Issue 64: 11/03/09
Hello tournament fans. Sadly, stahrgazer is leaving us with this issue. She worked enthusiastically during her brief stay here, and we wish her all the best.
As always, if you have any ideas or just want to help out, drop us a line.
Thanks, and enjoy!
Currently Taking Signups
The Tournament Roll of Honour
Interview with Woodruff
Our latest poll is still running: Should a medal be given for each and every tournament won?
Please stop by the Suggestion Thread and vote.
What is the tournament that had the most players in it? Find out next week! (Hint: It is completed and the organizer’s name starts in a letter in the second half of the alphabet!)
Here are the tournaments that are currently taking signups. Just click the title to visit the thread.
Word Fitz Doubles Tourney IV
CC Golf Championships
NCAA March Madness Doubles Style
Word Fitz Doubles Tourney III
Little Big World 2
1 versus 1 Tournaments
2009 NRL Tournament
Escalating Freestyle Emperor
U.S. of A
Trains Across the Sea
Organizer: DJ Teflon
Kot’s Random Feudal Singles
Winter Olympics – Vancouver 2010
The Conquerer of the Celts
Organizer: Tang Kai
World Cup 1994
b00060’s Classic Shapes Tournament II
friendly’s 2nd Annual World 2.1 FOW Tourney
The Sailorseal Cup
Complete Control - USA
Race Across the States
Feudal For Me!
Speed Doodle Assassin Tournament
Here are how some of the currently ongoing tournaments are progressing. Just click the title to visit the thread. Want your tournament listed here? Use the form at the end of this letter!
2008-09 College Hoops
The season has entered its March Madness stage with a live selection show (in chat) last week announcing the full 65-team championship field, as well as the consolation NIT bracket.
Congratulations to teams that ended up as No. 1 seeds...
Midwest...Bowling Green (knighthawk)
The first round is more than half complete with the second round almost in full gear by the weekend.
Using a 6x6 windmill setup
Last reserve used, let new reserves reply on the forum (or send PaulusH a message).
Planned End Date: 5 May
Mac Dinner Date
Using a 5x5 windmill setup
Last table is still eating their melted McFlurry.
Planned end date: 10 October
Bar Double Dutch
Using a 3x3 windmill setup
The beer glasses did come back broken, so time to switch to wine.
Planned End Date: 14 April
The Legend of Tor Na’Mit
Round Ten getting set up.
Here are some tournaments that noted tournament organisers are planning on running soon.
Point Grabbers by Optimus Prime? - Only a rumour. But be around the morning of March 12 to see.
From PaulusH using a 4x4 windmill setup- Puzzle Mix will need 16 doubles teams
From keiths31:In keeping with the "Musical Chairs" theme there will be:
Musical Chairs: Mini Maps
Musical Chairs: USA Map Pack
Musical Chairs: Island Tour
Tournament ideas from the mind of barterer2002
Kaplowitz's Unrelated Tournament
God of Godds
Night Sticks and Stones
Down and Dirty V
Brothers in Arms
Here are some recent tournament winners.
"Best Football Players 2000 NFL Edition" -nashlloyd
"Best Football Player NCAA 2000"-jly_champion
"Fog of Feudal War 2" -Poisonous86
"Battle of the N00bs 5" -MaroonBeret
"Freemium with a premium doubles" -Bigroo4601 & Wump
"Foundry Update 8.1" -lanyards
"Dutch Soccer League 2008/2009" -Wrexham
"The Whole Sha-Bang" -dcc1220
"Realms 2 Challenge!" -tyler197802198
"Little Big World 1v1" -Zivel
"Road to the Final Four" -Mikalf
"Best of the Worst Tournament: Doubles Edition" -siutiapik & unataqti
"Royal Flush Tournament" -gordito
"Championship Series: Cairns Metro" -The Neon Peon
"Who has the highest IQ on CC?" -ralphcptc
"Map Blaster IV: The Pantheon Jihad" -Lisbon101
"Minimalist Tournament" -Rocketry
"Freestyle King of Europe" -fidelx
"Classic Ladder Tournament" -vykingsfan64
"End of Days" -Blitzaholic and osujacket
"Escalators II" -Outsiders
"Battle of the Hemispheres" -Sun Tzup
"No Attack Tour" -Blitzaholic
"Champion of Scotland Tournament" -HighlanderAttack
"Mixed Maps" -Natascha & Wilco
"School's Out for Summer 2008" -Tripitaka
"Super Smash Brothers: Singles League" -White Moose
"Championship Series: CCU" -BaldAdonis
"Royal Flush Tournament" -gordito
"JR's 1v1 Challenge V" -tyler197802198
"Art Attack!!!" -torresgerrard
"Last Man Standing: Classic" -odratsab
"Cooks and Cadets" -HollowMan85
"Gilligan's Bracket Tournament V" -knighthawk
"Master of the Third Age" -Alexinho
"Olympics Part 2: Altius" -CandaVespin and bamage
"8 Thoughts Tour" -dustin800
This week we had the chance to talk with a newer organiser, Woodruff. All the questions in the interview are based off input from newsletter readers. Next week's interview is with thekidstrumpet. You can get your questions in by posting in this thread.
Now, on with the Interview!
Q: Hello, Woodruff.
Hello, my good sir.
Q:What makes you interview worthy?
Apparently not much, given the lack of activity in the thread asking for interview questions. (laughing)
Oh, you were serious? Well...I'm enthusiastic about tournaments. I'm currently playing in far too many and hosting two of my own.
Q:How did you find this website?
If I remember correctly, someone from one of my Diplomacy online groups pointed me in this direction (Diplomacy being another strategy board game).
Q: Why did you join CC?
I'm a competition and strategy junkie. I COULDN'T STOP MYSELF!
Q:Why did you start to play tournaments?
Natewolfman got me started. I didn't even realize there WERE tournaments until I got an invitation from him to join one of his tournaments (I don't recall which one). I was hooked!
Q:What made you want to start running tournaments?
That's sort of the competition junkie side of me. As much as I enjoy taking part in competition, I also enjoy organizing competitions. So this sort of felt natural to me.
Q: How long have you been organizing tournaments?
Not long at all. I've only started two, and they're both ongoing (though the first is very close to the end).
Q:What tournament did you first run?
The Evolutionary Tournament (still running). It's a triple-elimination bracket-style tournament that uses random maps and 1-vs-1 strategy. Because the players could end up on any map at all, I granted each player the ability to exclude three maps and replace them with three other maps (so those are in effect for the randomization twice).
Q: Where did you come up with your tournament ideas?
For the bracket-styling and it being 1-vs-1, I fell back on my wrestling background. As to the randomization...well, I've always enjoyed randomization in any competition because it eliminates specialization. Sort of like I view a better athlete to be one who is great at more than one sport than someone who is a bit better at only one sport. A map specialist isn't really that good at Conquer Club...they're only good at that particular map (or map style).
Q: Who do you look to for inspiration when organizing your tournaments?
The players, mostly. My first tournament was completely my own construct, although I did receive some great advice by the first person to join it (JBlombier). But for my second tournament I incorporated a couple of suggestions I received during my first tournament. My next tournament (if there is one) will incorporate some further suggestions I've received in the second tournament. They just keep getting better thanks to the players themselves.
Q: Describe the experience of your first tournament ran, and first played in.
The first tournament I played in was a disaster. One match, one loss, one tournament ended. (laughing)
In fact, that seems to be rather a common result for me.
The first tournament I ran was (and continues to be) a very enjoyable experience. The players have been great, and they've really been enthusiastic about it, which is nice...it helps me to be motivated to continue. It's gone about as I expected as far as how much work it was and such (which isn't too bad, thanks to the style of the tournament). I did think it would be over a little more quickly than it has been...but that's fine, because it saves me money! (laughing)
Q: How many tournaments have you run already, and do you have a goal in mind for how many you want to run in total before you "retire"? How many are you running right now?
I've only run two (and both ongoing), so I'm certainly not burned out in that regard. I don't see any possibility of my "retiring" at any time in the future, so long as I continue the Conquer Club experience. Though there is some possibility of that not continuing (for non-tournament-related reasons).
Q:What tournaments have you organized?
The Evolutionary Tournament
An Evolutionary Tournament II
The concepts are basically the same. They're both triple-elimination bracket-style tournaments that use random maps and 1-vs-1 strategy. There are a few differences, however. The most obvious is that the first one was a 32-player tourney and the second is 64-player. As well, in the first tournament, I granted each player the ability to exclude three maps and replace them with three other maps (so those are in effect for the randomization twice) whereas in the second I granted them the ability to exclude any five maps (but no replacements, as I found that to be too much work). Also for the second tournament, I invited the highest players on the site as well as everyone on the Conquer Club "team"...and that added a great deal to that second tournament, in my opinion.
Q:How does 'evolutionary' fit into the theme of your tournaments?
It's all about survival of the fittest and not having a weakness that ends up "killing you off". The randomization of the maps means you could play on pretty much any map, so you have to be at least somewhat skilled at them all. Otherwise...they're your kryptonite. Along with that, it's triple-elimination and no-spoils adjacent...so just happening to run into bad luck on the dice or drop won't kill you out of the tournament. Your actual overall skill is in play as much as it can be in a 1-vs-1 format.
Q:What made you offer premium for winning the first tournament you hosted?
The competition junkie in me again. I figured that would entice the folks who might not normally play in tournaments but would be "extra motivated" with a reward of that sort. I believe that has been the case.
Q:What is your favourite tournament you have run?
The second one, I would have to say...simply because it's really a better tournament as far as how it's set up and everything. Plus, having 64 players instead of 32 means it's TWICE AS COMPETITIVE. Heh...seriously though, it's reallly only slightly more "favorite" than my first, as they're both very similar to one another.
Q: What is your favorite tournament you’ve played in? Why?
Well, my favorite 1-vs-1 map is Circus Maximus because I love that neither players is ever really "blocked in" and the drop is almost never overly debilitating. So my favorite tournaments would tend to gravitate toward that map...I'd say barterer2002's Championship Series: Circus Maximus tournament and HighlanderAttack's All Around CC's Maps: Circus Maximus tournament are my preferences. But that being said, I've seen some concepts that I really do like. For instance, there's a tournament out there where out of a group of 6, one player is eliminated. Then out of 5, one is eliminated...and so forth. A neat idea.
There is a tremendous amount of creativity in the tournament realm.
Q:Do you prefer to run or enter tournaments?
I think I'll always prefer to play...because that's "personal competition". But it's a pretty close call, really.
Q: Is there a specific type of format that you tend to gravitate towards? Why? Is there a format that is your favourite? What about other peoples' tournaments?
I tend to gravitate toward no-spoils, myself (for my tournaments and for those I join). I think it requires a lot more skill, whether it's 1-vs-1 or otherwise.
Q: Do you find it easier to choose tournament settings yourself, or to let the players customize them?
Definitely to choose tournament settings myself. I've noticed that it adds a lot more work just to let the players exclude certain maps individually...I can't imagine having them set their own for every match. That being said, I do think it increases the players' enjoyment to let them choose the settings. So it's really a tradeoff of "ease" vs. "enjoyability".
Q: Overall, are you playing a lot in tournaments? If not, then why and where do you find your games to play?
Too many, yes. Outside of tournaments, I've also been on a personal quest to get a win on every map. I've only got three maps to go! Then it'll be back to 7-and-8-player no-spoils games only (outside of tournaments, of course).
Q: How excited where you with your first CC win?
I actually remember it. It was on the Germany map in a somewhat large game (I don't remember the number of players, but it was at least five). I was pretty pumped up.
Q:Have you ever won a tournament?
Not yet, though I'm hopeful for one of the two Circus Maximus series I'm currently in. I think I'm in the semi-finals in one of them.
Q: What is your most disappointing tournament loss to date?
That first tournament, for sure...what a thrashing!
Q: In your mind, what makes a successful tournament?
The players, mostly. If they're enthusiastic about the matches and deadbeats/missed turns are avoided, then it's going to be a good tournament. That's why I'll always send out invitations to those players in my own tournaments who have been that way in the past.
Q: What do you consider to be the most successful tournaments you've seen run?
I think Natewolfman's Foundry series is very successful. I also think the "Around All Maps" series is very successful, so I'd go with those two.
Q: What is the best Tournament that you think has been underestimated?
Certainly the Circus Maximus tournaments. They can't help but be underestimated! (laughing) That map is so misunderstood for 1-vs-1!
Q:Have you ever been disappointed in a tournament you have run? What about one you entered?
For my own, no...not at all. As to others, not disappointed in the tournament itself...only in my own performances in them.
Q: What makes a successful organizer?
Frequent updates is absolutely the most important, in my opinion. Dedication. Making things easy on the players. Listening to the players.
Q: How do you attract players to your tournament, and what aspect (besides a reward of a premium prize or something like that) of a tournament do you think appeals to a lot of players and why?
I attract players by individual invitation and then word-of-mouth. Because I believe my tournaments are good ones, I do count on that word-of-mouth aspect to bring folks into my next one.
As to other tournaments...It depends on the player. Some seem to be more than happy to enter pretty much any tournament (and I have a lot of respect for them, as I don't fit in that group). For many, it depends entirely on the settings (this makes a big difference for me personally). And for some, it's the maps. So I'm not sure that any one aspect is crucial, though I'd probably give more "weight" to the settings being a key aspect.
Q: Is there anything in particular that you dislike about tournament organizing?
No, I really can't think of anything. Fortunately, I have a wife who is very understanding of my online eccentricities. (smile)
Q: For you, what is the best part of being a tournament organizer?
Interacting with the players and seeing enjoyment and responsiveness from them.
Q: What mistakes do you see tournament organizers make the most?
Perhaps biting off more than they can chew. I've seen this in a couple of tournaments lately (the really large ones) and it is sad to see things slow to nearly a halt. It takes away from the "tournament feel" of it for me, and I presume others. Also leads to more deadbeats as folks leave the site eventually and such.
Q: With experience comes the wisdom of knowing what mistakes you've made in the past so you can avoid them in the future. What mistakes have you made in your tournaments that you are sure to avoid in future tournaments?
In my first tournament, I made several. My very first mistake was in my initial post, but I was saved by the aforementioned JBlombier. I didn't leave "blank posts" after my initial post to fill out brackets and standings with and such. But he PM'd me before he joined and suggested that I do so...that was a lifesaver.
I also consider it a mistake that I didn't make more of a "graphical bracket" that made things visually much easier for the players to see "where am I in the tournament". I've moved to that in the second tournament (thanks to some prodding by bigreuben, who suggested something that eventually led to my graphical brackets). From what I've seen though, only Qwert uses the same graphicality in his brackets for the players (he was my eventual inspiration for that, and he provided me a lot of help in getting it figured out)...so that may not really be seen as a "mistake". But my players do seem to like it a lot.
Something that I view as an error for my particular STYLE of tournament (this wouldn't apply to many tournaments) was that while I had a premium reward for the ultimate winner of the tournament, there was no reward for the individual who ended up with the best winning percentage (which isn't necessarily the same as the tourney winner in a triple-elimination-style bracket tournament). Poor Gilligan is paying for that, as he's reached the finals of all three brackets (and lost in the first two finals, with the third still to be played). He's certainly got the best winning percentage locked up, but needs to win his next three matches in order to actually win the tournament itself. I've also corrected that for my second tournament (as long as the tournament winner and best winning percentage are two different players).
I'm sure my players could come up with some others that they just haven't mentioned to me yet! (laughing)
Q:What is your opinion on organizer neutrality? Should organizers be allowed to place themselves against their own clanmates in tournaments? Should organizers be allowed to join their own tournaments at all?
I personally have no problem at all with organizers being in their own tournaments. I wasn't in my first one, but I did join my second one (and lost ignominiously by going 0-3!). I've not personally witnessed any organizers actually winning their own tournaments, so it's obviously not a common occurrence (but does happen, I realize), so I'm pretty sure they're not getting any sort of advantage. After all, they've still got to win the games!
Q: Do you use a "schedule" for updating your tournaments, or do you just wait until they need an update?
I check at least once per day to see if any new matches have been won/lost. On weekends, I check more often, of course.
Q:Should “question marks” be allowed to join tournaments?
Personally, I don't feel they should. One...how do they even know that the tournaments exist? I suppose those who are invited by friends might know. But aside from that, newbies are FAR, FAR, FAR more likely to deadbeat, which really does screw up an organizers timetable.
Q:Do you feel it is better to give a bye to players whose opponents deadbeats the tournament, or to use a reserve?
Absolutely to use a reserve. The more competition the better!
Q: If you could change one thing about Conquer Club in general, what would it be?
Conquer Club in general? I'd make it a more friendly place. It bothers me from a personal standpoint that users are essentially allowed to be total assholes in game chat. However, I do recognize that's a personal viewpoint of my own and others don't necessarily agree with me. I do think it causes a lot of new players to leave the site and not come back, however...far more than the "farming" of newbies does.
Q: If there was something that the Conquer Club administrators could implement into the game to make tournaments easier to manage, what would it be? Similarly, is there anything you would like to see taken away from Conquer Club to make running tournaments easier?
Nothing taken away, no. I'm not really sure about ease of managing...I can't really think of anything, to be honest. Perhaps the ability to create more than one game at a time might be nice for those tournaments that use the same map.
Q: Is there anything that you would recommend to encourage new tournament organizers?
Don't bite off too much at once. Start with a smaller tournament to get a feel for things.
Q: List your top 5 biggest tournament headache's to this point
5. Getting my butt beaten badly in my own tournament!
Seriously...I haven't had any other headaches.
Q:How much time does CC take from your day?
Oh, way too much. (laughing) I again refer to my very understanding wife. I would say an AVERAGE day sees me on Conquer Club about 2 and a half or 3 hours per day. On the weekends though...that goes WAY up. Summers too, since I'm a high school teacher.
Q:Are you a member of any clans or usergroups?
None. Don't really see the point of it, to be honest.
Q:Who are you?
Whewee...that's a good question! (laughing) I've been married to my wonderful high school sweetheart for the last 25 years. We have two children (one in the Navy currently stationed in Japan and one who lives in Mississippi). I'm a retired Air Force Master Sergeant (23 years) who currently teaches Air Force Junior ROTC in a high school in Reno, Nevada. For what it's worth, this is the best job I've ever had in my life...what a blast. I'm a computer and strategy game junkie who never met a competition he didn't like. Well, that's not entirely true...I don't really care for first-person-shooter style video games...but really, I love pretty much anything else that I can "make" competitive. I'm fiscally very conservative and socially very liberal. I'm a fairly positive-thinking, upbeat, forward-looking individual.
Q: Why did you pick the name Woodruff?
It's my last name. I'm not that creative. (laughing)
Q:Where are you from?
Originally, Nebraska. I lived in four different VERY small towns in Nebraska. Joined the military right out of high school and lived in Oklahoma, Florida, Germany and Mississippi while serving. So I guess you could say I'm "from all over". But small-town Nebraska mostly.
Q:Favourite play colour?
I'm color-blind. I find the letter g to be easiest to see, so I guess I'd go with that. (laughing)
Q:Favourite and least favourite map?
Depends. For 1-vs-1, my favorite map is absolutely Circus Maximus. I love that the drops don't really affect it much and you don't ever really get "blocked in". For larger-player-number games (my preference), the bigger the map the better. So I really like Qwert's massive maps a lot. Battle of Actium seems to be my most successful map.
No-spoils, for sure. Any time I have the choice. I also prefer Adjacent. I just think those settings create more opportunities for the skilled player to win.
Q:Freestyle or sequential?
Absolutely sequential. Freestyle doesn't appeal to me in the slightest, as it's not a reflection of game-skill at all...only dexterity.
Q: Any tournaments planned for the future? What are they?
If I'm still around, it'll be a follow-on to the Evolutionary Tournaments...but improved by player suggestions, of course.
Q: Any parting shots?
No, not really. I appreciate your time in interviewing me and that someone thought it was worth that time. (laughing) So thank you for that.
Q: Thank you for your time.
No, thank you!
Interviews Interview with thekidstrumpet
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