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Subject: Elite Status, Bushido Spirit or Oil Production -- Which is Better? rss

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David Kennedy
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When the resource tracks are maximized (i.e. at six), the Japanese gain a special ability.

1) Army-Navy grants the Elite Status +1 DRM for attacking enemy fronts.
2) Prestige grants Bushido Spirit which gives the player the option to reroll an attack against an enemy front.
3) Oil grants the Oil Production +1 DRM which can be placed upon an enemy front at the end of your turn for an attack next turn.

The Elite Status DRM is almost obligatory during the Early War period. It is just too darn useful. The Early War sees a lot of pressure on this track. So you need constant effort to keep it. But, during your expansionary run in Early War, it is a prerequisite for victory.

So it really boils down to whether a player wants to focus on Bushido Spirit or the Oil Production marker. Most players seem to gravitate to the Oil Production marker. The ooph of a +1 DRM for attacking enemy fronts is tantalizing. Particularly during the Mid War period when you've lost Elite Status, you'll definitely need this DRM to keep your drives to Military Victory going. The downsides are that you have to deploy it at the end of your turn before the next event card is revealed. So enemy action could easily upset your plans. Also, keeping the marker in place is a challenge. The Mid War period has 17 event cards and 7 of them reduce your oil. Furthermore, defeat at the battle of Bismarck Sea can lose you another one. So, at minimum, you'll have to roll to replenish your oil reserves on 40% of these event cards. And don't forget, knock-out blows will cost you another point on the Oil track.

A crucial determinant of whether you will focus on Oil is when the U.S. submarine campaign starts to bite. If the U.S. can't get their act together until late in the deck, almost assuredly, you'll focus here because the resource value for oil is initially set at 2. Alas, once the second phase of the U.S. submarine campaign kicks in during the Late War period, it is really hard to get this back because advancing on the Oil track becomes so hard. Moreover, at this point, you're usually just trying to keep enough oil flowing so your ability to fight is unhampered.

Bushido Spirit is very handy because it allows the Japanese to reroll an attack on an enemy front. If they fail, they lose one Prestige. I am partial to this ability because it is very flexible. You can use it one the fly. No planning ahead. Moreover, I prefer to make two rolls to single roll with a +1 DRM. I'm not sure if this is statistically sound, but that's my gut.

Another encouraging factor is that during the Early and Mid War periods, pressure on the Prestige track is pretty limited. During the Early War, you're actually gaining it. Yet, even during Mid War, pressure is pretty modest with you losing Prestige only 12% overall. So during the Mid War, it should be easier to maintain this ability. Of course, adverse outcomes will drive down your prestige. However, once the End War starts, forget about it. The pressure on the Prestige track is enormous as you will lose prestige 67% of the time as the event cards are revealed. Your challenge will be keeping this above water so you can eke out a Survival Victory.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
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Steve Carey
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A very fine analysis David, and it will be interesting to hear what other players have to say.

One minor point of clarification: the Oil +1 DRM can also be placed on a fortification marker if one is available in its box (7.3.3).

This increases the odds of player success for a Fortify Action, and represents advanced preparation by the Empire allocating more resources to the chosen location.
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David Kennedy
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Steve Carey wrote:

One minor point of clarification: the Oil +1 DRM can also be placed on a fortification marker if one is available in its box (7.3.3).


I've never seen it used this way. The Japanese would have to be absolutely desperate to deploy the fortification marker the next turn. It could be useful to offset a negative DRM from the event card. But, I've never seen it.

I do wish this chit were more versatile. I like it when assets are multi-purpose. It just makes the decision to use them more challenging because it entails a real trade-off. Same with the Bushido Spirit chit.
 
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Steve Carey
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Steve Carey wrote:

One minor point of clarification: the Oil +1 DRM can also be placed on a fortification marker if one is available in its box (7.3.3).


HitchKennedy wrote:
I've never seen it used this way. The Japanese would have to be absolutely desperate to deploy the fortification marker the next turn.


When an American unit is bearing down on you, increasing the odds of a Fortify Action with some planning and preparation can be quite helpful. It's little things like this that can make a difference in the game.

HitchKennedy wrote:
I do wish this chit were more versatile. Same with the Bushido Spirit chit.


Well, the Oil +1 DRM can be used against 4 different Allied Fronts (less if any have been KO'd, of course), plus the aforementioned fortification prep.

The Bushido Spirit bonus lets you re-roll Attacks against any of the 5 Fronts, re-roll Knock-Out attempts against any of the 4 (non-ABDA) Fronts, and a re-roll with any of the 3 Resources (no Bushido Spirit allowed on Battles or Banzai rolls, however).

Seems pretty versatile to me, but maybe we're overlooking something?
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Christopher
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Interesting analysis indeed, David!


It might be interesting to note that in early play testing stages, the +1 Oil DRM could also be used for resource rolls, and that this worked out to be much to powerful!


I must agree with Steve that there is a lot of versatility in the different uses of the different bonuses you can work for.

I tend to do the same as you suggest:
- focus on Army/Navy for early war (and on oil/prestige as much as possible in second place)
- focus on oil in a first stage in Mid War/Late War until the US Subs ruin it for you. depending on when the second US Sub campaign falls, it may be well to late to start working on the Prestige Track and the aim of the Bushido Spirit at that point. I must admit that I regularly focus to much on Oil, and not enough on Prestige during Mid War/Late War.
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David Kennedy
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I have come to the conclusion Prestige is more valuable and worthwhile than Oil. Sure the +1 DRM is seductive, particularly during the Mid War Period when the Elite Status +1 DRM is gone. But, a review of the pressures on the resource track show that during Mid War, there is more pressure on Oil than Prestige. Much more. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/62588/trends-in-the-ev... (See 3rd tab "Threat Ratings Comparative.) Thus, if you want to maintain the benefit of maximized Oil, you'll have to expend more action points to keep it. However, the pressure on your Prestige is quite modest and certainly quite manageable. Thus, you should be able to keep Bushido Spirit throughout the Mid War period.

This has multiple positive effects.

1) It will free up precious action points. You're not seeking to maximize your oil stocks. Just keep enough on hand to keep your war machine in action.
2) Since it is more likely you'll maintain Bushido Spirit, your chances of using it effectively are increased because you'll have more opportunities to use it.
3) Further, it is more flexible than the Oil Production +1 DRM, which must be applied the prior turn. Oft times, the enemy will disrupt your well-laid plans. No such problems with Bushido Spirit. It is all about improvisation. You won't use it to set-up that perfect attack. No, you'll use it to give you another shot at that necessary effort.
4) Yes, you can use Bushido Spirit not only for offensive purposes, but, also on the Resource Track or to fortify. Again, this means it is likely you'll use it every turn you have it. In turn, this means more chances for it to be used successfully.

The allure of the Oil Production +1 DRM is strong. But, the effort needed to attain it, maintain it and then use it effectively is, dare I say, limited. You get less bang for your action point buck.

So young warriors, get to work on your poetry and seek glory for the Emperor. Bushido Spirit will be the force multiplier the Empire needs to achieve victory against our enemies. Eschew the material and seek the spiritual.
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Steve Carey
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Interesting analysis from an experienced player - another 'voyage of discovery' that is perhaps worthy of some poetry? The Bushido Spirit faction bows in your honor.

(players would do well to remember the -1 Prestige penalty from a failed reroll, and the possibility of gaining Prestige in Battle, not to mention those cards with +1 DRM Prestige)
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Andrzej Fiett
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Steve Carey wrote:
Interesting analysis from an experienced player - another 'voyage of discovery' that is perhaps worthy of some poetry?

How about haiku? My proposition:

my prestige still grows
I drink Bushido spirit
when die is rolling
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Chad
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Jumping into this a bit late:

One factor that causes me to focus on oil in mid-war (prior to US Subs) is that Oil success is 2/3rds chance as opposed to Prestige (or Army) which are 1/2.

So the chance to get and maintain the bonus is higher.
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Steve Carey
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Utrecht wrote:
Jumping into this a bit late:

One factor that causes me to focus on oil in mid-war (prior to US Subs) is that Oil success is 2/3rds chance as opposed to Prestige (or Army) which are 1/2.

So the chance to get and maintain the bonus is higher.


Good point, but be mindful of any card DRM's.

The Oil bonus is a bit tricky to use because you are deciding where to place the +1 DRM before the next card is flipped, and plans can (and will) change.

Still, in the long term having Oil is a good thing considering the devastating losses to come. But try not to focus on it too much - I recall watching one player's Late War defeat where he was doing fairly well on the map and had 4 Oil banked, but his Army-Navy and Prestige ended the turn at 0.

Hope you're having fun with the game Chad - lots of interesting threads to go back and read if you have the time.
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Chad
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I am - Have had the game for 6 months, but made a personal commitments to playing all these unplayed games

Thus far played 2 games. First one was an early late war defeat (5 cards in) - Nimitz and Macarthure played a vistit - did not realize the importance of pushing Nimitz back.

Second one, I "would" have one - but ran into the 3 resources hitting zero situation. I decided to ignore the loss and play through - and goto to the "vicotry" - but for somereason, the emporor was not impressed.

But definately learning things (especailly some rules I got wrong)
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David Kennedy
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Utrecht wrote:
One factor that causes me to focus on oil in mid-war (prior to US Subs) is that Oil success is 2/3rds chance as opposed to Prestige (or Army) which are 1/2.

So the chance to get and maintain the bonus is higher.

You are correct on the getting. During Mid-War and prior to U.S. Subs event, Oil is easier to acquire. However, what is your empirical evidence to support your contention that "to...maintain the bonus is higher"? My analysis of the event decks show the exact opposite. That Oil gets pounded in the Mid-War deck, whereas Prestige has much less pressure on it. Have I missed something?

I'd also gently suggest you ought to play the game more than twice before expounding upon strategy. Experience through repeated play is a great teacher here. Definitely let us know how your commitment to oil is works out after repeated play.
 
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Chad
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perhaps your wording came out harsher than you intended..... but I feel that I can at least speak in the abstract on effects.

Even accepting the fact that there are significantly more events that push down oil than prestige (which there are):

- (5 -1 Events and 2 +1 Events for Prestige for a total -3 for mid war)
- (6 -1 Events and 1 -2 Event for Oil for a total of -8 for mid war)

I would still again argue that BEFORE US subs comes out, the long term (i.e. non military victory) benefits to pushing Oil is better than prestige. As soon as Subs comes out - then push Prestige (again, taking into account Card DRM).

Even if you never get to the +1 DRM space for oil, you are able to build the cusion on Oil for Late War - where the DRMs get even worse.

Finally that additioanal 16.7% makes a huge differance. Assuming that US Subs comes out 1/2 through Mid-War - that means there are 26 actions - assuming you spend 1/2 on resources - and do as I do and focus on oil instead of Prestige - that means 6.5 rolls and I would be an average of 1 resource ahead with oil then a prestige focus.

Dragging out the analysis further.

Assuming a 1/2 US Subs entry you would anticipate being at the following:

oil focus
-1.5 for Prestige
+2.167 for Oil

Split focus
+.5 Prestige
-1.333 for oil

Prestige Focus
1.75 Prestige
-4 oil
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Steve Carey
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Chad, thnx for the analysis.

Not to speak for David, but I think he's trying to relate that most new players tend to focus primarily on Oil (which is certainly understandable and is to be expected), while repeated play may open up other strategy possibilities.

One thing worth mentioning is that there is no intrinsic penalty for having Prestige at 0 (the Japanese were incredibly resilient and the 'Emperor factor' remains in place even at 0 Prestige), whereas if A-N or Oil drop to 0 then you are severely (militarily) handicapped.

Having said that, keep in mind that all Resource losses must be satisfied, which is another tension-twist in the game.

Good luck navigating your way through the war and encountering those proverbial voyages-of-discovery that are planted throughout the design.

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David Kennedy
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Your tenacity shows great character, young warrior. The Emperor needs warriors like you.

Utrecht wrote:
I feel that I can at least speak in the abstract on effects.

You approach command as if this were an intellectual and abstract exercise. I am sure this has served you well in school with your masters. However, you are in the field now. Alas, many others have followed this path. They have analysed the game and based upon limited experience, they make decisions which limit their understanding of it. They lock themselves into self-fulfilling visions, which only lead them to defeat. I discuss this at great length here => http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/640531/how-to-play

Utrecht wrote:
I would still again argue that BEFORE US subs comes out, the long term (i.e. non military victory)benefits to pushing Oil is better than prestige.

This is where you go wrong. You have already given up on military victory. My argument is predicated on how I can use Bushido Spirit to win the war. You agree it is difficult to get and maintain the Oil Production chit. But, you are not playing to achieve a military victory. I am. I want to use Bushido Spirit to win the war. Once acquired, I will use it often to lead me to victory. Oil Production is difficult to acquire and can not be counted upon for the reasons you outline.

You console yourself with the nostrum that at least the effort, even if unsuccessful, it will bolster the defenses of the Empire in the final battles. If the focus on Oil grants me 1 or 2 additional resource points(!), I am unimpressed. Show me the results of your strategy that demonstrate its effectiveness in terms of victory. Then I will be impressed. So far, none of your ilk have presented such evidence. Not even anecdotally.

I truly believe you are pursuing a chimera. You end up doing so because you approach the game from the abstract. Data and analysis are important points of departure. But, they must be informed by experience and tempered by wisdom and instinct. I fear you will play the game a few times based upon flawed assumptions and get bored. I've seen it many times now.

You can't nor should you approach the game with a grand strategic plan. The event deck is unpredictable. The enemies of the Emperor are dangerous. You must be opportunistic, yet focused. Know when to fight, when to fortify, when to retreat, when to rally, when to prepare, when to shift gears. Abstract reasoning at these moments of command won't serve you well. You will be defeated.

Furthermore, if you are unwilling to benefit from the experience and wisdom of other Bushido warriors who have served before you, so be it, young warrior. Let us know how goes the journey alone and what you have learned. We will be ready to listen when you return.
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John DeWolfe
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HitchKennedy wrote:
Bushido Spirit is very handy because it allows the Japanese to reroll an attack on an enemy front. If they fail, they lose one Prestige. I am partial to this ability because it is very flexible. You can use it one the fly. No planning ahead. Moreover, I prefer to make two rolls to single roll with a +1 DRM. I'm not sure if this is statistically sound, but that's my gut.


It totally depends on the roll you need to make.

2 chances to make a 6 = 30.6% chance of success (1/6 or 16.7% of making the first and 1/6*5/6 or 13.9% of missing the first and then making the second roll)

vs

1 chance to make a 5 (with the DRM) = 2/6 or 33.3% chance.


2 chances to make a 5 = 55.6% chance of success (2/6 or 33.3% chance of making the first and 2/6*4/6 or 22.2% chance of missing the first and then making the second roll)

vs

1 chance to make a 4 (with the DRM) = 3/6 or 50% chance.


2 chances to make a 4 = 75% chance of success (3/6 or 50% chance of making the first and 3/6*3/6 or 25% chance of missing the first and then making the second roll)

vs

1 chance to make a 3 (with the DRM) = 4/6 or 66.7% chance.


2 chances to make a 3 = 88.9% chance of success (4/6 or 66.7% chance of making the first and 4/6*2/6 or 22.2% chance of missing the first and then making the second roll)

vs

1 chance to make a 2 (with the DRM) = 5/6 or 83.3% chance


So as you can see, in all but the most trying circumstances your gut feelings as to the statistics were correct, only when a front is truly hard to move (ie, needs a roll of 6 for victory) is a modifier worth more than a second chance.

We in the technical analysis group remain, as always, humble servants of the Emperor.
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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lupinejohn wrote:
HitchKennedy wrote:
Bushido Spirit is very handy because it allows the Japanese to reroll an attack on an enemy front. If they fail, they lose one Prestige. I am partial to this ability because it is very flexible. You can use it one the fly. No planning ahead. Moreover, I prefer to make two rolls to single roll with a +1 DRM. I'm not sure if this is statistically sound, but that's my gut.


It totally depends on the roll you need to make.

2 chances to make a 6 = 30.6% chance of success (1/6 or 16.7% of making the first and 1/6*5/6 or 13.9% of missing the first and then making the second roll)

vs

1 chance to make a 5 (with the DRM) = 2/6 or 33.3% chance.


2 chances to make a 5 = 55.6% chance of success (2/6 or 33.3% chance of making the first and 2/6*4/6 or 22.2% chance of missing the first and then making the second roll)

vs

1 chance to make a 4 (with the DRM) = 3/6 or 50% chance.


2 chances to make a 4 = 75% chance of success (3/6 or 50% chance of making the first and 3/6*3/6 or 25% chance of missing the first and then making the second roll)

vs

1 chance to make a 3 (with the DRM) = 4/6 or 66.7% chance.


2 chances to make a 3 = 88.9% chance of success (4/6 or 66.7% chance of making the first and 4/6*2/6 or 22.2% chance of missing the first and then making the second roll)

vs

1 chance to make a 2 (with the DRM) = 5/6 or 83.3% chance


So as you can see, in all but the most trying circumstances your gut feelings as to the statistics were correct, only when a front is truly hard to move (ie, needs a roll of 6 for victory) is a modifier worth more than a second chance.

We in the technical analysis group remain, as always, humble servants of the Emperor.


Your analysis is correct, but there's the complication that the oil modifier can be used more than once in the same turn, the reroll can't. So let's say that the British has invaded Japan and we must drive them back or lose the game and we have 3 actions available.

With the reroll

With the reroll we get up to four rolls of 1/2 chance, giving us a 1/16 chance of losing the game.

With the plus 1 from the oil we get three rolls of 2/3 giving us 1/27 of losing the game.
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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Hi David

First of all thank you for all your posts on WMTtE - I've been enjoying them.

HitchKennedy wrote:
Also, keeping the marker in place is a challenge. The Mid War period has 17 event cards and 7 of them reduce your oil. Furthermore, defeat at the battle of Bismarck Sea can lose you another one. So, at minimum, you'll have to roll to replenish your oil reserves on 40% of these event cards. And don't forget, knock-out blows will cost you another point on the Oil track.


I think it should be mentioned that even if you don't go for the Oil +1 then you'll probably still have to do oil rolls otherwise you'll be reduced to one attack per turn.
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David Kennedy
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mortenmdk wrote:
Your analysis is correct, but there's the complication that the oil modifier can be used more than once in the same turn, the reroll can't. So let's say that the British has invaded Japan and we must drive them back or lose the game and we have 3 actions available.

With the reroll we get up to four rolls of 1/2 chance, giving us a 1/16 chance of losing the game.

With the plus 1 from the oil we get three rolls of 2/3 giving us 1/27 of losing the game.

Be that as it may, Mort, I think your choice of example poorly serves your rhetorical point. With all due respect, you are smoking crack if you ever think you'll have the Oil modifier when the enemies of the Emperor are wading ashore. The Japanese Empire's oil reserves will be devastated at that point. Japan is living on fumes at that point. Oil remains a most dangerous chimera.
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David Kennedy
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mortenmdk wrote:
Hi David

First of all thank you for all your posts on WMTtE - I've been enjoying them.

HitchKennedy wrote:
Also, keeping the marker in place is a challenge. The Mid War period has 17 event cards and 7 of them reduce your oil. Furthermore, defeat at the battle of Bismarck Sea can lose you another one. So, at minimum, you'll have to roll to replenish your oil reserves on 40% of these event cards. And don't forget, knock-out blows will cost you another point on the Oil track.


I think it should be mentioned that even if you don't go for the Oil +1 then you'll probably still have to do oil rolls otherwise you'll be reduced to one attack per turn.

Absolutely.
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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HitchKennedy wrote:
mortenmdk wrote:
Your analysis is correct, but there's the complication that the oil modifier can be used more than once in the same turn, the reroll can't. So let's say that the British has invaded Japan and we must drive them back or lose the game and we have 3 actions available.

With the reroll we get up to four rolls of 1/2 chance, giving us a 1/16 chance of losing the game.

With the plus 1 from the oil we get three rolls of 2/3 giving us 1/27 of losing the game.

Be that as it may, Mort, I think your choice of example poorly serves your rhetorical point. With all due respect, you are smoking crack if you ever think you'll have the Oil modifier when the enemies of the Emperor are wading ashore. The Japanese Empire's oil reserves will be devastated at that point. Japan is living on fumes at that point. Oil remains a most dangerous chimera.


Hehe, sorry about that. I chose an intentionally silly example, because sometimes I forget that most people don't share my appreciation of silly things as being funny . My point still stands though: In any situation where you're willing to spend more than one action to pushback an army (or place a fortification marker) then you need to consider the fact that the oil bonus affects all rolls when evaluating probabitities.
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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In WMTtE like in other States of Siege games you can view actions as the basic currency of the game and things that happen in the game can be assigned an action value based on how many actions it on average would take to accomplish/counteract. E.g. pushing back a battle value 3 army one space has a value of 2 because it on average costs 2 actions to do this (if there are no DRMs). In the text below I’ve tried to use this observation to shed some light on the value of the prestige reroll and the oil +1 DRM.

If you use the prestige reroll and fail, it costs 1 prestige. Regaining that prestige point will cost 2 actions on average if you have no DRM and 4/3 if you have a +1 DRM. If we want to have the reroll available, we’ll have to regain the prestige quickly and will thus often do so without having a DRM available. We could therefore estimate the average price of regaining the lost prestige point at 1.7 actions.

The reroll itself is just repeating an action and thus it has a value of 1 action.

We can now compute the net benefit of using a reroll based on the difficulty of the action we attempt.

For actions with a difficulty of 1 (i.e. we have to roll more than 1 to succeed) we have the reroll value of 1 action and from that we must subtract the average price for failing the reroll and having to regain the lost prestige. The chance of failing is 1/6 and I estimated the cost of regaining prestige at 1.7 action, so on average the price will be 1/6*1.7 = 0,28 actions. Thus the average gain of a reroll for a difficulty 1 action is 1-0,28=0,72 actions.

We can do similar calculations for all difficulties:

Difficulty 1: 1-1/6*1.7 = 0.72 actions.
Difficulty 2: 1-2/6*1.7 = 0.43 actions.
Difficulty 3: 1-3/6*1.7 = 0.15 actions.
Difficulty 4: 1-4/6*1.7 = -0.13 actions.
Difficulty 5: 1-5/6*1.7 = -0.42 actions.

Thus if we go above difficulty 3 the average value of the reroll is negative – this doesn’t necessirly mean that we shouldn’t use the reroll though.

We could do a similar valuation of the oil +1 DRM. It always has a 1/6 chance of giving us a success where we would otherwise have failed. The value of this depends on the difficulty of the action if we assume that the player would have to attempt the action again if he fails.

For a difficulty 1 (before the oil +1 DRM is applied) action there’s no effect of using the oil DRM and thus its value is 0 actions.

For a difficulty 2 action there’s a 1/6 chance that the +1 DRM will save us from having to redo a difficulty 2 action, and a difficulty 2 action has an average price of 4/3 actions if we assume no DRMs. Of course, sometimes we’ll have a DRM, which would lower the value, but the +1 oil DRM also has the added value that it can be used again in the same turn if the player fails his roll and has more actions available, so we could make the assumption that these two factors cancel each other. Thus the value of the oil DRM for a difficulty 2 action is 1/6*4/3 = 0,22 actions. We can do calculations for all difficulties:

Difficulty 1: 0 actions.
Difficulty 2: 1/6*4/3 = 0.22 actions.
Difficulty 3: 1/6*2 = 0.33 actions.
Difficulty 4: 1/6*3 = 0.5 actions.
Difficulty 5: 1/6*6 = 1 action.

If we are to use these numbers we would also need some idea of how often we perform actions of the various difficulties and we would need to find some way to factor in that one needs to place the oil DRM in advance and that it can’t be used for resource rolls while the prestige reroll can. I’m not sure how to go about doing that.

There are some assumptions involved in the above and if you find some of them unreasonable or if you spot any errors in the above, then please let me know.
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David Kennedy
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mortenmdk wrote:
...There are some assumptions involved in the above and if you find some of them unreasonable or if you spot any errors in the above, then please let me know.

Your big assumption appears to be both actions are equally available. I don't have the data in front of me. But, as I pointed out earlier, the pressure on the Oil track is much greater. Over the course of the game, if the efficacy of Oil is greater, it is overshadowed by problem of acquiring and maintaining it. U.S. pressure on the Oil Track is intense. It is much less on the Prestige Track. Experience has taught me to be opportunistic about Oil, but focus on Prestige, particularly if you're playing for the Knock-Out Victory.

That said, if you're winning 33% of your games out of the gate, you don't need my advice.
 
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David Kennedy
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HitchKennedy wrote:
mortenmdk wrote:
...There are some assumptions involved in the above and if you find some of them unreasonable or if you spot any errors in the above, then please let me know.

Your big assumption appears to be both actions are equally available. I don't have the data in front of me. But, as I pointed out earlier, the pressure on the Oil track is much greater. Over the course of the game, if the efficacy of Oil is greater, it is overshadowed by problem of acquiring and maintaining it. U.S. pressure on the Oil Track is intense. It is much less on the Prestige Track. Experience has taught me to be opportunistic about Oil, but focus on Prestige, particularly if you're playing for the Knock-Out Victory.

That said, if you're winning 33% of your games out of the gate, you don't need my advice.

Okay, so I pulled the data and the rules.

The pressure on the Oil track in the Mid War period is immense. 41% of the time, Oil is going to get hit. That ongoing pressure makes it highly unlikely you'll be able to get, keep and use the Oil bonus during the Mid War period. Conversely, the pressure on the Prestige Track is manageable -- a reasonable 12%. Indeed, during the heady days of the Early deck, accumulating Prestige is easy. Take advantage.

The reason why this is significant is because of my strategic objective -- to achieve a Military Victory in the Mid War deck. While you are scoping out accommodations on Iwo Jima and Okinawa and pining for your kamikaze chits in the upcoming End War deck, I'm looking to win the war right now! Prestige will get me there. Fiddling with Oil is a fool's errand. I think it is a brilliant trap laid by the design, which dovetails perfectly with erroneous Japanese assumptions prior to the war.

I'd also point out after a quick perusal of the rules, there are a couple of downsides to the use of Oil. First, you have to allocate it ahead of time to a single front. Thus, if you get nailed with a negative DRM for that front, your maneuver has been countered or worse. Nimitz is particularly brutal in this regard. With Prestige you can call your shot when you are ready, which is usually when you've launched a Knock-Out Blow.

Second, to clarify, the +1 DRM only applies to a single front. Reading your comments, it would not surprise me if a player got the impression Oil applied to all fronts. No, it only applies to a single front. It has been a long time since I've been to sea with WMTtE. While the idea of allocating all your action points to a single front is great in theory, you're going to be be letting something else go. If Nimitz gets the drop on you, you may not even bother with the attack.

But, as I pointed out above, if you're winning the game 33% of the time, it would seem you don't need advice on how to win. Steve and I look forward to some session reports.
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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Hi David

Thank you for discussing this with me - it's helpful for me, since you have greater insight into the game than I do.

As you point out we play this game rather differently. You go for knock-out and I go for survival, and you basically raise the very good point that the arguments pro and con reroll vs. DRM changes quite a bit based on this.

HitchKennedy wrote:
The pressure on the Oil track in the Mid War period is immense. 41% of the time, Oil is going to get hit. That ongoing pressure makes it highly unlikely you'll be able to get, keep and use the Oil bonus during the Mid War period. Conversely, the pressure on the Prestige Track is manageable -- a reasonable 12%. Indeed, during the heady days of the Early deck, accumulating Prestige is easy. Take advantage.


These numbers is somewhat moderated by the fact for half of the mid war the price of oil is lower than the price of prestige (this is assuming that the number of DRMs the cards give you for these are equal, I don't know whether that's true).

I estimated the price of prestige to 1.7 actions above and oil can similarly be estimated at 1.25 until the US subs marker goes into effect, which on average should happen halfway through the midwar.

So we could compute the relative prices of keeping up with the two for the mid-war:

Prestige: 12%*1.7 = 20.4.
Oil: 41%*(0.5*1.25+0.5*1.7) = 60.5

This changes the ratio between the two from 41/12 = 3.42 to 60.5/20.4 = 2.97. Not a huge change, but a change nonetheless.

There's one extra issue we need to consider here that's very important if you go for survival much less so if you go for knock-out: You need to counter both your oil and prestige loses anyway at this point, since otherwise you'll run out of resources in the end and lose the game. So you need to counter the 41% oil decreases no matter what you do.

There's a second extra issue: Resource gains. Everytime you have a resource at the max and a card gives you one of that resource it's wasted actions. Above we estimated the value of a prestige resource to 1.7 actions and for the midwar we could put the price of a missed oil gain at ((0.5*1.25+0.5*1.7)+1.25)/2 = 1.36, so the loss in number of actions is a bit higher for keeping prestige at the max than for keeping oil at the max. With the assumption that they both get the same number of increases from cards. Do you have the numbers for that?

HitchKennedy wrote:
The reason why this is significant is because of my strategic objective -- to achieve a Military Victory in the Mid War deck. While you are scoping out accommodations on Iwo Jima and Okinawa and pining for your kamikaze chits in the upcoming End War deck, I'm looking to win the war right now! Prestige will get me there. Fiddling with Oil is a fool's errand. I think it is a brilliant trap laid by the design, which dovetails perfectly with erroneous Japanese assumptions prior to the war.


This is a very good point. Our different strategies influences what's valuable for us and thus the pros and cons of prestige vs. oil.

HitchKennedy wrote:
I'd also point out after a quick perusal of the rules, there are a couple of downsides to the use of Oil. First, you have to allocate it ahead of time to a single front. Thus, if you get nailed with a negative DRM for that front, your maneuver has been countered or worse. Nimitz is particularly brutal in this regard. With Prestige you can call your shot when you are ready, which is usually when you've launched a Knock-Out Blow.


Second, to clarify, the +1 DRM only applies to a single front. Reading your comments, it would not surprise me if a player got the impression Oil applied to all fronts. No, it only applies to a single front. It has been a long time since I've been to sea with WMTtE. While the idea of allocating all your action points to a single front is great in theory, you're going to be be letting something else go. If Nimitz gets the drop on you, you may not even bother with the attack.[/q]

Yes, having to place the +1 DRM ahead of time is quite a downer (I actually mentioned this in my post), and yes it's only a single front which is also a downer .

Regarding putting more actions into one front then yes it removes actions from somewhere else, but unless you're really bad off (and at the times where you can keep a resource maxed you shouldn't be that bad off) that something else can wait a turn. The fact that you chose a specific one as the first one to do, should mean that it's the most important one for you, and thus it's likely that it's still the most important one if you fail, and thus the best thing is to redo it.

HitchKennedy wrote:
But, as I pointed out above, if you're winning the game 33% of the time, it would seem you don't need advice on how to win. Steve and I look forward to some session reports.


Hehe . Well 9 games is not really enough data to establish my win rate. The fact that my win rate is higher than yours and Steve's could very easily turn out to be statistical noise or me getting a rule wrong.
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