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cyclopeatron

Optimal intentional draw strategy / manipulating top cut

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Here's an interesting, detailed article on using intentional draws to your advantage:

 

http://thecharizardlounge.com/2015/01/07/a-practical-guide-to-intentional-draws-at-pokemon-city-championships/

 

The basic math is all in there, but the most interesting part of the article is "Playing From a Position of Power", which discusses more advanced strategies on how to use IDs to manipulate the seed order and matchups in the final cut.

 

The article is on a Pokemon blog, but it's all relevant for X-wing now, apparently...

 

 

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You can joke, but this stuff is real now my friends...

 

The card gamers have been through all this. Maybe we should stop whining and start listening.

 

I think it's also worth pointing out that many of the card gamers had an initial negative reaction to IDs, but none of the companies backed down. IDs are integral to tournament play in pretty much all swiss format tabletop games. Looks like we better get used to it.

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You can joke, but this stuff is real now my friends...

 

The card gamers have been through all this. Maybe we should stop whining and start listening.

 

I think it's also worth pointing out that many of the card gamers had an initial negative reaction to IDs, but none of the companies backed down. IDs are integral to tournament play in pretty much all swiss format tabletop games. Looks like we better get used to it.

Or FFG Organized Play could learn from the repeated failures of Swiss with a single-elimination cut in other tabletop games, instead of relying on the same anti-competitive band-aid those games have already imposed on their players.

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You can joke, but this stuff is real now my friends...

 

The card gamers have been through all this. Maybe we should stop whining and start listening.

 

I think it's also worth pointing out that many of the card gamers had an initial negative reaction to IDs, but none of the companies backed down. IDs are integral to tournament play in pretty much all swiss format tabletop games. Looks like we better get used to it.

 

The problem is that ties are not normal in X-Wing, there's no best of three or stuff like that. This ruling makes it ties more common, not less.

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It's the way it is.  If two people are at the top of the chart that they can both take a Draw and for sure make the cut?  Then it's in the rules.  X-wing just got even more cut throat than normal, but that's the way it is.  Those top table games have always been uber competitive, so why not just make it official?  

 

Just another reason for me to opt out and have fun with casual games!  I've been tired of the "top tables" mentality for a long time.  Maybe some other people might take a step back and re-evaluate what makes the game fun?  I hope so.  

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Do we really need another thread regarding IDs?

 

Yes, absolutely - this is not meant to be a whining thread like the others. It's a link to a strategy article. 

 

The article I posted was actually very useful for me to understand practical decision making in terms of IDs. I thought it would be nice to share it.

 

I am not bothering to read the 50+ pages of whining a teeth gnashing, and I regret some people brought it into this thread.

Edited by cyclopeatron

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Do we really need another thread regarding IDs?

 

Yes, absolutely - this is not meant to be a whining thread like the others. It's a link to a strategy article. 

 

The article I posted was actually very useful for me to understand practical decision making in terms of IDs. I thought it would be nice to share it.

 

I am not bothering to read the 50+ pages of whining a teeth gnashing, and I regret some people brought it into this thread.

 

or you know, just play the game out and NOT ID.

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This article is very useful in terms of highlighting the reality of intentional draws, and also pointing out something that the Roanoke Top 8 did not apparently realize: in Round 4, the 3 undefeated players could have taken an intentional draw for the subsequent 2 rounds and still made the cut.

Let me add that the Pokemon tournament doesn't have the same number of players/rounds as we do, though. So while it's likely that an N-0-2 player can draw for 2 rounds and make a cut, it isn't actually guaranteed.

If you want to know when the earliest time you can safely take an ID is, you need to (before the rounds start) plug the number of players into http://swisstriangle.net/and examine the record of the Top X.

With an N-0 record, once you've reached the minimum number of points that will make it into the Top X, all subsequent rounds will not matter as long as you exceed that number of points (e.g. ID'ing to N-0-2).

You actually find that it isn't safe to ID from 2 rounds out for, say, a 65-person 6 round Swiss tournament, because the top 8 has a chance of winding up with 2 players at 30 and 6 at 25. An ID for 2 rounds from Round 4 on will only net you 22 points, so you can't make the cut like that.

This is a horrible rule and should be repealed along with a restructuring of the X-Wing tournaments, but as long as they continue to be in existence, every player deserves to know how to use IDs as effectively as possible. Because, with a couple examples coming readily to mind, no amount of community pressure not to use them would deter some players from still exploiting the rule.

Better to let all players exploit it equally well, for as (hopefully not) long as it lives.

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You can joke, but this stuff is real now my friends...

 

The card gamers have been through all this. Maybe we should stop whining and start listening.

 

I think it's also worth pointing out that many of the card gamers had an initial negative reaction to IDs, but none of the companies backed down. IDs are integral to tournament play in pretty much all swiss format tabletop games. Looks like we better get used to it.

But why?  I need someone to explain considering xwing isnt scored at all like the card games this comes from

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Certainly an interesting article.

 

That "IDing from a position for Power" part has me wondering, does X-Wing actually have those situations where you have auto-loss/extremely undesirable matchups that you would actively work to avoid?  I hope we never get to that situation although I'd recognize that many matchups may favor one side or the other.

 

The double-draw into the cut does cause me to rethink things a little bit.  Here I'm back to the idea that there should be various degrees of wins, losses, and perhaps even draws so that the situation isn't so cut a dry as to when it may be successful.  Maybe it will "mess up the beautiful tournament formats" but make modified wins more common and give the player to deprives someone a full win something and you should certainly muddy the waters when it comes to how safe an ID would be.  I'd also like to see more actual games end in effective draws but would award them 2 tournament points each; my thought is that a "real" win should see you killing more than a point more than your opponent so I'd look at a 6-10 point margin as being an effective draw.  If worse comes to worse just say no one could take more than one ID during a tournament.

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from that article "Sometimes winning the last round, or purposefully losing can increase your probability of winning the tournament." it seems ID just allow all kinds of standing manipulations, so wrong.

 

 

PS: AW we are discussing something interesting, just stop.

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The Sad Realization That I've Reached the End of an Epic Tale of Mockery and Sadness: A Panic 217 Original Biography Original Post Chain Here

Audio Weasel is Right, Just Because the Light has Forsaken my Post Doesn't Mean my Story is Over, I Have to Fight on: A Story of Faith and Honor Bound Duty.

 

Also This is Your Second Thread, Cut the Stuff: A Rage Bound Anger Factory

 

Revisitng The Past A Trip Unwanted By All: A Story of How Not Colluding to Collude is Technically Collusion.

Edited by Panic 217

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(Long post. TL;DR at bottom.)

 

The article covers only how to use ID to manipulate the top cut if you are one of the top players. But middling players can use ID strategically too. Here's how.

Suppose Ralph is an average player in a Swiss with 4 rounds. He expects to win against half of the field and lose against half of the field. Ralph is a middling player and so comes to the first round paired with a random player, Adam. Ralph doesn't know if he will beat Adam or not, but he figures that he has around a 50% chance because he can beat about half of the field. If Ralph is lucky, then Adam is also a middling player AND understands the strategy that Ralph is trying to employ. Ralph offers Adam an ID. If Adam accepts, then they both earn 1 point and move on to round 2. For now we will assume that is the case.

 

In round 2, Ralph is paired with Bob, who lost last round and has 0 points. Because the pairings are based on points from previous rounds, Ralph now believes that he has a very strong chance to beat Bob—i.e., he has been downpaired with Bob. The assumption here is that if Bob were better than Ralph, then he would have won his first round. So Ralph decides to play this match with Bob, and he wins. He now has 6 points.

In round 3, Ralph faces Charles. Because of the pairing, Charles has either 5 or 6 points. Ralph is in the same situation that he was in before with Adam in round 1. He offers Charles an ID. Charles is also a middling player (otherwise he would likely be either 2-0-0 or 0-0-2, and not playing Ralph) and—luckily for both himself and Ralph—understands the strategy, so Charles accepts the ID, and they both earn 1 point.

 

In round 4, Ralph faces Dave. He must win against Dave, and this is really the only match that he's unsure of, and the only match that counts. Because he can beat about half the field, there is a 50% chance Ralph will win. If he does, he's in contention for the top cut. His score will be 12 points.

Meanwhile at least some of the top players (Jim and Jeff) lost their second round and are at 2-1-0 (10 points) going into round 4. Now a draw isn't good enough to get them into the top cut. Jim and Jeff must play their fourth round. One of them (Jim) will win, and the other (Jeff) will lose.

So our middling player Ralph will finish above one of the better players, Jeff, by playing only two of his four games, and he has removed their ability to take an ID to guarantee a top cut finish.

Sometimes this strategy won't work, even if all of his ID offers are accepted. Ralph depends on his ability to beat Bob in round 2 (which is probable) and to beat Dave in round 4 (which is possible). But if prizes are given for the top 8 and this strategy puts Ralph at #7 some percentage of the time and puts him at #20 the other times, whereas just playing all the games out usually puts Ralph in at #10-#15 (where no prize is offered), then this is a paying strategy.

 

I hope this serves to illustrate that we weaker players can use ID strategically in tournaments too—though it will be a long time before I would consider myself as good as "middling."

TL;DR: If you expect to go 2-2-0 in a tournament, you can instead take IDs during strategic rounds to change your expected record to be 2-0-2, thus improving your final standing.

Edited by stonestokes

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(Long post. TL;DR at bottom.)

 

The article covers only how to use ID to manipulate the top cut if you are one of the top players. But middling players can use ID strategically too. Here's how.

Suppose Ralph is an average player in a Swiss with 4 rounds. He expects to win against half of the field and lose against half of the field. Ralph is a middling player and so comes to the first round paired with a random player, Adam. Ralph doesn't know if he will beat Adam or not, but he figures that he has around a 50% chance because he can beat about half of the field. If Ralph is lucky, then Adam is also a middling player AND understands the strategy that Ralph is trying to employ. Ralph offers Adam an ID. If Adam accepts, then they both earn 1 point and move on to round 2. For now we will assume that is the case.

 

In round 2, Ralph is paired with Bob, who lost last round and has 0 points. Because the pairings are based on points from previous rounds, Ralph now believes that he has a very strong chance to beat Bob—i.e., he has been downpaired with Bob. The assumption here is that if Bob were better than Ralph, then he would have won his first round. So Ralph decides to play this match with Bob, and he wins. He now has 6 points.

In round 3, Ralph faces Charles. Because of the pairing, Charles has either 5 or 6 points. Ralph is in the same situation that he was in before with Adam in round 1. He offers Charles an ID. Charles is also a middling player (otherwise he would likely be either 2-0-0 or 0-0-2, and not playing Ralph) and—luckily for both himself and Ralph—understands the strategy, so Charles accepts the ID, and they both earn 1 point.

 

In round 4, Ralph faces Dave. He must win against Dave, and this is really the only match that he's unsure of, and the only match that counts. Because he can beat about half the field, there is a 50% chance Ralph will win. If he does, he's in contention for the top cut. His score will be 12 points.

Meanwhile at least some of the top players (Jim and Jeff) lost their second round and are at 2-1-0 (10 points) going into round 4. Now a draw isn't good enough to get them into the top cut. Jim and Jeff must play their fourth round. One of them (Jim) will win, and the other (Jeff) will lose.

So our middling player Ralph will finish above one of the better players, Jeff, by playing only two of his four games, and he has removed their ability to take an ID to guarantee a top cut finish.

Sometimes this strategy won't work, even if all of his ID offers are accepted. Ralph depends on his ability to beat Bob in round 2 (which is probable) and to beat Dave in round 4 (which is possible). But if prizes are given for the top 8 and this strategy puts Ralph at #7 some percentage of the time and puts him at #20 the other times, whereas just playing all the games out usually puts Ralph in at #10-#15 (where no prize is offered), then this is a paying strategy.

 

I hope this serves to illustrate that we weaker players can use ID strategically in tournaments too—though it will be a long time before I would consider myself as good as "middling."

TL;DR: If you expect to go 2-2-0 in a tournament, you can instead take IDs during strategic rounds to change your expected record to be 2-0-2, thus improving your final standing.

this strategy makes sense as much as what the top 8 did at R. and it shows a reason why IDs applied indiscriminately are idiotic

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I don't see why you wouldn't just ID at the start of the tournament. Submarine yourself to the lose tables then just win the rest. Not only do you cheat the system for 2 rounds, you then have one of the best tournament scores that next set, but not high enough to go against the top tables. Sounds like all around wins for the people that game the system.

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I don't see why you wouldn't just ID at the start of the tournament. Submarine yourself to the lose tables then just win the rest. Not only do you cheat the system for 2 rounds, you then have one of the best tournament scores that next set, but not high enough to go against the top tables. Sounds like all around wins for the people that game the system.

You don't need ID to do that. You can just concede toward the end of your first game (IIRC conceding doesn't affect your MOV too much as it's not a 0-200 loss; Mov is still calculated based on what you killed but it still gives you the loss you need)

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I don't see why you wouldn't just ID at the start of the tournament. Submarine yourself to the lose tables then just win the rest. Not only do you cheat the system for 2 rounds, you then have one of the best tournament scores that next set, but not high enough to go against the top tables. Sounds like all around wins for the people that game the system.

You don't need ID to do that. You can just concede toward the end of your first game (IIRC conceding doesn't affect your MOV too much as it's not a 0-200 loss; Mov is still calculated based on what you killed but it still gives you the loss you need)

That gains me no MoV, yoy don't want to chance a lose. Taking a ID is the perfect way to game the system, get in the losers bracket and stay there. Then have a for sure top 8 cut placement.

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the thing i don't get about you ID to Win types, is it take two ******* people to ID, theres 0%* chance your opponent will ID round 1.

 

*Unless your opponent is just as sh*tty as a person as you.

 

You go to a major tournament to play a tiny plastic ship game and make pew pew sounds, but now you have to cry yourself a damned river because a situation arose which wont affect you because you're terrible. Fly less sh*tty

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the thing i don't get about you ID to Win types, is it take two ******* people to ID, theres 0%* chance your opponent will ID round 1.

 

*Unless your opponent is just as sh*tty as a person as you.

 

You go to a major tournament to play a tiny plastic ship game and make pew pew sounds, but now you have to cry yourself a damned river because a situation arose which wont affect you because you're terrible. Fly less sh*tty

I can't believe I have to say this over and over, but "fly better" is not a solution to the problem of IDs.

 

First, initial pairings in X-wing are determined randomly, and with ID included in the tournament structure, the results of those initial pairings now gain a great deal of additional weight. That means tournaments with ID are more random and less competitive than tournaments without, regardless of the skill levels of the players involved.

 

Second, there are a lot of reasons a player can lose a game that aren't in his or her control. I had a game at GenCon a few years ago where my opponent rolled 11 attack dice without a single focus or blank result, and I didn't roll a single evade. I lost a full-health Firespray before it ever fired. I had a friendly game earlier this year where Soontir Fel + Stealth Device + Autothrusters was one-shotted by an Academy Pilot at Range 3 behind a rock: I blanked my evade dice, he got one crit through, and I drew Major Explosion to Direct Hit. 

 

But I guess your position is that it's perfectly fair to look at someone who's defeated by a bad cold streak on the dice, or by an unusually bad matchup, or by a bad rules call by a judge, any of the half-dozen ways you can lose a match even if you play perfectly, and conclude that player just should have flown better because then IDs wouldn't have any effect.  :rolleyes:

 

IDs are an anti-competitive band-aid for a problem X-wing has never had. They have a negative impact on the integrity of the tournament, and that's true regardless of my performance, either in an individual tournament or overall.

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