Austria Victory Study

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Austria Victory Study

Postby Zosimus » 03 Aug 2016, 22:12

Overview:

The following is a study of playdiplomacy.com games to determine whether it is true that as England does well, so does Austria.

Methodology:

Ten (10) Solo Victory games featuring Austria as the winner were selected on the basis of chronological termination dates. England's position in the 1904 Build phase was arbitrarily selected as a measure of England's success. If England had 5 or more centers at that point, the game was considered to support the conclusion. If England had 4 or fewer centers at that point, the game was considered to weaken the conclusion.

Results:

The games in question and the determination are listed below:

119557 Favor
120299 Against
119913 Against
120250 Against
119185 Favor
118402 Favor
118008 Against
120304 Favor
119213 Favor
119643 Favor

Summary: England was doing well 60 percent of the time in the 1904 build phase in games that featured Austria as the solo winner.

Conclusion:

Although there is some support for the idea, no clear trends (weak Russia, etc.) were noted. The results may simply be a statistical anomaly.

Final Determination:

INCONCLUSIVE.
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Re: Austria Victory Study

Postby GhostEcho » 03 Aug 2016, 22:30

In my survey of 300 games which I cited in the Austria/Turkey thread as well, I recorded 13 Austrian victories, of which England survived (I did not count centers) in all but one game. This was significantly better than any other power: France survived in 5 games, Germany in 8, Italy 5, Russia 5, and Turkey 5.

However, for English solos (18 recorded), Turkey was by far the most common survivor, remaining on the board in 16 games. Austria survived in 6, while France survived 3, Germany 5, Italy 8, and Russia 8.

The thesis "Austria wants England to do well" seems entirely plausible as a surviving England gives France or Germany (even Russia) more to worry about than a growing Austria, while due to home SC constraints, England is least likely to challenge Austrian armies on the continent - and Austria can win without the Western Mediterranean. On the other hand, Austrian survival doesn't seem to affect English chances at all, so the diplomacy to set up the scenario has to be handled very carefully in Vienna.

An alternative thesis, of course, would simply be that the English centers are the hardest for Austria to get to. This is not necessarily discredited by the fact that over half of Austrian solos featured German survival: Austria can plausibly be snagging Munich and Berlin in a solo push without actually knocking Germany out.

I do think the statement "England will normally survive with a powerful Austria" is entirely born out by the evidence both from solos and draws. But the causes are murky - and Austrian success is not really England's goal.
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Re: Austria Victory Study

Postby WHSeward » 03 Aug 2016, 23:37

English survival being correlated with Austrian solos is what was found by the Burton study. However, such a finding is not evidence of "Austria's best ally is England" nor that "anytime one does well so does the other." An intuitive alternative hypothesis to explain this phenomenon is that E survival is correlated with relative weakness/distraction of G & R, which, as they are A's neighbors, is good for A. On this alternative hypothesis, it doesn't follow that A-E is a good alliance or that A wants to be helping E grow strong against G and/or R.

Correlation is not causality.
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Re: Austria Victory Study

Postby Custer » 04 Aug 2016, 00:07

Wow! Ouch.........causality........let me slither back into my man cave and ponder that one for awhile......

Lol

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Re: Austria Victory Study

Postby Zosimus » 04 Aug 2016, 01:18

Overview:

The following is a follow-up study to the Austria Victory Study designed to determine the a priori chance that England will have 5+ supply centers in the 1904 Build phase.

Methodology:

Twenty (20) Ranked, Standard, Classic games were selected on the basis of chronological termination dates. The number of English-owned supply centers in the 1904 Build phase was recorded.

Results:

119974 4
119179 4
119624 5
120068 5
119557 7
119315 7
120299 5
118849 8
120180 6
119749 10
120194 10
119951 7
119090 5
110474 6
119700 3
120306 2
119474 0
119196 8
119886 5
120046 0

Summary:

England had 5+ supply centers in 15/20 or 75 percent of the games sampled.

Conclusion:

If the a priori chance that England will have 5+ centers by 1904 is 75 percent, then the previous finding that England had 5+ centers by 1904 some 60 percent of the time is actually a poorer-than-average showing for England in the Austria Solo Victory games.

Final Determination:

The findings in this study cast doubt on the idea that there is a correlation between Austrian and English success.
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Re: Austria Victory Study

Postby Charleroi » 05 Aug 2016, 21:49

The important statistic is really how much more often does England survive when Austria solos than when other outcomes occur. Turkey and England have naturally high survival rates as isolated corner powers. The fact that England often survives when Austria solos says nothing because England always disproportionately survives.
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Re: Austria Victory Study

Postby Charleroi » 05 Aug 2016, 21:50

Zosimus's follow-up study is the important finding.
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Re: Austria Victory Study

Postby WHSeward » 05 Aug 2016, 23:07

Charleroi wrote:The important statistic is really how much more often does England survive when Austria solos than when other outcomes occur. Turkey and England have naturally high survival rates as isolated corner powers. The fact that England often survives when Austria solos says nothing because England always disproportionately survives.

The Burton study found that Austria was about 60% more likely to solo when England survived vs all cases. That data set was probably large enough for that to be statistically significant conclusion, but the study does have some questionable uses of data.

Charleroi wrote:Zosimus's follow-up study is the important finding.

I don't think analyzing 20 games for a single definition "English success" is a very powerful statistical test or finding. Lots more could be done on this kind of topic. I think we are handicapped on the reasonable availability of large data sets to analyze.
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Re: Austria Victory Study

Postby Zosimus » 07 Aug 2016, 18:02

My original study was flawed. I have a new design in mind, but I haven't had the time to implement it. I've been working from 7 am to 10:30 pm most days with short breaks to make Dippy moves.
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Re: Austria Victory Study

Postby Zosimus » 11 Aug 2016, 23:37

Follow-Up Study

15 Classic, Ranked, Standard Games were randomly selected and the number of centers for Austria and England as of Fall 1904 Build phase were tabulated.
The games sampled were:

119979
120341
119543
120468
120128
119823
119788
120400
118488
116015
119072
119668
120307
120077
118372

On average, Austria had 5 centers whereas England had 5.2.

Analysis revealed a correlation between Austrian results and English results in 6 out of 15 games or 40 percent.

The data found do not support a correlation between Austrian and English success (or failure).
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