RAGL through the seasons

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

Announcements and discussion about community-run events.
TTTPPP
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by TTTPPP »

Thanks Punsho - I've added a bit to acknowledge heavy tanks taking longer to produce than mediums:
Heavy tanks take longer to produce than mediums and so it would make sense for Soviet players to have shorter tank queues than Allies. However in Season 9 we saw the queue lengths roughly match.
I still don't really know why the tank queue lengths roughly match in Season 9, but not in Seasons 8 or 7.

Yara
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:22 am

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by Yara »

TTTPPP wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:00 am
Yep - the chat messages are available from the games. I did a bit of investigation into common messages in an earlier post: viewtopic.php?p=312071&sid=c4b05a909d16 ... bd#p312071 In particular I looked at the correlation between saying "gg" first and losing the game. I'm happy to look into something else in this area if you have a suggestion, although grouping games by player is quite hard since most seasons were before it was possible to log in.
Ah thanks! I always write "gl hf", I am wondering if that shows up, as you seemingly only looked for these strings? "glhf", "hf", "gl", "hfgl"?

TTTPPP
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by TTTPPP »

Yep - I actually did include "gl hf" in the "glhf" category - I stripped any non-alphabetic characters and converted to lower case. I also included "gg wp" in the "gg" category.

TTTPPP
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by TTTPPP »

Next let's have a look at the light (pre-SD) vehicles. If we consider the average number build per game then we can see flaks are generally the most popular. Light tanks and APCs have some occasional late game uses, but flaks are good early game against infantry (for vision) and late game against air and artis/V2s.
021_lightVehiclesCount.png
021_lightVehiclesCount.png (49.36 KiB) Viewed 983 times
The average number of flaks per game has dropped over time. This is probably because they were built as a counter to radar units, and radar dome usage has dropped. Similarly we can see that light tank and APC usage has dropped. I think they used to be popular because players didn't build a service depot so often, and so they were the most durable units available.

Next let's look at how often the light vehicles are seen in a game.
021_lightVehiclesUsageRate.png
021_lightVehiclesUsageRate.png (44.19 KiB) Viewed 983 times
Even though the quantity of flaks and light tanks has dropped, they are still being built by roughly the same percentage of players. Perhaps this shows that light tanks are still useful as an early vehicle, even if they're not used as part of the main army. APC usage is the most significant change - roughly half as many games saw an APC in S09 compared with S01.

Rangers are in an interesting spot. Allied players build them far more frequently than light tanks, but one is generally enough. This matches with the view that rangers are only useful early game - players get one of them for vision and never build another.

So to finish this post off, let's look at the win rates. As for medium/heavy tanks I've included the win rates for players who chose not to build each vehicle too.
021_lightVehiclesWinRate.png
021_lightVehiclesWinRate.png (69.11 KiB) Viewed 983 times
The biggest discrepancy is for rangers - particularly in Seaon 6. An Allied player building a ranger was more than twice as likely to win compared with one who didn't. More recently the gap is much smaller, and light tanks seem a reasonably valid choice. It's worth noting that building light tanks still seems slightly worse than not building light tanks though!

For Soviets then the lines are much closer. There's a small advantage for flaks over APCs, and we can see that players who don't choose APCs also do well. In S09 then Soviets did roughly 10% worse than Allies, which explains why all Soviet options are lower than the Allied ones.

In the next post we'll focus on the early game by restricting the figures to the first five vehicles.

TTTPPP
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by TTTPPP »

As promised, next I wanted to look at how light vehicles are used in the early game. I've tried to keep the graphs in this post similar to the previous post to enable comparison. First up here are the average number of each light vehicle when restricted to only the first five vehicles (and averaging only over games where it was possible to build that vehicle - i.e. by Allies/Soviets).
022_lightVehiclesFirstFive.png
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The first obvious thing is the average totals are much lower. Many of the first five vehicles are harvesters, and so the average ends up somewhere near to one for each. The line for rangers is almost unchanged from the previous graph, suggesting that, while it's the most popular unit here, it's pretty much obsolete after the early game.

APC usage has dropped off, as has light tank usage to an extent. Comparing against the graph from last time we can see that the number of flaks used during the game has dropped significantly since Season 1, but the number built in the early game has slightly risen.

Next is the vehicle usage graph, which shows the percentage of Allies/Soviet players that built at least one of the given light vehicle. Again this graph is restricted to the first five vehicles built.
022_lightVehiclesUsageRateFirstFive.png
022_lightVehiclesUsageRateFirstFive.png (47.32 KiB) Viewed 904 times
Unsurprisingly the line for rangers is almost identical to the usage graph from the previous post. About 75% of rangers appear in the first five vehicles, so it follows that the usage of those rangers will dominate the usages of the other 25%. However since the usage percentages are about the same then we also know that the 25% of rangers are being built by players who already built one - i.e. no one is transitioning into rangers, but perhaps some players are doing a Ranger Danger build.

We can see that APC and Light Tank usage in the first five vehicles is broadly similar to the rest of the game. The raw percentages are about 5% lower though, so about 5% of players transition to them later, even though they didn't build one at the start. From experience this happens when your SD gets sniped, and you still want to build armour.

Flak usage in the early game is quite different from the whole game. I think this might be because historically they were used against prevalent radar units and APCs were better in the early game; now there are less radar units built but they're more popular in the early game.

Finally for completeness I've included the win rate graphs for building (and not building) each light vehicle in the first five units.
022_lightVehiclesWinRateFirstFive.png
022_lightVehiclesWinRateFirstFive.png (73.6 KiB) Viewed 904 times
For the most part this graph looks very similar to the whole game win rates. There is one interesting point of variation that I noticed, which is that in Season 9 it was just as good to build a light tank or a ranger in the first five units. Furthermore, it was better to build a light tank as an early vehicle than not to build one. Given the often heard view that light tanks are underpowered then I thought it would be good to look at the win rates of all four options in Season 9:

Code: Select all

Ra LT:  41/ 71 (57.75%)
Ra --: 137/238 (57.56%)
-- LT:  28/ 48 (58.33%)
-- --:  11/ 29 (37.93%)
Admittedly there's a reasonable margin of error and many other factors influencing the results, but the data suggests that in Season 9 it was best to open with a light tank and not to build a ranger at all.

TTTPPP
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by TTTPPP »

Next up are harvesters and MCVs. I grouped them together because they're (almost) essential units and because they can't attack. One convenient feature of them is that they're available to all players, so it makes the percentages slightly easier to compute.
023_vehicleQueued.png
023_vehicleQueued.png (30.27 KiB) Viewed 833 times
Looking at the average number of each queued by season we end up with one of the most constant looking graphs so far. On average players have made 2.5 harvesters and 1.5 MCVs per game. The two main build orders (as detailed in the academy) each result in two harvesters and one MCV in the first five vehicles, which suggests there might be very few produced later in the game. It's possible that some players produce no harvesters or no MCVs, so let's look at how prevelent they are:
023_vehicleUsageRate.png
023_vehicleUsageRate.png (32.33 KiB) Viewed 833 times
So both units were standard in Season 1, and have got more ubiquitous since then.

Are they good units to build?
023_vehicleWinRate.png
023_vehicleWinRate.png (47.12 KiB) Viewed 833 times
So yes they're good units to build. If you don't build an MCV or don't build an ore truck then you're likely to lose. One reason not to build either unit is if you're attempting an all-in another is because you made a mistake. Both are risky strategies.

TTTPPP
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by TTTPPP »

Last time we looked at some stats relating to harvesters and MCVs. I wanted to continue that by looking at how many of each should be built.

First MCVs - I found that generally builds could be grouped into four buckets - no MCVs, one MCV, two MCVs and three or more MCVs. This obviously doesn't include the MCV that each player gets to start.
024_MCVsWinRate.png
024_MCVsWinRate.png (39.46 KiB) Viewed 762 times
This shows that 2 or maybe 3 MCVs used to be the sweet spot, but by Season 9 the most reliable option was to build a single MCV. The extra utility from the first MCV is huge compared with that of subsequent ones. It allows you to continue producing buildings and defences while you drive one of them to a new location. Also often the reason for building a second MCV is that the first was destroyed, so the win rate for higher numbers of MCVs will be naturally lowered due to this.

Harvesters are a little trickier - there are more of them, and so I did the same analysis with six buckets.
024_HarvestersWinRate.png
024_HarvestersWinRate.png (51.35 KiB) Viewed 762 times
Here we can see that two has always been a good number, and that three has become more reasonable recently. I found it intriguing that 4 and 0 harvesters had good results in Season 1, but by Season 9 they seem much less successful.

SirCake
Posts: 386
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:40 pm

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by SirCake »

Looking at the harvesters built only may be deceiving, since refs come with a harvester, too.
Can you show us how win rates look if the ref-harvesters are included?

TTTPPP
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by TTTPPP »

As suggested by SirCake I investigated including refs into the harvester count. Each refinery comes with a harvester and, as it only costs $300 more, most of the investment is in the vehicle.

Trying to repeat the analysis into harvester win rate by season I found that it was helpful to use seven buckets. It's a little hard to read, but we can see that adjacent buckets have had similar win rates.
025_HarvestersAndRefsWinRate.png
025_HarvestersAndRefsWinRate.png (58.54 KiB) Viewed 725 times
So for example in Seasons 7, 8 and 9 the best total harvester count was 8, 9 or 10-11. In contrast in Season 1 the optimal count was slightly fewer - between 7 and 9. The worst harvester count has consistently been 0-5, followed by 6.

Games in earlier seasons were slightly longer on aveage than they are now, so perhaps it's also worth looking at the win rate of different harvester counts for games of different lengths. For every game (combining all seasons) I counted the number of harvesters a player built (refs and harvesters) and plotted it against the game length to the nearest minute. Each bubble on the graph has a size showing how many results it represents and a colour showing the win rate. Light blue means that the combination is bad, black means that the combination is good.
025_HarvestersVsGameLengthWinRate.png
025_HarvestersVsGameLengthWinRate.png (64.85 KiB) Viewed 725 times
The first thing that stands out is that we can see that longer games usually have more harvesters, and that most games last around 5-20 minutes, although there's a long tail of 30 minute plus games that aren't even included on the graph.

Focusing on the middle section then there's a sweet spot of 8 harvesters for games that last 8 or 9 minutes. This seems to be considerably better than having 6-7 harvesters, which in turn is a huge improvement on having 5 or fewer. For 10 minute games then 9 harvesters seems best, and for games that finish after 11-16 minutes then 10 harvesters seems to be about optimal.

TTTPPP
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by TTTPPP »

This post we'll look at artilleries and V2s. As mentioned when discussing the buildings queue there were more radar domes build in earlier seasons.
026_ArtiV2Queued.png
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We can see that the average number of artilleries queued has dropped from over ten per Allied player, down to about one and a half. V2s have also seen a drop in popularity, but interestingly their use peaked in Season 4, which corresponded with the first season that more players used Soviets than Allies (56% to 44%). By Season 9 the use of all siege vehicles has converged to 1.4 units per game.

The radar dome unlocks a few more items - the artillery/V2, the helipad/airfield, the spy/thief and the tech center. Roughly 60-80% of players who build radar domes also go on to build artis and V2s:
026_ArtiV2BuildRate.png
026_ArtiV2BuildRate.png (54.49 KiB) Viewed 647 times
Looking at the win rates (and trying to ignore the slight edge for Allies) we can see that Soviets have recently done far better with V2s than without. Allied players who build artilleries perform roughly as well as those who don't.
026_ArtiV2WinRate.png
026_ArtiV2WinRate.png (49.34 KiB) Viewed 647 times

TTTPPP
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by TTTPPP »

In the last post we looked at the win rate for players who built artis and V2 compared with those players who didn't build them. I thought it was perhaps fairer to compare players who built the units with players who had the opportunity but chose not to build them. In this case I've added two lines to show the win rate for players who built Radar Domes but didn't build artilleries or V2s.
027_ArtiV2WinRateWithRD.png
027_ArtiV2WinRateWithRD.png (63.43 KiB) Viewed 580 times
We can see there's quite a lot of error in these results - players don't often build Radar Domes without also building artilleries or V2s. On the whole it looks like Soviet players should always build V2s (since Season 6 at least), while Allied players can do fairly well without artilleries.

I also wanted to know when to start building artilleries and V2s. As mentioned in a previous post I haven't yet extracted the tick number for each action so instead here I'm using the vehicle count as a proxy.
027_ArtiV2ThroughQueue.png
027_ArtiV2ThroughQueue.png (37.63 KiB) Viewed 580 times
We can see that V2 production peaks between vehicles 10 and 20, possibly Soviet players start production of tier 3 units at this point. Meanwhile the graph for artilleries is more drawn out and peaks somewhere between vehicles 25 and 45. Allies produce mainly medium tanks, which are significantly quicker to build than heavies. Consequently the x-coordinates of the two lines don't correspond to the same point in games. In a similar way we can also see that the V2 line becomes erratic after about 40 vehicles. There are not many games where Soviet players produce this many units. To get a rough estimate I watched a 25 minute Soviet vs Allies match that went to tier three - the Soviet player produced 37 vehicles while the Allied player produced 67.

TTTPPP
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by TTTPPP »

We're about half way through our tour of the vehicles and five of those left start with an M. I've skipped Mobile Gap Generators in this post, partially because I'm planning to group them with the other faction specials, and partially because they're slightly harder to analyse due to swapping factions in Season 6. To start here's the averages number of each vehicle queued per season:
028_MMMMQueued.png
028_MMMMQueued.png (40.9 KiB) Viewed 454 times
So we can immediately see that Mammoth Tanks see far more usage than the other units. Minelayers and Mobile Radar Jammers are utility units and there's not much value in filling an army with them. A pack of Mammoths is a much scarier prospect. Season 8 saw the peak of Mammoth usage, and the effect of the nerf (missile range reduced from 8 to 6.5 cells, vision reduced from 7 to 6 cells) in Season 9 is visible with far fewer Mammoths being queued.

The peak of MAD Tanks in Season 3 is largely due to a single Recruits game between Booby and Ohmk Torque (RAGL-S03-RECRUIT-R11-BOO-OTQ.orarep). I wasn't able to watch the game but, judging by the spec chat, Omhk Torque had lost basically everything except his MCV when Booby decided to hunt it down by queuing 60 MAD Tanks (along with 125 thieves and 65 migs). It came with the commentary "play of the season!" by SoScared, so if anyone still has release-20161019 running then they might want to check it out.

We can filter out anomalies like this by looking at the usage graph. This shows how many games featured each vehicle, ignoring how many of the vehicle were produced. The "when possible" here refers to players picking an appropriate faction.
028_MMMMUsage.png
028_MMMMUsage.png (42.82 KiB) Viewed 454 times
Mammoths dominate the graph again, but Minelayers and Radar Jammers aren't far behind this time. In particular we can see that Minelayers had a boost in Season 9, and made an appearance in over 10% of all build queues. MAD Tanks seem to be in need of some love.
028_MMMMWinRate.png
028_MMMMWinRate.png (64.75 KiB) Viewed 454 times
Looking next at win rates for these vehicles then we can see that Mammoths and MRJs correlate fairly well with winning games. These are tier three units, so players who manage to build them are already doing well. Having said that, the win rate for Tech Centers has been about 65-70% since Season 6, so Mammoths seem good to build and MRJs possibly less so.

The line for Minelayers is all over the place due to the relatively low usage. As mentioned above, Season 9 saw a Minelayer about 10% of the time, but the stats suggest it's better not to build one. MAD Tanks have not lost a game since Season 5, so I'm expecting to see lots more people building them in Season 10.

TTTPPP
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by TTTPPP »

Continuing from last post then I wanted to investigate Mammoths a little more. We looked last time at the average number of Mammoths queued by players "when possible". In the last post this meant "when the player was Soviets" but I wondered about other potential definitions. Here we have the same "when Soviets" graph, along with the average number of Mammoths by Soviet players who built a tech center, and the average number of Mammoths build by players who built at least one Mammoth.
029_MammothsWithDependencies.png
029_MammothsWithDependencies.png (40.9 KiB) Viewed 391 times
We can again see that the average number of Mammoths built has increased over the seasons. Furthermore, in earlier seasons Soviet Tech Centers were often built by players who didn't use Mammoths, but that is much rarely now.

I thought it also might be interesting to see the win rates for Mammoth Tanks compared with Soviet Tech Centers and compared with playing as Soviets.
029_MammothDepWinRate.png
029_MammothDepWinRate.png (41.61 KiB) Viewed 391 times
There were only six games in Season 1 featuring Mammoth Tanks, which explains why the error there is so large. Between Seasons 3 and 5 it seems clear that Mammoth tanks gave players a significant advantage over just using other Soviet tech. Since Season 6 then the lines for Soviet TC and Mammoths have almost converged. This is partially because it's rare to build a Soviet Tech Center without also building a Mammoth Tank.

Finally I drew a graph of a few of the more popular Soviet vehicles. I've excluded Heavy Tanks because they dwarf the other units. The graph splits all Soviet vehicle queues into blocks of five, and then calculates the percentage of each block that is made of Mammoths, V2s, Flaks and APCs.
029_SovietVehiclesThroughQueue.png
029_SovietVehiclesThroughQueue.png (49.88 KiB) Viewed 391 times
We can see APCs are mainly useful in the early game, and Mammoths are much more likely to appear later on. V2s are most popular between vehicles 11-20 and gradually fade out when tier 3 comes online. Flaks are useful as an early game unit but more of them are build to counter air and artillery units.

TTTPPP
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by TTTPPP »

A lesser used vehicle is the supply truck. Still I thought it would be useful to see how much "lesser" it was used.
030_SupplyTruckQueued.png
030_SupplyTruckQueued.png (39.92 KiB) Viewed 321 times
We can see that there was roughly one supply truck every hundred games, and then in Season 9 they completely fell out of the meta. I looked at the percentage of games they appeared in and the graph was pretty similar. Supply trucks turned up in less than one in a hundred games, since some games contain more than one truck.
030_SupplyTruckWinRate.png
030_SupplyTruckWinRate.png (43.66 KiB) Viewed 321 times
There aren't many games represented here, so the margin of error is pretty huge.

After searching through a few replays containing supply trucks then sadly I couldn't find anything particularly amazing. Here's a screenshot of when Punsho built three trucks vs Happy in Season 7 (RAGL-S07-MASTER-GROUP-HAP-PUN-G1.orarep). He then turned them around and converted them back into cash.
030_mobileSilos.png
030_mobileSilos.png (89.1 KiB) Viewed 321 times
In a way Supply Trucks shouldn't a bad unit for tanking. They're very fast and when they die you get a full refund in the form of a crate. However given that no one seems to have made this strategy work it's probably a bad one.

TTTPPP
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:25 pm

Re: RAGL through the seasons

Post by TTTPPP »

The five remaining vehicles are all faction specific. The exact factions are a little muddied by the Mobile Gap Generator and Phase Transport swapping between England and France between Seasons 5 and 6. To start, here are the average number of each vehicle queued per season by players using the corresponding faction.
031_FactionVehiclesQueued.png
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Tesla Tanks dominate the graph, other than in Seasons 2 and 3 when Chrono Tanks overtake them. These two vehicles can (to an extent) be spammed. The other three vehicles aren't really useful in packs, they're much better by themselves (phase transport and demo) or with a larger army (MGG).

If we look at the percentage of games they appear in, rather than the quantity used, then we see a more balanced picture.
031_FactionVehiclesUsage.png
031_FactionVehiclesUsage.png (66.3 KiB) Viewed 228 times
The Allied units appear in roughly 5% of games, with Phase Transports being the most popular of these. Since about Season 4, the Soviet specials have appeared roughly two-to-three times that many games.
031_FactionVehiclesWinRate.png
031_FactionVehiclesWinRate.png (71.3 KiB) Viewed 228 times
The win rate graph is a little bit all over the place. For the Allied vehicles in particular there isn't much data. In some seasons then Chrono Tanks and/or Mobile Gap Generators didn't even feature. With the Soviet vehicles then perhaps we have something a bit more meaningful, and it suggests that since Season 4 Tesla Tanks have been good to build, whereas Demo Trucks have been a bit of a liability. Sometimes Demos are used to instantly wipe the opponent's army, but sometimes they're blown up before leaving the base. Perhaps this is what is being shown by the purple line.

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