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Subject: How a "fractal tiebreak" made Catchup deeper rss

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Nick Bentley
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I'm writing stuff about Catchup in anticipation of the upcoming iOS release - so here's an essay about the origin and effects of the tiebreak mechanism, which is my favorite part of the design.

Speaking of the iOS release, there's only one review of Catchup in BGG and it's for an outdated, inferior version of the game. Can I interest someone in doing a review for the current version of the game? I can send you a promo code for the app. PM me if interested. I have limited promo codes so if more than one person wants to write a review I may not be able to give them out to all who are interested. In that case, I'll pick at random. Thx.
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Russ Williams
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Interesting essay, especially the observation that
Quote:
Imagine you’re playing a game of Catchup and you can see the players’ largest groups will likely end up the same size, so the game will be decided on a tie-break. So you start trying to ensure your second-largest group ends up bigger than your opponent’s second-largest group.

But when you do, you realize something more confounding: you don’t know how to ensure your second-largest group is larger than your opponent’s without simultaneously making your largest group smaller than your opponent’s – because a stone added to your second-largest group is a stone not added to your largest.

Each stone you place must somehow bring you closer to achieving both goals simultaneously, but they conflict.


PS: My mind also went off on a linguistic tangent, wondering if "recursive tie-break" would be a better / more accurate label than "fractal tie-break"...
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Nick Bentley
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russ wrote:
Interesting essay, especially the observation that
Quote:
Imagine you’re playing a game of Catchup and you can see the players’ largest groups will likely end up the same size, so the game will be decided on a tie-break. So you start trying to ensure your second-largest group ends up bigger than your opponent’s second-largest group.

But when you do, you realize something more confounding: you don’t know how to ensure your second-largest group is larger than your opponent’s without simultaneously making your largest group smaller than your opponent’s – because a stone added to your second-largest group is a stone not added to your largest.

Each stone you place must somehow bring you closer to achieving both goals simultaneously, but they conflict.


PS: My mind also went off on a linguistic tangent, wondering if "recursive tie-break" would be a better / more accurate label than "fractal tie-break"...


Thanks! Yeah, recursive tie-break is better. I'm overly attracted to cool-sounding phrases, inaccuracy be damned. It's a weakness.
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