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Subject: PBF with Alien Artifacts? rss

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Buz
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I have just come back to the Geek after some time away and remember the Good Times Had By All in the play-by-forum games. While I lack the skill necessary to adjudicate one, I was wondering if there was interest in putting one together using the AA expansion?
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buzhannon wrote:
I have just come back to the Geek after some time away and remember the Good Times Had By All in the play-by-forum games. While I lack the skill necessary to adjudicate one, I was wondering if there was interest in putting one together using the AA expansion?
I'm sure entranced can arrange something. The other question is who our opponent will be.
 
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Rob Neuhaus
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C'mon, why not play against Tom?

That would be awesome. He hasn't done one for awhile, and he never did it for AA.
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rrenaud wrote:
C'mon, why not play against Tom?

That would be awesome. He hasn't done one for awhile, and he never did it for AA.
Great! Someone set it up then! Bonus points if we can also do the Orb scenario.
 
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Tom Lehmann
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I'd be happy to do this, except that I will be traveling for more than a month fairly soon with uncertain Internet connections, followed by Essen. Can I have a rain check until early November?
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Buz
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I'd love to do a game with you in November, of course (pending a moderator which seems workable).

Would anyone be up for one in the interim to sharpen the ol' saw as we prepare to face Tom in November?
 
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Andrew
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rrenaud wrote:
C'mon, why not play against Tom?


He was the only player to beat the forums too!
 
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Federico
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fateswanderer wrote:
rrenaud wrote:
C'mon, why not play against Tom?


He was the only player to beat the forums too!

Wei-Hwa won too
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rain
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PBFs are somewhat labour-intensive to run, and I know that after the last one, Serge (entranced) was feeling a bit burnt out. He has also been busy lately with a new job. That said, he has been playing Race fairly actively lately, so his motivation may have returned

If I remember correctly, he also suggested putting off an AA game for a little while out of respect to the publisher, but I'm certain we've passed that time span now. Definitely, Tom's stated interest is a good sign on that account.

But the biggest obstacle has actually been the lack of a new version of Keldon's RftG program to manage the actual game. We would have to maintain the game state by hand, which would require a neutral participant. Knowing Serge, he wouldn't be interested in that role. He is also a very good host/leader/conciliator, so it would be good for him to be involved in the decision making regardless of whether or not he is running the PBF.

I don't have enough time to run a PBF right now, but I might be able to be the neutral manager if we decide to run it by hand.
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Rob Neuhaus
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Get Wei Hwa to play game 1, Tom to play game 2?
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Andrew
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Fede__ wrote:


Goes to show - it's been too long! blush
 
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Rainstar wrote:
PBFs are somewhat labour-intensive to run, and I know that after the last one, Serge (entranced) was feeling a bit burnt out. He has also been busy lately with a new job. That said, he has been playing Race fairly actively lately, so his motivation may have returned


I temp modded a few rounds of Battlestar Galactica, so I will attest to that.

I wasn't surprised when I heard how several mods were able to mod multiple games at once, each.... they have a lot of things automated. A spreadsheet in Open Office is set up to give a heads up to the mods of rules and PBF issues, like how this character can't do this due to a penalty or weakness, or skip this step since it's a cylon turn. Furthermore, the board images are generated automatically using some script and GIMP.

It was practically no learning curve for me using Excel and Paint.NET, but manually, it does indeed take time and effort.

Just to make referencing cards easier, I have a spreadsheet I reference. For example....

Alien Artifact Hunters

Alien Fuel Refinery

Alien Research Ship



Well, quote to get the tags.
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Serge
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Yeah, the issue here is that we have no AA AI, nor any word that it is even being worked on anymore.

Fede__ wrote:

Let us not forget PBF#15, where one of the AI beat 2 BGG teams and an AI, in a 4p game.

ackmondual wrote:
I'm sure entranced can arrange something.

RftG PBF games are a blast, i'd love to play one/more in any combination of game size and format. I especially miss BoW.

With the career change, attempts at making my own RftG, and the constant distraction of Path of Exile, i don't have time to run PBF anymore. I ran 19 of them though, so i think i did my part for several lifetimes. :) In fact y'all owe the forum some games dagnabbit! ;) I even posted a full walkthrough of how to run one. That's the long version. The far shorter version is: take screenshot, post screenshot.

The problem i came across when running them was my personality. When i do something i'm passionate about, i have to do it "perfectly". Even if it's running a purely for-fun PBF game on an esoteric sub-forum of an oft-ignored game in a niche hobby. I can't just throw it together roughly like it deserves, i have to make it all unnecessarily nice-like and spend 10x the amount of time i need to on it. I need replacements who aren't bothered by running a quick and dirty 5 minute version.

Rainstar wrote:
He has also been busy lately with a new job. That said, he has been playing Race fairly actively lately, so his motivation may have returned :)

I've been playing RftG a bit, only because there are no other great games out there. And while i have been playing it lately, i'm not finding AA all that interesting - way too simplistic (mechanically, not strategically; 136 plays and i'm still at a loss as to how to crush it).

I think i've come to realize i far prefer the whole fustercluck of BoW / 10-strategies / goals, than any other format. What i should probably be doing is playing scwont's custom expansion, or more of Patronage. But i feel like i owe it to Tom to play AA at least 300 times or something.
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entranced wrote:
Rainstar wrote:
He has also been busy lately with a new job. That said, he has been playing Race fairly actively lately, so his motivation may have returned

I've been playing RftG a bit, only because there are no other great games out there. And while i have been playing it lately, i'm not finding AA all that interesting - way too simplistic (mechanically, not strategically; 136 plays and i'm still at a loss as to how to crush it).

I think i've come to realize i far prefer the whole fustercluck of BoW / 10-strategies / goals, than any other format. What i should probably be doing is playing scwont's custom expansion, or more of Patronage. But i feel like i owe it to Tom to play AA at least 300 times or something.


How many of those games have been with the orb scenario?

For me, if I did play AA, I'd probably play without for the following reasons...
-start off a few games without it just to familiarize myself with the cards
-introducing newbies to the series. I honestly can't do just base game anymore, and even though there's always just base + exp #1, doing AA instead without orb should be a good compromise of vets wanting something new, while keeping things relatively simple for newbies.
-Until I get off my proverbial lazy ass and read the orb scenario rules

Otherwise, I've had a couple of chances to play AA. However, I figured I'll get it eventually, so AA got passed up for other games that I won't get myself, and likely will have less chances to play.
 
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Serge
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ackmondual wrote:
How many of those games have been with the orb scenario?

One. 98 plays, then 1 orb, then 37 plays. For a guy that always plays with everything always on, the Orb Scenario hasn't done it for me. I like small changes to the main game that alter its landscape/texture (goals, takeovers, prestige). This is just too different, too big a change, i think. Caveat: one play.

ackmondual wrote:
-introducing newbies to the series. I honestly can't do just base game anymore, and even though there's always just base + exp #1, doing AA instead without orb should be a good compromise of vets wanting something new, while keeping things relatively simple for newbies.

There's no doubt that AA is perfect for that. Mild enough to be fine for teaching newbies, chewy enough to keep vets interested.
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Tom Lehmann
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entranced wrote:
There's no doubt that AA is perfect for that. Mild enough to be fine for teaching newbies, chewy enough to keep vets interested.

Good to know that I hit one my goals for AA... ;-)
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rain
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So, a couple of question as we determine feasibility

1. Does another game of single player vs. forum sound good? It is a tough challenge for the single player, but it is definitely the easiest to manage.

2. If I were to manage the game state (as the neutral referee), do we have a volunteer willing to lead the forum discussion and decision making?
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Buz
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I promise to post a lot and then do what Entranced says.....will that work?
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buzhannon wrote:
I promise to post a lot and then do what Entranced says.....will that work?




Unfortunately, a good leader requires more than that: you definitely need to be an enthusiastic poster, since that will motivate others to be involved, but you also need to make sure you are not dominating the conversation, since your goal as leader is to generate an interesting conversation and (some level of) consensus, rather than winning the debate. You also need to know when it is better to let the conversation continue, and when it is time to submit a decision--this isn't always straightforward. And you need to be able handle/ignore the folks with very strong personalities (but it'll be one fewer than usual).

You don't need to be good at that stuff, just willing to try
 
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Serge
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IMO these are only worth doing with automation. We massively streamlined the process to a minimal amount of effort. Missing pieces AFAIK:

1) A server hosting borgemik's modified version of Keldon AI allowing non-simultaneous play.*
2) AA on Keldon AI.

Without 1) we can't do player vs team(s).
Without 2) clearly an AA game can't be automated.

What we can do until we have #1, or both these things, is 1 forum team vs AI(s).

5 AI, for an actual chance of losing? :) RvI? BoW?

Typically the games vs only AI seemed to have less interest, but it might still be worth doing. I think it would be fun, but opinions may vary.


* rftgstats.com disappeared and took the hosted version, historical playback files, etc. along with it. AFAICT the program and files are not on the github version, nor do i know server name/port to use, nor if it's even possible to get the non-simultaneous version all set up on github in the first place. Nor if there's someone willing (and capable) to do it. :P
 
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Just a quick update: we seem to be on target for some Alien Artifacts PBFs in the fall. As most of you know, Keldon has released a version of his brilliant RftG program with AA. Both Wei-Hwa and Tom have also kindly agreed to play against the forum. We are now waiting for a server that can handle asynchronous play, but I believe Børge is working on updating his code to handle Keldon's new version.

Edit: These PBFs will of course begin after the current BoW PBF concludes.
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Serge
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Rainstar wrote:
We are now waiting for a server that can handle asynchronous play, but I believe Børge is working on updating his code to handle Keldon's new version.

He's going to try updating the client. There's been no mention of a server nor of the server code being updated for asynchronous play.

Don't want to get people's hopes up, as there is currently no reason for me to believe these asynchronous PBF will occur.
 
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Rob Neuhaus
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I can re-setup the custom server (or give borge access to do it) for you if you want. I let the domain expire because I mostly lost interest in RFTG.
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rrenaud wrote:
I can re-setup the custom server (or give borge access to do it) for you if you want. I let the domain expire because I mostly lost interest in RFTG.

Either would be great! I don't know how such things work, but any server would be fine, e.g. on github. Seems unlikely that's supported though.
 
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Børge N
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Rainstar wrote:
[...]I believe Børge is working on updating his code to handle Keldon's new version.
Yes, this is true. The progress is quite good, but it still needs some polishing and testing, and I might want to wait until Keldon releases a version with some bug fixes.
entranced wrote:
He's going to try updating the client. There's been no mention of a server nor of the server code being updated for asynchronous play.
The server is also included, as it should be very little extra work.
rrenaud wrote:
I can re-setup the custom server (or give borge access to do it) for you if you want. I let the domain expire because I mostly lost interest in RFTG.
This would be the final part of the puzzle, and it would be very kind of you to host the server again! We don't need the domain if you have a static IP (or some dynamic DNS).
entranced wrote:
Don't want to get people's hopes up, as there is currently no reason for me to believe these asynchronous PBF will occur.
Unless the PBF pace ramps up significantly, I am fairly certain we would have something playable when that is finished.
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