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Subject: Stabilizing Stacks? rss

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Mack C
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So I finally got to play a few games with my DIY Qwirkle set, and man, I did not waste my time making this thing. I've apparently fallen in love with abstracts, as I've been playing so much Onitama and Santorini, and now I have to add Tak.

I introduced a friend to it and in the first 5x5 game, we played to a draw. This was because we played it for nearly two hours and had other shit to do. But I'm not a long-game gamer. I do not like long games. My limit is typically 90 minutes, but that 2 hours of Tak felt like nothing. So, yeah...I'm one of you now, I guess.

Anyway, my question is this: During that game, we often ended up with HUGE stacks. 10+ a lot of the time, which gets quite wobbly. My set is painted Qwirkle tiles and I don't know if the retail set pieces have this problem, but any tips on how to easily stabilize these leaning towers?
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Chris Long
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I feel like there's a good chance you may have missed one or two rules. The game ends when someone runs out of pieces. Also, are you aware of the carry limit?
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Bjørnar Løseth
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Subscribing to this thread. I don't know why, but something feels odd about a match taking that long. Especially with tall stacks in the game. I have found in the (not yet that awfully many) games I've played tall stacks often leads to powermoves ending the game quickly.
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Russ Williams
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FWIW the extremely long playing time and tall stacks made me too think that some rule mistake must have been made. Or else very bizarre strategies were being used.
 
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Rex Moore
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And if you loved Tak playing with the wrong rules, you're gonna, um, love it playing the right way!
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Shaun Cooley
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For a 5x5 game, you should each only have 21 pieces plus your capstone.

If you're using all 108 quirkle tiles... you're WAY over that.
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Mack C
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Hmm, seems I overreached with the whole 10+ thing. I took a picture of the game when we had to leave it and seems there was a stack of 8, of 7, two of 4, and a handful smaller. My apologies. I'm not usually one for hyperbole. I'm hoping I didn't exaggerate the time. My friend said we had been playing for over 90 minutes.

I would be very surprised if I had the rules wrong. I read and re-read them when I decided to make my own set. I referenced them when questions came up the first few times playing just to make sure and I seemed to always have it right.

-Should have the carry limit right since I had to keep reminding my friend of it. 5x5 board = carry 5

-I only made 21 pieces and a capstone of each color, so have that right. When we called the game, I had 2 in my bank and he had 1. Still have plenty of Qwirkle tiles left over for other odd projects I've started, such as making game boards out of game components (Qwirkle tiles + Scrabble tiles = strangely cool 5x5 board).

-It's entirely possible we were using strange strategies and/or missing those tall stack powermoves. Again, we're both newbs. However, my friend has been a gamer far longer than myself, is a game designer as well, and is pretty good at pure strategy games. I was VERY surprised he did not crush me within 30 minutes (or the 5 it took him during our first game on a 4x4).

Thanks for looking out, y'all. I'll try to post the picture of the game later to make sure I didn't mess up somehow. How tall do the stacks usually get in your games?

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Gianluca Casu
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mackerous wrote:

-I only made 21 pieces and a capstone of each color, so have that right. When we called the game, I had 2 in my bank and he had 1. Still have plenty of Qwirkle tiles left over for other odd projects I've started, such as making game boards out of game components (Qwirkle tiles + Scrabble tiles = strangely cool 5x5 board).


So you basically were one move away from finishing the game

mackerous wrote:

Thanks for looking out, y'all. I'll try to post the picture of the game later to make sure I didn't mess up somehow. How tall do the stacks usually get in your games?


8 is not unheard. but in my experience, if you are stacking that high either you or your opponent have really not looked elsewhere on the board for an alternative strategy.
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Bjørnar Løseth
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Quote:

So you basically were one move away from finishing the game


Not necessarily. It is possible to prolong the game indefinitely (barring someone winning) by only moving pieces, but still I find this to be very unlikely. But photos from the match would be very interesting!
 
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Travis Dean
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Remember a couple other conditions, in case they were missed or forgotten:

When somebody uses their last tile, whoever has the most flatstones on top of spaces wins - so if your opponent had a majority, or even was tied with you, he could just lay his last flatstone in any open space end the game, and win. If you had the majority, you would just have to do this twice, assuming he wasn't in a "win in 1" position.

If all spaces on the board were filled, that also ends the game.


A picture would be great!
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Gianluca Casu
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bloseth wrote:

Not necessarily. It is possible to prolong the game indefinitely (barring someone winning) by only moving pieces, but still I find this to be very unlikely. But photos from the match would be very interesting!


If I am one piece left and I see I have majority I drop down that piece and to hell with that road.
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Mack C
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I'm not sure if I considered going for the flat win, but if I did, I most likely wouldn't have used it. Since it was one of my first games, I would have wanted to play it out til a "standard" win. Thank you for the reminder though. I never really thought about using the flat win strategically. I'm sure that's at least partly to blame for the long game time.

Here's two shots of the board. Some is a bit hard to see. Looks like no one was in the top row at the time. And looks like I had three stones left, and my friend could have placed his last and won. We had the 5x5 marked off with giant novelty dollar bills, but they didn't make for a good photo. Not sure whose turn it was, but there was a lot of back and forth, calling Tak and then countering.

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Gianluca Casu
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The photo is too bad to understand whatever happens.

Calling a flat victory is not a lesser victory. This game is about territory control, so it is as good as a road.
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Russ Williams
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mackerous wrote:
I'm not sure if I considered going for the flat win, but if I did, I most likely wouldn't have used it. Since it was one of my first games, I would have wanted to play it out til a "standard" win.

A win is a win, and all wins really are equally valid!

The idea of not wanting a point win sounds like someone playing 7 Wonders Duel for the first time and intentionally not taking the opportunity for a sudden death military victory because they think they should win by playing to the end and counting points in their first game.

---

Perhaps as an interesting experience/experiment (in treating all ways of winning as equally valid), I recommend trying the excellent abstract strategy game Havannah. It's played on a hexhex, and you can win 3 different ways, by:

* connecting 3 different board sides (not corners), or
* connecting 2 different board corners, or
* surrounding 1 or more interior hexes.

All wins are equally valid, and the threat to make one kind of win is often a useful tool in making progress to another type of win.
 
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Mack C
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My apologies if I came off sounding like a flat win is lesser. Another friend used it on me not 3 hours ago! Unfortunately, it was her first game and she forgot that standing stones don't count (whoops), so I actually won.

I referred to the road win as "standard" for lack of a better term. If I'm really into a certain game (I've been doing this lately with Onitama and Santorini), whenever there is victor after a well-fought match, we'll often back it up a move or two to see if the other player can turn it around. Keep the game going, explore other strategies. This is what I meant by going for the standard win. But I bet I woulda taken forever to use flat win strategically if not for y'all. Thanks!
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Gianluca Casu
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mackerous wrote:


I referred to the road win as "standard" for lack of a better term.


There is no need to apologize, but you still do not seem to get the point. In the rulebook there is clearly stated that there are THREE ways in which the game ends:

- One of the players puts down it's last stone
- The last board square is covered
- a Road is formed.

The first two conditions activate the "Victory by flat", the other the "Victory by road".

You want to win only by road? Fine. But this is not how the rules are written. Enjoy your Tak
 
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Mack C
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I definitely get the point. As I have stated, I've known it was a way to win, but thought it was rare, similar to trapping your opponent's workers so they can't move/build in Santorini. I didn't work that one into strategies either until I had played a few times.

In the rules I learned from, victory by road is what is described under "The Goal". Flat win and double road are described under a subsection of "The Goal" titled "Other Ways to Win". Given that it was in a subsection and next to what I would imagine to be a very rare circumstance (double road), I filed it away in the back of my mind while the rest stayed in the front. The rules were not used until a week or more after learning them, so the ones in the back got a bit dustier. There's not all that much room in the front, so I must prioritize. Hell, there's not that much room in there in general. It's also quite dark...and echo-y...
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Ben Wochinski
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Hey based on the end pics it looks like a good game Mack! Can't tell if anything was missed just from that, looks like a very possible end position.

In casual play it's common for people to prefer a road win, just because it's a more thematic and less inevitable ending. Looks like you're off to a great start!
 
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