that is tick 256,
This game has custom settings 32 players, 32 stars/player, 12.4 LY between HWs, 33% victory. I estimate this requires typically 42 days to complete, so still needs 32 days after 10 days have past. Stronger veterans need less time, also depends on the strengths of opposition that Nick runs into, but in this case, I am betting that he needs much less time. Still, anything can happen.
Communion of Minds has 0 stars, 6 carriers with 497 ships. He still might land somewhere, and find Obi-Wan Kenobi. HA HA !
However, if he lands on Alderaan . . .
I was thinking about this situation, and emailed @JayKyburz , but he has not replied back to me.
If @Smulm wins one of the top 16 positions, then this tournament proceeds normally. Smulm would probably create a custom password accessed private dark start 16 player map. The password will restrict this private galaxy only to tournament round 2 competitors.
If @Smulm does not win one of the top 16 positions, then this tournament needs some adjustments. Smulm could probably create a custom password accessed private dark start 20 player map, which would have 16 competitor empires, plus 4 non-participating isolated empires that are positioned + / - 60 LY (X & Y) away from the conflicts.
Because of random empire shape & color placements in a dark start galaxy, there is no way to know which 4 empires are isolated away from the 16 competitors. Maybe Jay can see those from the database ? If Jay can see those, he could tell Smulm which ones are isolated, so those 4 empires can be first taken by non combatants. The remaining 16 empires can then be taken by the actual competitors.
Smulm and Jay or myself or someone can take those 4 isolated non participating empires, and the tournament can continue.
Ask one of the top 16 winners to create the next 16 player map, with a password for private tournament access, but this means that Smulm does not become administrator of that galaxy. How would he continue running this tournament ?