Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
15 Posts

Commands & Colors: Ancients» Forums » General

Subject: Lessening the randomness... rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Colin Houghton
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hiya all.

Is there any way you can reduce the vagaries of the die rolls in the game?

While I appreciate that everything should even out in the long run, some battles can be over quite quickly, and be prey to some very lucky or unlucky die rolling!

For games using the standard die (numbers 1-6) I use a pack of cards, doctored to have numbers on them, so that at least you know that after 36 rolls or turns of the card, there will have been six 6's, six 5's etc.

However that's not so easy with the special coloured die in the game. Has anyone got any ideas?

I did think about being able to "convert" any single die roll each turn to whatever you wanted it to be, or be able to re-roll two die per turn, but that still didn't make things any more even.

I saw a table somewhere whereby you could use standard die, but there were some problems with that in that while 6 represented whatever colour hit you wanted it to be, and 5 was a crossed swords, there were problems, I thought, with the ones lower down: because sometimes a retreat roll is better than a hit or crossed swords.

But anyway, it's a great game, and thanks to Battlelore, which led me to this!

Colin
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Chapman
United Kingdom
Aberdeen
flag msg tools
Oh, alright - except for Codenames
badge
No, this is NOT my bloody "fursona"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Chou4555 wrote:
For games using the standard die (numbers 1-6) I use a pack of cards, doctored to have numbers on them, so that at least you know that after 36 rolls or turns of the card, there will have been six 6's, six 5's etc.

However that's not so easy with the special coloured die in the game.


What exactly is stopping you using an identical deck of cards doctored to have the six symbols on? It's exactly the same principle.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Duke
United States
Wynne
Arkansas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
First, the nice thing about the game is, if the "vagaries" of dice mean the battle ends quickly, your kingdom is not destroyed and your people are not enslaved. Most C&C games take an hour or less and many players like this and feel it encourages as "swap sides and do it again" mind set. It really isn't like the real battle of Jutland where and empire can be lost in a single afternoon.


And, for the record, the method you describe of using a standard 6 pip die had nothing at all to do with reducing the randomness-- it was just a way of playing the game using a standard 6 pip die. It does remove the "color rage" of rolling 4 reds when your opponent is green or vice versa, since the number you choose for "color hit" would stay the same-- a six is a hit, regardless of color. That it bothers you that "sometimes a retreat might be better" suggests an inherent problem with random results that many games will spark.

You might try playing GMT's "Rome" with its Hannibal version (there are 3 different games inside the box, NONE of which use dice, and one of them is a Rome v Hannibal situation....to handle combat, each player has a set limit of cards that all have to be played in the end, so it's a matter of when you put down your 3 or 5 or whatever and what your opponent is guessing to put down at the same time. With only 6 cards each, 'card counting" is certainly not difficult, so that might seem to reduce "vagaries." On the other hand, there are only about 19 pieces involved and the games tend to last even less time than a C&C battle, so this might not be the right choice, particularly since I don't think the system would work if you are allowed to change results when you don't care for them.

Moving on, if you think the dice are fiddly, eventually you'll come to notice that the card draws are not exactly even either, and with "one of" types of cards, sometimes one side will get a card that the other side won't.

Vive L' Empereur addressed this in the basic version by giving each side the same 36 card deck and in the advanced version by giving each side just 10 cards and letting you pick which ones you wanted to keep for a six card hand each turn. Battles in that system usually take a lot longer than C&C as well, so the danger of a battle ending quickly is minimized. Both basic and advanced do use dice tho...

As for C&C, I simply can't grasp what the problem is. Yes, the dice influence the game and provide some randomness. Hey, it's a game! Those who play against me know that my "norm" is throwing pretty lousy dice, with brief periods of very hot ones. Maybe that "evens out in the end," but it can be painful if I let it be. I try not to let it.

It's a game. It's an exciting, fast-moving game with LOTS of die rolling (increasing the chances that things even out.). The idea of being able to change a die to 'something you want" seems pretty amazing to me and I should think that any game involving random chance elements would be a problem.

In my best computer-voice, "How about a nice game of chess?"
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Derek H
South Africa
Johannesburg
Gauteng
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Kevin "defends the faith" yet again. How do you find the time to write these lengthy expositions (here and on CSW)??
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Takacs
Italy
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Kevin is a gifted writer, and unlike me, it comes pretty easy to him.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Colin Houghton
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Kevin

Many thanks for your thoughts and comments.

I think the game is great, and has certainly taken me away from Battleground Fantasy, which I thought no other game would do for a few months at least...

..but I wasn't looking for a computer moderated chess type model, just something akin to (dare I say it??) Squad Leader.. where you knew that with two six sided die, 7 was goingo be the most common number, whereas with two coloured die versus a green/light enemy, throwing two reds or a red and a blue, somehow doean't feel as satisfying/fair as rolling two 1's or two sixes... matbe it's just the yuletide cheer wearing off!

Yes, you could have cards with the colours on them, but what I liked about the spotted six sided dice being used, was that if you counted a 6 as a hit against your enemy (any enemy, regardless of colour) then you knew that you'd have six of these in a 36 card dice-deck, and that would even out some randomness.. but not eliminate it or make this chess-like.

Anyway, subject to statistican coming to give me all the percentages etc, I'll play the game as per the rules... but always with my extra rule that I use in many other games... the one off desperation re-roll, that each side can use once in a game: that if you have a particularly crucial battle, or have rolled an astonishingly poor bunch of dice, you can, once per game, call on the gods and re-roll them.


That will have the purists gasping and fuming, no doubt, but knowing when to use that potantial bonus.. at the key point in any battle, makes for some fun.

Oh, and by the way, I have two copies of the game and each side has a full deck of cards...so that each side has the same chance of a Spartacus....

Best wishes for the New Year to you!

Colin
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Duke
United States
Wynne
Arkansas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm not a statistician and I don't even play one on TV, but I believe you will find that, with just one deck, each side has the same chance at Spartacus.

In fact, that is the one card which can fully say that, since it is shuffled back into the deck as soon as it is played, thus giving each side the same chance to draw it again. I have a sneaky suspiction that using Spartacus with individual decks-- thus shuffling only the deck on the side where the card was played-- actually scrambles up fair chances, but I'll let the stat boys handle that.

I do think even suggesting you want to make the game more "Squad Leader like" will draw down upon you the plague of rulebooks and acronyms that such a statement deserves. And it's not really a particularly good example, since SL is a two-die, 2-12 system which offers considerably more randomness in it's own way. You don't have an "equal chance" to roll any particular number, and that is how the CRT is B.U.I.L.T. to work.

Picking any Columbia game would be a more precise example, as it is like the 6 pip system where you know a 6 is always good.

Keep playing awhile-- if you're just rolling 2 die (as in attacking with a light unit), and roll 2 reds when you WANT to roll two reds, I think you'll feel plenty of satisfying.

The odds are actually quite the same of getting a hit with C&Cs die versus the 6pip technique, but I recognize missing with "wrong color" feels differently than missing by rolling 1s or 2s. Again, the odds are the same, but (for me at least) the drama and laughs are a bit higher, perhaps especially because I don't findl the "he rolls a lot of 6s and I don't" disease is as easy to feel.

But I am amazed that you can link the words "satisfying" AND "fair" when talking about the random factors in a game, and comparing it to SL (where 2 is good and 12 is bad but it really matters hugely WHEN you roll either one) just mystifies me. For what it's worth, there is one way in which--for me-- mentioning SL and C&C in the same breath makes sense-- SL was the last game, prior to C&C, that I played over and over and over... but that was back in another epoc before the "A" was added to the game. In fact, in antique shops you might find an 8-1 British leader with my name on it, and it really is "my" name. I keep remembering SL and its sad decline into advanced purgatory when people keep asking for "more differences, "more realistic simulating" with C&C... it is a "be careful what you wish for" situation.

On the other hand, giving each player one reroll (we call that a "mulligan" over here) certainly does not offend any "purist" in me. The idea of being able to "change one die to something you want" seems excruciatingly bad to me, but "when to use the mulligan" can be a lovely part of game play.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Colin Houghton
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think it's time to end this string... I admit to a round defeat on two of my three wings, with General Mulligan managing to hold his (or her?) own, more or less. I knew it was stoopid to bring in Squalid Leader!

I'm very pleased with this game of Command & Conquer,: and the expansions, and doing good things with your troops usually brings good results, while folly is usualy repaid with disaster.

MMmmm Advanced Squad Leader....is there ever going to be a computer version?????

And are there any plans for Command & Conquer Ancients to be PC-ised? I'd miss the look and feel of it, or course, but to be able to play on a lap-top on a long train journey....not that Britain is particularly long!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Takacs
Italy
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Colin, there is a Vassal module for Commands and Colors: Ancients. I have just played in a CC:A tournament online against opponents in other states. It is a great way to play against people all over the world when you cannot meet face to face which of course is by far the best way to play the game. There is a Yahoo group dedicated to CC:A Vassal play. If you need the link, I could provide that for you.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Foulke
United States
Bethel Park
PA
flag msg tools
Welcome to Friedey's!
badge
You want fries with that?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Computer version of ASL? Surely you must be talking about Combat Mission (http://www.battlefront.com/)!!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robin Reeve
Switzerland
St-Légier
Vaud
flag msg tools
badge
Looking for a game session in Switzerland? Send me a pm!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
kduke wrote:
I do think even suggesting you want to make the game more "Squad Leader like" will draw down upon you the plague of rulebooks and acronyms that such a statement deserves. And it's not really a particularly good example, since SL is a two-die, 2-12 system which offers considerably more randomness in it's own way.
I am not sure of that. The fact is that SL and ASL do ask for numerous dice rolls to resolve a fight (not only the fire DR, but morale checks, etc.).
The more dicerolls you make, the more you tend to an average result (gaussian curb), as it is extremely rare to have a sequence of improbable rolls (e.g. three snake eyes only happen - statistically - once in 46656 DRs).

kduke wrote:
SL was the last game, prior to C&C, that I played over and over and over... but that was back in another epoc before the "A" was added to the game. In fact, in antique shops you might find an 8-1 British leader with my name on it, and it really is "my" name. I keep remembering SL and its sad decline into advanced purgatory when people keep asking for "more differences, "more realistic simulating" with C&C... it is a "be careful what you wish for" situation.
ASL rather was made to homogenize rules that tended to contradict one another as new gamettes were produced.
It added some "realism", but did simplify and clarify many game mechanics (e.g. the defensive fire is more sophisticated, but much more agreable than the "drag units back after all movements were made" of the original SL system).

I would not speak of a decline - other than the general board wargaming one - as the ASL community is alive and kicking (the Xtreme-Gamer forum that I am moderating has reached 12'000 threads, for an example).
Among board wargames, ASL is among the most (if not the most) played and supported - there are a lot of Third Party Producers, most of them enthusiasts.

VASL (the ASL VASSAL module)is a wonderfull tool, which has helped many players find opponents - it worked that way for me, as I don't have a lot of opportunities for FtF in Switzerland.

The production of "Starter Kits" has brought back quite a number of former SL players, who had been badly impressioned by the bulk of ASL's rules.
The SKs offer all you need in a lone box: counters, maps, scenarios and simplified (but compatible) ASL rules. The SK1 has about 11 pages of rules, including large play examples.
I managed to introduce newbies with the SK (explain the rules and play a scenario) in one evening.

The existence of good forums helps a lot, when people have rules questions or are looking for advice, too.

One true thing about ASL rules is that you play 10% of them 90% of the time, the rest being there for special cases and interactions - not speaking of special sections, as motorcycles or paradrops, which don't appear often in scenarios.
So, even if it looks impressing, ASL is less difficult than it seems.

Now, to come back on topic, I wouldn't try to change the randomness of C&CA. Good manoeuver can counterweight poor dice and poor cards most of the time.
When bad luck hits, I simply accept it, knowing things will change further down the road - as in real life, most of the time...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Duke
United States
Wynne
Arkansas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
The more dicerolls you make, the more you tend to an average result (gaussian curb), as it is extremely rare to have a sequence of improbable rolls (e.g. three snake eyes only happen - statistically - once in 46656 DRs).


Yes, that's how math works. But Gaussian doesn't accound for WHEN those snake eyes occur. Is it on a rally attempt?-- when anything <7 might have been favorable-- or on a critical shot? Did the box-cars happen when you had a -3 MC and weren't likely to stay around? Or with a critical heavy weapon? That's the kind of "randomness" I'm talking about.

But I understand chou's point (really!). It is mentally a little easier to gear your mind to the notion that a low number is almost always a good thing and higher numbers are bad. With CCA, 4 reds could be a back breaker or a laugher. (That I actually like this may suggest some deep-seated need for chaos...I don't know.)

But I won't knock people for playing ASL and I'm glad they have a good time with it. But for what it's worth, I've spent some hours, on 2 or 3 occasions, in rooms where people were having ASL tournaments (while I was doing other games) and I noticed more page turning than die rolling. If there are simplified rules available, that would seem to me to have been a good way to go with a tourney-- fewer pages minimizes the "that's how WE play it" effect-- but everyone I noticed was using 3 ring binders. A lot.

But you're correct, we are sliding off topic and this could go over to an ASL page (except I'm sure not going to go to their house and throw rocks!)

I heartily agree that CCA offers the player a lot of ways to minimize poor luck. I've had a number of games where "next banner wins," and even to the point where the attacker could win on his close combat but did not and then the defender won on battle back. Anything coming down to a critical point like that COULD be knocked for "luck," but for me, I applaud a game in which such things are possible.

I've also heard folks knock the game because the cards don't let them "control my army in a realistic way," which I can understand in coming from games where the cardboard or plastic or alloy can be counted on to mostly move when and how you want them to. But that is missing the core point of the game, which Don Clark nailed wonderfully well over on CSW.

Quote:
Options nuances and choices

I love the way the cards provide you with opportunities to plan, force you to crisis manage, and deliver fog of war all at the same time.



What a great "promise" for a game to deliver reliably (not randomly!) That's what keeps me coming back for more.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Smith
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
kduke wrote:

I've also heard folks knock the game because the cards don't let them "control my army in a realistic way," which I can understand in coming from games where the cardboard or plastic or alloy can be counted on to mostly move when and how you want them to. But that is missing the core point of the game, which Don Clark nailed wonderfully well over on CSW.
Quote:
Options nuances and choices
I love the way the cards provide you with opportunities to plan, force you to crisis manage, and deliver fog of war all at the same time.


I guess I'd also agree with the quote immediately above.
I believe the cards *force* you to control your army in a realistic way.
Kevin
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Colin Houghton
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi Ken

Yes please.. I would like the link!

Many thanks!

Colin
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Takacs
Italy
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Colin, here is the link:

http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/ccavassal/
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.