XENOPHON

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XENOPHON

Postby nour hijazi » Sat May 06, 2017 7:56 pm

Hari Parameswaran and I are pleased to announce XENOPHON (eXtensive Edification Nebulously Over Particularly Historiography On Nations), a tournament similar to Kurtis Droge's "Listory" tournament. It will have about 5-6 packets of 24 tossups each. The difficulty is approximately Regs+ (similar to Penn Bowl in the last few years) to around Nats-, though most of tossups should be answerable by players with only a year or so of experience. There are no bonuses, and as part of the experimental nature of any tournament that advertises having a larger than normal section on historiography, this tournament will have powers and superpowers. The format will be a doubles tournament, though mirrors are welcome to host it as a shootout if they wish. The cost per player is $10.

In order to truly ascertain the relevance and importance of historiographers in academia, Hari and I will do research into college syllabi and exams to see who students should be familiar with, but more importantly what eras (i.e. historiographers from the the medieval Muslim world, early Christian writers during the Byzantine empire) that are actually important. In doing so, we may tossup someone without a lot of prevalence in the quizbowl world that our tossup will hopefully justify by informing players as to why they are more important than someone more prevalent in the quizbowl world.

Distribution:
8/0 Literature (2 American, 2 World, 2 British, 2 Misc (common links, literary criticism, anything that does not fit well into the other categories, etc.)

8/0 History (2 American, 2 World, 2 European, 2 Ancient)

8/0 "Listory"
- 4 Historical lit (with a greater focus on events/rulers/conflicts/kingdoms/etc rather than merely "this specific novel is set during Conflict X")
- 4 Lit about history (mostly historiography, with ample inclusion of sociology and philosophy of history)

Logistics:
This tournament should be done a few days before NASAT, since the first packet is nearly finished. Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio will host this set following which ever tournament we host during the 2017-2018 academic year, hopefully in the fall. Hari and I will almost definitely not being attending Chicago Open or any other large summer tournaments, but as this set should be done by then, anyone interested in hosting it there (or more generally, at any other point in the year) should PM me to work out details.

Edit: Myers beat me to mentioning it, but he has agreed to edit this tournament.
Last edited by nour hijazi on Sun May 07, 2017 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby Pascal Plays Poker » Sat May 06, 2017 8:29 pm

You can PM or email me as well.
Last edited by Pascal Plays Poker on Sun May 07, 2017 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sat May 06, 2017 8:30 pm

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Re: XENOPHON

Postby Sit Room Guy » Sun May 07, 2017 8:44 pm

I'm so excited for this I decided to go to a university that's one state away from where this tournament will be happening instead of two.
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby Sit Room Guy » Sun May 07, 2017 9:46 pm

I'm pleased to announce that I'll be editing XENOPHON. Don't worry; this will go better than JAKOB probably
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby Pascal Plays Poker » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:40 am

Here is an example of how a tossup would be (Difficulty and Structure wise; this is NOT an actual tossup):

One cartoon depicting this battle shows a “gallant charge of the Kentuckians”, who are depicted wearing Roman helmets. William Bliss denied one side’s surrender terms before this battle after they had advanced to the Carnero Pass. (+) Francisco Mejia led this battle’s opening charge against the opponent’s left flank. Among the dead at this battle included Henry Clay’s son and former governor of Arkansas Archibald Yell. One general’s order at this battle to “give them a little more grape, Captain Bragg” was used as a campaign slogan by the winner of the Election of (*) 1848. After winning this battle and the Battle of Monterey, the winning side was able to march on Chapultepec Castle. For 10 points, name this loss for Santa Anna’s forces during the Mexican-American War at which Zachary Taylor became a war hero.
ANSWER: Battle of Buena Vista (accept Battle of Angostura)
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby nour hijazi » Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:10 pm

Studying for PACE NSC and NASAT has pushed our estimated time of completion date to approximately July 14 as to give us enough time to finish and playtest the set. As of right now, the people who have approached me to playtest it are Jacob Reed, Aaron Jensen, and Ben Anthony. Anyone who thinks they will not be able to attend a mirror of this, including the one at Wright State whenever it is held, but is interested in hearing it should PM me to be included in the Skype playtesting sessions. Those should hopefully take place in early July.
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby nour hijazi » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:10 pm

In order to have a sufficient of time to review and implement playtesters' comments, Hari and I would like to playtest the first two packets tomorrow night as packet 3 is 50% complete. Anyone else interested in participating should send me their skype name no later than 6:00 PM EST.

Edit: different time
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby Sit Room Guy » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:25 pm

This is about 80% finished. It should be ready for any events the weekend after CO or after that. So far this set is being run at the following sites:
VCU
Berkeley
Wright State
Toronto

There are no mirror sites in the Southeast, so if you'd be interested in filling this vacancy please PM myself or Nour.

A Skype (or Discord/IRC if people prefer) mirror will also probably be in the offing; further details later.
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby Pascal Plays Poker » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:35 am

A Skype mirror of XENOPHON will be held on September 15. The cost will be $10/player. If you are interested, please sign up using the sheet below:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby Mike Bentley » Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:44 pm

When in the day would the Skype mirror be starting?
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby Sit Room Guy » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:14 pm

Mike Bentley wrote:When in the day would the Skype mirror be starting?

when we're about 2 or 3 weeks out we'll set up a poll asking when the best time is.
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby everdiso » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:16 pm

Just played this in Toronto and had a great time! It was an excellent tournament. Well-written questions, good choices of answerlines. I thought the classics content was excessive, and the AmHis was, too (as it usually is in American tournaments), but good topics were chosen within both of those. As a history player, I especially enjoyed the "literature about history" distribution. Trying to figure out the answer from references to history throughout the lit clues was really fun: it felt great to occasionally put it together, and even when I didn't it kept me involved in lit tossups that I'd usually have zoned out of.
Overall, dope tournament, had a sick time.
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby csheep » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:19 pm

Looking for a teammate for the Skype mirror; if you're OK with covering pretty much the entirety of the history distribution feel free to message me.

edit: I am teaming with Austin Foos for this.
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby nour hijazi » Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:47 pm

For those of you interested in a Skype mirror of this, please fill out this survey to specify when you would like it to be held: https://doodle.com/poll/c2fnuv6gu5fiecmi

If you would prefer some other date, specify below. You can pay Jakob the $10/player entry fee via Venmo. Thanks!
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby Pascal Plays Poker » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:59 pm

EDIT: Looks like Nour already beat me to making a poll, so use that one instead. The poll will close Friday, 11:59 EST.

(Note that the times are tentative; the tournament will probably only last around 1.5-2.5 hours)
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby Neggman » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:38 am

Anyone feel like teaming up? (PM me or message me on facebook)

EDIT: Realized it was obviously doubles and I'm a fool.
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby Pascal Plays Poker » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:40 pm

Since the majority of you voted for it, we will be running the XENOPHON Skype mirror on 9/9 (Saturday) @ 12:00 P.M. EST.

We are capping the field at 10 teams, or 20 players. So far 15 people can make Sept. 9; I've resorted the original doc so that the people highlighted can make the date: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby Pascal Plays Poker » Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:46 pm

Changed the field cap to 10 teams.
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby Sit Room Guy » Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:55 pm

https://discord.gg/ft5nHQ8
Here is a link to the Discord server we'll be using to coordinate things. Please be on said server at 11:45 Eastern tomorrow.
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby Pascal Plays Poker » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:16 pm

Congrats to Tejas and Auroni for defeating Mike and Joey (165-120) in the final of the XENOPHON Skype Mirror! Stats are currently up, and because Wright State will be unable to host a mirror of XENOPHON, packets will be up momentarily. As well as that, a discussion thread for the set should be up soon. Thanks to all for playing, and hope you enjoyed!
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby Neggman » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:26 pm

This set was a ton of fun thanks for writing it and putting this together!
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby csheep » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:04 pm

Pascal Plays Poker wrote:Congrats to Tejas and Auroni for defeating Mike and Joey (165-120) in the final of the XENOPHON Skype Mirror! Stats are currently up, and because Wright State will be unable to host a mirror of XENOPHON, packets will be up momentarily. As well as that, a discussion thread for the set should be up soon. Thanks to all for playing, and hope you enjoyed!


I see stats went up almost immediately; are the packets coming soon as well?

Tournament was fun, thanks.
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby Pascal Plays Poker » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:46 pm

csheep wrote:
Pascal Plays Poker wrote:Congrats to Tejas and Auroni for defeating Mike and Joey (165-120) in the final of the XENOPHON Skype Mirror! Stats are currently up, and because Wright State will be unable to host a mirror of XENOPHON, packets will be up momentarily. As well as that, a discussion thread for the set should be up soon. Thanks to all for playing, and hope you enjoyed!


I see stats went up almost immediately; are the packets coming soon as well?

Tournament was fun, thanks.


Packets are now up. Feel free to discuss (Nour wrote all of the lit, Jakob and I wrote most of the history, and we all split listory)
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby Mike Bentley » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:52 pm

Thanks for writing this set and running the Skype mirror. It was an impressive effort from a team of young editors.

I hope that the editors and organizers of this tournament can build on this to produce an even better event in the future. Here are a few things that would go

Logistics:

When running a Skype tournament, it's a good idea to send out logistics e-mails ahead of time and get confirmation that people are playing. From what I understand, some people were signed up for this tournament by filling out a poll and weren't aware that was a full commitment to playing.

Posting the schedule ahead of time would also be helpful. This tournament had a very weird schedule where most teams had something like 2 meaningful games and the rest byes. Rather than just letting any number of teams sign up, come up with a schedule that works for the number of rounds you have ahead of time. I imagine there was a format that could have been used where we played a round robin or something.

I'd also encourage everyone playing, but especially reading, a Skype tournament to get a headset. It's not very expensive and makes the experience so much better than using your laptop mic.

Questions

There were several neat ideas in this tournament. For instance, the tossups on Lepanto and Daniel Webster were well conceived and executed.

That being said, this set could have used more polish to make it comparable with other tournaments produced at this level. A few tossups could have been improved by using a better pronoun: I'm thinking of things like the tossup that called the Spanish Armada a "group" or the tossup on light which referred to it as an "object". If you need to obscure the pronoun in order to keep the tossup from being transparent, it's worth considering whether you should approach the tossup in a different way.

Pretty much every tournament suffers from some degree of factual errors, but this one seemed to have a higher rate than normal. Ivanhoe is not a novel set during the Third Crusade (it's after the crusade was over). The Panic of 1873 did not occur during the Hayes administration. There were other examples of things being factually correct, but interpretable in other ways. For instance, I could make the argument that Aztec human sacrifice fits the clue about protein as well as (or better) than the written answer line, Flower Wars.

I would have also liked to have seen more interesting answer and clue selection in the straight history questions (as opposed to the listory questions which were better at this). The tournament seemed to skew very much towards political and great man history while not going very deep into social or economic history (although it's possible I'm misremembering and would be happy to be proved wrong with data).

(And given the other threads going on about young writers maybe not writing tournaments, I want to make sure that I get across that I appreciate all the work that went into making this set. Tournaments like this are a great way for newer writers to get experience and make them better prepared for writing and editing tournaments in the future. But I know from my own writing that without feedback, I'm not going to get any better.)
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby Sit Room Guy » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:09 pm

Mike Bentley wrote:Thanks for writing this set and running the Skype mirror. It was an impressive effort from a team of young editors.
I'd also encourage everyone playing, but especially reading, a Skype tournament to get a headset. It's not very expensive and makes the experience so much better than using your laptop mic.

If this is referring to me, I did, in fact, use a headset. There were just some unforeseen sources of background noise, for which I apologize.

There were several neat ideas in this tournament. For instance, the tossups on Lepanto and Daniel Webster were well conceived and executed.

Pretty much every tournament suffers from some degree of factual errors, but this one seemed to have a higher rate than normal. Ivanhoe is not a novel set during the Third Crusade (it's after the crusade was over). The Panic of 1873 did not occur during the Hayes administration. There were other examples of things being factually correct, but interpretable in other ways. For instance, I could make the argument that Aztec human sacrifice fits the clue about protein as well as (or better) than the written answer line, Flower Wars.

Yeah, this part's on me. Both of these were errors that should have been easily caught.

I would have also liked to have seen more interesting answer and clue selection in the straight history questions (as opposed to the listory questions which were better at this). The tournament seemed to skew very much towards political and great man history while not going very deep into social or economic history (although it's possible I'm misremembering and would be happy to be proved wrong with data).

The historiography distribution might have contributed to this effect; that's a category of the distribution that's difficult to write without going into great-man history, considering that this is how a significant number of the canonical historical texts follow this school. In the full set, I counted Baseball Games, Chicago, East India Company, Panic of 1873, and King James Bible as entirely non-political and military, with Rhineland, Leopold II, Nubia, Treaty of Waitangi, and Petra as partially to mostly non-political or military. With only 5 packets of 8 history in the full set, this may not constitute as grave an underrepresentation as I think you perceived.

As regards the history, my own inexperience at editing led to take a more hands-off approach to editing than I think the situation merited, and for that I apologize. That same approach also led me to a perhaps unhealthy disregard for more macro-scale trends in the set. It's inevitable that in sets with small numbers of writers like this one that questions will tend to drift toward those writers' strengths, which in Hari's case remain political and military history.
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby csheep » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:13 pm

Thoughts on random questions:

The answerlines of "character shares name with author" and "end of history" were needlessly specific in my opinion, and could've been simplified down to "the author is a character" and just "history" without changing much in the question. In the former, I was prompted 3 times, since it was obvious both to the moderator and myself that I knew what was going on but just lacked the word "name." In the latter, someone answering "history" could get hosed (which did happen when we played the packet as an informal shootout). Or if the "end of history" answerline is important, then maybe a note to players warning them a specific answer is required ahead of the TU could've been helpful.

Tilbury Town and Southey/Byron felt pretty hard compared to the rest of the set. Overall the difficulty felt decently consistent though, which might've made the few outliers standout more.

I don't see a big issue with describing "light" as an "object" personally.

I enjoyed the set overall, felt pretty standard to me. The "listory" aspect didn't feel that pronounced however. I was just here for the lit personally so I didn't care that much but I didn't really get a sense of a huge sense of hybrid lit/history as opposed to just some lit questions and some history questions. Could be subjective.
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby nour hijazi » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:36 pm

I'd like to start by thanking everyone for playing this set as well as Young and Emily for helping with the Skype tournament. Hari, Jakob, and I are currently discussing the idea of a sequel to this set (albeit with a different distribution and a greater number of packets to prevent weird schedules like the one used in the Skype tournament) and appreciate any criticism people have to offer. My philosophy for the literature consisted of asking about topics which are famous clues for another more widely asked about topic (the tossups on banana plantation, Tilbury Town, Byron and Southey, and conversation poems are good examples of this). Moreover, these specific clues turned into topics had to have true significance to the more famous topic and not some cursory association that is only famous because it's frequently used as a clue. I'm not totally sure as to how well that philosophy was executed in these tossups, nor as to how well they played, so feel free to let me know.

Michael Zhuang wrote:The answerlines of "character shares name with author" and "end of history" were needlessly specific

I agree with that opinion of the former, but I stand by the decision to include the tossup on the latter as I wanted to tossup up something besides history, which has come up numerous times. That specific answerline seemed awfully contrived, but I found clues for that answer without a lot of time devoted to googling "end of history". After further researching clues that I was vaguely familiar with, I felt like it was a distinguished enough concept that deserved its own tossup, though in retrospect it seemed this answerline was too hard/vague to execute properly. The former, however, just seemed like an interesting, tongue in cheek idea that I originally wasn't going execute until I found enough clues.

As with the Tilbury Town and Byron/Southey tossups, I was just surprised that I couldn't find any other tossups on them since they seemed famous "end of the tossup" clues for Byron and Robinson. As mentioned above, my goal was to further elaborate on topics people have heard of from other tossups, though maybe those tossups in particular were too difficult for this set.

I would like to apologize for all of the inaccuracies in lit and any other questions I contributed to (which incidentally includes the Panic of 1873 TU) as well as for any egregious misuse of the English grammar.

Michael Bentley wrote:A few tossups could have been improved by using a better pronoun

I agree with this opinion about several tossups that I wrote (which included Spanish Armada, light, and wine). For the Spanish Armada TU, I didn't want to reveal that it was a official military force as opposed to a rebel group or something more generic, which is why I employed that pronoun. In retrospect, the wine TU could have been reworked into something less generic (I only included it because it's a common motif in Persian poetry, but I assumed a tossup on the Persian language with numerous references to wine would be transparent assuming players didn't neg with "China").

I hope everyone enjoyed playing this set and any other future writing endeavors we produce!
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Re: XENOPHON

Postby Pascal Plays Poker » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:59 pm

Thanks all for playing and giving suggestions. Here are my comments:

Mike Bentley wrote:Posting the schedule ahead of time would also be helpful. This tournament had a very weird schedule where most teams had something like 2 meaningful games and the rest byes. Rather than just letting any number of teams sign up, come up with a schedule that works for the number of rounds you have ahead of time. I imagine there was a format that could have been used where we played a round robin or something.


This definitely happened because we only wrote 5 packets. If we plan on doing this again, we will definitely write more.

Mike Bentley wrote:I'd also encourage everyone playing, but especially reading, a Skype tournament to get a headset. It's not very expensive and makes the experience so much better than using your laptop mic.


Sorry for the background noise during the final game. I will definitely get headphones if I'm doing this again.

Mike Bentley wrote:I would have also liked to have seen more interesting answer and clue selection in the straight history questions (as opposed to the listory questions which were better at this). The tournament seemed to skew very much towards political and great man history while not going very deep into social or economic history (although it's possible I'm misremembering and would be happy to be proved wrong with data).


As Jakob said, I am better at political/"great man" history than I am the other aspects. I will say that I honestly could've attempted to be more clever with regards to answer lines, but at the time, I was focused more on making sure the questions were pyramidal and there were no factual errors.
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