Mynock Squadron Podcast XII: Intentional Draws

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We interview X-Wing 2015 Worlds Top 4 finisher and Imperial Ace of Aces: Jeremy Howard. We tackle the controversy of intentional draws.

The Hoth Open at Adepticon was the first major event to permit intentional draws under the new tournament rules.  We had the first rumblings of dissatisfaction directed at players who intentionally drew their way into the elimination rounds.  Our own Brad Miller was one of those players, but has been vocal about his disagreement with the new rule permitting intentional draws.

Jeremy was recently one of the eight players to ALL draw into the final cut of Roanoke Regionals. Undefeated headed into the final round, his advancement into the elimination rounds was assured in any case. We get his take on the implementation of the current tournament rules.

00:00:00 Vain and narcissistic introductions
00:05:00 Talking Imperial Aces with Jeremy Howard
00:23:00 Intentional Draw Hullaballoo
00:50:00 What’s FFG doing about all this?

Hosts: Ryan Farmer, Dee Yun, and Brad Miller

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  • skamage

    Intentional draw actually starts about the 23:00 mark

    • Dee Yun

      Thanks! Edited.

  • Raven21001

    So basicly no one trusts his own skill and play a mexican standoff then go off together and get a beer. My my what a way to play a game seriously.

    • Dee Yun

      That’s harsh. It’s more of an acknowledgement that anything can happen. Do you blame NFL teams for benching their stars week 17, when they have their playoffs seedings clinched?

      • skamage

        Not really a good analogy. NFL there is a high possibility of not being able to play due to injury. I don’t think moving ships around a board and rolling dice will ever injure someone to the point that they couldn’t compete in the next round.

        • Dee Yun

          That wasn’t the analog I was drawing though. Risking the health of key personnel is unnecessary for NFL teams in that position. Ticket holders, fantasy owners, and broadcast rights holders all have legitimate gripes about that, but it’s an accepted (not unethical) practice. Risking getting knocked out of an X-Wing tournament when an alternative is available is similarly unsound.

          • skamage

            I guess I’m just not seeing it, sorry. Still seems to be risking health for a business as opposed to making a decision on a poor rule that was used to the benefit of a few.

  • skamage

    I get it, you are just playing the system and “following the rules”. But you can’t blame people for being upset at you. That’s similar to saying well…I didn’t agree with the order but I was just following orders because I’m a good soldier. If you don’t like the rule and more importantly don’t think it is an ethical rule…don’t use it. If you do use it, don’t get made when other people call you out on a ethical decision.

    • Raven21001

      I had this problem with the Space hulk game. I was tyranids and he was the termies. He saw me ofc setting up tokens and he chose to not advance cause due to layout it would be obvious that at some point my 20 nids around the corner would trample him. And he said are you going to move. I said nope see no reason to i am standing mighty fine here. Well he had the same. Game was broken in under 20 mins. We looked it up. No rules for it. People only said it was customary for the marines to move due to “herioc reasons” which means he almost automaticly loses. So yeah, but doing this in this game never thought of it like that and seems to be game breaking at some point as our space hulk games were.

    • Dee Yun

      I can’t speak for anyone else, but I gave the matter substantial thought, and the Swiss format with draws and modified wins cutting into top whatever is deeply flawed. Given that, I cannot blame players for taking a intentional draws, when available and advantageous. I don’t find it /unethical/, but it’s the flawed system I’m speaking against. The analogy to war crimes is unwarranted.

      • skamage

        Mainly I’m just saying people find this to be a matter of ethics it sounds like. I get it, you guys want to win because it is a major tournament. It just seemed weird that the people who took intentional draws to secure their spots were upset that the community was upset about the use of the rule. I admit maybe my analogy was a little over the line. I guess I just don’t understand not playing the game even if it could hurt your score. I thought the nature of any game was to show your talent and try to win but I fully admit I’m not a win at all costs type of player or one who even competes at this level. Just my thoughts, take it how you will.

        • Dee Yun

          I feel you. I’m for playing the games out myself, which is why I advocated the rules changes we proposed. If however, two undefeated players want to skip a meaningless game, I don’t see the point of forcing them to tilt prior to the elimination rounds.

          I’m against the rule, and I’m personally trying to make the decision to play all my games out regardless of circumstance. (I just don’t know if making that kind of stand matters in the big picture.)

          I just wanted to calm people down from accusations of cheating. I feel that intentional drawing is a reasonable choice given the current rules set, and that impugning the character of somebody who makes this choice is, well, in poor character. This being the internet, threats were even made. We should have some perspective.

          • skamage

            I think I do have some perspective. I did take a step back and look at it as if I were in that situation. I wouldn’t condone threats and unfortunately that is the nature of the beast. Should people be that upset, no not at all. But people are going to be upset especially when it looks like someone is gaming the system. I agree it wasn’t cheating and it was the best decision they could make for winning. Although I myself would not make that decision. I applaud you in your endeavor to play all your games and to answer your question if it really matters, to me at least it does. It shows that you love the game and care more about it and showing your skill than winning. From what I can see, the two major things seem to be it looks like a rule was used to the advantage of a few which in their mind took away from the love of the game. Should those few have been threatened, no, but people still have every right to be upset. Maybe not at the players who used the rule but you can tell, not everyone is always rational.

    • Dee Yun

      If you’re referring to Ryan’s unintentional intentional draw with Zach, he deeply regrets it, and I’ve been busting his chops nonstop about it LOL!

  • Game theory (the study) is actually quite fascinating to calculate and predict what people will do in a situation.

    • Dee Yun

      And applicable to everything from miniatures gaming to business to relationships!

  • Dee Yun

    http://teamcovenant.com/star-wars-x-wing/x-wings-intentional-draw

    I’m with Jeff. (Which doesn’t mean passing judgment on players who do employ the rule.)

    • skamage

      Awesome, like the part “Where to stick your ID offer”.