We did something a little different this week at Tuesday night board games: a three round tournament of Dominion. It’s gotten pretty consistent play since Neil first brought the game early this past summer. The number of people in the regular crowd owning a copy has steadily climbed since then, peaking at Christmas. The critical mass of available copies, in addition to wanting to do something special for the Tuesday night folks, prompted the thought of a Dominion tournament, particularly after seeing the popularity of a similar event at Carnage in November.
This was the first time I organized a sizable tournament. As a Man in Black, I’ve done a couple Munchkin tournaments in the day, but those had a handful players. All told, we had sixteen players at the high water mark; a few regrettably had to drop out early.
The tournament centered around accumulating points, rather than elimination. Players were randomly distributed into groups of three or four. The groups the same set of randomly determined Kingdom cards, with a different set drawn for each round. Based on how they ranked in their particular group in victory points accumulated, players received tourney points. Those tourney points determined the overall ranking for the night. I cadged the format from a jumble of threads on Boardgamegeek discussing how to administer Dominion tournaments. On reflection, there are some things that could have been done differently, like not altering the tourney point scale for a three person table. My friend Greg pointed out that effectively penalizes them for lacking a fourth players. It’d be better for them to use the same scale as a four person game to even out the disparity.
I can’t comment on play much, as I drifted around watching most of the night, except for a hand and a half of Monty Python Fluxx. In the second round, we had a shocking game that lasted fifteen to twenty minutes. Apparently two players aggressively bought up a few Kingdom decks to end the game early. They may also have cleaned out the Estate deck, or that may have been another group at the same table.
Rio Grande Games, publisher of Dominion, very generously agreed to donate prize support for the tournament. Unfortunately, it got snarled up somewhere in the shipping process. As a fill-in measure, I found Dyetub Media’s certificate generator and whipped up these Certificates of Pwnage using their Gothic template — Exocet is a long honored font in the gaming hobby. They commended top three rankers in the tournament for “Pwning All,” “Pwning All But One” and “Pwning All But Two,” respectively. Silly, but they made people laugh, which was the point.
That was the best part of the evening for me. Everyone had a good time. It was a very convivial atmosphere, with a lot more cross-talk and interaction than you sometimes see in a board game night. It’s easy for sub-groups to form and stick together. With a common element of interest like Dominion and the tournament format keeping everyone moving around, it seemed that people interacted a little more across those lines.
We also had five new Dominion players and two newcomers to Tuesday night board games as a whole, so hopefully they had a sufficiently fun time that they’ll be back for regular gaming. Burlington’s board game playing scene is steadily growing, at Quarterstaff Game, at the Fletcher Free Library and in people’s homes. I think we’re going to see some more of these destination-type events in the future, to complement the more casual open play nights.
Below the gallery of photos you’ll find some information about the tournament, specifically the Kingdom cards used in each round. I also have the point standings, but I’m not sure if I want to distribute those yet.
Kingdom Cards Used in the Tournament
These lists were randomly generated using the randomizer deck included with Dominion. All tables used the same set up cards in a given round, often with drastically different outcomes.
|Round 1||Round 2||Round 3|