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Re: Pre-measuring things

From: Indy <kochte@s...>
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2000 10:35:13 -0400
Subject: Re: Pre-measuring things

Mikko Kurki-Suonio wrote:
> Indy <> writes:
> I guess we'll never agree, but I'll at least try to explain my point.

No, I don't think we'll ever fully agree, but that's okay. I only
yesterday to get clarification on some of your statements, and explain
not everyone has the same bad experiences (I often get the impressiong
your posts that things are very polarized to an extreme with you, that
are pretty much only black and white, and I just wanted to present a
facet on things)

> > I have to ask, if you could not remember the size of your table and
> > came to play who didn't pre-measure but could judge the
length/breadth of
> > your table, and you lost the game, would you blame it on their
ability to
> > measure over yours? Would you consider this ungamesmanlike conduct
on their
> > part, being able to Mk I eyeball judge better than you?
> No. Not at all. Just like I wouldn't bitch about losing to superior
> tactics or better luck with dice.
> And yes, I *am* handicapping myself. It's called a rule, and I expect
> everyone else I play with to follow the same rules.

I don't think handicapping oneself is called a rule. I believe that is
considered a choice. Expecting others to use the same handicaps is a
bit sublime. That's like saying "I will not be using trees for cover,
therefore you are not permitted to, either".

> > I don't understand. What is it you are trying to imply with this
> > about his being a carpenter?
> Pro-pre-measurement people often gripe about carpenters, because
> their job teaches rather well the ability to eyeball typical gaming
> distances.

Hmmmm. Now granted I've never played with a carpenter, but I've never
really heard anyone gripe about *anyone's* innate ability to eyeball
distances better than others. But then again, as has been established,
we do allow pre-measurement. Just so everyone has an idea of the
distances between things (one other thing about the people I've played
with or refereed games for, not each and every person pre-measures;
ofttimes one person will do all the measuring for everybody involved,
no matter what side someone is on).

> But he doesn't care about knowing it's "roughly six inches", he'd like
> know it's exactly 6.00000000000000000000000000001 inches so I'd be out
> range.

I guess I should consider it fortunate that I like fair play and
whenever there is a question about whether or not something is in
range I put on my referee hat and make a judgement call. This has
worked 'against' me as often as it has worked 'for' me when I've
played. When I'm simply reffing, I'm just doing my job.

> > If the pre-measuring guys were counting hexes, they were only
> > as you noted, a "good approximation" of the distances involved.
> > not as accurate as actually taking a measuring tool and getting an
> > reading.
> No, and it was close. But hex-counting game them a definite edge.

Gave them a bit of an edge maybe, but I can't see it giving them
a definite edge. A definite edge would allow precision flying (or
moving, depending on the game you were playing) to the fraction of
a fractional inch (or whatever measuring unit you happen to be using).
And it wasn't like you didn't have the same option; you just chose not
to utilize it. A self-handicap.

> > When you judge distances and do NOT pre-measure, how do you do it?
> > ship lengths? Such as, oh, taking a NAC battleship and seeing in
> > mind's eye how many NAC battleship lengths it is to the target? And
> > based on that which target is closer and in which range band? Or do
> > just randomly assign targets without having ANY idea what range band
> > those targets are in?
> Sit down first. The answer is basically: Gut Feeling. Gut feeling and
> prior, proven knowledge (such as "I shot at them last turn and neither
> moved, so...") Actually, I've been thinking about making range rulers
> only the range bands marked, so you'd know he's in medium range but
> exactly by how much.

The range ruler thing is something I've been wanting to do, too.
when we are pre-measuring we aren't worried about whether or not the
potential targets are 23 or 22 inches away. We usually want to know if
they are within range band X or not. Since we don't premeasure down to
the fractional inch, and are just checking range bands, this may
to the fact that pre-measuring doesn't slow our games down appreciably.
The only times we worry about a more exact measure is if whether or not
a target has landed or ended up at the edge of a range band. Then a more
precise measurement may (or may not) be taken, depending on the

On a side bar I am thinking that perhaps range rulers would be a viable
thing for competitions. Just whip out the yardstick-long dowel rod and
quickly one can know if one's fleet or part of one's fleet is in a
range band of something else. 

> E.g. given a choice of two targets, I would do what I would do in
> life" -- choose the closer one barring tactical considerations of much
> greater importance. Maybe they're actually in the same range band and
> would have been better off shooting at the farther one... maybe I get
> lucky and the closer one is actually closer in game terms. But in
> case I feel I made the right, logical decision.

On an individual level, yeah. But if you're in a fleet or something and
have been directed/ordered to target something (while in the same range
band) that is further away, it is probable (and the military guys can
correct me freely with their experiences :)  that you'll fire at the
designated target over the closer threat. 

> > If the game is dull and boring, there is no victory in winning for
> Ach, some agreement found!

Thought we'd disagree on EVERYthing, did you??	:-)

> > You said *effective* range is 300 yards.
> 300 is just a number. Don't get stuck on it. I welcome you to the
> following test:
> We establish range X at which I am able to hit a man-sized target with
> of my rifles of your choosing. You can choose any X you like but first
> must validate it with a paper target.
> Then, you volunteer to stand X+1 yards away while I shoot at you.
> Oh, and since it's impossible to hit anything at X+1 yards, I get as
> shots as I like.
> History is littered with dead guys who thought the other guys couldn't
> an elephant at X+1...
> There is no X in real life. There's only clearly in range, clearly out
> and the fuzzy gray area in between. If the game is supposed to be some
> sort of simulation, the game should also have the gray area.

I assume it as already being abstracted into the game system. These are,
after all, abstract simulations.  :-)

> > No, you don't know you'll be there first. There are far, far too
> > other variables to take into consideration. The other team may move
> > faster. The terrain between you and them. Someone tripping and
> > causing them to 'waste time' getting back up again.
> Then why do you allow it in a game?

Allow what in the game? Premeasuring? Just because you know distances
doesn't mean you'll get there first. I believe SGII takes this a bit
into consideration with the 'combat moves'. Sometimes you run lots.
Sometimes you trip over every little stone (as happened to a squad
of PA troops I had in the last game I played :-/ )

> > If it doesn't noticeably slow the game down
> > (and my experience, as noted in another msg, it hasn't really),
> Well, I and others on the list have different experiences.

Likewise others besides me have had little experience with games
slowing down from pre-measuring.

I'm not saying or trying to say that pre-measuring DOESN'T slow
games down, or couldn't potentially do so; it can. Just that the
games *we* have played, the games *I* have run, have, for the
most part, been unaffected by pre-measuring (unaffected = the
games didn't slow down appreciably). I can totally see where
someone would or could dick around with measuring every little
nuance 5 times over for some nefarious reason, thus slowing things
down. I've seen and experienced delay tactics and other time
wasters in other games over the years. I'm just saying that my
experiences with FT (and DSII and SGII) gaming this has not been
an issue with the people I've played with (and I've played with
a lot of people across this country; not a few of which are on
or used to be on this list).

> > Premeasuring, on
> > the otherhand, puts everything even, even between people who are not
> > accurate as some others.
> It's not unequal vs. equal, it's a different TYPE of unequal footing.
> The footing is *always* unequal in the sense that some people are
> at some things than others. The only truly equal game would be a
> random one (unless you believe luck is an innate ability), but that
> wouldn't pose much of a challange. To me at least.

Considering mine and Beth's abilities to roll '1' at critical times
(me moreso with p-torps :) and Aaron's little Teske Field, I'm almost
inclined to say luck is an inate ability.  ;-)

> To return to the beginning: YES, I AM KNOWINGLY HANDICAPPING MYSELF --
> it's not a one-sided handicap. The rule is the same to all players, I
> lose more than others for it. 

If you are knowingly handicapping yourself you probably should expect to
lose more than others for not. That's like being involved in a boxing
match but tying one arm behind your back and expecting your opponent to
do the same....and if they don't, odds are they'll likely win (unless
you're real REAL good!). I don't see handicaps as a rule; I see 'em as
a choice.

>Not pre-measuring while others do would
> effectively be different rules for different folks.
> I have better than average skills and formal education in math,
> probability, logic, game theory, statistics etc. Given enough hard
data, I
> could leave my carpenter friend dead in water in the prediction and
> analysis department.
> I could play like a real asshole. If I had money riding on it, I
> would. I am a reformed Car Wars player after all ;-)
> But besides taking too much time, it wouldn't be much fun either.
> I choose not to. I'm just not being naive in that choice, I want
> who play with me to make the same choice.

It's a tough road you've chosen to follow. I hope you can find
some people who want to play with self-handicaps.

> Because I have a dream.
> I dream of a game.
> A game where you could concentrate on playing the game, not the rules.
> A game you could play well without actually knowing the rules, only
> principles behind them.

To me, FT's come the closest to this. But that's my experience. YMMV,
and probably does. :-/


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