new thread. are you ready for some game theory??


for the uninitiated, Juliette Stray is one of the foremost scholars and experts on contemporary ethics and game theory.

y'know that trolly question? she is the first person to recommend simply not running over anybody. academia is STILL recovering.

tonight she will talk us through some of the classic conundrums of stalemates and advantage maximization starting with this textbook chess classic:

𝗘𝗹𝘃𝗶𝘀' 𝗠𝗲𝗺𝗽𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗖𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲

please,, talk us through how this end game plays out.

@jackdaw_ruiz Well, you know, the first problem you're going to have here is that everyone is looking for a quick answer, but the real world just isn't that simple. You can't just say, "oh, yes, player A will win," or "player B is who you should put your money on," because when it comes down to it there's a lot to take into consideration, not about the game -- the game has fixed parameters. What's important to analyze here are the players.

@jackdaw_ruiz Now, the first thing you're going to want to take a look at are the eating habits of the players, which should come as no surprise to anyone who's a serious games competitor.

Let me ask you: Player B, do they have any dietary restrictions?


a stunning revelation!!

player B cannot process dairy and was up all night having distressed cheese dreams in a deliberate attempt to solicit the gift of prophecy and divine the coming events!

@jackdaw_ruiz OK, now this is big, because a seasoned games analyst can use this information to tell you that Player B's advantages aren't quite as concrete as a layperson might think.

Consider: Player B is in no small amount of gastrointestinal distress. This means that when the time comes to consume the heart of the champion and gain its inherent strength, Player B is only going to be able to keep it in for a scant handful of moves rather than the whole game. A good tool, but a weak position.


a riveting examination. but we all know chess fucking sucks. what if we were to examine a scenario from The King's Game,,

Rock'em Sock'em Robots??

@jackdaw_ruiz @JulietteStray Are you Black, Jack? Afraid of a draw, Daw? Rock em sock is a mess... back to chess

@jackdaw_ruiz Now. On to your robits.

I know it seems like I brushed this question aside and I don't mean to sound conceited, but I'm honestly not sure why you're bringing it up; consider what we already know about the game and its contenders:

The goal: the merciless decapitation and slaughter of your opponent

The players: Johnny 5 *is alive*. This is a core tenet of what it is to be Johnny 5. Ergo, there's no decapitation to be had here unless we're looking at a Death Becomes Her situation.



bringing up any Isabella Rossellini movie is a strong strong point in any favor.

and we have two entire movies solidifying that one of Johnny 5's intrinsic (and immutable) characteristics is that he is indeed alive.

but okay. okay. let's take the gloves off. can you determine an answer for a query previously through purely moot and academic?

𝘂𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗽𝗽𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗰𝗲 𝘃𝘀. 𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗼𝗯𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁!

let there finally be a victor!

@jackdaw_ruiz Whew. Alright, I'll admit. This one is a toughie, but the first step in any analysis is to review, so let's see what we've got for each players' traits.


Player A:
Unstoppable Force -- this is a big one. We need to draw analogues here for a good analysis, so I would submit we examine one of the classic gamers we're all familiar with, Juggernaut.

Breakfast -- most important meal of the day, providing valuable energy for mitochondria, which are the powerhouse of the cell.

Weeb -- usually this would be considered a weakness, but we'll revisit in a moment.

Everything to Prove -- BIG bonus for a weeb, since senpai might notice now.


Player B:

Immovable Object - very relatable during shelter-in-place or for any of us who has consumed an entire family size anything. I think we all know the potency inherent here

Crippling Debt - in other words, NOTHING TO LOSE. A strong trait. Plus, indicates Player B is also probably young which means virility and potence

Sergeant, First Rank - unfortunately oil is down right now so Chevrons are not worth much

Rodeo Instances - a smooth operator, here. Implies Force is new

@jackdaw_ruiz The real big factors here are Force's need to be noticed and tireless energy, and Object's cool confidence from previous experience and consequence-free freedom.

Ultimately, I think what's going to happen here is that Force is going to impact Object tirelessly, and since Object will be just as resolute, we will find the earth shifting beneath our feet as it is forced to yield to allow both players to succeed, which will kill us all.

So ultimately the real winners are everybody.

@jackdaw_ruiz @JulietteStray i just want to say i really appreciate the help here. i'll be able to confidently place $1400 on red

@jackdaw_ruiz @JulietteStray im leading towards white, because player B's two extra rooks are both under a lot of threat and about to be taken.. and the gun isn't loaded.

@mxsiege @JulietteStray

can... can you tell it's not loaded? do guns work like that?

i don't feel like an american should learn gun facts from a UKer, this is personally distressing.

@jackdaw_ruiz @mxsiege @JulietteStray it's a revolver, so the one chamber that matters might be loaded

@ben @jackdaw_ruiz @mxsiege @JulietteStray Have we discovered an extra layer to the game? Cambodian Roulette?

@jackdaw_ruiz @mxsiege @JulietteStray revolvers work like that, the rounds should be showing at the end of the cylinder

@nutt @jackdaw_ruiz @mxsiege Now I'm not a guns expert -- guns are NO GAME -- but I feel like if the round was at the end you wouldn't be able to plug it with a flower and then stop it from firing, so this doesn't seem right.

@jackdaw_ruiz @mxsiege yeah it aint loaded. most small caliber revolvers' chambers are only a hair longer than the intended ordinance, so you'd be able to see the bullets easily in that photo.

@jackdaw_ruiz @mxsiege @JulietteStray the gun is not fully loaded. you can see that at least two chambers are empty, but is there a round under the hammer? that's a harder question.

@jackdaw_ruiz @mxsiege @JulietteStray but the real meat of the issue is this: what are the powers of the red Sorry! piece on white's third rank?

@alexis @mxsiege @JulietteStray

do NOT acknowledge the red piece! do not handle the red piece.

and for the love of god do not make sustained eye contact with the red piece! 👀

@jackdaw_ruiz @mxsiege @JulietteStray ah! potentially a strong advantage for white with a kingside castle. but will the player see it?

@alexis Hohoho, now, I don't mean to be patronizing, but it's a good thing I'm here! This is another costly, yet common mistake that a non GAME PRO would make. What you see to be a Sorry! piece -- a piece to indicate that, in fact, some of these moves are being shaped by reluctance -- is actually a dreaded HALMA PAWN, named after this deadly inventor of the piece, Halma Sayek:

@jackdaw_ruiz @alexis Exceedingly dangerous, as you can see -- her headdress menaces with spikes of feather and feather.

@JulietteStray @jackdaw_ruiz exquisitely crafted indeed! but what does this mean for the game? can we give the game amateurs at home, and here in the booth too haha, a sense of how the next few turns might play out in light of this amazing revelation?

@alexis @jackdaw_ruiz Please excuse my overeager host's exuberance!

Now to the issue at hand, without the power of the champion to sustain them, we can skip to the sad, solemn chase: Player B is simply not going to walk away from this game. Once Player A unleashes the winner's spirit and it makes use of its fell power, Player B will fall to this necromancy. Yes, they brought a gun, but a masterwork +1 bonus is not technically a magical bonus, so the spirit will be impervious to damage.

@JulietteStray @jackdaw_ruiz a subtle point! the supernatural forces around the table seem to be arrayed wholly in player A's favor - but, wait, we're being reminded that the gun once belonged to Elvis, and given that it's at least partially unloaded, the question on everyone's minds right now has to be: are we looking at a potential summoning situation, perhaps similar to the infamous rasputin gambit that resulted in the historical interdict of the 1957 fischer-gromykov game?

@alexis @jackdaw_ruiz I'm glad you brought this up, because it's what warrants mentioning Player A's other assets: all that white land. Player A knew that Player B might bring arcane power of their own (now THIS is game theory, folks), but wisely selected *white* mana, the colour of protection and negation. With access to three mana out the gate and none on Player B's side for a possible counterspell or second summoning, it feels like Player A has this win locked in given Player B's manascrew.

@alexis @jackdaw_ruiz You may also find yourself wondering about the performance enhancing drugs.

It's 5-MeO-DiPT. It's for after the game.

Player A fucks.

@JulietteStray @jackdaw_ruiz now that's a power move! and you're certainly not wrong about the value of those untapped plains. but while we're looking at the cards - the dreaded draw 4 card is a fickle servant at the best of times, but seeing it there on the table face up suggests that player B may be throwing down a power move of their own. of course, the true game is the one over the table, not on it - what can we expect to see if player A is knocked off their stride?

@alexis @jackdaw_ruiz Well, while I feel pretty confident in my verdict, let's go ahead and explore this possibility -- game theory, after all, is only about picking the *most likely* outcome, it does not necessarily rule out the others.

If Player A is somehow outplayed and put on the defensive, the most dangerous thing we're going to see here is them potentially losing control of their winner's spirit -- summon spells require concentration, and so if that's broken we're in big trouble.

@alexis @jackdaw_ruiz Forcing Player A to deal with an additional four cards -- that's over TWICE the cards they have in this snapshot here! -- might overwhelm them to the point of causing that dreaded lost concentration.

Once that happens, all bets are off, but I, frankly, would probably take that opportunity to exit from the gaming stadiorama. Winners' spirits are vindictive little fucks.

@JulietteStray @jackdaw_ruiz ah, yes, definitely the potential for a repeat of the 1957 game in that sense! it's only a mercy that any survivors are unlikely to have much waking recollection of that kind of misplay. but how likely is it, really? it's unusual to say the least for a halma pawn to make an appearance in tournament-level play, ST notwithstanding. is it possible we're seeing a novel preemption of gromykov's error here?

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@jackdaw_ruiz @JulietteStray my bet is on player c with the red sorry piece. dude’s an absolute wild card

@null @JulietteStray

do not acknowledge the red piece.

do not speak to the red piece.

do not take investment advice the red piece.

do not trust the red piece even though his uncle works for nintendo. 😤

@jackdaw_ruiz @JulietteStray just to be clear this entire bit from top to bottom is completely incomprehensible to me. but i wanna submit that someone having a .22 pointed at you is about as threatening as a child with a rubber band


you must admit that getting a Distinguished Advokist out is a notch above useless, tho.

@jackdaw_ruiz @JulietteStray

I hate that I looked at this and *immediately* knew, between my best friend and I, who is player A and who is player B.

He's player B.

@EmpressZo @JulietteStray

i'm sorry i took a picture of you and your friend playing chess -- shoulda put a post-it note over your webcam.

@jackdaw_ruiz @JulietteStray
I think this is important to note that with 3 untapped mana, a winning spirit and the good combination of drugs, one may be able to summon the powers of Athena, the goddess of tactical wargames and she may grant them the victory but here is the difficulty : since you mentionned player B got a gun they could shoot in the air to distract player A while the summon or just deafen them so they wouldn't be able to hear any tips 1/n

@jackdaw_ruiz @JulietteStray
From the goddess. Then player B may use draw four at the perfect moment (actually when handling an heay board control with the rooks) to trigger a mill effect on player A would would then be force to discard at least his queen and 2 bishops.
The heart of a champion is a very trick information because lot of people may understand it as a metaphore (counterbalancing the winning spirit) but it may be extremely litteral 2/n

@jackdaw_ruiz @JulietteStray
And owning the heart of a champion is pretty gross but if fresh it can be used to drop on the king of the opponent (A). Doing so B must be extremely carefull because if they colors half of the manas in red they may actually permit the player A to gain 1*3hp wich would clearly lead them to victory.

Ok i cant wait to see if i gave an answer similar to JulietteStray, but i'm pretty noob in chess so it was a great tactic exercise.

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Glittering Diamonds

it's avant garde we ain't gotta explain shit.