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Draft Tournament Auction-Based Squadron Selection Method
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JimDauphinais
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Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Posts: 766
Location: Chesterfield, MO

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:29 am    Post subject: Draft Tournament Auction-Based Squadron Selection Method Reply with quote

I would like 48 hours to pass with only clarifying questions posted prior to anybody commenting on the proposed squadron selection method. It is important for the proposed method to be fully understood before jumping to any conclusions.

What follows would be used in the context of a new FCOL tournament that uses the same rules as those used for the Fall 2012 FCOL Tournament except as modified as outlined below. For discussion purposes, the Base Squadron would be a Romulan Squadron of 450 points consisting of a Vulture and two King Eagles. The playtest cloaking rule changes would be in play. Squadrons would contain no less than 3 ships and no more than 4 ships. All other squadron and purchase restrictions would normally apply. There will be terrain consisting of a single large ringed planet in the middle of the map. The planet is 7 hexes in diameter. The ring is one hex wide and 15 hexes in diameter. The ring is considered to be Dust (6B2a). In each scenario, both player's ships must start within 25 hexes of the center of the planet, within 25 hexes of the enemy ships and with the enemy ships within their FA firing arc. The player who places its ships first is selected randomly. That player must place its ships such that the planet is in its RX firing arc and the ships are within 15 hexes of the center of the planet. The second player must setup its ships to conform with all of the other setup requirements. All of the ships of a given player must be placed within one hex of one another. The minimum Baseline Speed for all ships on Turn 1 is 8.

This is the proposed squadron selection method:

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Squadron Selection

This tournament will use a declining cost auction-based method for squadron selection. It is intended to dynamically establish play balance between competing squadrons by rough consensus based on the established terrain, starting distance, size, length, etc. of the tournament scenario that is being used for all rounds in the tournament. When this method is in use, Section 8B2a of the Federation Commander Point Value Victory System (8B2) is not used (i.e., there is no adjustment for different total starting squadron point totals). The minimum point advantage over an opponent that needs to be achieved to score a win in a match will be equal to 25% of the point value of the lowest point value ship (not Fighter) involved in that match.

The following procedure will be used for squadron selection:

a. The Judge will select and post a squadron for an empire of the Judge's choice. This will be the Base Squadron for the tournament. The Judge will also post the minimum number of ships that can be in any awarded squadron and the maximum number of ships that can be in any awarded squadron. The size of the Base Squadron must fall within these limits. The Judge will post a list of eligible empires, a list of all ships available for purchase in the tournament, the point cost for those ships and any limitations on ship purchases. Finally, any terrain, starting positions, turn limits and all other scenario parameters will also be posted by the Judge.

b. By random selection, the Judge will place all the players into a Bid Order. If the Judge is playing in the tournament, he shall always go last in the Bid Order.

c. In Bid Order, each player will be offered the Base Squadron. If a player does not post (on the FC Forum in this topic) an acceptance of the Base Squadron within 24 hours of it being offered to that player, that player will be obligated to pass on the Base Squadron. If all players pass on the Base Squadron, the last player in Bid Order must select it.

d. Once the Base Squadron has been awarded, the Judge will randomly select an eligible empire that has not yet been selected in the tournament. If all empires have already been selected, he will randomly select an eligible empire that has not been selected any more times in the tournament than any other empire.

e. The empire will be offered to the next player in Bid Order after the player that has just been awarded a squadron. If that player wishes to bid on that empire, that player must within 24 hours bid (via a post on the FC Forum in this topic) a valid squadron for that empire with a total point cost no greater than 120% of the highest total point value squadron that has been awarded to a player so far. If a bid is not posted within 24 hours, the player will be obligated to pass. When a player passes, the empire will be offered to the next player in Bid Order who has not yet been awarded a squadron. If all players pass, the last player to pass who has not yet been awarded a squadron will be assigned a squadron bid for the empire by the Judge. The squadron bid picked out by the Judge will be the highest point value valid squadron bid allowed for that empire.

f. Starting with the next player in Bid Order, each player may choose to outbid the latest standing squadron bid for that empire. If a player wishes to do so, the player must bid a squadron of that empire that has a lower total point cost than the current standing squadron bid. If the bid is not posted within 24 hours, the player will be obligated to pass. A player that has already been awarded a squadron (including the Base Squadron) may bid. However, if this player wins the bidding, the player will have to forfeit its previously awarded squadron. Bidding continues until all but one player has passed. Once a player has passed, that player may no longer bid for the empire being contested unless that empire comes up again in later bidding by step d above.

g. If a player that has been previously awarded a squadron wins the bidding for an empire, this player's previously awarded squadron is forfeited and offered to the next player in Bid Order who has not yet been awarded a squadron. If this player does not post an acceptance of this squadron within 24 hours of it being offered to the player, the player is obligated to pass. If all players who have not yet been awarded a squadron pass, the squadron is discarded unless it is the Base Squadron. If it is the Base Squadron, the last player who passed on the forfeited squadron must take it.

h. Steps d through g above are repeated until all players have been awarded a squadron.


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02/23/2013 Edits: In italics above.
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Jim Dauphinais, Chesterfield, MO

St. Louis Area Fed Comm Group: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/STL_Federation_Commander/


Last edited by JimDauphinais on Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:19 am; edited 6 times in total
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pinbot
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 07 Mar 2007
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Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do I have it right that once somebody takes a squadron, then it is guaranteed to be in the tournament--though it might be pushed off to somebody else. If Player A takes a crappy squadron (because he was fixated on that empire, or left the glue open, or whatever) in the first round, but comes to his senses in the last round, and starts bidding against Player Z in the last round--player Z is unhappy--and that's the risk you run by being the last player?
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JimDauphinais
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It will be changed (I will edit it above). I just realized that it could be abused while I was away for a few minutes.
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Jim Dauphinais, Chesterfield, MO

St. Louis Area Fed Comm Group: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/STL_Federation_Commander/
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JimDauphinais
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, I've made the edits in italics. I think I have closed the loophole that allowed the abuse of the type Pinbot mentioned. To help the method to convergence on a final result, I had to make one other change also shown in italics.
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Jim Dauphinais, Chesterfield, MO

St. Louis Area Fed Comm Group: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/STL_Federation_Commander/
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
In each scenario, both player's ships must start within 25 hexes of the center of the planet, within 25 hexes of the enemy ships and with the enemy ships within their FA firing arc. The player who places its ships first is selected randomly. That player must place its ships such that the planet is in its RX firing arc and the ships are within 15 hexes of the center of the planet.


Are the bolded bit correct?


Still trying to wrap my head around the bidding process, am I reading it right that it could take a 2+ weeks (potentially many) for the each squadron to be picked if there are 16 players, as even when you have a squadron you can still bid for the next?
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK - I think an example would be useful here to clarify whether I am understanding this, as I am struggling a bit. This is how I am reading it.

There are 6 players. You put out the Romulan squadron of Vult, KE, KE at 450 points.

Going through bid order each player says whether they want that (point c). Lets say player 2 takes it.

As that is the base squadron there is no further bidding (point d). No matter how much player 3 wanted that Rom squadron, or just Roms he cannot bid for it.

You randomly select Feds as the next empire. Player 3 now gets to start the bidding for that (point e). If he wishes to bid Fed he must post a Fed squadron that costs no more than 540 points (120% of the only other existing squadron so far) (point e).

If no one bids before player 1 comes back round, then player 1 as the last player without a squadron in bid order (because we started at player 3), must take the empire. If he doesn't bid upto 540 points then he will be mandated to take it at 450 points, the highest squadron value so far (point e).

Lets say player 4 had bid for the Feds, and gone for 538 points, Plasma DN + 2 Strike cruisers.

Carrying down the bid order, player 5 may attempt to out bid him. Outbid meaning he puts together another squadron that costs less points (point f). He can't actually bid for the same squadron, bidding here means that you will take that empire with a weaker squadron (points wise).

Assume no one outbids that initial bid, or just isn't interested in Feds.

Round 3 sees the same happen, say for the Klinks. The initial bid may be up to 645 points (120% of the Fed squadron). Player 5 as the next player after the player who got the Feds is the first bidder. Lets say he bids that amount (ships not relevant at the moment).

Again we go round starting with player 6 to outbid on the Klinks. Each bid is a new squadron costng less than the previous bid.

Player 4 wins the Klink bid with a bid of some 550 point squadron. As he already had the Feds, that squadron is back up for assignment/bidding starting with player 5. Player 5 can take the squadron as is, and then those after him can outbid him again. If no one wants the Fed squadron it is discarded, and the Feds are not in (unless you, as judge, choose them again in another round).

If the above happens, but the person winning has the initial Romulan squdron then that squadron must remain in the game. If no one bids for it then player 1 will be stuck with it, as he would have been the last player to say no in this example (player 2 had the Roms, so bidding starts with player 3 and comes round the player 1 last).




OK that is a bit long winded, but I could do with the example. Is it correct? Is the main gist of the process that you are not bidding for some handicap (e.g. you think Gorns cost to much, so want to take 3 BCs for 450 points, rather than 480), but rather you are bidding for a specific squadron of that empire you are prepared to play given what is already in. You can still take the 3 Gorn cruisers if the highest current bid means 480 points is within 120%. But until the final round of bidding you have no idea whether 480 points of Gorn cruisers are facing squadrons around 450 points or 600 points. The only opponent you can be sure of is the 450 point Rom squadron.
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ncrcalamine
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dont like the 25 range. It you are a two turn arming or three turn arming race this really hurts you. You are way down on power.

I hate the minimium speed or 8. speed should not be dictated. You should be free to run your ships any way you wish. It does not force combat if someone does not wish to engage. Ie goe speed 8 side slip then turn away asap and accelerate. The the players determine thier own tactics.

If you want to start races close together allow two and three turn races to start with their weapons loaded or overloaded the way they want and just pay the holding costs.

Nicole
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ncrcalamine wrote:
I dont like the 25 range. It you are a two turn arming or three turn arming race this really hurts you. You are way down on power.
Nicole


Vice versa, allowing multi turn armers to get fully loaded/overloaded without much threat really hurts single turn armers. They come in with big front loaded damage without the problems that multi turn arming should give them.
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ncrcalamine
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

). The minimum point advantage over an opponent that needs to be achieved to score a win in a match will be equal to 25% of the point value of the lowest point value ship (not Fighter) involved in that match.

So if a fed player has a fleet with police cutter at 50 points the feds opponents only need to beat him by 10 points to win.






e. The empire will be offered to the next player in Bid Order after the player that has just been awarded a squadron. If that player wishes to bid on that empire, that player must within 24 hours bid (via a post on the FC Forum in this topic) a valid squadron for that empire with a total point cost no greater than 120% of the highest total point value squadron that has been awarded to a player so far. If a bid is not posted within 24 hours, the player will be obligated to pass. When a player passes, the empire will be offered to the next player in Bid Order who has not yet been awarded a squadron. If all players pass, the last player to pass who has not yet been awarded a squadron will be assigned a squadron bid for the empire by the Judge. The squadron bid picked out by the Judge will be the highest point value valid squadron bid allowed for that empire.

This means that if all pass the poster gets that squadron correct?
The 120 percent inflation means the 4 or 5 selectee could have a fleet twice as big as the first fleet. And the 8 or ninth players fleet could be 4 times the size.

There should be a hard cap on points.

f.
A player that has already been awarded a squadron (including the Base Squadron) may bid. However, if this player wins the bidding, the player will have to forfeit its previously awarded squadron. Bidding continues until all but one player has passed.

Seems to me that bidding could go on infinely in theory. A fed squadron is accepted but then the player takes the klingons with the feds disguarded then disguards the klinks when the feds com up again, and repeat.




Either i dont understand the bid process or it needs clarification

Nicole
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ncrcalamine
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf wrote:
ncrcalamine wrote:
I dont like the 25 range. It you are a two turn arming or three turn arming race this really hurts you. You are way down on power.
Nicole


Vice versa, allowing multi turn armers to get fully loaded/overloaded without much threat really hurts single turn armers. They come in with big front loaded damage without the problems that multi turn arming should give them.


The starting at range 40 helps not hurts disruptor races. The 2010 nat champ were lyrans, the 2011 champs were kninti. Range 40 makes it much easier to get two to three turns of range 15 saber dancing in. 12 disruptors averages 24 points damage, plus 1 point per p1 that are fired. This drops the front shields on at least one two turn ship and possibly two with minimal damage to the disruptor ships. Then get to range 9 or 10 and gut out weapons. The massed disruptors of a 450 point fleet are nasty.

If the goal is first turn combat start at range 10. If we Are worried about helping races out because they are percieved as weaker how about limiting speeds to 16 so plasma can be used as plasma and not as a three turn crappy bolter. Bolted plasma does not hit better closer than range 5 which almost all other ranged weapons do. Bolted plasma averages much less damage than 3 turns of disruptors, or 1.5 turn average of overloaded photons. This paragraph is facetious but illistrates a point that the restricive range and speed rules are dictating how we play the first turn.

I think these decisions are better lert to the players. If a fed player decides to turtle the first turn. The first turn just takes the time the one turn arming player takes to do his move and shoot. It should only slow the game down By 15 minutes. In face to face games the first turn this way takes less than 5 minutes.


Nicole
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ncrcalamine
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Addemdum: when i play 2 turn arming races i prefer not to preload weapons because those 2 to 4 battery power are critical. Starting so close virtually eliminates not preloading weapons.

In the last two online tournaments two turn arming races finished very poorly.

Nicole
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pinbot
Lieutenant JG


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wondered about the possibility of 120pt per round inflation too--but the 'discard your earlier choice and jump back in the bidding' does address it. If your first round 450 pt fleet ends up outgunned you can ditch it. Mind you, that could stretch out the bidding into a pretty long process. But it would be 'organic'--meaning chosen by the 'free market' of player bids. I do have a possible alternative in mind...whenever the discussion is opened up. It will be obvious to anyone who has ever played Amun Re or Homesteaders.

I'm optimistic about getting acquainted with the online system in time to sign up for this next event, so hopefully I'm a 'concerned party' in this discussion and not just 'crashing the party'
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ncrcalamine wrote:
The starting at range 40 helps not hurts disruptor races. The 2010 nat champ were lyrans,


Lyrans being the other race that gains by not being forced into turn 1 combat. They get to go into turn 2 with 120-160 points of auto hit damage potential that will cost zero energy with no risk attached to putting power to ESGs.


There is are a couple of reason that Feds and Lyrans in are up there amongst the top dogs of the standard tourney setup. They get to safely set up a big crunch pass with none of the energy issues that they might otherwise have to face. It gives them easy front loaded crunch damage with little risk.

There is a huge advantage to doing 100 damage now and nothing next turn, compared to 50 this turn and next turn.

If you can set up your photons, ESGs, PPDs before having to worry much about the opponent then the game noticeably favors you.

If you are fully overloaded on photons then the energy you have spent on previous turns when little was happening is irrelevant, all that matters is that this turn you can deliver 16 damage for 2 pts pf power. They average 4 times more damage than a disrupter at range 5-8 for the same power. They are more likely to blow through shileds, they will definately hit the same shield with all damage, they suffer less batterying, less shield repair and don't find they have lost weapons before thier next turn volley. They can spend the second turn taking full advantage of terrain, fire arcs, manouvering and EM to mitigate enemy fire if they desire, whereas the 1 turn armer is needing to keep on attacking with less focus on defense in order to make up the damage deficit the front loaded damage gave.

Starting at range 40 does not help that much, a crunch hitter is probably looking to deliver damage from closish range, he will very possibly be EM on the way in, reducing the 1 or 2 volleys he may have to take by up to half at longer ranges. Unless it is a fully open or very very large map it is very hard for the single turn armer to wear down the enemy enough before he gets hammered.

The goal is not first turn combat. The goal is to ensure that simply turtling to fully arm up is risky as you will be close enough to be overrun by an aggressive player (someone with plasma is particularly nasty), it may or may not happen. You can still fully arm up but you are no longer almost totally safe. There is risk to that tactic.

There are a number of people in the past who have complained about this turtle and arm up tactic on empires like the Feds. Some even use that to justify an acceleration limit rule change (to make speed 0 or 8 a bad choice on turn 1). Simply starting close enough to be overrun, however, evens the field whilst leaving everyone to then decide what to do. If you want you can sit under EM and fully arm, or turn around to get a bit of distance, or just engage with the power issues that crunch weaponary would normally entail.

Quote:
I think these decisions are better lert to the players.


Sure - next time we play I'll decide what range we start at. If I'm playing Gorn it will be range 0. I've played a lot of games with now with the closer setup, and in a generic setup I consider range 26 to be the fairest starting distance - close enough to force you to think seriously about the possible rush by the other guy, long enough to allow you keep away if you really want to, but not so easy as to make the get fully loaded and batteried back up a risk free tactic.


Last edited by storeylf on Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ncrcalamine wrote:
Addemdum: when i play 2 turn arming races i prefer not to preload weapons because those 2 to 4 battery power are critical. Starting so close virtually eliminates not preloading weapons.

In the last two online tournaments two turn arming races finished very poorly.

Nicole


I agree that preloading when starting at range is silly. But if you are not starting at range it is an important decision. No-one stops you sitting at speed 8 ready to fire fully overloaded photons in turn 1. Just as no one stops you turning around without pre-loadng and putting distance between you as you load up on the bigger map, even more so of there is a planet and dust rings to take advantage of.

The last 2 tourneys also had a handicap per empire (that I'm still not sure was that good). The last tourney being a start at range 26 one and the winner being a 3 turn armer!
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JimDauphinais
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A bit of a gushing water faucet got turned on Smile

I'll respond to each of these individually.
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Jim Dauphinais, Chesterfield, MO

St. Louis Area Fed Comm Group: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/STL_Federation_Commander/


Last edited by JimDauphinais on Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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