More fair distribution of regions needed
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vikingo1337 wrote:
In 1vs1 games it often comes down to luck who wins. Luck with Lady Dice is important, so is the turn order, and matching cards help too of course. However, start positions (startpos), above all, are paramount.

That's my conclusion after recently having entered a game where my opponent started out by owning two entire continents – save one neutral region in both cases, and protected by yet more neutrals on the borders. I was left with useless regions scattered all over the rest of the map. The game was over after a single round once my opponent claimed the bonuses. Fun!

My point is that the automatic distribution of regions in 1vs1 games is too random. Whatever algorithm you guys have on the job, it needs work. A lot of work.

Peace
Ber er hver að baki nema sér bróður eigi.
Bare is the back of a brotherless man.
Cireon wrote:
This is a recurring piece of feedback. It's okay that you don't like it, you're not the only one, but that's all your post says: you don't like it. There is no suggestion at what we can do better. If we could do something easily, we would have done it long before. So please give some suggestions.

Suggestions we have had so far include:
  • Making people choose starting territories one by one: this would be a bit annoying to implement, but the biggest problem is that it would slow down the start of the game... a lot. It would also make the game no longer about the risk play I feel, but about getting smart starting positions.
  • Generate the map with two colours. Let player 1 choose the colour they want to play, let player 2 have the first turn. This is a nice compromise, and it also instantly deals with the "first turn" advantage in two player maps. Still, this is harder to implement technically than you'd think, and we also have to really think about how to visually make it clear what is going on, and make sure it doesn't hold up the start of the game for too long.
  • Rematches. Basically, make 1v1 games a best of 3 or best of 5 series. In this case, we would alternative the player that goes first. We've talked about doing a best of 2 series where the starting positions are swapped the second game, but again this is going to be difficult technically. All of these have the problem that you will need a lot more time to finish a 1v1 game.

All in all: I understand the frustrations that come with having an unlucky drop. Yet, there are games where you have a lucky drop. In the end they balance each other out.
“This is how humans are: We question all our beliefs, except for the ones that we really believe in, and those we never think to question.”
- Speaker for the Dead, O.S. Card
dough_boy wrote:
I also suggested not having as many neutral. One of the most frustrating things for me playing 1:1 is that it seems like a lot of my armies are walled off behind neutral territories and I have to fight my way out to take advantage of them.

As well as instead of sorting by all territories and then alternating, you sort by region and then sort by territory and assign that way. Should make it 100% possible not not have a bonus to start with. So if there are 4 in a region, it would be 2:2. If there are 3 in a region it would end up 1:1:1. If there are 5 in a region it would be 2:2:1 But part of the problem is if there are two territory bonuses it only requires killing one, but still prevents starting with an outright bonus.

Another potential suggestion could be to determine what round the region bonuses kick in. So maybe round 5. But then the setup process gets rather cumbersome.
vikingo1337 wrote:
Well, Cireon, my last suggestion got exactly 0 replies, so I'm sure you understand why I'm now reluctant to invest too much time and energy in this one.

Besides, I don't know what's technically possible, so dreaming up all sorts of impossibilities would hardly help anyone.

I think having no neutrals at all in 1vs1 games would be a start. Combined with a more automatically balanced board that would make the game more fair to both parties.

As regards to the first turn advantage: you can still win the game even if you are last to move. Unbalanced startpos, on the other hand, decides the game before it has even begun. There's no coming back from that.

For your information, I am yet to have a 1vs1 game where I had favourable startpos... this last game of mine was simply the straw that broke the camel's back.
Ber er hver að baki nema sér bróður eigi.
Bare is the back of a brotherless man.
Matty wrote:
Choosing territories
Doesn't work for long term games. Solutions have to work for both live and long term.

Less neutrals
This is an interesting one that I haven't heard before. I don't think it'll change anything on the starting bonusses (except make it slightly more likely to happen), but it definitely will change the game a lot.
I do think however that the neutrals make for more strategy, so I'm reluctant to change that.

dough_boy
Another potential suggestion could be to determine what round the region bonuses kick in. So maybe round 5. But then the setup process gets rather cumbersome.
If we do this, then only for the first round, otherwise it'll change the game too much IMO. And only doing it the first round will help a bit, but not a lot.

dough_boy
As well as instead of sorting by all territories and then alternating, you sort by region and then sort by territory and assign that way. Should make it 100% possible not not have a bonus to start with. So if there are 4 in a region, it would be 2:2. If there are 3 in a region it would end up 1:1:1. If there are 5 in a region it would be 2:2:1 But part of the problem is if there are two territory bonuses it only requires killing one, but still prevents starting with an outright bonus.
This is easy enough to do, but it'll almost completely kill the randomization.

To be honest, I think the best solution is just to generate 3 random starting positions (maybe only do this for 2p games), and take the one that is most balanced on starting bonus. If multiple ones have the same starting bonus difference, just take the first.
"The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can touch the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginningless time, darkness thrives in the void, but always yields to purifying light." ~The Lionturtle
dough_boy wrote:
Yeah, I had mentioned previously about the need for fewer neutrals. It was when we were playing Timor Islands. You only got so many territories because I think Cireon pointed out that it is essentially treated like a 3rd player. My troops were so spread out and blocked by neutrals that most games were done before we even reached caching in cards at 4.
vikingo1337 wrote:
Next steps, Cireon?

I think that removing neutral completely from 1vs1 games will work wonders for the gameplay.

Creating three randomized startpos for each game, and then having the players agree on one, is also worth looking into. For instance by forcing them to vote for two out of the tree versions – after the game has started, but before the fighting begins.

I got one last suggestion for you as well: don't change anything, but instead let one of the players choose which color he wants to be. Then let the other player start the game by moving first. That might do the trick too. An advantage for an advantage.

Maybe you could beta test the suggestions and then see how people respond to them, before you make a decision.
Ber er hver að baki nema sér bróður eigi.
Bare is the back of a brotherless man.
Cireon wrote:
The problem is that all these options take a lot of effort to implement, so "just" beta testing them is not that easy. We can maybe beta test removing the neutrals fairly easily, but I think Matty is right and that it will only cause more unfair advantages, because the probability of getting a region is so much higher.

All the other options take so much time to implement, I don't think any of the current volunteer programmers have enough time to tackle them.
“This is how humans are: We question all our beliefs, except for the ones that we really believe in, and those we never think to question.”
- Speaker for the Dead, O.S. Card
vikingo1337 wrote:
Seriously, you need to do something about this. I just started a game with 12 out of my 36 troops locked out by neutrals – completely useless to me. No such problems for the other guy. The game is over before it has even begun. Cireon, would you please reconsider some of the above suggestions?
Ber er hver að baki nema sér bróður eigi.
Bare is the back of a brotherless man.
Matty wrote:
After playing game 851563 I definitely agree that neutrals in combination with an otherwise quite fair start can be really really unfair. I pretty much lost this game before I took a turn, unless I had absolute grazy dice (or Fendi absolutely horrible ones).

I made a note to get less neutrals, however not fixing it right away, as it'll take some time.
"The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can touch the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginningless time, darkness thrives in the void, but always yields to purifying light." ~The Lionturtle
dough_boy wrote:
Well...at least it has been acknowledged. :)

You should try joining one of Hood's tourneys sometime as it is eye opening on how the neutrals, bonus and who goes first come into play an 2p games.
Matty wrote:
Well, I did play 1s before a lot, but I guess that was mostly on the world classic map. Not that much problems with starting positions there, unless you get really lucky with australia.
"The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can touch the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginningless time, darkness thrives in the void, but always yields to purifying light." ~The Lionturtle
dough_boy wrote:
My biggest beef isn't really start position except for the impact of neutral. It even happened in the 1:1 hood tourney on world classic. If you are spread out and neutrals keep you from being able to fortify it will kill you (probably faster than a bonus).
Hoodlum wrote:
I think disabling the a drop bonus is a good suggestion,(bonuses disabled for first round) and probably the easiest to program maybe?
I've played 21522  1v1 games, and i can maybe only remember a few instances of neutrals making an impact in my games, therefor, i just think it's only an issue for the few maps like caribbean and timor that have some limited pathway gameplay and it's expected.
SeaSrMan wrote:
Hello, When I play I tend to max out my long term game limit in 1 on 1 games and will stay there for months. I start at the beginning of the Maps list and go down it creating games looping thru the list over and over, so I have some experience with 1 vs 1 games. I would have to disagree with Hoodlum having played him many many times the Neutrals effect every game dramatically. It starts before your first move, before you put your first army on the board. The first thing almost everyone does is scan the board and find all of the Bonus regions that do not have or have one maybe two neutrals in it and with other criteria fortify in that direction. That certainly has an impact on the game and its conclusion. Not all neutral impact is bad . From past experience trying lots of different ways to play 1 vs 1 neutrals are necessary.. They create the "random" necessary to make a game. If you take them away you can tell who's going to win before the first dice rolls. Picking out territories one by one gets tedious and way to time consuming and predictable if one person has extensive knowledge of the map. The idea of " Have one person pick the color and the other goes first" is good. That evens things up a little more and I have not experienced a down side to that in any game I've played like that. The "no first round bonus "is alright but it is really just a little delay in what was going to happen anyway just a round later. With 1 vs 1 the Neutrals have to great an effect from beggining to end but we require some of that effect to make a game so like someone else said I think we should reduce the amount of neutrals but not in the amount of territories divided at the start but in how many armies, units what ever are on them at the start. So divide the territories as usual in thirds but only have one maybe two armies per territory on the neutrals while continuing the standard 3 or so with the regular players. That may give us the random effect but not cripple someone with a few extra neutrals in our initial start positions. Hope this helps.