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About us

What is Longshanks?

Longshanks allows organizers to easily publicize events and automatically manage player pairings.

It allows players to easily find and participate in local events and see what other events are happening around the world.

Since 2017, Longshanks has been the de facto online home of competitive Guild Ball, a tabletop miniatures game by Steamforged Games. A sister site was created in 2020 for Godtear, another Steamforged game.

The two systems were combined in 2021 and support was added for additional game systems. If your favorite game isn't supported yet, contact us to see if it can be added.

Longshanks is owned and operated by Windy City Game Lab, LLC. Names, images, logos, and other game-specific trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Acknowledgements

Ben Redmond

Ben created the first Guild Ball ranking system and was a significant inspiration for Longshanks.

Kevin Stewart

Kevin has been instrumental in providing feedback on the functionality of the Longshanks system. He has also provided a number of ideas and suggestions that have been crucial to the site's success.

Special contributors

Players marked with the red star badge contribute to Longshanks in a variety of ways, including testing and troubleshooting new features. Their help is greatly appreciated!

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Contact us

Finding help

Before contacting us, please read through the Help pages. You may find the answer to your question here.

If you can't find what you need or require additional assistance, there are several ways to cantact us. Please choose one of the options here for any questions or requests.

User requests

Users may submit requests for changes, upgrades, or new features using the User Requests page. Other users can vote for and againsts each request, with overall score influencing when requests are implemented.

User requests page

Social media

Send us a message through one of our social media platforms for a quick response to a question or for technical assistance.

Discord Twitter WhatsApp

Facebook (Longshanks) Facebook (Windy City Game Lab)

Email

For more complex and in-depth issues, send us an email.

Longshanks administration Windy City Game Lab

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Supported games

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Player accounts

Account information

Editing your settings

Once you have claimed your account and logged in you may update your name, home region, password, and other account information using your Dashboard.

ID number

Each account in the system has an ID number that is unique and cannot be changed. A player can always be identified by their ID number even if that player changes their name or other settings.

Display name

Your display name is used by event organizers and other players to find you. To avoid confusion and ensure that games are linked to the correct account, you should be easily identified by your display name both online and in real life.

  • While not required, it is highly recommended that you use your real name.
  • Your display name may not contain special characters.
  • Your display name may not contain profanity.

Nicknames

Subscribers may choose to use a nickname. These appear as a higlighted section within your display name.

  • Your nickname may not contain special characters except #, @, $, , £, ¥, and µ.
  • Your nickname may not contain profanity.

Get an account

Access an existing account

If you have ever attended an organized play event for one of the supported game systems, you may already have an account. If you find an entry in the player list that matches you, follow the instructions on that player profile to claim the account.

An unclaimed account can be registered for events by an event organizer, but you must claim your account to register for events yourself, host events, or change your account information.

Create a new account

If you do not have an account and want to set one up, you can create a new account.

Policies

  • You may modify your account information as necessary to correct errors or reflect changes.
  • Names or nicknames that receive complaints or are deemed inappropriate may be removed or modified by the administration without warning. An account may be locked if an offense is severe or repeated.

Abuses of these policies are NOT tolerated.

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Player rating

By default, Longshanks uses rated events (read about event types) from the past year when calculating and reporting player rating. The "data filters" option that appears on some pages allows you to adjust which events and games are included.

RPI

Player rating on Longshanks is based on the rating percentage index (RPI).

R = win/loss record
OR = average R of all opponents
OOR = average OR of all opponents

Game threshold

Each game system has a threshold set by that game's administrator. This threshold represents approximately half the number of games played by a typical competitive player per year.

Rating

To account for new and untested players, RPI is modified to favor more games being played. A Q-factor is calculated for each player based on the number of games played and the game system's threshold.

The Q-factor is very large when a player has played few games and disappears as a player approaches the game threshold.

e = Euler's number
T = game threshold
n = number of games played

The rating of a player who has played fewer games than the game threshold is calculated by dividing that player's RPI by their Q-factor. Once a player has reached the game threshold, their rating is equal to their RPI.

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Player awards

Awards are for achievments in gameplay within the last year. Current awards appear on the ranking page and historical awards appear on a player's profile.

Event champion

These awards are often given to the winner of regional, national, or world championship events.

Faction leader

The most highly-rated player within each faction. These awards require a minimum in-faction rating of 500.

Multi-Faction master

Play multiple games each with multiple different factions. (The number of games required is based on the game system threshold.)

Faction devotion

Initiate, Enthusiast, Disciple, and Fanatic

Play the same faction in multiple games. (The number of games required is based on the game system threshold.)

Win streak

Winning Spree, Rampage, Dominating, Unstoppable, and Godlike

Win multiple consecutive games.

Centurion

Play 100 or more games. (If the threshold for a game system is 50 or greater, this award is disabled.)

People's Champion

Build the game community by hosting events with a large number of players. (The number of registered players required is based on the game system threshold.)

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Player badges

Badges appear next to a player's name to mark factors not based on gameplay.

Newbie

Accounts created in the last 30 days.

Venue

Game store or other event venue.

Game company staff

Contact us to gain a game company badge.

Subscriber

Supporters of all levels help keep this site running and get access to advanced features.

Windy City Game Lab

Site administrators and special contributors.

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Event types

Each event has one type from each of three categories.

Format

Singles

Games are played between two individual players.

Doubles

Coming soon! Games with four players played two-versus-two.

Team

Teams of up to three players match up, then each player from one team plays a single game against a player from the other team.

The team format is based on the format used by the World Team Championships (WTC) for Warhammer 40,000 and Warmachine & Hordes.

Coming soon! Support for five-player teams.

Rating

Rated

Games in rated events are included when calculating player ratings.

Rated events should strictly follow current game rules and any official tournament procedures. It is recommended that rated events have at least 8 participants.

Unrated

Games in unrated events are not included in player rating calculations. They can be more casual, less competitive, and even use alternate forms of play.

Unrated events are great for escalation leagues, thematic games, and convention side events.

Tournament or league

Tournament

Only the current round may be edited. Tournaments are designed for events where each round is drawn after all games from the previous round have been completed. Single-day events are usually tournaments.

League

Games in all rounds may be edited. Leagues are designed for events where multiple rounds are drawn at the start of the event and players may submit results for their games in any order. Leagues are often run over many days or weeks.

Unrated
Singles
Rated
Singles
Unrated
Team
Rated
Team

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Event status

Open
  • Players may self-register.
  • Registered players may enter game results, modify their registration, or withdraw from the event.
Open
Locked
  • Only event organizers may register players or enter game results.
  • Registered players may modify their registration or withdraw from the event.
Locked
Ongoing
  • Games have begun and new players may not register for the event.
  • Late players may be added by the event organizers.
  • All other Open, Locked, or Hidden rules apply.
Ongoing
Finished
  • Registration and game results may not be modified.
Finished
Under construction
  • For events that aren't ready for the public yet.
  • Use this status to practice and learn how to use the event hosting system.
  • Only visible to the event organizer.
  • Not included in any data calculations.
Under construction

Full events

Events with stripes have reached their player capacity. Additional players may be registered only by an event organizer. All other Open, Locked, or Hidden rules apply.

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Event pairings

Pairing methods

Game pairings are set automatically using one of the methods shown here.

Swiss

Each player is paired at random against another player with the same number of tournament points. In some cases, players may be paired up or down to a player with a different number of wins if necessary. A bye is assigned randomly to a player with the least number of tournament points.

Random

Each player is paired at random against another player. A bye is assigned randomly.

Monrad

Players are ranked by tournament points, then the tie-breaker chosen for the event (if any). The player in first place is paired against the player in second place and so on. A bye is given to the player in last place.

Round Robin

Each player plays against each other player over the course of a Round Robin tournament. The order of matchups in each round is determined at random. Byes are assigned randomly. Coming soon!

Byes

If an event has an odd number of players, one player will need to sit out each round. This player is assigned a "bye" for the round, which counts as a win against an opponent who has lost all their other games.

Player elimination

Eliminating players before an event ends is only recommended in highly competitive events. If neither of these methods is selected, players continue playing until the event ends or they choose to withdraw.

Single elimination

Players are eliminated if they lose a game.

Double elimination

Players are eliminated once they lose two games.

Double elimination generally requires at least one round more than a non-elimination event of the same size and may result in the final two players facing each other twice before a winner can be declared.

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Event ranking

Tournament points

Players are given tournament points (TP) for each game they play in an event.

By default, one TP is assigned for a win and zero points for a loss or draw. Game systems can assign different tournament point values if required by their rules or organized play procedures.

Players are ranked within an event using the following metrics:

  1. Tournament points
  2. Number of wins
  3. Number of ties
  4. Number of losses
  5. The chosen tie-breakers for the event (if any)

Tie breakers

Up to three tie breakers may be applied to an event if desired. The following tie breakers are supported and may be used in any order. If a game system has been assigned a set of preferred tie breakers, those will be selected by default for all new events in that system.

If two or more players have equal values for all the ranking metrics, they are given the same ranking. Those players are displayed within the ranking list in order of their player rating.

Strength of schedule (SOS)

SOS favors players that face more difficult opponents.

If you use tie breakers for an event, Longshanks strongly recommends selecting one of the SOS variants as the first.

SOS variant – Average opponent TP

  • The average tournament points (TP) of a player's opponents during the event.
  • This SOS variant reduces the impact of byes and players dropping from an event by normalizing to the number of games actually played by each player.
  • This SOS variant is preferred by the Marvel Crisis Protocol, Star Wars Legion, and X-Wing tournament rules.
TPo = opponent's tournament points
N = player's number of games
n = opponent's number of games

SOS variant – Total opponent TP

  • The total tournament points (TP) of a player's opponents during the event.
  • This SOS variant is preferred by the Warmachine & Hordes tournament rules.
TPo = opponent's tournament points

SOS variant – Longshanks special

  • A bye game is recorded as an opponent with no wins.
  • This SOS variant reduces the impact of byes and players dropping from an event by giving each player a minimum win/loss record of 1/3.
  • This SOS variant is preferred by the Guild Ball tournament rules.
OR = average win/loss record of all opponents
OOR = average OR of all opponents

Other tie breakers

Top table (TOP)

TOP places the event winner's final opponent in second place regardless of other tie breakers.

Margin of victory (MOV)

MOV favors players that score more victory points compared to their opponents.

  • A bye is recorded as a 0-0 win unless the game system requires a different score.
  • Mathematically identical to the MOV system used by the X-Wing Legacy tournament rules (on a scale of -200 to +200 rather than 0 to 400).
SP = player's score in each game
SO = opponent's score in each game

Victory points scored (VPS)

VPS favors players that score the most victory points.

  • A bye is recorded as a 0-0 win unless the game system requires a different score.
SP = player's score in each game

Victory points allowed (VPA)

VPA favors players who allow their opponents to score the least victory points.

  • A bye is recorded as a 0-0 win unless the game system requires a different score.
SO = opponent's score in each game

Auxiliary points scored (APS)

APS favors players that score the most auxiliary points.

  • Only allowed by game systems that use auxiliary points.
  • Calculated in the same manner as VPS.

Auxiliary points allowed (APA)

APA favors players who allow their opponents to score the least auxiliary points.

  • Only allowed by game systems that use auxiliary points.
  • Calculated in the same manner as APA.

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Event registration

Registering for an event

Players may register for Open events directly. Event organizers can register players for their events using player ID numbers.

The registration section on each event allows you to manage your registration for that event before it begins and drop from the event after it has begun.

To register for a locked event or team tournament, contact the event organizer.

Once you are registered for an event, you will appear on the event page. You can also see and enter the results of your current game on your Dashboard.

Friends

You may add up to five other players as friends. Event organizers may choose to avoid matches between mutual friends during a tournament.

Modify your friends list from your Dashboard.

Player capacity

Players may not register for an event once it reaches its player capacity (if one is set). An event organizer can always add or remove players, even after the event reaches capacity.

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Hosting an event

Pairing options

Before generating each new round, you must select from several options for that round. Once your options have been selected, the system will generate a set of player pairings for that round. You may adjust pairings manually if desired.

These options apply only to the current round. They must be re-selected each round.

Pairing system

You may choose which pairing method (see "Player pairing" above) will be used for this round. Swiss pairing is recommended for most events.

Player elimination

You may choose to use player elimination. Single elimination pairs only undefeated players. Double elimination also pairs players who have a single loss.

Avoid friends

You may choose to automatically avoiding pairings between mutually-recognized friends (Friendly fire errors). This option is intended for larger events where friends might travel together and want to play new people. It is not recommended beyond the first round of a tournament.

Fresh tables

You may choose to automatically avoiding assigning players to the same table more than once in an event (Repeat table errors). This option is useful for games that use terrain that makes each table unique. Fresh tables should be selected every round to ensure it is effective.

Pairing errors

Three possible errors can occur when setting the pairings for a new round of games. These errors are highlighted when setting the pairings for a new round.

If an unacceptable error occurs, you can refresh the pairings to try the automatic system again or manually adjust the pairings. If you discover an error after generating a round, simply delete the round and redo the pairings.

Rematch These opponents have already faced.
Friendly fire Pairing between mutual friends.
Repeat table One or both opponents have already sat at this table.

Rematches are automatically avoided whenever possible. It is recommended that you refresh the pairings or manually change a rematch if a rematch appears.

Friendly fire and Repeat table errors can be avoided automatically if the Avoid friends or Fresh tables options are selected.

Event status

Under construction

When you create a new event, it will automatically be set to the "under construction" status. You may use this status to practice using the event management system and run test events. Change an event's status to Open or Locked to make it publicly visible.

Events under construction are not included in any rating or award calculations, so they will not affect the included players in any way.

Finished

Once a single undefeated player has been found, adding additional game rounds is not recommended. You may ignore this warning if you wish to continue the event anyway.

When your event has ended, use the buttons provided to mark it as finished. Until an event is marked this way, it will continue to appear in the system as incomplete.

Creating new player accounts

You can create a new account for a player who doesn't already have one. Please avoid duplicate entries by confirming that the player doesn't already have an account first. Double check spelling and alternate names.

Test players

Do not create "fake" players when testing the event hosting system.

There are sixteen test players for this purpose. When adding players to a practice or test event, search for "Test Player" and choose one of the options that appears. The test players have ID numbers from 800 to 815.

ID Test player name
800Test Player A #800
801Test Player B #801
802Test Player C #802
803Test Player D #803
804Test Player E #804
805Test Player F #805
806Test Player G #806
807Test Player H #807
808Test Player I #808
809Test Player J #809
810Test Player K #810
811Test Player L #811
812Test Player M #812
813Test Player N #813
814Test Player O #814
815Test Player P #815

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Messaging

Direct messages

Players and event organizers may send direct messages (DMs) to one another. Direct messaging is disabled by default and must be enabled on your Dashboard. If you enable direct messaging, any player may send you a DM at any time by visiting your player profile.

  • Your email address is never shown to a DM recipient. Recipients must follow a link in the message to reply.
  • If you send a DM, the recipient will be able to reply even if you have DMs disabled.
  • All DMs are visible to administrators for diagnostic and security purposes.

Event announcements

Event organizers may send announcements to event attendees to share information about the event or give updates. Players may send messages to event organizers to ask questions or request registration to a closed event.

  • Event announcements are sent to all registered players, even players with DMs disabled.
  • Any player may send a message to any event organizer, even if that organizer has DMs disabled.

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Permissions

Normal

Users without one of the elevated or restricted permission levels shown below are in good standing and have access to all normal Longshanks features.

Subscribers

Subscribers have access to additional features, including more detailed data analytics, the ability to add a nickname, and the ability to add custom logos and banner images to their events.

Elevated

Administrator

Administrators can modify account settings, games, and events created by other users.

Special contributor

These users test out and offer feedback on new features of the site before they become public.

Restricted

Warning

Users may receive warnings for certain unacceptable behaviors. These users retain all standard permissions but are flagged so that administrators can monitor their activity.

Locked

The accounts of users that receive multiple warnings or exhibit extreme unacceptable behavior will be locked. These users can attend events as normal but cannot host events, enter casual games, or modify their own account settings.

Your current permission level is shown on your Dashboard.

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Security & privacy

Email & password security

Your password is never visible to any humans, not event the site administrators, and is never stored as plain text. However, it is still recommended that you use a different password here than you use for any other online accounts.

Your email address is never shared with other users or with any third party for any reason.

  • System administrators may occasionally use email addresses to contact users about their accounts.
  • While the direct messaging system uses email, the email address of one user is never visible to another user.

Hidden players

A player may hide their account if they wish to be anonymous. Hidden players:

  • Appear as an ID number rather than a name.
  • May participate in games and events as normal.
  • Cannot send or receive direct messages.
  • Do not appear in the ranking.
  • Cannot earn most awards.
  • Cannot host events.

Data privacy

This system functions through the public sharing of information.

Some information is entered by users for their own account.

  • This information includes home region, nickname, email address, and password.
  • Users may hide their player account at any time. This removes personal information such as that users name, home region, and event attendance from public view.

Some information is collected and submitted by users about other people. This typically happens when registering players for an event or submitting a casual game to the system.

  • This information is limited to player name, events attended, and match results.
  • Event hosts are required to obtain consent from a player to collect and display this information online before registering that player for an event.

If you wish to have your personal information or account removed from the system entirely, contact us.

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