I’m amazed I never bothered to hunt down the infamous … er … insidery … er … virtually unknown outside of a few B5 CCG folks T-H Rating questions. This is why I hold on so preciously to my AOL personal filing cabinet – I can spew geniusness from yesterdecades upon my devoted readers (shout out Estonia).
T-H Rating, aka TH Rating, aka Turku-Helsinki Rating.
If I was to encapsulate my core nature’s essences, my creating T-H Rating in around March of 2000 would exemplify.
This is a crude way to calculate your local TH Rating – an indicator of the type of metagame you will likely find in an environment. Only answer based on tournament play. I would be amused to have someone keep track of this, but this is mainly for your own benefit. The implications of a high or low TH Rating follow the questions.
What percentage of games go to time?
A. 0-10% B. More than 10%.
In general, rate how useful cards are that allow you to use the wrong ability in a conflict – Level, Fleets on the Border, etc.
A. Not useful B. Useful
Does a player care what the other players are doing if the former is winning?
A. No B. Yes
Does anyone play Ill Fated Reverses?
A. Almost never/no B. Yes
If someone else is playing Growth in Chaos and you play against him or her a second time, do you …
A. Laugh at the player’s lame deck/play for second/reserve in Conscriptions B. reserve in all your Shadow hosers
Does anyone ever put Taunts and Games, Level, or NMTB in the opening hand without knowing what someone else’s deck does?
A. No B. Yes
Since the release of Psi Corps, have you seen any player play with Anti-Telepath Virus, Plague, or Strike at the Heart?
A. No B. Yes
A. Extra cheese for when one of your 3 STGs or 3 TWs gets hit with NMTB or LR B. Protection from Seeds of Anarchy, Ill Fated Reverses, or the like
How many weapons are normally found in a deck?
A. 0-1 B. 2+
Does anyone ever initiate war conflicts?
A. No B. Yes
Each B answer is worth 1 point. Each A answer is worth zero points. If you aren’t sure, count the answer as one half point.
A low TH Rating indicates a noninteractive environment. Speed is very important. Don’t expect help from other players to stop anyone, so if you want to win, try to win quicker.
A high TH Rating indicates a contentious environment. Both brute force and stealth are encouraged. As are table diplomacy and resilience. Try not to make too many enemies.
Again, this is only a crude way to calculate TH Rating. But, it isn’t easy to come up with a meaningful formula, so it is sort of what we are stuck with.
Why did I hunt this down now? Well, I also am using this pure, physical geniusness in an article for Traveller where I talk a bit about “race” games, where I always think of B5 as another race game when I think of how we went with Traveller’s primary win condition of 20+ VPs. (Well, arguably primary win condition until we see how tournament play goes with respect to bankruptcy decks.)
A game like Magic can be analyzed with some level of metagame predictability due to the large playerbase and quick turn around on stealing tech. However, even with Magic, there are local metagames to consider. Maybe Red Deck Wins is good at the moment due to lack of hosers, speed of other top decks, and whatever, but the tournament you are going to play in is full of sad, pathetic haters who don’t realize Magic is most fun when it’s a couple “4 to the dome” after some 2/1 beats followed by the uncounterable X burn spell for the kill.
With niche CCGs like … pretty much all of the games I’ve played seriously, regional metagames are far more extreme. Turku was about the One-AIR decks: decks that focused on pushing one ability – Diplomacy, Intrigue, Military, and probably not Leadership or Psi which lacked the same number of influence-gaining conflicts – to gobble influence as quickly as possible. Helsinki was into interaction and throwing out obstacles to opponents rather than just playing your game.
Now, much of Traveller play is two-player, and “negative plays” in two-player games are not the same as negative plays in multiplayer games. Still, there are plays in two-player games, especially a race game like Traveller, which are more inclined to pushing your victory condition regardless as to your opponent instead of trying to impede your opponent’s march towards second place.
Anyway, an independent creation from the Wayback Machine on an Independence Day. Now, to go read some of my RPG books to steal session ideas for RPG play.