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Samurai: experimental 2-player variant
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duncan



Joined: Jun 19, 2007
Posts: 13
Location: Melbourne

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

astroglide wrote:
new data...

all samurai: 4678 games played, 41% P2 win rate
random hands samurai: 1931 games played, 42% P2 win rate

this seems to prove that the P1 advantage is not really reduced by using random hands.


In my personal opinion, Random hands game does reduce the adv. of P1 when both are experienced players. There's a way to win as EDO is open to any side differently from selecting hands game. EDO is a very strategic point and in selecting hands game P1 can guarantee to win whole EDO and it's outskirts by selection.

I guess the above data is not of experieced players only. certainly such data wouldn't exist.

I think, however, when we see each game, the adv. of P1 is almost same as selecting hands game as astroglide pointed out. I think random game is very balanced ONLY WHEN played many times. as you play more games, the adv. of P1 convergences to zero by showing Poisson distribution pattern.
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Schuyler



Joined: Aug 21, 2006
Posts: 54
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:00 am    Post subject: Random vs. No 2 Ship and TOURNAMENT Reply with quote

Duncan has illustrated my point well. Being able to automatically determine Edo's fate is a powerful advantage that exists for the first player with selected starting hands, but doesn't exist with random starting hands. That's why, over several games, first player advantage is negated with random starting hands. And Tibelix's experience bears this out, as well as my own -- which is that I win much more often, as Player 1, with selected starting hands than with random starting hands. (And, conversely, I lose more often as second player with selected hands than as second player with random hands.)

Regardless though of the equalizing effect of random starting hands, I'm now in the middle of my third game with the new variant, and it is a fun change. I was planning on the next tournament (starting later this month) being 2 player only, with random starting hands, but the new variant is intriguing... Y'all please let me know what your preference is, and why, for the 2 player tournament, and I'll take all that into consideration. :-)
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astroglide



Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

duncan wrote:
EDO is a very strategic point and in selecting hands game P1 can guarantee to win whole EDO and it's outskirts by selection.


how can P1 guarantee a win? 3/2/2 and 3/2+RONIN can both be followed by P2, resulting in a tie. this puts the game a tie away from ending, but it's an option.

Quote:
I guess the above data is not of experieced players only. certainly such data wouldn't exist.


i'll ask if a query that adds a "games played" requirement can be performed.
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astroglide



Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:08 am    Post subject: Re: Random vs. No 2 Ship and TOURNAMENT Reply with quote

Schuyler wrote:
over several games, first player advantage is negated with random starting hands.


those are very strong words for something that is not yet proven!

Quote:
And Tibelix's experience bears this out


tibelix said that the random-only games he won were about 55% P1 and 45% P2 - a P1 advantage.

the evidence points toward random-only not solving the issue, but even if it did i would still like to pursue a variant for those that prefer less chance.
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Schuyler



Joined: Aug 21, 2006
Posts: 54
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:38 am    Post subject: Re: Random vs. No 2 Ship and TOURNAMENT Reply with quote

Perhaps I should have said that the Edo advantage (automatic capture or forced tie) is negated over several games. What're the odds of getting a 3 Samurai, 3 Samurai, and a 2 Samurai randomly??

And the difference between Tibi's random hand wins as P1 (54%) and his wins as P2 (46%) are nearly statistically insignificant, implying that going first with random hands confers almost no measurable advantage to him. And again, I win much less often as P1 with random hands than as P1 with selected hands...

But I agree, the new variant is a nice twist for when one wants a game with less luck.
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duncan



Joined: Jun 19, 2007
Posts: 13
Location: Melbourne

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

astroglide wrote:

how can P1 guarantee a win? 3/2/2 and 3/2+RONIN can both be followed by P2, resulting in a tie. this puts the game a tie away from ending, but it's an option.


There are six hexa fields around EDO. If P1 select 3/2/2/RONIN as starting hands, he ensures to win the whole EDO by putting 3/2/2+R or 3/2/2 while P2 followes by putting 3/2 or 3/2+R respectively. In this case, P2 is left with enormous waste of golden tiles and there's no hope. he'd better finish the game quickly.

And I correct my previous statement that P1 guarantees even winning outskirts of EDO. It is not. But it is still true that P1 has great adv. to win the outskirts of the city.

If P1 is supposed to be a solid player, I think it's better for P2 to concentrate on other two mid-sized cities or, if the board setting helps, try to get just one or two tokens from EDO & its surroundings. However, it is still a very dangerous move for P2 because P1 has other tiles as well to advance to other mid-sized cities by preoccupying premium hexa fields.

Anyway, I can't agree more about that ship-2 tile removal is a quite neat idea. We've got to try it many times to measure the balance. Million thx for your concern :)
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astroglide



Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

astroglide wrote:
Quote:
I guess the above data is not of experieced players only. certainly such data wouldn't exist.


i'll ask if a query that adds a "games played" requirement can be performed.


i did ask, but unfortunately it is not easy to do.


Last edited by astroglide on Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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astroglide



Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Random vs. No 2 Ship and TOURNAMENT Reply with quote

Schuyler wrote:
And the difference between Tibi's random hand wins as P1 (54%) and his wins as P2 (46%) are nearly statistically insignificant, implying that going first with random hands confers almost no measurable advantage to him.


it's ok to disagree on that point, then. i consider an 8.6 point swing to be a big deal!

i think 50/50 is a pipe dream, but if it can be brought down to 52/48 i would be pretty satisfied.


Last edited by astroglide on Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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astroglide



Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

duncan wrote:
There are six hexa fields around EDO. If P1 select 3/2/2/RONIN as starting hands, he ensures to win the whole EDO by putting 3/2/2+R or 3/2/2 while P2 followes by putting 3/2 or 3/2+R respectively. In this case, P2 is left with enormous waste of golden tiles and there's no hope. he'd better finish the game quickly.


i guess i overlooked the idea of 3/2/2+R because it's not a move i would make. if P2 follows me into edo, i'm happy for them to force a 3-piece tie because i still have a swap, a ronin, and a tempo advantage. the next turn is mine, and i have the threat of winning one piece, tying another, and winning the game 1-0-0 to 0-0-0. you are right though, thanks for the correction!

Quote:
And I correct my previous statement that P1 guarantees even winning outskirts of EDO. It is not. But it is still true that P1 has great adv. to win the outskirts of the city.


i do believe that some board layouts are more beneficial for certain players. some of it is a point of strategy, so i may remain quiet :)

Quote:
Anyway, I can't agree more about that ship-2 tile removal is a quite neat idea. We've got to try it many times to measure the balance.


indeed, many times. in 26 variant games so far, P2 has only won 26.9% of them! a much larger sample size will be necessary to see how it's going.
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Schuyler



Joined: Aug 21, 2006
Posts: 54
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've only played 2 variant games so far (non-random, with an experienced player), but in both of them P2 has lost. Considering the trend that's emerging after 28 reported games, perhaps the loss of a Ship-1 may also be needed??
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astroglide



Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schuyler wrote:
I've only played 2 variant games so far (non-random, with an experienced player), but in both of them P2 has lost. Considering the trend that's emerging after 28 reported games, perhaps the loss of a Ship-1 may also be needed??


i think none of us would expect removing the 2SHIP to result in a greater P1 advantage! seeing one further indicates to me that we need more games played for the stats to converge before reaching a conclusion.
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tibelix



Joined: Jan 06, 2007
Posts: 14
Location: Budapest

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 5:57 pm    Post subject: One more thing Reply with quote

I go for Edo in about 10% of my two-player games .
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astroglide



Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:08 pm    Post subject: Re: One more thing Reply with quote

tibelix wrote:
I go for Edo in about 10% of my two-player games .


including those where you are P1? if so, your statistics provide yet another good perspective.

i see the power of winning edo, but i don't necessarily assume that it's the only thing which might factor in the P1 advantage. P1 is guaranteed a fair number of turns and places influence first, for example, as in chess.
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tibelix



Joined: Jan 06, 2007
Posts: 14
Location: Budapest

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I go for Edo in at most 10% of my two-player games playing as P1.
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astroglide



Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

possibilities like that are what drive my instinct to resist interfering with a specific element of the game such as edo. restrictions in pieces or rules could be made for it to be more difficult for P1 to secure edo, a piece could even be moved out to create another 2-piece city. but without deep computational analysis which is effectively unavailable to us, any attempt to isolate the exact nature of the advantage will involve guesswork. and that's assuming that it's just one thing! since the unknown is what we face, i think it's best to adjust influence, because it is a game of influence. a general treatment for what must be seen as a general problem. i don't think any game rules should be changed or created, it just seems like the wrong approach. i also think that the variant should be easily playable with a physical copy of the game, so that's why i suggested 2SHIP removal. it will take a while to know, but perhaps it can make a difference.
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