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Aysemmtric and pre-deployed

Critique and discuss the design maps on AWBW

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Aysemmtric and pre-deployed

Postby Azzaphox » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:16 am

Yeah, I know there is a school here that leads to classic AWBW maps being agreed.
I am talking about a 1vs1 symmetrical map with a fair blend of plains, terrain, water, few bases, some cities and a smattering of port/airport.
I know that there are many good reasons why these are commonly used.

However, I find that many of the scenario maps in the AWDS games are fun.
Haveing uneven sides balanced by some factor makes for different games.
Also having a map with a large number of pre-deployed troops gives you a day-1 attack factor.

I tried to have a look for any of these, but since they are not covered by the present map categories it was not simple to find any.

So, are there any?
Are there any that people would recommend?

(This follows my previous suggestion about higher funded maps, which seems to still be a source of investigation)
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Re: Aysemmtric and pre-deployed

Postby Walker » Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:16 pm

Both types of maps exist and are possible, but they have a lot of problems that are tricky to solve. The main problem is balance, namely that it is extremely difficult to design a predeployed or asymmetric map so that one player doesn't gain an advantage from it.

For asymmetric maps, the sheer number of things you have to take into consideration to keep it balanced is staggering. Essentially, the optimal capture phase for each player has to be identical in terms of overall funding, funding on a turn-by-turn basis, positioning after the capture phase, disruption of contested property capture, etc. On a symmetrical map this is very easy because each side is identical, and an FTA counter is usually easy to determine. On an asymmetrical map, even the slightest details can cause large imbalances and so every single tile requires a lot of deep analysis. You also have to make sure that the fronts are even in terms of property placement, defensive positions, etc. In other words, it's just very very complicated. I tried one once but I doubt it's very balanced...

Broken Mirror


For predeployed maps, it is slightly less complicated than asymmetric maps because the only factor you have to balance is the positioning and number of units for each team. So in other words, it is a matter of fixing a proper FTA counter rather than having to design a perfectly balanced map assuming optimal play. But, this is still difficult, especially for large numbers of predeployed units. The standard is to follow the "half-turn ahead" ideology, meaning that all of Player 2's units get moved forwards by 1/2 of their total movement (for example, a tank gets moved forward by 3 spaces). This becomes unclear for things with odd #'s of movement (infantry, MD tanks, artillery), and it becomes even harder because it might not be clear which direction is the "best" direction to move the units forward. You also have to keep in mind that due to the location of key terrain points or contested properties, one player might have an advantage anyways. I did a map like this, and instead of countering FTA I just said you should play 2 games at once on it, switching country... Not a good solution but it was the best I could come up with.

Needs More Cowbell


Obviously maps like this might still be fun, but you shouldn't take games on them very seriously due to the imbalances... I'm sure there are ways to balance these types of maps that might work, but I sure as heck don't know how to do it haha.
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Re: Aysemmtric and pre-deployed

Postby blanci1 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:15 am

Well we dont need to solve all the problems immediately. If it seems fun, you can simply play on these maps and see how it goes. Making a map category or forum topic to collect such maps with links would be good as a focal point and for debate (such as i did with mixed base maps).

A few ideas:
Large maps are much less susceptible to small imbalances.(the cowbell map example given above looks horribly small and overcrowded predeployed and unfair)... I have played a couple of large predeployeds which were also somewhat iregular and not with any exact symetry and they play perfectly ok. Maps where it took 4 or so days for first contact. Also imbalance could be lesser in fog, at least usually.
Any imbalances should always be measured against other imbalances such as possible CO choice imbalance. One CO will usually be better even on a balanced map... even if they are similar CO level, one of them will be a bit better ... it is a matter of degree.
After some test games, some compensation can be introduced to help balance things (this would need debate, so it had better be a very interesting map and battle to merit the extra effort)...this balancing process could be an ongoing effort. (obviously this idea is not for use in serious competition, but perhaps would be fine in a non-elimination event)

Even an unbalanced map battle situation can be made "competitive" in a number of ways.
Instead of a win-lose result..one could instead focus on how many days the weaker side manages to survive, say getting 1 point each day or similar.
Also there is the old idea of playing the map twice over with roles reversed which could be done simultaneously perhaps.. I actually already do this sometimes when there is a potential or obvious major CO imbalance. ... Just set up the reverse game. With 2 games one can take the overall winner as the one who survives longer when he loses (assuming he didnt actually win both which probably would happen often!) --or some other similar criteria can be used to compare and choose a winner. Perhaps with fairly exposed HQs this would work quite well, as it would be fdifficult to drag out a game by simply hiding.
I saw a few other ideas somewhere too, i ll try and find them .. and probly we need somewhere /a topic to collect these "balancing the unbalancable" methods.. ie. how to compete on unbalanced maps or CO or other unbalanced situation .
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Re: Aysemmtric and pre-deployed

Postby Azzaphox » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:46 am

Obviously maps like this might still be fun, but you shouldn't take games on them very seriously due to the imbalances...


I have been thinking about this one a bit.
Just because there is a 'gold standard' of a type of balanced map that is suitable for competitions, leagues, etc, that doesnt mean it is the only type of map to play on.

Sure, other maps may be slightly more uneven or indeed very uneven.
However that does not mean that they might not be fun or simply interesting to play on.

Mercifully, AWBW is indeed just a game.

If it seems fun, you can simply play on these maps and see how it goes


I like this one. Hopefully other people will too.

Large maps are much less susceptible to small imbalances.(the cowbell map example given above looks horribly small and overcrowded predeployed and unfair)... I have played a couple of large predeployeds which were also somewhat iregular and not with any exact symetry and they play perfectly ok. Maps where it took 4 or so days for first contact. Also imbalance could be lesser in fog, at least usually.


Now, oddly, I didnt really read this response bu have ened up making a few large maps and indeed tried a couple with predeployeds. Now, they certainly aren;t symmetrical or indeed balanced, but they seem to play ok so far.

You know, oddly, sometimes I like to play AWBW just to move a whole load of imaginary tanks into the attack.
I don;t relly care if it wins, it is just nice to have a fantasy sensation of force.
Ah well, I suppose we all have different motivations.
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Re: Aysemmtric and pre-deployed

Postby Ian_the_pro » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:45 pm

How about for these maps you have people play 2 games from both sides? like black and white in chess
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Re: Aysemmtric and pre-deployed

Postby Azzaphox » Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:00 am

http://awbw.amarriner.com/prevmaps.php?maps_id=57746

Another in a similar vein - 4P FFA.. predeployed, pipes with a factory so you could go piperunner.. and.. you will all hate it.
never mind.
will let you know how the playtesting goes.
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