EuroFest Discussion

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EuroFest Discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sun Jun 07, 2009 1:17 am

Assorted sources have informed me that all three EuroFest locations have wrapped up for the night; since there are no subsequent events planning to use the set, I am clearing them for discussion. They have been sent to Chris Carter's archive.

The distribution is here:
viewtopic.php?p=134520#p134520

The following people wrote the following amount of tossups:

Me: 109
Dallas Simons: 19 (ancient history)
Carsten Gehring: 10 (mostly German history)
Phil Graves: 10 (mostly Russian)
Trygve Meade: 8 (European Culture)
Jeff Hoppes: 5 (mostly British)
Rob Carson 2 (European Culture)

Mike Cheyne wrote a bonus (France); most of the people above also wrote bonuses, generally in the same areas.

A few things I want to say to start off:

* Yes, there were three tossups on Portugal, and one tossup about the Roman province of Lusitania. You will note that there was no clue overlap between any of them; not even in the giveaway. Partially, this was done out of self-indulgence. Partially, it was done out of a desire to test how people would react. It is said that where there is no clue overlap, the usual prohibition against repeated answers does not apply.

* The European Culture subdistribution (10/10) did seem to turn into, as one player put it, "stealth literature and arts". Originally, I conceived of this as a distro for works of art or thought that are historically significant. For instance, important works of political theory that had a supposed historical impact (such as Leviathan), or perhaps the work of nationalist poets or musicians. The end result was not as linked to history as I might have liked, but it was an interesting experiment.

* I'd like to eventually see somebody other than me write a history side event, so that I could play it. If you have any interest in doing so, I would be more than happy to help you in any way that does not require me to see the questions.
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Re: EuroFest Discussion

Post by Mike Bentley » Sun Jun 07, 2009 1:28 am

Overall the tournament was pretty enjoyable. I think it was definitely better than last year's event. The bonuses were still pretty difficult and less consistent than they should have been. I'll probably have more specific comments later.
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Re: EuroFest Discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sun Jun 07, 2009 1:35 am

I did try to make bonuses easier; my goal was to have one easy part and one part which roughly half of teams would get, and then a third part that was about learning. Sometimes I had trouble coming up with a bonus part of appropriate difficulty without repeating things that came up in a different question.
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Re: EuroFest Discussion

Post by DumbJaques » Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:12 am

I think it would have been very cool to include cultural works of general historical significance in this tournament (I probably will try to do so when I am finally able to take Bruce up on his offer and write a history tournament). I don't really understand how this could have somehow transitioned to tossups on Demian and whatever silly composer was tossed up in round 6, the one who had the funny alliterative name. His appearance at this tournament was concluded to be some kind of cruel joke by multiple participants at our site, though I was pretty blown away when it got converted.

I do think that it's admirable to have a tournament with tossup on Charlemagne next to tossups on the Harden-Eulenburg Affair and that Brian Boru battle, and it's something Bruce often does very well. That was certainly a huge plus with what I saw of this set. I'll have more specific thoughts when I'm less exhausted, but the set definitely had bonus variability that ran all over the place (easy parts ranged from Piers Galveston to things I can't imagine any conceivable team wouldn't be able to convert). I also think some of the tossups, particularly on the easier things, seemed to hit difficulty cliffs pretty fast but man, maybe I'm just blurring that together with Missouri Open. I'm really too tired to tell! Anyway, I'm eager to play the remaining rounds in practice. Thanks a ton for putting this together Bruce - it's not too often that I get to answer questions on the Bucentaur.
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Re: EuroFest Discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:16 am

DumbJaques wrote:whatever silly composer was tossed up in round 6, the one who had the funny alliterative name. His appearance at this tournament was concluded to be some kind of cruel joke by multiple participants at our site, though I was pretty blown away when it got converted.
Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf is important, dude!
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Re: EuroFest Discussion

Post by millionwaves » Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:21 am

* The European Culture subdistribution (10/10) did seem to turn into, as one player put it, "stealth literature and arts". Originally, I conceived of this as a distro for works of art or thought that are historically significant. For instance, important works of political theory that had a supposed historical impact (such as Leviathan), or perhaps the work of nationalist poets or musicians. The end result was not as linked to history as I might have liked, but it was an interesting experiment.
This was pretty much just me misunderstanding what Bruce wanted. I did try to include tossups on things that I thought were important to European culture and thought (for instance, Demian wasn't a random choice; it is a pretty deeply philosophical novel that, at least in my opinion, reflects several important European ideas) in my distribution. I apologize (especially to Bruce) if anyone thought the set was weakened by that sort of thing.
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Re: EuroFest Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:06 am

My third vanity tournament will likely be goofy American history and be in the same vein as my goofy literature but with history topics instead.
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Re: EuroFest Discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:03 pm

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:The bonuses were still pretty difficult and less consistent than they should have been.
My strategy for this tournament was "hey, this would be a good place for things that would be cool to write about but are obviously too hard for the 2010 ICT." So if you saw something really outrageous wandering around the British part of the distribution, that was probably my doing. But looking back over this batch of bonuses, all of them have easy parts; and most of the twenties are things that come up with some regularity, at least as clues. Now the third parts, those are about learning...
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Re: EuroFest Discussion

Post by magin » Sun Jun 07, 2009 1:33 pm

I liked EuroFest a lot (especially the tossups on easy answers that were executed well). However, I agree that the bonuses fluctuated a lot, to the point where I kept apologizing to Jerry and Chris for 30ing pretty easy bonuses which would not have been out of place in ACF Winter, which were seemingly mixed in with bonuses appropriate for ACF Nationals or CO. Also, this tournament was rife with tossups on military history, enough so that a vast majority of questions seemed to include clues about battles/wars/military things. Yeah, I get that battles have names, making them convenient clues, but they don't need to be in two-thirds of the tossups.

I liked bonus parts where we had to name important stuff like needle guns and hussars, also. I'd like to see more bonus parts like that at history tournaments. The tossups on Portugal were enjoyable too.

Finally, I don't get why Ditters von Dittersdorf and "This Be the Verse" needed to come up in this tournament. Surely, there are more historically important cultural things that could have been tossed up instead.
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Re: EuroFest Discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:45 pm

Like it or not, pre-modern rulers and polities spent a substantial amount of time fighting each other. Battles and wars are not only things with names, they are also important.

I try to refrain from writing tossups that are about battles (there were only a handful of them), but I don't think having a clue about a battle makes that tossup "military history". This is especially true in European and World history as opposed to American history, which is a lot more politics-focused.
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Re: EuroFest Discussion

Post by cdcarter » Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:11 pm

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Re: EuroFest Discussion

Post by lagazzaladra » Sun Jun 07, 2009 6:07 pm

Rob Carson, you are awesome for writing a TU on Dittersdorf. But he's more famous for writing a viola/bass concerto than a harp concerto IMO.
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Re: EuroFest Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:51 pm

Whig's Boson wrote:* The European Culture subdistribution (10/10) did seem to turn into, as one player put it, "stealth literature and arts". Originally, I conceived of this as a distro for works of art or thought that are historically significant. For instance, important works of political theory that had a supposed historical impact (such as Leviathan), or perhaps the work of nationalist poets or musicians. The end result was not as linked to history as I might have liked, but it was an interesting experiment.
I generally enjoyed the 6 packets we played at UMD, but I just wanted to touch on this: if the "culture" distribution had included something significant to history, that would have been cool. But from the packets we played, it was mostly, hey, look at this Dietersdorf guy with the funny name! Also, tossups on "This Be the Verse," and "Demian," while they certainly got me points, don't seem particularly relevant to European history as such.

As for the repeated Portugals, it did cost me at least one tossup in which I thought that since Portugal had already come up, perhaps this was a different Alfonso Enriques that we were talking about. That was unfortunate and I wish we had known ahead of time that there could be repeats. Otherwise, the questions play differently than they usually do.
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Re: EuroFest Discussion

Post by Gautam » Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:10 pm

As for the "culture" subdistribution, I wasn't annoyed by the lit/arts that showed up. In fact, I think I got at least 20% of my not-a-large-number-of-buzzes off those culture tossups. However, I was expecting more questions like a tossup on "potatoes" which involved clues about The Potato Eaters and/or L'Angelus, or a tossup on "trains" involving clues like The Gare St. Lazare or Rain, Steam and Speed.

I'm not saying the questions should have been that way. I just was somewhat confused when I heard a tossup which was clearly about an artist or an author, and had to change my playing mindset a little.

Overall, it was a fine tournament. It definitely cleared up some of the frequent confusions I make, and it was good to play a tournament where most of my time was, in fact, spent on learning.

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Re: EuroFest Discussion

Post by Not That Kind of Christian!! » Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:14 pm

lagazzaladra wrote:Rob Carson, you are awesome for writing a TU on Dittersdorf. But he's more famous for writing a viola/bass concerto than a harp concerto IMO.
This is what I've always known him for, and it's a pleasure to listen to. Also, Dittersdorf is pretty culturally significant, even though he's not exactly quizbowl canonical.
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Re: EuroFest Discussion

Post by vcuEvan » Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:28 pm

This was really fun, thanks for writing it.
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Re: EuroFest Discussion

Post by No Rules Westbrook » Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:29 pm

Whoa, let's not lose sight of the fact that I wrote the first tossup on Ditters von Dittersdorf (see Experiment I). He was, from what I gather, incredibly popular in his day, for whatever that's worth.
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Re: EuroFest Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:16 pm

No Rules Westbrook wrote:Whoa, let's not lose sight of the fact that I wrote the first tossup on Ditters von Dittersdorf (see Experiment I). He was, from what I gather, incredibly popular in his day, for whatever that's worth.
Sure, but what's he doing in a history tournament? I would imagine there is any number of composers who might be more relevant to have. Whatever, I don't really care all that much; most of the tournament was really enjoyable so I have no real complaints.

Also, "cadet branch" is the new "polity."
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Re: EuroFest Discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:28 pm

Eventually, I'd like feedback about tossups other than Ditters von Dittersdorf.
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Re: EuroFest Discussion

Post by cvdwightw » Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:51 pm

From the six rounds I heard, the only real complaint I have is to echo others that the bonus difficulty was all out of whack. There were a few questions where things got mentioned probably a clue or two too early, leading to the "if this was [actual easy answer], that clue would not have been there" thought process, but overall, the tossups were fine.

Any bonus that is 30able from playing video games is both awesome and probably not a good idea to put in a tournament where middle parts were occasionally way-the-heck-out-there.
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Re: EuroFest Discussion

Post by Mike Bentley » Sat Jun 27, 2009 11:45 am

Sorry for the late response, here are some additional comments I had (based on the 6 rounds we played).

Some tossups that I thought were pretty novel in this tournament were: Ottoman Navy, Stadholder, Wilhelm Scandal.

The Manchester tossup seemed pretty transparent. By that I mean it was describing a city that clearly was very important in the industrial revolution in England, which narrowed the answer choice down significantly. Sure there were a few other answers, but because it was on probably the easiest of answers, it rewarded guessing more than usual.

The tossup on Cromwell in Ireland (I didn't ever see what the answer line really wanted) I guess was a good idea for a subject, but maybe not the best idea for an answer line on a tossup.
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