Dust Bowl [Quenched]

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Do you want to have the map changed so Dust territories are given out evenly?

Yes
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70%
No
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Total votes : 50

Re: Dust Bowl [Quenched]

Postby agentcom on Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:53 am

Chap, I'm not sure I'm with you on this one. While I have suffered and benefited from this "problem." I always found it to be a unique element of the map. I am not one of the people who thinks "The possibility of dropping all of Aus on Classic is WRONG and should be fixed." Uneven drops are part of the game. In this map, the decaying territs are not always disadvantageous. They are centrally located and can give you valuable information. They are also slightly more likely than other territs to be near an opponent in the decaying region. Thus they may be helpful for an easy card later in the game.

As with any drop, there are better and worse drops on any map. The good players distinguish themselves by winning the games where they have an advantage and even picking up a few games where they do not have the advantage.

That said, I would strongly recommend that if you think this is a big enough problem to go back and recode a map that began it's life 5 years ago and after 35 pages of comments is what it is today, then you should be willing to, at the minimum, go back through the last 100 or so games and calculate the win/loss ratio of the players that have more or fewer decaying regions. 100 may be too small a sample size and you might have to control for first turn advantage (larger sample size would obviate this concern). If you find that it's 60/40, then I say leave it as is. If it's 90/10, then do something about it. If it's in between, there needs to be serious discussion about how unfair is too unfair.
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Re: Dust Bowl [Quenched]

Postby agentcom on Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:27 pm

OK, I just went through my first 11 1v1 games (I didn't have any team games on this map). You would of course want to take a random sample of all games, but this is at least instructive.

Your independent variables should be first turn (binary- "1" if Team 1 goes first, "0" if not), Team 1/Player 1 decaying regions, Team 2/Player 2 decaying regions; and your dependent variable would be Result (binary-"1" for Team 1 winning, "0" if not. You should also include the game number as the unique identifier for each row of data.

You will then want to run a statistical analysis to see what weight each variable has. If the decaying regions are deciding too many games, you should be able to see this from the statistical results. I think you can do this kind of stuff in excel, although it would be nice if you could get someone to code something to pull this data for you.

The coding to pull the data will be far easier in 1v1 games. Rarely is it a good strategy to attack a decaying region on your first turn, if you go first. So the code would simply look at how many times "received -1 for holding XXX" appears during that first turn for each player. You could probably get all the info you need about this map based on that BUT the results would be skewed toward your desired result (I think) because it seems like the effects of an "imbalanced" drop would be amplified in a 1v1 game.

You could use the same coding in a team game, but the larger the teams, the more likely it is that after a couple of forts, it may become advantageous to hit another team's decaying region before that player has played (especially in flat rate/escalating games, where the decaying region might be the player's only/best shot at a card). Thus the code mentioned above should still serve as a decent proxy for the information that you want, but there may be some territs that get missed.

The way around this would be a little fancier coding. You would have the names of all decaying regions in a set. The code would count player 1's decaying regions at the start of his turn. If during his or any subsequent turn, a decaying region of a player who has not yet played is successfully assaulted, then a +1 is added to the count that will be derived when that assaulted player begins his turn.

If you take the step of programming this additional element, then there is no reason not to use it for the 1v1 games above, even though it won't gather you much more data.

You will really only want to look for games that have two teams/players. Unbalanced drops in multi-player/team games shouldn't really matter as much, for obvious reasons.

Finally, if this code is written in the manner that I described for teams, then this will actually be a useful foundry tool. Inputs would be map name; a user-defined critical territ set (in our case, the decaying regions) a game range (so that a mapmaker can limit results to only the period of the most recent gameplay changes); and perhaps a game-type limiter (perhaps options would be 1v1, team v team or both). The output would tell you, within the selected territories, how much the following 3 things determine results: first turn, quantity of player1's drop w/i selected territories and quantiy of player/team 2's drop w/i selected territs.

Example: I want to know whether the amount of territs dropped in Australia (or Australia and South America or Australia, South America and any immediately adjacent region) has a decisive effect on the end result. I could run this code and find out.
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Re: Dust Bowl [Quenched]

Postby chapcrap on Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:53 pm

agentcom wrote:I am not one of the people who thinks "The possibility of dropping all of Aus on Classic is WRONG and should be fixed." Uneven drops are part of the game.

First, there is no way Classic is going to change and I wouldn't advocate it.

Second, the probability of dropping a bonus is always calculated when maps are made now. So, dropping a bonus is unlikely. This is a different situation entirely. I'm just advocating an even drop for the decaying territories. The way it is now is like someone dropping more castles than someone else in Feudal War or King's Court. It completely unbalances the games and it happens too often.

The implementation of the change does not matter to me. I don't know the coding or XML enough to make a great suggestion there. Either have everyone drop them evenly, start them all as 1 neutral or 2 neutral, or start them maybe even start them with 4. But, I like the look, style, and gameplay of this map. I just wish the drop could be made to be even so that the map would be used more.
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Re: Dust Bowl [Quenched]

Postby agentcom on Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:39 pm

chapcrap wrote:
agentcom wrote:I am not one of the people who thinks "The possibility of dropping all of Aus on Classic is WRONG and should be fixed." Uneven drops are part of the game.

First, there is no way Classic is going to change and I wouldn't advocate it.

Second, the probability of dropping a bonus is always calculated when maps are made now. So, dropping a bonus is unlikely. This is a different situation entirely. I'm just advocating an even drop for the decaying territories. The way it is now is like someone dropping more castles than someone else in Feudal War or King's Court. It completely unbalances the games and it happens too often.

The implementation of the change does not matter to me. I don't know the coding or XML enough to make a great suggestion there. Either have everyone drop them evenly, start them all as 1 neutral or 2 neutral, or start them maybe even start them with 4. But, I like the look, style, and gameplay of this map. I just wish the drop could be made to be even so that the map would be used more.


First, whether you advocate change or not, people make this complaint often. Classic is the typical example, but from time to time you hear it about other maps.

Second, I do not think this "is like someone dropping more castles than someone else in Feudal War or King's Court." That should be an almost automatic win for that player. You have taken my argument ad absurdum. Whether it "completely unbalances the games and ... happens too often." Is up for debate. That was my point. I think the onus should be on you to show this if you want to make the changes to a map that is several years old. I pointed out a relatively simple (for a programmer or someone who doesn't mind data entry) way to evaluate this.
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Re: Dust Bowl [Quenched]

Postby ooge on Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:38 pm

yes change it,along with italy
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Re: Dust Bowl [Quenched]

Postby puppydog85 on Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:14 am

I don't play the map much but it sounds like a fair suggestion to me. Go ahead and change it.
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Re: Dust Bowl [Quenched]

Postby IcePack on Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:16 pm

PLEASE do this. I can't tell you how many times i've been screwed on the drop. I remember the worst was a multi player game and i think 6 out of 8(?) territories were all in the decay zone.
Brutal, all they had to do was eliminate the other two spots and i basically had no chance...Needs to be addressed.

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Re: Dust Bowl [Quenched]

Postby nicestash on Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:06 am

Do change it
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Re: Dust Bowl [Quenched]

Postby pmchugh on Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:43 pm

Remember Pearl Harbour? It got changed and no one liked it. I agree with agentcom in that a bad drop is annoying but part of the map.

I would also be willing to hazard a guess that first turn advantage would be stronger in 1v1 anyway.
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Re: Dust Bowl [Quenched]

Postby nagerous on Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:56 pm

I like this map the way it is...
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Re: Dust Bowl [Quenched]

Postby benga on Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:38 pm

Don't change!
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Re: Dust Bowl [Quenched]

Postby chapcrap on Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:30 am

pmchugh wrote:Remember Pearl Harbour? It got changed and no one liked it.

No, I don't remember Pearl Harbour. I know the Pearl Harbor map and it's great.
pmchugh wrote:I agree with agentcom in that a bad drop is annoying but part of the map.

That's a ridiculous statement. It doesn't have to be part of that map. That's the whole point.
pmchugh wrote:I would also be willing to hazard a guess that first turn advantage would be stronger in 1v1 anyway.

You mean like this game? Game 10926098 You went first, but had 5 in the decay area. The other guy only had 1. You lost.
nagerous wrote:I like this map the way it is...

You have played 12 games total on it and only 4 1v1. You haven't played since 2010. Do you even remember the map?
benga wrote:Don't change!

Why? You've lost 4 of your last 5 on the map. Probably because of drops.
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Re: Dust Bowl [Quenched]

Postby koontz1973 on Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:24 am

Many of the older maps have quirks about them that can lead to some interesting situations. With dustbowl, it is the unknowing of the amount of regions you get in the decay region. Lets leave it as it is.
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Re: Dust Bowl [Quenched]

Postby chapcrap on Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:02 am

I looked through many 101 recently finished 1v1 Dust Bowl games. I defined a bad drop as having at least 2 more decaying territories than an opponent. Here are my findings:

56 bad drops
49 times red won
61 times person going first won
14 times person with a bad drop won

Super bad drops (at least 4 more decaying territories):
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Re: Dust Bowl [Quenched]

Postby DiM on Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:06 am

on this map the person that starts the game has a big advantage because he gets 12 terits and can take at least 1 terit from his opponent dropping him from 12 to 11.

i have 2 games here Game 10323214 and Game 10871366 where my opponent started the game, he took 1-2 terits from me in round 1 thus leaving me with just 3 to deploy, instead of 4 like he had. heck, in one of the games i even failed to conquer any terits in my round 1.
but as soon as his decaying terits reached 1 army i was free to kick his ass and came back to win both games only because he had more terits on the decaying zone.

i agree this might be considered as the flavour of the map but in my opinion it is a bad flavour. a game where you are second and have more terits in the decaying zone is a game where you might as well quit. no amount of strategy will save you and your only hope is getting incredible dice.

we have the power to change this so i say we do it. make the decay are drop to be fair and reduce the starting terits from 12 to 11.
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