The 2017-19 War at Sea tournament uses a Swiss Elimination format. There will be five rounds of Swiss play:

  • Pairings for the first round will determined completely randomly. (GM note: Previous tournaments have involved seeding players by AREA rating in the first round, but I prefer a more inclusive format that doesn't automatically favor better players over lesser players.)
  • After the first round, everyone will play others with identical won-lost records as far as possible. (For example, if after three rounds you have won two games and lost one, you will play another player with a 2-1 record.) When multiple players are tied with the same record, pairings will be determined randomly.
  • Pairings will always be arranged so that no two players face each other multiple times during the Swiss portion of the tournament. (Players may face each other again in the Single Elimination playoffs after previously meeting in a Swiss round.)
  • Players may drop in and out of the Swiss portion of the tournament at any time – you may play in one round, some rounds, or every round. Of course, players who do not play every round have a correspondingly smaller chance of advancing to the Single Elimination playoffs.
  • If there is an odd number of players who want to participate in any given Swiss round, the GM will ask all tournament entrants if they are willing to play a second game that round as an eliminator - the player selected as the eliminator will be determined randomly from among all volunteers. (This game will not count toward the eliminator's tournament standings but will count toward the player's AREA ranking.) The player chosen to face the eliminator will be determined randomly among those players with the fewest tournament points.

Points in the Swiss portion of the tournament will be awarded as follows:

  • A win by two or more POC is worth 10 points
  • A win by less than two POC is worth 8 points
  • A draw is worth 5 points
  • A loss by fewer than two POC is worth 2 points
  • A loss by two or more POC is worth 0 points

All tournament points are determined by the final POC score after any bid is taken into account. 8-point wins and 5-point draws are only possible if all eight turns of a game have been completed - if a player resigns, he gets 0 points and his opponent gets 10 points regardless of the current POC count.


After five Swiss rounds, the six players with the most points advance to Single Elimination quarterfinals (#3 vs. #6 and #4 vs. #5), semifinals (#1 plays the lower remaining seed and #2 plays the higher remaining seed) and final.

  • Ties in the Swiss standings will be resolved by 1) head-to-head results, if applicable, 2) strength of schedule, 3) most games played, 4) most wins, 5) most Axis wins and then 6) a random die roll, in that order. Strength of schedule is calculated by dividing the number of points accumulated by your opponents by the number of games they have played.
  • If there is a draw in the Single Elimination playoffs, the player who finished higher in the Swiss portion of the tournament will advance (or win the tournament if there is a draw in the final), but the result will be recorded as a draw for AREA purposes.