The 2017-18 Twilight Struggle tournament uses a Swiss Elimination format. There will be  at least four rounds of Swiss play:

  • Pairings for the first round will determined completely randomly.
  • 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 select an eliminator. IF you would like to volunteer to be an eliminator, contact the GM and the GM will randomly select from 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.
  • The number of Swiss rounds will be dependent upon the number of participants, but will be at least 4.

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

  • A win worth 10 points
  • A loss  is worth 0 points
  • A tie is worth 5 points

Note that Playdek treats ties as US wins, but for the purposes of the tournament, a tie score is considered a tie, except during the single elimination rounds, when it will be treated as an US win.

After the Swiss rounds, the top players with the most points advance to Single Elimination portion,

The top  seeds will receive byes. The number of qualifiers will be dependent upon the final records.

Schedule/Time Limits

The first Swiss round is scheduled to begin with matchups by 1 November 2017. Each Swiss Round will last 6  weeks, the intention being that each new round should begin approximately 45 days after the preceding round began. Players who cannot commit to this pace of play should not ask to participate in the tournament.

Depending upon mutual agreement, players may be assigned subsequent round matches upon completion of their current round games.

The proposed schedule (to be confirmed) is as follows:

Round Start Date End Date
Swiss Round 1 1 Nov 2017  15 Dec-2017
Swiss Round 2 17  Dec 2017 12 Feb  2018
Swiss Round 3 12 Feb 2018 29 Mar 2018
Swiss Round 4 1 Apr 2018 13 May 2018
Swiss Round 5 27 Apr 2018 Jun 13 2018
Elimination Phase – Quarterfinals 4 Jun   2018 16 Jul 2018
Elimination Phase – Semifinals 17  Jul 2018 31 Aug  2018
Elimination Phase – Final 1 Sept 2018 15 Oct 2018
Elimination Phase – Championship 16 Oct 2018 5 Dec 2018

Side Assignments

Sides will be selected randomly for round 1 and then with players switching sides after each round if possible. If this is not possible, the player with the lowest tournament ranking will be assigned the Soviet side.

End-of-Game Reporting:

At the conclusion of each game, one player from each game is required to post the results as a comment on this website.

a)       Winner

b)       Method of victory (Final Scoring, reaching ±20 VPs, Control of Europe, DEFCON = 1, Wargames, etc.)

c) Any additional commentary on course of the game, key card plays, dice results.


During the Preliminary Phase, players are awarded tournament points per game as follows:

  • 10 points for a Victory
  • 0 points for a loss
  • 5 points for a tie.

In the event of a tie game during the Elimination Phase, the US player will be awarded the victory for all tournament purposes.

Note that Playdek treats ties as US wins, but for the purposes of the tournament, a tie score is considered a tie, except during the single elimination rounds, when it will be treated as an US win.

At the conclusion of the Preliminary Phase, the top players with the most points will qualify for the Elimination Phase and be seeded accordingly. Ties will be broken according to the following priorities:

1)       Strength of schedule (calculated for each player by adding up all of the points earned by his opponents and then dividing by the number of games they played)

2)       Head-to-head results.

3)       Most wins as the US.

4)       Most games played as the US.

5)       Random determination.


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One thought on “Format

  1. Aran Warszawski

    Aran Warszawski (USA) – Alan Applebaum (USSR)

    Aran – USA wins after Alan – USSR resigned at turn 7.

    Only 2 turns ago USSR had a 16 lead, but the game turned very quickly to a decisive position for the US


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