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Subject: What am I missing about this game? rss

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Jesse Marzel
Israel
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I really love fighting games, and Battlecon is one of my favorite games of all times, so naturally I was interested in Yomi. I heard great things about it, and someone I know has a copy of the master set, so I got to play a couple of game...

...and it was really horrible. This was by far one of the worst games I've ever played, on par with Exploding Kittens. It's a bluffing/deduction game with zero information. I mean, I need to choose a card to act with, but what am I basing my decision on? I have no idea what the opponent has in his hand, and I have no idea what he'll choose from that - because he has no idea as to what I'm going to choose, because I have no way to get any information to him. Even if by some magical telepathy I know what he'd like to place, I can't even be sure I'll have the right card to play. At best, I can try and card count the number of cards of a type he has and has used, and relay on statistics to try to out-play my opponent.

Aside from that there's the whole Yomi thing, where I'm supposed to read the other player - but what am I trying to read? He put down a card and is looking me in the eye, but since he has no idea what i'm putting down, what can he read? There is no mind-game, there is nothing. There's just the illusion of choice.

Am I missing something, or is this the game? When you play, what information do you have to base your decisions on? Because right now, this is one of the most disappointing games I've ever played.
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Fede Miguez
Argentina
Capital Federal
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Are you playing First Edition or Second? It kinda matters.

For First Edition the best move early on is to block (with most characters). The reason for this is that the more cards in hand, the bigger the damage you can do when you land a hit. And that you need additional cards for hitting all that HP. Now when someone starts blocking in a row, a pattern starts being created and information starts being exchanged back and forth. Since you can't win by blocking, at some point someone would want to throw and there throw speed and attacks (fast/slow) get into the equation. From there you start doing Yomi according to what choices your opponent is taking given the options and possible rewards for each. It's not the same to land an attack with 2 cards in hand than with 10. When you know your opponent a bit, you can start understanding what he has in hand and how he is evaluating it.

Second edition is a bit more complex since they normal attacks also increase your hand (but not as good as block), but the build up from there is similar.

Additionally, deck knowledge helps build the layers of "best move" and that let's you start making educated guesses, until they are not guesses anymore.
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Dennis
Germany
Berlin
Berlin
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You actually have a lot of information about not only what your opponent would like to play, but also what he has in his hand.
It's just not explicitely handed to you, meaning a newer player may never pick up on it (which seems to be the case for you).

1) It's important to know your opponent character's deck and usual gameplan, which you may not, if you're just starting out. Different characters vastly prefer different combat options if they could just choose in a vacuum.

2) Which cards an opponent plays and especially which cards he doesn't play, tells you a lot about his hand. An opponent playing a 9-throw very, very probably doesn't have a 7 or 8 in hand, for example.
But you only know these things if you've played the game a few times.

3) It's of high importance to know you has the better chance to win clashes (attack vs. attack, throw vs. throw and even block vs. block, which has a winner, depending on the match-up, it's just not clearly visible). This changes how you want to play, and if your opponent plays defensively, even though he has the faster attacks in his deck, he probably doesn't have them in hand.

4) Hand management is an important skill. You don't need to win all (or even most) combat rounds, you just need to really hurt your opponent when you do (thanks to long combos or specific attacks).
If you know when to play a card and when to save it, you can easily win the game while losing most single rounds.
Most new players focus way too much on winning a round, and not enough on actually doing damage.


All in all the game does draw a bit from poker or RPS: A single hand does have a notable amount of luck involved, but the whole game is actually more about skill.
Even very good Yomi players lose rounds of combat against total newbies all the time, but they rarely if ever lose a match.
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Jason Reid
United States
Brooklyn
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On YouTube (I think) there are some videos of online tournaments along with live commentary. I gained a lot more appreciation for Yomi when I watched a few of those matches. The commentary reveals how much is going on once players have a bit of skill.
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K
United States
Oakland
California
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...I paid 100 GeekGold for THIS?
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Does your opponent want to build their hand up? They want to block.

Does your opponent have a lot of damage in their hand and want to unload a crapload of it? They want to attack.

Does your opponent want to disrupt your hand building and do a smaller amount of damage? They want to throw.

It's way more complex than that and characters matchups etc serve as modifiers, but that's a good basic rundown of the action choices.

You also consider what YOU want to do. And what does your opponent expect you to want to do? What is your opponent's overarching strategy and approach to the game/character matchup at hand? What overall strategy of yours will beat theirs? That's kind of the question you have to investigate, while being able to adjust turn-to-turn.

There's plenty of information and lots to think about, beyond what anyone can post in a short post like this because it's actually a really deep game and the character matchups matter so much.

The first turn of the game against an opponent you know nothing about is perhaps the least clear. All you know is their character and generalities. But once they reveal that first card, it's on. They thought about something, and did an action, why did they do it?* The evidence will mount on future turns.

Even if the answer is "he's a new player who picked a card at random" that is very important info to figure out!

Two of the hardest things to understand on early plays but the most important things to get to the next level where you're really playing are that you have to think strategically about the entire match as a whole and how you should play the character matchup and your hand in the long run, not just about the immediate turn. You can afford to lose some battles if you win the war. And "Yomi", reading your opponent, doesn't just mean figuring out what your opponent wants to play right now, but what their whole strategy to the matchup is, if any.
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Richard Evan Lopez
United States
California
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Sorry that your first experience with the game was a bad one!

At high levels, the gamestate has absolutely everything to do with what a character/player will do, but it can take a lot of knowledge of characters, matchups, and how to wrangle the gamestate to get there. Combat options typically have a lot to do with "how much payoff do I get if this is correct" coupled with "Does my opponent know that Attacking is the best option for me given what's in my hand?"

The largest reading skill in Yomi has to do with wagering why your opponent led a particular option over another one, when other, better options exist at that gamestate. Several turns into the game, the best players are the ones who can nail down almost exactly what an opponent is holding in their hand, and then play a range of options that exploits what they know they are holding.

Raziek, one of the strongest tournament players in our online competitive scene, plays a very strong hand-reading style coupled with player conditioning (i.e. playing in such a way that it actually changes how the opponent plays to counter you, then pouncing on that; a thing that happens in fighting games constantly). Notably, Raziek either wins or is top 3 in nearly every large event he enters, which is an impossible feat for a game that is purely luck or randomness!

There are also players like ntillerman and FenixOfTheAshes who enjoy great success playing a very mathematical style that has a lot to do with probabilities and percentages. Essentially when you just find your groove and the characters you click with best, you'll start to improve and see the game for what it is.

It makes sense to me to not really see the depth of Yomi at first glance. I mean, when two brand new players pick up Guilty Gear, do they really know what's going on, despite having played a lot of fighting games? I mean not really, right? They hardly know combos, they don't know their best tools, they don't know the matchup they're in, etc.

Yomi emulates all of this by being very, very deep at the highest levels. If you're interested, check out my YouTube channel where I document some really hype Yomi tournament footage: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNlRjFeJ42VdhoS2TswQ5Vg

Maybe our commentataors will help you see this depth! I hope so!
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Jessie Ulii
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Here's a link to a video I posted on the Yomi Second Edition page. It's the International Yomi League West Realm Chapionship game between Raziek and Cpat. It's a little long, but it does a great job of showing some of the high level Yomi play. The video is also commentated on by Leontes, MysticJuicer, CloudCukooCountry(sp?), and Southpaw Hare, all who have great insight on the game, the characters, and even the Players themselves. It's worth a watch.

Edit: here is the link

https://boardgamegeek.com/video/83387/yomi-second-edition/in...
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Jesse Marzel
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Thank you all for the replys. I've also watched the videos; and from what you say and what I've seen, this game doesn't provide the level of strategy and out manuvering that I'd like to have in a game. While there does seem to be more information in the game than I noticed on my first play - the amount of cards in the other player's hand - it doesn't seem like enough to make real decisions, and at best leads to educated guesses.

I'm happy that you enjoy the game, but it isn't for me. I wish you all luck, and I am happy that you have a game you enjoy in this fashion.
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