Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
4 Posts

New York 1901» Forums » Rules

Subject: A Designer Question: Unfriendly Ties/Tie Breakers rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
VETRHUS of Rogaland
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
badge
An ash I know, Yggdrasil its name. With water white is the great tree wet; thence come the dews that fall in the dales. Green by Urth's well does it ever grow.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hello,

I've got a question for the designer/playtest folks who helped with the rules and gameplay.

I'm a fan of both friendly ties and the tie breaker mechanism as an incentive.

I'm this game o realized at game end that ties were unfriendly in terms of points. I had just played a two space building that tied me for most buildings on two points-scoring streets. I'd worked all game for this big move and expected a ten point reward. But instead we found out that ties mean negation. No one gets the points.

There is also the issue of the legendary or largest buildings built that provide a "tie breaker" in terms of height. I had built the tallest of those, compromising the outright lead n terms of Wall Street control.

Basically, why the points negation? Is this a thematic element? Is it to represent a brutal reality?

Otherwise, I really dislike it. It acts to negate the actions spent building toward all game long. It devalues and demotivates, and essentially shepherds toward tearing down and rebuilding as the only valid pathway to winning. I'd have liked to see it reward the alt path, and allow players to score more by chaining and control as an alt strategy.

And as for the tie breaker, shouldn't the big building break all game ties? I mean, what are the chances that two players tie exactly in end game points? The way I was told it worked was that this was the only tie broken by that legendary building.
2 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chenier La Salle
msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Very good question. Thank you.
Here’s a glimpse at some of the decisions we had to ponder internally.

Tie-breakers: Remember that the game is modular, there are 5 possible bonuses that call on different approaches to the game. There are 5 more out there from the Gencon and Essen expansion packs. Because of the changing bonuses, one game you might have lots of Bronzes; another Silvers; another game irregulars; another game will encourage building smaller buildings; while another bonus will encourage demolitions etc. Any tie-breaker you choose must work well will any Bonus in play. If the tie-breaker clashes with these various elements by forcing unnatural workarounds, it can still be interesting (esp to hardcore gamers) but you’re adding another layer of complexity in a game that wants to appeal to the broadest number of people possible – the gateway category. The danger with adopting a particular tie-breaker is that it adds more minutiae. And we thought (and we debated this internally) that it was best not to add another consideration for control of the streets. We decided to keep it simple.
Another option we contemplated was the awarding of points. If there’s going to be a tie, could we award points to both players? We considered it but thought it created too many comfortable ‘compromise’ situations between players (we'll settle for a tie since we'll both get something out of it).
So ties over streets become an all or nothing proposition - clean and simple. This actually opens up quite a few strategic options - even for experienced gamers who can take on more than casual gamers. For example, threatening a player’s majority on a certain street or simply “appearing to threaten” (without any true interest) can force that player to make poor upgrade decisions to keep his majority. The fact that it’s an all-or-nothing proposition can force them to overreact somewhat, which might help you. There are messages to send the other players.

Having said this, at the end of the day, you are right. It seems a little unfair. But there are ways to use it to your advantage.
Keep the questions coming! I love talking about the process. Thank you for playing the game.
7 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
VETRHUS of Rogaland
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
badge
An ash I know, Yggdrasil its name. With water white is the great tree wet; thence come the dews that fall in the dales. Green by Urth's well does it ever grow.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm very thankful to have this conversation with you. I'm not a designer yet myself, but one day I know that I will synthesize my ideas into something that will look like a game.

I'm a bit obsessed with fairness in life and in gaming, and I guess I can't shut that pregnant pursuit of equity off. I'm able to reframe things when I am able to tamp back the berserker bastard within, and at those moments I can understand and embrace a game that is a simulation with inherent inequity... like LOTR the board game. I've never been close to winning, but I enjoy the process, even if it sucks to lose.

So I am not your typical gamer, I guess. I'm more of a light Euro fan who plays the heavier games with people who are infinitely more intelligent than I am. So my sense of palpable frustration is most often personal and not relative to the gameplay at all.

I appreciate your thinking about the all or nothing. It makes the game far more brutal. Understanding that at the outset upon our next play, I will certainly tailor my play toward different strategic decisions.

And I LOVE the modular nature of your game. We will certainly table it again soon, and even if I come in a distant last, I will have learned something and had fun in the process.

*trudges back to the knarr*
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chenier La Salle
msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you! Let me know how your next game goes.
And I encourage you to put your thoughts and ideas into a game.
If you don't, someone else will - goes the saying. It's a fun ride whatever the outcome!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls