Katimavik Bay Team Tournament

Dear Citizens of Katimavik Bay

I would like to organize a tournament for our city this season, to try to bring our players together. We have tried to have city tournaments in the past, but have always struggled to come up with the right formulae in terms of organization, scheduling and prize calculation. Our attempt at a weekend long tournament in season three was frought with problems in calculating which games qualified, with people playing outside the allotted times and others complaining that there were no games during the times scheduled. An attempt at a season long tournament in season five not only proved a scheduling nightmare and eventually petered out without holding the finals, but it also makes it very difficult for players to join in part way through the season. So now in our 7th season, I would like to try a different format, in the hope that this will be third time lucky.

My proposal is to hold a team tournament over a three month period between 1 July and 1 October. During this period, any players in KB would be permitted to play one team game per week which would count towards their tournament score. It would be up to each of the players to organize their "table" at a time and date which suits all the players involved, although we would also designate one evening a week specifically for those looking to just show up and play. This would eliminate any scheduling problems as the players would make their own schedule. You are not required to play with the same partner each week, in fact you are actively encouraged to play with different people. And you are not even required to play EVERY week - if you are a good player you should be able to make up enough points when you are available to cover any weeks when you are away.

Player Eligibility

Any player who is a citizen (premium account holder) of Katimavik Bay can play. There is no requirement to register in advance and players who join the city mid way through the competition will also be able to participate, although they will have an obvious disadvantage in terms of accumulating points. But prizes will only be awarded to those players who are still citizens of Katimavik Bay at the conclusion of the tournament.

Qualifying Games

Any team game involving four citizens from Katimavik Bay is eligible for the tournament. The games may be played in either the premium tavern or the community tournament room. If using the premium tavern, I suggest using the generic city password (kb) for games which are open for any member of the city to join or using a separate password if you have arranged to play a game with a specific four people.

All team games are naturally four player, with position 1s and 3 and position 2 and 4 acting as teams. Games should be cardstack original, unless otherwise agreed by all four players. All games should be played with the trade limit option ON

For a game to qualify, at least one player must take responsibility for posting the result in the team tournament folder which will be created in the city forum on Play Catan. The tournament organizers will then verify the result and award points accordingly.

Players may participate in more than one game, but only the first game they play in any given week will be counted towards their points tally.

Scoring Mechanism

The tournament will have a complex scoring mechanism, which will take into account the level of complexity of the games, as well as the margin of victory, as well as a number of other factors:

  • Each member of the winning team in each game will score 5 tournament points
  • Each member of the losing team in each game will score 2 tournament points, provided they completed the game
  • Each member of a team which loses by a margin 2 points or less will score an additional 1 point
  • Each player which plays a complex CK scenario will score an additional 2 points
  • Any player which quits a tournament game will receive -1 point
  • Any player which subs a tournament game may choose whether to score that game as his/her eligible game for the week.
  • Each time you play with a different partner, each player will receive 2 bonus points

Example: Vixter (5) and LGEM (18) play Team Through the Desert CK against Islandwonder (10) and Ceinwyn (11). Vixter and LGEM have played together before, but it is the first time that Islandwonder plays with Ceinwyn. The accumulative scores means that Vixter and LGEM win by 23-21. Vixter and LGEM each score 5 points for winning and 2 points for a complex CK scenario, thus 7 points each. Islandwonder and Ceinwyn each score 2 points for losing, plus 2 points for the complex CK scenario and an additional 1 point because they lost by only 2 points. In addition, they each score 2 bonus points because it is the first time they have played together. In this particular case, all four players would record 7 tournament points.

Other Rules

Players who are abusive towards other players (opponents or team mates) will be disqualified. Players can report abuse by private message to the tournament organizers, details of which will follow.

In addition, if you have organized a game and fail to show up within 15 minutes of the agreed time, you will not be permitted to record a score for that particular week. This is to prevent players regularly leaving other players hanging by failing to show up.


Instead of virtual gold which arrives too late in the season to be of much value, I would like to offer some real life prizes for this tournament. I therefore propose to donate a number of Catan coupons (which can be used by the players themselves or gifted to family members or friends), which will be distributed in the following manner:

  • 1 x 6 month coupon to the player who records the highest overall number of tournament points
  • 1 x 3 month coupon to the player who places second in tournament points
  • 1 x 1 month coupon to the player who places third in tournament points

In the event of equal point scores, the tie breaker will be first the highest number of game points without bonuses, followed by the lowest number of games played, followed by the highest number of different partners. In the event that the tie still cannot be broken, all players with the same scores will be placed equally.

In addition, the player(s) who record the highest number of different partners and the highest number of games played will receive a bonus one month coupon, unless they have already won a prize by placing in the top three. There will also be one additional three month coupon mystery prize, to be awarded at the discretion of the organizers, to reward any player who stands out in the competition in such areas as fair play, teaching games or for sheer quality of participation (eg players who join late in the season but still compete in good spirit).

Please note that this is a one off prize arrangement which is being offered to encourage participation to help revive the city and improve our playing strength. There should be no expectation that this arrangement will be available in future seasons or for other tournaments.

Questions and Answers

Why choose team play?

The tournament has a number of objectives. One is to bring members of the city together, so that they get to know each other better. Another is to help people to work together to achieve the shared objectives of the city. And another is to improve the knowledge of games and level of play of all our players in preparation for next season, when the metagame will be replaced with a more tournament based focus. Team play is designed to meet all those objectives, by encouraging people to get to know others in the city through playing together and by encouraging them to learn different games, strategies and playing styles from their team mates. You can learn a lot when you discuss with your team mate which is the best placement, where best to place the robber, what is the best time to use progress cards etc.

How do I open a team game?

When you go to open a game in the tavern, choose Catan games, then team games. You will have the option of basic CK, seafarers, classic seafarers or CK scenarios. Please remember to ensure that you enable the trade limit option.

How does team game work?

The 4 players play together in two teams (positions 1 and 3 and positions 2 and 4). Team mates can discuss strategy throughout the game, including placement, use of robber, use of cards etc. In addition, team mates can trade resources freely with each other. The trade limit option allows one free trade of up to three resources per turn, including at a rate of 3-0. So, for example, if player 1 is ending their turn with too many resources, they can pass up to 3 resources to player 3 without taking a resource in return. This can also be used, for example, to help a player obtain a metro or steal an opponent's metro.

The game ends when any one player ends their turn with the number of victory points required to win the game. However, the winning team will be the two players who together have the most victory points. Therefore, it is possible to "win" the game on your turn but still be in the losing team, if you have not ensured that your team mate has acquired sufficient points so that you jointly beat the score of the other team. Similarly, it is possible to finish the game in last place but still be on the winning team. The whole point of team is to coordinate with your partner to get the right result for the team, with the individual point tally having less relevance. In the event that both teams finish with equal points, then the winning team is the team whose player ended the game.

Do you need to have Skype to play team?

No. You can open a private chat with your team mate within the game mechanics. But you will find it a lot easier to play and to discuss strategy if you are talking to your partner over Skype. Skype is free to download and use but will require a mike or webcam if this isn't already built into your computer.

How can I find partners?

We will have a folder in the city Catan forum including a thread where players can look for partners and/or opponents. You can also use the Catan in game messages to contact players. Using the friends list is a good way to see when friends from the city are online and available to play. In addition, you can turn up in the tavern on the allocated team night and see whether there are games open for you to join.

Can I play with the same partner throughout the whole tournament?

Yes. But you will miss out on the bonus points available for playing with different people. The tournament has been designed this way both to enable players to experience the widest possible range of partners and playing styles, and also to ensure that there is no advantage to two strong players teaming up against the rest of the city. It is important to bear in mind that the real purpose of this tournament is to increase interaction within the city and also to enable the strong players to share their skills and tactical knowledge with other players.

Why do some scenarios score more points than others?

The complex CK scenarios take longer to play and involve a much deeper range of strategy than playing basic CK or seafarers without CK. Moreover, many of these scenarios are less well known and are often played in tournament. The introduction of bonus points for these scenarios is designed both to reward the extra time investment but also to encourage players to learn the more complex CK games.

Why are there bonus points for losing by a narrow victory?

This is aimed at improving the overall quality of play by encouraging players in a losing position to fight for every possible point. In the Catan tournament, there is a big difference to the placement for the city if players scrap for second or third place even when they can no longer win and it is this sort of mentality that we want to encourage as the city fortunes next season will be much more closely related to game play than how we work together in the metagame.

Do team games take longer than normal games?

Definitely, both because 4 player games always take a little longer, but also because more time is spent on discussion tactics and arranging trades. You should typically set aside a minimum of 90 minutes to complete a CK scenario team game.

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