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An experiment
View Poll Results: Does this experiment sound helpful? IE would you want participate in it?
yes 25 73.53%
no 5 14.71%
yes, with some changes 4 11.76%
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Old 02 Nov 2005, 22:49   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default An experiment

For an introduction, for as long as tau online has been around, there have been debates on which units are the most effective. There have been threads on firewarriors, kroot, crisis suits configurations, stealths, drones, pathfinders, broadsides, ionheads, railheads, and commanders. Most have proved to be rather inconclusive, and many have brought new ways of thinking to the fore.

Here is what I propose; a controlled experiment involving as many people as possible, to discover exactly how effective each unit is, versus a variety of opponents and situations. The goal is to discover which units are the most effective overall.

How it works

If you wish to contribute to the experiment, all you need is a battle and a piece of scratch paper.

Jot down three things;
The VP's your unit earns (including table quarters, objectives, etc. Anything that gets you VP's)
The VP's your unit loses (below half, destroyed. Keep in mind that immobilized vehicles count for half, weapon destroyed results do nothing)
The points cost of your unit. Be sure not to mention costs for specific upgrades, however, just totals.

The end results

I'll average the performances of each unit studied over many battles, and we'll end up with offensive and defensive efficiencies of each unit. In other words, how well each unit dishes out punishment/claims objectives, and how well each unit stays alive. To account for different playing styles affecting the performances of each unit, I'll also mention the mode efficiency. (that is, the performance that occurred most often.) If one person was doing extremely well, while everyone else was doing poorly, this could throw off the data. Mode can help provide a clearer picture of just how effective that unit might be for you. If also wished, I can provide specific efficiencies for within YOUR particular army. Ex; my kroot were X% efficient, as opposed to everyone else, who's kroot were Y% efficient.

Why an experiment? What advantages does an experiment like this have over previous discussions?

Factors that can't be calculated mathematically, only debated endlessly, are eliminated simply because they are accounted for in the efficiency at the end. By using real battle situations, we account for all the factors that both help and harm the effectiveness of each unit.

For example; a large portion of the argument towards the railhead being a good choice was the lack of other effective tank hunters. Broadsides, while admittedly powerful, were far too slow, it was argued. Other choices like deathrains and ionheads couldn't get through 14 armor, and fusion blasters were too short ranged. By using this method, broadsides lack of speed will be accounted for, and their efficiency will decrease accordingly.

What to study

So far, I would like to tackle;
kroot
firewarriors (static)
firewarriors (mobile)
stealth suits
Helios
Deathrain
Burning eye
Fireknife
ionheads
railheads
drones

This may seem like a lot, and that's because it is. It will probably take a lot of effort, on my part especially but also for the people trying to fight a battle and keep track of things, and that's why I want to know if people think this is worth the effort. If it will be helpful when completed. I really don't want to get halfway through this and then have people discover that it isn't very helpful anymore. So decide for yourself whether or not this is a good idea.
Comments and questions appreciated.
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Old 02 Nov 2005, 23:33   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: An experiment

Could you please explain again how mode efficiency is going to take issues like mobility, etc. into account?

But otherwise, sounds like a great idea. I hope you're proficient with Microsoft Access/Excel...
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Old 02 Nov 2005, 23:37   #3 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: An experiment

Sounds Great! What I would like to know is some more details; like how you are planning to organize it and do the members post up thier results or PM you? The more details, the better!
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Old 03 Nov 2005, 00:31   #4 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: An experiment

Sounds like a plan to me. It's certainly not a perfect measurement of unit effectiveness, but it's probably about as close as one could reasonably expect. I'd find a simple "net efficiency" average fairly handy....points a unit earns on average minus points the unit loses on average.

The only really tough thing to factor in would be objectives and such. Take cleanse, for example. Your stealths contest a quarter adjeacent to yours, while you have two static firewarrior squads contesting your home quarter with an enemy unit. They both are "earning" points in a way, by denying them to the enemy. You'd certainly suffer if the unit wasn't there, so it's contributing, but how much? If you earn points by denying a quarter to the enemy, do you get double points for claiming it? If multiple units are contesting something, do they split the number of points they are contesting evenly? Tough questions...

I'll try to write some data for you on my tournament this Saturday. I'll get as much raw data as I can, and then we can process it however seems best.
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Old 03 Nov 2005, 02:41   #5 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: An experiment

[something clever];
Mobility + other factors are naturally taken into account in battle. A unit's efficiency will be negatively affected if it can't shoot or avoid damage. Just battle with your units and those factors, like mobility, will effect their efficiency.

Aunny; Just post your results in this topic like so;

I took 150 points of unit X.
Unit X earned a total of 200 VP's
Unit X was reduced below half, and lost 75 VP's

I also took 300 points of Y... etc.

That will do nicely. If you want your own specific effectiveness percentages to see how you score (the more battles and units you report on, the better) PM me about it. I'll either post it for everyone to see or PM it back to you if you prefer. Specifically about the many statistics thing... this may take several weeks to compile. After we get about 10 or more reports for a unit, then we can say that we have fairly accurate statistics.

foxxpetronivs;

I'll add net efficiency to my to-do list for each unit.

Seems we need some compromises with table quarters.
Some thoughts;
Multiple units contesting would be common if, for instance, multiple static fw's were in one corner. This is less usefull than one unit claiming that far off table quarter. I'd say that one unit contesting in the enemy's table quarter is actually just as useful than gaining a table quarter to yourself on your own side, as that table quarter is so difficult to reach.

The question is; how much weight do we give VP's while still being fair?

Well, given some thought, and trying to keep it as simple as possible, here goes;

When contesting your opponents side/deployment, you earn normal VP's even when the enemy is still there. Double if the enemy isn't there.
When contesting your own side, you earn normal VP's when the enemy isn't there, and half VP's when the enemy is contesting.
If going corner to corner, and there are neutral quarters, use the same system as if it were your deployment zone.
When there are multiple scoring units in a table quarter, calculate the VP's as above.

Getting to your opponents side is critical; a unit is much more valuable when contesting your opponents side, as that is much more difficult to reach. Contesting your deployment, or right next to your deployment, is much easier, and therefore less valuable.

A unit that is among many scoring units contesting a table quarter is slightly less useful than a lone unit contesting. However, the situations where multiple units would contest (ie in your table quarter, next to your table quarter) are already disadvantaged if the enemy is there.

It's not really a good idea to penalize people for being successful in battle and having 10 scoring units left, nor is it fair to redundantly smite their effectiveness for contesting their own quarter. (as that is where 2 or 3 or more units are likely to contest.)

That was more complicated than I would have liked. Just post how many VP's your unit earned for table quarters separately, and the situation, and I'll remember the system and apply it accordingly.
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Old 03 Nov 2005, 03:10   #6 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: An experiment

I'd like to participate. I'd like to try and shed some light onto the Black Sheep tank in the Tau list, the Ionhead. Once I get some battle reports I'll report the VP.
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Old 03 Nov 2005, 03:22   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: An experiment

I can do you one better, I made a program in excel that calculates how well varius units work against other units, making the first bit, (FW v. Tac squad) took a while, but now I've figured it out, and I can determian how well any unit will do against any other unit in about five min., all you have to do is plug in the number of models on each side and, Hey, Presto, you've got an average. no battles, just a computer, unfortunatly I can't work it with vehicles. (yet >)
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Old 03 Nov 2005, 03:29   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: An experiment

I will gladly participate. I will soon face an IG army. So we just put our data in this post? If so it probaly needs to be stickied so its easy to find.
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Old 03 Nov 2005, 05:39   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: An experiment

I'll do what I can to help. The more data we get for this thing, the more useful the results will be...
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Old 03 Nov 2005, 05:53   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: An experiment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auno Lissta
I can do you one better, I made a program in excel that calculates how well varius units work against other units, making the first bit, (FW v. Tac squad) took a while, but now I've figured it out, and I can determian how well any unit will do against any other unit in about five min., all you have to do is plug in the number of models on each side and, Hey, Presto, you've got an average. no battles, just a computer, unfortunatly I can't work it with vehicles. (yet >)
Unless I am mistaken that is not the point of this test. Theory does us nothing. This is a more practical test to determine just how well things do in action. A field test so to speak with data collected and analyzed.

Im not sure how usefull this will be but I also do not see any fault with it. Good luck.
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