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Subject: Hidden suns... discuss rss

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O R
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“Bugger this. I want a better world.”
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"Do not offend the Chair Leg of Truth; it is wise and terrible."
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I play RA a lot. Tonight, I just played it with four others people who had never played it. 3 of them got it, the last guy was just stuck on the idea that the sun tokens shouldn't be public and that you should have to guess what people have and thus be able to "bluff". This would allow you to "draw out" people big tokens and make it harder to "count cards". I pointed out several logical failure points in his poker analogy but he was unfazed.

Now, lets say we disregard the fact that with the limited number of tokens, many people could memorize them all and know what everyone else has at all time while he would be merely guessing.

Lets put:
- It's obviously physically feasible to play the game this way.
- If you really couldn't tell what token people held it would certainly be a somewhat different game.

Our big disagreement was: would it be a better game?

Obviously, I can defend my view and make a fairly objective & air tight case for it, but I want to know what you guys think. I get the feeling that general opinion will lean towards my side but if that's the case I'll feel somewhat vindicated and less annoyed =) And if not, hopefully someone can make a more solid case than he did for the proposed "improvement".

Cheers!
 
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Laszlo Molnar
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Remembering 3 or 4 sun tiles at each player is not that hard. Those would have a clear advantage who remembered what tiles the others have.
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O R
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lacxox wrote:
Remembering 3 or 4 sun tiles at each player is not that hard. Those would have a clear advantage who remembered what tiles the others have.


I agree. Which is why I posit "lets say we disregard the fact that with the limited number of tokens, many people could memorize them all and know what everyone else has at all time while he would be merely guessing."

I still think there's a strong case to it still being an inferior game than open tokens, but I'm interested in getting other opinions. =)
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Michael Weber
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As you ruled out the really killer argument on this topic (memory), the thusly remaining game is still weaker than the original. Of course whether or not I toss in my sun at a given moment HIGHLY depends on KNOWING the situation of the other players.

Another main reason why the poker style would not work:
The "poker style game" gets imbalanced as you do not longer get a fixed set of (balanced) tiles, but could end up with the three weakest or strongest tiles when they are dealt randomly (which they must be, if you play your poker variant). Now as Ra is running over 3 rounds only this would be a major disadvantage (NB: You cannot simply avoid this by dealing out the given tile sets randomly, because after playing the first tile, everybody would know what the other tiles in your hand were).
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Michael Weber
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Another one that has just come to my mind:

In poker, you do NOT know what the highest hand in a given round of poker IS (even in five card stud you will only know what the highest hand COULD be, but not what the highest hand IS). In "Poker Ra" you would know that the highest hand IS 13 (or the highest tile remaining) and that your hand is unbeatable by the other players
 
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Fraser
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
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I wouldn't play it. I like the suns the way they are. They are an integral part of valuing the tiles on the board at any given time.
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Dave Sinclair
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Karlsen wrote:
I wouldn't play it. I like the suns the way they are. They are an integral part of valuing the tiles on the board at any given time.


+1
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1603-1714
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I agree that Ra would be a much worse game with hidden suns. Knowing what another player can bid is a key to deciding if and when you bid. That's a huge part of the interaction of the game. Ra is not your typical auction game where you spend any amount of money or points to bid on an item and can then increase it later (like the auctions in Power Grid or Medici). It's a game of carefully calculated bidding in which not only the tiles available for auction, but the tiles you and the other players already hold and the suns you have available for bidding play a major role in strategy. From my perspective, hidden suns would really ruin the game by severly diminishing the strategy and, as Karlsen said, I wouldn't play with hidden suns either.
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Alan Kwan
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RA is a very rich auction game with open information on what suns and tiles each player owns. If some of that information is concealed (and the players actually lose track because their memory is not good enough), the auction game is compromised for the sake of a weak "bluffing" game or whatever.

The auction game is very finely balanced to give you a huge variety of different situations for your decision-making. Reduced information effectively reduces that variety, in the same way that most Poker players would find straight 5-card poker (with all opponents' cards concealed and no draws) boring.
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Mike B
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If one guy doesn't agree to the rules to a game he has never played it's pretty simple for me: That guy should agree to play along with the rules as given to find out about it, or don't play along at all.

In case it's a pure social meeting: It probably might be even better to play a different game instead. Fiddling with the rules without knowing what you're up to usually spoils the fun.

[edit: better wording]
 
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O R
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Alan Kwan wrote:
RA is a very rich auction game with open information on what suns and tiles each player owns. If some of that information is concealed (and the players actually lose track because their memory is not good enough), the auction game is compromised for the sake of a weak "bluffing" game or whatever.

The auction game is very finely balanced to give you a huge variety of different situations for your decision-making. Reduced information effectively reduces that variety, in the same way that most Poker players would find straight 5-card poker (with all opponents' cards concealed and no draws) boring.


Yep, that was basically my side of the argument =) Anyway, thanks all. Good to know I have the BGG crowd with me on this one :cool:
 
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Burke Glover
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You might considering introducing that guy to Modern Art. It has hidden money, and a bit more of the bluff and psychology he seems to be interested in.
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Gerald McDaniel
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HBGlover wrote:
You might considering introducing that guy to Modern Art. It has hidden money, and a bit more of the bluff and psychology he seems to be interested in.


Or consider Hoity Toity, for double bluffs.

I certainly wouldn't change a thing in Ra.
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