VASL "best rolls streak" page

boylermaker

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There are statistics tests for that kind of thing. I'm surprised one of our statistically-minded friends hasn't worked that up.
The very impressive analysis @Sparafucil3 linked to should be convincing for anybody who is interested in the stats.

As somebody who is "statistically-minded" for a living, the thing to remember is that human beings have essentially no ability to perceive randomness whatsoever. Things that are actually random we perceive as clumped, and the things that we call random are actually things that have been very carefully and non-randomly uniformly distributed. Psychologically, we demand that a random DR generator produce 6,7,6,7,8,7,6,7. But a real random process doesn't do that, they produce clumps and streaks and all kinds of anomalies. What @Tom Morin and @Vic Provost et al. want isn't a random number generator at all; they want a non-random number generator that will give them a seven every time with the occasional 8 thrown in for laughs.

If rolling real dice under a camera lets you enjoy the game more, then by all means do it! But if you perceive any difference between the dice and the dicebot, that is almost certainly the placebo effect, and if it's not, it means there is something wrong with your dice, not something wrong with the dicebot.

Anyway, since people's problems with the dicebot are psychological and come from a universal human cognitive bias, more stats won't really help--what's the saying? You can't reason your way out of something you didn't reason your way into in the first place.
 

von Marwitz

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The very impressive analysis @Sparafucil3 linked to should be convincing for anybody who is interested in the stats.

As somebody who is "statistically-minded" for a living, the thing to remember is that human beings have essentially no ability to perceive randomness whatsoever. Things that are actually random we perceive as clumped, and the things that we call random are actually things that have been very carefully and non-randomly uniformly distributed. Psychologically, we demand that a random DR generator produce 6,7,6,7,8,7,6,7. But a real random process doesn't do that, they produce clumps and streaks and all kinds of anomalies. What @Tom Morin and @Vic Provost et al. want isn't a random number generator at all; they want a non-random number generator that will give them a seven every time with the occasional 8 thrown in for laughs.

If rolling real dice under a camera lets you enjoy the game more, then by all means do it! But if you perceive any difference between the dice and the dicebot, that is almost certainly the placebo effect, and if it's not, it means there is something wrong with your dice, not something wrong with the dicebot.

Anyway, since people's problems with the dicebot are psychological and come from a universal human cognitive bias, more stats won't really help--what's the saying? You can't reason your way out of something you didn't reason your way into in the first place.
Amen to that. Great post.

von Marwitz
 

Tuomo

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What @Tom Morin and @Vic Provost et al. want isn't a random number generator at all; they want a non-random number generator that will give them a seven every time with the occasional 8 thrown in for laughs.
They're not quite that dumb.

It's gotta be something about the immediacy of the FTF dice-rolling experience vs the online random.org experience, which feels more like "Bob here will roll the dice in another room, then walk it over here and show you." Even if you know in your head that Bob's trustworthy, there's something about the delivery that may make one question things when they shouldn't. And if you rolled some unfair dice right in front of me, I probably wouldn't know enough to question them.
 

Gordon

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The problem I have is storing all the extra copies of the multiverse created by every die/dice roll due to Everettian Quantum Theory. The "many worlds" are really starting to pile up.
 

Michael Dorosh

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The ASL Scenario Archive was updated a while ago. With that update, the old "Best Rollers", "Worst Rollers", "Most Snakes", and "Most Boxcars" board went asunder.

Before DRs were represented by dice-depictions in VASL, numbers were displayed. By copying/pasting the log-files into the particular page of the Archive, the rolls were analyzed and counted. Only sessions with a minimum of 50 DRs were considered for a player.

The nice thing was, that this function allowed you to determine your long time DR average.

...

That bit of history given, I do not know if anything like it exists currently but I do not think so.

von Marwitz
Unless something has changed, we used the VASL dice statistics regularly - it broke down each player for each game, by different categories of rolls, number of each result, overall average, etc. We turned the stats in with our playtest reports.

My fav opponent got so used to it we started keeping the same stats manually for our face to face plays.
 

Vic Provost

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The very impressive analysis @Sparafucil3 linked to should be convincing for anybody who is interested in the stats.

As somebody who is "statistically-minded" for a living, the thing to remember is that human beings have essentially no ability to perceive randomness whatsoever. Things that are actually random we perceive as clumped, and the things that we call random are actually things that have been very carefully and non-randomly uniformly distributed. Psychologically, we demand that a random DR generator produce 6,7,6,7,8,7,6,7. But a real random process doesn't do that, they produce clumps and streaks and all kinds of anomalies. What @Tom Morin and @Vic Provost et al. want isn't a random number generator at all; they want a non-random number generator that will give them a seven every time with the occasional 8 thrown in for laughs.

If rolling real dice under a camera lets you enjoy the game more, then by all means do it! But if you perceive any difference between the dice and the dicebot, that is almost certainly the placebo effect, and if it's not, it means there is something wrong with your dice, not something wrong with the dicebot.

Anyway, since people's problems with the dicebot are psychological and come from a universal human cognitive bias, more stats won't really help--what's the saying? You can't reason your way out of something you didn't reason your way into in the first place.
No, we don't want a 7 on every dice roll, that's not it at all, believe me, it is just that after having many instances of the dice bot showing streaks of >9 or <5 which went on for 6+ rolls in the middle of playtests we just decided it was not good for the playtest and to switch out to real precision dice for our rolls. We can still see streaks but they tend to be shorter and it just feels more random. I'm sure the dice bot is following the curve with its results, we just don't want to see lots of high or low numbers seemingly clumped together when we played. Might not happen at all for others but I'm glad to be rolling real dice again as is Tom, we are still very happy with VASL for the most part otherwise. Now we can just bitch at the dice and not the dice-bot. Just trying to make our playtesting as good as we can, Vic.
 

von Marwitz

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No, we don't want a 7 on every dice roll, that's not it at all, believe me, it is just that after having many instances of the dice bot showing streaks of >9 or <5 which went on for 6+ rolls in the middle of playtests we just decided it was not good for the playtest and to switch out to real precision dice for our rolls. We can still see streaks but they tend to be shorter and it just feels more random. I'm sure the dice bot is following the curve with its results, we just don't want to see lots of high or low numbers seemingly clumped together when we played. Might not happen at all for others but I'm glad to be rolling real dice again as is Tom, we are still very happy with VASL for the most part otherwise. Now we can just bitch at the dice and not the dice-bot. Just trying to make our playtesting as good as we can, Vic.

I could take the pains to dig out the cognitive dissonances and biases that are the root behind your impressions and then try to find the English translations for them so that you can look up explanations that are better framed than I could put them. But as my interest in cognitive dissonances is more a hobby than a profession, I will leave it at that.

Suffice to say that the lack of streaks is an indicator for things not working at random. That you will judge improbable things much more likely than they really are, especially if you have encountered them personally and even more if emotions (fear, joy, anger) are involved. That you will overrate events that confirm your prior view and underrate those that oppose it.

So if you always had that hunch that the dicebot wasn't doing things properly and are unnerved by long freakish streaks that irritatingly screwed up a promising playtest session all of a sudden, you might just be in the thick of it.

That said, if you feel more comfortable with a camera and dice, go ahead. ASL is about enjoyment and as long as both sides are more happy with dice, all the better.

With regard to playtesting, using your method instead of the dicebot will neither do good or harm IMHO, since it does not make a difference. Playtests and games are rather screwed up by the occasions in which you roll high or low rather than streaks.

von Marwitz
 

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Recently finished a playing of BFP 28 "Marco Polo Bridge" and my Japanese 37* Inf Guns were ROF mean machines! Each time the Chinese were in a position to make progress, my 37's tore 'em up. One memorable ROF tear (not so much for my opponent), I fired into a Melee Hex (Japanese 447, a Chinese leader and two squads) and at the end of the DFPh, my 447 was still in GO but the Chinese units were all broken. Needless to say, my 447 eliminated all three in CC. In my opponents defense, the diebot was not kind to him. I think we have all felt the pain with the diebot. I suggested that before our next scenario, make sure he sacrifices a virgin and two goats to the diebot God.

Cheers and roll 'em low berserkers!!
 

Vic Provost

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I could take the pains to dig out the cognitive dissonances and biases that are the root behind your impressions and then try to find the English translations for them so that you can look up explanations that are better framed than I could put them. But as my interest in cognitive dissonances is more a hobby than a profession, I will leave it at that.

Suffice to say that the lack of streaks is an indicator for things not working at random. That you will judge improbable things much more likely than they really are, especially if you have encountered them personally and even more if emotions (fear, joy, anger) are involved. That you will overrate events that confirm your prior view and underrate those that oppose it.

So if you always had that hunch that the dicebot wasn't doing things properly and are unnerved by long freakish streaks that irritatingly screwed up a promising playtest session all of a sudden, you might just be in the thick of it.

That said, if you feel more comfortable with a camera and dice, go ahead. ASL is about enjoyment and as long as both sides are more happy with dice, all the better.

With regard to playtesting, using your method instead of the dicebot will neither do good or harm IMHO, since it does not make a difference. Playtests and games are rather screwed up by the occasions in which you roll high or low rather than streaks.

von Marwitz
Yes indeed and the dice are just part of the puzzle in playtesting, we try so hard to 'break' the scenario and make sure BOTH sides actually have a decent chance to win but when the dice don't seem to be 'fair' as described above we just had to do something and playing with the precision dice at least takes one more thing beyond our control out of the equation. Now the dice, at least in our minds, are what they are and so far seems the odd streaks of all high or low numbers for awhile have disappeared to just the usual several rolls of such, which we can live with. It is all about making these scenarios as tight as we and our reinforced squad of playtesters can help mold them. We are not always right and sometimes we miss something that someone like Steve Pleva will figure out later. So be it.

In any case, if I was not playtesting and someone wanted to play me on VASL and insisted on using the dice-bot I would still gladly play and hope it is on its best behavior for most of the scenario. Just want to have some ASL FUN and provide the same in the pages of Dispatches and having real dice in my hands helps add some normalcy to my gaming.

For those who do not have a beef with the dice-bot, and also for those who play with their own dice, either way, Enjoy! Vic.
 
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daveramsey

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Just a note about the archive... the vasl analyser stopped working after the vasl output changed to include the graphics rather than the actual numbers of the rolls.

Because, whilst it was up, I would frequently get emails asking why the log file wouldn’t upload any more.

I was going to revamp it to read vasl log files but the stats page of vasl became so much better that there didn’t seem a lot of point.

If there’s a demand I could look at re-doing it but I’m not sure there is, really.
 

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Hey Tom!

Hope your doing well and designing more scenarios for VotG. What do you mean by dicebot hijinks? Just for sh!ts and giggles, while watching a movie this evening, I started punching the 2-dice button on VASL. I actually punched the damn thing 10,000 times. Here's what the data showed:

5,000 rolls
Die 1 -- 3.53
Die 2 -- 3.52
Total -- 7.05

10,000 rolls
Die 1 -- 3.53
Die 2 -- 3.51
Total -- 7.03

That's pretty close to a statistical average in my book.

Cheers,


Mark
Yeah, it does end up being pretty close to a normal distribution. I guess my only complaint (and it's not a big one) is that there seem to be streaks that happen that look to be an effort to ensure that normal distribution?

More to the point, real dice will not give you as well behaved results that you posted.

<shrug> a tempest in a teapot IMMHO, but that's just me.
 
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Carln0130

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Just a note about the archive... the vasl analyser stopped working after the vasl output changed to include the graphics rather than the actual numbers of the rolls.

Because, whilst it was up, I would frequently get emails asking why the log file wouldn’t upload any more.

I was going to revamp it to read vasl log files but the stats page of vasl became so much better that there didn’t seem a lot of point.

If there’s a demand I could look at re-doing it but I’m not sure there is, really.
Hi Dave, it would be nice to have back if it can be fit into your already busy schedule.
 

von Marwitz

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I was going to revamp it to read vasl log files but the stats page of vasl became so much better that there didn’t seem a lot of point.

If there’s a demand I could look at re-doing it but I’m not sure there is, really.
Here is an idea:

What maybe you could to is to have your VASLanalyzer capture the content of the inherent VASL statistics table. No dice depictions in there, so probably the data is easy to capture if it were placed by copy/paste into your gadget.

What your gadget did - and what no other tool whatsoever did that I which am aware of:
It allowed "long-time statistics". I knew my DR average over close to 10,000 rolls. I knew that I contrieved to roll two out of five of the worst sessions (50+ DRs) in thousands of sessions. That was cool. I mean knowing it, not rolling it...

So if you 'reactivated' your gadget adapted to the current VASL version (maybe as described above), it would close a gap.


Cheers,
von Marwitz
 

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We can still see streaks but they tend to be shorter and it just feels more random.
This is what we believe we observe as well. The dicebot feels...streaky, especially if you do rolls very quickly in a row. Like the RNG seed gets stuck. It's exciting and also discouraging to see 4 snakeyes in a roll, or 10 rolls in a row that are 9+, etc.

AFAIK the only VASL dicebot stats people are pulling out show a gross mean with a give sample size, which always points to ~7. Which is all well and good, but what about actual distributions and sensitivity to timing of rolls (how quickly or slowly they're made relative to the previous roll), or which button is used (IFT/TH/MC/R/etc), or hell...which version of java they are running (because I assume the rolls are made client side).

We still use the dicebot because it's incredibly convenient, but we often squint at it skeptically due to weird behavior sometimes. /shrug
 

Sparafucil3

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This is what we believe we observe as well. The dicebot feels...streaky, especially if you do rolls very quickly in a row. Like the RNG seed gets stuck. It's exciting and also discouraging to see 4 snakeyes in a roll, or 10 rolls in a row that are 9+, etc.

AFAIK the only VASL dicebot stats people are pulling out show a gross mean with a give sample size, which always points to ~7. Which is all well and good, but what about actual distributions and sensitivity to timing of rolls (how quickly or slowly they're made relative to the previous roll), or which button is used (IFT/TH/MC/R/etc), or hell...which version of java they are running (because I assume the rolls are made client side).

We still use the dicebot because it's incredibly convenient, but we often squint at it skeptically due to weird behavior sometimes. /shrug
I recommend you go read the link I posted. The statistical sampling they did in there is FAR more sophisticated that what you imply here. WRT "timing" are you suggesting the VASL dicebot is aware of the importance of the DR or are you saying the timing of when you roll the 1,1. People have repeated the ASL maxim "it's not what you roll as much as it is when you roll it" a couple of times. If you asking about "how often an 8 follows a previous 8", I refer you again to the article I linked. This is addressed. -- jim

Edit to add: That post is here.
 

zgrose

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This is what we believe we observe as well. The dicebot feels...streaky, especially if you do rolls very quickly in a row. Like the RNG seed gets stuck. It's exciting and also discouraging to see 4 snakeyes in a roll, or 10 rolls in a row that are 9+, etc.

AFAIK the only VASL dicebot stats people are pulling out show a gross mean with a give sample size, which always points to ~7. Which is all well and good, but what about actual distributions and sensitivity to timing of rolls (how quickly or slowly they're made relative to the previous roll), or which button is used (IFT/TH/MC/R/etc), or hell...which version of java they are running (because I assume the rolls are made client side).

We still use the dicebot because it's incredibly convenient, but we often squint at it skeptically due to weird behavior sometimes. /shrug
You can mitigate many of these concerns if you turn on random.org for die rolls.
 

Vic Provost

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You can mitigate many of these concerns if you turn on random.org for die rolls.
We did turn on random.org and that is the bot giving us the wild high and low streaks.

Probably nothing wrong with it but it has raised eyebrows here at times after using it for a few hundred scenarios,

thus our use of the precision dice, we just feel a bit better using them as a personal preference after too many frustrating experiences, Vic.
 
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