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Deadkitten

Competitive Event Game Concessions

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14 minutes ago, tolstedt said:

As a chess player I have no problems conceding. 
I've been resigning lost games for years!

I don't find kill points philosophically justifiable which factors into my opinion here.

If a game is lost and secondaries are available, I'll usually tell the opponent I'm resigning and ask if they want me to continue if they still have secondaries available to go after.

Understood but the issue with AoS tournaments of a certain size is the base rules don't allow for much grading of wins and we don't  in  most tournaments of a significant size  have enough rounds to have a clear undefeated winner.  (Which as you note gets to Sleboda's point on playing hard while losing to avoid conceding all bonus points.)

So for big events you've got a couple choices either grade wins (see my rules set on first page) from systems derived from objective points, use kill points or bonus points  in some way to grade wins/tie break,  or have overall winners determined to a larger degree on paint / sports.   There isn't a 'right' answer on how events should handle it (just an answer that fits the individual organizers goals)  but for me I want to try and give the 'competitive' players as much to play for as possible on the table in terms of determining the  overall winners.

 

Edited by gjnoronh

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5 hours ago, Sleboda said:

It's why I have a hard time with players who enter tournaments for the lulz or with suboptimal lists. They are messing with everyone else there. 

 

I also believe anyone who quits the event if it becomes clear they cannot "win anything" or who does not hang around for the awards ceremony to support and applaud the winners should not be asked back for the next event. It's about as bad as it gets in terms of sportsmanship, about as selfish as it gets, about as anti-community as it gets to leave early.

Totally agree on the second part.

On the first part I'm torn.  My gut reaction is that you are wrong, and it's very healthy for people to go to events for different reasons.  It boosts numbers at events and people who are there mainly for the hobby side add so much.  My guess is that a lot of events would not be viable without anyone bringing sub-optimal lists, because those players would just not come at all.  And who wants to go to an event which is 50% Hagg Nar and 50% Nagash?  That would choke the life out of tournaments really quickly.

That being said - I took a Gutbusters list to an event last year which featured multiples of their worst units.  Double Gargants (Allies), double Ironblasters (those big cannons that look awesome but are garbage).  I was there strictly for the lulz and the social aspect after being jaded by running Kunnin Rukk.

Day 2 I found myself up against a competitive DOK list that my army was completely unable to cope with.  Obviously I fought as hard as I could, trying to deny the Major and pick up some kill points, but I was completely outgunned and got tabled at the bottom of Round 5, giving up max kill points and the Major. 

That person made it onto the podium on the back of rofl stomping a severely sub par army, which was unfair on other people who had much harder games on Day 2.  To be honest I did feel bad for the impact that my bad army had on the final standings.

So how do I reconcile that?  I guess in principle, I still think it is a good thing that people take all kinds of armies and go to events for all kinds of reasons.  The tournament scene is better for it and I would never try to impose on other people that they shouldn't run softer lists if that's what they enjoy.  But as an experienced player, I personally will choose not to do that again.

Edited by PlasticCraic

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5 hours ago, Sleboda said:

This.

It's a point often overlooked. At a tournament, it's not just about you. Your result impacts not only you and your opponent, but the result for all other players.

It's why I have a hard time with players who enter tournaments for the lulz or with suboptimal lists. They are messing with everyone else there. 

How are they messing? 

Most Warhammer tournaments are one shot affairs with little to no connections to any string of events  beyond perhaps listing down the winners. You're not carrying over points or competing to land in better/harder/higher heats at the next event. In fact most are random tables so you can easily be agaisnt the best in your first match or the worst.

Furthermore there's really no grading system in place. Repeat winners get noticed, but there's no scale through which people can measure themselves and their skill really. So people hwo take sub-optimal lists and who are not good players might actually be winning lots of games in their local meta* and as such might consider themselves really good. 

Others might be there for fun, or for just a weekend out etc... There are loads of reasons (many people also have more than one) and in the end there's no grandeur or scaling system linked in. So you can't take things too seriously. Plus most events are more than happy to have more competitors than less. The main aim is to play games and have fun for the majority with winning being a bonus. So more armies on tables is better. 

 

What you're after sounds far more like an event system that has a scaling system. One where you have early heat events that place people which then go on to connect to other tournaments. Each level scaling so that by the end you should have events where you've got the cream of the cream playing; where entry is by invitation and earning it in previous events rather than just paying the entry fee (if there is one) and turning up. Even in that system there'd be a lot who go to the early events just for fun who would be filtered out. 

 

*baring in mind local meta might be them and their brother every other evening or could be them and a local club of 5 people or a variable local scene with at least 20 most game evenings etc... 

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6 hours ago, gjnoronh said:

Joe I agree with much of what you've said but I'll take issue with calling out  those who are at tournaments for the 'luz' (fun of it I'm assuming) or with suboptimal lists.  There are lots of reasons folks come to events and lots of awards they are competing for.  I've definitely show up to events with an army I know isn't that hard but I think gives me the best chance of a painting award because I've hit on a painting and converting theme that I think is just awesome.  I've also consciously chosen not to field 'broken' choices from a book that had a reputation as game breakingly unbalanced (Daemons of chaos in 7th ed)  because I think it didn't give the kind of games I wanted to have with my opponents.   

There should be room for all of that in competitive events.   And there is room for the player who has a certain set of models and doesn't have the time or money to optimize their list for the changes in the meta or with the most recent army book release.  

First off, shame on you for using the word "meta" Gary. :):)

Now then, with that out of the way, let me be a little more clear in my thoughts (and this is a post to address your comments and those of others after you - yours is just where I'm starting, and besides, I like you and think I can speak honestly without worrying too much about annoying you :) ).

In your post and those of others, I see the subtle swap of the word "event" for "tournament." My position is based pretty much entirely on tournaments, specifically. Heck yes, by all means, go to a Grand Get-together, Hobby Weekend, or other gathering of Warhammer fans and play with whatevs.  (I seriously do someday need to follow through on my threat to organize and run a Grand Get-together). But, and this is a big but, when you go to a tournament you (the general you, not you specifically Gary) you are entering into a highly specific thing. It's a competition where an overall winner is determined and, in most cases, your play and your choices have both direct and indirect impact on the standings of the other players in the event.

For instance, just to pick some low-hanging fruit, if I play against Timmy and get smashed 20-0 and then I quit before I play Sam, Sam will not get the chance to crush me like Timmy did and Sam's numbers will be impacted. Better yet, I'm a lulz player and I get to play Timmy but not Sam, whereas Sam plays against 5 opponents who are all mindful of what a tournament (tournament!) is, and thus Timmy gets a 'freebie' whereas Sam does not, it's totally not fair to Sam.

People who go and enter the specific event type tournament need to realize what they have entered and be respectful to the event itself and all the other players.

The only inch I give on this view is that you should pick the army (book/tome/list/source/etc.) that you like and then make the best list and play the hardest you can within that.  Please, please, please ... please note that I am not saying to cheat, be a ******, or anything of the sort.  I'm saying do the best you  think you can with the army book you've picked and participate honestly within the tournament

Most events have lots of open gaming space, painting contests that are not part of the tournament, and time to socialize. You don't need to ignore the idea of what a tournament is to go and have a blast! I've been to a few Adepticons where I didn't enter a single tournament and still had a super great time just meeting people and playing pick up games.

 

TL;DR: Tournaments are a type of event with specific parameters and a specific meaning that differentiates them from other types of events.  If you don't want to get engaged in the ways that make them different from other events, pick another type of event.

In other words, don't go to a movie and conduct a band practice.

Edited by Sleboda
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3 hours ago, Sleboda said:

For instance, just to pick some low-hanging fruit, if I play against Timmy and get smashed 20-0 and then I quit before I play Sam, Sam will not get the chance to crush me like Timmy did and Sam's numbers will be impacted. Better yet, I'm a lulz player and I get to play Timmy but not Sam, whereas Sam plays against 5 opponents who are all mindful of what a tournament (tournament!) is, and thus Timmy gets a 'freebie' whereas Sam does not, it's totally not fair to Sam.

Not sure why you chose to single me out here, but obviously in this case you actually quit before you faced me because my squigs would devour you and my trolls would stomp you into paste.  😉

But I don’t mind if things are not always fair to me.  I play goblins and unfair is simply the world we live in.

I do envy you for getting to play against Timmy though - that guy is usually good for having a fun game.

Edited by Skabnoze

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I think @Sleboda makes a really valid point and it's probably something that could be improved from an event advertisement aspect.  Ultimately each event has it's own "competitiveness" level.  As I view it, Grand Tournaments are where you bring your most competitive army and aiming to be crowned the Warlord of all the people there.  At the opposite end there's a friendly event organised with a few mates or people round your local club.  However there are many, many shades of grey between the two ends of the scale and to throw confusion into it we use the word "tournament" in exchange for "event" very frequently - most events have a Tournament Organiser after all #confusion ;)  To throw even more confusion into the mix none of us are particularly great at knowing what our own natural competitiveness level is - I like to consider myself playing at the more friendly level, but I'm sure that following some of my games, friends would place me more competitive.

This discussion also highlights one flaw that I raised following Blackout last year - that Kill Points aren't actually a good deciding factor in working out games.  A number of units have their summoning costs baked into their initial points (which "double rewards" an opponent if you kill it twice).  Some armies have notoriously difficult to kill units, whilst other run lots of units that are easy to kill - some (e.g. Khorne) even having a game mechanic that rewards them for running disposable units.  Combined with the difficulty in gaining minor wins/losses I feel it can skew the way events (of all kinds) work out placings.

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7 hours ago, Sleboda said:

SNIP

 

TL;DR: Tournaments are a type of event with specific parameters and a specific meaning that differentiates them from other types of events.  If you don't want to get engaged in the ways that make them different from other events, pick another type of event.

In other words, don't go to a movie and conduct a band practice.

My issue with this is who decides if my motivations are good enough?  If I go to a tournament and my goal is to have a positive record (3-2 or better), then am I tainting the pool of players bc I'm not aiming to win the entire thing?  I went to my first AoS Tourney and played someone who ended up on the podium round 1.  Were there enough new players that everyone on the podium got to smash someone there for the first time?  I don't think you are coming from as bad a place as my criticism makes it out like you are.  But I do think that the Tournament vs Event distinction is largely irrelevant except for corner cases, Invitationals being the obvious example.  Individual events seem to have reputations for being more this or that but it has never been to the point of being exclusionary (at least in my experience in the US Midwest).  I think it's the potential for an exclusionary pompous  attitude that I'm reacting against.  As has been said, the more the merrier and it's great to see other awards besides a strict VP winner.

Edited by Deadkitten
Clarity
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I'm also going to tag @ianob & @JustPlay-Ritchie into this as I know from listening to their podcast that they've discussed various elements and angles on competitive gaming, so would be interesting to hear their thoughts on players conceding :)

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7 hours ago, Sleboda said:

TLDR:, Tournaments are a type of event with specific parameters and a specific meaning that differentiates them from other types of events.  If you don't want to get engaged in the ways that make them different from other events, pick another type of event.:)

In other words, don't go to a movie and conduct a band practice.

I don't disagree with a lot of what you say but I do disagree with what your saying about the word Tournament having such a specific meaning. 

A tournament is just a competition where a group of people  play games against each other until there is a single winner (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/tournament). 

Eachh event will always have its own specific parameters that should be respected, whether it is narrative, or competitive or somewhere inbetween those categories (which is where almost all tournaments acry fall). 

A narrative event can still be a tournament, it just has different parameters to a purely "competitive" tournament. 

There are very few strict competitive tournaments I've ever come across anyway - the parameters of most UK big events make room for all sorts of types of players by way of tournament points for best game experiences and painting (basic and/or advanced). 

Plus there is a whole social/communal experience side of events as well which is why many people attend (myself included) . 

I think it's fine for people to come to most major tournaments without cut throat lists. They should not be criticised for not respecting the tournament unless the tournament pack specifies that everyone must bring cut throat lists! 

 

Edited by Carnelian

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Frankly I'm against elitism in tournaments, if someone wants to bring a new list to it then more power to them, whats more often the weirder combinations can throw a spanner in the more narrow minded approaches of some lists who have been geared to take out what is the new "good lists". To be the guy turning around and saying that "your list isnt good enough to be here" is frankly insulting and toxic to the community, people pay to enter these events and a Gutbuster players money is as good as the netlisters who then swarm there.

A tournament is not just for those players who flock to the new hotness, it is a competitive event for anyone to test their steel, not just a way of spamming the same set of competitive units in what would eventually devolve into mirror matches because slowly but surely anyone who actually came for enjoyment got weeded out reading posts where they are told they're a negative impact on the scene.

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Yep, ive never seen a 'tournament' specifically lay out rules on bringing competitive armies, playing to the end, expectation on maximising KPs etc.

Every tournament ive been too had painting prizes, sports prizes, wooden spoon prizes, spot prizes, and encouraged all sorts of players to enter.

Vast majority of TO's want to run a fun event, not a meta smash fest.  Sure they will make sure a system is in place to balance out the winners, but they put other things in place to make everyone else have a fun time too. The exceptions are invite only 'masters' events, which are set-up to be purely competitive.

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@Sleboda I think the core issue is that at present almost all Warhammer Tournaments are Events.

The majority have no prior heats or competitions or standards to pass to gain entry - there's basically no gatekeeping system in place besides paying for entry and putting your name on the dotted line to attend. So no matter ones personal views on them you will never be able to impose that view on others because different people will interpret and expect things a little differently. 

Some will be very serious and skilled about winning; some will be there for a good time; some will think they are serious but lack the skill and vis versa. Some will be going because its local; others are going because their mate is going and they are splitting the travel costs etc.... So there's LOADS of reasons and interpretations and there is almost zero gatekeeping from the event. 

It's not that your view is wrong nor right but more that its just a personal interpretation and desire with no authority to enforce.

 

 

What you're after is nothing wrong and could do the competitive scene really good in having organised linked events that scale up so that you've several tournaments where at each event people compete and are eliminated. Weeding out those who are less skilled in the early heats and building to latter events where you've got a more concentrated pool of skilled people where the entry requirements are present. Where its not a case of voluntary joining in. 

Of course such things are complex to setup and even once established can take years before they are taken seriously to the point where competitors feel both and obligation and desire to attend latter events and not just one-offs. 

 

 

Think of it like those talent shows like Britain's Got Talent. First round of eliminations you've got everyone. From jokers there to get a chance on TV; to those who are outstanding but never performed before; to those who've been performing for years to those who think they are great but are not so great etc... You weed out through that first event and steadily by the end you've got a very capable very talented group. 

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12 minutes ago, Overread said:

@Sleboda I think the core issue is that at present almost all Warhammer Tournaments are Events.

The majority have no prior heats or competitions or standards to pass to gain entry - there's basically no gatekeeping system in place besides paying for entry and putting your name on the dotted line to attend. So no matter ones personal views on them you will never be able to impose that view on others because different people will interpret and expect things a little differently. 

Some will be very serious and skilled about winning; some will be there for a good time; some will think they are serious but lack the skill and vis versa. Some will be going because its local; others are going because their mate is going and they are splitting the travel costs etc.... So there's LOADS of reasons and interpretations and there is almost zero gatekeeping from the event. 

It's not that your view is wrong nor right but more that its just a personal interpretation and desire with no authority to enforce.

 

 

What you're after is nothing wrong and could do the competitive scene really good in having organised linked events that scale up so that you've several tournaments where at each event people compete and are eliminated. Weeding out those who are less skilled in the early heats and building to latter events where you've got a more concentrated pool of skilled people where the entry requirements are present. Where its not a case of voluntary joining in. 

Of course such things are complex to setup and even once established can take years before they are taken seriously to the point where competitors feel both and obligation and desire to attend latter events and not just one-offs. 

 

 

Think of it like those talent shows like Britain's Got Talent. First round of eliminations you've got everyone. From jokers there to get a chance on TV; to those who are outstanding but never performed before; to those who've been performing for years to those who think they are great but are not so great etc... You weed out through that first event and steadily by the end you've got a very capable very talented group. 

GW do this with their GT heats, but last year I heard they opened up the criteria in the final rounds because there was not enough take up for the finals?  Does anyone know if that was the case and how the number splits actually ended up.

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Sounds like we need to instigate a strict policy of punishment beatings for people that dare defile the sanctity of Warhammer tournaments with their sub-optimal lists. At the very least a 3lb lump hammer to someone's centre-piece model if they lose by too many points should focus a few minds.

Edited by JPjr
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7 minutes ago, stato said:

GW do this with their GT heats, but last year I heard they opened up the criteria in the final rounds because there was not enough take up for the finals?  Does anyone know if that was the case and how the number splits actually ended up.

Aye that's the big problem, it needs several years and honestly probably a pretty decent prize at the end to tempt and make people more committed to a series of competitions not just the one off. It can get there, most hobbies and interests have such events. Possibly the best is to try and have fewer heats to start with and gradually add more layers. So the first few years you might have only one or two previous competitions before the big final - then you gradually extend out the number and branch out. Growing the number as it gains fans and players and also adding more layers to increase the upper skill level and filtering. 

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14 hours ago, SwampHeart said:

Absolutely - if I can deny VP by not engaging I absolutely will. Again I'm never going to make it easy on my opponent, win, lose or draw. I've done the same thing when winning - fall back with characters, deny opportunities for combat, etc. 

This ridiculous behaviour is why it should always be kill points difference rather than kill points.   By doing this in a game where only KP are counted all you're doing is choosing to hamstring your opponent versus any other player in the tournament, and equally if they were your friend you could equally opt to feed them KP when you realise you've lost.  The focus should be on your own score not your opponents, and if KP difference is counted anything you do to impact your opponents KP will also impact your score.

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4 minutes ago, Overread said:

Aye that's the big problem, it needs several years and honestly probably a pretty decent prize at the end to tempt and make people more committed to a series of competitions not just the one off. It can get there, most hobbies and interests have such events. Possibly the best is to try and have fewer heats to start with and gradually add more layers. So the first few years you might have only one or two previous competitions before the big final - then you gradually extend out the number and branch out. Growing the number as it gains fans and players and also adding more layers to increase the upper skill level and filtering. 

Thing is, if your scrape in to the next heat, you are destined for bottom tables in the final, prizes wont go down to you, so you only have the 'glory' of playing in the final (and paying £60 for the privilege) but zero chance of a prize.  Are there enough people playing proper competitive AoS (or 40k) to fill out enough events to make this happen? id say no, or it would be popular already.  You need the fun players to fill the events out, the ones who dont really care, the ones who actually make the events profitable.

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1 minute ago, stato said:

Thing is, if your scrape in to the next heat, you are destined for bottom tables in the final, prizes wont go down to you, so you only have the 'glory' of playing in the final (and paying £60 for the privilege) but zero chance of a prize.  Are there enough people playing proper competitive AoS (or 40k) to fill out enough events to make this happen? id say no, or it would be popular already.  You need the fun players to fill the events out, the ones who dont really care, the ones who actually make the events profitable.

Honestly paying to compete has two angles and really depends how its setup.

1) If its formal single events being linked together specifically then I'd ague that you could charge for one or two early ones, but any charges should be dropped the further up the ladder one goes. Because the higher up one goes the more the importance the players have as individuals not just as numbers. At the first events its all about bums on seats (er armies on tables). Once you're at the latter events its about specific named gamers appearing to compete. In many serious sports that's where the competitors start being paid to attend those events - often by sponsorship deals and the like; with the event itself being held by a sponsor. 

2) Another angle is to instead of having a ladder of events; have a collective pool of wins. This has the bonus that you can link up a lot more events together nationally and have regional competitions count toward the final score. Basically each local event is running as they are now - modest fees to compete which contributes to the event and prize. The event serves the local community whilst your eager champions might well travel to more events to gather up more wins. The idea being that the final events (where it swings back to the competing being free) you've got people who might have one 10 regular tournaments over the year who are now competing against each other. 
Of course one can score on more than just wins, but in a direct head on competition wins are about the simplest and most easy to assure a fair standard on. And, of course, there'd be limit on how many wins would be "needed" to qualify. 

 

 

Thing is all these big ideas require energy, dedication, organisation and money behind them to work. Wargames can do it and heck we've got Ben already working toward such goals. I think otherwise without unity and a specific criteria setup then its still best to attend competitive events in the wargame world with a casual air to the reasoning why many are there; even if your desire is to win and win as best as you can. 

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41 minutes ago, JPjr said:

Sounds like we need to instigate a strict policy of punishment beatings for people that dare defile the sanctity of Warhammer tournaments with their sub-optimal lists. At the very least a 3lb lump hammer to someone's centre-piece model if they lose by too many points should focus a few minds.

I believe the traditional weapon of choice is an original metal space marine dreadnought in a sock

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1 hour ago, BobbyB said:

This ridiculous behaviour is why it should always be kill points difference rather than kill points.   By doing this in a game where only KP are counted all you're doing is choosing to hamstring your opponent versus any other player in the tournament, and equally if they were your friend you could equally opt to feed them KP when you realise you've lost.  The focus should be on your own score not your opponents, and if KP difference is counted anything you do to impact your opponents KP will also impact your score.

Even if it were KP difference I'd do the same thing. My entire goal would be to prevent them from getting as many points as possible. Additionally this doesn't just apply to a kill points scenario. I often play in tournaments with bonus objectives and hidden agendas and I work to deny those points as well. And of course I'm trying to hamstring my opponent - same as I'd do if I was winning. Again there are absolutely no easy wins, if you play me my first goal is to beat you but save that the next is to make sure you don't make it past me with a chance to podium (this is regardless of if you're my best friend or I've just met you). 

Tournaments are for tough games - just because you've got me beat doesn't mean I'm contributing to your bunny run. 

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@SwampHeart I think @BobbyB was trying to say that the ridiculous tactics part was a flaw of the system rather than your actions. Ergo that the game structure itself shouldn't "allow" nor encourage you to be able to deny the opponent part of their score in such a significant way. Your actions were fine, it was the game structure that allowed for them which he takes issue with. 

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Just now, Overread said:

@SwampHeart I think @BobbyB was trying to say that the ridiculous tactics part was a flaw of the system rather than your actions. Ergo that the game structure itself shouldn't "allow" nor encourage you to be able to deny the opponent part of their score in such a significant way. Your actions were fine, it was the game structure that allowed for them which he takes issue with. 

I got that - my point is it doesn't matter what the system is. If its KP difference there is still a capacity for me to work to deny you points, the only system I can possibly see in this case is pure W/L/D. And obviously that has many of its own flaws. I've played in what I would consider to be alot of tournaments (both 40k and AoS, and WHFB back when) in my hobby career and I've never found a system that didn't require your opponent's interaction to get max score. 

I acknowledge my personal philosophy on the matter may be distasteful - to the point where someone would want to change a tournament system to stop the behavior. I just don't think there's a tournament system that can stop player A from trying to stop player B from getting any points he's able to.  

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@overread I'm not saying in any way that there needs to be a system of qualifiers. Not sure where that idea is coming from

Maybe it's where I say that what you do impacts the rest of the field?

If so, I mean that when you don't give it your all in the tournament, you could be giving your 5 (or whatever) opponents a free pass that the other 95 players don't get, thus artificially shifting the standings.

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Until tournaments go from how they are now to more of an elimination context where winning moves you forward and losing bumps you out of contention and they take away quality of win from the equation I'm not sure this will ever be resolved in a way you'd like.

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