A (Choose: Great/Pointless/Annoying) Scoring System Thread

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Re: A (Choose: Great/Pointless/Annoying) Scoring System Thre

Postby jay65536 » 14 Jun 2018, 20:55

NoPunIn10Did wrote:I have no idea what they objected to, but having "number of years played" as an absolute measure, rather than a basis of comparison (as in Carnage), is problematic.

Unless they had a year limit in place, getting eliminated late in the game could net more points than losing with one center.


I mean, let me just say...I know what I don't like about this system...just curious if other players had objections I didn't have.

Speaking purely for myself, I actually don't like using those kinds of measures at all, even as a basis of comparison. I like systems where you can compute the scores knowing only the end result. (Obviously I'll still play tournaments that use them--it's just a personal preference.)
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Re: A (Choose: Great/Pointless/Annoying) Scoring System Thre

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 18 Jun 2018, 16:55

jay65536 wrote:
Speaking purely for myself, I actually don't like using those kinds of measures at all, even as a basis of comparison. I like systems where you can compute the scores knowing only the end result. (Obviously I'll still play tournaments that use them--it's just a personal preference.)


You mean only the end result as in the SC ownership on the final map?

Because being eliminated is a sort of "end result" for those players... :D
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Re: A (Choose: Great/Pointless/Annoying) Scoring System Thre

Postby jay65536 » 18 Jun 2018, 17:02

Yeah, I mean the end result of the entire game, meaning the final position when the game end was agreed and, if relevant, what the voted result was.
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Re: A (Choose: Great/Pointless/Annoying) Scoring System Thre

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 18 Jun 2018, 17:10

jay65536 wrote:Yeah, I mean the end result of the entire game, meaning the final position when the game end was agreed and, if relevant, what the voted result was.


Ah, so the final snapshot rather than any event leading to that snapshot.

One can accomplish this with a rank-based system too, by setting all eliminated players as tied for last place.

Assuming you had to pick a fixed-sum system, what would you say your favorite is? Sum-of-squares?
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Re: A (Choose: Great/Pointless/Annoying) Scoring System Thre

Postby DavidMaletsky » 18 Jun 2018, 18:51

Ran Carnage with averaging eliminations for a couple of years, and got feedback that mostly leaned in the direction of ordering eliminations. I am unconvinced either is inherently better or worse, so I’ve agreed to reinstate the ordering; will of the people is as good a reason as any.
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Re: A (Choose: Great/Pointless/Annoying) Scoring System Thre

Postby jay65536 » 18 Jun 2018, 23:27

NoPunIn10Did wrote:One can accomplish this with a rank-based system too, by setting all eliminated players as tied for last place.

Assuming you had to pick a fixed-sum system, what would you say your favorite is? Sum-of-squares?


One can, but it tends not to happen in real life, as Maletsky just said.

I don't really think it matters a whole lot what my favorite system is, for a couple reasons: first, I don't run a tournament of my own (if I ever did, I would probably want to test out my own system); and second, because in keeping with what Maletsky just pointed out, I'm just one person, and if the community as a whole doesn't like my preferences then they (my preferences) shouldn't matter.

But since you're asking, I'll say this. While maybe I don't want to pick one that's "my favorite" out of what currently exists, I do have certain qualities that I like for a scoring system to have. I don't really actually think that it's theoretically possible for any one scoring system to keep all of my ideals; in my head it's like election theory, where Arrow's Theorem says that you take a small list of qualities that a reasonable person would agree are all desirable in a system but somehow it's mathematically impossible to fulfill them all.

I like playing under systems that:

0. Are designed to make sure the game doesn't get less fun. This is what it's all about, right? That's why it's number 0 (it's not because I have a CS mindset about list-making--I'm a mathematician, not a programmer.) I have played under systems where the games become less fun because of how they are being scored. As I think was pointed out above, this is one thing that draw-based systems tend to fail--at least, they do for me.

1. Stays as close to the written rules as possible. I'm old enough (but just barely) to remember a time when some tournaments played using the "29-center rule", which stated that any coalition of 29 centers could force a game end in any result they agreed on. So for example, if the center counts were 9/9/9/5/2, and the 2 was willing to vote himself out, the three 9-center powers could band with the 2-center power to force the game to end in a 3-way draw, and the 5-center power could not veto that result. The same would also have been true for a center split of 7/7/7/5/3/3/2--if the bottom 3 powers were willing to vote for it, a 3-way draw between the top 3 could be forced. I was not a fan.

2. Treats all wins the same, and treats all losses the same. For me personally, I like the idea that losing in 1902 and losing in 1910 are the same. I also like the idea that (in a draw-based system) when you vote yourself out of a draw, you don't get points for it--voting yourself out should be something you do out of courtesy only and not because it's incentivized by the tournament structure. Treating all wins the same, one would assume would be self-evident; but in fact, not every scoring system does this! In the Dixie system, a 19-center win is worth more than an 18-center win. (Of course this doesn't come up much.) Dixie also treats losses differently; the only system that doesn't is SoS, although C-Diplo essentially does too.

3. Properly values a solo win--it should be very hard, if not impossible, to finish ahead of a solo winner without also soloing. Carnage is the best at this. SoS, which I like in many other respects, is actually the worst system I've ever played under in this regard. In SoS, a solo and an elimination can be caught by two results of 50+ points. To get such a result it usually suffices to get 13 centers while second place has 10 and there are multiple small powers still alive. Not only is soloing the object of the game, but it's very hard to solo--I've never done it in a tournament setting--so I think it should be rewarded more than that.

4. Makes all games worth the same total number of points each. In other words, I prefer fixed-sum (i.e. zero-sum) systems. Does that mean that when combined with #1, it means I prefer draw-based scoring? Well, I suppose some part of me does prefer draw-based scoring. But I've also played enough tournaments to know that #0 comes first. I have more fun playing Diplomacy at tournaments that use lead-based scoring than I do playing under the Dixie system. (That's not to impugn DixieCon--I have also had fun when I played there!)

5. Properly values a good result within a draw so that you can achieve "separation" between non-solo results. This one is really hard for me to explain, so let me just say by way of explanation that I think this is what SoS is best at among the systems currently in use. I actually think if you changed SoS so that it scores draws the same as it currently does but made a solo 150 points instead of 100, that would be a really good tournament system, even though it's not zero-sum. Carnage is good at this too. Basically I like lead-based systems for how they evaluate different results in a context where you can't or shouldn't just say "all draws get equal points".

I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting right now but those are a few.
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Re: A (Choose: Great/Pointless/Annoying) Scoring System Thre

Postby jay65536 » 29 Apr 2019, 17:11

So I'm reviving this thread because over the weekend, this page went up:

https://www.dipcon2019.com/scoring-systems

It's a list of the scoring systems that could be used in any round of the 2019 North American Dipcon, but it also doubles as an interesting look into the history of North American scoring systems. It includes some that I didn't know about before, as well as one that I did but couldn't remember all the details of because it's been so long out of use.

The whole list is interesting, and includes all 3 systems (Dixie, SoS, and Carnage) mainly in use in North America today, but there are 2 systems that I found very interesting:

PacificCon is apparently a draw-based system with a center count component large enough to make it close to a draw/center hybrid. I didn't even know anything like this had been tried before! You can look at the link for the actual details of the system, but basically it's 90/N for an Nway draw (with a solo worth 125), but unlike a system such as DixieCon or WBC, where centers are clearly secondary, here the center count score is large enough relative to the draw score that it can "overcome" a larger draw result. For example, a 9-center 3way is worth 37 points. That's not as good as a 13-center 4way (37.5) and it's exactly as good as a 15-center 5way. The Dixiecon system technically allows this too but it is much harder--in the Dixie system you always need 6 more centers in a 4way to match the score for a 3way.

The Regatta system is the one I'm the most fascinated by of the historical systems. It's a draw-based system that breaks zero-sum primarily to make a solo worth a lot less than a string of draws--BUT, the twist here is that solos are much more achievable because the victory condition is lowered as the game progresses, eventually going down to 13 centers in 1913 and staying there (with the condition that you always must win by 2 centers or more to claim a win).

I guess I have 2 questions after reading this list:

1) Is there anyone from the FtF hobby reading this who is familiar enough with hobby history to know why these 2 systems fell out of fashion? Particularly Regatta? I never played in a tournament that used the Regatta system; does anyone know what it was like?

2) Reading some of these makes me circle back to one of the reasons I initially started this thread. When playing under a draw-based system, it seems commonplace and fairly prevalent to "break zero-sum" by having some draw sizes be worth "too much" relative to zero-sum. What I mean is, if we imagine a fixed-sum system such as Calhamer points, you're looking at (if we scale to 420) 420/N for an Nway draw, with each game being worth the same amount of total points. But if you look at a system like WBC, you don't have that. Instead, the WBC system had:
46 for a solo
44/2 for a 2way
30/3 for a 3way
16/4 for a 4way
5/5 for a 5way
0 for a 6way or 7way
On this site, the PDL that ran in 2018 did the same thing--40 for a solo, but then 40/2 for a 2way, 30/3 for a 3way, and so on. Dixiecon actually does this in reverse--270 for a solo, but 340/2 for a 2way, 390/3 for a 3way, and so on. (But Dixie is fixed-sum when you count points going to players not in the draw.)
Is there someone reading this who is a proponent of draw-based scoring who can explain why it might be good to break zero-sum to give extra reward to smaller draws, more than would already exist in a fixed-sum system? Because I find this confusing.
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Re: A (Choose: Great/Pointless/Annoying) Scoring System Thre

Postby DQ » 17 May 2019, 03:13

Your best bet for finding an advocate of draw-based scoring isn't online, and I'm not going to fall on that particular sword. :)

I will say that Regatta was only played once, and was considered by most (IIRC, and Manus who is online somewhere may have a different opinion) to be a failure in practice. I don't think anyone was particularly happy with the way it worked out, and that was one of the largest NADipCons, so there was lots of play of varying levels. I'd say "Not a bad system for a house game where you don't want to drag on" but heck, if you're in 1913 you've already dragged on, right?

And, with this, I return to my lurking cave, only brought out into the light when someone asks me "Hey, what is this Spark thing?" :D
Stab you soon!
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Re: A (Choose: Great/Pointless/Annoying) Scoring System Thre

Postby jay65536 » 17 May 2019, 14:49

DQ wrote:Your best bet for finding an advocate of draw-based scoring isn't online


Not sure what you mean by this; my experience has shown that online is the BEST place to find advocates of draw-based scoring. The 2 questions I was asking were not necessarily meant to be answered by the same person.
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Re: A (Choose: Great/Pointless/Annoying) Scoring System Thre

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 17 May 2019, 15:47

jay65536 wrote:
DQ wrote:Your best bet for finding an advocate of draw-based scoring isn't online


Not sure what you mean by this; my experience has shown that online is the BEST place to find advocates of draw-based scoring. The 2 questions I was asking were not necessarily meant to be answered by the same person.


I think he meant a very specific person on this forum who has been a staunch, almost religiously-driven advocate of Draw-sized scoring.
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