GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters at year's end: 1000!

8,776 Supporters

$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
19 Days Left

Support:

Recommend
24 
 Thumb up
 Hide
50 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Terra Mystica» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Faction statistics from online play rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Juho Snellman
Switzerland
Zurich
Zurich
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
I ran these stats on the win rates of different factions for another reason, but thought they might be of interest to people. The stats are from 43 online games (which isn't a lot for a game with 14 unique factions), and of course player ability is a huge factor in the outcome. But with those caveats, it's at least fun to look at how prejudices match up with reality.

The average player count was 4.4, so in the ideal case each faction would have about a 23% win rate. Starting from the bottom, by percentage of games won:

No wins

fakirs 0% 0/8
giants 0% 0/9

It's hardly surprising that the Fakirs and the Giants are the least successful factions. Both have big unique disadvantages, it's unclear how to play them well.

Below average

chaosmagicians 9% 2/21

On the other hand, I suspect that the bad performance of the Chaos Magicians is unexpected to many people. At 21 attempts, they are easily the most popular faction. It's possible that the relative performance is bad because the faction is being picked even when it's inappropriate. But even in absolute terms 2 wins is pretty lousy.

auren 11% 1/9

Auren are another faction with a dedicated "these guys suck" thread :-)

witches 13% 2/15

This was the first real surprise to me. I expected the Witches to be a reliable winner, with the good terrain, excellent stronghold, and a very reliable 10-15 point scoring ability.

cultists 14% 1/7

The Cultists have the dubious honor of being the least popular faction. But that's at least partly because their special power is a bit annoying in asynchronous online play.

swarmlings 16% 3/18
nomads 17% 3/17

The Swarmlings and Nomads are being picked a lot, which perhaps drives up their relative win numbers down a bit. But this seems about right.

Above average

alchemists 26% 4/15

This I didn't expect. The Alchemists to me seem like almost a cheat mode -- the best terrain in the game, the best Stronghold in the game, and the vp to coin conversion is superb. They should surely do a bit better than slightly above average?

mermaids 27% 3/11

I think the Mermaids are underrated in general. The initial 1 shipping and good starting power give them a huge boost on bootstrapping their economy, and the lack of a scoring ability is largely compensated by the easier town founding. This seems about right as well.

Far above average

Finally, there are four factions with rather unreasonable win rates.

dwarves 37% 6/16
halflings 38% 7/18
darklings 43% 7/16

The first three are often suggested as being some of the most powerful factions. They all have a great built-in scoring ability, and that goes a long way. (Though clearly it's not enough, as the Fakirs and Witches show).

engineers 50% 4/8

And finally, the much maligned Engineers with their dedicated "these guys suck" thread are actually relatively speaking the most successful faction. I like the engineers, but don't think this is entirely representative. All the other factions in the top 4 are fairly popular. The Engineers are the second most unpopular one, and clearly only being picked when the setup is just right.

There's a couple of interesting trends in these results that I won't go into right now. Anybody care to guess what I'm thinking of?
22 
 Thumb up
1.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lucas Hedgren
United States
Dublin
Ohio
flag msg tools
admin
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hey Juho,

What about average placement, rather than just wins? I don't think points scored would make sense, but some placement score, corrected for number of players, would be interesting.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Linneman
Canada
Vancouver
BC
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The most obvious trend to these results from my vantage point is that the cult-focussed factions do exceptionally poorly compared to the "builder" factions. I don't know if this is groupthink or not, but all the factions that get points from the Terraform and Build action are right up there at the top (exception: Engineers), while Chaos Magicians, Auren, and Cultists are near the bottom.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lucas Hedgren
United States
Dublin
Ohio
flag msg tools
admin
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Also, as a guess, it sure looks like colors form a win % spectrum.

Red, green, yellow, brown, blue, black, gray.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rafael Hannula
Finland
Tampere
flag msg tools
badge
People often claim to hunger truth, but seldom like the taste when it's served up. - George R.R. Martin
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What we learned? The races are somewhat badly balanced. It's still a very entertaining game though.

Oh and if you want some more material for your research there is this Riku's thread with 40 results at the moment

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/925077/which-race-wins-other...

Thank you for the research
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shawn Fox
United States
Richardson
Texas
flag msg tools
Question everything
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Your sample size is small, especially for only looking at first place finishes. It would be better to see the average position each race finishes at [ie, give (N-position)/(N-1)) points to each race and sum up the totals.

The relatively poor performance of witches/nomads is probably due to them being played by newbies as their powers are very easy to use and are clearly among the strongest races.

I've always argued that the Engineers are very strong as long as the bonus tiles that give extra workers are available, particularly having both the free shovel and the one which gives 2 workers and 4 points for stronghold/sanctuary. Once the Engineers get going the low costs make them really hard to keep up with, not to mention the extra ~30 points they get from bridges. I don't find the 4/8 winning rate surprising at all considering that they are maligned (incorrectly) so are probably only played by people that understand how good they can be in the right situation.

The main trend I see is that the strongest races all have an extra way to generate points. As the game is about scoring the most points, I don't find that particularly surprising. I mentioned this on another thread I think, or at least I've certainly mentioned it in conversations outside of BGG. If one race can generate an extra 10 or 15 points doing things they would normally want to do anyway it is really hard for some other advantage to make up that difference.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jan B.
Germany
NRW
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
Very interesting. Give me the data, I will do lots of analysis as well ;)

One theory for faction performance:

Grey and black are the best performing colors. This is interesting because it directly seems to benefit somebody who chooses grey or black, that one of the hardest competitors (the other race of the same color) is automatically not in the game. This increases win% additionally.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Marcel Puffe
Germany
Elxleben IK
Thüringen
flag msg tools
badge
Bazinga!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Very interesting, thanks for sharing! thumbsup







1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jesse Dean
United States
Orlando
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious predator on Earth!
Avatar
mbmbmb
I did a quick analysis of the people who won each game, and it seems that the majority of them had their names begin with the letter J. Clearly that means people whose names begin with the letter named J need to be banned from Terra Mystica on-line. It is the only way to be fair.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Aventura
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
sfox wrote:

The relatively poor performance of witches/nomads is probably due to them being played by newbies as their powers are very easy to use and are clearly among the strongest races.


They are? I haven't played the Nomads, but they don't seem that great. For one, yellow is IMO the worst terrain in the game by a mile, due to the fact that there are no yellow hexes closer than 3 spaces away from each other. I suppose the sandstorm partially makes up for this, but it is a relatively expensive SH ($8) that only gives 2 power income. What makes them as good as the Halflings/Darklings/Dwarves in your view?

As for the Witches, they're OK, but I also wouldn't put them in the top tier. Factions that require you to build your SH quickly have the disadvantage of not being able to instead get an early temple. That being said, green is a wonderful terrain for early expansion if you get shipping (similarly to red).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Kayati
United States
Worthington
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
doubtofbuddha wrote:
I did a quick analysis of the people who won each game, and it seems that the majority of them had their names begin with the letter J. Clearly that means people whose names begin with the letter named J need to be banned from Terra Mystica on-line. It is the only way to be fair.


This must clearly be true. I won last Friday playing the Witches.

Jeff
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kristian Čurla
Croatia
Zagreb
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mb
Bit offtopic...
Where do you play online? blush
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bri Izuhara
Switzerland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
verandi wrote:
sfox wrote:

The relatively poor performance of witches/nomads is probably due to them being played by newbies as their powers are very easy to use and are clearly among the strongest races.


They are? I haven't played the Nomads, but they don't seem that great. For one, yellow is IMO the worst terrain in the game by a mile, due to the fact that there are no yellow hexes closer than 3 spaces away from each other. I suppose the sandstorm partially makes up for this, but it is a relatively expensive SH ($8) that only gives 2 power income. What makes them as good as the Halflings/Darklings/Dwarves in your view?


I guess the Nomads are good exactly because they're obvious. You don't have to be very creative to win, just go for biggest area (maybe three towns) and as many cults as possible, whereas some other races may win without towns at all if you know how to play with them (and maybe if the bonuses are right for them).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Juho Snellman
Switzerland
Zurich
Zurich
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Quote:
The relatively poor performance of witches/nomads is probably due to them being played by newbies as their powers are very easy to use and are clearly among the strongest races.

I don't think that's the case. The majority of the games have been with experienced players, and as far as I can tell newbies have been choosing factions essentially at random or just based on what looks cool.

Quote:
The main trend I see is that the strongest races all have an extra way to generate points. As the game is about scoring the most points, I don't find that particularly surprising.

Ah, but that clearly isn't enough by itself. The Fakirs have a top-notch scoring ability and are still crap, and the Witches have a solid scoring ability and mysteriously are sub-average.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Juho Snellman
Switzerland
Zurich
Zurich
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
verandi wrote:
As for the Witches, they're OK, but I also wouldn't put them in the top tier. Factions that require you to build your SH quickly have the disadvantage of not being able to instead get an early temple.

Bingo, that's one of the things I was thinking of. None of the top 5 factions care about an early stronghold. Engineers want one somewhere around halfway through the game, and the Dwarves probably want it at some point. The others could easily skip it completely.

Of the bottom 5 factions, 3 are strongly guided towards building a round 1 stronghold due to having most of their faction's benefit locked in the SH (Auren, Giants, Witches). So is an early stronghold really a trap for all factions, not just Fakirs? I know that the only time I've won with the Auren, I delayed the SH until round 2.



6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gareth
Switzerland
Zürich
Zürich
flag msg tools
badge
My ass is green, but I don't let it worry me.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that building any stronghold early is a trap. They represent both a substantial direct cost (usually equivalent to 2xTP or 1xTP+1xTE) as well as a substantial opportunity cost stemming from lost revenue (most SHs have atrocious income), missed opportunities to expand, and favour tiles.

I suspect dropping the price of the SH for those races who really benefit from it might help redress the balance. Alternatively, a more liberal sprinkling of the "Gain a favour tile when building your Stronghold" that the Auren enjoy might help (although it doesn't seem to do them a whole lot of good).

Of course, it could just be that too many people are still in the mindset of getting the SH out early for races like the Nomads and the Witches and that is skewing the results against them, as opposed to them being inherently bad. Perhaps if more people start to take note of this and delay the SH building, we'll see things balance out more.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Stevens
United States
Nebraska
flag msg tools
I protect the sheep in our society from the wolves.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I am not sure if this helps anyones analysis but I have played 5 games of Terra Mystica. In those 5 games I played the following factions and finished in these spots:

Game 1 - 5 player game. I was the Haflings and won the game by 2 points with the Nomads finishing in 2nd.

1st Halflings (me)
2nd Nomads
3rd Witches
4th Mermaids
5th Giants

Game 2 - 5 player game. I was the Halflings again and finished in 2nd place by 3 points with the Nomads winning.

1st Nomads
2nd Halflings (me)
3rd Mermaids
4th Witches
5th Giants

Game 3 - 4 player game. I was the Mermaids and finished in 2nd place getting beat by the Halflings by 17 points. The Nomads were played by a first time player in this game.

1st Halflings
2nd Mermaids (me)
3rd Witches
4th Nomads

Game 4 - 5 player game. I was the Giants and finished in last place. Nomads won the game by 7 points over the Halflings.

1st Nomads
2nd Halflings
3rd Mermaids
4th Witches
5th Giants (me)

Game 5 - 2 player game. I was the Nomads and lost to the Witches 87-85.

1st Witches
2nd Nomads (me)

In all 5 games we have used the Starting Set-up from the Rule Book and used the recommended starting factions which we drew randomly. Since we have only used 5 different Factions and never even tried the other 9 this would be a terrible sample to go by but it looks to me that out of the 5 Starting Factions, the Nomads and Halflings are the strongest and the Giants are the weakest. Shortly after we started playing the game where I was the Giants, I realized I had completely mis-played my first few actions. If I play them again, I woulod have a plan and think that I could make them finishe much higher than last place in a 5 player game.

Where can you play Terra Mystic online or are you guys doing PBEM? Just out of curiosity how is this game in PBEM? How do you tell your opponent which tile you are terra forming and how doyoukeep track of everything?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Eisen
United States
Menlo Park
CA
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb

Juho Snellman has written moderation software. To see a game in action, check out http://terra.snellman.net/game/24

The interface is text based, when it's your turn you enter a command in a fairly intuitive syntax and then use the software to mail the move to other players.

Big service to the community. Probably makes him Geek of the Week some week.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Eisen
United States
Menlo Park
CA
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
dkeisen wrote:

Juho Snellman has written moderation software. To see a game in action, check out http://terra.snellman.net/game/24

The interface is text based, when it's your turn you enter a command in a fairly intuitive syntax and then use the software to mail the move to other players.

Big service to the community. Probably makes him Geek of the Week some week.


And by the way, that is not a bug in the rendering code of the software. That much of the board is in fact blue.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jan B.
Germany
NRW
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
As we already have the Mermaids here as an example: the last three games I participated in and the Mermaids had been chosen, they won all three times. One of the games is part of this analysis (Juho rocked to 146 points in a 4 player game), but two other games aren't, as they finished after this thread was established.

I think the way the meta-gaming is developing currently and with increased experience of the players and lots of blocking taking place, the Mermaids offer great flexibility and spread across the map at ridiculous pace. Additionally they usually do good in endgame scoring with good connectivity and high cult status because of their considerable priest output.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Stevens
United States
Nebraska
flag msg tools
I protect the sheep in our society from the wolves.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sorry to keep popping in this thread but I love the game and wanted to share our results if you guys want them. My question is, are you ONLY gathering stats from your online games for the info in this thread or do you also want stats from face to face games? I read this post a few days ago and posted in it but I didn't really notice that it read "Faction statistics from ONLINE play" Sorry I am not sure how I missed that shake
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Juho Snellman
Switzerland
Zurich
Zurich
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
My intent wasn't to gather more statistics from other sources. But there's a thread + spreadsheet for that: Which race wins & other statistics
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Linneman
Canada
Vancouver
BC
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
kent_bro wrote:
Additionally they usually do good in endgame scoring with good connectivity and high cult status because of their considerable priest output.


What do you mean by "high priest output"? As far as I can tell, their priest output is standard.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
QBert80 wrote:
kent_bro wrote:
Additionally they usually do good in endgame scoring with good connectivity and high cult status because of their considerable priest output.


What do you mean by "high priest output"? As far as I can tell, their priest output is standard.


Because they don't have to rush their stronghold they can play an early temple. Also good power ratio for a early priest.

There's also one tile that gives a priest for every 4 spaces on blue track. If it is in play the Merfollk should be able to get at least one priest out of it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jan B.
Germany
NRW
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
QBert80 wrote:
kent_bro wrote:
Additionally they usually do good in endgame scoring with good connectivity and high cult status because of their considerable priest output.


What do you mean by "high priest output"? As far as I can tell, their priest output is standard.


Yes, that was not clear. Because they don't need their stronghold (sometimes they never build it), they have mor priests at hand than most other races, which helps them in the cult scoring. The most games with Mermaids I followed, had them winning at least in one cult.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.