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Scotland Yard» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Doesn't black tickets give too much power to Mr.X? rss

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Maxim Y
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We've played the game with 4 detectives. To the time of 3rd appearance Mr.X used all his 2x tickets. Mostly because of no "2x"s we managed to push him to the corner and finally got him. The player who played Mr.X simply forgot about black tickets (remember, he had 4 of them).
The question is: if Mr.X could save all his black tickets up to the 3rd appearance, he almost cannot be caught if he use those black t? Taking into account that Mr.X has 2 2xs at start, full hand of every type of tickets at the 2nd half of game, isn't he too powered?
My thought that maybe only one black ticket should be used in game.
 
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Pedro Pereira
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My thought is that you should play the game more often before you make any assumptions.

Most people agree that the game favours the investigators slightly, but it takes a few games to get there.

You need to allow for all players to become familiar with the different strategies in the game and you will notice that the game is quote well balanced.

Don't make any changes to the rules until you played it at least some 15 times with the same group of people, you should find that no changes will be necessary.
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Maxim Y
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I understand your point.
But to play 15 matches we need some kind of equal probabilities to win/loose for all. In my first message I wrote that we won because of one stupid desicion of Mr. But if after that Mr.X will become unstoppable for 3-4-5 matches I'm not sure we will be willing to play again.
In the neighbor thread a user wrote that playing with 4 detectives is pretty useless. Maybe some kind of this hints apply to black tickets either?
 
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Pedro Pereira
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Well, naturally, if consistently losing over 3 or 4 games makes you want to quit rather than challenge yourself to improve there is nothing you can do about that...

I'm not sure what it is that you're looking for in a competitive game... losing 4 out 5 is in no way indicative that a game is unbalanced. Most of the times it just means that other players were better than you because they figured out a strategy they like and they are good at. Your focus should be figuring out what your opponent is doing and how to counter that.

It puzzles me that you are willing to claim game-unbalance over admitting your own incompetence in defeating your opponent...

As an example, I really like The Voyages of Marco Polo but for some reason I suck at it. I've played it about 20 times and lost most of the games... I'm pretty sure it's my fault and I'm convinced that there is something I'm not doing right... I don't think the game is unbalanced towards whatever the other plays get that I don't get.

Same here, the black tickets are necessary for Mr X to even stand a chance. Since Mr X has to reveal their location every now and then, it would be really hard for Mr X to stand a chance without the tickets since all moves would be traceable from then on.

If you like the game, you need to keep playing it until you figure it out and not assume that the game needs to be changed to how you think it should work.
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Maxim Y
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To be short: you think the rules are balanced for both sides.
OK. As there is no other opinion, we'll play that way.
 
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Benjamin Kerenza
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dar_ling wrote:
To be short: you think the rules are balanced for both sides.
OK. As there is no other opinion, we'll play that way.


It's your game, play how you want to. I'd agree that the game probably isn't imbalanced, we've had Mr. X or the detectives win. I think there is a point where just after halfway Mr. X can be in a practically unreachable spot which makes the last half of a game where Mr. X is winning less fun.

I would hypothesise that the game feeling imbalanced towards Mr. X may be a function of one against many arrangement of the game. If Mr. X understands his strategy he has a good chance of winning. If an investigator understands how to play they have to either convey that knowledge to the other investigators or hope it clicks.
 
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dar_ling wrote:
To be short: you think the rules are balanced for both sides.

I think the rules favor the investigators.

Doesn't matter, though. It's still a fun game, and it's great when Mr. X can pull off a win.
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Pedro Pereira
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E Decker wrote:
dar_ling wrote:
To be short: you think the rules are balanced for both sides.

I think the rules favor the investigators.

Doesn't matter, though. It's still a fun game, and it's great when Mr. X can pull off a win.


Agree. If anything it favours the investigators. Which does make it a lot of fun to win as Mr X
 
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As a more general point, I don't really have a problem with asymmetric games not being perfectly balanced. You simply modify your expectations, and attempt to win more often than the odds dictate you should. The original Netrunner wasn't balanced, for example, and it's still considered one of the greatest CCGs ever designed.

So have fun with Scotland Yard, and don't fret the balance too much. It's a great game that allows for both bluffing and deduction, works well for all ages, and has lots of tension, frequently coming down to one key decision. If Mr. X seems too powerful, just keep playing and the pendulum should soon swing the other way.

Have fun!
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dar_ling wrote:
I understand your point.
But to play 15 matches we need some kind of equal probabilities to win/loose for all. In my first message I wrote that we won because of one stupid desicion of Mr. But if after that Mr.X will become unstoppable for 3-4-5 matches I'm not sure we will be willing to play again.
In the neighbor thread a user wrote that playing with 4 detectives is pretty useless. Maybe some kind of this hints apply to black tickets either?


This seems unfortunate - if one side can't win, instead of fighting to improve they give up and move to a different game? Personally I prefer to learn and take on the challenge - everyone is different I suppose.

The game is balanced quite well, and both sides have a reasonable chance of winning. Mr X isn't overpowered, even with the special tickets, and against good detectives will need most of the tricks available to him at one point or another to escape.

Of course, if the players aren't balanced you can always modify the game however you see fit. Start him out with fewer black tickets, and then increase that number as your detectives improve. Certainly nothing wrong with taking that approach.
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