Keeping Your Tournament Active [Part 2]Stalemate GamesWhat are stalemate games?
A stalemate is a game where no player can make a decisive move (or moves) to win the game in the foreseeable future. They are usually games that are stalled because they have been going on for a while with troop levels built up to a high amount. Typically, players only deploy, try to take spoils (if applicable) and/or fort without making any strategic moves or attacks. Stalemate games can go on for a very long time (months, sometimes years) and, unless a solution is found, will eventually end by a player deadbeating or suiciding. How do stalemate games affect tournaments?
They delay or even stall a tournament and often cause a tournament to be labeled inactive*.
Obviously we all like tournaments to run smoothly and a significant delay in a tournament may cause the participants to lose interest, which will make it difficult to keep it going once the TO is ready to pick it up after a while. Even if it’s a final game (or games), once there is a stalemate, the players lose interest, get bored, and will generally prefer the tournament to finish rather than sit in a stalemate game for months or even longer. Even the TO may lose interest in his/her own tournament. All of this could lead to an eventually abandoned tournament and unhappy people all around.
They other effect it has, is that it ends up being labeled as an “inactive tournament” by the Tournament Director in charge of Abandoned & Rescued Tournaments. This means that if the TO does not come up with a satisfactory reply to explain the inactivity (which could include no acceptable explanation why nothing is done about a stalemate game), the tournament may be considered abandoned by the same Tournament Director.
What to do about stalemate games?
*If an ongoing tournament has no activity for 1 month, meaning no posts by the hosts, no standings updates, no new game assignments, etc., the Tournament Directors will assess the status. PM's will be sent to the host making inquiries as to the status of the tournament. If no response is received or justification given, it will be considered abandoned.
If a TO notices that a game is in a possible stalemate, he/she can come up with various solutions:
- Determine a certain amount of rounds by which a decision will be made who won the game. This can be done by determining the strongest player at that point (BOB is useful for that) or by deciding the winner by amount of territories, armies, bonuses, etc., etc.
- Set up a tie-breaker game with the players still in the stalemate game. This would render the stalemate game void for the tournament. The tie-breaker game could be on the same map, with the same settings, or it could be a game on a map and with settings that would likely prevent another stalemate.
If a player realizes that a tournament game is in a possible stalemate, he/she can do the following:
- Ask the TO to come up with a solution to end the game within a reasonable amount of time or turns.
- Ask the TO to set up a tie-breaker game.
- If the TO is unresponsive: Contact a Tournament Director.
As the Tournament Organizer you would have the "power" to decide what option to use. However, it is strongly recommended to come to an agreement with the players involved, especially if it is a game that will decide the winner of the tournament. How to prevent stalemate games?
You can usually prevent stalemate games in your tournament by several means:
- You can set a maximum amount of rounds for the games, after which a player or a team wins according to pre-set rules. This is especially useful for tournaments that have games with certain settings that are likely to cause stalemate games.
- Avoid choosing maps and settings for your tournament that are likely to cause stalemate games, such as (but not limited to): multi-player games with flat rate spoils on standard maps.Summarizing:
If you, as a TO, have a stalemate situation in your tournament, try to solve it sooner rather than later. If players actually complain about a stalemate game in your tournament, we strongly urge you to come up with a solution to keep your participants happy and your tournament going.
If you, as a tournament player, are in a stalemate game, do not hesitate to ask your TO for a solution.
Note: In extreme cases and/or cases where the TO refuses to do something about the issue, the Tournament Directors have the authority to come up with a solution.Lx
Abandoned & Rescued Tournaments