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Subject: Exploring a game fully rss

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Dave Platt
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I get together with the people I game with once a week. We play the same game each week, two games per session, over a period of weeks in a tournament. We'll typically award 1 point for winning and it will be first to 10. So tournaments can last up to 14 weeks and usually do as players gang up against anyone who is threatening to take a significant lead or actually win. If the game is still fresh sometimes we'll start again with the same game, with the added edge of someone being reigning champion and therefore likely to get the least favours.

Now, playing in this way means we really get to explore games fully and find out stuff that might not come up very often. It also adds a side dish of diplomacy to games due to tournament points, which wouldn't be there otherwise.

What I'm wondering is if you guys who have 100's of games and play different games each week are getting the full potential out of your games?

I'm not saying our way of playing is better or anything like that, because in some respects it's not because we don't get to explore a wide variety of games and therefore we're likely missing out on some very good games and will probably never get to play them at our rate of play.

I'm just curious about other gamers take on exploring lots of a game or lots of games.
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Brandon
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Dave P wrote:
I get together with the people I game with once a week. We play the same game each week, two games per session, over a period of weeks in a tournament. We'll typically award 1 point for winning and it will be first to 10. So tournaments can last up to 14 weeks and usually do as players gang up against anyone who is threatening to take a significant lead or actually win. If the game is still fresh sometimes we'll start again with the same game, with the added edge of someone being reigning champion and therefore likely to get the least favours.

Now, playing in this way means we really get to explore games fully and find out stuff that might not come up very often. It also adds a side dish of diplomacy to games due to tournament points, which wouldn't be there otherwise.

What I'm wondering is if you guys who have 100's of games and play different games each week are getting the full potential out of your games?

I'm not saying our way of playing is better or anything like that, because in some respects it's not because we don't get to explore a wide variety of games and therefore we're likely missing out on some very good games and will probably never get to play them at our rate of play.

I'm just curious about other gamers take on exploring lots of a game or lots of games.


Sounds lovely. I guess I'm somewhere in between, but I'd prefer to dig into a few games than to skim many games.
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Christian Gienger
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I doubt that a tournament environment would help me and my group to explore a game fully as there wouldn't be much want to experiment with other strategies after you found one working for you and when playing with the same people over and over I think there's too much group thinking going on. I know that your approach wasn't for me and I have played some games hundreds of times play about 150 unique titles a year and with some games I have the feeling that I saw everything it has to offer after a few plays, sometimes even a single play and sometimes I really feel like I want to explore the game even more.
Also I feel that I can value games higher if I have a direct comparison to other games, but that's just me.
The thing I dislike the most on your approach is that added politics with teaming up on someone who won the last 2 games.
But after all it's a decision everyone has to make for themselves and I think that your way is wrong and feels more like a chore than a fun game night.
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Dave P wrote:
I get together with the people I game with once a week. We play the same game each week, two games per session, over a period of weeks in a tournament. We'll typically award 1 point for winning and it will be first to 10. So tournaments can last up to 14 weeks and usually do as players gang up against anyone who is threatening to take a significant lead or actually win. If the game is still fresh sometimes we'll start again with the same game, with the added edge of someone being reigning champion and therefore likely to get the least favours.

Now, playing in this way means we really get to explore games fully and find out stuff that might not come up very often. It also adds a side dish of diplomacy to games due to tournament points, which wouldn't be there otherwise.

What I'm wondering is if you guys who have 100's of games and play different games each week are getting the full potential out of your games?

I'm not saying our way of playing is better or anything like that, because in some respects it's not because we don't get to explore a wide variety of games and therefore we're likely missing out on some very good games and will probably never get to play them at our rate of play.

I'm just curious about other gamers take on exploring lots of a game or lots of games.


Sounds to me like a great way to explore games in depth. I don't believe all games deserve to be played, so skipping on a lot of them is not a problem IMO. I love playing a game at least 50 times, but a tournament would create too much pressure for me to enjoy playing. I currently enjoy exploring solo games the most, and a game with a ton of variable set ups is great because I can really get the most out of it. Such games would be Onirim (second edition), Sentinels of the Multiverse, Aeon's End and Hostage Negotiator
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Bill Eldard
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Our group has been meeting weekly for 17 years, during which we've played about 725 game titles; some we've played hundreds of times each. We are a very informal group, which is to say we have no rules, no fees/dues, and no club officers.

We've never used any tournament system. In fact, we used to post the sessions's winners on a white board, but erase the board before the next session. We don't track wins, award points, etc.

Games are played as long as people are willing to play them, and we constantly introduce new games. I'm sure the potentials of many games don't get fully exploited, but we're not worried about that.

Like everyone else, we play for fun, but we wouldn't have any fun playing a game that no one liked in order to explore its potential when there are so many other games to try.

My questions are: If you have to play a game repeatedly until one player wins it 10 times, what do you do when the group agrees after a couple of plays that is doesn't like the game? Do you continue to play and let the same player win all 10 games just to get it over with?
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Mauricio Montoya
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You play them the way you enjoy them, that's the only right way.

I personally have a small and slow growing collection, I rarely buy more than 1 game at a time and it's usually stuff I've played before or investigated well, never buy new games if I haventt played the prevoious ones a few times, and almost everything in there that's under 2 hours has been played at least a dozen times (for longer games maybe less, but still more than five times). The group that plays with me at home also likes to replay and have more chances to try new strategies (or luck) to win at last, but we have no set rules about which game we'll be playing each weekend or how many times per night.

For the cult of the new I go to the game nights at my local store and that gives me the opportunity to play new stuff and know more games, and it's nice and exciting, but while some games give a great first impression, I know they won't be played a lot in my group (or in any group, some are just not good), so trying them once is enough.

So I get your point, but I also get why some people are more likely to collect games than to replay them.
 
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Dave Platt
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Locu wrote:

The thing I dislike the most on your approach is that added politics with teaming up on someone who won the last 2 games.
But after all it's a decision everyone has to make for themselves and I think that your way is wrong and feels more like a chore than a fun game night.


The politics thing makes for some interesting situations, but it can also lead to kingmaking. Depends a lot on the game too, with some games it's too easy to stop a player winning but with others it's not.

I think you've chosen the wrong word in saying our way is wrong. It may be wrong for you but it's not wrong for us and won't be for others. It's just different. It's definitely not a chore, we wouldn't do it if it was.
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Dave Platt
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Eldard wrote:
My questions are: If you have to play a game repeatedly until one player wins it 10 times, what do you do when the group agrees after a couple of plays that is doesn't like the game? Do you continue to play and let the same player win all 10 games just to get it over with?


No, we wouldn't continue to play a game if the group agreed it wasn't fun.
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Ryan Feathers
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I think this is something every gamer has to figure out for themself--do they more so enjoy experiencing the depth of a few games or the breadth of many games?

It's a continuum and players are likely to fall anywhere along it. There are a few who will find one game and play it almost exclusively (chess, go, magic, etc). I'm sure there are plenty that loves to explore hundreds of games and rarely plays games multiple times.

Most bgg users I'd suspect have a few games that they explore the depths of with repeated plays and are considered their favorites, while exploring dozens of new games. I personally enjoy really playing the depth of my favorite games, but I enjoy experiencing many new games in the hopes of finding another unique one to really explore and get into. Lately this has been A Feast for Odin for me.

As always there is no wrong way to do it--just what works the best for you and your group. Sounds like you have a system you quite enjoy. I have no doubt many would not like that. I personally wouldn't even like it as I don't like the idea of the tournament setting adding extra diplomacy into ganging up against a leader, nor do I like the idea of not really getting to try out many different games.

Overall though it will be interesting to see what others here enjoy and say. Just out of curiosity to the OP, what are some of the recent titles your group has been playing?

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Chris SC

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For me, I only keep things that I really enjoy playing. If I played something every week for a few months straight (KDM aside), I might feel a bit burnt out on it and not want to play it for a long while. Sure there are games that can defy this, but that is just the type of gamer I am.

Playing them once every few months makes each play through feel somewhat new and exciting to me. It helps that I generally prefer light to medium weight games where you can easily pick them up again and try out a new strategy. I don't think my approach would work as well for heavy games, either rules-wise or strategy-wise.
 
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J C Lawrence
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Dave P wrote:
I'm just curious about other gamers take on exploring lots of a game or lots of games.


I refuse to play in tournaments (there is no game outside of the current game on the table), but I'm generally looking to hundreds of plays of the games I find interesting.
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Steve C
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For me, playing a lot of games once each allows me to see if there are games that warrant a second or closer look. This is great, since I'm only a year or so back in the hobby after a long hiatus, and haven't experienced all of the new mechanics.

Then, of the games I've played (and types of games I've tried), I can pick a couple to actually own myself and play a bunch of times.

A tournament wouldn't work for me, as it places importance on winning and less on trying new strategies and fully exploring the game. If you have something that works, why would you try something completely new? Without trying new and risky strategies, how would you find the edge cases and daring plays that could upend the usual moves?
 
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Michael Korson
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I like the OP's idea since it is a solution to the age old question of how to balance out wanting to try new games while also diving into, enjoying, and fully appreciating the games we already have.

I'm not so sure the tournament-style works for everyone since, as the OP and others have pointed out, it does lead to kingmaking and a focus on winning vs being more gutsy in trying different strategies etc. . .

In light of that, I would propose my own personal solution where a gaming group agrees that any new game be played at least five times (no tournament points or anything like that) - from there, the group can decide whether they want to play it further or not, but at least at 5 plays they should have gotten a good feel and understanding for the game, or at least one much more richer than after just 1 play.
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Chris Mcpherson
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My situation is a little different because my gaming group is my immediate family. This does not limit the types of games we can play(weight/complexity) but the main difference is that we plan to play these games for many many years(as a family).

I'll use music as a way of explaining how we have been playing our collection. I hate when good songs are overplayed. Sometimes, I like a song so much that I play it over and over again. Those two lines are the definition of how we play. We try and play a game 2-3 times within a short period(1-2 weeks) so everyone knows the rules and can get progressively better. At that point we usually move on to another game and will come back to that game later. Once in awhile there is a game that we all love and we will play the hell out of it. I enjoy both situations but I couldn't only do one or the other. Obviously, shorter games vs long games will play into this a bit but generally it doesn't matter.

We like to be able to enjoy our win, so if it's a long game, we never play the same heavy game in one day. I see the heavier games as a long battle and at the end we are fatigued and need to recover before the next battle, hehe.

In the end, I think we do a little of both. We have a number of games that we have played a high number of times but we also have played over 150 different games in the past couple years. I have to give my family full credit for actually enjoying the act of learning new games. I do learn everything beforehand and then bring them the condensed but needed info, but I'm sure it's still not for everyone.
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Geoffrey Burrell
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My group switches games on a regular basis. We have never played tournament style even though that sounds interesting. If you are having fun with the game and it is mutual among your then you are missing other games by choice and by design. I think it is all right to play the same game over and over again because the various battles are different every time. The game that I play the most but not exclusively is Monopoly.
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Ben Rubinstein

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Dave P wrote:
Eldard wrote:
My questions are: If you have to play a game repeatedly until one player wins it 10 times, what do you do when the group agrees after a couple of plays that is doesn't like the game? Do you continue to play and let the same player win all 10 games just to get it over with?


No, we wouldn't continue to play a game if the group agreed it wasn't fun.


Of the games you do this with, how many make it to the full 10 plays? I think this method is certainly interesting (and vastly different from how my group plays) but in general, there are VERY few games which 100% of my game group is eager to play several more times. If my group were to do this, I think nearly 50% of the group would prefer they were playing something else at any given point.
 
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Matt Stokes
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I love tournaments. I don't think many games I play would support a best of series, but the ones that do I enjoy playing.
 
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Larry L
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Dave P wrote:


What I'm wondering is if you guys who have 100's of games and play different games each week are getting the full potential out of your games?



No. No we are not.
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Michael Coniff
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Part of the reason I accepted THIS challenge was to get the same games to the table more often and dive deeper into games I already owned.

A tournament style approach was how my roommates and I started off with Wiz-War (eighth edition). We were gonna have weekly games and whoever won was crowned Wizard of the house. Well it didn't really last past a week mostly because our schedules were to diverse. So I like OP's idea on paper, but I find it difficult to put into action as I'm not at a place in my life where I can commit to getting together once a week for a game night.
 
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chris thatcher
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We normally have 4-5 hours per gaming session. We more often than not play a new game each session, then afterwards one or several of our older games will be played.
 
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Dave Platt
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GeoffreyB wrote:
My group switches games on a regular basis. We have never played tournament style even though that sounds interesting. If you are having fun with the game and it is mutual among your then you are missing other games by choice and by design. I think it is all right to play the same game over and over again because the various battles are different every time. The game that I play the most but not exclusively is Monopoly.


That's interesting because we have had Monopoly tournaments. However, with Monopoly being an elimination game we scored it 2 for a win and 1 for 2nd (3 players). I think we played first to 50.
 
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Dave Platt
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epilepticemu wrote:
Of the games you do this with, how many make it to the full 10 plays?


All of them. Usually start a second tournament with same game straight after the first too. However, we would play a game a few times first to make sure we like it.
 
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I used to REALLY want to do this, but i find that it's good to have new blood come in *and* play the games you love.

I'm a bit envious of the person who truly enjoys playing a handful of games over and over. The only game I played non stop was Magic the Gathering and that game offered variety in new sets and deck styles and competing against the same, so it wasn't playing a game like Go over and over again.

I think you need to find the way games make you happy and not force yourself into playing a certain way because of some other reason. It takes awhile to find that...and then it changes on you
 
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I think playing many games a few times or a few games many times are both appealing. I admire how some folks can take in learning so many games with their rulesets.

Personally I like familiarity and I don't get bored of games easily, so really I should be in the fewer, deeper games camp.

But I have 200 games, which I feel contradicts that a bit.

I have this uneasy tension between wanting to get to know games well, versus loving games so much that I don't want to feel like I could be missing out on amazing games!

I've finally accepted you can't buy or play all the awesome games so I am going to try and bunker down with these 200 games and as the Dice Tower guys might say, play the snot out of them. Might take me 20-odd years!

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Pete
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Fully exploring a game is work. I play for fun. That said, there are games I enjoy and I've played them hundreds of times, but I'm not really looking to master them...I just continue to enjoy playing them. for me, the 100th play is not nearly as fun as the first five.

Pete (thinks the law of diminishing returns applies here)
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