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Subject: A different perspective ... responses welcome rss

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G Wintner
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Disclaimer: I have only played Outfoxed! three times. Also, I'll assume you already know what the game is about and how to play it.

There is a lot to love about this game. It's a thoughtful game for kids. It's cooperative. It has deduction. And - common to pretty much every Gamewright game I've played - it has very nice quality components (a molded box insert too, natch), nice art, and is priced way too reasonably for what you get. I don't know how they do it. This game in particular has a distinctive and attractive art style.

(Minor art gripes: the town depicted on the board is deserted, with no chickens or other anthropomorphic beings walking around. My kids noticed this and commented on it, asking where everyone is. I think making it a little more vibrant would have been nice. Also, as it's potentially a 4 player game, I don't know why only 3 Sherlockian chickens are depicted. When I played with my wife and two of my kids and we put all of our pieces in the middle, one kid wanted to know why one of us was missing from the board. Three chickens in a ghost town ... Hm.)

However ... the dice.

1) In all of our games, there were a great number of failed rolls, and the fox unforgivingly quickly exited (or would have, if I hadn't mucked with the rules in our third game to save it), through no fault of the players. Just noting: there are 36 spaces for the fox to cover to get to the exit. The basic rules have you move the fox 3 spaces for each failed turn. That means you're allowed a max of 12 fails. If, as the rulebook offers, you up the fox's movement to 4 or 5 spaces a shot to make the game "more difficult", then you'd get a max of 9 fails or ... Well, 8. We failed so frequently that this happened RAPIDLY in our games. I don't know statistics well enough to know what the chances should be of being able to make the rolls the game requires with 2 possible re-rolls allowed, but ... Apparently, they're not great.

2) Related: this means that aside from the game being laughably difficult - our last game began with the fox moving 7 times versus one successful turn - success or failure is utterly luck-dependent, making this (in one, critical way) no better than Candyland.

3) There's also something very disappointing, especially for young kids, about the sum total effect of your turn being null or even negative. There's just so much failing in this game, it's disheartening. We in the hobby gaming world typically criticize games that allow you to skip another person's turn, like the Skip card in Uno. The skipped person is NOT PLAYING A GAME, and isn't having fun. There have to be smarter ways to obstruct or challenge players than to just take their turn away, and we expect that these days. Yet here - again, through no fault of their own - players frequently just had to sigh and turn the dice over to the next player, their turn a waste.

I want to like this game more. Please tell me why I'm wrong here.

Last note: The impression I have from some other comments here on BGG is that, for those people, often games can be way too easy, with the fox hardly moving (I guess this is why the manual offers ways to make it "harder"), while on occasion you can lose quickly with bad rolls. I find the first experience surprising - I figured if we played three games and each one went exactly the same way, that's too much to be a statistical oddity, it must just be how the game is. But even granting that, still, doesn't that still just show how totally lucky this game is - whether for success or failure?
 
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Darren Kisgen
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I don't have the game in front of me, but it sounds like maybe you think you get only 2 re rolls per game, when in fact you get 2 re rolls per turn.
 
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J-F Audy
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Chambly
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It's two re rolls per turn.

I've played a lot of this game with my little girl and my wife and we enjoyed the game quite a bit.

I feel it's an easy game and we never lost. I even make the fox advance 5 spaces to spice the game a little bit more!
 
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G Wintner
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Nope, I'm well aware that it's 2 re-rolls per turn (... Really, guys?). Yahtzee style, yeah, like every other Yahtzee style game (King of Tokyo, Elder Sign, Pickomino, etc etc.

So you're telling me that we should be having more luck on our rolls and we've just been remarkably, statistically impossibly unlucky?
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Darren Kisgen
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Yeah, I don't think we have ever lost on the easy level. And have probably played it a dozen times. So that is why I thought you had to be getting the re roll thing wrong. I don't have the dice with me, but can't you just pick whichever way you pair up on at least 2 of 3 dice, and then roll the remaining die twice to try to match those 2? So a 75% chance of success there, plus you might get 3 of a kind to start, so probably 80%+ chance of success each turn.
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Ken L.
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I'm with the majority here, it seems. My daughter and I have played this many times and have rarely lost. We usually play with the fox moving 4 spaces with each failed roll. I find that level good because the fox is often close to escaping, but we still usually win (my daughter is 4 and is still learning how to lose properly.)

I will agree with you about the fact that it is not fun when someone doesn't get to do anything on their turn, especially with kids. In this game, though, I find it more when "searching for clues." In that part of the game, the player is only supposed to move the same number of spaces as there are paw symbols showing on the die. Occasionally, that number is not high enough to reach the next clue, and when that happens my daughter doesn't understand yet my she doesn't get to turn over a clue. When we play, we turn over a clue whenever we roll three paw symbols, regardless of the number of spaces between them.
 
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G Wintner
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kisgen wrote:
Yeah, I don't think we have ever lost on the easy level. And have probably played it a dozen times. So that is why I thought you had to be getting the re roll thing wrong. I don't have the dice with me, but can't you just pick whichever way you pair up on at least 2 of 3 dice, and then roll the remaining die twice to try to match those 2? So a 75% chance of success there, plus you might get 3 of a kind to start, so probably 80%+ chance of success each turn.


If you play with the rule you described, then yes, your rolls will usually succeed. But that's not the rule - you must decide what you're going for BEFORE your first roll, as I understand it (I don't have the rules in front of me but I checked that I was right about this more than once - the decision must come before the first roll). Which means that on your first roll 2 or even all 3 of the dice may now not be showing the symbol you need, and you only get two re-rolls to "fix" them all.
 
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Darren Kisgen
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OK, you are right, sorry. I am traveling at the moment so I am just doing this from memory, but my wife confirmed you have that rule right. I just did a back of the envelope calculation, and I think your odds of success are still about 67% with the correct rules. So the chances of 7 out of 8 failed attempts are still extremely remote. And according to my family, we have rarely lost with these correct rules (there is a debate between my son and daughter as to whether we have never lost or lost once on the easy rules ).
 
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G Wintner
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kisgen wrote:
OK, you are right, sorry. I am traveling at the moment so I am just doing this from memory, but my wife confirmed you have that rule right. I just did a back of the envelope calculation, and I think your odds of success are still about 67% with the correct rules. So the chances of 7 out of 8 failed attempts are still extremely remote. And according to my family, we have rarely lost with these correct rules (there is a debate between my son and daughter as to whether we have never lost or lost once on the easy rules ).


Thank you, appreciate it. Okay, will give it another shot ...
 
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Siel Oren
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maybe you can skip the declaration phase before the roll, and choose if you search or reveal by your roll, so it's a little less luck based and somewhat more strategic (if you wanted to search but rolled 2 reveal and only one search perhaps it's better you try and reveal).
 
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Rachael C
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We've played it lots of times, at least 20, and lost the game 3 times. Sometimes we get a run of bad die rolls, but on our very first game I'm not sure the fox moved at all and we wondered if the game was skewed too easy.

G Wintner, when you don't get the roll you want, are you rerolling all the dice or just the ones you don't want? Doing the former would lower your odds of success.
 
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M Taylor
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My detailed sums say that the chance of success (after calling for a specific outcome) is 66.9922%. So, assuming that you're allowed 11 or 12 fails, that should give you about 22 successes (which would be split between clues and revealing suspects, though you should only need 'reveal suspects' 7 times).
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