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Crimson Creek» Forums » General

Subject: 2 players.. coin flip?? rss

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Glen Rudis
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Just played a few 2 player games. There just doesn't seem to be enough time. Every game we just moved and peeked, we only made it to the end of the second act. Even with just moving and peeking each time the third attack triggered and it was basically a coin flip between locations. If we guessed right great we could move on, if we guessed wrong both killed game over.

I know the creator claims that there is almost zero luck in the game (I find this incredibly hard to believe) All we did was move and peek, I even had the Geek so a couple turns I was peeking 2 locations. Every game we knew his lair was between 2 places, but like I said it was a guess and hopefully we even had the chance to move to the right spot to not get killed in the final attack.

Maybe we played wrong, I don't think so though. Attacks just came so fast there was never enough time to deduce what was needed to survive. That being said I really enjoyed the tension the game created, I was always in fear because I knew the third attack was coming and we basically had a 50 50 chance of living.
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Kristo Vaher
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Creator is simply wrong. This game is random the less players you have. Most notably, 2 and 3 player games are just incredibly luck heavy.

I did find a mathematical proof that there's a chance a player cannot do anything. But just because chance of this happening is unlikely, it is not enough. Players themselves can (and definitely will) make moves that increase the odds of randomness heavily. Either because they are a traitor (which is especially punishing at lower player counts) or they don't want to spend five minutes per turn, thinking.

While it may be possible to 'solve' it with lower player numbers and make optimal moves, it takes a lot more time and a lot out a lot of the fun of the game and especially a lot of theme out of the game.

I've played it 2 to 4 players primarily and decided never to do it again. It's just not good at those numbers unless you want to math out every move for a few hours - which is not acceptable in a 30min game.

This is primarily a 5-6 player game and I guess that it's really best with 6.

Also, should this game ever get a second edition, I am sure that they will tweak it notably based on player experience. I find the game quite fiddly in terms of how the Exposure thing works and which action has and which doesn't have the attack card.
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Rod Bauer
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rudis21 wrote:
. .All we did was move and peek, I even had the Geek so a couple turns I was peeking 2 locations.
Keep in mind that you can not use the same action twice in a single turn. So the Geek is not allowed to peek twice during his turn. His special power is to use the peeking icon of one adjacent location. He is not restricted to using the icon in his current location. He may not however use this power to peek at two different locations on the same turn.
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Magic Pink
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Slashdoctor wrote:
But just because chance of this happening is unlikely, it is not enough. [/i]


No it really is. Even if it happens once in 10 games it's fine, you can just re-start with very little time lost. The fact is it's more likely to only happen once in a hundred games, if that.

This is a ridiculously overblown issue.
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Kristo Vaher
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Magic Pink wrote:
Slashdoctor wrote:
But just because chance of this happening is unlikely, it is not enough. [/i]


No it really is. Even if it happens once in 10 games it's fine, you can just re-start with very little time lost. The fact is it's more likely to only happen once in a hundred games, if that.

This is a ridiculously overblown issue.


Have you actually played it with 2-3 players?
 
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Greg Toystorian
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@Glen This is not a simple puzzle to solve. Yes the time to solve is limited, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t solvable. Once you get more experienced at the game and understand there are certain optimal moves that have to be made depending on certain situations it is easier for everyone to survive. In a lower player count, many times in order to survive, it’s necessary to relay information through the chase action. It is more important to help other players to survive rather than worry about being scared for a short time. It’s always better to be scared than for someone to be eliminated. If you end up in a situation that you are guessing and have a 50/50 chance of survival then at some point you made a wrong move. I am certain if you walk back through the decisions you made during the game, you would find a point you could have worked together and made different moves to pass each other information to avert the eventual 50/50 decision. Just like in chess the more knowledge you have of the game the easier it is to win.

@Kristo You did not find a “mathematical proof that there’s a chance a player cannot do anything”. You were told based on your example of a 1 in 2800 games situation that a single player could be eliminated without any recourse. And of course players will make moves that increase the odds of randomness. Just as you can make wrong moves in any game that will increase your chances of losing. How exactly does it “take a lot more time” and “the theme out of the game” at lower player counts? You do not have to “math out every move”. How could you possibly “math out every move” when you don’t know when or what locations are going to be attacked? Once you learn there are certain necessary tactics and overall strategies you have to take depending upon the board layout and cards drawn you can easily learn to survive and win. You can’t expect to start playing Chess tomorrow and win every game. You have to learn the nuances of the game. This game was play tested for over a year and was already tweaked based on player experience. Players that have learned the strategies and tactics will win almost every time. So Kristo you are “simply wrong” to make gross assumptions based on your limited knowledge of the game.

@Rod You are correct.

@Magic Pink Exactly. It only happens 1 in 2800 games that a single player will lose because of their location on the board and cards drawn. And this can only happen in a 3 or 4 player count game. In Pandemic, I believe certain combinations of board setup and cards drawn give players no chance of winning more than 4% of the time 1 in 25 games (though I haven’t done the exact math on that) which happens considerably more than the .0357% chance in Crimson Creek. And it’s not really an overblown issue when only Kristo keeps complaining about it.
 
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Kristo Vaher
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Sigh

Alright. You're obviously right.

Here's hoping that my group was an exception and everybody else finds it perfectly non-random.
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Greg Toystorian
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Kristo as we have repeatedly stated, of course you can end up in a situation where you have to make a random decision. This is not the fault of the game. If Players do not work together and convey information properly through actions you cannot possibly have enough information to win. You can't play poorly and lose and then blame the game. If you play Chess, make a bad move and lose your Queen, that is not the games fault. "Sighing" and sarcastically saying "You're obviously right" in no way validates your statements. Please give an example of "your group finding the game random". And we will explain to you what you should have done to properly solve the puzzle.
 
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Kristo Vaher
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You don't get what I am saying

But that's fine. As I said, I hope that mine and my groups experience is an exception. And please stop comparing this game to chess, it's not chess.
It is actually weird to compare a game to Chess if your game has random card draws all over the place.

Players have two options to them:

1. Have someone experienced quarterback and dictate what is an optimal move every turn. Essentially you HAVE TO do specific things or you increase randomness for EVERYBODY in the game. A single incorrect move and it notably makes the game more random for everybody else. Cooperation in this case is only doable with quarterbacking and following one players decisions.

2. Math and analysis and extend the game of simple 30 minutes out to last a few hours and EVEN THEN still be subject to one players randomness making the game random for everybody.

None of those options are good and there is no third option that doesn't have randomness.

And please remember that my example - a mathematical proof of this game having a chance of randomness even when players play perfectly - is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many board games that get criticized for randomness despite being entirely deterministic. Why? Because of player effect. Player moves are actually unpredictable unless player follows a deterministic pattern of thought. And they don't.

If a player DOES NOT PLAY PERFECTLY, your DETERMINISTIC information you gain about THAT PLAYER is incorrect and leads to RANDOMNESS. This game is full of this unless you plan the way of #2 option especially with 2-3 players.

But it is obvious that I cannot convince you of seeing things my way. I am just one gamer with one game group. And this is why I hope that others don't find it as random as my group does.

I simply suggest to play this exclusively 5-6 players, it places a lot more information on board that you can base your moves on.
 
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Glen Rudis
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TheToystoryian wrote:
@Glen This is not a simple puzzle to solve. Yes the time to solve is limited, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t solvable. Once you get more experienced at the game and understand there are certain optimal moves that have to be made depending on certain situations it is easier for everyone to survive. In a lower player count, many times in order to survive, it’s necessary to relay information through the chase action. It is more important to help other players to survive rather than worry about being scared for a short time. It’s always better to be scared than for someone to be eliminated. If you end up in a situation that you are guessing and have a 50/50 chance of survival then at some point you made a wrong move. I am certain if you walk back through the decisions you made during the game, you would find a point you could have worked together and made different moves to pass each other information to avert the eventual 50/50 decision. Just like in chess the more knowledge you have of the game the easier it is to win.


I wasn't implying that it wasn't solvable, and I love that you are active on the board here trying to help people. Even though some people clearly don't like the way you come across in your comments, I appreciate your dedication in trying to help people where they may have made mistakes and what they can do learn the game more properly.

To keep this simple though, in this situation, which is the same situation we came across in all of our games. I do not understand how we could of played differently to not have it down to a 50/50 chance. These outcomes could of been bad luck, but if so that does show there is a fair amount of luck in the game. Which is fine, and if there is a simple explanation to what was done wrong, then great! So to try and keep this short, in all 3 games we were able to stay alive through all 3 attacks in Act 1. Then the remaining locations are attacked except the lair, here was where the 50/50 came in for us. All 3 games one of the attacks happened at a location that we hadn't been able to peek at. So now no matter what, when the act ends we know the lair is between 2 locations. The card in the lair sleeve obviously, but there is also a location in a peeking sleeve that we don't know, and didn't have a chance to look at. In this situation isn't it a guess, and hope you guess right? How would you avoid this situation if the first attack happens in a location with a peeking icon you haven't seen?

Once again, thank you for your dedication to the board and community.
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Greg Toystorian
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Kristo, I entirely understand what you are saying but you fail to attempt to understand what I am explaining to you.

1. It is not weird to compare the game to Chess in this context. There are optimal moves that need to be made when another player in Chess (or Klein in this game) makes certain moves. That is what I am referring to. Even though the other Players actions are viewed as logical they are, to a degree, random.

2. There are not “random card draws all over the place”. The only regular bit of randomness that effects elimination is how quickly Hatchet Attack cards are drawn. And even then there is a known number of Hatchet and Calm Night cards in the Attack deck. Players know the probability of an attack each time an attack card is drawn and should act accordingly. The chance of elimination due to the randomness of how quickly attacks occur is reduced to practically zero if proper actions are taken. As for what cards are in what sleeve the randomness of these cards is never detrimental to your survival. You have knowledge if a location is safe or dangerous based on what Reveal card is chosen. So whatever Reveal card is drawn you have already acquired information necessary to survive.

3. Your idea that Players have two options to victory, which incidentally neither way you describe is relevant to this game, shows you are not comprehending what we have been discussing. This is a cooperative game so you immediately seize on the “Quarterbacking” idea that people claim causes problems for them in cooperative games. That doesn’t happen hear. Why? Because there is a traitor possibility. So Quarterbacking is not possible since you don’t know who to trust.

And then you try and seize on the “analysis paralysis” problem as an issue. Any game can have this issue. But in your statement you claim it will take hours of mathematical analysis to figure out the puzzle. It does not. Please try to understand what I am saying here. Depending on the Player count, multiple players can make incorrect moves and the game is still winnable. There is not a single path to victory. But players do have to figure out how to convey information or comprehend information based on other players actions. Without doing that you cannot win. And sometimes Players need to have the forethought that another player will be trapped or not know what to do unless they make a selfless move and take appropriate action to help the other player. Once again this is a cooperative game. But most importantly players need to realize when actions that other players are making are giving them honest information. With experience playing this game none of these actions takes very long to figure out.

Here is an example of what you would call randomness when in reality it is inefficient playing and forces a player to take a risk:

The game begins and the Cheerleader goes first. She is at the Campfire with the Jock. She peeks in the Lantern sleeve and sees the Highway. For her second action she searches. A more experienced Player would know to move closer to the Highway in case she needs to be chased since this is a 3 Player game and an attack happens after 2 Hatchets are drawn. Instead the Cheerleader searches and finds nothing. She draws an Attack card ending her turn. She draws the first Hatchet. The Geek is at the Cemetery with the Preppy and sees the Lake in the Flashlight peeking sleeve. Because he knows an attack is imminent, since one Hatchet has already been drawn, he moves to the Cabin to be able to be chased to the Lake. He might have moved to the Woods, but the Punk and the Goth are already in the Woods. And he figures the Goth will peek from there on her next turn, and he can possibly peek using the peeking icon of the attacked location from the Cabin on his next turn, so instead of swapping with the Punk he ran to the Cabin. The Geek draws an attack card. It is the second Hatchet. Klein attacks. The Reveal card is drawn and it is the Window. No one has peeked in the Window sleeve. But the Geek knows the Lake isn’t being attacked and the Cheerleader knows the Highway is not being attacked since neither of those locations are in the Window peeking sleeve. The Geek triggered the attack so he is chased first. He is chased to the Lake and is now scared but definitely safe. The Cheerleaders chase turn is next. She is too far from the Highway to be chased there and, unfortunately, she has no other relevant information. Except, she has seen the Geek choose to be chased to the Lake. He must know the Lake is safe, since a player must survive all the attacks to stay in the game. So when the Geek peeked in the Flashlight sleeve he must have seen the Lake. The Cheerleader follows the Geeks lead and is chased to the Lake. But now the poor Goth has no information and the Lake is full and she cannot be chased there. She can be chased to the Cabin or the Cemetery. But since she had a 1 in 7 chance of being at the attack location when she was initially placed and now she knows the Lake is a safe location, she has a 1 in 6 chance of moving to the attack location. So she should stay put. And now with no fault of her own, the fault lies with the Cheerleader, the Goth has a 14% chance of being eliminated and an 86% chance of surviving. If the Cheerleader had moved to the Cabin as her second move, she could have been able to be chased to the Highway and there would have been space for the Goth to be chased to the Lake. Everyone would have survived with 100% certainty without any need to take a risk. And everyone would have the knowledge that the Flashlight sleeve contained the Lake and the Lantern sleeve contained the Highway. And once the Window sleeve reveals the Campfire, everyone knows 3 locations that could not possibly be the lair.

In this example, with some experience at playing this game, the contents of 3 sleeves would have been shared with everyone and everyone would have survived without luck. And even without proper experience there was only a 14% chance of an elimination. You don’t need to spend a paralyzing amount of time figuring out what to do. And even with a player playing inefficiently, in this example, someone is eliminated only 1 out of every 7 games. Had they been more experienced and played efficiently no one would have been eliminated and no one would have had to guess what to do next. Kristo, you can’t blame a players inexperience, and the group losing, on the game being too random. I don’t know how to explain this to you more clearly. Just because the game beat you doesn’t mean it is too random, just like with Chess you need to learn to play better.
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Greg Toystorian
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@Glen Without hearing all the details it is hard to determine where mistakes of inefficiency were made. In the example I gave above, 3 locations can be eliminated as possibilities for the Lair even though the attack came after 2 action turns. Before the next attack, even if it happens after 2 action turns, you should be able to cross off 2 or 3 more locations. Which gives you an additional 1 or 2 action turns to move and deduce the lair before the final attack. It is possible, you just need to figure out the optimal moves to play more efficiently. Learning to telegraph information without using the sharing action is important. Learning when and what actions to use when you get additional action turns because of Calm nights is equally important. And not being afraid to be scared is even more important. If you'd like please post a game scenario and we can walk through it.
 
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Andy Andersen
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I've got an idea - why doesn't somebody start yet another thread about this ongoing feud?

This is really interesting. thumbsdown
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Glen Rudis
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TheToystoryian wrote:
@Glen Without hearing all the details it is hard to determine where mistakes of inefficiency were made. In the example I gave above, 3 locations can be eliminated as possibilities for the Lair even though the attack came after 2 action turns. Before the next attack, even if it happens after 2 action turns, you should be able to cross off 2 or 3 more locations. Which gives you an additional 1 or 2 action turns to move and deduce the lair before the final attack. It is possible, you just need to figure out the optimal moves to play more efficiently. Learning to telegraph information without using the sharing action is important. Learning when and what actions to use when you get additional action turns because of Calm nights is equally important. And not being afraid to be scared is even more important. If you'd like please post a game scenario and we can walk through it.


I think going into a turn by turn description isn't really needed. The question is simple, first attack happens, it is at say the highway. There wasn't enough time for anyone to get to the highway being able to peek in the binoculars. We make it through to the third attack, sure we know what we have seen in all the peeking locations except the binoculars and the lair. So we can most likely survive that attack, but when the final attack happens leaving only the lair to be the safe location. We have no idea what is in binoculars because that location was eliminated before anyone could get down there before it was eliminated. Which could happen if the attack happens after two players turns. Is this just an unfortunate situation we came across? I understand this could of been just the way the cards fell as far as where the attacks happened with the reveal deck.
 
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Glen Rudis
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Orangemoose wrote:
I've got an idea - why doesn't somebody start yet another thread about this ongoing feud?

This is really interesting. thumbsdown


No feud here, just conversation with the creator. Who is nice enough to take the time to help people understand what they may be doing right and what they may be doing wrong. No one forced you to contribute to the conversation.
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Glen Rudis
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Also it should be noted, that I do understand the process of sharing information is very very important. We played the game trying to really learn the strategies, so when we chased to certain locations we would specifically say I went here because I know it is safe.
 
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Andy Andersen
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rudis21 wrote:
Orangemoose wrote:
I've got an idea - why doesn't somebody start yet another thread about this ongoing feud?

This is really interesting. thumbsdown


No feud here, just conversation with the creator. Who is nice enough to take the time to help people understand what they may be doing right and what they may be doing wrong. No one forced you to contribute to the conversation.



https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1660424/players-can-be-...

Has the characteristics of an ongoing feud. No need to be snarky if you haven't watched the ongoing argument.
 
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Glen Rudis
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Orangemoose wrote:
rudis21 wrote:
Orangemoose wrote:
I've got an idea - why doesn't somebody start yet another thread about this ongoing feud?

This is really interesting. thumbsdown


No feud here, just conversation with the creator. Who is nice enough to take the time to help people understand what they may be doing right and what they may be doing wrong. No one forced you to contribute to the conversation.



https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1660424/players-can-be-...

Has the characteristics of an ongoing feud. No need to be snarky if you haven't watched the ongoing argument.


I personally was trying to have constructive conversation with the creator, with questions. That thread isn't this thread. You were the one that decided to come into this thread, read it, and then decide to make a "snarky" comment along with a thumbs down.
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Glen Rudis
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After searching around on these boards, I found an answer to how we could work around the situation that came up.

We did make the mistake of not peeking from the Cabin location for a chance to see the card in the peeking sleeve of a location that was already attacked! In my example I used the highway/binoculars, the highway had been attacked so we didn't have the chance to see the binoculars sleeve. We could of peeked from the Cabin to see inside the binoculars sleeve.

@Orangemoose. I was intentionally not becoming a part of the thread you linked. You are right, that thread is feud like, and lots of people seem to be in attack mode. I in no way wanted to attack the creator about his game, and his game design. Which seems to be happening all over this board.
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Greg Toystorian
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@Glen After reading your "there wasn't enough time for anyone to get to the highway to be able to peek in the binoculars sleeve" post I got the feeling you weren't peeking from the Cabin into the sleeves of locations that had previously been attacked. That would make it very hard to gather all the information necessary. I'm sure once you use the Cabin you will be able to deduce Klein's lair.

@Andy We have not been trying to have a feud with Kristo. We have been attempting to clarify his misunderstanding of the game. He has been confusing players with his comments. People have been privately contacting us about his posts, so we have been publicly responding so others don't get confused.
 
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Andy Andersen
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TheToystoryian wrote:
@Glen After reading your "there wasn't enough time for anyone to get to the highway to be able to peek in the binoculars sleeve" post I got the feeling you weren't peeking from the Cabin into the sleeves of locations that had previously been attacked. That would make it very hard to gather all the information necessary. I'm sure once you use the Cabin you will be able to deduce Klein's lair.

@Andy We have not been trying to have a feud with Kristo. We have been attempting to clarify his misunderstanding of the game. He has been confusing players with his comments. People have been privately contacting us about his posts, so we have been publicly responding so others don't get confused.


We have not been trying to have a feud with Kristo

No I realize that, I'm just concerned it will escalate. I shouldn't have posted my comment here - it did no good.

Hope it get's straightened out - it is a fun game.
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Glen Rudis
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TheToystoryian wrote:
@Glen After reading your "there wasn't enough time for anyone to get to the highway to be able to peek in the binoculars sleeve" post I got the feeling you weren't peeking from the Cabin into the sleeves of locations that had previously been attacked. That would make it very hard to gather all the information necessary. I'm sure once you use the Cabin you will be able to deduce Klein's lair.

@Andy We have not been trying to have a feud with Kristo. We have been attempting to clarify his misunderstanding of the game. He has been confusing players with his comments. People have been privately contacting us about his posts, so we have been publicly responding so others don't get confused.


Yes definite rules oversight on my part. I do think there is still an element of chance, and there should be. I know the chance is minimal and by making smart decisions you can easily mitigate that chance. Although even in your example there was still a 14% chance of death. I find the game to be amazing, and some games sure you should be able to figure it all out, but I love that some games you can get stuck in a corner and death becomes inevitable.

The fact that you are active on the boards is truly amazing too. Lots of creators make the game, and then the community needs to try and figure it all and interpret there way. By you being active, people get more of an idea of the true vision and what the game is intended to bring in its experience.
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Kristo Vaher
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Oh don't worry, I won't debunk the myth that this game does not have randomness any longer. In all honesty, players who have a chance to play this are free to make up their own mind.

Its a good game. Just don't play it with under 5.

And again, I did show that it is possible for randomness to exist even in perfect play. And if it exists in perfect play? Then it will definitely exist in non-perfect play that every game group will have on the table as it takes a lot of plays to get close to perfect.

And that's it.

Let the plays of Crimson Creek decide the rest.
 
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Davy Ashleydale
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Glen, you mentioned having trouble surviving the third Klein attack -- have you ever actually discovered Klein's Lair before the third attack? We've found that we usually don't do very well in the game if a third attack happens -- you'll do much better if you find the Lair before then.
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Dan Licata
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Slashdoctor wrote:

And again, I did show that it is possible for randomness to exist even in perfect play. And if it exists in perfect play? Then it will definitely exist in non-perfect play that every game group will have on the table as it takes a lot of plays to get close to perfect.


I think you're incorrectly using the word random. The only 'random' in the game is the 1 in 2800 chance of playing perfectly and then still having no chance of surviving the first act. Players making mistakes during play doesn't generate randomness in the game.

Granted you can technically say the setup is random, in that random cards are chosen to put in the icon sleeves and the deck with the hatchets is randomized by shuffling but that doesn't add any randomness to the solution of the puzzle.

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