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ROW III - The Boots & Tracks CMBB Tourney (Part 2)

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This is the new thread for the tournament. As is now customary, and for players' convenience, the first post to the thread contains the tourney manual. If you have a question, the answer is probably here.

Treeburst155 out.


Once I have 72 players signed up, I will divide them in a random manner (out of a hat) into three separate tourneys of 24 players each. I will then divide each tourney into 4 sections of 6 players each. This will also be done in a random manner.

Your section is where the "regular season" action is. You will play one game against each of the people in your section. You will also play each scenario one time. This means you will play five games in the "regular season". The sides you play, and your attack/defend duties could very well come out lopsided. You may play the Germans four times, or you may find yourself defending four times. The only guarantee regarding your matches is that you will play each scenario once, and each member of your section once.

The scenarios will be provided by the "Boots & Tracks" design team headed up by Scott Boston. They will be historical/semi-historical scenarios for the most part, and never before seen by the community.

The scenarios may or may not be balanced. Don't count on a fair fight! The scoring system will determine balance. It is possible to "lose" the battle, and still win if you perform better than the standard deviation from the median established for that side of the scenario. I will explain how this works later.

You do not need to understand the nitty-gritty of the scoring system. You need only be aware of the following:

1) Points for contested VL's will be split down the middle. This means final game scores will always total to 100. There is a very good reason for this I'll not get into now. If you think "gamey" you can probably figure it out.

2) Voluntary surrender is ALWAYS bad. Your opponent gets too many points for all the people he captures. You should always withdraw your people from a hopeless situation. This way you deprive your opponent of capture points. The game will auto-surrender you once your global morale drops to a certain point. Every unit that you successfully withdraw off the map will lower this global morale. Try to have all your people step off the map together once you are near the auto-surrender point. This prevents capture of units who would have made it off, but didn't, due to the auto-surrender.

If you score very poorly in relation to the standard deviation from the median for a scenario you will suffer a penalty (your score will be made even worse). This is to discourage surrender and careless play just to get the game over with. If your score is that low compared to others', we assume you surrendered or got purposely stupid. WITHDRAW YOUR TROOPS IF POSSIBLE when faced with a bad situation!!

I'm telling you all this because it is quite possible you will find yourself in a very bad situation due to deliberate scenario imbalance. Do not give up!! Withdraw!! The median score for your side of that scenario may only be 20 points. IOW you can "lose" and still win if you get your people to safety so they can fight again another day.

3) Your goal with each scenario is not so much to beat your opponent (could be impossible), but to get the highest score of the 36 people (three tourneys) who play that side of the particular scenario. Again, winning the game (in CM terms) may be virtually impossible due to imbalance. You never know what hand you may be dealt.


Each player will receive the schedule for his section only. Where your name is on the LEFT you will play the Allied side for that scenario. Along with the schedule of games you will receive a contact list with all the email addresses of your five opponents. When you receive these, the tourney is officially underway.

After this, over the course of the next several days, you will receive an email for each of the five scenarios. For games where you are the Allies you will find two briefing files attached, a general briefing and your Allied briefing. This email will also contain your password for that scenario. Your German opponent will start the game. To open the first file from him you will need to use the password I provide you. This will put you in the Allied setup phase.

If you are playing the German side you will also receive a secured saved game file in addition to the two briefings and password. By 'secured' I mean that the briefings have been stripped out, the game begun, and the passwords entered. This is the file you will use to start the PBEM game. It will be a .cme file, not a .txt file. Start the game just as you would any other new PBEM game. The only difference is that you will have to enter the password I provide you. You will find yourself in the Axis setup phase.


You will have 100 days to complete your games, starting on the day I send out the last file. This deadline will be strictly enforced!

The LOSER reports game results. If you end up being on the weak side of a few unbalanced scenarios you will find yourself having to report most of your games. This is, as they say, tough luck. smile.gif

Game Report email needs to have the subject, "Game Report". The body of the email must contain the following information:

Tourney Number (1-3), Scenario Title, Your username on this forum, the side you played, your score, your opponent's username and his score. The body of the email should then look like this if you are Fred:

Tourney 1, The Ambush, Fred (Axis) 37, Joe 43

Reporting games in this manner will save me a great deal of time. With 72 people I NEED to have games reported this way. Do not send me final game files. Keep these in a safe place in case of disputes.


No discussion of scenarios is allowed on the forum until ALL players in all three tourneys have completed a scenario. I will let you know when it is alright to talk about a scenario. It won't happen until near the end of the tourney.

No game results are to be revealed on the forum. You won't know who beat who until all is revealed at the end. Think before you post, and remember, no game scores, no blow by blow descriptions of the last movie, no general discussion about the scenarios, etc..


Your game scores will be recorded on an input file for the Nabla Scoring Program, created by Jarmo Hurri (Nabla). The Nabla program will crunch the scores and spit out your Nabla Score, also called your "Tourney Score", for each scenario. Below is what the program does:

1) It first looks for scores that do not add up to 100 due to contested/unoccupied VLs, and splits the difference between the players equally. For example, a final score of 70-20 would be converted to 75-25. Scores will always add up to 100 after this adjustment. There is a VERY good reason for doing this involving agreements between players designed to maximize their scores. Perhaps you can figure it out?

2) The median score for each side of all the scenarios is determined.

3) The difference between a player's score and the median score for the side he played will be determined for all scenarios.

4) The standard deviations from the median scores are determined for all scenarios. This value will always be the same for both sides of a given scenario due to #1 above.

5) The difference from the median will then be divided by the standard deviation resulting in the "normalized difference from the median".

6) The normalized difference from the median is then assigned a Nabla score for the scenario. This is done with a formula created by Nabla that is at work inside the scoring program.

7) The average of all a player's Nabla scores (one for each scenario) is then determined, resulting in the player's final tourney score. The high score in each section is the winner of the section.

Nabla is currently working on an excellent manual for his scoring system (in pdf format) that gets into the principles behind the system and the math involved. It will also contain a section for tourney managers explaining how to organize and run competitions with the system. The work is about 80% complete at this time.


Bonus points will be added to your final Tourney Score if you submit AARs. Each full credit AAR will be worth 4% of the highest player's tourney score (before adding his AARs). If you write five full credit AARs you will receive additional tourney points equal to 20% of the highest player's tourney score.

AARs will receive either full credit or half credit. You must write more than just a few short paragraphs for full credit. I will let you know if an AAR is too short soon after you send it to me. You don't have to write a book either. Just give us a fairly good description of how the game played out. You could choose to write a piece on a scenario that is more of a scenario review than an AAR if you want. The main thing we're looking for is constructive feedback.

You are not required to write AARs. You just get a few extra points if you do. This could put you ahead if you're in a tight race in your section.

The primary purpose of the AARs is to provide the scenario designers with feedback on their work. If you've ever designed a scenario for the community, you know how rare it is to get this feedback. Writing AARs is one way to express your thanks to the designers. Even negative feedback is welcome as long as it's constructive and not mean spirited.

Another thing AARs do is help people learn to improve their tactics. Every scenario is played 36 times in a tourney such as this. There are 36 other people who had to deal with the same tactical situations you did. It can be very instructive to learn how others handled things, especially if you did worse than most. (BTW, all the AARs will be sent to you upon request once you have completed your games.)

Lastly, by writing an AAR (or review) you are doing the community a small favor. This is because the designer can tweak the scenario based on feedback before releasing it to the community. Having a scenario played 36 times by 72 different people is a great test of a scenario. I think it's safe to say that very few, if any, scenarios get that degree of testing before they are put out to the public.

Those of us who enjoy these tournaments need new scenarios (security). In return for these scenarios the designers should get the feedback they like.


Submitting AARs

1)AARs should never be sent in with game results. Send them in a separate email.

2)AARs can be .txt, .doc, or .pdf files. Do not write them in the body of an email.

3)AARs should not be more than 4 MB UNcompressed. Screenshots can cause you to go over this limit easily. I would recommend the .pdf format if you want to include several screenshots.

4)In the subject line of emails containing attached AARs, write your username and the scenario name. For example: Madmatt, The Ambush


Everybody makes it to the playoffs if they want! However, only the four

section winners from each tourney of 24 will be eligible for the prizes.

The section winners of each tourney will do battle among themselves in a

3 game round robin using new Boots & Tracks scenarios. This means that,

in the end, there will be one winner for each of the 24-player tourneys.

All non-section winners who want to play the Finals scenarios will be

separated into groups of 4 for the same 3 game round robin. The sections

will be determined at random.

These non-prize eligible sections are still important to the tourney.

Their scores will be used to give us an accurate median with which to

score the prize eligible players. Players in these sections can consider

the Finals to be a mini-tourney. Their scores will be crunched and

the section winners announced.

Bonus points will be awarded to the prize eligible finalists for AARs

as described above.


Charl Theron (WineCape), of South Africa, will send each of the three

tourney champs six different bottles of fine South African wine,

shipping paid by him.

NOTE: Since the 9/11 nightmare, laws concerning the importing of

wine have been tightened, especially in the US. For example, in

Arkansas, you cannot receive wine from abroad unless you are an official

importer. So far, only one prize has been undeliverable. That

involved a shipment to Brazil that occurred BEFORE 9/11.

Still, it is quite possible that your state (or country) will not

let you receive the wines. If this is the case, your prize can be

shipped to a friend or relative somewhere else where the laws are

not so strict. WineCape is familiar with the import laws and can

help you find a place if there is a problem. That is the best

we can do.


Incomplete games are the one thing the Nabla Scoring System does not tolerate well. However, considering the new improvements to the scoring system (Standard Deviation), and the sheer size of the tourney, this problem is alleviated some with regard to the tourney as a whole. Below is how MIAs and withdrawals will be handled:

For the first 30 days of the tournament, replacements will be recruited who will take over the games in progress, just as we've done in the past.

After 30 days, no replacements. This will result in unfinished games at the end. These games will be scored by me, based on correspondence with the players involved, and possibly game files. If you have an incomplete game at the tourney deadline for ANY reason, you can count on one of three outcomes:

1) You win at the level of the standard deviation from the median

2) You are assigned the median score

3) You lose at the level of the standard deviation from the median

If your opponent withdraws from the tourney, or is determined to be the cause of the game not getting finished on time, you get #1 above for that game.

If I cannot determine who caused a game to go unfinished (both players?), the game will be scored at the median (#2).

If you withdraw, or have caused a game to go unfinished (slow turnaround) you will get #3 above.

If #2 or #3 is applied to even ONE of your games for ANY reason, you are ineligible to win your section! If you're getting a slow turn rate from an opponent, you need to keep me informed (weekly notes on progress). This way, if the game goes unfinished, I have a history to go by which will likely keep me from assigning the #2 outcome above in questionable situations. I will also email you at the end requesting "your side of the story".

The 100 day deadline for game completion will be strictly enforced!! This is because the tourney is big enough that I can get accurate medians even if 1/3 of the games go incomplete.

Do your section a favor. Finish your games. If you are losing badly, keep in mind that your opponent is winning and probably enjoying himself immensely. Let him have his fun, and do your best anyway. Dropping out of sight when you are losing is desertion under fire!

[ January 07, 2003, 07:53 PM: Message edited by: Treeburst155 ]

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All players should have their files for two scenarios at this time. I just received two more scenarios from Kingfish. I will send these out tomorrow. It's a tedious job. I must be very careful that the correct files and passwords go to each player. One slip-up and FOW is trashed for a lot of people. For this reason, I will only send out files when I am fresh.

Attention Replacements!

This means:

1) sgtabell

2) Beckman

3) Ace Pilot

4) Cuzn

5) Mark Gallear

6) White4

7) Diceman

8) Ivan_RU

9) Knaust

10) NotreDame89

11) Tanaka

12) Ratman

13) Liken

Post here if you would like to play in an "overflow section". You should consider the following first:

1)The overflow section(s) would not be eligible for the prizes.

2) You would not be eligible to replace people who withdraw from the main event. We are likely to lose a few over the next 30 days. Most of the games will be in the early stages or not started at all when you take over. Even if underway, your opponent MAY agree to a restart if you want one. You would be passing up this opportunity.

3) If you complete your games in the overflow section(s) in a timely manner you will be an ROW veteran in good standing for future tournaments (if you aren't already).

4) The overflow section(s) will be scored just like the main event, with the section winners announced. You can play in the Finals just like the non-section winners from the main event if you wish.

In short, the only difference is that there are no prizes for the overflow section(s). Everything else is the same.

Post here if you want to see overflow sections!

Treeburst155 out.

[ January 07, 2003, 08:57 PM: Message edited by: Treeburst155 ]

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Just to keep this on the top. Mick OZ and I have exchanged moves in (censored). Planning on moving my forces to (censored) and doing a sneaky (censored) slide. Glad to have this (censored) underway!

[ January 08, 2003, 07:43 PM: Message edited by: Fate ]

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I just e-mailed the 5th scenario to Treeburst, so you guys are set. Good Luck to all.

If I can ask two things:

1) Please do your best to not divulge FOW sensitive info at any time. The old vets like Holien and John Kettler know what I'm talking about, but the new guys might not. Please keep it underwraps until everyone finishes the scenario. At some point in the future I will start a ROW III thread in the scenario forum. There you can freely discuss the scenario, provide feedback (see below) and generally sound off. Until then, enjoy the fog ;)

2) Please set aside some time to write up an AAR for each of the scenarios. I cannot stress enough how important this is. Not only do you gain bonus points from them, but even more importantly it provides the designers with much needed, and appreciated, feedback. In addition, it might just make it unto our website.

Thanks, and enjoy the tourney.

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Ok,,,ok,,,so I am the number one replacement in line?? !!!! if so,,,who is going to drop,,,hmmm??? I will pay you, I will sleep...ok,,,maybe not?

No, not interested in the overflow, I want meat like all the other old men!

Please let me know when I can get more involved, and a suggestion or question, is there information you want to send to the replacements, just to have them come up to speed fast?


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Hmmm Fish Boy I don't know why you singled me and Rocket man out...


You chaps do know what you are doing!!!

Here am I trying to concentrate on work and you keep posting these darn messages indicating that you are playing while I am working...

Stop it!!!!

As for the games I have a set-up to do and will look into this when I get home. Snow allowing as I might be snowed in at work....



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Lots to address here....


You should have received briefings and a password ONLY for "The Beast" because you are the Allies in that one. Your German opponent will start the game.

You should have received briefings AND a saved game file for "Hosszupalyi", along with a password to open the file. Because you are the Germans in this one, you start the game. You will find yourself in the setup phase.


1) JAT

2) Grog Dorosh

3) Redwolf

4) Frunze

5) Cpl Carrot

6) Combined Arms

7) mPisi

8) Bimmer

9) a1steaks

10) Spanish Bombs

11) Thumpre

12) Tuomas


14) Mikeydz

15) Holien

16) Juha A

17) Pixelmaster

18) jjelinek

19) Tero

20) The_Capt

21) Ted

22) Bertram

23) Zealotburner

24) Fate

25) Jon_L

26) Mick_OZ

27) John Kettler

28) Kanonier Reichmann

29) MrSpkr

30) TexasToast

31) U8led

32) Cpt T

33) Kunstler

34) Enoch

35) Jeb

36) Scheer

37) Vadr

38) Heavy Drop

39) JPS

40) Sgt_Gold

41) Gunnersman

42) WadePM

43) Lord Dragon

44) Ron A

45) endit

46) Matt Green

ROW Newbies admitted:

47) Nidan1

48) Frontovik

49) Red 6

50) Frenchy

51) Legend42

52) Cyrano

53) Jaws

54) Shocktrooper

55) Sgt CDAT

56) Seahawk

57) Lt Bull

58) Space Hamster

59) Sripe

60) Joakim Ruud

61) James Crowley

62) SlicerW

63) Nolloff

64) Steve Fielding

65) StoneAge

66) Joe Cz

67) Deadly 88

68) SuperSlug

69) Ryddle

70) Major Victory

71) Flammenwerfer

72) Wellsonian

Replacement List:

1) sgtabell

2) Beckman

3) Ace Pilot

4) Cuzn

5) Mark Gallear

6) White4

7) Diceman

8) Ivan_RU

9) Knaust

10) NotreDame89

11) Tanaka

12) Ratman

13) Liken


Chances are you will get in if you pass on an overflow section; but, you never know for sure. Also, there is a good chance you would have to take up games in progress if you get in. They won't be very far along, but you can't get a restart unless your opponent agrees to it. Some of my previous replacements actually LIKE taking over for fallen commanders. It's a tough job though. If I were #1 on the list, I would wait. If I were #3 on the list I would go for the overflow option. If I were #2 on the list, I wouldn't be able to make up my mind. smile.gif Sign up earlier next time to avoid the dilemma! smile.gif


LOL! Fat chance.


Get back to work!

I'm off to secure the last three scenarios and begin sending them out. I'm hoping to get two more out today before burnout sets in. Barring some unforseen catastrophe, all files will be delivered by late tomorrow (GMT -6). This will make the Official Game Completion Deadline be Easter Sunday, April 20th!!

Treeburst155 out.

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First off let me say: Kunstler did you get my turn?

Now a question concering the Nabla scoring system. For those of us who do not have a background in statistics, does all that you have explained mean that you will be scoring on a curve, if you will, much how teachers grade on a curve?

PS: Good luck to all

The other Matt

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Attention Tuomas!,

Your ISP is rejecting my emails. I'm getting something about "over quota" from your ISP. This is the address I am using: tnummela@cc.hut.fi

Ace Pilot,

Nobody loses their place on the replacement list until briefings and gamefiles are passed out to the overflow section, thereby blowing FOW.


Get out of bed, and get back to work!


Hmmmm.....I'll resend. Hopefully this isn't an ISP problem; but if it is, Kingfish will get the files to you.


Everybody makes the replacement list. I either never received, or accidently deleted your email. I delete lots of spam every day. Every once in awhile I delete something I shouldn't have, especially if it's from an unknown email address. I try to be careful, but it's entirely possible I messed up. :( I'm truly sorry if I did this to you. I will add you to the end of the replacement list.


Yes, it is accurate to say you are being "scored on a curve".

To All,

Every file for every game has been sent out. So far I know of only two problems, Nidan1 and Tuomas. If you did not receive FIVE emails from me with an attachment, let me know ASAP. Thanks!!

Treeburst155 out.

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Your allied "Beast" briefings and password have been re-sent to you.


I will group email all of you at once concerning possible overflow sections. I think we should wait at least a week before setting up the sections. There's a good chance we may have several early withdrawals. It has happened before. So, if you're on the replacement list, hang loose. Any overflow sections would not be subject to the deadlines anyway.


Send me an email, please. Make the subject, "Signup". In the body type your forum name and the email address you would like to use for tourney related mail. I need to get you on my master list.

To all participants,

Fight On!!

Treeburst155 out.

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