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 Post subject: EDH Grand Melee - HELP US!
AgePosted: 2009-Mar-09 10:26 am 

Joined: 2009-Mar-03 8:43 am
Age: Drake
We have a Tampa store that has spurred some major interest in EDH. About 15 players sport their decks on a regular basis and we are always playing pick up games, 4-somes, etc. in between other events.

This Sunday we tried to organize a huge multiplayer afternoon. The store owner/judge attempted to organize the tourney Grand Melee style. All 12 players played at one time.

We used a proximity zone of 1 each way, meaning you could only see, interact, attack, effect, the player either directly on your right or left. We used 3 turn counters that traveled around the table at the same time (no player could begin a turn if the counter was within 4 spaces of them). These measures were set up to help facilitate some order and help move the game along.

Players collected a head hunter point for each player they knocked out. We all threw in 2 bucks so there was a prize pool of 24 store credit.

The game was a horrible tragedy. We used the banned list, noone really had any broken combos and the proximity of effect rules kept most crazy combo win conditions in check. The problems were as follows:

1. More than half the group was totally bored when we played.
2. The whole game took over 5 hours
3. The final two players had fewer head hunter points than more active players that fought hard and put more at risk - hence somewhat anti climatic
4. Many players got hurt feelings because of the alliances and politics at the table
5. It seemed like the turn counters ultimately failed when the final four players were going.

We have at least 12 players that really want to enjoy the game, but we are struggling on how to pull off a big event that is interactive, fun, and sustains or builds interest in this format.

Going 1 vs. 1 is not a likely options. The many players felt it would cripple the point of making a fun multiplayer deck or having a good multiplayer format. I did well (finished in the top 3) but felt like the whole experience was a loss. My wife got knocked out in the first 30 minutes because the players on her left and right ganged up in collusion (fair but left her with nothing to do for the next 3 hours and she eventually just left the store)...oh and she is a very strong player (frequent Top 8 finisher in constructed).

Help a brother out. This deck building, card pool and potential fun factor seem too good. There has to be a way to save this!!!


Tampakingpin

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2010 Forming EDH Heads-up league at the Game Academy in Tampa Florida, continuing multiplayer tournaments!

Check us out on Sundays and on ElderDragonHighlandr on Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ElderDragonHighlandr

Generals:
Vorosh (GUB) - the original
5-Color Planeswalker Cascade - the best
Sliver Queen 5 color
Niv-Mizzet

Pentagram EDH:
Azami of the Scrolls - Blue
Braids Cabal Minion - Black
Kiki Jiki Mirrorbreaker - Red
Rofellos - Green
Raksha Golden Cub - White


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AgePosted: 2009-Mar-09 10:47 am 
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Age: Drake
Location: Massachusetts
You're probably better off in 4-6 person pods, then consolidating them when they both get down to 2 or 3 players into an "Upper Bracket" pod and a "Lower Bracket" pod, then maybe playing a third pod with the winners of the last pod in again (time allowing).

Sounds cool though, glad you had 12 people with 5 hours to kill. 8)

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AgePosted: 2009-Mar-09 12:29 pm 

Joined: 2009-Mar-03 8:43 am
Age: Drake
I am wondering if there is some sort of swiss style thing possible with 3-4 person pods that work players through some sort of bracket. Has anyone ever tried this.

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2010 Forming EDH Heads-up league at the Game Academy in Tampa Florida, continuing multiplayer tournaments!

Check us out on Sundays and on ElderDragonHighlandr on Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ElderDragonHighlandr

Generals:
Vorosh (GUB) - the original
5-Color Planeswalker Cascade - the best
Sliver Queen 5 color
Niv-Mizzet

Pentagram EDH:
Azami of the Scrolls - Blue
Braids Cabal Minion - Black
Kiki Jiki Mirrorbreaker - Red
Rofellos - Green
Raksha Golden Cub - White


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AgePosted: 2009-Mar-09 1:50 pm 
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Joined: 2006-May-24 10:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
EDH (or any MP really) with more than 6 players at a time is suboptimal. I like the idea of 4-player pods. Perhaps 4-5 player pods, then starting a new game with the winners of each pod.

I'll be happy to come play :)

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AgePosted: 2009-Mar-09 8:56 pm 

Joined: 2009-Mar-03 8:43 am
Age: Drake
Stop over...I pm'd with some info. Thanks for the input. We have a great group of players and it sounds like folks are suggesting smaller pods. I was interested in finding out if anyone ever ran tournaments and if they used SWISS?

_________________
2010 Forming EDH Heads-up league at the Game Academy in Tampa Florida, continuing multiplayer tournaments!

Check us out on Sundays and on ElderDragonHighlandr on Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ElderDragonHighlandr

Generals:
Vorosh (GUB) - the original
5-Color Planeswalker Cascade - the best
Sliver Queen 5 color
Niv-Mizzet

Pentagram EDH:
Azami of the Scrolls - Blue
Braids Cabal Minion - Black
Kiki Jiki Mirrorbreaker - Red
Rofellos - Green
Raksha Golden Cub - White


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AgePosted: 2009-Mar-10 5:53 pm 
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Joined: 2007-May-20 9:03 am
Age: Dragon
Location: Oakland, CA
Plenty of folks run two-round MP tournaments, as has been described. If you have just 12 people, then I think two rounds is sufficient to establish a winner without resorting to one massive game. With 12 people split into 3 or 4 pods for a two-round tournament (just using your example for simplicity), Swiss would be straightforward -- the first round is random, and the second just groups pods based on whether they came in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th in the first round (using whatever scoring mechanism you want -- could be reverse order of losing, or most kills, etc.). Or just the top X from each pod advance to the final game, and all others are eliminated.

However, if you want to expand it to 3+ rounds just because folks want to play more, or you have a huge turn-out, I think the main complications would be tiebreakers. One way I can imagine implementing this, using a 3-round tournament as an example, is as follows:

1. Randomly sort players into 3-4 person pods for Round 1.

2. Players receive 3 points for winning a pod, 2 points for 2nd, 1 for 3rd, and 0 for 4th within a pod. This implies that, if you have a mix of 4- and 3-player pods, the folks who end up in 3-player pods have a pseudo-bye. You could obviously adjust these point values if you want to have a bonus for winning a pod or something.

3. Players are ordered into 3-4 player pods for Round 2 based on points scored in Round 1. If the numbers require, players would be paired up or down at random.

4. The final round pods are determined based on cumulative Round 1 + Round 2 points.

5. Two possible tiebreakers are opponents' average cumulative points and the players' total number of kills.

6. A final issue is whether you permit players to square off against the same opponent twice, e.g., once in Rd 1 and again in Rd 3. I think it's sensible to choose the winner based on who wins the top pod in the final round, in which case you must permit repeat opponents. If you're just running three rounds of Swiss and taking the top scorer, you could prohibit repeats but would probably create headaches for yourself in grouping the final pods if doing this "by hand", and I can also imagine collusion temptations in the last round if the prizes are consequential.

Two other possible wrinkles:

First, a drawback of multi-round MP is that some pods may take appreciably longer to finish than others. To prevent this, you could set a time limit, perhaps 2-3 hours. If a pod is not finished at the end of the time limit, ties could be broken based on number of kills or life total, or any remaining players could just tie for that round and split points accordingly.

Second, to combat the boredom of folks who lose a pod early and then must sit around for two hours (as you describe), you could implement the "respawn" system Kelly Digges described in his column. Maybe set a two-hour time limit, and rank players in the pod based on kills minus deaths in those two hours:

http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/A ... aily/sf/27

I've never player this way, but it sure sounds like fun!

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--Artos


Last edited by That Guy on 2009-Mar-12 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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AgePosted: 2009-Mar-11 9:05 am 
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Joined: 2006-May-24 10:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
It occurs to me that if you get a factor of five, you can always play pentagram--which I find one of the most interesting multi-player ideas ever. The whole allies and enemies idea makes for very interesting play.

I don't suggest doing this, but in an early (perhaps the first) version of pentagram, in which players each played mono color decks and sat in WUBRG order, you could lend mana to your allies. That seems like it could get out of hand fast.

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AgePosted: 2009-Mar-11 9:17 am 
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Joined: 2007-May-20 9:03 am
Age: Dragon
Location: Oakland, CA
Sheldon wrote:
It occurs to me that if you get a factor of five, you can always play pentagram--which I find one of the most interesting multi-player ideas ever. The whole allies and enemies idea makes for very interesting play.


I agree that pentagram is a lot of fun, and provides some structure that helps move the game along. 2HG also can be combined with any of these, if the numbers allow. We've played a few four-team 2HG melees with 8 people, and it worked well. With ten people, 2HG pentagram is an option if you want to get everybody in on the same game (though I haven't tried this myself). Still difficult to keep track of so many permanents, but there's appreciably less wait time between turns.

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AgePosted: 2009-Mar-11 9:37 am 
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10 players (even if it's only 5 teams) gets really, really unwieldy in my opinion. I think 6 should be the biggest table, though my preference is 4 or 5. After that, you spend a lot of time waiting for other ppl to do stuff, even if they're playing relatively quickly.

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AgePosted: 2009-Mar-11 11:41 am 

Joined: 2009-Mar-03 8:43 am
Age: Drake
I like some of the points that have been presented. We are definitely moving to the pod idea at this point. It has been proposed that we run an EDH league and everyone kicks in a small league entry fee and a buck a week to go into a pool.

We will assign headhunter points or use the 4, 3, 2, 1 reverse scoring to determine winners. Ultimately we will have several small tournaments all leading through an 8 week gauntlet. Prizes will be EDH related chase cards possibly like Mana Drain, Force of Will and likely some Foil Generals, Altered Art stuff or 100 card holding leather deck cases.

I will keep checking back and hope that this thing really takes off.

_________________
2010 Forming EDH Heads-up league at the Game Academy in Tampa Florida, continuing multiplayer tournaments!

Check us out on Sundays and on ElderDragonHighlandr on Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ElderDragonHighlandr

Generals:
Vorosh (GUB) - the original
5-Color Planeswalker Cascade - the best
Sliver Queen 5 color
Niv-Mizzet

Pentagram EDH:
Azami of the Scrolls - Blue
Braids Cabal Minion - Black
Kiki Jiki Mirrorbreaker - Red
Rofellos - Green
Raksha Golden Cub - White


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AgePosted: 2009-Mar-11 1:42 pm 
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Joined: 2008-Apr-09 1:32 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
With 12 ppl you can always try variations like 4-way 3HG, or 3v3 2HG. 12 is such a convenient number to divide, no? :wink:

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AgePosted: 2009-Mar-12 12:01 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-25 3:51 am
Age: Elder Dragon
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Sheldon wrote:
EDH (or any MP really) with more than 6 players at a time is suboptimal. I like the idea of 4-player pods. Perhaps 4-5 player pods, then starting a new game with the winners of each pod.


This idea seems to be a great way to handle large groups if people don't want to play 2HG or 3HG. It runs like a single elimination tournament.

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AgePosted: 2009-Mar-13 12:16 pm 

Joined: 2006-Jul-14 12:02 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
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Sheldon wrote:
10 players (even if it's only 5 teams) gets really, really unwieldy in my opinion. I think 6 should be the biggest table, though my preference is 4 or 5. After that, you spend a lot of time waiting for other ppl to do stuff, even if they're playing relatively quickly.


While this is true, teams of 2 or even 3 make for more like 1.25 or 1.5 players in terms of time they take, so 9 players 3v3v3 we played a couple of times in the last few weeks wasn't so unmanangeable. I also played in a 8 way FFA at the GP at the weekend that went quite satisfyingly quickly. I think once you get into big games, you need to be sure of a few things:
1) Does the seating arrangement allow everyone to easily see what is going on (we played 7 of us around a round draft table Saturday night, that was fine, although possibly because nobody really had any permanents after Mycosynth Lattice/March of the Machines while someone else had Grave Pact).
2) A couple of people need to aggressively marshall it. Make sure anyone who's going to fetch/top/whatever does it when they're not delaying the game. All shuffling can pretty much take place when it's not your turn. Just make sure nobody plays slowly for the sake of it...

12 players Grand Melee is going to take a while. 2 rounds of pods of 4 or 6 is going to take a while. Not sure either is necessarily better. I'd probably go with just 2 turn markers in GM, removing them is always a major bind.


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 Post subject: Re: EDH Grand Melee - HELP US!
AgePosted: 2009-Mar-21 12:22 pm 
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Joined: 2007-Jan-05 12:58 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Here in Calgary we've been having similarly sized tournaments, and we've been using the exact same format that you said failed. We've had great success with it, though.

tampakingpin wrote:
1. More than half the group was totally bored when we played.
2. The whole game took over 5 hours
3. The final two players had fewer head hunter points than more active players that fought hard and put more at risk - hence somewhat anti climatic
4. Many players got hurt feelings because of the alliances and politics at the table
5. It seemed like the turn counters ultimately failed when the final four players were going.


1. Why were they bored? It seems really bizarre that someone would go to a Magic tournament and sit down with a big sigh. If they're bored because there's too much time between their turns, use more turn counters.
At the Sentry Box, the rule is that a turn counter can't be less than two spaces away from another, not four. The idea is that no player should have more than one active player within his spell range. With this rule, you can have one turn counter for every three players, and it goes much faster.

2. You simply cannot expect for any Magic tournament to be brief. With extra turn markers, though, 12 - 16 player games normally take between 3 and 4 hours (at the Sentry Box, at least).

3. Isn't that the point of the headhunter markers? To promote risky play? I don't understand why you would expect the most agressive players to be the last people alive.

4. This is an intrinsic part of multiplayer games, and it's what the Grand Melee format is designed to alleviate (slightly). Your players will experience this to at least the same degree within the pods, and I don't think there's a way to completely avoid it (if that would even be desirable).

5. What do you mean by this? The turn counters have to be removed one at a time, as the game gets smaller. We've always numbered our turn counters, so that the players will know which will be removed as the players drop out.


I personally find Grand Melee to be an extremely entertaining format, and it's the perfect format for MP EDH, in my opinion. One last idea for you, which I think is the major reason why the events hae worked out so well for us, is to give out multiple prizes.

At the Sentry Box, tournament fees are five dollars which drop into the prize pool (similar to your setup). The prize pool is currently split into ten different awards that the players can win, such as Biggest Attack, Most Cards Drawn, Last Man Standing, Coolest Play, etc. No one player can win more than three prizes, which keeps things very casual as the rewards for cutthroat play are not that great. If you're interested, I can find and post the whole list of prizes (it's not that great and needs revision, but it gets the job done).

I hope that helps. Good luck.

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AgePosted: 2009-Mar-21 5:34 pm 
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Ban Ki-moon, I would love to get a link to this list you are referring to!!

I am currently working on setting up a tournament in the Portland Oregon area, and want more than the run of the mill "winner" prize. A friend and I where talking about such brackets as "coolest play, or turn", "fastest death", and a runner up-like prize for the most "pimped-out" deck, for lack of a better description.

My plan for the tourney is to run pods of four players with the winner of each pod moving on to play in the "Finals Table". This will be a free for all tourney, unless I get too many players complaining about this format. Buy in is also five dollars and prizes will be a few foil Generals I have (I collect foil Legendary creatures) and store credit to be used as you want.

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