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Race! Formula 90» Forums » Variants

Subject: Improved Martino's Weather System rss

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Nigel Uncle
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First post of a series, where I’d like to make our weather-efforts available to the community…

Since newest circuits have been released with more “complex” WeatherTracks compared to old Monza and Hungaroring which were the base of Martino’s calculations, I revised Martino's Weather System, in order to get a definitive set of Weather Decks for all combinations of starting conditions and forecast, wiping out any doubt about Weather Deck creation at the start of the race.
My system is strictly based on Martino’s one (I cooperated closely with him and another friend of us): four “basic” decks are now fine-tuned (huge statistics work behind!) to cover appropriately every span between starting conditions and forecast for the end of the race.
Three further decks are used in case of races starting under “uncertain” weather: these are the “unstable version” of the previous decks (same expected values, but bigger standard deviation, to simulate more changeable weather and lack of reliable forecasts).
Weather Deck (2x A3 sheets, complete with a set of Weather Chits and a set of Tyre Chits to track remaining Soft Tyres Sets for any player), Flowchart and Tables for correct choice and composition of the Weather Decks have been submitted as pdf in file section, I hope they will be available soon. https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/136314/martinos-weather-s...

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Nigel Uncle
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Taking the clue from earlier versions of Ismail Descolado’s Interlagos fan track, we treat overrunning of Weather Track’s boundaries as “Extreme Hot” and “Heavy Rain”; as soon as the Weather Pawn goes past the outermost slot of the Weather Track, we restore the Weather Pawn right away back on the outermost slot of the WT and proceed as follows:
Extreme Hot causes immediate consumption of one black tyre chip per player: a player with no black tyre chips to spend is not eliminated, but he must pit during the current turn; if he cannot pit (e.g. for being currently off-track), then player is out of the race.
In case of Heavy Rain, Safety Car is immediately deployed, and it stays on the track until -whichever comes first- new race Stage (as usual) or until another Weather Card draw is performed, provided that new weather card does not overrun the boundary of the WT again.

Coming soon: variable timing of weather changes and short-term-forecast-peeking system…
 
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Viktor Karlsson Mantel
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I had problem really grasping Martinos system but this table is perfect!
 
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René Christensen
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Solroed Strand
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I fail to see how you can use the same deck - for ex. Deck 2 - if the weather forecast is rain and/or sunny. There is only one -1 and I believe that minus is moving right?
 
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Nigel Uncle
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René, there is no "rightward" or "leftward" meaning in positive and negative values. Cards with positive values always push the Weather Pawn towards forecasted weather, no matter if you are going from sunny to rain, or vice versa. So, the "-1" or "-2" cards in the deck work "against" the forecast.
The table is just a rule for the comoposition of the deck, in which you will put the right amount of "rainwards" and "sunwards" cards, in addition to required "zeroes".

If forecast is exactly on the same slot of the starting weather, you still don't have any trouble, because the "0" and "0u" decks are symmetrical.
 
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Nigel Uncle
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We did not like anymore original "fixed" turns for weather changes during the game, since they could help some player rather than others when pitting and/or planning the following mandatory stops. So, instead of having a fixed schedule, we extended the chance of the weather changing over a three-turn span, sharing the odds on a 33%-per-turn basis (targets below are calculated accordingly; at the end I will provide formulas to estimate targets for any distribution).

We identify these three turns on the Turn Indicator, with some markers. At the very beginning of the turn pinpointed by the first marker, we perform a blind check (target 33, neither bonus nor penalties apply): if this check is successful, top card of Weather Deck is revealed and its effects applied on the Weather Track. If the first check fails, at the very beginning of the next game turn (that with the second marker), a new blind check is performed, against target 50; here again, if check is successful, then we draw and apply the top card of Weather Deck. If both blind checks have been failed so far, weather will change certainly at the very beginning of the third marker turn.
As soon as the effects of the weather draw have been applied on the Weather Pawn, the three markers are placed over another group of three turns, further on the Turn Indicator.



We were used to set first weather-changing chances on turns 5, 6 and 7; later, as soon as the Weather Pawn has moved, we relocated the markers on turns t+4, t+5 and t+6, relative to the current turn. But Martino’s Decks have always been tuned to better work on 5 draws, and this system led too often to races where fifth Weather Card was not even drawn or its effects lasted just for one or two turns...
Best compromise I found, to keep invariable the system and as consistent as possible the length of the weather stints, is to use turns 5, 6 and 7 for the first set of checks, and delay further checks at turns +3, +4 and +5 from last Weather Pawn move. After the fifth Weather Card has been drawn, no more weather changes happen for that race.

For more accurate tuning (depending on the race length!), I can advice to set first checks on turns 4/5/6 if race length is NOT 26 or 27 turns, and to delay further triads to +4/+5/+6 turns when the race length is 28+ turns.

For those who want to play with other probability distributions, if we name p1, p2 and p3 the percentiles of the weather changing respectively on first, second and third turn, then first check target is 100 * p1, and second target is 100 * p2 / (1 - p1).
Example: desired percentages 20%-60%-20%
T1 = 100 * 0,20 = 20
T2 = 100 * 0,60 / (1 - 0,20) = 60 / 0,80 = 75.
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Nigel Uncle
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Last but not least… Increasing accuracy Nowcasting!

During phase C of his turn, a player is awarded a Weather Chit for each Card with weather symbol he played during his phase B.

If the player owns just one Weather Chit, he is allowed to peek the top card of the Weather Deck, in order to know what next weather will be.
Since he gathers his second Weather Chit, a player is allowed to draw and peek in advance also the pair of Race Cards which will be used for the next weather blind checks, knowing therefore exactly when the next weather change will happen too. After that, these cards will be held – obviously in recognisable order – for other players who later gain the right to peek them.

As soon as the Weather Card is eventually drawn, its effects applied on the Weather Track and markers set on their new turns, all players must reset their nowcasting opportunities by discarding all their Chits.

Playing with robot teammates, a human player can play a Yellow Card with a weather symbol during his teammate turn, adding a Weather Chit to his reserve and peeking accordingly.
When racing with human teammates, players may agree to cumulate Weather Chits within the team and share their nowcast informations as if the bulletin was radioed to both pilots from the pit crew.
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Bill Koff
United States
Wilmington
North Carolina
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Not sure I get the point of all this. To use this do I have to have a special deck of cards printed and learn these extra rules? Seems like a lot of trouble.

I've been using Willy Schneider's weather forecast model which is straightforward and works great!

If someone could clarify what's needed to use this system and why I should try it over Willy's I'd appreciate it.
 
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Nigel Uncle
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I was already aware of Willy’s system but I never actually tested it in a race, since I do not like some of its fundaments: it is not related to the different circuit Weather Tracks; it makes really unlikely to start a race under rain conditions; if it ever rains during a race, you now from the beginning that it will be just once, and it will last no more that a fixed amount of turns.

Martino’s system works simulating the gradual transition between two weather conditions, roughly two hours apart in real world (start and forecast), mantaining at the same time a residual degree of uncertainty about the exact development.
I admit that I wrote this thread assuming that readers had a little experience with Martino’s old system, so you might want to have a look at original writing, and following discussion too. https://boardgamegeek.com/article/19102202#19102202

Yes, Martino’s system requires you to print a small set of cards (actually 19), with which you set up a specialized 7-card Weather Deck for every single game.
This version (2.0) is modular: this means that you may use only basic features, which aren’t difficult to implement (draw Race Cards for starting conditions and forecast, set up the Weather Deck as per instructions, and then reveal five of its cards at regular intervals during the race).
Some of the remaining stuff (let’s call it “expansions”) surely appears complicated if you never played with Martino’s Weather: we developed them after lots of play and statistical work. You might first try and get used to basic system, to fully understand and appreciate the variants later.
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Bill Koff
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Okay thanks Nigel. You're right that Willy's system doesn't vary between circuits. But the chance of rain at the start of a race is the same as it starting at any other time. Also, I must admit I've tweaked his system a little bit to add some additional variability to the outcomes.

Maybe at some point I'll print out the cards and give this one a try.
 
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Ramalingam Raghavan
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CHENNAI
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How about this?
You do weather change when anyone draws a card with weather symbol.
And you use the check factor from top of discard pile against the pawn. Accordingly move (Same, or one slot or change of conditions).
 
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Nigel Uncle
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Well, we just wanted to pick the weather out of the hands of the player, returning it to a higher level. Therefore our system is intended to work full-automatic, so that players have no influence on the weather, but just opportunities to get some forecasts.

If I understand correctly your idea, every time a player draws a card with the weather symbol (during his phase B, I suppose) he has to show it and then proceed to the check value comparison with the top card of the discard pile.

By the rules, when you discard several cards used by robots (like during contests or other events), before putting them on the discard pile you must order them by ascending check factor, resulting in a potential slight bias towards sunny weathers over the long run.
But -more strongly- the system you submitted here is constantly biased towards the intermediate weathers. In fact, every time the Weather Pawn will be near one edge of the Weather Track, a check value comparison will very likely move it again towards the center, resulting often in races ending with Intermediate conditions.
 
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René Christensen
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Solroed Strand
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We like Martino's Weather System.
When the players controlled the weather, it never changed despite being a bonus for the players since the robots had to pit.
So now that it is out of our hands, we have had weather changes but not in a way that is was changing the result of the race.
 
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Ramalingam Raghavan
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@Nigel. I get your point. You can check against whatever target.
I missed out the intermediate section.
Rather determining when the weather change occurs with turn markers. We would determine by the draw from the deck(with weather symbol), in which case we have no clue of when there will be a change. You can use the weather cards to change as usual.
 
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Nigel Uncle
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Yeah, sure there are plenty of ways you can decide the moment of the weather change!

Since the very beginning, Martino's Weather deck has been calculated to work best drawing 5 out of its 7 cards. Therefore, Martino's original system had five fixed moments for weather changes during the race.
Later we modified it a little to add variance, but we stuck to "rather regular weather stints" throughout the race, both to simulate a smooth transition from initial conditions to the forecasted ones, and to ensure having some playable turns for every "stint".

I don't remember exactly how many Race Cards carry the weather symbol in the deck (maybe nine?). Considering that we usually cycle through the deck twice in a race (4 players), that would total well over 10 weather changes, so using Martino's Weather Cards with your method is undoable.

Now my goal is to obtain a turn-by-turn automated weather simulation with the smoothest possible transitions. I am currently working on it, with good results, but it needs such an amount of math (it's based on gaussian random walks), that makes the aid of a spreadsheet on a PC during the game unavoidable.
 
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