The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

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Cunningcairn
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Re: The Rally Point (discussion, questions and some highbrow philosophising)

Post by Cunningcairn » Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:10 pm

What about each period being slightly themed and only having 10 army selections of reasonably equal armies for each section? These armies can then be assigned randomly by Pete and can be the same army but with different allies can be used if required. For example the Biblical section could consist only of true "biblical" armies and exclude hoplite armies with more than x number of hoplites. Classical can change each season with narrower timelines and location with themes such as Greek City states, Early Italy, Enemies of Carthage etc. The same can be done for each other division and would prevent some of the annoying match ups such as heavy foot armies against armies consisting solely of cavalry and having to play armies of only skirmishers.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion, questions and some highbrow philosophising)

Post by Stew101 » Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:27 pm

Hi all, lively debate as always.
As a new player to DL can I throw my two pennies into this debate. One of the things that attracted me to joining the DL, was the wide choice of armies and their various capabilities.That presents different challenges in each of the games, because of the diversity. I would I'm afraid be put off if all the armies were similar and equalised.
We also have a spectrum of players, from the very competitive to those playing for fun. We all want to win, but our competition objectives may not be the same. In my first season I played two periods CA and EMA, with quite different objectives. I selected competitive lists in EMA, with the objective of trying to do well. I had a good first experience with a good list (Arab Conquest) winning 8 games. In CA I went with lists I thought I'd enjoy playing with. I got Thessalians (which I'm afraid I fielded with minimal HI and maximum skirmishers and cavalry). My objective was to not let Thessaly be conquered too many times. Again I did OK, placing 3rd, but I know this army frustrated and annoyed a couple of my opponents and two rubbed their hands and tore it to pieces. But I had a blast in every game, especially taking down Successor armies with skirmishers.
So what's my point, I suppose it's that a real General used what soldiers he had, on the terrain he stood on, against the enemy he was facing and came up with the best plan he could manage on the day. I like trying that too, in our game situation.
Best argument I can present for not changing the lists is Alexander. He at various times had to fight Illyrians, Greeks, Persians, Persians with Greeks, hill tribes, nomadic horse archers and Indians.
Had he lived longer he would probably have gone on to fight N African's, Carthaginians, Spaniards, Gauls and Romans, as took his fancy.
So lets not limit choice please, its a great aspect of the competition.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion, questions and some highbrow philosophising)

Post by stockwellpete » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:18 am

I do think there are some issues with the structure of the tournament that might be adjusted over the next season or two. Most obviously, the Biblical section has a temporary fix in place where hoplite armies are added to the "proper" Biblical armies to give players a better choice of armies. I am not sure whether this temporary arrangement has reached the end of its shelf life now. Also, the Themed Event is staggering along with just enough players interested each season for it to continue. I will press ahead with the hoplite idea for next season, but whether the Themed Event continues into 2021 is an open question at the moment because we should be able to open High Middle Ages next year. These two sections, Biblical and Themed, present the most pressing problems, I feel.

Then, of the other sections, I think Classical Antiquity is almost perfect in the army choices it offers, so I would not want to be touching that at all. We could have got a seventh division for it this season if there hadn't been a six division limit. Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages do not offer such a good choice as Classical Antiquity and you do get quite a few foot army v horse army match-ups in each division which some players find a bit tedious to play. And then we still have High Middle Ages to come, which was a very strong section in the FOG1DL, but this also had the foot army v horse army issue as the often predominantly cavalry armies of 1100-1300AD armies could be very different from the more infantry based armies of 1300-1500AD.

One idea I have concerns Biblical. As we know, there is still another DLC to come for this section at some point (arrival date unknown). In addition, we also know that some players feel that the presence of the hoplite armies is a bit awkward historically and other players would like to see more paired games offered in the FOG2DL. So, another temporary fix until the new DLC arrives, would be to change the format of Biblical completely. Players would participate in divisions of six instead of ten, playing five paired games against each other, making ten battles per season in total, just one more than the current nine. A maximum of thirty-six places would be available (six divisions). I could research historical match-ups for those sets of five paired games, or players could continue to pick armies from the Biblical list, which would no longer include the TT Mod hoplite armies. I estimate that I could probably come up with twenty historical match-ups from the Biblical army list, which would be enough for four seasons of play if we switched to the paired game model. Or we could alternate between player choice and historical match-up each season, which would take us comfortably into 2022. Once the new Biblical DLC arrives we could review everything again then.

The other idea I have is to discontinue the Themed Event once we have the High Middle Ages section available. One concern I have is that there may not be enough players to sustain six different sections each season. Biblical works OK with thirty players registered, but it did become a bit unbalanced when there were only twenty because sometimes B and C rated players were asked to play with A* players in the higher division. I also believe that one of the reasons the Themed Event does not attract more players is that some players feel they may be outclassed and eliminated right away if they are put in a group with an A* player in it.

So once High Middle Ages opens, we could stay at five sections for the tournament and then move the "Themed Event" idea into the main sections (not Classical Antiquity) on a rotational basis. So, hypothetically, if we assume we can open High Middle Ages in Season 10 we could have the following schedule for that tournament . . .

Classical Antiquity (sacrosanct, organised as usual, full army choices, not part of the rota)
Late Antiquity (historically themed, restricted army choices)
Early Middle Ages (organised as usual, full army choices)
Biblical (new format, 6 players per division playing paired games, historically themed or full army choices as usual, no hoplites)
High Middle Ages (organised as usual, full army choices)

Then for Season 11 Late Antiquity would revert to "organised as usual, full army choices" and Early Middle Ages would switch to "historically themed, restricted army choices". And then in Season 12 High Middle Ages would be "historically themed, restricted army choices". Classical Antiquity would never be part of this rota as it has always attracted the most players and it offers a very interesting range of armies. So each season there would always be four "ten players in a division" sections and one "six players in a division" section playing paired games.

Something along these lines might offer good variety and balance for players going forward. Originally I had planned to do 12 seasons of the FOG2DL, but because there has been a delay with the DLC's this year I now think the tournament can stretch to 15 seasons. Then I am going to stop. :wink:

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion, questions and some highbrow philosophising)

Post by kronenblatt » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:36 am

I was thinking about another idea: THE FINALS! How about the winners of division A in each of the sections/eras meeting each other, with their respective armies, in an elimination battles? With semifinals and a final, and potentially a game for the bronze.

Currently we have four sections/eras, right? (Not counting the themed event.) So if the A-division winner with the most points meets the A-division winner with the least points in a semifinal, and the other semifinal consisting of the two A-division winners in between, the semifinal winners then meeting in a GRAND FINALE, that would make for an exciting end to the season! (Let's deal with the future five sections/eras in due course.)

What do you think?
Last edited by kronenblatt on Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Rally Point (discussion, questions and some highbrow philosophising)

Post by kronenblatt » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:37 am

stockwellpete wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:18 am
... Change the format of Biblical completely. Players would participate in divisions of six instead of ten, playing five paired games against each other, making ten battles per season in total, just one more than the current nine. A maximum of thirty-six places would be available (six divisions). I could research historical match-ups for those sets of five paired games...
I like that idea a lot.
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Re: The Rally Point (discussion, questions and some highbrow philosophising)

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:50 am

stockwellpete wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:18 am
One idea I have concerns Biblical. As we know, there is still another DLC to come for this section at some point (arrival date unknown). In addition, we also know that some players feel that the presence of the hoplite armies is a bit awkward historically and other players would like to see more paired games offered in the FOG2DL. So, another temporary fix until the new DLC arrives, would be to change the format of Biblical completely. Players would participate in divisions of six instead of ten, playing five paired games against each other, making ten battles per season in total, just one more than the current nine. A maximum of thirty-six places would be available (six divisions). I could research historical match-ups for those sets of five paired games, or players could continue to pick armies from the Biblical list, which would no longer include the TT Mod hoplite armies. I estimate that I could probably come up with twenty historical match-ups from the Biblical army list, which would be enough for four seasons of play if we switched to the paired game model. Or we could alternate between player choice and historical match-up each season, which would take us comfortably into 2022. Once the new Biblical DLC arrives we could review everything again then.
The research on historical matchups has already been done for you. Look at the matchups in the Rise of Persia Quick Battles module.
Richard Bodley Scott

Image

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion, questions and some highbrow philosophising)

Post by stockwellpete » Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:35 am

kronenblatt wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:36 am
I was thinking about another idea: THE FINALS! How about the winners of division A in each of the sections/eras meeting each other, with their respective armies, in an elimination battles? With semifinals and a final, and potentially a game for the bronze.

Currently we have four sections/eras, right? (Not counting the themed event.) So if the A-division winner with the most points meets the A-division winner with the least points in a semifinal, and the other semifinal consisting of the two A-division winners in between, the semifinal winners then meeting in a GRAND FINALE, that would make for an exciting end to the season! (Let's deal with the future five sections/eras in due course.)

What do you think?
Not for me, I'm afraid. You are also assuming that four different players will win the "A" divisions each season, which is not always the case. Plus, the fifth section should not be too long in arriving now, I hope. :wink:

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion, questions and some highbrow philosophising)

Post by kronenblatt » Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:53 am

stockwellpete wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:35 am
kronenblatt wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:36 am
I was thinking about another idea: THE FINALS! How about the winners of division A in each of the sections/eras meeting each other, with their respective armies, in an elimination battles? With semifinals and a final, and potentially a game for the bronze.

Currently we have four sections/eras, right? (Not counting the themed event.) So if the A-division winner with the most points meets the A-division winner with the least points in a semifinal, and the other semifinal consisting of the two A-division winners in between, the semifinal winners then meeting in a GRAND FINALE, that would make for an exciting end to the season! (Let's deal with the future five sections/eras in due course.)

What do you think?
Not for me, I'm afraid. You are also assuming that four different players will win the "A" divisions each season, which is not always the case. Plus, the fifth section should not be too long in arriving now, I hope. :wink:
You mean that one player could win several sections/eras, that there could be several winners in divA of one section/era, or both? So that there could be fewer or more than four players?

I guess there's also a workload consideration for you, Pete? Because the idea in itself is quite cool, don't you agree?
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Re: The Rally Point (discussion, questions and some highbrow philosophising)

Post by stockwellpete » Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:54 am

rbodleyscott wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:50 am
The research on historical matchups has already been done for you. Look at the matchups in the Rise of Persia Quick Battles module.
I have just had a look at there are lots of ideas that I can pillage from there. Anders has also told me that there would be no problem altering the tables and charts to 6 player divisions if we wanted to make a change in Biblical. So the re-vamp of Biblical is a completely viable option. :D

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion, questions and some highbrow philosophising)

Post by stockwellpete » Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:58 am

kronenblatt wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:53 am
You mean that one player could win several sections/eras, that there could be several winners in divA of one section/era, or both? So that there could be fewer or more than four players?
Yes. Plus players finish their matches at different times and may not want to wait about for a month before participating in a knock-out phase.
I guess there's also a workload consideration for you, Pete? Because the idea in itself is quite cool, don't you agree?
Not too much extra work really, but the numbers will not always work and the matches would be fairly meaningless anyway. There are lots of winners in the FOG2DL each season as it is now and that's how it should stay really, I think. :wink:

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion, questions and some highbrow philosophising)

Post by Cunningcairn » Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:40 pm

stockwellpete wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:18 am
I do think there are some issues with the structure of the tournament that might be adjusted over the next season or two. Most obviously, the Biblical section has a temporary fix in place where hoplite armies are added to the "proper" Biblical armies to give players a better choice of armies. I am not sure whether this temporary arrangement has reached the end of its shelf life now.

One idea I have concerns Biblical. As we know, there is still another DLC to come for this section at some point (arrival date unknown). In addition, we also know that some players feel that the presence of the hoplite armies is a bit awkward historically and other players would like to see more paired games offered in the FOG2DL. So, another temporary fix until the new DLC arrives, would be to change the format of Biblical completely. Players would participate in divisions of six instead of ten, playing five paired games against each other, making ten battles per season in total, just one more than the current nine. A maximum of thirty-six places would be available (six divisions). I could research historical match-ups for those sets of five paired games, or players could continue to pick armies from the Biblical list, which would no longer include the TT Mod hoplite armies. I estimate that I could probably come up with twenty historical match-ups from the Biblical army list, which would be enough for four seasons of play if we switched to the paired game model. Or we could alternate between player choice and historical match-up each season, which would take us comfortably into 2022. Once the new Biblical DLC arrives we could review everything again then.

Biblical (new format, 6 players per division playing paired games, historically themed or full army choices as usual, no hoplites)
Pete when will you decide if there are going to be changes to the Biblical section for next season? Would you run a poll? Personally I would like to see a change which somehow limits the use of hoplites but don't like the idea of mirror matches when it comes to the digital league. One of the attractions of the DL to me is the need to choose an army that can be successful for a series of games against yet unknown opponents of the period in question. If you eliminate hoplite armies there would still be numerous armies to choose from if you consider different ally choices as not being the same army for example Assyrian with Elamite and Assyrian with Skythian can be played in the same section by different players. My talent scouts are currently out recruiting so it would be good to know if the TT mod would still be used and if army size would stay at 1600 points :-)

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion, questions and some highbrow philosophising)

Post by NikiforosFokas » Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:23 pm

I find the idea of the paired matches extremely good. sign me up from now on biblical :D :D :D
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Re: The Rally Point (discussion, questions and some highbrow philosophising)

Post by stockwellpete » Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:24 pm

Cunningcairn wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:40 pm
Pete when will you decide if there are going to be changes to the Biblical section for next season? Would you run a poll? Personally I would like to see a change which somehow limits the use of hoplites but don't like the idea of mirror matches when it comes to the digital league. One of the attractions of the DL to me is the need to choose an army that can be successful for a series of games against yet unknown opponents of the period in question. If you eliminate hoplite armies there would still be numerous armies to choose from if you consider different ally choices as not being the same army for example Assyrian with Elamite and Assyrian with Skythian can be played in the same section by different players. My talent scouts are currently out recruiting so it would be good to know if the TT mod would still be used and if army size would stay at 1600 points :-)
I am going to announce the definite plans for Season 9 and the provisional plans for Season 10 early next week once I have moved all the new stats out of the "stickies". Whatever I do is not going to please everyone, but the tournament does have to keep evolving to maintain its freshness and present new challenges to players. I will not be running a poll as my vassals have told me to be more assertive. :D I do think that Biblical needs to change a bit and that the Themed Event is approaching the end of its shelf life, so expect some changes in those two areas.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion, questions and some highbrow philosophising)

Post by harveylh » Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:20 pm

stockwellpete wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:24 pm

I am going to announce the definite plans for Season 9 and the provisional plans for Season 10 early next week once I have moved all the new stats out of the "stickies". Whatever I do is not going to please everyone, but the tournament does have to keep evolving to maintain its freshness and present new challenges to players. I will not be running a poll as my vassals have told me to be more assertive. :D I do think that Biblical needs to change a bit and that the Themed Event is approaching the end of its shelf life, so expect some changes in those two areas.
Pete, sInce you do most of the work, in my opinion, you get the biggest vote. :D Based on your past track record, you have my support for what it is worth. :)

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion, questions and some highbrow philosophising)

Post by rs2excelsior » Fri Aug 21, 2020 12:43 am

For me personally, I'm not a huge fan of mirror matches in the league, mostly because I'm a bit hesitant about being pulled into matches with an army I didn't pick and perhaps do not enjoy. That said, I'm not so opposed to it that I likely wouldn't join in Biblical next season - I do enjoy the time frame, with or without hoplite armies.

I sort of like the idea of some sections having more historically-themed matches, that does sound cool (and yes, I realize that's a bit contradictory with my last position, haha). I even wouldn't be opposed to bringing that into CA, though as you say, that does seem to be the "core" section and I can see why you might not want to mess with it.

I think I have said it before... the reason I did not go for the themed event again this season (and will likely be a bit wary of it in the future) is that everyone is in the same pool. While my experience last season of getting beaten by two higher division players was certainly eye-opening and probably educational, but not the most fun experience.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion, questions and some highbrow philosophising)

Post by pompeytheflatulent » Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:01 am

rs2excelsior wrote:
Fri Aug 21, 2020 12:43 am
I think I have said it before... the reason I did not go for the themed event again this season (and will likely be a bit wary of it in the future) is that everyone is in the same pool. While my experience last season of getting beaten by two higher division players was certainly eye-opening and probably educational, but not the most fun experience.
Not going to get better without playing against better players than yourself. I learned to play via the hard school of 'getting my ass kicked by Snuggglebunnies, repeatedly'. It's a good course, 5 out of 5 stars, I'd definitely recommend it. :D

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion, questions and some highbrow philosophising)

Post by rs2excelsior » Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:15 am

pompeytheflatulent wrote:
Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:01 am
rs2excelsior wrote:
Fri Aug 21, 2020 12:43 am
I think I have said it before... the reason I did not go for the themed event again this season (and will likely be a bit wary of it in the future) is that everyone is in the same pool. While my experience last season of getting beaten by two higher division players was certainly eye-opening and probably educational, but not the most fun experience.
Not going to get better without playing against better players than yourself. I learned to play via the hard school of 'getting my ass kicked by Snuggglebunnies, repeatedly'. It's a good course, 5 out of 5 stars, I'd definitely recommend it. :D
That is an entirely fair point! Right now I feel like I get enough of a range of skills that I'm up against players who are definitely better than be, without being on the wrong end of a "kicking puppies" sort of match :P Still, something to keep in mind!

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion, questions and some highbrow philosophising)

Post by SLancaster » Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:14 am

I just want to say that I haven't read the Rally Point for some time and then I go in today and see lots of really awful ideas (in my opinion!).

The Digital League is great. Tons of people playing. More came in the last season. All the suggestions in the last few weeks have been about really big changes not little tweaks. Everything from large armies all round, mirror matches, and another round of finals after 9 games! Now we come to the idea of random armies.

Honestly, can't we just leave the Digital League intact more or less as it is? Not everyone has time for extra games or playing with large armies, mirror matches and more turns. Surely, another tournament could include most if not all of these new ideas. Mirror match tournament. Tournament with large armies. Tournament like Chaos with purely random armies.

I like to pick my armies. Everyone likes to try out new armies and see how they go. You feel a sense of satisfaction from choosing an army and doing well with it. The random army idea especially has the potential to ruin everything. 9 games in every division with a random army picked for you?

I am all for thinking about improvements but a lot of this is almost like turning it into a different sort of tournament completely.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion, questions and some highbrow philosophising)

Post by pompeytheflatulent » Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:24 am

Come on man, "basing army selection on whim and nepotism" How obvious does a joke have to be for it to not go over people's heads?

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion, questions and some highbrow philosophising)

Post by Cunningcairn » Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:11 am

stockwellpete wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:24 pm
Cunningcairn wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:40 pm
Pete when will you decide if there are going to be changes to the Biblical section for next season? Would you run a poll? Personally I would like to see a change which somehow limits the use of hoplites but don't like the idea of mirror matches when it comes to the digital league. One of the attractions of the DL to me is the need to choose an army that can be successful for a series of games against yet unknown opponents of the period in question. If you eliminate hoplite armies there would still be numerous armies to choose from if you consider different ally choices as not being the same army for example Assyrian with Elamite and Assyrian with Skythian can be played in the same section by different players. My talent scouts are currently out recruiting so it would be good to know if the TT mod would still be used and if army size would stay at 1600 points :-)
I am going to announce the definite plans for Season 9 and the provisional plans for Season 10 early next week once I have moved all the new stats out of the "stickies". Whatever I do is not going to please everyone, but the tournament does have to keep evolving to maintain its freshness and present new challenges to players. I will not be running a poll as my vassals have told me to be more assertive. :D I do think that Biblical needs to change a bit and that the Themed Event is approaching the end of its shelf life, so expect some changes in those two areas.
Watch those vassals as before you realise it they will start a union and then you'll be a slave to their whims :-) I will obviously go along with whatever you do. Keep up the good work and thanks for everything you have done to date.

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