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Twilight Struggle» Forums » Reviews

Subject: An Over-Long Reflection on Twilight Struggle as #1 on BGG’s Top 100 rss

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Oliver Ludwig

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Some die-rolls and card-distributions weigh more then others.
Red Scarce/Purge, especially in combination with blockade or quagmire/bear-trap can definitely be a game-changer, so can brush-war, other war-cards and coups - change the domination of an important - otherwise rather static region - change the game on a ~50/50-chance - that can be ~14 points! No luck on canceling quagmire/beartrap - good luck for the rest of the game!
The appearance of scoring cards: If this scoring shows up next, I win, if it's the other one I loose.
Hell, I lost games, because my attempt to get lunar orbit on the space race didn't succeed - again just 50/50.
And some hands are just to horrible to mitigate.
The opening strategies rarely vary. 90% of games follow the same pattern: USSR 4 in E.Germany, 4 in Poland, US 4 in W.Germany, 3 in Italy... USSR coups Iran... Depending on the result equality changes a lot. Everybody plays the same, but as the 1st turn is the most important, luck is the deciding factor.
Surely you can always beat a lucky beginner, but in a match between intermediate players of similar skill, the impact of luck - considering game time - is to big.
And for the tournaments: How many players participate? Phil Hellmuth won several WSOP-bracelets when there were like 10 players - these days he's a morning snack for other pros.
 
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Robert Barnhart
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It's not worth getting into but this is wrong by magnitudes. In a field of roughly 40 each year between 2010-2014 two people repeated as champions. There is obviously luck involved but it's not that important.

You've isolated individual events and assigned them weight without realizing it's the entire game that's the proper area of analysis

But if you don't like it, that's your decision, of course.

As an objective matter, TS requires study and skill. Luck helps for sure but it is not the dominant factor.
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Oliver Ludwig

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Wow, 4 tournaments with 40 participants surely has a lot of statistical significance in an important main-stream game like TS. I'm eager to see high-stakes games as the whole world surely agrees this being that much of a skill game.
Meanwhile I just think there are to many occasions , where the dominator of a region and by that, winner of the game, is decided by pure luck. Control over a battle-ground country 50-50 can be decisive and otherwise you just loose a lot of tempi. The scoring is to absolute in that matter.
TS is a game for people who like to feel smart, not for people who are smart.
Also I don't see that I isolated events, it's just a pattern that repeats allover the whole game.
However I agree that it's not worth getting into - as I'm clearly right and you're wrong. Let's just skip the whole discussion and just throw a dice: 1-3 i'm wrong, 4-6 I'm right.
 
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Robert Barnhart
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Muramasa84 wrote:
Wow, 4 tournaments with 40 participants surely has a lot of statistical significance in an important main-stream game like TS. I'm eager to see high-stakes games as the whole world surely agrees this being that much of a skill game.
Meanwhile I just think there are to many occasions , where the dominator of a region and by that, winner of the game, is decided by pure luck. Control over a battle-ground country 50-50 can be decisive and otherwise you just loose a lot of tempi. The scoring is to absolute in that matter.
TS is a game for people who like to feel smart, not for people who are smart.
Also I don't see that I isolated events, it's just a pattern that repeats allover the whole game.
However I agree that it's not worth getting into - as I'm clearly right and you're wrong. Let's just skip the whole discussion and just throw a dice: 1-3 i'm wrong, 4-6 I'm right.

I'm sorry that I can't convince you, but it's all good. It's just a game I enjoy sharing with people. Play agains someone who has played many more times than you and I think you will see it is a skill game, but if you don't like it, you don't like it. No worries.

Maybe cool it on the "feel smart, people who are smart" stuff though. Seems overboard.
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Dale Stephenson
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Muramasa84 wrote:
Wow, 4 tournaments with 40 participants surely has a lot of statistical significance in an important main-stream game like TS. I'm eager to see high-stakes games as the whole world surely agrees this being that much of a skill game.

Here's the actual WBC winners and field size:

2006 Stefan McCay (86)
2007 Stefan McCay (66)
2008 Stefan McCay (54)
2009 Chris Withers (68)
2010 Stefan McCay (57)
2011 Stefan McCay (55)
2012 Riku Reikinnen (64)
2013 Riku Reikinnen (53)
2014 Chris Byrd (45)

Yes, the field size is sufficiently large to demonstrate with statistical significance that the results would not be that of luck alone. The cumulative Laurels for the events have Withers at #2, Byrd at #4, and Riku at #5, so it's clear that the success of Byrd and Withers are not confined to the year they won.
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Robert Barnhart
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dalestephenson wrote:
Muramasa84 wrote:
Wow, 4 tournaments with 40 participants surely has a lot of statistical significance in an important main-stream game like TS. I'm eager to see high-stakes games as the whole world surely agrees this being that much of a skill game.

Here's the actual WBC winners and field size:

2006 Stefan McCay (86)
2007 Stefan McCay (66)
2008 Stefan McCay (54)
2009 Chris Withers (68)
2010 Stefan McCay (57)
2011 Stefan McCay (55)
2012 Riku Reikinnen (64)
2013 Riku Reikinnen (53)
2014 Chris Byrd (45)

Yes, the field size is sufficiently large to demonstrate with statistical significance that the results would not be that of luck alone. The cumulative Laurels for the events have Withers at #2, Byrd at #4, and Riku at #5, so it's clear that the success of Byrd and Withers are not confined to the year they won.

Thanks, Dale!
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Judgement Dave
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dalestephenson wrote:
Muramasa84 wrote:
Wow, 4 tournaments with 40 participants surely has a lot of statistical significance in an important main-stream game like TS. I'm eager to see high-stakes games as the whole world surely agrees this being that much of a skill game.

Here's the actual WBC winners and field size:

2006 Stefan McCay (86)
2007 Stefan McCay (66)
2008 Stefan McCay (54)
2009 Chris Withers (68)
2010 Stefan McCay (57)
2011 Stefan McCay (55)
2012 Riku Reikinnen (64)
2013 Riku Reikinnen (53)
2014 Chris Byrd (45)

Yes, the field size is sufficiently large to demonstrate with statistical significance that the results would not be that of luck alone. The cumulative Laurels for the events have Withers at #2, Byrd at #4, and Riku at #5, so it's clear that the success of Byrd and Withers are not confined to the year they won.
Clearly it's not random but, having got TS today, I'm now worried by the clear bias towards players called Chris. Should I change my name?
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