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Subject: Pre-Play Inquiry: Hidden Victory Conditions? rss

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Enon Sci
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The one thing that kills this game for me every time I consider it are the hidden victory conditions -- those conditions which, if met, will bring the game to a close. Or, more to the point, the fact they're known to only the player holding the card.

Is this an unavoidable element of the design? I really don't like trusting new players to police when the end-game arrives (especially if somebody at the table is checked out to some degree).

Thanks.
 
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Paul M
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Anarchosyn wrote:
The one thing that kills this game for me every time I consider it are the hidden victory conditions -- those conditions which, if met, will bring the game to a close. Or, more to the point, the fact they're known to only the player holding the card.

Is this an unavoidable element of the design? I really don't like trusting new players to police when the end-game arrives (especially if somebody at the table is checked out to some degree).

Thanks.

You could have every player check at the end of every round if their game-end condition has been met. That should work. Should...
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Nick Clinite
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Funny story: we once played a 3-player "short" game that went on for over 3 hours because all of us had objectives requiring stone or buildings that required stone ... and the the map wasn't giving us any stone.
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Jeff Thompson
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These "pairs of victory points and end game conditions" are finite.

Before the end of the game (unless you are playing the short game) it will likely be apparent which victory cards people have. And with that information you can begin listing the end game conditions too.

It simply isn't as bad as you think it is.
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Kynan Stuttard
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I think they are fundimental for the game. It is about knowing how you can end the game, and do you think you have the points to win. You all will know the common goal, and your own goal, so you can plan how many points you will get from this. Then you can watch the other players, to try and see how they are getting points, so I think its core to the game.
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Jonathan Challis
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Anarchosyn wrote:
The one thing that kills this game for me every time I consider it are the hidden victory conditions -- those conditions which, if met, will bring the game to a close. Or, more to the point, the fact they're known to only the player holding the card.

Is this an unavoidable element of the design? I really don't like trusting new players to police when the end-game arrives (especially if somebody at the table is checked out to some degree).


It's a pretty intrinsic and fundamental part of the game. If they are all open knowledge, then the game becomes very obvious, and also very random, and will be won by the player exploring onto the right hexes for that game.

Fair enough if you don't like that mechanism, but if you don't want to play with it, you should really be finding a different game. Personally, I think it's one of the game's biggest strengths...
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Tim P.
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Anarchosyn wrote:

Is this an unavoidable element of the design? I really don't like trusting new players to police when the end-game arrives (especially if somebody at the table is checked out to some degree).


You can also check yourself. I often do this like a "referee" with new players.

For example, say there's a goal for Ports and the end condition is 4 Churches built. When someone builds their 4th Church, I announce it and say, "If your goal is Ports, you have to reveal it now."

It also helps out new players who haven't memorized the victory/end condition combinations, and are already too overwhelmed to frequently check the guide on the back of the rule book. Now they can check off one possible victory condition. It's just announcing a simple deduction that can easily be made by public information.
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Enon Sci
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Tompy wrote:
These "pairs of victory points and end game conditions" are finite.

Before the end of the game (unless you are playing the short game) it will likely be apparent which victory cards people have. And with that information you can begin listing the end game conditions too.

It simply isn't as bad as you think it is.


That's likely true, but there seems to be an implicit degree of metaknowledge in your statement. My worry is with new players, or the first few games. And, in my group, we almost always have new players at every game.

Kelanen wrote:


It's a pretty intrinsic and fundamental part of the game. If they are all open knowledge, then the game becomes very obvious, and also very random, and will be won by the player exploring onto the right hexes for that game.

Fair enough if you don't like that mechanism, but if you don't want to play with it, you should really be finding a different game. Personally, I think it's one of the game's biggest strengths...


And this largely plays into why I've followed this game for **years** yet have never pulled the trigger on it. I don't like it, and have avoided the game on this count alone... yet my worry isn't with the mechanic, itself, but in being able to police the lesser experienced players around the table.

In short, I play with a lot of drunk and stoned people quite regularly (cannabis is legal where I live). I tend to find myself acting as a ringmaster when it comes to rules, and tend to be the tracker of end game conditions around the table.

Again, I concede that I might be overblowing the worry. This is why I posted the inquiry. It isn't uncommon to find that a rule or mechanic plays different on the table then it does on paper alone.
 
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Jonathan Challis
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Anarchosyn wrote:

And this largely plays into why I've followed this game for **years** yet have never pulled the trigger on it. I don't like it, and have avoided the game on this count alone... yet my worry isn't with the mechanic, itself, but in being able to police the lesser experienced players around the table.

In short, I play with a lot of drunk and stoned people quite regularly (cannabis is legal where I live). I tend to find myself acting as a ringmaster when it comes to rules, and tend to be the tracker of end game conditions around the table.

Again, I concede that I might be overblowing the worry. This is why I posted the inquiry. It isn't uncommon to find that a rule or mechanic plays different on the table then it does on paper alone.


After about Turn 3 everyone needs to be very aware of their end condition, and watching out for it. If they are too drunk/stoned to do this, then you are right, it's not a game for that audience.
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Andrew Bulawa
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I have a bad short term memory (or have been drinking during game night), so I frequently grab the rule book to check the victory conditions on the back. That's a good opportunity to ask if anyone would like to also check the victory conditions, and the rule book generally gets passed around. This reminds everyone to keep an eye on victory and end game conditions.
 
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