The ladders aren't pure-skill. Pure-skill refers to a combination of the following three settings:
* Luck modifier set to 0%
* Rounding mode set to Straight Round
* Turn order set to No-luck Cyclic
The 1v1 and 2v2 ladders only meet the first criterion.
Doesn't weighted random kind of take that away?
A lot of players would argue that. If you check forum history, you'll notice a lot of people who bring up games they lost largely due to a good number of 3v2's not working (i.e., they lost the game primarily on luck) and push for Straight Round. There's also a few notable posts about switching away from random turn-order to either Cyclic (where it's random for the first turn but predictable thereafter), No-luck Cyclic (turn order determined by how fast you are on your first turn and then cyclic), or something else (like ChrisCMU's suggestion for a Weighted Random turn order where the probability of getting successive first-orders decreases by a set amount each turn- so it's tough to get repeats).
However, as far as the SR vs. WR debate goes, there's support on both sides. WR, while introducing an element of luck, isn't quite so bad when you consider what Warlight inherently is- a game of calculated risk, constrained decision-making, and resource allocation and use. There is going to be luck inherent to the game, and a portion of "skill" in this game is the ability to navigate through that luck, to minimize risks and losses while maximizing gains (or more accurately, to maximize gains minus losses). So even a 0% SR No-luck Cyclic game is not truly "pure-skill." Moreover, 3v2 failures and successive first-order scenarios balance themselves out in the long run, with each player being on the receiving end about exactly as often as they are on the beneficiary side.
The discussion is nowhere close to being resolved since a lot of strategic players have a preference for 0% WR over 0% SR just because of the strategic considerations it introduces into the game, although 0% SR is gaining ground.
The other part of the debate is a little bit murkier, since No-luck Cyclic is based on how fast you take your first turn (which makes the distribution turn even more complicated) and introduces its own problems.
Edited 6/30/2015 11:31:09