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Random House Tournament (Deep White Sea)

Players: Any number divisible by 5, 4, 3, or 2.
You Need: One Deep White Sea army per player and one table for every two players.

Setup: Determine the largest number of "houses" (armies) that you can use in this tournament, which will be the largest of 5, 4, 3, or 2 that can be divided into the number of players. For example, if you have 24 players you can use 4 armies. If for have 25 players, you can use 5 armies. If you have 23 players, find another player.

Write the army colors on scraps of paper and have each player draw a random scrap from a hat. This is that player's color for the entire tournament. Each player takes the army of that color.

Procedure: Now, construct N sets of pairings, where N is the number of army colors minus one, in which each player fights a random opponent from each opposing color. Not all of these fights can take place at the same time, since there may be an odd number of players, so it's important to know all the pairings for the whole tournament, and make sure they all get played. Here's an example.

There are 5 colors and 25 players in the game. There will be 4 rounds. A player from Blue will fight one random player from Orange, White, Green, and Burgundy in those 4 rounds. Obviously, not everyone will start playing immediately, since there are 25 players. The odd man out can challenge the first opponent on his list who finishes his current game.

Scoring: Each player who wins a game gets a number of points equal to the difference between 50 points and his opponent's final score. In other words, the worse you beat someone, the more points you get. If Blue beats Orange with a score of 55 to 35, Blue scores 15 points (50-35) and Orange scores nothing.

After all the battles are over, the player from each team who has the highest score moves on to the final round.

The Final Round: The final round of the Random House tournament is a multi-player game. Arrange the players in a random order around a round table, then allow the player with the highest score from the preliminary rounds to decide who goes first. This is a free-for-all game for 50 points.

 
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