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Evolutionarily stable strategies: a game theory approach for Infinity?

Discussion in 'Access Guide to the Human Sphere' started by ZlaKhon, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. ZlaKhon

    ZlaKhon New scale enthusiast

    Nov 27, 2017
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    I recently came across a game theory video on “evolutionarily stable strategies” on youtube:

    Maybe that these ideas can be applied to list building in infinity? Of course Infinity is much more about execution / player skill than lists, but I think this might be a nice frame work to discuss list building.

    Let's assume a player intents to win a 5 round tournament and wonders what kind of faction / list to bring to tackle a wide range of missions, tables and opponents i.e. wonders about the strategic part of the game. I think this could be formulated as that he is looking for a stable strategy in the sense that he is looking for a set of two lists that in no match-up will make him wish he had brought a widely different set of lists at least in the sense of having brought vastly different tools. I'm thinking more along the direction of “Oh dang, a Jotums. Now I really wish I had some AHDs, because I have no viable strategy aside from ignoring him as good as I can.” rather than “Thats a weird spread for Highly Classified, I really wish I had upgraded everyone to FO, but I have one FO and one HD, I guess I'll manage somehow.”.

    I have some observations about competitive infinity that I think might fall into these categories:

    a) Vanilla Ariadna is a great faction because its camo heavy lists are very close to a stable strategy. While they are definitely not the best faction for highly classified, there are very few bad match-ups . The only counters to camo are sensor (+sniffer), other camo and to a much lesser degree MSVs. This means that even if everyone would start playing Vanilla Ariadna, there would be little incentive to move to a different strategy i.e. to play something else since the main counters to itself are already available within the faction.

    b) Tohaa are such a good faction because their strategy actually is stable. There are counters to individual things Tohaa might do like white noise vs. Gao Raels, fatality lvl2 and close combat help vs. Symbio armor, bot none of these really give you an edge in the match-up as a whole I think.

    c) TAG lists are not played that much because they do not represent a stable strategy. The overall punishment of your opponent having a reasonable repeater coverage and some hacking or simply an infiltrated camo AHD is just too large. Following the ideas of the video this would mean that these lists can play great came, but once they become dominant other strategies to counter them would immediately see more play.

    What do you think? Are there more examples of this?
    xagroth and Seraphin like this.
  2. WiT?

    WiT? Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2017
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    "Evolutionarily stable strategies" here, imo, refers more to elements of the game that are too strong more than anything else.

    Camouflage? Very strong, and lacks a hard counter. Sensor (and to a lesser extent MSV) is a 'counter', but not a face wrecking counter in the same way that certain AHD platforms are for TAGs. Combine the fact that the 'counters' are not that strong with the fact that the skill is cheap and powerful and you get a faction or list philosophy that is a tad too strong.

    Multiple, flexible link teams and super discounted wounds? Same deal. Order efficiency is always good. Flexibility is very strong combined with the free movement of triads. Wounds are a great stat, but very expensive - so getting the same thing for 1/3 the price is probably quite strong.

    The other really dominant 'stable' strategy I see is just order spam in general. For the most part, this strategy is strong and lacks a hard counter. Sometimes skewing hard in the opposite direction can lead to a position where the swarm list is locked down, but generally orders + smoke is able to get around that.
    Hecaton, Berjiz, xagroth and 2 others like this.
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