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Alcatraz: The Scapegoat» Forums » General

Subject: No problem with the losing conditions? rss

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Houserule Jay
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Just curious if anyone out there thinks the method of determining a "loser" is a little too deterministic or not quite right?

I've only played once, but what concerns me is near the end of the game when only one letter is remaining and people are close to completing the task, essentially people can conspire to vote whoever they want for the loser even if its not the player that played the poorest.

Now its not quite as cut and dry as that, and I know that is more or less in the spirit of the game, I just don't know if I am totally on board with the loser basically being determined almost solely by a group vote rather than on actual merits of someone's play. Note that anyone with a unique letter would still escape and not be effected by the vote so as I say its not just vote anyone as the loser, it still has to be someone who did not get a unique letter.

I just looked at the first edition of the rule book I downloaded and noticed it's different than the published one in this regard. The published one says that if the Scapegoat does NOT have a unique letter, he is toast (so anyone without a unique letter is an easy target, and if 2 or 3 people don't have one then it is the vote that determines the loser).

The first rulebook has it worded quite differently, where basically the Scapegoat is not looked at solely first and all players are looked at equally to determine who does not have a unique letter. This takes out the option to directly vote a loser and I guess the only reason this changed for the Published rules is to avoid more ties? I think I might prefer this old method better but not sure yet.

This has already been discussed somewhat here http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/707411/winning-conditions
but I think I'm still troubled by this and want to open it back up for some discussion.

Note I don't think this is a big deal or deal-breaker and if it troubles anyone the old rule is just as easy to play with, just decide ahead of time what you think is the best tie-breaking system or use the suggested one in the book.
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Sean Tompkins
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I played this about seven times at BGG.con - I think it will depend largely upon your crowd. In our third game everyone at the table had decided that it was "my turn" to take the fall - something about broken promises, being stabbed in the back, etc etc - I don't know, I wasn't really listening . Towards the end of the game, they vote me as the scapegoat. I had picked up a blackmail card earlier in the game, and used it to prevent them finishing their goal. The next turn they vote me scapegoat again. Now I have FOUR actions. I then stole one of the elements they needed to complete the plan. At this point they can vote me as scapegoat again, but I just keep gaining power. It was a four player game, so I made a deal with one of the remaining players to turn on one of the other two, since I now had a plan element.

On the other hand, my friend will likely never play the game again - if his plans got twisted up, or if he was voted scapegoat on the critical turn, he just got frustrated and tuned out. He didn't have the heart or desire to "scramble" to stop the others from escaping...
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Clyde W
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Used the revised rules.

The game becomes about being indispensable to the plans. It's delightfully nasty, because if you're ever made Scapegoat, do everything in your power to hurt the other players. Steal their items, cause guards to go into rooms they must use, etc.
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Tim
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seanp wrote:

On the other hand, my friend will likely never play the game again - if his plans got twisted up, or if he was voted scapegoat on the critical turn, he just got frustrated and tuned out. He didn't have the heart or desire to "scramble" to stop the others from escaping...


I think he means me. And I I would play it again, but I can't promise I wouldn't flip the table, say terrible things about your lineage, and kick your dog. arrrh

No, it really is a fun game, but more than any other game I've played, the stab really hurts! I think it's because in most other games, you're being stabbed by one other person, or a small group of others, where in this you're being stabbed by everyone. If you ever had unresolved "Picked last in gym class" issues, this game is not for you.

I'd play it again. I just don't think I'd want to play it with the same group of people on a weekly basis or anything (though some people would absolutely love it exactly that way).
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Juan Medina
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tofarley wrote:
seanp wrote:

On the other hand, my friend will likely never play the game again ...

... I can't promise I wouldn't flip the table, say terrible things about your lineage, and kick your dog. arrrh ...


I want to try this game, but not with Ana Maria. It would mean "the sofa" for a week, perhaps permanently.

I will try my hand first by playing Lifeboats and see how that goes.
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Tim
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PrivateMeggido wrote:
tofarley wrote:
seanp wrote:

On the other hand, my friend will likely never play the game again ...

... I can't promise I wouldn't flip the table, say terrible things about your lineage, and kick your dog. arrrh ...


I want to try this game, but not with Ana Maria. It would mean "the sofa" for a week, perhaps permanently.

I will try my hand first by playing Lifeboats and see how that goes.


I've never played Lifeboats. If you own it, bring that sucker out.
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Houserule Jay
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seanp wrote:
I played this about seven times at BGG.con - I think it will depend largely upon your crowd. In our third game everyone at the table had decided that it was "my turn" to take the fall - something about broken promises, being stabbed in the back, etc etc - I don't know, I wasn't really listening . Towards the end of the game, they vote me as the scapegoat. I had picked up a blackmail card earlier in the game, and used it to prevent them finishing their goal. The next turn they vote me scapegoat again. Now I have FOUR actions. I then stole one of the elements they needed to complete the plan. At this point they can vote me as scapegoat again, but I just keep gaining power. It was a four player game, so I made a deal with one of the remaining players to turn on one of the other two, since I now had a plan element.


Oooooo nasty indeed. So you did well being in a position to steal one of the elements and then made a deal with the Devil...I like it.

At some point the ScapeGoat will not be able to wiggle his way out of the tight spot and lose, I guess when it gets down to the wire you really need to plan for the worst...
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Clyde W
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jayjonbeach wrote:
seanp wrote:
I played this about seven times at BGG.con - I think it will depend largely upon your crowd. In our third game everyone at the table had decided that it was "my turn" to take the fall - something about broken promises, being stabbed in the back, etc etc - I don't know, I wasn't really listening . Towards the end of the game, they vote me as the scapegoat. I had picked up a blackmail card earlier in the game, and used it to prevent them finishing their goal. The next turn they vote me scapegoat again. Now I have FOUR actions. I then stole one of the elements they needed to complete the plan. At this point they can vote me as scapegoat again, but I just keep gaining power. It was a four player game, so I made a deal with one of the remaining players to turn on one of the other two, since I now had a plan element.


Oooooo nasty indeed. So you did well being in a position to steal one of the elements and then made a deal with the Devil...I like it.

At some point the ScapeGoat will not be able to wiggle his way out of the tight spot and lose, I guess when it gets down to the wire you really need to plan for the worst...
It is why you MUST get parts of the plan that no one has, so people can't stab you. You must be mean and nasty at the start of the game in order to do this. If being mean and nasty at the start makes people make you Scapegoat, even better: you're now more powerful than them and can prevent them from completing tasks.
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Sean Tompkins
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jayjonbeach wrote:
At some point the ScapeGoat will not be able to wiggle his way out of the tight spot and lose, I guess when it gets down to the wire you really need to plan for the worst...


Yes - and I'd say that down to the wire is too late. Keep a plan B in your back pocket at all times. Plan for the next move IF you're the scapegoat, and if you're not. Remember that being the scapegoat ISN'T a bad thing in itself - you get extra free actions, and a tie breaking vote... With that in mind it's great to be the scapegoat one turn BEFORE the breakout turn - because you'll be in a position to make yourself indespensible by getting into position, getting a needed item, etc - but if they DO make you the scapegoat again you'll get even more extra actions. Also, you'll be in a position to pass the scapegoat onto someone else because of your tie-break ability.

It's nasty and mean and selfish - all while working together.
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