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RapidReload

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  1. RapidReload

    Star Wars Armada: Vassal module version 3.10.0

    Well I had a look at it. Was a little disappointed that it is only the Vassal source code, was hoping for the Armada module source code. Anyway. With respect to the RNG, not much one can say really, and it is in fact a bit of a black box. The key is that protected java.util.Random ran; is later set to ran = GameModule.getGameModule().getRNG(); which is protected Random RNG = new SecureRandom(); According to the specification, SecureRandom will generally use the SHA1PRNG algorithm, which is an old cryptographic hash function that is apparently re-implemented (changed) by SUN for Java at times, and it is not known what the current java implementation looks like beyond: SHA1PRNG The name of the pseudo-random number generation (PRNG) algorithm supplied by the SUN provider. This algorithm uses SHA-1 as the foundation of the PRNG. It computes the SHA-1 hash over a true-random seed value concatenated with a 64-bit counter which is incremented by 1 for each operation. From the 160-bit SHA-1 output, only 64 bits are used. The general structure is well known (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SHA-1#/media/File:SHA-1.svg), however there are some inputs that may vary, as may the function F. Generally I can add that the seed value is set once, at the start of the Vassal engine to whatever SHA1PRNG uses as seed as it is not set explicitly by the Vassal implementation and later not changed. While, from a cryptographic standpoint this is not good, for the application scenario here its not a real issue, we are unlikely to throw enough (~2^64) dice, however there could conceivably be an issue with the reduction from the 160-bit SHA result to the 64 bits used by Java, to the 8 numbers used by Armada Vassal. The design of SHA-1 leaves the lower 64 bit of the hash the same as were bits 32-95 a round earlier ... this might in fact not be good for our specific use case, as these are then possibly mapped directly to values in the range 0-7. However any issue there would be on the side of Java/Sun, so I guess we'll have to trust them and have no way of checking :-p. They might even take those 64 bits from the middle of the hash, who can say. I would in fact prefer an implementation based on the standard java.util.random class using a PRNG based on the linear congruential method as this would allow for a perfectly controllable, better understood, also nicely randomized, and faster implementation of the dice rolling, but hey, small problem. Finally, each player will have their own SHA1PRNG running and synchronizing their results via the Servers - I was not certain this happened, thus it is in fact impossible for results rolled by one player to influence the results from the other player in any way, so good news on that, if you roll badly and your opponent rolls well, blame your own SHA1PRNG, the devil.
  2. RapidReload

    Star Wars Armada: Vassal module version 3.10.0

    Wooooot? Looking at that baby asap. (As soon as my real baby is asleep). Might respond after I have a look at it, but your post makes me think I was right with: To be confirmed.
  3. RapidReload

    Star Wars Armada: Vassal module version 3.10.0

    Well if its been monte carlo'd who am I to ask polite questions. Let the self-flagellation commence.
  4. RapidReload

    Star Wars Armada: Vassal module version 3.10.0

    Thanks for looking all that up. Knowing a little bit about random number generators I did not find it strange that there may be 5 red blanks in a row, but that it often seems to get counterbalanced by a sequence of good results - and more often than for it to be coincidence in my estimation. In short, it would appear that the past results have an effect on the current result, which could happen if the seed value for the generator was not changed or was not independent from the other seed values used. But you looked up all the information so I guess its for me to believe what they say or not to.
  5. RapidReload

    Thanks FFG - no really

    The issue I see is that complaints in social media / forums don't reach the people that can act on these until they traveled to 1+ layers of human abstraction, meaning that the person who reads our "opinions" at FFG cannot change anything themselves, at most they can go to their respective bosses and say "Hey, you know, 20 Armada guys arent happy", these bosses, if they cannot change anything might/might not carry this information further. At some point the person that could change something might hear of it in some form, that person will likely also hear of things like production cost, return on investment, new product launch, active player count .... for many a game and might not see it so dramatically, as they are likely not an active Armada player. I don't expect anything from a company but profit maximization, as they do not make decisions based on
  6. RapidReload

    Star Wars Armada: Vassal module version 3.10.0

    Once you get used to it, it can be actually faster than a real game. You are highly encouraged to create lists and save them prior to playing though, you can do that offline - saving is easy and there is a guide for it by GK.
  7. RapidReload

    Star Wars Armada: Vassal module version 3.10.0

    I was told by a friend @NebulonB who I think asked @Green Knight about it, that it did not use the Java Random class but some sort of Vassal internal rng function that was a bit of a black box. I hope I don't mis-remember something, please correct me if so.
  8. RapidReload

    Star Wars Armada: Vassal module version 3.10.0

    I tend to believe that it can achieve a normal distribution of possible results over many many die rolls, as one would expect from actual dice. However it does seemingly so in a tendentially predictable and unrealistic way. Getting 5 red doubles followed by 10 blanks (only slightly exaggerated) may satisfy statistics, but does not make for a good game. More precisely, I have too often noticed streaks of amazing luck, balanced out by streaks of abysmal rolls, sometimes making for highly unlikely and less enjoyable games. I play Vassal mostly to test lists without having to travel far for a physical game with friends. I learn less if the game is dominated by dice luck/misfortune. Its however not a large criticism, and it is true that all dice rolls are of course, theoretically possible :-p.
  9. RapidReload

    Star Wars Armada: Vassal module version 3.10.0

    Thanks so much for your great work on this great tool. However this made me cry inside. P.S. if i may be so bold and make a request: The rng for the dice doesnt really seem very random to me, dont know if this has been discussed in the past. Thanks again.
  10. RapidReload

    Thanks FFG - no really

    I feel like the relationship between the community and ffg has become similar to that of parent and child. They gave us many toys to play with, but as children are wont to, we are now bored with them and want new toys, if we dont get them we want to know at least when and what we are getting. In the meantime we throw temper tantrums. FFG, like the super parents they are, put up with it but dont attempt to placate the children or tell them anything until the new toys are finalized. Sometimes they get sad that the children are mad about this treatment. Of course in this analogy, we children pay the parents for the toys ourselves. I for one will not let myself be turned into a temper throwing child by a bunch of super parents :-p. Seriously, nothing will change by us providing valid, rational criticism and us telling them how we feel - they are at most mildly interested.
  11. RapidReload

    Salt

    Well Perersen was Ceo, so he was probably doing other stuff. But the other guy is mostly active on the civ pages and doesnt seem to work on Armada.
  12. RapidReload

    Salt

    I for one am interested what the impact of Petersen quitting will be. Do we have any knowledge why he quit? BGG lists him as the lead game designer of Armada as well - is that correct?
  13. RapidReload

    2018 VASSAL Autumn Tourney - Completed!

    Sounds like a deployment issue then. Well anyway, congrats to the winner, comiseration to the 2nd place player ;-p.
  14. RapidReload

    2018 VASSAL Autumn Tourney - Completed!

    That flotilla is really important, I recommend that trade to any aspiring Imperial Admiral.
  15. RapidReload

    2018 VASSAL Autumn Tourney - Completed!

    I'd argue that the issue is mostly with demo being such a good counter to yavaris if you are outactivated. Rieekan would help if you had something significant to shoot in that round but it doesn't sound like you did even if you had rieekan. Activation advantage vs these lists was the main motivation while i attempted for 6 act with my lists, of course it had an issue against superior sqds like yours. Do you think having the sqds way in front of the ships to head of demo via forcing overlap and shooting in the squad phase one round would have helped?
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