Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Two-Headed Giant Post

Did you guys know that the Shadows over Innistrad prereleases are about 30 hours from now? No, really. They are. I couldn't be more excited. This set looks awesome, mostly because there's so much Tamiyo in it. I have like a billion things preordered to pick up at the Open in Baltimore next weekend.

Prereleases are great for lots of reasons, but for many players, they're the only chance they have to experience Two-Headed Giant. This also means that for many organizers and judges, they're the only experience they have running 2HG events in WER.

2HG events are mostly the same as individual events. Player enrollment and seating are the big differences, and I have a few tricks that might save you some time.

Enrolling Teams

When you open a 2HG event, you'll notice that the "Players" tab that you're used to has been replaced with the "Teams" tab. It looks like this:

You have two boxes to enter player details before you can hit the Enroll button on the left, and you also have a second tab at the top of the player list on the right side.

The way the left side works is very straightforward: type in two DCI numbers and names, then hit enroll. Both of those players will be enrolled as a team. At the very top, you can enter a team name for them. If you don't, this field will auto-populate with the players' last names, listing the top player first. I recommend that you use the default or be very careful when you're letting players pick team names. I've never been to a team event where someone didn't try to name their team something wildly inappropriate :)

The right side is a little more interesting. I have the players tab highlighted here because it's the most interesting, but there's something you need to know first:

If you add players from the Local Player List, they won't actually be enrolled in the event.
That seems strange, right? That's how it works for every other kind of event. But, this is 2HG, and everyone needs a teammate, and there's no way to pair players from the Local Player List. Instead, it adds those players to this list of players. From here, you can create teams with the players that you've enrolled.*

You can filter this list a few ways:

  • All players.
  • Enrolled players (ones with teammates)
  • Unenrolled players (ones without teammates)
When you're signing people up, it's probably easiest to have the Unenrolled circle checked. That way, you can add players to the event from your Local Player List, switch back to this tab, and pair them.

(If you don't want to add players from the list to get around having to do this, you can always just type in DCI numbers on the left side.)

Creating teams from enrolled players is pretty easy:
  1. Double click the player you want to add to as Player 1 from the list of unenrolled players.
  2. Double click the player you want to add as Player 2.
  3. Click enroll.
Sometimes WER gets stuck and doesn't want to add players. If that happens, just click inside the DCI Number box for Player 1.

Ta da! You've added a team to the event! If you somehow clicked on someone who wasn't already in the event, no worries. You'll get a pop-up warning you that they've already been added.

When you're done pairing teams, you can start the event. Note that players without teammates won't be dropped from the event — they'll still show up under the players tab. To remove them, click their name once in the list (it'll highlight in green), and click the big, red "Un-enroll Player" button at the bottom.

*If you have players who don't have teammates yet, adding them to the list of unenrolled players is a great way to keep track of them. When you're getting close to the event start time, you can randomly pair those players together, or call them up to have them pick their teammates.


There's some good news and some bad news here. The good news is that you have about a million options for seating players for deck construction. The bad news is that you have exactly one option for table numbering for matches.

Deck Construction

This is from the Seatings tab, which is under the Rounds tab after you've hit Complete Enrollment:

OK. So by about a million, I mean four. WER handles seating for deck construction by player.

Create Across Seating. If you click this button, it will seat both members of a team at the same table.

Create Together Seating. This one seats teammates next to each other. Note that if you have an odd number of teams, it will seat the last team across instead of leaving empty seats.

Create Alone Seating. This gives each team two adjacent table numbers for build, so each player has their own table.

Create Name Seating. This is like Create Together Seating, And by "like," what I mean is that it's identical, as far as I've been able to tell. So, it doesn't really count.

Create Seats Manually. I never press this button. It's too much work. You can do some kind of silly things with it, though, like mix and match across and together seating.

If you add a team after seating players, you'll see a screen like this:

Check the box next to the team's name, then click create seat. If you select one team this way, they'll be seated across from each other. If you select two teams this way, teammates will be seated next to each other. (Keep in mind that seating players isn't essential to continuing the event. If it's easier to hand them their prerelease packs and point them in a direction, you can totally do that, and skip the part where you assign them seats. It won't prevent you from creating rounds or entering results.)


This is the part with the bad news. WER only pairs teams and assigns tables one way when it comes to the actual rounds in the tournament: each team is treated as a player. This means that each match (which has four players) is seated at one table. Here's what I mean:

This means that, most likely, you'll have to renumber your tables during deck construction. Fortunately, 2HG construction is 60 minutes, so you'll have plenty of time. Your event might also be small enough that table numbers aren't super necessary, and you can just let people play wherever they want.

A Quick Note on Pairings

When you print Pairings by Name (or press F9, because that's way faster), you're going to get pairings by team name. If you event is enormous (and I hope it is), you might want to let players know ahead of time that the team names are alphabetized by Player 1's last name (or by whatever they selected as their team name, if they named their own teams).

That's it! 2HG events are a ton of fun, and I'm looking forward to battling in a few with Todd this weekend. We have to defend our undefeated run from the Oath of the Gatewatch prereleases a few months ago :D

If you have any questions about 2HG that aren't answered here, let me know! Comment, or shoot me a message :)

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