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Handicapping?

Posted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:28 pm
by jimkoby
One off games can be bad enough. While I've never seen a statistic for it, some armies seem to have a lot of trouble with certain other armies.

But my question deals with making games more "fair," or at least less dispiriting, in a campaign context.

Let's say a casual or new player is in the same club as a pod of killer whales who breathe rules and even sharpen the pointy things on the ends of each figure. How is the new fish to survive one humiliating defeat after another? In chess you might play a pawn down to a queen down, seeking for an encouragingly even game. Yes, it also handicaps their learning the grand game, but the guy playing fish chum needs to stay playing long enough to get reach enlightenment.

Now put it in a campaign context: Player A with army A keeps getting walloped by Gen. Landshark and his Elite Landsharkians. As player A retreats into his hinterlands, how many points can the Council of Player Gods award him for the next battle? Can a mere 25 points make a real difference or do you need more like 10% points advantage to tip a game? Do you just give it just in fortifications, or maybe all the way to an allied force that holds a better answer to the Elite Landsharians? (What is the spirit of the game?)

What has been your experience? What do the rule boffins think? What do the fish chummers think?

Best,
CdT

Re: Handicapping?

Posted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:36 pm
by hazelbark
Been discussed a lot. with lots of opinions and no answers.

Depends on the skill differential
Let's say you roughly put people into 4 groups. A, B, C, D.

One level difference is probably matched by one battle unit. Call it 50 points.

The trick between several levels of difference is that an A or B player probably has their army designed for contingencies. So spotting another 50 for a total of say 100 points between a difference of two levels is perhaps not enough. The better player is still marshaling decisive force at the key point.
So for two level of difference I think you need to start also penalizing the better player. Start by removing a TC. So you have in essence a +50 newbie versus a -35 Experienced. The loss of the TC has a lot of command implications and will make it harder for lightening to strike easily.

For a full A versus D level game. You really need a massive difference in my view so having about a 150 point difference really tests everyone. That difference a new player who stays formed may just grind up the better player. Also it makes the better player committing a strike arm is functionally committing his army to victory if they have say 700 versus 850 points.

Spotting the new player "1 unit" and taking away an experienced players TC can also not savage the look of the game and still translates into meaningful experience. Learning to win with 1 less general is good work to make better players try harder.

This all assumes some level of not having the new player running a badly designed disaster army.

Re: Handicapping?

Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:30 am
by ravenflight
I think one way would be to handicap by making CMT's more difficult for the better player. Say 10 required for a really big difference and a 9 required for moderate difference.

That way the player who is less experienced will see what the opponent was GOING to do, but possibly failed their CMT to do it.

Re: Handicapping?

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:50 pm
by hazelbark
ravenflight wrote:I think one way would be to handicap by making CMT's more difficult for the better player.
Interesting idea. Less of an impact in FOG R than say FOG AM. The clever CMT moves are just less powerful in FOG R.