For the list of MotF contest rounds and their winners please go here.
For the list of MotF challenge suggestions please go here.
The Map of the Fortnight map contest (MoF or, more recently, MotF for short) is a regular map contest that was created on July 21st, 2009 by Scarecrow after a discussion about reviving the map contests which had occasionally been run on AH.com. Currently the MotF contest is run by Upvoteanthology. The current main discussion thread for the contest can be found here.
Unlike previous map contests the MotF contest is not a one-off - a new contest with a new challenge is posted every fortnight, as the name suggests. There have been occasional breaks and exceptions to this rule, mainly when the burden of the contest's administration has been passed on to a new member and over Christmas, but the contest itself has never been officially disbanded or abandoned since its inception.
In AH.com's history there have been occasional map contests run by temporary committees. The map contests consisted of a series of rounds with a challenge for each. The committee would choose the winner for each round, and then have them enter in a final round to determine the overall winner. After the overall winner had been found the committee and the contest would disband.
On July 18th, 2009 Scarecrow created the Map contest reboot? thread in the Books and Media forum proposing a new form of map contest. He suggested that the map contests in their new form would not be one-offs, instead being renewed each week or fortnight for a new round, and that there would be no overall winner, people would just accumulate wins from individual rounds. The response was overwhelmingly supportive and Scarecrow posted the Map of the Fortnight: Topic thread on July 21st, 2009, marking the beginning of the contest proper.
Scarecrow oversaw the MotF contest rounds from MotF 01 to MotF 08, when internet and family issues prevented him from continuing. At this point the contest's administration was passed on to Leistungsfähiger Amerikan who ran the voting for MotF 08 and MotF 09 before internet issues prevented from continuing.
Leistungsfähiger Amerikan suggested that the winner of the most recent round could take over. The winner of MotF 09 was Krall, so The Professor, who really rather wanted to see the contest continued, sent a PM to Krall asking him to takeover, which he accepted. From then on, Krall oversaw the map contests from MotF 10 to MotF 129.
On October 27th, 2010 Krall abandoned the original discussion thread in favour of the Map of the Fortnight: Main thread. This was because the contest system and rules had changed quite a bit since Scarecrow started the contest, so the rules that Scarecrow had outlined in the opening post of the previous discussion thread was obsolete. The new discussion thread had a lengthy explanation of the relevant rules of the contest, which have now, in turn, changed a bit.
On December 30th, 2015, Krall announced that he'd largely retreat from AH.com due to his dismay about its administration and handed over the torch to Upvoteanthology who, on January 1st, 2016, opened a whole new Map of the Fortnight: Main Discussion Thread and started her tenure with the very first round of the year 2016, MotF 130.
Timing for contests and voting:
At present the MotF contest rounds last for exactly two weeks beginning (and ending) on 0:00 am on a Sunday (i.e. Sunday is the first day of each contest round). The voting for each round lasts exactly one week from the posting of its thread, which is generally shortly before the posting of the next round's entries thread. This means that there is technically never a time when a contest is not actively ongoing, and it means that if the voting needs to be begun again it can be moved without interfering with the contests.
As the contest administrator has total effective authority in terms of the contest rules the two weeks running time of the contest has occasionally been extended an extra week if it looks like it is not going to receive enough entries (Krall generally considers 4 to be a good minimum number of entries).
Previously the MotF worked off a three week cycle where the contest itself would last for two weeks and there would then be one week for voting. This was officially changed to the new system by Krall on May 14th, 2010, and MotF 13 was the first contest to be run with the new system.
On choosing the challenge for each round:
The map challenge for each contest round is chosen by the contest administrator from amongst the suggestions posted in the Main Thread. Generally the most popular challenge is chosen, as an unpopular challenge is unlikely to get many entries.
On qualifying for the contest:
Everyone may post one map entry for each round. This map entry must meet the requirements of the individual contest round, which is measured by the contest administrator's personal opinion (Krall tends to permit a wide interpretation of the specific requirements of each contest, and is liable to reverse a decision to disqualify an entry if popular opinion opposes him), and changes to this entry are permitted at any time before the contest deadline, provided the map still meets the requirements of the contest round.
There was formerly a rule that anyone posting anything other than an entry in the entries thread would be disqualified from entering in that round of the contest. This was something of an empty punishment, as almost no one who posted as such had submitted an entry. The one occasion that an entrant was disqualified under this rule was in MotF 29 when B_Munro posted a comment in the entries thread after submitting his entry. Krall almost instantly realised that the rule was ridiculous, especially considering that B_Munro had posted in the entries thread accidentally, thinking he was posting in the Main Thread, and considering that B_Munro later removed his offending post. The rules were then changed so if someone refuses to remove any comments in the entries thread they can be disqualified, but they won't necessarily be.
On choosing the winner of each round:
The winner is chosen by popular vote in a forum poll; the entry with the most votes at the close of voting wins.
Twice in the history of the MotF contest have two entries tied for first place. The first was in MotF 21 where Ares96 and LSCatilina both received 21 votes. In this instance the two contestants were offered a choice of resolving their dispute with a one-off map contest in which they would set a challenge for each other, make a map based on the challenge they'd been given, and then let the public vote for whose map is better; or being dropped into the Gobi Desert by Russian Spetznas troopers with a GPS device showing the location of their opponent, a revolver with six bullets, and orders to kill. They chose the former.
The second was in MotF 56 where Kaiphranos and Iserlohn both received 36 votes. Again they were given the option of map duel or fight to the death (in this case a hot air balloon rifle duel), and the former was chosen following Krall's apparent discovery that making people fight to the death is illegal. The rules were to be that Krall chose a challenge suggestion for both the duellists, but unfortunately Iserlohn was unable to make a map and honourably forfeited, resulting in Kaiphranos' victory.