Improving the draw of arenas in strikes formats

Many of us have probably been in a strikes event stuck playing a brutal 60’s EM on 3 balls while some other group camps out on a DMD where the ball save is generous and extra balls are on and the TD says play it as it lies.

I utilized this at my last strikes event in an effort to improve the “fairness” of the format, (ie complaints of getting stuck playing those dreadful X type of machines while others always seem to get those preferred Y type of machines)

What I did:

Games will be chosen at random from N styles of games. (Number of banks and styles of banks may change, but format WILL APPLY)

Example N=3 banks with the following styles (For example)

Bank 1: 2” flipper EMs
Bank 2: 3” flipper EMs and early solid state games
Bank 3: DMD games

In round 1, ALL PLAYERS will play from a particular bank that is chosen at random.

For example, round 1 might consist of Bank 2 which could consist of games like Volley, Joker Poker, Paragon and Centaur. (Again, subject to change)

Banks 1 and 3 would NOT be used that round.

Groupings of players on the games to be played from the chosen bank, as well as order of players will all be randomly generated. This is the typical protocol everyone is familiar with.

The players would be distributed across the available games (4 titles in this example). The arenas will be labeled Volley 1, Volley 2, Joker 1 Joker 2, etc to ensure there are 8 arenas available to choose from for the 32 players.

After round 1 is finished, round 2 will consist of a different bank (chosen at random) that was NOT played in round 1. Same process.

Round 3 will be played on the bank that remains (if only 3 banks). Same process.

After round 3 (assuming only 3 banks used) all 3 banks return to the mix to be chosen for round 4. This process will repeat through the tourney until the final match.

To randomize the bank process I used 3 cards, and kept drawing groups of 3 to determine the order of banks over the rounds. I toggled games on and off each round to force the program to pick from the bank in use.

Clearly at the 3rd/4th round 6th/7th round transition etc. there could be a repeat bank style.

It seemed that in addition to certain players not being saddled unfairly with games, each round was more balanced timewise. The 2” flipper games were never running concurrently with DMD games. So it wasn’t a scenario where a group on a 5-10 minute game was waiting for a group on a 20-30 minute game.

30 players lasted about 6 hours due to the extra wait time,(once we hit 12 players, nobody had to wait-one bank style only had 3 games). Nobody left feeling they played repeat luck boxes in a row, or they didn’t get a chance to showcase their skills on other style games.

Thanks for reading.

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You don’t need the repeat possibility at Round 4 or any round. Randomly draw in Round 4 from among all the cards not used in Round 3. You’ll still have equal distribution without the sameness.

True. At the time I was shuffling 3 cards and turning them over for the players to see the order of banks and recollecting them and doing it again. I’ll keep that in mind for next time.

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