The Wise Old Weasel’s Five Factors
Factor 1: Explosiveness
GOOD LORD THERE IS A LOT OF CONTEXT BEFORE THIS ACTUAL CONTENT
Sorry, rookie Weasel alter-ego, I think its worth it. In 2016, the Sneak decided that one of our club goals should be developing championship-caliber players. That led to a lot of debate this past year over exactly how to evaluate Diplomacy players. This reminded me of Bill Connelly’s Five Factors that he uses to evaluate college football team — read more about them here. The Wise Old Weasel is going to define Diplomacy’s Five Factors, then look at how important each is to winning championships.
First up, we’ve got explosiveness, aka scoring bigly. In Part 1, we’re going to take a look at how explosive players need to be to make Royale and/or win the league. Part 2 will evaluate whether explosiveness defense is valuable, and Part 3 will look into the mechanics of what makes a game explosive.
For part 1, we take a look at the league (will come back to tournaments at a later date). We’ve developed profiles for your typical Royale qualifier and your typical Top Weasel. As always, all stats pulled are since we moved to the One True Scoring System in 2011.
INTRIGUING. SO WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SCORE BIGLY?
In a typical season, there are about 35 boards. 54% of games feature a score of 40+, while 26% of games feature a score of 50+. We’re defining 40+ as a good score because in lands you in the upper half of tops (ish). We’re defining 50+ as a “great” score because it lands you in the upper quartile of tops (ish).
Find out how explosive you need to be to make Royale and win the league after the jump.
SO HOW EXPLOSIVE DO I HAVE TO BE TO MAKE ROYALE?
Hey, I’m glad you asked! I went ahead and pulled our Royale cabooses data together and from that created this typical profile:
# Boards: 11
# Tops (percent): 2 (20%)
# Good scores (percent): 1 (11%)
# Great scores (percent): 0.43 (5%)
Pretty simple formula, top a couple boards, with one being a good top. A great top is nice and probably pushes you further up than the 7 seed.
BUT WHAT IF I’VE GOT BIG DREAMS?
Ah, yes, Herm Edwards, you do play to win the league. After looking over our league, 150 points will win you the league more often than not. So we took a look at individual seasons where players hit 150+ and created a typical profile:
# Boards: 19
# Tops (percent): 4.5 (23%)
# Good scores (percent): 3.88 (21%)
# Great scores (percent): 2.38 (12.5%)
Interesting change here — about 4 good scores, including at least a couple great ones.
THAT’S A LOT OF NUMBERS THAT I MAY OR MAY NOT WANT TO ANALYZE. WHAT’S THE SHORT WAY OF TELLING A CABOOSEY FROM A TOPPY?
- Winners show up. Toppy plays twice as often. You play to win the game, but you have to play to win, ya know?
- Toppy and Caboosey top at about the same rate. 23% vs 19% is really not that meaningful of a difference.
- But winners win biglier. Twice as likely to hit a good score, 2.5 times as likely to get a great score.
BUT HOW DOES ONE SCORE BIGLIER? DO I TAKE MORE RISKS? WHAT DOES THIS MEAN, OLD WEASEL?
Whoa, cool your jets dude. We’ll cover that in part 3.
UGH FINE I’LL WAIT. ARE THERE SEASONS I CAN LOOK AT / TRY TO EMULATE IN THE MEANTIME?
Sure, rookie Weasel alter-ego. Here are your three most explosive seasons of Modern Weasel History.
- YEARGIN 2011. 201 points. 5.5 tops in 15 boards (37%). 6 good games (40%), 3 great games (20%).
- TROTTA 2017. 188 points. 5.5 tops in 18 games (31%). 4 good games (22%), 3 great games (17%).
- O’KELLEY 2012. 154 points. 3.5 tops in 14 boards (25%). 3 good games (21%), 2 great games (14%).
Damn, Peter Yeargin.
This Post Has One Comment
This is one of the most “fresh” Diplomacy articles I have read. Rather than focusing on something power specific or openings, it helps focus on personal improvement. Great job.
I would love to see some tournament analysis as well I know it isn’t as clean a dataset but my gut says at a tournament all of the above is true, except that you need to win bigly faster. It would be really interesting to see how often tournament winners play in a year but that would take some crazy data analytics.