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Running to preserve a win late game. How would you approch fixing this?

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Running to preserve a win late game. How would you approch fixing this? 

 

 

Right... Trying again:

 

Long story short, If your opponent runs away, hunt his ship down and finish it off. If you can't then tough, he beat you fair and square.

 

Again, slow play is fundamentally unenforceable.

 

It is hard to chase down your opponent when he has 3 hit points left on his Decimator, and he takes 5 minutes to place his dial, so he ends up winning when time expires. This happened at Masachusetts Regionals 2015 on a table that decided who would make the cut. (not the aforementioned player)

 

Please recognize that the mentality you propose directly empowers players such as the Gen-Con runner-up to play low AGI ships, and then take a LONG time to play his dials. You can't kill his ships if the game ends 10 rounds early. Therefore, you score nothing, and there's nothing you can do about it. That's much more subtle than the 3 HP decimator example above, but it affects the game at least as much.

 

A similar scenario occurred in 2016 Massachusetts Regionals, with the 2016 Gen-Con runner up: he could have been justifiably given a game loss in his Top 4 for slow play, but instead went on to win the tournament. There are other local tournaments with this player that have played out with extraordinary similarity.

 

We are well beyond the point where you can reasonably use the argument "the scoring system is OK because you can always call a judge over on slow play". I don't think you can make this argument anymore to high level players without getting laughed out of the room. If slow play could have been enforced, then it would have been enforced at any number of tournaments that this player played in. Slow play is an incredibly large grey area. In the overwhelming majority of real world scenarios, it is impossible to tell if someone is intentionally stalling the clock vs merely playing slowly, even when the slower player is gaining an advantage by playing slowly.

 

I don't want to get into a discussion of this particular player, but it provides a perfect concrete example of specifically why the scoring rules at time are fundamentally broken. Perhaps he does not always intend to drag out the clock. He could just play slowly. However it is incontrovertible that this has given him an advantage that would not exist in an untimed game, or if partial point scoring were used.

 

 

So, how do partial points for ships help address the problem slow play?  Don't players like the above simply shift to ships like Corran Horn and Miranda?  Won't we still have ships that are not very vulnerable to losing points in the endgame and can effectively run (and thus unscrupulous players take advantage through slow play)?    I'm genuinely asking, here because I've not understood that aspect of the benefits of partial points even though I agree that penalizing slow play can be a problem.

 

As an example, there was a game late day 1A at World's where the eventual runner-up (Corran and Miranda) faced 3 CS X7 Defenders.  It was a game where there was neither player was willing to committ, so Miranda mostly just fired off TLT shots.   I think the game ended with one damage on one defender.   With partial points, doesn't that one damage on Ryad allow Corran and Miranda to simply run and regen the rest of the game?

 

Edit:  Also, I want to recognize Alex Yuen (apologies on spelling if I got it wrong) and Duncan Howard because they were in a tight battle on the stream from the Maryland regional yesterday and they were setting those dials incredibly fast in order to get more turns in even when they had the advantage.

Edited by AlexW

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They should make it so you don't count as destroyed if you fly off the table!

 

That way instead of running around for a bunch of time, if you want to end it, you just leave the table edge.  Make it feel like you performed a hit and run attack.

 

Maneuvering be damned!  I'm jousting once and then I'm outta there!  Match is over in 15 minutes and I can go get some pizza!

Edited by DarthEnderX

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Tbh i dont like the flying off the board mechanics. I wish it behaved like Reserves in 40k - you fly off the board, next turn you come back on a die roll from your table edge. Also opens up pilot abilities that benefit from this, such as no roll needed, come it from any table edge, etc etc.

Though you still need a ship on the table to keep playing. So it wouldnt do anything for this topic :P

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For what it's worth, there is a "shot clock" in golf... players can be warned for slow play and eventually penalized a shot.

 

I participated in a small store tournament a while back, and there was one match that was relatively decided. The eventual loser could have run around the board avoiding his opponent to save his margin of victory, but instead he engaged him, ultimately losing his last ship. I heard a number of spectators (this was the last game running that round, so most everyone was watching) saying how "nice" it was that he did that.

 

On the other hand, it was the last match of the day, and the positions for the cut / final tables were already set. Whether he lost 100-0 or 70-30 would not have changed anything. I would not expect a smart player to have played the same way if it did make a difference.

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Every watch a pro sport game at any level and see the winning team run down the clock?

 

Point out the baseball game or golf game where this has happened, and then we can talk apples to apples about how this applies to X-wing. ;)

 

To be fair, golf isn't really a sport. It's an activity. ;)

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and the positions for the cut / final tables were already set. Whether he lost 100-0 or 70-30 would not have changed anything. I would not expect a smart player to have played the same way if it did make a difference.

 

A smart player wouldn't.  If I'm at a tournament I'm there for two reasons.  One is to play X-Wing the other is to win.  Neither one is more important they're equal.

 

If I just want to play for fun, I can do that on league night or just show up at my LGS, but if I'm at a tournament I want to do as well as I can.

 

If running around for 5-10 or even 20 minutes is going to be the difference between making the cut or not, then I will and anyone who thinks I'm doing something wrong quite frankly doesn't get the point of the tournament.  

 

If there's a clock involved, then proper clock management is one of the skills that separates the winners from the losers.

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20 minutes into the match, block off range 1 from each player's side of the board (whole board gets smaller by 8" or so).  40 minutes in, block off range 1 from the sides.  60 minutes in, range 1 again from all sides.  Now you have a smaller area to run that's filled with asteroids.  If your ship is in the blocked off area when time to block it happens you have 1 move to get back on the board, then regular rules for edge of the board apply - ship destroyed.

 

Running is part of the game, your opponent has to be able to catch you.  I think it only gets detrimental when people also slow play.  You know what running looks like, engage or don't.  I've run in tournaments before, but my dials were also down long before my opponents.  Think of it like the final 2 minutes in basketball.  

That's incorrect to me.

My opponent needs to field their squad to the best of their ability, and understand how it operates and maximize their game effort to that end. It does not fall to me to be able to let them catch me. As was shown in a recent Regionals, well-flown K-Wings can catch TIE Interceptors and Defenders by understanding board control and how to use your ship to the best of your ability.

 

Edit: Presuming you're implying that it's both players case. If I misread your intent, I apologize, but my thoughts still stand.

Edited by Slugrage

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Its quite rare for a situation to pop up where one player literally cant catch the other. ARC vs a Lancer is probably the worst case scenario that would actually happen, as a palpmobile would be worse but odds are the palpmobile would melt long before any of its buddies anyway. ARC moves almost half as fast as a Lancer and has bad turns, while the Lancer has good turns. Even then, the ARC still can get a couple of shots every few turns because he cut off the Lancer, which cant turn left when hugging the board to his left so hes predictable.

 

Shrinking the board would also heavily impact a lot of ships ability to move at all. Even reducing it by range1 would cause several ships to go off the board a lot more often.

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It is hard to chase down your opponent when he has 3 hit points left on his Decimator, and he takes 5 minutes to place his dial,

Not what I'm talking about.

Let me rephrase: Running away to save HP is perfectly acceptable to me.

Taking forever to place dials is not.

 

OK. So what do you think about the rest of my post that you snipped from the quote, then?

 

 

Well you are partially ignoring the last paragraph in my last post where I purposely did not offer a change, but did describe how other games addressed slow play (play or shot clocks).  I would argue that in tournament rules, the time limit is also a valid end-game condition.  Not one that best fits a game where elimination is concerned, true, but still valid.  The scoring method that already exists is one that I have listened to your well thought comments on (here and on podcasts) regarding MOV and points destroyed (and previously wins vs partial wins etc).

 

I am not arguing that further changes to the game to make the experience more enjoyable are not warranted, but I am pointing out that Time is a valid component to this and other games (mostly in response to other posters who think conservative or safe play are poor sportsmanship).  I did also call into question that adding a variable calculation to be performed if a game goes to time between players attempting to post outcome and clean up the play area for next pairing in a limited amount of time, would be an ideal fix.  I don't have a better solution than what you came up with (which doesn't address slow play) other than to suggest a form of play clock, something I would rather not see. 

 

Baseball only continues in the event of a tie.  I have seen winning teams play conservatively... until the game played out.  But neither game has a time component so how is the comparison apples to apples at all? 

 

Nor was my comment an attack at dissenting opinions, simply that I feel you have to factor the clock into playing this and other games.  I mostly find it stressful and annoying when the player with one ship left on the board takes more time to setup than I do with 2 or more ships - aka slow play - but don't agree that playing with a time limit is a bad thing.  We don't have play clocks and penalties in X-wing and I hope it doesn't come to that, but it may if something unsportsmanlike such as slow play becomes endemic (which is how other sports addressed this problem).

 

 

A chess clock is, for better or for worse, not possible in X-wing due to the constantly interleaved nature of decision making. Choosing dials is only one way that the game can slow down. I have seen games where a player takes several minutes to decide on an action for their ship. Sometimes this is legitimate when you are at a crisis moment in the game.

 

Certainly the clock running down to 0 needs to be a trigger for the end-game in a tournament setting. Then the question is, how do you determine the winner? Unfortunately the current tournament rules do this very poorly. I agree that it can become a more complicated issue pragmatically. On the other hand, if the scoring system had always been partial points at time, then nobody would be talking about it being "hard". It would just be The Way Things Are, people would get used to it, and nobody would care.

 

So, how do partial points for ships help address the problem slow play?  Don't players like the above simply shift to ships like Corran Horn and Miranda?  Won't we still have ships that are not very vulnerable to losing points in the endgame and can effectively run (and thus unscrupulous players take advantage through slow play)?    I'm genuinely asking, here because I've not understood that aspect of the benefits of partial points even though I agree that penalizing slow play can be a problem.

 

As an example, there was a game late day 1A at World's where the eventual runner-up (Corran and Miranda) faced 3 CS X7 Defenders.  It was a game where there was neither player was willing to committ, so Miranda mostly just fired off TLT shots.   I think the game ended with one damage on one defender.   With partial points, doesn't that one damage on Ryad allow Corran and Miranda to simply run and regen the rest of the game?

 

Regen is a weird corner case, but if anything I think partial points hurts it a little. Double regen certainly gets absurd MoV in the current rules. If Corran / Miranda thinks they can do 1 point of damage and then run away for 60 minutes for the win... They would have to give up their flank the whole time, and all it would take is one damage on Corran in the last round to lose, so I don't see that as being a viable strategy.

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Again, slow play is fundamentally unenforceable.

 

 

It's more it is impossible to enforce in a uniform way. Slow play/stalling is enforceable. It just requires a judge's judgement. As someone who has dealt with this issue in another game, it isn't a fun thing to deal with. 

 

 

I feel bad for any TO that has to deal with calls like this. They are REALLY not fun. The rules as currently written have created an environment which encourages players to cheat, and then hope that they don't get a TO called over for it. And if a TO is called over, it can still be very difficult to prove the player was cheating (stalling). This is ultimately a failure of the rules, not of the players who slow play or the TO's who do not enforce it.

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A chess clock is, for better or for worse, not possible in X-wing due to the constantly interleaved nature of decision making. Choosing dials is only one way that the game can slow down. I have seen games where a player takes several minutes to decide on an action for their ship. Sometimes this is legitimate when you are at a crisis moment in the game.

 

 

THIS is a real problem. My last game at the regionals in Omaha was against someone i was about to call the TO on because he was seriously ticking me off taking about a minute per decision. He had 2 ships, i had 2 ships, i had my dials set/actions planned and everything in mere seconds (counting for what he could do as well) while hes still deciding one dial. Dude took like almost 2 minutes to decide to take ONE SHIELD off Dengar and keep his focus for his revenge attack, or spend it and take no damage and fire unmodded. Like, really? Something like that should never take more than a couple seconds. I took my phone out, answered a lengthy text with a lengthy text, and put it back in my pocket LONG before he decided to not spend the focus.

 

I can understand it if its seriously a difficult decision, such as planning out a move that doesnt bump when it looks like you cant avoid it. I dont instantly set my dials every time. But when you stall like that for almost every decision its unacceptable.

 

edit: Oh and he also questioned literally everything i did. Even the obvious stuff like Chewie's ability (old). Afterwords it clicked that he was literally just stalling me. I took out his last ship with 3min to spare, and he never fled from me. If that doesnt give you an idea how much he stalled dont know how to explain it more. There was maybe 3 turns w/o any dice thrown, and never was there a solid defense causing 0 damage to go through.

Edited by Vineheart01

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Playing defensively to preserve a lead is the norm in any game where the game can be decided by points and has a limited timer.  It's just the logical conclusion that anyone can reach with a basic understanding of the rules.

 

Have the life lead in a fighting game and the clock is running out? Play defensively and minimize your risks to either win by time or force the opponent into taking big risks.  Your team is ahead in an FPS game and time is running out?  Set up a defensive position.  Even in the NFL this kind of thing is done withe the quarterback intentionally kneeling to run the clock out.

 

You don't have to like it but to declare it a major problem that needs fixed seems a bit misguided.  Sometimes you just have to accept the limitations of your game format.

 

 

Slow play is its own thing and is kind of a unique feature of tabletop games.  In a video game the game itself acts as referee and enforces pretty much all the rules automatically.  In sports you have rules for exactly how much time you are allowed to take for any and all actions and you get a designated 3rd party dedicated entirely to refereeing your individual match. 

It's very difficult to enforce a vague concept of "slow play" without very specific rules regarding time and a neutral 3rd party constantly watching to enforce them, which isn't really feasible.  Hence tabletop games tend to essentially rely on the honor system even for higher level competitive events.

Edited by Effenhoog

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Again, slow play is fundamentally unenforceable.

 

 

It's more it is impossible to enforce in a uniform way. Slow play/stalling is enforceable. It just requires a judge's judgement. As someone who has dealt with this issue in another game, it isn't a fun thing to deal with. 

 

 

I feel bad for any TO that has to deal with calls like this. They are REALLY not fun. The rules as currently written have created an environment which encourages players to cheat, and then hope that they don't get a TO called over for it. And if a TO is called over, it can still be very difficult to prove the player was cheating (stalling). This is ultimately a failure of the rules, not of the players who slow play or the TO's who do not enforce it.

 

 

You are dealing with humans. You really can't write an all inclusive ruleset to govern human behavior. 

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It is hard to chase down your opponent when he has 3 hit points left on his Decimator, and he takes 5 minutes to place his dial,

Not what I'm talking about.

Let me rephrase: Running away to save HP is perfectly acceptable to me.

Taking forever to place dials is not.

 

OK. So what do you think about the rest of my post that you snipped fromfrom the quote, then?

Initially? TL;DR. You misinterpreted my post and I wanted to clarify my stance.

If someone is slow playing point it out to them, if they carry on call a TO, if the TO does nothing about it there's not much else you can do other than let everyone know what you think of the slow-player and refuse to play them where possible.

The game does not really lend itself to rules that can prevent slow play without unfairly handicapping players with large ship numbers.

My original post was on what i thought the subject was: players running away and/or using regen.

Thats what i came here to discuss and if we've moved on to players slow playing then aside from generally being against it (and calling out players who do it) I've not much more to add.

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for the record, number of ships doesnt increase the amount of time needed by much.

I move my 8man tie swarm just as fast and accurately as my 3man T70 list. The few people i see running 4+ ships dont have any issues either.

 

The main issue is low number ship lists make that maneuver much more punishing if its a bad one, so people spend way more time planning one ship when they only have 2-3. 4+, you probably only have 1 MAYBE 2 ships that are important, so you could care less about the rest of them.

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20 minutes into the match, block off range 1 from each player's side of the board (whole board gets smaller by 8" or so).  40 minutes in, block off range 1 from the sides.  60 minutes in, range 1 again from all sides.  Now you have a smaller area to run that's filled with asteroids.  If your ship is in the blocked off area when time to block it happens you have 1 move to get back on the board, then regular rules for edge of the board apply - ship destroyed.

 

Running is part of the game, your opponent has to be able to catch you.  I think it only gets detrimental when people also slow play.  You know what running looks like, engage or don't.  I've run in tournaments before, but my dials were also down long before my opponents.  Think of it like the final 2 minutes in basketball.  

 

Constricting the field?  Why not just start off small and then EXPAND the field to give ships more room for maneuvers once in initial encounter takes place?  Maybe there is sarcasm in the suggestion that you just squeeze the board until the big fortress lump has free reign on everyone else but that just furthers the problem.

 

As for the last 2 minutes in a basketball game they can either go by quickly or take FOREVER depending on how much one side is willing to risk stopping the clock to allow the other side free scoring opportunities.

 

 

 

Every watch a pro sport game at any level and see the winning team run down the clock?

 

Point out the baseball game or golf game where this has happened, and then we can talk apples to apples about how this applies to X-wing. ;)

 

 

Those sports may not have clocks but there certainly are things that a side with a good lead will do.  In baseball if you are winning handedly you probably aren't putting in pinch hitters/runners or doing some of the other things a team desperate for more runs will do.  In golf a player with a good lead on the opposition may opt for safer shots instead of going for high risk/high reward shots that could shave points off of a score but risk putting the ball in a terrible position for maintaining the current position.

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Every watch a pro sport game at any level and see the winning team run down the clock?

 

Point out the baseball game or golf game where this has happened, and then we can talk apples to apples about how this applies to X-wing. ;)

Those two games don't rely on time. Soccer, basketball and hockey are timed events. While all three have some mechanism to prevent an absurd amount of abuse, teams can and do push the time to the limits.

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Alex & Frank already answered this question around wave 5 (in a TC interview iirc), and they said that it disengaging was a perfectly viable. If it plays to the strengths and role of the ship, the squad, and/or the situation, then it's an option you should consider.

 

Edit: I see I missed the page where we all went completely off topic. In that case there actually are a couple "rules" to discourage slow-playing, they're just not in the rulebook or tournament guide.

 

Rule 1) Don't be a D***.

Rule 2) Fly Casual.

 

Those rules can be applied to just about every game, or social encounter.

Edited by Radarman5

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Sometimes you just have to accept the limitations of your game format.

 

The limitation of the game format, is that you need a clock so tournaments run on schedule. I think everyone is OK with that.

 

However there is NOT a limiting factor on how you decide a winner for a game that goes to time. Some ideas are certainly better than others, and there are definitely solutions that could be worse than what exists now, but there is still significant room for improvement.

 

 

 

The rules as currently written have created an environment which encourages players to cheat, and then hope that they don't get a TO called over for it.

 

You are dealing with humans. You really can't write an all inclusive ruleset to govern human behavior. 

 

 

I agree.

 

Is there a conclusion based on this?

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Sometimes you just have to accept the limitations of your game format.

 

The limitation of the game format, is that you need a clock so tournaments run on schedule. I think everyone is OK with that.

 

However there is NOT a limiting factor on how you decide a winner for a game that goes to time. Some ideas are certainly better than others, and there are definitely solutions that could be worse than what exists now, but there is still significant room for improvement.

 

 

 

The rules as currently written have created an environment which encourages players to cheat, and then hope that they don't get a TO called over for it.

 

You are dealing with humans. You really can't write an all inclusive ruleset to govern human behavior. 

 

 

I agree.

 

Is there a conclusion based on this?

 

 

There is, it's in a book called A Brave New World. But I don't think anyone's really gonna go for that.

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Its quite rare for a situation to pop up where one player literally cant catch the other. ARC vs a Lancer is probably the worst case scenario that would actually happen, as a palpmobile would be worse but odds are the palpmobile would melt long before any of its buddies anyway. ARC moves almost half as fast as a Lancer and has bad turns, while the Lancer has good turns. Even then, the ARC still can get a couple of shots every few turns because he cut off the Lancer, which cant turn left when hugging the board to his left so hes predictable.

 

Shrinking the board would also heavily impact a lot of ships ability to move at all. Even reducing it by range1 would cause several ships to go off the board a lot more often.

Shortens the game and makes it more exciting. I don't see a problem...

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