RAGL through the seasons

Discussion of the change in game-play over the various seasons of RAGL.

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TTTPPP
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by TTTPPP »

One of the lesser used faction-specific vehicles is the Mobile Gap Generator. I thought it might be interesting to have a look for ways it has been used in recent games. Here's a list of all the games I could find featuring MGGs, along with the player who built them, the map name and the number of MGGs built:

Code: Select all

RAGL-S01-MINION-R03-JAY-ANT.orarep,Jayman,Winter Storm,2
RAGL-S01-RECRUIT-R08-GOH-DAZ..orarep,Dazultra,Tournament Island,2
RAGL-S01-MINION-R02-JAY-TRX.orarep,Jayman,Dual Cold Front,2
RAGL-S01-MINION-R01-FAR-TRX.orarep,Fahrrad,Tournament Island,2
RAGL-S01-MASTER-R03-FIV-GAT.orarep,FiveAces,Behind The Veil,1
RAGL-S01-MASTER-R09-FIV-MTR.orarep,FiveAces,Sidestep,1
RAGL-S01-MINION-R11-FAR-JAY.orarep,Jayman,Behind The Veil,2
RAGL-S01-MASTER-R02-FIV-ZOI.orarep,FiveAces,Forest Path,1

RAGL-S02-MASTER-R02-FIV-HMB.orarep,FiveAces,Dual Cold Front [RAGL, S02],1
RAGL-S02-MASTER-R01-FIV-ANJ.orarep,FiveAces,Desert Rats [RAGL, S02],1
RAGL-S02-MINION-R03-HAN-FRE.orarep,FRenzy,Tournament Island,4
RAGL-S02-MINION-R08-FRE-SXX.orarep,FRenzy,Winter Storm,1
RAGL-S02-MINION-R04-JAY-SXX.orarep,Jayman,Desert Rats [RAGL, S02],3

RAGL-S03-RECRUIT-R09-WCS-OTQ.orarep,WhoCares!?,Pitfight (RAGL:S3),1
RAGL-S03-MASTER-R01-FIV-ABC.orarep,FiveAces,Winter Storm 2 (RAGL:S3),2
RAGL-S03-MASTER-R03-FIV-FAR.orarep,FiveAces,Winter Storm 2 (RAGL:S3),1

RAGL-S04-RECRUIT-R02-MAN-SCR.orarep,manu200,Winter Storm 2 (RAGL:S4),1
RAGL-S04-RECRUITS-POTH-WRK-KZU-5.orarep,kazu.,Sidestep (RAGL:S4),1

RAGL-S05-MINIONS-R1-esk-MCV-G1.orarep,eskimo,Badger Hills (RAGL:S5),1
RAGL-S05-MINIONS-R08-SOT-ESK-G2.orarep,eskimo,Pitfight (RAGL:S5),3
RAGL-S05-MASTER-R05-FIV-ANJ.orarep,FiveAces,Stanitsa (RAGL:S5),2
RAGL-S05-RECRUITA-R03-BUG-JUR-G1.orarep,bµg,Stanitsa (RAGL:S5),1

RAGL-S07-MINIONSB-GROUP-AMO-MTL-G2.orarep,Metalcallous,Forgotten Plains (RAGL:S7),3
RAGL-S07-MASTER-GROUP-FIV-ORB-G2.orarep,Orb,Forgotten Plains (RAGL:S7),1
RAGL-S07-MINIONB-GROUP-AMO-MTL-G2.orarep,Metalcallous,Forgotten Plains (RAGL:S7),3
RAGL-S07-MINIONSB-GROUP-DTR-MTL-G1.orarep,Metalcallous,Pitfight (RAGL:S7),2

RAGL-S08-MASTER-POSF-ORB-FIV-G2.orarep,Mr. Shady,Enhanced Snakes and Ladders (RAGL:S8),2
RAGL-S08-MASTER-GROUP-ORB-PUN-G2.orarep,PunPun,Marigold Town (RAGL:S8),1
RAGL-S08-MASTER-GROUP-UPS-BBB-G2.orarep,Mr Bain,River Crossing 2 (RAGL:S8),1

RAGL-S09-MINION-GROUP-HAN-PIE-G2.orarep,PieChild,Ore Egano RAGL S9,2
Something to notice here is that FiveAces is the king of the MGGs. He's queued ten MGGs across eight games in four seasons of RAGL.

I watched all the games from Seasons 8 and 9, and have made some notes of how MGGs were used.

Orb vs FiveAces (Season 8: RAGL-S08-MASTER-POSF-ORB-FIV-G2.orarep)
Stream from JackoDerp (game 2 starts at 31 minutes): https://www.twitch.tv/videos/516095285
Second half of stream with other games in series: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/516096116

This was a semi-final match where Orb built two MGGs. The first was perhaps used as a decoy and didn't achieve much. The second lasted much longer although again Orb initially used it to shroud a few technicians and some base defences. This might have discouraged FiveAces from sending migs into the area, but an AA gun or radar jammer would have been more effective. Possibly the main benefit was protecting Orb's hinds from flaks. This was a really exciting series and well worth a watch.

Punsho vs Orb (Season 8: RAGL-S08-MASTER-GROUP-ORB-PUN-G2.orarep)
FiveAces Shoutcast (game 2 starts at 17 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtL1Bv1Nxmc

Another great matchup from Season 8. This time Orb is on the receiving end when Punsho breaks out an MGG. Unfortunately the MGG starts off out of position, and even once it's in the right place it doesn't have any impact against Orb's tesla troopers (gap generation doesn't reduce infantry vision).
032_MGGPunshoVsOrbLimitedImpact.png
032_MGGPunshoVsOrbLimitedImpact.png (323.75 KiB) Viewed 569 times
Bain vs Upps (Season 8: RAGL-S08-MASTER-GROUP-UPS-BBB-G2.orarep)

In this game Bain builds an MGG and a radar jammer to defend some infantry including Tanya. It kind of acts as a reverse GPS, allowing Upps to determine where to dive to try to snipe Tanya. Ultimately Tanya stays alive much longer than the MGG, but possibly the best defence came from the dense crowd of other infantry rather than the MGG.
032_MGGBainVsUppsReverseGPS.png
032_MGGBainVsUppsReverseGPS.png (222.5 KiB) Viewed 569 times
PieChild vs HansNilhall (Season 9: RAGL-S09-MINION-GROUP-HAN-PIE-G2.orarep)
Biomecaman Cast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwzISVDB7sQ&t=1188s

Season 9 was on release-20200503 and was the first to feature a price reduction of the MGG from 1200 to 1000. Unfortunately this did not result in an increased number of MGG builds; in fact this was the only game with them. The game as a whole was brilliant, although again the mobile gap generator didn't exactly shine. PieChild took the MGG with a large force and went for a flank attack down the side of the map. Hans saw the shroud and guessed it was a good spot to send some parabombs.
032_MGGPieChildVsHansNilhall.jpg
032_MGGPieChildVsHansNilhall.jpg (173.36 KiB) Viewed 569 times
Overall MGGs are in an odd spot. They often seem to cause more problems for the owner than their opponent. One slight benefit is that they can be used as a counter to GPS in the hyper-late game. Rather than seeing individual GPS dots the opponent only gets to see a circle of shroud. It's a pretty niche purpose, and arguably the standard gap generator is a better solution.

There have been a few suggestions to help improve MGGs, some dating back to 2013:

TTTPPP
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by TTTPPP »

Having looked at all the vehicles, it's time to move onto the next queue. There are five air units in the game and to start with here are the average number of each queued per game. The figures for each unit are restricted to games where the player was the appropriate faction (i.e. Allies/Soviets) and the blackhawk line includes hinds (for obvious reasons).
033_AirUnitsQueued.png
033_AirUnitsQueued.png (45.33 KiB) Viewed 497 times
Blackhawks and yaks dominate the graph, and their use has noticably dropped over time. One cause of this is definitely the drop in radar dome usage. Longbows have been consistently in third place and migs in fourth. Right at the bottom is the chinook. It's hard to tell, but the line doesn't actually hit zero.
033_AirUnitUsage.png
033_AirUnitUsage.png (46.41 KiB) Viewed 497 times
Next up is the usage graph - i.e. the percentage of games that featured each unit. We see a similar picture to the first graph, but yaks have moved up a bit. This means that yaks are used more often than blackhawks, but when blackhawks are queued then a player will queue more of them. The chinook line shows a steady decline over the first six seasons, but since then has picked up a little. Perhaps if we bring back the option for using chinooks as a flying bomb then we'll see a few more of them.

Finally here's the win rate graph.
033_AirUnitWinRate.png
033_AirUnitWinRate.png (53.48 KiB) Viewed 497 times
The line for chinooks is based on pretty low usage, so it's hard to take that very seriously. There's reasonable evidence that migs and longbows increase your chance of winning, and it's possible that migs are better than longbows. It's also possible that players who build migs already have e.g. iron curtains and mammoths, and so the increase in performance might not be caused by the unit. Comparing the blackhawk and yak lines with the radar dome win rate from an earlier post shows that the subset of players building blackhawks or yaks are roughly 5% more likely to win than the set of all players who build a radar dome. E.g. In Season 9 the win rates were:

Code: Select all

Built RD  56%
Blackhawk 64%
Yak       59%

poop
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:19 am

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by poop »

Can you do stats on technician/civy use?

TTTPPP
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by TTTPPP »

Sadly I can't get stats about technicians because they don't get queued. I know ioverthoughtthis was looking into adapting the replay client to export information about how much damage units do to each other. This would give access to some information about technicians and finally settle the debate about whether they're overperforming.

TTTPPP
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by TTTPPP »

In the last post we saw the decline in air units over time and noted that one cause was the drop in radar dome usage. I thought it would be interesting to look at the average number of each air unit queued when the player has build the prerequisite buildings (i.e. helipad/airfield for blackhawk, yak and chinook, additionally a tech center for longbows and migs).
034_AirUnitsQueuedWithPrerequisites.png
034_AirUnitsQueuedWithPrerequisites.png (47.04 KiB) Viewed 378 times
Obviously the numbers are higher in this graph than the equivalent graph in the last post (maybe two or three times higher). However the decline in tier two air units over the nine series is still prominant. Possibly this is due to game lengths being shorter or due to helipads and airfields being built nearer the end of the game.

The flat line for chinooks was bothering me a little, so I decided to plot the raw number of players that used a chinook each season. There were six games in S09 featuring chinooks, and if the pattern continues then we might see as many as ten in S10 (although I wouldn't hold your breath).
034_GameCountsWithChinooks.png
034_GameCountsWithChinooks.png (25.98 KiB) Viewed 378 times
Something else we noted last post was that the win rates for T3 aircraft might be caused simply by having access to other T3 tech. Here is a graph showing the win rates of longbows and migs compared with tech centers. It also includes dotted lines showing the win rates of tech centers without T3 aircraft.
034_WinRateAirTech.png
034_WinRateAirTech.png (55.3 KiB) Viewed 378 times
In most seasons then players building migs outperformed those who build Soviet tech centers but not migs. There's some error in these results, but it seems reasonable to say migs are a good investment. Similarly players building longbows generally did a little better than players who built an Allied tech center without a longbow. The "Allied TC" and "Soviet TC" lines show the overall win rates for players who built those tech centers, regardless of whether they built air units or not. It tracks between the unit/no unit lines for each faction, because it's an average of them.

From the graph then it looks like Season 9 was the most balanced of all seasons for T3 air play. All the win rate lines converge around the 70% mark. However we also have to remember that only about 20% of games featured tier three at all, and less than 10% featured tier three air units.

TTTPPP
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by TTTPPP »

As mentioned chinooks haven't seen a huge amount of love recently. I wanted to check what great plays there have been with them, so I went through the recent games where they were queued to see how they're being used.

There were a lot of games with chinooks in every season from S01-S05. Skipping over those then here's the full list of games featuring queued chinooks in S06-S09 along with the player, map name and the quantity of chinooks:

Code: Select all

RAGL-S06-MINION-R04-WCS-MCV-G1.orarep,mechANIC,Forgotten Plains (RAGL:S6),1

RAGL-S07-MINIONB-GROUP-NUK-SIR-G1.orarep,SirCakealot,Pitfight (RAGL:S7),1
RAGL-S07-MINIONB-GROUP-AMO-SIR-G1.orarep,SirCakealot,Shards (RAGL:S7),1
RAGL-S07-MINIONB-GROUP-SQY-SIR-G2.orarep,CakeLotsir,Hourglass (RAGL:S7),1

RAGL-S08-MINIONA-GROUP-BLK-DDC-G2.orarep,Blackened,Blitz (RAGL:S8),1
RAGL-S08-MINIONA-GROUP-SIN-HAN-G2.orarep,HansNilhall,Windige Gasse (RAGL:S8),1
RAGL-S08-MINIONA-GROUP-ZOF-SIN-G2.orarep,SinJul,Forgotten Plains (RAGL:S8),1
RAGL-S08-MINION-POF-BLK-GOA-G2.orarep,Blackened,Marigold Town (RAGL:S8),2

RAGL-S09-MINION-GROUP-HAN-PIE-G2.orarep,PieChild,Ore Egano RAGL S9,1
RAGL-S09-MINION-GROUP-IOT-KSK-G1.orarep,KSK_Nico,The Swamp RAGL S9,1
RAGL-S09-MINION-GROUP-GOR-SIN-G1.orarep,SinJul,Ore Egano RAGL S9,5
RAGL-S09-MASTER-GROUP-FIV-JKD-G1.orarep,FiveAces,The Swamp RAGL S9,1
RAGL-S09-MASTER-GROUP-PLAYOFF-MRK-ILM-G1.orarep,morkel,Discovery RAGL S9,1
RAGL-S09-MASTER-GROUP-PLAYOFF-MRK-GOA-G1.orarep,morkel,Wetlands RAGL S9,1
I watched all the Season 9 games and found that in half of the games then the chinook didn't actually hit the field. In several others then the chinook didn't have much of an impact. Here's an overview of all the chinooks from Season 9:

PieChild vs Hans Nilhall (Season 9: RAGL-S09-MINION-GROUP-HAN-PIE-G2.orarep)
Biomecaman Cast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwzISVDB7sQ&t=1188s

PieChild loads Tanya into a chinook, flies it to the Hans' backlines, but Hans manages to shoot it down before it can land.
035_ChinooksPieChildVsHansNilhall.jpg
035_ChinooksPieChildVsHansNilhall.jpg (129.92 KiB) Viewed 271 times
This is where Hans spotted the chinook and chased it down with flaks. I've recommended this game before, but it's worth recommending again. (PS Yes that's right - Hans had a demo truck casually laying around his base)

Morkel vs Goat (Season 9: RAGL-S09-MASTER-GROUP-PLAYOFF-MRK-GOA-G1.orarep)
Kaution Cast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDSzvZMkg-8
FiveAces Cast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSC0qchYuX0
035_ChinooksMorkelVsGoat.png
035_ChinooksMorkelVsGoat.png (188.73 KiB) Viewed 271 times
Morkel produces two engis and a chinook and loads them up. It looks like the start of a really interesting play, but with Goat attacking on two fronts then Morkel ends up trying to land the engis next to one of the aggressive forces and it gets shot down. This was the first game in the season final, and so I guess the pressure must have been insane.

FiveAces vs Jacko Derp (Season 9: RAGL-S09-MASTER-GROUP-FIV-JKD-G1.orarep)

FiveAces produces a chinook, loads up three rockets and drops them in the backlines for some harassment. Unfortunately (for supporters of chinooks) Jacko spots this immediately and cleans them up with a hind.
035_ChinooksFiveAcesVsJackoDerp.jpg
035_ChinooksFiveAcesVsJackoDerp.jpg (117.63 KiB) Viewed 271 times
FiveAces preserves the chinook for quite a bit longer, even using it to tank rocket fire and then patching it up at one point, but the only other use it gets is for vision. Having said all this, this match was a good one, and since the rockets did some damage then I'm awarding FiveAces the chinook play-of-the-season award for Season 9.

TTTPPP
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by TTTPPP »

The final queue is the naval queue. Due to the nature of many competitive maps, naval units are often impossible to build. There's not a huge amount of difference between the graphs for average queue size and average unit usage, so I'll just include the latter:
036_NavalUsage.png
036_NavalUsage.png (44.62 KiB) Viewed 191 times
There were no naval units for the whole of Seasons 5, 6 and 7. Furthermore there was only one game in each of Seasons 8 and 9 that featured naval units. Earlier seasons had more maps that encouraged naval play as we'll see later on.
036_NavalWinRate.png
036_NavalWinRate.png (44.23 KiB) Viewed 191 times
Having a quick look at the average win rate for each unit we can see that during Seasons 1 and 2 Missile Subs had the best win rate, probably followed by cruisers. Naval transports were probably the least successful unit. All of these results are only based on 30-40 games though, so it wouldn't be fair to use this to conclude that e.g. Soviets have the upper hand in naval battles.

I was interested to see which maps most often featured naval play, and the results were:

Code: Select all

Bloody Delta (S01): 3/4 games (75.00%)
Singles (S01,S02): 38/60 games (63.33%)
Tournament Island (S01,S02): 8/32 games (25.00%)
Winter Storm 2 (S03/S04): 6/70 games (8.57%)
Blitz (S08): 2/30 games (6.67%)
Siberian Summer (S04): 1/16 games (6.25%)
Crossfire (S02): 1/16 games (6.25%)
Dual Cold Front (S01,S02,S04,S09): 7/208 games (3.37%)
Teared Strait (S09): 1/32 games (3.12%)
Sidestep (S01,S02,S04): 6/212 games (2.83%)
Ysmir (S04): 2/90 games (2.22%)

TTTPPP
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by TTTPPP »

To conclude this section on naval units I thought it would be interesting to see how they've been used recently. There are only two games from the past five seasons featuring naval, so I watched both.

First up is Mo vs Morkel in Season 9 (RAGL-S09-MASTER-GROUP-AMO-MRK-G2.orarep.orarep) on Teared Strait (created by Mo, and affectionately known as "the Mo map"). Mo built a subpen fairly early and set up a gren drop. At the same time he started preparing a rocket drop too. Unfortunately the rocket drop was scouted and cleaned up fairly quickly by Morkel's ranger:
037_NavalMoVsMorkel1.jpg
037_NavalMoVsMorkel1.jpg (77.74 KiB) Viewed 66 times
At the other end of the strait the grens unloaded, were spotted by a medium tank and, since Morkel had a pillbox prepared, they were ineffective.
037_NavalMoVsMorkel2.jpg
037_NavalMoVsMorkel2.jpg (25.81 KiB) Viewed 66 times
Both naval transports lasted a fair while longer, and got a small amount of use for scouting. However it's probably fair to say that naval didn't help Mo much in this game.

The second game is Blackened vs DoDoCat on Blitz in Season 8 (RAGL-S08-MINIONA-GROUP-BLK-DDC-G2.orarep). The game is unconventional in many ways, but notably here because both players build naval yards and cruisers. DoDoCat also built a gunboat. By 11 minutes Blackened was 26 medium tanks and 5 hinds ahead, and earning about three times as much. By 15 minutes Blackened had got to seven naval yards and was producing cruisers (and also had a flock of unused longbows).

At 17 minutes the time had come, and Blackened chronoshifted five cruisers into the backlines:
037_NavalBlackenedVsDoDoCat.jpg
037_NavalBlackenedVsDoDoCat.jpg (127.95 KiB) Viewed 66 times
The cruisers killed a con yard and an advanced power plant, but the game was really already decided.

DoDoCat really summed up the game before it even started by saying he played "just for fun" and it was a fun game. Later on Blackened chinook dropped Tanya then C4ed the tech center. As Tanya went further in towards DoDoCat's base then friendly fire from the cruisers took down another power plant. Blackened chronoed cruisers again later to take out the missile silo.

So this was technically one win and one loss for naval play, but probably more accurately it was a victory for entertaining the players.

With this post we have finished the tour of the buildings and units from RAGL Seasons 1-9. Season 10 is due to start on Monday* with some updated balance changes and I'm looking forward to seeing what it does to the graphs!

* Sign up here: viewtopic.php?f=85&t=21299

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