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Subject: Executing a Broken Strategy in a Game Against Unsuspecting Players rss

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Chase Williams
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Question for the geek:

A game has a broken strategy that guarantees victory if executed. Do you use it against unknowing victims to win?

More context...the strategy and game referenced require no planning or proper action selection/execution to use this strategy. It simply comes down to ensuring the other player doesn't know about it and on turn one, you take one action followed by another.....at this point, the game is locked and you cant lose. This strategy only works in the two player game and even if both players execute it, the game will go to whoever was first player on the first turn.

This was done TO me as I was unaware that the 2-player game of Rattus was this broken. Once identified, I found it is documented and known to those that play often. I will never play that game with only two players again. I'm just curious how others feel as my opponent proceeded to tell me that he was justified in his actions since I didnt use the broken strategy myself.

So again...

A game has a broken strategy that guarantees victory if executed. Do you use it against unknowing victims to win?
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Rob Hart
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igotdvds wrote:
Question for the geek:

A game has a broken strategy that guarantees victory if executed. Do you use it against unknowing victims to win?

More context...the strategy and game referenced require no planning or proper action selection/execution to use this strategy. It simply comes down to ensuring the other player doesn't know about it and on turn one, you take one action followed by another.....at this point, the game is locked and you cant lose. This strategy only works in the two player game and even if both players execute it, the game will go to whoever was first player on the first turn.

So again...

A game has a broken strategy that guarantees victory if executed. Do you use it against unknowing victims to win?


It's kind of a tradition to execute a fool's mate or scholar's mate in chess against an inexperienced player... and then make sure they know how to recognize and prevent it in the future.
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Chase Williams
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Raubythyme wrote:
igotdvds wrote:
Question for the geek:

A game has a broken strategy that guarantees victory if executed. Do you use it against unknowing victims to win?

More context...the strategy and game referenced require no planning or proper action selection/execution to use this strategy. It simply comes down to ensuring the other player doesn't know about it and on turn one, you take one action followed by another.....at this point, the game is locked and you cant lose. This strategy only works in the two player game and even if both players execute it, the game will go to whoever was first player on the first turn.

So again...

A game has a broken strategy that guarantees victory if executed. Do you use it against unknowing victims to win?


It's kind of a tradition to execute a fool's mate or scholar's mate in chess against an inexperienced player... and then make sure they know how to recognize and prevent it in the future.


But this strategy requires the other player to make decisions that allow your strategy to work. In my example, the opponent cannot stop the strategy if they are not first player on the first turn, thus none of their decision lead to the strategy working.

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Bryan Thunkd
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igotdvds wrote:
But this strategy requires the other player to make decisions that allow your strategy to work. In my example, the opponent cannot stop the strategy if they are not first player on the first turn, thus none of their decision lead to the strategy working.
The real question isn't whether you would use this strategy or not, it's why are you playing a broken game?
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Sebastian Roehrig
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I dont know why you would do that. Sometimes I play mean and use my knowledge against an inexperienced opponent, but thats not intended.

Why do you want to do what you described? It`s no fun for you exploiting a bug (it wasnt your superior playstyle winning) and no fun for the other one + he wont play it with you again...strange question
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Chase Williams
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Sebiroe wrote:
I dont know why you would do that. Sometimes I play mean and use my knowledge against an inexperienced opponent, but thats not intended.

Why do you want to do what you described? It`s no fun for you exploiting a bug (it wasnt your superior playstyle winning) and no fun for the other one + he wont play it with you again...strange question


This was done TO me as I was unaware that the 2-player game of Rattus was this broken. Once identified, I found it is documented and known to those that play often. I will never play that game with only two players again. I'm just curious how others feel as my opponent proceeded to tell me that he was justified in his actions since I didnt use the broken strategy myself.
 
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Trevor Taylor
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Thunkd wrote:
igotdvds wrote:
But this strategy requires the other player to make decisions that allow your strategy to work. In my example, the opponent cannot stop the strategy if they are not first player on the first turn, thus none of their decision lead to the strategy working.
The real question isn't whether you would use this strategy or not, it's why are you playing a broken game?


This. I don't believe I have any deterministically broken games. If I ever discovered an unbeatable strategy, I'd tell someone who liked the game most in my group what I think I'd discovered. Hopefully we'd play a game to prove it, then probably move the game on and never speak of it again.

But fingers crossed, I will never own a game like this anyway

Edit: Queue people cruising my collection to tell me about all my broken games
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Andrew Bartosh

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Thunkd wrote:
igotdvds wrote:
But this strategy requires the other player to make decisions that allow your strategy to work. In my example, the opponent cannot stop the strategy if they are not first player on the first turn, thus none of their decision lead to the strategy working.
The real question isn't whether you would use this strategy or not, it's why are you playing a broken game?


Or playing an unhouseruled version.

But yeah, no, wouldn't do it unless I really wanted to never play the game again and make sure that was the case by alienating anyone whoe might want to play.
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ron schorr
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I hate to out myself on here, but I was the devious character who was involved on the other side of the table. For full disclosure, 2 player Rattus is only "broken" in a very specific situation where the Plague pawn is in a specific location, you place your tokens in a specific location you draw a specific special power and you move the plague pawn (on your first turn) to a specific location. I was not the first player, so I did not have any control of these actions. Chase played first and did exactly what you would do if you were employing that strategy. I followed suit. Ultimately when Chase deviated from that strategy 2 moves later (unknowingly to me now) I continued ahead as it was the winning strategy at that point. It is an unusual scenario. I have played 46 games of Rattus on Yucata.de and have only seen this happen a few times based on the specifics of the scenario.

Ultimately you can choose not to play the game if you think it is a bad game for 2 players. Does anyone play Tic Tac Toe? No, it sucks. But if you did and the first player didn't play the middle square would you also not play the middle in deference to fairness? Connect 4 should always be won by the first player, but it still requires you to make all the correct moves in response to your opponents.

Anyway, I felt a need to defend myself.
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Chase Williams
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dali711 wrote:
I hate to out myself on here, but I was the devious character who was involved on the other side of the table. For full disclosure, 2 player Rattus is only "broken" in a very specific situation where the Plague pawn is in a specific location, you place your tokens in a specific location you draw a specific special power and you move the plague pawn (on your first turn) to a specific location. I was not the first player, so I did not have any control of these actions. Chase played first and did exactly what you would do if you were employing that strategy. I followed suit. Ultimately when Chase deviated from that strategy 2 moves later (unknowingly to me now) I continued ahead as it was the winning strategy at that point. It is an unusual scenario. I have played 46 games of Rattus on Yucata.de and have only seen this happen a few times based on the specifics of the scenario.

Ultimately you can choose not to play the game if you think it is a bad game for 2 players. Does anyone play Tic Tac Toe? No, it sucks. But if you did and the first player didn't play the middle square would you also not play the middle in deference to fairness? Connect 4 should always be won by the first player, but it still requires you to make all the correct moves in response to your opponents.

Anyway, I felt a need to defend myself.


Incorrect. This can be executed very simply and every game.

Player 1: Place cubes in farthest right city.
Player 2: anything else
Player 1: a.Place cubes in farthest right space
b.Take Knight (from other player if necessary) and move plague to farthest left space

The plague marker will never get moved back into the farthest right space. Game Over.

Also: see here...

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/899724/any-way-beat-situati...

 
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Phil Hendrickson
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Personally, I think anyone willing to use a knowingly broken strategy to win a game is too competitive. Just about everyone I play with would rather enjoy the mental tug of war that comes from a fair playing field. A player who knows an overpowered or broken strategy and chooses to use it is not winning by their own strategy or tactics. They are simply copying moves scripted by someone else. I do not find that fulfilling, and neither do the folks I usually play with.

There is some pleasure in just seeing if you can execute a known winning strategy, but after doing it once the thrill is gone. The greatest joy in a strategy game is figuring out for yourself what works; following a script robs the player of that joy. The journey is more enriching than the endpoint.
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No, never. Even against suspecting players it's dumb. Winning's only a secondary goal when playing a game. At least, it should be.

I'll sometimes playfully mess with new players or teach them creative ways of playing a game by doing something unexpected or non-obvious, and I really don't have any moral qualms about handily beating some new players legitimately (consider it tutoring by example), but no, a victory using a game bug is pretty high up on the mega-lame-ometer.

The main thing though is that you really shouldn't even own a "broken game".

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Mark Wilson
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OP's example sounds a bit foul. I wouldn't be upset, I'd probably just get rid of the game or house rule that strategy away.

Some responses do a good job, though, of highlighting the difference between broken games/strategies and instances where it's just a deeply strategic game with an insurmountable advantage to the experienced player vs a newbie. The latter is true of pretty much any abstract, and hundreds of other games. The former is a design flaw.
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Jeff
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I could go either way on the broken strategy vs unsuspecting players.

If the player is new to the game, I feel it's in bad form as you're teaching them the game. When I teach newbies games, I always let them know main strategies or what to watch. It helps them learn the game and have a more positive experience.

If the unsuspecting player is not new to the game, then they're fair game to try a new broken strategy against. devil
 
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dave
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in a 45 minute game--I think not. What a waste of time. Maybe if you really, really wanted to play it and couldn't be dissuaded, I might use it, and tell you that I'm using it, just to show you unequivocally that we should be playing something else. Yeah, you're right, the guy is pretty much a jerk for wasting your time.


I have not played rattus, but it sounds like from Ron's comment above that I just noticed (missed before), this was a very specific and unusual situation that the both players had to contribute to achieving. In that case, I might say, 'are you sure you want to do that' (when he deviated from the strategy), but then of course, play out the winning strategy and point it out along the way. I'd probably 'gg' him at this point too as the game was essentially over at this point.

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igotdvds wrote:

A game has a broken strategy that guarantees victory if executed. Do you use it against unknowing victims to win?


    Nah.
 
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Grace McDermott
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It's kind of a crappy move. -_-

And I think you need to ask yourself why you'd want to play it that way? Why go for the easy win when you could...actually enjoy playing?
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Only if they deserve it.
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Whilst it's not cheating, I don't see what fun can be in it for the player with inside knowledge. The fun in games is surely in the tension and challenge of the contest. Using, as it were, 'loaded dice' seems like a waste of precious time unless your sole aim is to win.
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Joe Salamone
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I don't understand the pleasure in using a broken strategy to guarantee a win. What are you winning? Nothing. You are just spending time executing actions when you could actually be playing a game.
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igotdvds wrote:


Incorrect. This can be executed very simply and every game.

Player 1: Place cubes in farthest right city.
Player 2: anything else.
Player 1: a.Place cubes in farthest right space
b.Take Knight (from other player if necessary) and move plague to farthest left space


The plague marker will never get moved back into the farthest right space. Game Over.

Also: see here...

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/899724/any-way-beat-situati...



Hey, fancy a 2 player game of Rattus on yucata? I don't think it's possible to choose who goes first but we can restart the game if you don't end up as player A. Execute your strategy. We'll see who wins. I play as deanthebean.
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Sean Ahern
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Microver99 wrote:
Whilst it's not cheating, I don't see what fun can be in it for the player with inside knowledge. The fun in games is surely in the tension and challenge of the contest. Using, as it were, 'loaded dice' seems like a waste of precious time unless your sole aim is to win.


As someone who enjoys board games because I like to explore the various mechanics and how they all work together, I could envision a situation where I'd enjoy playing an "unbeatable" strategy just to see how it works. However, I'd let my opponents know, e.g. "I've heard that if the British take Halifax, they're unbeatable". If they're not interested in seeing how it plays out, we can play something different, they can take the "broken" side, or I'll try a different strategy.
 
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Garcian Smith
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Even if a game has something broken about it, I don't think that makes it a bad game per say. If it's something that can easily be done and guarantees a win though, it makes playing a game where everyone has a chance impossible. It seems this broken strategy doesn't happen that often at all and won't be a problem anymore since you know what to look for.
 
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When I play a game, I rate my enjoyment by how well I feel I played. So I can enjoy a game I lost as long as I feel I played it well and I'd be unhappy with a game I won if I feel I didn't earn the win.

As a result, I'd have no temptation to play a broken strategy that I read about. To me, that would just be going through the motions of the game rather than playing it. But I would happily use a broken strategy if I figured it out on my own. However after winning with my broken strategy, I'd most likely explain how it had worked and try to figure out a way to beat it.
 
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David Buckley
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igotdvds wrote:
Sebiroe wrote:
I dont know why you would do that. Sometimes I play mean and use my knowledge against an inexperienced opponent, but thats not intended.

Why do you want to do what you described? It`s no fun for you exploiting a bug (it wasnt your superior playstyle winning) and no fun for the other one + he wont play it with you again...strange question


This was done TO me as I was unaware that the 2-player game of Rattus was this broken. Once identified, I found it is documented and known to those that play often. I will never play that game with only two players again. I'm just curious how others feel as my opponent proceeded to tell me that he was justified in his actions since I didnt use the broken strategy myself.


I don't believe your claim that 2p Rattus is an auto win for the first player. If it is as broken as you claim I might still find some interest in verifying it. Only once I have verified it to my satisfaction does the game become pointless to me.
 
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