The NARP Fortnightly #7: Tournament Dos and Don’ts

Hi everyone,

With the 2016 World Championships less than a week away, I thought now would be a good time to talk about tournament play. This article will list some “do”s and “don’t”s to be aware of if you’ll be joining us at Worlds, or for any tournament you attend in the future.

DO Know the Tournament Format Ahead of Time

For constructed-deck tournaments, be aware of whether it is Swiss or Match Play. For Swiss tournaments, be aware of whether the scoring will be done by differential or strength of schedule. Other formats to be familiar with are Cube and Sealed. Sealed in particular often comes with some zany rules; Worlds are a great time to try these formats out if you haven’t before.

DON’T Show Up Without Decks

If you need to borrow cards (or even whole decks), the community of SWCCG players is more than willing to help you out. Just make sure you do all of your borrowing, trading, and purchasing well before the tournament is ready to get started. Get in touch with other players ahead of time or ask some people the night before the tournament, but for a 10:00am start time, you shouldn’t be asking for a deck at 9:45.

DO Respect Your Opponent 

It’s customary for opponents to share a “good luck” handshake before a game, and a “good game” handshake after a game. More than this, though, be a good sport; we should all strive to be gracious in victory and magnanimous in defeat.

DON’T Expect Help 

Everywhere you look at a SWCCG tournament, you’ll see players helping each other. “I’m about to retrieve; do you want to play Secret Plans?” “Do you want Battle Plan before I drain?” “Can I go back and deploy something else?” It’s great that we help each other, and it’s especially great for players who are still learning the ins and outs of the game. However, every player has their own “boundary” of permissiveness. Some will let you take back an action, but not two actions, for example. Some will let you go back an action, but not a phase of a turn. Some will ask “Do you have an action?” instead of “Do you want Battle Plan?” And some won’t help you at all.

The bottom line is this: While you will often get help from your opponent, you should never expect it or rely on it. And if your opponent doesn’t help you, you certainly shouldn’t hold it against them.

DO Ask a Judge if You Aren’t Sure

The tournament judge is there to answer rules questions during the game. SWCCG can get very complex, so there is always plenty to keep the judge busy. If you’re not sure about a ruling, an errata, or a particular card interaction, don’t be afraid to call a judge over.

DON’T Comment on a Game in Progress

It’s pretty obvious that you shouldn’t audibly say “watch out for Stunning Leader” or “you should save that Sense for his Maul Strikes” during a game. What’s less obvious to some new players is something called “active judging.” Active judging is when someone watching a game says “no, that character can’t deploy there” or “remember to use a Force for that.” It’s a big no-no. Always let other players play their own games, even if you notice rules mistakes, and save the commentary for YouTube. 

DO Feel Free to Request a Hand Count, a Life Force Count, or a Reserve Deck Count

At any time, you’re allowed to:

-request a count of cards in your opponent’s hand
-count any deck or pile
-request a count of any of your opponent’s decks or piles

Remember to turn your Lost Pile face down before counting it; you’re not allowed to look at the cards in your Lost Pile unless a card allows you to do so.

This tip also applies to other “math” in the game. At any time, you can ask “What’s your total power at that site?” for example. It’s not a good idea to use this as a stalling tactic, but do remember that you are entitled to the information. 

DON’T Cheat

This should go without saying. Leave the “clever” shuffling tricks at home.

And finally… 

DO Have Fun!

Have a good time, whether you go 8-0, 0-8, or somewhere in between! For more tournament information, check out the Tournament Resources on the PC website.

Card of the Fortnight

This fortnight, I’m going to feature a pair of interrupts that find their way into a lot of decks: Imperial Command and Rebel Leadership (V). These cards do two important things:

  1. Pull generals and admirals out of your Reserve Deck.
  2. Either add a battle destiny or limit your opponent to one battle destiny, when you have either an admiral in space or a general on the ground.

For reference, here’s the complete list of characters that work with Command:

Admiral Chiraneau
Admiral Motti (and V)
Admiral Ozzel
Admiral Piett
General Grievous
General Hux
General Nevar
General Tagge
General Veers (and V)
Grand Admiral Thrawn

And the complete list that work with Leadership (V):

Admiral Ackbar (and V)
General Airen Cracken
General Calrissian
General Carlist Rieekan
General Crix Madine
General Dodonna
General Jar Jar
General McQuarrie
General Solo (and V)
General Walex Blissex
Gungan General
Mon Calamari Admiral
Obi-Wan Kenobi (and V)

A few highlights from those lists:

-Each side has a big, expensive character that can be pulled: Grievous and Obi-Wan.
-General Veers (V) is a popular target for Command to find. Then he causes a lot of mayhem on an immune <6 walker, and Command helps keep it alive.
-General Solo (V) can play a copy of Leadership from Reserve Deck during battle.
-Admiral Ackbar (V) is a popular target for Leadership (V). Along with Launching The Assault, they form the components of the Home One space package. As with Veers, Leadership helps keep your Home One alive once it hits the table.

What other uses can you think of for these interrupts? There are a lot of possibilities, and these cards will continue to be important as the Design & Development team makes more generals and admirals.

That wraps things up for this fortnight. Hope to see you in Princeton!

Peace, Love, and High Destinies,
Lenny (lsrubin)