How Much Luck is there in FASISAC?

*WARNING this post is both geeky and mathsy*

I decided I wanted to analyse how different decisions you make can affect your chances of winning a match in FASISAC. I did this with thousands of computer generated simulations and the results surprised me.

In play-tester feedback I have asked where people feel FASISAC sits on a scale of 1 to 10 for luck versus strategy where 1 = entirely luck (50/50 who wins no matter what) and 10 = entirely strategy (the best manager/team will always win). The average score was 6.3 which is pretty close to where I wanted the game to be when I began designing it. But this was people’s ‘feel’, often from just one match, so I wanted some data to see just how much luck there is in the game.

I’ve been developing a companion app that can run on Android for FASISAC. It can simulate matches and do some other useful bits and pieces like keep track of your scores and calculate league positions. The simulations are especially useful if you want to play out a season or multiple seasons and include automa (non-human) managers. These automa have specific rules for how they draft, select their tactics etc. The simulator lets you fast track your way through the matches they would play against each other.

So I tweaked the app and ran some scenarios through the simulator. Below are the results.

Note: These simulations did not take into account tactics and boost cards, they simply simulated a set number of attacks for each team to see how changing the players or number of attacks changed the outcomes. 10 attacks each. 1000 simulations, unless otherwise stated.

SCENARIO 1: Rubbish Team Versus Great Team.

This is something close to the best starting line up based solely on attributes versus a very poor team, it’s not a stupid team, there is a goalkeeper in goal and a reasonable defender in defence etc. But in every position they are notably worse than the great team.

cack v good

Rubbish Team: 34 wins
Draws: 85
Great team: 881 wins

So getting a great team gets great results, but there is always hope for a giant killing!

SCENARIO 2: Out of Position FC V In Position Rangers

Same line-ups but one team is playing the striker in defence and the defender as striker

Out of position v in

Out Of Position FC: 206 wins
Draws: 204
In Position Rangers: 590

This was one of the results that shocked me the most. I knew there would obviously be an advantage to having a player with high tackling in defence and a player with good skill and shooting as striker but for it to almost treble the chances of victory when all the players are the same just goes to show how important getting the right players for each position can be.

SCENARIO 3: Slightly Less Out Of Position FC V In Position Rangers

Because I was so surprised by the last result I thought I’d see how much impact a more subtle switch had. This time I swapped the striker (Minh Zhiang) with one of the midfielders (Dingo), both players could do a job in either position so in theory the change should be minor…

SLOP FC: 327 wins
Draws: 242
In Position Rangers: 431

Even that slight adjustment in positions improved the chances of winning by 32%!*

*Maths… some folks will prefer to view this rise from 32.7% to 43.1% as an increase of 10.4%. This is perfectly acceptable but the percentage increase in wins is 32%

SCENARIO 4: Twelve Attacks City V Ten Attacks Athletic

Generally, getting your tactics right will mean at least one more attack per half than your opposition. We’ll see what that does to the win % using exactly the same teams.

Twelve Attacks City: 502
Draws: 218
Ten Attacks Athletic: 280

You’d think that 20% more attacks would result in 20% more wins but it’s far more significant than that! Getting your tactics right to get those extra attacks results in a massive 79% jump in wins in this scenario.

SCENARIO 5: Okay Keeper Wednesday V Good Keeper Villa

Same outfield players but Roberto in goal v Hofmann in goal

hofmann v roberto-01

Okay Keeper Wednesday: 310
Draws: 206
Good Keeper Villa: 484

Get your ‘keeper right and you could improve your win rate by a whopping 56%!

So there you have it. There is always an element of luck in FASISAC and indeed in every individual roll there is a big chunk of luck. But a game consists of so many rolls that the  luck is balanced out through the beauty of probability distributions. As with all football there is a chance for any team, but strategy and quality of players plays a pretty huge part in who wins.

The balance of the game is probably the thing I am most proud of. Every decision that seems small does have an impact on your chances of winning, stretch those small improvements out over a full match or even a season and they’re the difference between mid-table mediocrity and crafting a team of Champions.

If you’ve read this far, I thank you for taking an interest in FASISAC, let me know what you thought or if there are any other scenarios you’d like me to run through the simulator in a comment on the facebook page or in an email (fivaside@gmail.com).

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