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 Post subject: Why ClawPOMB is broken
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:59 pm 
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As requested by VoodooMike and Darkson, who think that ClawPOMB is not a broken mechanic. They feel that nobody in the community has ever presented a compelling case as to why this is broken and I agree with them that the burden of proof is on me to demonstrate my case. Please feel free to move to another forum if this is not the right one.


Introduction
Whilst it feels obvious to many that ClawPOMB is a broken mechanic, I am told under good authority that there are some serious people that do not see an issue with it. The following commentary is an explanation of the reasons why the rule is broken.


What do we mean by a broken mechanic
When you use terms in a jargonistic sense it is often a good idea to define clearly what you mean so in order to prevent misunderstanding. A broken mechanic is one that reduces the gameplay of a system. Games should be a competition between two or more players that gives all players a high level of ability to compete or a high level of entertainment. They do not need to be equal, and balance (although not necessary) does not need to be even.

So what does this rather vague generic phrase mean? In a game like Blood Bowl which is seen as a competition between two players it should mean that skill plays a large part in the outcome of the game. It is not the only consideration (team match ups, dice rolls, how tired you are), but it should remain a primary factor. Whilst the best players will not always win you would expect their skill to see them through the majority of the time. Alternatively where the result is unimportant to the players participating the game should provide a level of entertainment. This means that both players should be allowed to influence the game and participate in the aesthetic components of it (such as moving players and rolling dice).

Broken mechanics are ones that severely disrupt this. Whilst you would not expect a game to be perfect such that almost all rules will provide some level of reduction to these things, we accept (and love) the vagaries of these sorts of games with good grace, because we know that ultimately it was a game of skill for both players and/or good fun.


Examples of broken mechanics in other games (often theoretical)
Chess is a game of skill between two players, and whilst one might blunder or head in an interesting direction that gets them into trouble often the skill of the player is the main factor to determine who wins. Now let's change the rules so that the first player to take an opposing piece wins - we'll call it the first blood rule. Now we see that White wins every time by the sequence 1. e3 ? 2. Qf3 taking the f-file pawn on the next turn. This removes all level of skill from the game, and everyone would stop playing.

Warhammer 40k at various stages has been a broken game, denoted by GW by the presence of 'shooty armies of death'. These are forces that have such a strong fire output that they can overwhelm an enemy almost immediately. The balance that they too are easy to kill results in a game that whilst seemingly balanced is also broken. The player who wins the first turn roll amasses an unassailable advantage. Whilst overall the game will result in a 50/50 result it does so on a single dice roll and removes almost all player skill at the same time. A similar effect was seen by the rhino rush armies, but to even greater effect as they could often start the game out of sight and then use smoke on the first turn in the open.

I play a fun but silly game called Wizardology. The objective is to collect your 4 wizardy components from about the maze and there are a number of strategies that you can employ. It also has a fun PVP element where you can take cards or items from other players. Overall for a short silly game it is good fun and definitely skill based although the emphasis is on the former. There is a square in the game where you can cast a spell on an opponent, with the result being decided randomly. Half the results are good for you and half good for the opponent, so there is risk involved. However one of the results is that you swap items with the other player completely. So if they have 4/4 and are trying to get to the exit to win and you have 0/4 you can try to hit this result. If you get it the opposing player, who is now 4 items behind has only one option - the same thing you just did. And if they do it then vice versa. This results in a terrible situation where you can do nothing for 99% of the game, get one lucky roll, and then win. We house ruled the result so that you just stole one item instead and it produced a much more fun game.


So what about ClawPOMB?
Because it displays the same attributes as the above situations. The notation I use will be {x%/y%} where x% represents the chance to cause a casualty and y% is the chance of removing the player from a KO. This assumes no moderations based upon the victim's skills (Thick Skull, Stunty, etc.). Please feel free to check the maths.

A standard knock down on an AV8 player has a 27.8% chance to break armour, and then a 16.7% chance to cause a caualty for a total removal chance of 4.6%, or about 1 in 20 knock downs. In a typical game of about 50 blocks with a good chance of knocking opponents down that would result in about 2 casualties. The chance of a player removal (KO + Cas) is 41.7% on the injury table for a total chance of 11.6%. So in addition to the 2 casualties you would expect another 2 or 3 KOs.

Against other AV we can see the following base levels:
AV7 = {6.9%/17.4%}
AV8 = {4.6%/11.6%}
AV9 = {2.8%/6.9%}
AV10 = {1.4%/3.5%}

This is a standard table that most good coaches will have memorised and factored into their strategies - that is to say don't rely too much on any individual block to put numbers in your favour!

Now let's look again with ClawPOMB:
AV7 = {30.5%/57.2%}
AV8 = {30.5%/57.2%}
AV9 = {30.5%/57.2%}
AV10 = {30.5%/57.2%}

All armour levels are the same due to Claw, and Piling On is assumed to be on both the armour and the injury in this calculation. We see that at worst the skill combination is about 3 times as effective at taking an enemy off the pitch. At best it is about 22 times better at causing a casualty.

It is clearly very powerul but this by itself does not make it broken. There are lots of powerful strategies in many games that result in balanced play, competitive skillful play, or entertaining play. ClawPOMB however does none of these.


So why is ClawPOMB broken?
1. There is no player skill counter to ClawPOMB. This removes any counter strategy and in doing so reduces the game out of the skill of the competing players. With over a 50% chance to remove an opposing player from a knockdown a team will quickly move into an unassailable numbers lead that exacerbates the problem as the remaining defenders find it impossible to maintain a defensive position regardless of the skill level of the opponent.

2. There is no common build counter to ClawPOMB. The only useful skill to take is Fend and that is a very fringe choice, hardly recommended at all on the Fumbbl build choice list (which is the best evidence I can find for it). Opposing players can focus on preventing knockdowns through the use of Block and Guard but this is an ineffective strategy. A similarly developed team with 3 skills each will leave lots of players still vulnerable to the ClawPOMBer, who will no doubt take the blitz action. And once the defending side are a few players down, like in the first point they find themselves unable to form a proper defence (i.e they get overlapped and ganged up on).

3. Mirror matches are luck. One option is to also build for ClawPOMB. This creates a mirror match similar to the shooty army of death. The player that gets the first attack can gain a fast number advantage that results in an unassailable lead. The defender ClawPOMBer will then be exposed and removed earlier. Even if the luck does go against the attacker we are then just into a luck based situation that depends more on the dice rolling than the player skill, again resulting in a broken mechanic.

4. There is no down side to taking ClawPOMB. It is likely that the ClawPOMBer will place excessive priorities on the safety of that player once on the floor making fouling a low probability event of removing that player (and again very dice focused rather than skill focused). Also there is no TV adjustment. Blood Bowl attempts to create more even matches by adjusting the TV of the team based upon the assets that they have in a way that aspires to be correlated linearly with the benefit of that asset. Take another player and your TV goes up. Skills have a set price based upon access and make no note of synergy. We know that a blodger is a good combination, with teams paying 40 or 50TV to access. ClawPOMB is a 60-80TV payment for a skill combination that can single handedly win the game. This is not a sufficient downside to prevent people from taking it, and whilst TV management is an important aspect of the game it has to be done with a view that the TV you pay is proportional to some degree to the asset you have gained. If ClawPOMB cost you 300TV such that your opponent could take a great star player, a chef, or a wizard and change then you might not consider it viable.

5. It removes the entertainment from the game. Blood Bowl is fun because you get to move your players and roll dice. If you are having all your guys stripped from you in a way that you feel you cannot prevent then the game starts to feel unpleasant. We have all had a situation where the dice has gone against you but you can feel that was either a 1%ile game or you made a few mistakes that let your opponent take blocks you need not have given. ClawPOMB is not like either of those, it just munches through you. And so when you end the game with few players that are not able to do a lot (exacerbated remember by all those stuns as well) then you have not really played the game yourself. You have not been able to make choices, rolled the dice, and participated. You have had the gaming equivalent of being lined up against a wall and shot.


Some common counter-whines that are not good arguments:
Q1. But blood bowl is a game about killing as well; you just want to make it soft elf ball!
A1. Not at all. I am happy for blood bowl to be even bloodier. What I am looking for is a mechanic which more evenly distributes the blood and incorporates it onto both sides (not necessarily evenly) in a way that does not reward a single dominant choice. For example fouling can reward good positional play but few teams can afford the very high sending off chance relative to the damage they expect to do.

Q2. It cannot be a broken mechanic because not many teams can take it.
A2. I advocate the creation of a new star player. He has stats of 10 for everything and all the positive skills, however he can only be taken by teams that I coach. Now as just one player in a community of tens of thousands this represents a mechanic that is far far rarer than ClawPOMB. And it would still be a broken mechanic. Rarity of a mechanic is no defence to how broken it is.

Q3. It is not a broken mechanic for tournaments because they prevent skill stacking.
A3. One of the reasons why tournaments have to prevent skill stacking is because of monstrosities like this. Therefore the tournament rules are a band aid to prevent the appearance of a broken mechanic and not a fix to the mechanic itself.

Q4. It is only a problem in endless open matchmaking, so it is the fault of that environment.
A4. This is just a plain dumb point. It is not the environment that makes it broken because the environment doesn't get broken for the million other things that is in the Blood Bowl rule set. Is AG5 broken in short leagues? No. Is it broken in MM? No. Is ClawPOMB broken in short leagues? Yes. Is it broken in MM? Yes. All the same rules apply; like tournaments just because an environment does not reduce its accessibility does not mean the fault is with the environment. This claim is an admission that ClawPOMB is broken because if it is not broken at all then it is not broken in any environment.


Summary
The key component of a broken mechanic is one that either removes the skill or the fun from the game. By increasing the chance of removing players by up to 20 times with no detrimental effect, and no effective counter strategy, you end up with a rule set that reduces player skill to a tiny amount, forces a luck based mirror match, or ruins the fun for one of the players who sees their team deleted beyond any influence they might have.

It is not that I don't like it. It is not because there is a concensus. It is not because it is only a problem in one environment (it is a problem in all environments just some actively move to prevent it). Maths. Evidence. Logic. Reason.


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 Post subject: Re: Why ClawPOMB is broken
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:11 pm 
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Nicely argued. Another incredibly stupid 'counter' point is that it doesn't give significantly higher advantage in 'claw pomb dominated environments'. Because obviously where you go and check for evidence that something is broken is in envs already distorted by its brokenness.

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 Post subject: Re: Why ClawPOMB is broken
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:14 pm 
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Quick counter point that (I don't think) you've addressed - clawpomb dominated teams don't win lots of games?

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 Post subject: Re: Why ClawPOMB is broken
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:29 pm 
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I'm certain that Block and Dodge are a lovely counter, by not falling down to CPOMB. I understand you do not see it this way, but in my experience, they work damn fine.

I'm also certain that Fend is sometimes a counter - can't use Piling On when you're a square away. You cite FUMBBL as the source of disagreeance with this, but I don't play FUMBBL, I play the tabletop game.

I don't see the combination as broken. If you truly want to spend three skills on that combo, more power to you. That's your shtick. As others have said, I've not seen them as game breaking or overpowering to a win situation.

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 Post subject: Re: Why ClawPOMB is broken
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:37 pm 
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Hi Wulfyn,
well put.

The argument you'll be seeing shortly, albeit in a more wordy (and possibly toxic) form is this (I reckon):
1) Only Things that can be measured are real - or worth acting upon. Since you can not define or measure fun, then a mechanic making games unenjoyable can not be proven to exist. It might be worth measuring just how many people find CPOMB games to be unenjoyable. There are certainly a lot of people voicing that opinion on forums. But that doesn't ammount to actual proof. In fact, these people are easy enough to call a minority.

2) Win percentage is the only relevant metric in BB. Since CPOMB teams do not have a win percentage demonstrably above 55%, then CPOMB teams are just fine. Mind you, the BBRC made rules changes that were not about win percentage, but what do they know anyway?

Since nobody has ever bothered to collect Big Data for tabletop CRP Leagues - (only MM Leagues and NAF tournaments) - it is hand-wavingly easy to say, that there is no demonstrable balance issue in tabletop Leagues. After all, the burden of proof is on anyone claiming that there is a problem. Also, as developing multiple CPOMBers does take time, then the majority of TT Leagues will not ever reach the point where this is a problem.

As for MM Leagues, no CPOMB team performs above 55%. Not as a lifetime stat (most of them start rather slow). Or as a more local performance sweet spot. One might argue that this is due to CPOMBers (mostly Nurgle and Chaos) driving eachothers stats towards 50%, and Elfs thriving in this particularly survival oriented metagame. But this argument goes nowhere, because there is basically no solid definition of under what parameters the fabled 55% is supposed to be measured. But one might be worried about just how many teams are performing poorly - or just plain not getting played - above TV1800. But number of games played is not a measure of balance. And with balance defined as lifetime performance, a Sharp dip at high TV just isn't a real problem.

Cheers
Martin

Oh, anecdote. I used to play in a 3rd ed. League that ran 50+ game seasons. Piling On + Mighty Blow or Piling On + Fang for the Lucky ones ruled supreme as a strategy. The logic is simple enough: Once opposing players start to have a high TV value, then removing them from the field with your cheaper player reaps a huge in-game advantage. That seems to still be the case. Blodge teams can survive in such a meta. Non-blodgers struggle.

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 Post subject: Re: Why ClawPOMB is broken
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:45 pm 
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While some good points, your sats only take in to account knockdowns, and doesn't take in to account that for the approx same TV the opposing team has Block/Wrestle, Guard, Dodge, all skills that protect from being knocked down in the first place. A well placed foul can ruin a clawpompers day as well, even an unskilled one, as as they've often forgone Block to get to clawpomb faster that's not so difficult.

To address your numbered points:

1. Not all skills have specific counter skills, this is not unique to clawpomb. There are skills that reduce it's effectiveness (as above).

2. Fend is not the only useful skill - see above.

3. If you're going to build a one-trick pony team, and you end up facing a team built in the same way, then what's the problem? You're obviously happy to cause the damage, then you should be happy to take it. or, you know, don't build one-trick pony teams that don't work outside of house-ruled environments like MM.
All you've demonstrated is that some players (you for example) don't like the potential damage a clawpomb team might cause on you, but then you just claiming that your preferred way of playing BB is the "correct" way that BB should be played. I don't like that elves will dance through a defence like it's not their, doesn't make them broken. Not liking a style of play <> being broken.
4. That's a completely different argument that others have touched on in their own threads (Dode for one, I had a "3rd skill tax" in my house rule list), and one that isn't limited to clawpomb. There are many skills on that basis that could (though I'm not saying should) have extra TV when combo'd.

5. Very difficult to argue against this point when it is based on fallacies like "ClawPOMB is not like either of those, it just munches through you". Will you take more Kos/Injs against clawpomb than against a non-clawpomb team? Very likely, yes, but they don't "munch" teams unless there's a serious TV mismatch and/or bad coaching.


Counters-counter-whines
1. Blood Bowl is less bloody than it was i previous editions (old Claw/RSC combo, DP).

2. Ah, a player from Joemanji's Superman team - nice to see them make a comeback.

3. I can't speak for all tournaments, but non-skill stacking has been in tournaments long before LRB5 (and therefore clawpomb) existed, so unless all TOs had access to time machines I highly doubt that that is the reason.

4. Not a dumb point at all. Seeing as the skill is working fine in environments the game was designed for (leagues, cups) then if it is a problem in environments it wasn't designed for speaks volumes on where the issue lies. My car works fine on the road, but when I drive it into the sea it doesn't work - obviously it's the cars that is at fault.


So in summary:
Nice post, but you've failed to show it's broken. As Sann said, clawpomb teams don't win more than they should (given the BBRC's tier definition), even in MM environments (from the data for 100 of 1000s games from Cyanide and Fumbbl, both MM and leagues), so if they're not winning more games than they should, in what why is the skill combo broken?

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 Post subject: Re: Why ClawPOMB is broken
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:05 pm 
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This point about win rates -

"As Sann said, clawpomb teams don't win more than they should (given the BBRC's tier definition), even in MM environments (from the data for 100 of 1000s games from Cyanide and Fumbbl, both MM and leagues),"

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't this individual team win rates in environments where lots of teams are playing claw pomb? If so given Wulfyns points about the effect of claw pomb my expectation would be that claw pomb teams help cancel each other's win rates (since it's basically a roll of the dice who pitches who) - do we have any evidence that claw pomb win rates are not abnormal in an an environment where there are not lots of claw pomb teams?

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 Post subject: Re: Why ClawPOMB is broken
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:23 pm 
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Greshvakk wrote:
do we have any evidence that claw pomb win rates are not abnormal in an an environment where there are not lots of claw pomb teams?

In Dode's data there was at least the OCC, which was a divisional based Cyanide league (i.e. not MM). I believe there were some other Cyanide league's data as well, but I am not 100% sure. I'm also not exactly sure how many seasons worth of data there was for the OCC, though I'm sure Dode can supply that info if you want it.

To turn your question on it's head though, do we have any evidence that clawpomb win rates are abnormal in an environment where there are not lots of pomb teams?

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 Post subject: Re: Why ClawPOMB is broken
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:29 pm 
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Darkson wrote:
To turn your question on it's head though, do we have any evidence that clawpomb win rates are abnormal in an environment where there are not lots of pomb teams?


Haha sure I'm happy to adjust my view based on the data. Right now I'm not convinced we have the data to say either way. Intuitively (and of course that's intuitive to me) given the massive effect on players going off surely it must affect win rates in envs where there are not lots of cpomb teams. But I'm willing to be corrected on that.

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 Post subject: Re: Why ClawPOMB is broken
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:09 am 
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OCC (perpetual scheduled league) data for seasons 4-28, over 24k matches at all TVs. Plenty, but not masses, of Chaos (certainly nowhere near MM levels).

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OFL data - don't recall the number of matches but I can find out if anyone wants it. Fewer matches but with racial restrictions in place (3 or 4 of each race maximum) and semi-recycling: 48 matches played per 3-season era (potentially more with playoffs each season) then teams are reset to 1150TV with up to 3 players (max total value 600TV) being carried over to the next era. Also the possibility to purchase old players up to that limit of 3 & 600TV during the era (and yes, you can replace them as they die).

For the rest of the data I've looked at (NAF, Cyanide MM, FUMBBL) see here: http://forum.bloodbowl-game.com/viewtop ... 988#p58988

Certainly environments will have an effect on win rates, but not one of those environments shows disproportionate win rates for CPOMB teams.
Quote:
Right now I'm not convinced we have the data to say either way.
What data we do have does not show there to be abnormal win rates.


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 Post subject: Re: Why ClawPOMB is broken
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:25 am 
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And are these chaos teams (for example) actually employing cpomb or are we just assuming they are? To be clear when I say cpomb teams I mean teams actually employing cpomb as opposed to those who theoretically could but aren't . Additionally what is the tipping point for a 'cpomb' team? Are Norse one? They only have one cpomb but 4 other possible pomb (without using doubles).

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 Post subject: Re: Why ClawPOMB is broken
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:52 am 
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I doubt there's any way to find that detail of data, without someone checking each team individually, and I'm not even sure the Cyanide data shows that. You could go and check on Fumbbl and check all the teams yourself (burden of proof and all that ;) ).

However, if they are ALL using it, then the data shows it's not a winning strategy.
If they're NOT all using it, then it's not a winning strategy because if it was, more/all of them would be.

As for what constitutes a clawpomb team, that depends on who you're talking to.

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 Post subject: Re: Why ClawPOMB is broken
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:57 am 
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sann0638 wrote:
Quick counter point that (I don't think) you've addressed - clawpomb dominated teams don't win lots of games?


Sann, could you link your source please? I want to reply specifically to address this point so it would be good to be able to tailor it directly to your evidence.


Darkson wrote:
While some good points, your sats only take in to account knockdowns, and doesn't take in to account that for the approx same TV the opposing team has Block/Wrestle, Guard, Dodge, all skills that protect from being knocked down in the first place.


This is not true, for 2 reasons. Firstly ClawPOMB is only 3 skills so the equivalent TV would not have a lot of those skills mentioned. As I specifically stated ClawPOMB only adds 60 to 80 TV. If you counter that it takes more time to get those 3 skills onto a single player which would result in other players being able to skill up then that is also true of the other players on the ClawPOMBer side so these negate. Secondly the BB mechanics means that I am largely free to choose who I want to use the ClawPOMBer on. The first action will be to go numbers up by targeting your weaker players that you have not given those skills to. If you blodge 6 of your players that is still 5 I can ClawPOMB, and you are going to struggle with 6 v 11. You cannot protect everyone.


Darkson wrote:
1. Not all skills have specific counter skills, this is not unique to clawpomb. There are skills that reduce it's effectiveness (as above).


Irrelevant. Just because there is no specific counter to Kick Off Return does not make ClawPOMB any more or less effective. The discussion is about ClawPOMB as a mechanic and it is important to note what counter strategies can be employed to show that the power of the killstack escalation cannot be neutralised directly.

Darkson wrote:
2. Fend is not the only useful skill - see above.


As stated specifically in that point players can focus on preventing knockdowns but the strategy is ineffective. It would be like saying that there is no point anyone taking Dodge because all of the opposing side can just take Tackle. And yet we see Dodge taken a lot - because the reality is different. The same is true for ClawPOMB. This leaves Fend as the only directly opposing skill.

Darkson wrote:
If you're going to build a one-trick pony team, and you end up facing a team built in the same way, then what's the problem?


I wrote quite a lot on this. It was like half of my argument. Did you read my post properly before replying? A broken mechanic is one that removes player skill. One trick pony teams come down to the luck of the dice, a la 'shooty army of death'. The problem is that if one trick pony beats regular ponies and that forces others into one trick pony then the game is broken as you might as well roll a single d6, declare a winner, and save yourself a lot of painting. Unless you like painting of course in which case do it anyway.

Darkson wrote:
That's a completely different argument that others have touched on in their own threads (Dode for one, I had a "3rd skill tax" in my house rule list), and one that isn't limited to clawpomb. There are many skills on that basis that could (though I'm not saying should) have extra TV when combo'd.


Ok. So you have not addressed my point. Yes I agree that all skills could have a better TV allocation. I even made a long post on Fumbbl some time ago as to exactly how you could work it all out. It's a pain in the neck to do, but it is possible. However why do you think that because other skills would need this that it makes it ok for ClawPOMB? How is this in any way a counter to the point that ClawPOMB is broken because it does not provide balanced games? It feels like you are making a perfectionist fallacy, where you are saying that unless we do it to all skills then it is not a problem for any skill (or combination). What are you trying to say here?

Darkson wrote:
5. Very difficult to argue against this point when it is based on fallacies like "ClawPOMB is not like either of those, it just munches through you". Will you take more Kos/Injs against clawpomb than against a non-clawpomb team? Very likely, yes, but they don't "munch" teams unless there's a serious TV mismatch and/or bad coaching.


This is not a fallacy. You can see the killstack escalation from the calculation that I have done. If you take the number of typical cas / KO in a game based on the frequency above and then extrapolate that based on the killstack escalation you can see what damage will be caused.

In a game of (say) 50 blocks that result in 2 cas and 3 ko, we can split the effect by a single ClawPOMBer that takes the blitzes. So 16 blitzes that would account for 0.67 cas and 1 ko. The cas would go from 4.6% to 30.5% (approx x6) to give 4 cas. The ko would go from 7% to 26.7% (approx x3.5) to give 3.5ko. So this single player would account for half of your team leaving the pitch at some point. And that's without considering the extra damage the rest of the team will do by outnumbering the opposition increasing the number of 2db and pushes into other hits.

To deny the power of the killstack escalation as just a fallacy is to deny reality. If you want to reply with a logical counter point you have to explain why a killstack escalation does not extrapolate to actual casualties done in game.

Darkson wrote:
1. Blood Bowl is less bloody than it was i previous editions (old Claw/RSC combo, DP).


And? I did say that I am happy for BB to be bloodier, but that should be more evenly distributed and not focused so heavily in a specific skillset. Why do you think that older versions have any impact at all on the current ruleset? do you think the dice remember how the game used to be and roll differently?

Darkson wrote:
4. Not a dumb point at all. Seeing as the skill is working fine in environments the game was designed for (leagues, cups) then if it is a problem in environments it wasn't designed for speaks volumes on where the issue lies. My car works fine on the road, but when I drive it into the sea it doesn't work - obviously it's the cars that is at fault.


This is a deeply flawed analogy. If you are saying that all things are constrained, then yes that's correct. Playing Blood Bowl is not going to win you a tennis grand slam. But then BB was not designed to make you go outdoors just as your car was not designed to drive into the sea. So your analogy does not provide a like for like situation.

The BB rules makes it clear that long running open leagues are something that can be done. The rulebook places no constraints upon this. League commissioners are free to run their leagues in this way. So this is not us trying to do something that BB was not designed for. But this is a moot point because ClawPOMB is broken in all formats. There is nothing about the ClawPOB rules that say "if you have any of these skills in a short tabletop league then oh by the way you are not allowed to use mighty blow".

The more accurate analogy is that ClawPOMB is the water. Your car will also not work when your road floods, and although this might be far less common (just as the presence of ClawPOMB is less common in shorter leagues) it doesn't mean that it isn't a problem when it does happen.


Darkson wrote:
Nice post, but you've failed to show it's broken. As Sann said, clawpomb teams don't win more than they should (given the BBRC's tier definition), even in MM environments (from the data for 100 of 1000s games from Cyanide and Fumbbl, both MM and leagues), so if they're not winning more games than they should, in what why is the skill combo broken?


As per my request to sann, could you link your source please so that I can reply directly? I don't want to use a different source to make my argument upon and then be accused of dodging the issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Why ClawPOMB is broken
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:37 am 
Ex-Cyanide/Focus toadie

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:55 pm
Posts: 2446
Location: Near Reading, UK
Quote:
In a game of (say) 50 blocks that result in 2 cas and 3 ko, we can split the effect by a single ClawPOMBer that takes the blitzes. So 16 blitzes that would account for 0.67 cas and 1 ko. The cas would go from 4.6% to 30.5% (approx x6) to give 4 cas. The ko would go from 7% to 26.7% (approx x3.5) to give 3.5ko. So this single player would account for half of your team leaving the pitch at some point.
First, 50 is too high. 30 is closer to the mark - if you're being hit 50 times then you're either playing badly or having appalling dice. Second, you can't assume all 16 blitzes are going to be successful. IF you've given him block AND you can engineer all of them to be 2d blocks and your targets are all unskilled then it's a 75% success rate, 55% if your targets have block and 30% if your targets have blodge. Since the point at which you have CPOMB will likely mean your opposing team is largely with block at least then you can reduce the success rate to about 60%, giving you ~2 cas and ~2 KO.
Quote:
If you want to reply with a logical counter point you have to explain why a killstack escalation does not extrapolate to actual casualties done in game.
Plenty of reasons: not all blocks are successful (see above), not every block or blitz can be done with your CPOMBer (particularly if he has used PO last turn, limiting his movement and therefore target options), your CPOMBer can be injured himself rendering him ineffective for the remainder of the match, or your opponent may position well denying you the chance to make effective use of your CPOMBer, perhaps by forcing him out of position or into a position where PO would result in a nasty foul. Solid play can counter the ability to use skills as effectively, meaning the simple mathematical increase in effectiveness does not translate to actual effect on the pitch. I'm not denying it's effective as a method of removing players, simply not as effective as the simple maths suggests.


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 Post subject: Re: Why ClawPOMB is broken
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:40 am 
Kommissar Enthusiasmoff
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Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 11:24 am
Posts: 5418
Location: Swindon, England
Hi Wulfyn,
I haven't come across a league setting (i.e. not perpetual matchmaking) where Clawpomb teams consistently win it, and when I last asked the question no-one else had either: https://fumbbl.com/p/blog&c=sann0638&id=11426

So while the theory and the probabilities are sound, the actual outcomes are not game-breaking (though maybe as you say it comes down to the coin-toss, so you would see a 50% win rate?).

I don't have a view, particularly, but I think the data proving "brokenness" is the last piece of the puzzle.

Mike

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