Overall scoring completes after Round 6
  • Each Bracket of 16's Final Four play in Formal Rounds 7-8 on Sunday AM (so, 64 of 256 players)
  • All remaining players can participate in up to two rounds of organizer-assisted / pairings-based Open Gaming (so, effectively continuing to play against record/list-based peers in proper tournament missions), OR can sleep in
2) Margin of Victory had a fixed % impact on Best Overall.  We didn't like this, in the end; it's the BEST way to break a tie between Best Overall finishers who manage to tie their score, but we didn't want anything other than Win/Loss to be relevant to the 50% of Renaissance Man comprised of competitive score. So, the new Renaissance Man scoring will be as follows:
  • 50% of your score is Appearance, normalized to a 0-1 (so, Appearance Score / 160 = Appearance Rating for Ren Man)
  • 50% of your score is Win/Loss, inherently normalized to a 0-1 (so, Wins/Games Played = Competitive Rating for Ren Man)
  • In case of a tie in these categories, % of Goals Achieved ("Margin") will be used as it was for past years to break ties
3) In case of last minute drops or other instances causing less than 256 players to be present for the 40k GT, it will be possible for up to several players who go 3-1 to pass up into the otherwise 4-0 championship bracket, and compete for Tournament Champion / Best General. In 2011, only players who lost their Fourth Round game could advance in this fashion, meaning a player could not lose his first game, and battle back to earn his way into the Sweet 16.  This will change in 2012; if we have last minute drops or another Hurriquake, any 3-1 finisher could potentially make it into the championship bracket.


  1. I'm curious about your lack of including Sportsmanship scoring in Overall. Any thoughts?

  2. Yes, but off to lunch; will reply on return. We DO have sportsmanship as a critical component of participation, just not in a traditional score-component way (for reasons I'll get into).

  3. Bob,

    We used sportsmanship as a 33% component of Best Overall in the first formal year of the NOVA, and the net result of that usage was ... sub-ideal. The SCORING approach was actually well received (ranking opponents), but having such an impact on who won the event from extreme subjective evaluation of potentially-sandy-because-they-lost-or-simply-don't-enjoy-the-hobby-the-same-way opponents is the antithesis of an event that encourages comradeship and mutual understanding.

    Rambling aside, we use sportsmanship at the NOVA, both in terms of awarding a Best Sportsmanship award with equivalent prize value to the other top awards, and in terms of regulating extremely poor sportsmanship. People who incur repeat negatives in the sportsmanship department risk their ability to win ANYTHING - Best Overall, Best General, whatever - without placing 33% (or any %) of someone's final score in the hands of someone who played them.

    Using sportsmanship as a component of the score would of course not be as much of a problem if not for players who treat it as a form of "comp" scoring; we've all seen them, and they're unfortunately one of the worst parts of our hobby: the guys and gals who will look at someone's list and downgrade them on sports b/c they think the list is "cheesy" or overpowered, regardless of whether their opponent treated them with respect and gave their best effort at sportsmanlike behavior. That kind of judgmental approach toward peers who are enjoying the game their own way within the rules is something we want to avoid/suppress, and so we want to avoid empowering someone to apply that judgment to someone's material score.

    All that said, we did that in 2011 ... and 85% of attendees reported the sportsmanship they experienced at the NOVA was the best of any tournament they'd ever attended. We were more leery about not having it explicitly impact Best Overall PRIOR to that feedback, than we are now.

  4. Maybe in short form, evidence at hand now shows this - NOT including sportsmanship as a numerical score component does not yield an event full of unsporting behavior. Further, it prevents collusion and sports "knocks" against opponents you didn't like for reasons extraneous to sportsmanship. Leaving the sportsmanship-based gate in scoring that prevents someone winning awards if he exhibits poor sportsmanship in general is something we will retain, as is a Best Sportsmanship award (and, since over 2 dozen people scored perfect sportsmanship across 8 games last year, we'll also refine our sports scoring to give us a more granular "best" than just the pass/fail/excellent system).

  5. Thanks for nice thoughtul answers, as always!

    If I can paraphrase and sum up, there is a sportsmanship score and award; while sportsmanship will not affect overall score, a profoundly negative sportsmaship score can preent winning awards?

    If you're willing to discuss, what's the "cutoff" for this?