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Free For Draft Table Talk

I’m interested in experiencing a Free For All game of Codex on the Forums with some quirky/janky decks being quite likely.
Proposed ‘draft’ format:

Draft pick order will be randomized initially.
Each player’s First Pick will lock their starter deck according to their first picked color, and prevent anyone else from first picking in that color as well.
At most 6 of 7 starter decks will be used.
At most 18 of 20 specs will be picked.
Each drafter will get to pick a spec in the following order:
Drafter 1 - 1 / 15 / 18 (7 starter choices)
Drafter 2 - 2 / 14 / 17 (6 starter choices)
Drafter 3 - 3 / 13 / 16 (5 starter choices)
Drafter 4 - 4 / 11 / 12 (4 starter choices)
Drafter 5 - 5 / 9 / 10 (3 starter choices)
Drafter 6 - 6 / 7 / 8 (2 starter choices)

After draft, starter player will be randomly determined.

Anyone interested or want to help revise drafting rules slightly?

The drafting rules seem interesting, but is there any particular reason you are using them? It could be entertaining having two or more of the same specs up against each other (among others, scenarios like an assimilate tug-of-war and multiple law locks would be amusing), and being able to choose decks freely could result in a interesting new meta as well, as winning strategies in 1v1 mght not work in FFA.

That said, I’ll be in if you decide to kick this off. I don’t know much about drafting rules but as written they seem fair enough to me. Though note that the maximum number of players in Codex FFA is 5, not 6.

I’m interested as well.

Sure, sounds bizzaro, why not :smiley: Im in.

One problem I can see with this is that the current FFA rules only support up to 5 players. If you want a 6 player draft, it might be necessary to split into multiple games. For example, you could do two 3-player games (with players being randomly assigned to games after the draft), followed by a 1v1 game between the winners.

I like the idea a lot, and I’d be interested in joining (though I worry I won’t be able to post frequently enough to keep folks from getting impatient; maybe I shouldn’t, since that’s the point of asynchronous play).

1st Question: Is there any real reason Codex only supports 5-player play? My best guess is that in real life you might not have the components to go around (e.g. mercenary cards) or that it becomes too slow/cumbersome. But in asynchronous play-by-forum those seem like non-issues? Or is it that a player could be eliminated before player 6 gets to do much?

I know you’d need to create specifics on what player 6 gets to compensate, but I’d be okay with any of the following:
a) same as player 5 (unclear that player 6 is much more disadvantaged over player 5, and 3 mercs plus a bunch of other targets could be enough to balance),
b) 5 workers + 4 mercenaries (might be too much board presence), or
c) 6 workers + 0 or 1 mercenary (no clue how going that far behind but having such quick access to Tech II would affect things).

I almost feel like Drafter 6 (or 5 in a 5-player) would have a big advantage, as being stuck with a particular starter isn’t generally bad (Blue is probably the worst starter, and you’re not forced to take it), but they get the first chance to actually create a synergistic codex. I can see how Drafters 3, 2, and 1 pick second specs in order, then third specs, so that Drafter 1 isn’t completely stuck with non-synergistic garbage. But some folks are pretty much guaranteed to be stuck with at least partial jank, whereas Drafter 6 in particular has good odds of constructing a very synergistic deck (5 a bit less so, 4 through 1 a lot less so). I would prefer to make it more likely that everybody gets something a little janky, but everyone has a good shot at at least a 2-spec synergy:

D1 - 1 (7 starter choices) / 12 / 13
D2 - 2 (6 starter choices) / 11 / 14
D3 - 3 (5 starter choices) / 10 / 15
D4 - 4 (4 starter choices) / 9 / 16
D5 - 5 (3 starter choices) / 8 / 17
D6 - 6 (2 starter choices / 7 / 18

If you only do 5-players, things open up a good bit, possibly enough to make either draft order fine.

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Restricting starters to prevent duplications is the primary reason why I didn’t propose a typical snaking draft order, as each starter selection effectively removes 3 choices from the next player’s options when first choice is paired to starter.

As such D6 has 5-6 options of spec in their first choice and 3 for last choice, which means they MOSTLY select their second spec and sort of select the first spec.
D1 has 20, and two of 8 choices in 6 person draft with snake ordering.

In a 5 person draft it is a bit better with 8-9 options first choice, (15 options 2nd choice) finally, 6 options for last choice, enough that you could probably get away with a snake draft order. 1->6, 6->1, 1->6
D1 has 20, and two of 11 options in a 5 person draft with snake ordering.

I guess I don’t get it, then.

It seems like under your system, D6 has 5-6 options of spec in their first choice, but then can immediately choose their second and third choice from among the 14 remaining specs. At worst, they can play mono-color based on their starter and have guaranteed synergy among all three colors. (If their starter is Neutral, they can snag, say, the remaining two red specs away from whoever chose the red starter.) That seems really advantageous.
D1, by contrast, has to choose their second spec from only 6 remaining. It’s going to be much harder to find good synergy, even if they’re comfortable with their starter. And they only have 2 choices for their third spec, which isn’t really a choice at all.

Whereas, in a snake:
D6 gets to choose second spec out of 14 (guaranteed to find something that matches well), but third spec out of only 3.
D5 gets to choose second spec out of 13, but third out of 4.
D4 gets to choose second out of 12, and has 5 choices for third.
D3 gets to choose second out of 11, and has 6 choices for third.
D2 gets to choose second out of 10, and has 7 choices for third.
D1 gets to choose second out of 9 (still a significantly better chance of finding something that matches well), and immediately choose another out of 8 (best chance of getting a third wheel that’s not totally random).

I guess I’m arguing that the possibility of good synergy is much more important than starter choice (but maybe that’s just because I like trying out different things, so I’m happy to be stuck with any color to start with, and I like heroes from every color). And snake guarantees everyone can find some decent synergy, but might get something weird for their third wheel that they wouldn’t have considered otherwise.

What am I missing? Is starting character really that important?
Now that I type it out, I guess with Vandy and Rook, it’s almost fair to give them two random specs. But in a snake, say D1 picks Vandy, D6 through D2 have 5 chances to take away Vandy’s best friends or pick heroes (like Prynn) that are particularly strong against Vandy.
In your system, whoever picked Vandy first could be really limited in their strategy (Metmorphosis or nothing) if the other two specs are really weak matches. And that kind of limitation might feel even more limiting in multi. Thought I guess the bad cards aren’t as bad in multi, either. I dunno. I’d like to hear what other folks think.

The real issue is we have no good idea for a particularly strongly established ‘pick order and power scale’ yet.

It might be that first pick spec is so hilariously better than fifth/sixth pick specs that you could make them pick their remaining two specs after everyone else and they would still be favored to win.
Or it might be that taking monocolor or fake monocolor as D4/D5, from D1/D2/D3 is able to both cripple an opponent and leave you with one of the best codex’s.

Personally I’m weighing total number of choices fairly heavily I guess?

[details=Mathy mathy numbers-y stuff thoughts]If you sum up each drafter’s total options, it approximates a power band I think – at least as long as the difference in power between pick from 20 and 15 is roughly the same as the difference in power between pick from 10 and 5 anyway.
May need to consider back to back picks as equal power to the higher of their options if order doesn’t matter (such as drafter 1’s 2nd and 3rd specs, which slightly boosts the estimated power of picks which are back to back like that)
Snake is:
D1 - 37 (20+9+8)
D2 - 34 (17+10+7)
D3 - 31 (14+11+6)
D4 - 28 (11+12+5)
D5 - 25 (8+13+4)
D6 - 22 (5+14+3)

[details=5 person draft Snake]
D1 - 41 (20+11+10)
D2 - 38 (17+12+9)
D3 - 35 (14+13+8)
D4 - 32 (11+14+7)
D5 - 29 (8+15+6)[/details]

With weighting towards later drafters the band narrows and estimated power shifts around a bit more
D1 - 29 (20+6+3)
D2 - 28 (17+7+4)
D3 - 27 (14+8+5)
D4 - 30 (11+10+9)
D5 - 31 (8+12+11)
D6 - 32 (5+14+13)

Rearweighted 5 drafters

D1 - 35 (20+9+6)
D2 - 34 (17+10+7)
D3 - 33 (14+11+8)
D4 - 36 (11+13+12)
D5 - 37 (8+15+14)

Another reasonable ordering I’ve considered a bit is second and third specs picked in reverse order of first spec pick.
IE - 123455432154321
Approximate power:
D1 - 32 (20+9+3)
D2 - 31 (17+10+4)
D3 - 30 (14+11+5)
D4 - 29 (11+12+6)
D5 - 28 (8+13+7)
D6 - 27 (5+14+8)
Band should be same pattern but slightly higher numbers for a 5 person draft.[/details]

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FFA self-balances power level to a certain extent.

If this was drafting for 1 v 1, then the first 12 or so picks are equivalent, and it just matters if you can get a synergistic 3rd spec with your final pick.

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Well if doing a five player draft… @feathers @zhavier @ARMed_PIrate @Shadow_Night_Black
Does anyone object to reverse pick order for second and third spec selections?
High roll first, tenth and fifteenth pick, low roll fifth, sixth and eleventh pick, etc. Everybody’s starter determined by their first round picks.

No objections drafter assignments:

[details=Draft Order] 1 to 100 rolls
Kaelii - 70 / 100
Feathers - 46 / 100
Shadow Night Black- 9 / 100
Zhavier - 77 / 100
Armed Pirate - 58 / 100

Rearranged in order:
Round 1 drafting starters and spec: Zhavier, Kaelii, Armed Pirate, Feathers, Shadow Night Black
Round 2 drafting second spec: Shadow Night Black, Feathers, Armed Pirate, Kaelii, Zhavier
Round 3 drafting final spec: Shadow Night Black, Feathers, Armed Pirate, Kaelii, Zhavier[/details]


I am ok with that pick order, and I think 5-player is preferable.

Doing the math, this actually results in a reasonably fair distribution:

P1: 20 x 10 x 5 options for specs = 1000 possible decks (7 possible starters)
P2: 17* x 11 x 6 options for specs = 1122 possible decks (6 possible starters)
P3: 14* x 12 x 7 options for specs = 1176 possible decks (5 possible starters)
P4: 11* x 13 x 8 options for specs = 1144 possible decks (4 possible starters)
P5: 8* x 14 x 9 options for specs = 1008 possible decks (3 possible starters)

*number of possible specs in the first round goes up by 1 if an earlier player picked a neutral spec (which would lock out 1 additional spec rather than 2).

P5 has the fewest options, but not by an unreasonable amount.

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Seems fair, people going first get to play their favourite starter (which probably matters less in FFA as games go longer, but is still super useful), but later people can pick more specs for their later options (which can give synergistic effects, and also means they can round out/specialise more easily).

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Well I hope I’m not jumping the gun in assuming everyone is okay with it at this point – I proposed, and the other three all liked the proposed post, so first spec and by extension first starter pick goes to you.

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Blood, red starter.


Vandy, Black Starter


@ARMed_PIrate You’re up! Purple/Blue/Green/White/Neutral

Hah; zhavier took my first choice. No Rickety Mines for me! :grin: Since I’m already out of my comfort zone, let’s push it a bit further.

Troq, Neutral Starter


@feathers You’re next. (: Purple/Blue/Green/White

My first choice survived three pairs of grubby hands to come to me :smiley:

Growth, Green starter. @Shadow_Night_Black Purple/Blue/White take your pick!


No one picked purple? Sweet! [Past], Necromancy. @feathers, your turn