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Subject: What's the odds? rss

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James Hamilton
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Stockport
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OK so I decided to go for a more aggressive approach and then ended up pinned in by a mass of aliens. Not a problem, build big ships and kill them

I got a dreadnaught pretty fast and upgraded it to have a shield and one improved hull and sent it to kill a lone alien which it did fairly easily. Then I built a second one and went for a pair of aliens. I had a spare action so decided to add a second improved hull (I was short of power as it was early in the game).

Two aliens vs two 5 hit shielded dreadnaghts. I have 4 dice hitting on 5 they have 4 hitting on 6. I have 5 hits a ship they have 2.

So anyway, just after I lost my first dreadnaught I killed the first alien. The second one got my second dreadnaught to the point where another two hits would kill it before I finally got the last hit to take it out :'(

FWIW I managed a total of 1 hit on my first 12 rolls, the aliens got five out of their first 16

Just because I have a handy odds calculator I actually worked it out. For me to get 1 hit from 12 needing 5+ is actually a 4.62% occurence and for the bad guy to get 5 hits from 16 is a 7.56% one so it is not that different to me rolling 1 on a D20 and them 20. Odd how chance works in the end. Food for thought.
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Jim Richardson

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To be fair you'd have to also include even worse cases, such as you getting no hits in 12 = 0.77% chance, making for a total of almost 5.4% to do as bad or worse than you did. Which as you said, is kind of like rolling 1 on a d20. For the 2 ancients in your scenario to get 5 OR MORE hits in 16 tries is actually a 11.34% chance, or more than 1/9. Together, though, the odds of both of those happening is only 0.61%. Still, more than 1/200 times that bad of a combination of rolls can happen, leaving you saying "wow that's unusual" but it still has to happen sometime.
 
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J Bernardo
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Taipei
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For aggressive attack strategies, I've found using beefed up cruisers to be more effective. They're cheaper to build and you get four of them. By the time they're done wrecking havoc, you'll have enough to time to beef up and build a dreadnaught to bring up the rear of the assaults. Use your interceptors and starbases to pin vengeful opposition, while you bring your big guns in for reinforcements. Take no prisoners!!!
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Michael Evans
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Bloomington
Indiana
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In my game group, I am famous for taking on fights at ridiculously good odds for my side... and still losing (or almost losing). While licking my wounds, I like to calculate the odds of missing with THAT many dice over THAT many rounds. Seriously, if something should happen only once every 400+ battles.... why does it seem to happen every other time I pick up a handful of dice?

Oh well. I still win more than my fair share of the games, but Lady Luck likes to keep things interesting for me... or rather, bend me over fairly often just to keep me humble.
 
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Jonathan Ramundi
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In one of the last games I played it was 4 of my ships (Cruisers) vs. 5 of my enemy’s (Interceptors) in a hex containing a single Ancient ship.

My ships were exactly the same as my enemy’s; same weapons (1 Plasma cannon each ship), same armour (1 Improved hull per ship); except for 2 important differences: I had initiative, and I needed a 4-6 to hit, whereas he needed 6s to hit.

Somehow, he managed to consistently roll enough sixes throughout the battle (while I rolled an above average number of 1s and 2s) such that by the time I won the initial battle, I had only a single Cruiser left. Going in I thought, at the very least, I’d wipe him out with 2 Cruisers remaining (if not 3). “Whatever,” I thought. With a single cruiser left at full HP, I should have no problem taking on this Ancient, especially considering that the cruiser was also outfitted with shields. A single die result of 4 or higher was needed to take this Ancient out, yet somehow, not only did I continue to roll nothing but duds, this Ancient rolled 3 sixes over two rounds of combat to destroy my cruiser. Needless to say, I wasn’t very happy.

A big part of my strategy hinged on winning that battle (for reasons I won’t go into detail as it’s beyond the scope of this discussion), and more importantly that hex that round, and while my empire wasn’t devastated by the loss, it set it back significantly. I’m sure that if I had won the battle, I would have went on to win the game, or, better yet, it would have been a much closer and tense one at least.

You might think it stupid of me to hinge so much on the outcome of a single battle, and for the most part I would agree with you, but when victory should have been all but guaranteed for me, can you really blame me for trying? I mean, never mind the first battle...my ship unable to deal with that single ancient!? COME ON! yuk
 
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Jim Richardson

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Hammy wrote:
Two aliens vs two 5 hit shielded dreadnaghts. I have 4 dice hitting on 5 they have 4 hitting on 6. I have 5 hits a ship they have 2.


I just completed a rudimentary program to calculate exact Eclipse combat odds vs. ancients. For the record, for this battle:

LOSE: 0.1261%
WIN, 1 ship left: 3.7906%
WIN, 2 ships left: 96.0833%
total win % = 99.8739%

So yeah, it was pretty messed up that you lost the whole thing. Almost a 1/800 chance of that.

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