Warriors and Pike

Anything else related to the TRIUMPH! rules
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Bill Hupp
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Re: Warriors and Pike

Postby Bill Hupp » Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:29 pm

DK, examples are the best way for us to understand where you guys are going short of a published set of battle cards. Philosophy only takes us so far.

Are you guys going to explain the change in warriors from +2 to +1? I recall some early comments supporting +2 when people questioned the change from the legacy system.

In addition to battle cards there can also be scenario specific rules for historical battles or campaigns. That makes more sense than limited use battle cards or an army list with very limited time frames.

Bill
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Re: Warriors and Pike

Postby David Kuijt » Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:30 pm

Bill Hupp wrote:Are you guys going to explain the change in warriors from +2 to +1?


We're still working on some aspects of Warriors; it's on the agenda for our next meeting in a week or two.

When you say "are you guys going to explain", how do you mean that? We're happy to give our reasoning, but that's a very open-ended query.

The short form is simple (and like all simple things, the devil is in the details):
  1. a year or more of playtesting and analysis revealed that Warband (not Warrior) at 4 pts was overpriced; we discussed it at great length and evaluated a variety of issues and solved that problem by taking away the +1 for rear support and making them 3 pts. We're very happy with that solution in a lot of ways -- it fixes Dark Ages Welsh vs. Irish or Picts, it does a lot of good.
  2. Similar analysis showed that Warrior was too effective in some situations. Fixing Warband gave us back the +1 slot for rear support (which we didn't have for Warrior when Warband had it). We moved Warrior down to +1, which helps the balance issue quite a bit. That change is almost certain to stick, but we are discussing a number of issues related to how Warrior should function in difficult terrain. One of the ongoing tensions is ALWAYS whether we can find a way to simplify the rules (take out special cases). We'll let you know how it goes once we resolve the issues and come to a decision.

Bill Hupp wrote:I recall some early comments supporting +2 when people questioned the change from the legacy system.


What, where we said something like a polite version of "stop yer whining and try it" ?

You have to see things from our perspective here, Bill. Why is this an "Early Access" edition? Because we want to make the product as good as possible. How do we do that? Testing and feedback. Is feedback useful without testing? Not so much, especially not so much when the feedback is compared to a legacy system by someone who hasn't had a lot of playtest time with Triumph yet (as there are a lot of changes that cause wide-reaching effects). As was true of a lot of players, a year or more ago when the comments you are talking about were made.

It has always been our plan to be as responsive as we can be to actual results -- identify and respond to problems. That does not mean we will immediately listen to anyone in particular -- to do that, the rules would become a weathervane, shifting completely every time the wind changed. The rules need to be stable (not change unless necessary) and they need to be responsive (actually change when a change is needed). Those are conflicting goals, and we have to balance them all the time, in all our responses.

So yes, our opinions do change, and you should be pleased when they do -- because that means we are attempting to fix something and make the game better.

Bill Hupp wrote:In addition to battle cards there can also be scenario specific rules for historical battles or campaigns. That makes more sense than limited use battle cards or an army list with very limited time frames.


Scenario specific rules are great. Not going to be in the published rules ever, of course -- maybe in a third-party publication supporting the system and giving a whole bunch of scenarios, perhaps. Or in a Two Davids publication of the half-a-hundred scenarios we've put together over the years (Ruler of the Nile; Embattled Isle; many more) when we get around to it, which will be after the Triumph rules are finalized. But they'll never be in the published Triumph rules.
DK

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Re: Warriors and Pike

Postby Bill Hupp » Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:49 pm

Thank DK, exactly the type of explanation I was looking for. But don't expect me to stop asking questions. I was often the only kid in college to go to my professor's office hours. :-)

Would the Warrior example be a good one to explain how the historical record plays into your judgements about +1 or +2? The way I might phrase the questions (and possibly badly) would be:

1- Do you judge the effectiveness of the Warrior troop type in terms of an overall battle result? Or do you judge this based on the individual interactions of specific troop tyoes?

2- How important is the specific changes that the factor makes to the math of the interactions itself or is it as you imply=, more related to the relative strengths of the troops?

Thanks.

Bill
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Re: Warriors and Pike

Postby Kontos » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:39 am

Bill Hupp wrote:Thank DK, exactly the type of explanation I was looking for. But don't expect me to stop asking questions. I was often the only kid in college to go to my professor's office hours. :-)

Thanks.

Bill

We called that detention. :D

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Re: Warriors and Pike

Postby Brian Caskey » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:02 am

NO
I was the one in Detention
OFTEN
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Re: Warriors and Pike

Postby David Kuijt » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:19 am

Bill Hupp wrote:Thank DK, exactly the type of explanation I was looking for. But don't expect me to stop asking questions. I was often the only kid in college to go to my professor's office hours. :-)


Weirdo!

As a college professor, I see a solid 10% of my classes attending my office hours. Which means 1 or 2 students per class. The number needing help is way way higher than that, of course.

The funny part is the students that show up for my office hours who aren't even in my classes.

Bill Hupp wrote:1- Do you judge the effectiveness of the Warrior troop type in terms of an overall battle result? Or do you judge this based on the individual interactions of specific troop tyoes?


Yes and yes -- that isn't an "either-or" question.

If an historical battle doesn't play out correctly (on average, ignoring historical brilliance or lameness by generals), that's data that something isn't right. Either the army lists are wrong, or the point values are wrong, or there is something else wrong with the system (combat factors, troop type interactions -- there could be lots of stuff that would have an impact. It's complicated).

If two troop types don't interact well (whether through play balance or historical interactions) that is also data.

Some battles had complicated armies -- that makes it very hard to read the data. Combined arms army lists, for example. Later Carthage, Han Chinese, Teutonic Order, Medieval Portuguese, Alexander Imperial, lots of others. Some battles had very simple (almost monotype) armies. Early Frankish, Later Swiss, Early Sumerian, Huns, Mongols, Sarmatians, Tibetans. That makes both your two separate points essentially the same thing.


Bill Hupp wrote:2- How important is the specific changes that the factor makes to the math of the interactions itself or is it as you imply=, more related to the relative strengths of the troops?


Didn't understand that question. Math underlies everything; math is life and math is physics and math is biology and math is the cosmos. Math is the universe and the universe expresses itself through math. Not sure what you mean.
DK

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Re: Warriors and Pike

Postby Brian Caskey » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:31 am

Dude

"math is life"??

Really?? Start playing with your helmet on Bubba
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Re: Warriors and Pike

Postby David Kuijt » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:47 am

Brian Caskey wrote:"math is life"??

Really?? Start playing with your helmet on Bubba


There are three types of academic disciplines. Real sciences, whose disciplines are based upon math. Semi-real scientists, whose disciplines are based upon statistics (Sociologists, Poli Sci, that sort of thing). And then there the humanities, where they put together some sort of a degree plan because people who don't understand math are already so poorly prepared for life that they might as well have some sort of a degree available so they don't feel so bad about themselves.
DK

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Re: Warriors and Pike

Postby Bill Hupp » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:28 pm

DK,

Of course I am a weirdo, I loved school. Just giving you fair warning.

Perfect answer for 1. Did you go through the historical battles and calculate winning percentages (even at a rough basis due to lack of sources) as part of the overall results testing?

Question 2 let me reframe it. How did you look at the change in the factor from +2 to +1 in terms of how it changed the odds? For example, It reduced the odds of success against elite and Harvey infantry by X and Y and that seemed a good change.

As background, I spent a lot of time looking at the combat math in game systems back in the day (closer to my economics and MBA at UofC). The opposing dice roll process of the legacy system is behavioral genius from a game system perspective (keeps the other player in the game, like a pitcher catcher process and much better than saving throws.) But the system is unclear from an odds perspective to most of the less math inclined (all non math majors as defined by DK?)

I have not gotten into the details of the math of the legacy system because overall I liked the results. Triumph! Increasing the troop types and adding more weak troops directionally improved the system IMHO. While I could, I have not done the math on a marginal change like this one, so I was curious as to the conclusion and logic that resulted in the change.

I am also new to the 'normalization' logic where you are looking at troop types over 3000 years of history. I learn a lot from those comparisons and truly appreciate all the work that goes into that. (That may lead me to buying a Sea People's army on eBay today.)

Bill
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Re: Warriors and Pike

Postby David Kuijt » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:15 pm

Bill Hupp wrote:Of course I am a weirdo, I loved school. Just giving you fair warning.


If I could have made a living being a student, I'd still be a student. They had to graduate me kicking and screaming.

Bill Hupp wrote:Perfect answer for 1. Did you go through the historical battles and calculate winning percentages (even at a rough basis due to lack of sources) as part of the overall results testing?


That's basically impossible. I could hand-wave numbers based upon my internalization (world-view of the system), but those numbers are only as good as my internalization, so why not just use my internalization in the first place?

Plus none of this is just me; I just happen to be the most vocal (voluble, prolix) on this forum. Every change is discussed among the designers; we talk, compare internalizations (that sounds more rude than it is), talk some more, and when our internalizations don't match we play games and examine in more detail to see if we can come to a convergence. Then even more discussion results, and eventually we decide upon a plan to move forward. Sometimes it's an interim plan where we know we still have a lot of discussion ahead still.

All of which is likely the same with every group of designers, so no surprises there.

Bill Hupp wrote:Question 2 let me reframe it. How did you look at the change in the factor from +2 to +1 in terms of how it changed the odds? For example, It reduced the odds of success against elite and Harvey infantry by X and Y and that seemed a good change.


Still not sure what you mean. I can discuss the combat math until everyone goes blue in the face, but I would remind you of Mark Twain's saying -- there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. Combat math (being probability) is statistics.

Bill Hupp wrote:As background, I spent a lot of time looking at the combat math in game systems back in the day (closer to my economics and MBA at UofC). The opposing dice roll process of the legacy system is behavioral genius from a game system perspective (keeps the other player in the game, like a pitcher catcher process and much better than saving throws.) But the system is unclear from an odds perspective to most of the less math inclined (all non math majors as defined by DK?)


Naw, it's easy. Opposed dice rolls is just a bell curve; doesn't matter who is rolling the dice, as long as they aren't cheating. Taking one die and subtracting another gives you the same curve as taking one die and adding another, it's just offset by 7 (if you add 7 to the result of one die minus the second, you get the same curve as one die plus the second). Or to put it another way (with the same effect) treat the second die as having pips of seven less than their actual (so pips of -6 to -1 instead of 1 to 6) and add the dice instead of using the actual pips and subtracting them -- presto chango, same result space, offset by 7.

Bill Hupp wrote:I have not gotten into the details of the math of the legacy system because overall I liked the results. Triumph! Increasing the troop types and adding more weak troops directionally improved the system IMHO.


Adding the extra two types of crappy troops and the simple point system so all the three types of crappy troops could be used without the pretense that Horde were equivalent to Knights or Blade was a huge step forward, yes. All reasonable people agree (because if they disagree, that proves they are not reasonable! Circular logic at its finest).

Bill Hupp wrote:I am also new to the 'normalization' logic where you are looking at troop types over 3000 years of history. I learn a lot from those comparisons and truly appreciate all the work that goes into that. (That may lead me to buying a Sea People's army on eBay today.)


Sea Peeps are really cool in the Biblical period.
DK


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