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Subject: Must there always be a winner? rss

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Mike zebrowski
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Do you feel that a draw result is a satifactory end to a game?

There are a number of games that can end in a tie, but is it a design feature that should be avoided in future game designs?

Mike Z
 
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Gabe Alvaro
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First question, no. Second question, yes mostly.

I've seen a number of close victories in Power Grid where somebody wins by 1 dollar (or whatever the money unit is). It's quite dramatic when a game needs to be decided by tie breaker like this. In general I'm a supporter of the tie-breaker because it adds a drama and nice closure. Close finishes are exciting!
 
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Clare C
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I don't think that it matters that a draw can result from a game with a rich theme and storytelling / quest element. In games like Descent, for example, a problem that I find is that it is very unsatisfying for the Overlord to win, because then the story doesn't get completed and the (rather long) playing time to that point seems wasted. In cases like that I think it's actually preferable to have the option of a draw (or some other way of having a win for one side not mean the premature end of the game). And it makes sense to think of a draw in these kinds of game: both sides live to fight another day with neither victorious just yet...

In more abstract games a draw is more frustrating, but I don't think it should be made impossible. Unlikely, but not impossible.
 
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John Richert
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There doesn't always have to be a winner. If two players play a game equally well, it should be possible to tie. That said, a tiebreaker should always be included to try and break ties, but ties in and of themselves are not bad.
 
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Susan F.
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Yes, a draw can be a satisfactory result and, no, I don't think the possibility should be avoided unless a draw is inconsistent with the theme/mechanics of the game. (With some themes, a draw might make no sense, but twisting game mechanics to unreasonably avoid a draw - or having five different tie-breakers - is excessive.)

I played chess for many years, and drawing with a significantly better player felt better than beating a much weaker player, so I don't have a problem with ending games in a draw. Of course, I'm also British, and I recognize that North Americans are typically much more draw-averse than Europeans. Basically, I play to do as well as possible. If that's a win, great! If that's a draw or close loss against a clearly better player (or, in some games, a player with a clearly better tile draw), that's okay too as long as I did the best I could under the circumstances.
 
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Charles Smith
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I think chess players in general recognize a draw as a good thing. Sometimes you haven't played better, so there is no point in a win. Don't get me wrong, I play to win. While I am playing my focus is on winning, but when I get to the end, I don't think a draw in the case of two people playing well is a bad thing.

In some games the mechanism to break a draw seem arbitrary. I think the worst times are when you have to pull out the rules to see who won. Is that really a victory? If you know what the tie-breaker is and it is clear how to win on tie-breakers then that is fine. (For example, I am all about the Power Grid example above, winning close games is great) But if no one really knows let us just call it a draw. It isn't as pretty, but next time I am going to try all that much harder so we don't end in a draw.
 
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J C Lawrence
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Mike Zebrowski wrote:
Do you feel that a draw result is a satifactory end to a game?


Yes.

Quote:
There are a number of games that can end in a tie, but is it a design feature that should be avoided in future game designs?


Instead I'd argue that tie breakers which are not a direct product of the challenge of the game, which do not directly align with the victory achieving mechanisms of the game, should be avoided at all costs.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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When I had created Tai Chi for Adiken, which maybe only exists in a dozen copies, one of the rules that struck people is that if you win a round, you score a point. For a draw, each player scores 2 points. It lead to a really weird bluffing tactic in whether or not you would go for the shared points or ths single point.
 
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Kevin Brown
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I would say it depends on the game. Chess and Diplomacy can have very satisfying draws.

Generally, I dislike draws. I'm not fond of tie-breakers either, I see them as a necessary evil.
 
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Mike Zebrowski wrote:
Do you feel that a draw result is a satifactory end to a game?

There are a number of games that can end in a tie, but is it a design feature that should be avoided in future game designs?

Mike Z


It may be interesting for the first time playing, but I think it would lose it's luster fast. There must be a winner. Also I believe that there should be a "clear" winner, as usually tie breaker rules are fiddly, and hard to track.
 
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Greg Hinkle
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I'd say it depends on your gaming group and how competitive people are. I have no problems with a draw, but I'm not super competitive.
 
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Jim Cote
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I would prefer to end a game in a draw rather than add a layer of abstraction to break it. If the extra test to break the tie goes right along with the main goal of the game, then I don't mind as much. I dislike contradictory criteria. For example, the game might be all about playing cubes onto the board, but if you tie, the winner is the one with the most cubes unplayed. That's a bad tie-breaker, even though you might explain it as suggesting efficiency.
 
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Dennis Bingham
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In our game of Carcassonne Hunters & Gatherers we had a draw yesterday. It was very satisfying. As a matter of fact, it made us play again instead of putting the game away right after playing. A sweeping victory sometimes is much less satisfying since it makes the loser not wanting for more, whereas a draw is as close as you can get to two winners...
 
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Luke Morris
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I'm from the land of five day cricket matches that often end in draws - draws that can be exciting, thrilling and everyone goes home vaguely happy.

So I don't mind draws and I couldn't care less about tie-breakers normally.
 
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SouthernMan wrote:

Why must there be a winner ?


Because, it's a board game, not an idle pastime. It's a competitive activity. It is the root reason we play games.

It's what separates this activity from scrapbooking, or watching TV, or sitting around a pub with friends.

At it's core, it is a competition.
 
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Hunga Dunga
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A game ending without a winner is unAmerican.
 
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J C Lawrence
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Hungadunga wrote:
A game ending without a winner is unAmerican.


Wow. That single sentence is possibly the single most effective way to get people to think games ending in draws are the BEST THANG EVAR! Can anyone come up with something more efficient?
 
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Brent Mair
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In every game, every player should be able to either win or lose. I'm not opposed to multiple winners if the game is done well. I cannot think of any multiple winner game that isn't cooperative, though.
 
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HamsterOfFury wrote:
I'm from the land of five day cricket matches that often end in draws - draws that can be exciting, thrilling and everyone goes home vaguely happy.

So I don't mind draws and I couldn't care less about tie-breakers normally.


I agree but let us be clear there are draws and there are ties in cricket. Both which can be exciting (ties more than draws) but ties are like kissing your sister.
 
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David
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clearclaw wrote:
Instead I'd argue that tie breakers which are not a direct product of the challenge of the game, which do not directly align with the victory achieving mechanisms of the game, should be avoided at all costs.


This is my take on the whole thing. Although I do believe that ties should be avoided at all costs. But any tie breaking mechanisms shoulds always make sense. It should measure a secondary resourse or some such that shows who was further ahead. I'm having trouble describing it, but basically the tie breaker should be a measure of who had the greater possibility of winning given more time, or something like that.
 
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Matthew Barratt
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Draws:
Everybody loses:

We need more
and more


 
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Luke Morris
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nnf1 wrote:
HamsterOfFury wrote:
I'm from the land of five day cricket matches that often end in draws - draws that can be exciting, thrilling and everyone goes home vaguely happy.

So I don't mind draws and I couldn't care less about tie-breakers normally.


I agree but let us be clear there are draws and there are ties in cricket. Both which can be exciting (ties more than draws) but ties are like kissing your sister.


Pah, YOUR sister maybe!!!



Oooooooh I went there! See, see!
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Richard Irving
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clearclaw wrote:
Hungadunga wrote:
A game ending without a winner is unAmerican.


Wow. That single sentence is possibly the single most effective way to get people to think games ending in draws are the BEST THANG EVAR! Can anyone come up with something more efficient?


A tie is like kissing your sister. -- Eddie Erdelatz, football coach at the US Naval Academy after a 0-0 tie.

Actually my opinion on ties match J.C.'s--they are ok if the are broken or if they stand. But if you have to break the tie, use some method that is meaningful to the game. Penalty kicks are an excellent example of a rotten way to break ties. Another is the NCAA Football red zone rules are equally stupid.
 
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David McLeod
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I especially like draws because it rewards two people playing well... Sometimes artificial tie breakers (i.e. highest sun tile breaks tie in RA) bugs me as no one was working towards getting the highest tile, they are working for highest total suns. Seems kind arbitrary and a little bit on the random side. Our group usually calls it a draw and plays another game to decide whose better.
 
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Paul Bryant
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Games that can end in a tie for me are not good games. I enjoy games for the challenge of winning the game not for the challange of doing just as well as someone else.
 
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