Bolded for emphasis. The central argument I am making here is that players that account for, and plan for adverse luck and have strategies that are simultaneously resilient to bad RNG yet are able to take advantage of good RNG, are the better-skilled players. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is one of the primary skills evaluated by this game. So when I hear players say "I lost/won because of a double drop" or "I lost/won because of rallies" and then say luck was the determinant in who won the game, I am skeptical because, in my opinion, players are not taking an active hand in ensuring that such RNG driven events do not create game-deciding outcomes. Ergo, if RNG could have been mitigated, but the players failed to do so, then effectively the players left it up to RNG to decide the result for them and it is not the amount of RNG that is the issue. The real issue to random outcomes in games is the players not playing up to par and leaving themselves at the mercy of RNG.
I don't have a problem with this up to a certain point. Of course, players have to have contingency plans for when things go wrong and they would still need to do this in the modified system I would favour. But you are completely ignoring the circumstances in which the vagaries of RNG can completely overwhelm any contingency plan. These sorts of calamities happen far more often than you are allowing for and there is nothing the player can do to mitigate them.
Good examples are issues brought up like mass rallies, simply sending reserves to the wings to match width, and random double drops as uncontrollable events when I do not feel that is the case. Fleeing troops can be pursued, flanks can be refused to negate longer width armies, a small but dedicated reserve should be held in important sections of the line to combat random results. In addition, players who complain about the single devastating event often fail to recognize the small numerous good luck events which do not stand out but additively was as influential as the single devastating event that did occur and stuck in their mind.
Fleeing troops can sometimes be pursued, sometimes they cannot. Sometimes two melee units rally right up the other end of the battlefield causing a 9-10% swing in the battle score. Sometimes you do have to commit your reserves very early otherwise one of your flanks will be destroyed. Refusing the flank doesn't always work if your infantry is facing substantial numbers of cavalry. Very bad impact or melee results are often "uncontrollable events". Players know they may happen, but they do not know when or where. And if it happens right in the middle of your battle line right at the start of the game then you can be stuffed whatever your plan is.
Between the top players, games are often decided by small events or mistakes. Even in Division A play where supposedly the best players are playing, in the two and a half season I have played, there has not been a single game where I was involved in where I can say luck was the deciding factor in the outcome to the exclusion of all else. Win or lose there was always small mistakes that were taken advantage off. Things like mistimed charges or not correctly anticipating when the battle lines would meet resulting in someone having a positional advantage over the other. Take away those minor errors and the texture of that particular game shifts. As Pete has said often, form matters. Players I would beat could easily beat me if I am not on top of my game. That isn't RNG, that is just execution.
The issue is the balance between skill and luck in any game and how often luck is the dominant factor. In nearly every game I would expect even the best players to make some minor mistakes, or at least not always choose the very best move that they could make. But the difference in performance between two players of a similar skill level in any match is not always the decisive factor in its outcome. Nevertheless, form, and the confidence that goes with it, is important and in some matches, where the RNG is fairly neutral, it is conclusive.
So if Pantherboy, Ludendorf, or Ruskicanuck was to theoretically clone themselves and play each other and each clone was in the exact same form as the original, then theoretically yes, the games would all be decided by luck at that point and the long run result would be that they would split the game 50/50 determined by RNG. The problem is that for people that argue RNG is too big a factor, this will remain the case until you strip any and all RNG from the game. The closer the skill and execution gap between the two players in any given game, the wider the spread of results are determined by luck. But you have to actually GET TO the skill and execution cap before it truly kicks into a level where you can just wave your hands in the air and say it was an unavoidable outcome. Because if you aren't at that cap, then there is by definition, always something you could have done better. The corollary here is that two players in division D might be equally skilled (or unskilled), but it doesn't mean their games will be determined by luck either. It will instead boil down to who made the bigger strategy/execution gaff at the worst moment (or as the joke goes, it is not the most competent army that wins wars, but the least incompetent ones).
No-one wants RNG stripped from the game. What is being requested by some of us is that the balance between skill and luck is modified i.e. shifted towards skill.
Finally, and this is really important so I ask that even people who do not agree with what I am saying read this final part and try to really understand what I am saying here, any chit system which can alter dice rolls will not change anything. Players think it will because it allows them to influence dice outcomes in areas or cases where they feel it will be decisive. But the having a limited number of dice altering chits merely makes it another risk management tool. If we go back to the clone vs original example, each player will simply use the chits at their disposal at the best possible time and the game will still be split 50/50 down the middle. Players that are more skillful will simply pick and choose their spots better than their opponents. Players in Division D will still presumably not make correct decisions and misuse their chits.....and results will still largely be determined by factors that were already in place.
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In effect, a dice altering chit system will merely add another skill that the game will test the players on. There may be some "squish" in the distribution curve but once again, it will require players to be playing at or near the skill/execution cap before that "squish" will noticeable. I don't know how else I can explain how I feel luck and skill interact in this game but I doubt many minds will be changed. But I feel I have done my best to address criticisms to my argument and I will stop annoying everyone and cease posting on this issue.
Well, the dice-altering chit system idea was first introduced into this discussion by you, not me. I am not in favour of it and it does not make up any part of my argument.
If we were to use Pete's limited 100% equal chit luck system, the result will still be RNG because there is RNG in when the 10 is pulled out. That random double drop will STILL happen. The mass rallies will still happen.
The system that I have suggested is not a chit system either. It would be built into the game so players would have no direct input with it at all. And if it was introduced secretly overnight then players would not even be aware of any change.
Just for arguments sake, say Player A makes 100 die rolls in a battle and scores a total of 380 pips (I believe the average total might be around 350 pips) and Player B scores a total of 320 pips from about the same number of rolls. Player A is having relatively "good luck" and Player B is having relatively "bad luck". If both players are of a similar standard and both are playing reasonably well, then it is more likely (although not inevitable) that Player A will win the battle. Of course, it will still depend on in which situations their respective high and low rolls occur, impacts, melees, rallies and so on. A player failing a cohesion test may roll a 3 or a 1, so the extra 2 pips there will be wasted.
What I am suggesting is that the range of possible pip totals for both players in this hypothetical 100 die roll game is compressed. So, if the probable range currently is between 400 and 300 pips, then it should be reduced to, say, between 370 and 330 pips. In this way the vagaries of the RNG would be suppressed because players would be rolling more equal scores during the course of the battle. This would reduce "luck" and shift the outcomes of matches a bit towards "skill" without damaging the game in any way at all.