Update 2.10: WarLight games can now be luck-free

WarLight has just been updated to version 2.10! This update allows games to be played without any random factors, and also changes the default options and built-in templates to be luck-free.

Randomness is now off by default

With this update, new WarLight games will default to settings that don’t use any randomness (i.e. luck). This is a reversal of the old format, where luck options defaulted on and they could be turned off by game creators.

When randomness is disabled, there isn’t any luck in determining whether your attacks will succeed or fail. Also, you also know when you’ll move before your opponents, and what cards you’ll receive. This helps make games more fair and competitive.

Specifically, this is talking about four settings: The luck modifier, rounding mode, move order, and the minimum number of card pieces given to each card. These are the primary factors that control how much randomness affects WarLight games. By setting these values correctly, it can actually eliminate all randomness within WarLight games. (set the luck modifier to 0%, the rounding mode to straight round, the move order to no-luck cyclic (see below), and the minimum number of card pieces to the same value as the number of cards received each turn.)

This update only affects new games and templates. Existing games and templates will not be affected. Of course, if you like the randomness factor, you can always turn it back on when creating games or templates.

New Analyze Graph

Currently, when issuing attacks you can press the “Analyze” button to see a graph of the probabilities that your attack will succeed. However, with WarLight’s new emphasis on luck-free games, this graph doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, as the values will always fall on 0% or 100%. Therefore, in games with a luck modifier of 0% and a rounding mode of straight round, the probabilities graph is being replaced with a new graph called the “no-luck graph.”

Since there’s no randomness, the graph can know with 100% certainty how many armies are needed to capture a territory defended by a certain number of armies. It simply shows the number of defenders on the horizontal axis and the number of attackers needed on the vertical axis.

You can use this graph to figure out how many armies are needed to capture the territory with how many armies it’s currently defended by. When attacking opponents, it’s also useful to consider how many armies the opponent may add, and how many more you wish to attack with.

No-Luck Cyclic Move Order

This updates adds a new move order option, called no-luck cycle.

First, let’s take a step back and review what the move order does. The move order defines whose first order executes first (or who gets first pick during territory selection). The current options available are random and cyclic. Random means that the move order is determined randomly every turn, whereas cyclic means it’s determined randomly on the first turn and swaps back and forth for the rest of the game.

The advantage of a cyclic move order is that it reduces the amount that randomness affects the game. However, it still has a random element on the first turn of the game. The goal of the new no-luck cyclic move order is to eliminate this first turn randomness.

In no-luck cyclic move order, the initial order of the cycle is determined by how fast each player plays during their first turn (or during territory distribution if it’s a manual distribution game). Whoever plays fastest will be placed 1st in the first move order, and the second fastest player will be placed 2nd, etc. After the initial order is determined, move order will simply swap back and forth just as it would in cyclic move order.

In order to make this fair, the game will only measure the time from when you begun playing your first turn until when you complete it. When a game begins using this move order, the map is initially hidden and a new window appears with a “begin” button. Clicking begin reveals the map and starts your timer, which will stop when you commit orders or picks. There is also a new setting under the Settings tab that relates to this new window, called the begin dialog that can be used to skip this window if you wish.

If you modify your orders on the first turn, it will extend your total move speed to encompass the entire time from when you begun until your final commit. For example, if you begin taking your turn at 1:00pm and commit at 1:10pm, your play speed will be 10 minutes. However, if at 1:30 you change your mind and change your orders/picks, your play speed will update to 30 minutes.

To increase transparency, you can also see exactly how quickly each player took their first turn in the Menu -> Players window. This shows how fast they took their turn, and if you hover over that value, it also shows the exact time they began and ended taking it. As a separate column, it also shows the resulting move cycle that was determined based on these times. This highlights another difference between this new move order and the standard cyclic move order: the cycle is known by all players. In standard cyclic move order, it’s up to players to figure out the cycle on their own, but in no-luck cycle, WarLight reveals to all players who will be moving when. To help make it obvious, the game shows exactly who will move on the next turn in the left column:

You can hover over this label to see the entire move sequence for the next turn.

In team games, the average speed of the team will be used to determine the order of the teams in the cycle. Then, within each team, the order is determined by the move speed of each player compared to their teammates.


This isn’t related to this update, but I have news that I’m thrilled to announce about WarLight: WarLight now has an investor! For the first time in its 6-year history, I’m not working on WarLight alone. For the last few months, we’ve been hard at work on WarLight 3.0. More details about this will be coming soon.

Misc Changes

– Added simple “fast” and “slow” boot options, aimed at making the boot options easier to configure for first-time players. You can still click “customize” to access the existing functionality.
– Clicking on your name in the top-right now loads your public profile.
– Fixed a bug that caused errors in games that set “bank duration” to 0.
– The “Common Games” page now displays a total letting you know how many games it’s showing, instead of making you count them up.
– Clicking a flashing mail icon now takes you to the last page of the mail thread instead of the first.
– Fixed a bug that made small flag icons say “Plays from null” when hovering over them.
– Fixed a bug on high-resolution screens that made the top red bar stop after 2000 pixels.
– In the lobby, the host-only buttons are now hidden if there’s no host.

8 thoughts on “Update 2.10: WarLight games can now be luck-free”

  1. Haha, interesting no-luck update!

    However the no-luck option opens possibilities for some new tricks that should be interesting especially if the option finds its way to the ladders.

    If I want to have first move, I will first login with another account to see the warlords pickable. And after I have made up my mind about what I want to pick, I will login with my actual account and commit fast.

    If I want to have second move, I will wait till the end of the 3-day-period. I might even use a few vacations if that isn’t guaranteeing me second move.

  2. So now Strategic 1v1 has 0% luck? The ladders have 0% luck?

    That’s unfortunate. To me, WarLight was always strategy with a bit of luck. Like Risk.

    I feel this option is actually bad to newcomers… and a bit disappointing.

    Default should’ve been 16% luck. Oh well.

  3. Instead of deciding move order based on how long players use to commit orders, how about picking it randomly before the game begins. So when I make picks I know I’ll get first pick (or won’t!). This would also open for some strategically interesting picking.

  4. am thrilled to hear this
    small changes with default luck settings and bugs are great, both were a little irritating at times
    the news of an investor is much better though, warlight has been around a while and is simply an amazing game, well deserving of an investor
    congrats and thanks for making this all possible 😉

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