Thursday, August 10, 2017

Front Style Historical Strategies for CFR

Back in June I talked about the three basic Historical Driver strategies for Championship Formula Racing: Front A, Even, and Back S.  This time out, lets compare the three Front Strategies to each other and see how they riff on the theme of spending resources early.

My intent with the Front B strategy was to have a car that, while it was going to start out fast, was going to really go all out starting in the middle third of the race.  The Front X strategy was an attempt to push even harder in the first third of the race than the Front A and then back off assuming there was little wear left.

Same note as last time that these are not exactly the same as the versions of these strategies published in the game.  Reasons and links at the bottom of the article.

Now lets look at each Phase by Phase.  Same analysis process as last time... basically I'm measuring how much faster this strategy wants to go than a safe 0-wear plot.  More words at the bottom.

Phase 1

Not Starred:
Front A: net +29 mph (52.9% +20, 47.2% +40)
Front B: net +22 mph (91.7% +20, 8.4% +40)
Front X: net +40 mph (100% +40)

Front A: net +42 mph (19.4% +20, 52.9% +40, 27.8% +60)
Front B: net +33 mph (41.7% +20, 50% +40, 8.4% +60)
Front X: net +43 mph (41% +20, 58.4% +60)

In the first phase we can also look to see how likely the car is to push it's start speed:
Front A: 92%
Front B: 58%
Front X: 100%

Front X is clearly all in on this first phase of the race.  Also note that Front B gets out of this Phase after the first corner while Front X and Front A stick with it into corner 2.

Phase 2

Not Starred:
Front A: net +38 mph (8.4% +20, 91.7% +40)
Front B: net +26 mph (27.7% +0, 16.7% +20, 55.6% +40)
Front X: net +34 mph (30.6% +20, 69.5% +40)

Front A: net +44 mph (8.4% +20, 63.9% +40, 27.8% +60)
Front B: net +23 mph (83.4% +20, 16.7% +40)
Front X: net +48 mph (58.4% +40, 41.7% +60)

Some interesting comparisons here between each strategies Phase 1 and Phase 2.

Front A's net in starred conditions does not change much but the strategy actually gets faster in non-starred situations.  Meanwhile, Front X slows down a little in non-starred situations and gets even faster in starred situations.

Put another way, Front A is now indiscriminately spending wear in this phase.  While Front X will go even faster if its a efficient use but actually will spend less wear if it is not.

Front B generally stays similar in non-starred situations and slows down even in starred situations which makes sense given the theory of this strategy.

Phase 3

Not Starred:
Front A: net +15 mph (58.3% +0, 8.4% +20, 33.3% +40)
Front B: net +32 mph (41.7% +20, 58.4% +40)
Front X (in 1st): net +11 mph (72.2% +0, 27.8% +40)
Front X (not in 1st): net +32 mph (41.7% +20, 58.4% +40)

Front A: net +23 mph (91.7% +20, 8.4% +60)
Front B: net +40 mph (16.7% +20, 66.7% +40, 16.7% +60)
Front X (in 1st): net +31 mph (72.3% +20, 27.8% +60)
Front X (not in 1st): net +37 mph (41.7% +20, 30.6% +40, 27.8% +60)

We can see Front A back off here and Front B push to spend more wear.  Front X is very interesting in this middle 3rd of the race.  If the Front X car is winning, it backs off in non-star situations.   If not winning, it will try to spend wear almost as much as Front B.

Another thing to note about all 3 strategies is that their time in this 3rd phase can get cut short if they run low on wear.  Front A moves down to Phase 4 if the car has wear <= to the total number of laps in this race *2.  Front B is a little slower to move to Phase 4: < laps *2.  Front X will stick to Phase 3 longer: <= laps.

Phase 4

As usual, phase 4 has a lot of conditionals and cars will generally spend based on how much wear they have left at this point.  A possible difference for Front A is that it will move down to Phase 5 if the car has wear <= to the total number of laps in this race *2.  This is the same condition that will force the car to move from phase 3 to 4, so you often see a Front A go from 3 to 4 one turn and then 4 to 5 after the very next corner.

Front B has a more standard condition to move to Phase 5 of wear < 2.  Front X only moves to Phase 5 if they have no wear left.

Strategy Trends

Over the course of a race, HDs will spend most of their time in phases 2-4.  So let's quick see each strategy's progression over time:

(Not Starred) phase 2 >> phase 3 >> phase 4
Front A net +38 >> +15 >> +17
Front B net +26 >> +32 >> +17
Front X net +34 >> +11/+32 >> +0

Some caveats... In phase 3 the first number for Front X is when it is winning the race and the 2nd is when it is not.

Front A cars often do not spend much time in phase 4 because Front A HDs often run out of wear early and skip out of phase 4 into phase 5 after a corner or 2.

However, for all of these strategies the numbers above assume the cars' do not have a lot of wear left in Phase 4.  If they have more, they will spend more.

Next up I'll discuss the variations on the Even strategy.  Remember, links to the above 3 strategies below.

What is the Analysis Here?
The main way to measure a phase's intent is to look at the first starred and non-stared symbols in each tactic.  This gives you a sense of how much faster the car will likely try to go.  Think about it this way -- a car that wants to spend 1 wear in the upcoming corner will try to go 20 mph faster than a car that does not want to spend any wear, all other factors being equal.

If you then multiply each of those possible results by the odds of them being first choice, I get a net result of how much faster this car wants to go.  It might not be able to go that fast, but that's on the driver not the strategy.  I'm going to call this "net" in tables below.

Note that anything with 3 circles of any kind, should be considered starred because that is how the tracks are designed.  Also note, that if a tactic does not lead with a starred option, I'll count the first un-starred option for that tactics starred value since its more likely to be used.

How Are the Strategies Different?
Three minor editorial choices I've made since publication: 1) HDs can push start using only 1 green skill (the start speed test table changed a bit right before publication...); 2) I decided that the red skill chip could be used more places in relation to HD die rolls; 3) there were a few tactics that had 6 symbols on them and my BYO tool only allows for 5...  Links to these version in my BYO tool are at the end of this article.

Front A (version 1.1)
Front B (version 1.1)
Front X (version 1.1)

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