Operation Firestorm Incoming

…and we’re off…


Like @Andre mentioned above, the matches are now running for Operation Firestorm! There is a total of 3570 matches scheduled, so it will be exciting to see how the leaderboard changes over the next couple of days.

Good luck to everyone!


Heyo, just wanted to check if there’s any order that bots are played in, considering some have played many and others not even one? Is it just random, or seeded, or based on the bots performance so far?

I don’t know what order is being used, but I know that one way to minimise the imbalance in the number of matches played by each bot, is to always take, for the next match, the match where Player 1 has played the fewest matches so far, breaking ties by choosing the match among those where Player 2 has played the fewest matches so far.

This would make the leaderboard much more exciting to watch while the tournament was running, as everyone’s position throughout would be because of actual wins/losses and not because of the uneven order of play.

We schedule the matches beforehand in a completely random order, this has a way of balancing out in the end.
We can look into balancing it out a bit more for next year, but because the next tournament is going to be double elim, which in theory should be perfectly balanced, we will not be changing it now.

Can I ask, why isn’t the next tournament also a round robin?

In my opinion its a much fairer representation of who deserves it. Because you know the bots that goes through
will be the ones who performed the best. Otherwise there might be the scenario where. the 13th overall bot eliminates the 7th overall bot.

I feel that last year’s Round Robin worked well. Not completely against the double elim. I mean we are all in the same environment. So what applies to me will apply to others as well. if my bot is 5th over all it could potentially kick out the bot that’s 2nd overall… So this goes both ways. But I’m wondering.

Can the golden ticket winner from past round enter new round? doesn’t impact ranking?

I’m also a bit worried about the double elimination qualifying tournament. I suspect most bots involve a lot of random elements. From my own testing of the various versions of my bots it’s become quite obvious that luck can play a big role. A stronger bot may win 7/10 games but still lose occasionally to a weaker bot. This is fine in a round robin as enough games is played but can be problematic in an elimination style tournament. I understand why the finals probably need to be elimination due to the crowd pleasing aspects though.

One way to reduce the influence of luck in an elimination style tournament could be to make the match ups best out of 3 or 5.


Hmmmm, i strongly believe if you make a good BOT and even if you implement random elements (like there is two rows that you can attack) the better bot would be able to come on out on top because you need to calculate which row is better to attack.

i think 3 games will be more than enough for this like @LouisLotter suggested, but i don’t think this is necessary.

It depends on the difference in skill between the two bots. If there is a big gap then you are right. If the skill levels are very close as you can expect to happen if the top bots converge to optimal strategies then random elements become very relevant. I see this effect every time I make small improvements to my bot. I have to play many games between the new version and the old before i can say for certain if it’s an improvement or not.

There is a reason major gaming tournaments normally have best out of 3 or 5 between the same opponents.

Am i wrong to assume that, there is a clear winning strategy / best move with how simple the game is

Because i feel like i have come to that conclusion for example in Magic the gathering,

  • Controlling players will sacrifice their own life total and manipulate the board until they are in the favored position and out value their opponent (as long as they have more than 1HP they can still win).

  • Aggro players - will try to kill you as fast as possible but is very weak in the long game

  • Mid range players - will playing slightly bigger things that aggro players but little bit faster than controll players

Thus you counter each other nicely
Aggro beats controll
MidRange beats aggro
Controll beats mid range

Currently i think there are two ways of it playing out -

  • Kill your opponent as fast as possible without you dieing
  • Survive and out value your opponents so that there is no way of them coming back and you just counter play them on each move they make

Another thing to take account that in MTG you have random factor of drawing good hand or bad cards and you don’t know what you are getting next .This tower defense challenge you know exactly what you are going to get and just need to figure out the perfect strategy like @WillieTheron mentioned (i believe all the top players has the idea already when to attack or place energy towers or general good idea of which positions is better to place certain buildings after playing quite a few games).

Its just the refinement of calculating when its best to attack or defend based on the board state.That’s my reasoning i don’t mind playing 5 games i just don’t think its necessary

I fully agree - and it actually leaves me a bit concerned about a straight-forward double elimination approach for the next tournament. If bots are so closely matched, a little bit of bad luck can take a good bot out of the fight way before reaching the finals. I’m not entirely sure how one would mitigate that risk though. The fact that there’s only a week between the final tournament and Comic-Con introduces a significant time-constraint.

@Entelect - would round-robin be an option for the final tournament before ComicCon, or a “best of three” double elimination where bots play three matches instead of a single match to determine who drops out (or into the loser’s bracket)?

+1 for this, round robin is more fair IMO. The only benefits I see with an elimination are:

  • They are quicker
  • They are more exciting to watch

Since nobody is watching the games, and time isn’t really that much of an issue, I see no reason not to do another round-robin :slight_smile:

If they do a best out of 5 recorded for the finals, they can choose one of the games in which the winner won for the replays at comicon.

I believe you’re quite wrong. This game is not solvable in 2 seconds.

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Hi guys.

So we heard what all of you said and it makes sense that it be consistent.
So the next Tournament, ‘Countdown to Zero Hour’, will be a round-robin, and the final will be a double elimination between the Golden Ticket winners.

Please let us know if there are still any questions around this


Awesome! thanks for responding to our feedback :+1:

Thank you for the feedback but could the main website be updated?

it still says “Double Elimination”, also will there be a new tower introduced?

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We will update the website soon.

As for the new building

The format for Countdown to Zero Hour has officially been updated to be a Round Robin :grin: