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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: TI3 and Randomness rss

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Joseph Schmoll
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Hi everyone,

So I just introduced this game to two of my friends (and gamers) that were curious about playing it. Now I've only played the game 1 full time before myself, so I'm no expert, but I know it well enough.

We treated it primarily as a learning game and progressed through (base game only, using Age of Empire variant and Imperial II instead of base game Imperial) and ultimately one of my friends was doing extremely well, scoring lots of points building a solid empire.

I ended up grabbing Rex and holding it for the rest of the game, and was able to keep getting Imperial II and when both teamed up to invade and take me out, I ended up defending successfully.

I'm a huge fan of this game and it intrigues me. Our overall game time only took a little more than 4 hours (which was impressive for a first game), but both left the game telling me that they thought it was okay, but it was too random given their luck with the dice.

I'm wondering, what are your thoughts on this? I know this game has a huge following...is it too random? Are there ways to minimize that "problem" that we may be unaware of since we're new? I personally don't agree totally with them, but am curious to hear more experienced opinions.

Thanks everyone!
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the more ships you have the more dice you roll.. the less luck plays a role.
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Joseph Schmoll
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Right...what all of you were saying is how I feel. I started the game explaining that it was a learning game and that this game benefits the player who understands how it works...obviously not knowing the ins and outs of a game makes it harder to strategize.

Not to mention I'd played before and we were all just trying things...by the time it got to battles, armies weren't substantial enough to matter and technology wasn't focused (since we were experimenting).

Oh well.

Thanks for your replies and letting me vent this "off" feeling the game has given me.
 
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Joshua Simone [The Quasi Geek Dad]
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Go all in or go home. I treat this game as sacred. I won't ever do a "learning game" because I fear what just happened to you. Also I will never play with less than 4 players. That is why I invite anyone new to the game over 1 hour before to teach them how the game is played. My game is equipped with a Twilight Imperium syllabus and teaching aids. If I am going to spend a whole day playing this game I want all the players to be fighting shape and not have a novice throw the game to another player because he didn't understand the rules.

Sorry to hear about your game. cry
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Joshua Simone [The Quasi Geek Dad]
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jospanther wrote:


So I just introduced this game to two of my friends (and gamers) that were curious about playing it. Now I've only played the game 1 full time before myself, so I'm no expert, but I know it well enough.



Ha! If you combine the total play time I have played one game, it usually is still not as much as 1 game of Twilight Imperium. So usually if you make it through 1 game you usually come out some what an "expert". lol
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Joseph Schmoll
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DeadMoney wrote:
Go all in or go home. I treat this game as sacred. I won't ever do a "learning game" because I fear what just happened to you. Also I will never play with less than 4 players. That is why I invite anyone new to the game over 1 hour before to teach them how the game is played. My game is equipped with a Twilight Imperium syllabus and teaching aids. If I am going to spend a whole day playing this game I want all the players to be fighting shape and not have a novice throw the game to another player because he didn't understand the rules.

Sorry to hear about your game. cry


Yeah, I totally agree with you. Basically I asked if they'd familiarize ahead of time, they didn't, it was a losing battle from the start. And then you throw in that one player is very competitive, it was just a recipe for disaster.

I'll find some people near me that enjoy this interesting one. Someday.
 
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Shawn Garbett
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Take a gander at this thread: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/17537135#17537135

82% of the variance in player score in Halbower's group is determined by Player Skill, Race and the choice of strategy card. This leaves 18% of final score as random.

Race can be handicapped as follows: Brotherhood of Yin and Federation of Sol, start with -1 VP, Winnu starts with +1 VP. The strategy card is available to all.
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There is a lot of randomness in the game, but I can say with confidence that every winner at our table has played well. Poor play will always result in defeat.

With players of equal skill, randomness does play a part. But when it comes to such a heavy game as TI3, you have to enjoy playing the game as well and not just winning.
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Joseph Schmoll
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magicoctopus wrote:
There is a lot of randomness in the game, but I can say with confidence that every winner at our table has played well. Poor play will always result in defeat.

With players of equal skill, randomness does play a part. But when it comes to such a heavy game as TI3, you have to enjoy playing the game as well and not just winning.


Excellent way to put it. This game is such an experience and the adventure should be appealing if someone were to enjoy it.

Also I agree, there are random elements, but as most are saying, I wouldn't say that it's a luck based game.
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Mark McKay
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Dice rolling does add a random factor (that is needed imo) but it is lessened by how you build your fleets. I think if the game is "I have more guys, therefore I win the battle", the game is boring. Besides, the "bigger/better" army shouldn't always win. Think of the 300 Spartans fighting the Persians. On paper, the Persians should have won easily. That is how I explain it to people who complain about dice rolling.

And if I really want to take the randomness away, I buy a WarSundevil, it is almost a guaranteed hit unless you are just an unlucky chap, then you are just... screwedyuk.
 
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Scott Lewis
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dsrtlzrd32 wrote:

And if I really want to take the randomness away, I buy a WarSundevil, it is almost a guaranteed hit unless you are just an unlucky chap, then you are just... screwedyuk.

With the Sardakk N'orr in the same system as their Flagship, it IS an auto hit! Well, 3 auto-hits
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Drew Lawson
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CyberGarp wrote:
Race can be handicapped as follows: Brotherhood of Yin and Federation of Sol, start with -1 VP, Winnu starts with +1 VP. The strategy card is available to all.


Wait...

Am I seeing a claim that the Brotherhood of Yin is tied for the best race in the game?
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ajpl wrote:
CyberGarp wrote:
Race can be handicapped as follows: Brotherhood of Yin and Federation of Sol, start with -1 VP, Winnu starts with +1 VP. The strategy card is available to all.


Wait...

Am I seeing a claim that the Brotherhood of Yin is tied for the best race in the game?

And Winnu at the bottom? I've won several times with Winnu...
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Shawn Garbett
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ajpl wrote:
CyberGarp wrote:
Race can be handicapped as follows: Brotherhood of Yin and Federation of Sol, start with -1 VP, Winnu starts with +1 VP. The strategy card is available to all.


Wait...

Am I seeing a claim that the Brotherhood of Yin is tied for the best race in the game?


Yes. In the data that was presented by Halbower's group this was the case. It doesn't mean you can't win with Winnu, it's just that it's harder by a point. So, you can count that victory as extra special. With 10 points to win, ~20% as random, +/- 1 VP point is given out randomly. The rest is player skill! This also doesn't mean that another group wouldn't turn out differently. However, Halbower's data is the best presented to date with enough plays to analyze the factors determining outcome.
 
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CyberGarp wrote:
Yes. In the data that was presented by Halbower's group this was the case. It doesn't mean you can't win with Winnu, it's just that it's harder by a point. So, you can count that victory as extra special. With 10 points to win, ~20% as random, +/- 1 VP point is given out randomly. The rest is player skill! This also doesn't mean that another group wouldn't turn out differently. However, Halbower's data is the best presented to date with enough plays to analyze the factors determining outcome.


So what you are sayin is it is just like the song lyrics from Fort Minor
"This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain
And a hundred percent reason to remember the name"

Got it, now I just need to apply it laugh
 
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Drew Lawson
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CyberGarp wrote:
ajpl wrote:
CyberGarp wrote:
Race can be handicapped as follows: Brotherhood of Yin and Federation of Sol, start with -1 VP, Winnu starts with +1 VP. The strategy card is available to all.


Wait...

Am I seeing a claim that the Brotherhood of Yin is tied for the best race in the game?


Yes. In the data that was presented by Halbower's group this was the case. It doesn't mean you can't win with Winnu, it's just that it's harder by a point. So, you can count that victory as extra special. With 10 points to win, ~20% as random, +/- 1 VP point is given out randomly. The rest is player skill! This also doesn't mean that another group wouldn't turn out differently. However, Halbower's data is the best presented to date with enough plays to analyze the factors determining outcome.


Ah, I didn't read the linked post until now. Data from one person's playgroup is essentially meaningless, however, as it's impossible to account for variables that might cause a particular race or player to rise to the top.

And, as everyone knows, the Brotherhood of Yin are objectively bad.
 
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ajpl wrote:

Ah, I didn't read the linked post until now. Data from one person's playgroup is essentially meaningless, however, as it's impossible to account for variables that might cause a particular race or player to rise to the top.


This is a misunderstanding of statistical models. Statistics is a powerful tool of inference. Any set of data besides pure random number contains information, the question is how much. The ANOVA model accounts for race as a factor, player as a factor, and the choice of a strategy card in the game that effects scoring. What you refer to is the mixed effect of different groups being unknown. To another group, they may be all equal and the game may be entirely random, or the random factor may disappear altogether and the effect of race may shift above.

Halbower's group was able to squeeze most of the randomness out of the game. Therefore, with high confidence one can conclude that randomness does not dominate the game for a group with mixed skills. If all skills were equal (high or low) then randomness would indeed dominate. I find this a meaningful and informative conclusion. A conclusion that clearly answers OP's question, with a significant p-value.

Further, in the lack of any other evidence, the fact that race was found to be significant and specific races were identified as weaker and stronger, one can now put forth a claim that Brotherhood of Yin and Federation of Sol are stronger than the other races and Winnu is weaker. It may be that Halbower's group play style tipped the balance. In a true Popperian sense, this can be falsified with further data--or the observation may be repeated. However, till this data is gathered, it is the best information that exists today. A weaker conclusion than above, but it is still evidence and more than one knew before, which by definition has meaning.

For a small grant of funds in my paypal account, we can resolve this matter. I can put forth a budget, which will include chips and beer for my group for the next year. We propose the use Halbower's method, and measure the statistics weekly with a consistent group. A small stipend for player's wives significant others will further ensure the ability to attend regularly.
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Joseph Schmoll
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CyberGarp wrote:
ajpl wrote:

Ah, I didn't read the linked post until now. Data from one person's playgroup is essentially meaningless, however, as it's impossible to account for variables that might cause a particular race or player to rise to the top.


This is a misunderstanding of statistical models. Statistics is a powerful tool of inference. Any set of data besides pure random number contains information, the question is how much. The ANOVA model accounts for race as a factor, player as a factor, and the choice of a strategy card in the game that effects scoring. What you refer to is the mixed effect of different groups being unknown. To another group, they may be all equal and the game may be entirely random, or the random factor may disappear altogether and the effect of race may shift above.

Halbower's group was able to squeeze most of the randomness out of the game. Therefore, with high confidence one can conclude that randomness does not dominate the game for a group with mixed skills. If all skills were equal (high or low) then randomness would indeed dominate. I find this a meaningful and informative conclusion. A conclusion that clearly answers OP's question, with a significant p-value.

Further, in the lack of any other evidence, the fact that race was found to be significant and specific races were identified as weaker and stronger, one can now put forth a claim that Brotherhood of Yin and Federation of Sol are stronger than the other races and Winnu is weaker. It may be that Halbower's group play style tipped the balance. In a true Popperian sense, this can be falsified with further data--or the observation may be repeated. However, till this data is gathered, it is the best information that exists today. A weaker conclusion than above, but it is still evidence and more than one knew before, which by definition has meaning.

For a small grant of funds in my paypal account, we can resolve this matter. I can put forth a budget, which will include chips and beer for my group for the next year. We propose the use Halbower's method, and measure the statistics weekly with a consistent group. A small stipend for player's wives will further ensure the ability to attend regularly.


I don't want any lurking variables created by introducing alcohol induced decisions.
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CyberGarp wrote:
A small stipend for player's wives will further ensure the ability to attend regularly.


It's not 1950, you know. Women can enjoy games themselves.
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damerell wrote:
CyberGarp wrote:
A small stipend for player's wives will further ensure the ability to attend regularly.


It's not 1950, you know. Women can enjoy games themselves.

They can indeed, although my wife is not one of them - she'll play a few very light games with me, but doesn't really care for games

Thus, when I have a game day, as much as I'd love for my wife to be with me, it's not gonna happen.
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sigmazero13 wrote:
damerell wrote:
CyberGarp wrote:
A small stipend for player's wives will further ensure the ability to attend regularly.

It's not 1950, you know. Women can enjoy games themselves.

Thus, when I have a game day, as much as I'd love for my wife to be with me, it's not gonna happen.


I'm not criticising you; obviously that doesn't mean they all do, and you don't make the sort of "men play TI3, women don't" sexist generalisation.
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It sounds like the bigger issue was that they kept letting you take Imperial II when you held Mecatol Rex.
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Billtacular wrote:
It sounds like the bigger issue was that they kept letting you take Imperial II when you held Mecatol Rex.


That's exactly what I tried explaining, but no. The problem was dice it seems.
 
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jospanther wrote:
Billtacular wrote:
It sounds like the bigger issue was that they kept letting you take Imperial II when you held Mecatol Rex.


That's exactly what I tried explaining, but no. The problem was dice it seems.

Stop rigging the dice, then
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Joseph Schmoll
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sigmazero13 wrote:
jospanther wrote:
Billtacular wrote:
It sounds like the bigger issue was that they kept letting you take Imperial II when you held Mecatol Rex.


That's exactly what I tried explaining, but no. The problem was dice it seems.

Stop rigging the dice, then


Okay . I was proud of my microwaving technique though..,
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