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 Post subject: UK 'Bonus' Points - TOs what are you trying to achieve?
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:38 am 
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Hi there, I’m new and after a couple of years of dipping in and out of Blood Bowl I’m committed to doing as many UK tournaments as possible this year. I’m writing this post because I am genuinely concerned at the number of tournaments in the UK I’ve seen operating a scoring system like this: Win/Draw/Loss = 10/5/0 points plus a ‘bonus’ point for each casualty inflicted up to a max of 3 and a ‘bonus’ point for each TD up to a maximum of 3.

I feel compelled to speak despite being a newbie and having no ‘status’ because the vast majority of Blood Bowlers I have met are smart, conscientious people and I can’t believe that they have thought about the implications and decided “yes this is the best way to score tournaments”. But I want to make it clear I am not attacking any person who uses this system, either now or in the past. It could easily have been me in an alternate universe. I just thought it might be useful for a new person to lay out some really obvious points about the system itself because I feel like they have gotten lost somewhere along the way. I can’t see any rationale for using this particular system but yet a lot of TOs in the UK seem to regard it as ‘normal’ - maybe you can educate me why this system works. Or maybe we can come up with a better system. But anyway apologies if you’ve heard it all before, here we go:

1. First of all I want to challenge the notion that this is a bonus points system at all. To me genuine bonus points systems have 2 features: 1) they don’t mess with the Win>Draw>Loss hierarchy without careful consideration and 2) they have an aim ie a purpose. What is the purpose of this system? As I stated above – what are you trying to achieve? Looking at a real bonus point system: in the Rugby World Cup you get 4/2/0 for W/D/L with 2 bonus points available: one if you score 4+ tries and one if you lose by less than 7 points. You can see clearly what they are looking to reward. And here they actually do make some Losses as good as some Draws – I would guess because in rugby draws are rare so the true hierarchy they need to maintain is Win > Loss. But in Blood Bowl draws are the ‘standard’ result so I contend the W>D>L hierarchy is far more important to maintain. This ‘UK’ system messes with that hierarchy big time – it says that scoring 3 TD in a loss with 3 cas is better than a 0-0 draw with no cas. There is nothing ‘bonus’ about it – it is just better. Similarly a 3-3 draw with 3 cas is a good as a 1-0 win with 0 cas – again nothing ‘bonus’ about it. The Win>Draw>Loss hierarchy is the most fundamental of sporting laws – across all sports, all dimensions and all universes you don’t mess with this – not without very good reason. I don’t see a reason here – and worse – I don’t see any logic to the messing. Hence my question: what are you trying to achieve?

2. Points for TDs – sorry but this is just weird. I mean TDs are how we score the game. If I get more TDs than you my ‘bonus’ points are those I get for winning. If we score the same TDs I lose this ‘bonus’ – it cancels with yours, we call that drawing. Extra points for TDs just says “f*@& defending we hate it”. Really? Isn’t that half the game? Points for TDs also has the truly bizarre effect of ranking all draws. If we leave cas aside: a 3-3 > 2-2 > 1-1 > 0-0. Again there is nothing ‘bonus’ about this – these draws are strictly ranked in this way. If you are doing this then why isn’t a 4-4 draw better than 3-3 or 5-5 better than that? I guess that would just be silly…… But seriously is this strict ranking of draws really what the TOs want? Again - why? Real bonus point systems do things like reward winning by a bigger margin but here a 3-1, 3-0, 3-2, 4-1, 5-0, 5-2, 5-4, 8-0 victories all earn the same for the victor. I would suggest a start point for a genuine bonus point system in BB would be: losers earn a bonus point if they lose by 1 TD, winners earn a bonus point if they win by > 2 TD margin (ie win by 3 TDs or more). Notice that in ‘our’ system there is actually no way to earn 10 points for a win – that alone should tell you something smells. This system means that you get 11 points for a win with 2 ‘bonus’ points available for scoring a second and third TD but with no consideration for the winning margin – why is a 3-2 victory considered better than a 2-1 victory but the same as a 3-0 victory? It’s not bonus I tell you it’s bonkers! The UK Bonkers point system I dub it ;)

3. Bonus Points for Casualties. Here’s the thing about Casualties – the big news about casualties that this system flies in the face of: they already are a bonus. An in game, right there, have that son – BONUS. I knocked him down and what: he’s not coming back after the next turn, not at the end of the drive – no not at all!? BONUS! Getting lots of casualties makes it easier to get TDs and win or draw games. They are the last thing that extra points should be awarded for. Then there is the fact they are lucky. If I have block and I roll a 2 dice block against an unskilled AV 7 bod I have a 0.75*0.42*0.1667 = ~5% chance to casualty them. So 20 such blocks and I might reasonably expect one casualty – but I also might reasonably expect 0 in 40. There is nothing I can do (leaving aside rerolls and mighty blow) to control this except keep taking blocks where I can – which most coaches will do most of the time. So by and large what separates the coach who gets the casualties and who doesn’t? Luck. Given that suffering casualties makes it harder to achieve a positive result you might argue a real bonus point system for BB would say if you lose the casualty count by 4+ but still draw or win or even lose narrowly you get a bonus point. To give you an actual example I played my Wood Elves against Nippy’s dwarves at Bunker Bowl and in the first half I got 3 casualties on him plus a KO. That made the game so much harder for him but in the event he narrowly lost 1-0 having had a chance to draw it – the notion I should get extra points for having had an easier time of it in that game I think is ridiculous. If anything he should have got a bonus not me.

So to sum up; this system is the worst of all worlds. It’s kind of, sort of W>D>L but messed with big time and arbitrarily – arbitrarily favouring certain outcomes that a coach cannot control. Outcomes which don’t represent any greater skill and in many cases would be less skill in fact. And to what end?

By way of contrast let me give you a genuine bonus point system that I alluded to in this post. It would run W/D/L = 6/3/0 with bonus points available for a) losing by a 1 TD margin b) winning by > 2 TD margin. You can see clearly I am trying to reward people who push for bigger wins and those who keep games tight even when losing. But I would say do we even need a bonus point system? Here I can see the aims and I respect them but is it really needed?

In the absence of reasoned arguments (which might be on their way of course!) I would urge all TOs using this system to ditch it completely and see what happens. Use W/D/L only and then work out what it is that you don’t like. Maybe we can come up with something to address it. Apart from anything else in the new “Golden Gauntlet” era this stuff now really matters – I don’t think it’s fair that coaches get ranked differently at different tournaments. For me the ranking should be a standard and then tournaments add flavour from the team selections, weather rules etc.

But fundamentally I would like to know - if you are not going to use W>D>L then why? What are you trying to achieve? Please educate me cause right now I can’t see any logic to this system and I am genuinely concerned that it is used so widely in the UK.
Cheers

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 Post subject: Re: UK 'Bonus' Points - TOs what are you trying to achieve?
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:17 pm 
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I think I've used the following pretty much untouched since 2009:
Quote:
Each game will be scored in the following manner:
50 points for a win
25 points for a draw
5 points for a loss
0 points for conceding
3 bonus points will be awarded for each touchdown scored (Max 9pts)
2 bonus points will be awarded for each Casualty scored (Max 6pts)
1 bonus point will be awarded if you keep a clean sheet.


Assuming I've got my maths right (and if I haven't no-one has pointed it out to me before!) a win is always better than a draw which is always better than a loss.
As for what I'm trying to achieve? Nothing, other than scoring my event.

is it perfect? No, but then neither was the 3/1/0 that lots of tournaments used to use.

I know some coaches don't like bonuses, some do and some don't care either way, they just want to meet with mates and have a nerdy weekend (the majority I guess).
For those in the first group, if you really don't like a scoring system, don't attend, though explain to the TO why. If enough people vote with their wallet then the TO will have to change the scoring system (or stop the event I suppose).

I'm really anti events all being scored the same way though. If event A emphasises scoring (for bonuses), event B emphasises cas (for bonuses) while event C emphasises passing (again, for bonuses [ok, not heard of that one but as an example]) then part of the coaching skill is taking a team that can take advantage of those bonuses.

And I know you didn't suggest it, but what's the difference between asking all events to use the same scoring system and asking all events to use the same TV and/or skills?

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 Post subject: Re: UK 'Bonus' Points - TOs what are you trying to achieve?
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:30 pm 
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Wow that post "sounds" angry. Sorry if you aren't angry about it, but it comes across (to me) like that.

You have an issue with "bonus" points yet you sign up for tourneys that are using them?
Bunkerbowl used them (you went).
Burgerbowl is going to use them (you've shown interest).
Gertbowl is going to use them (you've shown interest).
Cakebowl hasn't announced the scoring system but they've used them in all previous tourneys (you've signed up).
Manchester Thrudtastic Mayhem you were going to until you saw it clashed with ThruddBowl, both of which use bonus points. (To be fair to Thrudd, Tweety hasn't announced the scoring yet, but if he keeps the same system as Giraffe used it will have bonuses).
You went to ARBBL '15 and '16 which used them.
You went to Waterbowl '16 which used them.
The only NAF tourneys you've been to that don't use bonus points are NAFC '14 and '15, PK&Q and UKTC.

The point I'm trying to make is you seem to not like them but still to travel to more tourneys that use them. Exiles used to use bonuses (9/5/1 and a max of 4 bonuses (1 per TD and CAS, max 2 each) available, so a draw will never be as good as (or better than) a win) but now I don't.


If you disagree with the system then vote with your feet and don't go. If attendance drops, and the TO learns it was mostly due to bonuses, then a sensible TO will change with the times.


This topic comes up a lot and I'm sure there will be several people on both sides of the fence who will join in this thread.

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 Post subject: Re: UK 'Bonus' Points - TOs what are you trying to achieve?
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:53 pm 
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To Darkson - I see your system does respect W>D>L a bit more. But is there any reason that you rank the draws: 3-3>2-2>1-1>0-0 - Any reason that 4-4 is not better than 3-3? As for your last question - to me it's much more fundamental to a 'sport' - the ranking that is. You don't go to the French Open and get ranked a different way to Wimbledon. There are variations (eg in Rugby Union different leagues) but they are not as fundamental as messing with the W>D>L hierarchy in the way this system does.

To Lunchmoney -I'm sorry it sounds so angry to you. I'm genuinely curious why people seem to be arbitrarily messing with a system that works for every sport ever. Yes I can not attend tournaments. But that answer is just "we can apply arbitrary rules if we want you can p*ss off if you don't like them". Is that really the best response to asking what the scoring system is trying to achieve? I'm genuinely curious why people are not just using W>D>L or at least a system significantly closer to W>D>L. Is there some style of play they don't like or something else. Perhaps we could come up with a way to bring that out. But either way: what are the stated aims of this system? I can't see them - so wondering what people think they are.

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 Post subject: Re: UK 'Bonus' Points - TOs what are you trying to achieve?
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:17 pm 
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Greshvakk wrote:
But is there any reason that you rank the draws: 3-3>2-2>1-1>0-0 - Any reason that 4-4 is not better than 3-3?

Honest answer - "nope" and/or "because" (whichever one fits better). There's no agenda, there's no hidden meaning, it's just a scoring system I happen to like for my event so I use it. No more, no less.

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 Post subject: Re: UK 'Bonus' Points - TOs what are you trying to achieve?
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:28 pm 
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I think the answer your looking for is that if you use just W/D/L then there would be too many coaches on the same points at the end of an event. I'm guessing this is the reason for bonus points. Never really effected me though as you would still need to win all your games to win an event o very close to that record. I have heard of and attended events where people have missed out on 3rd or 2nd due to bonus points despite have a better win draw loss record, seems a little harsh tbh.

I don't think the answer would be to stop attending events though, keep attending and maybe learn to play with the bonus scoring in mind.

You could run your own event with your system too and emphasise the fact that it is a improved scoring system.

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 Post subject: Re: UK 'Bonus' Points - TOs what are you trying to achieve?
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:52 pm 
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Greshvakk wrote:
I'm genuinely curious why people seem to be arbitrarily messing with a system that works for every sport ever.

Does any sport run events like a BB tournament though? I can't think of any where a team only plays some of it's rivals and is then called the winner at the end. I know US sport often doesn't have every team play every other team, but then they also have a play-off at the end of the season.

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 Post subject: Re: UK 'Bonus' Points - TOs what are you trying to achieve?
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:59 pm 
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I suspect it started as a way to divide those on the same points - a tie breaker - and has evolved from that. You can see that history in systems whose bonuses wont mean a loss is better than a draw and a draw cannot be better than a win.

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 Post subject: Re: UK 'Bonus' Points - TOs what are you trying to achieve?
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 2:05 pm 
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Also BloodBowl can't really be compared to a real game, it should in my opinion reward coaches for different aspects of the game, so casulties and touchdowns etc all part of why different people attend with different teams etc

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 Post subject: Re: UK 'Bonus' Points - TOs what are you trying to achieve?
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:38 pm 
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Darkson wrote:
is it perfect? No, but then neither was the 3/1/0 that lots of tournaments used to use.


I'm not sure we are going to get very far in any discussion on any matter if perfection as an all or nothing is the benchmark. Are drug laws perfect? No, but then we still try to make it them the best we can. An extreme example for sure, but I hope it illustrates taking a perfection or everything else is equal approach is not a compelling case.

I guess my question would be what is the need for bonus points? If they are there just because then that seems to be adding a level of complication that is not there to solve any problem. Other leagues, sports, and games have ways of deciding things that often do seem to have a purpose behind them so you can see what they are getting at. Does winning 3-2 reward a better player than winning 1-0? Certainly I know some that would disagree. Maybe the purpose of the tournament is to try and draw people away from the 1-0 result. Whether you agree that should be done or not is beside the point; what matters is that at least there is a purpose to the system.

I think that casualties for me is the least defensible bonus point system. Let's assume you have 100 players that all take the same number of blocks per game (45) with the same players against the same opponents for simplicity. We'll say that 2/3rd of these are knock downs, for 30 armour rolls against AV8 with no other skills. In the course of a 6 game tournament you would expect to get 8.3 casualties.

Of the 100 players:
- 1 poor soul will likely only get 2 casualties
- A fifth of the players will get 6 casualties or fewer
- 10% will get 12 or more casualties
- Someone is likely to get 15 casualties or more

With an equal spread of skill (etc.) you now have a system that, game results excluded, is likely to have a spread of 13 casualties between the top and bottom player based purely on luck. In Darkson's tournament rules this would account for a 39 point spread just on that luck, which is almost a free win extra.

That doesn't seem to be rewarding anything.


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 Post subject: Re: UK 'Bonus' Points - TOs what are you trying to achieve?
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:02 pm 
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This is the 2nd post about bonus points that has referenced Bunker Bowl. For the record, I picked this score set as I ran Bunker Bowl IV with Rodders after he gave up the Carrot Crunch. I used the Carrot Crunch rules as I thought it would be a nice way to merge the two tournaments. I used them again for Bunker Bowl V as I didn't realise there was a hornet's nest attached.

If it's going to cause this much of an issue, I just won't run it again.

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 Post subject: Re: UK 'Bonus' Points - TOs what are you trying to achieve?
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:40 pm 
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If you care so much about 'points', you're playing Blood Bowl for completely the wrong reasons.

(Incidentally, I've played at every Bunker Bowl since its inception and whatever system has been used, it's always been a fantastic event. Have I ever won anything other than the painting competition? Nope. Is that because of some sinister point-weighting conspiracy? Nope. Is it because I suck at Blood Bowl and didn't win enough games? Sounds about right...)


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 Post subject: Re: UK 'Bonus' Points - TOs what are you trying to achieve?
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:53 pm 
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I dont read the OP as angry at all, and noone suggests something sinister. I just read an honest question on what the point of the system is. The only answer Ive seen so far is different systems give different challenges.

If it indeed is pointless (pun intended), perhaps just move away from it? And "vote with your feet" is hardly fair. Location, cost and negotiation with the wife will always be the major obstacles to attend, noone (I assume) cares that much about the scoring system that it would warrant a boycott.


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 Post subject: Re: UK 'Bonus' Points - TOs what are you trying to achieve?
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:07 pm 
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howlinggriffon wrote:
This is the 2nd post about bonus points that has referenced Bunker Bowl. For the record, I picked this score set as I ran Bunker Bowl IV with Rodders after he gave up the Carrot Crunch. I used the Carrot Crunch rules as I thought it would be a nice way to merge the two tournaments. I used them again for Bunker Bowl V as I didn't realise there was a hornet's nest attached.

If it's going to cause this much of an issue, I just won't run it again.


Relax buddy, I read the O.P with interest ( didn't find it particularly "Angry") I don't think anyone should not run a tournament on the strength of a post on a thread, if you attendance is good ( and I believe it is) then your tournaments fine, so no need to stop! ( besides I'm still trying to attend..... Maybe next Year)

As a T.O. Who uses bonus points I'm carefull to ensure a draw is never better than a win

max bonus + draw =11 (3td + 3cas +5)
Min win = 13 (1-0 Win, no Cas)

However whilst a win is a win, the first match was probably a much harder fought game ( and yes, I've played some awesome 0-0 games) and finally as someone ( frogBoy??) mentioned, and especially for my tournament (1 day, 3 games) I need some method to seperate several coaches as I often have 6-7 coaches on 3 wins, and I do so hate strength of schedule......

As sir lunch of money mentioned, if your unhappy with any aspect of a tournament ( rules/scoring/price/location Ect.) then just don't attend, TBH we are quite spoilt for choice in the UK with lots of tournaments, so there are probably lots of others you may prefer.....

So the answer is: I'm trying to achieve an environment that coaches will appriciate and enjoy, balancing competitive play with fun, I think I'm getting it about right but any (constructive) Input is alway appreciated. :D

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 Post subject: Re: UK 'Bonus' Points - TOs what are you trying to achieve?
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:25 pm 
Legend
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I always thought that bonus points were extended beyond tie-breakers to give players something more to play for.

Often you'll be in a situation where the result is either decided or close enough to it, but there are still quite a few turns left. Say Dwarfs down to 8 players and losing 2-0 to a full wood elf squad and kicking to start the 2nd half.
With bonus points then there often is something still to play for and it makes it worthwhile to keep going rather than just doing nothing every turn or conceding.

Having to go through the motions for 4+ turns can be pretty dispiriting, especially if you are a having a really bad run and it happens multiple times during the weekend. I think that is a reason that points for casualties can be good for some coaches.

In my experience playing against someone who really wants to win isn't much fun, but playing someone who doesn't care about the game at all is even
worse.

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