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Re: [Bug-gnubg] Please help me with a quite nagging problem with GNUB

From: Ian Shaw
Subject: Re: [Bug-gnubg] Please help me with a quite nagging problem with GNUB
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2013 18:19:27 +0000

Hi John,


I’m unclear as to what you are trying to achieve for the Player 1 settings. If you are playing as Human, then the skill level is irrelevant – it only applies to gnubg.


I can confirm John’s report that the Player 1 settings revert to “expert” upon restarting gnubg if the player is selected to Human. E.g. if you select GNUBg Intermediate, then re-select Human and exit gnubg, the next time you start the program the greyed out gnubg setting is “expert”. 


It looks slightly odd, but makes no difference in practice.


If you exit while Player 1 is GNU Backgammon, when you restart the program the last skill setting is correctly retained.


There is no current way to make gnubg adopt a less aggressive playing style. Note that it the score you show, it is correct to double immediately and play aggressively; winning a gammon wins the match for Godzilla, and there is no need to fear losing a gammon.  I can see you were attacked early and repeatedly, then stayed on the bar a lot. It’s frustrating, but it happens in real-life play too. The sad truth is that gnubg and the other bots do not need to cheat to beat most humans regularly, they are simply much better than us.


(Technically, I suppose that if one messed around with the Match Equity Table  you might induce gnubg to believe that it should always play more cautiously, but I wouldn’t like to undertake that exercise.)


Regarding doubles: in this game I count 7 doubles for Godzilla, 6 doubles for JB. Nothing remarkable in  a 44-roll per player game; you’d expect 1/6 of the rolls to be doubles.


If the Beginner player setting doesn’t work out for you, you could go into the advanced settings and increase the Noise level. Or, try cheating! Go to Settings…Options and choose the Dice tab. There you can manipulate how good a roll each player gets.


n  Ian



From: bug-gnubg-bounces+address@hidden [mailto:bug-gnubg-bounces+address@hidden On Behalf Of John Boland
Sent: 10 March 2013 03:25
To: address@hidden
Subject: [Bug-gnubg] Please help me with a quite nagging problem with GNUB


Each time I start a new set of 7 games, I try to enter, and make my settings stick (as below in top screen shot). Yet almost each time, my settings ("casual play", "intermediate"), whatever I enter, after I enter my choice, GNUB stays at my choice ("casual play", but JB almost always reverts to ("expert").  Plus, it seems the only way I can change JB, is to click "GNU Backgammon" temporarily to make make "Human" become "GNU Backgammon, which un-greys "casual play" as seen below.  I then change "Expert" to "casual play", re-click JB to "Human" to lock in "casual play".  Yet it far to often doesn't stick, and I have to do it over and over until GNUB allows "casual play"

As shown in the below screen shot of a finished game, with top part of game stats shown below (the balance of the game stats shown is the last screen shot) it shows how incredibly aggressive GNUB can be until it wins.  Note ALL my checkers piled in my Home board and the next board, while all GNUB's are off the board!!

Is there any way I can eliminate the quite often huge gain in aggression on either GNUB's OR JBs part in the closing moments of a game -- Many, many doubles, repeatedly rolling the exact roll to repeatedly nail just the right checker to do max damage, along with never allowing any of opponent's checkers on the bar to get in, was too often by giving me lots of dice for blocked points, and as GNUB uncovers points, repeatedly setting my rolls at progressively lower and lower and often never getting at all - game over as illustrated above!

Thanks for your time!

John Boland
3526 S Huntington Loop
Kennewick, WA, 99337

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