There isn’t much software available for Dust Warfare yet, but there is plenty for Magic the Gathering, including collection editors, deck builders and even a card editor.
One program in particular stands out, Magic Assistant, by Alena Laskavaia. It’s a program of two halves: one half is a collection editor and deck builder for MTG, but the other half is a game-agnostic tournament organiser.
The tournament organiser is meant to replicate the official Wizards Event Reporter software, but because it’s not tied in to the DCI (the official rules body for MTG), it can be used for any game, including Dust Warfare!
In this article I’ll explain how to use Magic Assistant to run a Dust Warfare tournament.
Although I’ve written this article on Windows, the same information should apply to both the Linux and Mac versions of the software.
The first thing to do is download the Magic Assistant software. It’s free, open source, and available from Sourceforge. It’s not very large, either.
Magic Assistant doesn’t have to be installed as such. Just open the zip file and drag the “MagicAssistant” folder to wherever you want on your computer.
Then, run “magicassistant.exe” (or the equivalent on your OS if you don’t use Windows) to fire up the program.
It might ask you to set a “workspace” folder, but it’s fine to use the “MagicAssistant” folder for that. Click “Browse”, then navigate to the “MagicAssistant” folder, check the box near the bottom of the window, and click OK.
After that, you might be prompted to update the software and download some new MTG sets. Obviously, we don’t need to update sets because we won’t use the software for MTG card tracking, but it’s fine to update the software itself.
Oh, one more thing. While updating, you might see this screen:
Don’t worry about it, it’s fine to click OK to continue. After the update is complete, click Yes to restart Magic Assistant.
When Magic Assistant restarts (and has checked once again for updates), you’ll be presented with this screen.
Once again, we’re not interested in the MTG side of things, so go over to the Window menu and click “Tournament Organizer”. You’ll now be presented with this window:
That’s more like it! This part of the Magic Assistant software is completely game-neutral, and can be used to run a tournament for any game you can think of.
The first thing to set up is the players list. After all, you can’t run a tournament without some players!
It’s easy to add players to a tournament, and the list on this screen is also persistent, so if you have regulars at your club, you won’t have to enter their names for every event.
Click “Add” to add a player, and fill in their name and PIN. The PIN can be anything you want, but it’s a good idea to devise a player ID number system, so that in future a player can simply tell you their ID number, and you can enter them quickly into an event.
Once you’ve entered a player, the screen will look like this:
You’ll probably have more than one player entered!
To schedule a tournament, return to the Tournament tab. In the Overview section, choose how many rounds the tournament will have in the Total Rounds dropdown, and untick “Has a draft round”. For Scheduling type, you can choose from Swiss, Round Robin, Elimination and so on. Choose the type of tournament that you’re going to run.
To add players to your tournament, click Add in the Registered Players and Tournament Standings section. Click the name of the player you want to add. You can also CTRL-click (or Command-click on Mac) to select multiple players in the list. When you’re finished with selecting players, click OK.
If everything looks good, click Schedule in the Overview section and your tournament will lock in. If your event has a top 8 (or top 4), set the last two or three rounds to Elimination in the Rounds section (last two rounds for top 4, or last three rounds for top 8) by clicking on the round type and selecting Elimination from the dropdown menu.
Set The Clock
One more thing to do before you start your event is to set the clock. In the Timer panel, click the third button along on the right (the one that looks like a stopwatch with an arrow), and set the round time in HH:MM:SS format. If you want to reset the clock at any time, just click the same button and the last time you entered will be there. Click OK to reset the clock.
After you’ve done that, click Round 1 in the Rounds section, and pairings for round 1 will be generated! You can print these by clicking Print next to the Round Schedule and Results panel. Choose “ROUND_SCHEDULE” for “What to print”, and “Round 1″ (or any other round later in the tournament) for “Round”. The numbers in brackets are the table numbers.
Alternatively, you can just call out the pairings if you’re running a smaller event. Click the second button along in the Timer Panel (the yellow bar and green arrow) to start the clock, and play can begin!
To enter a match result, double click on a match in the Round Schedule and Results panel. You’ll then see this screen:
Enter a 1 in the winning player’s box, and a 0 for the losing player. If the match was a draw, put a 1 in the Draw # box. If a player wants to drop out of the tournament, check the Drop? box next to that players name before clicking OK.
That’s pretty much it for using Magic Assistant’s tournament organiser to run a Dust Warfare tournament. As each round progresses, just repeat the steps above in Entering Results, until you eventually get to a winner.
If you want to print standings at any point (such as before the final round so players can decide if they want to play for top 8), go to the Print box and choose “ROUND_STANDINGS”, then choose the round you want to print standings for and click Print.
To close a tournament, just click Close in the Overview panel. You can then exit Magic Assistant. If you want to print final standings first, go to the Print box again and choose “TOURNAMENT RESULTS”, then choose “All” and click Print.
If you have any questions, leave them below in the comments and I’ll try to answer them. Happy gaming!