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Subject: Clarification of card rank rss

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Richard Walter
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Maybe I'm overthinking this, or maybe this is by design, but I'm looking for clarification of the card ranking system, because, as written, it doesn't make sense to me.

Page 3 of the rules state (and I'm only using numbers, but the suits are similar) :

Quote:

(1) Ranking, however, is more like a loop than a straight line.

(2) So... A 4 is ranked higher than a 3, which is higher than a 2, which is higher than a 1, which is "higher" than a 4.

(3) In other words... a 4 is higher in rank than any other numbered card except a 1, and a 1 is lower in rank than any other card except the 4.


Sentence 1 is setting up for the notion of setting up to wrap from the top to the bottom. Got it.

Sentence 2 is explicit in the wrap-around ranking for pair-wise comparisons of neighbors. Got it.

Sentence 3, however, is explicit in stating that 1 is lower than any other card except the 4. Uh oh - my brain is not happy. Because now the ordering of the ranks of cards depends on which card is on the tatami mat.

Suppose the card on the tatami mat is a 1. If both players match the suit, then:
   4 beats 3
   4 beats 2
   3 beats 2

Note: 4 always wins, while 2 always loses and 3 sometimes wins and sometimes loses.

Now suppose the card on the tatami mat is a 2. If both players match the suit, then:
   4 beats 3
   3 beats 1 (By sentence 3 - 1 is explicitly lower than any other card except 4.)
   1 beats 4

Now, every possible card wins some & loses some.

(For completeness, the case where 3 is on the mat is similar to the 2 case, and the case where 4 is on the mat is similar to the 1 case.)

So, is the intent of of the designer such that:
a) No matter what the card on the tatami mat is: of the 3 remaining matching cards: one always wins, one always loses and one is in between them.
or
b) No matter what the card on the tatami mat is: of the 3 remaining matching cards: each one beats one other and is beaten by one other (ie: rock/paper/scissors)
or
c) If a 1 or 4 is showing on the tatami mat, then case a) applies, while if a 2 or 3 is showing on the tatami mat, then case b) applies.

In order to make this easy to explain, I plan on playing by situation a. That is: Treat the ranks as a loop (above 4 is 1 & below 1 is 4). When comparing two matching cards, start at the card on the tatami mat and move "upwards" in rank. The card that takes longer to reach is the "higher" rank and thus wins.

That, at least, makes the game situation consistent regardless of which card is on the tatami mat.

Comments?
-Richard
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David Harding
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Hi Richard, thanks for your post!

The intent is that every card is usable in certain situations. Without this card ranking, a yellow 1 is a dud card all the time.

To summarise: A 4 beats a 3 and a 2 when both players match, but not a 1. Same with green, which when both players match a number, beats red and blue but not yellow.

As you point out, there are still cards/situations that are better than others, and not every card is equal.

The "trick" of the game is, if I'm pretty sure I won't win a match, do I go for the whisk, or, do I play nothing, perhaps wasting my opponent's "good" card, or, do I still go for it, hoping my opponent may out think themselves and take one of the other options?

Having the 0 cards in the mix puts a small element of doubt in players' minds as you can never be certain your opponent has that green 4...
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Richard Walter
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David,

Thanks for the response. I understand that the wrap is needed to ensure that every card wins sometimes and loses sometimes over the course of the game. As you point out, you don't want the yellow 1 to always be a known dud.

I'm only questioning that there are two different patterns of win/loss cards: AAB/BCC and ABC/ABC, depending on what shows up on the mat.

My gut feeling is that I like AAB/BCC better because that seems to give more control to the player. Given the cards on the mats, a player can divide their cards up into three categories: Guaranteed win, guaranteed lose, and 50/50 for every location before even playing their first card.

With the ABC/ABC mapping, no card is a guaranteed win or lose until other cards are revealed, which seems to make the first round a bit random.

In any case, I've not actually played the game yet blush and I will definitely respond back after playing to let you (and the BGG world at large) how it went.

I do appreciate your quick response.

Thanks,
-Richard
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David Harding
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:) Give the game a play or two or three and let me know what you think, I'd be interested in your thoughts.
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Richard Walter
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Ok. I finally got around to playing this once over the weekend.

We played by the rules as written:
  If a 1 (or 4) was turned up then the order of cards was 2 < 3 < 4 (or 1 < 2 < 3)
  If a 2 (or 3) was turned up then the order of cards was 4 < 1 < 3 < 4 (or 4 < 1 < 2 < 4)

The game took only 5 rounds after which my wife won by having one of each of the 5 chadogu tokens.

My impression:
  * We really liked having only 5 cards to play on 6 spots. It really made you consider where to leave the blank space to concede a token.
  * Leaving the played card face-down when only 1 player had played on that card was also nice. It made the 3rd round a bit more uncertain in that more cards were unknown at that time than I had originally expected.
  * Making matches was surprisingly difficult. There was less opportunity than I had expected. As a result, both of us matched the mat cards (when suit priority matters) maybe only 3 times.
  * However, my logical brain still thinks that all contests should have a fixed order of priority. I liked being able to look at my cards and know that I could reserve a card for a specific location and *know* that I would win it. I could then allocate the other cards to "I'll play it here and maybe I'll win." and "I'll throw this one here to get a whisk."

My wife wasn't enthusiastic about the game (although she loved the tokens; major thumbs-up for them!), so we went on to another game after just the first one of Matcha, but I plan on taking this to other gatherings in the next few weeks and playing some more.

-Richard

Edit:
One more thing: There was surprisingly little "analysis paralysis" in later rounds due to more cards being face up. Perhaps we weren't as careful in our play as we should have been, but it seemed that we both concentrated on the current 2 cards and ignored the cards from the previous rounds that were played.
All of the slow play came from the usual first-play concern of "I've never played this before; I don't know what to do!?" rather than "Hmm, since my opponent played *that* card on that one, so they must not have the one that matches *this* one" type of double think.

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David Harding
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Great :D
On your "edit"... This certainly comes with more experience. Glad it clicked and I hope you have fun with it into the future!
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