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Subject: Is there a common etiquette on giving advices to a player against another one? rss

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Lionel
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Hi,

I am sure that this dilemma happens pretty often, but is there a general consensus on how giving advices to an opponent? I am curious.

Two examples:

- You notice that one opponent is about to win and needs to be blocked by a group effort: do you warn the other players?
- One player is about to do something pretty stupid which will help tremendously another one without any self benefit: do you warn him?

Of course those advices are never innocent and profit to you, but they also profit the player you are giving advices too. The only "loser" is another opponent.

Do you have some ground rules about this in your group?
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Sal
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Just go with what feels right meeple
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Lionel
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Well, personally, I notice that my perception of what feels right varies depending which player I am in the scenario
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Christen
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Re: Bad moves

If it is a learning game, I will give advice if they are making a REALLY bad move with no benefits to them, but only in the first half of the game, or until they seem to really get it.

I won't say anything to people who are experienced gamers and seem to understand the game well enough.

Unsolicited advice is a huge gaming pet peeve for me. Let people play their own game!


Re: screw the winner

Most of the time, no, but really it depends on the type of game. If it is a euro, and you could tell someone to screw someone else out of points just so your score is higher, no. I wouldn't. If it was a game with set win conditions (for example, Discworld Ankh-Morpork or Cosmic Encounter), then yes I would, since part of the just the flow and feeling of the game.
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James Lautermilch
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Good advice on go what feels right. Every group dynamic is different so what happens will run the gamut. If you are creating a new group no problem go over ground rules on your first night together, otherwise get to know the other people really well and keep communicating. I've been in groups that have had this issue you are describing and the reactions have gone from Yawn to group smashing ugliness so I say communicate as much as possible and know the people in your group as well as you can. meeple
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Kyle
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landcsf wrote:
Hi,

I am sure that this dilemma happens pretty often, but is there a general consensus on how giving advices to an opponent? I am curious.

Two examples:

- You notice that one opponent is about to win and needs to be blocked by a group effort: do you warn the other players?
- One player is about to do something pretty stupid which will help tremendously another one without any self benefit: do you warn him?

Of course those advices are never innocent and profit to you, but they also profit the player you are giving advices too. The only "loser" is another opponent.

Do you have some ground rules about this in your group?


Yes to #1, no to #2 unless he is new. We tend to play political games so...
 
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Paul Long
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In my groups, generally we do. I think there is a difference between collusion strategies ("Lets gang up on Gary as he is the leader") and understanding the game ("You know that xxx move is probably worth more points" or "this is probably the last move because Bob is going to yyy"). We are all friendly enough that those discussions are helpful. If the information is openly available, it is strange not to talk about it. Collusion is frowned upon tho

It doesn't stop the leader going "Shhh, don't tell them that", but its taken in a well meaning way.
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Chapel
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Depends on the game, and the crowd. Some games lend themselves to table talk and negotiation, some don't. Same with game groups.

I tend to like games that have some level of trash talk, and negotiation.
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Sean Conroy
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"Look! He's winning! "Get 'em!"
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Rebecca Carpenter
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Example 1, blocking the winner: If the game design facilitates negotiation, like Here I Stand, then of course. Otherwise, nah. Let the winner win.

Example 2, mistake that benefits others but not the action taker: depends on many factors. I'm very cautious never to kingmake. If the mistake greatly harms the action taker, and isn't obvious, then for a new player I probably would point out the mistake, experienced no.

If anyone has an oversight that is obvious in any circumstance, I will remind them. I don't want to win because someone blanked on a detail they clearly understand but forgot to perform or simply didn't take the time to math out, but could have.
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bort
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We point out bad moves when we're all new - if we know the game well, then we expect people can see a bad move.

The "this player is going to win, stop him!" I've seen, and I dont like it much when I'm the player going to win. I dont like the entire group basically openly colluding against me, always feels awful. And you can bet the guy who says this stands to win if the leader doesnt.

So I'll avoid games where this can come up, or at least the worst games for it (Kemet comes to mind).
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Tim Koppang
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I generally find advice during play to be annoying, especially if more than one player is experienced and they are all trying to give me advice. It's just too overwhelming. Plus, I like to muddle through a bit -- that's half the fun of learning a new game.

So I apply that same thinking when giving out advice. If I'm teaching new players, I try my best to point out what I believe to be the 2-5 most important strategy tips or pitfalls to keep in mind (less is more here). I do this during the explanation, and not all at once. As soon as the the games starts, I generally let them find their own way. Every once in a while I might interject to prevent a truly terrible move that might, for example, take them out of the game, but that's an increasing rarity. If they are about to hand the game unwittingly to someone, then fine, I generally let it happen. That's just the way things go in a multiplayer setting. They'll get better and learn from their mistakes, just like everyone else.

I don't always know what attitude other people have about receiving advice. I don't want to annoy them, and I certainly don't want to offend them. And along similar lines, it's a big no-no to offer advice after they've made a boneheaded move, especially when they are frustrated. No need to rub it in!

In other words, a light touch is best in my experience. And it's a lesson I've learned the hard way over the years (filled with more than a few nasty looks as I overstepped some boundary).
 
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Brian Baird
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Befefig wrote:
In my groups, generally we do. I think there is a difference between collusion strategies ("Lets gang up on Gary as he is the leader") and understanding the game ("You know that xxx move is probably worth more points" or "this is probably the last move because Bob is going to yyy"). We are all friendly enough that those discussions are helpful. If the information is openly available, it is strange not to talk about it. Collusion is frowned upon tho

It doesn't stop the leader going "Shhh, don't tell them that", but its taken in a well meaning way.


I'd like to play in your group!
 
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Lionel
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Interesting answers!

My latest dilemma was at a game of Cyclades, where I noticed really late that a player was only missing one white building to win - and nobody else noticed his quiet move. I couldn't compete for the bidding and was debating on telling the others so they could prevent him to bid on the white god (which was highly beneficial for me of course).
 
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K S
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I primarily play games as a means of socializing with friends, so I view "table talk" as desirable. I would not generally hesitate to collude with other players to prevent a win, or advise another player of alternative plays.

However, in some situations I might avoid this if a particular player (especially a new one) seems frustrated because they feel poorly done by or resentful of too much advice tot he point of "quarterbacking".

In a competitive game, I don't generally mind advice given to me or an opponent, unless it's grossly unfair (e.g. there are multiple new players and only some of them are being advised). I sometimes ignore advice even if a more experienced player thinks my play is sub-optimal, and if I feel that I am being advised too much, usually just one "No, I'm not gonna do that: I wanna do this" is enough to get the adviser to back down for the rest of the game.

I generally try to avoid cooperative games which are easily "quarterbacked".
 
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Jan Probst
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I consider the weather and the game state to be universally acceptable topics of idle chatter.
 
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Alexandre P.
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landcsf wrote:
- You notice that one opponent is about to win and needs to be blocked by a group effort: do you warn the other players?
- One player is about to do something pretty stupid which will help tremendously another one without any self benefit: do you warn him?


Both situation could be considered as avoiding a "king-making" choice, right ?

For a new player I may advice a few times.

And I have no problem in giving advices to player A against B, either it helps player A ... or myself.
The best example is Small World: we spend the entire game pointing other players as leader, advice to take a territory rather than an other to obstruct player B when in fact it's in our favour ...

[q="landcsf"My latest dilemma was at a game of Cyclades, where I noticed really late that a player was only missing one white building to win - and nobody else noticed his quiet move. I couldn't compete for the bidding and was debating on telling the others so they could prevent him to bid on the white god (which was highly beneficial for me of course).[/q]

I would have said "hey, don't let him get this god or he wins",then tried to convince them to bid for this god and to divert their attention from the more interesting god for me.
 
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Steve
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It probably depends on the game. Playing Diplomacy without offering "advice" would be missing the point. Whereas a multi-player solitaire Euro depends on each player optimising their own play, so probably best left unadvised. In a co-operative game, offering advice is sometimes seen as a problem - the alpha player problem.
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Kill'em all! devil

We usually tell people when they're doing wrong moves and try to keep track of what they're doing. Because we're more experienced, but also because we have a tendency of forgetting triggers (I build into turns that are too complex for me sometimes and get lost in them), so this is not to hinder others and all, but to help people to get a better grip of the game.

No one complained yet but I didn't think they actually might. I'll have to be more careful about it in the future.
 
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Reed Dawley
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I tend to play with people I know so I tend to let them make their moves unless they ask, once they have made their move and they are new at the game I may point out a move they could have made and then let them take their turn over. Once they have played the game enough and they are comfortable with it I will answer questions or give advice only if asked.

As for getting advice it tends to drive me nuts unless it is a very new game and I ask. I tend to play with newer gamers or non-gamers and I do not play to destroy them but to try to win by some weird path. Someone pointing out a move I was going to make anyway drives me crazy. The more obvious the move the worse it rankles me. I remain calm because I understand that if people know it bugs me they will do it on purpose to throw my game off or mess with me but inside my head I attempt to pull a Scanners move on their skulls.
 
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Leonardo Martino
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Id say no to both. The risk of the game becoming a big cooperative conference dragging forever is too big in my own experience.
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landcsf wrote:

- One player is about to do something pretty stupid which will help tremendously another one without any self benefit: do you warn him?


Just a quick remark here: I have experienced that in particular new players with a fresh view onto a game can have actually great ideas which have not been explored by one's gaming group yet. More often than not, these moves which look 'pretty stupid' turn out not to be so stupid at all in the long run. This is clearly not the case for end-game situations where it is possible to calculate all possible outcomes.
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Paul Ferguson
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In more complex games I will tell people about another strategy that would benefit them. As there can be an overload of information with complex and new games, I feel it is better to inform players so they may enjoy the game more and would be keen to try the game again. As for getting people to block others, I think this is fair in games that already have a high degree of interaction, like Game of Thrones and other games that have a similar push pull game play.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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I always like to point out to a player when they have a better move that also happens to help me out. I'm just altruistic that way.
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John
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I'll point out really bad moves when someone is learning the game.

I'll probably point out if someone is near to winning but I probably wouldn't suggest what should be done about it. I'll also point out things like "the game ends next round" or "Bob can end the game next round".
 
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