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It’s time to explain the NASH to the new generation, I think.

Using RNG to play is not “I will equally weigh all these options, roll a die, and do what it says”. It is, “based on my hand, my discard, my opponent’s hand, and my opponent’s discard, what is more likely to win in this situation? Okay, now I will assign percentages of options I should play based on this situation: 50% block, 30% attack, 20% throw. Okay, NOW I will use a random number generator to determine which of these weighted options I will do.”

You still have to play Yomi. You still have to understand valuation. You still have to take into account fluid gamestates. Everything that everyone does when playing Yomi is still done. Except now, instead of using that information and making a play you use that information, create an odds table based on proportionate payoffs and then randomly determine the play using those criteria. It is almost literally the same exact thing, because if you improperly weigh the payoffs, or if you assume no super but they have super, or if you misinterpret any given game scenario, your percentages will be off and you will get a suboptimal result. We are all doing that in our head constantly while playing Yomi (or should be, anyway). The ONLY difference is, instead of making that final decision based on “reads” or whatever you’d like to call it, you make it using a random number. The reason why these “top players” as it were were top players were not because of RNG. They were top players because of their ability to evaluate the gamestate. They just used RNG because they thought it gave them an extra edge, which it may or may not have.


Yes, this is one of the best indicators of a player graduation from beginner to early intermediate skill, which is to be able to very consistently beat beginning players who are playing randomly, or who are playing “so as not to be predictable.” (The secret is just to block until you have 13 cards, power up for Aces, and then dodge/reversal/super as much as possible.)

Ah, there is some misconception going on. When we talk about high level players using RNG, it’s not that they are using it to “play random cards” or assigning a 1/3 change to attack, throw, and block/dodge.

A more accurate summary of how to use RNG at a high level is this: you are in a situation as Zane where your opponent has no more Jokers, and you have known Maximum Anarchy in hand, and throws. You are choosing between Throw, raw Anarchy, and Dodge. Without an RNG, you make a decision based on some tactic or some model of your opponent’s behaviour. With an RNG, you still model your opponent’s imagined tendency, but rather than making a call, you say “okay, I think I should throw 40%, dodge 40%, and Anarchy 20%” and then roll a dice to make the final decision.

They’re not using a dice to make a “random” decision, they’re using the dice to play in a way that is more true to the “ideal range” that you should play in a given scenario, because making a decision yourself will tend to be more predictable.


Damn, I got out-sped. immediately places a card face-down


I actually explained it to him earlier via PM, since i do not want to derail vengefulpickle’s thread.
Imho, this rng stuff is taking a lil too much space, going OT.
Just my 2 cents, mate


shrugs I think it makes sense to discuss, just so other people who might not be familiar with the concept can understand (1) why someone would be concerned about an automatic range calculator, (2) the history of the use of RNGs in competitive Yomi, (3) how they work, and (4) why they may or may not be of any concern.


My own thoughts on the issue run like this:

  • The document I linked above said it was fine to take notes if you needed them.
  • It also said that the opponent should be able to see any notes you take, and that the notes should be cleared between games.
  • However, as discussed earlier, it’s pretty much impossible to enforce either of those restrictions on notes in an online environment.
  • That said, as vengefulpickle’s tool works currently, the only things it can track are:
    1. The opponent’s hand size (public knowledge, easy to confirm at any time).
    2. Cards that are known to be in the opponent’s hand, such as blocks that have returned to hand, aces that have been acquired via powering up, or everything seen via Martial Mastery and the like (public knowledge; all of this is reported in the log on the online client, but that can take time to scroll through if you want to confirm things).
    3. Cards that are known to not be in the opponent’s hand (public knowledge; usually this is easily visible in the opponent’s discard, but there are exceptions like Menelker banishing cards or a card getting put on the bottom of a deck; even so, it’s recorded in the log).
  • Because everything this tool currently tracks is public knowledge, and there would be no purpose in keeping any information on it between rounds, it gets closer to the intended use of notes than keeping a Notepad window open would—your opponent knows what’s possible to have noted on it at any given time, and it gets cleared between rounds.
  • Therefore, use of this tool as it is currently should not only be acceptable but actually preferable to using other kinds of note-taking, from the perspective of keeping to the tournament rules document.

I think it’s probably a good idea to let opponents know that you’d like to use this tool before a match starts, just as common courtesy if nothing else, but if you do that there shouldn’t be any issues with it. As for a potential addition that tracks ranges… I don’t really have a strong stance on that either way, but I doubt I’d want it myself. I’d rather just use this to offload the stress of remembering—and constantly checking the logs to remind myself—what cards can and can’t be in the opponent’s hand.


Thanks for the explanations, folks.
Good discussion. I’m starting to come around to the merit of these tools.


I have no idea how it’s any business of the other player that you’re taking notes during the game, just as much as it’s no business of the other player that I’m playing stark naked or with a cocktail in my hand. All they need to know is that I’m here and I’m playing Yomi.


yeah, i know many ppl in a competitive enviroment like to keep record of everything with a spreadsheet personally i prefer using memory+log, maybe is a useless exercise, but gives me more time for thinking and analyze the game flow.


Honestly, I agree with you on that. My point was that this is easier to use than a notepad for what I’d like to take notes on and it makes anyone who actually cares about that part of the tournament rules document happy (or at least happier).


True. In fact, the only real thing that matters (that the person you are playing against is actually that person) is actually unenforceable as well! You could be playing against my little sister!


Because it affects the enjoyment of some games when others min-max to that degree. As I said, I’m coming around to it in a competitive game such as Yomi. But when I’m sitting down at a table with friends playing board games, if one of my friends breaks out a pad of paper and pencil and insists on tracking all trackable information, that’s going to rub me the wrong way. It could be they’re delaying the game by doing so, or it could just be that they’re taking it way too seriously. In a game like El Grande where players put cubes into the Castillo, you could keep track of exactly how many cubes each player has in there if you tracked that, but IMO, that would be against the spirit of the game (otherwise, what’s the point in hiding them?). It would likely mean that I would lose to players with a better memory than I, but I’m fine with that.

Now, online Yomi has a solution to the “delay” problem in timers. I’m not sure if F2F tournaments have a means to implement this or if they even would do so. I certainly hope so.

I guess the bottom line is, I play for fun and enjoyment. Others might put more emphasis on the competitive side (that is not to say they aren’t also having fun), and hence prefer to go to such lengths to min-max.

That’s an interesting point you bring up about someone else sitting in and playing under your account. That is also not enforceable, so is it therefore not banned?


No, by the same logic it couldn’t be banned, just like collusion can’t be (discussing your plays with someone on Skype or Discord or just someone in the same room, etc.). However, if someone was found to be doing that I can’t imagine they would be allowed to participate in future events because nobody is going to want to play against that person.

I’m not sure if you play a lot of board games online Desiderata, but in most cases any information that was once public but now is not, that is hidden in a lot of games (points gained in Tigris and Euphrates, cubes put in the Castillo in El Grande, money earned in Arkadia, etc.) is just public information in those games, specifically to make note-taking irrelevant. Since everyone could just take notes (and it would automatically be an advantage to anyone doing so) they just keep the information public and nip it in the bud.


Yes, there’s that, and I imagine the online games do that more so because of how long it takes between turns. In a F2F game, I can remember a heck of a lot more than I would over a week or more time (which is what some games take to finish). So to replicate the experience of what you may remember, they have to keep that information available. I’ve played a lot of Through the Ages online (before the iOS app), but I don’t do any online boardgaming currently, because I just enjoy it F2F much more.


Yeah, that’s a really good point. Collusion, coaching, and pretending to be a different player are all banned actions, even if they aren’t enforceable in any realistic way. I guess the real dividing line for these actions and the use of dice or other RNG is that the former are unambiguously going to result in an advantage to a player who uses them, whereas the latter is of much more ambiguous benefit.

And yes, as Niijima-san points out, any player found to have maliciously engaged in that kind of behaviour would have to be drummed out of competitive play for any kind of competitive scene to continue with any legitimacy.

At FSX, all matches have a specific (realistic) time limit, with clear penalties for violation. It works well, but I’ve also not encountered a situation where anyone has blatantly tried to game the rules for advantage. In the end, cultural norms of friendly competition do a significant amount of the heavy lifting in terms of ensuring a healthy competitive environment, helped by the fact that a lot of the people who attend know each other, and have been playing together for months or years.


I find this perspective interesting because you and I seem to have very different approaches to playing games :joy: I would 100% be the guy writing down the cubes and taking notes precisely because I don’t find memory to be an interesting skill to test. To me, taking notes just means that everyone is on an even playing field again. Information that could theoretically be memorized might as well just be written down; if it really was supposed to be unknown information then the game would (should?) have been designed in a way to keep the information hidden.

That being said, you are not alone in having this perspective. I once got into a small tiff with a friend when we were playing Carcassone; I wanted to consult a list of all tiles towards the end of the game so I could figure out whether or not there was any possibility of drawing a certain shape of tile anymore. I figured that this was fine, since the pool of tiles is the same every game so an experienced Carcassone player would probably have an idea of the ratios of tiles in the pool. My friend, though, was adamant that doing so was not in the spirit of the game. Different strokes, I suppose.


Well, I’d like to think I’m not draconian about it (at least as much as your friend), but it all boils down to “how serious of a game is this?”. Carcassone is a light enough and quick enough game that I wouldn’t bother to spend the time it would take to see if it was even possible to draw such a tile. But, I also don’t think I would care much if someone else wanted to, provided they were playing quickly and not dragging the game on too long. But, in longer more serious games where you’ve worked really hard to get to your game state, knowing the likely outcomes may be more important. So, I suppose, it depends.

Most players here in this discussion, I understand, are pretty serious Yomi players. So, it makes sense that I’m in the minority wrt the seriousness of the game/match.

I do agree with you in that memory is also a skill I’m not interested in testing, for the most part.


I still vividly remember the salt from being eliminated from a tournament to what I thought was amazing bravery levels. We were both low on life in the final game when I powered up for confirmed TPoS. I played my last few turns expecting some kind of range shift which never came. In the post game chat it turned out the opponent was super tired at the end and actually missed/forgot my power up entirely.

This is all to say that you can have the situation where not tracking the public info feels against the spirit of the game. I would much rather everyone was aware of when I was trying to scare them :joy:


On the question of if it’s ok to use an outside aid to generate random numbers when you play a competitive match of Yomi, the answer is DEFINITELY NOT. But first, let’s turn to a different question.

Instead of RNG, imagine if the question were “is it ok to yell racial slurs at the opponent during a tournament?” Then someone says you probably shouldn’t be able to. But someone else says “how can we really define a racial slur though? It’s a gray area. You can’t stop all references to that. Also how can we even define yelling? It’s not like we’ll have decibel meters detecting some exact loudness level. Since it can’t be banned, it should be allowed.”

That’s not how tournament floor rules work though. There’s a distinction between rules inside a game system and tournament floor rules, which are about handling the border between humans in real life and the game system. Inside a game system, you need hard rules like “you can’t use a certain card, it’s banned.” You either 100% have that card or you don’t. There’s no gray area and we demand that it be this way and not have rules like “you can’t use a certain card too much.” But tournament floor rules often must be less than 100% perfect because there’s no choice.

The issue about yelling racial slurs really can’t be defined 100% perfectly and fairly, and it involves a judgment call. But that is not a basis to delete the rule. If we did delete that rule then it’s saying “yelling racial slurs is now completely legal in our tournaments.” It could be a transformational change. Before this, if you simply observed a tournament, it would look normal. After, it could be that the status quo becomes yelling at the top of your lungs constantly for 1 hour straight during every match. Imagine an observer watching this new-normal.

A second quick example is collusion amongst tournament players. Imagine a group of tournament players get together and trade wins/losses in a particular way to manipulate the results of the tournament. Is this ok? No, it destroys the integrity of the tournament so thoroughly that it makes the entire event pointless to even hold in the first place. It must be banned. And yet it’s not 100% enforceable. It’s actually very hard to enforce at all. That doesn’t mean you should delete the rule though. If you did, you’d be in the situation where you say “tournament bracket manipulation and collusion is totally fine! Go ahead!!!” And this would be transformational: you’d go from that being very rare problem to it being a standard state of affairs that most tournaments are ruined.

In a competitive Yomi match, you should use your own brain to decide things. You should not outsource those decisions to another person (like ask them how to play) or to an object (such as a piece of electronics that gives you access to real a real RNG). Don’t do that. You’d be warned, then banned from any of our official events in a heartbeat. It’s definitely against the rules (in this case, the floor rules not the in-game rules).

The reason, I have just explained. If it were NOT against the rules, it would be a transformational change in that an observer would see the status quo is that everyone is looking up random numbers on a computer or something instead of making decisions by themselves. It means something about the point of “yomi” itself is lost. Instead of having an interesting “conversation” between your subconscious decisions and your opponent’s, you aren’t. You would have short-circuited this and outsourced important decisions rather than making them yourself. If you want to play the game competitively, then you should make the decisions yourself. Making decisions isn’t just “part of the game,” it’s the central to the core of the game.

In addition to it being clearly banned in official events, I think it should general looked down by the community. Yeah you COULD use an RNG aid when you play, but if I found out you did, I would instantly not care about your results or performance in that match. Or…in any match ever again if it seemed like you relied on this cheat all the time. It would be nice if that was the general community view too. It’s a lot more interesting to look at match results from people who actually make all their own decisions when playing the game. That’s the culture that we should be after.

This is so important to me that it’s actually a factor in whether we’d support Yomi further with more products and software and events and so on. If it’s going to be a thing where the community decides to use RNG aids all the time, it’s just not worth supporting more. In any case, we’re in real financial difficulty now paying for the Fantasy Strike fighting game, but in the back of my mind I think about doing more with Yomi someday. But if the game is just going to devolve into people looking up random numbers, that is not interesting enough of a game to support further. In addition to being crappy in that it removes one of the core skills the game is about, it also just looks stupid to observers and makes it harder to promote the game or get new people interested in it.

Hopefully you all enjoy making the decisions in a game yourselves and this isn’t much of an issue.