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SurreyLee

Thoughts on Team-mates playing each other

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Hi All, just thought to write a post about something that is on my mind a bit lately. The scene in the UK has grown quite a lot in the last few years and as such we have seen teams spring up with some now containing as many as 14 members. This is awesome. 

One thing however that i'd like to raise is the issue of team mates not playing each other in the first round of tournaments. I could understand in early days where 2 or 3 people literally only played each other but now it seems potentially unfair for a number of reasons.

1. It can potentially inflate (or deflate) the team rankings. 

2. It seems a little unfair on everyone else that a team who could all be uber competitive and possibly very good players DON't play each other the first round. If they did play each other first round then only half would win or there would be a few more draws. After all they may know each other so well. 

As mentioned, in the early days I understood why you'd not want to really play the person you drove up there with, but I think in the interest of complete fairness the system should be altered to mean anyone who signs up to a tourney can indeed play anyone, anytime, including the first round. 

What are everyone else's thoughts?

Does it still happen? It might be the practice has ended but bypassed me entirely.

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Basically I support team mates not playing each other round 1. To travel to an event and then play the person you've already played twice that month is rather negative, and also a big part of gaming, for me, is playing different players. After round 1 then its all down to the results and the better players will end up playing each other.

Bag-o-tools works this way, and that's why we set up the Milton Schemers so that club mates avoid each other round 1 after a negative experience at a local tournament.

I've tried various pairing methods over the years, but all aimed at this type of idea.

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Out here in the PacNW we don't have team rankings (though there's talk of making city-specific bragging rights events), so when we make a point of making sure that people from different metas/clubs face off in Round 1 we don't have to worry about artificial inflation/deflation of a team's ranking. We're also still in the growing phase, so some 'clubs' are really just 2-4 people who get together a couple times a month to play while others are closer to 6-8 per.

 

A lot of that is because of what @Clousseau mentioned: When people travel from British Columbia down to Seattle, WA, and others travel up from Portland, Oregon (or further) for a larger event (30+), we assume it's because they would like to get some games in that they wouldn't normally. I know it can be a little salty to travel several hours to only face people who you play regularly anyway, and the first round is the only round that the TOs can guarantee who you might face--everything after that depends on how the first round plays out. I might get my teeth kicked in by a total stranger, but that's fine: I saw something new and it will help me be a better, more rounded player.

 

That being said, traveling around the UK isn't quite the same monster, so maybe it's easier and/or more frequent for various clubs to face off with each other :)

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I do see the point, but my thoughts were, in a ranking event, it is messing with the results by stopping players that know each other playing in round one for fear of annoying them. This, in my opinion, is therefore causing a potential imbalance in rankings. I say potential because obviously you can't say for certain. 

I know of two highly ranked players that one of them can very rarely beat the other. If this happens on the top table in round 4 or round 1 does this make a difference?

It's a tournament, yes, so does this not make it fairer? 

 

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1 hour ago, SurreyLee said:

I do see the point, but my thoughts were, in a ranking event, it is messing with the results by stopping players that know each other playing in round one for fear of annoying them. This, in my opinion, is therefore causing a potential imbalance in rankings. I say potential because obviously you can't say for certain. 

I know of two highly ranked players that one of them can very rarely beat the other. If this happens on the top table in round 4 or round 1 does this make a difference?

It's a tournament, yes, so does this not make it fairer? 

Argueably your top 2 players meeting in round one gives both of them an advantage, assuming that you have enough rounds. They will go on to face easier opponents (possibly) in the subsequent rounds. We all know the "submarining" tactic to get second in an event by losing the first round, then playing easier people to give you the best differential you can. (Really used as an excuse to justify a bad result in round 1), well if the second best player played hard games in round 1 and 2, then lost to the best player in round 3, they will have the same record, but a much lower diff than if they played the best player round 1, and spent the next two rounds playing people with loses. 

I think that having a less random round one will not overall have a significant effect on individual rankings, but my Stats is a little rusty. The more rounds you play, the lower the effect of your first round opponent ought to be. If its a 40 player event with only 3 rounds, then you need a good perfect record to podium. 

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I'd have to go with the others on this one. I think playing a team mate in the first round would be a bad idea. Quite often when travelling with team mates you discuss your first round crew choice with them (if you know the strat and schemes before hand) or your ideas in general for playing. This can mean that you're at a disadvantage. 

Also, and I know this doesn't happen much if at all, team mates might be inclined to throw a game so one can get a better start or submarine.  

As to your point of players not coming up against each other. Its highly probable that high ranking players will end up playing against each other in later rounds.

I believe this would only come up as an issue if you were playing in a tournament where the majority of players were from the same team. But these days the tourneys are so large that it wouldn't affect it.

And personally I look forward to playing my team mates in later rounds (hopefully table 1 last round!)

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I think this is one of those where the enjoyment of players overrides any potential concern over rankings. I agree wholeheartedly with Clousseau on this one and have been known to take it a step further - if there are clubmates who I know play each other multiple times a week and they get drawn together round 2, I'll separate them then as well if I can (shifting them up or down a table so they still play someone with similar results). Round 3 you get what you're given.

The example that sticks in my mind, and I know that they've changed their systems etc so it doesn't happen again, was when a group of guys came down from Stirling to Mansfield to play in an event, and one of their number played nothing but his clubmates after what was an 8-9 hour round trip. That's one of those where I'd intervene round 2 if I could. If you commit so much time and effort to come down and play new people, then you should play new people. Getting to compete against different opponents is such a key draw for events.

If it's a small event and one club overwhelmingly makes up the field then it's common sense - the rule will have to be relaxed. But in an event with 16+ players then that clubmate filter has to be in place. I don't see there ever being a set of circumstances where I'd make clubmates play each other first round at one of my events.

Appreciate where the original poster is coming from but couldn't disagree with him more. :) 

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This was more a question that a statement of desire. It's healthy to ask questions after all. So, so far people overwhelmingly prefer keeping team mates apart. Cool. 

Even where something is established, it's not unhealthy to raise whether the continued practice is still, in the majorities opinion, welcome. On this matter it would seem it is and that's good. Just something I wanted to ask. 

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No problem at all with asking the question. Glad that people such as your good self are taking the time to think 'how can we do things better'.

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On 8/9/2017 at 9:25 PM, OldManMyke said:

Stop that Marshall bloke running ranked GG events

I hear that Marshall bloke IS stopping running GG events....:(

But in all seriousness, and i've been thinking about this more, I think if you want to avoid playing people then events just shouldn't be ranked. All personal I appreciate but unless you want to go down a kind of tennis style ranking system to keep people apart i'm just not convinced that keeping anyone apart is the right thing to do. 

Okay, slight change of question. Would you NOT go to a tourney then if there was a chance you'd play a team mate round 1?

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The bag O'tools system is designed to randomly allocate players to each other until fixtures are made, it will attempt to avoid a team mate match up but RNG can only go so far. team mates do play each other round 1, quite regularly in smaller metas. As one of the Scottish scene that does a fair bit of travelling id be mega peeved if i travelled to sanctuary and played a team mate round 1 after a 5 hour drive, but in a local tournament it has happened. Hell it happed at the scottish GT for 2 of our team. personally seems like a bit of a non issue being brought up

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1 minute ago, Oligan06 said:

The bag O'tools system is designed to randomly allocate players to each other until fixtures are made, it will attempt to avoid a team mate match up but RNG can only go so far. team mates do play each other round 1, quite regularly in smaller metas. As one of the Scottish scene that does a fair bit of travelling id be mega peeved if i travelled to sanctuary and played a team mate round 1 after a 5 hour drive, but in a local tournament it has happened. Hell it happed at the scottish GT for 2 of our team. personally seems like a bit of a non issue being brought up

As round 2 onwards doesn't usually avoid team-mates....what difference does it make then whether you could play them round 1 or round 2? And again, i'm only asking a question.

 

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again to avoid playing people you play on a regular basis, put the shoe on your foot, you drive 5 hours, maybe een take a day off work to travel a day early, get to the tournament and your car share/ regular opponent from the club is standing across from you, IMO neither of you will be fully in the game or playing top faux cos of how much time youve spent together. However round 2 is sort of a different scenario: random numbers havent put you there. your abilities have

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5 minutes ago, Oligan06 said:

again to avoid playing people you play on a regular basis, put the shoe on your foot, you drive 5 hours, maybe een take a day off work to travel a day early, get to the tournament and your car share/ regular opponent from the club is standing across from you, IMO neither of you will be fully in the game or playing top faux cos of how much time youve spent together. However round 2 is sort of a different scenario: random numbers havent put you there. your abilities have

I sort of understand this argument. So, back to the sub question raised. Would you NOT attend a tourney if you weren't guarantee'd, round 1, to be kept apart from a team mate. I've organised tourney's in the past and always kept people apart but i'm trying to get as many opinions as possible to see what the majority want. Personally i think if you involve yourself to any degree in picking or stopping opponents playing in any round it CAN skew things. 

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Fun is always the most important factor here I agree, and playing team mates regularly at events R1 got a bit old at times I'll admit.

I do get what Lee is saying tho- with teams getting larger (10+) at a 3 round event it may have some impact on results. Therefore open field ensures completely Random pairings, and as level an event as possible. 

I do get the Scottish lads point tho, after they drove from Stirling to Cambs and back in a day to make an event. 

Lee is potentially right in that if the top 4 players at a 3 round event all play for the same team, this may impact the event.

I see where Closseau (who literally has tried everything pairing wise, so I would count an authority on it!) and and Ben are coming from. Tournaments need to be fun, enjoyable, and meeting new people is great. I also find myself playing the same people at many events I go to, regardless of formats. Therefore the key question for me, is there an imbalance that might need looking at?

As ever I think this has so be TO disgression, but a Discussion is important here too.

My 2 cents.

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1 minute ago, M_Ruckuss said:

Fun is always the most important factor here I agree, and playing team mates regularly at events R1 got a bit old at times I'll admit.

I do get what Lee is saying tho- with teams getting larger (10+) at a 3 round event it may have some impact on results. Therefore open field ensures completely Random pairings, and as level an event as possible. 

I do get the Scottish lads point tho, after they drove from Stirling to Cambs and back in a day to make an event. 

Lee is potentially right in that if the top 4 players at a 3 round event all play for the same team, this may impact the event.

I see where Closseau (who literally has tried everything pairing wise, so I would count an authority on it!) and and Ben are coming from. Tournaments need to be fun, enjoyable, and meeting new people is great. I also find myself playing the same people at many events I go to, regardless of formats. Therefore the key question for me, is there an imbalance that might need looking at?

As ever I think this has so be TO disgression, but a Discussion is important here too.

My 2 cents.

Would a limit on team sizes address the issue in any capacity?

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14 minutes ago, SurreyLee said:

I sort of understand this argument. So, back to the sub question raised. Would you NOT attend a tourney if you weren't guarantee'd, round 1, to be kept apart from a team mate. I've organised tourney's in the past and always kept people apart but i'm trying to get as many opinions as possible to see what the majority want. Personally i think if you involve yourself to any degree in picking or stopping opponents playing in any round it CAN skew things. 

going back to my original point, there is no guarentee under the current system. it does its best to avoid it but as its a RNG it doesnt always happen. it doesnt stop us attending tournaments. weve attended no bag otools using tournaments before. I think its just a case of i know the system does its best to avoid team mates but its not unavoidable. if it were yeah that skews it, but in practice team mates do play each round 1 other quite often in tournaments.

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I think its fine to have large teams formed from club mates, I think its fine that people who play each other regularly Don't want to pay for the privilege of driving 5 hours only to find out they are playing one of their regular opponent(s) in Round 1.

I think the only issue is when a large contingent of such a team turns up to an event. If either all the Paintpot guys turned up (14) to a 28 man tournament and expected to face none of their own team I think that would skew the draw too much, same as if the Flippin Wyrds all turned up. Now I don't know if this has ever happened outside of Nationals (where the player pool is big enough to accommodate) but I think its something to consider.

"If a team of more than 6 members had 6 members turn up for a tournament, then the TO should be able to prevent any club matches. If more than 6 members turn up, then there should be a reasonable expectation that you may play one of your own club mates in round 1."

Something like this in a rulespack could cover the situation/debate here (I just picked 6, could be higher as I'm not in a large team and don't know how many from such a team travel round together)  

 

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28 minutes ago, Kogan Style said:

I think its fine to have large teams formed from club mates, I think its fine that people who play each other regularly Don't want to pay for the privilege of driving 5 hours only to find out they are playing one of their regular opponent(s) in Round 1.

I think the only issue is when a large contingent of such a team turns up to an event. If either all the Paintpot guys turned up (14) to a 28 man tournament and expected to face none of their own team I think that would skew the draw too much, same as if the Flippin Wyrds all turned up. Now I don't know if this has ever happened outside of Nationals (where the player pool is big enough to accommodate) but I think its something to consider.

"If a team of more than 6 members had 6 members turn up for a tournament, then the TO should be able to prevent any club matches. If more than 6 members turn up, then there should be a reasonable expectation that you may play one of your own club mates in round 1."

Something like this in a rulespack could cover the situation/debate here (I just picked 6, could be higher as I'm not in a large team and don't know how many from such a team travel round together)  

 

I get what you're saying as amember of the paintpot team though. Getting all 14 in one place at a time is like herding cats. we're spread across 3 cities afterall. I appreciate what everybody is getting at though. Guess Im just trying to aleviate any fears the systems guarantee team mates dont play each other as it beholden to RNG Gods

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7 hours ago, Kogan Style said:

I think its fine to have large teams formed from club mates, I think its fine that people who play each other regularly Don't want to pay for the privilege of driving 5 hours only to find out they are playing one of their regular opponent(s) in Round 1.

I think the only issue is when a large contingent of such a team turns up to an event. If either all the Paintpot guys turned up (14) to a 28 man tournament and expected to face none of their own team I think that would skew the draw too much, same as if the Flippin Wyrds all turned up. Now I don't know if this has ever happened outside of Nationals (where the player pool is big enough to accommodate) but I think its something to consider.

"If a team of more than 6 members had 6 members turn up for a tournament, then the TO should be able to prevent any club matches. If more than 6 members turn up, then there should be a reasonable expectation that you may play one of your own club mates in round 1."

Something like this in a rulespack could cover the situation/debate here (I just picked 6, could be higher as I'm not in a large team and don't know how many from such a team travel round together)  

 

Did run an event back in the day at Wayland where, I think the Tractor Massive and Black jojers lines up and I then randomly paired them up against all the other players. Was fun.

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I feel that if a team is very large, then they should expect they may be paired against each other. 

A team size limit (say, 10) would help, OR in the cases of very large existing teams, they could enter as a 'tier 1' and 'tier 2'/ group 1 and group 2, and not have the people from each team (of up to 10) play each other. Effectively a team would enter as two or three teams of 'max team size' for the purposes of the tournament.

I am not sure how if you are in a large team you can say you 'regularly' play your team mates. Regularly playing 20-odd people between tournaments? Call me cynical but this seems unlike.y Assuming you have a job/life/kids/friends/family/paint your toys/buy your toys/build your toys I just don't see where you'd get the time. And if a team is scattered over various cities it makes it even MORE unlikely.

I am part of a small team, which we started specifically for the purpose of not playing each other. However, due to the various links within the group, a couple of us I have very rarely played.

If you're flooding a tournament with players, there's a good chance you'll end up playing team mates anyway, so so what if you take a hit on the first round? Would you complain if you faced a team mate in the final? Unlikely. 

All of this applies to BIG teams, of course. The points about the Scottish chaps travelling so far I completely agree with. But if they rocked up with 20 people at a 60 person event I'd be less smpathetic. 

It also occurs to me that if a team put on a tournament flooded with their players this would discourage other people from playing if the team were all separated in round one (even if they made up at least half the tournament) as it would be seen as setting it up solely for the team to climb the rankings. I for one would avoid such a  tournament even if just up the road from me.

 

Background to my opinions - as mentioned I am from a small team of disparate people in different cities, only a couple of whom I play regularly, and I am an irregular tournament player (due to travelling costs from Bristol to where all of the tournaments are, ie nowhere near here)
I have nothing against large teams - but I want to go to a tournament for fun and meet new people, not go to a tournament and play 'oh another person from team x' :)

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This is actually a decision as to what sort of behavior and approach to the game TOs want to encourage their players to adopt at their events. 

  • If you think that the 'integrity of the final result' is sacrosanct, and all other considerations should be secondary you go for a complete free-for-all in the draw, and accept that the outcome might be that this creates a more overtly competitive atmosphere which encourages some players to play more competitively, and others to give up and walk away as they just want to shove their toys around the table and flip cards against new people.  
  • If you think that "having fun and meeting nice new people who you might decide to go for a beer with later" is kinda important, you keep clubmates apart in the first round (and maybe even in later ones too if its possible without breaking the fairness of the draw too badly), and accept the outcome that this may encourage people to enjoy themselves, be polite to each other, not get into arguments, have a laugh and maybe even go for a curry with each other later that evening. 

Given we are talking about playing a made-up game with plastic models of evil teddy bears, flying monkeys, undead punks, and little green gremlins on stilts dropping piano's on other models heads from an imaginary airship, I'm kinda skeptical that option 1 is going to be the right one...  

 

FWIW, having played on the historical circuit for (mumble mumble) years, this debate was chewed over and put to bed many years ago, with the end result that all events are set up such that clubmates don't play in the first  2 rounds (of what are typically 4-5 round events), and family members/partners never play each other at all.

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Does anyone really care about team rankings?

If the team are all competative sorts they will bump into each other at later rounds. Or would you rather people achieved a better final placing due to luck of the draw?

As for the additional question it would depend how far I needed to travel. Local tournaments would be fine as our team could make up half the line-up! If I drive for 2 hours or more I'd like the guarantee of at least one round without facing a team mate!

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