Scott Hardie | June 3, 2019
This summer will be the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock festival. I couldn't let the occasion pass without a celebration in Rock Block. :-)

The summer 2019 tournament gives players a chance to relive the classic festival. Each concert will reward the winner with a ticket to see one of the 33 classic performances (technically, 32 plus the opening speech). The first player who sees all 33 performances will win the tournament immediately. And when I say "see a performance," I mean that you can watch videos right on the tournament page, to experience moments from the actual festival for yourself. Watching the videos isn't necessary to win; it's just a bonus.

You'll play everybody else in the game simultaneously, using random artists and rules. Every hour on the hour, the website will spawn a new concert, choosing a random pair of players who aren't currently playing each other, as long as there is such a pair available. (It will take a few hours tonight to spawn the first batch.) Each concert will have the Overtime play rule, so someone has to win it sooner or later. The ticket to be claimed by the winner is randomly selected, with the player who is further behind in their collection having slightly better odds of getting a ticket that she/he still needs.

In addition to the usual prizes -- an Amazon gift card to the winner, new artists to everyone -- I'm offering something different this time: Participating players (up to the first 20) will get a copy of Aquarius, one of my favorite small card games. It's simple, it's fun for all ages, and it's totally appropriate for a hippie theme. (The rules even say that the player with the longest hair goes first.) I hope that you find this colorful little card game as endearing and fun to play as I do.

It's hard to predict how long this tournament will take to play, but I have a good feeling that it will still be underway when the actual Woodstock anniversary comes around on August 15-18. I thought about hosting a one-day tournament on that Saturday, but I like this format better. The festival ran well over schedule, and I think this tournament should feel epic too.

I had a blast planning this and putting it together. I hope it's as much fun to play. Let's do this, hippies! :-)

Scott Hardie | June 3, 2019
To be clear: The first concert should spawn at 9pm ET. Another should appear every hour thereafter until we're all playing each other. If someone new joins the game, it will take a few hours to spawn all of the concerts for that new player.

Erik Bates | June 3, 2019
Ah, Tournament Season... I do love it!

Groovy, man.

Steve West | June 5, 2019
I don't know how you manage to accomplish so much but I am equally lovin' it.

Scott Hardie | June 5, 2019
I stole some time just for myself to do this. I needed a fun project. :-)

Scott Hardie | June 14, 2019
If anybody did not receive their copy of Aquarius, please let me know. At least one had trouble being delivered. Thanks.

Chris Lemler | June 14, 2019
Scott it doesn 't look like I received it

Steve West | June 14, 2019
Me neither.

Scott Hardie | June 14, 2019
Replacements are in the mail, courtesy of Amazon. Chris, yours was apparently delivered, but since it was never received, then I'd bet on package thieves. Steve, Amazon says your house doesn't exist, but they're going to try again. :-)

Erik Bates | July 1, 2019
Your prediction about this lasting to mid-August seems to be a bit off, Scott. I think we'll have this wrapped up in a couple weeks!

Matthew Preston | July 1, 2019
I've done my part in losing to you all as often as I could!

Scott Hardie | July 2, 2019
Yeah, I clearly overestimated the timing for this at all stages of the tournament. When we do this "collecting" tournament format again -- and we will soon -- I'll make it both longer than 33 steps and improve the rubber-banding so that it's even easier for people to catch up from behind.

Scott Hardie | July 2, 2019
Damn. I'm sorry, y'all. In my rush to win this tournament, before I manage once again to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, I forfeited one too many concerts against Jeremiah, hoping to get one with the artist that I need, and I inadvertently helped him unlock a trade rule (win 5 concerts in a row). I'm done, I'm backing off, I shouldn't have let that happen. I have no intention of doing it again. (Even more more win at this point would help him unlock another rule for free.) I'm ashamed.

Matthew Preston | July 2, 2019
You know, I wondered how he unlocked that! Don't be ashamed, you're using every resource available to win (which is nothing that the rest of us can't do). We'll just call you the Bill Belichick of Rock Block. :-)

Steve West | July 3, 2019
No worries. Helping yourself was the goal; Miah benefiting from that was his good fortune not your bad intent.

Erik Bates | July 3, 2019
I was wondering what the deal was with you forfeiting those concerts... now it all makes sense.

No need to apologize, man. That's a helluva strategy, really.

Scott Hardie | July 3, 2019
Thanks for understanding, all. I guess I'm especially sensitive about it because I've enjoyed watching you guys (Erik and Matthew) unlock rules over the last few weeks, and so it bothers me that Jeremiah just got one for free. I'm not ashamed at all of forfeiting concerts to try to get ahead, as I consider that legit play; I'm ashamed that I didn't think about the consequences in advance and keep track to avoid them.

Chris Lemler | July 3, 2019
No problem here. I am having a fun time

Scott Hardie | August 3, 2019
Steve, congratulations on the victory! That was a very difficult, hard-fought race to the end and you deserve it. My hat's off to you again, as it has been for most of the 16 years that you've been playing here. I'm impressed with all of the players who closed the deficit and got all or most of the way to the end. Way to play!

Ordinarily, I'd say that's the shape of a great tournament: Players leapfrogging each other up the scoreboard until one of them ekes out a narrow win. But this competition had the statistical anomaly of one player atop the scoreboard for a long time, way ahead of the pack but unable to seal victory. I earned my 32nd artist more than a month ago, back when everyone else's score was around 15-22, and I've been patiently waiting for a chance to collect my 33rd to win all this time, but it never materialized. As happy as I am for Steve, I'm very disappointed with that aspect of the tournament. Today I briefly considered being unsportsmanlike and refusing to play the last turn that gave Steve victory, hoping that I could earn victory elsewhere before it timed out, but I couldn't bring myself to go through with that, even if I am the Bill Belichick of Rock Block. :-P

I really hope that everyone else enjoyed the tournament. I thought it was a good concept and a good competition, and just needed some better coding around the random selection of "tickets" so as to avoid this kind of anomaly. We'll use this "collecting" tournament format again, and I'll make sure that this aspect is significantly improved next time.

Our next tournament will begin on Rock Block's fifth anniversary, September 6. Here's a hint about the theme.

Matthew Preston | August 3, 2019
Congrats Steve! What a way to come from behind. Scott, I feel for you man. Thanks for getting me back into the game with this tournament.

Scott Hardie | August 4, 2019
Absolutely! I really enjoyed this overall. I hope you'll stick around for the next one too. :-)

Scott Hardie | September 14, 2019
If anyone's curious, that "hint" image about the next tournament was the unused original version of the stage image. It's got some issues that I couldn't work out in Photoshop, so I found a different image instead, blurry but ultimately better.

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