Point systems and such

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mj12games
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Point systems and such

Postby mj12games » Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:17 am

As a dyed-in-the-wool "pointilist" (?) I'm not sure how I feel about the sarcasm implicit in this bit from a post on The Miniatures Page, but I thought it was funny nonetheless:

"On a recent thread about the Battle of Trafalgar (and the rules "Trafalgar") it seemed obvious that to accurately simulate the Battle players would need to know how many points worth of ships Nelson had relative to his opponents. I've read a fair number of primary sources on the Battle, but have yet to come across Nelson's point list."
Daniel Kast
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tnjrp
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Re: Point systems and such

Postby tnjrp » Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:31 am

cricket wrote:As a dyed-in-the-wool "pointilist" (?)
That word does not mean what you think it means...

I'm not sure how I feel about the sarcasm implicit in this bit from a post on The Miniatures Page
"Implicit" is another word that doesn't mean what you think it means...

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Re: Point systems and such

Postby Blacklancer99 » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:48 am

cricket wrote:As a dyed-in-the-wool "pointilist" (?) I'm not sure how I feel about the sarcasm implicit in this bit from a post on The Miniatures Page, but I thought it was funny nonetheless:

"On a recent thread about the Battle of Trafalgar (and the rules "Trafalgar") it seemed obvious that to accurately simulate the Battle players would need to know how many points worth of ships Nelson had relative to his opponents. I've read a fair number of primary sources on the Battle, but have yet to come across Nelson's point list."


perhaps Nelson's point list got left in the basement after the battle; did anyone look in the rubbermaid tub holding his fleet? Maybe he accidentally threw out the list because it was so covered by smudged fingerprints of Cheetoh residue as to be unrecognizable. ;)
Erik
PS perhaps you could be considered a Pointallista?
Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.
Mark Twain.

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Re: Point systems and such

Postby jygro » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:23 am

Without getting into a huge debate about points and point systems, I understand the idea of games and scenarios without points since most actual battles were not equal. On the other hand why would I play a game that I didn't have a 'decent' chance to win!

One could 'tweek' the victory condictions so that the smaller force has a better chance to 'win' due to the scenario at hand, but that player is still going to be 'crushed'

-Bren

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Re: Point systems and such

Postby MadSeason » Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:48 pm

jygro wrote:One could 'tweek' the victory condictions so that the smaller force has a better chance to 'win' due to the scenario at hand, but that player is still going to be 'crushed'

-Bren


That is the common way to handle this problem in historical wargaming. Can you win the battle? No. But can you delay the decision longer than historically? Can you lose fewer battalions? Inflict more damage? Okay, then you "win" the scenario.

One way to do this with Trafalgar would be to suggest a balance of losses that would have been a less staggering victory for the British. Essentially, the Franco-Spanish fleet lost 22 ships to the British 0. Well, there is a crushing victory with a balance of losses at +22. If the balance of losses is zero or negative (i.e., favors the French) then it is a Crushing Victory for France and Spain. Divvy it up in between those numbers to determine levels of victory and you can have a France/Spain player winning the battle while losing 5 ships more than the Brits.
Death is light as a feather; duty, heavy as a mountain.

mj12games
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Re: Point systems and such

Postby mj12games » Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:58 pm

MadSeason wrote:That is the common way to handle this problem in historical wargaming. Can you win the battle? No. But can you delay the decision longer than historically? Can you lose fewer battalions? Inflict more damage? Okay, then you "win" the scenario.


FWIW, this is why I advocate for point systems even in historical games (see GF2) -- it provides a very easy method for determining just how much more powerful one force is than another... and also helps understand what actually happened at a particular battle.

For example, when developing the "Goeben is Your Objective" scenario for the King & Kaiser supplement (another GF2 plug :)), it was really strange to see that the British force out-classed the Germans, at least in terms of point value. Yet historically, Admiral Troubridge declined to engage because the Germans, in his mind, constituted a "superior force". Although he was court-martialed, he was eventually exonerated. But why were the Germans "superior" if the point values favor the British?

Well, you'll have to read the scenario write-up for one possible answer (of course, another answer would be that our point system is wrong, but let's ignore that one...) But the point values give a very good reason for digging deeper into the whys and wherefores...
Daniel Kast
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Re: Point systems and such

Postby jimbeau » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:13 pm

tnjrp wrote:
cricket wrote:As a dyed-in-the-wool "pointilist" (?)
That word does not mean what you think it means...

I'm not sure how I feel about the sarcasm implicit in this bit from a post on The Miniatures Page
"Implicit" is another word that doesn't mean what you think it means...


I think the quotes around pointalist mean he knows that.

What would you say the definition on implicit is? perhaps: capable of being understood from something else though unexpressed : implied <an implicit assumption>

There are many things I would challenge Mr. Kast on. Words are not one of them.

:D

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Re: Point systems and such

Postby Blackronin » Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:55 pm

Choose one:

A) Points are good.
B) Points aren't good.

If you choose A you are a pointilist. If you choose B you aren't a pointilist. Period.

However, points are necessary to some extent. If fact, when you decide that something will be hit on a 4+ on a D10, you are quantifying a the value of something, ergo, you are creating a point system. Do I play always with points? No. Of course not.

Do I play games where I now that the best I'll achieve is loosing but not being completely beated up. Sure. What makes a good game it's the game in itself, not the final result. It can be sweet, but playing an awesome scenario against a good opponent and achieving better than the real battle is better than win a game where you take 500 points and I take 500 points and I win.

I also love games where reinforcements can arrive completely out of my expectatives and get get me beaten. It's fate. It happened a lot.

And I played games where points where equal, forces matched perfectely, I out maneuvered my adversary with stile and then a row of bad rolling on my part followed by a row of good rolls from the enemy got me under...

Points are a reference. When you assign characteristics to something and quantify those characteristics you are learning more about it. I play starmada with points. I will play it without.

I have a Iron Star campaign where everything shipwise is rolled on a table. You can fight (or maybe you'll have to fight) a battle under armed, or you can run away, wait for reinforcements and return.

What I really could never understood was why people think that having only one system, one way, one pure credo is better than have the best of several different approaches. Maybe that's why I don't like Games Workshop. I do like some of their miniatures. Ans some old good rules. And some fiction... Yes... ah... I do like a little bit of almost everything, I suppose.
"Four-three by seventeen, Mr. Gordon. At my mark fire at the incoming little pest and then steam her up for another passage. This promises to be a long day..."

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Re: Point systems and such

Postby jimbeau » Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:30 am

points are a reference, points are irrelevant, points are the devil....

in my opinion, as it was stated on TMP, the points system is a game unto itself. I can tell you I've built probably thousands of ships, only played with actually a hundred or so. I just love to be able to say: I want a fleet that looks like ______, or I want to see if the rules will support an army of ______.

That meta game is one reason I started the Bourbaki Basin Boards here, I love to see what other people do. Sometimes they put up ships with no background at all... sometimes they write vast stories about the ships they post. I like to read all of it, and if I had more time, I'd play with those ships too. (As a matter of fact, I've taken ships from the Basin to conventions because I think they're viable fleets. esp the ones with backgrounds)

But, I guess you could do all of that without the points system, but I like points systems. I only wish I was better at writing them.

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Re: Point systems and such

Postby smokingwreckage » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:56 am

There is always a relative value, therefor there is always a points system. People just get upset at attempts to make it transparent to newbies.

It's a game.

It's not a war. If it were, you'd be morally obligated to stab your opponent, thus saving all those soldiers from needless death.
-Sam


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