OFFICIAL RULES

updated 05.12.03

  1. Introduction
  2. Clans
  3. Wars
  4. Earning Cash (GP)
  5. Spending Cash (GP)
  6. Trading Lands
  7. Winning the Tournament
  8. Gamesmanship
  9. Questions?
1. Introduction

The Clans of Vandea Tournament is an online HOMM IV version 3.0 clans-based tournament with a participation component, an economic component, and a RISK-like territorial conquest component. See the Introduction: The Clans of Vandea thread and the FAQ: The Clans of Vandea thread at The Vandea Forum for a full description of these tournament components and how they function together. All licenses and items discussed here are available for sale in the Vandea Forum's shop.

2. Clans

A CLAN will be composed of (and limited to) 3 members--one CLAN Leader and two CLAN Members, all of whom must be scheduled to play in each clan war to which the clan's leader commits. No alternates will be allowed. All three players must be registered members of the Vandea Forum and must be different people who post to the forum from different IP addresses. The CLAN Leader must possess in his inventory (at all times) the CLAN Leader license. CLAN Members must possess in their inventories (at all times) the CLAN Member license. These items are available for purchase in the "shop" at the Vandea Forum. A CLAN Leader can change the membership of his or her clan at will by using the form available on the Report Forms page unless his or her CLAN is currently engaged in an unresolved CLAN War.

3. Wars

A. CLAN Leaders are solely responsible for contacting other CLAN Leaders and arranging to fight for control of specific "lands" in Vandea. CLAN Leaders can agree to fight for any unowned land. Once a land is owned by a clan, it can not be fought for unless the CLAN Leader whose clan owns it agrees to the fight. There is one exception to this rule, however. If a CLAN Leader owns the "Forced CLAN War" license (available in the Vandea Forum shop), then that leader can force another CLAN Leader to defend a land that is adjacent to one owned by the CLAN Leader who possesses the "Forced CLAN War" license. One such license must be purchased for each clan war that is "forced."

B. When discussing potential CLAN Wars with one another, CLAN Leaders must agree on the following eight (8) things: 1) which "land" in Vandea is being contested, 2) which map (from the official Clans of Vandea Battle Maps page) will be used, 3) which color on the map each team will play (all members of one clan will play the "green" side, for example, while all members of the other clan will play the "blue" side), 4) who fights who in each CLAN War match, 5) which player is "hosting" each clan war game, 6) the game difficulty setting, 7) the turn time limits, and 8) the stationary/mobile guards setting. CLAN Leaders are not required to fight against one another. They may arrange these matches in any way they wish.

C. Any agreements beyond those listed above (like "No GM Necromancy," for example) are solely between CLAN Leaders. Such agreements can be made, but they will not be considered by the Honor Guard in the event that a dispute arises.

D. CLAN Leaders who agree to go to war must purchase a "CLAN War" license. One such license must be owned for each clan war in which a clan participates (so, don't sell them back to the shop). In the event that a clan is "Forced" to go to war over a specific land, then the CLAN Leader who is "forced" to go to war will be given a free "CLAN War" license for that war. In other words, he or she will not have to purchase one for that specific contest. Nevertheless, that clan leader must own (and will own) one "CLAN War" license for each war in which his clan participates.

E. Once two CLAN Leaders have agreed to go to war and have purchased the necessary licenses, then and only then, they must both go to the tournament Report Forms page, fill out an "Initiate Clan War" form, and send it to the tournament administrator. If the details of these forms match one another perfectly, then the clan war is considered valid, and its details will be posted on the Current Clan Wars page.

F. As soon as the tournament administrator has received matching forms from both CLAN Leaders, he will immediately check both CLAN Leaders' inventories and then edit the chosen map to reflect the possessions of both leaders (inventory owned by CLAN Members does not count and will not be considered). Once the map is correctly edited, the administrator will e-mail a copy of the map (with a new, war-specific title) to all 6 players who are competing in that clan war. (Note that CLAN Leaders have to agree on which color their respective teams will play in a given clan war, so that players will begin with the correct inventories, based upon what their CLAN Leader possesses).

G. When the edited-maps have been mailed out, the administrator will record the date. That clan war is then considered underway, and players have 2 weeks from that day to complete their matches. The tournament administrator will accept completed CLAN War reports up until midnight of the day on which the war is scheduled to be concluded. In the event that the administrator does not receive matching clan war completion report forms from both clan leaders who were involved in a given war on or before the official deadline, then that war will be considered null and void, and one "CLAN War" license will be deleted from each CLAN Leader's inventory. If the respective CLAN Leaders wish to continue that war, they must both purchase another "CLAN War" license, and submit new "Initiate Clan War" forms.

H. For FORCED Clan Wars, unlike mutually-agreed-upon CLAN Wars, only the "forcing" clan must complete the form on the Report Forms page. In addition, note that the tournament administrator will select the map, the color of each CLAN, the player-to-player matchups, and the hosts of all such contests. A FORCED Clan War will be considered "underway" as soon as the tournament administrator receives a valid FORCED Clan War declaration from the "forcing" clan. The administrator will then notify the CLAN Leader of the CLAN that's being "forced" to go to war, that one of his or her CLAN's lands is under attack. FORCED Clan Wars will be given a three week deadline. However, neither clan involved in a FORCED Clan War may initiate any new Clan Wars until a FORCED Clan War is completed, nor may they claim taxes on lands or territories acquired after a FORCED Clan War is declared. These taxes will be collected as soon as the FORCED Clan War is completed. A special form is required for FORCED Clan Wars. Specific dates and times must be recorded for each clan war match, and the tournament administrator or a member of the Honor Guard will monitor GameSpy during these times to insure that both parties who are scheduled to play arrive and initiate a game. Exceptions for emergencies will be allowed, and matches disrupted by emergencies will be rescheduled. In the event that the winner of a FORCED Clan War has not been decided by the end of the 3 week deadline, victory will be awarded to the Clan that was more available (as determined through monitoring GameSpy) to play the scheduled Clan War matches. If the CLAN that exercises a "force" wins a Forced CLAN War, then the losing clan will cede control of the land in which the war was forced. If the clan that exercises a "force" loses the Forced CLAN War, then no "land" will change hands as a result of that war. In any event, the winning CLAN Leader will be entitled to the standard 1,000 GP victory bonus while the loser will be entitled to the standard 500 GP bonus (described below).

I. Each Clan War will consist of three game matches, and the best two-out-of-three matches will win the contest (no second or third rounds). In the event that one clan wins the first two matches, then there's no need to complete the third match as its result can not affect the outcome of the war. Players are welcome, of course, to play the non-deciding game (for the sake of honor and dignity), but this is not required. It will be considered polite for the player from the winning clan to offer to play the match anyway. The player who is a member of the losing clan can then either choose to accept or not accept this "free challenge," and both these choices will be considered honorable.

J. All clan war matches must be played online using the GameSpy interface. No exceptions to this rule will be allowed.

K. All clan war matches must be played using version 3.0 or a compatible expansion pack version of 3DO's "Heroes of Might and Magic IV." No exceptions to this rule will be allowed.

L. All clan war matches must be played with the "password protect saved games" feature activated. Do not request, and do not give out, your saved game password to anyone except a member of the Honor Guard. Players who refuse to release their saved game password to the honor guard will be immediately banned from both the tournament and the Vandea Forum. See the section on "Gamesmanship," below.

4. Earning Cash (GP)

A. Posting: Part of the goal, here, is to foster an active online gaming community. As such, players are rewarded (a little) for posting to the tournament message-board, The Vandea Forum. The rate is 3 GP (Gold Pieces) per post. Flooding is not encouraged. We want people to participate in the HOMM gaming community, not spam us into boredom. As such, the Vandea Forum's floodprotect function is set to a healthy 2 minutes. This will discourage spamming, but people who participate in this community by posting to the Vandea Forum will get a little money.

B. Winning Clan Wars: There are 57 "lands" in Vandea, and these are grouped into 8 "territories." Clans will enter into clan-wars over specific "lands," and the winner of a given "clan war" will gain control of the land that the respective CLAN Leaders agreed to fight for. In addition to gaining control of the land, the victorious CLAN Leader will earn 1,000 GP. The losing CLAN Leader will earn 500 GP (encouraging continued participation).

C. Taxes: At the beginning of each month, starting April 1, 2003, CLAN Leaders will earn taxes for each "land" and each "territory" that their clan controls. The rate is 500 GP for each "land" and 1,000 GP for each "capital" (Capitals are marked by the crowns on the map). In addition, CLAN Leaders whose clans control whole "territories" will earn the "bonus" listed on the bottom-left hand corner of the map. Here's the list:

Northern Tier +4,000 GP
Kingdom of Kheledon +6,000 GP
Kingdom of Quelsa +5,000 GP
Atlia +8,000 GP
Azeldonian Isles +2,000 GP
Azirian Empire +5,000 GP
Confederation of the Hills +8,000 GP
Hyutian Empire +5,000 GP

The tournament's first season will run for 7 months, Mar. 15 to Nov. 15, and CLAN Leaders will collect taxes (as described here) on the first day of each month for the duration of the tournament. In turn, they will use the money they accrue to strengthen their clans by purchasing various "improvements" from the Vandea Forum shops. New improvements will be immediately available for use in any not-yet-initiated clan war. They will not affect clan wars that are already underway.

D. Hard Luck Clans: Clans that lose both of their first two clan wars will receive a "hard luck" bonus of 1,000 GP to encourage their continued participation. A specific form is available on the Report Forms page that must be used to report this status and receive the bonus GP.

E. Low-Level Adventurer Bonus: As soon as a registered member of the Vandea FORUM attains "Low-Level Adventurer" status (30 posts), that person will earn a one-time bonus of 100 GP (more than enough, combined with the GP they earned from posting, to become a CLAN Leader). A specific form is available on the Report Forms page that must be used to report this status and receive the bonus GP.

5. Spending Cash (GP)

Check out the Shop at the Vandea Forum and you'll see what can be purchased and how those purchases will affect HOMM gameplay in Vandea. All the items in the shops should be self-explanatory.

Note that the forum's administration can't be held responsible for any mistakes that are made in the handling of GP. This includes buying items, selling items, and donating GP. If you make a mistake and purchase something you don't want, you may sell that item back to the store for one-half the purchase price. That's the only solution available.

Also note that (at the end of the season) all GP and all tournament-related items will be deleted from players' inventories and the bank, and the earn-GP/post function will be turned off until the next tournament season begins so that when the new season arrives, all players can start off on equal footing. Items that do not affect the tournament (items purchased in the Forum Effects Store and the Vandean Jewelers), however, will not be removed, nor will a forum member's post count or rank be changed, as these have no direct effect on the tournament.

6. Trading Lands

Any two CLAN Leaders who both own the "Diplomat" license may freely trade "lands" between themselves in Vandea. A specific form is available for these kinds of transactions. These trades need not be one-to-one. One land for two, one for three, one-for-none, or any other imaginable combination is permissable. For example, one CLAN Leader may agree to "sell" a specific land for 5,000 GP. So long as both CLAN Leaders involved in this transaction own the "Diplomat" license, the tournament administrator will make the requested change as soon as two matching forms are submitted by the CLAN Leaders who have agreed to the trade. Note, however, that the administration will not handle the exchange of GP. CLAN Leaders who wish to make these kinds of trades must handle any exchange of GP themselves. The administration will only be responsible for the lands involved in a given transaction. Lands can not be traded while they are being contested in a CLAN War.

7. Winning the Tournament

In the event that no single CLAN controls all of Vandea by the end of the tournament's first season (Nov. 15, 2003), the tournament winner will be determined by calculating which CLAN Leader would collect the most GP in TAXES (taxes only) at the end of the final day of the tournament--12PM, Nov. 15, 2003. GP on hand will not count towards winning the tournament, nor will any inventory. Note, however, that CLAN Leader Titles normally would affect CLAN income, but these titles will NOT be used to determine the final winner.

The tournament's winners (the CLAN Leader and both CLAN Members) will get their names and their clan's shield posted permanently in the VANDEAN WAR ARCHIVE, and each may choose to receive either a copy of the "Winds of War" expansion pack or a copy of "Heroes V" shortly after it's released in 2004.

8. Gamesmanship

Heroes IV is a game, and people want to have fun playing it. Cheaters never really win. They get exposed, sooner or later, and they cause a lot of people to not enjoy playing. Nevertheless, cheating does happen. All accusations of cheating should be forwarded to the Captain of the Clans of Vandea Honor Guard. Such accusations will be taken seriously and will be dealt with promptly.

If a CLAN Member is found cheating, that member will be banned from the Vandea FORUM and banned from the tournament for the remainder of the season. In addition, their clan will forfiet the clan war in which the cheating occurred. If a CLAN Leader is found cheating, he or she will be banned from the Vandea FORUM and banned from the tournament for the remainder of the seson. In addition, that clan will forfiet the clan war in which the cheating occurred, and the clan will be disbanded. All lands previously owned by the clan and all shop items owned by the former clan leader will be forfiet. Clan Members and CLAN Leaders who are banned may petition the Honor Guard for readmission to the tournament once the season in which the cheating occurred concludes. Such requests will be handled on a case by case basis.

Note that conduct on the Vandea Forum can affect a player's participation in the tournament. While players who are banned from the forum will not subsequently be banned from the tournament for poor forum behavior, the effects of being banned from the forum can be significant. For example, if a CLAN Member is banned from the forum for misconduct, that member, obviously, will no longer be able to accrue GP through posting. If a CLAN Leader is banned from the forum, he or she can no longer purchase items that will strengthen his or her clan, and this could prove catastrophic to the CLAN's survival. CLAN Leaders are advised to read the forum's Code of Conduct carefully and follow its guidelines closely.

Finally, note that only the tournament administrator may edit maps that are used for tournament matches. Players are free to download and examine the "approved" maps listed on the Battle Maps page, but for each clan war, the tournament administrator will do all the necessary map editing and e-mail the official, edited maps to all clan war participants. Clan war matches must be played on those maps only.

9. Questions?

An Introduction and an FAQ are available at the Vandea FORUM. In addition, there's a Questions thread available for those who'd like more information.

Thanks for taking the time to familiarize yourself with the tournament rules, and good luck to all tournament participants!

-Laelth