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Subject: Round up or round down? rss

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Adrian Davis
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Which do you think is the better system when determining odds - round fractions up (thus 23:5 is 5:1), or round down (23:5 is 4:1)?

I prefer the round up, as I think it gives players more of an incentive to attack, reflects what really happens and stops the accountancy style of wargaming

Share your thoughts and please answer the poll below:

Poll
Round up or Round down?
Round up
Round down
Don't care: other things in a game are more important
      41 answers
Poll created by ajdavis
 
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Joe Kundlak
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You should add a fourth option Adrian, "Depends on the game itself."
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Russ Williams
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I agree it depends on the particular game and designer's goals.

ajdavis wrote:
I prefer the round up, as I think it gives players more of an incentive to attack, reflects what really happens and stops the accountancy style of wargaming

How does it reflect what really happens? In real life, are there battle odds which the universe rounds up instead of down?

In any case, I don't see how it would stop a calculating style of wargaming. Whether an odds-based CRT rounds up or rounds down, there are stair-step thresholds, and some players will want to know whether adding another unit into the attack bumps them up to the next column or not.
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Stephen Rochelle
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ajdavis wrote:
Which do you think is the better system when determining odds - round fractions up (thus 23:5 is 5:1), or round down (23:5 is 4:1)?
Flipping the question around a bit, is 11:10 better rounded to 2:1 or 1:1?
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Seth Pinter
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round normally. >= .5 goes up, < .5 goes down
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Joe Mucchiello
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I'm confused why are you rounding odds at all? 23:5 is 23 to 5. It is not 5:1 or 4:1.

I'll rephrase: What is the purpose behind this rounding? Are you simplifying something for the player? for the tester? for you?
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Jake Staines
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jmucchiello wrote:

What is the purpose behind this rounding? Are you simplifying something for the player? for the tester? for you?


Probably it's for use in a Combat Resolution Table, as often found in hex-and-counter wargames; typically when you make an attack you'll total up the 'attack' scores for the attacking stack of counters, find the ratio between that and the total 'defence' scores for the defending stack of counters and reference that ratio on the CRT, sometimes accompanied by a dice roll, to find out the result of the combat.

So if you have a total attack of 3 against a defence of 2 (or 6 against 4, or 15 against 10, or whatever) then you'll often end up rounding to either 1:1 or 2:1 odds in favour of the attacker... which can make quite a difference to the result of the combat.
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Steven Metzger
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Bichatse wrote:
jmucchiello wrote:

What is the purpose behind this rounding? Are you simplifying something for the player? for the tester? for you?


Probably it's for use in a Combat Resolution Table, as often found in hex-and-counter wargames; typically when you make an attack you'll total up the 'attack' scores for the attacking stack of counters, find the ratio between that and the total 'defence' scores for the defending stack of counters and reference that ratio on the CRT, sometimes accompanied by a dice roll, to find out the result of the combat.

So if you have a total attack of 3 against a defence of 2 (or 6 against 4, or 15 against 10, or whatever) then you'll often end up rounding to either 1:1 or 2:1 odds in favour of the attacker... which can make quite a difference to the result of the combat.
Then why is this in the board game design forum, and not in the wargames forum?
 
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J C Lawrence
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I do believe that (most) wargames are in fact also board games.
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Jack Neal
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Depends. Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
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David
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I think that rounding up in all cases would be a strange design decision. As the defender, you'd be a bit p-d off surely if the attacker gets 4-1 on your 10-stack with just 31 points?

I can see it for a CRT where both stacks take damage - so if you chance it on a rounded up attack then you might not have enough left to force home the advantage.

But mostly, as others have said, 'depends on the game'
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Daniel Cassar
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Generally speaking the benefit should go with the defender not the attacker as it's kind of like a "home ground advantage" sort of thing.

Having said that, with wargames rounding up can "promote" a more aggressive and lively game. If you think that is required or will benefit the game then do so.
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Research a bunch of historical engagements covered by your game, look at the forces & terrain involved and the losses that resulted, then make your CRT match that. Rounding may be involved.
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Fraser
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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The CRTs I remember were in favour of the defender, i.e. round down.

If you were attacking a defence of 10 and wanted 4:1 then you wanted 40-49 in attack.
 
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James Hutchings
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The best game answer is unlikely to be the most realistic answer, since in a game you want people to attack, but in real life defending gives a great advantage.

If you're going to make defending have an advantage, then you need to have some factor which forces one side or both to attack.

For example, side A has far more troops but side B wins if the game doesn't end in 10 turns. Or both sides represent unpopular governments, and revolution gets more and more likely unless they can report military victories.
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James Hutchings
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You could also have intermediate steps, so that for example 5:2 is a different column than either 2:1 or 3:1. You still have the problem of how to round, but the jumps will be smoother.
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James Hutchings
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I just thought of a (not particularly realistic) way to deal with it.

Round down, but the extra troops aren't at risk.

For example, say a group worth 45 attacks a group worth 10.

This is rounded down to 4:1.

However, if the attackers are wiped out, the extra 5 represents a small force that escapes.

EDIT: If representing such small units is a problem, you could just have them 'make their way back to their lines' ie in a couple of turns their player can buy a unit of appropriate type for 35 when it'd normally cost 40.
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Adrian Davis
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Steven
you're right, I think I've posted this in the wrong forum. *Apologies* blush

But thank you for all the replies so far!
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Russ Williams
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apeloverage wrote:

Round down, but the extra troops aren't at risk.

For example, say a group worth 45 attacks a group worth 10.

This is rounded down to 4:1.

However, if the attackers are wiped out, the extra 5 represents a small force that escapes.

That seems somewhat indistinguishable from the player simply not adding those 5 units to participate in the attack...? I guess it would make sense in a game where adjacent units are forced to attack, though!
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Martin
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ajdavis wrote:
Which do you think is the better system when determining odds - round fractions up (thus 23:5 is 5:1), or round down (23:5 is 4:1)?


Well, 4.6 is closer to 5 than to 4. 22.5:5 had been a trickier question.
 
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Joe Mucchiello
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Bichatse wrote:
Probably it's for use in a Combat Resolution Table, as often found in hex-and-counter wargames; typically when you make an attack you'll total up the 'attack' scores for the attacking stack of counters, find the ratio between that and the total 'defence' scores for the defending stack of counters and reference that ratio on the CRT, sometimes accompanied by a dice roll, to find out the result of the combat.

Then I wouldn't use "a ratio" and have as the rule "divide atk/def" and have the chart say: 0.0-1.9, 2.0-2.9, 3.0-3.9 OR even 0.50-1.49, 1.50-2.49, 2.50-3.49, etc for the more pedantic player.

After all these years of CRTs this is still an issue?
 
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Jake Staines
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jmucchiello wrote:

Then I wouldn't use "a ratio" and have as the rule "divide atk/def" and have the chart say: 0.0-1.9, 2.0-2.9, 3.0-3.9 OR even 0.50-1.49, 1.50-2.49, 2.50-3.49, etc for the more pedantic player.


From a mathematical point of view, this is putting the round-up or round-down into the CRT instead of into the game rules; you're making a decision where to put your result thresholds, but you're still making the decision.

From a playability point of view, I expect most people find calculating simple integer ratios in their head a lot easier than dividing one integer by another, most of the time... so that's probably why people stick with ratios.

jmucchiello wrote:

After all these years of CRTs this is still an issue?


To be honest, I think every hex-and-counter wargame I remember playing has just said in the rules whether to round up or (generally) down. So - not for most games, no. ;-)
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Confusion Under Fire
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Some players do not round up OR down they do both. The way to achieve this is to work out the fraction to one decimal point, so lets say you have 8 attacking 5 that would be a ratio of 1.6 to 1, you now roll a 1D10 for the fraction (0.6) the roll has to be less to be rounded up or more or equal to be rounded down.
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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Round aesthetically. For example, I would round 355:113 to π.
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Joe Mucchiello
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Bichatse wrote:
jmucchiello wrote:

Then I wouldn't use "a ratio" and have as the rule "divide atk/def" and have the chart say: 0.0-1.9, 2.0-2.9, 3.0-3.9 OR even 0.50-1.49, 1.50-2.49, 2.50-3.49, etc for the more pedantic player.


From a mathematical point of view, this is putting the round-up or round-down into the CRT instead of into the game rules; you're making a decision where to put your result thresholds, but you're still making the decision.

And it eliminates a midgame rule. Sounds like a good thing.
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From a playability point of view, I expect most people find calculating simple integer ratios in their head a lot easier than dividing one integer by another, most of the time... so that's probably why people stick with ratios.

Huh? Knowing 23:5 is [i]somewhere[i] between 4:1 and 5:1 is easier than just knowing it is exactly 4.6?

I know. Math is scary. You wouldn't want to ask people to divide.
 
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