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Architects of the Realms of Valhalla Discussion and presentation of the maps approved by the ARV.


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  #1  
Old October 7th, 2019, 07:39 PM
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Perspectives From Tournament Directors

I recently asked some tournament directors within the community about their map preferences. Their answers were very enlightening to me as a mapmaker, and formed the foundation for a map article I wrote for the Heroscape Codex.

You can read that article here.

I would also advise you to check out this interview by @BiggaBullfrog with @OrcElfArmyOne , the selector of maps for GenCon, as I think the two articles complement each other nicely.


Because of the nature of the article, I didn't have as much space to include all of their wonderful insights, so I decided to do so in this thread. I would encourage anyone, especially mapmakers, to take a look at their responses to questions about how they pick maps for their events. If you are an event director and would like to add your perspective, please feel free to send me a PM with your responses to the questions! I think it's valuable for mapmakers to know what tournament directors are looking for as they design maps that they hope will see the tournament table!


The Questions:
- What is your process like for choosing maps for your tournament pool?
- What are some characteristics you look for in the maps you select? What are some characteristics you try to avoid?
- What advice would you give to map designers who aim to create tournament worthy maps?
- What is one of your favorite tournament maps to play on and why?


The Responses:

Chris Perkins
Spoiler Alert!


Dad_Scaper
Spoiler Alert!


itsbuzzi
Spoiler Alert!


NecroBlade
Spoiler Alert!


Scytale
Spoiler Alert!


Xotli
Spoiler Alert!

Other director's perspectives will be added as I receive permission to post their responses.

Check out my maps here and my customs here

Last edited by Flash_19; October 19th, 2019 at 09:42 PM. Reason: Added NecroBlade's Perspective
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  #2  
Old October 7th, 2019, 07:45 PM
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OrcElfArmyOne OrcElfArmyOne is online now
 
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Re: Perspectives From Tournament Directors

It’s cool to see more discussion on maps. Thanks for doing this, I’m enjoying reading other people’s thoughts on the map selection process!
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  #3  
Old October 8th, 2019, 02:10 PM
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Re: Perspectives From Tournament Directors

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrcElfArmyOne View Post
Itís cool to see more discussion on maps. Thanks for doing this, Iím enjoying reading other peopleís thoughts on the map selection process!
I agree! Hopefully we'll get a few more perspectives up here soon to add to the conversation. @kevindola , @Xotli , @NecroBlade

Check out my maps here and my customs here
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Old October 8th, 2019, 08:55 PM
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Re: Perspectives From Tournament Directors

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrcElfArmyOne View Post
Itís cool to see more discussion on maps. Thanks for doing this, Iím enjoying reading other peopleís thoughts on the map selection process!
Echo this! Reading what others think about maps and map selection is always a treat. Thanks so much for organizing this, @Flash_19 !
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  #5  
Old October 8th, 2019, 11:41 PM
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Re: Perspectives From Tournament Directors

What an interesting thread! Thank you for doing these interviews, Flash, and thank you for sharing what you learned.

I hope my own thoughts are welcome also. It's interesting to see that my mind immediately went to different places from where these other guys' minds went, because we all have different restrictions in our microclimates.

- What is your process like for choosing maps for your tournament pool?
1. I have to believe it is really and truly a *good* map. Superior balance for competitive play. That has to be first, for reasons I describe in my "How To Host Your First Tournament" thread, linked in my signature block, below.

2. Some of the Masters. I will always have a couple of traditional-style maps from guys like dignan and gamebear. This is to balance out the more experimental ones I also want to try out: I can't go all-in for new stuff, and risk the possibility of more than one or two that leave a bad taste in people's mouths.

3. I make an effort to honor the guys making maps *now*. In my NHSD event coming up Saturday, I have maps from @Sir Heroscape , @BiggaBullfrog , and maybe @this guy . They do great work, and I want to encourage them, and their maps are worthy (subject to the testing we are now doing ).

4. I want some maps that are real eye candy on the table. Part of what we do at tournaments is sell the hobby to passersby, and to remind our own contestants that what we do is just not like other board games. So I value maps that look special on the table, like dignan's Trepidation:

It takes up a whole table. It uses a lot of terrain. But it is *gorgeous*, and it's balanced, and so I have selected it many times. It is a centerpiece.

- What are some characteristics you look for in the maps you select? What are some characteristics you try to avoid?

I try to avoid maps that look like the pathing is too restrictive. That's tricky, because my events also do not use glyphs, so maps that need the glyphs to open all the way up are also not good for me.

I also try to avoid maps with high ground away from road. For me, when I'm flipping through lots of choices quickly, that's a signal that there might be a problem with station-to-station pitched battles, which I don't care for. So I tend not to pick those, maybe unfairly, because I don't like to play that way.

I try to balance maps for terrain usage across the whole event. I've noticed that most people, myself included, have only one BftU. So a map that needs 2 of them is no good, but otherwise map restrictions are not an issue. Though I suppose more than 2 RttFFs might be a disqualifier, too.

- What advice would you give to map designers who aim to create tournament worthy maps?
The hardest maps for me to find are 4 player free-for-all style maps. That's what I want, for my multiplayer FFA events. I am aware that I might be marching in a Parade of One, though, looking for that particular thing.

- What is one of your favorite tournament maps to play on and why?
This one:

Because I made it. I haven't selected it in a tournament in years, but an excellent player recently told me he thought it was good, so I am blowing the dust off and building it for this weekend's event.

C3V "Easily the best quality classic customs I have ever seen."
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Last edited by Dad_Scaper; October 9th, 2019 at 10:06 AM.
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  #6  
Old October 9th, 2019, 09:54 AM
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Re: Perspectives From Tournament Directors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper View Post
I hope my own thoughts are welcome also.
Most definitely! I appreciate you sharing your expertise with us! I'll get your response added to the OP.

Check out my maps here and my customs here
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  #7  
Old October 9th, 2019, 10:41 AM
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Re: Perspectives From Tournament Directors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Typhon2222 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrcElfArmyOne View Post
Itís cool to see more discussion on maps. Thanks for doing this, Iím enjoying reading other peopleís thoughts on the map selection process!
Echo this! Reading what others think about maps and map selection is always a treat. Thanks so much for organizing this, @Flash_19 !
Thanks Typhon2222! I'm glad others are benefiting from it.

Once again, if anyone reading this has experience directing tournaments and you want to make your perspective known, please let me know! I hope to get many more perspectives here.

Check out my maps here and my customs here
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  #8  
Old October 10th, 2019, 08:16 PM
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Re: Perspectives From Tournament Directors

Just posted @Xotli 's perspective!

Xotli
Spoiler Alert!

Check out my maps here and my customs here
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  #9  
Old October 11th, 2019, 11:39 PM
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Re: Perspectives From Tournament Directors

Quote:
Originally Posted by xotli
Quick addendum ... one of the shortcuts I use when gathering all the data is to use a SQL query on the database to get all the links to the maps. That means that maps that aren't hosted on the site (i.e. in the downloads section) don't get into my list.
so cool! now I want your spreadsheet
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Old October 12th, 2019, 12:57 PM
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Re: Perspectives From Tournament Directors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Heroscape View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by xotli
Quick addendum ... one of the shortcuts I use when gathering all the data is to use a SQL query on the database to get all the links to the maps. That means that maps that aren't hosted on the site (i.e. in the downloads section) don't get into my list.
so cool! now I want your spreadsheet
I would also like to see this spreadsheet. It sounds very similar to one I made. Instead of each map designated by set I dove very deep and have maps per piece. Very hard to retain accuracy but my collection has tons of various pieces so counting per set wouldn't work for me as many of my pieces would not be used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xotli
Please, for the love of all that is holy, if you're going to put ice and snow on your map, make sure the instructions say whether it's heavy snow and/or slippery ice. I know I just said these were in no particular order, but this really is my number one request. With a bullet.
1000% yes. Every time a new ARV map is released I've been asking what these rules are. I can make them myself as you do when your hand is forced and I would rather have the official ruling from the person whom made the map. Along these lines:

Quote:
Originally Posted by xotli
Draugur is probably my favorite ice map right now (despite not specifying heavy snow/slippery ice)
I have this map in my spreadsheet as heavy snow and normal ice. I know I wouldn't have made this designation myself without getting the official ruling but I can't seem to find where I came up with that conclusion. Maybe that can help?

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Classic Card Scans & Tourney Map Building Requirements Excel Sheet
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  #11  
Old October 12th, 2019, 01:27 PM
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Re: Perspectives From Tournament Directors

Quote:
Originally Posted by itsbuzzi View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by xotli
Please, for the love of all that is holy, if you're going to put ice and snow on your map, make sure the instructions say whether it's heavy snow and/or slippery ice. I know I just said these were in no particular order, but this really is my number one request. With a bullet.
1000% yes. Every time a new ARV map is released I've been asking what these rules are. I can make them myself as you do when your hand is forced and I would rather have the official ruling from the person whom made the map.

I am guilty of this for sure. I'll do better.

Having said that, it is my opinion that if there wasn't anything mentioned in the build instructions, the default should be assumed to be no heavy snow or slippery ice (especially on a tournament style map where heavy snow and/or slippery ice can break the map in the favor of ranged armies). But that's just me speaking from my very biased perspective. Feel free to disagree.

Check out my maps here and my customs here
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  #12  
Old October 12th, 2019, 02:42 PM
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OrcElfArmyOne OrcElfArmyOne is online now
 
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Re: Perspectives From Tournament Directors

Yeah, a good rule of thumb is normal unless otherwise stated.
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