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Subject: Question about end game Saboteur/Zinger rss

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Bryan Johnson
United States
Salem
Massachusetts
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I have the Zing! version and I played this game last night at work during lunch time. It was a three player game, therefore we were to play 3 rounds. After the first 2 rounds, our scores looked like this:

Bryan (me): -2 points
Rafael: -9 points
Asia: -12 points


Clearly, I had a pretty good lead going into the final round. The obvious thing to me was to take the Saboteur (Zinger in my case) because by having it, I couldn't lose no matter what. Even if the Zinger was worth 5 or even 6 points, I just couldn't lose.

My question.... Should this be so???

It seems rather anti-climatic if selecting it would result in an automatic win. Perhaps institute a house rule where you cannot select the Saboteur/Zinger in the last round if it would result in an automatic win?
I don't really know which way to play it and I feel like there is merit in playing either way. For example... I completely dominated my opponents in the first 2 rounds, so too bad for them. They should have played better. I deserve to win.
On the other hand, it IS very anti-climatic and there is no point in continuing the game.
So what do YOU think? I am interested in getting your feedback on this point. Thanks for any help.

 
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South Carolina
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This is a common complaint about the game. There is a variant that helps correct this "bug," though:

A player may, instead of taking coloured seals, take the Saboteur figure and some number of black seals. Subsequent players may take the Saboteur role from the person holding it and more seals than the previous holder had taken. The previous holder may increase the bid or take a regular bid of coloured seals.

I haven't played this way, but I've heard that the variant improves the game for some.
 
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This is the way we handle it.

With 5 or 6 players the saboteur gets 5 black chips worth -1 point each.
With 4 players he gets 5 black chips worth -2 points each.
These seem to work quite well for us.

But I'm not sure what is best with 3 players.
We've tried 4 chips at -3 points each but it seems too easy to hand
out four black chips with 3 players. The problem is each player takes
five tricks on average with 3 players.

5 chips at -3 points each virtually guarantees no one takes saboteur,
but this seems to be the best solution. We've tried 5 chips at -2 but
again it isn't too hard to hand out 4 chips with 3 players, so a -2
penalty seems weak again.

Never tried the bidding variant mentioned. I did see it on Dorra's site.



 
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