I’ve already discussed this system in this blog. It’s one of my systems for scoring Diplomacy games for tournaments. Here, then, I’m going to stick to a brief(-ish, you know me) discussion of the system in line with what I’ve discussed elsewhere.
How does it work?
It is basically a DBS system, although it should really be classed as a hybrid system as it combines features of SCS also. A game is worth a maximum of 700 points (hence the name: Roman numerals for 700, albeit messed with to meet the needs of the system).
- Solo = 700 points. Everybody else scores 0.
- A draw = 600/n points. As you’ll know by now (if you’ve been reading my posts, n = the number of players in the draw). So a 3-way draw = 200 pts each.
- A draw also involves bonus points using SoS. In a draw, the remaining 100 points is awarded by using the SoS system. This acts as a secondary scoring system without the need for a secondary scoring system.
- A 7-way draw is only worth a share of 100 points. This is calculated by using SoS scoring only.
So, a 3-way draw would be calculated like this:
1. What is the DC(C) system designed to do?
It is principally a tournament scoring system. It is mainly a DBS system, with the outcome of the game being the main feature, ie whether the game ended in a solo or a draw. It is also designed to break ties without requiring a secondary scoring system.
A solo does not score more than two 2-way draws in this system. However, this could change if the draw system being used was Draws Involve Nominated Survivors (DINS) where surviving players are ruled out of the draw. For example, lets look at a 3-way draw for a DINS game where one player was not included in the draw:
Let’s also have a look at an example in a 2-way draw, with one player not involved in the draw:
2. Is the system effective in differentiating between players/results?
Because it utilises SoS as well as DBS scoring, the number of points awarded for a draw is not the only points awarded. The addition of SoS means that differentiation between draw results is taken into account. There is less need for a secondary scoring system, as SoS will produce differentiated results.
3. What are the objectives when playing to the system?
Principally, playing to solo, then playing to draw the game. The small amount of points awarded for SoS scoring, 1/7 of the total points in a game, means that grabbing SCs is a minor difference. There will be some hunt for SCs so the game isn’t as likely as a pure DBS system to see games played for a draw.
4. Are the objectives consistent with the design of Diplomacy?
The main aspect of the system, DBS, is more consistent with the Calhamerian design for Diplomacy. Win – or prevent someone else from winning and survive into the draw. This is more so in a DIAS game, where all survivors are part of the draw.
In a DINS game, it is possible not to be included in the draw and still score points. This means that games might be finished more quickly when they’re heading for a draw. However, the significant loss of a share of 600 points means that the points actually earned for not being in the draw is comparatively small.
The use of SoS is not in line with Calhamerian Diplomacy; however, because it is minimised, it means that there is less of an impact. It is significantly better to score a solo than to get a 2-way draw (a result which is not likely in a tournament).
5. Overall, is the system a ‘good’ system?
The first thing to say is that this is a Hybrid scoring system, combining two different systems; in this case the two systems are opposites of each other as far as style of play are concerned. I’m not a fan of Hybrid systems in general, simply because they seem to divide the objective of the system.
Here, though, the idea is to maximise one aspect, DBS, while minimising the other, SCS. This means that the lack of differentiation in a DBS system is balanced by the differentiation in the Sum of Squares score. I chose SoS because it produces a more varied result rather than simply converting SC count to a percentage of 34.
One possible weakness is that it doesn’t differentiate between a solo victory plus a loss versus two standard 2-way draws (by standard I mean 17-17 SC draws). However, I’ve come to believe that making a solo overly strong would mean that a player could get by just by soloing. One great result and more pointless ones shouldn’t, in my opinion, be better than consistently decent results.
It’s a system of my own design: of course I think it’s a good system. However, if it doesn’t suit you, then there are others.
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