Here's an interesting question. GNK's are pretty popular events around these parts. Often drawing 15-20 players. In the past we've ran only 3 rounds because stores couldn't stay open long enough for more, leading to lots of tie-breaks for prizes. That's distasteful but necessary I guess. Now stores around here have wised up and are running their GNK's on weekend when they can facilitate full 4-5 rounds now. Which raised an interesting question: What level of play is GNK's supposed to be? Casual or Competitive?
Compare the following:
Casual events emphasize fun and a friendly atmosphere. These events help build local
communities and are a great way for new players to experience their favorite game without
worrying whether they know every little rule. This tier may include leagues, weekly game nights,
and any event using an Android: Netrunner variant.
Competitive events require players to have general knowledge of a game’s rules. While
experienced players will come to these events to compete for prizes, players should not be
punished for their lack of understanding in the finer points of Android: Netrunner rules. Players
can come to these events expecting a consistent experience from store to store. This tier includes
Store Championships and unique, one-off events such as the Chronos Protocol Tour.
I've argued this in my head a few times and it kinda goes like this:
GNK's are not weekly things, they are quarterly at best, so it's not a 'weekly game night' or league level. But they also aren't Store Championships level either. There are prizes on the line, and the only level that mentions prizes is Competitive. Some areas I know run GNK's on weeknights knowing they'll have tie-breaks and that works for them, so that's ok, but our area seems to gather for bigger tournaments on the weekends as described above.
I'm leaning towards running a GNK here like at Competitive level based on size of player pool, prize availability, and potential for sore feelings if it's ran with too few rounds leading to ties (yes, amount of rounds aren't a factor in the guides, but this is a way I can explain why we'll run 5 rounds instead of 3)
Thoughts? Are GNK's casual or competitive? Regardless of level, it's something that should be run with the 'fun' coming first of course. I don't want to make the impression that this is about how hard to come down on rules or not, but about what's the intent in the guides for GNK's and how best to explain it to stores that want to run them.