Friday, June 16, 2017

Should I let the poison grow ever larger? [blast from the past!]

I see I'm up to 170 posts -- but I have 97 "drafts" or fragments of posts I saved and never published. Some of them just didn't work out, but I do want to look through them.

This one is from late 2009 -- back on the old site.  I have to struggle to figure out what the issue was that motivated me to save the game snapshot. I think the issue is whether I should risk taking the poison now -- it means rerolling the 20-sided die rather than keep it safe (1 chance in 5 or recapture). But if I *don't do it, and  make a safe attack, the poison will only grow, and could even roll above the (20) with one chance in 6 and with another 1 in 6 could still threaten me with a power or skill attack.

But maybe it's not a difficult problem. The larger poison doesn't matter so much, I can afford to eat it even if it grows twice and still win -- but if rolls above me and captures me [which isn't a sure thing even with the 1 in 6], would I be in trouble? I don't think so,  I'd take both of k's non-poison dice on the way out. and have enough of a margin to afford losing the 20-sided die.

The only thing that would sink me is BOTH capturing the poison AND losing the (20), so it seems clear that I should postpone rerolling the 20. capture non-poison this turn with the other dice, then capture the other non-poison next turn, then whatever happens after that, I'm ok.

Maybe there's a good reason this stayed a draft. But if you edited the button recipes you could make a more subtle problem building on this theme.



Button Men Game #686417

Tournament #13724: revenge on the stats tournament for alaric
Current Round: Round 2. (organized by glassonion)
Alaric's ten worst buttons with which he has played at least 17 games. If you are alaric, you may choose your button. Everyone else *must* select randomly.

Skills in this game: Mighty, Poison, S Swing, Trip, Y Swing

Player: ElihuRoot *Dead Dude* *Fanatic*
Your Button Man: Temperance (t2 8 12 20 Y) Score: 43.5 (19 sides) Rounds Won/Lost/Tied: 1 / 1 / 0 (Out of 3 wins)
Your Captured Dice: 12-sided die, 20-sided die

Trip
2-sided die
20-sided dieY Swing
(with 1 sides)

8-sided die
2 10 1
3
Captured last turn
4-sided dieMighty Poison
10-sided die
S Swing
(with 6 sides)


3 6 2

Opponent: kestrel *Werehamster* *Fresh Coat of Flag Paint* *Fanatic*
Button Man: Pestilence (4 pH6 12 20 S) Score: 15 (-19 sides) Rounds Won/Lost/Tied: 1 / 1 / 0

Yucky situation!

If I don't take the initiative, AD has a choice between taking my (20) with value 20 or speed attacking the other (20) and the f(8).
But if I *do* take the inittive, I leave myself vulnerable to a speed attack from the z(20) with value 13 unless I take it with my (20) with value 20, which means making a very vulnerable reroll with the other z(20).

I guess I could take the initiative, then reroll my (20) with value 10 -- still very vulnerable reroll, wouldn't capture *either* z(20)  and would leave my (20) with value 20 exposed to capture in any case.

What would you do?


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

one easy question, one a little more subtle

It's AnnoDomini's turn and he has two choices -- take my 4-sided die with his 2-sided die, or take my 6-sided die with a skill attack.

If AD chooses option one and I am forced to take the 2-sided die on my next turn, which die should I use? [that should be an easy question]

But is that AD's best chance of winning? would it make more sense for him to do the skill attack?

Game #20987  •  ElihuRoot (Oni) vs. AnnoDomini (Rhode Island)  •  Round #2
Reverse
Opponent's turn to attack


(4) (10) f(12) f(12) (V)
Button: Oni
Player: ElihuRoot
W/L/T: 1/0/0 (3)  •  Score: 24 (+2 sides)
Dice captured: (4), (4)
(4)
2
(10)
8
f(12)
12
(V=6)
4
1
d(6)
2
d(10)
2
(R=2)
 1 
(4)
Dice captured: f(12)
W/L/T: 0/1/0 (3)  •  Score: 21 (-2 sides)
Player: AnnoDomini
Button: Rhode Island
(4) (4) d(6) d(10) (R)


Matt's Best Move?

(In case it's not clear, the z(20) in white at the far right on the bottom was just captured and is out of play). I'm pretty sure Matt has a single best move in this situation, but I welcome disagreements. Part of the problem is that it's just so likely to end in a draw, I think we racked up four drawn rounds before this game was over (I should have set the V to 11)

Game #21110  •  ElihuRoot (Coil) vs. Matt (bowler190)  •  Round #3
UBFC 145
Opponent's turn to attack


p(4) (12) p(20) (20) (V)
Button: Coil
Player: ElihuRoot
W/L/T: 1/0/1 (3)  •  Score: 12 (-20 sides)
Dice captured: z(20)
(12)
8
p(20)
10
(V=12)
1
1
z(4)
2
z(4)
2
z(20)
12
z(20)
 16 
z(20)
Dice captured: p(4), (20)
W/L/T: 0/1/1 (3)  •  Score: 42 (+20 sides)
Player: Matt
Button: bowler190
z(4) z(4) z(20) z(20) z(20)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Kublacon 2017

Not a puzzle -- and maybe will followup with other thoughts when I have a moment. But it's at least buttonmen-related:


Don't have time to linger at KublaCon this year, but I did at least get to go to a seminar in which James Ernest talked about the history and design choices involved in buttonmen (only about 7 or 8 people showed up, I would have thought it would be standing room only, but we fit around a conference table). I knew much of this already, but it was still enjuoyable and educational. Plus I got play a game of buttonmen face-to-face with James Ernest! [Also pictured, Joe Kisenwether, game designer/Mathematician for casinos and the designer of several buttons including Max]

Monday, April 10, 2017

Buttonmen 101, day 1


this isn't hard at all, but it's the sort of basic small computation that comes up often -- I have three possible attacks here, which gives me the best chance of winning? Which gives me the least chance of winning?


Game #20987  •  ElihuRoot (Oni) vs. AnnoDomini (Rhode Island)  •  Round #3
Reverse
Your turn to attack

(4) (10) f(12) f(12) (V)
Button: Oni
Player: ElihuRoot
W/L/T: 1/1/0 (3)  •  Score: 18.5 (-10.3 sides)
Dice captured: (4), (R=2)
(4)
4
(10)
5
(V=11)
8
f(12)
 2 
2
(4)
4
d(6)
10
d(10)
Dice captured: f(12), f(12)
W/L/T: 1/1/0 (3)  •  Score: 34 (+10.3 sides)
Player: AnnoDomini
Button: Rhode Island
(4) (4) d(6) d(10) (R)

yawetag has only a very slim chance in either case

Maybe it's not much of a puzzle as y. only has two legal moves. and in both cases, it would take a miracle to win assuming I make sensible plays -- but are the two required miracles equally miraculous?



Game #17382  •  ElihuRoot (Horace) vs. yawetag (Anders)  •  Round #2
Mad Robin - Season 17
Opponent's turn to attack


(8) (10) p(20) (20) (Z)
Button: Horace
Player: ElihuRoot
W/L/T: 1/0/0 (3)  •  Score: 26.5 (-6.3 sides)
Dice captured: o(24), (8)
(8)
5
(10)
7
p(20)
9
(Z=11)
7
3
(8)
5
(8)
3
(8)
3
(8)
 1 
(8)
Dice captured: (20)
W/L/T: 0/1/0 (3)  •  Score: 36 (+6.3 sides)
Player: yawetag
Button: Anders
(8) (8) (8) (8) (8) o(24)