riddler-castles/castle-solutions: 16

This directory contains the data behind the submissions for castles puzzle.

Readers were asked to submit a strategy for the following “Colonel Blotto”-style game:

In a distant, war-torn land, there are 10 castles. There are two warlords: you and your archenemy. Each castle has its own strategic value for a would-be conqueror. Specifically, the castles are worth 1, 2, 3, …, 9, and 10 victory points. You and your enemy each have 100 soldiers to distribute, any way you like, to fight at any of the 10 castles. Whoever sends more soldiers to a given castle conquers that castle and wins its victory points. If you each send the same number of troops, you split the points. You don’t know what distribution of forces your enemy has chosen until the battles begin. Whoever wins the most points wins the war.

Submit a plan distributing your 100 soldiers among the 10 castles. Once I receive all your battle plans, I’ll adjudicate all the possible one-on-one matchups. Whoever wins the most wars wins the battle royale and is crowned king or queen of Riddler Nation!

The data includes all valid submissions, with solvers’ identifying information removed. The 11 columns represent the soldiers deployed to each of the 10 castles, plus a column where the reader could describe his or her strategic approach.


Please see the following commit: https://github.com/fivethirtyeight/data/commit/c3f808fda5b67aa26ea6fa663ddd4d2eb7c6187f

Data license: CC Attribution 4.0 License · Data source: fivethirtyeight/data on GitHub

This data as json

rowid Castle 1 Castle 2 Castle 3 Castle 4 Castle 5 Castle 6 Castle 7 Castle 8 Castle 9 Castle 10 Why did you choose your troop deployment?
16 19 1 1 1 1 1 1 25 25 25 The total number of points is 55 so you need 28 points to win the war. The smallest combination of castles to win 28 points is 10,9,8,1 so to maximize your chances you should just split your army by 25 soldier each. But this won't work because the other castles will be undefended and an enemy could easily put 90 soldier on Castle 10 and 1 soldier on each undefended castle winning the war. So Castle 1 is defended by 19 soldier to be able to defended the rest of the castles with 1 soldier. Running a simulation with a random number generator gives me a 98% chances of winning with this combination, althought it is sunday night and I might have made some fundamental mistake in the code
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