Omens Pre-Con

Monday - Tuesday, August 1st & 2nd, 2005

Lancaster Host, Lancaster, PA


Welcome to the fourth Omens mini-con which features dedicated play of Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage in five rounds of swiss-elimination format. Not actually part of WBC proper, Omens is sort of an opening skirmish for those who can't get enough of a good thing. Is Centurion status in your future? Check the Omens for an early start to increase your odds with the gaming gods.

WBC attendees have long lamented the many conflicts between their favorite games at WBC. With the growing popularity of the card-driven wargame it is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid conflicts for fans of the genre. So many games, so little time ... Since so many of our attendees have large investments in travel costs to attend WBC, there has always been a certain element which wanted a longer convention so that they could get more bang for their travel buck while increasing the number of events they can play. The problem with this is how to scratch this itch without infringing on those for whom a longer convention is just out of the question.

Our solution was to select a few events for early play which shared a similar game system with long playing times that could benefit from uninterrupted swiss-style play without outside distractions. The first is Paths of Glory which will start 9 AM Saturday, July 3oth continue the next day, and for a select few end in the finals on Monday August 1st. The second is Hannibal; Rome vs Carthage which will begin on Monday and conclude Tuesday evening as WBC regular events get underway.

Five 5-hr rounds of swiss play are scheduled. The beauty of a dedicated swiss tournament is that players do not wander off to other pursuits so opposing schedule tie-breakers are much more valid.

For more event details, see the Hannibal Preview.

Play at Omens requires a separate registration fee of $20 for BPA members pre-registered by July 23rd, 2005, or $30 for all others, payable to the BPA, 7766 Valley View Court, Hickory, NC 28602. This fee can be paid separately or in addition to other WBC fees noted on the WBC pre-registration form.

WBC special room rates at the Lancaster Host apply to all days of the pre-con. See http://www.boardgamers.org/hotellan.htm


Vying for Mediterranean Supremacy

The Hannibal tournament will be run in a pre-WBC slot this year. It will begin Monday morning and end Tuesday afternoon, adopting a Swiss format with continuous play of five rounds of open swiss-style play. Players are free to drop in and out as they please during the five rounds of swiss play. However, playing in less than five rounds will decrease your chances of winning the event. Wins and the tournament point system will determine the rank. Players bid PC markers for choice of side. The high bidder gets choice of side, while the opponent makes PC adjustments equal to the amount of the winning bid.

This year initial matchups will be somewhat randomized. Rookies will not face each other in the first round. The top eight seeded players will not face each other in the first round, but will be in the same bracket (possibly facing each other in the second and subsequent rounds). There will be no medal round. Prizes will be awarded based upon rank after five rounds of swiss play (though if there are two undefeated players, they will playoff in a sixth round for the championship).
The default rule set will be the first edition rules (those published in the game), as clarified by the Q&A and Errata published in The General. Like previous years, Carthage can transport 1 CU with a general and obtain a -1 drm on the Naval table. Opponents may mutually decide to use the second edition instead (see 1.3).

Assistant GMs: Jim Heenehan and _____ TBA ______ .


*Asterisked rules below are new (added since the last posting of these rules on the BPA website).

v.20031227
Tournament Rules

Contents
1.0 Event
2.0 Abbreviations
3.0 Format
4.0 Schedule
5.0 Matches
6.0 Choosing Sides
7.0 Scoring
8.0 Record Keeping
9.0 House Rules

1.0 Event Description
The game played will be Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage (Avalon Hill). First edition rules are used, as interpreted in Q&A and clarifications published in The General and issued by Avalon Hill. Standard nine-turn game. No optional rules.
1.1 Class A Tournament. This is a class A tournament. Once the rounds start, beginners will find that those of us who know the game are more than willing to help weaker players, give tips, pointers, and even informal lessons between rounds. However, no one can expect this of others. Do not plan on it in more than a casual way. Please, no kibitzing!
1.2 Compliance. Playing in this event requires compliance with: all BPA rules and directives; tournament rules written here; Game Master and Tournament Official authority; first edition rules of HRC; Questions and Clarifications; in that order. Failure to abide by any of these is "cheating" as much as violation of any game rule. Failure or refusal to follow any of these directives is subject to discipline.
*1.3 Rule Edition. By mutual agreement, players of a single game may use the First or Second Edition rules. For WBC, the default edition is First. (For WAM, the default edition is Second.) The GM has a list of the key twelve differences for easy reference by those not so familiar with Second.

2.0 Abbreviations
A.R.E.A. - Avalon Hill Reliability, Experience, and Ability player information and rating service.
AGM = Assistant Game Master
BPA= Boardgame Player's Association
GM = Game Master
HQ = Headquarters
HRC = Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage
PCs = Political Control Markers
TO = Tournament Official (GM or AGM)
TPs = Tournament Points
WBC = World Boardgaming Championships

3.0 Format
The tournament will be conducted in "Open Swiss Format". Every player who arrives with a copy of the game will be eligible to participate in each of the five rounds. The top six players after five rounds of swiss play will be determined by the tournament point scoring system (7.0). In the possible-though-unlikely event of two players remaining undefeated after five rounds, they alone will play a sixth round to determine the championship.
3.1 Playing Officials. Prior to the beginning of the tournament, at least two AGMs will be named to assist the GM. Any TOs may participate as active players. They may play all rounds, competing for awards and prizes as any other contenders. Should a question or an interpretation arise in a game involving the GM, for which no written answer already exists, another TO will make a ruling by which the GM will abide.
3.2 Unplayed Rounds. Rounds unplayed for any reason will be scored as losses of 0 TPs, with no effect on A.R.E.A. rating. Players receiving byes, receive credit for a win of 10 TPs plus 2 TPs to simulate opponent credits (7.2).
3.3 Withdrawal. Should you wish to withdraw from the tournament, or any given round, at any time, for any reason, please contact a TO as soon as possible and notify him of your intentions for the currect game and for future rounds. Withdrawal without such notification to a TO could jeopardize your standing in this and future tournaments.
3.4 A.R.E.A. Rated. All game results will be submitted by the GM to A.R.E.A. for the HRC ratings. This will include withdrawals, concessions, adjudications and eliminator games.
3.5 Awards. Standard WBC prizes will be awarded for the top six players.

4.0 Schedule
There will be five scheduled rounds of five hours each. The first round begins Saturday morning at 8 a.m. After the tournament begins, players should check in with the GM no later than five minutes prior to the start of a round to ensure a place in the next round of play.
4.1 Late Entry. Registration and entry to this event will remain open. However, all unplayed rounds are scored as losses of 0 TP. See 3.2.
4.2 Late Arrival. Players arriving late for the start of any given round may have to forfeit that round, accepting 0 TPs but not affecting A.R.E.A. ratings. A late arriving player may be matched at GM discretion with a weaker player (diminishing the opponent credits earned).
4.3 Slow Play. In order to keep on pace with the tournament schedule, players are strongly encouraged to play with appropriate speed to finish on time. If a player feels that his opponent is unusually slow, please cordially urge speedier play and quietly notify a TO of this situation as early in the game as possible (see 4.51).
4.4 Time Limits. Rounds will end at the time specified by the GM (the time limit of 4.5 hours can be extended by a few minutes at the discretion of the TOs if the game is close enough to a finish). Should two players be involved in a game that does not finish by the allotted time limit, they must cease all play and leave the game components in place. The two players involved should attempt to reach agreement regarding a victor for that game. If unable to do so, then the two players should notify TOs of the need for an adjudication.
4.5 Adjudications. Uninvolved TOs will adjudicate the game based on the existing position and their best judgement (based upon whatever factors they feel are most important), awarding a win to the player with the advantage (however small). All rulings are final and not subject to appeal. Please do everything you can to avoid putting the TOs into the position of having to adjudicate, but if adjudication is required, accept the decision without question.
4.51 Slow Games. If the game has not progressed sufficiently to fairly award a result, then the TOs may allocate a loss to either or both players for slow play. Such players will be warned to speed up play in subsequent rounds or face additional sanctions.
4.52 Ties. If the TOs cannot determine that one player has an advantage (however small) and deserves the win, then they may decide to award a five-point tie to each. In such a case, each player receives 5 TPs, but for all other aspects of the tournament, each is considered to have lost the game. Ties will be given only in the most extreme circumstances in which the majority of TOs cannot decide which player has the advantage.

*5.0 Matches
First round matchups this year will differ from previous years. The top eight seeded players will be established in the upper bracket of the match list, but not face each other until possibly the second round. New players (new to the HRC tournament and having no A.R.E.A. rating) will not be matched against against each other. All other players will be randomly assigned their initial game. In subsequent rounds, every effort will be made to match players against opponents of equal skill, giving all players challenging games and an opportunity to obtain the maximum number of TPs. See 7.0.
*5.1 First Round Seeds. The top eight seeds will be determined by the following criteria:
a) If present at the beginning of round one, the defending champion, second place, and third place players from the previous year's WBC tournament will be ranked 1, 3, and 5, respectively.
b) Other players who are present will be ranked next by current A.R.E.A. rating for HRC, in descending order until the top eight seeds (including a above) have been determined.
c) A player with an A.R.E.A. rating in HRC that is 30+ months inactive will be unseeded.
d) New players (new to the HRC tournament and having no A.R.E.A. rating) will be placed at the end of the match list, but not matched against each other in the first round.
e) All other players will be randomly assigned slots in the match list.
*5.2 Subsequent rounds. On all following rounds, all players who are present will be matched against players with the same number of wins (if possible), and of similar standing on the match list.
5.3 Rematches. Opponents that have previously faced each other within the tournament will not be rematched during swiss play. Should opponents find themselves rematched by accident, notify the GM immediately so that an adjustment can be made.
5.4 Odd players. If an odd number of players exist at the start of a round, then the most recent past champion may receive an automatic bye. The TP value for the bye is 12 TPs (10 TPs for a win plus 2 TPs of opponent credits for playing a "phantom" opponent). No player can obtain more than one bye in a tournament. No A.R.E.A. adjustment is made for a bye game.
5.41 Passing the Bye. The player most eligible for the bye may choose to pass the bye. The bye is then offered to the next most-recent past champion. If none accept it, the bye is offered to the lowest-ranking (see 7.6) player with a copy of the game (and then next lowest, and so on). Then, the bye is offered to the lowest-ranking player without a copy of the game (and next lowest, and so on). Passing may be done by the next player and so on, until the bye is accepted or we reach the GM in the list of eligibility.
5.42 The GM must accept the bye when it is first offered to him.
5.43 Once a player passes a bye, he is no longer eligible to receive a bye in any future round until it has been offered to all players who have not yet been offered a bye. If secondary byes are passed, then the highest ranking non-former champion without a copy of the game, by virtue of being the last eligible to accept it, will be stuck with it.

6.0 Choosing Sides
Sides for each match will be determined by bidding PCs. Any two opponents may skip the bidding process if they agree to sides of mutual satisfaction.
6.1 Bidding. Players will bid for the right to choose their preferred side.
6.11 To begin bidding, each player rolls one die. The player with the higher die roll will make the opening bid. In case of a tie, both players will roll again.
6.12 To make a bid, a player clearly states the number of PCs (minimum of 0) which he is offering and the side he wishes to play.
6.13 When offered a bid by an opponent, a player must either accept or raise the bid.
a) Acceptance of the bid allows your opponent to play the stated side he desires for the stated PC Adjustment (see 6.2).
b) Raising the bid amounts to offering a greater bid for the same stated side. Simply state a higher PC bid than previously mentioned.
6.14 When an opponent raises the bid, a player responds by accepting the new bid or raising the bid. Raising may continue until one player accepts a bid.
6.15 Bids may be of any amount, but must be in integers (0, 1, 2, etc. ). An opening bid may be zero, but not less than zero. A raise must exceed the last bid and be an integer.
6.2 PC Adjustment. After setting up the board for play, but before the first turn cards are dealt, the player who accepted his opponent's bid makes PC adjustments equal to the amount of the final bid. The player may use each point of the bid to place one friendly PC or remove one enemy PC (using a combination of both in the same space if so desired and if more than one PC was bid). Removed PCs must be non-walled, non-tribe PCs. Once the PC adjustments are made, the game commences and is scored as usual.
6.3 Example. Stuart and Karsten both roll a die, with Stuart rolling higher. Stuart begins the bid by announcing "one for Carthage," indicating that he will let Karsten have a 1 PC adjustment if he allows Stuart to play the side of Carthage. Karsten also wishes to pick Carthage to play, so he bids 2 PCs for Carthage. Stuart counters with three, and finally Karsten acquiesces. Stuart will now play the Carthaginians. Karsten (now the Roman player) decides to use his 3 PC Adjustments as follows: He spends one point to remove the Carthaginian PC in the Balearic Islands. He then spends one point to place a Roman PC in the Balearic Islands. Thus, for the cost of two PCs Karsten has "converted" the Balearic Islands from Carthaginian control to Roman control. Finally, Karsten uses his last PC advantage to place a Roman PC in a vacant space in Cisalpine Gaul.

7.0 Scoring
Tournament Points, standings, A.R.E.A. credits, and matches for the following rounds, will be determined at the conclusion of each round based on the criteria of this section. See 8.3.
7.1 Victories and Losses. For each match won, a player will receive 10 TPs and an A.R.E.A. victory. The losing player will receive 0 TPs and an A.R.E.A. loss.
*7.2 Opponent credits. A player will also receive 1 TP for each victory that his opponent has already acquired or later acquires during the course of the tournament. A player will also receive a consolation of 0.4 TPs for each round that an opponent fails to enter. Thus, as the tournament progresses, each player will receive one additional TP for each victory that a previous opponent accumulates, and/or consolation points for dropouts.
7.3 Withdrawals. In the event of a withdrawal, the remaining player will be credited in the same way as any other victory. The withdrawing player will be credited the same as any other loss. A.R.E.A. ratings will be affected in the same manner.
7.4 Concessions. Any two current opponents may agree to terminate their match on any mutually-acceptable terms which determine a victor. Games so concluded will be scored as any others.
7.5 Time limit. Games that are not concluded on time will be adjudicated as the GM deems appropriate. See 4.4.
*7.6 Tournament Standing. A player's tournament standing is first determined as stated in 5.1. In subsequent rounds, standing will be ranked according to number of wins and then TPs earned, ties broken by initial standing.
7.7 Final Tiebreakers. While it is unlikely that, after all rounds of swiss play, the top players will have tied TPs, the following tiebreakers will be used if necessary to determine the final standings to distribute tournament prizes.
a) If only two players are tied, head-to-head results.
b) Sum of TPs accumulated by all opponents a player has beaten.
c) TPs of player most recently beaten.
d) Number of times you sacked Rome or Carthage.
e) Number of times you killed the opposing Hannibal or Scipio.
f) Number of victories in games that ended before turn 9.
g) High card draw (by strategy card number).

8.0 Record Keeping
Record Keeping is done by the combined use of two forms, the individual Game Record and the Player Roster.
8.1 Game Record. Before each round of play, each game will be issued a Game Record sheet. Record the information required as it occurs during the game. At the end of each game, the winner is personally responsible to see to it that the Game Record is properly filled out, and handed to a TO. The GM will use the Game Records to maintain the Player Roster.
8.2 Player Roster. The running record for the tournament, and the information that the GM uses to determine the matches for the next round is recorded on the Player Roster. Players will be free to examine the roster as the tournament progresses whenever the GM is not using it to establish match pairings. Only the GM is authorized to write upon it.

9.0 House Rules
9.1 Setup.
All units must be set up before the play of any game commences. Errors caused by failure to do so properly will be classified under 9.4. Players may agree to play by Second Edition rules (this should be agreed prior to bidding for sides); if no agreement is reached, then First Edition rules shall be used.
9.2 Die Rolling. For any given die roll to be acceptable, the die in question must be thrown in a standard manner established at the beginning of the game by the contestants. The following methods are suggested:
a) By hand into a transparent cup.
b) From a cup into a box lid, hitting at least one side of the box and landing flat in the box.
c) Through a die roll tower, landing flat in the tray.
Reroll any die that lands outside the accepted area, or does not land flat.
9.21 Other dice rolling devices may be used by mutual consent, providing that the same principles apply. The dice must strike a solid surface, change sides, then land flat, with a clear reading, and remain within the confines of a specified area, or else be rerolled.
9.22 Cocked and Out of Bounds. If the die lands out of the specified area, or is not laying flat with a clear reading, it must be rerolled.
9.3 Out of Turn. You are required to ask if your opponent has finished his activity before you play a card or roll a die. Clearly verbalize when your phase of a turn is over. Once your opponent has played a card, or a die has been rolled, you may not move or change anything more.
9.4 Illegal Moves. An opponent's actions that violate the game rules and go unchallenged before you begin the next phase stand as placed. It is up to you to catch all errors within your own game while they can be corrected.
9.5 Card Play. Players should keep separate stacks of the cards they each play. Players may look at cards that have been played, but only for a brief period of time (less than one minute). Players should refrain from excessive reference to the decks of played cards; repeated referral to the decks of played cards can be ruled as a form of slow play [4.3; 4.51]. A player may not record cards that have been played, except for those required by the Game Record.
9.6 Transport Rule. Carthage can transport 1 CU with a general and obtain a -1 drm on the Naval table.

GM:
Stuart K. Tucker
18316 Streamside Dr. #302
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
econedit@aol.com