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Subject: Making The Game Last Longer. rss

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Jared Manning
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While reading one of the other threads on winning in this forum, a notion occured to me. I can't even begin to count the number of times I've done one of the following things while playing a game:

- Held onto cards or actions to extend the length of a game, just for the sake of playing more.
- Fed good cards or opportunities to the opposing player[s] to anonymously help them out.
- Let other players win, even when I had already met the necessary requirements for victory many turns previous.

For me, winning isn't really the point of playing board games. It's all about spending time with someone. Having the chance to make them feel a little better through victory is just the icing on the cake.

Out of curiosity, how many of you have purposefully extended games, up to costing yourself the win?
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bort
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Never.

How would the other players feel about their "win", knowing they only got it from you not playing seriously?

I could understand it if you were playing kids, or a new player you were introducing to the game.
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Jared Manning
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bortmonkey wrote:
Never.

How would the other players feel about their "win", knowing they only got it from you not playing seriously?

I could understand it if you were playing kids, or a new player you were introducing to the game.


Why would I be playing 'seriously'? These are games... they're not anything genuinely important. Though, to be honest, I wouldn't call anyone I play games with 'serious' gamers. It's all very casual and intended to be fun.
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bort
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Playing seriously and having fun are not mutually exclusive
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Jared Manning
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bortmonkey wrote:
Playing seriously and having fun are not mutually exclusive


Couldn't agree more. That's exactly my point.
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bort
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Immortal Thanos wrote:
bortmonkey wrote:
Playing seriously and having fun are not mutually exclusive


Couldn't agree more. That's exactly my point.


So, play seriously then. Don't extend the game for no reason (apart from your own).
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Morris Ho
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Immortal Thanos wrote:
While reading one of the other threads on winning in this forum, a notion occured to me. I can't even begin to count the number of times I've done one of the following things while playing a game:

- Held onto cards or actions to extend the length of a game, just for the sake of playing more.
- Fed good cards or opportunities to the opposing player[s] to anonymously help them out.
- Let other players win, even when I had already met the necessary requirements for victory many turns previous.

For me, winning isn't really the point of playing board games. It's all about spending time with someone. Having the chance to make them feel a little better through victory is just the icing on the cake.

Out of curiosity, how many of you have purposefully extended games, up to costing yourself the win?


I don't know; this feels a little condescending. Like you don't think the other players can win without you purposely helping them out. I guess some people could appreciate the gesture, but there are equally as many who would think you're slighting their mental abilities.

Anyway, if none of the people you play with are "serious" gamers and it's all intended to be casual and fun, why not just take the win for yourself? After all...nobody cares one way or the other.
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Samuel Hinz
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I'd pretty annoyed that you are not trying your best and just letting me win.
Why not win and then play again?
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Paul Ferguson
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I don't like artificially dragging a game out, I would find it patronizing towards the other players. People won't learn to play better, to think differently or adapt. You get more from a game by loosing and learning what you could do better next time.
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Alexandre P.
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Immortal Thanos wrote:
Why would I be playing 'seriously'? These are games... they're not anything genuinely important.


For me, doing your best to win is a part of the tacit agreement settled between players the moment they sat around the table.

If I try to extend a game, it's because I think it will increase my chances to win.
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In games I play, I can easily extend the game by adding more to the starting or ending pools : HP in M:tG or Star Realms, honour in Ascension, etc. So if we want to play longer games, we just say so at the beginning of the game.
Other games have predefinite ending conditions, such as the ages in Seasons. Not much you can do about that unless you set up a specific card combo. Which I do sometimes, but because I need more time to set up. If I'm set up, I just rush the game to the end to handicap my opponents.

I never try not to win in a game. Simply because I play games to do something efficient. If I see an opportunity to win or to take an advantage, I seize it. Not because I want to win, but because I want to try it, and to test the limits of the game.
I would not appreciate if I knew that an opponent had the game but let me win to make me feel better. I would feel humiliated, because the person thought I could not make it on my own, and that I needed help. I don't. If I did something wrong, I do not deserve to win the game. And the same is true for my opponents. They won't get better if they do not win because they played well. I don't play with kids but I would probably act the same with them.

Now, you could argue we could lenghthen cooperative games, but I usually don't want to. I'm a combo player. I'm trying to build efficient engines that can win either hard, or fast. Having more time to set them up is not fun, it becomes too easy. The time constraint is what makes it challenging.

I get why you want to play longer games, but I would rather start a new game than lenghthen a normal game, otherwise it might overstay its welcome. And I like the interaction with other players better in a short game. Not TOO short, but short.
 
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Trent Boardgamer
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Immortal Thanos wrote:
While reading one of the other threads on winning in this forum, a notion occured to me. I can't even begin to count the number of times I've done one of the following things while playing a game:

- Held onto cards or actions to extend the length of a game, just for the sake of playing more.
- Fed good cards or opportunities to the opposing player[s] to anonymously help them out.
- Let other players win, even when I had already met the necessary requirements for victory many turns previous.

For me, winning isn't really the point of playing board games. It's all about spending time with someone. Having the chance to make them feel a little better through victory is just the icing on the cake.

Out of curiosity, how many of you have purposefully extended games, up to costing yourself the win?


Yes I have.

Whenever I play with my nieces and other children I'm playing more to try to facilitate the experience for them. Beating a 7 year old on their first game doesn't make me feel proud or happy. I prefer to let the kids play it out for the winning spot and generally help along the younger ones compete with the older kids.

Also being a DM for decades sometimes it's about making the game fun for the players more so than trying to win, games like Fallen and Descent come to mind in this regard.

In general play with my friends/gaming groups we certainly play to win though.
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Ravage Board Gaming
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Original post comes across as a humble brag. Why so much focus on yourself and not an analysis of the merits of both sides of the discussion?
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Gianluca Casu
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One strange behaviour that I noticed in gaming is that when you are playing and having fun you'd never want to stop, but starting a new game is always a drag.

So, from this point of view I can understand the OP. It stops here though, since what he does sounds as patronizing as one can get at the table.

Play your game and if you can end it quickly do so. Means we will have more time to play another game.
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John
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I think I've allowed a game to go an extra round when I could & should have ended it because I'd almost certainly have won. Doing that might have allowed someone else to win occasionally. However my intention wasn't to allow someone else to win it was more not properly considering the option of ending the game this turn and thinking too much about how good the thing I'm planing for the next turn is.

I don't really see the point in playing a game if you don't win when you can. If you don't try to win your just move cardboard around. Why not just have a coffee with them? Or if there's a few people watch them play the game? Or play a coop game or do a jigsaw? If you want to play a game win and then start another game.

It's like sport - if I play a (association) football I'm going to try my best for my team. If I'm not going to try to win then I should have a kick about, go for a run, go hiking or some other non-competitive exercise.
 
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John
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Bearhug78 wrote:
Whenever I play with my nieces and other children I'm playing more to try to facilitate the experience for them. Beating a 7 year old on their first game doesn't make me feel proud or happy. I prefer to let the kids play it out for the winning spot and generally help along the younger ones compete with the older kids.

Playing with kids is different, but even there I don't usually deliberately let them win. Ideally I'd try to get two children to play while I watch (and remind them of rules if needed) so it's a fairer game. If I'm playing I'll let them go first (if that's an advantage), take my moves quickly, encourage them to take their time when I can see it's an important move, perhaps give them some strategy advice (e.g. point out that I've just got a line of 3 in connect four). I try not to make it too obvious that I'm helping them a bit and sometimes I'll just play normally. They do win sometimes and know I haven't let them win, when they lose I try to point out how well they have done.

Obviously the right approach depends on the child.
 
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nat tact
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Nat's two cents.

If you want the game to last longer here are some suggestions

1. Don't spend just a few seconds setting up the game, instead view setting up the game as a journey; making sure that you place each piece in the exact right spot.

2. Communication is key. "Slaying" it might feel really good for you but that position might be uncomfortable or even be painful for your opponent

3. If you are going to win soon try to hold onto that feeling as long as you can so maybe your opponent has a chance at winning.

4. If you're playing for recreation purposes make sure you have a sleeve or two available.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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Immortal Thanos wrote:
While reading one of the other threads on winning in this forum, a notion occured to me. I can't even begin to count the number of times I've done one of the following things while playing a game:

- Held onto cards or actions to extend the length of a game, just for the sake of playing more.
- Fed good cards or opportunities to the opposing player[s] to anonymously help them out.
- Let other players win, even when I had already met the necessary requirements for victory many turns previous.

For me, winning isn't really the point of playing board games. It's all about spending time with someone. Having the chance to make them feel a little better through victory is just the icing on the cake.

Out of curiosity, how many of you have purposefully extended games, up to costing yourself the win?
This really only makes sense if you're playing a fixed number of games. For example, if after a single game you'll call it a night. Otherwise, why not finish the game normally and start a new game. If the goal is to spend time with people why would it be important to draw out a single game (making the result odd) instead of simply filling your available time with multiple games?
 
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Alexandra M
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I know a lot of people are not keen on your idea, but I totally do this too.

I am probably the strongest gamer in my group (all fairly casual, I'm the most into it),and some of my friends do get whiny if they find they were left in the dust early on, which does happen. We don't play games solely for strategy - if it's not /fun/, why are we doing it? When someone is whining, or frustrated, or sad, it's not fun for anyone.

Therefore, if I am winning multiple games in a row, and I can see that luck was on my side, I'll certainly throw a bone instead of choosing to win myself. That's not how you keep friends - you keep friends by being a friend to them, even at your own expense.

i think it does depend on your group, however. I personally don't need bones thrown my way if I'm having a bad game - I'm fine with it, and I win lots anyway, so it can be someone else's turn. But if it stops being fun for the people you're with and giving them a nudge of help changes that? Of course it's worth doing.
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G.Daddy.Slim
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Thunkd wrote:
Immortal Thanos wrote:
While reading one of the other threads on winning in this forum, a notion occured to me. I can't even begin to count the number of times I've done one of the following things while playing a game:

- Held onto cards or actions to extend the length of a game, just for the sake of playing more.
- Fed good cards or opportunities to the opposing player[s] to anonymously help them out.
- Let other players win, even when I had already met the necessary requirements for victory many turns previous.

For me, winning isn't really the point of playing board games. It's all about spending time with someone. Having the chance to make them feel a little better through victory is just the icing on the cake.

Out of curiosity, how many of you have purposefully extended games, up to costing yourself the win?
This really only makes sense if you're playing a fixed number of games. For example, if after a single game you'll call it a night. Otherwise, why not finish the game normally and start a new game. If the goal is to spend time with people why would it be important to draw out a single game (making the result odd) instead of simply filling your available time with multiple games?


Exactly, that's why they have filler games.. play to win, then move onto the next game... if you're group doesn't want to play a longer game, play something shorter... there are plenty of quick setup, quick short duration games that you could pull out to extend the night for those who want to.

Anonymously & purposely making plays to extend the game duration for the purposes of keeping your group together is sort of like taking your guests hostage. Its selfish and is certainly keeping them there under false pretenses. If people want to leave as soon as the game is over, let them leave. If they want to stay and play another game, pull out a filler...

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Jeff
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There's no simple explanation for anything important any of us do, and yeah the human tragedy consists of the necessity of living with the consequences, under pressure, under pressure. -Courage (For Hugh Maclennan): The Tragically Hip
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I've done this with my children. Adults beat me often enough without any help from me.
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Tim
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alexangiraffe wrote:
That's not how you keep friends - you keep friends by being a friend to them, even at your own expense.



Being a friend is patronizing them and treating them with kid gloves? Anyone who would stop being your friend because you beat them in a board game probably isn't really your friend.
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Ryan Keane
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Immortal Thanos wrote:
While reading one of the other threads on winning in this forum, a notion occured to me. I can't even begin to count the number of times I've done one of the following things while playing a game:

- Held onto cards or actions to extend the length of a game, just for the sake of playing more.
- Fed good cards or opportunities to the opposing player[s] to anonymously help them out.
- Let other players win, even when I had already met the necessary requirements for victory many turns previous.

For me, winning isn't really the point of playing board games. It's all about spending time with someone. Having the chance to make them feel a little better through victory is just the icing on the cake.

Out of curiosity, how many of you have purposefully extended games, up to costing yourself the win?


I have done the first quite a bit - not terminating the game even though I could, so that other players could continue to enjoy the game. Exploring the game space for my own and others enjoyment, while trying to win, is the goal of my gaming, so terminating the game by what some players will consider premature may be a bad move for my goal. While my wife and I love Roll for the Galaxy, her main complaint with the game is that a player can choose to finish the game independent of meeting any win condition. But lots of games have this issue.

I don't really do the second, in terms of "feeding" good stuff to opponents, but in many games, you make choices about how aggressive/cutthroat/blocking to be. It not always obvious whether the optimal strategy is to make a blocking move that doesn't help you much or make a move that helps you but leaves open a better move for your opponent, and where you fall on that spectrum can be a style thing or groupthink thing.

For games with a lot of negotiation and diplomacy, I have also done something like the third. Not that I have already met the requirements for victory, but that I see a possible path towards achieving those requirements but don't pursue it. Sometimes I know what I "could" do in terms of trying to persuade players to allow me to win, but often it's not worth it for metagame reasons.

What about trying out sub-optimal strategies? Often with a game I know well, I will try to win with what I believe to be a sub-optimal strategy, knowing that I am likely letting other players win.
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Immortal Thanos wrote:
While reading one of the other threads on winning in this forum, a notion occured to me. I can't even begin to count the number of times I've done one of the following things while playing a game:

- Held onto cards or actions to extend the length of a game, just for the sake of playing more.
- Fed good cards or opportunities to the opposing player[s] to anonymously help them out.
- Let other players win, even when I had already met the necessary requirements for victory many turns previous.

For me, winning isn't really the point of playing board games. It's all about spending time with someone. Having the chance to make them feel a little better through victory is just the icing on the cake.

Out of curiosity, how many of you have purposefully extended games, up to costing yourself the win?


I have caught myself not always making choices which would progress toward me winning the game simply because I'm enjoying the experience of playing. Also, if I feel I have an edge against other players (lots of experience, versus them just learning) I'll go easy on them, but not necessarily let or help them win.
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K S
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bortmonkey wrote:
I could understand it if you were playing kids


Not even. As a child, my family brutally crushed me in chess, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Yahtzee, every game we ever played. I occasionally got a handicap, but it was all very up-front and was taken away as soon as I was decent enough. It taught me that games can be fun even when you lose. And I knew that my occasional victories were real.

That being said, I will sometimes "handicap" myself against disadvantaged opponents in a competitive game by setting an elaborate non-victory goal for myself. For example, when playing Magic: the Gathering with a new player, I may decide I plan to win by milling them even though I could more quickly defeat them through combat. But again, I'm upfront about it, and I'm definitely trying to win whatever particular method.
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