2018 TTT: Power Auction & Selection Procedure

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2018 TTT: Power Auction & Selection Procedure

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 18 Aug 2017, 22:33

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Power Auction & Selection Procedure

Ambition & Empire: Blind Auction

For the first round of the Tournament Through Time, Ambition & Empire, Dynasties will declare their preferences for power assignments via blind auction. Each Dynasty has 200 bid points to divide between the ten Great Powers:

  1. BH - Great Britain & Hanover
  2. DN - Denmark-Norway
  3. FR - France
  4. HA - Habsburg Empire (Austria)
  5. OT - Ottoman Empire (Turkey)
  6. PR - Prussia
  7. PS - Poland-Lithuania & Saxony
  8. RU - Russia
  9. SP - Spain
  10. SW - Sweden
For each of the ten choices, you must assign a positive whole number of bid points. For any single power, the maximum bid is 100, and the minimum bid is 1. To reiterate, you may not bid zero on any power.

Additionally, multiple bids from the same Dynasty/player may not be the same value. Each bid must be unique, which forces you to apply some order to your preferences. You cannot, for instance, bid 100 on your first choice, 92 on your second choice, and 1 point on each of the remaining choices.

Your bids can add up to less than 200 bid points, but I recommend allocating all 200 of them.

The order in which you list your bids has no impact on the auction.

Bidding No Preference

If you have no preference at all, I will assign 20 bid points to all ten choices on your behalf. This is the only exception to the aforementioned rule where bids must be unique. You will automatically bid no preference if you either forget to submit bids or submit an invalid set of bids that go uncorrected before the deadline.

Due Date

The Primary Player for Ambition & Empire from each Dynasty must submit these bids via private message to the GM by Thursday, Dec 28 @ 1900 EST (2400 UTC).

Do not publish your bids publicly or otherwise discuss your preferences with anyone other than the GM and your fellow Dynasty members.

Resolving the Auction

Once I receive all Dynasties' bids, I will begin assigning powers in order from highest bid to lowest, assisted by a random number generator (via Microsoft Excel) to resolve the priority of same-valued bids (across and within powers). Once a Dynasty has "won" the auction for a given power, all of their remaining bids are ignored.

Sample Bids

Because some people have trouble with math, here are four example strategies for how you can allocate bids that are unique and add up to 200.

Code: Select all
          Top-heavy   Two-faves  First-&-mix  Any-but-3

1st pick        100          83          100         31
2nd pick         64          81           40         30
3rd pick          8           8           20         29
4th pick          7           7           15         28
5th pick          6           6            8         27
6th pick          5           5            6         25
7th pick          4           4            5         24
8th pick          3           3            3          3
9th pick          2           2            2          2
10th pick         1           1            1          1


1812 Overture: Last-First Draft

Selecting powers for 1812 Overture will begin immediately after Ambition & Empire ends. This is the first variant where some Dynasties will not participate; they will take a "Bye" for this game. Because each Dynasty will have exactly one Bye during the three middle variants, those four Dynasties that take a Bye during 1812 Overture are guaranteed to play in 1900 and 1936. Likewise, the six Dynasties that play 1812 Overture will be required to take a Bye for either 1900 or 1936.

Power / Bye Options

These are the options for playing powers or taking a Bye in 1812 Overture:

  • (Up to 4 Dynasties) Take a Bye / Skip this game
  • (Up to 3 Dynasties) Play one of the Attached pairs of powers:
    • British Empire
      • BR - Britain
      • CA - Canada
    • French Empire
      • FR - France
      • RH - Rhine
    • United States of America
      • RE - Republicans
      • FE - Federalists
  • (Up to 3 Dynasties) Play a Detached pair of powers:
    • Choose one from Europe
      • AU - Austria
      • DN - Denmark-Norway
      • RU - Russia
    • And choose one from North America
      • CH - Cherokee
      • NS - New Spain
      • SH - Shawnee
  • No preference, but would like to play (no Bye)
  • No preference at all (either play the game or take a Bye)

Draft Order

Dynasties will receive their choice of the aforementioned options in order by the score they received from playing Ambition & Empire. This will be a Last-First Draft, meaning that the Dynasty with the least amount of points receives first pick, the second least amount of points receives second pick, and onward, with the highest-scoring Dynasty receiving last pick.

If two or more Dynasties are tied for points, and their draft picks conflict, priority will be given to Dynasties that bid "No Preference" during the Ambition & Empire preference auction. Further ties will be resolved by order of finalized draft pick submission.

Preferences for this draft may be submitted either through a forum-based private message to the GM or via a Slack message to the GM. Please do not announce your picks publicly.

In order to prevent the selection process from taking too long, the GM may set a maximum number of hours per pick for each Dynasty as well as a final deadline for all picks. This timer begins as soon as the GM contacts your Dynasty to let them know it is their turn in the Draft. A Dynasty that misses its turn/pick can still submit late, but they are not guaranteed to be resolved in the intended least-to-greatest score order; in other words, if your Dynasty isn't paying attention and misses its turn to choose, you may lose your place in line.

Draft Picks Submitted in Advance

To speed up the selection process and avoid losing your picking order, draft pick lists can be sent to the GM at any time in advance of each Dynasty's turn to pick a power/Bye. I highly recommend that each Dynasty send their picks in advance. These may even be submitted as soon as the prior game (Ambition & Empire in this case) begins.

If none of the picks on a Dynasty's draft list are available at the time of its turn, the GM will attempt to contact the Dynasty to make a new pick (assuming there is time remaining in the Draft).

Based on the amount of time remaining before the final Draft deadline, the GM reserves the right to require that all remaining Dynasties provide a list of draft picks by that deadline. Unsubmitted or unresolved preferences will be treated as votes for "No preference at all."

If necessary, at the end of the draft, any remaining "No Preference" picks will be resolved via random number generation.

Practical Example: Advance Draft Picks

For example, the Q Dynasty came in 4th place by score in Ambition & Empire. This means they will have the 7th turn to pick during the draft for 1812 Overture. They think they would like to play Britain & Canada in 1812 Overture, but they're not as interested in other powers. They might want to play Austria or Russia if they don't get the bye.

This is their Draft Pick list:
Code: Select all
Q Dynasty

1812 Overture Draft Picks
(from highest to lowest preference)

Britain & Canada
Take a Bye
Austria & Shawnee
Austria & New Spain
Russia & Cherokee


Because up to four Dynasties can take a Bye in 1812 Overture, there is a decent chance that the Q Dynasty will receive either their first or second choice. Under normal circumstances, this would be a good list.

However, let's assume that the following picks were already made by other Dynasties:
Code: Select all
Z Dynasty - Take a Bye
Y Dynasty - Take a Bye
X Dynasty - Austria & Cherokee
W Dynasty - Take a Bye
V Dynasty - Britain & Canada
T Dynasty - Take a Bye


If this were the case, then none of the Q Dynasty's listed Draft Picks can be resolved. All four slots for taking a Bye are filled. Britain, Austria, and Cherokee are all unavailable. Assuming time remains in the Draft, in this scenario, the Q Dynasty will be contacted by the GM to make a new pick from the remaining choices. Otherwise they will be treated as having No Preference.

1900: Last-First Draft

The power/Bye draft for 1900 will operate under much the same rules as the one specified for 1812 Overture, but with the changes listed below.

Subject to any schedule changes set by the GM, the power/Bye draft for 1900 will begin immediately after 1814 Autumn phases for 1812 Overture.

Power / Bye Options

These are the options for playing powers or taking a Bye in 1900:

  • (Up to 3 Dynasties) Take a Bye
    • The four Dynasties that took a Bye during 1812 Overture are not eligible for this option.
    • The three Dynasties that played in 1812 Overture that take a Bye in 1900 are guaranteed to play 1936.
    • Likewise, the three Dynasties that play in both 1812 Overture and 1900 will be required to take a Bye in 1936.
  • (Up to 7 Dynasties) Play 1900 as one of these powers:
    1. AH - Austria-Hungary
    2. BR - Britain
    3. FR - France
    4. GE - Germany
    5. IT - Italy
    6. RU - Russia
    7. TU - Turkey
  • No preference, but would like to play (no Bye)
  • No preference at all (either play the game or take a Bye)

Draft Order

Draft picks will be made in order according to the aforementioned rules for 1812 Overture, though with the following amendments.

Priority will be based on each Dynasty's cumulative predicted score, the grand total of all points received in completed games added to the points that would be received in all ongoing games. For ongoing games, this prediction is made by pretending that the game ended in a draw immediately after the most-recently-completed Autumn phases (likely 1814), using those newly adjusted SC counts as a basis for rank and SC points. This predicted score will not be used outside of determining picking order for this draft.

For the 1900 draft, Dynasties that took a Bye during 1812 Overture will have zero predicted points from that ongoing game. This is intentional.

In case of ties between Dynasties for cumulative predicted score, preference conflicts will be resolved first by giving priority to Dynasties that have most often picked/bid "No Preference" (of any type) for prior games. Further ties will be resolved by draft pick submission time; draft picks can be sent to the GM in advance as early as the start of 1812 Overture.

Update (03/15/2018):
For the 1900 draft, a firm final Draft deadline will be set in advance, and all Dynasties are required to submit lists of draft picks by that date and time. Unsubmitted or unresolved preferences will be treated as votes for "No preference at all."


1936: Last-First Draft

The draft for 1936 will also operate under much the same rules as those specified for 1812 Overture and 1900, but with the changes listed below.

Subject to any schedule changes set by the GM, the draft for 1936 will begin after 1812 Overture terminates. If 1812 Overture ends considerably earlier than expected, the draft for 1936 will wait until the end of the 1901 Autumn Phases in 1900 (after the second game-year).

By the time of its draft, it will already be known which three Dynasties will be required to take a Bye during 1936. Therefore, only the Dynasties competing in 1936 will participate in this draft.

Power Options

These are the draft pick options for 1936:

  • BR - Britain
  • FR - France
  • GE - Germany
  • IT - Italy & Nationalist Spain (NS)
  • PO - Poland
  • SU - Soviet Union (Russia) & Republican Spain (RS)
  • TU - Turkey
  • No preference

Draft Order

Draft picks will be made in order according to the aforementioned rules for 1900, though with the following amendments.

Each Dynasty's cumulative predicted score will now include scores for both completed games (Ambition & Empire and 1812 Overture) added to the predicted score from the most recently completed Autumn phases of the ongoing 1900 game.

In case of ties between Dynasties for cumulative predicted score, preference conflicts will be resolved first by giving priority to Dynasties that have most often picked/bid "No Preference" (of any type) for prior games. Further ties will be resolved by draft pick submission time; draft picks can be sent to the GM in advance as early as the start of 1900.

Update (03/15/2018):
For the 1936 draft, a firm final Draft deadline will be set in advance, and all seven participating Dynasties are required to submit lists of draft picks by that date and time. Unsubmitted or unresolved preferences will be treated as votes for "No preference at all."


Dissolution: Last-First Draft

The draft for the final round, Dissolution will also operate under the same rules as those specified for the three middle variants, but with the changes listed below.

The draft for Dissolution will begin after 1936 terminates. At that time, based on time remaining in the year, the GM will announce the maximum number of game-years that Dissolution may be played.

Power Options

These are the draft pick options for Dissolution:

  • EG - Egypt
  • ET - Ethiopia
  • IR - Iran
  • KA - Kazakhstan
  • PA - Pakistan
  • PO - Poland
  • RO - Romania
  • SA - Saudi Arabia
  • UK - Ukraine
  • YU - Yugoslavia
  • No preference

Draft Order

Draft picks will be made in order according to the aforementioned rules for the three middle variants, though with the following amendments.

Each Dynasty's cumulative score will now include only the final scores for all prior rounds.

In case of ties between Dynasties for cumulative score, preference conflicts will be resolved first by giving priority to Dynasties that have most often picked/bid "No Preference" (of any type) for prior games. Further ties will be resolved by draft pick submission time; draft picks can be sent to the GM in advance as early as the start of 1936.
Last edited by NoPunIn10Did on 15 Mar 2018, 22:31, edited 25 times in total.
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Re: 2018 TTT: Power Auction & Selection Procedure

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 18 Aug 2017, 22:34

Power Performance History by Variant

Ambition & Empire
Here's an excerpt of an email from Baron Von Powell to the players and observers of the most recent playtest of Ambition & Empire:

Hey Gang,
[A player] raises a question: how balanced is A&E? Answer: I have no idea. If that sounds like a cop out, I can only respond by saying that it is the truth. I really do not know.
The reason I do not know is because not enough games have taken place for me to draw reliable conclusions. Consider:
  • I only have records for 23 games. Of those 23 games, one game aborted after only a couple turns. That means only 22 games played through to completion. [Note: this email was written prior to the completion of the most recent playtest. The number of completed games is now 23.]
  • The completed 22 games took place on five different maps and used five different rule sets.

...

So what do we see if we look at those twenty-two games played on five different maps?
  • The four Great Powers that enjoyed the most success in those games are (from highest to lowest) Turkey, Austria, France, and Russia.
  • The four Great Powers that enjoyed the least success in those games are (from lowest to highest) Denmark-Norway, Sweden, Prussia, and Britain & Hanover.
  • No Great Power has been shut out, though three Great Powers have yet to solo (contrary to whatever I may have led Alex to believe). Denmark-Norway has the fewest victories to date with only three draws to its credit. Turkey has the most with two solos and seven draws.
  • All Great Powers except France (5) and Turkey (6) have suffered elimination at least eight times. Poland-Lithuania & Saxony lead the way with fifteen eliminations.
  • All Great Powers have reached what I call "competitive size" (i.e., six SCs or larger) at least four times (Poland-Lithuania & Saxony). Because Austria and Britain & Hanover start with four SCs, it is not surprising they have reached six or more SCs more than anyone else (nineteen and fifteen times respectively). Curiously, Britain & Hanover has exactly as many solos and draws as does Poland-Lithuania & Saxony.
I should mention that Jeff and I tweaked the map, particularly as it impacts on Turkey, to mitigate some of the advantages certain Great Powers were showing early in the life of the variant. Turkey's record under the v5.0 map and rules is much more pedestrian than it was early in the life of the variant.
Is it possible for a Great Power to suffer elimination quickly? Absolutely. The record belongs to Sweden which was out of one contest by the Fall of 1763.(although the player was complicit in the swift destruction of his kingdom). I have seen all the Great Powers stall early, shrink, and die quickly. Is this really unusual, though? I have seen many a Classic and 1900 game where a Great Power did not last more than three years. If a player is unable to find coalition partners and is attacked from all sides, is that a function of map design or player personalities? I would argue the latter has more to do with things than the former, but I know there are those who disagree.
Will Denmark-Norway normally beat Britain & Hanover one-on-one? Will one Polish army in Warsaw be able to hold off three Russian armies? Almost certainly the answer is no in each case. The point here, however, is that Denmark-Norway should not be fighting alone against Britain & Hanover and Poland should not be going one-on-one against Russia. If they do, I would say the diplomacy in Copenhagen and Warsaw has failed miserably. I maintain the key to success is finding alliance partners and coordinating the allocation of DPs within the coalition.
To sum this up, A&E may not be (I dare say "is not") perfectly balanced. Even Classic is not perfectly balanced. A&E does, however, give each participant a "reasonable chance" of success if that person plays well. I think that is equitable. If, over a longer run, games do start trending in undesirable directions, we will look at the data, evaluate, and try again.


The following is a chart of the estimated equivalent tournament score averages for each of the ten powers.

Code: Select all
Ambition & Empire: Estimated Scores
(across 23 games)

                     Avg Score  Median
                     
Austria (Habsburg)        1295     897
Britain-Hanover            844     755
Denmark-Norway             563     220
France                    1080     663
Poland & Saxony            525     180
Prussia                    624     351
Russia                     963     573
Spain                      905     522
Sweden                     598     533
Turkey (Ottoman)          1064     675


1812 Overture

1812 Overture has so far seen five playthroughs on three different configurations of the map. Major changes occurred after the first game, then minor tweaks were made after the third round completed. The version of 1812 Overture to be played in this tournament will contain a few further tweaks to the map and starting units.

The following is a chart of the equivalent tournament score that would be granted in each of those five games, along with average and median scores by power.

Code: Select all
1812 Powers     game-1  game-2  game-3  game-4  game-5

BR & CA            842     112     876     672    1546
FR & RH            532     254     240     116      46
RE & FE (USA)       10    3550     240      10      46

AU & CH                                   3500
AU & NS             82                            1336
AU & SH                    464     876

DN & CH                    570
DN & NS                           1234     324
DN & SH           3500                             154

RU & CH            188            1484            1546
RU & NS                    254
RU & SH                                    566

Ended Year No.       8       9       4       7       7


1812 Powers    Average  Median     

BR & CA            810     842
FR & RH            238     240
RE & FE (USA)      771      46

AU & (any)        1252     876
DN & (any)        1156     570
RU & (any)         808     566

CH & (any)        1458    1484
NS & (any)         646     324
SH & (any)        1112     566


My primary takeaway so far is that, in all but one game, players have felt it necessary to gang up on France/Rhine and the USA in the early game. Roughly what this seems to me is that the perceived threat posed by Napoleon and the USA is most often quite less than actual threat posed by those powers. It will be interesting to see if further plays of this variant (and further familiarity with it) will shape the expectations into less of an anti-France paranoia.

1900

1900 is the only variant in the tournament that has received wide play on automated sites. As such, I have access to a much larger sample set of results. The following table shows the average estimated tournament score for a sample of 232 full-press games of 1900 played on PlayDiplomacy.

Code: Select all
1900: Estimated Scores
(sample of 232 games)

                     Avg Score
                         
Austria-Hungary            758
Britain                    847
France                     743
Germany                   1063
Italy                      843
Russia                     775
Turkey                     680


It is roughly about as balanced as traditional Diplomacy, but with differing tiers of performance. Standard Dip has roughly three tiers:
  1. High Performers: France & Russia
  2. Medium Performers: England, Germany, & Turkey
  3. Low Performers: Italy & Austria
1900 also has three tiers:
  1. High Performer: Germany
  2. Medium Performers: Italy, Austria-Hungary, Britain, France, & Russia
  3. Low Performer: Turkey
Also worth noting is that the distance between Turkey's performance from the rest of the pack is not quite as high as the distance that Italy trails its opponents in classic Dip.

1936
I have records for five different games of 1936. Charles (the creator) appears to have made tweaks to the game from session to session, but nothing too drastic.

Code: Select all
1936 Powers     game-1  game-2  game-3  game-4  game-5  |   avg   median

Britain            498     786    1236    1326     105  |   790      786
France             282     105      15      15     843  |   252      105
Germany           1146      15    1542    1614     105  |   884     1146
Italy             1542    1398    1236     606    1005  |  1157     1236
Poland            1146    1398     282    1038     429  |   859     1038
Soviet Union        15     498     822     105    3500  |   988      498
Turkey            1146    1398     570     822     105  |   808      822

Ended Year No.       7       9       4       7       7

France in 1936 appears to suffer much the same fate of France in 1812 Overture. The perception of the threat it poses (since it starts out with the most units and receives additional DP) seems to considerably outweigh its actual performance.


Dissolution

There has only been one game of Dissolution so far, so these numbers are provided as an example of scores that would have been awarded if the game had terminated in the 6th, 7th, or 8th game-year, followed by the actual result from the 13th game year (a solo).

Code: Select all
Dissolution (first & only session)

                year-6  year-7  year-8  actual
       
Egypt              810     870     780     340
Ethiopia          1230    1470    1590    1260
Iran                20      20      20      20
Kazakhstan        1590    1470    1590    4680
Pakistan           810     510     510     260
Poland            1080    1110    1080     770
Romania            100     100     100     100
Saudi Arabia       450     510     510     480
Ukraine            300     180     180     180
Yugoslavia        1410    1470    1350     880
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