The Rules in Moscow

Recently mplain posted a decklist on dtdb:

They used different rules for their OP tournament, as follows:

Deckbuilding Restriction: no more than 16 deeds per deck (because Slide is cancer).

Rounds were 55 minutes. When going to time, the current player
finishes his Noon play (including a shootout), then his opponent makes
one Noon play, then go to Sundown.

The first tiebreaker was Control Poins total (not Control +
Influence), then Influence total. If you won by 3+ CP you got 3 victory
point, if you won by less than 3 CP then you got 2 points and your
opponent got 1.

I don’t want to discuss the deed limit, as that is not only very drastic, but it’s very much a preference when it comes to slide. Instead, what do you guys think of their tournament rules? 55 mins, at time the next player gets one noon play. Control points as tiebreakers.

Personally I really like it. I don’t have a ton of experience with the new tournament rules (50 mins, with 10 min warning and once time is called, finish the current play and then go to sundown), but I feel like if I lost because my opponent was being rather slow and I couldn’t get an opportunity to respond to their action that I would be very disappointed.

I like those Russian house rules a lot. Right now, you have no chance to respond if your opponent is playing really slowly and time is called. I want this game to be friendly to new folks, and new folks naturally play slower… but I also don’t want to be screwed over in the process. I kind of miss the 3 noon actions each, but at least 1 noon action would be nice (because chances are if you are the one being slow, time is more likely to be called during your action).

Also, I hate the fact that it’s probably a good idea to bring your own timer to a tournament now so you know exactly how much time is left. When you’re in the midst of an epic chess match, it’s very unsettling to know that at any second the game will be instantly cut off with no further chances for anyone to respond. At least with a timer you won’t be surprised - when you’re in the middle of that chess match, 10 minutes can go by in the blink of an eye.


I like the tie-breaker rules described above for the reasons described above. The incentives to winning the game at time should be as similar as possible to those for winning in general, which both eras of organized play tie-breaker rules really failed to do.

Curious to see how PBE handles this.

In Russia, ties break you! :wink:

Was about to reply, then “7 months later…”

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Hm, definitely an old post, but still very relevant. Now that I’ve had lots of opportunities to play with these new tournament rules, I can say my original concerns played out how I thought they would, I really don’t like them.

I can see how 3 noon actions each could result in multiple shootouts (and thus lots of waiting and a delayed tournament round), but chances are slim that one noon action each will see more than 1 shootout.

I am confused by your response. Having had time to play and reflect, you now prefer the Moscow rules or the current rules?

I am not a fan of the current rules - 50 mins, with 10 minute warning, once time is called it’s immediately over (obviously finishing up any current shootout/action).

I heard they did this because the 3 noon actions sometimes took a very long time to complete, so I like the Moscow rules as a nice in-between. They give you a little more time before time is called, and one noon action each to at least have some last chance to respond.

I like the extra time (55 minutes over 50 minutes), the +1 Noon action for the “faster” player, and the Control as first tiebreaker.

Not too sure about the split of the points (3 points for a victory by 3+, splitting the points 2 to 1 for a lesser victory). I was wondering if someone could speak to that.

As the Berkeley organizer, I am considering adopting these rules for our tournaments…

This isn’t the current floor rules.

The current ones can be found here

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I am reading the link.

It looks like all that Pr0digy missed was the amount of time?

Am I missing something?

No your absolutely spot on its just the timing that was wrong.

In my experience, those last 5 minutes are golden.

(Unless, you know, the match is over in like 15 minutes because both players go “all in” early…)


Plus the scoring looks slightly more favourable to winning games before time is called (Five points for a win before time, three for a timed win, no points for losing at time anymore). While this doesn’t change the result of individual matches it may have an impact on the type of decks that people play. Going 4-1 with timed wins loses to somebody going 3-2 with all their wins before time.

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It’s a LOT more favorable, not slightly. Under the one floor rules, a person can go 3-0 in a 8person event and they will lose to someone who went 5-1. I hate mod scoring, but at least the old mod scoring didn’t hose you as much.

Stupid autocorrects. One = pbe, and 5-1 should be 2-1.

True (and my sympathies on autocorrect!)! It will be interesting to see if it distorts thing and consistently leads to perverse results. Across three matches, I’d expect the 3-0 player to probably win at least one before time unless they’re playing a deck that consistently stalls. If this rules tramples on weird stall tactics (e.g. buying a ton of influence with Ballot Counter) it will be a positive result, but if it consistently distorts tournament results using “normal” decks then we should ask PBE to review it. :slight_smile:

Worth monitoring cases and bringing it to PBE in case we get too much of the negative outcome and too little of the positive.

The big issues I have with it, in general, are:

  1. 3-round 8 person events have a LOT of variance. Even the best of intentions can result in 3 time victories on any given day. It feels terrible to go undefeated, and then get 4th place in the tournament, it’s also a bit ridiculous that that is even possible.

  2. Spite time-outs happen. Anyone who has played in any level of competition knows that from time to time, you will come across players who decide they’d rather spite their opponent then improve their own standing. In an “in-and-win” situation, mod scoring, and especially one with this level of difference, makes it really easy for someone losing the game to say “you know what, screw you, I’m playing to time just so you don’t get in the qualifier either”.

  3. I hate, HATE, using tournament procedures to try and intentionally shape the meta. If decks that go to time are a problem I would love to see cards that address those decks. I am less happy with saying “fine, but we’ll just change the tournament rules so they aren’t viable in tournaments”. I think tournament procedures should do their absolute best to eliminate the effect that a tournament environment has on the meta, not increase the effect. That’s personal opinion, of course, but it’s my opinion.


Reasonable objections and sensibly articulated. :slight_smile:

I’ll try to keep an eye on things at Edinburgh’s up-coming sheriff and see if these changes skew things and will look out for the same in other reports. The community can always lobby PBE if it thinks “Good Intentions” (apologies for the heavy handed Deadlands reference…) have gone astray.

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100% agreed with Bithlords concerns. I will add to his list that this makes playing against new/slower opponents a much more frustrating situation. I want this game to be as new-person-friendly as possible, and this does the exact opposite.

Let’s face it, this game doesn’t have huge numbers, and even the Marshal level tournaments draw in new-ish folks. I love that this game, even at high tier tournaments, has been so accessible and welcoming to new comers and would like to see that continue.

EDIT: Can anyone explain the intentions/theory behind the new point system?

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Over the period that AEG owned the game we received a large amount of feedback from players that they were leaving the game due to NPE decks with a number of those being stated as stall decks. Given that we don’t wish to lose anymore players we felt it wise to look into how best to deal with this issue, we had already increased the game limit from 45 to 50 minutes and felt that a further increase would be needed to ensure we get as many wins before time as possible. We also felt that the points system should reflect the fact that games should finish within the time period given hence the change from the old 5-4-1-0 points system to the current 5-3-0 system.

However with all things that PBE are working on there will be a constant review system in place that will act on sufficient feedback from players. This will however need to be fact based rather than opinion based. We will be monitoring results of all major and minor tournaments in the lead up to the European and world championships.