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Subject: Is blood rage skill based? rss

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Marty Lund
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So I just got blood rage, we played it once and my brothers all say it's nothing but luck and it should be called flower rage...

Personally I loved it, but how do I tell them that it's great?

And where does the skill come in?

Thanks!
 
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There is a lot of skill involved. Honestly, interesting decisions exist throughout, but some examples might be:

1) Knowing what and when to draft. This is crucial. Being aware of what your opponents are drafting and what strategies they are implementing, taking cards to counter those strategies or deny them good cards.

2) Knowing when and where to invade with your limited number of figures and where to position them.

3) Knowing when and where to start a battle, and whether or not you intend to lose it. This is crucial.

4) Being aware of what cards you have in hand, knowing when to play them, and remembering that if you win a battle you lose the card you played (even if it is a quest or something).

There's really so much depth. One play doesn't do it justice at all.
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Russ Williams
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Hicitup wrote:
So I just got blood rage, we played it once and my brothers all say it's nothing but luck and it should be called flower rage...

Personally I loved it, but how do I tell them that it's great?

And where does the skill come in?

For any decent game it is easy to demonstrate that there is skill involved:

Play again with them, and require them to make all of their game decisions randomly, while you will consciously decide what you do for your game decisions. See who wins.

(PS: This should surely be in the Blood Rage forum...)
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Jason Reid
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The first time you play, no one knows the cards, and so it is very influenced by luck.

Once people learn them, they can actually think while drafting. Then skill matters.
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Craig B
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Hicitup wrote:
So I just got blood rage, we played it once and my brothers all say it's nothing but luck and it should be called flower rage...

Personally I loved it, but how do I tell them that it's great?

And where does the skill come in?

Thanks!


The critical thing about Blood Rage is that the card draft at each age is SOOOO IMPORTANT. So if when you taught the game before first starting you showed everyone the cards and explained some possible strategies / synergies then your first game may have involved some people trying those things out and/or trying to counter those potential strategies you explained. If you just explained the rules, didn't show them all the cards prior to the draft and expected everyone to know what counters what on the first play then you just simply have to play it again and a drafting meta will start between you and your brothers that will make all future playthroughs much more competitive and tense. First plays can be pretty good if you explain the 4 major strategies, some of the important losing card battle strats, importance of pillaging and the VP for stats as well as some basics around not getting two many quests, too many age 1 upgrades etc. and trying to get a balance of everything.
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Bryan Thunkd
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russ wrote:
For any decent game it is easy to demonstrate that there is skill involved
Sure. But just because there is some skill involved doesn't mean that it isn't also a very random game. The OP's question is the wrong one to ask. The question isn't really whether any skill is required but how much the outcome is determined by skill.

Regardless, the OP has little chance of changing the minds of his friends. Facts and arguments are unlikely to persuade people who didn't enjoy the game. You can't argue them into enjoying it.
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Marty Lund
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Thunkd wrote:
russ wrote:
For any decent game it is easy to demonstrate that there is skill involved
Sure. But just because there is some skill involved doesn't mean that it isn't also a very random game. The OP's question is the wrong one to ask. The question isn't really whether any skill is required but how much the outcome is determined by skill.

Regardless, the OP has little chance of changing the minds of his friends. Facts and arguments are unlikely to persuade people who didn't enjoy the game. You can't argue them into enjoying it.


I can tell that already...
 
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Matthew M
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russ wrote:

(PS: This should surely be in the Blood Rage forum...)


{I think whether X is skill based is perfectly fine for a General Gaming discussion)
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Octavian wrote:
russ wrote:

(PS: This should surely be in the Blood Rage forum...)


{I think whether X is skill based is perfectly fine for a General Gaming discussion)

Some games are skill based and some are not - how can anyone answer whether a non-specified game is skill based? The O.P. made it clear he's asking about Blood Rage, not game X.
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Carl Frodge
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It's definitely not luck. There is luck in the draft, but if you have the better strategy, you're gonna win. It's mostly about that, strategy.
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Trent Boardgamer
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Thunkd wrote:
russ wrote:
For any decent game it is easy to demonstrate that there is skill involved
Sure. But just because there is some skill involved doesn't mean that it isn't also a very random game. The OP's question is the wrong one to ask. The question isn't really whether any skill is required but how much the outcome is determined by skill.

Regardless, the OP has little chance of changing the minds of his friends. Facts and arguments are unlikely to persuade people who didn't enjoy the game. You can't argue them into enjoying it.


Agreed, the best I've managed to do is merely convince people to give a game a second go before cementing their opinion. Sometimes views are changed, but mostly first impressions count.

If they don't like it on their first game, they likely won't enjoy it the second time around (Unless their dislike was due to a non-direct game factor like a particular player ruining the fun, or the rules being poorly explained etc).

But good luck. I do thing your best approach is to just get them to agree to give it a second go and as others have pointed out, help them identify some of the strategy etc pre-game.
 
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Moved to Blood Rage/General
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Carl G
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You gotta know when to hold 'em.
Know when to fold 'em.
Know when to walk away.
Know when to run.

They might as well say Poker is nothing but luck based as well.
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If it were luck-based, then surely from the last 10 games I should have won at least one, by the virtue of luck! I mean, when rolling dice, even I roll a six now and then.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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Quote:
They might as well say Poker is nothing but luck based as well.
There is a lot of luck in poker. Skill will win out over time, but it can take a significant amount of plays for skill to outperform luck.

I didn't particularly enjoy my first play of Blood Rage... the idea that it might take many plays for skill to overcome luck isn't something that makes me want to invest more plays in it.
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Jeff Connell
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Thunkd wrote:
Quote:
They might as well say Poker is nothing but luck based as well.
There is a lot of luck in poker. Skill will win out over time, but it can take a significant amount of plays for skill to outperform luck.

I didn't particularly enjoy my first play of Blood Rage... the idea that it might take many plays for skill to overcome luck isn't something that makes me want to invest more plays in it.


Like ANY drafting game you need to know the cards to do well. Blood Rage is no different. Hardly luck at all.
 
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Chad Edmunds
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Blood Rage is a skill based game. For any rational adult to suggest otherwise simply indicates they are motivated into that opinion by something other than facts and truth.

To the OP's dilemma...

I doubt you can, nor will, change their mind. Blood Rage being so clearly not a luck based game, there must be something motivating your friends into such an opinion. That motivation is very unlikely to be swayed by anything you would say or show them.

I wish you luck. I think everyone should play Blood Rage. But I would suggest you invest your energies elsewhere. Find new friends! Just kidding. shake
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Kamil M.
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AJEddy wrote:
Blood Rage is a skill based game. For any rational adult to suggest otherwise simply indicates they are motivated into that opinion by something other than facts and truth.
(...)
I doubt you can, nor will, change their mind. Blood Rage being so clearly not a luck based game, there must be something motivating your friends into such an opinion. That motivation is very unlikely to be swayed by anything you would say or show them.

I wish you luck. I think everyone should play Blood Rage. But I would suggest you invest your energies elsewhere. Find new friends! Just kidding. shake


Let me recap:
- anything you say are pure facts and truth.
- anyone that disagree's is irrational, gullible and/or naive?

Good talk buddy, good talk :-) Discussion is skill based as well – I ‘d suggest a bit more practice.

It’s one thing to like a game (I think every game has something special about it and respect people liking other games than I do), it’s another to fanatically preach that it's somehing it’s not.

Anyway, as you all can see, due to beautiful minis, viking theme, and great marketing there is a strong pro-BR bias on BGG and the above post is a very good example. But the game isn't 100% deterministic and (sadly) has a major luck factor that helps the core mechanics swing the outcomes at random (ofc the luck factor itself doesn’t make a game not skill-based – the mechanics do).
And believe me - I wish it would not be so, I really wanted to like this game.

The most brought up argument in favour of BR is the drafting mechanic. It's claimed to be both skill-based and self-balancing. I disagree.
In a 4-player game during the draft each player only has a chance to see 75% of the cards that are going to be used in the game : 1-[6/(4*(8-2))].
Due to this fact (yes, that is an actual fact, based on a simple formula and the game manual ), it can be very hard to break combos, as each player gets several free picks before others even get to see which cards are in the draft.

That itself would not be much of a problem if the cards were balanced, but due to their ability to swing the score by tens of points it really does make the game luck based.
And there's no way for you to mitigate it, since there are more than few point-swinging combos – can’t control them all.

Lack of information leads to entropy, and due to the above you could as well be dealt 4 cards at random each era (that’s 12(!) in total for the full game), some of which could be (due to random chance) used to build a combo that wins you the game.

(But hey - miniatures! redtrain)

Anyway making this game skill based would (in my opinion) require a major overhaul of three major elements: cards (more variety, less game-crushing effects), combat (Kemet card system would be a nice base – perhaps with a bit of randomness mixed in) and the map itself in order to make movement and positioning matter.

I'm curious what other people think.
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kmd2000 wrote:

Anyway making this game skill based would (in my opinion) require a major overhaul of three major elements: cards (more variety, less game-crushing effects), combat (Kemet card system would be a nice base – perhaps with a bit of randomness mixed in) and the map itself in order to make movement and positioning matter.

I'm curious what other people think.


I think thinking of probabilities while playing is a skill.

First of, you're chances in winning are bigger if you know the game. I'd also define this as skill. So if you know what the dangerous combinations are, you do have an advantage. Since there is a board state in Blood Rage, even if someone has a combination of cards, you can deduce what combinations someone might have during the game. Most strategies require a specific board state (f.e. having ships) and actions of other players, and it is possible to fight against them.

Now, this isn't a game like Terra Mystica. There remains a slight chance a first time player can win against the best player of the world, but that also means you can play Blood Rage with different groups of people. Still, I think knowing the possible combinations and strategies leads to an interesting meta game among skilled gamers.

 
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Incredibul wrote:
kmd2000 wrote:

Anyway making this game skill based would (in my opinion) require a major overhaul of three major elements: cards (more variety, less game-crushing effects), combat (Kemet card system would be a nice base – perhaps with a bit of randomness mixed in) and the map itself in order to make movement and positioning matter.

I'm curious what other people think.


I think thinking of probabilities while playing is a skill.

First of, you're chances in winning are bigger if you know the game. I'd also define this as skill. So if you know what the dangerous combinations are, you do have an advantage. Since there is a board state in Blood Rage, even if someone has a combination of cards, you can deduce what combinations someone might have during the game. Most strategies require a specific board state (f.e. having ships) and actions of other players, and it is possible to fight against them.

Now, this isn't a game like Terra Mystica. There remains a slight chance a first time player can win against the best player of the world, but that also means you can play Blood Rage with different groups of people. Still, I think knowing the possible combinations and strategies leads to an interesting meta game among skilled gamers.




What about the part where you get a strong combo and noone can stop you (or even know you got the combo), due to the draft mechanic as it is atm?
This isn't something you can mitigage with skill and is my main pet peeve with BR.
 
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kmd2000 wrote:

What about the part where you get a strong combo and noone can stop you (or even know you got the combo), due to the draft mechanic as it is atm?
This isn't something you can mitigage with skill and is my main pet peeve with BR.


First off - with the 4-player example you gave, the likeliness is VERY high someone has a counter.

Also, there are two ways modern Boardgames try to stop the Runaway Leader Problem (one player clearly will win, but the game isn't over):

- some chance to get a lot of points at the end of the game,
- ending the game as soon as the Runaway Leader becomes clear.

Blood Rage does the former. So if you have the advantage, you still have to be on your toes and think about the possible combinations that will win against you.

For that, you really have to play the game a lot and learn it. I think the big combos you mention are not unknowns (see: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1555743/combo-list ).

If there was no chance to win the game if someone scored enough points in the first 2 Ages, the game could as well end after 2 Ages.

 
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So in a nutshell, you don't need to know if a player really has the needed cards for a combination. You only need to know how many points you will score and what combinations that exist in the game are dangerous for you. If you know the game (i.e. are skilled in it), there are no big surprises.
 
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Kamil M.
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I think you bring up some interesting arguments, I'll read into the links you gave and play around with those ideas.
Maybe 7 plays is not enough, but after playing CitOW and Kemet, BR felt very underwhelming, even for a draft mechanic lover such as myself.
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kmd2000 wrote:
AJEddy wrote:
Blood Rage is a skill based game. For any rational adult to suggest otherwise simply indicates they are motivated into that opinion by something other than facts and truth.
(...)
I doubt you can, nor will, change their mind. Blood Rage being so clearly not a luck based game, there must be something motivating your friends into such an opinion. That motivation is very unlikely to be swayed by anything you would say or show them.

I wish you luck. I think everyone should play Blood Rage. But I would suggest you invest your energies elsewhere. Find new friends! Just kidding. shake


Let me recap:
- anything you say are pure facts and truth.
- anyone that disagree's is irrational, gullible and/or naive?



Not everything I say is pure facts and truth. Just the factual and true things I say.

And I didn't say that anyone who disagrees with me is irrational, gullible and/or naive. Quite the leap you took there. Buddy.

There are many skills in play in Blood Rage: memory, reading people, puzzle solving, math and probabilities, risk analysis, ability to recognise opponents' mistakes and to figure out how to abuse those mistakes, negotiation, deception, etc. All of those skills come into play with Blood Rage. That makes it a skill based game. When the same 1 or 2 people win every game, and the same 1 or 2 people never win a game, regardless if you play 20 games, or 200 games, or 2000 games - that makes it a skill based game.

My point was only that opinions about games are very often formed quickly after one play, and based on irrationality because of that one experience. All the time. Win or lose, irrational opinions are at their highest directly after an emotionally charged activity like playing a board game. For many groups - if not most groups - after playing a game for the first time, at least one of the losers will hate the game. And usually the winner will love it. The game, and its quality, often factor little into that assessment. However, when the players are able to separate their in-the-moment emotions about the win/loss from pure unemotional, rational thought, they are likely to have a much different opinion.

That is why many gamers will say to those people with high emotion reactions to first plays to "play the game again" before forming a definite opinion.

It seemed to me from the OP's report, that that is exactly what was happening with his friends and their experience with Blood Rage. I wasn't calling them irrational, gullible, nor naive. I was saying that for those who are able to remain rational - and not respond just to emotions of the session - they would be able to see that the game is skill based.

You don't agree Blood Rage is skill based. I am not calling you irrational because of that opinion. I think you are wrong. And not because I am a miniatures fanboy - as you seem to want everyone to believe all Blood Rage fans here on BGG happen to be - but because of my experiences playing Blood Rage and games in general. You clearly put some rational thought into your opinion and are not just having an emotionally charged reaction to 1 game. That is all I meant when I said "rational adult"...someone who can objectively view a game and not form a quick opinion based on 1 emotionally charged play of the game.

I played one game (it was a very memorable game, so I will never forget it) where 1 player was handed all the Loki cards in the draft, played them all, was coached and colluded with on the Loki strategy by the experienced player who handed him the cards. Even with all that advantage, he still did not win. I won, and not because I got lucky. I won because I was able to employ many of those skills I mentioned earlier to outplay Loki. I knew, with all those Loki cards, he was the player to beat. While you should always have a plan to deal with Loki, I knew I had to deal with the complete Loki package in this game. So, I drafted cards that helped me with my game plan while also helping me counter Loki. I jumped on his mistakes. I ended Ages early. I avoided him in all but one battle. I stuck to my patient, but very opportunistic, game plan. I countered some of the more obvious plays he would/could make. I choked him out of stat upgrades and quest completions, knowing those extra points would be the difference maker in the game. And it didn't matter which cards I got, because there are enough good/great cards in the game that I had to get cards I could use to out play the Loki player.

Because I knew what he HAD to do to win, I was able to play around it, counter it, and use negotiation and temporary alliances with the other players to keep Loki from completing all he needed to complete to win.

That took considerable skill from a lot of experience. And I am not anywhere near as skilled at games as that player is. He took what he learned from that one game and went on to win the next game and has since been 1 of the only 2 winners of the game. He has been able to employ his mad gaming skills to quickly become a winning Blood Rage player. One can only do that in a skill based game.

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Kamil M.
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AJEddy wrote:
[q="kmd2000"][q="AJEddy"]

(...)



Alright, that seems fair.
Perhaps your original post was worded in an unfortunate manner, but I understand what you wrote just now and thoughts behind it.

As for the skill-based game (as opposed to skill-based elements of the game) - I think we must agree to disagree, I'm far from ever getting enough games in myself and I doubt I'll ever see a comprehensive statistical analysis of BR (that would be neat tho, wouldn't it). But I will keep my eyes open.

Regards,
K.
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