The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

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MikeC_81
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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by MikeC_81 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:42 pm

I am unsure of the exact mechanics required to address this but I will say that the scoring system should overwhelmingly award players who take the risk of engaging in battle vs willingly retreating to a super strong point or simply refusing to engage unless in the optimal circumstances. A player should never be in a position where their thought process is "it is better for my score to not fight for a finish". For me, some sort of escalating point bonus for % of enemies routed in the event of a draw is preferable to a marginal victory idea where an opponent has the opportunity to pick off enough to gain the condition and then run for the hills should their mobility allow it. This marginal victory thing could easily lead to gaming for a skirmisher win and then the main body sits on a hill or something.

My totally off the top of my head idea at this point is to maintain 4 for a win by game rules. In the event of a draw, mutual or otherwise, players gain 1 point per 15% of opposition troops routed no exceptions. It scales nicely with 4 points being equivalent of 60% routed, or otherwise a win by game rules. If you fight as hard as you can and lose a nail-biter, oh well, at least theoretically you had a fun game. The goal of the game should always to pick up that W.

The other option is to allow for more than 24 turns. As of right now, 24 turns is barely enough time to march from your deployment zone to their deployment zone clearing skirmishers along the way and then having time to position your force in an intelligent manner in order to assault a strong point. I actually had to win a game in my opponent's deployment zone and had to take massive risks in order to defeat the timer, not the player.
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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by Herode_2 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:08 am

stockwellpete wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:30 pm
i) allow players to re-start a match by agreement within the first two turns if they feel that the map is likely to produce a draw.

then link this rule change to either . . .

ii) players are allowed one point for only the first two draws that they record in any division. The third, or any subsequent draw after that, will score 0 points.
ii has my favours : it's neat, simple and looks able to discourage "draw based" tactics in a Tournament.

i looks a bit dangerous to me. I'm not experienced with FoG II and the FoG community, so I may be wrong, but I've played MP on several other games for years, and IRL MP on board games of course (okay, that was...during the last century, but still :D )
After my experience, rules relying on a gentleman agreement between players in a tournament mainly lead to bitter negociations, then bitter recriminations.

Situations where a map is unplayable should be really rare anyway, don't they ? So, I'd better be at risk to have rare unplayable maps poping here and there, than to have to negociate each time my opponent does not feel at ease with the map - which will end meaning : each time my opponent does not think the map is good for him.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by shadowblack » Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:41 am

I'm assuming TGM is making reference to my game with him where I ended up just running away trying for a draw. The two draws I gained by this approach in Late may prove to be what keeps me in the division, so will be proven to have been a good choice. I understand that it didn't make for a fun game for my opponent, but neither was it fun for me and I won't be picking a cav based army again in a group where inf armies are available. I have also had a number of games where I have been on the other side. Trying to chase down a cav or skirm based army with hoplites provides endless opportunities for frustration. If you manage to catch them, they invariably break off from combat and force another dance to try and gain contact again. Even forcing them back across the entire map doesn't help, because then they just evade off map for which you only get a small points total making it near impossible to get points totals for victories.

With this in mind, I like MikeC_81s' suggestion of 1pt/15%. A fairly simple solution, easily implemented, with a reward for at least trying for a result, whilst providing 0pts for turtling in a thick wood or on a hill. Any solution is going to have ways to be abused by someone who really wants to, but this sounds like a good option to try.

I hope a solution can be found to this because it has definitely impacted my enjoyment this season compared with last. I say that as someone who has played both sides of the issue and found both sides to be less than fun.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by Hendricus » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:49 pm

The rules have influence on behavior of the players. The reward of points for specific results encourage a playstyle, even if it means running away. So if you want armies to clash into each other you have to reward the losing side to do so. Losing while doing 59% damage gives less points as a draw without doing any damage. I suggest you get points for the playstyle that makes most people happy. So I suggest to give losers points for damage inflicted. One point for each 15 % damage done, maximum 3 points. So losing can give you more points as a draw or tie, if you do some serious damage.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by markwatson360 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:25 pm

I'm not sure a rule change is needed here, i've played horse archer armies in the league this time and have not done very well at all. It's hard enough to do enough damage with 5 turns of arrows with a limit of 24 turns and a fairly small area of map to play on, their main asset is their mobility and ability to evade. It's all very well for foot based players to complain about oponents evading but surely this was the situation the Romans faced 2000 years ago. Also, in reality cavalry archers would just stay out of range of their opponents and pepper them with arrows gradually grinding them down which could take days or even weeks but involves no risk and would make a very boring game but that's what they would do.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by shadowblack » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:22 pm

markwatson360 wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:25 pm
I'm not sure a rule change is needed here, i've played horse archer armies in the league this time and have not done very well at all. It's hard enough to do enough damage with 5 turns of arrows with a limit of 24 turns and a fairly small area of map to play on, their main asset is their mobility and ability to evade. It's all very well for foot based players to complain about oponents evading but surely this was the situation the Romans faced 2000 years ago. Also, in reality cavalry archers would just stay out of range of their opponents and pepper them with arrows gradually grinding them down which could take days or even weeks but involves no risk and would make a very boring game but that's what they would do.
I don't think anyone is arguing the realism of the tactics required and the problems involved. However, the time frame for a battle is one day, not several (or even weeks) and people expect to get a result in that time frame. I suspect it may all be a fairly moot point re cavalry armies next season. They have been proved not to be winning armies and I don't expect people to choose them.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by NikiforosFokas » Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:11 pm

May i contribute to the discussion about the draws? Being idiot enough to choose an army like Armenians in this year's FOGDL (or even the Thracians) i was obliged so many times this year to turtle my army (this almost never ends well). I did not enjoy it, but that is another story... So my opinion is.. If a unit does not move at all for a specific number of turns (lets say 3 turns) it will drop morale. It sounds logical to me. Participate in a battle in which your commander asks you to hide/ not move it will make you, for sure, not an optimist for the outcome of the battle. This will force players to move. No more resting MF to rough hills. Also while I agree that something has to be done for the draw issue I do not agree about the horse archers armies. Asking horse-archers not to evade is like asking Romans to fight without legions. The big problem, in my humble opinion, is the lack of an evasion option (like there was in FoG 1). It is crazy that you control a horse archer army but you can plan a flank move because your Horse Archers keep evading. This takes away all the fun... I really can not see any reason for not including an evasion option. It will give the game more tactical depth.
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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:24 am

NikiforosFokas wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:11 pm
May i contribute to the discussion about the draws? Being idiot enough to choose an army like Armenians in this year's FOGDL (or even the Thracians) i was obliged so many times this year to turtle my army (this almost never ends well). I did not enjoy it, but that is another story... So my opinion is.. If a unit does not move at all for a specific number of turns (lets say 3 turns) it will drop morale. It sounds logical to me. Participate in a battle in which your commander asks you to hide/ not move it will make you, for sure, not an optimist for the outcome of the battle. This will force players to move. No more resting MF to rough hills. Also while I agree that something has to be done for the draw issue I do not agree about the horse archers armies. Asking horse-archers not to evade is like asking Romans to fight without legions. The big problem, in my humble opinion, is the lack of an evasion option (like there was in FoG 1). It is crazy that you control a horse archer army but you can plan a flank move because your Horse Archers keep evading. This takes away all the fun... I really can not see any reason for not including an evasion option. It will give the game more tactical depth.
This is really a suggestion that ought to go in the main forum for Richard to consider. It is not something that can be addressed by a change in the FOG2DL rules. :wink:

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:38 am

This has been a very interesting discussion so far. If you have more ideas please keep them coming. :D

To summarise what various players are saying . . .

1) TheGrayMouser - no points at all for draws.

2) stockwellpete - re-start by agreement within first 2 turns of a match with either only first 2 draws of a player in any division will score a point or players will only score a point for a draw if they inflict 20%+ casualties.

3) Ludendorf - in games where neither army has broken after 24 turns, a marginal victory rule where 15% of enemy army must be routed and the winning margin is 10%+ in order to win four points, with the losing player getting one point.

- modification by stockwellpete - no 15% army loss requirement, points three to nil instead of four to one.
- modification by gamercb - 10% army loss requirement and minimum number of turns (unspecified) in a match required.

4) MikeC_81 - in drawn matches players score one point for every 15% casualties they inflict on their opponent. Extend matches beyond 24 turns.

5) Hendricus - award one point for every 15% casualties inflicted on winner for players who lose matches.

6) markwatson360 - no change is required.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:31 am

I have just been looking at the various suggestions in order to ascertain whether anomalies might occur. Obviously we need to avoid them as much as possible. So using the same list as I did above I have identified the following issues . . .

1)TGM - no points for a draw - this would mean players drawing a bloodbath 55-55 would get the same as players tamely agreeing a 0-0 draw

2) stockwellpete - only first two draws score - why shouldn't third or fourth draws score, particularly if they are 55-55 type draws rather than 0-0 type agreements?

3) Ludendorf (and gamercb) - 4 points for a marginal victory and 1 point for a marginal defeat - this would mean that for the winner, a 30-15 marginal victory would score the same as another player who wins 40-10. And the marginal loser in that match would score the same as someone drawing a match 55-55.

4) MikeC_81 - 1 point for every 15% damage inflicted on an opponent in drawn matches - at the moment an outright winner scores 4 points and players in a tied match score 2 points each, this idea would mean that a 55-39 draw would be scored 3-2 which really closes up the differential between a win and a draw (at the moment this is 4 to 1). To remove the anomalies for this idea it might be necessary to alter the points tariff to 6 points for a win and 3 points for a tie and award 1 point for every 20% damage inflicted on an opponent in a drawn match. So a 55-39 result would be scored 2-1.

5) Hendricus - award 1 point to losers for every 15% losses inflicted on an opponent - at the moment an outright winner scores 4 points and players in a tied match score 2 points each, this idea would mean a player losing 62-46 would get 3 points, which is more than a player gets for a tie and is only 1 point less than what a player gets for winning outright 40-15. Again it would be necessary to remove the anomalies by changing the points tariff to 6 points for a win and 3 points for a tie, and then award 1 point for every 20% damage inflicted on an opponent in a losing match. So a 62-46 result would be scored 6-2.

6) markwatson360 - no change is required

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Draft poll drawn matches

Post by stockwellpete » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:58 am

This is just a draft poll that relates to the current discussion in "The Rally Point". That is why the thread is locked. Obviously 10 options are too many. I would like to get them down to 5 or 6 clear alternatives (e.g. only one option for a marginal victory) and I would like to include the option "No change is required" too.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:02 pm

I have just tried out the poll system on the forum and it is fine. Have a look at the thread here . . .

viewtopic.php?f=501&t=87216

If we can whittle down the options this week and then, if we need to, we can have a poll to canvass wider opinions.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by NikiforosFokas » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:57 pm

Hendricus wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:49 pm
The rules have influence on behavior of the players. The reward of points for specific results encourage a playstyle, even if it means running away. So if you want armies to clash into each other you have to reward the losing side to do so. Losing while doing 59% damage gives less points as a draw without doing any damage. I suggest you get points for the playstyle that makes most people happy. So I suggest to give losers points for damage inflicted. One point for each 15 % damage done, maximum 3 points. So losing can give you more points as a draw or tie, if you do some serious damage.
100% agree,
edit: I like so much the idea to give the loser points too. I am just thinking why not dropping the % to 12? Why? Because 12,5 + 12,5 = 25% and this is the score to win. Right? So 2 points from the score and 2 for the victory. So i think it will be more just to set the percentage to 12%. A game which ends 62-46 it is a close one, so the loser will be rightly given 3 points (one less than the victor). That is a lot better than playing for the one point of the draw.
Last edited by NikiforosFokas on Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by Morbio » Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:09 pm

Lots of good input on this thread, I love it when people work together to solve a problem.

Some of the suggestions are not mutually exclusive. I certainly support the suggestion that players can restart battles if they feel it is appropriate. My only question is why limit it to the first 2 turns? If both players feel they can complete the battle in the allowed time then why not allow it after any amount of moves? I certainly think that players may spend a number of moves manoeuvring for an edge before they realise that it may be better to start again.

I’m a believer that people’s behaviours are driven by rewards… So people will play in a way to maximise their rewards.

If we want to give points for losing valiantly, or just losing with a lot of carnage, then why not simplify it further and scrap the points system and get points for casualties, or adopt the same points approach as the automated system? Or a hybrid system?... A fixed amount of points for a win plus the points of damage inflicted on the opponent, in the event of a tie, then half the fixed points plus damage inflicted. To determine what the fixed points should be then we need to determine what is more important, the damage inflicted or winning the battle? If the points per win are relatively small then you could have someone winning every battle, e.g. 40 – 15, being beaten by a person who loses every battle 60-59.

I also don’t think we should denigrate the general that, when the battle has gone badly, can withdraw and keep his army alive until nightfall. I’m sure at some point in history this would have happened, although I appreciate that it won’t be much fun for the guy whose HF is chasing cavalry… but then perhaps his army selection wasn’t optimised, or maybe he should have taken out the cavalry in the earlier part of the battle, or maybe he should have cut off the retreat before.

My own view is that the result should be the primary factor (although Pyrrhus might disagree). A win is better than a draw is better than a loss. So the reward system should reflect this. I don’t agree that there should be an arbitrary limit on the number of draws.

Personally, I like Pete’s variation of Mike C’s proposal for scoring draws; 1 point for every 20% damage inflicted, along with 6 points for a win (4 points for a win is still OK, as most draws will score 2 points or less). So a 60-60 draw (I had one of these this season) scores 3-3, 55-39 draw is 2-1 and a 15-10 draw is 0-0. This would mean that where totally unsuitable terrain is presented (in the eyes of the generals) then either you have to try the improbable, like sending pikes into woods or up difficult slopes, or agree to restart to get something that means a battle will take place.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:32 pm

Morbio wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:09 pm
Lots of good input on this thread, I love it when people work together to solve a problem.

Some of the suggestions are not mutually exclusive. I certainly support the suggestion that players can restart battles if they feel it is appropriate. My only question is why limit it to the first 2 turns? If both players feel they can complete the battle in the allowed time then why not allow it after any amount of moves? I certainly think that players may spend a number of moves manoeuvring for an edge before they realise that it may be better to start again.
Because it is hard enough to fit all the matches in in 10 weeks, so it would be better if players are required to make a quick decision in the FOG2DL. It is particularly important that they do in the Themed Event or when we are get near to the closing date of the tournament. Otherwise the number of uncompleted matches will go up.
I’m a believer that people’s behaviours are driven by rewards… So people will play in a way to maximise their rewards.

If we want to give points for losing valiantly, or just losing with a lot of carnage, then why not simplify it further and scrap the points system and get points for casualties, or adopt the same points approach as the automated system? Or a hybrid system?... A fixed amount of points for a win plus the points of damage inflicted on the opponent, in the event of a tie, then half the fixed points plus damage inflicted. To determine what the fixed points should be then we need to determine what is more important, the damage inflicted or winning the battle? If the points per win are relatively small then you could have someone winning every battle, e.g. 40 – 15, being beaten by a person who loses every battle 60-59.
No, we are definitely not going to be scrapping what we have in place now in order to replace it with something like the automated tournament points system. I don't mind a modest change to the existing points system and my preferred option is for us to introduce a marginal victory rule that requires a player to win a 24 turn match, where neither army has broken, by 10% or more. The winner would get 3 points, the loser would get none. This would not create any anomalies and it is very easy to understand. A marginal victory scores less than an outright victory but scores more than a tie. A marginal defeat is still a defeat and scores less than a draw, the losing player's "reward" is that he denies his opponent a 4 point win.
Personally, I like Pete’s variation of Mike C’s proposal for scoring draws; 1 point for every 20% damage inflicted, along with 6 points for a win (4 points for a win is still OK, as most draws will score 2 points or less). So a 60-60 draw (I had one of these this season) scores 3-3, 55-39 draw is 2-1 and a 15-10 draw is 0-0. This would mean that where totally unsuitable terrain is presented (in the eyes of the generals) then either you have to try the improbable, like sending pikes into woods or up difficult slopes, or agree to restart to get something that means a battle will take place.
I regard this as quite a radical change and I would be reluctant to introduce it right across the tournament in Season 3. If there is a lot of support for it then we could trial it in one section next season, but this is very much a second choice for me compared to the marginal rule option.

Btw 60-60 is not a draw in the FOG2DL, it is a tie. :wink:

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:01 pm

NikiforosFokas wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:57 pm
100% agree,
edit: I like so much the idea to give the loser points too. I am just thinking why not dropping the % to 12? Why? Because 12,5 + 12,5 = 25% and this is the score to win. Right? So 2 points from the score and 2 for the victory. So i think it will be more just to set the percentage to 12%. A game which ends 62-46 it is a close one, so the loser will be rightly given 3 points (one less than the victor). That is a lot better than playing for the one point of the draw.
I am not absolutely clear how you are scoring the matches in this idea. 2 points for a win, is it? How many for a tie or a draw? None? The same as a loss? Then players get 1 point for every 12.5% losses they cause to their opponent? So the following results would be scored like this . . .

63-52 = (2 points for the win +5 points for 5x12.5=62.5) v (4 points for 4x12.5=50.0) = 7 points for the winner and 4 points for the loser. Is that what you mean?

40-0 = (2 points for the win +3 points for 3x12.5=37.5) v (0 points for scoring less than 12.5% damage) = 5 points for the winner and 0 points for the loser.

63-61 (a tie) = (anything for the tie? +5 points for 5x12.5=62.5) v (4 points for 4x12.5=50.0) = 5 points for one player and 4 points for the other (if there is no extra point for the tie).

42-33 (a draw) = (presumably no point for a draw? +3 points for 3x12.5=37.5) v 2 points for 2x12.5=25.0) = 3 points for one player and 2 points for the other.

I think you are into a world of anomalies with this scoring system as per my example above. A player white-washing an opponent would only score one more point that somebody losing a game and would score 2 less points than someone achieving a narrow victory. And a loser in a high scoring game would score more than both players in a drawn game and the same as some players in a tied match. The other thing is that it would mean a lot more extra work for me calculating the exact points allocation and PM'ing players to clarify results (I have to do enough of this already). So, if I have understood it correctly, this would get a big thumbs down from me.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by devoncop » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:26 pm

Interesting discussion I am just picking up on. One disadvantage of only requiring a 10% or 15% lead to get a marginal victory is it would allow a classic horse archer shoot and scoot whereby the first 5 turns would be spent peppering the opponent to get to the threshold and the rest is spent trying to run away.....

In the last tournament I enjoyed the Classical Antiquity and Enemies of Rome sections by far the best as they had few horse armies...coincidental ?

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by shadowblack » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:25 pm

stockwellpete wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:02 pm
I have just tried out the poll system on the forum and it is fine. Have a look at the thread here . . .

viewtopic.php?f=501&t=87216

If we can whittle down the options this week and then, if we need to, we can have a poll to canvass wider opinions.
My whittling choices are :-
Options 3,8 and 10 get my vote. I prefer the 20% option to 15% which helps keep a win the ultimate goal.
Options 4 and 5 seem too convoluted.

Slightly off topic but if we go the restart route, does it have to be agreed by both players or just asked for by one?

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:29 pm

This is an anonymised list of the draws that we have had in Late Antiquity so far this season. Some of the information that was posted in the results thread was very brief and I think we can assume that where no score is indicated the match most likely was a 0-0 draw.

A few things stand out immediately 16 of the 18 draws involved a primarily mounted army, the Huns and Hepthalites being particularly prominent. Only 6 of the 18 draws were likely to have been 0-0 draws and they will hardly ever happen next season when we allow players to re-start matches within the first two turns. About 10 of the 18 draws looked to have been very exciting matches where one side was hanging on for dear life at the end so that leaves 2 other matches that appear to have been stalemates.

So this gives us a sense of the size of the problem, I feel. Less than 10 of the 180 matches that will be played in Late Antiquity this season (4 divisions of 45 matches each) were non-events, which is around 5% of the total. That is not a very high figure, although it is higher than most of us would like. It means that a player entering 3 or 4 sections in a season might averagely get 1 or 2 of these non-events. So I don't think that we are dealing with a major problem here and I don't think that we should regard all draws as somehow "bad matches". It also suggests to me that the points system does not need a radical overhaul.

Anyway, here is the list . . .

Example 1
Kingdom of Soissons draws with Germanic Horse Tribes 0% - 0% We both agreed it was suicidal for whoever attacked.

Example 2
Romano-British 34% losses drew Hunnic 40% losses.

Example 3
Picts 35% and Sassanids 43% fought to a draw. Neither Army routed after 24 turns.

Example 4
Spanish, Sertorius and Hunnic agreed for a draw, impossible for the Huns attack the enemy completely hidden and deployed inside a dense wood, the same for the Spanish difficult for them attack in the open.

Example 5
Hunnics and Palmyrans drew 59-58

Example 6
Picts and Hepthalites fought to a draw (neither army routed after 24 turns).

Example 7
Hunnic 44% losses drew Palmyrans 24% losses.

Example 8
Draw agreed between Romano-British and Armenian

Example 9
Romano-British drew vs Palmyran

Example 10
Armenians drew Huns. 0-0%.

Example 11
Kushan and Slave revolt agree to a draw 0-17%

Example 12
Hunnic 52% losses drew Hepthalites 48% losses.

Example 13
Draw between Palmyrans vs Kushans. The lines at first closed for what appeared to be a decisive clash, and the Palmyran commander made some unwise moves getting spread thin, but suddenly, the hordes of Kushan Cats and Pacs did an about face and fled the field, to be chased by medium archers and heavy foot... Suffice to say the Palmyrans could not catch enough before nite fell..

Example 14
Hepthalites draw with Romano-British

Example 15
Palmyran drew against Spanish Sertorius 31% - 52%

Example 16
Hunnic draw with Germanic Horse Tribes 44% vs 49%

Example 17
Galatians v Skythian after 24 turns it ended in the Galatians favour 43%-58%

Example 18
Draw Palmyra v Hepthalites 57-59

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:31 pm

shadowblack wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:25 pm
Slightly off topic but if we go the restart route, does it have to be agreed by both players or just asked for by one?
We are definitely going to allow re-starts within 2 turns next season and it will have to be with the agreement of both players.

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