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Resetting the balance in competitive Epic, another approach.

 Post subject: Resetting the balance in competitive Epic, another approach.
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:02 am 
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Just another idea about how to approach the idea of balancing Epic across our diverse meta's

http://d6addiction.blogspot.com.au/2017/03/resetting-balance-in-competitive-epic.html


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 Post subject: Re: Resetting the balance in competitive Epic, another appro
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:15 am 
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Interesting ideas indeed.

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 Post subject: Re: Resetting the balance in competitive Epic, another appro
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:15 am 
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I think a good start would be playing the same interpretation of the rules between metas.

I different option which would not have the same potential to cause as much confusion amongst attendees and not upset the 1/3 support allowance balance is to award a different number of VPs at the end of the game depending on the matchup.


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 Post subject: Re: Resetting the balance in competitive Epic, another appro
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:20 am 
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I think a good start would be playing the same interpretation of the rules between metas.

Yup, this terrain LOS thing instantly changes the balance in favour of / against long-range shooting armies, I suspect.

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 Post subject: Re: Resetting the balance in competitive Epic, another appro
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:28 am 
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A very interesting idea.

Now if I pull out my power gamers hat and dust it off. I would start to look at the lists that were seen as poorer and game with these as I have more points to play with. Sounds good as players are not taking a top tier list. But what about the other way around, if I am thinking that I not the best of players and want as much advantage as possible then again I would look to the lists that are giving me a points bonus to compete with the better players.

Now I might be wrong, but could this not lead to a more sterile environment where less lists are taken?

I'll let the Fantasy / 40k tournament players put me right.

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 Post subject: Re: Resetting the balance in competitive Epic, another appro
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:31 am 
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Now I might be wrong, but could this not lead to a more sterile environment where less lists are taken?

If the top lists are really *that* good, they should still appeal.

Of course, we're looking at this from the POV of people who don't think Eldar are overpowered, so in the UK meta, yes this would reduce the variety of lists taken.

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 Post subject: Re: Resetting the balance in competitive Epic, another appro
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:45 am 
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can anyone from the UK seriously imagine facing dptdexys with an extra 300 points to spend on his codex marines?

verily he would be as a hound with two sets of genitals.... ;)

But in all seriousness, I think that in the UK at least, we've attained a level where most lists are competetive against most other lists, and if a list is seen as weaker, either it gets some buffs, or people play it as a flavour list and either try something drastically new with it (looking at you Mintroll) or play for the fun and don't expect to be competetive

I think the 'tiers' are a highly subjective thing, for example when looking at the UK Ghazgkull list, it has a lower win percentage than others, but that is in part due to the fact that RichardL, Steve54 and dptdexys haven't taken it in a tournament and their prodigious playing skill hasn't skewed the list/stats. So if you were ordering the lists according to tournament data, the orks may initially be placed in a lower tier, which may mean they gain a disproportionate advantage for a while.... the other method is organising them in a highly subjective way which will inevitably never reach consensus and may lead to people sulking and not participating because they feel their list has been disadvantaged unfairly....

Great players win games, regardless of lists or anything else....

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 Post subject: Re: Resetting the balance in competitive Epic, another appro
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:00 am 
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kyussinchains wrote:
can anyone from the UK seriously imagine facing dptdexys with an extra 300 points to spend on his codex marines?


Not what is being suggested as in the UK Marines wouldn't be a bottom tier list in the local meta. & yes giving dptdexys and extra 300 points only works when he turns up with a 3k army and you have a 4.

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 Post subject: Re: Resetting the balance in competitive Epic, another appro
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:28 pm 
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It's an interesting take on TO without advocating new lists in toto. Actually not different in concept to most comp packages. I do appreciate that it's noted that different regions would have a rejiggered set of tiers.

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 Post subject: Re: Resetting the balance in competitive Epic, another appro
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:43 pm 
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I'm still firmly in the camp that's it's the player, not the list. So to turn that idea on its side:

Code:
Last Placing  Points at Next Tourney
     1                 2700
    2-3                2850
    4-13               3000
   14-15               3150
    16                 3300

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 Post subject: Re: Resetting the balance in competitive Epic, another appro
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:59 pm 
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I think this is brilliant, a kind of "handicap" system.

Post this on that blog for comment.

Dave wrote:
I'm still firmly in the camp that's it's the player, not the list. So to turn that idea on its side:

Code:
Last Placing  Points at Next Tourney
     1                 2700
    2-3                2850
    4-13               3000
   14-15               3150
    16                 3300


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 Post subject: Re: Resetting the balance in competitive Epic, another appro
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:06 pm 
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Works in golf which say what you want is probably the most competitive individual sport in the world.

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 Post subject: Re: Resetting the balance in competitive Epic, another appro
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:21 pm 
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Tiny-Tim wrote:
Now I might be wrong, but could this not lead to a more sterile environment where less lists are taken?

I'll let the Fantasy / 40k tournament players put me right.


I played tournament Warhammer during 8th Ed, and went to a few where this sort of system was used. It was a slightly smaller bonus (I think it ranged between 50-150 extra points depending on army (with abase of 2K-2.4K). It...pretty much made no difference in list selection. But that's probably because the armies that were getting the extra points were just. So. Bad. People who wanted to compete still took the stronger lists (and ooh boy were some of the lists stronger around that time), and the one or two guys who wanted to bring Beastmen or Tomb Kings got a few extra toys to play with at the bottom of the rankings.


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 Post subject: Re: Resetting the balance in competitive Epic, another appro
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:35 pm 
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That's an interesting idea.

Not wholly dissimilar to what we've run in the London club league where, as we try to ensure we only have each race represented once, the higher you finished in the previous season the less likely you are to have first choice of army.

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 Post subject: Re: Resetting the balance in competitive Epic, another appro
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:21 pm 
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I agree that adopting a approach for handicapping players in Epic tournaments could be a really good idea, though it would require a number of things:-

  1. The ‘local’ community would need to track each person’s games record. At present that would at a country level eg UK, Australia, USA, Sweden, Germany, France etc.
    While the UK has that kind of data, it seems unlikely that it is available for any other groups.
  2. We would need to use a ‘rating system’, possibly based on a modified version of the western chess rating system. In chess, each player is awarded 1 point for a win, .0.5 for a draw and 0 for a loss.
    • In the simplest mechanism, a player’s “rating” is adjusted according to the games won / lost during a tournament.
    • More complex systems change a player’s rating depending on the strength of the opponent – which is arguably better, especially where there are fewer games and a greater variety of skill levels playing.
    This "player's rating" should probably continue from year to year unlike the UK championship, which is renewed each year.
  3. We would need to identify appropriate points breaks for each ‘band’ of players to be applied according to their 'rating'.
    Increments of 25 or possibly 50 points might work but definitely needs testing. These increments may also be different from list to list depending on the base costs for formations. Bearing in mind that 250 points represents a ‘standard’ formation or possibly two weaker ones, I would recommend not having a larger gap between top and bottom.
    • Using bands of 25 points would allow for eight bands ranging from 2900 – 3100 which might be a good starting point.
    • Using bands of 50 points will present distinctly different lists, but limit things to 4-5 bands at most.
  4. We would need to be sensitive to player's feelings - playing a series of games with extreme handicaps in place could end up discouraging the strong players from competing, the very players who are effectively the mainstay of the tournament scene.


An alternative might be to adopt a handicap approach similar to that in Shogi (Japanese chess), where the weaker player gets to remove a number of pieces depending upon the relative strengths of the two players. In Epic, this might translate to
  • Where the players are close in their strengths, allowing the Weaker player to ‘start’.
  • Allowing the Weaker player to start with some formations on OW or CAP (and still available for activation), other than those that are garrisoned.
  • Allowing the Weaker player to remove one or more formations up to a given value, from the opponent’s list.
  • Allowing the Weaker player to remove one or more enemy formations once they have been deployed.
  • Using some combination of the above would also provide finer graduations in the relative strengths of the player's "ratings".


Finally Note,
  • Tracking the relative strengths of players is a really good idea and is needed in any event. Ideally this should end up being global, irrespective of the different metas around the world, to assist in reviewing the various lists.
  • Longer tournaments (5-6 games) are generally better at ranking the players involved than one day, 3 game tournaments
  • Neither approach will cater for poor army matchups – and may even exacerbate this problem.
  • Even though TO may try to ‘arrange’ things and run a Swiss system, Players may possibly need to field subtly different lists in a single tournament to reflect the strengths of different opponents. So potentially they would need to provide two or three variations on a given list for use in the tournament, playing one or other depending on their opponent.
  • Adopting either approach will not make 'balancing' the lists any easier, and may well make it harder, because handicapping adjusts the relative strength of a player rather than the strength of a list.
    Ultimately the only way to balance a given list may well be to remove or adjust extreme results (both the best and worst players), which could be both difficult and contentious.


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