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Daxil
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AACW PBEM tournament?

Sat Oct 18, 2008 5:12 pm

Just kind of floating the idea. I know logistically it would be tough to put together and coordinate (so many people being involved in games already), but it might be fun.

What I was thinking (just a rough draft of course) is a year-long single elimination tournament, or six months. The latter would be if one of the smaller scenarios were used rather than the full campaign. Each game would have a set amount of time to be completed, 2-3 months if grand campaign. There would probably need to be 16 participants. The host would be random initially, you choose your side(if opponent agrees) and then you'd rotate from there.

Just an idea. It could start maybe a month from now so other games could be wrapped up?

Comments? Concerns? Criticisms? :)
"We shall give them the bayonet." -Stonewall at Fredericksburg.

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Jabberwock
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Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:40 pm

Two concerns about balance. If the players are close to evenly matched, the south should lose, eventually. If the tournament is played with the historical attrition rule, and the players are evenly matched, the south should lose by the end of 1863.
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Coffee Sergeant
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Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:24 pm

Jabberwock wrote:Two concerns about balance. If the players are close to evenly matched, the south should lose, eventually. If the tournament is played with the historical attrition rule, and the players are evenly matched, the south should lose by the end of 1863.


The way we could handle this would be to have a separate ladder for Union and Confederate and the objective for the Confederate player would be to last as long as possible

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Rafiki
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Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:39 pm

If you take a long-term view on it; one "match" could consist of each player playing a game as the Union and one as the CSA
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Daxil
AGEod Grognard
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Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:01 pm

Jabberwock wrote:Two concerns about balance. If the players are close to evenly matched, the south should lose, eventually. If the tournament is played with the historical attrition rule, and the players are evenly matched, the south should lose by the end of 1863.


Yeah, I didn't know this. I assumed the built-in point system compensated for that. If that's the case maybe Southern players could be given a bigger handicap than the point system allows.

Also, South player could always be host. It does give them an edge.
"We shall give them the bayonet." -Stonewall at Fredericksburg.

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Coffee Sergeant
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Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:08 pm

Daxil wrote:Yeah, I didn't know this. I assumed the built-in point system compensated for that. If that's the case maybe Southern players could be given a bigger handicap than the point system allows.

Also, South player could always be host. It does give them an edge.


How so? Unless you are talking about cheating.

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Daxil
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Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:15 pm

Well, you can track the movements of enemy units for one, and secondly they can't track yours. Although I've never not been host so maybe there's a second chart for enemy moves? I would hope of course that no one cheats. If you're caught I'm sure your rep would take a hit, and frankly, it feels bad to cheat someone. You feel less of a winner if you manage to win being a dirty loser who needs attention from others like a little baby, in fact.

Fix this please Ageod! ;)
"We shall give them the bayonet." -Stonewall at Fredericksburg.

Bertram
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Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:24 am

An other approach is taking the best 4 CSA and the best 4 USA scores to advance to the next round. That way the score is relative instead of absolute.

(now to ddecide what is "best", a higher morale, or more vp?)

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ohms_law
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Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:11 am

(now to ddecide what is "best", a higher morale, or more vp?)

I don't play competatively at all, so take my opinion for what it's worth here. I'd think that Morale would be a beter gauge than VP, though. It seems less suceptable to "gaming" the score.

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Jabberwock
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Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:23 am

Good morale decreases over time, bad morale increases. If an opponent decided to be unreasonable about surrendering, they could ruin your score.
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Barker
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Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:35 am

Why not base it on point by point system....set objectives....ie...have one objective chicago for the the south and houston for the north...it would make the western forces more of a factor...on the east...montgomery and boston for the east...both nuts hard to crack...if both objectives are met instant win. if not then at the end of the time allocation lets say sep 1863 then the high point totals win...factor VP and NM......or casualties and prisoners.. this can be done and this would be great fun ....coint me in regardless of logistics

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Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:38 pm

I've both run and played in PBEM tournaments for the Combat Mission games over the years. IMHO, the trick is making sure that the system is balanced. In the case of AACW, that would require mirror games, with each player being host for half of the games they play. The length of the games makes it seem as though it might be best to experiment with a tournament on a smaller scale before attempting to play one based on the full campaign in order to work out any bugs in the system. The 24-turn Eastern and Western Theater campaigns would be good for this.

Further, as to scoring, I think you'd want to take both VP and NM into account, and it should be a relative value. I would imagine something like ([Winner's NM+VP]-[Loser's NM+VP]=Final Score) would give a reasonable value for determining advancement or standing.

I'd think that a tournament with groups of five players (each thus playing four games within their group) would work well. In the initial round, each player plays two games from each side, hosting one of each, thus creating as much balance a possible. Using the Eastern and Western Theater campaigns, this would give each player the following schedule or something similar:
Game 1: Eastern Campaign, Union (host)
Game 2: Eastern Campaign, Confederacy
Game 3: Western Campaign, Union
Game 4: Western Campaign, Confederacy (host)

High score in group plus a wild card or two as desired gives you a final group of five that plays a similar structure, high score in that group wins. I also like the idea of making AARs mandatory for tournament games.

That's my two cents.

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Daxil
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Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:41 pm

I like the idea of a trial run with one of the smaller campaigns (although Ive never played one myself). I don't think really we should take this that seriously that we try and balance them etc. I don't think this game is ready for a real serious tournament due to the fact that host can cheat at will. Of course, as soon as it starts getting competitive he/she will. Until that feature is fixed properly I'd suggest this just remain a friendly tournament where some imbalances are acceptable.
"We shall give them the bayonet." -Stonewall at Fredericksburg.

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Coffee Sergeant
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Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:03 pm

Daxil wrote:I like the idea of a trial run with one of the smaller campaigns (although Ive never played one myself). I don't think really we should take this that seriously that we try and balance them etc. I don't think this game is ready for a real serious tournament due to the fact that host can cheat at will. Of course, as soon as it starts getting competitive he/she will. Until that feature is fixed properly I'd suggest this just remain a friendly tournament where some imbalances are acceptable.


Well here's an idea to deal with the potential for the cheating, and deals with the "host advantage" - everyone in the tournmant can be running another person's game.

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Daxil
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Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:57 pm

Coffee Sergeant wrote:Well here's an idea to deal with the potential for the cheating, and deals with the "host advantage" - everyone in the tournmant can be running another person's game.


I thought about that, but it might really slow down things. Not only would you have to plan your moves, but you'd be dependent on someone else to execute them. I suppose it would work if everyone promised to be getting out approx a turn per day and that they would execute as soon as they got the file and would check for it every night or whatever.

This leads back to it needing to be a smaller enterprise imo... maybe 8 players and one of the smaller scenarios instead of the Grand Campaign and 16 players.
"We shall give them the bayonet." -Stonewall at Fredericksburg.

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Coffee Sergeant
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Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:01 pm

Daxil wrote:I thought about that, but it might really slow down things. Not only would you have to plan your moves, but you'd be dependent on someone else to execute them. I suppose it would work if everyone promised to be getting out approx a turn per day and that they would execute as soon as they got the file and would check for it every night or whatever.

This leads back to it needing to be a smaller enterprise imo... maybe 8 players and one of the smaller scenarios instead of the Grand Campaign and 16 players.


Hmm, I'm wondering if there is some sort of automation that can be set up. I have a spare computer that could run AACW pretty much 24/7, but there's no easy way I know to automate the engine. If AGEOD was really nice they have a standalone process that does that without all the GUI overhead. A scriptable UNIX-style command-line executable would rock :-)

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ohms_law
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Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:03 pm

I was kind of thinking about something like that myself...

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kjstrand
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Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:41 pm

I'd do this in a heartbeat.

Ethy
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Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:26 am

a tournament would be a great idea! however you talk about PBEM and how it works and stuff and how it would be possible to cheat easily. surely however it would be harder to cheat if you incorporated some third party and players sumbitted there orders to the third party hosting the game? and somehow the two order files could be linked and conducted accordingly?

wouldnt that work?

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Coffee Sergeant
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Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:56 pm

Ethy wrote:a tournament would be a great idea! however you talk about PBEM and how it works and stuff and how it would be possible to cheat easily. surely however it would be harder to cheat if you incorporated some third party and players sumbitted there orders to the third party hosting the game? and somehow the two order files could be linked and conducted accordingly?

wouldnt that work?


See my post above, however there are problems with that as Daxil noted. If AGEOD would be nice enough to release a turn simulator as a standalone executable (without all the GUI), it would be really easy to set up automation.

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Gray_Lensman
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Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:31 pm

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aryaman
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Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:45 pm

What about having someone else, a "referee", in charge of hosting all the games? if there are just 8 players (so 4 games) it shouldn´t be too complicated, I would volunteer if no one else does.
The referee plays each turn, then sends the trn file to each player, they plot their orders and send the ord files back to be played.

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Coffee Sergeant
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Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:21 pm

Gray_Lensman wrote:AGEod is extremely busy with VgN work, I wouldn't plan on anything new like this anytime in the near future.


Unfortunate. Depending on how the code base is structured it could be very easy or pretty difficult. This is why in the current game I am working on (off and on), I reorganized/rewrote a good chunk of the code base to a client/server model, being sure to separate the GUI elements from the non-GUI elements. The other reason is because multi-player on separate machines was impossible, and it allowed me to implement things like information hiding (everyone sees the map differently) which pretty much required the simulator to be separate.

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Daxil
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Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:54 pm

Anyways, we can do it where a neutral 3rd party is host, send the .trn files to the other two, they plot their .ord and then send it back to the third party to execute can't we?
"We shall give them the bayonet." -Stonewall at Fredericksburg.

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Captain
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World Tournament

Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:05 am

I am playing in the Diplomacy world Champoinships at the moment. I highly recommend accessing their site (just google) to get some ideas for any ACW tournament.
Jeremie and the French run the site and it has run like clockwork for 2 years :-)

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Manstein
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Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:22 pm

Daxil wrote:Anyways, we can do it where a neutral 3rd party is host, send the .trn files to the other two, they plot their .ord and then send it back to the third party to execute can't we?


Actyally I´m playing a game against Coregonas, and Fremen, other spanish player, is the Host (we have an AAR each one at spanish forum, at spanish language). Fremen created the game and sent to Coregonas the CSA.trn file and to me the USA.trn file. Coregonas sends to Fremen (host) the CSA.ord file and I send to Fremen the USA.ord file, and so.

I think that it is the best way for a championship.

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Daxil
AGEod Grognard
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Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:39 pm

K, well how bout we do one of the shorter scenarios with that method. Any suggestions?
"We shall give them the bayonet." -Stonewall at Fredericksburg.

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TheDoctorKing
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Sign me up!

Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:55 pm

I'd do this in a heartbeat.

Probably best to try a scenario first to see how it goes.

You'd have to commit to six turns a week. I'm in a pbem tournament where two of my opponents have been really really hard to get turns out of. Quite frustrating. I'd rather lose than not play.

Stewart

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Daxil
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Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:36 am

I just took a look at the scenarios. How about this?:

•16 players, each plays Union/Confederate once.
•The overall winner of both games advances to next round. A decisive victory outweighs a points victory. If both players had decisive victories the one who won earlier is the overall winner. Tiebreakers go to points. If still somehow miraculously tied we'd figure something out. :p (maybe play one of the 8 or 11 turn scenarios)
•A neutral third party executes each turn (not sure if one person should do all the games or a different host for every game?).
•They are expected to be playing approx a turn/day.
•If anyone cannot send a turn for more than two weeks straight (or total, so it's not just consecutive?) they forfeit that game as if it's a decisive defeat.
•If a player will be unable to play for any length of time they need to inform both their opponent and turn over their host game (if they're a host) to a different neutral.
•Results of each game will be posted here. (Rafiki?)

Round one: Far West (17 turns)
Round two: West (24 turns)
Round three: East (24 turns)
Championship: Grand Campaign (AAR required) :)
"We shall give them the bayonet." -Stonewall at Fredericksburg.

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kjstrand
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Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:52 pm

Looks good to me.

I like Coffee Sergeant's idea of having competitors run others' games. I'd be willing and I'd imagine it'd be the best way to make sure the hosts were quick with responses. Obviously it wouldn't be completely neutral but each host would have a vested interest in keeping things moving.

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