Diminishing Value DBS system

It’s only recently that I came across a scoring system similar to this one. Not quite the same so I decided to go with it anyway. It’s another of my systems.

The basic idea is that this is a DBS system. Your share of the points depends on how many players are in the draw and, crucially, how many players were defeated.

What is the Diminshing Value DBS system?

The difference between this and other systems I’ve discussed in this series is that each player puts up an ante of 60 points. I say potentially because the value of the game lowers based on how many players are defeated.

  • A solo = 360 pts + 12 bonus points
  • If you’re defeated you score -60 pts.
  • If you lose to a solo you score -62 pts.

For games that end in a draw, every player not involved in the draw still loses 10 pts. In a draw, use the formula: Pts = 60n ÷ N where n = number of players who lost and N = number of players who shared the draw.

This provides the following points:

  • 2-way draw: (60 x 5) ÷ 2 = 150 pts each.
  • 3-way draw: (60 x 4) ÷ 3 = 80 pts each.
  • 4-way draw: (60 x 3) ÷ 4 = 45 pts each.
  • 5-way draw: (60 x 2) ÷ 5 = 24 pts each.
  • 6-way draw: (60 x 1) ÷ 6 = 10 pts each.
  • 7-way draw = 0 pts.

1. What is the Diminishing Value system designed to do?

This is a tournament scoring system but it could, with a modification, be a Ratings system.

For a tournament, it is of limited use, on its own, for differentiating between results. Given that you would expect, in a tournament, to have a number of games that end with the same result, probably 3- and 4-player draws would be the most common results, then you’re going to have players ending the tournament on the same scores. Obviously, the more rounds in a tournament the fewer ties in terms of tournament points players would get.

2. Is the system effective in differentiating between players/results?

As mentioned above, no.

There would need to be some thought into what is used as a tie-breaker. You would need to be careful about not introducing a secondary scoring system that would clash with the DBS system itself.

A suggestion would be the following hierarchy of tie-breakers:

  1. Head-to-Head: How did players compare when they played in the same games? If all players involved in the tie were involved in the same game(s), what outcome did they have? How many points did they amass in those games only? However, if they didn’t all share a game in common, this should not be used.
  2. Power-to-Power: How did the players compare when they played the same powers? If all players involved in the tie played the same power(s) across their games, how many points did they amass for those powers? However, if they don’t all have powers in common, this should not be used.
  3. Superior Player Comparison: How did the players compare when they played against other players? Go down the rankings to find a player that all tied players have played against. Find the average point score each tied player won when playing against this player. Rank players based on this score. If players are tied on this score, it is possible to go back to the (1) and (2) above for these players alone.
  4. 0 for defeat modifier: Recalculate scores by removing the -60 pts for a defeat from the calculation.
  5. SC Count: Yeh, I know. But if everything else is tied…

3. What are the objectives when playing to the system?

Clearly, a solo is the best result possible from a game.

If you can’t win, then a smaller draw is better than a larger one. This means that draw-whittling is going to happen.

From this point of view, it is very Calhamerian in that it matches the Calhamer Point system, modified to 0-sum the games.

4. Are the objectives consistent with the design of Diplomacy?

As mentioned above, this is very Calhamerian. Win or prevent someone else from winning. Perhaps eliminating players to raise the points won in a draw is not very Calhamerian, but it fits in with his scoring system, so this can be overlooked.

5. Overall, is the system a ‘good’ system?

Well, it relies very heavily on tie-breakers. Perhaps, then, whether this system works or not depends on the sympathy of the tie-breaker system in use.

Because this is almost a basic DBS system, it depends what kind of play is employed. If players play more cautiously, aiming to draw, then games aren’t going to be of the highest quality, perhaps. However, given that a solo, on its own, is better than 2 x 2-way draws on their own (final totals of 192 and 180), making a play for a solo is better than playing for a 2-way draw.

It should encourage players, therefore, to prevent a solo, which is part of good play. You lose more points if you lose to a solo, as punishment for not getting your stuff into gear to prevent it. On the other hand, if you don’t attempt to get a solo, your points total is significantly less. Solos, then, should be an attractive proposition. You need 3 positive results to overturn a solo.

It may encourage 2-way draws, which I, personally, don’t like. Making games DIAS will discourage this, however.

The system would work best in the traditional online tournament, where a series of qualifying rounds is played and then a final game, where everything can be won and lost in the final.


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Published by Mal Arky

I'm a Diplomacy nut... if you haven't guessed. I write about the game Diplomacy, mainly as played online on websites, such as Playdiplomacy, webDiplomacy and Backstabbr. I write books on Diplomacy, too. First one to be published soon!

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