Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Victory Points at a tournament

I was listening to podhammer this weekend [you can download it at] and at the end of another great show titled "pew, pew, pew," Jeff was kind enough to answer an e-mail I had sent him. The e-mail concerned scoring in Aussie Tournaments. I had heard him and guys discuss on multiple occasions their tournament games and how they had faired. What confused me was when they got around to discussing victory points, they mentioned a 20 point system. Each of the players would get some combination of points, so that the total value of the points awarded would be 20 (ie: 20-0, 16-4, or 10-10 for example). This is much different than any tournament I had been to.

American tournaments award points on a set basis. Traditionally, a victory is worth 15 points, a draw is worth 10, and a loss is worth 5. In addition, there may be certain scenerios that allow a person to accrue bonus points. Usually the number of points determining victory is around 400.

As Jeff explained, the Aussie system is much different. Each game, both players start with 10 points. For every 150 points a person wins by, they gain an additional point, while their opponent loses a point. So, if player A beats player B by 340 points, then that would be a 12-8 victory. If player A won by 99 points, it'd still be a 10-10 draw. And if player A won by 1500 points or more, it'd be a 20-0 victory.

This system has two great advantages I can see immediatly. First, it does a much better job of declinating the participants. For example, lets say player F wins his first two games by 1500 and 1700 points respectively. Player G wins his first two games as well, the first by 420 points, and the second by 600 points.

Under the American system the standings would look like this:
Player F - 30 points
Player G - 30 points

Under their system, the standings would look like this
Player F - 40 points
Player G - 26 points

Their system seems to offer a much more realistic view of how the competators are actually doing.

Secondly, the Aussie system seems to encourge better game play. First of all, the hit and run armies that try to get 500 victory points and then play points denial can still win games, but will never have enough battle points to find themselves on the podium. This system encourages aggressive play. In addition, no matter how bad the situtation turns, both players have insentive to keep up the fight. Even if I find myself down 1000 victory points with no shot of winning, smart tactics and good decisions might allow me to eek out a 2,4,6, or even a few more battle points, rather than just resigning myself to a loss and 5 consolations points. This encourages people to keep playing and finish games, and also can help mitigate some horrible luck. When a guy loses the game in the first turn due to some henious roll, he may not be able to win, but he can at least battle back and try to secure some points. To me, this creates a game that has competative and meaningful elements throughout the game, regardless of how earlier turns may have gone.

What do you think?

1 comment:

Blair said...

I really like this system. Thanks for explaining it, I've been reading quite a few battle reports and was confused when they would report their VPs in this way.