CARL SKUTSCH
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Agricola, Sekigahara, Concordia, Innovation, COOKIE!!! (and Guinness)
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Like the subject says: Do you want to do your own thing without interference, or do you like the challenge of the other players' actions possibly ruining, or at least cramping, your plans?

I've been thinking about this for a while. I live Agricola. I think it's a beautifully designed game of limited choices and forced stress over how you're going to feed your people, expand your farm. Then we have Caverna. It's a nice game, pretty pieces, the rules work, and I am BORED. You do your thing, other players do theirs, and nobody gets hurt. Sure, someone may take a room you wanted, and whatever, you find a different room. You can still build your own cave system without too much interference. This is why I just sold my copy of Caverna.

I understand that people can like different things than I do but I still find the antipathy that some folks feel towards games where their opponents can mess with them puzzling. On average, people actually rate Caverna higher than Agricola?!? (8.22 vs. 8.08) Say what?!? Then there's A Feast for Odin. I love the look of the game but I'm fearful it's just more of the same. I do my thing, you do yours, every now and then there's a little friction, no big, we still friends.

Even Concordia, which is a pretty mellow game, has players messing with each other. Putting colonists in a town you know your opponent wants. Grabbing a key card that will score them points. It's mild conflict but it's far more conflicty than Caverna.

I have more fellow feeling with gamers who dislike games where you can destroy another player's position. I don't mind those games myself, but I can see why someone might not like seeing their tableau/engine wiped out by another player's actions.

Thoughts? What games represent this divide for you? Or do you think I'm wrongly characterizing these differing ways of viewing competition in games?

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Andy
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I play games to interact with my friends. Multiplayer solitaire games seem kind of pointless to me. If I want to build something alone, I'll go find some Lego or similar.
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J C Lawrence
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I'm most fond of games in which I must make the other players a necessary and active part of my plans.
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Depends on the game really.

I prefer Kemet over Cyclades because you're fighting on the first turn.
But on the other hand I prefer to play Dominion without attack cards because I just want to see how fast I can get my deck running smoothly without being messed with.
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Palo Alto
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Tomáš Sládek
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There's a time and place for both and I really have no preference either way. Conflict games have more pronounced highs and lows, whereas low-conflict games tend to have a similar level of suspense and excitement throughout each play.

I do not enjoy my plans being utterly ruuined - I doubt anyone does - but I will play games that allow this anyway, becasue there is fun to be had as well in ruining the plans of others' or prevailing despite your enemies efforts.
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Look on my works ye mighty and despair
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I only like games with direct player interaction/conflict.

At least if I'm playing them with other people. Solo video games etc. scratch a very different itch.
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Marcus
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I much prefer games with direct interactions with opponents where one must consider possible responses by opponents and where effective attacks/undermining an opponent's position is necessary in order to play well.

Some examples of "direct interaction" games I enjoy playing: wargames, some thematic games (e.g. Titan, Fortress America), select multi-player strategy games (e.g. Pax Pamir, 1830: Railways & Robber Barons) and a few eurogames (e.g. Tigris & Euphrates, El Grande).

"Games" which have little direct player interactions are more puzzles than games. Puzzle like games/multi-player solitaire can be fun on occasion, but are generally not what I'm looking for when playing a game with live opponents.

btw, why not put up a geek survey?
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Gary Stephen
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I like both styles of games.

It all depends on what mood I'm in really.
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I think direct conflict is fun when every player has about equal experience/skill, most of my multiplayer is when family or friends visit and I don't want to block or frustrate them or even win because I know that if I stop them doing X its easy for me. For an established group it probably adds to the tension for a transient group it adds to the frustration.

Just thought I would add this on A Feast for Odin in the solo game you can block yourself and some players have taken these rules and applied them to the two player game and greatly increased the interaction.
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chris thatcher
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I like and my games group likes games where there is plenty of interaction. The more screwage the better.

Multiplayer solitaire games are fine, im a omni gamer. But given the choice id rather play something that is more confrontational.

I would say the most popular games in my group are games like: Cyclades, Kemet, Bloodrage, Cry Havoc, Mare Nostrum etc..dudes on the map games. But games like Nothing personal, Cosmic encounter, El Grande etc are also games we enjoy because we are constantly messing with each other.

I also play in another group that is a couples group. They do prefer more solitary euros and whilst i do enjoy them id prefer to be burning down their buildings
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Austin Andersen
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Unless I'm playing a solo game, I'm up for as much interaction between players as possible. Playing against another human where you can mess with their plans and they can mess with yours is the best aspect of playing against another person. Playing with someone can also be a blast if roles are clearly defined and people have to coordinate with limited communication to work together to achieve a mutual goal. I generally dislike alpha mechanics and tend to like co-op games with some level of hidden information between players.
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Jorath wrote:
I think direct conflict is fun when every player has about equal experience/skill, most of my multiplayer is when family or friends visit and I don't want to block or frustrate them or even win because I know that if I stop them doing X its easy for me. For an established group it probably adds to the tension for a transient group it adds to the frustration.

.


One mans frustration is another mans fun, we lean towards the interactive games but do play theme heavy and well integrated theme non interactive games, but a lot of our fun comes from blocking, evading, and sabotaging each others plans. If you explain that from the off and the group is up for it is fine. We do warn new players and give them an opt out if we are playing a particularly cut throat game.

I think setting expectations in a transient group is key. This does include games where the more experience player is likely to win doubly so in an interactive game where if the newer players don't block one player will win.

I guess a lot of us being video games the solo puzzling kick can be sought and solved else where and we meet to play with people directly.

Short answer both but mostly interactive.

However real time games and coop games do not get played very much at all.
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Alexandre P.
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skutsch wrote:
Like the subject says: Do you want to do your own thing without interference, or do you like the challenge of the other players' actions possibly ruining, or at least cramping, your plans?


It depends what you mean by "other players' actions possibly ruining, or at least cramping, your plans":
- in worker placement, once you have placed your 1st worker I have one less available spot so it can interfere in my plan. I enjoy those kind of games because I have to consider the others' choices but I'm not stuck.
- in so-called "programmation games" you choose all your actions simultaneously with the other players, you reveal them ... and you see what happens. I hate those games because you can end doing nothing on your turn while others do a lot. I find it so frustrating to plan a sequence of action and not being able to apply it that I now call those "******* games".
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CARL SKUTSCH
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New York
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Agricola, Sekigahara, Concordia, Innovation, COOKIE!!! (and Guinness)
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Sam and Max wrote:

Man I had fun playing that game back in the day. Quick goofy mass annihilation. Oh the silly games I played when I was young.
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CARL SKUTSCH
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Xahendir wrote:
skutsch wrote:
Like the subject says: Do you want to do your own thing without interference, or do you like the challenge of the other players' actions possibly ruining, or at least cramping, your plans?


It depends what you mean by "other players' actions possibly ruining, or at least cramping, your plans":
- in worker placement, once you have placed your 1st worker I have one less available spot so it can interfere in my plan. I enjoy those kind of games because I have to consider the others' choices but I'm not stuck.
- in so-called "programmation games" you choose all your actions simultaneously with the other players, you reveal them ... and you see what happens. I hate those games because you can end doing nothing on your turn while others do a lot. I find it so frustrating to plan a sequence of action and not being able to apply it that I now call those "******* games".

What specific games are you talking about? All I can think of is RoboRally which I enjoy in the right mood.
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Richard Urich
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The more strategic a game is, the less I want other players to directly attack my plans. The more tactical a game is, the more I want the option to directly attack the plans of others. An alternative description is if you want me to think hard, don't tell me "hah, all that thinking you did was for nothing!" And also don't bore me with a lack of long-term strategy and a lack of tactical options.

The more time a game takes to play, the less I want the possibility of every other player ganging up on me. The less time a game takes to play, the less I care. An alternative description is if you want me to dedicate a lot of time to a game, don't tell me the end result is just players get to vote who they want to have win.
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Pete
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I'm happy either way.

Pete (overall prefers more interactive games, but doesn't mind what some people call "multiplayer solitaire")
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Bryan Thunkd
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I prefer indirect interaction, of the Concirdia sort you mentioned.

I don't care for when someone can tear down something I've built or steal stuff I own. It feels too much like the kid in kindergarten who knocks down the tower you're building. I enjoy building things up... and while I get that being able to tear things down is simply another way of being competitive, it brings me no joy to be a dick to someone else, and it robs my enjoyment when something I'm doing is destroyed.

At the end of the game, I'd rather look over a sea of prospering cities, with my grand tower just a bit higher than everyone else's, rather than over a pile of rubble where I'm the only one with two stones stacked on top of each other.
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Dave Lartigue
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Obviously it depends on the game. I don't usually like games in which it makes no difference whether or not there are other players at the table, though I have a few exceptions. I'd like for there to be a reason other people are playing.

If someone can blow up my stuff, that's fine, though there are games where one player can just shit on another round after round and there's no comeback. I played a game of Serennissima (my first time, so I didn't know how the game could go) where, starting on round three, there was nothing more I could do for the rest of the game. It wasn't fun or interesting and I've had no desire to replay. I've played Bremerhaven (again, my first play) where one player took all the high bidding cards right off the bat and then for the rest of the game I simply had to hope he'd allow me to complete an action instead of literally doing nothing.

One thing I like about one of my fave games, 51st State (and its offspring) is that you can attack other players' states, but you really have to consider whether it's worth it. It can be expensive, and it often doesn't hurt them that much, but can be a heavy hit at other times. Attacking is possible, and often a sound move, but it's not automatically the right decision.

For me, an issue with many euros is that they're not games so much as puzzles to be solved, and whoever solves it quickest wins. I like puzzles, but I don't consider four people working separately on the same Sudoku to be much of a game. Even in the case of worker placement, me getting only 2 corn instead of 3 because that was the space that was left isn't particularly interesting.
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Jason Bush
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I prefer games where I mess with other people's plans with my actions.
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Chris Mcpherson
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My main game group is my immediate family(daughter, wife, and sometimes my younger son). They ABSOLUTELY hate games with direct screwage. So much so that they hold grudges after playing The Little Prince: Make me a Planet. If you make someone have to flip over their Baobab Tree tiles you better be ready for war.

Our first game of Tigris and Euphrates was such a disaster I didn't think I would ever get it to the table again. I even told them that the game was going to have some necessary conflict and they said they understood but that didn't stop them from wanting to kill me after the first conflict.

The first game of Samurai was close to ending bad but everyone was able to get each other back at some point.

Jambo hasn't been played since a conflict heavy round that I was the winner of.

I think you can see what I'm talking about.
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Sebastian Grab
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I need negative interaction in my games - the more direct it is the better. Games where I can ignore my opponents feel mostly pointless to me.
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Alexandre P.
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skutsch wrote:
What specific games are you talking about? All I can think of is RoboRally which I enjoy in the right mood.


Jamaica: I think I spent 3 turns on the beginning spot, I had several times to go backwards because someone arrived on my spot, I had to go backwards because my food/gold was stollen between the moment I planned my move and the moment I played ...
It's the only game I almost rage-quit screaming at loud because of the frustration.

But even if the experience was way less painful (hopefully !) I didn't enjoy Lords of Xidit (tried on BGA), Colt Express (1st play: no money at all at the end, 2nd: victory) or Maka Bana (only 1 action and 1 action denial to plan per turn) a lot.
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Marina SC
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The very first thing in my profile when describing my game taste:

" high levels of interaction/conflict - we can't just sit back and do our own thing; a large part of the game is dealing with other players and affecting their plans"

So yes, I want the ability to mess with others, and vice versa meeple HOWEVER that doesn't mean I like "take that" types of games... perhaps my definition is off, but to me "take-that" means people spend turns where their only action is to hurt other people, without paying a cost or benefiting their own position.

A game where a player can pay absolutely no attention to other players and win is boring, but a game where a player can spend the entire game just hitting other people and win is annoying (war/abstract games excluded).
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