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Subject: Do you keep track of victory points before the end of the game? rss

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Luish Moraes Coelho
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hello there,

I have been playing this great game online and I´ve noticed that the possibility of keeping track of what points everyone has during the game is very important. Although it is a difficult task to do during a face-to-face play because money means points at the end and unflipped tiles also make it uncertain.

So, I´d like to ask if you like it better the face-to-face way (uncertainty until the end) or the online way, with open and knowing probable points before the end? (and with less calculation, or at least less room for mistakes).

thanks!

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Steven
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I would start out by checking the file section. There are some nice play mats that have all the points on them too. Not only might it help organizing your games, but it might be able to give everyone a better way to follow points between stages. There still is no official "real-time" score updates, but it might help you better keep track of everything.

EDIT: Here is a good example. This way I can easilly see how much various unflipped industries are worth.
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J
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That's a hard call. Technically at any given point of the game you can compute every player's current score if your group was willing to let you but naturally taking extra time to do this could make the game take much longer which is where a lot of people draw the line.

Online it only makes sense to do it since the game is effectively Brass by mail where taking a long turn doesn't matter and the computer can calculate the scores quickly without making a mistake whereas in a real life game it can be easy to forget to give someone a point when an industry is flipped next to their rail or to take away points if they get built over.

Personally I think the best is face-to-face (uncertainty until the end). It's already a long game no need to make it longer plus being able to estimate the ballpark of everyone's scores (or if you are that good keep a mental count of their scores) is a skill that all players should develop and keeping a running total inhibits a new players ability to form that skill.

This sorta goes hand in hand with a player who asks can he use a pencil and paper to keep track of his score on the grounds that everyone's score would be public anyway and you could know them if you were keeping track. To them I answer that rather than using a pencil and paper they might as well call over a few friends and play as a team cause they are effectively getting outside help to cover for something they themselves cannot do alone and if they were good enough they could play as well as a group of 4 players.
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Michael J
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Quote:
This sorta goes hand in hand with a player who asks can he use a pencil and paper to keep track of his score on the grounds that everyone's score would be public anyway and you could know them if you were keeping track.


I hate these kinds of people. It's a game. If scoring isn't meant to be done until the end, then I don't bother keeping track, regardless of whether it is trackable. I tend to find hidden scoring more fun anyway, so maybe it's just me.

In Brass, we score only at the end of each Era as specified in the rules.
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Jeff Michaud
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Quote:
Do you keep track of victory points before the end of the game?

well to answer this question... yes, we keep track of VP's at the 1/2 way point... ie. at end of canal era, before the rail era. Hope everyone is doing that
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David F
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In any game, being able to read the board quickly to accurately determine who's winning and who will win is an essential skill gained from experience.

Playing Brass online gave me the eureka that this game would be really great for a racing theme though. Have VPs be the track, and turns you take loans are like pit-stops, gaining more fuel for a VP rush next turn. Round 4 Rail Phase is THE pit-stop.
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Samuel Hinz
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mjacobsca wrote:
Quote:
This sorta goes hand in hand with a player who asks can he use a pencil and paper to keep track of his score on the grounds that everyone's score would be public anyway and you could know them if you were keeping track.


I hate these kinds of people. It's a game. If scoring isn't meant to be done until the end, then I don't bother keeping track, regardless of whether it is trackable. I tend to find hidden scoring more fun anyway, so maybe it's just me.

In Brass, we score only at the end of each Era as specified in the rules.


i'd allow it as long as he is keeping track form everyone and not just himself. for the same reason that it's perfectly trackable information

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Luish Moraes Coelho
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mjacobsca wrote:
If scoring isn't meant to be done until the end, then I don't bother keeping track, regardless of whether it is trackable. I tend to find hidden scoring more fun anyway, so maybe it's just me.

In Brass, we score only at the end of each Era as specified in the rules.


firstly, sorry for my mistake, yes, I also do scoring at the end of each era, following the rules.

secondly, I agree with the idea that the original game is meant to be done this way. And this way is great, I also prefer knowing _total_ VPs only when the end comes. It makes the efforts on the game to be very rewarding. The point of this thread is that when I play at orderofthehammer website, the actual score is an eye grabber. I always look at the score of my opponents before making a tough decision. This seems to change the game a lot! It´s great to have the possibility to play it through a website, of course, it´s not very easy to find available players around here, but it feels like a different game.

Anyway, my conclusion is: this is an open score game where one doesn´t know for sure what anyone has until the very end. It´s a game design masterpiece.

The version online kills this quality, but one gets to play it more often.
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Daniel Corban
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As someone who has played this game a lot face-to-face, I have to say that a constantly updated score board would significantly add to the play time but add very little value to the players.
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J
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This is basically the difficulty. Technically yes you are allowed to ask/force the game to halt to take the time and add up everyone's score and make your decision based on that. Should you?

Well you have to remember the meta-game. If you get a reputation as a player who does this people aren't going to want to play with you. You must always play the meta-game whenever you play a game. The solution here is to be able to sense what people's scores are relative to you and react accordingly though if your group does not mind you doing this than go ahead and do it.
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Michael J
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Most of my group seems to dislike the online scoring. More than once, we've pondered whether there was a way to turn it off (there wasn't, as of the last time I played). And yes, when I play online, I take painstakingly long turns calculating every single move. I do this because the option is available to me, not because it is fun. I really don't like the open scoring online, but since everyone has the open information, I'm kind of forced to use it to play my best. My turns are slow and painful, with many stops and starts in terms of calculating the best moves. I can't even fathom taking these kinds of turns in person, nor would I wish them on my opponents. I'm quite happy with hidden (err voluntary oblivious) scoring system we use.
 
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ldsdbomber wrote:
what about late on when it comes to deciding whose ironworks you want to overbuild or who you should block off from those last cotton mills or whatever?

Usually you know(at least I do) whose mills you should overbuild and like said before the ability to see this quickly becomes with experience.
 
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ldsdbomber wrote:
I'm not convinced you can see it at all in close games to be honest, that's my experienc but it's only based on online plays (though rather a lot), many times we're talking literally a handful of points, but my experience in F2F is just 2P so it's never been an issue for me

Yes, I believe the online play differs here. If all the players are highly experienced and you have a lot time to think then I'd assume the scores to be really close. Another thing is that playing with your friends means you know a bit about their experience with the game.

I have seen really close 3-player games but somebody always falls behind by a larger margin in a 4-player game. At least for me the decision has been at worst 50:50 who to hit with overbuilding.
 
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Jeff Michaud
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RoadHouse wrote:
ldsdbomber wrote:
what about late on when it comes to deciding whose ironworks you want to overbuild or who you should block off from those last cotton mills or whatever?
Usually you know(at least I do) whose mills you should overbuild and like said before the ability to see this quickly becomes with experience.

I assume this is a typo but just in case it's not... unless all this time I'm learning something new, you can not overbuild anyone's (cotton) mills, not even your own I believe... only coal mines and ironworks (and while you can always overbuild your own with a higher level, specific conditions need to be met before you can overbuild someone elses)
 
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Jeff Michaud
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ldsdbomber wrote:
I dont think its a typo, I think its probably just using mill to mean iron mills

in Brass they are called iron works and coal mines like I said I'm sure Roadhouse typoed and meant ironworks and coal mines and not cotton mills, just want to make sure no one was playing wrong, sometimes folks only find out accidentally in a thread like this and tangent to the thread's original topic that they have been playing wrong (though sometimes playing wrong
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JeffyJeff wrote:
ldsdbomber wrote:
I dont think its a typo, I think its probably just using mill to mean iron mills

in Brass they are called iron works and coal mines like I said I'm sure Roadhouse typoed and meant ironworks and coal mines and not cotton mills, just want to make sure no one was playing wrong, sometimes folks only find out accidentally in a thread like this and tangent to the thread's original topic that they have been playing wrong (though sometimes playing wrong

Yes. I meant iron works and coal mines.
 
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Christopher Watkins
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luish wrote:
hello there,

I have been playing this great game online and I´ve noticed that the possibility of keeping track of what points everyone has during the game is very important. Although it is a difficult task to do during a face-to-face play because money means points at the end and unflipped tiles also make it uncertain.

So, I´d like to ask if you like it better the face-to-face way (uncertainty until the end) or the online way, with open and knowing probable points before the end? (and with less calculation, or at least less room for mistakes).

thanks!



it's all about the play/fun vs. it's all about the win.

unfortunately, for the latter it's going to be all about the lonely because most people won't play with you.

In a world with 84389489438 more games other than brass... you will be super lonely
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Christopher Watkins
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allstar64 wrote:
This is basically the difficulty. Technically yes you are allowed to ask/force the game to halt to take the time and add up everyone's score and make your decision based on that. Should you?

Well you have to remember the meta-game. If you get a reputation as a player who does this people aren't going to want to play with you. You must always play the meta-game whenever you play a game. The solution here is to be able to sense what people's scores are relative to you and react accordingly though if your group does not mind you doing this than go ahead and do it.


oh they'll play with you... mostly because their forced to. Mostly, because game hobbyists are at a premium. They will also jeer you when you are not around, make a sigh of relief when you head home, and groan when you arrive at game night.
 
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Philip Eve
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It was a bit difficult to decide about the counting up of points on the online site. I debated for a while whether it should be possible to turn it off, but decided that even if you turn it off it would be possible for a user to gain an advantage by counting up points, as they have plenty of time to do it. Perhaps what would make more sense is if it were always-on for competitive games, but optional for other games.
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Luish Moraes Coelho
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Hammerite wrote:
Perhaps what would make more sense is if it were always-on for competitive games, but optional for other games.


Sounds fair to me.
 
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Riku Koskinen
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In face to face games we count the scores only at the end of canal/rail period, and I'll just use my gut when it comes to overbuilding or blocking a player. It would be too time-consuming to start counting all the scores whenever a player wishes to know the current scores (or constantly updating a score sheet of some kind).

However, because real-time play is not really an option in the online version, I'll use all the time I have when making moves there. Nobody is sitting on their computer waiting for my move, so I can do it. It's actually quite interesting to have the score calculations and information about the discarded cards visible. 97 % of my turns require no difficult decisions, but it's great to be able to make all the calculations and estimations when all the small things really matter.
 
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Riku Koskinen
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ldsdbomber wrote:
Padish wrote:
97 % of my turns require no difficult decisions




Ok that sounds a bit arrogant. I was speaking of online Brass and I meant that 97 % of my turns are simple enough that I don't have to use a lot of time to make my moves. Almost always there are only a couple of reasonable lines of play when a turn starts. There are many "quick rules" that make the game play easy: In rail phase, if coal is cheap, you usually build rails. In first rounds of canal phase, if iron is cheap, you usually develop. If you don't have money, you must take a loan. Etc.

Those 3 % constitute the turns when I really stop to think of a lot of possible outcomes of actions, and may use up to 5 minutes to figure out the line of play for those two actions. These are usually the round 6/8 or 7/8 of the rail phase, when I'm early in the turn order, when a lot of possible opponent moves have to be taken into account.
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Kelvin Lau
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it is great to have like up in orderofhammer. but it would be too clumsy to do it in real world game unless it is at least a $100 competition. i agree with riku, most decision are easy anyway. situations are obvious in this game.
 
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