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Subject: Tournament Scoring rss

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Alex M
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This is not to debate whether this game can be used in Tournaments; rather just some hypothetical number playing.

A group is going to do a long-form tournament over a period of time.

Rather informal, but going with double elimination.

Since it is an asymmetric game, idea is to leave matched players to determine faction via chance -- and for those with enough time, they can choose to do 2 games -- one each faction.

Thus the idea of scoring comes up -- how to compare numerically the success/failures of 2 different games.

I've played likely 10+ games; for those that have experience, what are your thoughts about this scoring concept?

Raw Score: Metric to determine progress toward end game objective (how close the victory/defeat was).

-If Rebs win, Imps count Unexplored planets (probed/imp presence = explored). Divide by 4 and round up.

-If Imps win, Rebs count current Reputation - current Turn. Divide by 2 and round up.

Score Category: Translate Raw score into categories.
Minor Victory/Defeat = 1
Major Victory/Defeat = 2
Total Victory/Defeat = 3+

Weighted Final Score: Take into account the 'stage' of the game by looking at Turns.

-If T1-T3: If game ends in this range, is due to severe risk taking by Rebs or extreme luck with Imps (or both). Weight of game is 0'ed.
Minor/Major/Total: 0

-If T4-T6: Early game end, generally due to effective strategy of either side, resulting in greater weight for major/total:
Minor: 1
Major: 3
Total: 3

-If T7-T9: Par for game end, score is weighted evenly:
Minor: 1
Major: 2
Total: 3

-If T10-T12: Late game end, score is weighted less:
Minor: 1
Major: 1
Total: 2

-If T13+: Absurd game length, ineffective (or too effective) play by both factions:
Minor: 1
Major: 1
Total: 0 (since not possible for reb)

Winner assigned positive, loser assigned negative of the weight.

Thoughts?
Disagreements on the general 'phases' of the game and common game ends?
Disagreements on the 'closeness to victor/defeat' by using reputation count/unexplored systems or its categories?

I'm aware by using categories, this could still lead to a need for a tiebreaker -- which I guess would just have to be resolved by the raw score.

But I had this preliminary thought in mind to be flexible for a ladder/player rating/handicap type system.

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David Umstattd
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I really don't like the idea of counting probes or unexplored planets as part of a scoring metric. Various rebel strategies will rely more or less on increasing rebel base defenses. And more rebel base defenses means more probe cards which in the case means a lower score. So you're punishing people not for playing badly but for using a different strategy.

for the empire the score system seems like it should punish for time passing and for rebel scores. So Maximum turn - current turn - reputation gained. so basically you get an extra point for every turn that didn't pass and every reputation point they didn't get.

I think I did that right. the math on that may be totally off.

As for the rebels it seems simple enough. Their score = reputation gained. So reward people for scoring more points.

alternatively you could play two games, one as empire one as rebellion and if empire wins both then whoever scored more points as the rebels wins (winning more points means you were a better rebel. rebels are indifferent to how many turns the game went.) And if the rebels won both then whoever scored more points as the rebels wins.

And if the rebels won one and the empire won one then that means that the same person won both.



The risk here is that if someone wins as the empire. Then they know they just have to score more points than their opponent and then even if they lose they'll still win the tie. Of course this could be fixed by playing 3 games. But that would take a while.


You could also simply have everyone play an equal number of rebel and empire games, and then at the end whoever has the most victories wins. And if there is a tie then whoever scored the most points as the rebels wins. Though if doing this consider dropping everyone's lowest and highest scores. But that might result in too many ties.
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Doug DeMoss
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If you're doing double elimination, you don't need a scoring metric.
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Witold G
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Eskandaer wrote:
Thus the idea of scoring comes up -- how to compare numerically the success/failures of 2 different games.


So basically, you would like to have a more-or-less reliable tiebreaker to determine an outcome of a single Rebellion match consisting of 2 games?

You could do 1 game per match instead, with bidding for sides - just like in Twilight Struggle. Below are the bidding rules from TS, modified for Rebellion:

"Bidding may be used to determine sides. Each player
should secretly write the name of a side and a number on a piece
of paper. The two bids are then revealed. If the bids show
different sides, each player takes the side he wrote down, and play
begins. If the bids show the same side, the player who wrote
the higher number takes that side. His opponent then receives
additional triangle units (ground and/or space units) equal to the higher number,
to be placed during setup along with all other units
and subject to all setup restrictions. If the numbers
are equal, sides are determined randomly; the player playing the
side that did not appear on either bid then receives the additional
triangle units in the amount of the higher bid, as before."


Additional notes:
1. Bidding takes place just after initial systems are determined, so game setup starts with point 8-I of Complete Setup rules (RR, p. 15) to determine systems first, then bidding, then all the rest starting from point 1.
2. Players can also exchange their triangle units for circle units at a rate of 3 triangles for 1 circle (this only applies to units gained through bidding, of course). For example, bid of 4 in case of Rebels might become 4 Troopers, or 1 Airspeeder + 1 Y-Wing, or 4 Transports etc.
3. Components restrictions for units need to be observed.

Just a thought, of course.

I think this might help to mitigate some slight variances in initial setups which might give a wee bit of advantage to one faction.

This would also be a contribution to ongoing "How well balanced this game is" discussion - I'm curious what the average bid would be.
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Alex M
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Regarding probe count, I agree, but more from the Imp perspective (which I think you're also stating).

Imp may want to focus probes, or they may want to focus expansion -- as you say, it shouldn't be penalized one over the other. That's why I say 'unexplored' to mean not probe cards, but rather places that haven't been probed or imps haven't discovered. You are right, though, in that Rebs going for a known fortress strategy might penalize an imp player that is simply effectively massing against the Reb base -- however, I'll note that it's still important to keep spreading presence/probes, as the Reb player may otherwise still Rapid out.

I agree this may still have some issues.


Regarding why bother? Double elimination, you're correct. The issue just came up because of folks debating whether to play 1 faction per round, or both factions per round, and how to compare the results if so.


Regarding bidding. I think this is definitely an interesting idea, and perhaps better suited for this game overall. It somewhat removes the possibility of using a scoring method in a ladder type setup, but that was just a thought experiment and not a real concern.
 
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jooice ZP
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Why can't you have a win or loss with the difference between time an reputation as the score.

Play 2 games and go on.
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Alex M
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Difference is: A reb win is always a 0 difference between T and Rep. An Imp win, it's variable.
 
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Eskandaer wrote:
Difference is: A reb win is always a 0 difference between T and Rep. An Imp win, it's variable.


So the problem is if both players win as the Rebels.
In that case the Rebel player that won quicker is the winner. (less game rounds, most reputation points, its the same thing really*)

Its true that if you won as the rebels on turn , and in the next game the rebels have not won yet and it is turn 7, then you can't lose, but that seems ok to me.

*it should be reputation points. In some rare cases you can score 2 points when you only need 1 to win. Basically passing the time marker by 1.
 
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Charlie Roselius
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Bidding sounds wonderful. Going to implement in all of my future games!
 
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Arno Noms
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I believe the best way is to have two games with each player playing each side.

In case of a tie with 2 Empire wins, break the tie by:
1st) Marker differential: Take position of Reputation marker and subtract position of time marker. Higher differential wins
2nd) Number of Rebel Objectives scored: Lower number wins
3rd) Position of the Reputation marker: Higher number wins
4th) Number of Rebel Loyal systems: Lower number wins
5th) Number of MC Cruiser kills: Higher number wins
6th) Coin toss

In case of a tie with 2 Rebel wins, break the tie by:
1st) Number of objective points scored: Higher number wins
2nd) Number of objectives scored: Higher number wins
3rd) Position of the Reputation marker: Lower number wins
4th) Distance of nearest Imperial Unit to base: Higher number wins
5th) Number of Rebel Loyal systems: Higher number wins
6th) Coin toss


In case of a round-robin stage, award 3 points per matchup:
Player won both sides: 3 pts
Player won on tie breaker: 2pts
Player lost on tie breaker: 1pt
Player lost both sides: 0pt
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Arno Noms
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If - for time reasons - only one game can be played in the KO stage, use bidding but publish both setup and bids for every game so the players can mind game on tendencies.
 
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Thomas with Subtrendy
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Yes, as others have stated, making some of the objectives based on things like probe cards or planets simplifies the strategy of this game. It makes things more boring and predictable.
 
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Ty Hansen
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Great question.

Thoughts on the post question regarding leaving side selection to random, and needing thus a scoring system...
1. Turn #
2. Unknown planets (planets Rebel base could be relocated to legally). As a start, it's variable, broad, and both sides can affect it.
Should work OK for both sides, with the addition of ceding the top Rebel player against the lowest Imperial winner in future rounds.
Theory being, if sides are equal, the Rebel player that won 'earliest' could be the best player of the Rebel winners and vice-versa.
It gives some bias towards completing objectives, versus staying hidden/bunkering, but you've got to start somewhere.
Second rating puts focus on planets/expansion, as others have said, benefiting certain strategies...

If you're going with a bracket and double elimination, then perhaps when player has first loss, they 'automatically' play the opposite side in the losers bracket? But that could ding someone dropped into that bracket early, later in rounds, if they are forced to play the side they initially lost with again...

Other tie breaker thoughts:
Loyal planet differential (weights using loyalty missions)
Capital Ship destructions (need to keep tally during game, weights fleet construction, players can 'game' not exposing/building capital ships)
Total icons on leaders/total tactics values on leaders (could, in some way, denote a player that succeeded with 'weaker' leaders)

--------
Additionally, thoughts on running a tournament, rather than more specifically 'scoring', as I'm thinking about entering Rebellion for possible selection at the WBC convention in Pennsylvania.

Other asymmetric games (War of the Ring, Star Wars: Queens Gambit) use a bidding system to determine sides.
--------
Single-elimination, with Mulligan Round
Mulligan Round: if you lose in the 'first' Mulligan Round, you are eligible to play in Round 1. Winners in the Mulligan Round proceed to Round 2. (this insures all players that want at least 2 games, get 2 games)

Players bid for side.
1. Roll three Rebellion dice. High total in terms of mission successes offers first bid.
2. Bid to play a specific side; opponent receives # of troopers to deploy during set-up. A bid of 0 is allowed.
--------
Just my opinion, as having played too few games to really know true game balance, troopers seemed the easiest, least destabilizing way to inject a way for players to determine sides.

Alternative bid thoughts:
# of Mission card discard and re-draws (something fairly successful with games such as Battlecry and Memoir 44)
# of 'triangles' [posted above by Witold G in more detail]. Though I think this may open up more strategic decisions and variability (a good thing), I would be concerned it is too early for such a level of flexibility.
Bidding Reputation would, at this early juncture, be unbalancing IMO.

 
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David Umstattd
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Ya'll are making it too complicated. Just make sure everyone plays and equal number of rebel and empire games and if there is a tie for number of victories then total reputation gained as rebels.

Maybe cut the bottom and top results for everyone.

If you're worried about the randomness of setup then you can standardize that during each round. So you have like 3 setups and each player has to play as the rebels once on each of those setups.

But honestly randomness is a big part of what makes the game. And adapting to that randomness is a sign of a good player. I suppose if you had time you could make sure every deck is standard across the games. But that's kind a be overkill.
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My view on a scoring on SW:R would be to:
- Keep it as simple as possible.



>> A win gives 2 points and a negative subscore which turn you won
>> A loss gives 0 points and a positive subscore which turn you lost
>> Equel score, the lower subscore has higher rank

Thats all.


For Example:

First game played: I win as Empire in turn 12 >>> 2 (-12)
Second game played: I win as Rebels in turn 9 >>> 2 (-9)
Total: >>> 4 (-21)

Third game played: I lose as Empire in turn 10 >>> 0 (+10)
Total: >>> 4 (-11)


Its a bit like SW:CCG from deciever (in the Old days).
 
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Mike Barry
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Eskander, do you still have room in your TTS tournament on Steam?
 
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Alex M
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I love all the thoughts from folks.

Too complicated? ha! Look at the board game we're talking about. Complications can be fun.

But seriously, I do subscribe to the simple is better mentality. Especially when this is relatively unpaved territory, and we'd need more data/knowledge of common game outcomes to really specify a proper scoring system.

The conclusion I've come to so far is this:

-the tourny is first and foremost supposed to be fun and expose more folks to the game and other players(even newcomers), so in all things, players preference is the rule; if matched can only do 1 game, then bidding sounds good (or they can random it if they don't want to fool with it); if they can do 2, then they can agree to a system they like with these suggestions

-I think bidding would overall be the way to go with this game due to game length, and seems to be standard in games of this type/complexity. It's just a matter of finding that sweet spot for what the bids affect that gives that nudging advantage, but not an overhaul in strategic opportunity

-scoring, if it is done, I do not think can rely on Turns alone -- simply due to differing valid strategies leading to different game lengths; using unexplored planets as a metric can be problematic, but there definitely needs to be a primary focus on a combination of Turns/Reputation.

And yes... plenty of room. More is better.

 
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I agree, that for a simple tourney to draw more people in, single-game rounds with bidding for sides is probably preferable.

I would, however, highly discourage the "either-or" approach. Either all players play one match per tournament round OR all players play 2. Do not have different formats within one tournament - that will hurt the integrity of the format.

Else you will have the situation where the winner of the first match will want to keep it at 1 match while the other guy want to have a shot at equalizing. So keep it at one match. If the players enjoyed it, they can do 'friendly' matches after their 'official' one.

For a competitive format, I still highly suggest the 2 matches per round structure outlined about.
 
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Stephen Venters
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David Umstattd wrote:
Ya'll are making it too complicated. Just make sure everyone plays and equal number of rebel and empire games and if there is a tie for number of victories then total reputation gained as rebels.

Maybe cut the bottom and top results for everyone.

If you're worried about the randomness of setup then you can standardize that during each round. So you have like 3 setups and each player has to play as the rebels once on each of those setups.

But honestly randomness is a big part of what makes the game. And adapting to that randomness is a sign of a good player. I suppose if you had time you could make sure every deck is standard across the games. But that's kind a be overkill.


Hi. I agree with the standard setup option. A random setup for each game of each round would lead to players complaining about the balance of the setup. As I showed on this thread, there are some setups that favor the Imperials and some that favor the Rebels:
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1630983/setup-permutations-...

I suggest using one of the more Neutral setups. If the rounds aren't going to be played all on the same day, you could even let the players know beforehand so you don't have to worry about keeping it secret. Plus, they could prepare their strategies.

Furthermore, by using the same setup for each game, then your scoring logic would be more standard. If player 1 won with the Imperials in 6 rounds, and player 2 won with the Imperials in 5 rounds with the exact same setup, then clearly player 2 played better (dice rolling aside).

Then the next round could be a different setup and the players would switch factions.
 
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Hey Stephen,

cool that you poke your head in. On the steam board for the Tournament I suggested the following:

Quote:
Just throwing this out there:
http://ventersconsulting.com/BoardgameHelpers/StarWarsRebell...

This site has an automatic setup generator that gives an automatic weight if the Empire or the Rebels have the advantage. It also has all possible combinations listed here:
http://ventersconsulting.com/BoardgameHelpers/Other/SWRAnaly...

I would suggest that at the start of a round the tournament administration rolls a setup for each match including only setups that have a balanced rating between 3.5 and 6.5 (out of ten). Simply post the number next to the match and the players can look up the setup and start with the bidding.


Which has been replied to with:
Quote:
I don't actually think a rating between 3.5 and 6.5 is appropriate - the vast majority of the setups are Empire-leaning according to its ratings. http://i.imgur.com/6K8souL.png is the distribution - ~77% of setups are 5+, which is half of the range. The mean of this range is 6.04 and the median is 6.1, with a standard deviation of 1.935.

I'd probably go with 4.1-8.0 if you want one standard deviation, or if you want exactly the middle 68%, then 3.7 through 8.4.


My reply:
Quote:
But the power of setups isn't distributed as a normal distribution. The rating number is calculated by the difference in power of the first build between the two factions. Ratings above 6.5 actually mean that the Empire can shut down a ton of production - 2 out of 3 systems usually - and gain a large inherent advantage.

Take a look at the setups of 6.5 or higher. They are noticably skewed towards the Empire. The author actually thinks that only setups of 2.5 or lower are Rebel favored, but I'm not sure I agree


But now here is the thing where I'm interested in your opinion:
Quote:
Let me make a strawman argument - let's assume that 95 out of 100 total possible starting setups were an 8.0+, and only 1 was 4.0-. I would assume at that point that the intent of the game creators was for a massively empire favored setup, and that you shouldn't only select from the 4 setups that were 'balanced'. So coming at it from a 'designers' intent' perspective, I'm in favor of only shaving off the edges on both sides - even if the mean/median is empire favored.

I think that the empire is SUPPOSED to be able to shut down a ton of production, and that the rebel player needs to get tricky to be able to gain advantages - but that might just be because most of my rebel plays have been against newish empire players who I can exploit. If I was getting relentlessly steamrolled as the rebels game after game I might feel differently

All of that being said, I think its ultimately up to the gaming community to determine what they think is fair - for example, by bidding for influence in TS being traditionally whether you bid +1 or +2 for USSR. I'd really love it if we could get some aggregated data on winrates (even better if it gets correlated with setup power/experience level of the players) so we could start making an intelligent bidding system for Rebellion.
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Well, altough I like the analysation of setup, I do think it does not give information who will win with a better chance.

WHatever setup, the Rebel player can win. Whatever setup for the Empire, they can lose.
It is how you play it, experience, punish mistakes etc.

As Rebels, I have won while being denied almost all building of forces while the Empire had massive productions.

It sure is great to get a deeper and richer experience on this game to get better and better.

As for tournament, if played multiple games luck will be migitated and the better players will get more wins on average.
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Mike Barry
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I agree, I don't think there should be any bias in starting set up.

The probe cards you pull are the probe cards you pull. It's already biased due to only having 7 and 5 options for each side.
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David Umstattd
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I don't understand this obsession with wanting to punish early victories. Early victories are highly unlikely with experienced players. They usually only happen if one player is far superior to the other. And you shouldn't punish anyone if that happens. There's no need to punish the empire or rebels for winning quickly. It takes skill. And if the rebels were stupid enough to leave their base poorly defended with it near imperial sectors than they deserve the loss.
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Stephen Venters
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Thrombozyt wrote:
Hey Stephen...


Hi Arno. I had no idea my little analysis site had gotten some traction on Steam. I'm further glad you clarified that the scores are not a percentile distribution of fairness or balance or anything like that, but instead, as you adeptly noted, a simple calculation to rate first build output of each faction (with a slight extra bump for the Rebels if Mon Calamari is initially unopposed).

In my experience with area control games, in general, he who can produce units faster and in higher numbers usually wins the game. This lends to the argument that the bulk of the initial setups favor the Empire. That said, your strawman's argument is spot on: do the other aspects of the game offset the obvious bias of the initial build towards the Empire?

Now my analysis wasn't intended to answer that, but in a way, I have to admit, it does imply that the game is unbalanced. But, you are right, the other factors of the game help re-balance that: most importantly is the fact that the Rebels don't need to control any plants or decimate the Imperial fleet to win the game. They win by being annoying and sneaky, not via head-to-head combat as in most area-control games. Which means a low initial production isn't as big of a problem as most players think it is.

Frankly, my personal opinion is that the sequence in which the Rebel objective cards come out is just as important as the initial build output. So much so, I've considered adding the probability of the first two Objective cards to the analysis score. Case and point: if the Rebel gets shut down build-wise (with setup score of 8.0+) and draws the Rebel Assault (destroy a Star Destroyer objective first and Crippling Blow (destroy ground units) as his first two objectives, he's going to have a very hard time achieving either of them. Not to mention attacking and holding Coruscant for Heart of the Empire or making a run on a well defended Death Star with Death Star Plans. The fact is, half of the Rebel objectives (which really are what win the Rebels the game) require a reasonable number of units to attempt (or damn lucky rolls).

In the end, I trust the testers and Fantasy Flight Games for making a balanced game. But I will say this that some people might perceive as imbalance: the Imperial side is a much more forgiving side to play. A tactical error or a series of unlucky rolls is much harder to recover from when playing the Rebels. So in that respect, the Empire does have an advantage.
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Witold G
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ClimberStephen wrote:
Thrombozyt wrote:
Hey Stephen...


Hi Arno. I had no idea my little analysis site had gotten some traction on Steam. I'm further glad you clarified that the scores are not a percentile distribution of fairness or balance or anything like that, but instead, as you adeptly noted, a simple calculation to rate first build output of each faction (with a slight extra bump for the Rebels if Mon Calamari is initially unopposed).


Hmm, I'm slightly confused here, because I'm under the impression you agree with the last quote in Arno's post, which is actually an argument made not by Arno, but by another user named Jozrael. All four quotes in Arno's post are as follows: Arno, Jozrael, Arno, Jozrael.

Link to Steam discussion for reference:
http://steamcommunity.com/groups/SWR-TTS/discussions/0/35054...

I might be totally wrong here, of course - I freely admit that this whole discussion about standard deviations etc. is on the edge of what I consider understandable for my little brain.
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