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Masters Divisions 2017 - Tournament Rules

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#1 TheOptician



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Posted 29 January 2017 - 04:43 PM

Masters Divisions 2017



1)     Registration & Tournament Schedule

• Registering for the tournament is considered acceptance of the Rules. 

• Multiple registrations by one player are strictly forbidden. Additionally, a player's account must not be accessed by anyone other than the player, which includes use of the forum and private messages

• The Tournament type is a League format whereby each player plays one game against all players in their Division.

• The tournament duration will be 9 weeks.


• 6 points are awarded for a victory, 3 points are awarded for a draw, and 1 point is awarded for a defeat. Unplayed games (which occur when for example a player withdraws from the tournament or is disqualified) will be scored as a ‘No-Result’ (NR). NR is treated as a range of 1-6 points.


• Players that finish Tied on points will be separated by head-to-head record between the tied players.

• Matches will be fixtured and published in advance. However, players are able to move fixtures forwards or backwards (see Rule 11)

• If a player has a Question or a remark about the general functioning of the rules, this can be communicated in the Questions Thread (http://forum.strateg...2017-questions/). TC  also welcomes constructive feedback which can be provided in the Suggestions Box (http://forum.stratego.com/topic/3784-suggestions-box/)


2)  Who is eligible to play?

All non-banned players who earned a minimum of 1 TRP during the 2016/17 season are eligible, provided that they were not disqualified from any TC tournament during the season.

3)     Arranging a tournament game

A Forum Thread will be opened for each Division.

Each player must provide availability (by posting in the appropriate Forum Division Thread) in the form of ‘Starting Time Ranges’ (STRs). Each player must provide 3 VALID STRs (see Rule 4) BEFORE Thursday 23.59GMT (‘Curfew’ – see Rule 7) of each gameweek.


 4)   What is a Starting Time Range, and when are STRs considered valid?

 A Starting Time Range (STR) consists of a range of 2 hours in which a player can start the game. Each player must provide a minimum of 3 VALID STRs for each round.  (Exception: Once a game becomes arranged, a player is no longer obligated to provide 3 valid STRs).

 Proposed STRs are only valid when fulfilling each of the following conditions:

A.      Each STR must be of a minimum length of two hours (For example, proposing Tuesday 20.00-22.00GMT would mean a player is available to start a game at 20.00GMT, and his latest availability to start a game is 22.00GMT.)

B.      Each STR must be communicated in GMT, and use the 24 hour clock (No am/pm proposals). For help finding your time difference from GMT, visit http://www.greenwichmeantime.com

C.       Each player must propose the three valid STRs in the relevant Forum Division thread

D.      Each gameweek ends on Sunday 23.59GMT. An STR that straddles this deadline is not considered valid. (For example, proposing an STR of Sunday 22.30-Monday 00.30GMT is not considered a valid STR, as this passes the cut-off point of Sunday 23.59 GMT)

E.       A player’s proposed STRs may not all be on the same day – they must involve at least two separate days.

F.       Each STR proposed by a player must not begin within 6 hours of the time that it is proposed, in order to give their opponent adequate notice. (For example, if a player proposes Monday 15.00-17.00GMT when the time at the moment of suggestion is already Monday 09.01GMT or later then the slot will not be considered valid.


5)   Player Responsibilities

Whilst TC will help out wherever possible by highlighting when STRs are invalid as they do not fulfil the above  requirements, it is the sole responsibility of the player to ensure that this requirement is met.  (see Rule 11 for absences). Visiting the forum to arrange matches is the responsibility of the player, and players are encouraged not to rely on e-mail alerts.


A player is also expected to monitor their PM inbox should TC need to communicate privately for any reason.


TC reserves the right to ask any player questions to maintain the integrity of tournaments. This may include (but is not limited to) requesting all aliases that belong to that player, or asking for basic information such as player nationality and city of residence. A player who is unco-operative will be subject to disqualification.

6)    When is a game considered “arranged”?

A.         A game is considered arranged if one player picks a time already offered by his/her opponent and states this in the appropriate Forum Division thread. This is on the basis that the proposed start time does not occur within the next 24 hours (thus ensuring their opponent is given reasonable notice). Note that a player must pick a start TIME (eg 20.30GMT) and not an entire range (19.30 – 21.30GMT) for the match to be considered arranged. TC will confirm (where they can) when a game is arranged within the Forum thread, but confirmation is not required by TC or the opponent for the game to be scheduled.

If a player picks a time already offered by his or her opponent that occurs within 24 hours this is NOT considered arranged. (Note that this doesn’t mean the match cannot be played at that time if his/her opponent agrees - it just won’t be considered arranged until the match begins)

 B.      A game is also considered arranged if both players meet online and decide to play there and then. In this scenario, both players must post in the corresponding Forum Division thread that they are about to play. (Note that any game, if not already officially arranged, becomes officially arranged as soon as it begins).

All games must be played on the Stratego.com site as unranked games. Players are advised to enter the Challenge Zone so that their presence can be proved if necessary (especially important if an opponent does not show up). We urge all players to make a friend request of opponents using the game site (preferable as soon as the opponent is known) so that they can challenge in unranked battle. If there is a problem or someone is not able to arrange an unranked game (because of bugs or otherwise) please consult a member of the Tournament Committee.

 7)    When is the Curfew, and what are the consequences for missing the Curfew?

The Curfew is the deadline in each round by which three valid STRs must be provided by each player. (Note that if an arrangement has already been reached by the Curfew, players are no longer obligated to provide 3 valid STRs). The Curfew for each round will be Thursday 23.59GMT.

If a player has not provided three valid STRs by Curfew, they will receive a Strike (see Rule 14). Three Strikes results in disqualification from the tournament.

If a player receives a Strike, but is not disqualified at Curfew, (because it is that player’s first or second  offence), then the game will become automatically arranged (see Rule 9). .

8)     What happens if both players have provided 3 valid STRs, but there are no valid game arrangements?

If both players have posted 3 valid STRs (in accordance with Rule 4) by the Curfew (Thursday 23.59GMT) but there is no matching time, then the game will be automatically arranged (see Rule 9).

9)      Automatic Arrangements

In the event that no arrangement has been reached by Saturday 09.00GMT, then TC will automatically arrange the match for Sunday 17.00GMT. This is on the condition that the automatic arrangement does not require a player to start the game earlier than 0800 Local Time, or later than 2200 Local Time.

If a player is operating in a timezone that has a time difference relative to GMT of GREATER than 6 hours, TC will shift the game backward until the automatic arrangement falls within 0800-2200 Local Time.  (For example, a player operating in GMT+7 will not be required to play on Sunday 1700GMT, but at Sunday 15.00GMT) The exact time of the automatic arrangement in cases where players have large differences to GMT will be communicated in advance.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Players may still MUTUALLY agree to play their game at a different time, as long as this game starts no later than Sunday 23.59GMT, and as long as this mutual agreement is reached (and posted) before the automatic arrangement time.

10)     What happens if a player does not show up at the arranged time?

If a player’s opponent has not appeared in the Challenge Zone chat room within 10 minutes of the arranged time, that player must post the absence in the match topic, attaching a screenshot (of the Challenge Zone) for proof for TC review. (Note that appearing at 20.10GMT for a 20.00GMT match is considered late as 10 minutes have elapsed).

Any player who does not show up for an arranged match within 10 minutes, for any reason, will be automatically given a Strike (see Rule 14). Three Strikes results in disqualification from the tournament.

Please note that it is not possible to ‘claim victory’ if your opponent does not show up – the match will instead be rescheduled (provided that the absentee is not disqualified).

In cases where a player does not show up at the arranged time, TC may decide to res-schedule the game to another gameweek.

11)   What happens if a player is absent, or cannot make the default time for automatic arrangements?

If any player is aware of an absence that may make it difficult or impossible for that player to play a game in a certain week, that player can move their scheduled match to another gameweek, provided that they inform TC BEFORE Tuesday 23.59GMT, or they will receive a Strike (See Rule 14).


Their opponent will be given the choice of the alternative week that they wish to play.


If a player cannot make the default time for automatic arrangements, this must be communicated BEFORE Wednesday 23.59GMT of the relevant gameweek, in order to provide TC with sufficient time to attempt to co-ordinate an alternative default time. In this scenario, TC will ask both players to provide two valid weekend STRs, which do not require their opponent to start the game earlier than 0800 Local Time or later than 2200 Local Time.

Please note that in this event TC will do their best to find an alternative arrangement. If one is not easily found TC may decide to re-schedule the game to another gameweek.

12)    Reporting Results and Screenshots

After the match has finished, the game result must be reported immediately in the appropriate Forum Division thread with a screenshot. (Players may alternatively send TC a PM)


The screenshot must display the Victory Screen, and include the computer taskbar and computer clock.


If there is no screenshot provided, and the two players are not in agreement about the result, the match will be replayed and automatically arranged for Sunday 17.00GMT (see Rule 9).


While TC can forgive players for occasionally forgetting to take a screenshot, please observe that screenshots are compulsory.


A player may ‘paint out’ sections of the game board if they do not wish to divulge any strategic information.

For information on how to take screenshots please visit the following link:(http://forum.strateg...shot#entry34786))

13)      Cancellations

A game already arranged may be cancelled by a player, but only on the following conditions:

A.         A Minimum of 6 HOURS notice must be provided for a cancellation to take effect. (If the game is scheduled to occur on Thursday 21.00GMT, notice of cancellation must be communicated via the relevant PM thread BEFORE Thursday 13.00GMT).

B.         Any player who cancels a game already arranged must provide three replacement valid STRs (see Rule 4) in the relevant PM thread at the time of cancellation.

If either or both of conditions A. or B. above are not fulfilled then the match will still be considered cancelled, but this player will receive a Strike. Three Strikes results in disqualification from the tournament (see Rule 14). In the absence of three valid replacement STRs the game will be automatically arranged for Sunday 17.00GMT (see Rule 9)

PLEASE NOTE that after Saturday 22.00GMT (in the week in which the game is due to be played), that cancellations are not permitted due to time constraints. (For example, a player may not wait until Sunday to cancel a game arrangement).  If a player attempts to cancel a game after this cancellation deadline, this player will receive a Yellow Card.

TC does understand that players have lives outside of Stratego, and that players may need to cancel a game last minute due to emergencies. In these cases TC will use their discretion.

 14)     Strikes and Disqualifications

 A player can expect to receive a Strike in all of the following instances:

•    Where a player has not provided three valid STRs by Curfew. (Exception: Once a game becomes arranged, a player is no longer obligated to provide 3 valid STRs).
•    Where a player does not show up for an arranged match within 10 minutes. (see Rule 10)
•    Where a player cancels an arranged match without providing a minimum of 6 hours notice. (see Rule 13)
•    Where a player cancels an arranged match without providing three valid replacement STRs. (see Rule 13)
•    Where a player attempts to cancel an arranged match, once Saturday 22.00GMT has already passed (see Rule 13)

 A Strike will also be shown to any player who is in violation of the Tournament Forum & Battlefield Policy (see Rule 18). Note that depending on the seriousness of the infringement as judged by TC, as player violating this policy may incur automatic disqualification.

Any player who receives three Strikes will be automatically disqualified from the tournament. If the third Strike occurs at a late stage of the tournament then TC may decide to forego the Strike for the benefit of the tournament.

This disqualification takes effect at the time of the infringement.

Players disqualified from this tournament may be denied entry or suspended from participating in future TC tournaments

Note that disqualification does not apply to a player who WITHDRAWS from the tournament (See Rule 16)

15)     Disputes and Disconnects

If a player is booted from set-up, the game must immediately re-start.

If your opponent claims they were legitimately booted or disconnected once the match is underway, then TC will leave the decision to replay the game to the players involved. If both players agree to re-play the game, then players must re-match IMMEDIATELY.

If only the disconnected/booted player is willing to replay, then TC will independently assess whether the game SHOULD be replayed. In this scenario the winning player may NOT simply claim victory, but MUST instead provide a screenshot to aid the independent assessment of TC, who will then announce how to proceed. Players must respect the decision of TC, which is final.

16)     Withdrawals

 A player may withdraw from the tournament, at any time, by informing TC.

17)     Tournament Ranking Points

As this is the final event in the 2016/17 season, Tournament Ranking Points are not available.

18)      Tournament Forum & Battlefield Policy

TC operates a Forum & Battlefield Policy concerning behaviour on the battlefield and on the forum.  Any violation of any of the following will, depending on the seriousness of the infringement as judged by TC, incur a Strike or disqualification from the tournament. TC may remove any posts that violate this policy.

•   All players are equal and should be treated that way. Discrimination of any form will not be tolerated. (Forum threads which discuss religion are exempt from Rule 18)

•   Bad language or abusive behaviour will not be tolerated. Even mild forms of bad language - those not considered particularly offensive, are still considered extremely unsporting.

• You are only allowed to record a match if you receive permission from your opponent prior to starting the game (with proof of agreement required if necessary). Please respect the decision of your opponent. The only exceptions to consent are that you may film the sequence of moves needed for proof of Double-chasing, Draw-refusal, Prolonged chasing or intentional time-wasting.

•    Double-chasing, whilst allowed within the programming of Stratego.com, is NOT allowed; counter-chasing is accepted.

•   The Draw-refusal policy is in place, and TC will judge cases. Players found guilty of Draw-refusal will at the very least, forfeit the match.

•   Prolonged chasing or intentional time-wasting is not permitted, and TC will judge cases.

•   Personal comments of an insulting nature directed at TC or other players will not be tolerated.

•   Public accusations, insinuations or suggestions of deceitful or abusive behaviour will not be tolerated. (If you believe an opponent has cheated or been abusive in any form, this must be communicated to TC PRIVATELY, not publicly via the forum)

19)       Unforeseen Circumstances and Rule Changes

Though TC aim to have covered all possible eventualities, in the event that anything unforeseen occurs not covered by the rules, the TC will rule on these issues using their best judgement. All decisions made by TC are final.

TC reserves the right, where they deem it necessary to:
•   Provide additional rules, or make exceptions to rules in certain circumstances they deem appropriate
•   Make any specific demands of players, such as requesting additional STRs or asking questions concerning player integrity
•  Extend leniency to players in regards to the rules where they feel the tournament will benefit from such leniency

20)      Tournament Committee and Judging

Tournament Committee members can participate in this tournament, but those members may not act as judges in cases where they are directly involved.  The Tournament Committee consists of:

astros   Mr. Smith    sevenseas    steelers    TheOptician

21)      And Finally…..

If you like, have fun.  If competitive battle is your thing, then this is also the right place for you. Stratego lovers of all types are welcome. If you feel like you need to communicate how lucky your opponent was, then we suggest you keep your sour grapes to yourself.  If you feel like congratulating your opponent after a match, or noting some great sportshumanship, then please feel free.

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