Judging discussion thread

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Judging discussion thread

Postby Subotai45 » 24 Nov 2017, 16:18

Based on Cons's suggestion, here's a judging discussion thread to compile good practices on the part of both order writers and the judges involved.

General Judge and Orders
Good Order v Bad Order: suggestions from judges
1. Give varying orders for what your army will do in different levels of success. If you only give orders for how they do if they advance and not what they do if they're falling back, it can lead to difficult situations. Try to limit the amount of inferences and "what-if" questions the judges have to do.
2. Be clear. The judge only sees what you tell them, and if you leave something out they won't know. Sometimes that can get rejudged, sometimes not. Make sure all information ends up in a single final document for the judges. Google docs, or google docs saved as pdfs, generally work very well for this.
3. Have a simple and more complex set of orders. Have the simple one, or summary, at the start. Then you can include more detailed ones afterwards, where judges can check. But the summary makes it very easy to see what you're doing.
4. Unit types. Too many types of units cause them to blend together for judges. Include at least a short description of units, and what it does. Try to limit the number of types used if you want the judge to really look at them. This also goes for techs. These descriptions are nice to have, but often overwhelm a judge with info. These should be referred to as a single uniform, easily-remembered name.
5. Numbers. Include total numbers of troops in each of your orders, and how they're distributed (eg - x attack here, y defend here, z land there). Judges shouldn't have to calculate troop numbers for you. If you use divisions to simplify your deployments, also include total troop counts.
6. Use maps.

Weapon Mechanical Explanation
Explanation from Matt

Handling of Weird Tech (help give ideas for judging same tech for newer judges)
•••

AAR (Guide not a Rule)
Positive
-Each Player did well (try one for each. I know I know gold star etc)..
•••Try to choose one in-game and out of game

Negative
-Can be Improved
•••See Above

Personal Experiences and Interaction each Players
••••Say what you learned would use and formulas if they exist


Links to Threads AAR:
————
Pre-Thread
Paction War: (Judge Musashi, MCB, and Chris)
(Thread)
Liberation (Judge Matt, Morg and Chris)
(Thread)
Thai-Burma (Judge Matt and Term)
(Thread)
Flamingo (Term?)
(thread)
EtC
————
Post Thread
Great Limited War: (Subs and Matt)
-(Thread)
-(Judge AAR)
Liberation NEO: (Matt and Dcb)
-(Thread)
-(Judge AAR)
[/quote]
Last edited by Subotai45 on 26 Nov 2017, 20:13, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Judging discussion thread

Postby mat.gopack » 24 Nov 2017, 16:50

Some of my thoughts:

1. Be clear. The judge only sees what you tell them, and if you leave something out they won't know. Sometimes that can get rejudged, sometimes not.

2. Have a simple and more complex set of orders. Have the simple one, or summary, at the start. Then you can include more detailed ones afterwards, where judges can check. But the summary makes it very easy to see what you're doing.

3. Unit types. Too many types of units cause them to blend together for judges. Include at least a short description of units, and what it does. Try to limit the number of types used if you want the judge to really look at them. This also goes for techs. These descriptions are nice to have, but often overwhelm a judge with info.

4. Numbers. Include total numbers of troops in each of your orders, and how they're distributed (eg - x attack here, y defend here, z land there). Judges shouldn't have to calculate troop numbers for you. If you use divisions to simplify your deployments, also include total troop counts.
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Re: Judging discussion thread

Postby Subotai45 » 24 Nov 2017, 17:01

I'd also say that you should have a single name for a unit, and avoid using multiple names. Judges will be confused. Additionally, while letter-number designations are more common in real life for a lot of gear, including a name makes it easier to remember units throughout the judging (Raptor vs F-22).
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Re: Judging discussion thread

Postby mat.gopack » 24 Nov 2017, 17:02

Some thoughts on CYOC ground warfare.

Weapons. Different weapons have different uses. Range is important to consider.

(A quick list of standard weapons - will add more on suggestion)
Long range weapons (1500+ km): railguns, missiles
Long range weaponry is big and expensive. It's very important in naval fights, or if you rely on a lot of big units.

Mid-range weapons (line of sight - 1500 km) - railguns, missiles, artillery, rockets
Medium range weaponry is like artillery. Very powerful and destructive, and important to have to support the front lines. Without them, you can get destroyed from range.

Short range weapons (line of sight): railguns, missiles, guns, artillery, lasers, plasma bolts, energy beams, etc.
Short range weaponry is cheapest, and is used on the front lines. This makes them powerful, but alone they are weak.

Railguns/Kinetic Weapons can be slow firing (big ones), but are very versatile. Long range projectiles less accurate, but harder to intercept than missiles.

Missiles are the most accurate at long range, since they can target. They have a lot of different types you can make, but they can be intercepted. They also are the most expensive to use.

Laser/plasma/energy beams- very fast, line of sight weapons. Can't be dodged, powerful. Limited range makes them weaker, but they are deadly. Lasers and energy beams are more focused, while plasma tends to have bigger AOE.


Defenses: Defenses are an important part of CYOC warfare. There are 4 major types: Shielding, Armor, Interception, and Electronic Warfare.

Shielding: Typically plasma shielding or energy shielding, this acts as a barrier 'absorbing' or taking damage before it hits your unit. These are very powerful, being able to take a large amount of damage before breaking - but can fail explosively in some cases. In addition, they are weaker on fast-moving units (eg: fighter jets), are bigger targets (while the shield is up, it's easier to hit than the non-shielding unit underneath), and (while up) make stealth basically impossible.

Shielding is especially excellent to defend permanent installations or cities - where you can have large generator banks. Miniaturizing them to be used on smaller mobile units is possible, but requires research.

Armor: Armor is a protective covering on the unit, providing defenses from something hitting it (like armor today). Typical CYOC armor would involve layered construction - with layers specially designed to counter certain weapon types (eg: a layer of anti-laser material, then a layer of anti-plasma material, then a layer of anti-explosive material, then a layer of anti-kinetic...). This is best against smaller weapons - large weapons tend to be able to penetrate thinner armor easily. Permanent installations or specially designed, massive units can mount extremely thick and powerful armor - but will be taking hits on said armor.

Interception: Interception is the first type of active defense - shielding and armor are passive defenses, which don't need anything special to do their job. Interception, on the other hand, relies on an active defense against projectiles (missiles, rockets, shells, and sometimes kinetic projectiles - useless against non-projectile weaponry). To do this, there are multiple steps they can or must achieve.

First, interception requires good sensors. If you can't tell the position of the projectile, it will be virtually impossible to intercept it. At close range, this is easiest. (Note: this is very important against missiles, which can mount sophisticated electronic warfare and stealth capabilities)
Secondly, it requires something that can intercept the projectile - point defense, which is small lasers/plasma/kinetic/energy weapons which fire at their target. These are too small to be of much use against actual units, but can be massed for taking out missiles, shells, etc. Their advantage is they have the best firing solutions (close range), and it's fairly easy to put a lot of these in.
The final consideration is, in my view, solely against missiles, and consists of an outer-interception zone. Long range missiles travel much slower along their path then kinetic weaponry, and have longer range than shells. This makes outer interception very useful against massed, long range missile fire. This uses smaller, shorter ranged missiles as countermissiles, which are fired and home in/take out the attacking missiles. Countermissiles are significantly smaller, cheaper, and short-lived than regular missiles. (Other strategies for this can exist - the key is to extend your envelope of interception past the horizon. This outer zone will have much worse interception odds than the point defense, but each missile taken out early is one less that can hit you)

Electronic Warfare: Electronic Warfare (EW) is the second type of active defense. Its goal is to make it harder to detect or lock on to your unit. This results in shots missing you. EW is a potentially very powerful defense, but only if it's better than your opponents EW and sensors.

Some examples of useful EW technologies/platforms include decoys (cheap-ish platforms which can take fire instead of your actual units), jammers (trying to blind enemy sensors), stealth (hiding from sensors).
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Re: Judging discussion thread

Postby Constantine072 » 24 Nov 2017, 17:45

I take responsibility for thread! Self promotion aside. Here are a couple things to add to OP

General Judge and Orders
Good Order v Bad Order
Weapon Mechanical Explanation
•••Link From Matt
Defensive Mechanical Explanation
•••
Handling of Weird Tech (help give ideas for judging same tech for newer judges)
•••

AAR (Guide not a Rule)
Positive
-Each Player did well (try one for each. I know I know gold star etc)..
•••Try to choose one in-game and out of game

Negative
-Can be Improved
•••See Above

Personal Experiences and Interaction each Players
••••Say what you learned would use and formulas if they exist


Links to Threads AAR:
————
Pre-Thread
Paction War: (Judge Musashi, MCB, and Chris)
(Thread)
Liberation (Judge Matt, Morg and Chris)
(Thread)
Thai-Burma (Judge Matt and Term)
(Thread)
Flamingo (Term?)
(thread)
EtC
————
Post Thread
Great Limited War: (Subs and Matt)
-(Thread)
-(Judge AAR)
Liberation NEO: (Matt and Dcb)
-(Thread)
-(Judge AAR)
SWG - RIP - Benjam Frail Radiant
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Re: Judging discussion thread

Postby Zander » 24 Nov 2017, 20:37

I am here to preach for the church of maps. Writing a quick history-channel style battle-map of your orders can help both solidify your thoughts and give the judge a lot of information quickly. They are never a substitute for orders, but rather a compliment to them. Here , for instance, is a map I made for the hyper-mobile, backstabby Venusian civil war:

Example.png
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Re: Judging discussion thread

Postby Zander » 24 Nov 2017, 20:43

And here is an edited version of one used during the recent Second Thai War:

Stuff 2.0.jpg
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Re: Judging discussion thread

Postby mat.gopack » 26 Nov 2017, 17:51

Added thoughts about defenses to post above. Alternatively, see the spoiler for the same ones:

Defenses: Defenses are an important part of CYOC warfare. There are 4 major types: Shielding, Armor, Interception, and Electronic Warfare.

Shielding: Typically plasma shielding or energy shielding, this acts as a barrier 'absorbing' or taking damage before it hits your unit. These are very powerful, being able to take a large amount of damage before breaking - but can fail explosively in some cases. In addition, they are weaker on fast-moving units (eg: fighter jets), are bigger targets (while the shield is up, it's easier to hit than the non-shielding unit underneath), and (while up) make stealth basically impossible.

Shielding is especially excellent to defend permanent installations or cities - where you can have large generator banks. Miniaturizing them to be used on smaller mobile units is possible, but requires research.

Armor: Armor is a protective covering on the unit, providing defenses from something hitting it (like armor today). Typical CYOC armor would involve layered construction - with layers specially designed to counter certain weapon types (eg: a layer of anti-laser material, then a layer of anti-plasma material, then a layer of anti-explosive material, then a layer of anti-kinetic...). This is best against smaller weapons - large weapons tend to be able to penetrate thinner armor easily. Permanent installations or specially designed, massive units can mount extremely thick and powerful armor - but will be taking hits on said armor.

Interception: Interception is the first type of active defense - shielding and armor are passive defenses, which don't need anything special to do their job. Interception, on the other hand, relies on an active defense against projectiles (missiles, rockets, shells, and sometimes kinetic projectiles - useless against non-projectile weaponry). To do this, there are multiple steps they can or must achieve.

First, interception requires good sensors. If you can't tell the position of the projectile, it will be virtually impossible to intercept it. At close range, this is easiest. (Note: this is very important against missiles, which can mount sophisticated electronic warfare and stealth capabilities)
Secondly, it requires something that can intercept the projectile - point defense, which is small lasers/plasma/kinetic/energy weapons which fire at their target. These are too small to be of much use against actual units, but can be massed for taking out missiles, shells, etc. Their advantage is they have the best firing solutions (close range), and it's fairly easy to put a lot of these in.
The final consideration is, in my view, solely against missiles, and consists of an outer-interception zone. Long range missiles travel much slower along their path then kinetic weaponry, and have longer range than shells. This makes outer interception very useful against massed, long range missile fire. This uses smaller, shorter ranged missiles as countermissiles, which are fired and home in/take out the attacking missiles. Countermissiles are significantly smaller, cheaper, and short-lived than regular missiles. (Other strategies for this can exist - the key is to extend your envelope of interception past the horizon. This outer zone will have much worse interception odds than the point defense, but each missile taken out early is one less that can hit you)

Electronic Warfare: Electronic Warfare (EW) is the second type of active defense. Its goal is to make it harder to detect or lock on to your unit. This results in shots missing you. EW is a potentially very powerful defense, but only if it's better than your opponents EW and sensors.

Some examples of useful EW technologies/platforms include decoys (cheap-ish platforms which can take fire instead of your actual units), jammers (trying to blind enemy sensors), stealth (hiding from sensors).
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Re: Judging discussion thread

Postby Subotai45 » 27 Nov 2017, 00:21

AAR for Sub's Judging of the Southeast Asian War

This was a long and difficult judging, but all in all it was a largely positive experience. I feel like it brought some life back into the game, and chaos aside, it was good to have something to do in the game by discussing the war. think that this thread will help with some of the issues that really marred the judging experience. One issue I had was that there weren't really contingency plans in orders, especially Cons's. The Malaysia issue turned into a bit of a shitshow when I got complete order change after the judging, claiming that something different would happen. It's understandable but that would happen, but then I had Musashi jump on me for letting the orders change. I think that letting people change orders could be avoided by making players give reasonable contingency plans for different levels of action, so there aren't situations like R3 where Musashi tried to go meganuclear after Cons went kindanuclear. In the future, if something isn't in the orders, I won't be judging it. Additionally, a lot of confusion happened over the "limited" bit of the war. I'd suggest a lot more discussion between belligerents before the war if the intent is to keep it limited. If it's going to be a grudge match it should be a grudge match, and it's not going to be limited. Although I enjoyed the wild escalation, it'd be unfair to other judges to promise them one thing and give them an entirely different beast to judge.

Musashi did a good job of insuring all the information i needed was in his final order doc, but it was too much to accurately process. I'd appredicate shorter orders in the future, with fewer unit types, but the strategy descriptions were excellent.
Ali was short and clear in his orders. I didn't really have any major concerns, but he also didn't have anything on the same scale. But by and large, Ali's orders were perfectly adequate from what I remember.
Cons was speedy in responding to questions, so when in the middle of a judging I needed a piece of info, I could rely on getting it from him quickly. But I had to compile it myself - in the future I'd suggest using a google doc and editing the answers to my questions in so I had one complete set of orders.

The process by which I judged. As you know, I co-judged this with Matt, who was invaluable. The first round was entirely his show - he would send me the narratives and all the information, and I'd either thumbs up or maybe ask a clarification point. The latter rounds were a bit more mixed. Judging would start intently when Matt made up the spreadsheets, which were an invaluable tool for judging, given the numbers involved in the conflict, and then we'd go through and write the narratives about the outcome. At this point we really started having to ask about different questions, and it ended up spoilering a bit and slowing down the judging.
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Re: Judging discussion thread

Postby Subotai45 » 22 May 2018, 17:58

So I was asked to talk a little bit about the doctrines of the other major powers, as I see them. I'm defining doctrine as a standard set of characteristics that your battle plans display, and it should reflect an intentional design choice of your military. Far as I can tell, most of the major powers have developed a doctrine, and have designed their militaries to match (or vice versa). I think that doctrines are actually one of the most interesting parts of CYOC, because they're a really clear place where we can see different game philosophies, and can reflect a lot about the countries and players that design them, so they're good from a purely curious point of view. But I also think that they can help you as a judge, and as a player.

The first ones up are Mattibea, Sybus, and Mobius, because I can do all those without having to do much research given how recently I've judged them. If you aren't one of those guys and want to see how I think your doctrine compares, send me a mock order set like you're fighting a comparable equivalent-tech army, with a focus on strategy/tactics and only so much tech as is necessary to explain the strategy. Also if you think I'm radically misrepresenting your doctrine, feel free to discuss it, but remember that this is what I've gotten from judging all y'all's stuff recently, so if I'm misrepresenting, you're just as likely to be the issue as I am :P (and this is literally just my opinions, not objective fact). Hopefully this prompts some fun discussion. Finally, only dealing with on-planet warfare. I'm not qualified for space (more than anyone else) because I haven't judged as much. If someone else wants to look at that though, there are some unanswered questions (sledgehammer and eggshell ships, viability of fighters) that might be interesting to talk about.

UMC
The Mattibean doctrine seems to have, as its sort of philosophical basis, what I'll call 2018 realism. In Matt's view, warfare in CYOC is very similar to contemporary warfare, without any fundamentally game-changing technologies, and most tech can be treated as improvements to 2018 equivalents, but there's nothing that fundamentally replaces the paradigm or makes the biggest aspects of 2018 warfare obsolete. A final part of this realism is a much better adherence to proper cost-per-soldier ratios than most in CYOC, which I think needs to be considered when thinking about supply lines and logistics, especially. I have two issues with the theoretical underpinning. First, I don't know if assuming that no game-changing technologies come around is realistic (but us picking one might be even more foolish!) and also, it does lack a certain coolness factor (and if 2018 realism is stressed too hard, it hampers everyone's military coolness factor). Nevertheless, it's definitely a completely adequate philosophy (but it's also the only one I have strong thoughts about) that produces a wholly reasonable and quite effective combat structure. And you may disagree with me on the coolness factor - small elite armies smashing larger forces might be cool enough on its own to you.

There's a strong focus on mobility and long-range firepower, as is the case in more successful modern armies. Two key techs are repulsors and missiles. Repulsors are the closest Matt gets to magic, but they provide huge advantage to his troops. IMO, the mobility advantages of the repulsor are his greatest comparative advantage. He can fairly easily outrun any other major land combatant, which means that flanking maneuvers are much easier to pull off, and exploits and retreats are similarly carefree. Additionally, repulsors let him travel across much more rough terrain than most militaries are really capable of. His missiles are much more publicized, but in short, Rakurai are highly destructive due to their splitting technique, so they're fairly hazardous to armies without exceptional anti-missile systems.

A standard battle/campaign will proceed as follows: Matt will launch a shitton of missiles at you, which, depending on defenses, will reduce or perhaps eliminate your force entirely. He has strong sensor and spec-ops organizations, which generally give him the intel he needs to make these strikes successful. Once you're suitably softened, some swiftly-moving columns will come to ruin your day by punching a hole in your weakened lines, after which the Mattibeans will proceed to their destinations/mop up your isolated troop pockets. In my opinion, Matt's forces are the strongest man-to-man, and if he can keep a war short, limited, and land-based, he's probably going to win.

He likely will face problems if wars continue, because once his missile stock is depleted, his forces lose a significant portion of their effectiveness. Future judges, if they anticipate a long conflict, should try to keep track of Matt's missile stock the way they do people's troops, because alone of major powers, he uses finite ammunition at rates fast enough to outpace supply (other missile-using powers like Pacifica use a tiny fraction of Matt's missile volumes). However, don't be too hasty to say he's run out - despite a relatively small population, he has a high GDP that lets him upkeep a lot of missiles and a quality army. Nevertheless, when it comes to raw production, he's likely to be outpaced by both Mobius, Sybus, and (I think), Venus, at least until factory-killing happens, which his long-range attacks likely have an advantage with.

He also has a fairly competent navy, from the looks of it, but most of his ships fly, which (in my opinion, and if I'm judging) will have a negative affect on other aspects of the ship's combat. However, it follows doctrine - fast, mobile, with heavy long-range firepower, and would likely perform more than adequately against most naval forces. It should be enough to deny control of regional waters to external foes, with the help of land-based missiles, and prevent them from really screwing up his supply situation.

In terms of doctrine, to be honest, I think Matt has the best one, but this doesn't necessarily mean he's the strongest nation. He has phenomenal force multipliers, but he's also got a lower population and less space to trade for time. He has a much shorter effective combat length than other major powers, so if he doesn't win fast, and burns through his initial missile stock and trained man stock, he's going to have issues. Custom-made suits for every soldier are fantastic when you have time to prep, but very difficult to replace at the speed Sybus can make units, for example. Nevertheless, I wouldn't want to be on a continent with Matt if we were hostile - if he wanted to fight you, you're likely to lose your capital to a mobile column before his supply issues come into play.
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