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Subject: "The Game's Been Solved"? rss

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Steve G.
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Was just watching a Dice Tower Q&A session, and at about 28 minues in, one of the questions is "How do you feel Le Havre holds up today? Does the fact that game has been solved hurt it?"

So, is this really a "fact", or mere hyperbole?
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steveg700 wrote:
Was just watching a Dice Tower Q&A session, and at about 28 minues in, one of the questions is "How do you feel Le Havre holds up today? Does the fact that game has been solved hurt it?"

So, is this really a "fact", or mere hyperbole?


The game is not 100% solvable because of the variable set up. Different buildings are available at different times and several special buildings come out during the game. Also, players can block each other in various ways.

It may have a dominant strategy or two but that is different from being solved (IMHO).
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jamuki (Jueguetistorias)
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What does they mean with "solved"?
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jamuki wrote:
What does they mean with "solved"?


Can't say if this is what they mean but this explains my understanding of the expression:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solved_game
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jamuki (Jueguetistorias)
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Redward wrote:
jamuki wrote:
What does they mean with "solved"?


Can't say if this is what they mean but this explains my understanding of the expression:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solved_game


Thanks! That's my understanding too, but if that is the meaning, I do not think it has been solved. My humble impression is that the one-player game *may* be solved, but not with more than one player.

Just my two cents.
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that Matt
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steveg700 wrote:
So, is this really a "fact", or mere hyperbole?

Mere hyperbole.
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Steve G.
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Okay, thanks. Gotta love the way some folks will bandy around the word "fact" with reckless abandon.
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It's a very solid and good game. By far, my Uwe's favourite.
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Adam P
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I think the "solved" idea stems from the steel/shipping strategy. But getting there is the variable part. Still a great game.

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Steve G.
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adamredwoods wrote:
I think the "solved" idea stems from the steel/shipping strategy. But getting there is the variable part. Still a great game.

So perhaps "solved" in the same sense that Puerto Rico was long ago deemed "solved", which is to say nobody's still trying to figure out new winning strategies, but rather racing to compete in the accepted dominant strategy.

Not "solved" as in A Few of Snow's "Halifax Hammer".
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steveg700 wrote:
Okay, thanks. Gotta love the way some folks will bandy around the word "fact" with reckless abandon.


I'm wondering if this was an older video/podcast you were watching. The problem is not with the word "fact" but with the word "solved." About a year or two ago this was a word that would occasionally get thrown around by people who did not know what it meant.
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Grant
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steveg700 wrote:
adamredwoods wrote:
I think the "solved" idea stems from the steel/shipping strategy. But getting there is the variable part. Still a great game.

So perhaps "solved" in the same sense that Puerto Rico was long ago deemed "solved", which is to say nobody's still trying to figure out new winning strategies, but rather racing to compete in the accepted dominant strategy.

Not "solved" as in A Few of Snow's "Halifax Hammer".

No, that's just going to further confuse people.

A Few Acres of Snow is not solved, it has an exploitable flaw that makes it broken (another key term flung around when it shouldn't be). Another example of broken would be Caverna before the errata, as it had a combo that created an infinite loop.

Solved means mathematically solvable, as in there is a single best course that can be calculated perfectly every time. Games like tic-tac-toe and Connect Four have been solved.

Games like LeHavre and Puerto Rico merely have dominant strategies, but there is still a lot of decision space within those strategies, and perusing one does not guarantee victory.
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Steve G.
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davypi wrote:
steveg700 wrote:
Okay, thanks. Gotta love the way some folks will bandy around the word "fact" with reckless abandon.


I'm wondering if this was an older video/podcast you were watching. The problem is not with the word "fact" but with the word "solved." About a year or two ago this was a word that would occasionally get thrown around by people who did not know what it meant.


Here you go:


Like I said, about 28 minutes in.
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grant5 wrote:
steveg700 wrote:
adamredwoods wrote:
I think the "solved" idea stems from the steel/shipping strategy. But getting there is the variable part. Still a great game.

So perhaps "solved" in the same sense that Puerto Rico was long ago deemed "solved", which is to say nobody's still trying to figure out new winning strategies, but rather racing to compete in the accepted dominant strategy.

Not "solved" as in A Few of Snow's "Halifax Hammer".

No, that's just going to further confuse people.

A Few Acres of Snow is not solved, it has an exploitable flaw that makes it broken (another key term flung around when it shouldn't be). Another example of broken would be Caverna before the errata, as it had a combo that created an infinite loop.

Solved means mathematically solvable, as in there is a single best course that can be calculated perfectly every time. Games like tic-tac-toe and Connect Four have been solved.[/q\
Well, to me that sounds like splitting hairs over a term that has no authoritative definition in the context of board gaming (which is why the term seemed to elicit some confusion).

Games like LeHavre and Puerto Rico merely have dominant strategies, but there is still a lot of decision space within those strategies, and perusing one does not guarantee victory.

Sounds like what I said.
 
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Grant
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steveg700 wrote:
grant5 wrote:
steveg700 wrote:
adamredwoods wrote:
I think the "solved" idea stems from the steel/shipping strategy. But getting there is the variable part. Still a great game.

So perhaps "solved" in the same sense that Puerto Rico was long ago deemed "solved", which is to say nobody's still trying to figure out new winning strategies, but rather racing to compete in the accepted dominant strategy.

Not "solved" as in A Few of Snow's "Halifax Hammer".

No, that's just going to further confuse people.

A Few Acres of Snow is not solved, it has an exploitable flaw that makes it broken (another key term flung around when it shouldn't be). Another example of broken would be Caverna before the errata, as it had a combo that created an infinite loop.

Solved means mathematically solvable, as in there is a single best course that can be calculated perfectly every time. Games like tic-tac-toe and Connect Four have been solved.]/q\
Well, to me that sounds like splitting hairs over a term that has no authoritative definition in the context of board gaming (which is why the term seemed to elicit some confusion).

Games like LeHavre and Puerto Rico merely have dominant strategies, but there is still a lot of decision space within those strategies, and perusing one does not guarantee victory.

Sounds like what I said.

Did you miss the part where I directly contradicted what you said?
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Steve G.
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grant5 wrote:
Did you miss the part where I directly contradicted what you said?

I've noted where you were splitting hairs, and will further note that you are a contrarian. You're on the bubble for "peevish" and "quarrelsome".
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Grant
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steveg700 wrote:
grant5 wrote:
Did you miss the part where I directly contradicted what you said?

I've noted where you were splitting hairs, and will further note that you are a contrarian. You're on the bubble for "peevish" and "quarrelsome".

Yikes, that's a bit harsh. Considering you, too, came into this thread to help clarify the terms the OP was using, I'd say that's hypocritical to boot.

Do you not think it's important to differentiate between the usage of very different terms such as "broken", "solved", and "dominant strategy"? Separating those terms is significant in discussing board games (which we are all here to do) and very far from splitting hairs.

I mean, those terms being used incorrectly led directly to the creation of this thread.
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Grant
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steveg700 wrote:
grant5 wrote:
Did you miss the part where I directly contradicted what you said?

I've noted where you were splitting hairs, and will further note that you are a contrarian. You're on the bubble for "peevish" and "quarrelsome".

I'm also not sure you know what "contrarian" means.
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Steve G.
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grant5 wrote:
Do you not think it's important to differentiate between the usage of very different terms such as "broken", "solved", and "dominant strategy"? Separating those terms is significant in discussing board games (which we are all here to do) and very far from splitting hairs.

I mean, those terms being used incorrectly led directly to the creation of this thread.

I got the impression that you weren't open to discussion of the terms, but rather were simply acting as the arbiter thereof.

Perhaps I misread. If so, I apologize if I gave you an unfair shake.
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Pater Absurdus
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steveg700 wrote:
davypi wrote:
steveg700 wrote:
Okay, thanks. Gotta love the way some folks will bandy around the word "fact" with reckless abandon.


I'm wondering if this was an older video/podcast you were watching. The problem is not with the word "fact" but with the word "solved." About a year or two ago this was a word that would occasionally get thrown around by people who did not know what it meant.


Here you go:


Like I said, about 28 minutes in.


Link to where it is discussed: https://youtu.be/l9FxSKiszV0?t=28m16s

Looks like a user asked Tom about this and then Tom disagreed but not at length.
 
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Grant
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steveg700 wrote:
grant5 wrote:
Do you not think it's important to differentiate between the usage of very different terms such as "broken", "solved", and "dominant strategy"? Separating those terms is significant in discussing board games (which we are all here to do) and very far from splitting hairs.

I mean, those terms being used incorrectly led directly to the creation of this thread.

I got the impression that you weren't open to discussion of the terms, but rather were simply acting as the arbiter thereof.

Perhaps I misread. If so, I apologize if I gave you an unfair shake.

So let's discuss. Do you disagree with the definitions and examples that I laid out?
 
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Steve G.
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Redward wrote:
Looks like a user asked Tom about this and then Tom disagreed but not at length.

Right, he had no clue what the user was speaking of. Tom, of course, does not (and cannot) play one game with sufficient devotion to descend into this sort of rabbit hole.
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Steve G.
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grant5 wrote:
So let's discuss. Do you disagree with the definitions and examples that I laid out?

Well, I'm not clear on the distinctions that made Acres qualify as "broken" rather than "solved". Do we have a basis upon which to say that the game isn't working as its design intended? If not, then it could be argued that the game is "solved". We can't say that Acres is broken to the point of being outright unplayable, since people play the game simply by not going down that route.

Overall, I don't know how useful it is to try to offer firm definitions for terms that seem to be applied in different contexts by different people. I used Puerto Rico as an example exactly because I've heard the word "solved" applied to it multiple times. I can't tell them they're using the word incorrectly with any real authority. Even dictionaries don't really work that way; while it annoys me to hear people use the word "literally" to denote emphasis (e.g. "I literally hate Dr. Pepper" or "we've literally broken the English language"), if it continues to gain traction, it will eventually be incorporated into its denotation.

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The BGG glossary is probably as good a place as any to start from. Based on the definitions they give for broken and solved, they are definitely related and I admit they sound similar.

To me, broken means that there is something in the game that a player can exploit to guarantee victory. The Halifax Hammer and Caverna's infinite ore combo qualify as examples of this for me.

Solved means that the outcome is fixed before the game even begins (or maybe after one or two moves). The optimal outcome can be mathed out by a computer.

And there are very few BGG ranked games out there that should have either of these terms applied to them. Most often, when people use either of these terms, what they really mean is that the game has a dominant strategy.

https://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/glossary#solvable
https://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/glossary#broken
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If the idea here is that LH is solved because shipping steel is worth a lot of money, I'd like to say that I solved it in less than ten seconds.

Steel is worth the most when you ship it. I noticed that right away. So has everyone else that has played LH. Right away.

I think in most games there's something that's worth a lot of points but is hard to do. Are those games all solved too?
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