League General Discussion Thread

  • '19 '17 '16

    Correct.

  • 2022 2021 '20

    Okay I admit I am new playing here. However, that is not going to stop me from throwing in my two cents regarding the rating system. 😁

    I see a discussion back in March that I wholeheartedly agree with @trulpen (His post below). From my perspective the current rating system discourages play from the top tier with the bottom tier. That in my opinion is counterproductive. I would think we would want new players to have the opportunity to play anyone to feel welcome. Not that “I am sorry but until you get a high enough rating I do not want to play you.” In addition why punish Top Tier players for playing against new players or players that are not as good as them? The ONLY way average players are going to get better is by playing better players.

    From my perspective I enjoy coaching players, teaching them to become better, so that eventually they can challenge me. It also helps grow the community; when people get better at the game they enjoy it more and bring in even more players. Under the current system that teaching is discouraged.

    I want to play in the League Tourny this year. To do that I have to be in the top 8 Players. Which means everytime I play a Tier 2 or Tier 3 player I am decreasing my chances of playing in the League Tournament. Why would we do that? Nothing should discourage any Player from playing another Player if they want to. Now that I will soon be at Tier 1 I do not want to play anyone below me and that is just wrong.

    Many years ago I played on the Days of Infamy website that was just Pacific. It had what I would have called a chess rating. Though based on trulpen’s post perhaps it was an ELO system. The higher ranked person received as few as one point for winning against lower tier players and the lower tier players could gain as much as 18-21 points if they won. Sure it was a risk for the higher tier players to play lower tiers, especially since dice are involved, however they didn’t automatically go down in ranking as long as they won.

    I would wholeheartedly support a change in the rating system to reflect not an average per win point system but an overall ranking system.

    @trulpen said in League General Discussion Thread:

    I know change is hard, but I’ve noted some internal and external frustration with the ranking system. It doesn’t really allow for play were opponents have a big gap. Being, say, tier E and playing tier 3 means that the higher ranked player will lose ranking no matter what.
    Even though it’s neat and functional, the present ranking system is actually flawed in this respect.
    I think that implementing something like the chess Elo-rating system could solve this? I believe the algorithm could be incorporated as it is.
    The point of difference is that with Elo a tier 3 could easily play against an E or M player, without the ranking being an issue. The higher player would most likely win, gaining a very small rating increase, but lose a lot if the game was lost. By the same measure the lower ranked player would gain a lot with a win, but lose a little with a loss.

  • '19 '17

    @AndrewAAGamer There was a similar discussion a few years ago. The main conclusion of that discussion is that when there’s a 2 tier difference between opponents, the higher tier opponent will win the overwhelming majority of the time. There wasn’t a contest, so they shouldn’t be playing each other. If they still want to play each other, they are free to play a non-league game.

    ELO systems seem to require or advantage a higher amount of games played, while not many players get above 15 games.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15

    @AndrewAAGamer I think if you want a change you need to describe a system and how it should work. It’s counterproductive to say todays system is crap and not propose a new and better system. I see you suggest ELO, but how to use that in our league is not discussed. Up to that happens todays system will stand, as it is easy to record the scores, its easy to understand and it gives a good description of how “good” a player is. Although I agree with your point, that todays system is not suitable for games between players with very different skill levels.


  • The present system was not described as crap, rather “neat” and “functional” was used as adjectives. 🙂 But it is kind of insufficient.

    @DizzKneeLand33 should have a good prospect for presentation. He did a tweak of Elo for an A&A-tourney a few years back. I haven’t looked at it, but I’m sure it’s solid.

  • 2022 2021 '20

    @Adam514 said in League General Discussion Thread:

    @AndrewAAGamer There was a similar discussion a few years ago. The main conclusion of that discussion is that when there’s a 2 tier difference between opponents, the higher tier opponent will win the overwhelming majority of the time. There wasn’t a contest, so they shouldn’t be playing each other. If they still want to play each other, they are free to play a non-league game.

    ELO systems seem to require or advantage a higher amount of games played, while not many players get above 15 games.

    Adam; thanks for chiming in. So I guess the question is what is the goal for the League? Is it to be a smaller subset than the actual number of players on this site? Is it really only for the best players? Do we want to discourage play between good and bad players? If so than the current format seems to be working as intended. Or should the goal be for every player to be in the League as one large community and a path for people to get better and hone their skills in a more competitive environment and try and climb the ladder and show their stuff? Maybe even have more Tournaments than once a year?

    As for the comment "There wasn’t a contest, so they shouldn’t be playing each other. " I am going to take exception to that. The whole point of better players playing against not as good players is so the not as good players learn and get better. In the two games I have finished so far on this site both of my opponents stated they learned something. Is that not a good thing? Plus with an ELO type system the top tier player only gets 1 point if the gap is large. The lower Tier player would gain 20 points if they won. That means the top tier player has to win 95% of the time just to stay even. Maybe the top tier player would win all 20 games though since dice are involved losing one game is not unreasonable. I have seen some pretty crazy dice already in my games here.

    If you were worried that top players would go up too easily, even at one point at a time, via weaker competition there could still be imposed the same number of game limits versus any one player that the League has today to avoid that.

    I guess it boils down to what is the goal of the League?

  • 2022

    @AndrewAAGamer I agree with @AndrewAAGamer. He has many valid points!

  • 2022 2021 '20

    @oysteilo said in League General Discussion Thread:

    @AndrewAAGamer I think if you want a change you need to describe a system and how it should work. It’s counterproductive to say todays system is crap and not propose a new and better system. I see you suggest ELO, but how to use that in our league is not discussed. Up to that happens todays system will stand, as it is easy to record the scores, its easy to understand and it gives a good description of how “good” a player is. Although I agree with your point, that todays system is not suitable for games between players with very different skill levels.

    @oysteilo I agree with you that it is not sufficient to only complain about something without proposing some type of solution. I thought I did that when I proposed some type of ELO system. I do think that making the criteria to suggest changes requires explaining exactly how a revised system would be implemented is setting the bar too high. I am not technical enough to state how to implement an ELO solution. I do have experience playing in one and it worked well.

    As a new Player I am giving my insight to my experience on this site. The top players are not interested in playing me or anyone else of lower rank; I have seen that stated many times. That does not make me, and I assume any other new players, feel welcomed. Now that my rank is getting higher I do not want to play the lower tier players either which is exactly opposite of how I want to feel. It does not make sense to me that the ranking system promotes that type of feelings and behavior.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12 '11 '10

    hello everyone, first let me say how nice it is that there are active players who want to improve & grow our league! I have been playing here for a long, long time, before there was any formal league, which we first formed, I believe, around 2005, anyway, we began with a playoff type format which was changed, years ago by the most active amongst us to the system we have today, which was developed by, and continues to be administered by Gamerman. Thank you @gamerman01! Personally I think the system is perfect as is, but with that said, I do think there is room for more tournaments. There is a league post season tournament based on the current league scoring system. If someone is willing to put in the work to get this started I am sure Gamerman of DJensen would help get it running. That might provide the “fix” some of you are looking for right now.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15

    @AndrewAAGamer Let me offer an apology. Of course you are entitled to suggest new ways of doing the rating. Fresh thoughts are needed at this site which is (extremely) conservative to change (especially including me). No worries about that!

    I think most active players in the league thinks the current rating works quite well. It prevents so called “bad” players to become tier M (and E) by only playing other “bad” players. This is important for the integrity of the League. Still it is possible to speculate in this by only playing tier 1.
    Then I agree it is a weakness that top tier will not play new players because they will lose rating. If this could be easily fixed it would be very welcomed. Maybe an ELO rating can fix this, but then we are back into my initial criticism. If you want something like this to happen you also need to describe a new system and how it should be working, if you can’t do that your suggestion will only stay as a contribution in the discussion. Alternatively team up with others like @trulpen to see what you can come up with. Also keep in mind that the current rating is always reset on January 1st, so if you really want to play in the league it’s not unreasonable to play tier 3, 2 (and 1) the first year. These players will give you plenty of action. If you can beat these players consistently you are suddenly tier E (and M) after a few months. It’s also about proving your skills not only bragging (not saying you are) about your skills and it is unfair that top players will not play you. The resetting of the ranking every January 1st is refreshing and provides a new opportunity and a fresh start for everyone. For you ELO people this is also something to consider. Chess ratings are never reset. Does this mean a player who has not played for 2 years can rejoin at same rating? So many questions and it becomes counterproductive to discuss all this before a good proposal is on the table.

    Personally I have been rated as tier E (and M) over the last years and have been reluctant to accept new and lower rated players because of this. This is a weakness. However, I am now tired of the way I am playing this game. I spend too much time on too few games. So for the rest of the year I am going to play many games fast and don’t worry about that “silly” rating. So if anyone wants a game against a “top” player send me a note


  • @oysteilo said in League General Discussion Thread:

    Chess ratings are never reset. Does this mean a player who has not played for 2 years can rejoin at same rating? So many questions and it becomes counterproductive to discuss all this before a good proposal is on the table.

    Many questions there are. Elo is a very solid system with immense heaps of experience in the bag. The description of the system is even found easily on wikipedia and such.

    The Elo-rating is never reset, but if you don’t play for some (longer) time there will be punishment by loss of rating.

    Lets say you had an expert A&A-Elo of 2300 (this is a very hypothetical and relative figure and is not what’s important) and then has 15 years of abscence. Then either you have to start from scratch or might be i e a 1900-player. Nothing strange there.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17

    I find this discussion very interesting, but @gamerman01 has already given you all of the answer you seek. Anybody can play anybody in non-rated games, outside of league play, in “Play Boardgames”. Assuming one of the top-ranked players want to tangle with me, someone who has never played a game of G40, we could go at it directly in Play Boardgames and that player would not lose any league points, because it’s not a league game.

    To me, the real problem (how to help new players learn how to play at higher levels) can be solved by encouraging the highest level players to take on occasional matches in Play Boardgames to help develop the next generation of online A&A games. Perhaps have a signup forum: Looking for a class in Allied Defense of G1 DoW on Russia, Moscow Defense or Looking to play an E or M ranked player as Axis against their Allied play.

    ELO is great, but I think it might be overkill, especially as we already have a solution we can use, we just aren’t using it.

    My 2 IPCs,

    -Midnight_Reaper


  • Has been stated before, there’s a huge difference in casual and competitive play.

    Casual/friendly games are always on the table, but just aren’t close to be as interesting as league games.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17

    @trulpen said in League General Discussion Thread:

    Has been stated before, there’s a huge difference in casual and competitive play.

    Casual/friendly games are always on the table, but just aren’t close to be as interesting as league games.

    Then we can make high-level Play Boardgames competitive. Give the high-level players who are active in Play Boardgames something to compete for. Say, something like X number of the best active players in Play Boardgames who also are ranked E or M get some special flair for their posts, like the supporter flairs or the Customizer flair. Kind of another league, just for bragging rights.

    Competition isn’t hard to foster, just need an appropriate carrot.

    -Midnight_Reaper


  • @Midnight_Reaper said in League General Discussion Thread:

    @trulpen said in League General Discussion Thread:

    Has been stated before, there’s a huge difference in casual and competitive play.

    Casual/friendly games are always on the table, but just aren’t close to be as interesting as league games.

    Then we can make high-level Play Boardgames competitive. Give the high-level players who are active in Play Boardgames something to compete for. Say, something like X number of the best active players in Play Boardgames who also are ranked E or M get some special flair for their posts, like the supporter flairs or the Customizer flair. Kind of another league, just for bragging rights.

    Competition isn’t hard to foster, just need an appropriate carrot.

    -Midnight_Reaper

    Flairs and such are beyond me. I’m just a meager bottom crawler.

  • '19

    Maybe this is just me, but I doubt it.

    I dont play a lot of games because every game takes a considerable amount of time and effort. I personally dont want to use the time I have available to play mismatched non-competitive games. It has nothing to do with the rankings and everything to do with enjoying the game.

    From a rankings perspective, the system really only discourages M v 2,3 or E v 3. And really its not in a significant way. Considering there are only a few M players in the system (not counting players with extremely limited games played), then I dont really see the rankings being the driving reason for not playing others.

    The fact that a brand new player has to come in and play a few games against non E or M level players doesnt seem that big of a deal.

    I just dont think a new ranking system is going to change things at all. I certainly dont play this game to achieve some arbitrary ranking. I play the game because I like playing it. The ranking system just helps create better matches by keeping skill levels similar.

    None of this means I care if we did change the ranking system. If the community really wants a new system and somebody is willing to take the time to implement it then so be it. I just dont think its a magical cure-all.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    It is none of all the above!

    What some guys want is, that a diffrent ranking system will benefit their effort to gain more skill Level while playing a higher ranked player.
    But this is not the case.
    Most of the E and M Players have played tons of games and their Tier is reflecting that.

    The actual ranking System is more then just sufficant bc it reflects the Level of your skills.
    Thanks to @gamerman01 here who does an incredible job on keeping track and adjust the spreadsheat.

    If you ask for advice or a little coaching here and there, none of the Players here will reject that if you ask kindly.

    You will get better the more you play ( not meaning at the same time).
    We all pitch in to support as many player as possible, but sometimes it happens that people also tend to stop listening or getting frustrated bc it takes a while before it sometimes bares some fruit.
    It doesn’t happen overnight.
    It took me nearly three years to become a solid Tier 1. I will continue bc my goal is M and with some time I am going to be one, one day.


  • It does however not reflect the skill of players who have played less than 3 games.

    It’s not particularly important in most cases, but sometimes it is. I’ll exemplify from my own experience.

    L19 I played koala, who turned out to be a very competent player. I did some silly mistake that was taken advantage of and was smashed. Counted as a tier 3 loss albeit the opposition was about E.

    I also took on a bunch of other unknowns and that was a “mistake”, atleast ranking-wise.

    This season I’ve been kind of nice in a couple of games, taking on new players, and although I’m happy to have helped introduce them to the league, those wins actually suck for me, N.B. ranking-wise.

    I won’t take on any more new players, ever. Unfortunately. Because of the ranking-system.

    This season I play with koala. I might very well lose again, but I believe it’s not fully certain. Even if I win, it looks like koala, the likely tier E-player, will not complete 3 games this season either and that win or loss will suck for me. Rating-wise.

    I don’t want to complain too much, but I discern these points as a serious flaws, however small they are.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @trulpen this however is a different angle and I agree partly on it.

  • '19

    @trulpen

    Looking at the current rankings, you have 2 wins of T3 opponents. If you took those games away you would be in basically the exact same position you are now. If you learned absolutely nothing from those games then I suppose you are right, you are worse off then you would be otherwise. But the impact on your rating was relatively minimal and my guess is you got something from the experience that maybe helps you win another game.

    Last year, if you changed out your loss against koala to a loss against an E player, you would have ended up in the exact same position, so again minimal impact.

    None of this is meant as a counter to your point - that the system struggles with players with minimal games but once you get up to 8 games seems like the impact is relatively minor.

    I dont think any system can deal well with players that only have one game played.


  • That’s true.

  • 2022 2021 '20

    Thank you all for contributing! I hope it is okay that I apparently stirred up a hornets nest.

    There is also a comparable discussion going on under the “Post League Game Results Here” that I just discovered with some really interesting information and dialogue about this topic.

    My thoughts so far…

    • @gamerman01 has to do a tremendous amount of manual work to maintain the current ranking system. THANK YOU! Could a system be implemented that is automatic? If I remember the one from Days of Infamy correctly as soon as a game was finished the results updated automatically. Not sure how that was done. Easily could have been someone working their butt off in the background though I hope it was a computer program doing it. Would an ELO system be more adaptive to a computer program?
    • There is a Play Boardgames section outside of the League where people play games for fun. As a new player I am not sure if there was somewhere I was supposed to have read to know this. I assumed Play Boardgames was a section for other games outside of Axis and Allies. To make new players feel more welcome I think it would be nice to say “Hey you want to learn? Come play us in Play Boardgames!!! You want to compete? Come play in the League!!!” Perhaps there would be a way to generate an automatic e-mail to a new person just joining the website?
    • Besides the top tier players not wanting to play lower ranked people due to the loss of their own League ranking there is, perhaps at least for some, the disinterest in playing someone not of their caliber due to the time and effort invested to play the games. That certainly is their prerogative. If they do want to help new players they can play them in the Play Boardgames section. For me I am happy to give back to the community that I have played in for so many years and as I mentioned before I enjoy helping players get better. So I will have a 'coaching" game that I will play at least once month or quarter depending on how long it takes to finish the current version where as many people that want to watch and ask questions can. The Players involved in the actual game would need to be limited to probably 1-3 opponents and as many as wanted to watch and ask questions could; but that can be discussed and determined later. I could answer questions and critique play regarding the pros and cons of discussed moves. Maybe just a practice game where people chirp in and vote on the next move? More to come on that.
    • In League games are supposed to be for competitive and balanced opponents. A minimum of three games is needed to obtain a yearly ranking, 8 games to be eligible for the yearly League Tournament and the more games the better to minimize ranking system anomalies.

    Again thank you all for your comments so far.


  • Lets have ourselves a casual learning game, @AndrewAAGamer! 🙂

  • 2007 AAR League

    As the lowest ranked Tier 1 (3.5 avg, but just won another game and am currently winning another and tied in a third that just started), I’m happy to see that I made it out of the lowest Tiers successfully. So my fears that the system would vastly under-exaggerate my true rank were overstated. I’d also like to thank the dice, Triple A, and my dual monitor setup.

  • '20 '16 '15 '14

    You should look at my 2-13 record with regard to tier. I at least know which players will spank me appropriately, not too hard and not too soft… 😛

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