Removing (a bit of) luck from ASL

geezer

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Imagine outcomes of an event being located on a scale of 0 to 10

0 is totally predicatable, 10 is totally unpredictable

Playing chess would be a 0 on this scale, every move a player wants to make is exactly what happens, rolling two dice would be a 10 on this scale, the outcome is totally unpredictable. I think when you play ASL your probably located on 7-9 on this scale. Obviously, this is a tradeoff, a good dose of randomness is defintaly a good thing in ASL however too much of it is a bad thing.

The question becomes, is throwing dice the best way to play ASL? In my opinion, defintaly not. Although it certainly might be a reasonable and easy alternative. I think given the choice, alot of people would rather play ASL if it were located on the 5-6 region in the above mentioned scale.

I'm sure alternate systems have been discussed on these forums before. A simple system that comes to mind is creating a deck of 36 cards with all the dice rolling combination that can then either be selected or picked at random to simulate the dice. I don't really like that system so I wanted to propse another, however it would require programming and I would need some help from people here.

What I would like to see is a dice bot that examines your previous significant rolls and uses those to slightly skew the odds of your next rolls to try to average your rolls to 7. I have not worked out any of the math and there are many different ways to go about this. What i find so attractive with such a system is it would allow you to decide exactly where on the previously mentioned scale you want to play the game.

Here is a quick simple example:

Despite , the dice bot, you have been lucky and are averaging 6 on your rolls so far. You go to roll for a MC and the dice bot distributes the odds of getting each of the 36 different results according to a formula (not yet created). Here are the odds for your next roll (on the left column are what your odds would be without the dicebot, on the right your odds with the dicebot).Note that the math probably does not make sense for the right column, just illustrating how the bot would try eliminate a bit of luck.

12=2.78% 3%
11=5.56% 6%
10=8.33% 8.5%
9=11.11% 11.5%
8=13.89% 14%
7=16.67% 17%
6=13.89% 13%
5=11.11% 11%
4=8.33% 8%
3=5.56% 5%
2=2.78% 2%


So who would be willing to try this system, and would anybody be willing to try and program such a dicebot?
 

jrv

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What I would like to see is a dice bot that examines your previous significant rolls and uses those to slightly skew the odds of your next rolls to try to average your rolls to 7.
Dice already skew your average rolls to 7, without looking at history. You don't have to do anything.

If you add something that tries to use history, the player can also use that history. I can look at my history and say, "I've rolled a lot of high numbers—it's a good time to try for APCR, or, you've rolled a lot of low numbers—it's time for me to charge at that circle B10 monster. If you make the push to average dramatic enough, you will generate a sequence high, low, high, low, or perhaps average then depending on previous throw high or low, then average, then depending on the previous throw high or low. So now I can try to game important DRs when my "mojo" is bad by making unimportant DRs.

If you'd like to try something that does something sort of like this without looking at history, roll six dice (two white, two colored and two distinguished odd-even) and use the drs that are closest to 3/4. If you roll 6/4 (on the colored or white pair) you use 4. You roll 4/4 on a pair, you use 4. If two dice for a dr (colored or white) are equally distant but on opposite sides of the mean (6/1, 5/2 or 4/3) you look at the corresponding odd-even dr to see which one to use. This drives makes the DR much more dramatically "average" without involving a history. But it also changes the dynamic of the game. Shots on the IFT below eight FP (with no mods) become much less interesting. Shots on the high end of the table become much more interesting.

Either what you are suggesting will have little effect, or it will be a way to "game the system." The programming would be a trivial part of this. You would have to show me that you have thought deep and hard about how it will affect play before I'd be interested.

BTW I would estimate the effect of luck to be around 10%, if that much. Against a much better player than myself I would guess I have about a 10% chance of beating them (and that may be optimistic) in a reasonably even scenario, and a worse player than me would have about the same chance to win against me.

JR
 

Paul M. Weir

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What I like about dr/DR or dicebot equivalent is that they have NO memory. If I had some good rolls early in a game, I don't want to have to worry that from there on the dicebot is out to get me. Ditto early bad rolls should not make me inclined to take unnecessary risks.

Then there is the question of when good/bad rolls occur. A pair of good PT rolls will not be balanced by a pair of bad NMC rolls and visa versa.

While an interesting idea to ponder, I'm afraid I'm with jrv on this and for similar reasons.
 

DougRim

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I agree with Paul and jrv. Plus, I am not adverse to a bit of luck in the game. God knows that war itself is pretty much chaos; why not ASL? Overcoming adversity, be it bad dice for you, good dice for your opponent, or whatever, is a fun part of the game . . . although it doesn't always feel that way, I will grant you that!
 

Ronnblom

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Luck isn't really a big factor in ASL, so there's not much to remove.

A much worse problem in ASL is people frequently, and constantly, bitching about dice, when they should instead be considering what mistakes they are making, which likely is the real reason of them losing their games.
 

Jazz

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Don't see the benefit gained from the added complexity....and as others have noted, dice have the benefit of no memory, which is huge.
 

jrv

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A much worse problem in ASL is people frequently, and constantly, bitching about dice, when they should instead be considering what mistakes they are making, which likely is the real reason of them losing their games.
I have to disagree here too. I once calculated that my dice were the cause of 103.464 percent of my losses. Astonishing! I think my dice should be grateful I don't complain about them more.

JR
 
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geezer

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Seems like a set of infinitely programmable dice is superior to your wooden ones. How can one look at the probability table of rolling two dice and come to the conclusion that this is the best distribution possible and that it should be used without altering it or making it variable. Of course there is a small probability that it is .... but I just thought that maybe one should try to find out if it is.

The question is not whether programable dice are better, it is if it is worth the time to create them. I honestly don't know. Judging by the poor reaction so far, maybe not.

Of course it is hard to predict all the possible game effects, although I am sure there are many. Playtesting would be the best way to fine tune the system. I think all the objections raised so far could be dealt with relatively easy.

Expanding on my first post. Here is what I envisioned for the dicebot.

Option to not alter probabilties of 2 and 12 rolls
Option to not alter probabilities of doubles
Create a sliding luck eliminting scale that you can use from 0 to 10 (0 is like normal dice and 10 you always roll 7)
Create a handicap sliding scale from -1 to +1 (this could be used in conjunction with a player rating system to try and even the game when players of differet skills are competing)

What I am talking about is an upgrade from a landline to a smartphone, at the very least you can use it as a landline, but my feeling is that it could turn out into much more than that.
 

jrv

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How can one look at the probability table of rolling two dice and come to the conclusion that this is the best distribution possible and that it should be used without altering it or making it variable.
I am not clear how you are judging when one distribution is "better" than another. They are distributions. You play them. The problem I see is not that one distribution is better and the other worse, it's that if you change the distribution, you change the game. My question is, have you changed the game in a way that makes it better?

If you include history in your probabilities and they meaningfully affect the likelihoods of DRs, then I as a player should keep track of the history too. When I look at my next shot, I should look at my current "mojo" rather than the raw probability of dice. Just as it would be relatively simple to program a historically-biased dicebot, it would also be simple to create a historically-biased dicebot mirror app to give the next probabilities. When it comes time to perform some action that requires dice, I now look at my dicebot "mojo" app first. If you aren't keeping track of "mojo", you are at a disadvantage no matter whether the dicebot tends more toward average or not. For me that's a headache.

If you go down this path you may also want to alter the distribution of the components of the DR. Even if the DRs tend toward seven, that doesn't say anything about the distribution of colored drs, which affects ROF, falling-into-cellars, MOL flames, etc.

JR
 

Jobbo_Fett

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A player should not be rewarded or punished because luck is or isn't on their side. One of the fun aspects of ASL is trying to problem-solve developing situations with the limited resources at hand.
 

Magpie

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There is no such thing as "luck"

What we call luck is simply the end result of an innumerable number of variables that are beyond our ability to map and calculate, the twig the bullet deflects off, the gust of wind, what you have for breakfast, who made the bullet in the factory and on and on, all these things go together to make a single predictable outcome.
If you were to use a computer you could map and calculate all of those outcomes and remove the need for dice entirely. That would be quite a project.

Changing the probabilities based on previous outcomes isn't removing "luck" it's just changing the probabilities. So the odds of rolling snake eyes is no longer 2.78% but something along the lines of 2.78% * (Probability of snake eyes * how many snake eyes I haven't rolled) which will have the effect of making less likely outcomes more likely and more likely outcome less likely. I suppose that would then trend towards all outcomes being equally likely so all you would need to do in that instance is make and use a D11.

For my part, I'll stick with 2d6 via random.org for now as they give me something to blame for my failure and I'll console myself that a "run of bad/good luck" is just my particular mindset focussing on good or bad outcomes and not really anything to do with skewed probabilities.

Any good commander plans contingencies for "bad luck" and retains the ability to take advantage of "good luck"
 
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jrv

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The problem with using a simple card deck (with one card marked "2", two marked "3", etc) to replace dice is that at certain points you know what the next "roll" is. You have softened the problem somewhat, but it's still there. Rather than playing with one distribution, you are now playing the game with a variable distribution. But it's a predictable variable distribution.

And now you end up with situations where you know at game end the average result will be near seven, but for your next DR, due to your history your expected result may not be near seven. I think you are kicking the can down the road rather than fixing anything. If it's late in the game and both my situation and "mojo" are bad, I may as well quit. If we are using regular dice, crazy things happen. If we are using "mojo" dice, crazy things can still happen but they will happen less often.

JR
 

zgrose

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I think a mulligan system is a reasonable houserule for houses that don’t like the dice “ruining their game.” And way easier to implement in practice.
 

jrv

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Also it becomes "cheating" to make extra DRs. If I notice that my "mojo" is bad, I can make my dice "better" by making extra rolls to "get the high DRs out." In many cases I can make legal DRs in lieu of "extra" ones, e.g. dig foxholes I don't really need or fire LMG shots into space.

JR
 

Justiciar

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....
A much worse problem in ASL is people frequently, and constantly, bitching about dice, when they should instead be considering what mistakes they are making, which likely is the real reason of them losing their games.
In war people bitch, while making mistakes or otherwise,...though not likely much about dice...except while playing craps on down time, and when their luck or the luck they bet on is not running right...so just see people bitching about dice as part of the simulation of an aspect of WW2...it adds flavor... like Heat of Battle. Albeit you don't want to pal aground with the guy that bitches about dice every single day....but having to tolerate a game worth...helps make the next battle buddy who is Stoic seem like a champ. And the people who play ASL like chess, without but a word otherwise to the exact language of play, can be just as much as a drag as the dogface who bitches.

For the record as I see myself, I fall in the middle of the road....I can handle shooting like shit (IDT FR. TH DR and even TK DR) the whole game (won't bat hardly an eye)...I dislike being on the side of falling MC (after X percent I can be vocal, but not crazy)....you are in* the game of ASL if you can most x% of MC....why b/c you have a fighting force and it may well come to CC, (I don't count CC DR as attacks per the above) or unit in GO in X building, or units as bodies blocking exit etc. I would wager more games of ASL are lost for a side by failing to pass MC vs. shooting the daylights out of the OPFOR or having that done to you. But this is just a hunch on my part.
 
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hongkongwargamer

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A player should not be rewarded or punished because luck is or isn't on their side. One of the fun aspects of ASL is trying to problem-solve developing situations with the limited resources at hand.
That's just life, work .. and everything else ain't it? The dice didn't ruin anyone's game, we did.
 

hongkongwargamer

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In war people bitch, while making mistakes or otherwise,...though not likely much about dice...except while playing craps on down time, and when their luck or the luck they bet on is not running right...so just see people bitching about dice as part of the simulation of an aspect of WW2...it adds flavor... like Heat of Battle. Albeit you don't want to pal aground with the guy that bitches about dice every single day....but having to tolerate a game worth...helps make the next battle buddy who is Stoic seem like a champ. And the people who play ASL like chess, without but a word otherwise to the exact language of play, can be just as much as a drag as the dogface who bitches.

For the record as I see myself, I fall in the middle of the road....I can handle shooting like shit (IDT FR. TH DR and even TK DR) the whole game (won't bat hardly an eye)...I dislike being on the side of falling MC (after X percent I can be vocal, but not crazy)....you are in* the game of ASL if you can most x% of MC....why b/c you have a fighting force and it may well come to CC, (I don't count CC DR as attacks per the above) or unit in GO in X building, or units as bodies blocking exit etc. I would wager more games of ASL are lost for a side by failing to pass MC vs. shooting the daylights out of the OPFOR or having that done to you. But this is just a hunch on my part.
I am a bit of an extremist. I can't stand people who screams/yells/moan/whine about the dice. Well, I can, but I can't see why I have to.

If ASL's giving you that much grief, there's always underwater basket weaving.
 
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