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Subject: Corp-Runner balance in League play rss

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Simon Gunkel
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I high level play - particularly in tournaments - the runner side has a notable advantage. One of the reasons for this may in fact be that what you set out to do in a tournament is to win the match - which means your corp strategy has to be overly cautious to avoid a big defeat. For instance if you were aiming to minimize the number of Agendas in your starting hand the optimal strategy is to mulligan when you have 1 Agenda in hand (in a 45 card corp deck it becomes optimal to start to mulligan only with 2 Ags when you have 14 Agendas in the deck, with 46-48 at 15 Agendas and with 49 cards at 16 Agendas). In a tournament setting, especially in elimination rounds the cut off is higher, to ward off worse hands.

Now in a league setting we can expect high level play again, but since you play a lot of games you can run with a different and more optimal corp strategy, based on success in the long run.

Based on this I expect the corp-runner difference to grow smaller in league play, particularly among corp players willing to play to the setting and sacrifice short term payoff for mid to long term payoff.
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sechzger
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Do the rules change for league play?
Doesn't the sum of the games decide the winner?

If they don't change corp decks shouldn't change.
What is optimal in the long run is optimal in the short run, too.
 
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Magnus Benzein
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susuexp wrote:
I high level play - particularly in tournaments - the runner side has a notable advantage. One of the reasons for this may in fact be that what you set out to do in a tournament is to win the match - which means your corp strategy has to be overly cautious to avoid a big defeat. For instance if you were aiming to minimize the number of Agendas in your starting hand the optimal strategy is to mulligan when you have 1 Agenda in hand (in a 45 card corp deck it becomes optimal to start to mulligan only with 2 Ags when you have 14 Agendas in the deck, with 46-48 at 15 Agendas and with 49 cards at 16 Agendas). In a tournament setting, especially in elimination rounds the cut off is higher, to ward off worse hands.

Now in a league setting we can expect high level play again, but since you play a lot of games you can run with a different and more optimal corp strategy, based on success in the long run.

Based on this I expect the corp-runner difference to grow smaller in league play, particularly among corp players willing to play to the setting and sacrifice short term payoff for mid to long term payoff.


Even if optimal agendapoints might influence mulliganing, it's likely to be more dependant on other factors such as identity matchup and number of ICE.
 
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Simon Gunkel
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recallme wrote:
Do the rules change for league play?
Doesn't the sum of the games decide the winner?

If they don't change corp decks shouldn't change.
What is optimal in the long run is optimal in the short run, too.


Here´s a simple game:
We both bet some amount X and then roll a D6. If it´s 6 you get all the money, if it´s any other number I do.

These rules are fixed, should you play? If you say "Of course not", you´d be correct in some contexts, but here´s one where you absolutely should take me up on this: You decide what X is and the game is repeated until you call it quits. At this point a simple "double X every play until I´ve won" guarantees you will come out ahead (that´s why Casinos have limits on how much you can bid - unlimited bids would triumph over any house advantage).

The main difference between a tournament and league play is the number of games. There are a lot more games in the league than in the tournament. This means that for league play you can leverage the law of big numbers. In an elimination round in a tourney the number of corp games you play is 1 - not a large number by any measure. This means that the optimal overall strategy in an elimination round is to cut your losses with the Corp and play a starting hand that is suboptimal for winning with the corp, but which will give you a better shot at winning the match. In league play you can mulligan far more aggressively.

Let´s look at this in terms of two overall strategies - containing both the style of play and the deck.
Strategy A wins 51% of the times, loses with 5-6AP 11% of the times, 3-4AP 10% of the time, less than 3AP 28% of the time.
Strategy B wins 40% of the time, loses with 5-6AP 30% of the time, 3-4AP 19% of the time, less than 3AP 11% of the time.

In a tournament you pick B - Sure A would win more, but it loses with 0-3AP scored far more often than B and that would hurt you more.
In a league you pick A - Simply because it scores more victories.

Put slightly differently: The corp doesn´t win as much in tournaments, because the corp strategy that wins matches is not one that wins corp games, but one that makes corp losses closer. When you count games, the better corp strategy is the one that wins more.

BTW: There´s another thing in your post I object to. It´s equating the way you play as a corp simply with the deck build. I gave an example in my OP that has nothing to do with deck design at all: The optimal mulligan when you want to win with the corp is different from the optimal mulligan if you want to ensure no huge defeats. Using the same deck, drawing the same hand, you should mull differently depending on whether you are in a league or in a tourney.
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Frederic Bush
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Your probabilities are not accurate. Your expectation in a deck is to find (proportion of agendas)*5 in your starting hand. In any deck with more than 20% agendas your expectation is going to be to draw slightly more than 1 agenda on average.

Mulliganing with one agenda will not improve your results unless you're running at most 8 in a 45-card deck or at most 9 in a 49-card deck.
 
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Geoff Hollis
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recallme wrote:
Do the rules change for league play?
Doesn't the sum of the games decide the winner?


In theory they could. In official tournaments, there are points for match wins. However, as far as I know, there are no official rules for how league play and scoring should be handled. Players could decide to forgo match points and instead simply play for game wins. I think this is an assumption susuexp is making.

recallme wrote:
If they don't change corp decks shouldn't change.
What is optimal in the long run is optimal in the short run, too.


Not by necessity. Prisoner's dilemma is the classic counter-example. The number of games you play changes the optimal strategy.

Life is full of opportunities to make short-term-good, long-term-bad decisions.

Differences between optimal short term and long term strategies tend to be the result of interdependence of events in time. In a league, you could be playing against a small group of people multiple times, whereas in a tournament you could be playing against a few unknowns once. That alone could be sufficient to change optimal tournament and league strategies. I'm not saying it is the case. I'm just saying the evaluation is complicated.
 
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Ben Asher
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To be as precise as possible, it's knowing the number of games you'll play that changes the optimal strategy in PD.
 
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Geoff Hollis
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beelzeben wrote:
To be as precise as possible, it's knowing the number of games you'll play that changes the optimal strategy in PD.


yes, fair point.
 
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David Jensen
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If league play values wins and not match points, I think a league will make 'slower' decks more viable.

In league play there may actually be more room for tricks then one may initially think. Sure you'll be playing the same opponent, but league play might allow you to change your deck between games. Your previous WC deck with no Scorched Earth suddenly becomes a whole new design with the inclusion of a SEA Source / SE combo.
 
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Damian Tyree
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I haven't played in the regionals yet (that's tomorrow), and I already miss testing whacky deck prototypes at my local league. :-(

I think I'm going to take all my decks apart after the tournament and, when Humanity's Shadow drops, start with a fresh slate.
 
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Simon Gunkel
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fbush555 wrote:
Your probabilities are not accurate. Your expectation in a deck is to find (proportion of agendas)*5 in your starting hand. In any deck with more than 20% agendas your expectation is going to be to draw slightly more than 1 agenda on average.

Mulliganing with one agenda will not improve your results unless you're running at most 8 in a 45-card deck or at most 9 in a 49-card deck.


Mulliganing with one agenda is more likely to result in a hand with 1 or 0 agendas in the cases given than it is to result in a hand with 2 or more.
What looking purely at the expectation does is that it overemphasizes the big results. But a game in which you open with 4 Agendas is unlikely to be dramatically better than one where you have 5. Or to put it differently: The median (not the expectation) is what matters here.
 
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Frederic Bush
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susuexp wrote:
fbush555 wrote:
Your probabilities are not accurate. Your expectation in a deck is to find (proportion of agendas)*5 in your starting hand. In any deck with more than 20% agendas your expectation is going to be to draw slightly more than 1 agenda on average.

Mulliganing with one agenda will not improve your results unless you're running at most 8 in a 45-card deck or at most 9 in a 49-card deck.


Mulliganing with one agenda is more likely to result in a hand with 1 or 0 agendas in the cases given than it is to result in a hand with 2 or more.
What looking purely at the expectation does is that it overemphasizes the big results. But a game in which you open with 4 Agendas is unlikely to be dramatically better than one where you have 5. Or to put it differently: The median (not the expectation) is what matters here.


You seem to be counting "draw 1 agenda after you mulligan 1 agenda" as a positive outcome. It's not, it's a neutral outcome -- it doesn't change anything. Let's assume that all 2+ agenda hands are equally bad. What matters after you mulligan while holding 1 agenda is the proportion of times you improve your hand, by drawing 0 agendas, to the times you get worse, drawing 2+ agendas.

By those standards, it seems that with 11 agendas/49 you should not mulligan with one agenda. Your chance of pulling 2+ agendas is 31% and your chance of 0 agendas is only 26%. Similarly, 10 agendas/45 means you've got 30% chance of 2+ agendas and 27% chance of 0 agendas.
 
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Simon Gunkel
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fbush555 wrote:
You seem to be counting "draw 1 agenda after you mulligan 1 agenda" as a positive outcome. It's not, it's a neutral outcome -- it doesn't change anything. Let's assume that all 2+ agenda hands are equally bad. What matters after you mulligan while holding 1 agenda is the proportion of times you improve your hand, by drawing 0 agendas, to the times you get worse, drawing 2+ agendas.

By those standards, it seems that with 11 agendas/49 you should not mulligan with one agenda. Your chance of pulling 2+ agendas is 31% and your chance of 0 agendas is only 26%. Similarly, 10 agendas/45 means you've got 30% chance of 2+ agendas and 27% chance of 0 agendas.


Well, the way I put it is that you should mulligan if your chance of getting worse is less than 50%. It´s an aggressive mulligan strategy and most likely you should make the decision to mulligan with 1 Ag dependent on the rest of the hand. If you were to rank all possible starting hands (multiple slots for the same hand where appropriate), then the optimal long term strategy is to mull whenever your hand is in the bottom half of that ranking.

But the key thing about my post is that you can play a more aggressive corp game, including the mulligan when you have a large number of games, rather than just a few.
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