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Subject: Any reason for one loser instead of the more common one winner? rss

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MGS
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At the end of a match of Pairs, the game has one loser and everyone else is a winner. This is a departure from the usual set up of most games where at the end of the game you have one winner and everyone else is NOT the winner.

This appears desirable since you don't get player elimination. If you kept playing until everybody but one is eliminated, the game could drag.

I was wondering if there would a downside or a significant change in the metagame if we declared the player with fewer points the winner once the first player reached he loser point threshold.

I really enjoyed my first play of the game but it is kinda crappy to be the only loser when everyone else win.

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Mitch Zuleger
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Your variant adds a very good reason to push your luck instead of taking points on your turn. This could lead to someone hitting when they really shouldn't and ending the game early. Which means you could have several people without any points. Which means you would still have multiple winners.

I'm definitely going to try this and see how it plays out. Especially with non-gamers. They tend to get confused by the "one loser" rule instead of thinking its a cool change of pace.
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MGS
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The change of pace generates a different dynamic and instead of congratulating and celebrating the winner, you are singling out the loser. While I think it is hilarious, it may not be ideal for some players especially children.
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Mitch Zuleger
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The winner has to have at least one point. This encourages players to take points and somewhat fixes the problem of multiple winners (those with zero points). There's still the possibility of a tie, but I think it's much less likely.
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Mitch Zuleger
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Ronaldo wrote:
The change of pace generates a different dynamic and instead of congratulating and celebrating the winner, you are singling out the loser. While I think it is hilarious, it may not be ideal for some players especially children.


But the game is so short. We played with my 10 year old niece who usually only likes co-op games because she hates to lose. She loved it. Mostly because she never lost. But the one time she did she said, "Let's play again!" I think that the original rules with "one loser" is a good way to teach children that losing isn't bad. My $0.02. I'm still going to try this winner variant.
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MGS
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It is quite likely that I am being over zealous. As far as teaching children that losing is ok, this is on the extreme side.
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MGS
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Played a few games yesterday and nobody really minded being the sole loser. OTOH, some people did mind not knowing who really won the game.
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David Short
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Ronaldo wrote:
I was wondering if there would a downside or a significant change in the metagame if we declared the player with fewer points the winner once the first player reached he loser point threshold.

This is exactly how we play. It goes very well.
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Gerry Daigle
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The issue is, depending on your player counts, that there is often several players that still have the same score. We have played several games with multiple players having 0 at the end of the game. I think this is a great game for what it is, I don't read too much in to the winning or losing this one, nor do I think any one who plays it in our group.
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James Ernest
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Hey, folks.

If you're looking for a Pairs game with a single winner, there are actually plenty to choose from. Check out the variations in the Pairs Companion, here:

http://hippocketgames.com/pairs

I strongly recommend "Port," which is Pairs-like but slightly more strategic and does conclude with a single winner. It's also found in the rules for the Pirate deck.

As for the mechanics of the core game, there are several factors that went into the decision to make Pairs a one-loser game. As some of you have remarked, the play time is short enough that you can play several hands, so players can try to "lose the least" over that time. Eliminating players and continuing would be tedious for those eliminated. And in the "pub" setting, making a loser pay a penalty is more fun than giving a reward to the winner.

There are a few existing one-loser games in the canon, and I think you'll find in practice that there's no problem with the structure. Always interesting to hear the theories, though.

Thanks for your interest and keep playing!

James Ernest
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MGS
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Just read the rules of Port and it is solid advice. Definitely an almost straight translation of basic Pairs into the single winner format. Thanks
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David Short
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Port sounds great. I'm going to have to give it a try.
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Steven P
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The Pairs Companion, p 3, says that the Kickstarter campaign was in 2104. I guess my copy arrived 90 years early ;-)
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Roger Taylor
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Pairs scoring reminds me of Hearts in that the game ends when one player's score exceeds the threshold, so I think you can rank scores in Pairs too, with the low score winning.
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MGS
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Read the rest of the thread. Playing the Port game is much better for that goal than messing with the rules for Pairs.
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