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Mage Knight Board Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Frustrations with dummy player rss

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Tim Calhoun
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My friends and I ran into some issues with the suggested rules for the dummy player.

1) There are frustrating situations where there is absolutely nothing you can do to keep the dummy player from getting 4 crystals of a certain color. This can lead to some very fast rounds.

2) The current guidelines promote suboptimal deckbuilding. I frequently feel compelled to choose a card that is worse for my deck, so that the dummy player does not get a particular color action into his deck. As the synergy/deckbuilding aspect of the game is my favorite part, I really don't enjoy this.

3) It feels a bit too variable. Sometimes the dummy player flips over 6,6,5,EoR. Other times its 3,3,4,3,3,3,EoR. There's nothing more frustrating for me than not getting to use the powerful artifact that I picked up in the dungeon last round.

I mean I get the whole point of the dummy player so that you cannot sculpt perfect hands and take forever etc etc, but my question is this:

Has anyone created house rules that both reduce the seemingly high amount of variance and don't make you feel like you have to take cards that you don't want?

I REALLY don't like the idea of trying to sculpt the dummy players' deck by altering what cards you take from the offers.

I tried a game where I rolled a die to determine his crystal (gold=I choose, black = reroll). I also then gave him the top card of the advanced actions offer. This method eliminated the need for me to sculpt my deck suboptimally, but didn't really reduce the potential variance of him churning through his deck.

Please share thoughts/opinions.
 
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Brian Roundhill
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Lago Vista
Texas
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The high amount of variance is an attempt to mimic other players. When playing with other people, they can just as "easily" go 6,6,5,EoR.
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Georg D.
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If your dislike for the variance is that high you can remove it entirely : the dummy declares end of round during its 6th activation.
That is about the expected value of turns you get from the regular dummy.
If you want at least a bit variance you can randomly determine if you get a turn more or less. If you do so you can do this at the start of the round so that everyone can adapt to it.

If you get more experience with the game I would try the standard dummy again. I prefer a bit more variance and uncertainty. The rounds where the dummy declares eor in its 4th activation are really rare.
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The Original Thumb #50
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I was looking through some old games that I had recorded and it looks like I was generally getting 5-6 turns/round but occasionally 4 or 7.

My perception is that I tend to feel the dummy timer pressure maybe 1 round each game on average; occasionally 2.

Not sure if anyone has done any statistical analysis of what the dummy gives but it would be interesting.

When I was recording games, I came to the conclusion that the dummy ended up being less variable than I thought it was but that could also be due to me playing better and not really worrying about it so much.
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The Original Thumb #50
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Roundhill wrote:
The high amount of variance is an attempt to mimic other players. When playing with other people, they can just as "easily" go 6,6,5,EoR.


Oh yeah, I was going to mention that I always feel more time pressure when playing with other players than I ever due when playing solo with the dummy timer.
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Eric Daoust
Canada
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In my last game, the dummy player ended up with 6 greens.
I was not able to conquer the 2nd city (almost did though) because of bad card drawing.
However, it was one hell of a ride trying to do it and made for a different game then winning at the beginning of Night 3.

 
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Tim Calhoun
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Roundhill wrote:
The high amount of variance is an attempt to mimic other players. When playing with other people, they can just as "easily" go 6,6,5,EoR.


Well keep in mind this is co-op, and if playing co-op it almost never happens that someone will do that, especially if they know it will hurt the team.
 
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Brian M
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Timmy101 wrote:
Roundhill wrote:
The high amount of variance is an attempt to mimic other players. When playing with other people, they can just as "easily" go 6,6,5,EoR.


Well keep in mind this is co-op, and if playing co-op it almost never happens that someone will do that, especially if they know it will hurt the team.

Pretty sure Roundhill is comparing the dummy player to another player in a competitive game. Mage Knight is designed as a competitive game, and the dummy player is an attempt to simulate the time pressure from another opponent in a solo/cooperative game.
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Jonathan Hersey
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Peoria
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For a while I felt the same way but as time went on I appreciated how the Dummy forced me to have tighter play. It cut the fat off my choices if you will, and helped me determine my best moves. It's not a big deal to just alter the dummy but I would encourage you to hang in there. You'll get a bad game now and then but things will even out.
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Tim Calhoun
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StormKnight wrote:
Timmy101 wrote:
Roundhill wrote:
The high amount of variance is an attempt to mimic other players. When playing with other people, they can just as "easily" go 6,6,5,EoR.


Well keep in mind this is co-op, and if playing co-op it almost never happens that someone will do that, especially if they know it will hurt the team.

Pretty sure Roundhill is comparing the dummy player to another player in a competitive game. Mage Knight is designed as a competitive game, and the dummy player is an attempt to simulate the time pressure from another opponent in a solo/cooperative game.


Ah ok I see. Fair enough.
 
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Zeus Cat

Ohio
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Here is a statistical analysis of cards drawn on the first round with the dummy player as Goldyx.



You start with 4 cards of each color in the DP deck at the start of the game. The boxes in yellow note how many cards the DP turns over based on the color of the third card drawn. The percentages in blue show how likely that will occur for each draw. The numbers in orange are weighted averages used to determine the average number of cards that will be turned over per round.

After the first round you will most likely have turned over 3.75 cards. Huh? A better way to think of it is that you will probably turn over 4 cards for 3 of the first four turns and 3 cards on one turn. So you will USUALLY have drawn 15 cards from the DP deck by the time the DP has had 4 turns.

So the best case is you don't draw any green or blue cards and only turn over 3 cards each turn. You get 7 turns if the DP goes first and 8 turns if you do.

The worst case is you always draw green and turn over 5 cards. You get 5 turns if the DP goes first and 6 turns if you do.
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Zeus Cat

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So the original poster said he drew green cards and added a green crystal to the DP deck. So here is round two.



A little change here for the worst case as now you only get 4/5 rounds. The typical and best case situations are very similar to the first round analysis.
 
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Austin Andersen
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Berrien Springs
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It is what it is. Some games the dummy player is very difficult, others not so much so. If you stick with it, it will even out over time.
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Zeus Cat

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Third round and yet another green card and green crystal for the DP.



Nothing has really changed from round two. The typical, best an worst cases are essentially the same.

So what is the probability of drawing the worst case. Well, the third, eighth and thirteenth card must be green. All other cards in all other positions in the DP deck are irrelevant. What is the probability of that?

There are six green cards in the deck of eighteen. So the probability that the third card is green will be 6 out of eighteen times, or 6/18. The probability that the eighth card is green is 5 out of seventeen times, or 5/17. The number of green cards available for the eighth slot is reduced by 1 as I put one in the third slot. The overall pool of cards has also been reduced by 1 to seventeen.

The probability that the third card is green is 4 out of sixteen times, or 4/16. Rearranging and doing the math = (6*5*4)/(18*17*16) or 2.45% of the time. The probability of all green in one round is small, but it will happen.
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Zeus Cat

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One last analysis.



Here I have the DP adding no green or blue cards, but one each of red and white. Notice that the DP MUST draw 4 cards in each round. The worst case has improved, but the best case has gotten worse. Now the best case is essentially the same as the typical case. Hmmm...

So if you want more turns in each round always choose the lowest tactic that is available and force the DP to go after you.
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Simon Gauvin
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What I do is playing by thinking for a 4 turn strategy for a night or day, and I don't botter to much with the AI. But if I see that I can take something that I can take and is as good as something else in the row, I favor slowing down the AI. I had a good time with that and winning two time in the last week (I only own the game for a week now). cool
 
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