The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by nyczar » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:34 pm

As usual this is a very interesting conversation. I very much enjoy reading these debates. I always learn from them. I haven't been a TT gamer though I wish I had been. My experience with competitive turn based "miniature" gaming is limited to FOG 1 and 2. For me the RNG is both infuriating and exhilarating. That is, it feels right. I get the frustration around results that seem highly improbable but how boring it would be without things getting screwed up. The RNG has taught me the importance of reserves, to be more deliberate with the movement of my generals, and I think it has helped me as much as hurt. I forget who said it in some post some time ago, I think perhaps it was Cunningcairn, but the comment had to do with a point change in the digital league. I paraphrase, but the comment was something like the benefit of larger battles is less disaster from one thing(s) going askew. I think the idea applies here. Better to play larger battles if the RNG is a significant concern. Hence I am looking forward to Digital League play where 1600 point (or more) battles become the norm.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by Schweetness101 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:25 am

I kind of like the idea of at least trying out a no RNG mode where the rules are more like chess or something like that, that is the same inputs result in the same outputs every time so you can make more predictable moves. But, it would encourage a very different kind of play and a different kind of player. It would be dominated by the kind of person who dominates chess, ie it's mostly memorization of elaborate openings and previous games. You could min/max it better and end up with a scenario where a small number of very specific armies and opening moves always dominate (of course there would still be map randomness though...). Maybe that wouldn't happen because it is not as circumscribed of a game as chess but it's a potential issue.

But, it wouldn't really feel as much like wargaming or a war simulation. I like the idea of pushing through bad luck that is historically plausible and trying to overcome it. The bigger issue to me is not RNG but faction balance.

On another note, how can I join one of these tournaments?

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by MikeC_81 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:32 am

Geffalrus wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:46 pm
Has anyone (MikeC for example) done a big spreadsheet on the relative probabilities of various events?

For example:
- What is the probability of a superior heavy infantry unit passing a cohesion roll vs a superior cavalry or medium foot unit?
- How big is the advantage of having the superior trait or the disadvantage of the raw trait?
- Is a raw heavy infantry unit more likely to survive cohesion tests or an average medium foot unit?
I could post such numbers but would it really matter? I broke down in detail the exact odds of double drops but that didn't really do anything either. Everyone goes over the same ground every time. The bottom line is that there are people who feel in their gut that the RNG they get is unmanageable. All the numbers in the world won't fix that.

There is enough RNG in this game that if everyone in a division is playing with armies around the same power level, RNG can and will decide a winner of a division on occasion unless the player in question is clearly a lot better than the field (ie the time pantherboy got put in division b). Between terrain generation and combat rolls sometimes you will get screwed.

But if you are consistently a middling player going 4-5 wins in Division A or you can't get promoted out of a lower division over multiple seasons and this is bugging you, its time to look in the mirror.
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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:52 am

Schweetness101 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:25 am
On another note, how can I join one of these tournaments?
I will add you to the invitation list for Season 6. Invitations will go out on September 16 (by private message) and the tournament will open on October 1st. :wink:

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:12 am

MikeC_81 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:32 am
But if you are consistently a middling player going 4-5 wins in Division A or you can't get promoted out of a lower division over multiple seasons and this is bugging you, its time to look in the mirror.
Why is it? :roll: If you are one of these "middling players" who accepts that luck evens out over a period of time, but still feels that the vagaries of the rules (e.g. double-drops) and RNG combined spoil some of their matches, then what is wrong with raising these arguments? The central argument here is about quality of gameplay, but your assumption seems to be that players are complaining because they lose matches because of RNG. This is just wrong. We all lose matches because of double-drops/RNG, and we all win some because of it too.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by MikeC_81 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:42 pm

Pete, it is because I have been around competitive gaming circles long enough to understand that whenever people complain about too much RNG, it is really secret code for 'the right people aren't winning when they should'. A lot of times the right person is usually in the context of 'me'. I have seen plenty of posts on the forums in close to the 2 years this game has been out where people say this much when 'perfect plans' are supposedly defeated by RNG. And I am not active in this game for long stretches of time so I have probably missed a bundle of them too.

The response to this criticism has always been that you aren't doing as much as you think you are in controlling RNG or the strategies and tactics being employed relied too much on good dice rolling to execute. Your particular responses to some of these responses are either that they are unfeasible (the reserves issue) or that they are unrealistic (holding troops out of combat in non-critical sectors so RNG can play no role).

We have discussed many times the inherent nature of how volatile combat is in this game and the steps to mitigate those issues. I find it pointless to rehash them for the umpteenth time. I have also pointed out that when all the steps are taken to sideline RNG in this game, there will be enough of it that in a short tournament like a Season of FoG2DL, that the best player in terms of pure skill and execution for that season may not come out on top.

Given that everyone who has commented on this issue now and in the past, have always said that RNG belongs in the game, all that is left to do is to moderate the amount of it. This is purely in the eye of the beholder and thus not a "quality of gameplay" in the broad sense for the entire community?. Each time you or someone else has raised the spectre of issue, there are always those who post in favour or against the amount of RNG in the game. Some people want the RNG shifted from one place to another (you yourself were in favour of random charges for undisciplined troops). Some people straight up want more or less of it.

At the end of the day, the ruleset is what it is. I proposed a modified form of it in on one of the beta forums but I do not have the technical knowledge to code such a rule change as a mod. RBS has said repeatedly nothing is changing. When he tells you that you can go play a different game, he isn't 'taking his ball and going home'. The ball is still here, it isn't being taken away. He is saying that he can't satisfy your particular tastes in this case if people truly believe what they are saying and that he understands if you don't want to play anymore. He is probably just tired of going over the same points over and over again.
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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by phoyle3290 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:50 pm

nyczar wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:34 pm
Better to play larger battles if the RNG is a significant concern. Hence I am looking forward to Digital League play where 1600 point (or more) battles become the norm.
I agree about the larger battles. It would make a terribly unlucky roll have much less of an impact. I didn't play in the 1600 point section, but I assume it went well and will be introduced to other sections in the future. I think this decision would please both sides of the argument as it shouldn't really affect those in favor of no changes to RNG while reducing the randomness of the outcome for those not in favor.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:59 pm

MikeC_81 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:42 pm
Pete, it is because I have been around competitive gaming circles long enough to understand that whenever people complain about too much RNG, it is really secret code for 'the right people aren't winning when they should'. A lot of times the right person is usually in the context of 'me'. I have seen plenty of posts on the forums in close to the 2 years this game has been out where people say this much when 'perfect plans' are supposedly defeated by RNG. And I am not active in this game for long stretches of time so I have probably missed a bundle of them too.
Secret code? Really? As I have said, the argument is about the quality of gameplay and historical realism. I don't know anyone who thinks that they are a perpetually unlucky player.
The response to this criticism has always been that you aren't doing as much as you think you are in controlling RNG or the strategies and tactics being employed relied too much on good dice rolling to execute. Your particular responses to some of these responses are either that they are unfeasible (the reserves issue) or that they are unrealistic (holding troops out of combat in non-critical sectors so RNG can play no role).
I always have a reserve, but very often I am forced to commit it early to prevent many of my units being outnumbered 2:1 by an opponent pursuing an all-out attack. So having a reserve in these circumstances has a very limited effect on mitigating a hostile RNG. Similarly, holding troops out of contact can lead to part of your army being overwhelmed in a similar way. The game does force a certain symmetry on the two players.
At the end of the day, the ruleset is what it is. I proposed a modified form of it in on one of the beta forums but I do not have the technical knowledge to code such a rule change as a mod. RBS has said repeatedly nothing is changing. When he tells you that you can go play a different game, he isn't 'taking his ball and going home'. The ball is still here, it isn't being taken away. He is saying that he can't satisfy your particular tastes in this case if people truly believe what they are saying and that he understands if you don't want to play anymore. He is probably just tired of going over the same points over and over again.
Yes, well I have stopped playing completely now except for the testing of my scenarios and I do not anticipate returning to tournament play, although I will continue to run the FOG2DL. All we are doing here is to suggest ways to improve the game and, on other issues, there has been some modest movement. Whenever there are new suggestions made, whether it is for FOG2 itself or the way the FOG2DL is organised, you always get people complaining about the proposed changes at first, but 9 times out of 10 everything settles down and the game/tournament moves forward quite happily - nerfing of archers, limitation of push-backs etc. I don't think you would lose many players at all if double-drops were toned down a bit or the rallying of units was modified. But you might get one or two players to return.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:02 pm

phoyle3290 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:50 pm
nyczar wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:34 pm
Better to play larger battles if the RNG is a significant concern. Hence I am looking forward to Digital League play where 1600 point (or more) battles become the norm.
I agree about the larger battles. It would make a terribly unlucky roll have much less of an impact. I didn't play in the 1600 point section, but I assume it went well and will be introduced to other sections in the future. I think this decision would please both sides of the argument as it shouldn't really affect those in favor of no changes to RNG while reducing the randomness of the outcome for those not in favor.
Yes the 1600 point experiment has gone well. The armies are not a great deal bigger and the match completion rate for Biblical is the same as for the other sections. Perhaps I should do another poll with regards to rolling it out right across the tournament for next season?

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by edb1815 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:13 pm

Mike's points are well taken and well said. He has presented numbers but most of us, myself included, approach the RNG debate from gut feeling based on game experience. Despite being presented with evidence, opinions based on a notion that something isn't right are hard to change. (like the current state of US politics :wink: ).

Having said that I do agree that the larger battles can mitigate the effect of a bad "die roll" or a dreaded double drop.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by paulmcneil » Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:39 pm

edb1815 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:13 pm
Mike's points are well taken and well said. He has presented numbers but most of us, myself included, approach the RNG debate from gut feeling based on game experience. Despite being presented with evidence, opinions based on a notion that something isn't right are hard to change. (like the current state of US politics :wink: ).

Having said that I do agree that the larger battles can mitigate the effect of a bad "die roll" or a dreaded double drop.
What numbers have been presented?
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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by edb1815 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:08 pm

paulmcneil wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:39 pm
edb1815 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:13 pm
Mike's points are well taken and well said. He has presented numbers but most of us, myself included, approach the RNG debate from gut feeling based on game experience. Despite being presented with evidence, opinions based on a notion that something isn't right are hard to change. (like the current state of US politics :wink: ).

Having said that I do agree that the larger battles can mitigate the effect of a bad "die roll" or a dreaded double drop.
What numbers have been presented?
The odds of double drops (which seems to be the biggest RNG issue). See Mike's post above.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by phoyle3290 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:15 pm

stockwellpete wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:02 pm
Yes the 1600 point experiment has gone well. The armies are not a great deal bigger and the match completion rate for Biblical is the same as for the other sections. Perhaps I should do another poll with regards to rolling it out right across the tournament for next season?
I tried looking at the arguments against the implementation from the last time the poll came out, and I didn't really see any naysayers outside those complaining about the way the poll was setup. There were still 11% of the voters that said they would leave the league permanently if it were implemented, but I didn't see a reason as to why (could be there, but it was hard to dig through the dustbin to find it) . The only things I could think of would be battles lasting too long or if the extra units would make some powerful armies even more so. I think it is at least worth a discussion if not a new poll for a full implementation. I would be interested to hear valid complaints as opposed to me just playing devil's advocate.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by paulmcneil » Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:54 pm

edb1815 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:08 pm
paulmcneil wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:39 pm
edb1815 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:13 pm
Mike's points are well taken and well said. He has presented numbers but most of us, myself included, approach the RNG debate from gut feeling based on game experience. Despite being presented with evidence, opinions based on a notion that something isn't right are hard to change. (like the current state of US politics :wink: ).

Having said that I do agree that the larger battles can mitigate the effect of a bad "die roll" or a dreaded double drop.
What numbers have been presented?
The odds of double drops (which seems to be the biggest RNG issue). See Mike's post above.
Do you mean the Youtube channel link?
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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:58 pm

phoyle3290 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:15 pm
I tried looking at the arguments against the implementation from the last time the poll came out, and I didn't really see any naysayers outside those complaining about the way the poll was setup. There were still 11% of the voters that said they would leave the league permanently if it were implemented, but I didn't see a reason as to why (could be there, but it was hard to dig through the dustbin to find it) . The only things I could think of would be battles lasting too long or if the extra units would make some powerful armies even more so. I think it is at least worth a discussion if not a new poll for a full implementation. I would be interested to hear valid complaints as opposed to me just playing devil's advocate.
11% represents around 6 or 7 out of the 60-70 players we normally get and I expect half of those 6 or 7 would still continue if we did increase the size to 1600pts. The experience in Biblical shows that the match completion rates are the same as the other sections despite the larger armies being used in it. I need to go back and read all the stuff around the poll again but I have no objection to 1600 point armies throughout the FOG2DL.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by MikeC_81 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:12 pm

stockwellpete wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:59 pm
Yes, well I have stopped playing completely now except for the testing of my scenarios and I do not anticipate returning to tournament play, although I will continue to run the FOG2DL. All we are doing here is to suggest ways to improve the game and, on other issues, there has been some modest movement. Whenever there are new suggestions made, whether it is for FOG2 itself or the way the FOG2DL is organised, you always get people complaining about the proposed changes at first, but 9 times out of 10 everything settles down and the game/tournament moves forward quite happily - nerfing of archers, limitation of push-backs etc. I don't think you would lose many players at all if double-drops were toned down a bit or the rallying of units was modified. But you might get one or two players to return.
The main issue which continues to make this a circular argument is that you link a lowering of RNG to increasing the quality of the game as objective truth when it is not. This is different from legitimately objective things like unit pricing where we can sit down and demonstrably indicate that something is out of whack. Take the pushback rule limitation. I personally view this as a disaster gameplay-wise and literally hands players a get out of jail free card for elite units no longer having to worry about protecting potentially exposed flanks as they push through enemy lines. This had a real effect on gameplay and it is no coincidence that Pike armies in Classical Antiquity have surged forward in competitiveness as a result of this rule. The difference here is that I clearly stated why I think the change was bad before it was made, and when RBS felt differently about it, I didn't keep harping on the topic over and over again till I got my way. Though I will say that the game is significantly worse off than it was before from a decision making perspective because of this rule.

Regardless, no matter what is posted on this issue, your minds have already been made up and have been made up a long time ago. Especially when it is clear there is no discussion to be had. You have quite clearly said that lowering RNG in your opinion is a straight-up improvement to the quality of the game and any less than that is keeping the ruleset in a worse off state. Hence my original response when someone brought it to my attention that someone wanted numbers crunched. I don't want to bother when it is just a waste of time for me to crunch them.

1600 point games just take that much longer to complete and won't really do anything about the RNG. You just have more units in which RNG will inflict its outcome upon and there will be the same subset of games where someone will get significantly disadvantaged over it. Last time we had this 'discussion' on double breaks you came away with the correct observations that RNG still will in many cases be heavily tilted towards one side. My personal participation, either way, doesn't depend on changes to the rules, size of armies, or anything else. It simply will be a result of whether the tournament schedule will fall at a time when I am confident that I will have time to complete my matches at the pace I wish to play at.
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Re: Revised army lists for Season 6 . . .

Post by MikeC_81 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:17 pm

Is the army lists essentially locked in stone now? So Late antiquity will be 0 BC - 600? I got some new video editing software and want to lock in some graphics for something I am making.
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Re: Revised army lists for Season 6 . . .

Post by stockwellpete » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:32 am

MikeC_81 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:17 pm
Is the army lists essentially locked in stone now? So Late antiquity will be 0 BC - 600? I got some new video editing software and want to lock in some graphics for something I am making.
Yes, for the forseeable anyway.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by paulmcneil » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:36 am

paulmcneil wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:54 pm
edb1815 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:08 pm
paulmcneil wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:39 pm


What numbers have been presented?
The odds of double drops (which seems to be the biggest RNG issue). See Mike's post above.
Do you mean the Youtube channel link?
There are no numbers posted that I can see, and Mike has said he doesn't want to produce them, so not sure what you are referring to?
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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:46 am

MikeC_81 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:12 pm
The main issue which continues to make this a circular argument is that you link a lowering of RNG to increasing the quality of the game as objective truth when it is not.
No, it is a subjective truth. In my opinion the game would be improved by a tweaking of some of the rules (double-drops and rallies for starters, automatic cohesion drops for infantry flank attacks for laters) and the RNG. I feel that I contribute enough to the game through beta-testing, scenario-designing and tournament-running to be entitled to periodically raise these issue, or in this particular sequence to support other players who feel similarly.

Btw 1600pt matches do not seem to take that much longer than 1200pt ones to complete according to the match completion rates of the Biblical section over the past 2 seasons. The argument is that with slightly bigger armies the effect of a calamitous double-drop early on in the battle can be more easily mitigated. I think this argument is probably correct.

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