Tag Archives: Statistics

How’s it going, Rob? Are the Player Ratings Ready?

So the player ratings are set to be done by the end of Q3.  Yeah, that’s eight days from now.  I’m reasonably certain I can get it done – mostly.  Chances are, the medals (like the level medal) won’t be ready in time and that’s okay.  The player ratings are generated at the time of the battle and are independent of the medals so I don’t see a problem with applying the update before the medals are ready.

Medals?  Did you say Medals?

I did, actually.  When your player rating is generated you’ll receive a medal that’s proudly displayed on your player profile indicating which of 12+1 “ranks” you hold.  There’s 12 ranks for rated players (any one who’s reported more than 30 games) and a provisional rank.  They look something like this:

Medals for battle rating
Medals awarded for battle rating on iToysoldiers

I’m reasonably happy with them.

What’s taking so long?

Well, as it turns out figuring in the impact of a player’s faction required a lot more testing and tweaking than I originally thought.  My original thought was to modify the K value of the calculation through the use of a ratio between the player’s faction battle ranking.  This didn’t pan out exactly the way I wanted it to.

So I set myself to figuring out exactly where to apply the faction impact and I stumbled across a website that talked about how they determine EL0 for NBA teams.  One of the factors they introduced into their calculation is home team advantage.  Clearly I don’t need that but HOW they did it was clever.  They essentially modified the rating of a team by a constant when they had a home team advantage.  “Ah ha!”, says I.  That’s slick.

So right now I’m messing around with the calculations with an aim to implementing a ratio that’s applied to the player’s rating before the rest of the calculation.  So consider a commander playing Eldar with a rating of 2000 against an Ork player with a rating of 1000, the calculation will actually set the Ork player’s rating considerably lower and the Eldar player considerably higher.  Not that in this example it’d be necessary.   But if they both had a rating of 1200 then if the Eldar player won the change in scores wouldn’t be nearly as dramatic as if the Ork player wins.

Please tell me you’re not messing with anything else

Well…  Nothing major.  A couple of bugs.  The biggest of which is making it so that when you add an image from the modelling project page it’ll actually get associated with the modelling project.  I’ve also done some work on the page layout for events so there’s not quite so much empty space on the page.  Really, that’s pretty much it.

Comments? Questions?  Post a comment here or visit the iToysoldiers Help Portal.

Rob @ iToysoldiers

Rating Players: Trials and Tribulations

Ahoy, commander! Now that we’ve got some improvements on creating content on iToysoldiers I figured I’d be time to start working on improving the stats and metrics around your miniature wargaming battles.  Specifically, I’m working on rating players based upon their performance. In short, I’m implementing a modified variation of the ELO ranking system and I’m going to be applying it pretty much everywhere average battle score is used.

Average Battle Score Sucks

Let me talk a little bit about why this change to an ELO based player rating is important.  Right now, iToysoldiers uses your average battle rating to determine your position in various leaderboards.  This isn’t a bad solution because it does show your relative standing as it relates to other players.  It’s also pretty handy for determining a player’s relative strength in relation to assorted meta items like the mission being played.

The HUGE problem with this system is that it really assumes each player has a similar number of reported games.  So players who’ve played lots of games will have a reasonably accurate score and folks who’ve played a small number of games will have a ridiculously inaccurate score.

For example: If I’ve played three games and they’re all wins my average battle score would be 5.  If my buddy Tyler has played 400 games and they’re all wins then his score would also be 5.  If he lost one of those games it’d put him beneath me in the rankings.  Who’s really the better player?  Do we know yet?  Should my score, with only three games, be compared against Tyler’s 400?  Is there a comparison to be made?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But unless we’re looking at a similar number of games, Average Battle score doesn’t really tell us much.  In fact, it punishes players for reporting more battles and that’s something that I certainly don’t want to have happen.

Rating Players using Chess as a Model

Enter ELO as a model for determining a player’s rating.  The premise behind ELO is that with a little fun with math a player’s rating can be determined by past performance and modified by the results of a match between those two players.  The resulting rating is normalized to a value that can be used to compare players whether they’ve played 400 games or 3 games.  (Yes, yes.  I know…  The results will still be more accurate the more games that are played but the concept is sound).

What I’m working on now is implementing a modified ELO system into iToysoldiers so that it’ll be possible to get reasonably accurate ratings of players overall, and possibly (still working on this) under specific sets of battle meta. I’m aware of some of the draw backs of the ELO model and how other rating systems are possibly more accurate because they take a couple of other factors into account – things like confidence level of the current rating and stuff like that.  The biggest issue, to my mind, is that ELO (and Gliko – another player rating system – for that matter) assume that both sides are equal.  Example: In chess, both players have exactly the same pieces and the same “abilities”.  In miniature wargaming that’s not the case.  Factions have varying powers that contribute to the power of the player.  I’m aware of this and hence the modifications.

Keeping me up at night

Modifying the ELO player rating calculations to consider elements of miniature wargaming into account has been what’s really making my head spin the last week or so.  A couple of things have been weighing heavily into how this is going to work:

  • How will a player’s faction affect their player rating?
  • Some players won’t have their opponent on iToysoldiers so that a comparison score can be utilized in the calculation.
  • What are the definitions of a “provisional player”?
  • What happens when players are playing narrative battles where both sides aren’t necessarily considered even?
  • Do people care about their rating on a faction by faction (or game by game) level or is their over all rating acceptable?

Faction Impact on Rating Players

The biggie? How factions can or should impact rating players. I’ve decided on two factors:

First, if a player’s game is not acknowledged by another player on iToysoldiers then the rating change will be based upon the current rating of the opposing faction.  Yep.  That means that I’ll be generating ratings for the various factions of the game.  There’s a couple of cool things I’ll be able to do with that info.  The second is a bit more… dicey, maybe?

So within ELO there’s the concept called, “K”. K is a constant that determines how much a match matters when rating the players.  It is basically, what’s the biggest change in ratings that can happen.  In chess, the K value is only based upon a player’s ranking and how many games they’ve played.  I’m adding in another factor: The relative strength of the factions.  Example: In 40K Orks have had a rough go.  Their codex hasn’t been considered to be terribly competitive.  Craftworld Eldar, on the other hand, are generally considered to be pretty top tier.  Gotta tell you, the test runs of the data I have pretty much bear this out.  It makes sense to me that someone who’s playing Orks against Eldar shouldn’t loose as many points if they’re defeated by Eldar.  Everyone saw that coming, right? On the flip side, the Eldar player shouldn’t get quite as many points for defeating an Ork player ’cause their faction is superior.  I’m incorporating that concept into the ratings.

A nifty side effect is that standard deviation of a game system’s factions will also give an indicator as to the balance of a particular game.  I’m pretty excited about being able to provide that kind of info.


And that’s where my head’s at. iToysoldiers will be rating players by the end of September at the latest.  Have some thoughts on the matter? Feedback? Comment here.  Email me.  Visit the iTS Support Portal Entry for Player Ratings.  I aim to please and a thrive on your commentary.

Carpe Acies!
Rob @ iToysoldiers



Some Thoughts On Presenting Battle Stats

So on the iToysoldiers site I still have a legacy forum that asks for feedback on how to improve the site.  It really shouldn’t be there ’cause I really want to get “backend” type content out of the site proper.  However, every so often there’s a post there and it gets me thinking. In particular, I’m thinking about player battle stats and how to generate/display them.

If you’re interested, the post in question is here:  http://itoysoldiers.com/forum-post/8th-edition-stats.  Essentially the ask is to allow players to “reset” their stats when a new edition of a rule set comes out (or whatever reason floats their boat). I think this is a fair ask to a certain extent. But here’s the rub: I don’t think a player really wants to “reset” stats.  I think what they really really really want is the ability to display stats with more granularity and customization than I currently allow.  Allow me to explain:

The Problem

As I was first building iToysoldiers I made a design decision to force players to pick specific elements representing their battle from a list I provided.  For example: You couldn’t just add an army faction.  Missions went into the mission field.  Points per army went into the points field.  I did this so that there’d be a way to aggregate data specific to a particular meta item and display it relative to every battle on the site.  For sure this helped keep my stat displays under control but unfortunately, it also means that players were only provided battle stat combinations that I created.  This is the problem.

How am I fixing this?

Well, the good news is that I’ve already started to do so!  The first major step to addressing this came when I allowed folks to add any faction into the “Army” field.  Yeah, for sure this has caused some problems – specifically with folks adding stream of consciousness type values into that field.  But as more players participate in the site that’s becoming less of an issue.

The second part of a fix is what I’m working on now.  Player battle stats are now tiered.  To explain: there’s high level stats based upon every game.  Stuff like win/loss/draw, # of battles, and that sort of thing.  But there’ll also be a specific page for each army that a player has entered battle reports for.  To use me as an example, I’ll have CSM, Dark Eldar, Ynnari and World Eaters as my armies and I’ll have a specific page for each.  Kinda like this:

iToysoldiers Battle Stat Teaser
What the army specific stat page looks like

There’s also an advanced filter view without graphs for detailed comparisons:

iToysoldiers Battle Stat Teaser 2
Advanced filters for iToysoldiers Battle Stats

So each army that you play will have these views.  Now, if you’re playing a new army or something it’s pretty easy to “reset” your stats because they’ll be army specific.  And since you can enter anything you want into the Army field a player could reset their stats by using a new army tag. But…

It Could Be Better

Yeah.  It could be better.  And here’s what I’m thinking.  What if there was a world where a player wasn’t restricted to the elements of a battle that I consider important?  What if this world allowed players to tag a battle report with elements that they thought were important instead of having to enter data in a fairly ridiculous number of fields?  What if every meta item was treated the same and battle stats could be generated using a selection of meta elements rather than specifically associating a meta item to a particular input/output field?

That’s what I’m thinking about now: How to revamp the battle reports to be more flexible, easier to use, and more useful when looking at battle stats.  Right now it’s just a seed of an idea and thinking about it is drawing attention to some of the really iffy design choices I made early on.  It’ll be a fair amount of work to do this.  Not so much to build it an put it into effect – but rather make old battle reports obey a set up like this.

So what do you think? I really really really want to know.  It’s feedback that spawns improvement in the site and this is a great example: One forum post and suddenly I’m think of huge improvements.  Drop me a line at rob@itoysoldiers.com, visit our support portal at http://itoysoldiers.uservoice.com or comment here.  I aim to please.

Rob @ iToysoldiers

Kilgrave mK III: Modelling Stats and a new Dashboard

Ahoy, Commander!

So I’m working on Kilgrave mK III, the last mark of this particular release and here’s what I have planned:

  1. Modelling Project Stats
  2. A Revised Dashboard that shows things that require attention.
  3. Bug fixes identified by mK II.

Now, that’s not to say that I won’t go back and revisit the profiles and player stats.  It’s just that I think I have this bit sorted for now – or more accurately that I’ve achieved the goal of providing certain features.  So if you’ve found a bug, have an idea for an improvement or what have you… Bestest: Support Portal.  More best: Comment here.  Best: email me at rob@itoysoldiers.com.

Carpe Acies!

Kilgrave mK II is now live: Content Stats!

Greetings, commander!

On Friday I released the newest version of iToysoldiers: Kilgrave mK II.  In addition to all the really slick stuff that was part of Kilgrave, there’s now content stats!

If you visit your player profile you’ll see a “Stats” tab.  Click on that.  Then click the “Content” sub tab.  There you’ll see an overview of the content you’ve submitted to iToysoldiers along with some page view, comment, and salute values.  I wanted to make sure that if you’re using iToysoldiers to chronicle the glory of your miniature wargaming armies that you can see that folks are reading your stuff. The detailed statistics are largely based on the kind of information that Blogspot provides.  I figured if it was good enough for them it’d be good enough for us.

Also there’s some bug fixes – specifically new players and how their profile displays.  Now there’s no more floating headers without content. I’ve also tweaked some bits of the theme to be a bit more “what you might expect”.  Little fiddly bits (like the logout button doesn’t show up if you’re not logged in – stuff like that) which weren’t huge but needed to be addressed.

So now, Kilgrave has all the above plus what was announced here.

If your curious here’s what the Kilgrave release contains (including all marks) to date:

  1. Updated Player profiles
  2. Updated Home page for anonymous visitors
  3. Updated Stats page layout
  4. Updated Content page layout
  5. Updated Battle Stats
  6. Updated Content Stats
  7. A new Help Portal
  8. Various Bug fixes

Now I just have to get Kilgrave mK III in the wild and then I’ll be able to start work on “Ragnorok”.  Yay!  As always, if you have any comments, issues, suggestions, I aim to please.  You can email me at rob@itoysoldiers, comment here, or submit something on the Help Portal.  Zip on over to iToysoldiers and checkout the new hotness!

Carpe Acies!

And Now… Kilgrave mK II: Fixing some stuff on Player Profiles

Good morning, Commander!

So last week I released Kilgrave which did some really cool things for player profiles and battle stats.  Alas, as per usual, I found some stuff that made me unhappy when it actually hit the site.  The most glaring of these is for newish players.  Profile and stat screens had headers all over the place and no content in the section.  Why? Well, it’s cause there wasn’t anything to display.  That’s kind of annoying.  There were also a couple of other bugs introduced by some of the backend stuff I put into place.  Nothing huge but still…

So… What I’ve been working on this week is Kilgrave mK II.  It’s primarily a bug fix release but it’ll also bring content stats into the stats page (stuff like how many page views, salutes, comments your blogs, galleries, modelling projects, etc have).  Hopefully I’ll have this released by Friday.

After that I’ll start work on Kilgrave mK III.  The plan for this bad boy is to address modelling project statistics and the dashboard (which I’m going to be revamping).

So that’s the short term plan.  If you haven’t checked out the new stuff then zip over to your player profile and take a gander.  I’m pretty pleased.  Oh! And of course, if you find any issues do not hesitate to let me know.  You can either visit the new Help Portal or drop me an email at rob@itoysoldiers.com.  ‘course you could comment here.  I’m pretty flexible.

Carpe Acies!


New Home Page and Player Profiles Live

Greetings, commander! iToysoldiers is super pleased to announce the release of “Kilgrave”.  The Kilgrave release introduces a brand new home page for folks who aren’t a member of the site yet as well as a brand spanking new player profile and stat pages for every player on the site. We’re also introducing our new iToysoldiers Help Portal, which isn’t huge news but still pretty slick.

Let’s chat about the new home page first.  The old one was kind of dated and had a few issues.  The first of which is that it didn’t really tell anyone what iToysoldiers was all about. Well, now it does. Yeah, it’s kind of a marketing page for the site but I think that’s okay ’cause it’s important to let people know what iToysoldiers has to offer the miniature wargaming community.  I built it to show off the player functionality ’cause that’s what most people are interested in.  I’m going to be working on the Ironmonger program (for local game stores) and the event management pieces shortly.

Now.  The really cool bit of Kilgrave is the new player profile pages and the stats pages.  Here’s some of the new features:

  • A consolidated statistics page that covers all of your activity on iToysoldiers.
  • A great new player “landing” page that highlights your best stuff on iToysoldiers and provides easy navigation to all of your content, decorations, and media.
  • A fantastic new battle statistics summary page with new charts, and even competitive play stats.  Check it out on the Stats tab of your profile.

And lastly, I’m introducing a new support portal – one that I control rather than a third party so I can be sure that all the usage follows the iToysoldiers privacy policy.  So if you ever have a question or wanna find our faqs you can zip over to http://help.itoysoldiers.com.

And that’s what’s in Kilgrave.  If you run into any issues don’t hesitate to let me know at http://help.itoysoldiers.com or send me an email at rob@itoysoldiers.com or you can comment here.  Curious to know what you think of the new stuff.

Carpe Acies!

Bring on the Stats

Ahoy, commanders! Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night – sweat soaking your sheets, a scream fighting to tear its way out of you – all because you were going to face a new army tomorrow and you weren’t sure how you were likely to fair against them?  Yeah, me neither.  But that doesn’t mean that you don’t share my curiosity in how a game’s meta is shaping up.  Well, wonder no longer, friends. I’ve started putting a fair amount of effort into actually living up to the slogan, “We have stats. Stats are cool”.  Which brings me to the announcement of iToysoldiers Release 4.2-rc10.

The main focus of this release is to total revamp the battle statistics for game systems and their associated factions.  There’s some minor visual tweaks that make the pages look better and give you a better idea of what content is associated with a given game or faction and the battle meta page has been completely redone but the real meat is in the statistics.

Every game system or army/faction that’s been involved in a battle now has a link to “Battle Stats” for that army or game.  I’m going to use my favorite army, the Dark Eldar as an example.  So if you zip over to the Dark Eldar Stats page (or you can follow along with your favorite army) you’ll see something like this:

Miniature war gaming stats screenshot
Here’s what the new army stats page looks like using REAL Dark Eldar stats

The first row provides some high level numbers: the number of battles, the number of players, the number of battlefields an army game has been seen at, and the number of factions it has fought against (for game systems this number is the number of factions that have fought battles).  Each is linked to a table (or list in the case of battles) that provides some information about the number of battles, the W/L/D numbers and the average battle score.

After that is a handful of spiffy charts.  Let’s talk about ‘em now, shall we?

Battles over time

This is just a simple display of all the battles reported by the faction or game.

Average Battle Score

Until I get a better system in place, average battle score is the current mechanism to provide relative rankings between players and armies.  It’s an average of the total battle result value divided by the battles that the faction has been the primary faction (no, being an ally faction doesn’t contribute to the battle score).  Since this just a number between 1 and 5 (5 being the highest) it gets to be a gauge.

Battle Results

Pretty much what you’d expect: a chart that shows how many battles were a victory, a draw, or a defeat.  Goes along with the Average battle score chart nicely, dontcha think?

Most Battles Leaderboard

This one’s fun: who’s the commander who fights the most battles?  You can, of course, see the full list on the Player tab.

Commander Survival Impact

This one is fun and the start of metrics that aren’t quite as pedestrian as a simple count.  What this chart shows is based on the criteria of commander survival, how many battles did this army win.  I know Warmachine/Hordes players won’t get a ton of use out of this chart (assassination rule and all that) but for most other games it’s kind of interesting.  So for Dark Eldar, if my commander survives the battle players win 58% of the time.  With CSM it’s about 75%.  It also shows the results based on the commander being slain.  Handy to know whether you should consider protecting your commander at all costs.

Opponent’s Army Impact

This is a riff on the Commander Survival impact chart except it shows the results based on the faction of the opponent.  Here’s where you can see how well the given faction does relative to other armies.  So in our Dark Eldar example, Space Wolves are the army of choice to go against.  DE win 72% of the time against these guys.  Avoid the Tyranids.  At all costs.  The faction does the best against armies in the upper right hand bit of the graph.

One caveat: A faction will have had to play against the opponent’s faction at least five times to get on this chart.  So if you don’t see your faction then you need to get those games in so that the metrics are more relevant.

Ally Impact

Can you tell I really dig these “impact” charts? This one displays the impact of the allied factions brought to the battle.  In the Dark Eldar example I think it’s clear that I need to bring Harlequins.

Most Battles Against

This chart displays the total battles against the top five factions that an army has played against.  It’s pretty pedestrian, just a simple count, but interesting.

And that’s all I have for now.  I plan to add more as they come to me and if you have some suggestions do not hesitate to let me know at support@itoysoldiers.uservoice.com.  I aim to please.  Oh yeah!  Don’t you worry! Player stats will be getting a similar treatment really soon.

Carpe Acies!