Alternative Inducement Phase

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MalicWanderer
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Alternative Inducement Phase

Postby MalicWanderer » 21 September 2016, 12:03

It's been mentioned several times, by several people on several fora, that the current inducement system in Blood Bowl 2 is not very good. The main concern most raise is that it allows one player to drop 150k of treasury into inducements that the opponent then has no response to.

The LRB/CRP gets around this problem by using the "Declare Petty Cash Phase" wherein each coach, in turn starting with the higher TV team, declares how much money they want to transfer from their treasury into purchasing inducements. Then what each team spends is added to their TV before determining how much free inducement money their given, which is then added to what they transferred.

That's kind of a clunky system, and not entirely intuitive, especially for newer coaches. It's also two extra steps (one declaration times two coaches) that each need their own interface screen and timer during the pre-match sequence. This is, I suspect, why Blood Bowl 2 doesn't use that system.

So, I've attempted to come up with an alternative system that accomplishes the goal of being simpler and more understandable than the CRP one, while avoiding the problem of un-counterable wizards, and also maintaining the one good (in my opinion) effect of the current system, which is allowing the underdog to spend a small amount of money to make up the difference for an inducement they are just shy of affording. It's essentially the same as the current system, but with a couple minor changes.
  1. Whatever money the higher TV team (the overdog) spends towards inducements, is added to what the lower TV team (the underdog) receives for free.
  2. A cap is placed on how much each team is allowed to spend from treasury. Determined separately for each team.
The first point is pretty self explanatory I think, it just means if the overdog puts in money for inducements, the underdog gets extra money to answer with in kind. The second point is the real meat of the proposal, and the details therein are how it can be fine tuned for the desired results.

The overdog would be limited to some specific number. 100k seems like a good number for this, in that it allows them to get a basic inducement (an apo, a bribe, a reroll, or 2 babes.) You could also go up to 120k or 140k, to allow some of the more mid-range star players without allowing a wizard. Since they don't receive any free inducement money, whatever this cap is set to will be the maximum inducements they can get.

The underdog can be limited to a different, smaller constant number, say 30 or 40k, or to a ratio of the money they're already getting for free (including TV difference and whatever the overdog spent,) say 1/3 rounded down to the nearest 10k. The cap here should be less than 50k, stopping below that even if it's a ratio (for the 1/3 example, that would mean your cap is 40k at 120k of free money, and never goes higher than that.) This is to prevent the scenario where an underdog puts in enough extra money to warrant an inducement on it's own, giving them "unanswerable" advantages over the overdog, without needing to go back to the overdog and let them purchase additional inducements based on what the underdog spent.

The only real difference as to where you put the cap specifically, other than under 50k, is how much free money you want them to have to have before they can put in for any given inducement. Using a ratio will mean that you can spend slightly more to make up the gap for a wizard then you can for a babe, for example. A constant number would make the close-able gap the same for any inducement.

There are a couple of potential issues with this system, tho I think both are still improved over the current one. One is the Nuffle's Altar => 10k star player combo that dwarfs have. As of right now I'm inclined to say this isn't that big of a deal, as that player isn't really spectacular anyway. If the bombardier star players, who also cost 60k normally, are ever added, then it may become an issue. My suggestion would be to either ditch that enhancement, set a minimum on how cheap it can make stars (say 50k) or prevent purchases of less than 50k from treasury.

The other issue is what to do when teams are of equal TV. I've come up with two options for this scenario, the simplest is just disallow inducement purchases in this scenario, on the grounds that the teams are equal and thus don't need them. This is unsatisfactory to me, as it feels against the spirit of the game, but it is an option. My other thought is to treat the Home team as the overdog, and the Away team as the underdog, and otherwise follow the rest of the system as normal. So if the Home team doesn't spend any money, the Away team won't be able to either. I chose the Home team to be the overdog based on the idea that stadium enhancements do add some amount of "Home team advantage" to the game, so lacking a TV difference they should be the advantaged team, assuming they have an enhancement of course.

I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this idea, and I hope that Blood Bowl 2 continues to improve and becomes the amazing digital blood bowl experience that I know it has the potential to be.

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Re: Alternative Inducement Phase

Postby twitch/the_sage_bb » 21 September 2016, 12:49

Really love this suggestion (hardly surprising), as it's no clunkier than the current system while removing the issue of unfair wizards on both sides of the table! Personally, I'd just limit the lower TV team to adding 40k petty cash to their inducement money (so on top of what they get for the higher TV's spending). I'd be fine with any number between 0 and 140k for the higher TV team's limit.

This rule would also make the bank rule a lot less needed.
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Re: Alternative Inducement Phase

Postby dode74 » 21 September 2016, 12:52

I agree that they current system is not good. That said, I don't like the idea of an arbitrary limit on how much can be spent and am not sure why it is necessary. If the overdog wants to buy more than 150k of inducements (the bank limit) then they're paying for it in TV already, and they should have that spent money added to their TV so the underdog gets that much extra on top of whatever they would get for straight TV difference.

A proposal for another solution which is compliant with the intent of the bank rule: a popup when the player presses search for a match. On that popup the player would choose how much gold he will have available for inducements, and which will count towards his TV. The parameters would be between all of his gold and (all - 150k). For example, a team with 450,000 would be able to choose from 300,000 to 450,000. The default would be the lowest figure. Once that is done the team gets put into the matching pool and matched on their TV (or TVPlus) and inducements are decided, with the higher TV team *always* choosing first.
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SirIronclad
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Re: Alternative Inducement Phase

Postby SirIronclad » 21 September 2016, 13:03

Definitely an interesting suggestion. Would complicate things, though.

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Re: Alternative Inducement Phase

Postby Valcurdra » 21 September 2016, 22:47

Too complicated.

Plus the current setup is fine.

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Re: Alternative Inducement Phase

Postby MalicWanderer » 22 September 2016, 01:24

Definitely an interesting suggestion. Would complicate things, though.
Too complicated.

Plus the current setup is fine.
Many people would beg to differ as to the current setup being fine. As I already mentioned in the op, the "unanswerable wizard" (or whatever other inducement) is a big problem to a lot of coaches.

It's also not that complicated, really. I went into a lot of detail explaining why each step matters and how it can be tweaked for variable results. It really boils down to just:
  1. Overdog optionally spends from treasury for inducements, up to a capped amount.
  2. Underdog receives free inducement money equal to TV difference + whatever the overdog spent, if any.
  3. Underdog may optionally spend an additional amount of gold from treasury, up to a cap.
The only difference between what we have now and this is the caps and giving the underdog whatever the overdog spends. The only complicated part is deciding on the exact caps, and that's not something the end user (ie, coach) has to deal with. All you really need for them is a label somewhere displaying the cap, and to inform the overdog that whatever they spend gets added to the underdog's pool.
I agree that they current system is not good. That said, I don't like the idea of an arbitrary limit on how much can be spent and am not sure why it is necessary. If the overdog wants to buy more than 150k of inducements (the bank limit) then they're paying for it in TV already, and they should have that spent money added to their TV so the underdog gets that much extra on top of whatever they would get for straight TV difference.
I don't entirely disagree with you, a lot of people don't like the overdog being able to buy a wizard out of treasury but as long as the underdog gets a free wizard (or whatever else they want to drop that 150k on) in response, I don't think it's especially terrible. If you want to continue allowing that this system still works, just don't set a cap on the overdogs spending. You still have to cap the underdog tho, otherwise you get the scenario where a team that's 10k down drops 140k on a wizard (for example,) without the opponent having any opportunity to respond.

The only way to avoid that would be letting the overdog repurchase inducements with additional money equal to whatever the underdog spent, assuming the underdog spends anything. You would then have to cap their additional spending (similarly to the proposed original cap on the underdog's) or else it might have to go back to the underdog again, and soon you're stuck in a loop with both coaches revising their inducements with a little extra money until somebody runs out of treasury.

Basically the overdog cap could be optional if you want to allow high spending to give both sides more inducements, but the underdog cap is needed to maximize the combination of fairness and simplicity.
A proposal for another solution which is compliant with the intent of the bank rule: a popup when the player presses search for a match. On that popup the player would choose how much gold he will have available for inducements, and which will count towards his TV. The parameters would be between all of his gold and (all - 150k). For example, a team with 450,000 would be able to choose from 300,000 to 450,000. The default would be the lowest figure. Once that is done the team gets put into the matching pool and matched on their TV (or TVPlus) and inducements are decided, with the higher TV team *always* choosing first.
This is basically the declare petty cash phase, but moved to before you spin rather than after finding a match (plus a minimum amount for large treasuries.) I agree it solves a lot of the clunkiness of the original petty cash system, but it also removes the ability to decide how much money you want to put in based on the opposing team. My Human team might be ok giving a Nurgle opponent a free wizard in exchange for my own, but not a wood elf one, for example.

It also prevents the underdog putting in small amounts of treasury to make up the difference for a better inducement. In that if they choose to put in, say, 20k, they'll also receive 20k less free money (assuming the same match.) Which really means you should never put anything in at all as the underdog, which is also true of the original petty cash rules, but there you know you're the underdog before deciding what to put in, whereas here you would not. I suppose you could get around that by just returning any money the underdog puts in (above the minimum, for bank rule) and giving them the free cash they would've gotten without it. That does leave a bit of a question as to how to handle the case where they would have been the underdog had they not put money in, tho.

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Re: Alternative Inducement Phase

Postby Phage » 22 September 2016, 02:44

Why not just make it so overdog always goes first and if they pay for inducements out of their own money that gets added to underdog's inducement pool? That way overdog knows the risk of increasing underdog pool when they make their choice.

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Re: Alternative Inducement Phase

Postby Darkson » 22 September 2016, 03:45

Depends what players want:

If the want a fair environment (well, as fair as Inducements are designed to be) then you either go back to Petty Cash as per the CRP (and follow it as written) or you go with the Bank rule as it was originally written (not Plasmoid's or Cyanides poor versions) and again follow it as written.

If you want to save coaches 30 seconds or so at the start of the match you use a poor but faster system, like this one, that allows a team to start the match with an effective +150k in Inducements.

Unfortunately Cyanide think option 2 is the better option. :(
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dode74
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Re: Alternative Inducement Phase

Postby dode74 » 22 September 2016, 06:18

a lot of people don't like the overdog being able to buy a wizard out of treasury
At what point should an overdog be allowed to do so? 100k more? 50k? 10k? Is it fair that a 10k overdog cannot buy a wizard but the 10k underdog can? Where's the cutoff at which point the overdog can't do it?

You still have to cap the underdog tho, otherwise you get the scenario where a team that's 10k down drops 140k on a wizard (for example,) without the opponent having any opportunity to respond.

The only way to avoid that would be letting the overdog repurchase inducements with additional money equal to whatever the underdog spent
Or use a petty cash phase...
This is basically the declare petty cash phase, but moved to before you spin rather than after finding a match (plus a minimum amount for large treasuries.) I agree it solves a lot of the clunkiness of the original petty cash system, but it also removes the ability to decide how much money you want to put in based on the opposing team.
As it should be: it's MM, after all. In leagues you can do a lot of optimisation based on knowing your next opponent, while in MM you can do none.
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Re: Alternative Inducement Phase

Postby twitch/the_sage_bb » 22 September 2016, 08:50

Is it fair that a 10k overdog cannot buy a wizard but the 10k underdog can? Where's the cutoff at which point the overdog can't do it?
Personally I'd be fine with a 40k cap on anyone's spending. That way you can only get inducements you'd be close to getting anyway. I don't think allowing the overdog a wizard (ever) is sensible design. (though it would matter far less if it increased the underdog's inducement money by 150k). However, allowing the 10k underdog to get a wizard by spending 140k is off too imo. A 40k cap would let even a 10k underdog get a babe, but would only allow a wizard at 110k difference.
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