Page 1 of 4

Endgame Stabs and Risk/Reward Evaluation

PostPosted: 23 Jun 2018, 22:02
by jay65536
So on this site I have noticed that basically everyone, other than some of the FtF players, places a very high degree of importance on the size of the draw in the endgame.

In addition, after my most recent game on here was completed, I was (incorrectly) called "too risk-averse" for a certain decision that I made. So I'm starting this thread because I'm genuinely curious about how other players on this site would evaluate the situation I'm about to describe.

Suppose you are in an endgame where you have a big decision that could go one of two ways:

1. If you refuse to stab someone, you will end the game with a 4way draw.
2. If you pull the trigger on the stab, you will sometimes end the game with a 3way draw, and you will sometimes lose.

What is the thought process that determines whether you go through with the riskier option?

If asked to put numbers on it, what would you say is the relative difference in value between a 4way and a 3way draw to you, compared to the difference between a 4way draw and a loss?

What level of confidence would you want to have to pull the trigger?

Do you have other qualitative reasons for why you would or wouldn't stab?

Re: Endgame Stabs and Risk/Reward Evaluation

PostPosted: 23 Jun 2018, 22:13
by Strategus
You are asking the wrong question. Four way or three way are the same. Period. Draw. Not a win. Size of draw irrelevant.

Re: Endgame Stabs and Risk/Reward Evaluation

PostPosted: 23 Jun 2018, 22:21
by Damon Huntington
I tend to always stab or encourage another to stab in order to keep the game rolling.

Think with me - you have reasoned about the difference between a 3-way draw and a 4-way draw, but that can be extrapolated for all draws. When you're at a 5-way draw, you may call it quits and draw, or run a certain risk to be among the greatest 4. When you're at a 6-way draw, the same reasoning applies.

Nothing stops us from, theoretically, creating a 7-way draw in the games we play - however, that wouldn't really be "playing the game". There isn't a "game" if there isn't a pressing risk of losing it (this being the reason why I HATE "playing" Naughts and Crosses).

If you have the potential to win, why not go for it? Worst case scenario, you get a new story to tell and game experience. Best case scenario, you get a hell load of points.

Re: Endgame Stabs and Risk/Reward Evaluation

PostPosted: 23 Jun 2018, 22:24
by David E. Cohen
I am not sure how I am supposed to vote in the poll, since I find no difference in "quailty" between a 3 way draw and a 4 way draw.


Here is one for you:


No stab = Certain 3 way draw
Stab = 1% win, 99% elimination


Personally, I am sharpening the knife. :lol:

Re: Endgame Stabs and Risk/Reward Evaluation

PostPosted: 23 Jun 2018, 23:15
by jay65536
GPD wrote:You are asking the wrong question. Four way or three way are the same. Period. Draw. Not a win. Size of draw irrelevant.


If a 4way and a 3way are the same to you, then you would never stab. (And in the actual game, I did not stab either.) But the question still has validity.

I am hoping to hear the thought process of someone who does think they are different.

EDIT: Added some poll options.

Re: Endgame Stabs and Risk/Reward Evaluation

PostPosted: 23 Jun 2018, 23:25
by Damon Huntington
jay65536 wrote:
GPD wrote:You are asking the wrong question. Four way or three way are the same. Period. Draw. Not a win. Size of draw irrelevant.


If a 4way and a 3way are the same to you, then you would never stab. (And in the actual game, I did not stab either.) But the question still has validity.

I am hoping to hear the thought process of someone who does think they are different.


I think he meant the opposite. 4-way and 3-way are the same because they are not a win. They are not a Solo.

That, to me, seems like a statement from someone that hunts for a Solo and that would stab.

Re: Endgame Stabs and Risk/Reward Evaluation

PostPosted: 24 Jun 2018, 00:11
by StarkAdder
If it feels good, do it

Re: Endgame Stabs and Risk/Reward Evaluation

PostPosted: 24 Jun 2018, 00:28
by DQ
David E. Cohen wrote:I am not sure how I am supposed to vote in the poll, since I find no difference in "quailty" between a 3 way draw and a 4 way draw.


Here is one for you:


No stab = Certain 3 way draw
Stab = 1% win, 99% elimination


Personally, I am sharpening the knife. :lol:


Ayup. I guess marginally inclined to stab in OP on the chance that the game shifts in a way that leads to me winning. But if its "take a 4wd with my partner against the alliance on the other side of the board, or stab my partner to try to get it to a 3wd," then I'm almost _never_ going to be the one to move first there. It would be entirely dependent on some artificial outside consideration, like a scoring system in a tournament.

Re: Endgame Stabs and Risk/Reward Evaluation

PostPosted: 24 Jun 2018, 06:35
by David E. Cohen
If I trust that no one is going to freak out or do something stupid, then draw whittling is a pointless waste of time, and I have in fact threatened and am willing to carry out a threat to throw a solo to someone else rather then let a draw whittler have their way. Once they realize I am serious, the game is usually ended VERY quickly. :lol:

If as you say, Chris, there is a chance that the game dynamic will change because of the stab, then I would give it a shot.

Re: Endgame Stabs and Risk/Reward Evaluation

PostPosted: 24 Jun 2018, 06:59
by Nanook
Personally, I'd only make that stab if I thought it might lead to a chance for a solo. For example, if I thought that one of the other powers in a 2v2 setup was also going to stab (and was completely convinced they were genuine), then I might make that stab. If the other power made their stab first, that would help things along too. But if it was just a stab to cut it from 4 to 3, with no indication that it would otherwise shake up the board dynamics and give me some wiggle room...that's just not really worth it outside of a tournament setting.