Chris Stimpson
United States
Westminster
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just finished first (solitaire) game of MMW. Great game, good sense of 'being there', liked the verisimilitude of the British trying to protect an all-too-vulnerable supply line. As with all good CDGs, a good 'light' history lesson too.

A well-known British politician, educated in Canada and married to an American, confirmed the strangeness of this war when she told me that the identity of the 'winner' of this war depended on whom you spoke to. Canadians consider it their victory because the USA failed to take over their land or gain portions of it; Brits consider it their victory because they protected their colony from aggression (and continued, by the way, to impress American sailors via press gangs into Royal Navy service after the war); Americans consider it their victory because of naval victories and repulsing the British at Baltimore and New Orleans. In fact, it was effectively a military stalemate, the only real losers being - surprise - native North Americans.

A stalemate can easily happen in this game, another plus for the design, even though mine ended in a decisive American victory. I think this happened because, early on, American General Brown took Burlington with a small force, isolating the Lake Erie-based British forces; the British 'became fixated' and took a year or more to evict him, during which time they could have been doing much else with their action points had they prevented the incursion in the first place.

I also realized exactly what the British could have been doing with those action points: just about all the British reinforcements come in via Quebec, meaning that the British can easily overwhelm the Americans in the Hudson Valley, but what about the rest of Canada? The British have to parcel out their forces to neutralize the Americans in several places - the Detroit area, the Niagara area, and the lower St. Lawrence - while giving themselves the ability to invade and build up VPs in at least one of these areas.

So, definitely a game that will find its way to the table again.

A couple of observations, however:

1. Naval combat table: it's scary how easy it is to achieve a big victory (or defeat) here. The land combat table uses two dice, and statistics being what they are, results tend to mean out around the middle, with no "your entire army falls down dead" results. But in the naval table, only one die is used, which makes it frighteningly easy to alter the whole course of the war (sorry, game) in a single roll. In my game, the British commander on both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario struck their flags when faced with high die rolls in 1814. I would have liked to see a statistically less punishing table here.

2. Calculating land combat odds put me in mind of a suggestion I had read years ago from a gamer in respect of a game with simpler numbers involved (AH's Waterloo, I think). In a case where you commit yourself to battle, only to find you have 40 combat factors against your opponent's 24, you will be cursing about those superfluous 16 CFs that could have been used elsewhere (always assuming your opponent doesn't do you the courtesy of revealing his force total before your move, so you can work out the numbers to best advantage). The original suggestion was that you work out the probability of reaching the next significant force total, as follows:

Number of 'excessive' CFs: 16.

Defender's CF # = 24.

Calculate the following: 16/24 x 12 = 8.*

Roll 2d6. On any result of 8 or less (should happen 72% of time), increase odds for this battle to the next level up (in this case, 2:1).

It's perhaps more work than a gamer wants to do for every battle (and usually requires a calculator), but might resolve those "could have used one more combat unit to up my DRMs by one" agonies.

*where result is not an integer, round down.

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Szarka
Canada
Waterloo
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
When it is your turn to send a VASSAL move, the wait is excruciating. When it's my turn, well, I've been busy.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cstimpson wrote:

1. Naval combat table: it's scary how easy it is to achieve a big victory (or defeat) here. The land combat table uses two dice, and statistics being what they are, results tend to mean out around the middle, with no "your entire army falls down dead" results. But in the naval table, only one die is used, which makes it frighteningly easy to alter the whole course of the war (sorry, game) in a single roll. In my game, the British commander on both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario struck their flags when faced with high die rolls in 1814. I would have liked to see a statistically less punishing table here.


Except let's review what happened: On Lake Erie, one battle, crushing victory for the US; on Lake Champlain, one major battle, crushing victory for the US; Lake Ontario, constant naval arms race throughout the war but no major battle due to the two commanders both afraid of the potential consequences on the largest and most important lake.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mayor Jim
United States
Fort Wright
Kentucky
flag msg tools
badge
Vote Often!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Most if not all of the lake naval battles were "winner takes all" affairs. In the land battles, the "loser" could fight again another day...in many cases.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Stimpson
United States
Westminster
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So the lesson, I guess, is not only not to neglect your naval forces, but try to ensure they are at least fairly well prepared to meet a battle (and if not, stay in port!)

Another outcome of my obsession with getting Brown out of Burlington...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Stimpson
United States
Westminster
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
OK, so I'm grumpy about it. But in those two naval battles the Americans (who only had 1 ship more than the Brits) rolled '5' and '6', which got upped to the 'strike flag' level. Grumble grumble
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rumpelstilskin
Germany
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cstimpson wrote:

2. Calculating land combat odds put me in mind of a suggestion I had read years ago from a gamer in respect of a game with simpler numbers involved (AH's Waterloo, I think). In a case where you commit yourself to battle, only to find you have 40 combat factors against your opponent's 24, you will be cursing about those superfluous 16 CFs that could have been used elsewhere (always assuming your opponent doesn't do you the courtesy of revealing his force total before your move, so you can work out the numbers to best advantage). The original suggestion was that you work out the probability of reaching the next significant force total, as follows:

Number of 'excessive' CFs: 16.

Defender's CF # = 24.

Calculate the following: 16/24 x 12 = 8.*

Roll 2d6. On any result of 8 or less (should happen 72% of time), increase odds for this battle to the next level up (in this case, 2:1).

It's perhaps more work than a gamer wants to do for every battle (and usually requires a calculator), but might resolve those "could have used one more combat unit to up my DRMs by one" agonies.

*where result is not an integer, round down.



Hey, Chris, I like this Idea. But with 2 D6 this seems a bit unbalanced, as the statistic tells me, that rolling a 1 is not possible and rolling between 6 and 8 is most likely. I would prefer using 1 D12 or a 1 D10 or maybe a D8 or D6 and get the required number by calculating (your example) (b) 16/24 x 12 (or 10, 8 or 6 - dependig on the die you use - ) = x .

Any thoughts on that?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Stimpson
United States
Westminster
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
brommi wrote:
cstimpson wrote:

2. Calculating land combat odds put me in mind of a suggestion I had read years ago from a gamer in respect of a game with simpler numbers involved (AH's Waterloo, I think). In a case where you commit yourself to battle, only to find you have 40 combat factors against your opponent's 24, you will be cursing about those superfluous 16 CFs that could have been used elsewhere (always assuming your opponent doesn't do you the courtesy of revealing his force total before your move, so you can work out the numbers to best advantage). The original suggestion was that you work out the probability of reaching the next significant force total, as follows:

Number of 'excessive' CFs: 16.

Defender's CF # = 24.

Calculate the following: 16/24 x 12 = 8.*

Roll 2d6. On any result of 8 or less (should happen 72% of time), increase odds for this battle to the next level up (in this case, 2:1).

It's perhaps more work than a gamer wants to do for every battle (and usually requires a calculator), but might resolve those "could have used one more combat unit to up my DRMs by one" agonies.

*where result is not an integer, round down.



Hey, Chris, I like this Idea. But with 2 D6 this seems a bit unbalanced, as the statistic tells me, that rolling a 1 is not possible and rolling between 6 and 8 is most likely. I would prefer using 1 D12 or a 1 D10 or maybe a D8 or D6 and get the required number by calculating (your example) (b) 16/24 x 12 (or 10, 8 or 6 - dependig on the die you use - ) = x .

Any thoughts on that?


brommi:

You're right about the 'one over' issue, of course. In such a case (if still using 2d6) one would have to say that if you are only one CF over the exact odds figure, live with it. But to me, the advantage of 2d6 is exactly what you say - it follows a bell curve much more closely than any single die roll would. Here's the probability chart for 2d6:

Probs for 2d6s:

result - %prob

2: - - - - 2.78
3: - - - - 5.56
4: - - - - 8.33
5: - - - -11.1
6: - - - -13.89
7: - - - -16.67
8: - - - -13.89
9: - - - -11.1
10: - - - -8.33
11: - - - -5.56
12: - - - -2.78

There you see a perfectly symmetrical curve centering on a roll of 7.

The curve for 2d10 is also symmetrical, but steeper (2% at beginning and end, and 19% in the middle).*

So that's my point: using any single die will put you at risk of statistically unrepresentative results, like the following:

Probs for 1d12:

result - %prob

1: - - - - 8.33
2: - - - - 8.33
3: - - - - 8.33
4: - - - - 8.33
5: - - - - 8.33
6: - - - - 8.33
7: - - - - 8.33
8: - - - - 8.33
9: - - - - 8.33
10: - - - -8.33
11: - - - -8.33
12: - - - -8.33



whereas combining dice gets you closer to statistical averages (this from one who never tires of telling people he's no statistician...)





*All this math & stats came about in consequence of a player of Blood & Roses complaining of using 1d10 to settle a conflict; having gone to great lengths to get the best DRMs he could, it was all undone by a single cr*ppy roll! Here's the thread in question: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1327637/using-2-d10s-instead...

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rumpelstilskin
Germany
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi!

Of course you are right about the bell curve. It's just the question, what you wanna get: A linear increase of chances or a more "curved" (don't know the right English mathematical expression for that - ingressive??blush) one?

I am now about discussing with myself which solution sounds better for me...
Perhaps something to test...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Stimpson
United States
Westminster
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
brommi wrote:
Hi!

Of course you are right about the bell curve. It's just the question, what you wanna get: A linear increase of chances or a more "curved" (don't know the right English mathematical expression for that - ingressive??blush) one?


I was just looking for a way to avoid the unrealistic issue of a CRT that isn't a perfect continuum. If I want to be at 3:1 instead of 2:1, and am just one-tenth of the way over 2:1, I expect, statistically, to be stuck there. But if I'm nine-tenths of the way there, I want to be 'promoted' to 3:1.

Out of interest, I played with my 2d6 table, working out the chances NOT of a specific result coming up, but of a specific result and all those results below it coming up (in my original example, that's how you get a 72% chance of '8', and it's what we really are looking for here). It looks like this:

result - - - 2d6 % prob

2 - - - - - - - 2.78
3 - - - - - - - 8.34
4 - - - - - - -16.67
5 - - - - - - -27.77
6 - - - - - - -41.66
7 - - - - - - -58.33
8 - - - - - - -72.22
9 - - - - - - -83.32
10 - - - - - - -91.65
11 - - - - - - -97.21
12 - - - - - - -99.99 (rounding error)

To your point, when you make that into a graph, it's not linear but an 'S' curve, shallow at first then steeper in the middle and shallowing off at the top end. I don't think that matters - that's what the stats give you, and if you tried to 'straighten' or 'linearize' the line, it would be artificial.

...and of course, our entire math discussion might be too far away from the joy of gaming for most of us, but it's the cross we bear....






 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mayor Jim
United States
Fort Wright
Kentucky
flag msg tools
badge
Vote Often!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
These are all interesting mods...but, why not just play the game as intended? The lake battles were pretty much all winner take all, so why add the extra complexity?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Stimpson
United States
Westminster
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We're really discussing mods to land battles. I was upset about the British naval losses (I think the dice were made by a U.S. company...), but understand the 'all or nothing' argument.

The 'odds variant' we're discussing is to deal with the situation where the attacker/defender odds in a land battle don't work out to a nice exact ratio.

Edit: ...and it applies to any game with an odds-based CRT; the subject just happened to come up since it was my first play of MMW.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rumpelstilskin
Germany
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
...and - to assist chris - his method tries to avoid gamey combat point counting like "just need 3 more cp's to go to the next combat odds column - so where do I find this extra unit to add to this specific combat situation" ...

--> so more complexity for additional realism ==> worth trying IMHO - although I hadn't tried so far, but sounds interesting
 
 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.