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Subject: Play to high score, or play to win? rss

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Quantum Jack
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This question is for those of you who see boardgaming as an ivory tower pursuit. You know who you are, those who turn up your nise at collusion , griefing, and kingmaking. Those who think politics should be relegated to the "real world." This is not my perspective, so I am curious, as I have heard different "prime directives" suggested. These two most iften:

Play for highest score.

Play for best chance to win.

These two are not always compatible. To illustrate my point, I will provide a simple example. In the game of Yahtzee, there is an algorithm which can be proven to yield the highest average score. But when playing against an opponent, the algorithm must be adjusted in order to increase the chance of winning. If your opponent gets a couple of early good rolls, it dictates a riskier strategy to maximize win chance, but will most likely result in a lower expected score. Likewise if an opponent has several poor rolls early, a more "conservative" strategy may be employed to increase win chance, but have lower score.

To you ivory tower gamers: is this acceptable? To go for win, or go for high score (when they are not the same thing).
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Quantum_Jack wrote:
This question is for those of you who see boardgaming as an ivory tower pursuit. You know who you are, those who turn up your nise at collusion , griefing, and kingmaking. Those who think politics should be relegated to the "real world." This is not my perspective, so I am curious, as I have heard different "prime directives" suggested. These two most iften:

Play for highest score.

Play for best chance to win.

These two are not always compatible. To illustrate my point, I will provide a simple example. In the game of Yahtzee, there is an algorithm which can be proven to yield the highest average score. But when playing against an opponent, the algorithm must be adjusted in order to increase the chance of winning. If your opponent gets a couple of early good rolls, it dictates a riskier strategy to maximize win chance, but will most likely result in a lower expected score. Likewise if an opponent has several poor rolls early, a more "conservative" strategy may be employed to increase win chance, but have lower score.

To you ivory tower gamers: is this acceptable? To go for win, or go for high score (when they are not the same thing).


What is an Ivory Tower Gamer? I read your description and have no clue what you are referring too.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Mabuchi wrote:
Quantum_Jack wrote:
This question is for those of you who see boardgaming as an ivory tower pursuit. You know who you are, those who turn up your nise at collusion , griefing, and kingmaking. Those who think politics should be relegated to the "real world." This is not my perspective, so I am curious, as I have heard different "prime directives" suggested. These two most iften:

Play for highest score.

Play for best chance to win.

These two are not always compatible. To illustrate my point, I will provide a simple example. In the game of Yahtzee, there is an algorithm which can be proven to yield the highest average score. But when playing against an opponent, the algorithm must be adjusted in order to increase the chance of winning. If your opponent gets a couple of early good rolls, it dictates a riskier strategy to maximize win chance, but will most likely result in a lower expected score. Likewise if an opponent has several poor rolls early, a more "conservative" strategy may be employed to increase win chance, but have lower score.

To you ivory tower gamers: is this acceptable? To go for win, or go for high score (when they are not the same thing).


What is an Ivory Tower Gamer? I read your description and have no clue what you are referring too.

It's a quantum question - only after you've answered can you determine what it meant. devil
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Quantum Jack
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In this regard, I am referring to those who see gaming as primarily an intellectual pursuit, with unwritten rules that exclude anything outside the direct attempt to accomplish the win condition of the game. People who frown upon making a decision in a game for roleplaying reasons, or gangung up on the "best" player from the start.

As I said, this is not how I approach games, but I am fascinated by the point of view, and I am interested in whether playing "to win" or playing "for high score" is more important (individually as well as collectively).
 
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Tim Bolton
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Interesting to think about. I don't see any option other than playing to win. I am highly competitive and attempt to win every game. I even attempt to get the highest score possible. I think playing to have the best score is playing to win. Even in games where score is irrelevant it is a matter of winning the game.

In your Yahtzee example, where you have to play aggressive or conservative, it is about having the highest score and winning.
 
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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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Score only matters relative to other players. Winning 2-1 is better than losing 99-100.
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Quantum_Jack wrote:
You know who you are, those who turn up your nise at collusion , griefing, and kingmaking. Those who think politics should be relegated to the "real world."


Nope, don't recognise that at all. Collusion is inherent in any multiplayer game with non-trivial player-position interactions and kingmaking is the default case for almost every multiplayer game, it just isn't recognised (ie ~every game is determined by the errors of the players who lost).

1830 typically ends with a winning score around 7,000. I'm happy to end with a score of $1 -- just so long as everyone else has less. The point is to win, not to score well. Scoring is entirely incidental except to the degree that it assists winning. High scores have no value in and of themselves.
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If a move scores 10 points but gives up 50 points to the opponent, it's a bad move. Score only matters in relative terms.
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Quantum Jack
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xN1NJA_TURTLESx wrote:
Interesting to think about. I don't see any option other than playing to win. I am highly competitive and attempt to win every game. I even attempt to get the highest score possible. I think playing to have the best score is playing to win. Even in games where score is irrelevant it is a matter of winning the game.

In your Yahtzee example, where you have to play aggressive or conservative, it is about having the highest score and winning.


Playing the risky aggressive strategy (trying for more yahtzees) may offer the best % chance of winning, but gives you a lower expected outcome. The conservative side would be giving up points (intentionally giving up higher score potential) for a higher certainty of winning, since winning only requires 1 point.

They are not the same thing. I have seen people claim (in anti-kingmaking threads) that all decisios should maximize score. But highest potential score, highest average score, and maximizing win chance are (subtly) distinct things
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Ryan Witmer
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Playing for the highest score possible is often a bad play, because a huge lead makes you a target.

The winner is the player with the highest score at the end, not the player with the highest score in the middle.

I think the best position to have in most games is second place, but within striking distance of the leader. Then you make your move to win on the last turn.
 
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Quantum_Jack wrote:
You know who you are, those who turn up your nise at collusion , griefing, and kingmaking. Those who think politics should be relegated to the "real world." This is not my perspective ...

I'm not sure how you're defining the word, but in gaming terms, collusion is a form of cheating. I'd hope you'd turn up your nose at the practice ...

Quantum_Jack wrote:
To you ivory tower gamers: is this acceptable? To go for win, or go for high score (when they are not the same thing).

Going for the high score is acceptable, I suppose, but it's generally simply a mistake rather than a meaningful decision.
 
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Quantum_Jack wrote:
I have seen people claim (in anti-kingmaking threads) that all decisios should maximize score.

Surprising how common this is, isn't it? I suppose it's because in many games, attempting to maximize your score and attempting to maximize your odds of winning are identical.

In any case, just because somebody claims something in a forum doesn't make it true.
 
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I play games for the fun of it. The social aspect and the challenge.

If you're going to a question like high score or winning, you also need to factor in all the other reasons or the question is incomplete IMO.
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Ryan Witmer
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E Decker wrote:
but in gaming terms, collusion is a form of cheating. I'd hope you'd turn up your nose at the practice ...


Collusion is a form of cheating? Since when?
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Mabuchi wrote:
Quantum_Jack wrote:
This question is for those of you who see boardgaming as an ivory tower pursuit. You know who you are, those who turn up your nise at collusion , griefing, and kingmaking. Those who think politics should be relegated to the "real world." This is not my perspective, so I am curious, as I have heard different "prime directives" suggested. These two most iften:

Play for highest score.

Play for best chance to win.

These two are not always compatible. To illustrate my point, I will provide a simple example. In the game of Yahtzee, there is an algorithm which can be proven to yield the highest average score. But when playing against an opponent, the algorithm must be adjusted in order to increase the chance of winning. If your opponent gets a couple of early good rolls, it dictates a riskier strategy to maximize win chance, but will most likely result in a lower expected score. Likewise if an opponent has several poor rolls early, a more "conservative" strategy may be employed to increase win chance, but have lower score.

To you ivory tower gamers: is this acceptable? To go for win, or go for high score (when they are not the same thing).


What is an Ivory Tower Gamer? I read your description and have no clue what you are referring too.
And is it on sale? If so, where do I get it?!!

Pete (doesn't own Ivory Tower yet)
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Ryan Witmer wrote:
E Decker wrote:
but in gaming terms, collusion is a form of cheating. I'd hope you'd turn up your nose at the practice ...


Collusion is a form of cheating? Since when?
Since the first caveman gamer played against the second caveman gamer and his wife.

Pete (knows the score)
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Ryan Witmer
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plezercruz wrote:
Ryan Witmer wrote:
E Decker wrote:
but in gaming terms, collusion is a form of cheating. I'd hope you'd turn up your nose at the practice ...


Collusion is a form of cheating? Since when?
Since the first caveman gamer played against the second caveman gamer and his wife.

Pete (knows the score)


I guess every game of Diplomacy I've played has had a table full of cheaters, then.

But then again, if everyone's cheating, is it still cheating?
 
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Ryan Witmer wrote:
E Decker wrote:
but in gaming terms, collusion is a form of cheating. I'd hope you'd turn up your nose at the practice ...


Collusion is a form of cheating? Since when?


Typically collusion is considered cheating in organized play settings where you use it to manipulate the brackets.
 
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All I do is win, win, win, no matter what.
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Quantum_Jack wrote:
In this regard, I am referring to those who see gaming as primarily an intellectual pursuit, with unwritten rules that exclude anything outside the direct attempt to accomplish the win condition of the game. People who frown upon making a decision in a game for roleplaying reasons, or gangung up on the "best" player from the start.

As I said, this is not how I approach games, but I am fascinated by the point of view, and I am interested in whether playing "to win" or playing "for high score" is more important (individually as well as collectively).


So, how does that make someone an Ivory Tower Gamer? Because you do not play that way?

I play to win. If your not playing to win, your not at my game night.
 
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Zeek LTK
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clearclaw wrote:
Nope, don't recognise that at all. Collusion is inherent in any multiplayer game with non-trivial player-position interactions and kingmaking is the default case for almost every multiplayer game, it just isn't recognised (ie ~every game is determined by the errors of the players who lost).


That's not accurate. "Kingmaking" is when a player purposefully influences the game in a way to allow a different player to win (either by trying to aid the winning player, or to do whatever it takes to ensure another player loses). The "kingmaker", by definition, never wins the game and is not trying to win the game.

Making some errors while trying to win is not "kingmaking" because the player did not make the errors for the sole purpose of screwing over another player and/or helping another player, they made them trying to actually win the game for themselves but just did not have a good strategy.

If this is what the original post is asking, then I would say that yes, everyone should be playing to win, and if they aren't (if someone is a "kingmaker", for example) then that's not a group I would like to play with.
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E Decker wrote:
Quantum_Jack wrote:
I have seen people claim (in anti-kingmaking threads) that all decisios should maximize score.

Surprising how common this is, isn't it? I suppose it's because in many games, attempting to maximize your score and attempting to maximize your odds of winning are identical.

In any case, just because somebody claims something in a forum doesn't make it true.


I think it's different in that context because by definition you can't win and are basically choosing who does. By going for your "best score" there is at least a valid choice to some for playing that move.

As for me, I always go for the winning score, unless playing solo and it's a "beat your previous best" type of solo.
 
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Ryan Witmer wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
Ryan Witmer wrote:
E Decker wrote:
but in gaming terms, collusion is a form of cheating. I'd hope you'd turn up your nose at the practice ...


Collusion is a form of cheating? Since when?
Since the first caveman gamer played against the second caveman gamer and his wife.

Pete (knows the score)


I guess every game of Diplomacy I've played has had a table full of cheaters, then.

But then again, if everyone's cheating, is it still cheating?
If you colluded in a game of Diplomacy, you cheated.

Pete (thinks you don't know what collusion means)
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Quantum_Jack wrote:
I have seen people claim (in anti-kingmaking threads) that all decisios should maximize score.

Are you sure you read that? Because from such threads I recall a subtly different form : namely that when you're no longer capable of winning the game, you should maximise your score. (Of course at the same time you may not engage in kingmaking, and that is where the problems start because these goals can be conflicting.)
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It's like playing a game like baseball or football. During the game, the score matters. But once the game is done, the only thing that matters is whether you got a W or an L. The purpose of the game is to play for the win not the high score.
 
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