Looney Labs Rabbits Mailing list Archive

Re: [Rabbits] Thoughts on the IceDice Tournament

  • FromBryan Stout <stoutwb@xxxxxxxxx>
  • DateSat, 16 Jul 2011 00:09:15 -0600
> Hmmm, I agree with the Looneys who say IceDice is best with 2 players,
> but adding maybe one more player might be okay.

Different strokes, I guess.  I enjoy 2-player games, but 3- and
4-player games better.  There's more possibility for interactions, and
more action to dilute the effect of a sequence of bad rolls.

> The 4-player games I
> have played tend to drag on a lot with a lot of waiting between turns
> and hoping your pieces are still there when it gets back to you.

This surprises me!  IceDice is such a quick game that the downtime
even with 5 players is not much.

>> - Copy or adapt the Treehosue tournament format, as Shane said.
> Treehouse does play with more than 2, and the "Triple T" method seems
> dependent on having 3 to 5 players per game.  Which raises the
> concerns about multiplayer IceDice games, as above.

I ran the TH tournament a couple of years ago and did not use Triple
T.  IIRC, there were four or five 4-man tables, and this is how I ran
- Players were numbered 1-4 at each table.
- After round 1, the odds rotated one table clockwise.
- After round 2, the evens rotated one table counterclockwise.
- After round 3, the 3s and 4s (I think) went to a table diagonally across.
- After round 4, everyone switched freely, as long as they sat at a
table with someone they hadn't played against.
- The winner of each game got a stone.  After 5 or 6 rounds, there
were 4 players with 4 or more stones, so they got to be in the finals.
- In the finals, they played as many games as they could for 50
minutes.  Although the first 4 games were split among all 4 players,
when it was all done one player had 6 wins while the three others each
had 2 wins.

What I wanted to suggest was not the exact format, but the idea that
everyone played as much as possible both during the prelims and the
finals.  Your proposed triple-elimination system sounds good too,
Scott.  The main question that comes to me is the basic philosophical
one of the purpose of the tournament: is it just to determine a
champion, or also to let people play a lot of games?

This year at Origins I played in a Summoner Wars tournament which had
8 participants.  I lost my first two games (one very closely, one not
close at all), and found that I was not to play in any other -- there
were two 2-game winners who would play for the winning spot.  I had
mixed feelings about this: I would have liked to play another game,
even if it had no bearing on who won overall; but I did have other
things to do that the elimination let me get to.

My basic thinking is that if people paid and have set aside the time
for a 2-hour tournament, they should have the opportunity to play as
much as they can, especially for short games like Treehouse and

What is the mindset of the people who play in the Looney Labs
tournaments?  Is it mainly to have a chance to win, or mainly to play
a lot?  If they reach the point where they cannot make the finals/win
overall, how many would rather leave to do something else, and how
many would want to keep playing just for the fun of it?  I don't know,
but it's an important question to consider when structuring a
tournament.  Even if an elimination structure is chosen over a
Swiss-style structure, the players eliminated first should still get a
chance to play enough that they don't feel cheated.  Is 3 games enough
for IceDice?  Perhaps; I'm not sure.