The Puffing Billy® scoring system has existed as long as the Puffing
Billy® tournament, itself, and has generated more controversy
than almost any other single aspect of the tournament. If you
analyze the scoring system, you will see that the method of calculating
bonus points rewards close play over the "blowout" game. There
are some train gamers who criticize this system, saying that a
true test of skill is to see how much better the winner can place
than the rest of the board. There exists some validity for this
argument. But when it comes right down to it, the bonus system
will not be neutral. Either it will reward close play or the "blowout"
win but it cannot do both. Some train gamers have argued that
we should go with just a straight standard placement score of
4, 3, 2 and 1 but this system will result in too many ties (the
bonus score system was created to prevent ties such as these,
especially in large PBTs) and so this system was discarded early
on as impractical. What it came down to was that the TGA had to make a decision on
what type of scoring to reward and we chose to reward close play
over the "blowout" win, at least in the preliminary rounds of
play. The reasons for this decision are quite simple. The TGA
does not have the method or the means to seat individual players
(we are looking into creating a seating system to be used at RailCon).
We must rely either on a random method of assigning players to
the boards of a tournament or on the players, themselves, to seat
themselves. When the players seat themselves, we hope that a system
that rewards close play will encourage them to find players of
like expertise with which to play and that they will seek to have
four players to a board to maximize their bonus points. A blowout
reward system would encourage players to seek out inexperienced
players and proceed to pummel them into the ground. This last
scenario would be highly disadvantageous to the TGA and to the
PBT. Novice players should not be made to feel like chum in shark-infested
waters -- they might acquire a bad image of PBTs and not compete
anymore. Following is a discussion on how to score game boards in a PBT.
After that, we discuss how to handle finals. First of all, print up the Puffing Billy® sample score sheet found
in the forms section of the PBT area. Follow along as we take
you step by step through the Puffing Billy® score process. What you see before is a mock tournament board of Empire Builder.
The game was finished and it was not the final. Jenny won with
a score of 252,000. Damien came in second and then Stephen, Sybil
and Ben. All players must be listed by the rank they achieved
in the game. Even players who will not receive a score for this
board must be listed up to the sixth player. ? Step one is to write in all the players' scores. The players
should do this at the end of the game and before turning the score
sheet into you. Where they placed will determine their standard
placement score. First place will receive a standard placement
score of 3, second place will receive a 2, third place a 1 and
fourth place will receive a 0 for her standard placement score.
Fifth and sixth place finishers will receive no PB scores for
this board. ? Now you must determine bonus points for all players. You need
to determine second through fourth place bonus points before you
can calculate the first place finisher's bonus points. These bonus
points are described as a fraction of the first place finishers
game score so divide Damien's score by Jenny's score and multiply
by .5 (always round to the nearest thousands of a point, ie, round
to the third decimal place). The result you get is .492 (column
1). Add this number to Damien's standard placement score and you
have calculated Damien's final PB score for this board (column
2). Repeat this process for Stephen and Sybil. ? Now you must determine the first place winner's bonus score.
Add all the numbers in column one (.492 + .240 + .194) and place
this value in the "total of (1) space. Then multiply this figure
by .03. Then place this figure (.028) in the bonus space for Jenny.
Add this value to her standard placement score of 3 and you come
up with 3.028. This is Jenny's PB score for this board. ? Please note that it is possible that a player who has not finished
first will wind up with more money than the first place finisher,
most notably in Rail Baron. In this case, simply write in a .5
in column (1) for that player. Thus, the highest bonus score the
winner of the board could attain is .045 and only then if the
second place through fourth place finishers each receive .5 as
a bonus. What we really hope when it comes to finals is that there will
be only enough competitors to create one board for a game final
or that we can run enough elimination rounds to distill the number
of competitors down to one game board (in these instances, the
person to win the final board wins the game tournament). Life
is rarely that simple. Usually, we are able to run a number of
preliminary rounds to allow as many competitors as possible to
qualify for the category and then one final. Very often, the final
round will encompass more than one or even two tables for the
final round. In that case, how do we determine an overall winner
of the game tournament? At one time, we tried the Speed Round. In the Speed Round, the
first place winner of the first board to finish was the winner
of the game tournament. The first place winner of the second board
to finish came in second and on down the line. As you might guess,
this method was highly unpopular and had to be abandoned. Which still left us with the question of how to determine a tounament
winner for a multi-table game final. First, we came to the realization
that everyone sitting at a final had proven that they were of
superior skill (or very, very lucky -- you take your pick). So,
we decided to throw out the close play reward system and reward
those players who could soundly defeat their opponents. And second,
we had to come up with a mathematical system for rewarding the
"blowout" final. Following is the general method of scoring finals and the specific
ways of applying this method: Questions or comments? Email tgatrains@aol.com. The contents of this Web Site are copyright © 1998 by The Train
Gamers Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Designed by Scott Lininger. Last modified Thursday, 11-Jun-1998 16:34:54 CDT
.

## Explanation of Scoring

How to Score a Game Board

**Scoring Finals**

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