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The Miniatures War College
Advenio paratus. Egressus melior paratus.
D&D Miniatures strategy and analysis.

June 21, 2005

How Many Rounds to Play?

I've noticed that the available rules for sanctioning really don't include a table any more for "how many rounds to play for x # of players." This is especially useful for events like the qualifiers and pre-releases with top-2^n knockout rounds. The premise was to show how many rounds to play and guarantee all of the no loss and one loss players a spot in the knockout rounds, and making the two loss crowd depend on early and solid wins (mostly for game win % and strength of opposition tie breakers).

That seems to be a simple enough standard to derive a solution from. In a Swiss format assume perfect point groups, ignore ties, and ignore a degenerate case where the top players all play each other in early rounds, and a chart can be derived. But since I am a computer scientist and not a mathematician I wrote a program to get my answer the brute force way (python 2.4 source code available here).

The first chart matches my memory of my days in MTG, some poor schmuck (wasn't me) signed up as the 213 player just before registration closed and forced a 9th round at one qualifier I was at.

PlayersRounds
4-81
9-102
11-163
17-244
25-405
41-646
65-1287
129-2128
213-?9

But this table was predicated on top 8. D&D Miniatures has recently gone to top 4s, and the guarantee of making it in with only one loss ramps up the required rounds quicker.

PlayersRounds
41
5-83
9-104
11-165
17-326
33-527
53-968
97-1609
161-?10

The bizarre thing is that it doesn't make the tourney go any quicker round wise, in some cases (like at 33 players) it makes the tourney go a round longer! But when the prizes are only given to the top four, the upshot is that if you go to the break rounds you are guaranteed a prize. Otherwise top four prizes and a top 8 means you have one do-or-die round, even if you played the tourney perfect to this point.

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