I have a question for other tournament organisers out there (or any one who has been near the front stage of a tournament): what software is generally used these days to arranges pairings and matches?
The kind of software that I am interested in hearing about principally is one that is capable of undertaking Swiss Pairings whilst simultaneously trying to ensure that players do not play on the same game board twice.
For those unfamiliar with the idea, Swiss Pairings is a method regularly used in large format tournaments to ensure that there is a "winner" determined without having the conduct a large round-robin style event. Typically, the "winners" from the previous rounds (however they are defined: number of win vs losses, or on a points style system, all ranked in order of total accumulated points) are assigned against other winners. Those near the bottom of the rankings will face off against others near the bottom of the ranking. In this manner, the person who comes out as the overall winner will have probably played against some of the best ranked players in the tournament throughout the event, whereas the runners up are probably the people who lost once to the winner, but won all other matches against similarly strong players.
I am aware of a wide variety of software that is available on the market. I think it fair to state that of the Swiss Pairings style software, the majority is associated with professional Chess tournaments. Typically the first round is seeded and then pairings performed on the results of subsequent matches in a win vs loss style. The added bit that I like for 40k style tournaments is some way of adding scores in to the mix (rather than pure win / loss / draw), along with "soft scores" (for painting, etc.), as well as a component of not playing at the same table twice.
About the best free software that I have come across is GoePP -- The Goettinger Pairing Program. I have used this before when arranging tournaments, but that was a while ago. So my question today is whether anyone knows of anything better or more easy to use perhaps? (*)
In the absence of anything else, I will probably continue to use GoePP as it functions very well and is easy enough to use. This is just a query then to see what other people out there are using in this day and age.
(*) and no: excel and notepad are not valid answers! ;)