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FFG Floor Rules

Right; but choosing to not play a game is manipulating the results of a tournament. Its cheating and its potentially denying another person entry into the cut, so it is also collusion. I am very happy this practice isn’t tolerated because not having the rule definitely benefits those in the “good old boys club” more than anyone else.

I very much agree with the philosophy that you’re there to play the game. If you don’t want to play the game, then don’t enter a tournament that’s all about playing the game. Manipulating tournament results is a different game entirely.


Since I’m seeing purely emotional arguments for preventing ID, it’s not likely that any argument will work. However, out of my own curiosity, I ran a couple of scenarios for a 32-player tournament, to see if an ID would actually manipulate the tournament results.

First, I did it with players only sweeping their opponents. In the fifth round, there are two people with 16 points. If they ID, both make the cut, being the highest number of points at 18. If they did not ID, and one of them got swept, then we would have 1 person at 20, and five players at 16. Both of the players involved in the ‘Do I ID?’ decision made the cut even if one of them was swept. More importantly, there were 8 people at 12 points after round 4; they do not want to ID because there would be 8 people at 14 after round 5, so it would go to tiebreaks, which if it would go to tiebreakers, people won’t ID.

First caveat: This was a tournament with only sweeps and no splits. That’s not likely to ever happen.
Second caveat: It was an exact power of 2 for the number of players, which does affect the math. This is rare.

(I ran another scenario where 32 players, and half of all the matches split and half of them sweep… After round 4, there’s still two people who are guaranteed into the cut even if one of them is swept, so an ID from those two players doesn’t affect the tournament. It was complicated. I suspect that most, if not all, tournaments end up in this position. And ultimately, if you are unsure whether you’re guaranteed for the cut, you shouldn’t ID.)

Ultimately, allowing ID is a function to allow people who don’t need to play a game, to not be required to play a game.


You made the cut by winning enough to be in a position where you didn’t need to play any more games, it was obvious and guaranteed for you to make the cut. If you’re uncertain that you’ll make the cut by ID, play out the game.

Are you under the impression that you can make a Top 8 by ID’ing all of your rounds? You still have to play and win before you can ID successfully.

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It’d be one thing to say “These two players are guaranteed into the cut no matter what, they don’t need to play” if the TO came around and said that. But, that’s never who I hear about ID’ing when I’m at tournaments. There are always people near the bottom of the cut who if they ID have a better chance to make it in. Or a person who will make it who lies to their opponent and says they will in order to guarantee his spot.

I’ve seen it in tournaments. I know it works. I’ve done it in Magic to guarantee half boxes and the like for flights at pre-releases. So, I’m not innocent here and I’m familiar with it. Even having used the technique I’m very much against it. It’s easy to take the easy route, especially after a long day, but its not fair to those around you.

More importantly, in swiss your ranking in the cut affects pairings. So the top players likely do have to play to ensure the most optimal cut experience. If they ID, both will gain an advantage during the cut whereas previously perhaps only one would have.

In both scenarios I ran, there were enough people who weren’t the top 2 players such that if you ID’d, you’d still only possibly make it.

(The scenario with only sweeps was 100%, it would go to tiebreakers… The other with half and half was… Complicated. There was a subset of players who if they were paired against each other, could ID and guarantee a spot, though it would be a low seed. In that situation, there are 3 12-point players. If two of them played each other, and one was swept, there were potentially 14 12+ point players, but only potentially eight 14+ point players. So an ID benefits both in this case, but it still means that someone would’ve had to go to tiebreakers instead of being completely out of the running for top 8.)

With ID: Win a bunch in the first four rounds, then be guaranteed of making Top 8. (At least 6-2, and 7-3 makes the cut.)
Without ID: Win a bunch in the first four rounds, then maybe get unlucky in the games, and the tiebreakers, and don’t make Top 8. (6-4 possibly goes to tiebreakers…)
Which is worse? One of these two results happened due to player skill… The other one followed tournament rules.

No, I understand how ID’s work. But, there are common scenarios that have already been pointed out where you could ID most of the rounds you’ve played and make the top cut, which is rather silly.

The overall context of my post was the community is generally not in favor of ID’s. So I don’t want to brag that I made the top cut because I cheated. I play because I enjoy the game and I want to win legitimately. I don’t want to have a hushed conversation with my opponent so we can both get a playmat.

To take your argument to an admittedly somewhat overemphasised conclusion, but one which is hopefully illustrative of the principle:

If I take a gun to the tournament and point it at the tournament organiser’s head and kindly ask him to make sure I have enough points to proceed when he tallies up, I imagine that I would be pretty likely to make the cut.

That much is fact. By taking a gun, I would have made sure I was in a position where I didn’t need to play any more games to proceed.

The question is: is that Netrunner? Or is it going outside the rules (cheating)?

Just because something is practically effective, doesn’t make it either morally right or right within the rules of Netrunner. You do not seem to make any distinction between what is right and what is practical.

In the GLC finals, we allowed IDs. @eric_c and I were in the top seat in the fifth and final round of Swiss. He initially, he noted we should ID. However, checking the SOS, he wasn’t so sure. I was pretty sure he’d make it regardless, but left it on him. We ended up splitting, Ending in seeds 1 and 2 (lots of splits below us). If I swept him, he still may have made it.

Honestly, it would’ve been nice to just have a little more time for a break before the elims. That’s the main draw of an ID, IMHO. Most of the time, seeding doesn’t matter, and some downtime does. I’m still pro-ID; it’s the reward for blasting through the Swiss. Everyone notes it’s about playing the game, but, I already did, and well, if I’m at the top table, and will be playing a bit more meaningful ANR after the cut as a result. It’s not about not wanting to play the game. It’s about playing the metagame.


The difference is that I’m still within tournament mechanics, and a gun is not.

We can prove that I’m within tournament mechanics, because my match result is identical to this other guy beside me who Split their match.

Note: A Netrunner Tournament is not the same as a Game of Netrunner. There exists a meta-game, that may also be played. The tournament defines the rules for the meta-game.

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I find this hard to believe. Sure, I’ve seen tons of splits at the top tables in the last round or two of Swiss, but, to be up there, you had to have swept at least two rounds. MAYBE in a small SC, where EVERYone is splitting, I can see that. Any significant tournament of size, with a cut to only top 8, needs sweeps. For example, in Madison, WI’s Regional, I had to sweep out my final 3 rounds to have a shot, and ended with the seventh seed. That allowed me to fight through to second (with Whizz) place. However, I desperately needed those sweeps. Now, if someone is comfortable at the top tables, having swept the first 3-4 rounds, they have the luxury of splitting or IDs I didn’t. I’m sure there were people even near the cut I jumped with my last sweep (of @gumOnShoe, no less) of the day. IDs are a gambit that doesn’t always work in ANR, because of the 2 game format. I don’t have an issue with letting people roll the dice on them.

(OTOH anecdotal hand, I had one of the more epic games of ANR in my life that was completely meaningless in the final round of Swiss last year at Worlds v. @mtgred.)


I’m still sore on that. I’d have gladly traded you the SC for the Regional. :frowning:

I’m an egalitarian though; doing well in swiss in my mind doesn’t mean you should get a break and have a leg over those fighting to make the cut. You should be given the opportunity to tilt too.


Exactly! And part of the rules for the meta-game (the tournament) are that players should honestly play out however many games of Netrunner, trying their best to win each and not colluding to artificially contrive results.

By agreeing to artificially draw games, you are going outside of the tournament mechanics, which insist that you play games honestly.

The fact that the tournament rules require you to engage with the tournament in a manner which is not game-theory optimal if the rules against collusion didn’t exist, does not invalidate the rule!

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I would actually say that the problem is that the tournament is supposed to measure your skill at netrunner. It is designed to find the “best” players. And when you ID, you are specifically altering the results of that tournament such that the swiss results are no longer accurate. Yes, you can do things to make your tournament easier. You can play the system to gain an advantage.

But that is not playing netrunner. And no matter how you argue it, I can’t see it otherwise.


This was pointed out by @Xenasis in a early post:

I don’t think it happens much because most players know ID’s are not allowed and don’t want to risk getting disqualified. But, if it was allowed I think a lot more players would take that option.

I am beginning to wonder if the optimal tournament structure isn’t for the organisers to decide on a scoring system (with timed win conditions, cut size and all the rest of it), place it in a sealed envelope and not disclose it to the players until after all the matches are played. Just tell them to play Netrunner and try their best to win. You can’t cheat the metagame if you don’t know the metarules!

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Yeah, ok. I’m not getting through here, so I’ll just leave it at that.


runs some numbers
It appears to work in cases where the tournament is a relatively even field of skill. The reason there is that if you’ve managed to sweep two matches, that’s extremely rare, as most matches should be Splitting.
It doesn’t work where you have at least Top X people still having swept all their matches. Only once one of them drops a game does it become possible to ID out and still probably make the cut.

I suspect this points at a weakness in the tournament structure. It’s really hard to figure out how to do an asymmetric tournament, as it’s essentially an untested field. (Chess has done some trailblazing here, though. We may want to look more closely at how Chess tournaments work.)

All I know is that there are plenty of times I’d rather have a smoke break than another win. Guess I just gotta hope I’m lucky enough to get an opponent who feels the same way.

At ETX last year, we had actual honest to goodness quality play at the top tables throughout the weekend. This was because the tournament structure was designed to prevent burn out.

In a regular tournament, why should that advantage of being well rested only go to the people who choose to intentionally draw?


I am not so sure this is true.

I think that the vast bulk of competitive players are fine with ID’s. The reason you don’t see a lot of them posting about it is because they understand how tournaments work. The fact of the matter is quite simple really - You cannot ban ID’s. It’s impossible to enforce. By not allowing it in the rules, all it is doing is hampering people that choose not to ID, because it is against the rules. People played well enough to make it to the top, if they can be sure they will get in, they should be able to split. I would have been fine with people IDing at the MAC finals. I don’t think it actually made sense for anyone, but if asked I would have been 100% okay with it.