Question : Best calculator out there?

  • Anyone with solid math/stats background can vouch for one of the calculator out there? Which one do you generally use?

    I’ve tried these two :

    Results show enormous difference for the same battle.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18

    I’ve never had any issues using the calculator hosted by this very site:

    It uses the Monte Carlo method of computing probability for complex scenarios (tl;dr run a large amount of trials and take the average of the results to fetch an extremely close approximation of “probability”). This is done because a single A&A battle (especially a huge scale one) would probably take an absolutely absurd amount of time to write-out and solve a 100% accurate probability equation for.

    Just make sure you always pick the options “All” rounds of combat and “10,000X” trials for peak accuracy/consistency.

    Creds (because you asked, IMO college isn’t as important as IRL experience): M.S. in Software Engineering (Meaning I understand the mathematical theory behind computers am am capable of communicating with other human beings) + B.S. in Computer Science (Meaning I know how to program) + Minor in Mathematics (Meaning I took Calculus-based Probability/Statistics courses, among other things).

  • @DoManMacgee Thank you for your reply!
    I do remember Monte Carlo from one of my Programming-algorithm class (bad memories!)

    I don’t see any 1940/global option. Does it matter?

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18

    @Robert G40 uses the same combat stats/IPC Costs (if you’re checking net IPC swings/TUV) as “1942” for past units. You’d need to substitute-in units with appropriate combat values for units exclusive to that game though (Tacs and Mech INF), which is a bummer. No idea if there’s any plans to update the calc, unfortunately.

    If you’re using TripleA, that game has a built-in calc too that’s effectively the same source code as the calculator I linked above (I think, anyway, @redrum (AKA the guy who runs TripleA) would know for sure).

  • TripleA

    @DoManMacgee I’m not sure what the source code for the calculator is maybe @djensen knows?

    TripleA’s battle calc is pretty comprehensive and covers all A&A versions and more. Since it works by simulating battles as long as the simulation runs number is fairly high then you’ll be very good approximations.

  • 2021 '20 '18 '17 '16 '15 TripleA

    So I have a decent stats background in that I have studied & understand descriptive and inferential statistical methods. But I think you are really looking for someone who understands probability to recommend something based on a sound methodology.

    I second TripleA’s calculator. I would add that it’s important to learn the default order of loss and to modify it depending on the battle you’ll run, and to understand when default loss order can be different from what people would do in real life. For instance, a sea battle where ACs are needed to land planes would disqualify them from being used as first-hit fodder. To my knowledge there is no way to tell TripleA not to assign hits to them first, so the only real way to simulate that is to run the battle without ACs.

    Another example is sea battles with a DD and planes against multiple subs - once the DD is dead, the subs are safe, but I’ve seen the calculator not take that into account, overestimating the chance of success. I think submerged subs results in a victory for the attacker, but is it really?

    So basically if you’re familiar with the limitations and customizations, TripleA is definitely good.

  • The first round of combat is the most important many times. Depending on the situation, an attacker who gets diced in the first round might be better served to call off the attack losing mostly “fodder” rather than risking more valuable units in low/moderate probability attacks in later rounds. A single round can turn a lower probability attack into a very promising one without inordinate risk if there will be something left even if the first round goes poorly as expected.

    A defender or attacker might choose to take a damaged BB as killed rather than keeping alive for the next roll. Both defender and attacker might consider their air more valuable in subsequent turns and write the ship off as lost. If one knows the attacker’s primary goal is to clear the fleet rather than trade air that both sides want to keep, then this “sacrifice” (vs an air unit) might make the attacker less likely to continue rolling. Likewise, even after winning the combat on the roll, an attacker might sink their own BB that would be left alone and easy fodder for a counter strike, rather than taking an air hit.

    Then there are the questions of subsequent turn mobility that play out in complex ways. Sometimes leaving a blocker in a sea zone might outweigh keeping an air unit alive. A carrier might be kept alive in lieu of air if it is at a naval base and can be repaired and other air be flown in the next turn…or to its destination for an attack on that next turn. With multiple AC’s at least one will might be taken as a complete loss depending on where the various air has to land, how many air hits were taken, and what counter strikes are possible on the opponent’s turn.

    Similarly, some mechs might be kept alive rather than arty if fast movers are needed for later turns and the arty can’t reach. Or an infantry and arty/tank/mech might be kept alive for fully filling a transport for the next hop rather than having two units left that can’t be carried on a single transport.

    Single round calcs are useful for evaluating the likely cost/payback of a strafe…and the risk of taking a territory in the first round and ending up with the army out of position.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18

    Pretty sure the Calc on this site and the TripleA Calc let you tweak the OOL. I forget how the TripleA one works but the Calc on this site has two text bars below the fields where you input unit quantities. One is for attacker OOL, the other is for defender OOL.

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