Ty Wilson
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This is a companion thread to http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/782962/new-analyzed-data-fro... and http://webapp8.boardgamegeek.com/thread/811147/a-different-k.... I was interested in the notion that it might be possible to glean something about the relative strength of various strategies in Brink of War games by a somewhat rigorous analysis of the Keldon server data. As explained in the second thread listed, I employed a multivariate statistical technique commonly used by ecologists to see what influence the goals achieved in a game have on the cards played in a tableau. I won't rehash the details of the methods here, but instead focus on the results in the form of one figure.



My interest is not so much in the tactics of how individual cards fit into a given strategy, but in the overall relative effectiveness of various strategies. The goals help us interpret the results of the analysis. By overlaying their "influence vectors" on the space containing player positions (essentially their average tableau's position), we can define 4 main quadrants by the two diagonals (with labels in larger bold font around the edges): military, produce/consume, develop, and alien/trade. The goals are labeled in smaller regular font, with light lines pointing to the corresponding vector where things are overcrowded.

The image behind all of this is an interpolation (by kriging) of player ratings based on their positions in this "strategy space". The legend appears on the right, with higher ratings in yellow and lower ones in red. It's fairly obvious from this that the highest concentration of highly rated players is towards the upper left, in the "Develop" and "Produce/Consume" quadrants. Relatively few occur in the other two, though there are a few spots of yellow there, too. Those are the ones that actually interest me the most. A good example is ttor68, who accounts for the fuzzy yellow blob to the right of the figure. He has an ELO rating over 1700, but clearly is a bit of an outlier strategically since he's, on average, quite militaristic as a player.

I think this figure suggests some good potential head-to-head matches that would feature a clash of opposing styles. Rob's rftgstats page shows ttor68's flow against other players, and it appears to indicate that he hasn't fared well against some of the top players from the other side of the spectrum. However, it's a fairly small sample and the results shown there include non-2PA games. Then again, this could also be viewed as someone who's figured out something that others haven't (along the lines of Tom's SF Bay Titan example or perhaps taking that B' strategy up to B"). The data suggest that there are a lot of really strong players within close proximity strategically. Perhaps it reflects a slight bias towards those strategies...or maybe it's "groupthink". But this may well change over time as players hit upon other strategies, or implementations of their strategies. Time will tell.

I can't wait to see what happens with Alien Artifacts!
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What really stands out to me with ttor68 is that he almost never chooses Galactic Scavengers in 2pa. I personally have a relatively heavy military bias as well, but seeing that, he's really taken it to an extreme. Scavengers are so much fun!
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ackmondual
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entranced wrote:
What really stands out to me with ttor68 is that he almost never chooses Galactic Scavengers in 2pa. I personally have a relatively heavy military bias as well, but seeing that, he's really taken it to an extreme. Scavengers are so much fun!
Makes sense. The problem with GS is V needs to get called for it to utilize its full potential. If you use only its II and/or III power, you're not getting anything from it. In 2p games, having the ability to pick 2 action cards can allow a player to call V less, so it'd often be up to the GS player to call V instead.


EDIT: Grammar woes
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What do the lengths of the goal vectors signify in this diagram?

Also, were the 4 quadrants arbitrarily designed (by you) or are they based on in-game activity?
 
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Ty Wilson
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A more detailed explanation of the goals vectors is made in the earlier post that I mentioned, but in a nutshell they indicate the magnitude and direction of their influence on the appearance of types of cards played in a tableau. The quadrants were my attempt to delineate, in a very general way, the major strategy groups by looking at how these goal vectors naturally cluster together. The boundaries are not meant to suggest anything hard and fast, as strategies clearly blend into one another, just to serve as a guide by which to orient yourself to interpret the figure. I'm hoping that folks on the forum might be able to help me come up with other sub-regions within these larger ones, or perhaps a better overall subdivision instead.
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Ty Wilson
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Here is one last figure (the one you asked for, Rob) showing card positions in the same strategy space using symbology familiar to RftG players and similar to that used on the rftgstats page. I've included the same goals vectors here, so you can orient yourself relative to the previous figure.

I've also included a link to an SVG file that allows you to explore the figure in more detail. https://dl.dropbox.com/u/25279235/bow_2pa_hvh_cards.svg
Assuming you have a modern browser with Javascript enabled, you should be able to pan (left click and drag) and zoom (using your mouse wheel). Clicking an icon should reveal the card name. Click again to hide it. Using this figure, the sub-strategies of the four major ones become more apparent.
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beadydub wrote:
Assuming you have a modern browser with Javascript enabled, you should be able to pan (left click and drag) and zoom (using your mouse wheel).

Is there a way to zoom without a mouse wheel, keyboard shortcuts of some sort?
 
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Ty Wilson
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Try the "Ctrl" and "-" keys together to zoom out, and "Ctrl" and "+" together to zoom in. Then you can pan to your area of interest.
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ackmondual
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beadydub wrote:
Try the "Ctrl" and "-" keys together to zoom out, and "Ctrl" and "+" together to zoom in. Then you can pan to your area of interest.
Alternatively, go into View --> Zoom to do so with only the mouse, but no wheel (IIRC, works with FF and Safari as well)
 
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ackmondual wrote:
beadydub wrote:
Try the "Ctrl" and "-" keys together to zoom out, and "Ctrl" and "+" together to zoom in. Then you can pan to your area of interest.
Alternatively, go into View --> Zoom to do so with only the mouse, but no wheel (IIRC, works with FF and Safari as well)

*slaps forehead* so it's just the browser shortcuts. Can't believe i didn't think of that. For some reason i thought svg were special and had to have their own in-built commands.
 
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ackmondual
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entranced wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
beadydub wrote:
Try the "Ctrl" and "-" keys together to zoom out, and "Ctrl" and "+" together to zoom in. Then you can pan to your area of interest.
Alternatively, go into View --> Zoom to do so with only the mouse, but no wheel (IIRC, works with FF and Safari as well)

*slaps forehead* so it's just the browser shortcuts. Can't believe i didn't think of that. For some reason i thought svg were special and had to have their own in-built commands.
Heh, that's the first time I heard of svg
 
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Ty Wilson
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I just added some new functionality to the SVG file linked above. Now you can select which types of cards you'd like to highlight (e.g. all prestige or negative military), as well as mouseover the axes to see their names. But be advised, it can behave a little strangely at times, at least in a Chrome browser on WinXP. I guess that's why I'm not a Web developer.
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Alex Brown
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This might seem like a strange question, but was there any substantive strategy discussion to come out of this analysis?

Doesn't seem to be much conversation about cards and play.
 
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