"NBN vs Weyland" Case
They say Weyland is bad and NBN is good. Is this actually true?
Let's assume that a game of ANR is played with a dice roll and NBN is a high-variance faction. When you play NBN, whenever you roll your die, you'll get results from 1 to 6.
Let's assume that Weyland is a low-variance faction. When you play Weyland, whenever you roll a die, you will always roll 3 or 4.
Let's define a win as a result of 4 and higher. 3 and lower is a loss.
Roll distribution in both cases is exactly the same. You can win exactly 50% of the time with each faction, be it NBN or Weyland.
In the real life though, the actual skill of the player matters. So, let's assume that good players get +1 modifier to the roll and bad players get -1 modifier.
In case of NBN:
- bad player can get a result of: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (winrate: 33%)
- good player can get a result of: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (winrate: 66%)
In case of Weyland:
- bad player can get a result of: 2, 3 (winrate: 0%)
- good player can get a result of: 4, 5 (winrate: 100%)
In the real life scenario, skill modifier is a sum of focus, fatigue and experience with particular deck, so it's not a constant of +1, but it's definitely a positive value for good players and definitely negative for bad players. Thus real life winrates are expected to be different from above, but this simplified model gives us some things to think about.
What does that mean in practice?
- High-variance decks can be played by bad players and still win games (and even tournaments) due to lucky streak, despite the theoretical unfavorable winrate.
- Low-variance decks can be played by bad players but they will most likely lose, having a hard time realizing its potential and lacking a strategy and skill required to correctly pilot such a deck for a win.
- High-variance decks can be played by good players and win a lot, as a result of really long streaks of wins (either thanks to luck and/or by leveraging the skill). But, this comes at a price: variance can also yield uncontrolled losses, that couldn't be avoided by applying skill.
- Low-variance decks can be played by good players and win consistently (long streak of wins thanks to skill and stamina rather than luck), win will be perceived as 'earned' rather than 'just a win', there should be less amount of games lost because of unmitigated bad luck. However, this assumes focus and good fatigue management, in other words - working hard throughout the whole event to keep the roll modifier as high as possible.
- Perceived strength of any faction is very subjective and skill is very important in card games. Yet, skill may not be enough to win, as luck is still an important factor.
- It's 'easier' to take a high-variance deck and rock a tournament with it - hence these are popular choices. But overall they are not strictly 'better' or 'worse'. Both types have their advantages, depending on playstyle, expectations, player's skill, experience and stamina.