Often times a LGS will run events for gaming. A draft for MTG, a tournament for Splendor, or even a league for an LCG. They will run these events to garner interest in a community surrounding a game or to build upon an already established community. These events are also a great time for most people to come to learn a game, because there is no better concentrated knowledge base than people who like to partake in competitive play for their favorite games. Leagues are my favorite types of these events. Recently, my FLGS finished their first Android: Netrunner league. What is a leauge, you ask? What kind of games can have league play? Do I get a uniform? These are great questions and they will be discussed today..well maybe not the last one.
A league for a game typically consists of a group of people getting together for multiple sessions over a fixed length of time playing the game of choice. The participants keep track of points earned from playing and once the league was over the player with the most points usually get some sort of prize or commendation. Some leagues exist solely to build a community of players and will not charge any entry fee. The hosting LGS may offer some kind of prize or tracking system but these types of free leagues are usually kept track of by the players. Other times a league requires people to pay to play. These leagues are usually ones with a pre-established community or that have really cool prizes! For MTG a league would probably cost an entry price and the money would be pooled together and distributed between the winners. In a league for something like Warhammer 40k Conquest FFG releases prize kits for stores to buy which then are used as prize support for the league, hence an entry fee is usually to cover the cost of the kit. The Netrunner league we had was supported by two kits and we had a buy in for it. But how did we determine who got what prizes at the end?
In our league we used two systems for keeping track of points. The first was a system to track win/losses. Each win got you a certain amount of points and the top 3 players at the end got to choose their prizes first for the first kit. The second system was an achievement system where players gain points for performing certain tasks during a game. Again the top 3 players get to choose prizes first form the second kit. This was a great system because it promoted interesting deck-building tactics and fun play choices! It worked really well for us and we had a lot of people say they had a good time. Seems great right but this example is only for Netrunner. What about other games?
Typically leagues are ran for card games; but, I think there is an argument for any multiple player competitive game to have a league. In fact, Asmodee was promoting tournament play for their games via a program called AsmOPlay. Splendor, 7 Wonders, and Cash and Guns all got tournament support last year. This is interesting as if a group really loved these games they could have prize support for a league if they so wished. As far as an achievement system for board games, who better to come up with achievements for a game than the players that know the strategy and have the most interest in doing fun stuff! I think at the very least it is an interesting idea.
One of the regular for Star Wars Armada has a very interesting league idea. Each game would be a battle over control of a planet. The winning player gets a bonus in future games based on what planets they control. It seemed like a very interesting idea and I am excited to see what he comes up with!
Well that is my two cents on leagues as gaming events. Have any interesting leagues that you have partaken in? Let us know in the comments. I will see you next time!