I started playing the tournament in July and at the time, I never thought of replaying a map .
What seemed obvious, as Jay mentioned, is to play (i.e. practice) the map on Hard in single-player mode. (Obviously, this is for most maps restricted to premium players; whether that is “unfair” to free players is a separate question.) Having figured out the control strategy for that map (meta), I played it just once in the tournament and came in 2nd. (Behind Aran, natch.)
This is how I continued to approach the tournament throughout July into August. And I consistently placed in the top 3. As Dr. Bwaa implies, this has more to do with the smaller player base. I doubt I would have such success in the future. If you scroll back through the tournament history, you’ll see that in some weeks as few as 5 players even
Then this happened:
At that point, I started really coveting that 1st place tournament badge, which is also when I started replaying tournaments—repeatedly—to get an ideal start. For the record, I re-started last week’s map 10 - 12 times. But let me be clear: I didn't actually play the map 10 - 12 times. More importantly, my 10th attempt wasn't much better than my fifth--which was decent. As Autobahn suggests, I simply had the coins to burn.
Now, I have no problems if Jay restricts the number of times a tournament map can be replayed, just so long as it’s not 1-and-done for the reasons Aran stated. Because in the end, strategy does win out. For example, consider the results from last week:
I’m sorry, but a 9% differential between 1st and second is not due to a lucky starting position, let alone a 23% differential between 1st and third. You can't just buy that with coins.
That is, starting luck does play a part, but tournament success ultimately relies on strategy. It’s just a another reason this game is so good.
Each map has a meta. Once you figure it out, you're likely to "place" even with an average starting position. Consider this grouping:
I'm fairly certain all three of us played essentially the same game/ strategy.
More importantly, I'm fairly certain you could replay this map a 100 times and spend 500 coins in the process and not get higher than 56%.
Honestly, my biggest worry is that once a sufficient number of players realize the meta, it won't be three players essentially tied but dozens, with the ultimate winner determined by one poor orc soul.
Finally, a handicap system is a bad idea. This game is nowhere near pay-to-win. Yet another reason it's so brilliant.If I can win the tournament, anyone can. People will figure out the game and step up.
PS: I rarely buy 2-coin extra cards in-game; I only do it when it's a do-or-die/ turning-point situation.