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Subject: AP vs AP vs AP (and which is most annoying) rss

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benjamin CLOVIS
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Hi all,
It seems to me that the term Analysis Paralysis gets bandied about quite a bit, but to me there are several different behaviours that result in a player being annoyingly slow for the rest of the table. And I don't think that these are the same thing (or should be treated with the same amount of contempt). Here are my thoughts:
1) Just slow. I know of what I speak, because this is me. Last week someone said at the table "it's true that you are kind of AP". I AM NO SUCH THING! I am just...slow. Not wanting to slow things down when I play, I most often play suboptimal moves because my calculatory ability clearly is really slow (at least compared to the group with which I play). Last week we played Bergum (or Londinium) and as soon as I had finished my move, I knew what I wanted to do for the next move (complete a church), but by the time I had finished figuring out how many resources I needed, it was already my turn again, with other players tapping their fingers on the table (i exagerate every one is very nice in my group, I just imagine people doing that)
2)Human calculator. On another thread I read someone stating that if someone is taking a long time calculating his move and wins quite a lot, you can't call that AP. Indeed, in AP there is the word Paralysis. This is not paralysis, this is deliberate calculation resulting in optimal results. And in my mind the most annoying of the APs because it is deliberate: the player has decided that his enjoyment of the puzzle solving will take precedence over the group enjoyment (because beleive me, no one else will say "wow that was a great move, well worth the 7 minutes we all sat around staring at the board"). I don't think any of us mind losing, but for this type of AP person, they should really have the capacity to readjust their goal from 'how can I optimise my move' to 'how can i optimise my move in under x minutes'. mental hallenge is still there, just with a new condition.
3) true AP. To me true AP is someone who ends up in mental rabbit holes. That is to say he is figuring out route A, then sees that maybe route B) might be better, then sees that he can combine route A and B, but can optimize it by adding element C, but by the time he has gotten to element E, he has lost track of the fact that he neede 3 coins for move A in the first place, and starts all over again. He's the guy who is thinking 4 steps ahead in chess, in 5 different configurations, but has lost site of the fact that his queen is next to his opponent's pawn. This is a disorganized mind trying to organize. Though the behaviour is annoying to those around, I can't exactly be mad with that person.

Any thoughts or additions?
cheers
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mortego
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For me A.P. doesn't really bother me, what bothers me is when other players who know another player suffers from A.P., who have agreed to PLAY a game with a person suffering from A.P., then takes advantage of that player by badgering them into making hasty bad decisions on what to do.

THAT, is annoying and needs to be called out.

As for "slow" players who say they are not experiencing A.P., then why play slow? In Magic: The Gathering tournaments back in the day that was a strategy technique to burn time off the clock for your own advantage if you had already won the first game.
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None of the conditions of mind you describe actually require those subject to play slowly. In a game without a clock, there is a social expectation that one make one's moves in a reasonable amount of time, so all the "AP" sufferers are properly regarded as simply rude for not doing so.

A quickly chosen move may be lower quality than one chosen with full consideration, but we generally play games complex enough that all our moves are chosen with imperfect foresight.
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Andrew Brown
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Kiraboshi wrote:
In a game without a clock, there is a social expectation that one make one's moves in a reasonable amount of time, so all the "AP" sufferers are properly regarded as simply rude for not doing so.
by whom?

and who defines what is reasonable?

the true problem with AP is that the social contract you're referring to doesn't really exist because what is AP to one person is not to another


people in general shouldn't be rude. board games are meant to be fun. if people playing a board game together aren't having fun, for whatever reason, they should let others know, but in an assertive and respectful manner. imo, badgering a player for taking too long is even ruder than the person taking too long because often that player taking too long isn't doing it just to be rude to everyone but rather because they are overwhelmed with choice and unsure of what to decide, while the badgering person is just being impatient. if someone's AP is causing problems for your enjoyment, there are better ways to bring up the discussion with everyone.
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Mike

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I kind of see the 3 ways you are defining it as all the same. Especially 1 and 2.

I think one kind of person that usually gets called AP that you don't have defined is the person that doesn't plan their moves during other players turns. Especially in games with little player interaction. Orleans is one game that comes to mind where I see it happen a lot.

To me AP only becomes a problem when you do it every time even with moves that don't really matter or ones where you should be able to make a quick decision. I will use power grid as an example. If you play the game and you grind on whether to buy resources or not and how many during that phase. That should be a quick move. There isn't a right or wrong answer to it. You just make a decision and move on. People with AP can't quickly make decisions on things like that. I think most people are understanding if you are at a phase of a game where taking a minute to do a quick calculation is critical to your move. But not every move in most games is like that.
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I'm OK with players taking a little time to think out their moves, but when players spend several minutes each turn just staring at the board and planning a single decision, I consider that to be profoundly annoying (and borderline antisocial, if that player knows it annoys other people), whether that is because they're struggling to hold onto everything or because they're planning very slowly.

I feel that if it's what you describe as "true AP", that a player simply can't hold onto everything the game asks them to consider, then that player should either

1) Not play that game,
2) Not worry about playing a sub-optimal move.

That's just my own opinion and YMMV, if you're all happy for a game of Ra to last 3 hours then good for you.

Hell, I get bored when *I* spend too long thinking of what move to make. I no doubt make sub-optimal moves all the time, and don't win very often (and when I do it's usually either against non-gamers or a game that I'm very familiar with). I do play to win, but generally enjoy a game whether I win it or not - it's more important for me and everyone else to enjoy a game than to win.
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FrankNBeans13 wrote:
I kind of see the 3 ways you are defining it as all the same. Especially 1 and 2.

I think one kind of person that usually gets called AP that you don't have defined is the person that doesn't plan their moves during other players turns. Especially in games with little player interaction. Orleans is one game that comes to mind where I see it happen a lot.

To me AP only becomes a problem when you do it every time even with moves that don't really matter or ones where you should be able to make a quick decision. I will use power grid as an example. If you play the game and you grind on whether to buy resources or not and how many during that phase. That should be a quick move. There isn't a right or wrong answer to it. You just make a decision and move on. People with AP can't quickly make decisions on things like that. I think most people are understanding if you are at a phase of a game where taking a minute to do a quick calculation is critical to your move. But not every move in most games is like that.


Yes; I don't mind waiting a while on the last move of the game when someone calculates how many cities they can grab. I do mind when people on the first move stare at powerplants 03-06 and have a good long think about which one they're going to open bidding on.
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Kathleen Nugent
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FrankNBeans13 wrote:
I think one kind of person that usually gets called AP . . . is the person that doesn't plan their moves during other players turns.


Yes! There's a guy in my group just like that: "My turn? Okay. Hmmm." And then he looks at the board, seemingly for the first time. And then, only then, does he start analyzing everything.
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maf man
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we can use the term so loose because of those three you listed the outcome is the same and so the complaint is the same.
I tend to use the term when I see that the choices presented to the player are what caused the slow down because the player is trying to analyze too many branches too deep.
 
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Keith B
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killerjoe1962 wrote:
For me A.P. doesn't really bother me, what bothers me is when other players who know another player suffers from A.P., who have agreed to PLAY a game with a person suffering from A.P., then takes advantage of that player by badgering them into making hasty bad decisions on what to do.

THAT, is annoying and needs to be called out.

As for "slow" players who say they are not experiencing A.P., then why play slow? In Magic: The Gathering tournaments back in the day that was a strategy technique to burn time off the clock for your own advantage if you had already won the first game.


My issues players that don't pay attention to what's going on when it's not their turn. Then you have to let them know "hey, it's your turn", which in turn gets you a response of "Oh! Okay....wait, who took that spot? Damn it" now they go into AP mode.

I fully believe if you are paying attention to others and the game, then you should be able to deduce your next move rather quickly. It's when you're not paying attention and not thinking of your next move that becomes the problem.
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Larry L
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texascpa wrote:
killerjoe1962 wrote:
For me A.P. doesn't really bother me, what bothers me is when other players who know another player suffers from A.P., who have agreed to PLAY a game with a person suffering from A.P., then takes advantage of that player by badgering them into making hasty bad decisions on what to do.

THAT, is annoying and needs to be called out.

As for "slow" players who say they are not experiencing A.P., then why play slow? In Magic: The Gathering tournaments back in the day that was a strategy technique to burn time off the clock for your own advantage if you had already won the first game.


My issues players that don't pay attention to what's going on when it's not their turn. Then you have to let them know "hey, it's your turn", which in turn gets you a response of "Oh! Okay....wait, who took that spot? Damn it" now they go into AP mode.

I fully believe if you are paying attention to others and the game, then you should be able to deduce your next move rather quickly. It's when you're not paying attention and not thinking of your next move that becomes the problem.


I'm not sure I agree with your conclusion-- some people take a long time for other reasons, but I definitely agree with your opening statement.

People who tune out of the game when it is not their turn, AND take a slow turn annoy me. One of the two is fine, but the combination gets to me.
 
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texascpa wrote:

I fully believe if you are paying attention to others and the game, then you should be able to deduce your next move rather quickly. It's when you're not paying attention and not thinking of your next move that becomes the problem.


I find almost nothing more annoying in board games than when you have to constantly remind someone that it's their turn.
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mortego
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I wonder if having ADHD has any effect on other players?
 
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Sam Lam I Am
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It only annoys me if the player takes a lot of time with every move.

Everyone occasionally winds up in a spot with a critical play where they need a little time to consider their options.
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Ravage Board Gaming
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I'm going to have to think about this subject for a bit before deciding which option I'm going with and I'm not going to write a reply until the rest of you have finished writing yours.
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Geert Vinaskov
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clovisIII wrote:
several different behaviours that result in a player being annoyingly slow
1) Just slow. 2)Human calculator. 3) true AP.


Good write-up. Very cool that you're providing terminology to talk about AP.

As you said, there are different behaviours, but I don't think these behaviours are mutually exclusive. All of these are present in each person, but some are more present than others. They're also not black-and-white: you can be "partly a human calculator".

In fact, I believe there's a correlation between the three, and they affect eachother.

For instance, someone who adopts the 2) human calculator behaviour will comfortly balance and compare 5 options, but when he has to balance and compare 15 options, he may lose track, and get into 3) true AP.

Or someone that is currently 1) just slow may go into 2) human calculator mode, and take a véry long time, but find the best option in the end.
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David Marowske
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Stomski wrote:
I'm going to have to think about this subject for a bit before deciding which option I'm going with and I'm not going to write a reply until the rest of you have finished writing yours.


Whose turn is it to reply to the thread?
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clovisIII wrote:
several different behaviours that result in a player being annoyingly slow
1) Just slow. 2)Human calculator. 3) true AP.

I'm a combo of 1 and 2

If I can't do all calculations within a "reasonable time", i'll do as much as I can, like consider 4 out of 6 options, and pick from one of the 4. I do try to think ahead whenever possible.

#3 I've seen in a game of Race For The Galaxy with The Gathering Storm expansion... it took a whole 10 minutes for one player to decide on 2 worlds to settle due to the Improved Logistics card. And yes, I felt a dread coming on at the start of the Settle phase, so I hit a button on my stopwatch, so the 10 minute figure was literally that and not an exaggeration. This person also got criticized behind his back how when you play a game like Puerto Rico with him, you'll need to add an extra 30 minutes to 45 minutes to your game.


This day in age, AP is still an issue, but people fill out the blank time with their phones, or just gossip.
 
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David Buckley
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texascpa wrote:
killerjoe1962 wrote:
For me A.P. doesn't really bother me, what bothers me is when other players who know another player suffers from A.P., who have agreed to PLAY a game with a person suffering from A.P., then takes advantage of that player by badgering them into making hasty bad decisions on what to do.

THAT, is annoying and needs to be called out.

As for "slow" players who say they are not experiencing A.P., then why play slow? In Magic: The Gathering tournaments back in the day that was a strategy technique to burn time off the clock for your own advantage if you had already won the first game.


My issues players that don't pay attention to what's going on when it's not their turn. Then you have to let them know "hey, it's your turn", which in turn gets you a response of "Oh! Okay....wait, who took that spot? Damn it" now they go into AP mode.

I fully believe if you are paying attention to others and the game, then you should be able to deduce your next move rather quickly. It's when you're not paying attention and not thinking of your next move that becomes the problem.


Not that simple. It's difficult to plan out one's own turn while simultaneously following other people's, or at least I find it so. I sometimes need to be reminded that it's my turn because I was trying to use my opponent's thinking time to plan out my turn.
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David Buckley
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ackmondual wrote:


This day in age, AP is still an issue, but people fill out the blank time with their phones, or just gossip.


Indeed but many boardgamers find use of mobile phones during boardgames highly objectionable for some reason.
 
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I don't mind a little AP here and there. But, as previously mentioned, when the AP is due to someone not paying any attention while others are taking their turns, that's when I get annoyed.

In Dominion, for example, it drives me crazy when players don't even look at their cards during a 5 player game until its their turn again. Then they take 4-5 minutes to play. There's no reason for that.

On the other hand, if you've looked at your hand and planned out your move and someone played an attack card right before your turn, causing you to develop a new strategy for the turn, that I'm ok with.
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A person who is suffering "AP," of all the varieties mentioned, isn't literally paralyzed. They are all, in fact, calculating. Whether or not that calculation is mathematical is besides the point. The person with "AP" is simply slowing the game down. The question is how much deliberation is tolerable and how much is ruining the "fun" of the game.

So, whether your categories are valid (I don't think they are), the problem only exists if everyone at the table is sacrificing their fun for the sake a slow-ass player.

If so, deal with is AS A GROUP.

If not, KEEP PLAYING.
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Pete
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Man...I am having a really hard time choosing one of those three.

Pete (thinks they're all really good answers)
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Emanuele Buffagni
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Quote:
several different behaviours that result in a player being annoyingly slow
1) Just slow. 2)Human calculator. 3) true AP.


That is a nice distinction.

Usually with my group it's not a problem if a player is an AP. I think all players who take game seriously may have had some turns/rounds/games on which they needed more time to think. And I think it's correct to give them some time to calculate next move.

But that is valid if you really want to play the game. If you spend most of your time chatting on the phone or talking with other people then you can't use 10 minutes to understand what you need to do.

Don't take me wrong, you can do whatever you want when you play a game, you are not chained to the table, but it's important to not ruin other people time!
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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ChaosGate wrote:
Quote:
several different behaviours that result in a player being annoyingly slow
1) Just slow. 2)Human calculator. 3) true AP.


That is a nice distinction.
It's a meaningless distinction to me. All three are variations on the same thing, someone who is delaying the game while they calculate out their move. It's not important if the reason is that they're slow or trying to figure out everything or can't remember what they've already calculated... everyone else has to wait while they grind through their calculations. It's all AP, and everyone else is miserable while they sit there figuring it out.
 
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