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Subject: An Ergo sample session rss

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Brian Shourd
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Indiana
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As of right now, Ergo has no session reports! What a tragedy, since this game could sure use one if any game could. The rulebook for this game is pretty miserable (and full of typos), but the game itself can be rather fun and diverting, for a time. It's much easier to explain via a gameplay session than any other way, so here goes:

This session is not an actual play-through by a real group. Instead, I figured that it would be better to carefully document a few rounds with plenty of pictures and notes, so I played all four hands myself. I played to win, though, with each hand, and didn't consider what the other players' hands held, so it is pretty close to an actual play-through, except I didn't have to annoy everyone with my meticulous note-and-picture-taking.

Also, in the interest of expediency, I only played through two rounds (an actual game could easily have 5-10 rounds total). I think the result is a very useful session report. Let's begin!

Round 1

First, the deck is shuffled and each player (A, B, C, and D) is dealt 5 cards. The play surface (the proof) is left empty. A begins her turn by drawing two cards, and playing two. She plays A to a single line, and (just to get things going) B to a second line. At this point, A and B are both proven true, and the others are undecided.



Now it is Player B's turn. He draws two cards, and plays the OR card and the C card next to A. Now only B is proven true, all others are still undecided.



Player C draws two cards, and, lacking many options, puts some parenthesis around C in the first line. This accomplishes nothing right now, but the only way to do a double negative is with parenthesis. Since a common tactic is to play a NOT in front of a relevant token, this allows player C to undo that in the future with just another NOT card. Not a great move, but he didn't have much to go on.



Player D has a Fallacy card, which he plays on Player B. This means that player B cannot edit the proof (i.e. play cards to the table) for three turns. Then he adds D to a new line of the proof. Now D and B can both be proven true, while the other variables are undetermined. In addition, since all variables are now in play, the game could end at any time, if someone plays an Ergo card.



A plays again, putting OR and C down next to B. Now B is also undecided, though D remains true.



B has a Fallacy card on him, so he draws two. Since he doesn't have a Justification card, he must discard two cards, and end his turn.

C plays NOT and B to a new row. Since the proof can only contain 4 lines, this is the final time a player can add a new row. All subsequent plays must edit the existing rows, and cannot add new ones. This move is clever, because it disproves B. According to line 2, either B OR C is true, and since B is disproved, this proves C. Now we have that C and D are proven, B is disproven, and A is undecided.



D plays a Fallacy card on A. Since he has no more cards that can be played in the proof (and preserve syntax), he discards one card.

A has a Fallacy card played on her, and no Justification card in her hand. She draws two, and luckily one of them is the Justification card she needed! She plays it to discard the Fallacy in front of her, and then also plays a Fallacy card on D, just to get revenge.

B also has a Fallacy card played on him, but unfortunately does not draw a Justification. For the second turn in a row, he just discards two cards and ends his turn.

C plays a NOT card in front of D, disproving D. Now D and B are both disproven, C is proven, and A is undetermined. This is the ideal situation for C, since if the game ended now, only he would get points! He has an Ergo card in his hand, and so plays it, thus ending the game. There are 13 cards in the proof (including Ergo), so player C gets 13 points. All other players receive 0 points. This ends round 1.



Round 2

The cards are all collected, reshuffled, and each player is dealt 5 cards again. The proof is, once again, clear.

This time, B goes first. He draws two cards, plays B to the first row, and discards a card from his hand.



Now C plays a NOT card in front of B, and puts C in a new row. Thus C is proved, B is disproved, and A and D are still undecided.



It's D's turn. He plays a Fallacy card on C, and also a NOT in front of C in the proof. I guess D is mad that C won last round!



Now A goes. She doesn't have anything useful to play to the proof, but she does have two Fallacy cards in her hand, which she plays on B and D. Now all players besides A have Fallacies, so her hope is that she'll get a few turns to herself, if she's lucky.

Alas, such is not to be. On B's turn, he draws a Justification card, then discards a parenthesis card to end his turn.

C cannot justify his Fallacy, so he draws and discards two cards.

D can justify, which he does, then discards a card to end his turn.

Now it is back to player A. Her gambit payed off - though her last turn was mostly wasted, she did get a chance to get some new cards into her hand, and nobody else got to react. Unfortunately, she still doesn't have anything to help her. To get the game moving, she plays AND D next to NOT C in the second row. She has a NOT card still, so next time she can change this to disprove D. At this point, D is proved, B and C are disproved, and A is still undecided.



Player B plays an OR card and an A card on the first row. This changes B's status from disproved to undecided. Better? Maybe. Now every variable appears in the proof, so the game could end at any time.



Player C is still trapped under a Fallacy, and again can't draw the necessary Justification. He discards and ends his turn.

Player D looks at the board, and realizes that the current status is: D is proved, C is disproved, and A and B are undecided. If he had an Ergo card, he could play it and win. Alas, he doesn't draw one, so he takes this opportunity to discard some less useful cards from his hand and await a future turn.

A makes a new line of the proof, playing card B. Since B is now proved true, the first line comes into play. It says "Either B is false or A is true." Since B is not false, A must be true. Thus A has proved herself. Unfortunately, she also proved B, but she hopes to fix that. She discards a card to end her turn.



Player B is happy that B is true, but not too pleased that A and D are also true. He plays a NOT card in front of each of them on lines 1 and 2 of the proof. This disproves D and also disproves A, by the same logic that A was proved at the end of last turn. Now B is the only proved variable.



Player C still has that darned Fallacy card on him. Yet again, he cannot draw the necessary Justification card, so he discards and ends his turn. Next turn, however, the Fallacy is automatically removed, and he will be able to play again.

Or he would, if Player D weren't so sneaky. Player D plays a Revolution card, which allows him to swap two cards in the proof (as long as he preserves syntax). He wisely swaps D and B in the second and third lines of the proof. This proves D (third line) and disproves B (second line). The first line is now moot, since B is disproved, so our status is: D proved, B and C disproved, A undecided. Since D has an Ergo card, he plays it, ending the round. There are 12 cards in the proof (including Ergo), and he gains 12 points while the other players gain none.





Wrap-Up

This isn't the end of the game. Technically, the game would continue until someone had 50 points. Realistically, it is almost never played that way at my house. This is more of a filler game. We play it until something else comes up. If we keep score between rounds, we'll declare a winner whenever we finish. Usually, though, we don't even keep score, and just play for fun. About 3 or 4 rounds is plenty, in my opinion, as the game is more about being able to read the symbols and getting lucky than having any sort of strategy. There's just too much randomness to really plan between turns.

I hope you enjoyed this session report. It's my first one, so give me a thumbs up if you liked it, or comment if you'd like to give me a suggestion. Thanks!
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Daniel Cepeda
United States
Tempe
Arizona
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EXCELLENT! Just what this game needed! Thanks a TON!
 
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Anthony Harlan
United States
Orlando
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" Bert, what utter nonsense! "
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The fallacy cards sound awful. I'm still interested in trying this game, but I despise "lose your turn" mechanics. Fallacy cards seem random, cheap, and a juvenile sort of "Take that!" move. They don't belong in a game about thoughtful logic and proofs. I think I'll keep them in the box.
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Matt Perry
United States
Kentucky
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I know I'm late to the party, but I just picked this up last week. I had a question about your second round. The final proof reads as follows:

NOT B OR NOT A
NOT C AND NOT B
D

If premise 1 states that it's either NOT B OR NOT A, and premise 2 states that it's NOT B, doesn't that mean it's NOT NOT A, proving A as well?
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Marco Sozzi
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Pisa
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SgtGrayMatter wrote:
I know I'm late to the party, but I just picked this up last week. I had a question about your second round. The final proof reads as follows:

NOT B OR NOT A
NOT C AND NOT B
D

If premise 1 states that it's either NOT B OR NOT A, and premise 2 states that it's NOT B, doesn't that mean it's NOT NOT A, proving A as well?


Matt,
the "OR" logic operator means either one or the other OR BOTH, so the truth of NOT B has no implication on that of NOT A in premise 1; on the other hand if B were true then NOT A would also be true, since at least one of the two terms in premise 1 must be true.

It seems to me that the "OR" you have in mind is what is usually called "exclusive OR" in logic (either one or the other but NOT BOTH), which seems not to be present in the game (which I don't own yet, but plan to get).

Cheers
Marco


 
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Steve Duff
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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Thasaidon wrote:
Matt,
the "OR" logic operator means either one or the other OR BOTH, so the truth of NOT B has no implication on that of NOT A in premise 1; on the other hand if B were true then NOT A would also be true, since at least one of the two terms in premise 1 must be true.


No, I think Matt is right. He's not using exclusive or.

In 1, we know one or both of A or B is true (as you just agreed).

We know it isn't B that's true. Therefore it must be A, since at least one of them is, and A is the last candidate.

If B had been true could we not have known anything about A.
 
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Matt Perry
United States
Kentucky
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Way late, I know, but thanks!
 
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