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Subject: Ideas for tournament rules, assuming British side will always win. rss

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Richard Hutnik
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The buzz is the game is now broken, because the British side will always win with proper play. I write this post to put out a proposal for ideas on how to handle this and am up for feedback on it.

The ideas are as follows (Consider the order of these in the priority of determining who wins):
* Players play two games, one with each side, with play evaluated based on handling both sides.
* Overall winner is evaluated by something as follows:
A. Player who won with the British side in the least amount of turns wins the game.
B. If players won with the British player in the same amount of turns, player who scored the most pots as the French player wins the game.
C. If players scored the same amount of points with the French side, and they both won as the British player in the same amount of turns, then the player who scored the most points as the British player wins the game.
D. Play with a chess clock. Player who won with the British side in the least amount of time wins the game.

Idea here is to be able to come up with some granularity in the quality of the win and evaluate the overall win of players. I am up for people suggesting tweaks to this. With a game like AFAoS, it is going to be real hard to balance the game in such a way that it will have equal chance of winning for each side, or reasonably close. Rather than try to majorly overhaul the game, how about tweaking scoring for tournament play to make it work, even if one side will always win?
 
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Daniel Corban
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I don't know anything about the game, but could an initial bidding for the British work? Twilight Struggle as example of bidding an amount of VPs for who took control of the Soviets at the start of the game. Is there something in this game you could bid at the start?
 
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James W
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If you're running a tournament you should not implement rules that depend on the British winning 100% of the games, even if they do when properly played.

What if your players have not worked out how much a thin-deck strategy favours the British? Your rules would not work in those instances.

Instead just incorporate some rule that you cannot thin a deck below some number of cards. Other forum users have suggested 15 cards. This is a simple variant which should negate the thin-deck strategies and does not rely on a "Beat The British" mentality.

Also, a bidding system would not work here. It works in Twilight Struggle because one side is slightly favoured over the other. When you have a game where it's possible to win before the game has started, the bidding can get out of hand. Also, if players do not know how bad the situation can get, they may not understand why they are trying to take the British.

Edit:
Also, the minimum number of cards may not be the best long-term solution, but it is a simple variant to the rules that can be implemented easily in a tournament setting.

Eventually we may settle on a community rule-set that greatly reduces the power of the Halifax Hammer but this at least acknowledges the existence of the problem without disrupting the rest of your tournament too much.
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Daniel Corban
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Then I suppose a Commands & Colors method of playing the game twice in succession with the players swapping sides might work. You'd need a way of determining levels of success.

Or maybe just play a game that isn't broken? How about a Hannibal tournament. How long would that take?
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Clyde W
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dcorban wrote:
I don't know anything about the game, but could an initial bidding for the British work? Twilight Struggle as example of bidding an amount of VPs for who took control of the Soviets at the start of the game. Is there something in this game you could bid at the start?
VPs don't work because of the auto-win condition of taking Quebec. Also, the game is horribly dull when Brits HH it, so ... it's best the fix the HH, if possible, not to provide a different metric by which one "wins". Who wants to play this game when Brits HH? Not even Brits.
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James W
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dcorban wrote:
Then I suppose a Commands & Colors method of playing the game twice in succession with the players swapping sides might work. You'd need a way of determining levels of success.


This does not work in the scenario where only one of the players utilizes the HH, knowingly or otherwise.

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Richard Hutnik
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kingjames01 wrote:
If you're running a tournament you should not implement rules that depend on the British winning 100% of the games, even if they do when properly played.

What if your players have not worked out how much a thin-deck strategy favours the British? Your rules would not work in those instances.

Instead just incorporate some rule that you cannot thin a deck below some number of cards. Other forum users have suggested 15 cards. This is a simple variant which should negate the thin-deck strategies and does not rely on a "Beat The British" mentality.

Also, a bidding system would not work here. It works in Twilight Struggle because one side is slightly favoured over the other. When you have a game where it's possible to win before the game has started, the bidding can get out of hand. Also, if players do not know how bad the situation can get, they may not understand why they are trying to take the British.

Edit:
Also, the minimum number of cards may not be the best long-term solution, but it is a simple variant to the rules that can be implemented easily in a tournament setting.

Eventually we may settle on a community rule-set that greatly reduces the power of the Halifax Hammer but this at least acknowledges the existence of the problem without disrupting the rest of your tournament too much.



I won't say the idea is to have rules that depend upon one side winning 100% of the time (say British), just that the idea is to be able to handle game conditions where one side can win all the time.

I do believe that a minimum deck size would be good, as would reducing the power of the Halifax Hammer. However, I still think it would be good to think of more that can be implemented that, if the Hammer is what has to be done, there are other things a player must also do.

One way would be, if both players win the game with the same side (each side playing each side once), the player with the greatest score of the side that won would win the game. A secondary condition would be that their opponent scored less with the losing side than they did. If the game, in proper play, should always win no on points, this serves as a useful secondary condition.

Think in terms of, if you play two games and players split, what is the best way to evaluate how well they played.
 
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James W
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docreason wrote:
kingjames01 wrote:
If you're running a tournament you should not implement rules that depend on the British winning 100% of the games, even if they do when properly played.

What if your players have not worked out how much a thin-deck strategy favours the British? Your rules would not work in those instances.

Instead just incorporate some rule that you cannot thin a deck below some number of cards. Other forum users have suggested 15 cards. This is a simple variant which should negate the thin-deck strategies and does not rely on a "Beat The British" mentality.

Also, a bidding system would not work here. It works in Twilight Struggle because one side is slightly favoured over the other. When you have a game where it's possible to win before the game has started, the bidding can get out of hand. Also, if players do not know how bad the situation can get, they may not understand why they are trying to take the British.

Edit:
Also, the minimum number of cards may not be the best long-term solution, but it is a simple variant to the rules that can be implemented easily in a tournament setting.

Eventually we may settle on a community rule-set that greatly reduces the power of the Halifax Hammer but this at least acknowledges the existence of the problem without disrupting the rest of your tournament too much.



I won't say the idea is to have rules that depend upon one side winning 100% of the time (say British), just that the idea is to be able to handle game conditions where one side can win all the time.

I do believe that a minimum deck size would be good, as would reducing the power of the Halifax Hammer. However, I still think it would be good to think of more that can be implemented that, if the Hammer is what has to be done, there are other things a player must also do.

One way would be, if both players win the game with the same side (each side playing each side once), the player with the greatest score of the side that won would win the game. A secondary condition would be that their opponent scored less with the losing side than they did. If the game, in proper play, should always win no on points, this serves as a useful secondary condition.



So you're okay with penalizing players who enter your tournament with no knowledge or previous experience with the Halifax Hammer?

Will you have a seminar/workshop at the start of the tournament attempting to level the playing field?

Until a real fix has been found, tested and accepted, the only responsible thing that tournament organizers can and should do is to ensure that playing conditions are as fair as possible, to the best of their knowledge.

Unfortunately, if the tournament is scheduled to begin soon, your best option would be to severely hamstring the HH, in a way that also hurts the French. My suggestion is just to implement a simple, but inelegant fix: enforce a rule that the deck cannot be thinned below a certain number.
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James W
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docreason wrote:

Think in terms of, if you play two games and players split, what is the best way to evaluate how well they played.


Sure, that makes sense. If two players split a 2 game series, then there should be a way to rank the players.

Also, your method for counting score should be blind to choice of faction. It should not be based on the assumption that the British will win. In the OP, your scoring method clearly assumes that the winner will have been playing the British.

I'd still say that you should still add a way to make the playing field somewhat level on top of your tie-breaker scoring method.

Out of curiousity, what are the details on your tournament? How many players do you expect to enter the tournament?
 
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Richard Hutnik
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kingjames01 wrote:
docreason wrote:

Think in terms of, if you play two games and players split, what is the best way to evaluate how well they played.


Sure, that makes sense. If two players split a 2 game series, then there should be a way to rank the players.

Also, your method for counting score should be blind to choice of faction. It should not be based on the assumption that the British will win. In the OP, your scoring method clearly assumes that the winner will have been playing the British.

I'd still say that you should still add a way to make the playing field somewhat level on top of your tie-breaker scoring method.

Out of curiousity, what are the details on your tournament? How many players do you expect to enter the tournament?


I do game design. From a designing perspective, I was thinking the best solution was to have players play both sides and then evaluate their competence of play. Goal here is to end up coming up with the best way to do this. Tournament rules are mentioned because this is the place most likely to use it. Currently, I am not running any tournament at this point.

As far as the "assuming the British side always wins", the focus here was on what would be seen as the worst case scenario. Replace British with the side that won both times. It is tweakable once the core is figured out. Working with the current assumption of the British played always winning, is part of this developing the core of the solution.

In regards to bidding, another idea people could have is that they can win with a certain side in the least amount of turns.
 
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