The Franks Paradox

Can a 20 year old real time strategy medieval war game teach us anything about basketball? I always thought Mike McCarthy should have played Madden to improve his time management skills. Giannis is known to play Age of Empire 2 at a noob level (yes you heard me Giannis, the challenge has been sent, you can't hide from me forever).

AOE2 is a game with over 30 civilizations (NBA has 30 teams) . Each civ is differentiated by different economic or military bonuses. Military units can be melee (hand to hand combat such as infantry or cavalry) or pierce (like archers that strike from distance).

For the sake of this fan post, think of heavy cavalry as 2pt% differential and archers as 3pt% differential.

The best heavy cav civ (2pt% diff) in the game are the Franks. And not shockingly they have the best winning percentage among all skill levels and including the pro ranks. nerd link

The Franks also have an slightly below average archers (3pt% diff). Does a team (civ) with a great 2pt% diff and a poor-ish 3pt% diff and the best regular season winning percentage sound familiar?

Where it starts to get interesting is when you watch how pro plyers treat/use the frank civ in tournaments. At the time of the linked video, Hera (the best player in North America and top 5 world wide) listed the Franks as B-tier civ, even though they had the best win rate.

Is he crazy? Or just Canadian?

Lets look and see how the Frank civ performed in the last major pro tournament. King of the Desert 3 (the Wimbledon of AOE2). From the quarter final to the finals, the Franks only had a 40% win rate and in two of the the matches, nobody even selected the Franks.

It is almost like what works in the regular season is not as effective come playoff time when game planning becomes more of a focus. I guess the Franks have a hard time breaking the wall. And when option A does not work, option B is not good enough.

A couple of years ago when I was expounding my love of 2pt% diff, Oldresorter asked an interesting question. Is it better to dominate in 2pt% diff and be just average in 3pt% diff. Or is it best to be more balanced and be good in both?

Clearly the former has not worked out well for the Bucks in the playoffs. In AOE2, in the tournaments, the civs with more balance have had more victories than one might anticipate based on their regular win rate.

I guess time will tell if playing computer games will make me a better fan, but I hope for the Bucks sake, that a better plan B is the next piece of the puzzle.

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