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Twilight Struggle» Forums » General

Subject: Statistics per faction rss

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jamuki (Jueguetistorias)
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Hi!

This post belongs to our series of post for asymmetrical games, where we look into the games in the BGG database to check the statistics of victories per faction. For more posts, please check our geeklist Statistics for asymmetrical games. TS stats were requested by SirHandsome - please feel to make your own request for stats of a game.

Statistics for Twilight Struggle are simple, so let's go directly from what I have been able to extract from the database

Total: 4009 usable games
Soviet Union: 2290 victories (57%)
United States: 1719 victories (43%)

I guess this is more or less what were expecting Probably it will be a little more balanced among expert players

[Note for myself: updated up to playid=15646345]
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Shawn Garbett
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> binom.test(2290, 4009)

Exact binomial test

data: 2290 and 4009
number of successes = 2290, number of trials = 4009, p-value < 2.2e-16
alternative hypothesis: true probability of success is not equal to 0.5
95 percent confidence interval:
0.5557231 0.5866026
sample estimates:
probability of success
0.5712148


This is strong evidence to reject the null hypothesis that Russian and US are equally balanced in game play. The Soviet Union has between a 5.6% and 8.7% advantage in the population of this study.
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Bindlestick Bindlestick
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Do these stats take into account at all +x influence adjustments for the U.S?

(I never play with it myself, but I'm curious).
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Shawn Garbett
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They do not appear to take that into account. If it was known for each game, a binomial regression could look at how much the bid effected the outcome odds. An optimal bid could then be estimated.
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jamuki (Jueguetistorias)
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bindlestick wrote:
Do these stats take into account at all +x influence adjustments for the U.S?

(I never play with it myself, but I'm curious).

In general, there is little to no information that can be automatically extracted from the stats in bgg except the winner (and even that takes a lot of work because I need to tell my scripts the >50 ways of writing soviet union that people use - red, rojo, soviet, russia, rusia, sssr, cccp, ssrr, s.s.s.r, commies, evil, etc.).

I could go and check the 4k games by hand to see if the comments say that it was used, but it's a wasted work, I am afraid, as we will never know if games that do not include a note in the comments did use the +x influence or not.

I am also aware that I do not have information about how strong players are (so I can't say whether this imbalance is because Soviet Union is easier to play or as a real advantage).

With all these caveats, though, I sincerely hope that the statistics are still useful for something. As CyberGap has pointed, in this case the number of games (>4k) is big enough to show something that is significant.
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Ziemowit Pazderski
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The play balance thread again :-)
Actually, among competitive players, the vanilla version of the game returns similar results - a noticeable USSR advantage. That's why there is a standard of (currently) +2 bonus IP for USA in the competitions, which results in much more balanced game:
https://boardgamegeek.com/article/18989597#18989597
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Shawn Garbett
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With +2 it looks very balanced in the league play.
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Jonathan C
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CyberGarp wrote:
With +2 it looks very balanced in the league play.

This is how a BGG buddy and I have been playing via Chantry-Games, after the Soviet player (alternating between us) won the first 12 or so games. Now after another 15 or so games, we're close to 50-50. But arguably still trying to figure out and hone the US strategy.

I think the +2 US is the way to go over the Chinese Civil War variant.
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Bindlestick Bindlestick
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Is anyone else of the opinion that the win balance does not need to be50/50 to be for the game to be great? That perhaps something closer to 60/40 is what makes the tension of the game and thematically represents what Americans felt at one point in history?

Sure, I like winning, but I have no problem going into play with the US knowing that statistically I might lose. Makes the long-game all the more rewarding IMO.
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Robert Barnhart
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bindlestick wrote:
Is anyone else of the opinion that the win balance does not need to be50/50 to be for the game to be great? That perhaps something closer to 60/40 is what makes the tension of the game and thematically represents what Americans felt at one point in history?

Sure, I like winning, but I have no problem going into play with the US knowing that statistically I might lose. Makes the long-game all the more rewarding IMO.

I don't have a problem with that POV. I prefer a balanced game though. The nice thing about US +2 is it limits the "Soviet Steamroller" possibility, which will thematic, is a bit of a bummer for the US player.

My regular opponent prefers Chinese Civil War. gulp
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jamuki (Jueguetistorias)
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bindlestick wrote:
Is anyone else of the opinion that the win balance does not need to be50/50 to be for the game to be great? That perhaps something closer to 60/40 is what makes the tension of the game and thematically represents what Americans felt at one point in history?

Sure, I like winning, but I have no problem going into play with the US knowing that statistically I might lose. Makes the long-game all the more rewarding IMO.

I do not have a problem with that either. In chess black has a slightly statistical disadvantage, an yet, I enjoy playing as both white and black.
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Emil Wachsmuth
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Personally I prefer optionals and +2 US influence only in part because of the balancing - I also just find those settings the most fun.

The USSR opening is a lot less predetermined with +2 US influence, and there are more options open and plausible.

As for the optional cards, I think they are all (with the exception of AWACS Sale to Saudis) among the most interesting events in the deck, and it improves the game having them.
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Fred Shugars
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bindlestick wrote:
Is anyone else of the opinion that the win balance does not need to be50/50 to be for the game to be great? That perhaps something closer to 60/40 is what makes the tension of the game and thematically represents what Americans felt at one point in history?

Sure, I like winning, but I have no problem going into play with the US knowing that statistically I might lose. Makes the long-game all the more rewarding IMO.

I like that it's unbalanced, and don't think I'd even consider playing any other way. Of course, I have a regular opponent, and we keep flipping sides. When you have the USSR, it's like having the homecourt advantage in a college basketball game--you expect the hometeam to win, but the upsets are why you play the games.
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Shawn Garbett
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jamuki wrote:
In chess black has a slightly statistical disadvantage, an yet, I enjoy playing as both white and black.

Chess is deterministic. Any statistics are completely related to player skill. It is an open question what the outcome of 2 perfect players would be, either White always wins or always a Draw. There is the possibility in a perfect game that Black always wins as well, but there is no evidence this is the case.
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jamuki (Jueguetistorias)
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CyberGarp wrote:
jamuki wrote:
In chess black has a slightly statistical disadvantage, an yet, I enjoy playing as both white and black.

Chess is deterministic. Any statistics are completely related to player skill. It is an open question what the outcome of 2 perfect players would be, either White always wins or always a Draw. There is the possibility in a perfect game that Black always wins as well, but there is no evidence this is the case.

I agree with what you say My point was that among the top players there is clear proof that black has a disadvantage (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-move_advantage_in_chess#...), and yet, I enjoy playing against player of the same level, even if I know that it's not perfectly balanced
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