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Subject: Tracking scores rss

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Francis K. Lalumiere
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I've played two games so far, and both were two-player affairs. But at the end of each game, we started adding up each other's points in order to figure out if it was worth it to bring the game to an end.
Naturally, the player in the lead would try to force the game to end before the other racked up sufficient points to win.

My concern is this: the counting really slowed down the last few turns of the game, and I'm getting worried about that in the context of a four- or five-player game.

Has anyone considered tracking scores on a small board on the side? That way you'd always know who's in the lead and there would be no need to bring the game to a grinding halt to figure out how many points everyone has in the last few turns.

How has the game gone for those of you who play with a packed table?
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Lawrence
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There's an actual variant in the rulebook where you penalize someone 1 popularity when they delay the game for more than 10 seconds trying to calculate scores.

The method for calculating points is purposely difficult to keep tension towards the endgame. However, if all parties involved truly need to know the actual score to the point at all times... I'd advise a small whiteboard. The points can shift drastically as workers move territories and popularity fluctuates. It will slow down the game tremendously, which is a shame, since one of Scythe's biggest strengths is how quick the turns are.
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Bryce Leedham
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Except that one time I played a rose...
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It's surely part of the fun of the game to speculate and decide whether you have enough points to end the game as soon as you can or not!
 
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Brian Jones
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mavericklancer wrote:
There's an actual variant in the rulebook where you penalize someone 1 popularity when they delay the game for more than 10 seconds trying to calculate scores.

The method for calculating points is purposely difficult to keep tension towards the endgame. However, if all parties involved truly need to know the actual score to the point at all times... I'd advise a small whiteboard. The points can shift drastically as workers move territories and popularity fluctuates. It will slow down the game tremendously, which is a shame, since one of Scythe's biggest strengths is how quick the turns are.


The variant actually says to dock the player 2 popularity! It's just a really problematic rule in my mind, and there has to be a better way to deal with the situation - such as keeping money truly secret or having a better score tracking method.

What if I take 5 seconds to scratch my head, 5 seconds to blow my nose, 5 seconds to eat a cheeto and another 5 seconds to have a sip of beer - all while calculating someones score? Have I broken the rule?
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Cindy M
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bclayj wrote:

The variant actually says to dock the player 2 popularity! It's just a really problematic rule in my mind, and there has to be a better way to deal with the situation - such as keeping money truly secret or having a better score tracking method.

What if I take 5 seconds to scratch my head, 5 seconds to blow my nose, 5 seconds to eat a cheeto and another 5 seconds to have a sip of beer - all while calculating someones score? Have I broken the rule?


I don't think the rule was intended for rules-lawyers to dock popularity for using 5 seconds to think or eat or drink . It's meant for people who get so caught up in calculating exact point differences that they slow down the game and make it un-fun for everyone else. And wouldn't a simpler way to calculate everyone's scores be right after you've taken your turn, and it's the other person's turn? Surely you have more time to think in that circumstance than to hide your score-counting by blowing your nose and scratching your head? In a 4-5 player game if you know your next move you surely have 15-20 seconds before your turn to do whatever calculations you want...
 
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Brian Jones
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I know Scythe is available for play on Tabletopia, can someone describe how this is handled in the online version of the game?

Also, a question for Jamey as well if he should read this: If Scythe were to be available on computers/tablets/mobile and playable asynchronously how would you expect this aspect of the game to be handled?
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Brian Jones
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creator1113 wrote:
bclayj wrote:

The variant actually says to dock the player 2 popularity! It's just a really problematic rule in my mind, and there has to be a better way to deal with the situation - such as keeping money truly secret or having a better score tracking method.

What if I take 5 seconds to scratch my head, 5 seconds to blow my nose, 5 seconds to eat a cheeto and another 5 seconds to have a sip of beer - all while calculating someones score? Have I broken the rule?


I don't think the rule was intended for rules-lawyers to dock popularity for using 5 seconds to think or eat or drink . It's meant for people who get so caught up in calculating exact point differences that they slow down the game and make it un-fun for everyone else. And wouldn't a simpler way to calculate everyone's scores be right after you've taken your turn, and it's the other person's turn? Surely you have more time to think in that circumstance than to hide your score-counting by blowing your nose and scratching your head? In a 4-5 player game if you know your next move you surely have 15-20 seconds before your turn to do whatever calculations you want...


Of course, that sort of calculating should be done before your turn when possible. I was mostly using the joke to illustrate why I thought the rule to be a poor one and unenforceable.

The bigger issue is that Jamey, in both the rules and multiple replies here on BGG, has implied that the money and VP's are open but should be "sorta" hard to count. That is a strange thing for myself and obviously a few other players to grok.

This is the reason for my question about digital implementations of the game.
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Michael nut
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This is far more about the spirit of the game and the gamers you play with. Are there ways to break the rules without getting caught? Yes. Should you be trying to play as if you are that faction rather than some omnipotent being who knows all about the world? Also yes.

Playing the game is supposed to be fun, winning is just a bonus (although I think Knizia said that much better than me).
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Brian Jones
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brumbynut wrote:
This is far more about the spirit of the game and the gamers you play with. Are there ways to break the rules without getting caught? Yes. Should you be trying to play as if you are that faction rather than some omnipotent being who knows all about the world? Also yes.

Playing the game is supposed to be fun, winning is just a bonus (although I think Knizia said that much better than me).


Sure, games should be fun first and foremost, but the questions are being asked for a reason. One possible reason is digital implementations of the game as I mentioned above. Another is the possibility of tournament play (not that I am interested, but it is specifically mentioned in the rules)

The trading and deal making rules are mentioned in the rule book as not applicable in tournament play. How exactly are the money and VP counting questions to be handled in a tournament? Is the information open and trackable or not?

One thing I am certain of, the variant "10 second rule" thing is not going to cut it for those tournament players at WBC and elsewhere. My interest is mostly academic, and I find the rule and the fuzzy "counting" rules a bit strange.
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A. I. H
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brumbynut wrote:
Playing the game is supposed to be fun, winning is just a bonus (although I think Knizia said that much better than me).


I think what he said was along the line of: "Winning is the goal in every game, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning"
 
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Greg
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My group uses plastic turtles to shame people into not taking forever to take their turn. After a certain point, someone says,"give him the turtle", and they pass a little plastic turtle in front of the slow player.

If people can count points on other players' turns, that's fine, but when it comes to their own turn, they need to be ready to take the turn. Sure they can think a little bit based on the previous player's turn, but not scanning the table and adding up VP's.
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Mike B
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I am actually trying to think about how this would even work in practice. Since so much of your final score is based on the game state when the final star is placed, it doesn't seem practical to calculate everyone's score as the game progresses.

Essentially ever time a player crosses a popularity threshold (up or down) a lot of annoying calculations would need to be done. Every time someone expanded or contracted on the map, a calculation would need to be done. Every time anyone gained or spent a resource, a calculation would need to be done. Every time a player gained or spent money, the score track would also need to be adjusted.

It seems like this would take even more time, when you aggregate all of these small calculations across an entire game.
 
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Francis K. Lalumiere
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NinjaMike wrote:
I am actually trying to think about how this would even work in practice. Since so much of your final score is based on the game state when the final star is placed, it doesn't seem practical to calculate everyone's score as the game progresses.

Essentially ever time a player crosses a popularity threshold (up or down) a lot of annoying calculations would need to be done. Every time someone expanded or contracted on the map, a calculation would need to be done. Every time anyone gained or spent a resource, a calculation would need to be done. Every time a player gained or spent money, the score track would also need to be adjusted.

It seems like this would take even more time, when you aggregate all of these small calculations across an entire game.

That was/is my concern as well.
But I'll try it this way during my next game: I will only start tracking scores once someone places his fourth star. And yes, I'll track everything, which I don't feel will be that much of a bother. In any case, we'll soon see, and I'll make sure to come back here and report.

But this is also why I wanted to ask the question (that no one has answered): when you guys play the game with four or five players, what happens near the end? Does one guy just end the game, guessing that he's got enough points to win, or do people start adding up points in order to gauge when to bring the game to a conclusion, or whom to attack?
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Brian Jones
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weishaupt wrote:
NinjaMike wrote:
I am actually trying to think about how this would even work in practice. Since so much of your final score is based on the game state when the final star is placed, it doesn't seem practical to calculate everyone's score as the game progresses.

Essentially ever time a player crosses a popularity threshold (up or down) a lot of annoying calculations would need to be done. Every time someone expanded or contracted on the map, a calculation would need to be done. Every time anyone gained or spent a resource, a calculation would need to be done. Every time a player gained or spent money, the score track would also need to be adjusted.

It seems like this would take even more time, when you aggregate all of these small calculations across an entire game.

That was/is my concern as well.
But I'll try it this way during my next game: I will only start tracking scores once someone places his fourth star. And yes, I'll track everything, which I don't feel will be that much of a bother. In any case, we'll soon see, and I'll make sure to come back here and report.

But this is also why I wanted to ask the question (that no one has answered): when you guys play the game with four or five players, what happens near the end? Does one guy just end the game, guessing that he's got enough points to win, or do people start adding up points in order to gauge when to bring the game to a conclusion, or whom to attack?


It seems that part of Jamey's intent with these rules is specifically to prevent that sort of counting, although I am still waiting on a direct answer to that. Perhaps each game group will have to make that decision on their own, but for me the rules included in the game are a very strange way to make endgame VP's "fuzzy".
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Hahma wrote:
My group uses plastic turtles to shame people into not taking forever to take their turn. After a certain point, someone says,"give him the turtle", and they pass a little plastic turtle in front of the slow player.

If people can count points on other players' turns, that's fine, but when it comes to their own turn, they need to be ready to take the turn. Sure they can think a little bit based on the previous player's turn, but not scanning the table and adding up VP's.


This last sentence is a very strange statement to me. In most every Euro game I have ever played, it's not only normal but expected that players would want to know where they stand VP wise. How long is too long to take to calculate VP's at end game? I'm not talking every turn, just near the end game.

Sure, there are games out there that want players not to know the exact VP count during the game or near the endgame, but I cannot think of one that doesn't hide information in some way to achieve this goal. To say that all information is open, but also should remain unknowable in some way, strikes me as both strange and likely to create confusion - hence this and other threads, as well as multiple comments in the reviews of Scythe.
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Greg
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bclayj wrote:
Hahma wrote:
My group uses plastic turtles to shame people into not taking forever to take their turn. After a certain point, someone says,"give him the turtle", and they pass a little plastic turtle in front of the slow player.

If people can count points on other players' turns, that's fine, but when it comes to their own turn, they need to be ready to take the turn. Sure they can think a little bit based on the previous player's turn, but not scanning the table and adding up VP's.


This last sentence is a very strange statement to me. In most every Euro game I have ever played, it's not only normal but expected that players would want to know where they stand VP wise. How long is too long to take to calculate VP's at end game? I'm not talking every turn, just near the end game.

Sure, there are games out there that want players not to know the exact VP count during the game or near the endgame, but I cannot think of one that doesn't hide information in some way to achieve this goal. To say that all information is open, but also should remain unknowable in some way, strikes me as both strange and likely to create confusion - hence this and other threads, as well as multiple comments in the reviews of Scythe.


Most euro style games have a score track to get a good idea of where people stand at a quick glance.

But a lot of them also have endgame scoring bonuses as well. Perhaps there are some open information endgame modifiers in some games that people don't spend 5 minutes trying to figure out, but since there isn't a rule about it, people don't notice.

Certainly people can spend some time checking out the board state in Scythe, like in any game, and even get an idea of other players' VP's, but maybe the rule os in place in case some people just take too long counting every single coin. While it wouldn't be much to do in a 2 player game, but in a 5 player game it can add a lot of time counting 4 other player's coins.

If you've ever played Snowdonia, you know there are contracts that people can fulfill as part of their endgame score. It's not hidden information, and there can be multiple contracts drafted, while a player may only be able to fulfill some of them, depending on how the game is going. There is no rule about other players not spending 5 minutes or more each turn trying to analyze the potential values of other players' contacts if completed, or the other multitude of points they can get from tracks laid, or stations they helped build, etc, but if someone did that each turn, all you can do is tell them to knock it off. But at least in Scythe, a person can tell them to knock it off or they can lose some points.

Ultimately, I think it will boil down to how each group wants to deal with it and their tolerance for length of a persons turn. If a player has a simple move to take, they may take a few extra moments to maybe count the leader's coins and nobody would notice because the rest of their turn was really quick. But if the same person takes a few minutes all the time to count coins, and then a couple more minutes to figure out what they want to do on their turn, then that may be too much for some other players.

We have some players in our group of 15 to 25 people every Monday night that take long turns by trying to analyze every possible thing. Often, a lot of players will try to avoid getting into a game with those players unless it's a light or party game. People will run the other way if it's any kind of deeper game.
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