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BGO vs. BGO OLM Update

Posted By: Jason Lee
Date: Tuesday, 18 February 2014, at 9:57 p.m.

In Response To: BGO vs. BGO OLM Update (Jason Lee)

There seems to be this push for captains to be tiebreakers, possibly to decide on plays after seeing other votes, etc. Then there's this business about "captains being the leaders, blah blah blah." That's just semantics.

We're mixing stuff up. There are two distinct ways we can go.

(1) There are no captains when it comes to voting. Everybody votes. Most votes wins. If there's a tie, we pick randomly OR we have a run-off vote.

(2) There's not actually a vote. Team members submit their preferences, and then after considering everybody's preferred move and discussion, the team captain submits a move on behalf of the team.

I'm not putting my foot down on #2 -- it's just not the way I saw this going. I'm not here to impose my will on everybody. Sort of. I just think we shouldn't mix #1 and #2.

I want to point out the danger of #2. Why would the captain not just choose the move of the best player on the team? If the team's resident Giant gets outvoted 7-4, is the captain going to just go with what the Giant says? If so, then the match is Stick vs. Neil with a bunch of chatty kibitzers. If not, why not just go back to #1?

Let me tell you why I like #1: It's democratic. You truly have a voice. With vote numbers like we've had in the OLM here, from time to time, you've all cast a deciding ballot. Sometimes Giants get outvoted. But somehow that hive mind produces great backgammon play. Admittedly, there haven't been that many matches, but the limited data we have has shown that the group plays much stronger than nearly every individual member. That's a wonderful display of collective intelligence.

There seems to be some pushback to coin flips deciding tie votes. First, I note that I've done it before in OLM, and I don't recall a single instance of somebody pooh-poohing that method. Second, it's consistent with using the team as a collective -- in a tie, the team is literally undecided. Finally, it really doesn't happen that much, and sometimes it happens for thematically similar moves, meaning that those ties don't matter much.

So... if you all really want to have a discussion and then a team captain decided choice, so be it. That method will probably work fine. On the days when it doesn't, remember that I told you so.


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