Decathlon 2022 Preparation

Hi all!

For those that have participated, I’ll be posting various thoughts and polls here to help setup the 2022 Decathlon (aiming to start first thing in January.)

For those that have not participated in the past - welcome! Everyone here at Stately Play is welcome to join the Decathlon!

What is the Decathlon, you ask?

The Decathlon has run for 3 of the past 4 years (2018, 2019, 2021) and is essentially a “tournament of tournaments” initially proposed and run by @Snotty128

We choose 10 games and play them in a series - roughly one game per month with a little leeway since some games take longer, especially async… cough Through the Ages cough

Players score points based on playing each game against “similarly ranked” players with rankings changing over the course of the Decathlon to give some variety to the opponents.

That’s the gist of it - stay tuned for more posts here soon!

5 Likes

Game selection will take some time, as usual, but I’ve been thinking about the format too…

Here’s an interesting idea which I will put to a vote momentarily… what if ranking was based on the actual points scored in each game?

I tracked this for the 2021 Decathlon, in part just for fun (math nerd alert!) and in part for tie-breaking…

Here’s how the final standings would have looked if we had done it this way:

Rank 2021 Rank Player Total Points
1 2 @feederofgoats 1274
2 12 @jason1002 1243
3 4 @kennfusion 1232
4 3 @Baelnor 1174
5 1 @Hardco 1150
6 8 @irishdomer08 1108
7 11 @Schlotzky 1107
8 7 @geigerm 1074
9 6 @KYakerDude 1017
10 19 @HostileApostle 1015
11 15 @JHTaube 1001
12 9 @JammaTal 972
13 10 @doublebullout 970
14 17 @JaneHatke 968
15 5 @JMH.75 953
16 20 @js619 928
17 18 @johnl 924
18 14 @SpiceTheCat 910
19 13 @Codington 903
20 16 @whovian223 893
21 21 @Mirefox 829

(Note that this system would be terrible for me, so I’m clearly only proposing this to make things more interesting! :stuck_out_tongue: )

Other alternatives based on actual game points would be to award Decathlon points based on relative scoring, which is how the Olympic Decathlon is actually scored - if you perform better than the historical best score, you get more Decathlon points. That could be fun but would require quite a bit more work even if we made it “easier” by doing relative ranking based on scores within the Decathlon event.

Just some random Sunday “out of the box” thoughts… I’m totally fine to keep the 1st/2nd/3rd points scoring system we had in 2021.

Ok, so vote on it!

2022 Decathlon Scoring
  • Same as before (1st/2nd/3rd at each table)
  • Cumulative game scores
  • Points awarded for relative game score across each event

0 voters

You fundamentally change some games when high score is more important than winning. Some of these games you might be playing to reduce everyone’s chance of scoring, like in Waterdeep or Star Realms.

2 Likes

Absolutely agree! I guess I could have added an option for a “combined score” (with a largish score for finishing rank added to game points) to balance that out, but I think fundamentally the question is much the same - the tournament could be fun in either system as long as it is known up front - and it comes down to a vote on preference.

I’ll come right out and say it. Ranking by points scored is a terrible idea! All that matters is what your score is relative to the other people in your games.

Games like Through the Ages will have completely different scoring ranges based on the order the cards come out, or how much military is pushed early, and it doesn’t make sense that someone in an unrelated “peaceful” game should be rated higher due to lack of conflict.

Also, games like Patchwork, where a winning score generally falls within a range of 5-40 points is weighted significantly lower than Through the Ages, where a winning score falls between 150 and 350. What makes zero-sum games like Patchwork interesting is point denial being as important a strategy as getting points, and rewarding one strategy over another takes a lot away from the games.

On a potentially different (or the same) is there any interest in a Board Game Arena decathlon? At least we could get a fair bit of variety into the games without anyone incurring extra costs…

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LOL!

Joke - spoken like someone who would have dropped from 1st to 5th! :wink:

Semi-joke - at least I can always count on you to have an opinion! :slight_smile:

Seriously - while I understand what you are saying, I don’t personally feel it means that cumulative points scored is not a legitimate way of running the tournament. To me, all of what you said would just become additional factors in the Decathlon which would make it more interesting.

Ultimately, my suggestion was a reflection of my feeling that, while the current points system provides for some variability in opponents (and even that is diminished over time,) it feels lacklustre after 3 events to be fighting over a few points here and there that don’t change the standings much from round to round.

It’s probably all moot though as there is a strong leaning towards keeping things the same already in the voting. Which, after all, is the reason I run polls anyway - I want the community to decide. :slight_smile:

Separate message on the Board Game Arena question…

I’m happy to run another poll on this, but it doesn’t necessarily solve the cost problem - many top tier games are behind a paywall at BGA. I’m a member personally, and the cost isn’t that much, but it could definitely end up being more than the cost of one or two new iOS games for participants. (Currently sitting at about $30 USD per year, I think?)

I also like the idea of BGA from an “async stability” and variety of titles perspective, not to mention the ability to include non-iOS players in the tournament, but on the other hand I know from first-hand and gaming group experience that anyone who wants/prefers/needs to play on their mobile device is going to have a severely degraded experience for many of the games. There are a lot of real estate and “lack of right-click” issues on BGA through a mobile web browser.

All in all, I would lean heavily towards keeping this an iOS app tournament with the caveat that I want to get community confirmation that titles are still async playable before we vote on the list.

If I hear another voice or two that support/prefer BGA, I’ll put it to a vote though.

1 Like

I would say that the overall point spread in our final standings being fairly close in the top 10, and a lot of movement in rankings in the last 3 games kind of validates the system we are using. To be honest, I was never a fan of tables grouping by current standings, but I was able to climb from near the bottom to near the top in the 2nd half of the Decathlon, so I think i was wrong.

The fact that things came down to the wire is kind of what I think we wanted, it was exciting.

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Well, personally I think we should retrospectively apply the method for the 2021 tournament but go back to the 1st/2nd/3rd system for 2022 :joy:

I don’t really like it either as it makes some games much more important than others. Also in favour of keeping iOS.

Always good to ask the question though….

Can’t wait for the next one!

2 Likes

I like any mode! And I loved the fact it felt like I was rising through the ranks for a come back. Was waiting like an owl on those wingspan results :slight_smile:

Cost wise, not too concerned as I like being a part of this. And my purchases now link to Decathlon trends…

1 Like

@Hardco’s point is the strongest in favor of keeping the 1/2/3 scoring system. In addition to overweighting games with higher potential point scoring mechanisms, a straight points-based system overweights players who are more skilled in one of the point-mill games. An Olympic decathlon weighting system seems like an unnecessary complication with no real benefits. Fun to consider and debate, but ultimately no better than a count of 1/2/3 finishes while making scoring and standings harder to understand.

As Stately Play is in many ways the descendant of the original PT board, I think it fitting to honor the mobile device gaming spirit of PT by focusing on iOS/Android gaming.

6 Likes

I don’t care who I lose to or how many points I give them. I like that the decathlon forces me to play games that I may not play often, so my bigger concern is the game list. I personally would love to see a little more variability from year to year. Like instead of Waterdeep repeatedly, throw in a different worker placement like Viticulture, Raiders, Agricola, etc. But I’ll buy and play anything.

5 Likes

While we have identified some challenges with @Codington’s suggestion of scoring rounds differently, I have been thinking about it a little and how we could change things up a little by running bonus point competitions that run across all tables.

For instance in a single game of say Wingspan, across all tables there could be bonus points available, maybe just for the top person in each category:

Highest overall score
Lowest overall score
Most amount of birds in play

We could be kind of creative to create some fun side missions in each of the 10 games. Just give like 1 point for each or something.

Just a thought.

3 Likes

This x10 :slight_smile:

I want to either ensure that a few games weren’t in last year’s event, or go back to one of my good ideas ( :stuck_out_tongue: ) and have different game “types” in the Decathlon.

Having come around to the counter-arguments for cumulative scoring, I think it would require some thought to tailor bonus points to each of the games.

So, while I like the idea of “achievements” or other bonus points, I know it would take me down a rabbit hole that sounds like more work than I can commit to at the moment! :slight_smile:

I’m happy to share duties or relinquish organizing the event if you want to pitch in / take over, @kennfusion!

I was just throwing ideas out there for the fun of it. You should stay as organizer for sure.

1 Like

Another voice for iOS-only and for simple 1/2/3 scoring (also I think the administrative burden of any other scoring system would start to drag by round 3 :wink:).

Ad hoc achievements are much easier at the end, when you see what everyone actually achieved :grin:

2 Likes

My issue with BGA is notifications and much prefer to go the iOS route like others. I’ll be as flexible as I can, but that’s my opinion.

1 Like

Happy Thanksgiving / Black Friday weekend to all the Americans out there! Hope everyone had some good food, family time, and maybe snagged a deal on some games… :slight_smile:

After my last stupid idea ( :wink: ) I’m back with another poll to see about mixing some things up for next year… as mentioned above, I’d be curious to return to the idea of picking games within specific groupings based on Board Game Geek categories, mechanics, etc.

My thought is that this will also address some of the concerns that have been raised about playing the same games every year.

But, as always, I will leave it to all of you to decide!

Game Selection Criteria
  • Most votes within “groupings” (eg. Worker Placement / Economic)
  • Most votes across all games

0 voters