XML Starting Positions

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Re: XML ?? for Starting Positions

Postby the.killing.44 on Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:58 am

I think so, if I'm understanding what you mean correctly. It would only be semi-random, however.

Basically, you'd have to set a pair of positions, one from the two groups. Ex:

Code: Select all
<positions>
   <position>
      <territory>Accuser A</territory>
      <territory>Landowner A</territory>
   </position>
   <position>
      <territory>Accuser B</territory>
      <territory>Landowner B</territory>
   </position>



And so on and so forth. I'm pretty sure that's as random as you can get it, because you have to specify each pair to be handed out.
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Re: XML ?? for Starting Positions

Postby Evil DIMwit on Sun Nov 29, 2009 12:18 pm

What I proposed was something like

Code: Select all
<!-- Territories -->
<territory>
   <name>William Shaw</name>
   ...
   <neutral>3</neutral>
</territory>
<territory>
   <name>Joseph Buxton</name>
   ...
   <neutral>3</neutral>
</territory>
<!-- ...and so forth for every green SP-->

<!-- Start positions -->
<positions>
   <position>
      <territory>William Shaw<territory>
   </position>
   <position>
      <territory>Joseph Buxton</territory>
   </position>
   <!-- ...and so forth for every green SP-->


But only for the green starting positions. The bonus starting positions are the only other territories left non-neutral, but they're not designated as starting positions. What would happen (if I understand correctly) is that the Starting Positions tag overrides the initial neutral coding of the green territories, so those are divided evenly, with the remainder being turned neutral. Then the eight remaining, bonus, starting positions are all that's left, and those get divided evenly, with any remainder becoming neutral.

You could switch it around and make the eight bonus SPs coded and the eight green positions uncoded. There's not much difference except that in 2-player game for the coded octet each player gets 4, and for the uncoded octet the "neutral player" gets taken into account, so each actual player gets 2.
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Re: XML ?? for Starting Positions

Postby oaktown on Sun Nov 29, 2009 12:38 pm

maybe I'm not reading you right, but it sound like you want each players to have an equal number of territories from group A (Accused/accusers) and an equal number from group L (Landowners) - and for every A that a player has he also has a L. And you want them to be assigned at random. And i assume you want it to work for 2-8 players. That's a lot to ask from a very limited XML feature.

44's solution of coding pairs is close and will work for some game sizes. In a five player game (for example) each player will get one pair, but then I believe that the remaining six territories will be distributed randomly, each player receiving one extra territory. In a two or three player game each player would also get one odd, unpaired territory. And the A-L pairs would be pre-set, not random as you wish.

Another imperfect solution would be to code each A territory as a start, so you have eight starts of one territory each. Those eight would be distributed first, so everybody will get at least one A. The A's that are left over would be thrown into the mix with the L's, which would also be distributed at random. Unlike 44's idea the territories are distributed randomly, but there is a chance that somebody won't get an L territory. (Like 44's solution it will work perfectly for 4, 6, 7, and 8 player games, but everything else will be off.)

Evil DIMwit's idea of coding territories both neutral and as starting positions would eliminate this problem in that the left-over coded territories would go neutral, not back into the random mix, but I'm skeptical that the site will recognize both... I'd call in yeti before trying that out, but if it works it is the way to go.
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Re: XML ?? for Starting Positions

Postby yeti_c on Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:03 pm

Consult the City Mogul XML for starting positions with more than 1 item.

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Re: XML ?? for Starting Positions

Postby the.killing.44 on Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:59 pm

yeti_c wrote:Consult the City Mogul XML for starting positions with more than 1 item.

C.

Heh? I already posted that.

What's the answer?
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Re: XML ?? for Starting Positions

Postby thenobodies80 on Sun Nov 29, 2009 2:51 pm

If you want them totally random but evenly splitted by group among the players, is not possible because each region can't be used for more than one single SP.
With the 44 system you will have the two groups splitted equally and i think that adding the underlying neutrals you can use them with all game size.
But they are NOT random.
The player with Accuser A will have always Landowner A, the player with Accuser B will have always Landowner B, etc etc...

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Re: XML ?? for Starting Positions

Postby the.killing.44 on Sun Nov 29, 2009 2:55 pm

thenobodies80 wrote:If you want them totally random but evenly splitted by group among the players, is not possible because each region can't be used for more than one single SP.
With the 44 system you will have the two groups splitted equally and i think that adding the underlying neutrals you can use them with all game size.
But they are NOT random.
The player with Accuser A will have always Landowner A, the player with Accuser B will have always Landowner B, etc etc...

Right. So you probably want to put all your options into random.org and have pairs come out, so Accuser A is with Landowner D, A B with L A, etc., if you choose this.
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Re: XML ?? for Starting Positions

Postby yeti_c on Sun Nov 29, 2009 2:59 pm

the.killing.44 wrote:
thenobodies80 wrote:If you want them totally random but evenly splitted by group among the players, is not possible because each region can't be used for more than one single SP.
With the 44 system you will have the two groups splitted equally and i think that adding the underlying neutrals you can use them with all game size.
But they are NOT random.
The player with Accuser A will have always Landowner A, the player with Accuser B will have always Landowner B, etc etc...

Right. So you probably want to put all your options into random.org and have pairs come out, so Accuser A is with Landowner D, A B with L A, etc., if you choose this.


Either that - or balance the pairs fairly depending on the map.

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Re: XML ?? for Starting Positions

Postby Evil DIMwit on Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:57 pm

So, is there a problem with my scheme, XML-wise?

Also, slightly related question while we're here -- if you've coded an initial troop number for a starting position, how is that handled in a manual deployment game? Can you redistribute those troops, or are they locked in place? How about if you haven't coded an initial troop number?
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Re: XML ?? for Starting Positions

Postby cairnswk on Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:41 pm

Guys, thank you so much for this input....i am watching the discussion. :)
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Re: XML ?? for Starting Positions

Postby the.killing.44 on Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:47 pm

Evil DIMwit wrote:So, is there a problem with my scheme, XML-wise?

Yeah, I don't think you can code a starting position with neutral value.
Evil DIMwit wrote:Also, slightly related question while we're here -- if you've coded an initial troop number for a starting position, how is that handled in a manual deployment game? Can you redistribute those troops, or are they locked in place? How about if you haven't coded an initial troop number?

Have you ever played City Mogul manual? You can't drop armies on a starting position that has a starting value.
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Re: XML ?? for Starting Positions

Postby Evil DIMwit on Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:02 pm

the.killing.44 wrote:
Evil DIMwit wrote:So, is there a problem with my scheme, XML-wise?

Yeah, I don't think you can code a starting position with neutral value.

I think you can. Isn't that what they do in Third Crusade?

the.killing.44 wrote:
Evil DIMwit wrote:Also, slightly related question while we're here -- if you've coded an initial troop number for a starting position, how is that handled in a manual deployment game? Can you redistribute those troops, or are they locked in place? How about if you haven't coded an initial troop number?

Have you ever played City Mogul manual? You can't drop armies on a starting position that has a starting value.

Never have. It's good to know, though.
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Re: XML ?? for Starting Positions

Postby MrBenn on Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:36 pm

To answer some of the questions that have been raised:
Yes, territories can be coded start positions, and as neutral. The start position takes precedence, and so if not allocated with other starts will revert to neutral. The number of armies (player or neutral) doesn't have to be the same in the coding for the starting position/neutral tags.
In manual deployment games, coded starting positions will start with the number of armies specified in the code. I thought you could drop more armies on them during the deployment phase though...

Oh, I'll merge this with the other XML Start Positions Topic ;-)
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Re: XML ?? for Starting Positions

Postby yeti_c on Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:58 am

the.killing.44 wrote:
Evil DIMwit wrote:Also, slightly related question while we're here -- if you've coded an initial troop number for a starting position, how is that handled in a manual deployment game? Can you redistribute those troops, or are they locked in place? How about if you haven't coded an initial troop number?

Have you ever played City Mogul manual? You can't drop armies on a starting position that has a starting value.


Wait a minute... if that were the case then City Mogul would be unplayable in manual - because you only get starting positions...

I agree with Benny here - although I haven't witnessed it.

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Re: XML ?? for Starting Positions

Postby thenobodies80 on Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:17 am

yeti_c wrote:
the.killing.44 wrote:
Evil DIMwit wrote:Also, slightly related question while we're here -- if you've coded an initial troop number for a starting position, how is that handled in a manual deployment game? Can you redistribute those troops, or are they locked in place? How about if you haven't coded an initial troop number?

Have you ever played City Mogul manual? You can't drop armies on a starting position that has a starting value.


Wait a minute... if that were the case then City Mogul would be unplayable in manual - because you only get starting positions...

I agree with Benny here - although I haven't witnessed it.

C.


Or playable but it should not count for the manual medal

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Re: XML ?? for Starting Positions

Postby the.killing.44 on Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:51 am

yeti_c wrote:
the.killing.44 wrote:
Evil DIMwit wrote:Also, slightly related question while we're here -- if you've coded an initial troop number for a starting position, how is that handled in a manual deployment game? Can you redistribute those troops, or are they locked in place? How about if you haven't coded an initial troop number?

Have you ever played City Mogul manual? You can't drop armies on a starting position that has a starting value.


Wait a minute... if that were the case then City Mogul would be unplayable in manual - because you only get starting positions...

I agree with Benny here - although I haven't witnessed it.

C.

Round 1 (manual dropping round) of a City Mogul game.

You have no troops to deploy. [End Deployment]
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Re: XML ?? for Starting Positions

Postby Evil DIMwit on Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:29 am

the.killing.44 wrote:
yeti_c wrote:
the.killing.44 wrote:
Evil DIMwit wrote:Also, slightly related question while we're here -- if you've coded an initial troop number for a starting position, how is that handled in a manual deployment game? Can you redistribute those troops, or are they locked in place? How about if you haven't coded an initial troop number?

Have you ever played City Mogul manual? You can't drop armies on a starting position that has a starting value.


Wait a minute... if that were the case then City Mogul would be unplayable in manual - because you only get starting positions...

I agree with Benny here - although I haven't witnessed it.

C.

Round 1 (manual dropping round) of a City Mogul game.

You have no troops to deploy. [End Deployment]


Well, that makes sense if every territory has a fixed initial number -- not that you can't deploy manually to them, but that in manual you only get troops from non-fixed territories. In City Mogul there is nowhere to take troops from.

Third Crusade is a better example, since that mixes coded SP and non-coded territories. Indeed, here's a composite screencap of a manual Third Crusade game right after the deployment turn:
Click image to enlarge.
image

Every starting position except Cairo has been deployed to with no incident.
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Re: XML Starting Positions

Postby MrBenn on Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:56 pm

Right, so in Manual deployment games, starting positions (with coded starting armies) are not 'overridden' in the same way as the standard 3 from normal territories. Where deployments are able to made, these can be made on any available territory.
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Re: XML Starting Positions

Postby cairnswk on Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:42 pm

Thanks everyone for your answers in relation to starting positions for the Salem's Switch map.
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Re: XML Starting Positions

Postby chipv on Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:53 am

I've just been through the drop process for a tool I'm writing so here is a summary:

1. Some neutral starts (but not necessarily all) can be deployed on in manual.
2. Starting Positions Ignored if #starts < #players
3. If #starts < #players AND starts are non-neutral then one player can get all starts in the drop
4. Starting positions should be equal in number of territories
5. Using starting neutrals to enforce starting positions could lead to an unfair drop

Details:

Start Positions Deployment:

a) Assign start positions equally to players (including neutral territories)
b) Remaining non-neutral start territories thrown into the overall pot of non-neutral territories
c) The collective pot of remaining non-neutral starts + non-neutral territories equally assigned.

1. Some neutral starts (but not necessarily all) can be deployed on in manual.

Manual deployment on neutral starting positions should not differ from automatic deployment.

Example: 8 starts, 6 players. All starts are neutral.

Automatic will assign 6 of these starts - even if they are neutral.
So manual ought to do the same. 6 starts should be allowed to be deployed on with 2 remaining inaccessible.
City Mogul would be unplayable in manual otherwise.

2. Starting Positions Ignored if #starts < #players

The following logic must be executed for number of starting positions:

Number of starts per player = lowest whole number (total starts / number of players)

(For 2 players number of players is 3)

So if you have total starts/number of players < 1 then number of starts per player = 0

i.e. if total starts < number of players then starting positions are ignored.
So you must have at least 3 starting positions otherwise they are completely ignored for any number of players.

3. If #starts < #players AND starts are non-neutral then one player can get all starts in the drop

If you have less starting positions than number of players then starting positions ignored (see 2).
That means one player could get every starting position if they were non-neutral.
If all these starting positions were neutral then this is not possible, nobody gets them.

4. Starting positions should be equal in number of territories

This is because one player will end up with more territories than others at end of start positions assignment.
Then the remaining territory assignment must compensate for this imbalance.

If the number of territories is not enough to compensate all players with least territories then players will have an uneven
number of territories at game start. You will also get complicated manual deployment for this compensation.

Silly Examples to illustrate

8 starting positions. 7 of them have 1 territory. The 8th has 20 territories. The whole map has 100 non-neutral territories.

8 players. Assign all starting positions. I player has 20 which is more than anyone else can have now.

5. Using starting neutrals to enforce starting positions could lead to an unfair drop

All non-neutrals are equally assigned to the players. A combination of these could lead to an unfair drop
depending on the map.
Using starting positions instead forces these to be separately allocated, although you get the same effect
if #starts < #players and all starts are non-neutral.
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Re: XML Starting Positions

Postby ender516 on Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:43 pm

chipv wrote:4. Starting positions should be equal in number of territories

This is because one player will end up with more territories than others at end of start positions assignment.
Then the remaining territory assignment must compensate for this imbalance.

If the number of territories is not enough to compensate all players with least territories then players will have an uneven
number of territories at game start. You will also get complicated manual deployment for this compensation.

Silly Examples to illustrate

8 starting positions. 7 of them have 1 territory. The 8th has 20 territories. The whole map has 100 non-neutral territories.

8 players. Assign all starting positions. I player has 20 which is more than anyone else can have now.

You are right, this is important to consider, but need not be a hard and fast rule. The single territories might be quite secure, while the twenty are difficult to hold. In such a case, the twenty territories might be defined with <territory start="2"> while the other positions might have one territory with <territory start="15"> (or more, or less, whatever was argued out in the gameplay discussion). The key is balance, not necessarily symmetry.
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Re: XML Starting Positions

Postby MrBenn on Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:08 pm

Further to chipv's comments, it is possible to have as few as two starting positions. In theory, you could divide a map into two halves, with half in each position; in a 1v1 game, each player would then start with half the map (with no territories neutral).

Additionally, starting positions can be unequal in size - although this will likely lead to an unbalanced start. However, you could use unequal starts in combination with starting army values, so that while both players have differing territory counts, they could still have the same army count.
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Re: XML Starting Positions

Postby the.killing.44 on Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:09 pm

MrBenn wrote:Further to chipv's comments, it is possible to have as few as two starting positions. In theory, you could divide a map into two halves, with half in each position; in a 1v1 game, each player would then start with half the map (with no territories neutral).

Omigod that's awesome.
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Re: XML Starting Positions

Postby yeti_c on Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:41 pm

Just to point out - unequal positions will break BOB!

C.
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Re: XML Starting Positions

Postby ender516 on Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:40 pm

yeti_c wrote:Just to point out - unequal positions will break BOB!

C.

Really? How?
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