October 15, 2019, 06:56:33 PM

Author Topic: Time Gentlemen, Please!  (Read 3501 times)

keejchen

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Time Gentlemen, Please!
« on: March 27, 2017, 04:57:36 PM »
Hey everyone.

This discussion is purely for those following the ADMW, but I didn't want to clutter the main ADMW thread unnecessarily. (I hope I put it in the right place.)

So, throughout the ADMW tournament, I have received *a lot* of critique regarding the way I play. After (and during) my game with Theasaris today, I again got a few complaints. While the critique itself does not really bother me too much, it has now spread to the point where I think it is time to address it. Feel free to weigh in and let me know your thoughts on the matter.

The critique can be boiled down to spectators who think I deliberately extend games, where they see that I could clearly have won hours earlier. Now, they may be right, but please consider that the spectators do not know what is in my spellbook, and that neither of us knows what is my opponents spellbook.

If I, in any given round, see ~90% chance of winning by going for the kill now, and ~95% chance of winning if I delay and play it safe, I will always choose to play it safe, even if it extends the game by another hour. Such calculations may be incorrect on my part, but in the moment they are all that I have.

There are no time constraints in the ADMW, other than the limit for choosing individual actions and for certain phases. I have called for these time limits to be regulated, mainly because I know that I am the problem, but have not seen it enforced yet. I did not make the rules, I just follow them. In future tournaments it may be necessary to introduce a hard time limit on games, please feel free to give your suggestions for solutions in this thread.

It has been said many times that Mage Wars has a lot of aspects in common with chess. In chess it is considered widely accepted to lay down your king and concede, when you see clearly that you have lost, and feel that there is no reason to continue the game. Mage Wars has a lot of luck and unknown variables that makes this solution less obvious.

In my game with Theasaris, I said to myself after hour ~3: "Ok, if he has no creatures left, he could probably concede now". However, I will never ask my opponent to concede. Theasaris didn't and if he thinks that he still has a chance, that's completely fair and admirable in my eyes, but also all the more reason for me to think that I have to play safe, because he might be right!

With all that said, I want to make it clear that I do not extend these games just for fun, or to torture my opponent or the spectators. I love Mage Wars more than any other game, and I play to the best of my ability, I will not make suboptimal plays to artificially shorten a game.

I am the kind of guy that plays 12 hour+, 8 player, ffa's in Age of Wonders 3. And I usually enjoy every minute of those games. A 4 hour mage wars game is nothing in comparison.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 04:59:47 PM by keejchen »
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drmambo23

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Re: Time Gentlemen, Please!
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2017, 05:34:03 PM »
I say you're fine and keep playing how you play! :)

I have played timed games but in untimed games i usually play much much more defensive and im experimenting so games tend to go longer. And im playing to have fun and not win all of the time. The commentators in my last admw match said zombie frenzy like 4 times lol. But i had a plan and was playing it safe. I also wanted to play my temple of light which extended the game because i had to kill the enemies first. But part of that was having fun and the other was playing safe.

All that to say i understand where you are coming from, i enjoy watching your games,  i dont feel you intentionally extend games. And, by playing the way you do it inspires new plays and ideas, thinking outside the box at times.

Keep it up man :)
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aridigas

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Re: Time Gentlemen, Please!
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2017, 02:29:45 AM »
Playing it safe is just the way to go. This is a high class tournament with lots of very skilled players. You can rightfully expect anyone to have another trick up their sleeve, so you need to make sure your plan works. Why should you risk to lose the game because of an unexpected Reverse Attack or something like this?

Everyone should remind themselves that everyone is doing this voluntairly. Noone is forced to watch a 4h recording. Noone needs to concede a game the feel like they could still win. Even our judges (who organzie, record and run this tournament in their free time!) can say: Alright guy, I know this isn't cool, but this game took too long for me, I have responsibilities (or even more fun things to do), please continue without a judge and report the score afterwards.
It's a game and it's supposed to be fun. If it stops being fun to you after 3h, do something else for the remaining 90 minutes.



I think untimed Mage Wars is the best Mage Wars.
See Keejchen - Aridigas in the Ro8. If the game was called after 75 minutes, Keejchen would have won without a doubt. After 2h 15, it looked better for me. I managed to make a comeback and put pressure on him. But after 3h 15, my Warlock ate the arena dust. I don't think conceding would have been the right choice for anyone at any time.



Enti

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Re: Time Gentlemen, Please!
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2017, 02:56:02 AM »
I even have another angle. Not only is no one forcing the audience to watch, but playing it save is actually a virtue.

I've seen many losses and did this mistake myself, that I focus to much on the enemy mage the moment I think I have a chance to kill him. The moment it looks better on the board.
But instead of risking it all for a fast end you should develop your position on the board further and not risk everything in an attempt to slay the enemy mage.

I'd like the hear the reasoning of some of the critics what exactly their critique is.
Sadly I forgot that the match was yesterday, so I didn't see it. But as soon as it is uploaded I'm going to watch it.

Powlich

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Re: Time Gentlemen, Please!
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2017, 06:02:33 AM »
Generally I enjoy shorter games more. But at the same time, I enjoy winning, and I think I increase the chance to win if I play safe, and if I have a long game thinking while building my deck.

It's like I want to build most of my deck around my own strategy, but it always end up with a deck with too big amount of "What if?" spells. An extreme example: I have an equipment heavy deck. What if my opponent has like 3 mage wands and 3 dissolves, and maybe even some champions gauntlets? I better have 4 wands and dissolves, so I can make sure to get rid of his wands. Those kind of decks does of course lead to longer games.

I can sometimes get a bit of bad conscience when my games takes "too long". Sometimes I make tactical or strategic choices that doesn't seem optimal for the situation, just because it's not that fun to just stand in one zone and rolling dice without any real tough decisions for 2 hours. (At least I assume that my opponent and the spectators hate it. I'm fine with it as long as upkeep/planning doesn't take forever) Oh, that classic moment when you play on octgn, and after a couple of hours of play, you move 2 zones away from the action and cast regrowth. You know you will see a spectator or two disconnect the second after. :P

But there are cases when this kind of thinking just makes everything worse. I remember my game aganst Ash in the group stage. It took at least 1 hour too long just because I suddenly made the decision to go for the mage in the middle of the game, which I usually wouldn't do in that situation. Because of his light of dawn and temple of light, it took forever to kill his mage because of all the daze and stun coming over my creatures. It would have been faster to just kill everything else first.

I almost lost against Arxiducs in the group stage because I wanted to hurry the game. I was at a clear advantage and he was almost dead I think. He cast an hidden enchantment on himself and had 5 mana left. I thought about reverse attack, but I didn't want to be the chicken, so I attacked with my mage's 7 dice (If I remembrer correctly). Of course it was a reverse attack, and I rolled 12 dmg. :P

I'm not saying I hate long games. It's just that the shorter games more often feels like it was worth the time spent afterwards. I would probably enjoy Mage Wars more if the game itself encouraged faster play. I'm not a super fan of time limit matches. It works well sometimes, but it can also end up in an anticlimax.

Sailor Vulcan

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Time Gentlemen, Please!
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2017, 08:24:18 AM »
When you're relying on dice to win, there is always a chance to roll a dud. Does that mean that you must continue playing forever because you'll *never* be 100% sure that you'll win? No. At some point you need to decide that your chances of victory are certain enough and go for the Mage kill. The level of certainty you have in the laws of physics is way more certainty than you need to justifiably believe that you will win a game of Mage Wars Arena. And if you play long enough to even become that certain of your victory then that means your opponent is deluding themselves that *maybe* they'll get lucky on the dice and scrape out a win. Perhaps continuing to play like that when your victory is almost completely certain makes your opponent think that your position isn't as good as it looks like it is, making them think they have a better chance of turning things around than they actually do.
And if you play that long the spectators will have every right to get annoyed with you. If you're in a situation where you have a 1 in 3650 chance of winning, that means if you played starting from that particular board state once every day for ten years, you might only win once. Seriously, you shouldn't continue playing in that sort of situation unless you have a REALLY long lifespan.


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« Last Edit: March 28, 2017, 08:28:02 AM by Sailor Vulcan »
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Coshade

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Re: Time Gentlemen, Please!
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2017, 08:47:45 AM »
Keejchen!
I just wanted to say thank you posting this message. While I do monitor the timing restrictions in my games (although I only post if it becomes a problem), I had no idea that you wanted me to speak more on it in games. I will make sure and do that in all the games I judge in the future. That being said there is no time limit on octgn games because that is how Mage Wars is played out. I think the most important lesson here is that if you are at a 90% chance of victory and the opponent is at 10%, it is not on you to declare victory, but to play it the way you want to. What is interesting here is when to concede as a player. Knowing when to concede is sometimes difficult. There is no real way to frame it because games are different from each other. I think the best way is for every player to decide for themselves. I would like to say that if you have no threats but a basic melee attack, while your opponent has an army chasing after you is definitely a good time to succeed. But how far do we go back from that to be considered reasonable?
« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 04:23:11 PM by Coshade »
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Re: Time Gentlemen, Please!
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2017, 11:09:29 AM »
ב"ה

When going on increase your chance of winning the game, then you should definitely go on. Perhaps on a friendly game I will go for the kill even when I shouldn't if I am tired and want to finish the game (though I might play as I should if I have the patience at the time), but on tournament games no serious player will ever make a sub-optimal play intentionally.

When you're relying on dice to win, there is always a chance to roll a dud. Does that mean that you must continue playing forever because you'll *never* be 100% sure that you'll win? No. At some point you need to decide that your chances of victory are certain enough and go for the Mage kill. The level of certainty you have in the laws of physics is way more certainty than you need to justifiably believe that you will win a game of Mage Wars Arena. And if you play long enough to even become that certain of your victory then that means your opponent is deluding themselves that *maybe* they'll get lucky on the dice and scrape out a win. Perhaps continuing to play like that when your victory is almost completely certain makes your opponent think that your position isn't as good as it looks like it is, making them think they have a better chance of turning things around than they actually do.
Going on and on forever will only let your opponent a chance to have enough lucky rolls to swing the arena and make a comeback. Focusing on targets other than the enemy mage could only happen when there are such targets, and they eventually run out. More than once I won a game when my opponent didn't focus my mage on time.

I didn't watch the game, and I would probably watch it once it is published, but there is a whole lot difference between saying "you should just kill his mage because this game goes too long", which make absolutely no sense in a tournament game, and saying "I think it would have been a better strategy to kill the enemy mage earlier so there will not be a chance of him making a comeback". Sometimes it is a mistake not to go for the enemy mage, but sometimes it is the right play.
After Sharkbait VS Powlich, we saw what happens when you just go for the enemy mage even though you could get a major board advantage. And I mean the move where he played poison blood+fireball on the paladin instead of taking out Galvitar and finish of the two very wounded Noble vanguards that just stayed there and kept rolling 3 dice every round each while guarding with intercept.
Sometimes the best move is taking the board advantage, and sometimes the best move is going for the mage.

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Re: Time Gentlemen, Please!
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2017, 02:05:26 PM »
I am playing to win. If it takes 1 hour or 4 hours, so be it.

I wholeheartedly agree with your reasoning.

Beldin

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Re: Time Gentlemen, Please!
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2017, 02:56:17 PM »
I enjoy long games, I never concede, and think you should play the way you want to. I have a thick enough skin to not care what an audience thinks, if they get bored they do not have to watch.

In short play the game you want to and ignore the haters. The comments they make are only ever reflect themselves.

keejchen

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Re: Time Gentlemen, Please!
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2017, 12:13:01 PM »
I shouldn't write long rants on the internet when I'm tired, hungry and frustrated.  ;D

It's all good, haters gonna hate, and I will try to be more thick skinned as Beldin suggests.

I guess I just wanted to address the issue now, since I have a feeling that the next few games in the ADMW will be the same. I'm glad to see that the general consensus is that this is good/ok.

@Coshade, I think I only mentioned the time thingy on one occasion, like I said I personally don't mind the games that drag out, but it would be a solution if it gets really bad, I want Mage Wars to be approachable for others too. I trust that you guys are on top of it. I realize now that the title of the post could be seen as a cry-out to you, but it was just meant to be punny. (It's the name of a funny little game on steam.) :P
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Re: Time Gentlemen, Please!
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2017, 12:48:31 PM »
This is why I hate OCTGN. The games take forever, and people purposefully stall games out.

There is nothing on the line in those game. There is no prize, no reward other than an 'Atta Boy'.
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Re: Time Gentlemen, Please!
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2017, 01:06:41 PM »
This is why I hate OCTGN. The games take forever, and people purposefully stall games out.

There is nothing on the line in those game. There is no prize, no reward other than an 'Atta Boy'.
They are stalling bc they want to play it safe. And there is nothing wrong with that.
You don't have to like it, but what they are doing is totally fine and often shows good strategy.
The Phoenix shall rise.

Borg

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Re: Time Gentlemen, Please!
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2017, 02:53:24 PM »
I am the kind of guy that plays 12 hour+, 8 player, ffa's in Age of Wonders 3. And I usually enjoy every minute of those games. A 4 hour mage wars game is nothing in comparison.

AoW3 : definitely one of the best PC turn based strategy games out there. Certainly my nr1 PC choice.

Regarding MW.
Remember the early days when people complained the game took so long ?
The standard reply back then : as you get more experienced time goes down to about 60-90-120 minutes.
I certainly have the impression that that time has gone back up as players get even more experienced and have a much better understanding on how to deal with different kinds of situations.
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Enti

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Re: Time Gentlemen, Please!
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2017, 03:52:01 PM »
I think the problem is the following:

Keejchen probably had more channeling than theasaris. So he stayed behind because the longer the game takes, the bigger his advantage gets.
And theasaris did not attack because ...  either he did not realize that waiting decreases his chances OR he thought that attacking is pointless and so he waited in the hope that Keejchen makes a mistake and gives him an opening.

But I still wasn't able to watch the game, sadly.

And I guess these kind of situations happen quite frequently. But in many cases the player who has the advantage gets careless/overconfident/bored and attacks instead of increasing his advantage even further.
Actually this is a mistake I have observed doing myself..  So there really is no critique coming from me if you extend the game when you are in the position who benefits from it - because that's the smart play.