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Crimson Creek» Forums » General

Subject: "Players can be eliminated from the game before they have a single turn" (Not true!) rss

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Greg Toystorian
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We have seen many comments similar to “Players can be eliminated from the game before they have a single turn”. That is not true. Everyone gets an action turn or a chase turn before the possibility of elimination. And you can only be eliminated early on if you don’t think about the puzzle you are trying to solve, and if you don’t work cooperatively in the beginning.

First off you must remember that each Player needs to survive the 3 Acts in order to win. So all Players are trying not to be caught at the location being attacked. And EVERY player will get a turn, whether it is an action turn or a chase turn, before an attack is resolved.

Before an attack occurs, depending on the number of Players in the game, at least two Players have had action turns. This is a cooperative game (albeit semi-cooperative) so it is best for the starting Players to acquire information by Peeking. When an Attack begins there is a chance for everyone to be “chased”.

An Attack begins by a Reveal card being shown to all Players and then the chase turn order happens COUNTER-CLOCKWISE, the reverse order of the action turns. By happening counter-clockwise the Players that already have information have a chance to stay put or move (be chased) to another location. (The Reveal card alerts the Players to which sleeve will reveal the Attack location). If a Player has peeked in this sleeve they know exactly which location will be attacked, if they have not peeked in this sleeve they will still know a safe location to be chased and move to (the location they saw in the Peeking sleeve they have looked at).

The Players that haven’t had an action turn should remember that EVERYONE is trying to stay alive (because everyone including the killer/traitor needs to survive to win). So they should, if they don’t have any information of their own, follow the actions of the Players that have already acquired information and stay at or be chased to the location the Players with information have chosen to be at. Following the lead of someone with information (just like in a Slasher film) is important if you don’t have any idea what to do. Following this method, it is nearly impossible to be eliminated in the first Act.

It is essential to watch other Players actions to deduce (or induce) what locations they have knowledge of by their choice of actions. With the conclusion of each Act there is less and less time to figure out the Lair or find clues as to who the killer is. (We ran over a million simulations on a computer to balance this.) So once again, acquiring information by deducing or inducing why other Players make the moves they make is essential to winning this game.

The deduction of this game is loosely based on the Prisoners and the Hats puzzle…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoners_and_hats_puzzle

or any similar induction puzzle…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Induction_puzzles

Crimson Creek may appear on the surface to be similar to Cluedo by crossing locations or clues off of a list but it is far more complex than that.
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Kristo Vaher
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While it may be possible to not die before you've had your turn, it is very much possible to die without being able to do ANYTHING to save yourself in the game. This is just as bad as not having a turn. Even IF everybody plays perfectly.

This is entirely about the bad luck of the attack cards, not really about what players are doing. If you draw 3 Klein attack cards in a row in (chance of this happening is different from different player counts) in the beginning of the game, then there has not been enough player turns to give players decent information to rely on.

You can look at it in many ways, but in 1/7 or in 1/20 games, due to limited amount of hiding tokens, means that one of the players could die. It does not happen often (in that 1-in-20 game, Klein still also needs to have the luck of targeting the area where unprotected player is on, which could be anything from to 42% to 85%).

I just wish that there would be a way to survive the first attacks of each act in a more reliable way than just plain luck. Remember that there are 3 acts and location information changes each game and the odds of Klein hitting the area increases, which means that there's a much higher change than 1-in-20 where a player can die at the start of an act before taking a turn at later rounds. Which could be even worse.

It's all about that 1-in-20 (or 1-in-10 in 2-player-game or 1-in-7 in 3-player-game etc). If this happens, it affects the experience, since players have not gotten enough time to prepare.

But really, what I recommend is players to just start over if it happens.
 
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Greg Toystorian
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Kristo,

None of what you have written here is true. And the pseudo math you have written is just made up and has no relevance to this game.

Unfortunately, due to a printing issue the game was delivered late. We are very sorry the game was delivered late, but we wanted to deliver a quality game with quality components. This has apparently caused you personally to be an overwhelmingly negative force towards the Kickstarter campaign and the game itself. The game was delivered. It was delivered with more components and better components than originally described in the Kickstarter campaign.

As for your comments about "not being able to do ANYTHING to save yourself", you clearly did not read the rulebook nor did you read the above post.

It has absolutely nothing to do with luck in surviving this game. EVERYONE has a chance to be chased from their location before an attack. Therefore EVERYONE has a chance to do SOMETHING to save yourself. Just because you don't get a peeking action before an attack does not mean you don't have a turn or information. This game is pure deduction and strategy. Only if you don't pay attention or play poorly will you be eliminated. It is not an easy game and luck has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Experienced players, paying attention to each others moves, will always be able to win this game. That is unless there is a traitor amongst you and he sabotages your strategy.
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Greg Toystorian
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Enoch,

Even if there are successive hatchet attack cards drawn triggering an immediate attack at least 2 or 3 players should have relevant information about the locations. And the remaining players can follow their lead on where to move.

If the first few players choose not to gather location information, that is not bad luck, that is just bad playing. Likewise if the players that haven't had a chance to peek do not follow the lead of the players that have, and do not move to those locations to be safe, that is also bad playing and not bad luck.
 
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Enoch Wright
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TheToystoryian wrote:

Enoch,

Even if there are successive hatchet attack cards drawn triggering an immediate attack at least 2 or 3 players should have relevant information about the locations. And the remaining players can follow their lead on where to move.

If the first few players choose not to gather location information, that is not bad luck, that is just bad playing. Likewise if the players that haven't had a chance to peek do not follow the lead of the players that have, and do not move to those locations to be safe, that is also bad playing and not bad luck.


Maybe its because I have only played it 2 player that I am having difficulty... not a whole lot is known right away. I guess maybe we should hide first and then try to find the lair?

I'm hoping to play with more players as I think it will be much more fun if we can work together. In my first plays we never once shared information, each time by chance one of us (of 2) were the killer!

Also, in response to people complaining about the delay on Kickstarter, things happen and delays happen all the time. I'm happy that I received Crimson Creek and others should be as well. I was anxious to get it!

Thanks,

Enoch

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Enoch Wright
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TheToystoryian wrote:

It is essential to watch other Players actions to deduce (or induce) what locations they have knowledge of by their choice of actions. With the conclusion of each Act there is less and less time to figure out the Lair or find clues as to who the killer is. (We ran over a million simulations on a computer to balance this.) So once again, acquiring information by deducing or inducing why other Players make the moves they make is essential to winning this game.


I'm curious, what did you use to run your simulations?
Did you take into effect the traitor?
IS that how you came up with the number of hatchets?

I'm very curious in game simulation and how it affects the final game.
I love the idea of the game, how the lair changes and the deck of cards allows you to change it up.

How did you come up with just 4 clue cards? The set number of locations?

I'd love to read a devlog on the development and processes used to make the game. It's much more interesting than Cluedo and I'd love to hear about the making of!
 
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Kristo Vaher
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TheToystoryian wrote:
Kristo,

None of what you have written here is true. And the pseudo math you have written is just made up and has no relevance to this game.

Unfortunately, due to a printing issue the game was delivered late. We are very sorry the game was delivered late, but we wanted to deliver a quality game with quality components. This has apparently caused you personally to be an overwhelmingly negative force towards the Kickstarter campaign and the game itself. The game was delivered. It was delivered with more components and better components than originally described in the Kickstarter campaign.

As for your comments about "not being able to do ANYTHING to save yourself", you clearly did not read the rulebook nor did you read the above post.

It has absolutely nothing to do with luck in surviving this game. EVERYONE has a chance to be chased from their location before an attack. Therefore EVERYONE has a chance to do SOMETHING to save yourself. Just because you don't get a peeking action before an attack does not mean you don't have a turn or information. This game is pure deduction and strategy. Only if you don't pay attention or play poorly will you be eliminated. It is not an easy game and luck has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Experienced players, paying attention to each others moves, will always be able to win this game. That is unless there is a traitor amongst you and he sabotages your strategy.




You are wrong.

I gave you a clear example how a player can not only die before their actual turn, but once they get chased, they get (nor anyone else can share due to communication limitations) a chase option to an area what they know nothing about.

And this does not matter. If hatchets get drawn very early by pure bad luck, the amount of information players have is nonexistent or minimal at best to survive.

This game has a decent chance that your only turn is essentially of rolling a d4 and hoping to avoid rolling 1, because 1 means your game is over.

There is no way this is not true, unless rulebook is wrong.

And players would not comment that this is an issue without it actually being the case.
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Greg Toystorian
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Kristo,

I am sorry this game is too complicated for you. Getting "chased" is in fact an actual turn. And when you get chased, if you don't have any location information, you should move to wherever the Players that have location information have moved to. Please try this next time you play. You will see it is hard to be killed unless the Player you chose to move to didn't actually have any relevant location information. You don't have to "share" information to see what "safe place" the Player, who peeked, moves to. The chase turn order is counter-clockwise just so the people with information are chased and move first. And that in itself gives all Players safe location information without sharing or peeking.

Even if successive hatchets are drawn and an attack is immediate there are still Players that have had a chance to gain sleeve location information. If those early Players chose not to gather information or move someplace they don't have information about that is just bad playing, not bad luck.

This is a cooperative game (for the most part) and in the beginning it is entirely cooperative because you can't win if you don't survive.

And you do know there are no dice in this game right?

 
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Kristo Vaher
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TheToystoryian wrote:
Kristo,

I am sorry this game is too complicated for you. Getting "chased" is in fact an actual turn. And when you get chased, if you don't have any location information, you should move to wherever the Players that have location information have moved to. Please try this next time you play. You will see it is hard to be killed unless the Player you chose to move to didn't actually have any relevant location information. You don't have to "share" information to see what "safe place" the Player, who peeked, moves to. The chase turn order is counter-clockwise just so the people with information are chased and move first. And that in itself gives all Players safe location information without sharing or peeking.

Even if successive hatchets are drawn and an attack is immediate there are still Players that have had a chance to gain sleeve location information. If those early Players chose not to gather information or move someplace they don't have information about that is just bad playing, not bad luck.

This is a cooperative game (for the most part) and in the beginning it is entirely cooperative because you can't win if you don't survive.

And you do know there are no dice in this game right?



You do not read any of my posts fully. Cheerleader in my example is unable to reach any area that other players moved to.

And calling a random chance a 'turn' is silly. But believe as you will.

But note that players comment on this issue (and will continue to do so) because should this 1 in 7 to 1 in 20 game appear, some players have no chance to survive other than blind luck.

I personally don't care as game is short enough to do play another one.

But it happens and is certainly possible.
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Greg Toystorian
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Enoch,

We created an algorithm that factored in Exposure versus non-Exposure moves. This gave us the number of calm night cards and hatchet cards to balance the deck for different numbers of players. And then we factored in the additional Exposure track draws to balance when the additional draws would come into play. After these numbers were set we tweaked them a little based on the idea of sharing misinformation, in other words factoring in the traitor. This gave us a bell-curve of win possibilities and allowed us to decide just how hard we wanted the game to be by how many possible moves would be allowed per Act.

We came up with 4 Clue cards because that allowed 6 combinations of clues which was exactly the number of Players. Thereby even with after seeing one clue half of the Player characters are still suspect.

The number of locations was decided by figuring out the minimum number of locations and moves for the smallest puzzle and then increasing by 1 to make each previous Act a little easier than the one it precedes.

Hope thats a little helpful.
 
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Rod Bauer
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TheToystoryian wrote:

It has absolutely nothing to do with luck in surviving this game. . .

This game is pure deduction and strategy. Only if you don't pay attention or play poorly will you be eliminated. It is not an easy game and luck has absolutely nothing to do with it. . .

. . .Experienced players, paying attention to each others moves, will always be able to win this game.


Greg,
Let me say first of all that I like this game. There are many good things about it. However, you have really made some claims here that just are not correct. There is most surely an element of luck, as there is with most games. It is simply not ALL about deduction and playing well. For example lets say that there are 6 experienced players, paying attention, and playing the game well, but the first 3 cards drawn are Hatchet cards. At this point, none of the players could know for certain where the Lair is. Let's assume that the first three players to take their turns have each succeeded in a "peek", and have communicated that information (through either sharing, or through their actions during the Chase) with all 6 players. At this point, everyone might know where three locations are that could be vulnerable to attack. However there are four other locations that could possibly be where Klein will strike. If the Reveal card turns out to be one of those four locations, some of the players have a real possibility of being eliminated. With the limit of 2 player tokens per location, three of those four locations will have players occupying them. As a matter of fact, it would be extremely good luck if the reveal card just happened to pick that one location of the four where there is no player. This is where luck comes in.

I personally don't think that his necessarily hurts the game, or makes it not fun. Most games contain some element of luck. This doesn't make it a bad game.

I am just pointing out that statements like, "luck has absolutely nothing to do with it", or "It has absolutely nothing to do with luck in surviving this game,"are going a little to far. Even the claim that "Experienced players, paying attention to each others moves, will always be able to win this game", is only true if they do not experience the bad Luck that I have already detailed. To be sure you have said that they will always be able to win, not that they will be able to always win. I think that there is a important difference here. So I will agree that good players will be able to increase their chances to win by paying attention and playing optimally. But some element of luck is still going to be part of the equation.


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Greg Toystorian
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Again, you are not understanding how to play this game. We have read your posts "fully". There are always at least 2 Players, and more depending on the number of total Players, in the beginning that can obtain sleeve location information. This is not a competitive game, it is semi-cooperative. If you see someone in trouble that could be trapped you should move to help them. Still it is extremely hard in the beginning to be trapped or have nowhere to move unless the early Players decide not to peek. And again, that is not bad luck that is bad playing. There are no "random chances". Being chased is not random. You should move to another player that you know has peeked and knows they are on a safe location if you do not have location information.

Did you even look at the Prisoners and Hats puzzle we posted a link to? This game is loosely based on that type of deduction. Maybe you can understand what we mean by reading this:

Prisoners & Hats Puzzle

According to the story, four prisoners are arrested for a crime, but the jail is full and the jailor has nowhere to put them. He eventually comes up with the solution of giving them a puzzle so if they succeed they can go free but if they fail they are executed.

The jailor puts three of the men sitting in a line. The fourth man is put behind a screen (or in a separate room). He gives all four men party hats. The jailor explains that there are two black hats, and two white hats; that each prisoner is wearing one of the hats; and that each of the prisoners only see the hats in front of him but not on himself or behind him. The fourth man behind the screen can't see or be seen by any other prisoner. No communication among the prisoners is allowed.

If any prisoner can figure out what color hat he has on his own head with 100% certainty (without guessing) and tell the jailor all four prisoners go free. If any prisoner suggests an incorrect answer, all four prisoners are executed. The puzzle is to find how the prisoners can escape, regardless of how the jailer distributes the hats.

The solution
For the sake of explanation let's label the prisoners in line order B, C and D. Thus C can see B (and B's hat color) and D can see B and C.

The prisoners know that there are only two hats of each color. So if D observes that B and C have hats of the same color, D would deduce that his own hat is the opposite color. However, if B and C have hats of different colors, then D can say nothing. The key is that prisoner C, after allowing an appropriate interval, and knowing what D would do, can deduce that if D says nothing the hats on B and C must be different. Being able to see B's hat he can deduce his own hat color.

In common with many puzzles of this type, the solution relies on the assumption that all participants are totally rational and are intelligent enough to make the appropriate deductions.

After solving this puzzle, some insight into the nature of communication can be gained by pondering whether the meaningful silence of prisoner D violates the "No communication" rule (given that communication is usually defined as the "transfer of information").
 
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Kristo Vaher
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rod3556lhs wrote:
TheToystoryian wrote:

It has absolutely nothing to do with luck in surviving this game. . .

This game is pure deduction and strategy. Only if you don't pay attention or play poorly will you be eliminated. It is not an easy game and luck has absolutely nothing to do with it. . .

. . .Experienced players, paying attention to each others moves, will always be able to win this game.


Greg,
Let me say first of all that I like this game. There are many good things about it. However, you have really made some claims here that just are not correct. There is most surely an element of luck, as there is with most games. It is simply not ALL about deduction and playing well. For example lets say that there are 6 experienced players, paying attention, and playing the game well, but the first 3 cards drawn are Hatchet cards. At this point, none of the players could know for certain where the Lair is. Let's assume that the first three players to take their turns have each succeeded in a "peek", and have communicated that information (through either sharing, or through their actions during the Chase) with all 6 players. At this point, everyone might know where three locations are that could be vulnerable to attack. However there are four other locations that could possibly be where Klein will strike. If the Reveal card turns out to be one of those four locations, some of the players have a real possibility of being eliminated. With the limit of 2 player tokens per location, three of those four locations will have players occupying them. As a matter of fact, it would be extremely good luck if the reveal card just happened to pick that one location of the four where there is no player. This is where luck comes in.

I personally don't think that his necessarily hurts the game, or makes it not fun. Most games contain some element of luck. This doesn't make it a bad game.

I am just pointing out that statements like, "luck has absolutely nothing to do with it"[/i, or [i]"It has absolutely nothing to do with luck in surviving this game,"are going a little to far. Even the claim that "Experienced players, paying attention to each others moves, will always be able to win this game", is only true if they do not experience the bad Luck that I have already detailed. To be sure you have said that they will always be able to win, not that they will be able to always win. I think that there is a important difference here. So I will agree that good players will be able to increase their chances to win by paying attention and playing optimally. But some element of luck is still going to be part of the equation.




Exactly.

And calling a random chance a 'turn' is not really a turn. It's a random chance of dropping out of the game without being able to do anything other than hoping random luck.

This is both because of the random cards, but also because players are not allowed to share info with each other (even in Act I) outside sharing card.

There's a decent chance of dropping out. No idea why the creator argues against this

I mean, WHAT RULE am I interpreting incorrectly then?

It's a fun game, but it's not pure deduction to do well. Game can kick you out by bad luck.
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Greg Toystorian
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Rod,

I'm sorry but your example points out there is no luck involved. If you have 6 players and the first 3 have peeked at different locations then all 3 have safe location information. Even if one of those sleeve locations is revealed to be the attack location then one player knows exactly where the attack is happening and 2 players know where the attack is not happening. Therefore all 3 Players know safe locations. And the 3 remaining Players that do not have information know to move to those locations. And with 2 Players per location times 3 locations that are known to be safe, all 6 Players can survive. If played properly and cooperatively no one is eliminated. There is no luck involved. Yes the attacks are random but survival is not.
 
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Greg Toystorian
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Kristo,

What "random chance" are you calling a turn? There is no random chance here. When you are chased you should be following the lead of people that went before you with safe location information and moving to them.

I don't believe it's a rule your are misinterpreting. You are just not understanding the deduction concept here. This isn't crossing locations or clues off a list. It is understanding that only a Player that survives can win so everyone is trying to be at a safe location. Knowing that tells you to follow the lead of other Players you know have safe location information. If the other Players wasted their turn not getting information on where to be safe early on that is bad playing not bad luck. Everyone should be working cooperatively, only one person can be the traitor. If everyone only looks out for themselves everyone will die.
 
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Kristo Vaher
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Sigh.

You're right. We're all playing this incorrectly.

Good luck!
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Rod Bauer
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Thanks Greg, for being willing to respond to our posts. Just for the sake of discussion let me ask this question: Can all 6 players survive into the Second Act without discovering the Lair before Klein's 3rd Attack in the First Act?
 
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Greg Toystorian
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No Kristo, not all. But you are. We have played with many people and they understand just fine. Were you able to understand the Prisoner and the Hats puzzle?
 
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Greg Toystorian
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In a 6 player game at most 5 players can survive into the 2nd Act if you do not discover the Lair. 3 players can survive in hiding places and 2 can finish the Act on Klein's lair.
 
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Russ Williams
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I stumbled onto this thread as a curious onlooker, and don't know the game... I understand that it's a coop game and cards are being drawn from a randomly shuffled deck, right?

Thought experiment:

Let's say the players are perfectly rational and competent skilled players (e.g. let's say 6 clones of Greg are playing).

Instead of the deck being randomly shuffled, let's imagine that a malicious and perfectly rational competent skilled gamemaster decides which card a player receives each time a player draws a card. The gamemaster can choose any card from the remaining deck. Furthermore, the gamemaster is even omniscient and knows everything the players are thinking and what decisions they would make in the future in every possible situation.

The gamemaster wants the players to lose. Is it possible for the gamemaster to make them lose?

If so, then any specific sequence which the malicious gamemaster can maliciously give to make the perfect competent rational players lose could also happen by random chance (with very low probability, of course).


(To be clear, that's a real question, not a rhetorical question; I really do not know whether in this game a malicious gamemaster choosing which card is drawn each time could cause perfect competent rational players to lose or not.)
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Kristo Vaher
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russ wrote:
The gamemaster wants the players to lose. Is it possible for the gamemaster to make them lose?


Yes.

And not just 1 in 1000 odds, but much greater than that.
 
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Rod Bauer
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TheToystoryian wrote:
In a 6 player game at most 5 players can survive into the 2nd Act if you do not discover the Lair. 3 players can survive in hiding places and 2 can finish the Act on Klein's lair.


Is it always 100% sure that 6 experienced players, paying attention, and playing well, will always discover the Lair, no matter what the attack card draws sequence is? The answer to this would have to be "Yes" if there is no luck whatsoever in the game. The 6 players would always be able to avoid the bloodbath and all 6 would survive. Now maybe that will happen every time like that (similar to the Hat Puzzle you have posted). In other words it can be done with absolute certainty independent of any luck factor. I have not played the game enough to know if that is true. If it is true, after playing the game with the same 6 experienced players enough times, much of the fun and tension of the game might disappear, because of the absolute certainty of all players always surviving into the Second Act.

If the answer is "No" then luck does play a part in the fact that one player at least was eliminated through no fault or bad play by the players.

I realize that a player who knows or suspects that he is the killer could throw a wrench into the works by giving misleading info. But are there enough turns in the First Act for a player to both find out if he is the the killer, and also gather and share misleading info in order to mess up the innocent players?
 
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Greg Toystorian
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Is the game 100% solvable no matter what the attack deck card sequence is? Yes. The 6 experienced players, paying attention, and playing well not deducing the Lair 100% of the time does not mean the game is based on luck. It means that maybe they didn't play the game perfectly the time they lost. Will an experienced group of Players skilled in deduction win a majority of the time. Yes.

Will the fun and tension of the game disappear because you know there is a possible solution? No. Each game is different. Where the Lair is, what locations are attacked, what locations are peeked at in the sleeves all change the paths the game takes. The combination of moves and cooperation are different in every game. Making it a unique experience. Is a crossword puzzle not fun anymore because you are always solving the same "type" of puzzle? Or because you know you will eventually solve it. No, because there are different answers and different paths. There is no "luck" in a crossword puzzle. It is solving the puzzle that is the fun.
 
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Russ Williams
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TheToystorian wrote:
Is the game 100% solvable no matter what the attack deck card sequence is? Yes.

To be clear, then: you are saying that an omniscient game master choosing what card the players draw next cannot possibly make perfect players lose. Perfect players who make no mistakes in reasoning will win no matter what order the cards come out. Right?

Quote:
The 6 experienced players, paying attention, and playing well not deducing the Lair 100% of the time does not mean the game is based on luck. It means that maybe they didn't play the game perfectly the time they lost.

Since this game is being described as similar to solving a logic puzzle, I gather that by "didn't play the game perfectly", you mean that they made some mistake in reasoning, right? (And you don't mean that they merely guessed wrong about something undeducable, where players have to guess e.g. "Well, it could be door 1 or door 2, and we have no further info and we have to pick one of the doors...", i.e. I hope you don't mean that "Guessing wrong is not playing perfectly".)


So if I understand you correctly, you're saying that it is sort of analogous to whether or not someone solving a Sudoku problem unwittingly brainfarts and writes an invalid number in a cell - if they make no mistakes in reasoning, then they will never write an invalid number and they will always successfully solve the Sudoku.

Is that a fair comparison? If the game really does randomly generate guaranteed solvable logic problems, that sounds potentially cool/interesting.

---

At a meta level, it is interesting that there is apparently such sharp disagreement on this question!
 
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TheToystoryian wrote:
Is the game 100% solvable no matter what the attack deck card sequence is? Yes. The 6 experienced players, paying attention, and playing well not deducing the Lair 100% of the time does not mean the game is based on luck. It means that maybe they didn't play the game perfectly the time they lost.


I am sorry but I don't think you know what you're talking about. Do you really want me to draw you an even more black and white example of this? Why?

Do you actually believe that perfect play of this game with luck playing no role is possible at all player counts?

REALLY!?
 
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