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Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 1/26/2016 01:15:34


Kain
Level 57
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Hey folks, I'd like to kindly ask you to check my FFA template and give me somme feedback over it. Especially constructive opinions about how it works for you and sugestions how to make it better would be much appreciated.

Please don't spam in this thread.

If you host the game using this template, please make sure that each paricipant has read game description (it is submitted in game settings) before start.




template "Hybrid + Sequential Picking"
https://www.warlight.net/MultiPlayer?TemplateID=785323

This template was origanlly designed by me for FFA's (although it can also be played in 1v1 setting). We played it mainly in 4-7 players FFAs. but it could be easily adjusted for greater number of players.

The main thought behind inventing this template was to create a template which allows for more strategic FFAs. My concept tries to solve that by introducing two mechanisms: "hybrid distribution" + "sequential picking".




"Hybrid distribution"
In warlight there are two types of picking initial territories: manual and automatic. Both of them have thier advantages but also disadvantages. Automatic is very luck dependant, while manual mode may provoke situations where players tend to pick the same areas on every game on particular map (especially on asymetric and poorly balanced map) which may cause repetetive games and also provokes situations where two players end up in the same location. Hybrid distributions tries to merge and take what is best from those two basic distributions: every player is given a set of automatically distributed (random part) territories (in this template 9) out of which he has to choose 1 or maximally 2 and develop only them (which is a "manual" phase). This conisderably decreases the "luck factor" caused by initial random distribution, because there is a very high chance that out of 9 randomly given territories there would be at least one "good" for start. That way each player should be alowed for fair start beacused game mechanic allows only for one territory to be efficiently developed. Of course some players could be randomly given more "good" territories, but the fact that only one of those terriories can be used further in the game neutralises such inbalance. To prevent players from using more than one randomly given territories "Local Deployment" option was merged with very low income (base 1) and slightly hightened neutrals (3). At the start of the game all players are given two "one-time" income boosts (on turn 2 and 3). They have to invest them wisely start their own economy which practically means that they have to put them into a single location to conquer a whole bonus there. Further on they will not be able to develop their other terrtories because almost whole of his income must be deployed locally (due to LD).

This makes each game unique (9 territories are give randomly so each game is different) while also fair and strategic (player has to "manually" choose which one of this 9 territories is best to develop as he wont be able to use al of them).



"Sequential picking"

The big problem of FFA's is that when you start a game and realise that another player has also decided pick same starting location, such game is usually lost for both of you because rest of the players/teams would be egerly developing while you two would be spending most resources for savage fight (which is the reason while most good players tend to play 1v1 2v2 or 3v3 only) To solve that (at least to some extent) I have implemented the mechanism of sequential picking: All players have almost no base income (1) but are given two boosts of income: "small one" (on turn 2 - income is raised to 8 that turn) and big one (on turn 3 - income is raised to 17 on that turn). This is how they work:

1st turn:
at the beginning of game plyer is given enough spy cards to play it on on each of his opponents. Those spy cards last for 2 turns which means that he would be able to see his opponents on turns 2 and 3. Each player is also given 3 sanctions cards with negative value (-1) - this cards in fact increase the income (x2) and every player should play them on himself. That would increase his next-turn income to 8 (1x2x2x2) which is the 1st income boost ("small one").

2nd turn :
player's income is increased to 8 (due to sanctions cards). He can also see territories which were randomly given to his opponents. Based on that he has to anticipate which territories could be choosen by his enemies to develop and decide which one of his own territoirs is best suited/placed to develop and invest his resources there. Crucial thing that turn is to grab at least one territory which would allow to receive reinforce card next turn (turn 3).

3rd turn.
This turn all players are given reinofrcement card (valued 16) this is the second and also the last income boost. Players have to use it wisely to start they own economy.
Thanks to spy cards every player can see where his enemies decided to invest their "small" income boost for previous turn. If they were unfortuante and one the opponents had decided to start near them, now they have the opporunity to move away by allocating resources from reinforcement card (16) elsewhere. What is important: spy cards will fade away at the end of this turn so players will not be ablee to see where others have invested the main bulk of their income!




to implement those two tiers of income boost with different values I was forced to use "0" card limit which means that players have to play or discard each card the same turn it was given to them. Nonetheless, players are frequently given blockade cards and recoinessance cards futher in the game.




here are links to some of previouselly played games:

https://www.warlight.net/MultiPlayer?GameID=9702918
https://www.warlight.net/MultiPlayer?GameID=9644875
https://www.warlight.net/MultiPlayer?GameID=9702894


Great thx for Mr. Tranquex for his help and invaluable advices about this template mechanis. This template was submitted for Fleecmaster's template contest (it has not ended yet).

Edited 1/27/2016 19:25:20
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 1/26/2016 01:27:37


Fleecemaster 
Level 59
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TL;DR: It's a format that allows you to essentially get 3 rounds of picking, as opposed to the normal 1 round. It's quite a clever template, based on the concept of collecting intel on your opponents before fully deploying your forces.
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 1/26/2016 18:03:52


Onoma94
Level 59
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Interesting. So it's like.. automatic distribution makes it even for all players, but players still can choose their start. Generally many things that are rarely used otherwise in games. Would play.
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 1/27/2016 20:44:24


master of desaster 
Level 64
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so kain mailed me and some tought i gave him as answer:

ok first of all, nice Job. i like your idea quite a lot. if you put up a uservoice, i just got an idea!

the main Problem is imo that it's LD. even on a not too big map it takes very Long to eliminate an Opponent on LD if he refuses to surrender. To make it possible to make These games without LD, what about a "Force Player to use Card" Setting? then you can force them to give up 6 out of 8 territories by Blockade first turn. then the Player can still decide turn 2 if he wants to Keep expanding on the same place or look for a better Location.

Problem: Fizzer just included the "discard all" Setting, so that it's impossible to get easy wins with short boot times and tons of Cards. I don't see a way to get around that with my "Force Player to use Card" Setting.

if you can actually make sure that everyone gets rid of 6 territories, then you can also allow other Cards like reinforcement to make the games more interesting.
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 1/27/2016 22:18:56


ℳℛᐤƬrαńɋℰ✕
Level 55
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@MoD
- I am not follwing what you are saying?

- First of all Why there must be inherently something wrong with LD as "main problem of a template". The main problem of Warlight is the Flawed distribution methods, that fall apart beyond 1v1 games. Kain here has showed how most of times FFA games can be played with balanced starts giving equal opportunities to each player. On turn 2-3 each player has to weight all players possible starting positions and find the correlation where he would be part of Big-Picture balance! Thus far 8-territory for each player has proved good balance and LD just enhances it even further slowing down each players possible growth. Compared to tens of thousands FFAs played on Warlight where manual/automatic distribution determines winner or favorable players (or the main rivals, where 3rd party players just have option to pick winner)!

To be honest This Particular Template is especially perfect with LD-settings, not going into details the main game-play differences at moment here. The LD idea is not just expanding from 1-2 territory but also moving armies from already captured bonuses with tact regarding future conflicts, risk expansions etc! I know your suggested method as I use the "written obligatory-blockage-rule on few templates", but that does not make it same as LD, these games are still more towards standard style, than LD.

- You do not need to play with players who have some personal affections towards you, so they keep playing till elimination! If your concern is the Publicity, then we all know the Average-Warlight player here! But with decent players there is no problem, and Tournaments could be played nicely. On standard games players can stall as well! Just not maybe a full year like LD maps allow it - but how many would go the effort really?

- The second big problem earlier was, adding armies to Bonuses! With 50+ income turn could take up to 15-30 minutes finding out where the Bonus actually is. Now it is just matter of minutes. I am really grateful Fizzer finished shortcut to bonuses (although LD-mode memory-distribution is still in demand - https://warlight.uservoice.com/forums/77051-warlight-features/suggestions/5702941-auto-deployment-in-one-territory-bonuses-when-play).

I encourage you MoD and others who are really interested in concept Kain has come-up with, contact Kain to get list of players who already got their hand into it or host a match with your friends. This is great, slow-paced game, that requires thinking many turns ahead, before actually making a move. This makes it more strategy than any other Ladder or standard Template.
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 1/27/2016 22:27:44


master of desaster 
Level 64
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"the main Problem is imo that it's LD."

i wanted to say "the main Problem is imo that it's ONLY LD."

It's only good for playing in a closed round of People you know good enough. not for public. There are no Cards after the Initial 3 turns. I say it's very interesting and a good idea. but 30+ turn LD games are not everyones Thing.

if this idea of the picking stage want to be successful, it has to give a way to make it more Standard in gameplay after the first turns than only LD. I'm not discussing this template in particular, but mainly the idea of the picking stage.
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 1/27/2016 22:38:13


ℳℛᐤƬrαńɋℰ✕
Level 55
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@mod

As always, english is just between my second and third language, so I always don´t understand things clearly. I have played Standard Settings with what you described, but then it was only 100% friends, because due Blockage rule. I made it so it allowed all other cards. The only problem, is as you pointed out, its hard to play it widely, if Template does not offer guarantee to each single player.

The picking idea could be used much more than just LD, Kain´s concept and template just offers that it could be played widely, because no player has any incentive to play negative Sanction on others or discard them - unless its ones Blunder. But to see that as Wide-optional picking-method, we would require help from Higher Forces!
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 1/28/2016 12:31:20

wct
Level 56
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the main Problem is imo that it's LD. even on a not too big map it takes very Long to eliminate an Opponent on LD if he refuses to surrender.

What if the template included a very high setting for 'extra armies', such as '1 army per 20 territories' or 30 or 50 or something?

Since income is base 1, then at 1/20, you would get income of 2 at 40 territories, at which point it becomes more reasonable to start expanding your other starts, which will allow the biggest player to finish the game more quickly, so that someone refusing to surrender would not be so 'far away'. Your starts would still be restricted.
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 1/28/2016 13:59:35


Beren • apex 
Level 62
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What if the template included a very high setting for 'extra armies', such as '1 army per 20 territories' or 30 or 50 or something?


I haven't looked at the linked games too closely, but I'd expect your undeveloped starts to get eaten by the closest enemies before you got to the point where you'd start to develop them, so I'm not sure if this would help.

Edited 1/28/2016 13:59:48
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 1/28/2016 14:25:12


master of desaster 
Level 64
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Also, even if your opponent only has 10 income, he beats your 3/4 income easily on ld till you reach him with your main army.
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 1/28/2016 14:55:40


Kain
Level 57
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first of all, thanks for all of you guys for your opinions

@MoD: there are cards after initial 3 rounds:) palyers are regularly given reconaissance card (every 4 turns) and blockade card (every 2 rounds). Since card limit is 0 thay have to use thos blockades imediatelly or discrad them. Since blockades are sometimes very handy this results in need of greater coordiantion of player's plans...

@wct: yeah, that could be a good modification to add some extra base income in a progressive manner(in fact we were planning to test this option but I didnt have enough time). This could allow for easier concentration of forces which could lead to sligtly faster games. OF course this should not be too big to preserve the main rule that only few initial territores can be developed effectively. I suppose that 1 extra army for 9-13 territories should be ok. Nonetheless, I suppose that @Beren could be right in the matter of using that extra forces to develop other territories - such distant and small outpost would be defenceless against other players

@MoD ("Also, even if your opponent only has 10 income, he beats your 3/4 income easily on ld till you reach him with your main army. ") - yeah, I think that it is the biggest advantage of LD - offensive actions have to be tailored carefully. This also allows for theoretically weaker player to break the defences of stronger enemy if he has concentrated enough forces beforehand
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 1/29/2016 01:18:17

wct
Level 56
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Also, even if your opponent only has 10 income, he beats your 3/4 income easily on ld till you reach him with your main army.

Not if you're dominant in the game and the extra armies overwhelm his low income. Isn't that the whole point of the scenario you brought up? Weak opponent won't surrender?
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 1/29/2016 01:30:35

wct
Level 56
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I've watched all the games Kain has linked, and they were all very interesting to watch. I wouldn't mind some more to watch, too, actually. Personally, I think whatever drawbacks there are could be largely overcome with well-tuned settings. There are endless ways you could use this basic concept on different maps, different numbers of territories, different number of players, etc. All of these factors could make the gameplay better or worse. Some might make it better for shorter games, some might make it better for other aspects of gameplay. Too early to tell, IMO, but I think it's got tons of potential.

Ultimately, the real solution is for this to become an officially supported distribution mode, rather than a hacked-together workaround with LD and forced usage of certain cards. But until then (some fine day), I wouldn't dismiss this idea too quickly, IMO. It could be tons of fun. Keep at it, Kain. :-)
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 1/29/2016 16:39:49


Kain
Level 57
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I agree with you WCT - this template should be convertable into other maps (perhaps bigger?) and even greater number of players. Of course one would have to adjust number of randomly given territories. The only limitation is that not all maps are feasible to this kind of LD (too big bonusses are the main problem in some maps) also LD can be tiresome on big maps...


Like now, I am just trying to improve and make this template more popular - that is why I have created this thread and asked community for their thoughts over it. Therefore if you like it then please find 4 friends of yours and play this template with them so that they could eventually spread it further :)

And finally - yes I am indeed slowly pereparing my proposition into incorporating some of the solutions used here into warlight in the form of additional distribution mode/picking system (of course they will work in much better way than those used here - for instance LD would be no longer required). I don't know If I mange to convince Fizzer into that but first step would be to create Uservoice and rake enough votes anyway. That is why I am trying to make it more popular.


If any of you is interested about the details of those "solutions" which are going to be submitted as official proposal in via UserVoice - pm me and I'll send it to you. I am very interested about people opinion towards it, before I made it public.

The work-name of this project is "Smart Advanced Solutions for Strategic Picking"

Edited 1/31/2016 01:12:10
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 1/29/2016 21:53:10

wct
Level 56
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That's either some clever and crass humour, or .... No, it's gotta be the humour. lol
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 1/31/2016 01:02:08


Kain
Level 57
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No, no humour included. We go with this for real. Official UserVoice should be released around the end of February I suppose.
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 1/31/2016 20:01:47


Nackickwind
Level 64
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Actually instead of making it LD, cap armies and add blockade cards, so that players are forced to throw away the rest of their territories if they actually want to take on bonuses. This would be a good alternative to LD, and would actually force people to not overexpand.
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 1/31/2016 21:07:19

wct
Level 56
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It would probably have to be a pretty low cap, though, wouldn't it, to prevent multiple starts in the early game? That would significantly affect gameplay. It may not be bad actually, but it would probably be very different.
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 1/31/2016 22:42:30


Kain
Level 57
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@Nackickwind - yeah, Aldehyde has already proposed me same solution few days ago, and in fact I have spent some time yesterday to try it that way.... generally it looks that it should work with x3 army cap (perhaps it could be boosted to x5 - ill have to work over it a bit more ).

I am not sure whether such low multipliers would be acceptable... but indeed this would allow to get rid of LD (and perhaps also 0 card limit) also it could allow to create team games so maybe I'll submit it here as an 2v2 or 3v3 option...
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 2/1/2016 01:46:46


Beren • apex 
Level 62
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If the cap isn't low enough, it may not be worth the players blockading their territories. You definitely would have to tweak it to make sure they'd feel the need to do so.
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 2/1/2016 07:18:52


Kain
Level 57
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Yeah, I thought about giving players few random territories with 1 army each and enough blockade cards to reduce themr number to ~4. With base income 1 and army cap x5 they would have no choice but to leave only 4 of them. Problem is that with +1 income their start would be slow even if neutrals were all set to 1 (although it could be buffed a bit with reinforcement cards given on start.) Alternativelly base income could be increase to 2 but this would require even lower base cap to make sense (x3 would impose them to keep only 4 territories in 1st round to get full income)

I'll submit template based on this solution this evening.

Edited 2/1/2016 08:03:41
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 2/1/2016 08:32:55

M. Poireau
Level 53
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Very interesting! Good thinking. I'd like to give this a try sometime.

My "Deployment Limits" concept could be useful here, as well, in terms of creating situations where players are incentivized to pick only one starting position and drop the others (as an alternative to Local Deployment).

Edited 2/1/2016 08:34:12
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 2/2/2016 19:45:41


Nackickwind
Level 64
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Yeah if you decide to cap armies, you're going to have to tweak the template in a way that doesn't impact too much on the later gameplay
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 2/16/2016 12:28:00

Luna {TJC}
Level 56
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Bamp I forgot about this and wanna play some games on it before this thread is lost forever.
Bizzare strategic FFA template (advanced players): 2/18/2016 00:28:00


Kain
Level 57
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try it, play it ! link to the template is in 1st post ;]

I am very busy lately and I cand concentrate 100% on promoting this template, but soon ill try to make a "update" (currently we are testing the solu use of "sequential picking" incorporated into 1v1 ladder template....

Edited 2/18/2016 00:28:08
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