$20.00
$30.00
$5.00
$15.00
Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
16 Posts

Tramways» Forums » General

Subject: Runaway leader? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Stephen Paget
United Kingdom
London
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Just played my first multiplayer game of this after a couple of solo runs to get familiar with the rules. Very much enjoyed the first couple of rounds and paid a heavy price learning the nuances of the auction system! This was a 3 player game and by round three our eventual winner had a nice network set up in the middle of the board. He went on to storm ahead on points and there seemed there was nothing we could to to slow him down or catch him up. Classic runaway leader issue? I hope not, and one game is not enough to decide but it has soured my desire to play again. Anyone have a similar experience???
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eduardo Cruz
Portugal
Arcozelo - Vila Nova de Gaia
Porto
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
If one player played much better than the others, why are you talking about a runaway leader?
I've had games decided by the negative points of stress and even by the money left on the end (tied in points).

But you have some interesting moves to hinder a player, such "stealing" high value passengers to make sub optimal moves.
And yes, the center of the board is critical. Try to build links that will be needed not only by yourself but by others players.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Paget
United Kingdom
London
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I'm asking if this is an issue not crying because I lost. Stealing passengers will generally require going first which means winning the auction requiring a lot of money. Going first will henerally allow you to steal passengers thus giving you more money to win the following auction and so likely go first. Runaway leader see???
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
dyvim tanelorn
Italy
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
This is not a game with catch-up mechanisms. If someone plays better, he wins. So yes, if you mismanaged badly the first turns, maybe you are doomed to stay behind (like in Splotter games). Personally I like it, there are already many games with catch-up mechanisms (even too strong in my opinion), I don't mind a game where every turn count (Joris or Jeroen from Splotter in an interview said "why play the first turns if during them you cannot win or lose a game?", and I am with them).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eduardo Cruz
Portugal
Arcozelo - Vila Nova de Gaia
Porto
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
stephenpaget wrote:
I'm asking if this is an issue not crying because I lost. Stealing passengers will generally require going first which means winning the auction requiring a lot of money. Going first will henerally allow you to steal passengers thus giving you more money to win the following auction and so likely go first. Runaway leader see???


Not quite. The same player can't win all the auctions (thus the stress increase) and sometimes the better use of your money is to pass on a highly disputed auction to be prepared for the next.

But you didn't mention anything about my second hint: the center of the board is critical. Or any building that is scarce on the board. Given the fact that the map is maded of squares, the number of entrances is very short.

The game punish bad play. You can say that may represent a runaway leader problem, i'll say that rewards good play.

In the end, Tanelorn as sum it perfectly:

Tanelorn wrote:
This is not a game with catch-up mechanisms. If someone plays better, he wins. So yes, if you mismanaged badly the first turns, maybe you are doomed to stay behind (like in Splotter games).



 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Paget
United Kingdom
London
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Hmm so if I play less well than another player on a particular turn I am then doomed to tail them for the rest of the game? I sincerely hope that is not the case. I explained that I lost one auction and that essentially cost me the game. I like good play to prevail but that is altogether too harsh. There is no fun in watching someone surge further and further ahead as the result of one bad decision on another players part. Games really need to be fun for all participants no? That's why runaway leader issues are frowned upon. It's just no fun for the chasers.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam
United States
South Lyon
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
stephenpaget wrote:
Hmm so if I play less well than another player on a particular turn I am then doomed to tail them for the rest of the game? I sincerely hope that is not the case. I explained that I lost one auction and that essentially cost me the game. I like good play to prevail but that is altogether too harsh. There is no fun in watching someone surge further and further ahead as the result of one bad decision on another players part. Games really need to be fun for all participants no? That's why runaway leader issues are frowned upon. It's just no fun for the chasers.


Did you play better then the other player for all of the rest of the turns? Perhaps this particular auction happened at a pivotal time and the other player saw that, should they not be rewarded? These sorts of things are fairly common in heavier games, and they are why I like them.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Parkin
United States
Stow
Ohio
flag msg tools
Backstabbing AND Cube Pushing
badge
MIND. BLOWN.
mbmbmbmbmb
Mantheron wrote:
stephenpaget wrote:
Hmm so if I play less well than another player on a particular turn I am then doomed to tail them for the rest of the game? I sincerely hope that is not the case. I explained that I lost one auction and that essentially cost me the game. I like good play to prevail but that is altogether too harsh. There is no fun in watching someone surge further and further ahead as the result of one bad decision on another players part. Games really need to be fun for all participants no? That's why runaway leader issues are frowned upon. It's just no fun for the chasers.


Did you play better then the other player for all of the rest of the turns? Perhaps this particular auction happened at a pivotal time and the other player saw that, should they not be rewarded? These sorts of things are fairly common in heavier games, and they are why I like them.

Adam makes a good point. Even many heavier games do not allow for a SINGLE pivotal action to change the entire game, but many games in this vein only require a few key moves on the part of any one player to seal the outcome based on overall performance.

That is to say, to your concern, that if said player did exceptionally well in a single auction, that is still only a single auction. Other opportunities for other players to make exceptional moves are available. There may not be many of them, as successful sub-optimal plays WILL hand the game to someone else, but there are more than just one make-it-or-break-it moment.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Paget
United Kingdom
London
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
So,the answer to my question seems to be 'yes' there is a runaway leader issue but 'I like it'.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Yani
Switzerland
Zürich
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
stephenpaget wrote:
So,the answer to my question seems to be 'yes' there is a runaway leader issue but 'I like it'.


Generalizing, imo the leader needs to either make one big breakout or consistent small inching-forwards to win, and for the rest of her decisions to be on par with those of the rest of the pack. This is a well known pattern to many 18xx or heavy gamers, and one that I really appreciate.

Just like a good real life race, no runaway leader here, just consistent outperforming.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Leighton
England
Peterborough
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
stephenpaget wrote:
So,the answer to my question seems to be 'yes' there is a runaway leader issue but 'I like it'.


No I don't think so.

It looks like (from your post on the other thread) that you crippled yourself early on by bidding a huge amount and losing the auction. I've also put myself in a losing position in Age of Steam on one of my first plays.

So I think that the answer is that this is a game in which you can
fairly easily put yourself in an unrecoverable position if you don't know what you are doing.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
-=::) Dante (::=-
United States
KEW GARDENS
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
andyl wrote:
stephenpaget wrote:
So,the answer to my question seems to be 'yes' there is a runaway leader issue but 'I like it'.


No I don't think so.

It looks like (from your post on the other thread) that you crippled yourself early on by bidding a huge amount and losing the auction. I've also put myself in a losing position in Age of Steam on one of my first plays.

So I think that the answer is that this is a game in which you can
fairly easily put yourself in an unrecoverable position if you don't know what you are doing.


Very astute distinction as what you're describing is actually not the same thing as a game having a "runaway leader" problem. There are plenty of games which do not have a runaway leader issue that you can play yourself into a corner in a way that makes it impossible, or highly unlikely, to recover from.

The runaway leader phenomenan is also sometimes referred to as a "rich get richer" issue. Where just getting an incremental lead can then snowball in such a way that it's not possible for other players to ever catch up no matter how well they play from that point on. This is not a matter of simply rewarding skill, it is an outgrowth of the game design itself. (even if it's usually unintentional)

Tanelorn wrote:
This is not a game with catch-up mechanisms. If someone plays better, he wins.


There are plenty of games that reward superior play while still not having a runaway leader issue or likelihood of a player to utterly doom themselves with one poor move.

In fact most games do not have these issues without an actual "catch up" mechanic.

There are a myriad of ways a game can avoid inevitable outcomes due to a single early turn advantage. Games that allow you to effectively "bash the leader", those where players can actively block someone with a strong lead, games where progressively greater points can be earned in the late game so that a very poor start can be made up for by playing exceptionally well later on in the game just to name a few.

A catch up mechanic by contrast is generally some kind of automatic boost or boon granted to the player in last place which is not the same thing at all as games that allow a player to come from behind with skillful play.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
dyvim tanelorn
Italy
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't want that a really poor start can be ignored because there are some super power late moves that make you catch the winner. If in the first turns you made super weak choices, you deserve to lose the game. Next times you play, your start will be better and you will battle for victory until the end. If the first turns have no effects in the game, why play them? I know, it's not a popular idea, most games nowadays are not like I said and most gamers don't like what I like. There are already tons of games for these players, when a game for people like me are published, let us enjoy them without crying "runaway leader!". I don't want to be harsh, but also in my group someone complained about this (while others enjoed the game as it is).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
-=::) Dante (::=-
United States
KEW GARDENS
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Tanelorn wrote:
I don't want that a really poor start can be ignored because there are some super power late moves that make you catch the winner.


No one is suggesting that a poor start should be able to be ignored in any game. In the vast majority of the most critically acclaimed heavy games it is possible for someone to have an early mis-step and still win provided they make superior choices for the remainder of the game.

Of course first turns should matter! That said one cannot rationally argue "why have a first turn if it doesn't matter" without acknowledging the inverse... "why play anything but the first turn if every subsequent turn doesn't matter".
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Yani
Switzerland
Zürich
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
NuMystic wrote:
No one is suggesting that a poor start should be able to be ignored in any game. In the vast majority of the most critically acclaimed heavy games it is possible for someone to have an early mis-step and still win provided they make superior choices for the remainder of the game.


Well, Euros are well known for their balancing mechanisms (but see Splotter). 18xx (and sometimes American games) are not, for instance. Acclaims are in the eye of the beholder.. There are people that scoff at catchup-mechanisms as elements of "lazy" design, me included.

NuMystic wrote:

Of course first turns should matter! That said one cannot rationally argue "why have a first turn if it doesn't matter" without acknowledging the inverse... "why play anything but the first turn if every subsequent turn doesn't matter".


a) because some games are opaque enough that small first mistakes are not easy to figure out, and if you make big mistakes consistently you are probably out of your depth as a player and need some support

b) because a player needs to consistently make the right choices to win, not just get one turn right. This is a difference between "rich get richer games" and "tough, unforgiving games". Imo.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
-=::) Dante (::=-
United States
KEW GARDENS
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
coralsaw wrote:
NuMystic wrote:

Of course first turns should matter! That said one cannot rationally argue "why have a first turn if it doesn't matter" without acknowledging the inverse... "why play anything but the first turn if every subsequent turn doesn't matter".


a) because some games are opaque enough that small first mistakes are not easy to figure out, and if you make big mistakes consistently you are probably out of your depth as a player and need some support

b) because a player needs to consistently make the right choices to win, not just get one turn right. This is a difference between "rich get richer games" and "tough, unforgiving games". Imo.


This seems like a case of violent agreement because I don't disagree with either of those points, especially since neither are mutually exclusive from the points I was making.

I'm not criticizing games that are unforgiving nor defending catch up mechanisms which I'm not a particular fan of either. Tight, tough unforgiving designs are some of my very favorite to play.

I'll gladly wager that Splotter, Spielworxx, Alban, and Francis Tresham have never intentionally published a design where the game is likely to be decided in the first turn and every turn thereafter is of absolutely no consequence as to who will win or lose.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.