Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
16 Posts

Five Tribes» Forums » General

Subject: Does it matter what you do? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ian Kissell
United States
Dallas
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I've played maybe 6-7 games of Five Tribes across all player counts (although my question more pertains to 3-4 player games), so I have some experience with the game, but am maybe not quite an expert.

I have started to notice a trend in the game:
1. Final scores, at least for the top 3 players, tend to be very close. Normally the winner has won by only a point or two.

2. The person that looks like he is doing really well in the game often does not win (For instance, a friend of mine collected two sets of 9 goods and still got 2nd).

This has made me start to wonder how much your choices really matter in the game. First of all, I understand that the game is a lot about correctly valuing moves and bidding correctly. However, I wonder if the opportunity cost for one move over another tends to even most of the choices out. For instance, you might get a better move, but you had to give up points to get to take that action. All of this leads me to wonder if all of the choices are more or less even, and so one person ends up barely on top more from blind luck than anything.

I would love people's thoughts on the matter.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
A C
Netherlands
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If it didn't really matter, I think:
- the game would not be ranked this high
- it would not be a game one can be good/better at
- the game would not be so infinitely replayable

I have played 30 games and have come to the conclusions that the right move at the right time is crucial. I agree that there is no ONE road to victory but there sure are roads to definite defeat. In our games there frequently is a 30 point margin...

Out of interest:
When players allow someone to score 120 from goods alone they are either not paying attention, or have found a strategy I have yet to discover.
If with 120 points from goods alone you finish last, then I do not understand what you have been doing. No camels? No elders, viziers, Djinns? No left over points? What did the others do?
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ian Kissell
United States
Dallas
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
AernoutMJC wrote:

Out of interest:
When players allow someone to score 120 from goods alone they are either not paying attention, or have found a strategy I have yet to discover.
If with 120 points from goods alone you finish last, then I do not understand what you have been doing. No camels? No elders, viziers, Djinns? No left over points? What did the others do?

I was not a part of the game, so I can't say. He also got 2nd by a point.

AernoutMJC wrote:

If it didn't really matter, I think:
- the game would not be ranked this high


I'm not completely sure if that is true, but that is part of the reason I am asking the question. It seems like though (as you are saying perhaps) that the "net sum" of most of the moves is 0 for players that play decently, so it really comes down to one move. For most of my games, there is less than 10 points between first and third.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
ArrBeeDee Dial
United States
Lexington Park
Maryland
flag msg tools
I am working on overcoming my AP. Here is my 'to do' plan ...so far: 1).
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I would evaluate your situation differently. I think you are playing at a similar capability level.

I'm only recently into the game but it seems flatter in points scaling than Agricola - the difference in scores between play-levels is smaller. Play-level would be complex and include: observation speed of the board, bidding correctly for the achieved move, and anticipating /grabbing either *best* cards.

I would offer there is some luck. In one game, I got the Djinn that allows placement of buildings/tents very early. I was able to place *lots* and won handily. I used fakir cards instead of meeples so they couldn't be assassinated with Red meeples - there wasn't any defense.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Garrison
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My two cents: it just sounds like you are describing a well balanced game. Five Tribes is currently one of my favorite games and have found it similar to your situation. When I play with players of similar skill level as me, I find that the scores are very close...with players with less experience that me (or can't wrap their mind around the plethora of decisions in the game) the scores are not so close.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh Wood
United States
Sherman Oaks
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Andgar09 wrote:
My two cents: it just sounds like you are describing a well balanced game. Five Tribes is currently one of my favorite games and have found it similar to your situation. When I play with players of similar skill level as me, I find that the scores are very close...with players with less experience that me (or can't wrap their mind around the plethora of decisions in the game) the scores are not so close.

Oh, it matters what you do. There are many paths to victory and the game is all about seeing moves and evaluating their cost.

Some Stats from 3 and 4 player games:

Highest Score: 195 (I did this Thursday night in a 4 player game)
Average score: 145.9
Average Winning Score: 168
Lowest Winning score: 140
Highest Losing: 191

Last Two 4 player games:
Josh: 195
Sean: 191
Drew: 156
Shauna: 145

-------------

Josh: 159
Donovan:135
Player C: 138
Player D: 142


1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Nopa
United States
Addison
Texas [TX]
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes. It matters VERY much what you do. In fact, no other game does it matter as much, because every person's turn impacts what every person can do after them.

For many people, this makes the game feel random, because the only control you have is in the turn order bidding and what you can do on your turn only. Everything else is up to the board state changes of other players on their turn.

In that way, this is more of a game about experience than other games. You might be able to try and "plan" for something, but you need the experience to even see the possibilities...but even that might change.

This game is deceptive in that way.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ian Kissell
United States
Dallas
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
rokkon wrote:
Yes. It matters VERY much what you do. In fact, no other game does it matter as much, because every person's turn impacts what every person can do after them.

For many people, this makes the game feel random, because the only control you have is in the turn order bidding and what you can do on your turn only. Everything else is up to the board state changes of other players on their turn.

In that way, this is more of a game about experience than other games. You might be able to try and "plan" for something, but you need the experience to even see the possibilities...but even that might change.

This game is deceptive in that way.

I'm willing to admit that my hunch is wrong, but I think people might be fundamentally misunderstanding my question. I am not asking if there is a best move at the moment, or claiming that the game is too random. What I am asking is, because there are so many ways to get points, if you go for one thing, you are giving up another. This coupled with the fact that you have to pay more for better moves, makes me wonder if this is a "zero-sum" game where it is really hard to actually outplay anyone over the course of a game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Nopa
United States
Addison
Texas [TX]
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Isn't that almost every other game, though?

If the game took choice away, what kind of game is it?

That's why I said previously that experience is what defines these types of games.

Sometimes the only way to see it is when you play with someone who has much more experience than you do.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason W
United States
Chicago
Illinois
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Someone above mentioned that it's not as much of a zero-sum game as it is a balanced game. Definitely part of the skill of this game is analyzing the board and not over paying for your move that round. Also, since the winning bidder might have to pay only 1 coin (or zero for a three person game), I wouldn't say the bid always negates the benefit of the move.

Skilled players also won't just focus on the ending tile of the move they want, they will try to ruin other potential moves in the path they take to the end tile. Most observant players wouldn't allow another player to get two sets of 9 merchant cards, either by preventing good merchant moves or by collecting cards themselves.

It definitely matters what decisions you make. Even if two potential moves end up with the same amount of points, the effects of each move on the other players may be very different. That's just my take on it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ian Kissell
United States
Dallas
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
rokkon wrote:

If the game took choice away, what kind of game is it?

If the game gives you a plethera of choices, but none of them really matters in the end, is that any better? Again, I am not convinced that I am right, but it seems the answer so far has been, "It has to matter, since there are so many choices," which is what I'm wondering. I don't really have a good explanation as to why scores are always so close. Maybe the game is "too balanced" so that nothing really ends up being more valuable than anything else.

As to the collecting two entire sets (again, I am reporting secondhand), why bother blocking it if you can do it and still lose?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Enon Sci
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dios_et_dios wrote:
rokkon wrote:

If the game took choice away, what kind of game is it?

If the game gives you a plethera of choices, but none of them really matters in the end, is that any better? Again, I am not convinced that I am right, but it seems the answer so far has been, "It has to matter, since there are so many choices," which is what I'm wondering. I don't really have a good explanation as to why scores are always so close. Maybe the game is "too balanced" so that nothing really ends up being more valuable than anything else.

As to the collecting two entire sets (again, I am reporting secondhand), why bother blocking it if you can do it and still lose?

I suspect there is some group think at work here. If choice didn't matter, then why bid high for turn order? If scores were all within a point, and the bidding resource is VPs, there has to be some group dynamics at work that are driving this behavior.

Or, to say that another way, if what you do doesn't matter, then the order in which it is done seems equally as meaningless, thus you have no incentive to bid high, and should outpace those that do. If you can do this and win (or at least stay within a respectable VP range), then you have a valid point.


.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
mathew rynich
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
Argama Flight Crew
badge
INFERNO BLADE!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dios_et_dios wrote:
rokkon wrote:

If the game took choice away, what kind of game is it?

If the game gives you a plethera of choices, but none of them really matters in the end, is that any better? Again, I am not convinced that I am right, but it seems the answer so far has been, "It has to matter, since there are so many choices," which is what I'm wondering. I don't really have a good explanation as to why scores are always so close. Maybe the game is "too balanced" so that nothing really ends up being more valuable than anything else.

As to the collecting two entire sets (again, I am reporting secondhand), why bother blocking it if you can do it and still lose?

But not all moves are equal. Why are you persistent in this line of thinking? Each round you need to evaluate cost versus reward not only on player order, but in the move you execute. You could be opening other players up to huge moves. In the case you describe where one player grabs 2 sets of goods and still lost, the question would be why they lost. Were they playing solitaire? Did they not pay attention to the moves they set up for the other players? Did they over bid on player order to secure those sets? Did they over pay to buy goods off tile actions? Did they not try to contest on any of the other victory conditions thus blocking other players from running away with points? Two full sets of goods sounds nice, but so does winning viziers against all other players with Jaffar on the board or grabbing all the elders to monopolize Djinns for example.

No particular victory point path is better than the other, but your path to victory is very different from each other player in the game. Does that make sense? Going Djins, Viziers, goods, camels are all equally viable ways to make points. In a given boardstate one route will be more optimal than others. The player that identifies the most optimal route most often is the winner. That's the whole game.

This is one of the least random games I think I own, but the game asks you to do pretty taxing board state evaluation each turn. If you don't do that evaluation properly each time it may feel random. If everybody doesn't do that evaluation it might feel like a zero sum game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jesper Jørgensen
Denmark
Glostrup
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I would estimate that I have played 20-30 games at this time.

In those games some of them were close, but most often they have been decided with a margin of at least 15-20 points. Since the winning score is often 150+ (rarely above 175) I would say that I don't have the same observations as you.

I saw a progression in how the games were decided. Initially some players paid a lot of money and lost to a player who paid nothing and just took the best option available at her turn. She has slowly begun to loose her games to the players who have found out how to value the price of going first.

Now the winner is always the one who finds the best moves, when taking the individual setup into account. Leaving few or poor choices are also beginning to be a factor in how I choose my actions/route.

So my experience is that it does matter what choice you make.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Juan García
Mexico
Monterrey
Nuevo Leon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Anarchosyn wrote:
dios_et_dios wrote:
rokkon wrote:

If the game took choice away, what kind of game is it?

If the game gives you a plethera of choices, but none of them really matters in the end, is that any better? Again, I am not convinced that I am right, but it seems the answer so far has been, "It has to matter, since there are so many choices," which is what I'm wondering. I don't really have a good explanation as to why scores are always so close. Maybe the game is "too balanced" so that nothing really ends up being more valuable than anything else.

As to the collecting two entire sets (again, I am reporting secondhand), why bother blocking it if you can do it and still lose?

I suspect there is some group think at work here. If choice didn't matter, then why bid high for turn order? If scores were all within a point, and the bidding resource is VPs, there has to be some group dynamics at work that are driving this behavior.

Or, to say that another way, if what you do doesn't matter, then the order in which it is done seems equally as meaningless, thus you have no incentive to bid high, and should outpace those that do. If you can do this and win, then you have a valid point.


.

You have a good point there sir.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Emivaldo Sousa
Brazil
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Players that play a lot together often place the same value on some actions.

This is not a scientific study , but I did observed that with some friends we are always close on bidding games, when we introduce a new player we often get more variation (but not many if the new player is good because he will start to mimic us).

I do agree that group thinking is a factor.

That said, it is still impressive to have several games with a difference of 1 or two points, because in Five tribes, even if the players think alike , they won't have the same opportunities.

It also might be coincidence (helped by the factors above).

Your skill definitely matters in the game, you have to see the possibilities available to you, evaluate them and leave less valuable options to others after your move. This is complex and the variables involved are not insignificant.

It is true that several opportunities in the game will give you a similar range of points to give the game balance, bur certainly not to the point of abandoning the decision making process.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls