Economists tell us there are three basic ways wealth gets transferred. There's plunder, trade, and gratuity. Everything else boils down to some variation or some combination of those three. In this tournament, you will travel through maps representing those modes of transfer, and if you are successful, you will receive a gratuity from BigBallinStalin himself! Yes, one glorious year of premium membership will be yours if you are the winner of this contest.
For the first week (ergo, until the end of March 17th, 2013) only freemium players will be accepted into this tournament. If there are spots available as of March 18th, premium players can start signing up. No, you cannot reserve a spot "just in case" before the 18th. If you are a premium player, wait until the 18th. Any posts by premiums before then will be summarily rejected. One exception: BigBallinStalin may, if he chooses, sign up for this tournament and try to win his own money back, and he doesn't need to wait for the 18th.
Basic tournament specs: 32-player 1v1 single-elimination tournament, with one game per round except for the finals which will be best-of-five. Freemiums must keep 1 slot open at all times in order to stay in the tournament; failing to do so once the tournament has begun will constitute a forfeit. The best-of-five final can be played one game at a time, although I will send more games if you can open more slots.
All games will be Automatic deployment, Sequential play, 24-hour rounds, with a 30-round limit. Other settings will vary, as described in the phase spoilers below: