Whilst many people will dismiss this out of hand, I think some careful thought should be given to this suggestion.
At the time of writing I'm a Sargeant, and on quite a few occasions I've played Majors and Captains and beaten them - all down to a great drop and the run of the dice, and probably not through my own incredibly snazzy skill.
By the same token I've lost plenty against cooks, cadets and newbies - again, not because they're better than me but because of the reasons above.
Wouldn't it be a sound idea to give players the option of 'ticking a box' when setting up a game whether they'll allow lower ranked players to join their game ?
In the past, if a player set up say 10 2 x player games, feasibly 10 cooks could join, beat you 10 times and decimate your rating, all through crap die and dodgy drops - very unfair I think.
As players learn through practice and move up the ranks, they can continue playing games against people of their own rank.
Of course, if your a Major and confident of trouncing a cadet then you wouldn't tick the box when setting up a game.
Seems like a win win situation for everyone.
If you don't like the idea, then when setting up a game you leave it open for any rank to join. If you want to protect your rank, then you make sure you 'tick the box' allowing only players of equal rank to join the game, in much the same way as the tick boxes for Fog Of War, Spoils/No Spoils, Assassin games, etc.
There's a option for Private games, which in my opinion is an exclusion option, allowing players to pick and choose who they want to play against, so why not extend that and allow this idea ?
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