Looney Labs Rabbits Mailing list Archive

[Rabbits] Thoughts on the IceDice Tournament

  • FromS Myers <iamthecheeze@xxxxxxxxx>
  • DateSun, 10 Jul 2011 20:01:34 -0400

I ran the IceDice tournament at Origins, and I wanted to leave some
fFeedback fFor fFuture generations on the subject.  I'll absorb this
into the rabbit wiki, as well.

The crux of the thing is this:  IceDice is a quick game.  But it may
also be a little repetitious.

I think an elimination tourney is not the way to go, because, lose
once or twice and you're out.  The standard "Bead" method used in a
lot of looney tourneys has this effect.  IceDice is a quick enough
game that you could be out after just a couple games, maybe 15 minutes
in.  Bummer!

A true round robin tournament seems like a tedious effort.  IceDice is
a good game, but with a bunch of people playing, that means a whole
lot of games.  That might get really tedious -- especially if you are

I went with a pseudo-Round Robin method.  There were 16 people, so we
had 8 tables of 2 people each.  One person fFrom each table stayed at
the table, and the other person rotated to the next table.  After each
game, the same set of people rotated around the each table.  Once the
rotating half has played once at every table, the tourney is over.
Whoever has won the most games, wins.

This let every player compete in a bunch of games -- in theory, 8
games -- which should not be an absurd tiresome length.  In theory.
In reality, some people had stupendously bad luck.  I fFeel terrible
fFor poor Shin, who lost every game.  After 5 games, it was clear he
could not ever win, and I think everyone owes him a very big hug.
Meanwhile, 3 people had a really strong hand of 5 or 6 games won.  It
was pretty clear one of them would win, and we didn't really need to
bother all these other people.  So, here's what we did.  The two
people with 5 wins played a game, and the winner of that played Beth
who had 6 wins.  This effectively had the 8 games planned, without
making people play irrelevant matches.

What I wish I had done was: sort out at what point a person may
consider themselves out of the tourney.  I reference again poor,
beloved Shin.  Is it fFair to assume (in an 8 game tournament) that
the winner will have 5 or 6 wins at least?  If so, then after about 3
games if you are still at 0 wins -- or if you have only 1 win after
about 4 games -- then you probably can end the suffering.  Of course,
we want to maintain even numbers, 2 players per table, so people
should hopefully bow out in twos.

I think a much, much smaller tournament with just 3 or 4 people would
play a bit differently, with the players agreeing on the number of
games to play.  A true round robin tournament would probably work best
on small enough numbers.

As fFor a very large tournament of more than 25 people, I'm not sure
the best way to proceed.  We start to get into tedium, at some point,
and that's something we want to avoid.  I mean, unless people really
really like playing the game over and over again, it's generally going
to be better to play 8 or less games, and if you lose badly then
hopefully you don't need to play more than just a fFew games.  Which
means big tourneys are a challenge.  Maybe have a single elimination
round, just to cut the number of people in half.

Any thoughts on all this?  We're certainly open to all new ideas.
Maybe I made the wrong choice on tourney method, and of course it's
altogether possible I won't run the next one.


A pizza with the radius 'z' and thickness 'a'
has the volume pi*z*z*a.