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Subject: Cooperative game recommendation for bad alpha dog habit rss

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Brian
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Hi all, I'm mostly new to boardgamegeek, and very new to your forums, and wanted to seek recommendations for a cooperative board game.

I have found that I dislike cooperative games. Not necessarily because I find the games not fun, but I feel I have a really bad habit of telling other players what to do to best optimize their turn. I hate that I do it, but I just can't help myself. I get annoyed when others try to make me do certain things during my turn, but I know I'm doing the same damn thing. Maybe its some OCDness that causes me to do it, but I get frustrated when people are making, what I think are, non optimal moves.

Are there any coop games that can get around this? I haven't played too many, but games like Pandemic and Flash Point Fire Rescue are just absolutely terrible for me because of this habit.

I thought maybe Battlestar galactica might work with its traitor mechanic, but I tried it once, and just didn't really get into it. That may be because I disliked the TV show though.

I also played Space Cadets recently, and it has potential since everyone takes their turn simultaneously, though we didn't do it the time we played, since it was the first we played, and no one really had any idea what they were doing. I'm looking forward to trying it again.

Or alternatively, is there any advice to give me for getting over this bad habit, and just accepting that other people are making, in my probably incorrect opinion, bad moves.
 
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Thomas
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Conquest of Planet Earth: The Space Alien Game works really well as a co-op and each player is fighting the a.i. on their own board sections and work independently to defeat the game together so there is less chance of this problem.
 
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Michael Bishop
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You are who you are.

Is just playing non-cooperative games out of the question?

 
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Tunguska's CPA
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Escape: The Curse of the Temple - You don't have time to tell other people what to do.
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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I was going to recommend Space Cadets and Hanabi.
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mfl134
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Space Alert

Best one you will ever find.
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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mfl134 wrote:
Space Alert

Best one you will ever find.


Are you thinking, just try having the time to tell anybody what to do?
 
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mfl134
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Jythier wrote:
mfl134 wrote:
Space Alert

Best one you will ever find.


Are you thinking, just try having the time to tell anybody what to do? :D


especially once you add the expansion and double actions.
 
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Ryan Murphy
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As far as recommendations, you could try Sentinels of the Multiverse. Everyone has their own unique deck and hand of cards so it should limit your knowledge to some extent of what the other player's options are.

As far as overcoming the habit, try to remember when playing the game that the true object is to have fun, not necessarily to win. With that goal in mind, sub-optimal moves are much less of an issue. Also, try to remember that the other people playing the game probably have the same goal, to have fun, and you pretty much stealing their turn is limiting their fun. If you sincerely try to keep these thoughts in mind while playing it should help some. Best of luck on finding a great co-op experience and happy gaming.
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Dave B.
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cervantes3773 wrote:
Escape: The Curse of the Temple - You don't have time to tell other people what to do.


Came to suggest the same thing.
 
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Mike G
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Absolutely Hanabi. The rules of the game completely prevent any one player bossing others. Plus it's one of the greatest co-op games ever -- so very simple yet so very challenging.
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manus trium
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Hard to be the alpha in Space Cadets !

That's one of the things I love so much about it. I mean, you can tell people where you want to see energy go and for that matter where you'd like to see the ship go but... well... that may be difficult Captain.
 
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Jeff Dougan
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+1 Hanabi

Also look at Sentinels of the Multiverse. It's a lot harder to alpha dog the game, both because everybody has their own very different deck, and because the best play is often situational.
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Shaila M.
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Shadows over Camelot

Arkham Horror
 
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Sean Boyll
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Space Alert. You can play as the captain to assign roles and make timing decisions but the gameplay is so fast that nobody has time to be an alpha gamer.

You should look into overlord type games. Let the other players play coop while you try to destroy them.
Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)
Middle-Earth Quest
Super Dungeon Explore

For pure co-ops you might want to check out Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game and Atlantis Rising. We didn't have too much alpha gamer syndrome in those. I think Death Angel actually has a rule that you cannot tell the other players what you are doing. You might want to try that in all your co-ops. Just for you if not for everyone. It changes the feel of the games quite a bit. I prefer how some of the games feel this way. When playing normally, most co-ops just feel like everyone putting together a puzzle.
 
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Josh Lloyd
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Wok Star works pretty well also. Though if you're totally alpha you can just do everything if you can remember it rather than letting the people with the cards do it.
 
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Brian
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MB75 wrote:
You are who you are.

Is just playing non-cooperative games out of the question?



Most of the games I play are non-cooperative, but many of the folks I game with also like playing coop games now and then, and I don't seem to enjoy it as much because of my alpha gamer syndrome. So I'd like to perhaps bring a coop game to the table that I can enjoy.

I'll look into Escape. A frantic coop game in 10 minutes sounds fun.

One of my friends just got Hanabi, and that looks promising, though I haven't had a chance to try it yet.
 
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Shane Larsen
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There are only two ways to get rid of your problem:

1. Stop doing it. It's the equivalent of being that guy who shoots the ball every time he gets his hands on the ball. Your team starts to really dislike you being on their team. You're a ball hog. Learn to pass the ball; let other players take a few shots.

-or-

2. Get Space Alert.
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mfl134
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thedacker wrote:
There are only two ways to get rid of your problem:

1. Stop doing it. It's the equivalent of being that guy who shoots the ball every time he gets his hands on the ball. Your team starts to really dislike you being on their team. You're a ball hog. Learn to pass the ball; let other players take a few shots.

-or-

2. Get Space Alert.


I disagree on point 1. If you know how to short the ball, you could teach others to shoot the same as you to help them play better, which would be equivalent to this "problem".

I think the problem are those that you play with. When I play coops, I'm very vocal about my opinions. it is on everyone else to speak up and be heard. Coops like that are meant to be a discussion on how to we win this game. If everyone can't do that, then pure coops with no time pressure or true hidden information are wrong for the group.

I agree that you can try to sit back and let other discuss, but the analogy used doesn't really work here.


I do agree, as stated above that space alert is the best answer.
 
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Jim Hansen
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There is a pretty nice blog post that talks about this:

Which co-ops are "play-by-commitee" and which co-ops resist it.

I find I can also have this problem in coops. One strategy I use in dire situations is to just never give strategy advice when it isn't my turn unless someone specifically asks me for it. That way you can still help and teach strategy, but you can only dominate the game as much as the other players want you to.
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Galaad Maal
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+1 Hanabi - though it might not be the kind of co-op you have in mind.

I've also just unboxed and had a quick play with Atlantis Rising, which I suspect may dodge some of the QB effect if you played with simultaneous worker placement...
 
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Andrew Meredith
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xangria wrote:

For anyone who struggles with Alpha Gaming Syndrome, this is one I would definitely avoid. A player telling everyone what to do will ruin this game, in my experience. This game is about the horrific journey anyway, not the win.

worldsmith wrote:
As far as recommendations, you could try Sentinels of the Multiverse. Everyone has their own unique deck and hand of cards so it should limit your knowledge to some extent of what the other player's options are.

Perfect suggestion. Just make it a rule that nobody can tell their teammates what's in their hands.
 
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Shane Larsen
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mfl134 wrote:
thedacker wrote:
There are only two ways to get rid of your problem:

1. Stop doing it. It's the equivalent of being that guy who shoots the ball every time he gets his hands on the ball. Your team starts to really dislike you being on their team. You're a ball hog. Learn to pass the ball; let other players take a few shots.

-or-

2. Get Space Alert.


I disagree on point 1. If you know how to short the ball, you could teach others to shoot the same as you to help them play better, which would be equivalent to this "problem".


You've made a classic alpha-player argument.

I never said the ball hog could shoot better than the rest, or even shoot well at all. You assumed that part. Thus the problem with a true alpha player: he thinks his methods are are superior to everyone else's. So much so that everyone else should copy him/listen to him ("I know how to shoot better than you. Do it like me!"). I would never play on that person's team. Good luck trying to teach everyone how to "shoot" like you playing basketball. And similarly, good luck trying to teach everyone to "think" like you playing a co-op board game.

I'm probably somewhere between 500 and 1000 plays of Ghost Stories at this point (most-played game on my iPad). I can win most the time on Normal, and more than 50% of the time on Nightmare. I'm pretty decent with the game. When I play it with my friends, I shut up. I let them learn from their mistakes. If they ask me what they should do, I give them a few options. I explain some of the pros and cons behind different decisions they might take. But I never, ever tell them what they SHOULD or SHOULDN'T do. When it's my turn, I ask them what they think I should do. I usually end up doing what I want, but I still hear their ideas out. Then I explain why I'm doing what I'm doing. Being an alpha, or playing with an alpha player takes all the fun right out of the game for me and I'm pretty sure for them too.

Those are just my thoughts. If others want to play alpha style, go ahead. But I'll find a different table. Just like I would find a different team apart from the one with the ball hog.
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    I recommend team play instead of cooperative, and I'll throw out two titles where luck follows the decision:

1. Memoir '44 Overlord -- You work in teams and as the GiC you get significant control of what your subordinate Generals do, but they get to implement and the luck that follows the decision means that the level of risk they choose to undertake comes into play. That makes the "optimal" decision much slushier, harder to identify until after the fact.

2. Rush 'n Crush with teams of two cars each. Set the game up for two long laps. You can work as a team, cooperate and discuss, but each driver is still fundamentally in charge of their own decisions.

    The team play helps scratch the itch of cooperative effort, you limit the overall scope of your influence, opponents make for a richer game anyway, and the luck coming after the decision means that each player brings more of their own personality into their play, making choices based upon their personal level of comfort in the risk/reward curve.

             S.
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mfl134
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thedacker wrote:
mfl134 wrote:
thedacker wrote:
There are only two ways to get rid of your problem:

1. Stop doing it. It's the equivalent of being that guy who shoots the ball every time he gets his hands on the ball. Your team starts to really dislike you being on their team. You're a ball hog. Learn to pass the ball; let other players take a few shots.

-or-

2. Get Space Alert.


I disagree on point 1. If you know how to short the ball, you could teach others to shoot the same as you to help them play better, which would be equivalent to this "problem".


You've made a classic alpha-player argument.

I never said the ball hog could shoot better than the rest, or even shoot well at all. You assumed that part. Thus the problem with a true alpha player: he thinks his methods are are superior to everyone else's. So much so that everyone else should copy him/listen to him ("I know how to shoot better than you. Do it like me!"). I would never play on that person's team. Good luck trying to teach everyone how to "shoot" like you playing basketball. And similarly, good luck trying to teach everyone to "think" like you playing a co-op board game.

I'm probably somewhere between 500 and 1000 plays of Ghost Stories at this point (most-played game on my iPad). I can win most the time on Normal, and more than 50% of the time on Nightmare. I'm pretty decent with the game. When I play it with my friends, I shut up. I let them learn from their mistakes. If they ask me what they should do, I give them a few options. I explain some of the pros and cons behind different decisions they might take. But I never, ever tell them what they SHOULD or SHOULDN'T do. When it's my turn, I ask them what they think I should do. I usually end up doing what I want, but I still hear their ideas out. Then I explain why I'm doing what I'm doing. Being an alpha, or playing with an alpha player takes all the fun right out of the game for me and I'm pretty sure for them too.

Those are just my thoughts. If others want to play alpha style, go ahead. But I'll find a different table. Just like I would find a different team apart from the one with the ball hog.


There is a key point in what you just said, you have played many many times more than the rest of the people you are playing with.

I am talking about the situations where everyone is learning the game for the first time, or the same number of times. Clearly you don't need to spoil the game for the other players by telling them what can and can't be done based on past experience. But when you are all learning the game, ignoring an obviously correct play (because nobody else saw it), not so good.
 
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