What is a ladder?

Almost everyone is familiar with the concept of a gaming ladder. Each player occupies a rung of the ladder. New players start at the bottom rung. Players on lower rungs challenge those on higher rungs to games, and if they win, they move up to the higher rung. After enough games are played, the ladder will represent, more or less, the relative skill level of the players in the ladder, with the best players at the top of the ladder.

But how does that work on a turn-based gaming site?

While this concept works well for games that may take an evening to play in over the board competition, it isn't extremely well-suited for correspondence gaming, where a game can take several months to play. By having to challenge each player on higher rungs, it could take a great player literally years or dozens of years to climb to the top of a ladder with only a few hundred players in it.

So we've taken the basic ladder concept and tweaked it a bit so that it works well in a turn-based gaming environment by making the following changes:

  • Instead of one player per rung, there can be many people on the same rung
  • About once per day, all available players on a single rung are randomly paired up in challenge games
  • A player who wins a game moves up to the next higher rung
  • A player who loses a game moves down to the next lower rung, with rung 1 being the lowest possible rung
  • Players who draw will remain together on the same rung
  • Three times per year, the rungs are compressed to ensure that good players have an opportunity to climb the ladder

What will happen if I join a ladder?

When you join a ladder, you will be listed among the players on rung 1. If there are any players on that rung who are not currently engaged in a ladder game against another player, then you will be scheduled to play against that player within about 24 hours. Otherwise, you will not be scheduled in a ladder game until an opponent is available.

You will only have one ladder challenge game at a time from that ladder.

After you finish a game, you may end up with a period of time where an opponent in the ladder is not available to start a new game, so you will not necessarily always have a ladder challenge game in progress. However, as soon as an opponent is available, you will be scheduled against that opponent within about 24 hours.

The one exception to this is if you tie a game against an opponent, and that player is the only player available in your rung. In that case, you will not be immediately rescheduled against the same player that you just played. Instead, you will both wait for another opponent to become available, after which one of you will be randomly scheduled against that opponent.

Normal and Fast Ladders

For each game, two separate ladders exist. The normal ladders offer games with a 3-day timeout period that follow your vacation days and days off. The fast ladders offer games with 2-day timeouts that ignore days off and vacation days.

How do I join a ladder?

Go to your gamesheet options box, and click See Ladders under the Games section. From there, you can scroll through the various ladder games available. Click the box next to the game of your choice, and you will be added to the bottom rung in that ladder. No need to do anything else or send out challenges. The database will automatically add you to a match when a player becomes available. Return to the ladder page to join more ladders.

Have fun

Club Ladders

Explanation coming soon!

  • A challenge holds the same rating as all the club ladder games, and it works within the club ladder system as part of the ladder system....players rank on a ladder, but you can challenge any player up the ladder up to the number of seats set in the club settings. Without the club challenge ability enabled, players only move up the ladders normally as in the regular ladders.