[Tournament] eXperimental Codex Asynchronous Fall 2023 (XCAFS23)

Hi everyone, it’s time for another X-time. As almost agreed upon here, the next tournament shall be one with a slight modification: Every player is allowed to choose his/her starting split on the spot when he/she starts a new game (for clarification: P2 is allowed to look at the opening turn of his/her opponent before choosing the starting split).
The discussion about the exact modus for playing this tournament is still under discussion, so please voice your opinion here in case you want to modify it.

Welcome to our [XCAF23] tournament! Now taking signups!

This is a Swiss tournament, with one match per week, plus a grace period if your match overruns.
I’m planning to post the first round on 25th of September somewhen around 19:00 UTC.

As per tradition, this will be an experimental tournament, but the previously agreed upon rule changes will behold.

Vandy Remove resist 1 at midband
Midband changes to “①, :arrow_heading_down:, Discard a card → Fetch any non-ultimate Demonology spell from your codex, reveal it, then put it in your hand.”
Maxband loses targeting, changes to giving the weakest unit on each side +2/2 (analogously to StW)
Garth Reduce midband stats to 2/3
Deteriorate Increase cost to 1
Lich’s Bargain Base damage increased from 4 to 5
Flagstone Garrison Ability changes to “Your units can no longer have haste. Whenever you play a unit, draw a card”
Pirate Gunship Remove obliterate 2
Dark Pact Increase cost to 1
Bird’s Nest Change Upkeep to “Resummon one lost bird (max: 2)”
Battle Suits Change to apply to “Purple Soldiers and Mystics”
Might of Leaf and Claw :arrow_heading_down: → If there are at least 5 growth runes on this, your heroes and units get +3/+3 until your next upkeep
Troq Midband at 3, maxband at 7
Modify midband ability to “Attacks: deal 1 damage to one of that opponent’s buildings”
Modify maxband ability to Overpower
The Boot Modify text to “Discard a card, then destroy a tech 0, I or II unit” modify type from “Spell - Debuff” to “Spell”
Intimidate Modify text to “Give a unit or hero -4/-1 until your next turn.”
General’s Hammer Cost reduced to 2

General rules

  • Late signups will be accepted without penalty until the second set of pairings are made. Signups after that may occur, but will be given one loss for each full round / “tournament week” that has elapsed. Please submit your entry to the tourney, via PM to me or reply in this thread, in order to sign up!
  • New pairings will be posted roughly every Monday. Matches that are not progressing may be given an adjudicated result. The “tournament week” is considered to be from one round of pairings posted to the next (so possibly more or less than an actual calendar week, depending on how prompt I am with the Monday postings / others are at finishing games).
  • Matches are 2 games (!) with both players playing as P1 once.
  • The first player is responsible for creating the match thread.
  • Tag @zango when a winner has been determined.
  • CAS tournaments use a “four/five strikes” rule (depending on how many players participate - any player who has four/five losses will be automatically dropped from the tournament. Players may also drop out at any time.
  • There is no “top cut”: the last player standing wins the event. Thanks to the “four/five strikes” rule, the field should narrow towards the end, and culminate in some exciting final few matches.
  • The default is to play all matches as play-by-post within the forum. A match may be played in an alternate format – in person, on an alternate platform, via snail-mail, whatever – by mutual agreement, until the field is reduced to four or fewer players.
  • If any rulings are necessary, any single judge who is not participating in that match may make a ruling.
  • Rulings are subject to appeal only if the judge making the ruling is wrong about the facts of the game (e.g., forgetting that a Building Inspector is in play, or that the Shrine of Forbidden Knowledge only makes Demons unstoppable by units), or the rules/FAQ as noted in the rulebook and/or the Rulings thread.
  • Please note the forum-suggested post generation spreadsheet , or one of the other format suggestions (like this or this) such that it includes hand, tech and worker decisions, either in a details + spoiler combo,
like this,

Here’s my hidden stuff!

  • or in a linked source that a judge (preferrably not involved in the game) can get to. This helps with judgements, adjudication, as well as spectators.
  • As with all PbF games, the honour system is in place: don’t peek at your opponent’s spoilers, just as you wouldn’t grab cards out of your opponent’s hand / deck / discard / worker pile and look at them in a real-life tournament!

Other details

Details for Swiss pairings

The idea behind swiss pairing is that each round players should play against each other that have a similar number of losses. The actual paring will be done within the tracker spreadsheet linked below that will include the algorithm for an automatic pairing creation as described here
The basic idea behind the algorithm is: compute for all possible pairings the so called penalty score and choose one of the pairings that has a minimal penalty score. For computing the penalty all unfavorable events within a pairing are identified and taken into account (for example a player with 0 losses plays against a player with 2 losses, or the pairings include a direct rematch). The more unfavorable events are within the respective pairings, the higher the penalty score will be. See the link above for a description of all unfavorable events.

I reserve the option to hand-craft pairings and/or the bye if necessary, in case the algorithm does not provide favorable pairing. This manual manipulation will not result in someone getting a second bye, unless all players have had a bye.

Details for unfinished match adjudication

Players that have not completed their previous matches will be handled as follows:

I will assign a rational number for their game, typically it will be 0.5 : 0.5. The algorithm then takes care of the rest. After the match is completed, the correct result will be used for the further rounds.

  1. Matches where Player 1 has posted their 5th turn within a week will not be adjudicated until 3 days after (10 days after pairings, Thursday by default).
  2. Matches where Player 1 has posted their 10th turn 11 days after pairings (Friday by default) will not be adjudicated until two weeks after pairings (Monday by default).
  3. Matches subject to adjudication may have a win declared, by opinion of the judges, for
    a) the player that is “going to win” (having clear hand / tech spoilers is helpful for determining this);
    b) the player that is less responsible for delaying the game;
    c) for no one, if prior arrangements were made, or the match result isn’t critical for making the next round of pairings, or if a “catch up” week is coming up.
  4. Generally, I will be pretty generous about allowing for extra time, provided I’m given notice of absence. If you ‘re ghosting the tourney with no notice, however, don’t be surprised if you’re given forfeit losses!
Details for correcting game errors

In the event of a game error, one of three fixes will be implemented:

  1. If a unit, hero, or building took the wrong amount of damage, and changing it to the correct amount does not cause anything to leave play or not leave play, then the damage will be corrected.
  2. If not enough gold was spent, and the excess was floated, the gold total will be corrected. If too much gold was spent, the excess will be refunded. The possibility of theft (red starter, Anarchy, or Law) does not impact this, as both players are responsible for maintaining the game state. An actually executed theft (or failure to steal after taking the appropriate action) forecloses this remedy.
  3. The game will be backed up to the turn of the error. In this case, having the decisions / game state noted is important for re-constructing things. Any random events that are undone (e.g. drawing cards) must be re-randomized, regardless of the size or type of error. Normally the entire turn containing the error will be backed up and re-done, but if knowledge has been gained, or cards drawn, and the error occurred after the new information was gained, the judge must only back up to the point where new information was revealed.
  4. If neither of the above apply, or if I think a backup cannot be performed, the game will be left as-is. (For example, an error occurs on Turn 2, and it is now Turn 4, both players have made decisions, reshuffled, etc. based on the incorrect game state).

Regardless of remedy, players should feel free to use any information disclosed by their opponent’s error in making gameplay choices: for example, an opponent’s tech choice revealed via a card illegally played and then returned to hand.

In the case of repeated errors, or errors where the game state cannot be recovered, a game loss may be given if the error was substantial.

List of players participating:

(@Qwzmda : please confirm your more or less announced participation in the next tournament thread)

  1. @zango [Finesse]/Feral/Present :white_check_mark:
  2. @FrozenStorm [Anarchy]/Strength/Growth :white_check_mark:
  3. @Bryce_The_Rice [Demonology]/Necromancy/Finesse :white_check_mark:
  4. @Dreamfire [Anarchy/Fire]/Demon :white_check_mark:
  5. @dwarddd monopurple :white_check_mark:
  6. @charnel_mouse [Balance]/Blood/Strength :white_check_mark:
  7. @thehug0naut [Feral]/Present/Discipline :white_check_mark:
  8. @flagrantangles monoblue :white_check_mark:
  9. @Qwzmda [Finesse]/Demonology/Necromancy :white_check_mark:
  10. @rathyAro [Finesse]/Peace/Truth :white_check_mark:

Authorised judges (please veto in case you don’t want to judge)

  1. @FrozenStorm
  2. @Dreamfire
  3. @charnel_mouse

The penalty algorithm spreadsheet for this tournament is linked here

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I’m in yep, deck tbd

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uhh yeah

you know one day I’m going to snap and murder this forum software


I’m in too. Trying to figure out if this format makes Green or Blue starter feasible.

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FYI: I’ll stick to my favorite deck: [Finesse]/Feral/Present

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I’m in. I’ll stay with mono purple for this one

Thanks for organising @zango !


Still haven’t read the previous tournament and its fallout, so I’ll just go with [Balance]/Blood/Strength like usual.

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In. I’ll try [Feral]/Present/Discipline

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@FrozenStorm @Bryce_The_Rice @Dreamfire : just a short reminder that you have about three days left to choose your codex.

@Qwzmda @Penatronic @Shadow_Night_Black @cstick @OffKilter @flagrantangles : anyone of you interested in joining?

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For clarification:
Each round consists of two games. The split has to be chosen for each game individually. And it can be new splits in the next round etc.
You only have to choose your split at the exact moment, when it’s at you to post the turn for a new match.

Sure, why not. I’ll play Blue.

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Two weeks per round, then?

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I’ll play [Anarchy/Fire]/Demon.

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Well given that I’m here to prove the strength of player one, I shall play [Demonology]/Necromancy/Finesse.

I hope you enjoy facing the most oppressive turn one.

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I’m in. [Finesse]/Demonology/Necromancy


Yes, one round consists of two matches, one week per match, more or less…

Awesome, we have 9 participants and some good benchmark decks for further testing our nerfs, that’s really great.
I really would prefer a 5 strike rule as with two matches per round that would be closer to our standard mode where losing three rounds leads to a termination. Obviously this includes a significant risk of this tournament to stretch out for quite a while.

Also with two matches per round there arises the question how to deal with the situation where a player is eliminated after the first match in a round. Here I think it’s better to still play match number two due to the expected imbalance of P1 vs p2.

Are there any objections or other suggestions?

I guess I just want to highlight that with each round being a two match series, if we do require that both games are played out, then it’s possible that a meeting of two 4 loss competitors results in both players being eliminated.

Is this a desirable feature? It might well be, just strikes me as something not in the standard format, so we should explicitly discuss it.

Only real options would seem to be:

  1. Don’t play out the second game, first game winner stays alive
  2. Do play out the second game, both players can be eliminated
  3. Do play out the second game, both players being eliminated results in a replay of the round

Note: my thinking here is that this would be a special case if both players could be eliminated, not a general rule for all other cases

3 is probably the fairest way to do it while only eliminating 1 player (for a comp it’s akin to demanding a certain margin of victory in tennis), but given the length of each game it could make things really drag out, likely making it impractical. 1 and 2 are expedient, but have different fairness intuitions for me:

1 feels unfair to whoever was randomised the worse P1/P2, assuming both decks skew strongly to the same preference of player order. If the players have an equal chance of winning then this would be very fair but a true 50-50 is probably unlikely in practice with this ruleset. However, we do run this logic already in our tournaments, if two 2 loss players meet the turn order randomisation is usually quite decisive.

Compared to our standard rules, 2 feels slightly unfair to the first game winner as usually that would be enough to safely progress, but it does feel very fair and fun for the now eliminated player to get to play their (presumably) more advantaged matchup and try to eliminate their competitor on the way out.

Thoughts? I think to balance time requirements, consistency, and fairness it almost has to be option 2 but I could see the arguments for 1 over it

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I’d imagine people wouldn’t do it on here, but playing out the second game under option 2 would potentially have some perverse incentives for the player who’s already out. They have no reason to play seriously.

thank you very much @charnel_mouse & @thehug0naut for your input on the (un)fair elimination issue. The two of you summarized my thought process that lead to my suggestion perfectly :smiley:

I think if first-game-loser doesn’t want to play out game number two, that’s fine. But the aspect that the first-game-winner does not get a half bye and that his/her opponent get’s the chance for revenge seemed like a good idea to me wrt to the expected imbalance of P1/P2.

But I really don’t have a strong opinion here. I’m sure I can live with pretty much any solution to the issue.
We have another 4 weeks (more or less) to decide this issue. :wink:
Anybody else with an opinion?