Personally I do not totally agree. It is explicitely written in the rules (point 4.2) that having several accounts is considered "unfair playing" however the whole point 4.2 refers rather to player trying to use unfair methods to cheat and obtain a victory there where they should not have won. This situation is clearly not ok and shall be punished.
However there maybe other reasons why somebody creates different accounts which do not appear to me as beeing unfair:
1) For less experienced players the number 1 silver ranking of Satan-NL is almost unachievable, so they may need to fight for other more reachable objectives and possibly beeing bronze number 1 is already a satisfying accomplishment. So I perfectly understand this "Werner something to stay here as number 1 bronze without playing. This goal to be bronze number 1 is probably as difficult to reach as beeing silver number 1 ... if you don't believe just try to be bronze number 1!
2) Again less experienced player may wish to have a second or third account just to try new tactics, new setups or just test new way of moving. Such accounts do not have the target to become silver number 1 but to just gain experience. this doesn't sound to me to be unfair practice
3) There maybe different members of the same family who wish to play this fantastic game, so they may open different accounts for each family member but they will all have the same IP address and you cannot avoide that one member of a family may wish to help another one who has more difficulty. Is that considered unfair?
4) Some player may also wish to fight against themselves, so they move up until a certain ranking with their first account and then try to reach it again with the second account. When the second account goes over the first account then he plays again the first account until it goes up and so on... in order to always maintain his best ranking as high as possible in the ranking list. Again for me this is not unfair. During the first tournament even the top player Manningto cruz recognized having played with his second account "game over" and nobody of the TC/JC considered this as unfair practice... keep smiling
Anyway I agree that the ranking list shall be somehow cleaned from old and unused accounts. For me the good method could be to take model of the Tennis ATP ranking system where ranking points are valid only for 12 months. If after 12 months you do not confirm at least the same number of points you would have gained 12 months earlier your ranking decreases. So if you don't play for 12 consecutive months your ranking goes back to zero.
Napoleon 1 er, I'm not sure what the rules are you are referring to with "point 4.2". Can you give a link to these rules? I am referring to the "General Forum Rules", the link to which is: http://forum.strateg...-rules/#entry41
It looks to me like the multiple account rule is found at point 1, bullet 11 in the above post by the Admins. There is absolutely nothing written about the "why's" of the rule, it is just simply in black and white that multiple accounts are not allowed (notice that's not "aloud", Trickz). Pretty simple. So whether one feels it is cheating, morally questionable, or just no big deal, having multiple accounts is clearly against the rules here at Stratego.com.
But going a bit further, Napoleon, it may be that a second account can be used in a neutral kind of way as you describe in the second and fourth points above, but it is also true that there is unfairness in the situation of someone Silver beginning a new account and then giving everyone in the lower ranks a loss until he catches up to his other account. Also, although it would be rare, a person playing himself is possible with all these multiple accounts. (I must admit I don't understand the M2C reference and point you make above.) That would clearly be a questionable match.
As to your third point, no we can't do anything about aid at home or multiple accounts per IP address. But let's not let that deter us from taking a stance on the propriety of multiple accounts.
So my question has always been, why allow multiple accounts? Why not insist everyone play with one account only and take their bumps and bruises in learning with that single account? This is clearly more honest than having a "practice" or "learning" account, as you describe. This said, and even with the rule on my side in this issue, I know I'm a lone voice speaking out against this practice of multiple accounts. The reason the J.C. doesn't do anything about it is that they also probably have more than one account. This "rule" has fallen so far from daily enforcement as to not be a rule any longer, that is plain. But I still believe in it. I think it would be nice to know that we have one person/one account here at Stratego.com. As it is, no one can really say how many real live "people" are playing at this site. I think the founders believed this same way and that's why the rule is in there.
As to your 12 month proposition above on ELO points, I could be persuaded to agree with you. I initially said "forever" but a year is a wealth of time to return if one wishes to. If they get reset in 12 months, I don't see a problem.
But I do have a disagreement with you concerning *Werner*1 at the #1 Bronze spot. You say it's a hard accomplishment, but that's not the problem. Anyone that high is a good player, true. What the problem is is the luck involved. For *Werner*1 to be where he is, he had to get lucky to beat someone so as to perfectly raise his score to 599 and not 600 (or he'd been in the Silver camp). I don't dispute the fact that getting there is a tricky proposition, but there's clearly a bit of luck involved in hitting that spot exactly. Moreover, he has to have a "higher" 599 than the other 599's on the board. If *Werner*1 in his last game had beat a higher ranked player and ended up in the low 600's and on the Silver Leader Board, maybe he wouldn't have been so encouraged to let this account "sit"?
But whether you agree with that assessment or not, it is still a fact that we shouldn't continue to honor *Werner*1 with the #1 Bronze spot if he is not going to play (or play with that account anyway). I say we should kick him off and make room for someone more active.