You're definitely right that this game can end up extremely unbalanced. But I think it's good to risk it. I think standard battleship is kind of boring, which was why I wanted some kind of twist for something that is harder and takes more careful planning. >.< It doesn't look like we'll be implementing the vassal mechanic. I was only going to put it in if there was a lot of support for it, but the votes are too split for it to look favorable. The vassal mechanic was a huge wild card, and maybe isn't fair if some players end up with vassals and others don't. I think it'll end up being some kind of a restocking system in the end (the details can vary). This sounds fair! I think I might set the maximum duration of a game to 24 hours. If nobody retreats or wins or loses by the end of that period, the winner is the player who dealt the most damage. (Sunk ship = 10 points, hit = 1 point) If it's a tie at 24 hours, instant-death (1 hit to end the match). The bracket system is something to discuss and consider. I also recognized that the top bracket will have 1-3 players, most likely. However, it's not possible to enter the top racket by retreating. You'd have to go all in. 10 ships spread across 3 battles makes it risky. If they managed to go 3-0 and they're the only one left in Gold Sea, then they deserved that win. There might even be nobody with a 3-0 record. In which case Gold Sea would be 2-1, Silver Sea would be 1-2, and Bronze would be 0-3. ----------------- I think another system I would be willing to consider is a double elimination bracket for the second phase of the tournament. Number of slots be have half the total number of combatants. (For 16 total players, 8 slots), and it would be seeded by players who had the top scores in the first phase. This is probably simpler... The thing to consider is that with permanently sunk ships, it should be expected that players with more retreats should have more ships left over than players who fought to a win... possibly. Therefore a 1-2 might be favored against a 3-0. Initial setup is private PM with GM. Game play is group PM with all three people in the thread (2 players, 1 GM). GM is only present to verify either player isn't cheating.