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Subject: Playing through the game in one sitting rss

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Chris Johnson
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Last Sunday, four of us* played through the entire deck of location cards in one sitting. It took 24 games over about 9 hours.

We changed seat order after every game, with choice of position going in reverse order of meta-score.

Observations and conclusions:

Some of us are unlikely to ever play again. We all need a break.

Meta-scores were something like 31-22-22-17.

The given meta-scoring system leads to people making arguably questionable, meta-gamey plays to king-make and/or loser-make. While this would undoubtedly also happen over a long-term series, the compressed nature here made the issue very apparent. There needs to be a finer-grained scoring system, to encourage playing for maximizing personal gain, rather than just "not losing".

We almost emptied the deck a couple of times (silly rabbits).

We also had 20+ cards in the market several times, which does weird things to the game.

Once the market came out, it never went away, and you'd likely have to be consciously working at it to get it out of the game for even a game or two.

I think our high pile count was 11, and after the first game we never went below 8 piles.

With four players, we averaged nearly 10 (9.83) juices made per game.

Seating order matters. A lot. Both due to play-style of the players (you don't want to always be vulnerable to the person who will always prevent you from "getting too much", even when it isn't particularly beneficial to them), and the way certain phases of the game can benefit going early or late.

If we ever did this again, the consensus was that just playing one game straight through without breaking and resetting when someone hit 3 juices would be interesting/preferable. Score would be your total number of juices. (This might also be doable for a "normal", long-term series.)

Doing this would require a few other considerations/house-rules:

What happens if "too much" of the deck ends up in the market?

How and when do you address seating order issues?

What happens to the double fruit cards and fruit tokens in play when the enabling location(s) leave(s) play? (One more use?)

To re-interest ourselves, we're also thinking about maybe randomizing the order of the location cards (either for a series, stand-alone sessions, or a single-sitting play-through). There are some potential set-ups that would probably lock up (no way to draw cards, etc.), but they should be obvious and fixable/avoidable. Hopefully, the out-of-sequence, potentially wildly varying costs would be a feature, rather than a bug.




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Chris Johnson
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Nathan Squires
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David Jones
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fnord23 wrote:
The given meta-scoring system leads to people making arguably questionable, meta-gamey plays to king-make and/or loser-make.
I don't think that this is a game breaking issue, but we have had one game in my group so far where the last player to act had the least cards and two other players had one more than him. Because there was a steal option available, he ended up in a "lose-maker" decision which caused a bit of a conversation, simply because this is an issue that has never come up in any other game we've played.

Quote:
There needs to be a finer-grained scoring system, to encourage playing for maximizing personal gain, rather than just "not losing".
I'm not sure I follow the logic here, but I wonder if the problem stems from playing with the same group over the long haul. In my group, we are playing with different people every time. The ultimate winner is going to be the average score. This method of scoring doesn't really address your point, but I just wonder if having different players in each game changes the dynamic you are worried about.

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We almost emptied the deck a couple of times (silly rabbits).

This is an issue I keep meaning to start a thread about but keep forgetting to do so. We've emptied the fruit deck twice. In one, the game ended that turn, so it became an non-issue. In the other game, we had to rule that because there weren't enough cards in the deck to support the player's action, that they could only draw one card. It would be nice if there were an official errata on how to handle this. In both cases, the market had been flooded, so it would seem logical to turn the market into a discard, shuffle, and put five back. But this is not an official rule, so we didn't.

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I think our high pile count was 11, and after the first game we never went below 8 piles.
I think we've had twelve, but only for one or two turns.

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What happens to the double fruit cards and fruit tokens in play when the enabling location(s) leave(s) play?
There is nothing in the rule book to indicate that these token/cards lose their ability once the location leaves play. You still get use them as normal. The ability is given to the token/card, not given to the location. The thief may be the only token where I would argue the location has to be in play, since it has multiple uses.

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Chris Johnson
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davypi wrote:
I'm not sure I follow the logic here, but I wonder if the problem stems from playing with the same group over the long haul. In my group, we are playing with different people every time. The ultimate winner is going to be the average score. This method of scoring doesn't really address your point, but I just wonder if having different players in each game changes the dynamic you are worried about.


Sure, mixing up the players would change things; a big part of the problem was the same players seeing the meta-scores, and letting that influence our choices.

Once the person with the data gets it in digital form, I'm really curious as to the final juice count, and how we feel that reflects our play experience.

Quote:
This is an issue I keep meaning to start a thread about but keep forgetting to do so. We've emptied the fruit deck twice. In one, the game ended that turn, so it became an non-issue. In the other game, we had to rule that because there weren't enough cards in the deck to support the player's action, that they could only draw one card. It would be nice if there were an official errata on how to handle this. In both cases, the market had been flooded, so it would seem logical to turn the market into a discard, shuffle, and put five back. But this is not an official rule, so we didn't.


Our impulse was to just let the deck be empty, people would play cards soon enough. But this wasn't when we had huge markets; everyone was able to use the rabbits to get large hands simultaneously.

If the shortage was market-size driven, I'd still do the same; not until the market got and stayed stupid-large would I worry about it (like, 25 or 30 cards, where there might be real issues with people being able to complete juices).

But, yeah, some official guidance would be good.

Quote:
There is nothing in the rule book to indicate that these token/cards lose their ability once the location leaves play. You still get use them as normal. The ability is given to the token/card, not given to the location. The thief may be the only token where I would argue the location has to be in play, since it has multiple uses.


Henning has said elsewhere that they stay in play until the end of the current game, which is fine.

Our question is what should happen in one big game where you never stop and reset; letting the fruit tokens stay in play for the next 100+ juices might be a bit over-powered. (And would lead to some weird-ass chicken games in exactly when the locations left play.) The double fruits are way less of an issue, but still present similar questions.

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David Jones
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fnord23 wrote:
Our question is what should happen in one big game where you never stop and reset; letting the fruit tokens stay in play for the next 100+ juices might be a bit over-powered. (And would lead to some weird-ass chicken games in exactly when the locations left play.) The double fruits are way less of an issue, but still present similar questions.


I remember watching someone else's game at a FLGS where they were ending the game at three points, but not resetting the market or tokens between games. It created some lopsided starts, but they were having fun so I wasn't gonna get in their way. In some sense, this might "solve" your issue of wanting your players to make more long term decision. However, as you've already alluded to, allowing tokens with permanent abilities to carry from game to game has other consequences if you don't eventually take them away.
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Trevor Schadt
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davypi wrote:
I remember watching someone else's game at a FLGS where they were ending the game at three points, but not resetting the market or tokens between games. It created some lopsided starts, but they were having fun so I wasn't gonna get in their way. In some sense, this might "solve" your issue of wanting your players to make more long term decision. However, as you've already alluded to, allowing tokens with permanent abilities to carry from game to game has other consequences if you don't eventually take them away.
Adding the caveat that "when a single 'game' ends, tokens that are not referenced on any action card currently in play are removed" would, I think, solve that.
 
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Nathan Squires
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24 games in 8 hours 31 minutes, for an average of 21 minutes per game.

Final scores were 31, 23, 23, 17.

The two tied for second made the exact same number of juices, the same number of first place games, but one of them had significantly more second place games, calling into question the scoring method in the manual.

One alternate scoring method that I think might work better is to have the 2 points / 1 points / 0 points essentially be a bonus, so you score your juices made + the bonus, for a winning score of 5, followed by 3's and 4's and likely a 2. It's a little more palatable to get something, and the difference between places (often one or two leftover cards) is slim enough that the drop in points for a near miss seems excessive. As it happens, this wouldn't have altered the outcome of our game, and this still wouldn't stop players from scrambling to knock another player into last place, as opposed to trying for second place, though.

The early games feel much more dominated by luck, especially while the "discard two pineapple for five cards" action is available, which, if you get no pineapple, means you will most likely lose. That said, I wanted more actions like the gamble card, where players could press their luck and go for a win (or a second place if the scoring were such that it mattered) instead of just scrambling not to be last.

If I were to play again, it would be with either a randomized setup (perhaps shuffled, and dealt into [players+2]ish piles Machi Koro style?), or the entire deck in a single playthrough, which seems unlikely.

(Edited to correct miscalculated top score.)
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