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I tested my dice...

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1 hour ago, President Jyrgunkarrd said:

I would never voluntarily participate in a shared die pool, because I bias my die pool and fully expect my opponents to do the same.

If you expect your opponents to do the same, you wouldn't be at a disadvantage either way and that's the point... level playing field.

Curiously what do you do to "bias your dice pool"? It's obviously possible to do "properly" but I haven't really seen evidence that anyone has a good process to date to do it. I certainly believe people *try* and *think* they are doing it though :)

1 hour ago, President Jyrgunkarrd said:

I also completely disagree with the framing of this matter as cheating. These are official products, I haven't tampered with them in any way, 

To me it's pretty clearly "unsporting conduct". You are not meant to extract an advantage by having biased dice, hence why you're allowed to ask to share dice in the first place. I've seen people who admitted to attempting this practice forced to use house dice for tournaments by the marshal, so I don't think my take on this is particularly uncommon :)

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4 minutes ago, punkUser said:

If you expect your opponents to do the same, you wouldn't be at a disadvantage either way and that's the point... level playing field.

Curiously what do you do to "bias your dice pool"? It's obviously possible to do "properly" but I haven't really seen evidence that anyone has a good process to date to do it. I certainly believe people *try* and *think* they are doing it though :)

To me it's pretty clearly "unsporting conduct". You are not meant to extract an advantage by having biased dice, hence why you're allowed to ask to share dice in the first place. I've seen people who admitted to attempting this practice forced to use house dice for tournaments by the marshal, so I don't think my take on this is particularly uncommon :)

My methodology is by no means as precise as yours (and I do not have your roll sample size); I measure the faces of each die (as you noted in your article, it is actually trivial to measure some of the most exaggerated distortions) to see which has the least surface area to land on, with the theory being that you'd want the most surface area on the face opposing your most desired result (a crit in the case of red dice, an evade in the case of green dice).

I combine this with the admittedly dubious but at least intuitive (and used in other applications to measure balance, albeit under much more stringent conditions) saltwater method (the theory here being that, so long as you submerge a die while keeping it level, all other things being equal, it will roll to the side it is most weighted towards).

Testing the methodology to determine what pool of dice to use is done by playing lots of games and recording every single made by every single die (there is no doubt some level of human error in my data here as the sorting method I used to isolate results to their individual die was not exactly the most precise thing in the whole world). On top of that, I track how much damage and evasion my list has actually output per game vs its average expected damage / evasion. Right now, I get about 5~% more damage and evasion than the averages.


As far as poor sportsmanship is concerned, no, I don't agree with that at all and would dispute it with any official event organizer. Is it also unsportsmanlike, for example, to use any number of the available online databases to see which lists & ships have the highest probability of winning and then pick ships / lists based on that information? Because that's a rather uncontroversial practice, as far as I'm aware. What is the meaningful difference between using statistics to your advantage when it comes to picking your models vs using statistics to your advantage when it comes to picking your dice?

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Solid engineering on the hard- and software, solid methodology, I like that! 

Good job and many thanks for sharing. 

I tend to get blamed for having good rolls (while the same people complain about their bad rolls) so maybe I should give the share pool option a try. 

Maybe do a roll-off: winner chooses whose dice to take, loser picks five of them. Do twice (once for red, once for green). Should limit potential "tuning dice to list preferences" 

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3 minutes ago, President Jyrgunkarrd said:

As far as poor sportsmanship is concerned, no, I don't agree with that at all and would dispute it with any official event organizer. 

You are aware that you have to share dice if your opponent requests it, right?

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4 minutes ago, President Jyrgunkarrd said:

What is the meaningful difference between using statistics to your advantage when it comes to picking your models vs using statistics to your advantage when it comes to picking your dice?

I would call the difference indirect to direct. 

Picking a list has an indirect effect, since many factors down the line will decide the outcome of an event. 

Picking dice and rolling them has a direct effect, since the result is immediately there and takes effect

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Just because this reminds me of it, here's a great article on perception of randomness, it explains many fallacies like expecting some hits after a streak of blanks:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/c08a/b58e5cdeaa040ac209ac6d66cd802d9c7492.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwjOgMS69fTiAhWT7KYKHQT7AwgQFjAAegQIBhAB&usg=AOvVaw3oNM3b5C91fmG5G8h7Aorn

 

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2 hours ago, President Jyrgunkarrd said:

What is the meaningful difference between using statistics to your advantage when it comes to picking your models vs using statistics to your advantage when it comes to picking your dice?

Building a list for advantage, by whatever method, is an intended part of the game.

Dice are part of the game mechanics, but are intended to provide a fair, random distribution. They don't always achieve this due to practical limitations. There is a rule allowing players to request use of shared components (including dice), and marshals / TOs to enforce use of shared components, which exists as a measure to counteract use of odd components. There is also a sanctioned dice app which produces more fair results.

There is also a clause under "unsporting conduct" which prohibits abusing the rules. Many players (and TOs) would regard deliberately selecting official dice which are biased due to a manufacturing defect to be an abuse of the rules. This could be compared with the rules for "margin of error", which acknowledges that some margin of error is allowable so that games can proceed at a reasonable pace, but forbids abusing this margin of error for advantage; by analogy, dice have a margin of error in their manufacturing process, but this should not be deliberately abused for advantage.

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5 hours ago, President Jyrgunkarrd said:

As far as poor sportsmanship is concerned, no, I don't agree with that at all and would dispute it with any official event organizer. Is it also unsportsmanlike, for example, to use any number of the available online databases to see which lists & ships have the highest probability of winning and then pick ships / lists based on that information? Because that's a rather uncontroversial practice, as far as I'm aware. What is the meaningful difference between using statistics to your advantage when it comes to picking your models vs using statistics to your advantage when it comes to picking your dice?

Wow. You're unbelievable. I guess I'll be asking all my opponents to roll the same dice from now on. 

Edited by AceWing

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5 hours ago, President Jyrgunkarrd said:

As far as poor sportsmanship is concerned, no, I don't agree with that at all and would dispute it with any official event organizer. Is it also unsportsmanlike, for example, to use any number of the available online databases to see which lists & ships have the highest probability of winning and then pick ships / lists based on that information? Because that's a rather uncontroversial practice, as far as I'm aware. What is the meaningful difference between using statistics to your advantage when it comes to picking your models vs using statistics to your advantage when it comes to picking your dice?

This last part is rather sad. Dice are supposed to random number generators without bias. If you are trying to skew results to your favour, that is poor sportsmanship. You are selecting a tool to improve your results, results that aren’t available to your opponent. A noob flying a worlds list is still a noob, so your net listing analogy doesn’t fly. What’s the issue with everyone using the same die? It doesn’t get fairer than that. 

I wish all tournaments did what GSP do, you could even use player 1’s red dice and player 2’s green die. Still gives people who have won die a chance to use them and saves confusion on whose die is whose. 

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8 hours ago, President Jyrgunkarrd said:

...I'm very grateful for the detailed breakdown here of the faults of commercial dice, and genuinely wish this knowledge was more widespread.

I would never voluntarily participate in a shared die pool, because I bias my die pool and fully expect my opponents to do the same. I think you aren't playing competitively if you don't do this, and putting yourself at a significant disadvantage. Until FFG mandates this practice, no, sorry - I don't see a good reason to use just whatever dice are lying around instead of ones that give you a 5~% edge while knowing that many other players will be doing the same thing.

I also completely disagree with the framing of this matter as cheating. These are official products, I haven't tampered with them in any way, I'm always up front about the variance I have tested for in my dice and searching through dice lots to find ones with positive variance is not much different (at least in mind) from looking through the different available ships / upgrades to see which represent 'wrong' point values in a direction that makes them more powerful than they ought to be (and let's be real, a 5~% dice edge in a vacuum is nowhere near the edge you will get by playing a top tier list vs an average list).

Out of curiosity, are you always up front about your biased dice before every tournament game?

 

6 hours ago, President Jyrgunkarrd said:

As far as poor sportsmanship is concerned, no, I don't agree with that at all and would dispute it with any official event organizer. Is it also unsportsmanlike, for example, to use any number of the available online databases to see which lists & ships have the highest probability of winning and then pick ships / lists based on that information? Because that's a rather uncontroversial practice, as far as I'm aware. What is the meaningful difference between using statistics to your advantage when it comes to picking your models vs using statistics to your advantage when it comes to picking your dice?

I think the discrepancy here is, I suspect most of us actually expect the D8 to be near 1/8th chance per side. If we do have that assumption/expectation, then we would perceive you trying to bypass that as circumventing the rules and expectations of the game.

You have a different expectation - that everyone will actually go through and try and game their dice.

 

I'm firmly on the side that the dice are simply supposed to be random number generators, with a known expected set of values and probabilities. Thus, I consider any attempt to bypass that cheating.

Also, you and I (and now, likely, and hopefully, others) will be sharing a common dice pool. So now you'll have to focus on biasing your squad to lean into your biased dice.

(Also, we're going to try and push to make the shared dice pool a random selection too).

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I think that in light of this data, an overwhelming number of players would agree that sharing dice in some way is the best way to currently mitigate this.  

Yes, I get the argument about finding every advantage in a competition.  I'm not that type of person, but I'm sure there are some players willing to find the optimum components.  Let's face it, there has to be defects at least this prevalent with template sizes, base sizes, obstacles, etc.  Then you get into the vast amount of ways you could game the system when you move a ship from just slight shifting to template placement and even the crazy nudge or table bump.

It would take something away from the overall experience of players expressing themselves, but I wouldn't be surprised to see FFG going to a standard set of components for the very highest-level tournaments like the world championship, where even the ships/bases could be from FFG stock and standard in every way and all other components are provided and shared by the table.

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7 hours ago, President Jyrgunkarrd said:

What is the meaningful difference between using statistics to your advantage when it comes to picking your models vs using statistics to your advantage when it comes to picking your dice?

There is a difference. The ships and lists are still the same for everyone. However your weighted dice are an advantage for you, unavailable and unknown to the other player, deliberately chosen by you. The analogy would be that FFG's abysmal quality control would also let slip through some fuzzyness in the published point lists. And by some statistical method, you have found among the pdfs/FFG app downloads available to you a faulty FFG app/pdf where e.g. Wedge is 51, Luke 60 and Leia 1.9. Unknown to your opponent, as it is shows 52, 62, 2, but calculates the wrong values when assembling the list total.

Or using a range ruler or bomb template you know having a slightly larger length/size.

Edited by Managarmr
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5 minutes ago, gennataos said:

@President Jyrgunkarrd - Are you a person people would know?  Like, could we find your name in a tournament on List Fortress?  Have you placed high in a Hyperspace Trial or above and can link us to that event?  

To be clear, I'm not looking to "out" you and burn you at the stake.  Just...if you don't go to larger events, then I don't see a point in anyone debating you, because you wouldn't be relevant to the competitive community.  Now, if you do go to larger events, do place high in those events, and you feel as strongly about your perspective as your posts suggest, then I'd imagine you wouldn't have a problem with people knowing who you are.  

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1 hour ago, dadocollin said:

but I wouldn't be surprised to see FFG going to a standard set of components for the very highest-level tournaments like the world championship, where even the ships/bases could be from FFG stock and standard in every way and all other components are provided and shared by the table.

I would actually be surprised. Let's face it, this is an amateur event with literally everybody paying to participate and nothing of hard cash worth to be earned.

If the world's price pool would be a million dollars then I could imagine ffg going that route

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11 hours ago, skins1924 said:

I like to lick my hands for luck before I roll. You don’t mind if we use your dice, do you?😂

 

10 hours ago, gadwag said:

I already spat on my dice for luck. Go ahead.

Just like anything I consider valuable, my dice will remain in my codpiece until required.

And they are just the right shade of warm when I need them.

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13 minutes ago, CheesyGC said:

I appreciate how thorough this is and it is interesting, but I'm afraid the most this will accomplish is to give more fodder to the people at my FLGS who fault their dice and can't seem to wrap their brains around statistics.

Yes there is that concern, but to be honest those folks never seem to need additional fodder anyways... they are going to complain no matter what. On the plus side I've found that sharing dice does cut down on that a bit. It may be a temporary effect until people are used to it, but it has definitely been noticeable.

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11 hours ago, President Jyrgunkarrd said:

...I'm very grateful for the detailed breakdown here of the faults of commercial dice, and genuinely wish this knowledge was more widespread.

I would never voluntarily participate in a shared die pool, because I bias my die pool and fully expect my opponents to do the same. I think you aren't playing competitively if you don't do this, and putting yourself at a significant disadvantage. Until FFG mandates this practice, no, sorry - I don't see a good reason to use just whatever dice are lying around instead of ones that give you a 5~% edge while knowing that many other players will be doing the same thing.

I also completely disagree with the framing of this matter as cheating. These are official products, I haven't tampered with them in any way, I'm always up front about the variance I have tested for in my dice and searching through dice lots to find ones with positive variance is not much different (at least in mind) from looking through the different available ships / upgrades to see which represent 'wrong' point values in a direction that makes them more powerful than they ought to be (and let's be real, a 5~% dice edge in a vacuum is nowhere near the edge you will get by playing a top tier list vs an average list).

I have no intention of changing your mind on what is cheating vs what is not cheating.

 

However, you did give everyone reading the thread good reason to start sharing dice in all their games, so that's good I guess.

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11 hours ago, President Jyrgunkarrd said:

...I'm very grateful for the detailed breakdown here of the faults of commercial dice, and genuinely wish this knowledge was more widespread.

I would never voluntarily participate in a shared die pool, because I bias my die pool and fully expect my opponents to do the same. I think you aren't playing competitively if you don't do this, and putting yourself at a significant disadvantage. Until FFG mandates this practice, no, sorry - I don't see a good reason to use just whatever dice are lying around instead of ones that give you a 5~% edge while knowing that many other players will be doing the same thing.

I also completely disagree with the framing of this matter as cheating. These are official products, I haven't tampered with them in any way, I'm always up front about the variance I have tested for in my dice and searching through dice lots to find ones with positive variance is not much different (at least in mind) from looking through the different available ships / upgrades to see which represent 'wrong' point values in a direction that makes them more powerful than they ought to be (and let's be real, a 5~% dice edge in a vacuum is nowhere near the edge you will get by playing a top tier list vs an average list).

This has to be my favorite post in the whole thread.  :P

This is the attitude I see among at least some pro players in a lot of games, though I'd honestly hoped X-Wing was different. (remember the guy who got in trouble for spinning dials at Worlds?  We couldn't believe it.  X-Wing is better than that!  And I saw behavior at our last Regionals that left us flabbergasted, such as deliberately switching from assigned tables to get better matchups and maximize their MOV.  Players obsessed with winning will justify anything).  In Magic The Gathering people look for ways to stack their deck with the way they shuffle.  Back in the days of Quake, people used to replace models and sounds so they could easily see opponents (even through walls sometimes) and gain a competitive advantage.  I'm sure someone out there has a buddy standing behind his opponent and signaling to him which maneuvers they're dialing in.

When someone is more focused on winning than on winning fairly, everything they can get away with becomes fair game.  But it's not fair, it's not honest, and it's not allowed.

The fact that the right dice can double the effectiveness of Heroic without any point cost investment, or have the same weight as a focus token on defense, shows just how much of a competitive advantage selected dice can offer.  And you're arguing that you should be allowed to produce this advantage, and not share it with your opponent.  Or in other words, you don't believe you should have to win only by the merits of your skill; you also need help from the dice that your opponent doesn't get.  You can be better than that.  There's no good reason to be relying on altered dice odds to help you win, and if you believe in yourself as a competent player, then a shared & fair dice pool should be something you embrace.

Players can make all the arguments and excuses they want, but stacking your dice to favor you is unsportsmanlike, if not outright cheating.  Dice are a part of the game that is explicitly meant to be random, and you're trying to tweak that component's randomness to favor you.  It's like using tricks to shuffle your MTG deck in your favor (e.g. by marking the sides of cards in some subtle way and learning to shuffle them into place).  If you have a problem with the random component of the game, this is the wrong way to address that.

Shared Dice Pools are the correct way to fix this competitive advantage -- it puts you BACK on a level playing field so you struggle to cheat effectively.

Quote

I would never voluntarily participate in a shared die pool, because I bias my die pool and fully expect my opponents to do the same.

You have every right to opt out of playing the game.  Refuse to share your dice and that's exactly what you're doing -- it's right there in the rules.  Any TO worth their salt will inform you that you're sharing, or you're leaving.

Shared dice pool prevents your opponent from gaining an advantage you don't gain, and it prevents you from gaining an advantage over them.  What exactly is the problem with fairness?  If you're so upset that other players could be tweaking their dice, then that's all the more reason to embrace a shared pool, randomly choosing which player provides which color of dice.

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