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Running Tally on 2008 first-half TAPL competition
The running tally of the first-half-of-2008 TAPL competition is posted here.

(added 19 June)
Thanks to rrroll for bringing to my attention that all the february stats have percentages that add to more than 100. To fix this, I have made the assumption that the proportions of firsts, seconds, thirds, etc. are correct; that is, they are all overstated by the same proportion. So I will scale back the February number of games by 85% to make the February percentages have the same scale when they are included in the six-month weighted average.

The score for a given player below is as of the date that player entered the competition, and is not updated when newer players' scores are posted. At the end of the month, all players' scores will be updated and the final tally posted.

fiero600 1229 23% 23% 15% 12% 10% 7% 9% 6511

Vermont 985 20% 21% 17% 14% 10% 8% 7% 4588

XxDiceyGirlxX 919 21% 19% 16% 10% 10% 9% 10% 3413

montecarlo 1014 22% 18% 18% 12% 11% 9% 12% 3216

RageUnleashed 384 22% 23% 16% 11% 11% 8% 9% 3184

jurgen 1117 19% 19% 17% 16% 10% 10% 8% 3122

skrumgaer 1510 12% 11% 16% 20% 18% 14% 9% 2826

Mr_Kreuzfeld 840 20% 20% 15% 12% 10% 10% 10% 2596

nuflis 512 24% 16% 15% 15% 8% 9% 14% 2463

rrroll 947 21% 20% 13% 13% 12% 11% 12% 2390

MadHat_Sam 1033 19% 16% 14% 10% 10% 13% 20% 2280

jpc4c 1007 19% 20% 16% 12% 10% 10% 11% 2275

yellowfin 2060 19% 17% 14% 13% 11% 11% 13% 1781

dasfury* 1124 20% 16% 14% 11% 10% 11% 17% 1771

captainLAGER 1386 20% 15% 12% 12% 13% 12% 16% 1506

wishbone 1021 19% 18% 14% 11% 11% 12% 14% 1495

OldElvis 429 15% 15% 15% 20% 16% 12% 7% 1460

Johnson213 2463 16% 16% 14% 14% 11% 11% 16% 1264

rosie 392 14% 21% 14% 15% 10% 12% 15% 1051

TiS 906 18% 15% 14% 15% 14% 10% 13% 763

timmae1986 1059 15% 16% 17% 14% 14% 13% 18% 709

Shevar 1525 18% 15% 13% 14% 12% 13% 13% 610

FemmeFatale 1584 17% 14% 15% 16% 14% 14% 11% 559

olliejjc_16 991 13% 16% 14% 14% 12% 12% 17% 463

§ilverfox 1146 14% 12% 14% 13% 14% 14% 17% 371

moneymango 857 15% 16% 14% 14% 14% 11% 12% 356

garbagemafia 1237 16% 13% 14% 15% 13% 13% 12% 321

*shows a rank for May 2008 but no games

7 comments , posted by skrumgaer at 8:50 AM, Monday June 23, 2008 EDT
Respecting Flags
***This post is subject to change, depending on the community reaction***

Not all flags need to be immediately respected. If you are the leader, consider the flag as a request for mercy, at which point you can choose to respect it or not.

- When is it polite kdice etiquette to respect a flag?

If someone has 8 stacks (especially) and is on the fringe of the board, has more lands than someone else on the board, and gives their flag and promise to not hit you.

(There are other examples: but generally, the player should have SOME tall stack on the board still, and thus a valid reason to at least put in a plea for mercy, instead of three lands with 2 stacks, for example)

- When is it okay to ignore a flag?

If someone has been fighting you all game (draining your lands, dice count and opportunity to win)... and they flag suddenly. ESPECIALLY if they are flagging after either:

1) attacking you with an 8v7 and losing (killing their chance to win).
2) attacking elsewhere, and leaving nothing but 1 and 2 stacks everywhere... (next to your 6+ stacks)

KEY NOTE: I would advise that you should always try to respect a flag so as to not wipe someone off the board COMPLETELY.

(unless you need to go through them to relink, or are rewarding an ally with place)

***Generally, use common sense***

If teal has 2 eigh stacks on the corner of the map and flags... and blue has one 5 stack - conquers two lands and flags next to your 8 stacks. Honestly, think about it. Does he deserve to place over teal? It's a ninja move, in essence, and you can make the call as to respect the flag or not. (I would 8v4, etc and mop up, but again, it is UP to you).

Just realize that not all flags need to be respected 100% immediately. A flag is a REQUEST for mercy, not 100% immunization from all attacks (otherwise it would be coded in the game that way). A flag isn't the equivalent of the immunity idol on "Survivor" if you catch my drift.

Below is a message from Ryan, while discussing the flagging system, and how we can make it better:

"Honestly, I believe the currently flagging is the most balanced. Let's consider the different types of flagging:

1) No flags. Players battle until one player has every territory. Problem: games get draw out and last 1 hour. Even if 2nd has given up 1st must still keep rolling to win. This is the original reason for flags - to end the game quicker when the outcome has already been determined.

2) If everyone, except 1st, flags then the game ends. This was a good flagging system and lasted quite a while. The problem with it is you could farm dominance very easily and you could ninja flag. For example, 3 players left, 3rd doesn't want to flag, 1st wants more dominance points, 2nd flags. 1st has more incentive to attack 2nd. Ninja flagging meant if you were the last to flag you could make a couple of attacks on your turn, gain position and flag to end the game at a higher position.

3) Instant flagging. We tried having flags to make you instantly leave the game. The problem is that if you're in last and you know another higher player can flag then you'll probably wait. The outcome was that in many games people would wait until you had 3 or 4 players down to 1 or 2 territories - the player in first laughing and gaining dominance. This was frustrating.

4) Position flagging. This flagging fixes the problem with the previous type, lower players know that higher players can't flag out and will flag when they know they are finished. It also fixes ninja flagging - once you flag you can only flag for lower positions. If two players flag for a position they have to fight it out, negotiate, or the server determines the higher player based on territories and dice. It also acts as a contract with higher players and solves the problem of higher players farming. Higher players know that a flagged player can't unflag and isn't a threat.

The problem with #4 thats being mention in my opinion is small compared to the problems that it solves. People respect flags too much. End game negotiations is part of the game and has been with every type of flagging. The real problem is that the current flagging is so easy that we have become lazy with it, use it a lot, and accept most outcomes. The better players will realize this and use flagging to get the best outcomes and this will include not respecting all flags.

With all this said, the problem I think that needs to be solved, and has existed in previous versions of flagging, is to make sure everyone knows that flagging is not a sure thing. If it were it would be enforced in the game. Since flagging for 2nd doesn't always mean you get 2nd it means that its not a hard "rule" and is open to using however you like as a strategic tool. Of course when someone doesn't respect your flag you're going to get upset, but this is part of the game like getting upset when several players decide to focus on attacking you - its part of the game. When people complain about not respecting flags you can point them here - or maybe an advisor can write a blog post about respecting flags.

I think it helps to consider the history of flagging to understand where it's at. If you have suggestions for improvement please volunteer them."

Grun's Commentary:

Play the game and have fun. Remember that the point is to WIN the game and have fun. Don't flag in round 3 because someone has an 8 stack. Try the chatbox to change the course of events or understand that 8v5s DO defend, and then there you are, poised to win the game and you can get no higher than 2nd due to premature flagging.

PS: Below is a relevant link.
48 comments , posted by Grunvagr at 9:28 AM, Sunday June 8, 2008 EDT
The Wall
Today I uploaded some small updates to the server mostly to focus on using the wall on profiles. The idea of a wall is common with social networks and was here previously. It was replaced briefly with Player Notes/Reviews with the intent that social network features were going to be provided on a parent site. However, its clear that the community would rather the network stay on this site rather than be spread out. This is the motivations for the updates at the beginning of the month.

This small update is to make the wall a bigger focus. Reviews have been moved off the overview page. You can now post messages to a players wall directly from the overview page (if you are their friend). If you're not their friend you can request to be added by adding them as your friend. Once they add you, you can post on their wall.

I hope the posting on a players wall helps you communicate with friends on this site and makes this place even more friendly.
11 comments , posted by Ryan at 8:27 AM, Saturday June 7, 2008 EDT
June 1 Update
After a nearly 24 hr coding session I've got a new code base uploaded to the servers. The majority of these changes are meant to bring better community and social networking on the non-game half of the site.

Player Notes are now called Reviews and you are limited to having only one review per player. If you submit another review it will overwrite the first. Anybody can post a review. These aim to act as a reputation system.

Comments are back! Yes, now if you are someone's friend you can post a comment on their wall. You'll notice new sections in the profile page for reviews and wall comments. Friends can post as many wall comments as they'd like.

Friends have changed a little too. You can add any player as a friend giving them access to your wall and letting you track them at the tables. Adding a friend will send a request to that player to add you.

You should also notice this new blog. The other blog was too far away to maintain properly. This blog will have posts on the front of the forum Also Advisors (the old moderators) can post blog entries too.

Finally you'll notice a new preferences dialog at the tables. This is an amalgamation of all the options. You can change your settings including sound and whether you want your stars displayed. You can add/remove friends. And last but not least, you can edit your profile information. Yes, profile info is back including country flags!

With all this new stuff and little testing there are bound to be some bugs. If you bump into some post them as a comment to this post.

Hope you like the update. See you at the tables.

36 comments , posted by Ryan at 3:30 AM, Sunday June 1, 2008 EDT
KDice - Multiplayer Dice War
KDice is a multiplayer strategy online game played in monthly competitions. It's like Risk. The goal is to win every territory on the map.
Texas Holdem Poker
Online Strategy
Online Pictionary