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Games should not end before time with pieces that can cause damage left on both sides Options
imyurhukaberry
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 5:05:48 AM
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My comments were not meant to be a "beat down"...just looking at it from a "different point of view".
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imyurhukaberry
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 5:16:37 AM
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What if the main part of the skirmish happens outside of gambit?
Say a very fast squad gets gambit and sets up to not allow the opponent into it without sacrificing a character each round.
Do you think it would push the game into a very niche type of squad to win?
thereisnotry
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 5:38:34 AM
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adamb0nd wrote:
I do like TINT's idea. It does also alter the strategy of the game further from the original design, which was one of Timmer's point. It will become more important to get your beat sticks into the center and then keep them alive. Just makes the game play differently and the goals a little different from original design intent.

Interesting. I guess this discussion really comes down to a question of whether or not we think the gambit system is a necessary part of SWM in competition.

Gambit was not part of the original design of the game. The original design intent did not include gambit points at all.

And yet, WotC decided to add gambit rules after the game was released. Why would they alter the original design intent? Because it did not in itself encourage or require engagement in combat; the gambit system was a necessary addition if that was going to happen. Another way of saying it: the original design of the game was not complete (at least not for purposes of competitive play with a time limit). While it is good to aim for killing all of an opponent's pieces (original design intent), a player's choice of tactics and strategy could draw that process out over several hours' time, rather than concluding within an hour. Therefore, the game was adjusted away from original design intent, so that games would conclude within a reasonable time-frame.

Therefore, I think we need to ask ourselves some questions that are at a more foundational level than we've been asking so far:

1. Is SWM better, or worse with the gambit system? Is 'original design intent' the gold standard that we should start pursuing again? Or should we recognize that perhaps WotC recognized a flaw in their original game design and solved it by instituting the gambit system? Which 'version' of the game is better?

2. If the gambit system is bad for SWM, what can take its place? Or does anything need to? Perhaps some people would like to remove the gambit system. I think Tim's suggested rule change essentially falls into this category, because gambit points are effectively only applied after time is called.

3. If the gambit system is good for SWM, can we do anything to improve it? Or should we? Personally, I think that gambit points should not be awarded at the end of a round if both players are engaged (ie, have a qualifying piece in the gambit zone). Think of gambit points as a penalty to the non-engaging player (to incentivize him/her to engage!), rather than as a participation trophy for everyone who has a piece near the center.
imyurhukaberry
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 5:45:51 AM
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I'm not sure how far WOTC thought this game would go...or at least how rabid it's players would be to move into competitive play...when they first released it. I believe it morphed out of necessity...as you've stated.
Could be wrong, but I don't think the original overall design was to limit games to 60 minutes. (at least the rulebooks themselves did not)

No matter...we are here where we are because of the game's awesome players!!!
thereisnotry
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 5:56:47 AM
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imyurhukaberry wrote:
What if the main part of the skirmish happens outside of gambit?

This is a good question.
Unfortunately, the gambit system itself was rather abstract from the start: 4 squares from the center of the map is a relatively arbitrary way to measure engagement. Certainly true. But it's also the only one we've got.

Imperial Assault (by FFG) has a different method of forcing engagement: each map has 2 different Missions, which absolutely cannot be accomplished without getting near to your opponent's pieces. Engagement happens because one or both of the following is true: (1) at least one player wants to blow up his opponent's squad! (2) at least one player is trying to accomplish the Mission objectives (and will therefore win unless his opponent responds).

In SWM, if the main part of combat happens outside of gambit, then that's almost always because one player is being significantly more aggressive than the other...and as a result, the aggressive player's pieces are free to hold gambit while combat happens. The thing is, the aggressive player is also extending himself (possibly over-extending) and exposing his pieces to damage, while his opponent is able to hunker down and set up a kill box.

I think we need to ask ourselves whether we want to reward aggressive play, or not. The inverse of that question is whether we want to reward non-engagement, or not.

imyurhukaberry wrote:
Say a very fast squad gets gambit and sets up to not allow the opponent into it without sacrificing a character each round.
Do you think it would push the game into a very niche type of squad to win?

I'm not sure that's a niche type of squad...more like a squad with movement breakers and the ability to deal out good damage while also surviving return fire. In other words, a good squad! ThumpUp

On a more serious note, yes. It pushes the game toward squads that are geared for combat, rather than for non-engagement. No question. Personally, I think that's a good thing.
imyurhukaberry
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 6:25:35 AM
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Pretty sure the pure intent of this game was to battle...one team against another....until only one remained..so I guess encouraging engagement is a positive thing!

The question comes back to what is the end goal? Sheer points...or defeating characters? (which was the original way of getting points)
Talking competitive play...not casual...so "play for fun" is out!
(but you can have fun along the way...)
thereisnotry
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 7:24:56 AM
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imyurhukaberry wrote:
Pretty sure the pure intent of this game was to battle...one team against another....until only one remained..so I guess encouraging engagement is a positive thing!

Agreed. Whatever encourages engagement is probably helpful, and whatever discourages it is probably unhelpful.

imyurhukaberry wrote:
The question comes back to what is the end goal? Sheer points...or defeating characters? (which was the original way of getting points)
Talking competitive play...not casual...so "play for fun" is out!
(but you can have fun along the way...)

The end goal always has been, and always will be, to defeat all of your opponent's characters.

However, that ultimate goal is not a possibility as long as your opponent is avoiding combat. In that case, the secondary goal of winning via points (reaching the build total via a combination of kill points and gambit points) is available as an option.

Thankfully, (at least personally) I haven't usually found this to be a problem. In the past few years I'm only aware of one of my games that has gone to time (vs Jason in the Swiss rounds of the Championship this year), and that game was certainly not a case of combat avoidance!

Nevertheless, as I've said, Tim does raise a good point: there are times when games end before combat is finished. Hence my suggestion that gambit is scored only as a penalty, and not as a participation trophy. It will do one of two things in every game: (1) either keep the gambit scores way down (to 10 or 20pts most of the time), or else (2) give extra (game-winning) points to one player if his opponent refuses to engage.
FlyingArrow
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 9:02:25 AM
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I prefer the 5-5 split if both players are in gambit. 10pts to one player if only one player is in gambit. Chasing down back-row commanders is dumb, and keeping the gambit flowing makes it so you don't have to do that to still earn a full win.
imyurhukaberry
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 9:16:51 AM
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I thought a full win was awarded if that was the case? (Chasing down back-row commanders is dumb)
Or is it strictly by points?
Randy
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 10:47:34 AM
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imyurhukaberry wrote:
Pretty sure the pure intent of this game was to battle...one team against another....until only one remained..so I guess encouraging engagement is a positive thing!

The question comes back to what is the end goal? Sheer points...or defeating characters? (which was the original way of getting points)
Talking competitive play...not casual...so "play for fun" is out!
(but you can have fun along the way...)


The original game was released on September 3, 2004. Gambit was introduced prior to Gen Con Indy 2005 (August 18–21, 2005) if I remember correctly. That was less than 1 year after release and the first set that was released with competitive play in mind was released on June 6, 2006. Once WOTC determined that there was a demand for the competitive game, they identified a problem and fixed it before promoting that style of play. I played some "tournament" style games prior to the inclusion of the gambit system. They were not fun. As far as I'm concerned the game that this thread wants to "return to" never actually existed on a competitive level.
thereisnotry
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 11:05:17 AM
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FlyingArrow wrote:
I prefer the 5-5 split if both players are in gambit. 10pts to one player if only one player is in gambit. Chasing down back-row commanders is dumb, and keeping the gambit flowing makes it so you don't have to do that to still earn a full win.
Actually, if you think about it, once you've defeated your opponent's squad except for his back-line commanders, then you just need to keep your guys in the gambit zone. That's 10pts per round, and at that point in the match, rounds only take a minute or two to finish since there are so few pieces on the board. It'll probably take as many rounds to slowly whittle those commanders down as it will to wait in gambit for them to come to you.

So you actually wouldn't have to chase down any back-line commanders. If your opponent wants those commanders to come in to try to take out your remaining (and wounded) characters before you reach the build total, then it's his responsibility to make that happen.




The reason I like this situation better than the 5-5 gambit scoring is because those points can eventually add up to the point where they artificially end the game when there's still meaningful combat to be done. 30 or 35 pts is enough to enable you to ignore your opponent's Dash Rendar or last Storm Commando, etc.


Having said that, though, I'd still be happy to go with the 5-5 gambit system if people would prefer that over the penalty-vs-trophy system that I've suggested. I really do think Tim has pointed out an actual problem that should be addressed, and so I'd be happy with either method of adjusting how gambit works.
thereisnotry
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 11:08:35 AM
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Randy wrote:
The original game was released on September 3, 2004. Gambit was introduced prior to Gen Con Indy 2005 (August 18–21, 2005) if I remember correctly. That was less than 1 year after release and the first set that was released with competitive play in mind was released on June 6, 2006. Once WOTC determined that there was a demand for the competitive game, they identified a problem and fixed it before promoting that style of play. I played some "tournament" style games prior to the inclusion of the gambit system. They were not fun. As far as I'm concerned the game that this thread wants to "return to" never actually existed on a competitive level.
Boom!
Wow. That's a big deal. I wasn't in the game yet at that point, so this is valuable insight for me. Thanks Randy!

That gives even further reason to hold on to gambit as a meaningful and legitimate way to finish a game. Perhaps we need to slow down the rate of gambit-points-gain, but this info does further solidify the role that gambit needs to play in order for SWM to work as a competitive tournament game.
FlyingArrow
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 11:42:53 AM
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imyurhukaberry wrote:
I thought a full win was awarded if that was the case? (Chasing down back-row commanders is dumb)
Or is it strictly by points?


A full win is awarded if you get to 200pts. When we had 5pt gambit, the amount gambit someone earned pretty much just covered the cost of the back row commanders, so that the winner could get the full win without having to chase them down. With 10pt gambit, games end too early, when meaningful combat can still take place. If the rules becomes "both players in gambit zone = no gambit", then it seems likely that we'll have more games going up to time with a clear winner but nobody at 200pts. Especially against a squad like Daala that tends to have a lot of back row commanders. But I could be wrong about that.

Maybe we should just go back to 5pt gambit but require a 10pt character?
imyurhukaberry
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 11:44:44 AM
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Thanks for the information.
I don't remember gambit being introduced that early, but I'll take your word for it. BlooMilk
imyurhukaberry
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 12:05:12 PM
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Back to the topic title...

Current gambit points, especially in 200pt battles, accelerate game end times faster than they should.
Having gambit negated as long as the two sides are "duking" it out seems interesting...and it does leave the opening for gambit gain once one side's fighters have been defeated...pretty much cancelling the backroom commanders left.
AndyHatton
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 1:12:34 PM
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sorry not sure if this has been suggested or is even a good idea, but what if "scoring gambit" subtracted points away from your opponent's total. So then it is literally impossible to "go over" the amount of build points and not trigger an end game, but it still incentives folks to enter gambit and whomever has the most points at the end is still the winner.


FlyingArrow wrote:


Maybe we should just go back to 5pt gambit but require a 10pt character?

I like this idea too, 10 points for gambit always felt like a lot to me.
DarthBainCapital
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 1:26:35 PM
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I think the problem with subtracting points is that it would sometimes deprive people of the 100 points they need for the 1 victory point, though maybe you could ignore gambit for that calculation. It would also prevent games from ending early, because it's unlikely anyone would reach 200 points.
TimmerB123
Posted: Thursday, October 1, 2020 2:37:49 PM
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When gambit was 5 points, it rarely ended games early. In fact, it wasn’t until many years later that games did start to end early due to gambit alone. It wasn’t until about the last 5-6 years that it started really getting abused. When players started “gaming for gambit”.

Gambit was introduced to encourage engagement. Great - I’m for that. But getting gambit does not mean engagement is happening. Many maps have separated gambit where the 2 teams are locked in separate rooms, both getting gambit. That’s not engagement. One player could out-activate, swap in a 10pt piece, and then run that piece away. That’s not engagement.

If only there were a real way to accurately measure engagement. Wait! There is! Kill points!!!

Gambit is this arbitrary thing, that is needed to prevent worse abuse, but has evolved to become abused itself.

Gambit does more good than bad, but it’s far from perfect.

My suggestion causes the least changes to the game. I truly believe it will encourage more engagement (despite naysayers nonsensical insistence of the opposite.) Both teams need to speed ahead to actually engage. It would do neither team any good to slow play (any more than already exists), because you’ll be less likely to finish and thus get less tournament points.

So the game I want to go back to, was around for many many years. It’s the game most people know and love. It just closes the “legitimate” loophole that players abuse.
Randy
Posted: Thursday, October 1, 2020 5:41:08 PM
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TimmerB123 wrote:
When gambit was 5 points, it rarely ended games early. In fact, it wasn’t until many years later that games did start to end early due to gambit alone. It wasn’t until about the last 5-6 years that it started really getting abused. When players started “gaming for gambit”.


So when gambit changed the problem started?

TimmerB123 wrote:
Gambit was introduced to encourage engagement. Great - I’m for that. But getting gambit does not mean engagement is happening. Many maps have separated gambit where the 2 teams are locked in separate rooms, both getting gambit. That’s not engagement.


Sounds like a job for a 3 point uggie.

TimmerB123 wrote:
One player could out-activate, swap in a 10pt piece, and then run that piece away. That’s not engagement.


I once read a post from you that said a mass killer is a must have in any squad. That way they don't out activate for long.

TimmerB123 wrote:
If only there were a real way to accurately measure engagement. Wait! There is! Kill points!!!


Standing toe-to-toe with GOWK or Darth Zannah is engagement and it could leave you with 0 Kill points!!! for the effort.

TimmerB123 wrote:
Gambit is this arbitrary thing, that is needed to prevent worse abuse, but has evolved to become abused itself.

Gambit does more good than bad, but it’s far from perfect.


So, again, gambit is the problem?

TimmerB123 wrote:
My suggestion causes the least changes to the game.


Fewer than just changing how gambit is awarded?

TimmerB123 wrote:
I truly believe it will encourage more engagement (despite naysayers nonsensical insistence of the opposite.) Both teams need to speed ahead to actually engage.


I do not doubt your belief in this, However the second part is not necessarily true. If gambit is not going to end the game a player can keep their distance, cat and mouse for 45 minutes. With the proper amount of slow play, and picking off a couple mid level characters in the last 10 minutes or so, a player could get a timed win without any real engagement. This isn't a new concept. During the darkest parts of the competitive play years this happened consistently. Our numbers were severely diminished in that time.

TimmerB123 wrote:
It would do neither team any good to slow play (any more than already exists), because you’ll be less likely to finish and thus get less tournament points.


This does not stop slow play now. Why would your change make any difference here? Slow play is a lack of meaningful engagement. At the end of a match scores of 3-1, 3-0 show real engagement. A score of 2-1 shows some engagement. The matchup would determine how strong that engagement might have been. Unfortunately we are still seeing consistent scores of 2-0. Often that points to someone slow playing. (not our main point, so moving on.)

TimmerB123 wrote:
So the game I want to go back to, was around for many many years. It’s the game most people know and love. It just closes the “legitimate” loophole that players abuse.


In that game, gambit still could bring the game to a close prematurely. As I stated in my earlier post, that has been a thing for nearly the entire time. I thought that 5 points of gambit in a 150 game was about perfect. There was still some abuse, but it encouraged killing without without swinging it too far the other way. In a 200 point game it did not fully do its job. After an opponent sits back and takes a few minutes every phase to decide what uggie to spin in the back you are lucky to play 5 rounds. Then they rush in and kill a 30 point character in the last minute of the game. That is not the game I want to return to.

I understand that this section is only my opinion, but I believe it is valid. Prior to this year, have you ever played a tournament game, at the competitive level, that gambit could not end? I submit that a change to the distribution of gambit is the most logical change here. If gambit itself is the problem, which you indicated twice in your post, why would we change a different aspect of the game?
General_Grievous
Posted: Friday, October 2, 2020 5:39:37 AM
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Lots of good posts here and I really like TINT’s idea of the 10 points of gambit if you have the only qualifying piece there and none if both are there. Really makes it more of a fitting objective and takes me back to king of the hill style gameplay which I’m down with. That’s got my vote and I could see that working pretty well. If your opponent wants to sit and hide cool I’ll win with points. If we are fighting, then we are fighting to the finish.
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