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Proposal Log Discussion 6 - Minimum Length STRs


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#1 TheOptician

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 09:11 PM

malcom,jansen has proposed that TC reduce the minimum length of STRs from 2 hours to 1 hour, on the basis that scheduling will become easier:

 

You can see his proposal here:

 

http://forum.strateg...c-proposal-log/

 

(Forum members are invited to join in this discussion).


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#2 Nortrom

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 09:44 PM

There is something to say for this proposal, on the other hand, there is nothing preventing a player from offering say:

 

Mon: 20 - 22

Tues: 20 - 22

Wed: 20 - 22

 

Thurs: 13 - 14.... 15 - 16 ... 17 - 18... 19-20

 

I do personally dislike the 2 hour thing though, as it means you essentially have to make 3 hours free. A range from say 8 - 10 GMT could result into a game starting at 10 and finishing as early as 11.


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#3 astros

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 10:04 PM

 

malcom,jansen has proposed that TC reduce the minimum length of STRs from 2 hours to 1 hour, on the basis that scheduling will become easier:

 

You can see his proposal here:

 

http://forum.strateg...c-proposal-log/

 

(Forum members are invited to join in this discussion).

 

I am proposing that you eliminate the minimum length requirement all together.


Edited by astros, 07 April 2018 - 10:08 PM.

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#4 GaryLShelton

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Posted 08 April 2018 - 01:15 AM

An hour seems more flexible.  Nortrom's idea that a 2 hour STR requires 3 hours set aside for the game would thereby be reduced to 2 hours set aside for the game, generally.  That seems better.   But in doing this reduction, I would say that the numbers of STR's needs to be increased to make up for the shortening of them.  Logically, if you require 3 now, cutting them in half should mean 6 STR's required, it seems.  I personally could provide 6 smaller time frames just as easily as 3 larger ones.

 

I'm not sure I would agree with eliminating the time requirement completely, though one maybe small benefit of eliminating the STR entirely is that it would end the confusion about the STR being an available window in which to start a game. Many, I'm sure, are constantly thinking the current two hour STR is the time of the game, not the starting time for it.  But then,I guess they have to get educated sometime if they misunderstand.



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#5 scottrussia

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Posted 08 April 2018 - 03:55 AM

I Think there is the theoretical and then the practical.

 

15-20-25 years ago I could not have participated in stratego tournaments.  My professional life simply would not have allowed any flexibility nor the free time to do so.

 

Theoretically, allowing a one hour time slot increases the opportunities to play.  Practically, it will also increase the number of times that plans change, meetings get extended, things happen.  And many times when those things happen, stratego is not going to be on your mind.

 

Having a 2 hour time slot forces one to actually have the ability to set aside some time that day/time to play.

 

Even today, with much more freedom and control of my schedule, there are still times its challenging to have the time to play.  The two hour window is a mechanism that forces you to think about whether or not you REALLY can play at that time.  I would envision a lot more no-shows and "I forgot" and "something's come up" scenarios taking place with 1 hour windows.

 

I don't think the rules prevent suggesting a one hour time slot in addition to the slots offered.  I know that a few times I've included "I can play Wednesday at 12:00 GMT" in addition to the slots I'm offering.

 

Finally, there are a few folks that view scheduling (or making your life as difficult as possible) as a competitive advantage.  I can just imagine those folks deciding they are only available the same hour 6 consecutive days of the week at the absolute worst possible time for their opponent.

 

I understand Astros challenge of working in the US and being very busy and only having a few hours every night (or less).   That time does not translate into European playing times as its 3am in the morning.  I don't view trying to squeeze an hour in as the solution though. 


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#6 TheOptician

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 07:40 PM

I am not sure what impact this proposal would have on scheduling. As long as the required hours of availability remains at 6 hours, Im not convinced it would make a difference either way. For those players who find it difficult to find slots that are two hours long (which as Nortrom points out - have to effectively be three hours long to allow for a game that starts right at the end of the slot), this proposal definitely offers flexibility, but is there a cost?

 

The main benefit I see of a 2 hour window is that it may force a player to compromise, and offer a time that isn't 'ideal' but is doable. That might make the difference between finding an arrangement or not. Players whose ideal times intercept with each other generally have no issues scheduling. But players whose ideal times are a little further away from each other might be affected. Consider the player who prefers to play at 1800-1900GMT everyday (but ends up offering 1800-2000GMT just because they have to) and the player who prefer to play at 2100-2200GMT everyday (but offers 2000-22200GMT just because they have to). With the minimum length removed, that middle ground may disappear.



#7 astros

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Posted 20 April 2018 - 07:30 PM

The main benefit I see of a 2 hour window is that it may force a player to compromise, and offer a time that isn't 'ideal' but is doable. That might make the difference between finding an arrangement or not. Players whose ideal times intercept with each other generally have no issues scheduling. But players whose ideal times are a little further away from each other might be affected. Consider the player who prefers to play at 1800-1900GMT everyday (but ends up offering 1800-2000GMT just because they have to) and the player who prefer to play at 2100-2200GMT everyday (but offers 2000-22200GMT just because they have to). With the minimum length removed, that middle ground may disappear.


I am not obligated to accept an overlapping slot. Alternatively, I can suggest my slots so that they do not overlap at a manageable but less ideal time for me.
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#8 TheOptician

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Posted 21 April 2018 - 04:46 PM

My point still stands - the 2 hour slot means that some players are offering times that they wouldn't have offered if the minimum window was reduced. So if the 2 hour minimum window is reduced or removed I wouldn't be surprised if games became slightly harder to arrange.

That having been said I don't feel particularly strongly about the proposal either way. I could probably get on board with reducing the minimum length of a slot from 2 hours to 1 hour - and then see if that has any noticeable impact on scheduling.

#9 astros

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Posted 21 April 2018 - 04:49 PM

My point still stands - the 2 hour slot means that some players are offering times that they wouldn't have offered if the minimum window was reduced. So if the 2 hour minimum window is reduced or removed I wouldn't be surprised if games became slightly harder to arrange.
That having been said I don't feel particularly strongly about the proposal either way. I could probably get on board with reducing the minimum length of a slot from 2 hours to 1 hour - and then see if that has any noticeable impact on scheduling.

Players can still offer a two hour slot or they can offer a separate one hour slot later. Right now you are preventing them from offering that one hour slot. Since the same number of total hours is still six, this will not hurt arrangement.

Offering two hours back to back is less likely to result in arrangement than two hour long intervals that are separated.

Edited by astros, 21 April 2018 - 04:55 PM.

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#10 TheOptician

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Posted 21 April 2018 - 06:03 PM

I think you are missing the point that longer slots may make scheduling easier.

Consider that Player A's ideal time is 1800 every day, and that Player B's ideal time is 2000.

Currently, the 2 hour requirement means that Player A cannot just offer 'Mon to Sat 1800-1900'. They are forced to offer 1800-2000.

This may make the player offer times that are not ideal. You are arguing that players would get more flexibility if windows are reduced, and I completely agree. But I am arguing that the flipside of flexibility may be reduced compromise.

#11 astros

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Posted 21 April 2018 - 06:07 PM

Or Player A offers 17 to 19 GMT or no slot that day.

Player B might offer 20 to 22 GMT. Player A might elect not to play at 20 GMT even though they feasibly could.
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#12 TheOptician

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Posted 21 April 2018 - 06:18 PM

I'm not saying it happens like that every time. I'm only saying that there will definitely be some arrangements that currently happen that would
not happen under a reduced minimum.

There will likely also be some arrangements that do not currently happen that would happen under a reduced minimum.

I don't accept that reduced windows will assist scheduling. In truth I am just making my best guess - but in the absence of data that is all I can do.

The logic is that requiring players to suggest times that are not ideal leads to more arrangements.

#13 astros

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Posted 21 April 2018 - 08:40 PM

The logic is that requiring players to suggest times that are not ideal leads to more arrangements.

No it does not. To simply things, let's assume that a player must propose two hours of availability a day.

 

Player A's time preferences are as follows:

14-15 GMT

18-19 GMT

20-22 GMT

 

Under the current system Player A offers 20-22 GMT and under my proposal he suggests 14-15 GMT and 18-19 GMT.

 

Now consider Player B who is in a similar time zone. If Player B can play between 20-22 GMT then an arrangement is found. However, this is not necessarily Player A's or Player B's first choice time slot, it is just the overlapping one.

 

What if Player B cannot play from 20-21 GMT?

 

Then the probability that he can play between 21-22 GMT is reduced because the probability that someone can play in the next hour is conditional on their availability in the previous hour. Therefore, the probability that Player B can play during the two hour time slot is lower than if he picks another random time throughout the day. The two one-hour slots are separated so Player B being unavailable for the first slot has less of an effect on the probability that he is available for the second slot. Thus the two-one hour slots are more likely to lead to an arrangement.


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#14 scottrussia

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Posted 21 April 2018 - 09:37 PM

What is stopping Player A from offering up the times you just posted?  All he has to do is include two other 2 hour slots.

 

I offer up "alternative" times all the time.  

 

I can play:

Monday and Wednesday 03:00-05:00

Tuesday 06:00 - 10:00, and at 11:00

Wednesday 06:00-09:00

 

I can also do Wednesday at 12:00 and Friday at 12:00 (if I know by Tuesday).

 

I can't play on Saturday.

 

------------------------------------------------

 

I've been offering up time slots like this in every tournament with no issues.  I don't see that there is anything that stops you from offering up as many one hour slots as you'd like as long as you offer up three 2 hour slots.

 

To me the real issue will become the few people that believe "all is fair", and will intentionally offer up only 1 hour slots that they know are very inconvenient for their opponent.  There are only a few people I've encountered that do this - most people legitimately try to find a suitable time.  (and yes, those folks already simply offer up 2 hour slots they believe you don't really want to play at).

 

Like Opt, I don't really care about the issue.  But I do believe we'll see more no-shows as the hour you thought you had on Monday disappears on Thursday. 

 

And there are times that one has to consider if they can really play - I missed the winter tournament as when I looked at my schedule it was obvious that you can't have 3-4 weeks with virtually no availability.  So I passed. 

 

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#15 astros

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Posted 21 April 2018 - 09:43 PM

I offer up additional times to. However, most players only offer 2 hours slots because that is what is in the rules.
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#16 TheOptician

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 08:41 AM

I would be interested to hear what TheProf says about this. Would reducing the minimum slot to say 1 hour (from 2 hours) result in more or less arrangements?

#17 TheOptician

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 10:39 AM

Astros,

Your argument about conditional probability above seems to be based on assuming that player B is unavailable 2000-2100'.

Is this a fair assumption to make? Of course the other one hour slots are more likely to find a matching arrangement if you assume that the player is unavailable for half of the 2 hour slot.

#18 astros

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 03:00 PM

Astros,
Your argument about conditional probability above seems to be based on assuming that player B is unavailable 2000-2100'.
Is this a fair assumption to make? Of course the other one hour slots are more likely to find a matching arrangement if you assume that the player is unavailable for half of the 2 hour slot.

Assume that a player sleeps for 8 hours, then is available to play Stratego for 8 hours and then works for 8 hours with no gaps in between. This roughly mirrors a typical players' schedule and makes calculations easy. Consider what happens if the player cannot play in the first hour proposed. Case 1 represents two hour slots while case 2 represents 2 independent slots of an hour each.

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Edited by astros, 24 April 2018 - 03:01 PM.

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#19 TheOptician

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 04:16 PM

Ok I follow you. You are basically saying that one 2 hour slot is only really one option, (whereas two separate slots are more likely to present 2 options).

#20 astros

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 04:20 PM

That is the basic idea.
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