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Subject: How does the game play with face-up laurels? rss

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Yani
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A couple of folks on the forum said that they play with face-up player laurels. Can they perhaps give a short account of how the endgame plays?

I cannot understand, barring a calculation or tactical blunder, how a player can let the other win if one can tell how many points each player has.

Does the game end up being, in the case of face-up laurels, a pure positional advantage / lookahead struggle? And is this fun, if so?

Thanks for any insights.
 
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coralsaw wrote:
A couple of folks on the forum said that they play with face-up player laurels. Can they perhaps give a short account of how the endgame plays?

I cannot understand, barring a calculation or tactical blunder, how a player can let the other win if one can tell how many points each player has.

Does the game end up being, in the case of face-up laurels, a pure positional advantage / lookahead struggle? And is this fun, if so?

Thanks for any insights.


I can't see this as making for a better experience.

I'd imagine if you know who's ahead in points, then you can make plans to prevent someone getting in at all costs, or if someone is close to taking the lead, then plan out more or less perfectly how to go about keeping him from getting those points.
 
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Yani
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ackmondual wrote:


I can't see this as making for a better experience.

I'd imagine if you know who's ahead in points, then you can make plans to prevent someone getting in at all costs, or if someone is close to taking the lead, then plan out more or less perfectly how to go about keeping him from getting those points.


Yep, that´s exactly my point, agree. Still, I am interested to know how this plays, because I can´t figure it out.
 
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Tiamat
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When I have solo played this, it's effectively with all open information. What I recall is that trades (that seem mutually profitable) become impossible and the game grinds to nearly a complete halt. It doesn't actually halt IIRC, but nobody is making meaningful progress either.
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J C Lawrence
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I only play with open laurels, and some 50+ games later, this is one of my favourite Knizia designs.

In short, open laurels doesn't actually change anything for players who are already paying attention. It merely makes the already present and trackable and known information obvious. What it does change is the game for inattentive or careless players.

As for deadlock and blocking? Yes, that's the heart of the game. It still ends in a winner however.
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Yani
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Thanks for the reply. I do understand that since information is fully trackable, open laurels are a non issue for players with perfect memory. What i really wonder is, why do people win in such cases, is it a matter of individual lookahead depth ability? Because I really cannot foresee how else, barring mistakes in calculations, one could one-up others.
 
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J C Lawrence
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coralsaw wrote:
Thanks for the reply. I do understand that since information is fully trackable, open laurels are a non issue for players with perfect memory. What i really wonder is, why do people win in such cases, is it a matter of individual lookahead depth ability? Because I really cannot foresee how else, barring mistakes in calculations, one could one-up others.


If they don't have perfect memories and are instead going to waste your time laboriously trying to track, given them paper and pencil instead.

While ply-analysis is certainly part of the game, getting seats in the senate can be done single-handed on the right side, only with fairly large pluralities in the centre, and with more smaller pluralities on the left. With a little setup, that can be managed -- especially since trades are rarely equal for all players. The variance in laurel size, plus the strictly limited supply of 1-laurels also helps.

In my last game I had a score of almost double every other player at the table (I had been a very helpful voter) and was marching inexorably toward the senate up the right side while also carefully keeping the sum scores of all the adjacent pairs of my opponents odd -- so that there was no way they could negotiate a 2-way tie. This worked until two non-adjacent players observed that their scores summed to an even value and they manoeuvred into position over ~4 turns to fill the last seat and negotiated a mutual tie. An utterly wonderful game!

In the game before that I had a score that was well over double any other player and was slowly grinding my way into the senate. Again, all the negotiation pairs were unequal. On the turn before I inexorably won, they negotiated a 4-way tie just to keep me out. Brilliant!

The game before that was much the same, except that a player gave up on the inexorable grind -- the absolute best bit of the entire game -- and knowingly negotiated themselves a second place. Sigh. (Some of the locals are still complaining about that game 5+ years later)

(And the above is also why Quo Vadis is easily a 2 hour game, and is in my top 3 Knizia games)
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Paulo Santoro
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Does the game forbid secret negotiations?

"Give me the vote here and I give to you this token" (then I show the token value only to that player).
"I accept."

For now on, other players don't know exactly what we have. After a few more negotiations like this between different players, we lose track of scores.

I find this interesting ans satisfying.
 
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J C Lawrence
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PauloSantoro wrote:
Does the game forbid secret negotiations?


Quo Vadis forbids secret negotiations by not explicitly allowing them (ie rules are permissive).
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Paulo Santoro
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clearclaw wrote:
PauloSantoro wrote:
Does the game forbid secret negotiations?


Quo Vadis forbids secret negotiations by not explicitly allowing them (ie rules are permissive).


This is far from convincing. Also, if the game says to keep tokens face down (a rule that you are breaking by your choice), it's more likely that a secret negotiation would be allowed, or clarified as so, if needed.

It's interesting: you break a explicit rule, and then wants to use a "not explicitly allowed" argument in your own benefit - as if the rule was that important to you in the first place.

I'm with the rules: face down tokens, I negotiate anyhow.
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J C Lawrence
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PauloSantoro wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
PauloSantoro wrote:
Does the game forbid secret negotiations?


Quo Vadis forbids secret negotiations by not explicitly allowing them (ie rules are permissive).


This is far from convincing.


Shrug. You either assume that rules are permissive, or you don't. I assume that rules are permissive.

Quote:
Also, if the game says to keep tokens face down (a rule that you are breaking by your choice), it's more likely that a secret negotiation would be allowed, or clarified as so, if needed.


HTI is an interesting (or at least ridiculous) case from a rules perspective, especially when games attempt rules to keep HTI hidden or unknown while also leaving it perfectly trackable. It is a classic fundamental contradiction. Sure, turn the tokens face down if you want. They remain perfectly trackable and the information state of the game has not changed at all by turning them face up or face down.

Given two game-states which are functionally identical (open HTI and closed HTI), I disregard the silliness and just leave the HTI open. It results in the same data with the same exposure to the same people at the same times. However, if you want to turn them face down and then just have each player keep tally manually, be my guest, but it seems rather silly to me: the game already explicitly made that data perfectly trackable!

As for secret negotiation, there is no rule to allow it.

Quote:
It's interesting: you break a explicit rule, and then wants to use a "not explicitly allowed" argument in your own benefit - as if the rule was that important to you in the first place.


HTI is contradicted by the simple fact of being perfectly trackable. It is as if the game required dry water. Which side should I hew to? The fact that it is perfectly trackable, or the rigamarole of hiding something that everybody necessarily already knows? Only one of the two answers is coherent, and I choose that one.
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Paulo Santoro
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clearclaw wrote:
PauloSantoro wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
PauloSantoro wrote:
Does the game forbid secret negotiations?


Quo Vadis forbids secret negotiations by not explicitly allowing them (ie rules are permissive).


This is far from convincing.


Shrug. You either assume that rules are permissive, or you don't. I assume that rules are permissive.

Quote:
Also, if the game says to keep tokens face down (a rule that you are breaking by your choice), it's more likely that a secret negotiation would be allowed, or clarified as so, if needed.


HTI is an interesting (or at least ridiculous) case from a rules perspective, especially when games attempt rules to keep HTI hidden or unknown while also leaving it perfectly trackable. It is a classic fundamental contradiction. Sure, turn the tokens face down if you want. They remain perfectly trackable and the information state of the game has not changed at all by turning them face up or face down.

Given two game-states which are functionally identical (open HTI and closed HTI), I disregard the silliness and just leave the HTI open. It results in the same data with the same exposure to the same people at the same times. However, if you want to turn them face down and then just have each player keep tally manually, be my guest, but it seems rather silly to me: the game already explicitly made that data perfectly trackable!

As for secret negotiation, there is no rule to allow it.

Quote:
It's interesting: you break a explicit rule, and then wants to use a "not explicitly allowed" argument in your own benefit - as if the rule was that important to you in the first place.


HTI is contradicted by the simple fact of being perfectly trackable. It is as if the game required dry water. Which side should I hew to? The fact that it is perfectly trackable, or the rigamarole of hiding something that everybody necessarily already knows? Only one of the two answers is coherent, and I choose that one.


Then ok. "Shrug" for you too.
 
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Yani
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Fascinating! Thanks for the insights, I clearly have a very long way to go in this game..
 
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Jason Reid
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clearclaw wrote:
PauloSantoro wrote:
Does the game forbid secret negotiations?


Quo Vadis forbids secret negotiations by not explicitly allowing them (ie rules are permissive).


Also secret negotiations would make the "you must keep promises that are fulfillable by the end of this turn" rule unenforceable.
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Paulo Santoro
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jasonwocky wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
PauloSantoro wrote:
Does the game forbid secret negotiations?


Quo Vadis forbids secret negotiations by not explicitly allowing them (ie rules are permissive).


Also secret negotiations would make the "you must keep promises that are fulfillable by the end of this turn" rule unenforceable.


Please read again my example.
 
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J C Lawrence
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Your example is not the only possible form of allowed negotiation. The game explicitly allows binding future promises of the form, "I will do X if you do Y on your turn." Your example only covers the instant case, not the future case. The public clarity of deals in the game, future and instant, all the way down to the minutiae of the exchange of exact numbers of points and when, is critical to the negotiations of all the players.
 
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