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Serious question about the game: 8/8/2012 11:43:58


KniFe 
Level 9
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Statement: Assuming two or more player's skills are matched, 3 out of 4 times the game's winner is determined by his/her starting position, whether it be random or player selected starting position.

Do you guys believe this is a true statement?

I personally find this to be very true and I'm starting to find less and less enjoyment out of a lot of fun looking maps and game modes.

After playing more than 1000 games, the exceptions that I know of would be maps/modes that designed to be completely fair, when players have very similar starting positions, or when players start right next to each other.
Serious question about the game: 8/8/2012 11:50:51


Ska2D2 
Level 55
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But picking is a skill, so the game is still decided by skill.
Serious question about the game: 8/8/2012 11:54:31


KniFe 
Level 9
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Exactly, so after you/opponent get horrible starting positions. The game's result is almost certainly already determined, so what is the point in keep on playing? Then the game comes down to "let's see who can pick better positions".
Serious question about the game: 8/8/2012 11:55:51


Richard Sharpe 
Level 59
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Ska is right.

You could argue that territory selection has too big an impact on the game when using certain maps/distributions but there is no denying that it is an integral part of skill and strategy.
Serious question about the game: 8/8/2012 11:56:59


Ska2D2 
Level 55
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Well what games of this ilk do not have picks as part of the strategy? If you take Risk as the forerunner picks are a part of that game. Unless you use cards which is similar to using auto here. Maybe diplomacy is different, but that's not quite the same game.
Serious question about the game: 8/8/2012 12:06:59


KniFe 
Level 9
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I agree with you Ska, I don't deny that when distribution player selected, it is a skill to select territories to get the best start.

I am saying is that once selection is over, the game's result is pretty much determined by the result of different player's selection.
My question is do you guys believe this is true?


As for Risk, I never played risk before so I wouldn't know how important starting positions are for that game. But from my experience with Warlight, starting positions in most instances are the determining factor of the game's result.
Serious question about the game: 8/8/2012 12:08:46


{rp} Julius Caesar 
Level 46
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it is integral to choose wisely where you start if you pick the spot you know youll have to fight for like scandinavia on 1600s europe you should go somwhere else like austria or the areas in between austria and france where you can start well and not have to face an attacker for some time

dont judge me grammar police
Serious question about the game: 8/8/2012 13:03:19


Tetragrammaton
Level 3
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Statement: Assuming two or more player's skills are matched, 3 out of 4 times the game's winner is determined by his/her starting position, whether it be random or player selected starting position.


There are some exceptions but yes you are right, I agree with ya.

But picking is a skill, so the game is still decided by skill.


Picking is a skill yes but the game is still decided by skill?, surly not allways:

  • When you have limited time to pick the locations its highly possible that you won't pick the best locations.
  • When the starting locations are given randomly, ofc you didn't pick them.
  • When you don't have previous experience in the map(Random wastelands and starting location of each country) its highly unprobable you could know; eg: that at turn 7 without meeting the enemy you will end up having to defend on more sides then your enemy, amaking your starting location good if you encounter enemy from start but unwise if you don't. Thus there could have been a better starting location, when this is taken into account.
  • When both players choose the same starting location, its a matter of luck who gets it, thus its not skill but luck that gives an advantage to the player.

Ofc skill is important in picking locations, but skill is surly not the only factor involved. Luck and player experience do make the difference.

The more random stuff the game has the greather the luck factor is.
In this case luck is strong factor in picking the locations, not as much as skill but its needed.
Serious question about the game: 8/8/2012 13:13:55


Ska2D2 
Level 55
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Picking is a skill yes but the game is still decided by skill?, surly not allways:

When you have limited time to pick the locations its highly possible that you won't pick the best locations.
When the starting locations are given randomly, ofc you didn't pick them.
When you don't have previous experience in the map(Random wastelands and starting location of each country) its highly unprobable you could know; eg: that at turn 7 without meeting the enemy you will end up having to defend on more sides then your enemy, amaking your starting location good if you encounter enemy from start but unwise if you don't. Thus there could have been a better starting location, when this is taken into account.
When both players choose the same starting location, its a matter of luck who gets it, thus its not skill but luck that gives an advantage to the player.

Ofc skill is important in picking locations, but skill is surly not the only factor involved. Luck and player experience do make the difference.

The more random stuff the game has the greather the luck factor is.
In this case luck is strong factor in picking the locations, not as much as skill but its needed.

Picking is a skill yes but the game is still decided by skill?, surly not allways:

When you have limited time to pick the locations its highly possible that you won't pick the best locations.
When the starting locations are given randomly, ofc you didn't pick them.
When you don't have previous experience in the map(Random wastelands and starting location of each country) its highly unprobable you could know; eg: that at turn 7 without meeting the enemy you will end up having to defend on more sides then your enemy, amaking your starting location good if you encounter enemy from start but unwise if you don't. Thus there could have been a better starting location, when this is taken into account.
When both players choose the same starting location, its a matter of luck who gets it, thus its not skill but luck that gives an advantage to the player.

Ofc skill is important in picking locations, but skill is surly not the only factor involved. Luck and player experience do make the difference.

The more random stuff the game has the greather the luck factor is.
In this case luck is strong factor in picking the locations, not as much as skill but its needed.


Firstly good to see you agree that picking is a skill.

Then your post begins to confuse itself. If you read the OP which you quoted so we must assume you did. You would have read that the players skills are matched therefore the determiner is 3/4 of the time picking, which you identified as a skill.

When you have limited time? That's nit picking at the best of times we must assume that all is equal otherwise any comparison is skewed. I may as well say when one player is blind it's highly possible they won't pick the best locations.

When the starting locations are given randomly? How is this relevant to your post discussing picking as a determining skill between equals? I don't think you thought that one through.

when you have previous experience ... Experience is a determiner of skill, skill often comes from experience it is certainly honed by it.

When both pick the same spot certainly you are correct luck becomes an element therefore the skilled picker learns how to counter-pick also a picking skill. Sez would call it risk management.
Serious question about the game: 8/8/2012 13:42:38

Darkruler2005
Level 8
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This depends on the map, the settings, and the players. Two equally matched, perfect players (that don't know each other) know exactly where to pick and thus end up with the same picks. Players' further picks are then counterpicks, in case they don't end up with their preferred picks. However, what I find a much more important part of a win is knowing where your opponent is. Purely luck too, of course. If you get a few first picks, and your opponent having those same picks doesn't, he'll know where you are, while you don't know where he is. He'll be able to predict your movements and surprise you. Gamebreaker.

Warlight isn't about knowing if you have perfect skill you'll always win the battle. Warlight has a lot of randomness and luck factors (some can be adjusted by members beforehand), and some of these you can minimise or remove through skill. Others will always stay. A better player will, on average, win more matches than a worse player, but in an individual match this means much less.
Serious question about the game: 8/8/2012 13:46:29

The Duke of Ben 
Level 55
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Might I suggest FFA games (or games with more than 2 teams) in which starting positions are not the most important part of the game?

It requires a much broader set of skills, while still allowing for some strong tactical and strategic play. Even if you disable private messaging, the starting picks are still much less important than in a 1v1 or two team game.

The issue with picks being so important seems to come down to the scenario described where the two players have exactly even skill. Forget for a moment that picking IS a skill that can differentiate the players, the actual scenario presented is very very rare. Even in 1v1 ladder, there is a wide range of player skill. We can even talk about specific skills that players will have in varying amounts. Just looking at 1v1 you have at least:

1. Picking
2. Expanding
3. Determining opponents location (also general board knowledge)
4. Breaking opponents bonuses
5. Defending your own bonuses
6. Attack delaying
7. Troop efficiency
8. Troop movements (getting them into useful positions)
9. Using cards effectively (this one is HUGE for otherwise even players)

I'm sure better players could add more to that list as well. That two people could be exactly even (or relatively close) in all categories that involve skill is quite unlikely. Once you move into team games you add more, and once you move into FFA or multi-team games you add a ton more.

Picking is still extremely important, but it's far from the be-all, end-all that it appears if you only pay attention to the top 10 1v1 ladder. While I will agree that picks are 3/4 or higher between even players, I don't think even players play against each other very often.
Serious question about the game: 8/8/2012 15:31:48


x 
Level 58
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you can make precisely the same picks as your opponent and you have half a chance of getting your 1, 4 and 5 and half a chance of getting your 2, 3 and 6. one of those would be a better combination than the other.

in the formulation of the original hypothesis it was specified that the players were a match in terms of skill, so they should be making very similar picks depending on personal style.
Serious question about the game: 8/8/2012 15:45:39

The Duke of Ben 
Level 55
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I've played 265 ranked 1v1 games. I've picked the same exact picks as my opponent a single time. That was in an odd tournament which greatly valued a single bonus, making some of the picks much more obvious than normal. I've gotten my fifth or sixth pick maybe 2-3 times at most.

I don't really think that is such a common occurance as to be noteworthy.

Bad players don't know what good picks are, so they don't all select the best bonuses, which means less overlap in picks. Good players recognize which bonuses are going to be picked, and select counterpicks or worse bonuses to avoid being countered. The group most likely to pick all the same picks is the 1700-1900 rating group, and they can improve their picking to reduce the chances of it happening, or the negative effects of when it does.

Again, I don't think that the magical "exactly the same skill level" exists in more than .01% of games.
Serious question about the game: 8/8/2012 15:53:41


Tetragrammaton
Level 3
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Firstly good to see you agree that picking is a skill.


Picking is a skill, but the results are not only skill, so its there, where I think you are not understanding.

Then your post begins to confuse itself. If you read the OP which you quoted so we must assume you did. You would have read that the players skills are matched therefore the determiner is 3/4 of the time picking, which you identified as a skill.

I took in consideration that their skill is matched(doesn't mean they have the same skill level though). The OP is saying that the average result of closed skilled players, which one of them have better starting locations is; 3/4 that he wins. (OFC if I am understanding correctly) Thus I replied that I agree with him.
There is no confusion there, the only confusion I see is the lack of understanding you seem to have between skill and the end result which incorporates skill(not only).

When you have limited time? That's nit picking at the best of times we must assume that all is equal otherwise any comparison is skewed. I may as well say when one player is blind it's highly possible they won't pick the best locations.

Skill can only take you at a certain place, there are other things involved in a game. Its very rare to find a starting location that its best for fighting from start, its good for expanding in minimum turns as possible, it can be defended easyly and it won't be picked up by your opponent too. Unless you find 6 (how many territories u start with x2) like this in the map, which is highly unlikly, skill is not the only factor involved. (even to find 1 is hard when players are good)
NOTHING is equal when random luck is involved. 1 Single lucky move may determain the end of the game. (eg having enough army to defend only 1 side and not all sides and thus you need to guess which side he will attack from)
In 5 min is hard to find the best location in the map when you take everything under consideration, skill on its own is not enough, you need experience in that particular map and also luck. Eg if a location is good to grow but its bad for an early fight, you could take the risk, because you need to grow faster then your enemy to avoid not loosing in the longrun. (thats one strategy). eg. if a starting location is good for an early fight, you must be lucky to find an enemy right next to it else you will end up using it only as support since its not the best location to expand from(assuming).

When the starting locations are given randomly? How is this relevant to your post discussing picking as a determining skill between equals? I don't think you thought that one through.

As the OP stated, he included random picking, you should read what the OP said first before jumping to conclusions, and assuming ppl don't think it through.
whether it be random or player selected starting position.



when you have previous experience ... Experience is a determiner of skill, skill often comes from experience it is certainly honed by it.

Exeprience is knowlege, I might have exeprience and choose not to learn anything from it, on the other hand if you use your experience you gained and try to improve then you are most likly to gain skill. I could loose a million game against you and gain all the exeprience how you play yet if I don't try to counter your moves and keep doing what I used to do I will never gain skill against you.
Now when i said player experience i was meaning player exeprience in the current map which has nothing to do with player experience in general, it has to do with how much turns you need to get cerain bonuses, what would be the enemy level at a particular time if you haven't encountered him yet, you need map exeprience , you could have played a million games in other maps, but if its the first time you play in this map its like you are a noob in this map.
This counts most when it comes to pick starting locations.

When both pick the same spot certainly you are correct luck becomes an element therefore the skilled picker learns how to counter-pick also a picking skill. Sez would call it risk management.

Yep counter picks are used, yet you can only have a limited ammount of those since a counter pick is like wasting one of you picks just to screw the enemy picks, its usually done when you have 3 locations to pick since you need a 1 location away from the fight. So at most you can have 2-3 counterpicks with 3 and 4 locations, yet the enemy still has the better picks and if he is as good as you are(like as the op said) he would have counter picks too so its highly possible that his counter picks will back him up against you 2 vs 1.
Well things start to get messy here, yet one can say that counterpicks are effective mostly if you can back them up with solid starting locations. To get those you need some luck(enemy does not land next to them with a better fighting positions)
Also to have counter picks in a map requires some time to think about it, considering all the factors involved, this time sometimes may acceed the time limit for the turn.(where if you had map experience this would take seconds)

Here we are assuming that both players have aprox same level and its a 1 on 1 game.
Also I am in now way saying that things will allways go this way, just expanding on possible situations one must take care of when making picks.
Things start to get more complex on 2 vs 2, where 2 on 1 can be fatal in a game even if he had best picks.
As what I said in my original post, there are exceptions, but in general best picks in the OP post result in winning the game.
Serious question about the game: 8/8/2012 19:03:29


ps 
Level 60
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even with good starting picks your opponents still have ample opportunities to make some dreadful mistakes.
Serious question about the game: 8/8/2012 19:19:57


Tetragrammaton
Level 3
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even with good starting picks your opponents still have ample opportunities to make some dreadful mistakes.

Yes, however you also have ample opportunities to make some dreadful mistakes.

Thus the OP estimated 3/4 win for good picks vs worse picks.
When players are at close level(doing similar mistakes) and they are good players the estimate is close to 3/4 win for better picks.
Serious question about the game: 8/8/2012 19:54:28


ChrisCMU 
Level 60
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I agree with the original statement. As a developing player, I do make mistakes that cost me games. But I feel like I am getting closer and closer to the point that picking starting locations are %75 of the game (in terms of outcome deciding). Especially in 1 v 1 on featured maps.

I don't play enough for that to mean this game is stale, but after playing many of the auto games, and playing in some tournaments, I find I like 1 v 1 even less than before (never came here to play them, just to have fun with friends). It makes me MUCH more likely to play games with a lot more variety than 1 v 1 strategy games.

I'm not saying that is bad, just my preference. I'm here to have fun, not be #1 on a ladder. Sure I want to get better, but not at the expense of fun matches getting there. The nice thing is this site does allow a wide variety of games. So if you do feel that games are too dependent on picking locations, don't play those types of games as much.
Serious question about the game: 8/9/2012 00:21:04


KniFe 
Level 9
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The discussion here is not whether picking is a skill or not. We all agree it is, just not on the extent of it (Luck factor too).


I am saying that regardless of who has better skills at picking or who has luckier picks, the result of the picks determine the game's result 3 out 4 times. This also includes random starting positions


I see Tetragrammaton gets what I am saying.

There are exceptions, that's why I said 3/4 times. My personal experience is a little bit higher than 3/4, but that is because of the type of game modes/maps that I play.


@The Duke of Ben

I agree that in FFA games, starting positions do tend to have less importance compared to other types of games. I think we just disagree on how much.I still stand by my statement that even in FFA games the result is determined by starting position about 3/4 times. Probably less than 3/4, but more than 1/2.

The second part of your post talks about other skill sets in Warlight. I agree they are important, however they specifically deal with problems after determining starting positions. And I personally think that these skills is about 1/4 of the game ,on average.

As for the top ladder players playing against each other, that is a completely different type of game. I will be very interested in know what they think on how the game's result is predetermined by the result of starting positions.

Your second post also mentioned it is highly unlikely that two players have very similar skills. I agree with that, and that is why my statement is only a hypothesis that can't really be proven or anything like that because no two players have completely the same skills.
In practical terms however, most game have unmatched player skills. Yet, in my experience, unskilled players still win because of their starting position. I'm just not sure by how much.
But assuming they are evenly matched, I am estimating about 3/4 times.

It will be cool to see if someone can come up with a convincing statement on when player's skills are unmatched, how much starting position influence the game.
Serious question about the game: 8/9/2012 02:11:15


Tetragrammaton
Level 3
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good points

One thing I seem to disagree upon with KnÆv£ is the point where he considers players with the same skill level.
In my openion, even players with different skill level still have an above average chance to fit in the category of 3/4 win because of picks.

This idea that beeing more skilled then a player gives you a huge advantage is wrong.
I may be more skilled then an other player yet not enough to show it in a game simply because; or im not skilled enough to fool or trick my opponent; or simple an occasion to use my better skill qualities haven't presented itself.

One thing is clear in a game, that you don't have to be only more skilled then your opponent, you have to be nearly twice as skilled to win at least 75% of the games against the same player.
This is mainly because there are other factors involved, not only skill and the player gets to improve with time playing against you, so the gap nerrows itself with time.
(this mostly aplies for average players)(im not counting new players here since the OP is considering starting picks, its taken forgranted that both players have a certain level of skill here)

Now the difference between good players and pro players is just that they play in a way to create a tactical advantage in what they are best at, rather then playing to get some very basic objective like more army per turn and wait for the opportunity to arise.(ofc they try that too if possible at the same time)
eg make you attack their bonus intentionally(by leaving it undefended) so they can get through your line of defence and hit you more then one bonus the next turn. (whilst you would need 3 or so turns to reach his next bonus)

Conclusion is, there are varies skill levels but when we say close matched skill level it includes those players that although their skill is better then the opponent, is not enough to garanty a 75% victory over a few games.
This is ofc a wider range of players then the guys with the exact skill level which I agree it is very rare.
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