Author Topic: The Next Basegame League - Duplicate Decks  (Read 1851 times)

Offline Decar

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The Next Basegame League - Duplicate Decks
« on: June 21, 2017, 03:56:18 AM »
I've been working on this idea for quite some time, I think I'm almost ready to share it here.

Firstly, I don't want to get in the way of the current Basegame league so it won't start until after that completes (about 2 months away) and I don't want it to get in the way of the next expansion-league, World Cup and other bits and bobs, but I think we can find time to do this and it would be worth exploring,  Here's the premise:

As you know the current Basegame League gets both players to play 2 games, one as the start and one as the 2nd player; the hope being we'd see some statistical evidence of an advantage.
 Another issue Carcassonne has is caused by the random nature of decks between games.  For example, when A plays B, player A may get a particularly 'lucky' set of tiles and do significantly better because of it when compared to other games going on during a round.

One way to balance/compensate these kinds of issue is seen in Bridge Tournaments, by using a Duplicate Decks.  During the Tournament all the tables have prepared decks of cards which have all been ordered in the same way.  All the hands that are played through the games are the same.  Basically, the game on Table-1 is the same game as that on Table-2,3,4 and so on.  This allows a relative skill of players to be compared.  Start-players and opponents can be compared against each other; they all got the same cards in the same order!

I'd like to try the same with Carcassonne, however we're not all going to be in the same room at the same time.
I've already modified JCZ to support a prepared deck of tiles, it can now download the deck of tiles from a URL and play through them in the specified order.
There are some complexities we'd need to address though:

Firstly, we'd need to hide results of the games until all the games have been played.  I'd not want one game to have an advantage over another because they've seen the score or the layout or a description of the game from players.  I can reuse the image upload and description fields I used for the Carcassonne Ladder, if you remember; so scores can be kept track in secret, I can publish them once the round is complete.

Secondly, I wouldn't want a player to get an advantage by being able to see the tiles early.  By downloading the file etc.  Ultimately, I can think of lots of ways to cheat this - but I could prepare a very simple booking system that emails the game host with a unique-URL to use just ahead of the game.  It's all a bit complicated to be honest, so ultimately I'd hope that players can be trusted not to cheat the system.

Anyway, that's the idea - if you're interested in taking part you can register now, and I'll get to work implementing some of the other bits and pieces based on the interest, or any additional suggestions people have!

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=3424.0

Offline ny1050220

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Re: The Next Basegame League - Duplicate Decks
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2017, 09:44:56 AM »
Sounds like a good idea. I'll participate if the time suits me.

Offline danisthirty

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Re: The Next Basegame League - Duplicate Decks
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2017, 09:46:11 AM »
Being able to compare scores in this way, knowing that players were given the same tiles as each other, is very interesting. But I also think that an individual's decisions during a game are not influenced purely by their skill and the tiles they draw, as I for one will change how I play depending on who I'm playing against, and I know others do the same.

Jere is my arch-nemesis for example, so I will always try to play a "safe" game against him as I know he will make the most of any opportunity to trap me otherwise. Against certain other players I may feel less threatened and might take risks which may or may not pay off. So it will be interesting for me personally to compare results of other matches against specific people.

Lots to think about. Lots to learn. I'm definitely in!
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Offline khalidqasrawi

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Re: The Next Basegame League - Duplicate Decks
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2017, 12:18:18 AM »
Great idea Decar.

I see a small issue.  I could run a parallel JCZ instance next to the game that I'm playing but in that instance, I play my opponent's seat and I let Adda play my seat.  I then feed in my opponents moves from the real game into my parallel JCZ instance and Adda then comes up with my best move giving me an artificial assist...

Offline MrNumbers

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Re: The Next Basegame League - Duplicate Decks
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2017, 12:34:16 AM »
I see a small issue.  I could run a parallel JCZ instance next to the game that I'm playing but in that instance, I play my opponent's seat and I let Adda play my seat.  I then feed in my opponents moves from the real game into my parallel JCZ instance and Adda then comes up with my best move giving me an artificial assist...
If you consider Adda as a good opponent, then you haven't played with her :D
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Offline danisthirty

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Re: The Next Basegame League - Duplicate Decks
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2017, 01:12:21 AM »
I agree with MrNumbers that Adda's move is unlikely to be the "best" move and won't necessarily be of much assistance to you.

Ultimately though, perhaps the approach to this should be more that it's an experiment than a competition. And as such, the goal is to learn and understand the game in more detail through this rather than be the person who won the most games.

Offline Decar

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Re: The Next Basegame League - Duplicate Decks
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2017, 01:52:17 AM »
We could certainly look at ways to prevent players from doing this, but it would require some significant engineering effort.

I'd hope most players were honest enough and interested in the results to not have to resort to such methods.

Like Dan and MrNumbers said, you'll probably be better closing your eyes when you place a tile rather than using Adda for advice  :(y) :(y)

Offline thodekey

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Re: The Next Basegame League - Duplicate Decks
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2017, 01:57:38 AM »
Poor Adda,

She's quite nice but that's also her weakness. :-)

Anyway, count me in for the experiment!  :blue-meeple:

Offline danisthirty

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Re: The Next Basegame League - Duplicate Decks
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2017, 05:32:48 AM »
She's quite nice but that's also her weakness. :-)

You think? I think she's too competitive for her own good as she'll almost never let anything go uncontested if she has an opportunity to steal into it. Which is why she gets so many meeples trapped. Which is why she always loses. This is what happens on my laptop anyway; I turn her evil streak against her...

Offline thodekey

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Re: The Next Basegame League - Duplicate Decks
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2017, 07:06:06 AM »
That's true, Dan, that's why i prefer Adda over Ellen.  Because when i play a 4-player-game against Adda, Ellen and Caitlyn -I kid you not...- and one of them beats me, it's almost every time Ellen.  Damn, that Ellen! 

Offline Halfling

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Re: The Next Basegame League - Duplicate Decks
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2017, 12:59:40 PM »
I play 4 player rather than 2 player.  Just in case I ever get to UK games Expo!
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Offline Rosco

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Re: The Next Basegame League - Duplicate Decks
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2017, 02:36:48 AM »
I like the plan. But I think I may be  missing something.  If I play a game against Dan for example with a pre- programmed set of tiles and I start then either Dan or I will almost certainly have an advantage due to cards drawn which is inevitable.  So we play game 2 so the other person has that same advantage for a game but they now have an extra advantage of now knowing the order of the deck. 

I can't see how to combat this other than previewing the order of tiles with a friendly game before the 2 competition games.  This obviously makes it a 3 game sitting. 

OR it could be a single game with random start player?

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Offline Decar

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Re: The Next Basegame League - Duplicate Decks
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2017, 02:47:16 AM »
Sorry for the confusion there.

The premise for using prepared decks is to allow YOU to be compared against OTHER players in the SAME position as you.  Not to just compare you against your opponent.

If the start-players score 120points mean-average across the 5games, and you won by 130 points you did better than the mean.
If the second players score an average of 100 points and you only scored 90, you were worse than average.

Obviously playing a weaker player gives someone an advantage, but I guess that should balance out by the time everyone plays everyone like the last league?

I think it might be worth looking at playing 2-games just like the previous league, but with a 2nd-prepared deck.

Open to suggestions though!

Offline ny1050220

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Re: The Next Basegame League - Duplicate Decks
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2017, 06:33:00 AM »
I'm not sure if this is what Rosco tried to describe, but it seems to make a difference whether my opponent knows the order of tiles in my very first game, and in my any subsequent games.
Things will be very different when playing with an opponent 1) who takes the risks to score big not knowing the order (that's then pure luck); 2) seemingly takes the risks but actually knowing the order (so they know they will get it; I might also know this depending on whether I know the order as well); 3) plays safe, because they don't know the order and they know that I know the order, and they want to avoid the traps I set up based on my knowledge of the order; 4) always plays safe, not matter whether either of us knows the order; or some other scenario I haven't included here.
Apparently, for each scenario, I have different styles to choose from. Although the dynamics in each game does affect the outcome (I might frown on my choices when looking the replay on another day), the difference in knowledge of the order very likely does make my opponent a different player.

Offline Decar

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Re: The Next Basegame League - Duplicate Decks
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2017, 07:00:18 AM »
The intent i for neither player to know what tiles will come up before the game starts.  Though the tiles are determined neither player will know the order they will come out. 
How you play: agressively/passively/ with high risk or low risk moves are down to the player's abilities to read the tiles and utilize them effectively.


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