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Subject: Player Binding Issue? rss

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David Jones
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Since the forum for this game isn't very active yet, it may be too early to ask a question like this but...

There is an aspect to certain games that I have really grown to hate which I have sometimes seen referred to as "player binding." Player binding occurs largely when your ability to perform has a strong link to the actions that are taken by the person next to you. Probably the best example I can give of this is Puerto Rico. An important strategy in Puerto Rico is not just doing what helps you, but what hurts the other players at the table. If players are not alert to what kind of actions they are setting up for their opponents, a weak player can set somebody else up for a powerful move. I have seen several games of PR won not due to the skill level of the player, but due to the fact that they were sitting to the left of the weakest player on the table. I have similarly seen this problem in Taluva where somebody wins because a weak player keeps setting up tower moves, so the winner comes down to who is sitting next to them and able to take advantage of those setups. So I really dislike the idea that the winner of a game comes down to seating arrangement unless everybody at the table is at a similar skill level.

Having watched a few videos for Keyper, I am really interested in this game, but as you might guess from my rant above, the concern I have has to do with the "following" action. I really like the idea that opposing players can gain better actions through teamwork, so you have this dichotomy of wanting take a better action but also not wanting to help somebody who is offering the follow. However, I can imagine situations arising where poor players might make, accept, or refuse offers that have significant impacts on the performance of their neighbors. Has anyone played the game enough to where they can comment about the effect of poor decisions by one players helping/hurting other players?
 
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Scott Bartel
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I don't think you "help" another player as much as you think. As the main player, the most you can gain by another player joining you is one action or one resource. The player doing the joining is getting the same benefit. i.e. 2-3 actions for the cost of one Keyple. But the joiner is at both an advantage and a disadvantage at the same time. They get actions and resources when it's not their turn and they spend their Keyples faster, thereby potentially getting more lay down actions later. But the disadvantage is that they may be giving up their Keyples (especially the white ones) to other players to use the next round.

This is the dilemma I've had playing the game. I want to get as much as I can for every Keyple I play. But I also want to plan for the next round.
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chris ward
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Isn't this mitigated by the fact that the option to follow goes around the table until either one player choses to follow, or all chose not to.
 
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David Jones
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cw67q wrote:
Isn't this mitigated by the fact that the option to follow goes around the table until either one player choses to follow, or all chose not to.


This wasn't mentioned in the particular video I watched, but you may be correct. That said, even if this is true, it doesn't address the possibility of a bad player continually offering good moves to their first neighbor.
 
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Scott Bartel
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cw67q wrote:
Isn't this mitigated by the fact that the option to follow goes around the table until either one player choses to follow, or all chose not to.


I don't know that his concern would be mitigated by this rule. But you are correct as to how the rule works.
 
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Scott Nelson
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quick answer: Yes, it happens.
long answer: Yes, it happens. Play with gamers that are on about the same level, and this becomes less of a problem. Judging when to join, when to join to keep others from joining, and when to take control of a board are nice decisions. Look ahead, and make sure the joiner won't gain too much for doing so, or play to your own player mat if you are paranoid. If you happen to take control of a board, you might have less joiners if you go to that board during the rest of the round.
 
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