Proposed Tournament: Auction System

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Proposed Tournament: Auction System

Postby Zosimus » 21 Jan 2016, 22:16

I wish to propose a possible tournament system that you may find interesting and perhaps fairer than other systems. The tournament rules are as follows:

Anyone may join a tournament game, and these people shall be assigned an initial "rating" or "fund" of some arbitrary starting number such as 1000. People who wish to play may message the tournament director with a list of desired countries and the number of points a person is willing to bet in exchange for the right to play the country in question. For example, someone may submit a list such as the one below:

Russia 60
France 55
Turkey 45
England 45
Germany 35
Italy 25
Austria 20

20 shall be the minimum ante.

Once seven players have submitted their lists, the tournament director shall assign countries based on the amounts offered for each country. If two players have submitted the same offer for the same country, the country shall be randomly assigned to one of the two players.

The respective bets shall be placed into a kitty. Should the game end in a solo victory, the soloist shall receive the entire kitty. In the event of a draw, the points shall be split among the survivors. In the event of a remainder (i.e., three-way draw with 151 points in the kitty) the left-over points shall be awarded to the player with the greatest number of supply centers. At the end of each match, the tournament director shall publish an updated list of ratings showing the leaders.

Should a player surrender, the tournament director shall solicit a replacement player. Replacement players shall bid the number of points they are willing to offer in exchange for control of the surrendered country. Should no one be willing to submit a positive bid for the country, the country shall remain in a state of civil disorder. The amount offered by the replacement player shall be added to the kitty and shall be awarded to the victor(s) at the end of the game.

The tournament shall end when one player has accumulated a rating not less than 2000. All active games shall be permitted to conclude and a final list shall be published showing the ranking of each player in the tournament.

Any questions or comments are welcome.
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Re: Proposed Tournament: Auction System

Postby Jegpeg » 21 Jan 2016, 23:48

Sounds interesting though I don't really play enough games to enter a tournament like this..

The only comment I would say is that you want to avoid civil is order if you can, otherwise it is unfair on those players that are not in a position to benefit from the surrender (e.g. if Turkey surrenders it is good new for Russia bad news for England and all the extra builds russi gets are turn to fleets on the North coast of StP.

Therefore I would suggest that if no one is willing to bid on a surrendered position the Tournament director attempts to find a non competitive replacement, who plays the best they can but can not have their rating changed (and does not even need to be in the tournament). If the replacement is involved in a draw the funds are distributed amongst the other players in the draw. In the unlikely event someone gets a solo from a position noone wanted then you do something like make the game void and return all stakes (except to the surrendering player) .
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Re: Proposed Tournament: Auction System

Postby Zosimus » 22 Jan 2016, 00:14

Well, if the pot is 200 points, and no one is willing to bet 1 point with the hope of winning part of that pot, we can assume that the situation must be dire indeed.
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Re: Proposed Tournament: Auction System

Postby Jegpeg » 22 Jan 2016, 01:45

Zosimus wrote:Well, if the pot is 200 points, and no one is willing to bet 1 point with the hope of winning part of that pot, we can assume that the situation must be dire indeed.


Agreed, in all likelyhood such a position might only have a couple of centres, but if a player can get those centres excessively easily it can be unfair on others. Let me put a bit more detail on an example.

England owns his home centres Norway, Sweden and Edi, and is at war with Russia. He is allied with Germany who is at with France. The spring orders come through:

ENGLAND
Liverpool HOLD -> resolved
Norwegian Sea MOVE Barents Sea -> resolved
Finland MOVE Norway -> Bounced
Baltic Sea MOVE Sweden -> Bounced
Edinburgh MOVE Norwegian Sea -> resolved

FRANCE
Belgium MOVE Wales -> resolved
English Channel CONVOY Belgium to Wales -> resolved
Mid-Atlantic Ocean MOVE Irish Sea -> resolved

GERMANY
Holland MOVE Edinburgh -> resolved
North Sea CONVOY Holland to Edinburgh -> resolved

RUSSIA
St. Petersburg MOVE Norway -> Bounced
Gulf of Bothnia MOVE Sweden -> Bounced
Warsaw MOVE Livonia -> Resolved
Moscow MOVE St. Petersburg -> Bounced


Germany and France have settled their differences to launch a stab on England. Edi is lost and it is clear the fall will see a supported attack on Lpl and something move into Lon meaning England will lose all his home SCs. He gives up as the situation is lost.

With no replacement Russia rubs his hands with glee, StP can take Norway, GoB can take Sweden and Moscow and Liv can move to Ukr and Pru in order to attack Germany. In the winter he has two builds (A War, F StP sc) which will put him in a very strong position against Germany

If England is replaced an attempt for Nwy would mean Moscow and Livonia are needed to prevent StP being taken, but that would meed GoB would be unable to prevent England getting into Swe and England might still bounce him out of Norway. Sure England's destroys will make things easier but by then he might have a unit in Swe and Nwy able to support each other taking Swe and Nwy will now require much more resources from Russia and it is quite likely that Germany will get to them first.

While England's chances are dire indeed his surrender could easily be enough to turn a German victory into a Russian victory.
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Re: Proposed Tournament: Auction System

Postby mhsmith0 » 22 Jan 2016, 06:40

I think that's a really cool idea, and I'm certainly interested in signing up.

Some questions/thoughts:

How many simultaneous games will there be? How many simultaneous games can/should a player be in on?

Are you thinking anonymous or open games (the latter might create an issue with tourney meta-gaming, unless games are unranked)

Should there be a maximum ante? If four players put in 20-30 points on their powers, and three players go 200 because he really like let's say France Russia and Turkey (highest solo rates on the site), then I think it's pretty unbalanced (and it creates a major luck element to whether you happen to be in a game with people who went way overboard with their ante).

Is it reasonable to vary the minimum ante by power? So that let's say Austria and Italy can potentially be had for as little as 15, since it's not really fair to stick an A/I player into a game where everyone had equal antes (unless they choose to go for 20 and take their chances).

If 20 points is the minimum ante, it will likely take a LONG time to get to 2000 (unless as noted above, you get really lucky and are in a game with a bunch of 200 point max bet suckers). My suggestion would be that players start with 50 points (a bit more than two minimum antes), that the max bet is also 50 points (Turkey solo's twice as often as Italy - I'm skeptical that any single power is worth more than twice as much as Italy, but making it 2.5x gives some cushion in case people disagree), and that the champion is set somewhere in the 250-500 point range.

I'd also suggest that, assuming there are multiple games, the tourney director puts the highest bets together while creating a couple of games. So if one player max ante'd 50 for France, and another 50 for Russia, etc., they all play together, as opposed to someone randomly dropping 20 on France and happening to luck into a game where a few other players put in 50.

One more note (because why be short): I'd suggest that players are allowed to non-bet certain powers that they don't want. A valid ballot can be:

Russia 35
France 35
Turkey 35
England 30
Germany 30
Italy x
Austria x

And then if there's no room to put the player in any of those powers at those rates, then the player simply has to wait until the next round starts up.
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Re: Proposed Tournament: Auction System

Postby WHSeward » 22 Jan 2016, 07:27

Something very similar to this was proposed by Martin Moore and published at the Dip Pouch in 2012. I think his paper does a good job of working through the issues and gives a good example. Martin's idea of using it in a gunboat 7x7 format probably makes the most sense than trying to do it in other contexts.
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Re: Proposed Tournament: Auction System

Postby Zosimus » 22 Jan 2016, 15:15

mhsmith0 wrote:I think that's a really cool idea, and I'm certainly interested in signing up.

Some questions/thoughts:

How many simultaneous games will there be? How many simultaneous games can/should a player be in on?

Are you thinking anonymous or open games (the latter might create an issue with tourney meta-gaming, unless games are unranked)

Should there be a maximum ante? If four players put in 20-30 points on their powers, and three players go 200 because he really like let's say France Russia and Turkey (highest solo rates on the site), then I think it's pretty unbalanced (and it creates a major luck element to whether you happen to be in a game with people who went way overboard with their ante).

Is it reasonable to vary the minimum ante by power? So that let's say Austria and Italy can potentially be had for as little as 15, since it's not really fair to stick an A/I player into a game where everyone had equal antes (unless they choose to go for 20 and take their chances).

If 20 points is the minimum ante, it will likely take a LONG time to get to 2000 (unless as noted above, you get really lucky and are in a game with a bunch of 200 point max bet suckers). My suggestion would be that players start with 50 points (a bit more than two minimum antes), that the max bet is also 50 points (Turkey solo's twice as often as Italy - I'm skeptical that any single power is worth more than twice as much as Italy, but making it 2.5x gives some cushion in case people disagree), and that the champion is set somewhere in the 250-500 point range.

I'd also suggest that, assuming there are multiple games, the tourney director puts the highest bets together while creating a couple of games. So if one player max ante'd 50 for France, and another 50 for Russia, etc., they all play together, as opposed to someone randomly dropping 20 on France and happening to luck into a game where a few other players put in 50.

One more note (because why be short): I'd suggest that players are allowed to non-bet certain powers that they don't want. A valid ballot can be:

Russia 35
France 35
Turkey 35
England 30
Germany 30
Italy x
Austria x

And then if there's no room to put the player in any of those powers at those rates, then the player simply has to wait until the next round starts up.

First of all, I disagree that it would necessarily take a long time to reach 2000. For example, with your "bets" above, we could perhaps assume that each player will pay 35 for the top 5 countries and 20 for Italy/Austria. As such, the amount in play would be 35 x 5 + 40 = 215 points so assuming that Russia or France won a solo victory the gain would be 180 points (215 - the 35 point ante). So 5-6 solo victories would end the tournament.

Second, I question how rational your numbers are. If you are willing to pay 20 to play Austria, a country without much chance at winning a solo victory, then surely you should be willing to pay double to have Russia, a country that does much better in terms of solo victories. If we look at http://diplom.org/Zine/F2007R/Burton/statistician3.htm for a full press game, we see that the chances of winning by country (full press) are:

Italy - 4.6%
Austria - 6.0%
Germany - 6.5%
Turkey - 6.8%
England - 6.8%
France - 7.7%
Russia - 8.3%

So assuming that these numbers are correct, and 7 perfectly rational bidders, we could forecast that the bet amounts for the powers would be:

Italy - 20
Austria - 26
Germany - 28
Turkey - 30
England - 30
France - 33
Russia - 36

Total pot: 203
Average value of solo: 173

As for a maximum bet, I don't see the point. If someone is willing to pay 200 to play Russia when a more rational bet would be 35-40, then the person has a bad bidding strategy and will lose out over the long term.
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Re: Proposed Tournament: Auction System

Postby Zosimus » 22 Jan 2016, 15:21

WHSeward wrote:Something very similar to this was proposed by Martin Moore and published at the Dip Pouch in 2012. I think his paper does a good job of working through the issues and gives a good example. Martin's idea of using it in a gunboat 7x7 format probably makes the most sense than trying to do it in other contexts.

In a sense it is similar, but my idea is more of people buying the power they want to work with rather than finding that they have drawn a good country and betting on it.

In addition, a full press game would make more sense because Austria might be better able to make the case to Italy that they should play for a draw together (even a three-way) since their total stake in the game is on the low side. Players might ask one another how much they bid to be in the game. Players might tell the truth or might lie. I think it would add an interesting and added dynamic to the game while balancing out the complaints that some people expressed about past tournaments -- that they were dismayed to draw Italy or Austria in a tournament game.
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Re: Proposed Tournament: Auction System

Postby mhsmith0 » 22 Jan 2016, 17:34

Zosimus wrote:First of all, I disagree that it would necessarily take a long time to reach 2000. For example, with your "bets" above, we could perhaps assume that each player will pay 35 for the top 5 countries and 20 for Italy/Austria. As such, the amount in play would be 35 x 5 + 40 = 215 points so assuming that Russia or France won a solo victory the gain would be 180 points (215 - the 35 point ante). So 5-6 solo victories would end the tournament.

Second, I question how rational your numbers are. If you are willing to pay 20 to play Austria, a country without much chance at winning a solo victory, then surely you should be willing to pay double to have Russia, a country that does much better in terms of solo victories. If we look at http://diplom.org/Zine/F2007R/Burton/statistician3.htm for a full press game, we see that the chances of winning by country (full press) are:

Italy - 4.6%
Austria - 6.0%
Germany - 6.5%
Turkey - 6.8%
England - 6.8%
France - 7.7%
Russia - 8.3%

So assuming that these numbers are correct, and 7 perfectly rational bidders, we could forecast that the bet amounts for the powers would be:

Italy - 20
Austria - 26
Germany - 28
Turkey - 30
England - 30
France - 33
Russia - 36

Total pot: 203
Average value of solo: 173

As for a maximum bet, I don't see the point. If someone is willing to pay 200 to play Russia when a more rational bet would be 35-40, then the person has a bad bidding strategy and will lose out over the long term.


I think that if there are no maximums, then it's reasonable if there are only seven players in the tournament. If there were instead say 14 players spread over two simultaneous games, then you could plausibly have two people ante say 20 for Austria, both solo (hey it's possible) but yet vastly different points for the solo because one player was against a bunch of max betters and he other player wasn't. I think that some kind of protection against hat scenario should be in the tourney rules somehow, even if a max get isn't the right answer.

Ps my numbers were just illustrative. Definitely not something that I'd thought at all deeply about. Although I do think that the idea that some powers should have lower minimums than others seems reasonable to me.

Pps unless the tournament has a bunch of games simulataneously going on, including multiple per player, I'd think that 5-6 solos to win it all is actually likely to take quite a while. If a game takes three weeks, and the eventual winner solos half of his games in the tourney (which strikes me as an extraordinarily good record against quality opposition), then you're likely talking over half a year to finish it.
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Re: Proposed Tournament: Auction System

Postby Zosimus » 23 Jan 2016, 00:33

Well, but can't the same thing happen under our current system? A completely unknown person could log in tomorrow, decide to play an anonymous game to hide the fact that he's never played before, and win a solo against a pair of top-rated players, thus winning a bunch of points whereas another player might do the same thing but win few points because unbeknownst to him, most of the players in his anonymous game had low ratings.
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