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The Piece Value Equivalence Discussion


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#1 Silverhammer

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 09:53 AM

What do I mean?

 

For example: is the Marshall worth the same as a General and Spy?

 

Those kind of ideas. I understand information is the best value to some degree, but I want to get on a more deep level.

 

Like is a Marshall worth a captain and all four lieutenants

 

Might do a video on it



#2 TemplateRex

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 02:41 PM

Depends on the remaining material. Vincent de Boer's thesis has an example of general vs 2 sergeants. Good for general in opening, but in endgame with only 2 miners each, sergeants are dominant (and the general is then no better than a lieutenant). Also, seems that most people are willing to sacrifice anything up to a major for marshal info. 


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#3 Fks

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 10:03 PM

My preference is general spy over marshal. In my games you can see :P But I think your only able to take general with marshal once you know where other players marshal is if not I don't think its worth it. Reason being Marshal can't come and wreak havoc in your own base because of spy/bombs. And if you took his general early game you have a lot of pieces to bluff with and maybe manage to grab a colonel or a major since he probably has to many pieces to defend that have already been moved. Obviously it will still be a tough game and if he gets your spy your kind of screwed.


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#4 Fairway

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 12:53 AM

Depends on the remaining material. Vincent de Boer's thesis has an example of general vs 2 sergeants. Good for general in opening, but in endgame with only 2 miners each, sergeants are dominant (and the general is then no better than a lieutenant). Also, seems that most people are willing to sacrifice anything up to a major for marshal info. 

I think I might correct this, many good players (and myself, although I'm probably decent at best :)) will take a major with a colonel to discover the opponent's marshal.

 

Otherwise I definitely agree with you. A higher ranked piece is more valuable in the early/mid game but can be devalued during the endgame based on the situation.


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#5 Napoleon 1er

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 06:15 PM

losing a colonel for a major and find a marsh is equivalent to:

 

losing a scout to find a marsh

losing a sergeant to find a marsh

losing a lieut to find the marsh

losing a captain to find the marsh

losing a major to find the marsh

 

???


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#6 roeczak

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 06:36 PM

As chess great Alexander Alekhine said , "It depends on the position."

All 5 cases could be true (yes even case E which seemed utter b..lshit to me when i saw it at first.)

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#7 OuweSok

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 07:15 PM

losing a colonel for a major and find a marsh is equivalent to:
 
losing a scout to find a marsh
losing a sergeant to find a marsh
losing a lieut to find the marsh
losing a captain to find the marsh
losing a major to find the marsh
 
???

Not enough information. Was the colonel known before it captured the major? Was the major known before its capture? That is quite relevant to value the material you lost to get marshal info

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#8 Napoleon 1er

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 10:25 PM

yes assume both major and colonel were known before


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#9 OVERLORD

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 10:33 PM

Best piece for me, especially in the beginning, is the colonel. It is true that every piece has its own value and can be very important in different parts of a match, but imo colonels are the most valuable pieces.
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#10 TemplateRex

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 07:13 PM

Inspiration from chess IM Kaufman (also co-author of the top program Komodo) https://www.chess.co...m-larry-kaufman

Similar analysis could be done on the Gravon database and get values for the winning chances of pieces and exchanges relative to info.

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#11 roeczak

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 11:48 PM

Larry Kaufman is a GM.

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#12 TemplateRex

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 12:28 AM

Larry Kaufman is a GM.


Yes, correct, since 2008 it is GM Kaufman. In any case, the article I linked was a 2008 repost of the original 1999 article when Kaufman was still an IM.

More to the point however would be: what would a similar analysis look like in Stratego?

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#13 roeczak

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 11:36 AM

This is not possible in Stratego, or any incomplete information game.
If it were , there would be a computer program who could beat platinum players , and this is far far away from the truth.
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#14 TemplateRex

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 02:23 PM

This is not possible in Stratego, or any incomplete information game.

If it were , there would be a computer program who could beat platinum players , and this is far far away from the truth.

 

First, in 1999, computers (apart from Deep Blue, and even there Kasparov didn't play his best in the 1997 match) were also very far far away from beating chess grand masters. Only since 2005 and further (Fruit, Rybka and now Stockfish, Komodo and Houdini) did the top engines far outplay humans. Yet humans did play with such material guidelines for decades (maybe not as refined as in the Kaufman article).

 

Second, I think there are more reasons than incomplete information for Stratego computer programs to be not very strong (board size and repetitions extending the horizon effect are mentioned in Vincent de Boer's thesis). The main reason IMO is that the game is simply not as popular as others (chess, go, even draughts/checkers). As illustration, in other imperfect information games, such as poker/bridge/scrabble, top programs have equalized with or even outplayed human champions nowadays.

 

Third, a pure material only analysis will not be enough of course. But supplemented with material/information trade-offs, I don't see why simple guidelines couldn't be inferred from game databases such as from Gravon.

 

Simple question: is picking up a known opponent piece with a known piece of one rank higher (lieutenant with captain, captain with major, etc.) always good? Where does it stop? Picking known colonel with known general? Or when does picking up a known piece with an unknown piece become bad? Picking known captain with unknown major? There must be at least some guidelines.

 

Finally, in e.g.Texas Hold'em poker there are also pre-flop hand rankings. So imperfect information games are open to analysis. Of course, position, number of players and of course the later streets change everything, but denying that basic analysis is impossible or saying things like "it depends on the position" is not very productive. What is productive is trying to formulate how it depends on the position.


Edited by TemplateRex, 10 December 2017 - 02:33 PM.

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