Sunday, January 6, 2013

Australian Masters Changes

The Australians are going through the process of looking at qualification for their Masters for 2013. Ex-Pat New Zealander has taken over the running of the Masters for this year and has published his criteria.

Three areas of departure from recent years:

  1. Removal of auto invite for highest representative from each State
  2. Introduction of entry for any winner of 50+ player event regardless of ranking
  3. Removal of invite to top ranked NZ player
Of these I think that the first two are retrograde steps. Why? Well, with regard to state representation, the size of Tasmanian and Western Australian events, in particular, is unlikely to see anybody qualify without extensive travel. I think that having their presence at the event fosters the wider community.

The second change is also, IMO, a backward step. For me the Masters (and Rankings) has always been to reward tournament participation. Therefore it requires a commitment to four (three in NZ) events over the year. Inclusion of someone who has played a single event at the expense of someone who has attended four and ranked highly would be wrong (again my opinion).

As to the last point, I personally don't see the rationale for the invite - apart from historical reasons - especially given that there has been virtually no NZ-domiciled attendance at Australian events in the past two years. However that is very much a personal opinion and I appreciate that others will have differing views.

Here's what I said on WargamerAU as to why I didn't attend the 2012 Australian Masters after receiving an invite:

I received the invite for NZ player for 2012. I chose not to attend for a couple of reasons:

1. It was scheduled for the same weekend as the NZ Masters for which I was TO

2. The NZ and Australian scenes have diverged markedly in the past 2 years, most notably in Comp. Subjective comp is unheard of here in NZ over the past 18 months with a Hard Cap comp being the norm. This is also lighter comp than what appears to be the norm in Australian circles.

3. The inclusion of the Army Swap rounds.

So these were all personal decisions by me as an individual rather than by the "NZ Scene". 

Other individuals might have different motivations.

In addition to this, I think the New Zealand scene stands on its own. Our Masters are as keenly fought as any similar event, including the Australian Masters.

My preference would be to see an event where the top 6 ranked players in each country played their equivalent over 6 rounds over a weekend. This could be done early the following year with the venue alternating between countries. However the Oz Fantasy scene seems to have become a little insular and I suspect few would travel to NZ to play.


  1. Subsequent to this post, general opinion seems to have swayed the direction things were going. The situation seems to be heading more in line with your comments above.

    As for an Australia vs NZ play-off, it sounds like fun. Whether people would be willing to pay to travel for such an event would be the question. If it got off the ground and alternated in terms of venue (to spread the costs), it could become quite the grand tradition.

  2. I have the Tasman Cup on my bookshelf waiting for a more appropriate home. We won it at DogCon in... Good grief... 2009?!?!

  3. I can't really see the Aus v NZ thing kicking off really.
    I'm not quite sure when the last time the NZ masters included only players from the top 10? (Maybe Pete might know).
    If people aren't willing to travel around NZ then they are definetly not going to travel to Aus for it. Therefore, in a year where Aus is hosting, we might have Australia's top 8 and NZ players well down into the mid 20s even. And vice versa.
    Of course I would love to see this go ahead but I wouldn't bet on it ever happening.


  4. Do you think the top NZer not being invited to Oz masters is becuase they are scared I might go over and take the trophy off them?