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The One hundred and fifty-ninth TRONIC Ladle will be played on Sunday, June 2nd, 2024!
  • Discussion for Ladle 159 is taking place [ here].
  • Server administrators please update your config files.
  • Teams please sign up on the Challenge Board.
  • Then get some practice in before the big day! :)

Rules for players

  1. To be considered valid, a team must have a minimum of 4 players including at least one but not more than two Team Leaders.
  2. Team Leaders must list their Global ID on the Challenge board. Players can not be signed up under multiple teams. You may only play for one team each Ladle.
  3. Only Team Leaders may add, edit or remove their team from the Challenge Board. Modifications to the position of Team Leader may be done by the current Team Leader(s) or the new Team Leader(s).
  4. A player can remove themselves from the Challenge Board at any time.
  5. Changes may happen at any time until the cut-off for the provisional placement of teams, which is officially 17:00 UTC on Thursday before the event, but in practice is usually the evening before/morning of the event (See Stage 2 for more information).
  6. After the brackets have been set a Team Leader may add or replace a maximum of two players per team. A combination of one added and one switched is also acceptable. You can remove as many players as you like as long as no more than two unique names are added.
  7. Team Leaders should not change after the brackets are chosen or they may lose authority (servers need to be updated).
  8. Players listed on the Challenge Board are not allowed to join or switch teams under any circumstances in the hour before opening rounds. The Challenge Board is effectively locked until Ladle starts, after which changes may be made to reflect actual playing situations (scores, server changes, substitutes, no shows).
  9. Substitutes may be added until the start of the semi-finals. After the semi-finals begin, a team needs the approval of the opponent to add a substitute.
  10. Everyone must be authenticated in order to participate during the Ladle.
  11. Regarding times, if an opponent team has not shown up on time and the opponent team is not currently engaged in an earlier scheduled match, then the match can begin even if the opponent team is not full strength. A team can decide to give the opponent team a maximum of 10 minutes to prepare themselves. A forfeit is considered a bye. After the opening rounds, players may take no longer than 10 minutes between finals to organize themselves for the next match.
  12. Be aware of preexisting bans on tournament servers. If you were previously banned from a Ladle server it is your responsibility to discover the ban and make arrangements with the server administrator beforehand. There is no guarantee a ban can be lifted on Ladle day.
  13. No racist, anti-semitic, sexist or other discriminative team and player names.

Rules for server owners & operators

  1. Use only the official Ladle settings and no other.
  2. Make sure your server is up to date with the final version of the Ladle settings.
  3. Please run the Ladle settings from default server configurations in order to make sure everything is unchanged. Also make sure you have no settings in your everytime.cfg or autoexec.cfg that would otherwise change the settings.
  4. Do not authorise or give anyone other than Global Moderators an access level of Moderator (2). Please also ensure Team Leaders have the correct access level (7).
  5. Do not use customized colours for teams. Gold and blue should be the standard.
  6. Do not use customized language strings on your server.
  7. Please limit the number of messages to promote or advertise your own site/server. One message in the ROUND_CONSOLE_MESSAGE should be enough. MESSAGE_OF_DAY is reserved for use by the Ladle configuration file.

How the Ladle works

Stage 1 - Preparation

A Ladle Enthusiast will prepare the wiki for a new event keeping the following in mind -

  • Per tradition, the Ladle will be played on the first Sunday of every month (except for January, which will take place on the Sunday following the first Tuesday of the month).
  • The opening round of play will start at 17:00/18:00 UTC for a typical event, depending on DST.

Here is a checklist of things to do when preparing a new Challenge Board:

  • Make an entry for the previous Ladle on the Results page. Add the bracket template and update the table of contents.
  • Copy the teams and brackets from the old Challenge Board into a new event page. In addition, link directly to any recordings and add screenshots if presented. Follow the example on the previous results page for guidance.
  • Edit the old Challenge Board and remove the teams. Rename the bracket template to the current Ladle number. Migrate the servers to the commented section below the heading.
  • Create the new bracket by copying a blank TeamBracket into it (16 Team or 8 Team). Please remember to place the seeds in their proper place.
  • Create a new forum topic announcing the next Ladle.
  • Update Template:Ladle Meta.
  • On Ladle/Challenge Board check that the time table is displayed with the appropriate number of rounds.

Stage 2 - Team Sign Ups

Teams are added to the Challenge Board until the cut off for provisional placement, which is currently 18:00 GMT on Thursday before the event. This will allow time for server administrators to update their servers, teams to discuss strategy and players/enthusiasts to share their predictions on the forums if they wish to. In the event your team misses the sign up deadline, and one or more teams have a bye in the first round, you may ask the team with the first bye for permission to fill the open slot. If they refuse, go through the byes in order. Alternatively, a team can make a public appeal, but must take the lowest bye offered up. [1] No team is under any obligation to give up a bye, and open slots are first come, first serve. Note: If your entire team does show up for Ladle, you may be subject to disciplinary action.

Stage 3 - Setting the Challenge Board

Note: this section is slightly outdated in many ways and should probably be cleaned up.

Ladle Enthusiasts meet up on the official #Armagetron IRC channel at 18:00 GMT the Thursday prior to the Ladle to determine the brackets. Once on the IRC channel, one enthusiast will fill in the servers to play on, following these procedures -

  • Odd numbered ladles have Finals played in a US server.
  • Even numbered ladles have Finals played in a EU server.
  • Servers must flow smoothly and not have too many unnecessary switches.

Backup servers should alternate regions. Backups for NA should be in EU and vice versa. However, it is always the responsibility of Team Leaders to decide which server to move to, and the alternate server can be anywhere, and can even be a public Fortress server if no Ladle servers are available.

Once servers are set, check the IRC bot (and CT website) by testing !randomteam and !r (roulette). The randomteam function takes arguments (seeds/teams) divided by spaces, so there should be no spaces or any non-alphanumeric characters in the team names. Abbreviations are Ok. The first Ladle enthusiast should submit the !randomteam arguments for the second enthusiast to double-check and approve. If no errors exist, the first enthusiast calls !randomteam with arguments and the second enthusiast types !r immediately after. This witnessing makes the bracket randomization "official." If a !randomteam error was not caught in the initial testing than test and redo the .r and .randomteam commands. The resulting output of !randomteam should now be edited into the bracket.

!randomteam can handle seeds, to use

!randomteam <number of seeds> seed1 seed2 .... seedn teama teamb teamc

Example being for ladle 38

!randomteam 4 ct sp unk r tx una tu ds da pru id nbk ot ctb vcl

remember spaces separate teams, so don't use them in team names

Make sure to include the byes, they are listed with the number next to them. When saving the bracket remember to add a useful comment such as "Setting Teams based on <link to !randomteam output>"

Code for !randomteam is here [outdated]

Some other various tools can be found here.

As the IRC channel is no longer operable for Ladle planning, a small downloadable application has been created to achieve the same task of generating pairs of teams. It is a Windows-based application that is designed to be compatible with WINE/Proton.

You can find the application, complete with source, here:

A simple web tool to also accomplish randomly generating pairs of teams is also available here:

Stage 4 - Playing the Ladle

Tournament organization happens on Discord.

Teams meet at the designated servers on time to play a hybrid Round Robin tournament. Ladle Enthusiasts should record results on the brackets if Team Leaders fail to do so. Here's a crash course on how to update it efficiently. The brackets should be followed precisely unless there is a serious issue with the primary server. Team Leaders can discuss moving to the secondary server (examples: the majority of the players are from the same region and want to play on a closer server, or the primary server becomes unstable). Both teams must be in full agreement before switching servers. If no agreement can be reached then play must continue in the primary server. If there is no backup server (for instance, in the opening round) a public Fortress server may be used if both teams agree. If a team tries to bully their opponent by refusing to play in the designated Ladle server they are in forfeit. In the extremely rare case of a missing primary and secondary server, teams should be accommodating to each other and the rest of Ladle by quickly moving their match to a public Fortress server and making the best of the situation. Please be agreeable and stay on time.

Teams should prepare to play every round. Do your best to have substitute players in case of a scheduling conflict. Sometimes you can't field a full team or don't feel confident to play with less than a full roster. Teams can forfeit a match and take a penalty instead. (In a round robin match to 150 the score should be recorded as 150-0, with zero going to the forfeiting team.)

  • To be determined for double-elimination Ladles: Will the undefeated team get to choose the finals server from the entire Ladle pool?

Team management is available on all Ladle servers. Designated Team Leaders should lock their teams so no random people can join, then invite their teammates as they arrive. All players are required to login to play, and those without forum accounts must be /OP'd by Global Moderator whose job it is to report this action on the current Ladle thread. More on that here.

Stage 5 - The Outcome

Players use the forums to congratulate the winners, discuss issues, and eventually vote for changes where needed.

The majority of Ladles run smoothly, however, problems occasionally arise. Issues regarding settings, dates, and general management can be settled through post-Ladle discussions. Any changes must be announced on the forums well before the next event to allow for problem solving. While success of the tournament is everyone's responsibility there is usually a core group of Ladle enthusiasts who stay in close communication with each other, sometimes working behind the scenes. It is important for these persons to document everything and keep the tournament open and transparent.

Sometimes problems cannot be solved through discussion alone and require a community vote. In this case a Ladle Discussion Thread is created to break down the problems into choices that can easily fit on a ballot. After the discussion is exhausted, a Ladle enthusiast makes a Ladle Voting Thread with a ballot linked to the discussion. Here is an ideal thread to use as a model. Only teams signed up on the current Challenge Board can vote, one vote per team (usually by a Team Leader or designated representative). The voting ends when the Challenge Board is closed to sign ups (see above). We use a simple majority system: the highest number of votes wins. In case of a tie, no changes are made. Sometimes results may be decided by calculating the mean of the votes, usually when the choices are not binary. This should be stated beforehand for clarification. The results of the vote are then edited into the wiki and the ladle.cfg files. Read more about Ladle/Guidelines/Voting

If the problem is a specific player or group of players, then they can be punished. If the violation is serious enough and requires a timely change in rules or settings, the community can opt for a emergency vote using the previous Challenge Board.

Round Robin


Starting with Ladle 115, it was voted to play 4 team ladles using a round robin format. This was later extended to 5 and 6 team ladles as well (and potentially 7 and 8 team ladles). For 1-4 teams, the current format is 2 matches to 100 points for each round, while for 5-8 teams, the format is 1 match to 150 points for each round. Teams should record their match scores, not win/loss, on the Challenge Board as the play the tournament to accommodate tiebreakers.


In the case of a tie for 1st, the team with the largest score differential will automatically advance to finals. The top two remaining teams will play a 1 match playoff to 100 points in the finals server to decide the other finalist. Note that in a tie for 2nd, if there are more than two tied teams, the team(s) with the lowest score differential will automatically be eliminated.

Things to know

Players & Teams

The most important things for players and teams to know and do is -

  • Elect a Team Leader who you can trust, who listens to everyone in the team, who is capable of communicating with other Team Leaders, and can follow the procedure to the letter on Ladle day. If you have doubts about the reliability of the Team Leader, then you should select an additional Team Leader for your team.
  • During the event, do not listen to anyone external to your team; rely on your Team Leader for information as to who you are playing and where.
  • Regarding ping, make sure your Team Leader is aware of your server location preference.

Team Leaders

The most important things for Team Leaders to know and do is -

  • A Team Leader should have their team signed up before the deadline.
  • A Team Leader should make sure all team edits, changes have been finalized before the last deadline.
  • Team Leaders must log-in under the same global ID they used on the Challenge Board. Failure to do so may result in loss of in-game authority.
  • Anything less than a full team of six players is considered your problem. An obliging opponent may reduce their numbers if they wish.
  • Team Leaders should update the wiki with match results as they move through the brackets.

Global Moderators

The most important things for Team Leaders to know and do is -

  • Listen closely to the Team Leaders and take direction from them.
  • Know how to use the SLAP command to give points to a team.
  • Know how to /OP players.
  • Understand your role as assistant (see below).
  • Keep an eye on the brackets and update match scores when possible. Sometimes it is helpful to update match wins during a game to let the teams focus on playing.

Global IDs and authentication

We recommend that you use @forums authority due to the chance of having a PM vote, however all other authorities are still accepted. Read more about Authentication


Placement On Brackets

  • Seeds are taken from the previous Ladle only.
  • Seeds must be planted in the bracket to ensure they do not meet in the first round of play. The higher the seed, the further apart they should be placed. For example, on a full 16 team bracket, the seeds might be placed as such:
| RD1-team01= Seed 1 (winner)
| RD1-team16= Seed 2 (loser)
| RD1-team09= Seed 3 (lost to winner)
| RD1-team08= Seed 4 (lost to loser)
  • Byes get filled in reverse to give the winner the greatest chance of getting one (if there are 15 teams registered, seeds 4, 3, then 2 will face teams in the first round, but not seed 1)

NOTE: as of Ladle 78 only one seed is recognized. The winner gets the first position on the following bracket and is guaranteed a bye when one exists. All other teams are randomized.

Retaining Your Seed

  • The team name must remain the same. The exception is a slight variation or abbreviation of the name. However, it should be obvious to the person making the brackets this is a returning team with a seed. Please use good sense if you must use a variant or abbreviation.
  • The team must have either:
    • The same captain (or at least one captain out of the two, if there were two) and three additional players who were on the challenge board the previous ladle or
    • Five players who were on the challenge board in the previous ladle. Player names are restricted to the same guidelines as team names (above).
  • If your team does not meet these requirements you lose your seed and lower seeds move up to fill your position.

Responsibilities & duties during the Ladle

Global Moderators

A Global Moderator is a server owner/player who acts as a subordinate to Team Leaders. In case of a mid-match server crash, a GM may be called upon to set the previous score using the SLAP <-x player> command. Global Moderators may also be called upon to /OP Team Leaders who lack proper authority. When this happens, the GM should draw special attention to this matter by posting the name of the player and server on the forums. This is so the community can review the situation and help solve any login problems. A GM may be called upon to kick a spectator to make room for team members who can't get into a full server. And in some cases, a GM might silence a spectator who is clearly harassing Team Members. GM's can only act at the request of both Team Leaders. They have no authority to interfere in a match in any way. They hold no powers of judgement and are purely assistants.

Team Leaders

Some main duties include starting the matches, editing team names to reflect scores, silencing spammers or distributive spectators not using the /team chat (if a GM is not present to silence them). They are above the Team Members in terms of authority so they make the final decision for their own participating team. Team Leaders are fully responsible for sorting out disagreements, especially in regards to server switching. Both Team Leaders have equal share of the complete decision.

Team Members

They have no specific authority other than all equally deciding on a new Team Leader if the original team leader is not present (or wishes to promote somebody else to the new Team Leader).

Warnings & Penalties

Players accused of violating a rule or committing an offense not defined by the rules they can be subject to a voting trial.

How a PM Vote Trial works

  1. A Ladle enthusiast creates a new forums thread about the PM Vote Trial after all evidence of wrongdoing comes to the surface. This will usually take several days for the witnesses to come forward and logs to be posted.
  2. The enthusiast sends PMs to the server admins and Team Leaders (or other representative if post-Ladle fallout causes Team Leader(s) to become unavailable. In this case arrangements should be made between the team and Ladle enthusiast). All Team Leaders / representatives must be included, even if one of them is accused of committing an offense.
  3. Ensure the voter names are in the TO field and publicly known. The list of voters should be posted in the appropriate thread.
  4. The voting period must be open for at least one week, but may end earlier if everyone responds quickly. The end of voting should be clearly posted in the PMs and related thread. For example "Voting ends @ 18:00 GMT, on date..."
  5. Team Leaders discuss the vote with their team.
  6. Team Leaders and server admins send their vote back to the Ladle enthusiast. Teams with more than one Team Leader only have one vote.
  7. The Ladle enthusiast sends a receipt to each voter as the votes are tallied. Receipts allow voters to retain some anonymity.
  8. The results of the trial are then posted on the forums along with the receipts and the list of persons who actually voted. An example of a completed trial can be found here

The PM should link to all related threads and any available evidence. Each accused player should be listed separately as such:

<player> is accused of <violation(s)>. Given the evidence provided, is <player> guilty of breaking a Ladle rule or an offense against the tournament and community? If so, how many Ladles should they be banned for? (0 - 12)

At least 2/3 of the votes must be yes for a ban to go into effect. The length of the ban will be the median response, rounded down. Bans take effect immediately and should be recorded in the Penalty Box where they stay as a permanent record. If a banned player is caught participating in Ladle, a Global Moderator should kick/ban them immediately. The player in violation must be tried immediately and given a ban no less than twice the previous one. Allowing a banned person to play with you will likely send your entire team to trial, so don't do it!