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Subject: Can you actually complete your board ? rss

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Dominique Doguet
France
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Hello to you all.

I have a rookie question about this game and I'd like an answer before buying the game. My question may seem silly, but I'll ask it anyway : given the proper tiles, is it actually possible to complete one's board entirely ? I know that luck is greatly involved with the whole tile drawing story, but I just want to know if completing the board is a wild goose chase or not, and if the game may merely be summed up as "managing to get the fewer holes left in my personal board" ?

Thanks in advance.
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Martin G
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I think my closest is two empty spaces.
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Koen
Belgium
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It is possible.

My opponent recently almost achieved to do so, off course I grabbed the tile that he needed devil
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Brad McKenzie
Thailand
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My daughter did it. She's 5. Was impressed that she did it, and a little annoyed that my 5-year-old beat me yet again...
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air show
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My best was two empty spaces, but my opponent played very bad...
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Dominique Doguet
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Dear Martin, Koen, Brad and air show, I thank you very much for answering my questions !

If indeed completing one's board is possible, then the game is worth playing and so, worth buying !
 
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James C
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Yes, I think our best was 2 empty spaces as well. Average empty spaces is probably 4-10.
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David Estall
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deejaydeep wrote:
If indeed completing one's board is possible, then the game is worth playing and so, worth buying !

Hi Dominique,

I would argue that the game is worth playing (and buying) even if you cannot complete your personal board. Ultimately your score will depend on a number of factors, including the number of empty spaces on your board, but also how many buttons you will earn from your patches, and how quickly you can build up the button income engine. Plus of course, the possibility of the 7x7 bonus.

Cheers,
David
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Dominique Doguet
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SuperGLS wrote:
Yes, I think our best was 2 empty spaces as well. Average empty spaces is probably 4-10.


Thanks for sharing your experience and your opinion, James !
 
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W. Eric Martin
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deejaydeep wrote:
If indeed completing one's board is possible, then the game is worth playing and so, worth buying !

The challenge of the game isn't to complete your board, but to have a higher score than your opponent, which comes from boosting your income, managing your spending, and (yes) covering empty spaces on your board. It's all connected. In addition...

deejaydeep wrote:
I know that luck is greatly involved with the whole tile drawing story...

No luck is involved. You arrange the tiles at random at the start of the game, but after that everything is visible to both players with no random elements in the game. While doing everything listed above, you're also trying not to leave tiles available that work well for your opponent.
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Dominique Doguet
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davidestall wrote:
deejaydeep wrote:
If indeed completing one's board is possible, then the game is worth playing and so, worth buying !

Hi Dominique,

I would argue that the game is worth playing (and buying) even if you cannot complete your personal board. Ultimately your score will depend on a number of factors, including the number of empty spaces on your board, but also how many buttons you will earn from your patches, and how quickly you can build up the button income engine. Plus of course, the possibility of the 7x7 bonus.

Cheers,
David


Hi David,

I completely agree with you : it is worth buying anyway ! I just wanted to be sure that somehow it could be done, because if it can't be done, frustration may appear quickly, like when playing Ricochet Robots, you've been searching for hundreds of seconds a solution to have this robot reach that point and eventually you haven't been able to figure it out. I like to know that the goal is indeed reachable, that the board can be entirely completed so that it's not only just a quest for the highest score (empty spaces vs. buttons) but also a quest for perfection - however reachable that may be !

Here are a couple of lines that may be relevant with this game :
"Empty spaces - what are we living for
Abandoned places - I guess you know the score" (c) Queen

Thanks for sharing your point of view, David, and cheers to you !
Dominique
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Dominique Doguet
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W Eric Martin wrote:
deejaydeep wrote:
If indeed completing one's board is possible, then the game is worth playing and so, worth buying !

The challenge of the game isn't to complete your board, but to have a higher score than your opponent, which comes from boosting your income, managing your spending, and (yes) covering empty spaces on your board. It's all connected. In addition...

deejaydeep wrote:
I know that luck is greatly involved with the whole tile drawing story...

No luck is involved. You arrange the tiles at random at the start of the game, but after that everything is visible to both players with no random elements in the game. While doing everything listed above, you're also trying not to leave tiles available that work well for your opponent.


You're right on every point, thank you very much !

I just meant, instead of luck, that there's an element of unpredictability that makes the game more delicate, but also very spicy !
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James C
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W Eric Martin wrote:

The challenge of the game isn't to complete your board, but to have a higher score than your opponent, which comes from boosting your income, managing your spending, and (yes) covering empty spaces on your board. It's all connected. In addition...


Yeah, but nobody wants a hole-y quilt!

(And in our experience the player that gets down to very few open spaces is the one that wins.)
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Jimmy Okolica
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W Eric Martin wrote:

deejaydeep wrote:
I know that luck is greatly involved with the whole tile drawing story...

No luck is involved. You arrange the tiles at random at the start of the game, but after that everything is visible to both players with no random elements in the game. While doing everything listed above, you're also trying not to leave tiles available that work well for your opponent.


At this point, I'm still not convinced that luck is involved. I agree it's all prior to the first turn. That doesn't mean there's no luck. I've only played it a handful of times so far, so take this with a grain of salt. If the tiles are arranged in a certain way (expensive (buttons? time?) tiles early?), getting an early money (button) engine is difficult at best. That means a lot of wasted time as you leapfrog with your opponent. The net result is that there will (may?) be more empty spaces on both player boards at the end of the game and the scores will be lower. Alternatively, if the tiles are arranged differently, getting early money engines may be a lot easier.

So, I'd say that the initial layout has the potential to change the way the game plays out. If you only like the game to play out one way, then you're lucky if the layout supports it.

The second potential concern, since as you say it is deterministic after the initial layout, is whether or not it is solvable. I suspect, if you put it into a computer program, it is indeed solvable. However, that's not what I mean. My question is after 10 - 15 plays, is it reasonable that the starting player can look at the layout and arrange a huge initial advantage? Obviously that won't always be the case, but if it is sometimes the case, that's an element of luck of the initial draw that I wouldn't be ok with. I'm not saying it is the case. I haven't played it enough. But it is a concern.
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Hanno Girke
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The first time I saw someone to complete his board was at GenCon 2014, task fulfilled by Joe Roznai.

And no, it's not solvable as is, as you can alway swing the tides by just leapfrog-passing to set up a new array of tiles for your opponent.
Subsequent leapfrogging by both players leads to a different assortment of tiles available, as both will have enough buttons at hand to buy even the expensive tiles.
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Brian Garmon
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As seems to be the case in most (all?) Rosenberg games, there is no way to complete everything you want to in the time allocated. This is what brings the awesome tension, even in a game as simple in appearance as this one. That is the core of the push/pull of the decisions you have to make each turn.
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Jimmy Okolica
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Hanno wrote:

And no, it's not solvable as is, as you can alway swing the tides by just leapfrog-passing to set up a new array of tiles for your opponent.
Subsequent leapfrogging by both players leads to a different assortment of tiles available, as both will have enough buttons at hand to buy even the expensive tiles.


I just came to this realization a couple of games ago. After the first or second play, you realize that leapfrogging is bad because 1 button/time is a bad exchange rate. Then (for me) after about 15 plays, I realized that leapfrogging isn't bad if it means the other player has to either do it also or leave themselves in a bad position.

I've only had it for 3 months so it's too early to tell, but I think this may be a long-term keeper for me. It has the interaction of Chess, both tactical and strategic play, and a play time that is about the same as a game of speed chess. However, the learning curve is significantly shorter and gentler. Outstanding game!
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Thibaut Palfer-Sollier
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Did it once.
The greatest short-playing-time 2-players game available, by far.
 
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Joel Oakley
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Brandon
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I completely filled in my board for the first time tonight! Very satisfying! My wife did not score so well this game (negative points), but she was a bit distracted. Here's my final quilt:


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Gillum the Stoor
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Were those 26 points your high score?
 
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Joel Oakley
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gillum wrote:
Were those 26 points your high score?

In a 2-player game...maybe??? I haven't really kept track of it, but I don't think I've scored over 30 in a 2-player game.

I did try out the first solo variant created by
Moarly Phy
Austria
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a few times, and I think I ended up with 32 or 33 buttons at the end of one of those games (it was definitely 30+), though my quilt had 2 (or maybe 3) holes at the end.
 
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Jan-Willem van Leeuwen
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deejaydeep wrote:

Here are a couple of lines that may be relevant with this game :
"Empty spaces - what are we living for
Abandoned places - I guess you know the score" (c) Queen

Quoted just to show my appreciation for this fantastically fitting lyric

On topic: I agree with the OP that the fact that it is possible to completely fill the grid improves the fun-factor of the game.
More generally, in any game I find it cool to have some other goal than winning the game. Some sort of objective. For example, conquering and holding the galactic centre in Eclipse, reaching a level 14 armed dwarf in Caverna, or selling the card with all goods in Jambo.
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Juha Loukaja
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It is certainly possible, last night I ended up with only one square unfilled. My opponent took the 2x1 tile that I would have needed to completely fill the board, but I got the last leather patch.

It was my opponents' first game, though, so he wasn't exactly the best player
 
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dennis bennett
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Managed to not only complete the board but also win with 34 points in my 3rd play of the game (after having lost the first 2 games miserably).
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