Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] [Martian Chess] End of Tournament Games

  • FromMarc Hartstein <marc.hartstein@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateThu, 06 Jul 2006 12:32:00 -0400
On Thu, Jul 06, 2006 at 11:51:50AM -0400, Elliott C. Evans wrote:
> Marc H. wrote:
> > Ryan wrote:
> > > The ad hoc rule I made was that the game continues until there is an
> > > empty sector AND there is a lone player with the most points.
> >
> > [...] I see two possibilities:
> >
> > 1. Having an empty quadrant breaks ties. [...]
> > 2. Having at least one piece left breaks ties. [...]
> 3. Scores are computed as captured points *minus* points still in your
>    territory.

This strikes me as a huge change to the game.  With the ability to take
points away from another player, it might even qualify as a completely
different game.  In the existing game you can collaborate to keep
somebody from getting a chance to end the game in winning, but that
seems to typically result in giving them some opportunities to pick up
points in the meantime.  This is beyond that.

This does point out that I should rephrase my 1 and 2, however, probably

1. Tiebreaker is the point value of pieces still in your territory.
Lowest tiebreaker score wins.
2. Tiebreaker is the point value of pieces still in your territory.
Highest tiebreaker score wins.

> > Especially if they're within one player mistake of obtaining the
> > lead, this might even be reasonable.
> I don't want to get this discussion off on a tangent, but, I'm am
> *strongly* against games of strategy being played as games of "gotcha".
> Do you want to beat somebody because they screwed up, or because you
> outplayed them?

I see the distinction you're making.  I use mistake to mean more than
"screwed up and did something obviously stupid", though.  For instance,
I think I counted three mistakes I made during the MC Finals.  They
weren't of the "I threw points over to this player who didn't deserve
them" variety, though.  They were times when I realized there was a
better action I could have taken than the one I had.

I think there's a fuzzy line here between screwing up and just not
playing as well.  This could be an interesting discussion...should we
take it elsewhere for follow-up to avoid diluting the conversation about
MC, which I think is important?

> I agree. I am not in favor of changing the rules of established games.
> I would like to figure out a good tournament structure, though.

How would the structure used for the Icehouse tournament work?  I wasn't
entirely satisfied with it for Icehouse (as Pace pointed out, it's
gameable), but Martian Chess scores differently than Icehouse.  I guess
it still has a problem, though, because not all of the 18 points/player
are awarded.

A tournament structure which discourages somebody with a commanding lead
from going ahead and winning because they can increase their tournament
standing by dragging the game out would be annoying.  I'm not sure how
often positions like that are seen...most of the games I've played have
had more than one player pretty close to 18+ points.  Might be an
acceptable risk.

I think choosing any structure which allows the tie for a fractional win
would help immensely.  Although it would be annoying if a losing player
forced the tie when the tied players had both decided they wanted to
fight it out.

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