XML Starting Positions

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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.

C.
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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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Re: XML Starting Positions

Postby yeti_c on Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:36 pm

ender516 wrote:
yeti_c wrote:Just to point out - unequal positions will break BOB!

C.

Really? How?


BOB won't be able to calculate the amount of starting positions for FOW calculator... (Note that FOW Nukes also breaks BOB)

It's only in between the logs that tell BOB how many territories they have though - so the numbers can be inexacted!!!

C>
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Re: XML Starting Positions

Postby ender516 on Sat May 01, 2010 12:36 pm

I had recently noticed that BOB had trouble with FOW Nukes. I'm not big on either setting, but the Bit by Bit Tournament is using them, e.g. Game 6825564 where BOB thinks Jobiwan still has two territories, but the log clearly states that Jobiwan has been eliminated. Perhaps BOB should act on those log entries, though what to do about the counts is not clear. Perhaps assume the terriories were nuked and are now neutral.
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Re: XML Starting Positions

Postby koontz1973 on Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:07 am

Had an idea for a map, but not sure if the starting positions will work for it.

64 territs in total.
32 territs start, the rest will be coded neutral.
I wanted to only have 2 starting positions with 16 territs in each.

So in a 1v1 game both players start with 16? or will the site ignore the coded neutrals and divide the 32 starting territs into 3.

3+ players, the starting positions will be ignored and it will be a random drop over the 32 positions.
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Re: XML Starting Positions

Postby thenobodies80 on Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:21 am

Starting positions are divided equally among the players. The neutral player stands only when you have to divide "standard" territories.
If the players are more than the starting positions, they will ignored and all the territories that are part of components of starting positions will be considered part of the "standard starting pot".

With your example in a 1vs1 you'll have :

1 player 16 SP
2 player 16 SP
everything else start neutral (32)

Must be said that it doesn't match so much with fog games because you know where the other player is.

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Re: XML Starting Positions

Postby DearCyrus on Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:59 pm

Has anything changed on the use of Starting positions since way back in 2011? This is the first post I've seen on the subject. I think I know what I would need to do for what I want, but I just want to make sure I am not coding the hard way... :P
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