About Cascade Games
Cascade Games runs premier tournaments and convention events including large tournaments for Magic the Gathering and other card games.
We accept cash and checks. We are unable to take credit and debit cards.
For the latest news and announcements visit our blog at http://cascadegames.wordpress.com/
Appeal: When a judge makes a ruling, you must allow them to completely issue the ruling. If you have questions, you should ask them in a respectful manner. If you still disagree with the ruling after you have clarified the situation, then you have the right to appeal the ruling to the Head Judge. The ruling of the Head Judge is final. You may file a complaint with the Tournament Organizer (TO) or even the game company, but the decision of the Head Judge is final, the day of the event.
Card Pool: In a limited tournament, these are the cards that you can use to build a deck. Sometimes you open your card pool (sealed), and sometimes you choose your card pool from packs that are passed around the table (draft). You will usually need to register your card pool on a decklist.
CCG: Collectible Card Game, or even Customizable Card Game. This acronym is one of several used to describe card games where the cards have value, and/or the game is played with a deck that you build yourself, drawing upon a larger pool.
Constructed: This type of event is where you build a deck at home, and then bring it with you to play at the tournament. It is a good idea to have a pre-typed decklist to bring with you for registration.
Dealer Table: This is a land of goodness, where happiness is sold by the play set or the pack. Often a TO will set up, or let someone else set up (for a fee) a dealer table at their event. Dealers offer a variety of goods including (but not limited to) cards, packs, sleeves, dice, deck boxes, art work, food, drink, candy… in short, everything that you will ever need. Because the dealer is paying to be there, it is usually against the rules to try to buy and/or sell cards at events with anyone but the dealer. You can usually trade all day long, but ask a tournament official before you offer or accept money for cards, unless it is with the dealer.
Deck: This is what you use to play the game. A collection of cards, hopefully well shuffled, and hopefully cards that will work well together. Different games, and different formats have different rules and limitations about what you can play in your deck.
Deck Check: These are normally done at the beginning of a round. The judges will be on the floor, walking around, and suddenly one of them will turn, and announce that they are taking your cards. A deck check should be a surprise, and is relatively painless. The judges will look at your deck to make sure that there is no sign of errors, return the deck, and then give you some extra time to play your match.
Deck List: This is where you record what cards you will be playing in your deck. If your game uses a sideboard, you will also record it on this. Your name, and ID number belong on here somewhere. Deck lists are important as a control to prevent cheating.
Deck Swap: In a limited tournament, you open product, register the card pool, and then the judges will supervise the deck swap. Sometimes they gather all of the decks, then redistribute them. Sometimes they have everyone stand up, and then sit down somewhere new, without moving the decks at all. Other times, they will have everyone leave the room, and move the decks around on the tables. However it happens, one thing is certain… the awesome card that you just opened, is gone forever.
Draft: A limited format where you open a pack, take a card, and pass the rest. The goal is to select the best overall deck from an uncertain card pool. This can be very challenging due to further uncertainty regarding what everyone else is taking.
Draw: Not all games allow draws to happen. A draw is when a game or match is concluded without a clear winner being determined. In some games, if both players lose at the same time, the game is a draw. If each player has won one game of a “best of 3” series, and time is called in the match, the match is a draw. Ask a tournament official how draws work in your game.
ELO Rating: This form of rating system uses a formula to determine how many points you gain or lose from a given match. If you beat someone who has a higher rating than you, you will win more points than someone who has a lower rating than you. Likewise, if you lose to someone with a higher rating, you will lose fewer points than if you lose to someone lower than you.
Finals: Used to describe two different but related things. First, a general description of the playoffs at the end of a Swiss tournament. Usually the Top 8, but it can be any sort of single elimination playoffs where the top players contend for the highest prizes. The second, more specific usage is the final match of the playoffs. The last two players engage to determine who the overall champion will be.
Format: There are many different formats for many different games. Every different set or subset of rules that you can apply to a game is technically a different format.
Head Judge: The Head Judge is the final authority with regards to rules and rulings at a tournament. They supervise a staff of judges (at larger events), and are there to help clarify questions that other judges have, or handle appeals of other judges’ rulings. Any time a judge makes a ruling, you have the right to appeal to the Head Judge, if you honestly believe the first judge was wrong. Be careful not to do so frivolously, as abusing that right can lead to a penalty to you.
ID Number: An arbitrary number assigned to players by a game company for the purposes of tracking results in tournaments. This number is needed to play in “official” or “sanctioned” tournaments.
Judge: A person with superior rules knowledge who is charged with the task of running a tournament, and enforcing the rules of the game. The primary duty of a judge is to ensure a fair and equitable playing field for the participants in the tournament. They answer questions, issue penalties, and are fun to throw paper at when their backs are turned. That’s a joke. Don’t really do that, unless you want a “Penalty” (see below).
K or C-value: These terms, and others, are used to indicate the amount of points that you may win or lose per match with an ELO rating system. The higher the value of the tournament, the more points are up for grabs with each match.
Limited: At a limited tournament, you don’t bring a deck from home. Instead, you will receive product, open it, register a card pool, and build a deck. After all of that, actual tournament play will begin.
Making the Cut: Refers the cut to the playoffs of a Swiss tournament. If you have “made the cut”, that means that you are in the finals. The “cut” is usually to the Top 8, but can be different depending on the number of people in the overall tournament. The finals are almost always single elimination.
Match: Usually a “best 2 out of 3 games” set that is played to determine the winner of a round, either in a tournament. Some games have a single game match system, where you play one game, and that determines who wins the round. Occasionally, especially in the finals of a large, or prestigious event, the finals are “best 3 out of 5”.
Metagame: In many games there are patterns based on styles of decks. These coalesce from a communal group-think that develops as players try different strategies, and find what works. When someone comes up with the new “best deck”, someone else will come up with a deck that will beat it. This ebb and flow of deck ideas is referred to as the metagame.
Modified Swiss: The most common style of tournament for events with more than 8 players. Often just called “Swiss”, it usually involves a number of rounds that equal the number of players in the tournament described as a factor of 2 plus 1. For each round, players are paired to play an opponent with roughly the same record as they have themselves. Sometimes players are paired up, paired down, or even given a bye.
Organized Play (OP): This is the name usually given to the department of the various game companies that are responsible for running tournaments as a means of promoting their game system.
Paired Down: In a Swiss tournament, playing against someone who has a worse record than you. Often this is bad for your tiebreaks.
Paired Up: In a Swiss tournament, playing against someone who has a better record than you. Often this is good for your tiebreaks.
Pairings: Often printed, but can be spoken aloud for smaller tournaments, this is a list of who plays whom. Most often it is presented alphabetically with a seating assignment.
Penalty: Something to be avoided whenever possible. Penalties are issued for a variety of reasons. Sometimes as a deterrent to cheaters. Sometimes to attempt to redress an inequity. Sometimes penalties are no more than a means to track a situation, so that subtle patterns of rules abuses can be caught with their accumulation. You can be issued a penalty even if you intended no harm. In fact, most penalties assume that you did not break a rule knowingly.
TCG: Trading Card Game. This acronym is one of several used to describe card games where the cards have value, and/or the game is played with a deck that you build yourself, and trading is used to acquire the cards needed for your deck or collection.