In version 1.0 of Deck Simulator for Hearthstone, there are four different simulation modes. In this article I’ll give a description of each with some related information to help you use them more effectively.
All play first
In this mode, each participant will be matched against the participant that is listed first in the participants table. For example if you have four participants A, B, C, and D, you will have the following matchups (or pairings):
A vs B, A vs C, A vs D
Each matchup will play a number games equal to the “Matches per pairing” setting on the Configure Simulation screen.
All play all
In this mode, each participant will be matched up against all other participants (except for itself). So continuing with the same example with 4 participants, the following matchups will be used:
A vs B, A vs C, A vs D, B vs C, B vs D, C vs D
You may have noticed that “B vs A” is not listed here – that is because when two participants play a game, the order of who goes first is randomly chosen, so “B vs A” represents the same thing as “A vs B”.
Just as in “All play first” mode, the “Matches per pairing” setting is used to decide the number of games per matchup or pairing.
This mode simulates a single elimination tournament. To keep things simple it requires a number of players that is a power of 2 (ex: 2, 4, 8, 16, etc.). Using the same 4 player example, there is two matchups created (for example A vs B and C vs D) and each is played “Matches per pairing” times. Then the winner of each of those sets of matches moves on to the next round, so if A and D won the most matches, they would play each other (A vs D). Finally, the winner of that set of matches would be the total winner.
This is the only mode where the total number of games played by each participant is different, and that is why the number is listed on the simulation screen next to each participant. Furthermore, the ranking isn’t just based on wins since a participant could have a great win rate until a certain matchup where things went sour. Rather, the participants are ranked by the number of total matches played and then their win rate.
This is the simplest game type where two participants is required, no more or no less. The participants play each other a single time (“Matches per pairing” is not used).
The main reason for this match type is a detailed log of the entire game is shown on the simulation screen. If you want to see how the AIs are playing your decks you can follow the entire game via this.
(The reason a full log is not shown for other game types is that it would slow the game down too much.)
So how to choose what mode to use? Here is a quick guide:
1. When you are trying to test whether one or more decks can beat a specific deck, use “All play one” mode.
2. When you want a thorough analysis of how good a deck is vs a bunch of other decks, use “All play all” mode. Keep in mind the number of total games goes up (roughly) exponentially as you add more players, so using this mode for a large number of decks could take a long time, depending not he number of matches per pairing.
3. When you want to get a rough feeling for the ranking of a large number of decks, use “Tournament” mode.
4. When you want to see the play-by-play action to verify the AI or get some pointers for your own play, use “Single” mode.