- Jun 17, 2009
- AFL Club
- Western Bulldogs
- Other Teams
|NB: This is not a thread for the regular Pieman Competition for 2020. If that's what you're after check the WB board for the weekly thread.|
Pieman Mk II
I started a conversation in the Pieman Rd 11 thread regarding a proof of concept for next year's Pieman competition which I'm calling Pieman Mk II to avoid confusion with the regular Pieman comp for this year. If you want to go back over any of that discussion and some examples of how it might work then click here. However I'll try to summarise below. I'll keep all of the Pieman Mk II stuff in just this one thread (so it doesn't clutter up the board) and carry it on for the rest of the season.
This post gives a general background and description. If you're already on top of that you can just skip to the next post - how to participate in the Proof of Concept.
Why Pieman Mk II?
The existing comp works OK and still attracts good numbers but has the following weaknesses:
- You are stuck with the team you picked before the season starts for half the year (until trade period). If it's performing well, that's great but if it's not you might find your season's chances have evaporated before you get a chance to swap players in and out. And even after that you're stuck with your traded team for the rest of the year. Trade periods involve a fair bit of admin and programming overhead so it wouldn't be easy to set up extra trade periods throughout the year.
- Long term injuries, retirements and lengthy suspensions can decimate a team. Apart from the trade period we have tried to counter this problem by allowing you six players per team (it used to be 5) with only the best 4 to count each week. It helps a little bit but again it adds unwanted complexity which makes it harder to program, harder to test and increases the chances of errors creeping in during maintenance and upgrades.
- Not all your players play every week. Even without LTIs your team is susceptible to players being dropped or missing a game from week to week for some other reason. So it's not unusual to find teams with only 2-4 active players. So you might be at a significant disadvantage in any given round even before the ball is bounced.
- Limited tactical interventions available. On a week by week basis the only tactical intervention available to you is when to use your banker and who to use it on. Some people would like more options available to them. And anyway deploying a banker probably won't get you the inroads you need if you're trying to make up a deficit of say 200-300 points in the last 4-5 rounds. This means that for many players the season is effectively over by mid-year.
- Blowouts due to surprise performances. In at least three of its 9 seasons the Pieman has suffered from having a player unexpectedly become a significant goalkicker with a big handicap. This happened with Zaine Cordy (late 2016), Billy Gowers (all of 2018) and Laitham Vandermeer (all of 2020 so far). This splits the comp into the haves and the have-nots. The latter are quickly assigned to the "can't win the comp" category so it takes a lot of the fun out of it. A good comp should have you in with a chance for at least 60% of the season, and ideally about 25% of the players in with a chance with only 2-3 games to go. We tried limiting this effect of blowouts by having a maximum point score (a cap) of 60 for a banker but that's only tinkering at the edges. We could do some more tinkering with this cap and with pre-season handicapping but neither measure is terribly satisfactory.
- Complexity. The inclusion of tweaks like bankers, trade periods, banker caps and "best of 4" all add unwanted complexity which is bad for reasons explained above. Complexity may also be a deterrent for new players of the Pieman.
So what is Pieman Mk II?
The idea is to go back to a simpler game concept.
That concept is that you get 5 player picks every single week. Naturally the player handicaps will change from week to week.
(I'm assuming you know how the current Pieman system works - basically it's Pieman points for each player = goals x handicap.)
- Simpler game concept. No need for bankers, trade periods or "best of 4" rules.
- No season-long blowouts. If a player unexpectedly gets a huge score the impact is only for one week because the handicaps will be adjusted for the following week. And everybody else can pick him the following week if they want.
- You get five certain starters every week. No problems with suspensions, injuries etc - you just switch to somebody else.
- You can re-jig your team strategy and player selections every week. The tactical interventions available to you are much more extensive.
- Each week's competition is likely to have close results.
- The season comp is likely to stay competitive for more teams and for a longer period of time. This makes it a more interesting comp to follow.
|1||People forget to put their team in and risk falling well behind the pack if they don't get any points.||Anyone who fails to put a team in gets the same players as last week (and gets substitute players if any of them aren't playing this week)|
|2||A player is a late withdrawal and there's no time to pick a replacement.||The emergency player who comes in becomes your pick that week. (Emergencies will have handicap values too).|
|3||It's hard to engineer large scores or try to get a tactical advantage. There are no bankers.||Instead of bankers you will be able to use two of your picks on the same player. Or even three picks (but no more than that). This gives you the chance of having an even bigger impact than the current banker facility.|
|4||What if I would rather a "set and forget" approach than have to make selections every week?||This is a legitimate issue. Some want set and forget, while others want to be active participants every week. For the set-and-forget mob you can still do that by letting your team automatically carry over from week to week. You can of course jump back in at any stage and tweak your team make-up.|
|5||Teams aren't known until 1-2 days before the match so there's little time to pick the teams||This is just a fact of AFL life. It is also a problem with the existing comp because you want to know who's playing before choosing your banker. Over the season some people will undoubtedly forget or not have time to put their teams in but the default will still be there - last week's teams. There's also the option of naming your Pieman team early (before teams are announced and before handicaps are out) just in case you are busy later in the week. You can always amend them if you don't like the handicaps when you finally see them.|
|6||Higher administrative overhead on a weekly basis and the importance of promptly posting handicaps after teams are announced.||It's only a very slight weekly overhead and not too hard because the handicaps won't be drastically changing from week to week.|
|7||Pieman leader might just copy the picks of the nearest challenger to stay ahead.||This would be a sneaky trick but no doubt any leader would be tempted to do it in the last round or two of the season. It's a risky ploy though and it could come unstuck if there is a large chasing pack. What I'm proposing is that for the last 5 rounds the leaders (or any players really) can PM me their picks which won't be revealed until after the game starts. It's optional - you can still post in the weekly thread if you prefer.|
|8||The person running the comp can bend the handicaps etc to his own benefit.||Moi? Yes, it's an issue. I'd have to become a non-contestant to avoid any apparent conflict of interest.|
|9||But will it work?||I definitely think so, but that's why I want to run a proof of concept for the remainder of the 2020 AFL season. It'll help me understand what's needed to run it properly too. Naturally if people just want to stick with the existing Pieman that's OK. I'd need some convincing to run both comps side by side though - they're too similar.|