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2nd FCOL Tournament Draft Rules: Please Review and Comment
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JimDauphinais
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Joined: 22 Nov 2009
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Location: Chesterfield, MO

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:48 am    Post subject: 2nd FCOL Tournament Draft Rules: Please Review and Comment Reply with quote

Hello everybody!

I am stepping forward to Game Master (GM) the 2nd FCOL Tournament. GAR1138 has graciously volunteered to be an Assistant GM so that I may participate as a player as well. I am committed to seeing this tournament through the number of rounds necessary to arrive at a winner.

The draft rules follow below for your review. Note that there are some important changes from the 1st tournament. Ideally, I would like to start on February 1st. If that does not work out, I would have play start on March 1st. To keep interest high and ease the remembering of the round deadlines, I propose to strictly require that each round start on the 1st of each month and conclude by the 28th of each month.

DRAFT 2nd Federation Commander Online Tournament Rules

1. CORE TOURNAMENT RULES

The 2010 Origins Federation Commander Tournament Rules (http://www.starfleetgames.com/federation/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=2900) and their associated clarifications apply except as clarified or amended by the rules which follow below.


2. FC SHIP AND WEAPON PURCHASE RESTRICTIONS

All normal Federation Commander ship and weapon purchase restriction rules apply in addition to all other tournament purchase restrictions on ships and weapons.

GM Comment: This should be obvious, but just in case it is not, I am explicitly stating it.


3. FC: WAR & PEACE

To the extent their ships are available in FC Online prior to the start date of the tournament, the Andromendan, ISC and Vudar are available for selection as an empire by players.

GM Comment: There is no longer a reason to hold these empires out of the online tournaments with FC: War & Peace and its associated booster packs being released over six months ago.


4. FRAX

To the extent its ships are available in FC Online prior to the start of the tournament, the Frax are available for selection as an empire by players. Since the Frax are currently only available via e23, players selecting the Frax as their empire may treat the following Frax ship cards from e23 FRAX Packs #1, #2 and #3 as if they were laminated ship cards: BCH, CA, CC, CF, CW, CWD, CWL, DN, DW, DWD, FF and POL. Frax Submarines and ships with Axion Torpedoes are not in play.

GM Comment: It is not likely this simulator empire will make it to laminated cards anytime soon. However, this interesting empire’s manifest of ship cards has been nearly fully filled out via e23 and it does not require any special rules to play. Furthermore, many of its ships are already available on FC Online.


5. HYDRANS

Players that select the Hydrans as their empire must purchase at least one ship that is not arrned with Hellbores.

GM Comment: It has been my experience that many players who favor the Hydrans will only buy Hellbore ships. Such ship selection undercuts some of the flavor of this empire. This is why have proposed the above tournament rule. This said, if there is a strong outcry against this idea, I’ll drop it from these tournament rules.


6. WEAPON LAYOUTS

For ships that have multiple possible weapon layouts (e.g., most Orion Pirate ships), players may only purchase ships with weapon layouts that are available within FC Online prior to the start date of the tournament.

GM Comment: This is to minimize the amount of manual tracking needed in order reduce the chance for confusion or misunderstandings between players.


7. PLASMA G, S AND R TORPEDO TUBES

For purposes of this tournament, ships with Plasma G, S or R torpedo tubes may choose to start a scenario with all such tubes holding their second turn of arming energy. Such ships may not count their batteries toward their starting energy except that the number of batteries left empty will not exceed the power it would take to pay for the second turn of Plasma G/S/R arming. Ships that have weapons that can start a scenario pre-loaded must also elect to pre-load those weapons if the player elects to have that ship to start with the second turn of arming completed for its Plasma G, S and R tubes. The opposite applies as well.

GM Comment: We are playing with this unofficial playtest rule in order to provide a little bit of help to the Plasma empires.

8. PARTICLE CANNONS

For purposes of this tournament, the three impulse delay for Particle Cannons (4P1b) does not extend over turn breaks.

GM Comment: We are playing with this unofficial playtest rule in order to give a little bit of help to the Seltorians.


9. PURCHASE DISCOUNTS AND PREMIUMS

Each empire’s ship and weapon purchases are subject to either a premium or discount as follows:

• 20% Premium: Kzinti
• 10% Premium: Federation and Orion Pirates
• No Discount or Premium: Andromedan, Frax, ISC, Klingon, LDR, Vudar and Wyn
• 10% Discount: Gorn, Hydran and Lyran
• 20% Discount: Romulan, Seltorian and Tholian

GM Comment: The purpose of this rule is to help to minimize the empire selection bunching that dominated the 1st FC Online Tournamemt. In general, the idea is that the empires that are both popular and viewed as difficult to defeat in the tournament setting have the greatest premium applied to their purchases. Empires that are unpopular and viewed as difficult to prevail with in the tournament setting have the greatest discount applied to their purchases. Hopefully, this will reduce the likelihood that the final rounds of the tournament devolve into a civil war to determine the final winner!

I expect that from tournament to tournament the discount and premium applied to each empire will move around as players gain more experience with various empires and new tactics are uncovered.


10. SHIP SELECTION

The GM of the tournament shall set a date for ship selections and only ships available in the Federation Commander Online Client as of that date shall be eligible for selection.


11. TIME LIMIT

Games shall last for five (5) turns or until one player concedes. You don't have to play all five turns at once, you'll have four weeks (28 days) to get the game in, and it should be possible to save the game in mid-game. Wins matter, points will only be used as tie-breakers.

GM Comment: I have reduced the time limit to five turns to better ensure games are completed in a timely fashion and to return the time limit closer to that which would be experienced at Origins. Five turns will allow two-turn loading weapons to fire up to three times and three-turn loading weapons up to two times.


12. COMMUNICATION BETWEEN GM AND PLAYERS

The GM shall post deadline and match-up information on the federationcommander.com site. The GM shall also email players with this information. Announcements may also be posted on the starfleetgames Discus forums and/or the ADB, Inc. Facebook page. While the GM shall make every effort to ensure that players are adequately informed, it is the responsibility of the players to make sure they know the deadlines and matchups, and understand the rules. The GM shall post deadline and match-up information on the Federation Commander Forum.


13. EMAILS TO THE GM AND ASSISTANT GM

All emails to the GM and Assistant GM must have the name of the tournament in the subject line (e.g. "FCOL Tournament #2") or else the email wasn't sent. (This is to make it easy for the GM and Assistant GM to find the email(s) later.)


14. SIGNUP

Players sign up by sending an email to the gm and Assistant GM. Once all the players are signed up, the GM and the Assistant GM, will set a date for the ship selections (to determine which ships are available for selection) and players have one week after that date to select their squadron and email their squadron to the GM and Assistant GM.


15. PLAY DEADLINES

Once the Players are informed of their match-ups, they must arrange between each other a mutually agreeable time to play the game on FCOL. The Players shall have 28 days to make these arrangements and complete the game. It's up to both players to actively pursue the match; if one player makes a reasonable effort to arrange a game and another does not, the first player is awarded a win. If neither does, both are awarded a loss. "Reasonable effort" is in the judgment of the GM and Assistant GM. All emails between players attempting to arrange a game should be carbon-copied (cc'ed) to the GM and Assistant GM so that the GM and Assistant GM have evidence that players are actively pursuing the match-up. If both players are actively pursuing the match but circumstances beyond the players' control prevent it from happening, the GM or Assistant GM will adjudicate a result.


16. NUMBER OF ROUNDS

The number of rounds will be a function of the number of participants. For example, if there are five to eight participants, it will take four rounds to determine a winner. If there are nine to 16 participants, it will take five rounds to determine a winner.

This will be a Swiss-style tournament. As such, all participants will play in each round and all players will be ranked at the end of the tournament. To the extent a “bye” is necessary for a particular round due to an odd number of players, except for the first round, it will be assigned to the player with the lowest score in the tournament at that time (random selection will be used by the GM and Assistant GM to resolve any “ties”). If a “bye” is needed for the first round, it will be granted to the participant who had the highest score in the Origins 2010 Federation Commander Tournament.


17. RULINGS

Federation Commander rules questions will be resolved on the Federation Commander Forum by Mike West when possible. When this is not possible, they will be resolved by consensus of the GM and Assistant GM.

All tournament rules questions will be resolved by consensus of the GM and Assistant GM.

For games involving the GM, the Assistant GM will resolve all tournament rules questions for that game.

For games involving the Assistant GM, the GM will resolve all tournament rules questions for that game.

In the event the GM and Assistant GM face each other in a game, another participant in the tournament will be recruited by the GM and Assistant GM to resolve all tournament questions for that game.
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Jim Dauphinais, Chesterfield, MO

St. Louis Area Fed Comm Group: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/STL_Federation_Commander/
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Krellex
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Count me in. No comments on the rules at this time.
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To clarify, what is the status of the M81 Pirate ships from CL40?

(I suppose there is no point asking about the Omega ships, since they are still in playtest mode...)
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mojo jojo
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd cut all the premiums and discounts in half (10% and 5%). 20% and 10% is WAY too steep.

I don't necessarily agree with which Empires should get the discounts and premiums, but since I'm not playing, you can take my comments with a massive grain of salt. Very Happy
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks good. Certainly better than the rules I came up with.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm interested.

M81 pirates I have never seen. I'd be wary of ships (and races even more so) that have only been in CL or Communique.

I quite like the handicap idea - if there are numerous tourneys over time it would eventually give an idea of how players value ships. But I agree with Mojo on the initial handicap, 20% is huge, even 10% feels quite large.

The other thing I'd suggest for a considertaion is the LDR adjustment that appeared in an early communique (basically add 6pts for 2 gatling ships, 16 pts for 4 gatling ships). We use it in our games and find it makes them a little more balanced.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gary, M81 Pirates were only published in Captain's Log and as such, are disallowed from tournaments under the standard rules. Ditto the Omega stuff. Frax would not be available under Origins rules but of course it's Jim's prerogative to allow or disallow particular Empires.

I'm not sure what the status for Andromedan support on FCOL is, I recall Paul Franz discussing that on the podcast and IIRC there is still work to be done before that is ready. Of course Paul himself would know better than I do.

Edit: The 20% discount actually prohibits the Selts from fielding a legal force. After the discount, a force of DN, 2xCA comes only to 411 points, 14 points too small to be legal! Shocked
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

terryoc wrote:

Edit: The 20% discount actually prohibits the Selts from fielding a legal force. After the discount, a force of DN, 2xCA comes only to 411 points, 14 points too small to be legal! Shocked


DN, CA, DD, DD = 562 pts, adjusted by 20% = 450. Exactly the max limit.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK good point. An extra frigate or destroyer seems a bit too much though. And with the Kzintis down by as much, then there's going to be a massive mismatch if Zin face Bugs.
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mojo_billbo
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in, how do we sign up?
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mojo_billbo wrote:
I'm in, how do we sign up?


14. SIGNUP

Players sign up by sending an email to the gm and Assistant GM. Once all the players are signed up, the GM and the Assistant GM, will set a date for the ship selections (to determine which ships are available for selection) and players have one week after that date to select their squadron and email their squadron to the GM and Assistant GM.

I'm sure you could also PM either the GM or the Assistant GM to get signed up.

GM: JimDauphinais

Assist: GAR1138
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JimDauphinais
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all of the comments.


To be added:

18. Setting

The Milky Way Galaxy during the main era. No M81 ships or M81 variants of ships are in play. Neither are Early Years or Middle Years ships.


In regard to the purchase percentages:

I am open to tweaking the percentages. Also, if their is consensus on particular discounts or premiums being too stiff, I am open to making those adjustments as well. I am especially interested in whether any of the proposed premiums or discounts would either make any empire one that will be chosen by many or chosen by none.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The other thing to work out with the handicaps is how it affect VP calculations.

A hydran Mongol worth 100 pts normally, costs 90pts under the discount. Does it give up 90 or 100 pts if destroyed?

If 90 pts then not only do hydrans buy ships cheaper but other players score less VP per level of ship damage. If you give the normal VP then the other player can score more VP than the other player potentially, as the hydran player has to bring more or bigger ships to the fight (and therefore gives up more per level of damage) - if both end up with 3 ships damaged then the hydran will have given up 10% more VP.

[edit]Equally for the smaller fleet bonus pts, who is the smaller fleet - is it based on card BPV or handicap BPV. If I come with a 562 Selt fleet (450 with 20% off) do I count as a 450 pt fleet or 562 pt fleet?

[edit] Either may be desirable, but it's something that need considering, and players should be aware of when choosing races/ships.

That's why I'd advocate a smaller handicap to start with, I'd actually go as low as 2.5% and 5%, that will force some changes but not be quite as radical in the way the VPs may be affected. 5% will still mean the Kzinti unable to go with NCA *2, NCC, or CC, BC *2 etc.

If Kzinti are still the most popular and doing well then you can tweak them a bit more next tourney etc, do it gradual and see where people are put off races, or encouraged to take them.

Full example:

562 pt selt fleet vs 450 pt Wyn fleet.

a) no one is smaller as we are both 450pts (adjusted). The Selts get more ships/firepower AND the wyn has to dish out a lot more damage than the selt to score the same VP as he is fighting bigger or more ships. The Selt essentially gets a double bonus, more firepower and gives up VP slower.

b) the Selt is 162 VP down with his bigger fleet, and the wyn gains more VP for a fe internals as he scores against larger ships on average. Any edge given to the selt has been taken away by the huge hill he has to climb up front.


Last edited by storeylf on Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:51 pm; edited 3 times in total
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mojo jojo
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rather than a % premium or discount, you may want to go with a flat number to make the accounting easier and not worry about rounding. If you go with 20% and 10%, just give the levels as:

540 pts
495 pts
450 pts
405 pts
360 pts.

I suggest for the first tournament, you simply go with a flat 10-20 pts per level.

This also prevents problems with the mathematical fact that discounts are more powerful than premiums. A 20% premium is a 375 pt fleet or 75 pts paid. A 20% discount is 562.5 pt fleet or 112.5 pts saved.

If you're doing tournament scoring, simply don't give a VP edge for point differential at the beginning of the contest. So a 420 pt fleet vs 450 pt fleet doesn't score the 30 bonus VP at the beginning.
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JimDauphinais
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Based on consideration of feedback, I offer the following for further discussion:

9. POINT VALUE FACTORS

For purposes of this tournament, the printed point value and cost of all ships and weapons are adjusted by multiplying those values by the following factor for each empire:

• 1.10: Kzinti
• 1.05: Federation and Orion Pirates
• 1.00: Andromedan, Frax, ISC, Klingon, LDR, Vudar and Wyn
• 0.96: Gorn, Hydran and Lyran
• 0.92: Romulan, Seltorian and Tholian


This places the difference between the top of the list and the bottom of the list at 80 points (the difference between +39 pts and -41 pts) -- about the cost of a typical frigate.
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