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Subject: Is this game really trick taking? rss

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Nick Shaw
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So here's the BGG definition of "trick taking":

Quote:
Each player plays in turn order one card (or, in some games, a series, such as a pair or straight) from their hand face up onto the table; the group of cards played is named a "trick". According with the rules of the game, one player wins the trick and captures all of the cards in the trick. The object of most trick taking games is to capture tricks or point scoring cards in tricks or occasionally avoid winning tricks.

The most common way to win a trick is by having the card with highest value of the suit that was led, but many classical card games use the "trump" system (where the certain cards, usually those of a designated suit, will win the trick if they are played.) Occasionally there is a round of bidding to determine this trump suit.

In many trick taking games (though not all), players are required to "follow suit", i.e. play a card of the same suit as was led if they have one. If they do not have a matching card, they must play another card from their hand.


None of that fits with how this game plays, except the first sentence (playing one card each) which could be attributed to a LOT of games that aren't trick takers.

My theory: This is a game of bidding for turn order, then drafting cards in that turn order from amongst the cards used for the bidding. No one "wins" the played cards, thus I don't think the collection of cards played is a "trick". And you don't have to play higher or follow suit - so it goes against that staple common rule of trick-takers.

Anyone think the same?...
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Pedro Pereira
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I agree with you mostly. It's only a trick taking if the winner of the trick takes the trick. But that is not what happens here. Each player gets to take one card.

If I had to pick one mechanic to define this game I would say it's a set collection game first and foremost as you only win the game by creating sets. Then as sub-genres I'd use the two that you mentioned: bidding and drafting.

Drafting is how you collect the cards to make sets and bidding is how you create 'initiative' for first choice. But actually you could still win the game (theoretically) even if you never get first choice, so that's why I'd say that drafting and bidding are sub-genres supporting the main one which is set collection (the only way to win the game).
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Nick Shaw
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Good point, set collection is the heart of how to win the game, so I guess that should be top-billing on the mechanisms list.

I may request a change to the game's mechanisms that BGG lists and see if it gets past the mods...

EDIT: Done, I've requested to remove Trick Taking and add Card Drafting and Auction/Bidding (closest to what it is). Set Collection was already set as the primary mechanism.
 
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Pedro Pereira
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njshaw2 wrote:
Good point, set collection is the heart of how to win the game, so I guess that should be top-billing on the mechanisms list.

I may request a change to the game's mechanisms that BGG lists and see if it gets past the mods...

EDIT: Done, I've requested to remove Trick Taking and add Card Drafting and Auction/Bidding (closest to what it is). Set Collection was already set as the primary mechanism.


You got my vote!
 
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Sam Cook
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It feels an awful lot like a trick taking game to me still. I would describe Cobras as a trick taking game even though you don't take cards when you win the trick. I would describe Little Devils as one too even though there is only one suit.
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Nick Shaw
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Donkler wrote:
It feels an awful lot like a trick taking game to me still. I would describe Cobras as a trick taking game even though you don't take cards when you win the trick. I would describe Little Devils as one too even though there is only one suit.


But are you winning the 'round' (or the 'trick' if you want) in those games? In Pi Mal Pflaumen, you don't win a trick by playing the highest card, you just get first dibs on picking a card.

As a side note, I taught this with the introduction of "this is a trick-taking game", then proceeded to teach it and had the questions "so do I have to play higher" and "so do I have to follow suit", and "so do I win all the cards", at which point I realised it bares little resemblance to standard trick-taking games.
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Mark Levad
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I wouldn't call it a trick taking game exactly but I would say that it has trick taking aspects to it.
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James Keith
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I agree that it isn't a trick taker and am happy a request to modify the entry has been submitted.

Importantly: Honshū, which features a nearly identical bidding/drafting mechanism as Pi mal Pflaumen, does NOT have trick taking listed as one of it's mechanics.
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Sam Cook
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njshaw2 wrote:
But are you winning the 'round' (or the 'trick' if you want) in those games? In Pi Mal Pflaumen, you don't win a trick by playing the highest card, you just get first dibs on picking a card.

As a side note, I taught this with the introduction of "this is a trick-taking game", then proceeded to teach it and had the questions "so do I have to play higher" and "so do I have to follow suit", and "so do I win all the cards", at which point I realised it bares little resemblance to standard trick-taking games.


To me, the important part of trick taking games is the playing of the tricks themselves rather than how specifically taking is resolved and to what extent. It's about starting with a hand of options, and slowly funneling it down to a success or a disaster as the hand progresses and tricks are resolved. It's about the unique power of going last in a trick and the potential risk when winning and starting the next trick. It's about sussing out where the power cards are and knowing when to strike. For me PMF has all these elements.

If I only get one card out of the trick instead of all of them that is just adding an additional layer of decisions I need to make. I don't see it as removing a key element of the trick taking experience. I see PMF as an extremely simplified trick taking game (only 1 suit) that is enriched by a new decision element to add life to it.

TL;DR
I think it looks enough like a duck to call it a duck, even though it lacks a bill.
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Nick Shaw
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Donkler wrote:
To me, the important part of trick taking games is the playing of the tricks themselves rather than how specifically taking is resolved and to what extent. It's about starting with a hand of options, and slowly funneling it down to a success or a disaster as the hand progresses and tricks are resolved.


What do you see as essential components of playing out a trick, out of interest (I'm seriously interested to know here, in case my opinion of what Trick Taking means is flawed)? Do you need to have players react to what the previous player(s) have played based specifically on the details of the cards played? Pi Mal Pflaumen feels like it barely complies with that - the lead player isn't setting a trump, the following players don't follow suit or number; you may change your mind about which card you were going to play based on what number or ability the card(s) the player(s) before you have laid down, but what you play has no restriction based on what's been previously played. That, to me, is a key part of trick taking - what you play has to be in some way limited by what previous players have played.

Donkler wrote:
It's about the unique power of going last in a trick and the potential risk when winning and starting the next trick. It's about sussing out where the power cards are and knowing when to strike. For me PMF has all these elements.


It's certainly about sussing out where the power cards are, that's very true. But the "potential risk of winning" I disagree with: No one "wins" the "trick". Someone gets first dibs on the following draft, but they're not the "winner" of the round (in fact, going first can be a disadvantage sometimes, if there are two 'steal a card' action cards out - not sure if two can come up in a single 'age' though, so that may not apply).

Donkler wrote:
I see PMF as an extremely simplified trick taking game (only 1 suit) that is enriched by a new decision element to add life to it.


Fair enough. I do like adding twists to common mechanisms. But this just feels so unlike a trick taking game. At the very least, Trick Taking as a mechanism should be below Bidding and Card Drafting, as those are far more relevant to the play.

And note that I'm pushing back here based mostly on what BGG defines the Trick Taking mechanism to be. If that definition doesn't cover some key aspects of what people consider Trick Taking to be, we should request an update to the description of the mechanism itself...

Donkler wrote:
I think it looks enough like a duck to call it a duck, even though it lacks a bill.


Using that analogy, to me it looks like a platypus. It's got a bill like a duck, but it has a lot of other features that are very unlike a duck.
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Nick Shaw
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touchstonethefool wrote:
Importantly: Honshū, which features a nearly identical bidding/drafting mechanism as Pi mal Pflaumen, does NOT have trick taking listed as one of it's mechanics.


That's a great point, I'd not thought about comparing it to Honshu.

Interestingly though, note the wording in the description of the game in its rulebook (emphasis mine):

Quote:
Honshu is a trick-taking, map building card game


And yet its BGG entry doesn't include Trick Taking as a mechanism...

The rulebook of Pi Mal Pflaumen has similar, but less direct, claims:

Quote:
A game of Pi mal Pflaumen is played over 3 Rounds and each Round consists of 6 tricks (or 5 tricks in a 5-player game). Each player plays exactly 1 Fruit card per trick.


So the rules of the game actually reference tricks.

Hmm...
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