GenCon Indy 2012


  • Customizer

    @smo63:

    WotC hires me to create AA game events for all level of players to come, sit down and play AA, FTF, in a fun and exciting environment.  Not in a some socialistic way that most online gamers think they should be.

    lol wut?

    I’m pretty sure we are all capitalists here….

    [except for the ussr players…]

    I don’t really know what all the fuss is about.

    Is A&A the only franchise where people who play it Face 2 Face exclusively hate the people who play it online?

    I don’t hear much about people who play Chess face to face hating on people who play chess by mail / email / online / etc.

    To be perfectly honest, I don’t think there is a single person who plays online who wouldn’t jump at the chance to play face to face, and I do believe most of them do.
    The only real difference is that many people don’t have friends or a gaming group willing to sit down and play a 2-12 hour game.  I don’t know a single person in real life who lives in my city who is willing to play Axis and Allies, which is I mostly play online (except when I go back to my hometown, when I can manage to get a f2f game).

    Some things work better in online environments, and some better in face to face environments, but to be honest there really is not much of a difference at all.  I think the main difference would probably be that f2f environments can accept more “house rules” than online, simply because you have a board instead of a software, so you can do whatever you want.

    If smorey has taken the time to run a tournament, let him do it his way.  If you don’t know how to play AA50 1942 without NOs, then just ask for some help on what the average bid should be, and have fun playing a relatively new game (new for you), and probably getting your ass kicked.

    The only thing I wonder at, is why smorey seems so hostile?



  • Attacks don’t help the discussion, nor do they help improve the gaming experience of Axis and Allies fans, whether online or face-to-face (FTF).

    Full disclosure:  I’m a friend of Greg (Smorey) and (Matilda) Mike, and I’ve been a regular attendee of Greg’s FTF Axis & Allies tourneys at Origins and GenCon since 2003.  A long time ago I played by e-mail (PBEM) on the TripleA War Ladder, but now my only “online” A&A play is limited to PBEM using TripleA software to practice for the FTF Anniversary Edition (AA50) tourney at the two cons.

    Greg’s AA50 Tourney Rules - OVERVIEW

    • To address Scarapis’ question, these rules are not arbitrary, nor are they thrown in “for fun.”
    • As Mike pointed out, the AA50 rulebook states, regarding both Phase 1: Research & Development (R&D) and National Objectives (NO), “Note:  This is an optional rule–players should decide whether or not this phase [rule] will be included in their game.”
    • So, strictly speaking, playing by the “rules, concept, or intention of the game” (quoting Gargantua) would require the two teams playing each game to decide on whether R&D and/or NO will be used.  Some would agree “Yes” to one or both, some “No” to one or both, and others would disagree.  In the latter case, in a tournament format, who decides–roll a die?  This is unacceptable, or a tournament organizer would allow the very arbitrariness that Gargantua, Scarapis and others seem so stridently to oppose.
    • Therefore it should be clear that a tournament organizer must decide which, if any, of the two optional AA50 rules will be used in ALL games of his event.  Before I talk about R&D and NO, though, a bit about the other rules Greg has for his events.

    Greg’s AA50 Tourney Rules - BID, TIME LIMITS, VICTORY CONDITIONS

    • Bidding:  simply put, two teams show up for a game, and there has to be a fair way of determining who plays which side.  Rolling a die would be OK if the game were perfectly balanced, but it’s not.  Bidding allows a team to pick the side they want to play.  You may prefer bidding up or bidding down, but Greg’s way has worked for 19 years, so I see no need to change it.
    • Time limits:  unless you want to limit a convention tourney to 1 game a day, you need time limits.  Greg’s limit of 5 hrs 45 min (+15 min as needed to complete a round [end of U.S. turn]) seems to me an excellent balance between allowing enough time for the game to reach some level of authentic development, while still allowing him enough time to fit in two rounds per day (and still get a bit of sleep each night!).
    • Victory Conditions:  default AA50 victory condition is “Surrender With Honor,” that is, one side controls 15 Victory Cities (VC) at the end of the U.S. player’s turn.  In a 6-hour game this will hardly ever happen.  So then, how do you determine a winner?  There must be rules, and just because they are not in the rulebook or on WOTC’s website does not make them arbitrary.  Currently, victory goes to the side controlling the most VC at the end of the time limit (i.e., at completion of a U.S. turn).  Game starts 10-8 VC in the Allies favor, so Axis must do some legwork.  In event of a 9-9 VC tie, the tiebreaker is most IPC points of controlled territories.  This seems eminently logical to me.  Game starts 93-78 in Allies favor, IPC-wise (Chinese territories not included, since they’re not part of Allied income).  So, to win, Axis must net pick up a VC AND some IPC’s worth of territories.  These conditions make sense to me and are black-and-white, so no need for adjudication, which is key to avoiding messy hassles.

    Greg’s AA50 Tourney Rules - R&D and NO

    • Gargantua, you are misperceiving Mike’s comments.  They are most certainly NOT “the first stone…thrown from your court.”
    • Some context:  it’s spring 2009, AA50 just came out the previous winter, and Greg is charged with running an AA50 tourney at Origins and GenCon that year.  So he had some homework:  to determine what would be victory conditions and time limits and whether to use R&D and/or NO or not.  Remember, those last two were OPTIONAL rules, the game had just come out, and he has to pick a uniform tourney format that has the best shot at being balanced and enjoyable.
    • So Greg consulted with his fellow A&A fans, including Mike and me.  R&D was a no-brainer:  we’d already experienced the lopsided games that earlier versions of weapons technology create in previous versions of A&A, so we quickly ruled that out.  Tourney players accept that there’s luck in the game, but they also bank on the idea that, over time and games, luck evens out, and the skill of the players, more often than not, will determine the winner.  R&D throws that out the window, potentially allowing many more games to be won by less skilled players merely because they got a lucky R&D roll.
    • As for NO, our decision not to use them had nothing to do with thinking ANY A&A players were incompetent or couldn’t think or strategize.  Some more context:  the longest tourney rounds Greg had had up to then were 3hr 45min for the Mega (Revised) tourney or 4hr 45min for that same format but in a Masters Invitational tourney.  AA50 comes out with a 6th country, bigger board, more spaces, more units, more stuff to think about.  We’re playtesting about 1-hour rounds.  3:45 is nowhere near enough time, and even 4:45 was thought to maybe only allow 4 rounds of play in a lot of games, especially with it being new to everyone.  We felt strongly that a good game should be at least 6 rounds, and 5:45 was the time limit, but even then, we knew that newer and slower players might only get 5 rounds in.  Bottom line, we perceived the effort to incorporate NO into tourney play to involve significantly more than 3 minutes over the entire game.  We figured an extra 5-10 minutes PER ROUND that NO would cause.  Realize that the game had just come out; some people would be playing for the first time that summer.  People would not have NO memorized, so at end of each turn, not only the active player is checking for all 3 NO for his country, but the opposing player is also asking to see the card, and double-check him.  Moreover, add in extra time each turn for a player to read his NO to make sure that his combat movement, etc., is in line to achieve one or more of them, etc.  No, we didn’t think people were dumb!  We thought people would be unfamiliar enough with the freshly published game that NO would cause games to be one round less in length, i.e. only 4 rounds in some cases.  Context:  per Greg’s end-of-time rules, in AA50 you cannot start a new round with less than 45 minutes left on the clock.  This helps avoid situations where people are in the middle of a round, even after 15 minutes of extra time, and the game has to be called when it’s not the end of a U.S. turn.

    Examples[given total time allowed = 345 min, and can’t start a new round with 301 minutes or more played]:
    a) newbie/slow play = 70 min rounds; 4 rounds = 280 min, so they can get to 5 rounds
    b) newbie/slow play+NO = 77.5 min rounds, 4 rounds = 310 min, so they CANNOT play 5
    c) regular play = 60 min rounds; 5 rounds = 300 min, so they can get to 6 rounds
    d) regular play+NO = 67.5 min rounds; 5 rounds = 330 min, cannot get to 6 rounds

    So I think Greg made the right call.  Now, it’s 3 years later, many people are very familiar with the game, and some games are getting to 7 rounds, including last year’s GenCon finals.  So, could NO be added in now and still allow games to get to 6 rounds?  Yes, probably.  But now it’s a whole different question:  do you want to change the tourney format that’s been in play now for the 4th year straight?  Influence on that decision has to come from feedback from players who play in the tourney.  On the one hand, maybe it adds some additional excitement, strategy and “newness” to the game.  On the other hand, now 4 years of playtesting and moving up the “learning curve” might take some backward steps until this new balance (with NO) is understood and melded into one’s strategy.

    In any case, Gargantua, whatever views you might hold, and strongly at that, there is a way to communicate them that is not belligerent, belittling and arrogant.  Here are examples of phrases you used that I perceived to have one or more of those traits:

    • “If you’re not competent enough to calculate NO’s…then you SHOULDN’T be playing Axis and Allies.”
    • “…is a far more effective means of running the tournament…than perverting and changing the rules of the game on a whim.”
    • “For the record, you have NEVER HELD an Axis and Allies Anniversary tournament, because you’re not even playing by the rules, concept, or intention of the game.”
    • “The compelling reason to change your tournament format and play the game properly, is just that, to play it properly.”
    • “The question that should be asked…it’s 'why did people feel compelled to strike sections of the rules, because they were too lazy or inadequate to understand them.”  Hey, just my opinion, but this sounds like the kind of personal attack you were crying foul about.
    • “Kudos to you for hosting…a large Axis and Allies Tournament…but don’t half-a$$ it.”

    If you continue to use this language to make your points, then in my opinion, you don’t deserve to be taken seriously.  And if this is the attitude you’d bring with you to GenCon or any other con, then I’d thank you to stay home and play your games online.

    BushidoBlitz



  • @Cow:

    You don’t want the dice in my hands. I live in Hawaii so, I can’t do these face to face games. Someday I’ll fly over and it would be a most baller experience.

    Damn, I wish I would have been on here sooner, could have played against you when I spent the last 3-4 years there…



  • Why don’t we ban house rules cause apparantly some people only want the game played a certain way.  Gencon is also about publicly showing the game to non-players aswell.  And if you played A&A (especially G40 or 50th) you have seen people new to these versiosn struggle with NO’s/politics/SBR rules etc.  Don’t bash them because they want to make the game less intimidating for some people.  If you want to host a tournament your way that’s fine just quit the S!@# talk.



  • @BushidoBlitz:

    deleted to reduce eye strain

    Let me Guess, you guys don’t get many new players do you? most new players I’ve seen first thing they do is check out the rules, and learn them so they are not totally lost, by changing the rules and such your throwing a wrench into their game enjoyment, furthermore, most companies I know of and worked with do not allow any change to their rules for games they sponsor and sanction, some do have a shortened play version, but they also have errata effecting this, so i’m curious how many of the rules has Greg removed and/or changed from the original rules and is Hasbro/WotC/AH aware of this?


  • Customizer

    The only thing I wonder at, is why smorey seems so hostile?

    +1



  • @miamiumike:

    Huh, that is so weird. I guess all the hours that Greg and I and our other GM Kelly put into running these events, developing relationships with the players and listening to their ideas and changing things when there is a strong demand AND the large number of cool prizes and A&A gear that are given out was ALL IN MY FRIGGIN HEAD.

    Casual players are idiots, and letting them have a say in how to play a game like this is like letting an physics undergrad run a hadron collider. It cute how you talk about all the hours your pour into learning what the community wants, yet you hardly seem to spend much time on here with what is arguably the largest community of A&A players, did it take you hours to make all 15 of those posts?

    @miamiumike:

    Perhaps you should get out from behind your computer and organize an event or two. You may be surprised to find that what works in the online world does not work as well in the real world (remembering of course that A&A is a BOARD game - which was designed to be played on a board and in a FTF environment).

    Perhaps you should pull your head out of the sand  🙂 and realize that we all play face to face, with Gar being one of the most hard core out of the lot as he flew across Canada to play a bunch of us at the FMG convention. I drove 10 hours from southern New England to be there, but I suppose because i’m on a post board I must automatically be some sort of shut in right? cause that’s not stupid assumption or anything. These forums are where we come to share our experiences with the game and impart some our insight with each other, so you can trumpet that you’re all about what the players want, but its pretty obvious you only represent WotC interests.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    What works for online play (and online tournaments) in some cases, will NOT work for FTF play (and FTF tournaments).

    Please explain how Calculating NO’s doesn’t work in a tournament setting?

    Please also explain why players can’t CHOOSE to play 41, 42, NO’s +/-, tech +/-?  What’s the federal offense here?

    Just as Bushidoblitz put it…  these are game CHOICES.  If both parties of a game are willing to play by an acceptable standard of thier choosing, (for each game) be it what’s suggested, or what they like, then what is the problem?  If either side can’t agree on any one of the issues, they can BOTH agree to die roll, OR failing that, they must take the “suggested” tournament setting you provide.

    At least the door is open to the “options” phase of the game.

    As it stands the “Optional” choices presented in the rulebook, and 50% of the setup possibilities are entirely removed.  For some “lofty notion” that NO’s take extra time to calculate?!?! :S  Denying these options, deny’s the essence of the game.

    And yes I’m brash, that’s what AA.org pays me to be, and look at all the free advertising I have brought Gen Con, by causing conflict and interest!  :evil:


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    I’ll accept the terms of “truce” if players are allowed a “negotiate options or accept default phase” pregame! 😛


  • TripleA

    i  can has garg play?


  • Customizer

    ya garg….

    if you have time to post here… you have time to do g1 in our game…

    seriously, g1 is standard 99% of the time anyway, so just pump it out already!



  • Gargantua,

    I guess we will just have to agree to disagree on some of these points. Calculating NOs can, of course, work - but hasn’t been added for the reasons BB stated in his post.

    I think, though, that running a tournament where the rules of each game can be different only presents problems. In fact, I have seen some issues with arguments over rules that ARE posted and consistent - let alone things that may change from game to game. I get your point though - I just think it opens a tournament director to conflict.

    Every year there is discussion on what changes need to be made to the tournaments and every year most of the people who played in the previous year are satisfied with the format and rules. Technology will probably never be introduced again - for the reasons BB indicated. NOs, however, are always on the table and, I suspect, we will ask those players that do come their opinion on it this year. I think, however, you would find that AA50 is still a lot of fun without NOs - different - but not bad.

    Clyde85 - I will apologize for making the generalization that all online players are just that - just online players. That was narrowminded. But understand that we try to bring all players into the tournaments - including the casual or semi-casual (they are not idiots - we all started as a newb at some point). The exception was the old Masters tournament at GenCon which hopefully will come back.

    To the point made by Scarapis - we have NOT changed the rules at all. Tech and NOs are OPTIONAL rules - by NOT using them, we have changed nothing. Larry Harris himself has been involved with many of these discussions over the years - and for the Revised/1942 game, he came up with the whole VC bouns point system to provide for a timed, tournament game. If I may speak for Greg, he’d be a lot more open to tournament format change ideas from people if they were not so insulting about it. Telling him that he and his tournament are ‘stupid’ for not using optional rules is not a good way to begin a conversation.

    If enough people presented logical arguments for change - including saying that they would be much more inclined to actually come to the events and play - believe me, Greg will look at that. He wants nothing more than to grow the tournaments and get as many people there as possible - of all skill levels. To suggest that he is somehow driven by WotC or has some other reason for what he does (it’s not like he makes a living off this) is kinda silly.

    MM


  • TripleA

    No, NO games are fun, just give axis a 7 bid or something if it is aa50 1941. No bid for 42.

    No bid for global, japan is harder to deal with. Russia and London harder to capture. evens out.



  • Read my posts on page 3 and 4 on this thread.

    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=27842.30



  • @Scarapis:

    By the Way i’m curious if any of these arbitary rules are in the Official game rulebook or even errata put out by WotC cause I have found none regarding said rules, and to be honest I would be a bit miffed if I went to a game con to play a game along the current rules and find out some organiser decided to throw in some rules he made up for fun.

    These are NOT arbitrary rules.  They are rules created to be able to play the OTB AA games in a tournament setting.  Larry has agreed to most of these rules and in some cases written portions of them.  SO, I am not sure I understand what is there not to understand and what is so arbitrary about this…?



  • @jim010:

    The only thing I wonder at, is why smorey seems so hostile?

    +1

    jim,

    Why you ask, because, I am the one taking the brunt of the criticizm for the FTF tournament play at GEN CON and Origins.

    And outside of Questioneer, I am not aware that anyone else that is commenting negatively has ever been to an event we put on.

    Then for comments to be made like we are incompetent and we have no idea how to play AA, gets to you.

    And not to mention, these guys are great at pushing ones buttons. I would call them names, but then they would just accuse me of attacking them first…

    I just gets real old fast…



  • @smo63:

    @Scarapis:

    By the Way i’m curious if any of these arbitary rules are in the Official game rulebook or even errata put out by WotC cause I have found none regarding said rules, and to be honest I would be a bit miffed if I went to a game con to play a game along the current rules and find out some organiser decided to throw in some rules he made up for fun.

    These are NOT arbitrary rules.  They are rules created to be able to play the OTB AA games in a tournament setting.  Larry has agreed to most of these rules and in some cases written portions of them.  SO, I am not sure I understand what is there not to understand and what is so arbitrary about this…?

    So lets get this straight, you make up rules along with Larry (why doesn’t he do an errata for Hasbro/WotC/AH to put out?), and yet never checked with said companies to seek approval for said rules used in an official game environment, its one thing if you were just some people getting together and playing a game, but you represent the game itself and it behooves you to abide by the game rules or any other sanctioned rules supplied by them would it not? or do you not represent them, since sorry if your were in one of my teams, you would be terminated for failure to comply with the company guidelines.



  • @Clyde85:

    Casual players are idiots…

    Perhaps you should pull your head out of the sand  🙂 and realize that we all play face to face, with Gar being one of the most hard core out of the lot as he flew across Canada to play a bunch of us at the FMG convention. I drove 10 hours from southern New England to be there, but I suppose because i’m on a post board I must automatically be some sort of shut in right? cause that’s not stupid assumption or anything. These forums are where we come to share our experiences with the game and impart some our insight with each other, so you can trumpet that you’re all about what the players want, but its pretty obvious you only represent WotC interests.

    See this is exactly what I am talking about jim.  Clyde Calling people idiots when the only idiot is probably the one that wrote that.  Then to call Gar hardcore, do you even know what hardcore even means…?

    And I don’t only have the interest of WotC here.  I have only the interest of those that attend and want to play AA.

    We are talking about just trying to establish an means by which ANYONE, “idiots” and all can come and play AA ftf in a great setting.  If you are a “Hardcore” player, come have at it but don’t take your frustrations out on the ones that might be the ones that beat you in the end?



  • @Scarapis:

    @smo63:

    @Scarapis:

    By the Way i’m curious if any of these arbitary rules are in the Official game rulebook or even errata put out by WotC cause I have found none regarding said rules, and to be honest I would be a bit miffed if I went to a game con to play a game along the current rules and find out some organiser decided to throw in some rules he made up for fun.

    These are NOT arbitrary rules.�  They are rules created to be able to play the OTB AA games in a tournament setting.�  Larry has agreed to most of these rules and in some cases written portions of them.�  SO, I am not sure I understand what is there not to understand and what is so arbitrary about this…?

    So lets get this straight, you make up rules along with Larry (why doesn’t he do an errata for Hasbro/WotC/AH to put out?), and yet never checked with said companies to seek approval for said rules used in an official game environment, its one thing if you were just some people getting together and playing a game, but you represent the game itself and it behooves you to abide by the game rules or any other sanctioned rules supplied by them would it not? or do you not represent them, since sorry if your were in one of my teams, you would be terminated for failure to comply with the company guidelines.

    And we do…That is our point.  We take the rules, clarify what is in print, select whether or not we play with he OPTIONAL rules, then add time to the game and make sure everyone is playing under the same system.

    Larry really doesn’t want to have anything to do with this.  Yes, he helps me when I ask.  Nor does WotC.  That is why they leave it up to me…Never until this year have we had a problem.  Once G40 surfaced I went Larry for help and he suggested I go to Questioneer (because he does know what he is talking about when it comes to G40) and many online gamers infiltrated the new rules for the game, is when we started having problems, difference of opinions, etc.

    I would love to see Gar come and run any event where he is getting players from all over the world, come in and try and play each individual game by its own rules set.  How is the heck would you determine a winner?  He would be laugh at or yelling at, one of the two…



  • @Cow:

    No, NO games are fun, just give axis a 7 bid or something if it is aa50 1941. No bid for 42.

    No bid for global, japan is harder to deal with. Russia and London harder to capture. evens out.

    Cow, but the bid helps to determine who plays what side without having to just roll a dice.  It give the players something to shoot for when determining what side they would rather play…



  • @smo63:

    @Cow:

    No, NO games are fun, just give axis a 7 bid or something if it is aa50 1941. No bid for 42.

    No bid for global, japan is harder to deal with. Russia and London harder to capture. evens out.

    Cow, but the bid helps to determine who plays what side without having to just roll a dice.  It give the players something to shoot for when determining what side they would rather play…

    now this is one thing that always gets me, is you have to bid to play who you wish ? why not draw lots and do it that way, me personally I don’t care who I play i’ve played the Russians even and still did well with them, the true strategy player is the one who wins with what he has, not what he wants.



  • Scarapis,

    but you represent the game itself and it behooves you to abide by the game rules or any other sanctioned rules supplied by them would it not? or do you not represent them, since sorry if your were in one of my teams, you would be terminated for failure to comply with the company guidelines.

    Seriously dude, what part of OPTIONAL RULES do you not get? WotC and Larry Harris have blessed what Greg has produced. If you don’t like the format of the tournament because it does NOT make use of optional rules - that is cool - it really is. But don’t sit there and accuse people of somehow violating laws or some other corporate ‘code’ when you don’t have the first clue what you are talking about.

    WotC is damn happy to have Greg do what he does - cause goodness knows no one else has stepped up to take over his duties.

    MM



  • @miamiumike:

    Scarapis,

    but you represent the game itself and it behooves you to abide by the game rules or any other sanctioned rules supplied by them would it not? or do you not represent them, since sorry if your were in one of my teams, you would be terminated for failure to comply with the company guidelines.

    Seriously dude, what part of OPTIONAL RULES do you not get? WotC and Larry Harris have blessed what Greg has produced. If you don’t like the format of the tournament because it does NOT make use of optional rules - that is cool - it really is. But don’t sit there and accuse people of somehow violating laws or some other corporate ‘code’ when you don’t have the first clue what you are talking about.

    WotC is damn happy to have Greg do what he does - cause goodness knows no one else has stepped up to take over his duties.

    MM

    You dare, you have no clue who I am, but I sure know a PR disaster when I see one and Smo is quickly headed there, not only has he brought problems on here, but he has even brought this discussion up on other boards, do you honestly think he is secure in his job and that the company is happy with his work? do you wish to put it to the test, cause I can sure oblige you with that, not too mention WotC is oblivious to his rule changes and one thing I know is they are stickler for rules and sticklers for making sure they are enforced, furthermore its not like he only removed the optional rules, but he added new rules of his own design, so before you go getting on your high horse better make sure you have a leg to stand on, as it goes, I only got into this convo because I thought it was disgraceful for a couple of newbie members here to insult several seasoned members, and that is also one thing WotC does not tolerate either since it gives them a bad image.



  • Wow…just wow…OK, it would appear as though we have gone as far as we can…I’ll go my way, you can go yours.

    MM



  • This thread has become a Greg bashing fest for no reason.  Scarapis, even if Greg’s team were creasting radical rule changes, wotc would not give 2 flippin S!@#s what kinda of tournament rules greg or whomever he works with at gencon.  They are trying to appeal to new people as well as seasoned ones.  Frankly, I bet wotc is happy to see greg help to expand the community.  More players = more sold games = more profits.

    Not once has he or mm said anything truely hostile against the the online community in this thread, so I have no idea where people are getting (why is smor so hostile?).  Things were all normal untill some people started bashing the people who were organizing the tournaments for talkign about having a different ruleset from what is played online.  Why does everybody have to do things YOUR way then? (directed at people complaining about the tournament rules)


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