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Author Topic: [pre-discussion] DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships  (Read 22633 times)

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blueblimp

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #100 on: June 21, 2012, 07:23:17 pm »
0

One good thing about a point system is the following. A major obstacle in Dominion tournaments is lacking enough games to distinguish which player is best. So you want to get at much information from each game as possible.

If you only know the winner of a game, there are only 4 possible outcomes. If you know the finish order (1st-4th) of the players, there are 4! = 24 possible outcomes. So, 2 bits of information from winner-takes-all, and ~4.6 bits of information if you know the finish order, which is more than twice as much.
Agreed on the tournament format issue.

Here's an alternative that keeps winner-take-all and gets you more information:

Play two games.

...

Are you serious? Your solution to "don't have time to play a lot of games" is... play more games?
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Rabid

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #101 on: June 21, 2012, 07:30:44 pm »
+3

One good thing about a point system is the following. A major obstacle in Dominion tournaments is lacking enough games to distinguish which player is best. So you want to get at much information from each game as possible.

If you only know the winner of a game, there are only 4 possible outcomes. If you know the finish order (1st-4th) of the players, there are 4! = 24 possible outcomes. So, 2 bits of information from winner-takes-all, and ~4.6 bits of information if you know the finish order, which is more than twice as much.
Agreed on the tournament format issue.

Here's an alternative that keeps winner-take-all and gets you more information:

Play two games.
Here's an alternative that gets even more information. ;)
Play two games and use finish order.
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metzgerism

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #102 on: June 21, 2012, 07:51:57 pm »
0

*probably offensive statement removed*

One good thing about a point system is the following. A major obstacle in Dominion tournaments is lacking enough games to distinguish which player is best. So you want to get at much information from each game as possible.

If you only know the winner of a game, there are only 4 possible outcomes. If you know the finish order (1st-4th) of the players, there are 4! = 24 possible outcomes. So, 2 bits of information from winner-takes-all, and ~4.6 bits of information if you know the finish order, which is more than twice as much.
Agreed on the tournament format issue.

Here's an alternative that keeps winner-take-all and gets you more information:

Play two games.

...

Are you serious? Your solution to "don't have time to play a lot of games" is... play more games?
Ehhh...not exactly the equivalency I was going for. I agree with you that in-person tournaments tend to have that issue, and you want to have a lot more rotation in a short amount of time.

Tournaments and leagues on isotropic are a different beast altogether (I've run online leagues for most of the last 7 years, and BGGDL was the last one I did - and the best). The specific parameters of this tournament actually would be MORE conducive for people to stay in their 4-player groups and play multiple games, because it will be so difficult to get things organized. Hence, more results with like opposition. Simply, we will not have the limitations of time and materials that are seen at many in-person tournaments. Instead, our challenges will be sheer game organization, and data entry.

The point I was really trying to make is this: Winner take all will probably go a little bit faster, but not much. However, since we're on isotropic, playing 2-3 games is similar in length to playing 1 game in person. I believe that's not only a reasonable and fair compromise to avoid the perverse issues of a point system, but also would be preferable for players due to our tradition of not playing one-offs for major competitions.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 08:18:11 pm by metzgerism »
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zxcvbn2

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #103 on: June 21, 2012, 08:13:31 pm »
+2

Well... that escalated quickly.
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metzgerism

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #104 on: June 21, 2012, 08:15:13 pm »
0

Well... that escalated quickly.
I apologize. As you might be able to see...I'm trying to edit that down.

EDIT: Screw it, just removing it. It's not worth looking like a douche to everyone to make my point.
The wheels in my head sometimes take over the fingers pressing the buttons.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 08:23:08 pm by metzgerism »
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metzgerism

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #105 on: June 21, 2012, 08:21:26 pm »
+1

One good thing about a point system is the following. A major obstacle in Dominion tournaments is lacking enough games to distinguish which player is best. So you want to get at much information from each game as possible.

If you only know the winner of a game, there are only 4 possible outcomes. If you know the finish order (1st-4th) of the players, there are 4! = 24 possible outcomes. So, 2 bits of information from winner-takes-all, and ~4.6 bits of information if you know the finish order, which is more than twice as much.
Agreed on the tournament format issue.

Here's an alternative that keeps winner-take-all and gets you more information:

Play two games.
Here's an alternative that gets even more information. ;)
Play two games and use finish order.
Finish order is fine for tiebreakers, but not for quantitative ranking criteria.
It'd be stupid to play for tiebreakers twice when you can go for broke twice and probably get a win, nullifying any tiebreakers.

---

I'm going to recommend a point system!

Win= 10,000 points
2nd = 100 points
3rd = 1 point
4th = 0 points

Is that a little more palatable?
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WanderingWinder

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #106 on: June 21, 2012, 08:25:27 pm »
0

*probably offensive statement removed*

One good thing about a point system is the following. A major obstacle in Dominion tournaments is lacking enough games to distinguish which player is best. So you want to get at much information from each game as possible.

If you only know the winner of a game, there are only 4 possible outcomes. If you know the finish order (1st-4th) of the players, there are 4! = 24 possible outcomes. So, 2 bits of information from winner-takes-all, and ~4.6 bits of information if you know the finish order, which is more than twice as much.
Agreed on the tournament format issue.

Here's an alternative that keeps winner-take-all and gets you more information:

Play two games.

...

Are you serious? Your solution to "don't have time to play a lot of games" is... play more games?
Ehhh...not exactly the equivalency I was going for. I agree with you that in-person tournaments tend to have that issue, and you want to have a lot more rotation in a short amount of time.

Tournaments and leagues on isotropic are a different beast altogether (I've run online leagues for most of the last 7 years, and BGGDL was the last one I did - and the best). The specific parameters of this tournament actually would be MORE conducive for people to stay in their 4-player groups and play multiple games, because it will be so difficult to get things organized. Hence, more results with like opposition. Simply, we will not have the limitations of time and materials that are seen at many in-person tournaments. Instead, our challenges will be sheer game organization, and data entry.

The point I was really trying to make is this: Winner take all will probably go a little bit faster, but not much. However, since we're on isotropic, playing 2-3 games is similar in length to playing 1 game in person. I believe that's not only a reasonable and fair compromise to avoid the perverse issues of a point system, but also would be preferable for players due to our tradition of not playing one-offs for major competitions.
So your answer to the 'we don't have enough time to do enough games' problem is 'we do have enough time to play enough games, because it's online'? Nobody's saying that it will take as long as IRL tournaments. What they're saying is, even online, we don't have enough time to play as many games as we want.

metzgerism

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #107 on: June 21, 2012, 08:44:05 pm »
0

*probably offensive statement removed*

One good thing about a point system is the following. A major obstacle in Dominion tournaments is lacking enough games to distinguish which player is best. So you want to get at much information from each game as possible.

If you only know the winner of a game, there are only 4 possible outcomes. If you know the finish order (1st-4th) of the players, there are 4! = 24 possible outcomes. So, 2 bits of information from winner-takes-all, and ~4.6 bits of information if you know the finish order, which is more than twice as much.
Agreed on the tournament format issue.

Here's an alternative that keeps winner-take-all and gets you more information:

Play two games.

...

Are you serious? Your solution to "don't have time to play a lot of games" is... play more games?
Ehhh...not exactly the equivalency I was going for. I agree with you that in-person tournaments tend to have that issue, and you want to have a lot more rotation in a short amount of time.

Tournaments and leagues on isotropic are a different beast altogether (I've run online leagues for most of the last 7 years, and BGGDL was the last one I did - and the best). The specific parameters of this tournament actually would be MORE conducive for people to stay in their 4-player groups and play multiple games, because it will be so difficult to get things organized. Hence, more results with like opposition. Simply, we will not have the limitations of time and materials that are seen at many in-person tournaments. Instead, our challenges will be sheer game organization, and data entry.

The point I was really trying to make is this: Winner take all will probably go a little bit faster, but not much. However, since we're on isotropic, playing 2-3 games is similar in length to playing 1 game in person. I believe that's not only a reasonable and fair compromise to avoid the perverse issues of a point system, but also would be preferable for players due to our tradition of not playing one-offs for major competitions.
So your answer to the 'we don't have enough time to do enough games' problem is 'we do have enough time to play enough games, because it's online'? Nobody's saying that it will take as long as IRL tournaments. What they're saying is, even online, we don't have enough time to play as many games as we want.
*sigh*

I'm not really answering the "we don't have enough time" problem. Forget that for a second.
My argument is that the solution proposed (a point system) provides a worse side-effect than the problem it supposedly solves (which it doesn't, we still won't have enough time).
The alternative I proposed was just an incredibly simple way to increase the ~2 results per matchup to ~4.

I don't believe that introducing metagaming via point system is worth the benefit it provides (if any). My argument is about weighing the options. I weigh them on the side of no point system. You might not.

In addition, if we have a pool --> bracket system, the bracket will solve incremental differences between players anyways. I'm NOT saying that a point system doesn't benefit from having a bracket attached...but I'm also not recommending having a point system at all.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #108 on: June 21, 2012, 08:46:22 pm »
+5

The thing is, I really don't understand how this is getting such vehement responses on both sides. In no way is one system clearly better than the other. They're just two different systems. It's like, the question is: "Is the point of the game to win, or is the point of the game to finish in as good a placement as possible?" Both are reasonable arguments, and there's no way that one is just 'clearly' better than the other, or that either of them are ridiculous. Having a point structure does not make it non-competitive, it just makes it different.
If you look at something like auto-racing, they give points for how well you finish, not just where you place. But there are other sports where all that matters is who win. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any sports where there's a field of participants (i.e., it's not head-to-head), where they don't give more credit to 2nd place than 8th place. That doesn't make such a system 'wrong' or 'unreasonable' though. Which is better than the other, is just based on what people think it should be. That's really what matters here. Which prima facie makes nobody's view ridiculous, though you can of course prefer to NOT have that.

The thing with dominion is that this makes more significant gameplay changes, probably, than you'd see in other things. Particularly in the endgame. Again, it's not that one way is right or wrong. How can you say that playing for second is wrong? How can you say that going all out for a win is wrong? Strategically, it's all down to how the tournament is set up. Which isn't clear one way or the other.

I personally advocate for a points system, but one which has disproportionate favoring to the winner. Because I think that playing for a win is an important aspect of the game, and I think you should take the risks, particularly strategically. At the same time, I feel like 2nd and 4th shouldn't get treated the same. There's also then the issue of weird endgame behaviour/collusion-y stuff. Having winner-take-all encourages this more than a point system, because where this really comes up is in situations where it's not possible for a player to win - then they can do anything to throw the game to one guy or another, with no negative repurcussions for themselves. If 3rd is better than 4th, then this would only come into play when 4th place can't possibly even get 3rd, which is going to happen a lot less than 4th being unable to grab 1st. So this is another reason I prefer some point system.

The 'it's harder to set up' thing seems to be a weak argument to me, because it's not much harder to set up, and, more importantly, the people who would be doing the setting up seem willing to do this little extra.

So I would advocate something like 6/3/1/0. There's also the issue of the odd 3-player games, which I would probably have as - everyone plays four player games, the odd people out get buys, or probably preferentially, quasi-byes, i.e. 1 person odd gets a full bye, 2 people odd play a 2-player, where (if we assume a 6/3/1/0 point system for the moment), 1st gets 6 and 2nd gets 3, 3 odd people play a 3-player where 1st gets 6, 2nd gets 3, 3rd gets 1. But it's a bit of a thorny issue - someone is getting the better end of a luck stick, no matter how you slice it.
But more than this, I advocating trying to set up whatever point system to match what will actually be at nationals as closely as possible.

metzgerism

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #109 on: June 21, 2012, 09:05:51 pm »
0

The thing is, I really don't understand how this is getting such vehement responses on both sides. In no way is one system clearly better than the other. They're just two different systems. It's like, the question is: "Is the point of the game to win, or is the point of the game to finish in as good a placement as possible?" Both are reasonable arguments, and there's no way that one is just 'clearly' better than the other, or that either of them are ridiculous. Having a point structure does not make it non-competitive, it just makes it different.
If you look at something like auto-racing, they give points for how well you finish, not just where you place. But there are other sports where all that matters is who win. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any sports where there's a field of participants (i.e., it's not head-to-head), where they don't give more credit to 2nd place than 8th place. That doesn't make such a system 'wrong' or 'unreasonable' though. Which is better than the other, is just based on what people think it should be. That's really what matters here. Which prima facie makes nobody's view ridiculous, though you can of course prefer to NOT have that.
There are a couple things to note:

1) Auto Racing doesn't have traditional playoffs.
2) All sports with traditional playoffs are 1v1 affairs.

These are HUGE differences! If you were to have an entire NASCAR season of 43-car races, then at the end say "we're going to have a 16-car bracket where it's just you against one other driver," fans would revolt!

The thing with dominion is that this makes more significant gameplay changes, probably, than you'd see in other things. Particularly in the endgame. Again, it's not that one way is right or wrong. How can you say that playing for second is wrong? How can you say that going all out for a win is wrong? Strategically, it's all down to how the tournament is set up. Which isn't clear one way or the other.
I am under the assumption that there will be a decisive bracket at Nationals, as well as one in this qualifier. THIS is what drives my argument against a point system. If there's no point system when it's most important, you shouldn't have one at any other time. Changing the parameters of "success" mid-tournament IS metagaming, no matter how many leagues do it. There are many sports leagues that DO fail at this, however (the NHL being an aggravating example) - sometimes it isn't the teams who win the most games that get invited to the tournament.

And that IS wrong.

I personally advocate for a points system, but one which has disproportionate favoring to the winner. Because I think that playing for a win is an important aspect of the game, and I think you should take the risks, particularly strategically. At the same time, I feel like 2nd and 4th shouldn't get treated the same. There's also then the issue of weird endgame behaviour/collusion-y stuff. Having winner-take-all encourages this more than a point system, because where this really comes up is in situations where it's not possible for a player to win - then they can do anything to throw the game to one guy or another, with no negative repurcussions for themselves. If 3rd is better than 4th, then this would only come into play when 4th place can't possibly even get 3rd, which is going to happen a lot less than 4th being unable to grab 1st. So this is another reason I prefer some point system.

The 'it's harder to set up' thing seems to be a weak argument to me, because it's not much harder to set up, and, more importantly, the people who would be doing the setting up seem willing to do this little extra.

So I would advocate something like 6/3/1/0. There's also the issue of the odd 3-player games, which I would probably have as - everyone plays four player games, the odd people out get buys, or probably preferentially, quasi-byes, i.e. 1 person odd gets a full bye, 2 people odd play a 2-player, where (if we assume a 6/3/1/0 point system for the moment), 1st gets 6 and 2nd gets 3, 3 odd people play a 3-player where 1st gets 6, 2nd gets 3, 3rd gets 1. But it's a bit of a thorny issue - someone is getting the better end of a luck stick, no matter how you slice it.
But more than this, I advocating trying to set up whatever point system to match what will actually be at nationals as closely as possible.
Agreed with the bold, far more than any other thing that's been said in this thread.
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rrenaud

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #110 on: June 21, 2012, 09:12:06 pm »
+1

One good thing about a point system is the following. A major obstacle in Dominion tournaments is lacking enough games to distinguish which player is best. So you want to get at much information from each game as possible.

If you only know the winner of a game, there are only 4 possible outcomes. If you know the finish order (1st-4th) of the players, there are 4! = 24 possible outcomes. So, 2 bits of information from winner-takes-all, and ~4.6 bits of information if you know the finish order, which is more than twice as much.

From a statistical perspective, I totally agree with you.

But I think the game design trumps the statistics.  I think playing to win, all else be damned, is more in the spirit of the rules.
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rrenaud

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #111 on: June 21, 2012, 09:18:46 pm »
0

Also, this discussion might be useful.

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/457599/discussion-on-a-universal-tournament-format-for-do/page/1

Although it might not be, because at least no one here is proposing rewarding players for having a high score.
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metzgerism

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #112 on: June 21, 2012, 09:23:07 pm »
0

One good thing about a point system is the following. A major obstacle in Dominion tournaments is lacking enough games to distinguish which player is best. So you want to get at much information from each game as possible.

If you only know the winner of a game, there are only 4 possible outcomes. If you know the finish order (1st-4th) of the players, there are 4! = 24 possible outcomes. So, 2 bits of information from winner-takes-all, and ~4.6 bits of information if you know the finish order, which is more than twice as much.

From a statistical perspective, I totally agree with you.

But I think the game design trumps the statistics.  I think playing to win, all else be damned, is more in the spirit of the rules.
I love you man.

The only thing different between you and me is you put "I think" in front of everything - you're so goddamn polite.
Also, this discussion might be useful.

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/457599/discussion-on-a-universal-tournament-format-for-do/page/1

Although it might not be, because at least no one here is proposing rewarding players for having a high score.
I don't think it helps the discussion, but it makes me look old and experienced!
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blueblimp

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #113 on: June 21, 2012, 09:23:16 pm »
0

One good thing about a point system is the following. A major obstacle in Dominion tournaments is lacking enough games to distinguish which player is best. So you want to get at much information from each game as possible.

If you only know the winner of a game, there are only 4 possible outcomes. If you know the finish order (1st-4th) of the players, there are 4! = 24 possible outcomes. So, 2 bits of information from winner-takes-all, and ~4.6 bits of information if you know the finish order, which is more than twice as much.

From a statistical perspective, I totally agree with you.

But I think the game design trumps the statistics.  I think playing to win, all else be damned, is more in the spirit of the rules.

IRL and online, I always aim to maximize my rank in 3/4-player, and don't care that much about whether I win. So I think this is a matter of opinion.
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metzgerism

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #114 on: June 21, 2012, 09:31:55 pm »
0

One good thing about a point system is the following. A major obstacle in Dominion tournaments is lacking enough games to distinguish which player is best. So you want to get at much information from each game as possible.

If you only know the winner of a game, there are only 4 possible outcomes. If you know the finish order (1st-4th) of the players, there are 4! = 24 possible outcomes. So, 2 bits of information from winner-takes-all, and ~4.6 bits of information if you know the finish order, which is more than twice as much.

From a statistical perspective, I totally agree with you.

But I think the game design trumps the statistics.  I think playing to win, all else be damned, is more in the spirit of the rules.

IRL and online, I always aim to maximize my rank in 3/4-player, and don't care that much about whether I win. So I think this is a matter of opinion.
What if a trip to Nationals was on the line?
Would you still not care about winning then? Would you still just try and maximize your rank?

Each game in this tournament has the potential to be worth a fraction of a trip to Nationals.
The conditions are significantly different.

EDIT:
http://www.boardgamers.org/yearbook10/dompge.htm
Read that :)
« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 09:36:23 pm by metzgerism »
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zxcvbn2

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #115 on: June 21, 2012, 09:42:46 pm »
+2

FWIW, last year's world championship had a point system in the prelim round, and then a knockout phase (3-player) among the top 9. This doesn't mean they'll use it this year, just wanted to throw it in there.

Source: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/714428/dominion-wm-tournament
and here: http://www.riograndegames.com/uploads/FileUpload/DominionWMrules.pdf
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WanderingWinder

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #116 on: June 21, 2012, 09:53:09 pm »
0

The thing is, I really don't understand how this is getting such vehement responses on both sides. In no way is one system clearly better than the other. They're just two different systems. It's like, the question is: "Is the point of the game to win, or is the point of the game to finish in as good a placement as possible?" Both are reasonable arguments, and there's no way that one is just 'clearly' better than the other, or that either of them are ridiculous. Having a point structure does not make it non-competitive, it just makes it different.
If you look at something like auto-racing, they give points for how well you finish, not just where you place. But there are other sports where all that matters is who win. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any sports where there's a field of participants (i.e., it's not head-to-head), where they don't give more credit to 2nd place than 8th place. That doesn't make such a system 'wrong' or 'unreasonable' though. Which is better than the other, is just based on what people think it should be. That's really what matters here. Which prima facie makes nobody's view ridiculous, though you can of course prefer to NOT have that.
There are a couple things to note:

1) Auto Racing doesn't have traditional playoffs.
2) All sports with traditional playoffs are 1v1 affairs.

These are HUGE differences! If you were to have an entire NASCAR season of 43-car races, then at the end say "we're going to have a 16-car bracket where it's just you against one other driver," fans would revolt!

The thing with dominion is that this makes more significant gameplay changes, probably, than you'd see in other things. Particularly in the endgame. Again, it's not that one way is right or wrong. How can you say that playing for second is wrong? How can you say that going all out for a win is wrong? Strategically, it's all down to how the tournament is set up. Which isn't clear one way or the other.
I am under the assumption that there will be a decisive bracket at Nationals, as well as one in this qualifier. THIS is what drives my argument against a point system. If there's no point system when it's most important, you shouldn't have one at any other time. Changing the parameters of "success" mid-tournament IS metagaming, no matter how many leagues do it. There are many sports leagues that DO fail at this, however (the NHL being an aggravating example) - sometimes it isn't the teams who win the most games that get invited to the tournament.

And that IS wrong.

I personally advocate for a points system, but one which has disproportionate favoring to the winner. Because I think that playing for a win is an important aspect of the game, and I think you should take the risks, particularly strategically. At the same time, I feel like 2nd and 4th shouldn't get treated the same. There's also then the issue of weird endgame behaviour/collusion-y stuff. Having winner-take-all encourages this more than a point system, because where this really comes up is in situations where it's not possible for a player to win - then they can do anything to throw the game to one guy or another, with no negative repurcussions for themselves. If 3rd is better than 4th, then this would only come into play when 4th place can't possibly even get 3rd, which is going to happen a lot less than 4th being unable to grab 1st. So this is another reason I prefer some point system.

The 'it's harder to set up' thing seems to be a weak argument to me, because it's not much harder to set up, and, more importantly, the people who would be doing the setting up seem willing to do this little extra.

So I would advocate something like 6/3/1/0. There's also the issue of the odd 3-player games, which I would probably have as - everyone plays four player games, the odd people out get buys, or probably preferentially, quasi-byes, i.e. 1 person odd gets a full bye, 2 people odd play a 2-player, where (if we assume a 6/3/1/0 point system for the moment), 1st gets 6 and 2nd gets 3, 3 odd people play a 3-player where 1st gets 6, 2nd gets 3, 3rd gets 1. But it's a bit of a thorny issue - someone is getting the better end of a luck stick, no matter how you slice it.
But more than this, I advocating trying to set up whatever point system to match what will actually be at nationals as closely as possible.
Agreed with the bold, far more than any other thing that's been said in this thread.
I disagree. I actually think NASCAR fans would love that. Also, the NBA and particularly NHL specifically do change their formats for the playoffs. In principle, I don't think you should change systems partway through, unless there is some compelling reason to do so, but it's certainly not crazy or clearly WRONG. It's just something different. I find it incredibly amusing that you just label so may people whose opinions are different from yours as flatly wrong. Kind of an arrogant-looking move. I think the big reason you're getting such a bristled response here isn't so much what you're saying, but how you're saying it. It's like you're being abrasive for abrasiveness's sake, or at least that's how it's coming off.
I presumed that the semis and finals would have the same scoring system as you have in the previous stages. This isn't an argument for no point system. It's an argument for the same method throughout the tournament. But what that method is, is what we're debating.
I certainly don't have a problem with meta-gaming per se. Indeed, I tend to like it. Indeed, there are whole games where metagaming is the hugest part of the game. Dominion is not and never will be one, but I don't see why it can't be a part.

WanderingWinder

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #117 on: June 21, 2012, 09:53:35 pm »
0

One good thing about a point system is the following. A major obstacle in Dominion tournaments is lacking enough games to distinguish which player is best. So you want to get at much information from each game as possible.

If you only know the winner of a game, there are only 4 possible outcomes. If you know the finish order (1st-4th) of the players, there are 4! = 24 possible outcomes. So, 2 bits of information from winner-takes-all, and ~4.6 bits of information if you know the finish order, which is more than twice as much.

From a statistical perspective, I totally agree with you.

But I think the game design trumps the statistics.  I think playing to win, all else be damned, is more in the spirit of the rules.

IRL and online, I always aim to maximize my rank in 3/4-player, and don't care that much about whether I win. So I think this is a matter of opinion.
What if a trip to Nationals was on the line?
Would you still not care about winning then? Would you still just try and maximize your rank?

Each game in this tournament has the potential to be worth a fraction of a trip to Nationals.
The conditions are significantly different.

EDIT:
http://www.boardgamers.org/yearbook10/dompge.htm
Read that :)
That a trip to nationals is on the line is totally irrelevant. Why would that make a difference?

metzgerism

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #118 on: June 21, 2012, 10:07:32 pm »
0

The thing is, I really don't understand how this is getting such vehement responses on both sides. In no way is one system clearly better than the other. They're just two different systems. It's like, the question is: "Is the point of the game to win, or is the point of the game to finish in as good a placement as possible?" Both are reasonable arguments, and there's no way that one is just 'clearly' better than the other, or that either of them are ridiculous. Having a point structure does not make it non-competitive, it just makes it different.
If you look at something like auto-racing, they give points for how well you finish, not just where you place. But there are other sports where all that matters is who win. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any sports where there's a field of participants (i.e., it's not head-to-head), where they don't give more credit to 2nd place than 8th place. That doesn't make such a system 'wrong' or 'unreasonable' though. Which is better than the other, is just based on what people think it should be. That's really what matters here. Which prima facie makes nobody's view ridiculous, though you can of course prefer to NOT have that.
There are a couple things to note:

1) Auto Racing doesn't have traditional playoffs.
2) All sports with traditional playoffs are 1v1 affairs.

These are HUGE differences! If you were to have an entire NASCAR season of 43-car races, then at the end say "we're going to have a 16-car bracket where it's just you against one other driver," fans would revolt!

The thing with dominion is that this makes more significant gameplay changes, probably, than you'd see in other things. Particularly in the endgame. Again, it's not that one way is right or wrong. How can you say that playing for second is wrong? How can you say that going all out for a win is wrong? Strategically, it's all down to how the tournament is set up. Which isn't clear one way or the other.
I am under the assumption that there will be a decisive bracket at Nationals, as well as one in this qualifier. THIS is what drives my argument against a point system. If there's no point system when it's most important, you shouldn't have one at any other time. Changing the parameters of "success" mid-tournament IS metagaming, no matter how many leagues do it. There are many sports leagues that DO fail at this, however (the NHL being an aggravating example) - sometimes it isn't the teams who win the most games that get invited to the tournament.

And that IS wrong.

I personally advocate for a points system, but one which has disproportionate favoring to the winner. Because I think that playing for a win is an important aspect of the game, and I think you should take the risks, particularly strategically. At the same time, I feel like 2nd and 4th shouldn't get treated the same. There's also then the issue of weird endgame behaviour/collusion-y stuff. Having winner-take-all encourages this more than a point system, because where this really comes up is in situations where it's not possible for a player to win - then they can do anything to throw the game to one guy or another, with no negative repurcussions for themselves. If 3rd is better than 4th, then this would only come into play when 4th place can't possibly even get 3rd, which is going to happen a lot less than 4th being unable to grab 1st. So this is another reason I prefer some point system.

The 'it's harder to set up' thing seems to be a weak argument to me, because it's not much harder to set up, and, more importantly, the people who would be doing the setting up seem willing to do this little extra.

So I would advocate something like 6/3/1/0. There's also the issue of the odd 3-player games, which I would probably have as - everyone plays four player games, the odd people out get buys, or probably preferentially, quasi-byes, i.e. 1 person odd gets a full bye, 2 people odd play a 2-player, where (if we assume a 6/3/1/0 point system for the moment), 1st gets 6 and 2nd gets 3, 3 odd people play a 3-player where 1st gets 6, 2nd gets 3, 3rd gets 1. But it's a bit of a thorny issue - someone is getting the better end of a luck stick, no matter how you slice it.
But more than this, I advocating trying to set up whatever point system to match what will actually be at nationals as closely as possible.
Agreed with the bold, far more than any other thing that's been said in this thread.
I disagree. I actually think NASCAR fans would love that. Also, the NBA and particularly NHL specifically do change their formats for the playoffs. In principle, I don't think you should change systems partway through, unless there is some compelling reason to do so, but it's certainly not crazy or clearly WRONG. It's just something different. I find it incredibly amusing that you just label so may people whose opinions are different from yours as flatly wrong. Kind of an arrogant-looking move. I think the big reason you're getting such a bristled response here isn't so much what you're saying, but how you're saying it. It's like you're being abrasive for abrasiveness's sake, or at least that's how it's coming off.
I presumed that the semis and finals would have the same scoring system as you have in the previous stages. This isn't an argument for no point system. It's an argument for the same method throughout the tournament. But what that method is, is what we're debating.
I certainly don't have a problem with meta-gaming per se. Indeed, I tend to like it. Indeed, there are whole games where metagaming is the hugest part of the game. Dominion is not and never will be one, but I don't see why it can't be a part.
Again, I don't intend to be abrasive or offensive, but I flatly disagree with having a point system and I have been running tournaments for years...I'd be shocked if anyone on DS forums has more experience than I do in this regard. I apologize for being arrogant.

I also disagree with you about metagaming being an acceptable part of the gameplay. There's only so much you can control as a tournament organizer, but you don't have to make it worse (which is what I believe a point system would encourage). This is a Dominion tournament, not a Dominion-plus-politics tournament.

---

One big thing I'm looking at here is the relation to 2p Dominion. In two player, a point system as recommended is non-existent, and you play to win (because 2nd place is losing). Why should that spirit change just because we have more players?
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WanderingWinder

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #119 on: June 21, 2012, 10:22:36 pm »
+2

The thing is, I really don't understand how this is getting such vehement responses on both sides. In no way is one system clearly better than the other. They're just two different systems. It's like, the question is: "Is the point of the game to win, or is the point of the game to finish in as good a placement as possible?" Both are reasonable arguments, and there's no way that one is just 'clearly' better than the other, or that either of them are ridiculous. Having a point structure does not make it non-competitive, it just makes it different.
If you look at something like auto-racing, they give points for how well you finish, not just where you place. But there are other sports where all that matters is who win. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any sports where there's a field of participants (i.e., it's not head-to-head), where they don't give more credit to 2nd place than 8th place. That doesn't make such a system 'wrong' or 'unreasonable' though. Which is better than the other, is just based on what people think it should be. That's really what matters here. Which prima facie makes nobody's view ridiculous, though you can of course prefer to NOT have that.
There are a couple things to note:

1) Auto Racing doesn't have traditional playoffs.
2) All sports with traditional playoffs are 1v1 affairs.

These are HUGE differences! If you were to have an entire NASCAR season of 43-car races, then at the end say "we're going to have a 16-car bracket where it's just you against one other driver," fans would revolt!

The thing with dominion is that this makes more significant gameplay changes, probably, than you'd see in other things. Particularly in the endgame. Again, it's not that one way is right or wrong. How can you say that playing for second is wrong? How can you say that going all out for a win is wrong? Strategically, it's all down to how the tournament is set up. Which isn't clear one way or the other.
I am under the assumption that there will be a decisive bracket at Nationals, as well as one in this qualifier. THIS is what drives my argument against a point system. If there's no point system when it's most important, you shouldn't have one at any other time. Changing the parameters of "success" mid-tournament IS metagaming, no matter how many leagues do it. There are many sports leagues that DO fail at this, however (the NHL being an aggravating example) - sometimes it isn't the teams who win the most games that get invited to the tournament.

And that IS wrong.

I personally advocate for a points system, but one which has disproportionate favoring to the winner. Because I think that playing for a win is an important aspect of the game, and I think you should take the risks, particularly strategically. At the same time, I feel like 2nd and 4th shouldn't get treated the same. There's also then the issue of weird endgame behaviour/collusion-y stuff. Having winner-take-all encourages this more than a point system, because where this really comes up is in situations where it's not possible for a player to win - then they can do anything to throw the game to one guy or another, with no negative repurcussions for themselves. If 3rd is better than 4th, then this would only come into play when 4th place can't possibly even get 3rd, which is going to happen a lot less than 4th being unable to grab 1st. So this is another reason I prefer some point system.

The 'it's harder to set up' thing seems to be a weak argument to me, because it's not much harder to set up, and, more importantly, the people who would be doing the setting up seem willing to do this little extra.

So I would advocate something like 6/3/1/0. There's also the issue of the odd 3-player games, which I would probably have as - everyone plays four player games, the odd people out get buys, or probably preferentially, quasi-byes, i.e. 1 person odd gets a full bye, 2 people odd play a 2-player, where (if we assume a 6/3/1/0 point system for the moment), 1st gets 6 and 2nd gets 3, 3 odd people play a 3-player where 1st gets 6, 2nd gets 3, 3rd gets 1. But it's a bit of a thorny issue - someone is getting the better end of a luck stick, no matter how you slice it.
But more than this, I advocating trying to set up whatever point system to match what will actually be at nationals as closely as possible.
Agreed with the bold, far more than any other thing that's been said in this thread.
I disagree. I actually think NASCAR fans would love that. Also, the NBA and particularly NHL specifically do change their formats for the playoffs. In principle, I don't think you should change systems partway through, unless there is some compelling reason to do so, but it's certainly not crazy or clearly WRONG. It's just something different. I find it incredibly amusing that you just label so may people whose opinions are different from yours as flatly wrong. Kind of an arrogant-looking move. I think the big reason you're getting such a bristled response here isn't so much what you're saying, but how you're saying it. It's like you're being abrasive for abrasiveness's sake, or at least that's how it's coming off.
I presumed that the semis and finals would have the same scoring system as you have in the previous stages. This isn't an argument for no point system. It's an argument for the same method throughout the tournament. But what that method is, is what we're debating.
I certainly don't have a problem with meta-gaming per se. Indeed, I tend to like it. Indeed, there are whole games where metagaming is the hugest part of the game. Dominion is not and never will be one, but I don't see why it can't be a part.
Again, I don't intend to be abrasive or offensive, but I flatly disagree with having a point system and I have been running tournaments for years...I'd be shocked if anyone on DS forums has more experience than I do in this regard. I apologize for being arrogant.

I also disagree with you about metagaming being an acceptable part of the gameplay. There's only so much you can control as a tournament organizer, but you don't have to make it worse (which is what I believe a point system would encourage). This is a Dominion tournament, not a Dominion-plus-politics tournament.

---

One big thing I'm looking at here is the relation to 2p Dominion. In two player, a point system as recommended is non-existent, and you play to win (because 2nd place is losing). Why should that spirit change just because we have more players?
If you don't want to be abrasive, try not cursing, not telling people that their OPINIONS are WRONG in all caps (there's a big difference between 'I disagree' and 'You're WRONG'), not trying to argue via reductio ad absurdum, etc. People don't like this.

This (the analogy to 2p as you make it) is an arbitrary way of looking at it. I can just as easily make the argument that 2p dominion is all about not getting last, and why should that change by adding another player.
But also, why should 2p, 3p, and 4p be anything like the same game? They're totally different in almost every respect.

I seriously doubt you have the most experience with tournaments of anyone on this forum. Be shocked. You've barely been here, so I wouldn't expect you to know, but... well, I'm also not sure how this is relevant. (Again, this comes off as really arrogant.)
The bigger point is that you're rather arbitrarily deciding that preferring 2nd to 4th is not part of dominion. You have said this many times, but the only evidence you give is that it's not. Which is no evidence at all. You say that having a point system would make the tournament worse, but again, you give no reason. People are giving reasons on the other side. You're just presenting your summary opinion as fact.
The game is what you want it to be. It's a game.

blueblimp

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #120 on: June 21, 2012, 10:50:36 pm »
+1

One big thing I'm looking at here is the relation to 2p Dominion. In two player, a point system as recommended is non-existent, and you play to win (because 2nd place is losing). Why should that spirit change just because we have more players?

I think of 2p in points too. A win is 2 points, tie 1 point, loss 0 points. So if I'm in a situation where I feel I have less than a half chance to win, then I'm pretty happy to get a tie.

Of course if there is a tournament meaning assigned to rank, then I would play according to that. I'm just saying that in casual play, I can be fairly happy with 2nd in a 4-player game, much more than with 4th, and I'll happily end the game in 2nd if it prevents me from dropping lower.
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metzgerism

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #121 on: June 22, 2012, 02:22:14 am »
0

If you don't want to be abrasive, try not cursing, not telling people that their OPINIONS are WRONG in all caps (there's a big difference between 'I disagree' and 'You're WRONG'), not trying to argue via reductio ad absurdum, etc. People don't like this.
I put words in caps or italics that I mean to stress. I don't believe I said anyone was flat out wrong, anywhere, especially not in caps...?

This (the analogy to 2p as you make it) is an arbitrary way of looking at it. I can just as easily make the argument that 2p dominion is all about not getting last, and why should that change by adding another player.
But also, why should 2p, 3p, and 4p be anything like the same game? They're totally different in almost every respect.
How is it arbitrary? I didn't pick "2 player" out of a hat - over 99% of my games are played 2-player, and I'm sure the ratio is similar for most people on this board, including you.

That said, you're absolutely right that they are not the same game (and shouldn't be held to the same standard).

I seriously doubt you have the most experience with tournaments of anyone on this forum. Be shocked. You've barely been here, so I wouldn't expect you to know, but...
I've run a plurality of the total online english-language Dominion tournaments/competitions. There have been 33 that I know of. I have operated 13 and was founder of the league that ran another 12. All of those came after years of running other competitions on other boards for other games.

You don't know me very well, but this is my bread & butter.
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metzgerism

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #122 on: June 22, 2012, 02:28:00 am »
0

This thread is off-track, so I wanted to repeat my latest recommendation for a format:

- All players organized into ~12-player pools. At the end of the pool phase, the top 1-2 players in each pool get a bracket bye, and wild cards go to play-in games.
- You may play 3p or 4p games against opponents in your pool only. You may play any single opponent repeatedly UNTIL you win a game they lost, or vice versa - effectively 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place are all "ties," and ties should be replayed.
- Because of the open nature of the pools, not every matchup will be represented by a game and there will likely be some holes in the results. Being active early and often will help you find your opponents before you can't organize a game.
- Players are ranked on "wins," which are actually the number of other players beaten. A regular 4p win is worth 3 "wins," a 3p win is worth 2. Shared victory is a tie with the other victorious players. Tiebreakers are given for getting 2nd place in a matchup you lost.
- Not sure how the bracket would work, only that there should be 3p and 4p games if there are 3p and 4p games in the pool phase.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2012, 02:36:03 am by metzgerism »
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O

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #123 on: June 22, 2012, 02:34:10 am »
+1

A question completely irrelevant to the above conversation: can minors sign up?  ;)
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Kirian

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Re: DominionStrategy qualifiers for US National Championships
« Reply #124 on: June 22, 2012, 02:38:07 am »
0

The real argument now is whether winner-take-all or a points-based system is better for the heats.  And to those who support the former--metzgerism and rrenaud chief among them, I think--I have a simple question:

Name a sport, professional or Olympic, in which more than two players compete in each round, but only one player from each match in each round advances.

I can't find one, but maybe I'm wrong.  Golf is the only commonly-followed sport* I can think of that are not one-on-one games, and it uses a point system.  Swimming and track sports use heats from which multiple athletes advance from each race.

*NASCAR was mentioned, but, sorry, just no.
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