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Pre-baked dice ROLLS and card draws for pbem, just 1989?

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Pre-baked dice ROLLS and card draws for pbem, just 1989?

Postby Itsastickup » April 1st, 2015, 8:49 pm

Hi folks,

I'm wondering if this is a general pbem problem, not just 1989.

I'm new to VASSAL. I'm playing my first game of 1989 Dawn of Freedom (successor to Twilight Struggle) pbem with a buddy.

I screwed up and decided to restart by a reload of the emailed log, but the result was a different die roll. This suggests that I could simply keep doing that until I got a six.

Seem like the strategy card draws do the same. Different each time.

I don't cheat but I do feel the quite unpleasant tension of the knowledge that I could. In a really tight spot that tension is going to be quite horrible. And it's not play tension; there's no benefit to it. Also, my opponent could cheat.

I would be very happy if there was an option to pre-generate rolls and card distributions for those who would prefer that. Anything can be hacked, of course, but at least it would make things jolly difficult for people silly enough (or proud enough) to want to cheat.

Programmatically it's simple to pre generate using a different seed (itself from a randomiser). A small amount of refactoring would be needed. But I don't know Java.
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Re: Pre-baked dice ROLLS and card draws for pbem, just 1989?

Postby uckelman » April 3rd, 2015, 12:36 pm

Thus spake Itsastickup:
>
> I would be very happy if there was an option to pre-generate rolls and
> card distributions for those who would prefer that. Anything can be
> hacked, of course, but at least it would make things jolly difficult for
> people silly enough (or proud enough) to want to cheat.
>
> Programmatically it's simple to pre generate using a different seed
> (itself from a randomiser). A small amount of refactoring would be
> needed. But I don't know Java.

Taking rolls from a list generated at the start of the game is no more
secure than what we have now. I'm not willing to sink development time
into something which isn't a solution.

There are only two solutions I know of: (1) die rolls received from a
trusted third party, and (2) generating rolls by summing numbers
submitted by the players and mod'ing them by the number of sides on the
die. I intend to implement both of these in VASSAL 4.

--
J.
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Re: Pre-baked dice ROLLS and card draws for pbem, just 1989?

Postby Itsastickup » April 3rd, 2015, 3:52 pm

Well, I wasn't thinking that security was so much an issue, after all there is the encryption. It's merely a matter of being too bothersome for anyone to hack which is already the case, no? A hindrance, just as a house with a locked door is less likely to be robbed than a house with an open door. Or at least, I would have assumed that accessing/changing the die roll would be inordinately more awkward if done programmatically than just reloading a module.

(A traditional deterministic random number generator just needs the previous die roll and seed, so maybe prebaking is the wrong way to put it. It's only the initial seed that needs a non-deterministic source).
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Re: Pre-baked dice ROLLS and card draws for pbem, just 1989?

Postby Itsastickup » April 3rd, 2015, 3:55 pm

...actually, I should say 'prpeviously generated number' rather than die roll, since as you say it's going to get modded anyway.
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Re: Pre-baked dice ROLLS and card draws for pbem, just 1989?

Postby Itsastickup » April 3rd, 2015, 3:55 pm

By the way, congrats on a great system.
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Re: Pre-baked dice ROLLS and card draws for pbem, just 1989?

Postby uckelman » April 3rd, 2015, 4:21 pm

Thus spake Itsastickup:
> ...actually, I should say 'prpeviously generated number' rather than die
> roll, since as you say it's going to get modded anyway.

What I was referring to by 'mod' is the mod operation---i.e., the
operation that gives the remainder of integer division. The idea is
that if you're rolling a d6, each player submits a number in the range
0-5, all the numbers are summed, and then the sum mod 6 + 1 is the
roll. (E.g., in a two-player game, if one player submits 4 and the
ther 3, then the roll is (4 + 3) mod 6 + 1 = 2.) You can't do this
without a trusted third party to reveal all submissions simultaneously,
however.

There's _no_ secure offline solution--not just not for VASSAL, but for
any program at all.

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Re: Pre-baked dice ROLLS and card draws for pbem, just 1989?

Postby Itsastickup » April 3rd, 2015, 5:07 pm

"What I was referring to by 'mod' is the mod operation---i.e., the
operation that gives the remainder of integer division."

That's what I also meant. I'm a developer, just not in Java.

Even without true security, a hindrance would be great for many of us I would guess, and not having new die rolls/hands when you make a mistake and decide to reload rather than undo. Mind you, having said that, I haven't tried undoing a die roll. Maybe the next die roll is always the same. Off to try.
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Re: Pre-baked dice ROLLS and card draws for pbem, just 1989?

Postby uckelman » April 3rd, 2015, 5:49 pm

Thus spake Itsastickup:
> Even without true security, a hindrance would be great for many of us I
> would guess, and not having new die rolls/hands when you make a mistake
> and decide to reload rather than undo.

I'm still not grasping why you think your proposal would help. One could
still reveal the next roll in a predetermined sequence and then reload
the game.

> Maybe the next die roll is always the same. Off to try.

It's not. You'll get the next result from the PRNG.

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Re: Pre-baked dice ROLLS and card draws for pbem, just 1989?

Postby Itsastickup » April 10th, 2015, 11:07 am

uckelman wrote:Thus spake Itsastickup:
> Even without true security, a hindrance would be great for many of us I
> would guess, and not having new die rolls/hands when you make a mistake
> and decide to reload rather than undo.

I'm still not grasping why you think your proposal would help. One could
still reveal the next roll in a predetermined sequence and then reload
the game.
--
J.


Hmmm, hadn't thought of that. That would influence whether one would do a support check in 1989 rather than merely, as I was thinking, working through a support check.

So yes, I see it's pointless without a centralised server to at least track die rolls for the other player to see.
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