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Subject: Unwritten Board Gaming Rule Broken During a Recent Sushi Go Party Game???? rss

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Jason J
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Here is the scenario from what happened during a Sushi Go Party game at a convention:

We were playing Game #2 of Sushi Go at the Convention. I won Game #1 and was in 1st heading by a little bit heading into the last Round of Game #2.

Unfortunately, due to the cards available and the way the Final Round was developing, I knew that I was going to do poorly this last Round and basically had 0 chance to win.

The player to my left was trying to Collect 4x of a card that you can save between Rounds and if you manage to collect 4 get a lot of points (10 or 11 or so I think). He had saved 2 during the 1st 2 Rounds and needed 2 more. If you collect less than 4 they are just worth 0.

After I had chosen a few cards I was passed an assortment of cards where basically all the options were useless to me. The most points I could reasonably score from any of the choices was 1 point, so instead I chose 1 of the cards the player to my left needed. A few more cards were selected and the same scenario happened and again I chose 1 of the cards the player to my left needed instead of choosing the 1 point Sushi.

The player to my left seemed super ticked since in his eyes I took 2 worthless cards and thereby sunk both of us. My logic is that even if I could not win I wanted to place as highly as possible and that by preventing his huge bonus knew I would finish ahead of him whereas if I grabbed the 2 1 point Sushi instead would almost surely have finished Last.

In the end, I finished 3rd I think and the player to my Left finished Last. If he had instead been able to complete the set of 4 I believe he would have won or been very close.

Is the more standard practice to try to place as highly as possible even if you know you cannot win or rather to avoid king making?
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Ladson
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Sounds like you are making the best move out of a bunch of terrible options. I see no sin here.
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Jeremy Gray
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To me, performance is relative, since you are competing against the other players in the game. In my mind, you selected the optimal overall cards, since a +2 for you (if you picked both small value cards) is less of an impact than a missed opportunity of 10 points for your opponent. A +2 for you vs. a -10 (effectively) for them. So, in a purely logical sense, and with the understanding that all else is equal (e.g. the opponent you are hurting is in similar scoring position to you), I would have done what you did.

Having said all of that, there seems to be two camps on this kind of stuff. One clearly thinks you should do what's best for you without regard to the impact on others. They think it's mean or overly aggressive to play against others in the way that you did. But, as I alluded above, performance is hardly ever in a vacuum. Since you are competing against others, your relative position to your opponents would seem, to me, to matter.

But, who knows, I may be in the minority on this. Haha.
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Gregg S.
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You evil, evil person!

J/K

You didn't cheat. You played by the rules. Choosing between taking cards that help your score directly vs taking cards that minimize helping opponents' scores is all part of the game. The player to your left may very well have done the same thing in your position.

I would expect the other player's emotion to be frustration that the round played out like it did rather than being upset that you played the way you did.
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Radu Stanculescu
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Meh, IMO you played correctly. Some people have a problem with games where you can be "mean" to others, no matter how indirectly. Maybe your friend would like better games with less direct interaction instead.
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Pete
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Taking cards your competition might want is a key part of drafting games.

Pete (thinks that was a good play)
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maf man
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Left player got angry because he realized he made a mistake predicting your strategy
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Beau Bocephus Blasterfire
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Isn't that how you are supposed to play?
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Bryan
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Sometimes the best strategy is to ruin your opponents strategy. I can't for the life of me understand why someone would be upset that you took their cards. They took the risk openly trying to collect those cards. He should expect and plan for sabotage. What's the point in even playing if your neighbors are going to feed you the cards you need to win.
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Andy Bultitude
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I can't see a problem here at all. Games like Sushi Go! are quick enough that stuff like that can happen without people usually getting bent out of shape about it. It wasn't even king-making, you improved your own position as opposed to deciding out of two people who would win.

EDIT: King-Making, not Kin Making, that's something else...
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Joe Salamone
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If the other player chose to push his luck to try to collect an "all or nothing" set of 4 cards, then he did so at his own peril.
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Stuart Long
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going to add to the pile of folks saying you did just fine, stuck to the rules. Nothing wrong in beating a player in a competitive game.
 
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Phillip Harpring
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plezercruz wrote:
Taking cards your competition might want is a key part of drafting games.

Pete (thinks that was a good play)


This. Sushi Go is a drafting game. Effective drafting means not only picking the cards that are best for you, but simultaneously avoiding giving your opponents cards that you know will aid them. Often those goals line up, but in your case they didn't. At that point, you had to make a value proposition: is +0 for them and +2 for you better than +10 for them and +X for you? Unless X was at least 13 points (which you seem to indicate it was not), you made the right choice.

I can see where there would be annoyance from the other player and accusations of kingmaking... but you played to the best of your ability to increase your relative position to the other players. The other player pushed their luck by thinking they'd be able to get 4 of that card... but once they'd already revealed they had two, they were pretty foolish in thinking anyone would simply let them complete their set without taking cards that would be even more valuable.
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P Santos
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Sorry, to disagree here. But I think you misplayed (kinda). Your left opponent was trying to collect the Green Tea Ice cream (collect 4 for 12 points or zero). You only needed to take 1 to disrupt his plan, since he only had collected 2 so far up to the 3rd round. So when the 2nd green tea ice cream came about, you could have passed that to him, and he would have collected 3 so far (but still zero points) and you could have picked a 1 point sushi card. But you picked the unnecessary 2nd green tea ice cream.
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Kevin C.
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The only thing I might question is the context. Was this like a 1:00 am drinking and silly atmosphere or was it akin to a tournament? That could make a difference in some people's eyes.

The very nature of Sushi Go also might make a difference. It's a really light and casual game that many "gamers" would think of as just a filler or gateway game. You can certainly "play to win", but it might be uncalled for in certain situations.

At a convention with gamers likely just passing the time with a "fun" game with strangers, I probably wouldn't have done what you did because I would judge the social more important than the outcome in that particular situation.

Like pretty much all the questions like this here, there is no "right" answer. You did what you thought was right. At a convention, there is no feedback or consequence to this so I wouldn't worry about it.

At a more stable homegroup, the majority might say, "We don't play Sushi Go like that here...it's just a light game for shits and giggles."

But, like I said, at conventions in open situations with strangers, I usually default to giving prominence to the social unless it is clear the group is all playing to win. This would especially be true with something as thin as Sushi Go Party.

Kevin
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Emile de Maat
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There was certainly no universal rule broken, though I can understand your opponent a bit.

This situation touches a bit on themes like "kingmaking" and "playing to win". The thing is, there are different interpretations about what it means to "play to win". I prefer to minimize the gap between myself and the player in first place (assuming that is measurable), where others aim to get as high as possible in the rankings.

Following the preference of those people who want to end up as high as possible in the rankings, your move was a good move.

Following my preference (keeping the gap as small as possible), sacrificing points to hurt a player who's not in the lead isn't a good move, as it doesn't help to keep the gap smaller. However, since your opponent might have won, it may even be a good move when following this guideline. So even by my preference, it wasn't a clearly "bad" move.

Also, if there was some kind of scoring going on that made ending higher in the ranking more valuable, then my preference wouldn't be valid, and your move was all the more clearly a good move.

 
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Purple wrote:
The thing is, there are different interpretations about what it means to "play to win". I prefer to minimize the gap between myself and the player in first place (assuming that is measurable), where others aim to get as high as possible in the rankings.

Would you prefer a bronze medal at the Olympic marathon, 5 minutes behind, or 9th place, 2 minutes behind?
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Steve C
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Were you playing a co-operative game? If so, you made the wrong move.

If you were playing a competitive game, then you played fairly and acted according to most conventions.
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N R
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You didn't do anything wrong. I would be quite surprised if someone actually took Sushi Go so seriously they would be upset about not winning.
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Emile de Maat
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E Decker wrote:
Would you prefer a bronze medal at the Olympic marathon, 5 minutes behind, or 9th place, 2 minutes behind?

Yes, for the Olympic Marathon, I'd prefer that bronze medal. That would be an example of the disclaimer I made:
Purple wrote:
Also, if there was some kind of scoring going on that made ending higher in the ranking more valuable, then my preference wouldn't be valid, and your move was all the more clearly a good move.

To elaborate: In the case of the Olympic Marathon, the organization has decided to award prizes based on ranking. So, then my personal preference doesn't count anymore - it has been overruled by the organization. If the organization had decided to award medals based on the time, I'd prefer the "2 minutes behind medal" over the "5 minutes behind medal".

Now, for the board games I play, there is no organization that awards medals, so I get to follow my own preference - which is to keep the gap as small as possible (as I find rankings in many situations less meaningful).
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Purple wrote:
E Decker wrote:
Would you prefer a bronze medal at the Olympic marathon, 5 minutes behind, or 9th place, 2 minutes behind?

Yes, for the Olympic Marathon, I'd prefer that bronze medal. That would be an example of the disclaimer I made:
Purple wrote:
Also, if there was some kind of scoring going on that made ending higher in the ranking more valuable, then my preference wouldn't be valid, and your move was all the more clearly a good move.

To elaborate: In the case of the Olympic Marathon, the organization has decided to award prizes based on ranking. So, then my personal preference doesn't count anymore - it has been overruled by the organization. If the organization had decided to award medals based on the time, I'd prefer the "2 minutes behind medal" over the "5 minutes behind medal".

Now, for the board games I play, there is no organization that awards medals, so I get to follow my own preference - which is to keep the gap as small as possible (as I find rankings in many situations less meaningful).

Fair enough.
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William Aull
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plezercruz wrote:
Taking cards your competition might want is a key part of drafting games.

Pete (thinks that was a good play)


This.

Making a move to reduce your opponent's points is almost the same as raising your own point values.
 
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Oh you seekers of the new who run terrified from history into the clutches of an eternal life where no electric shaver can be built to last.
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    You should have asked him for cash to let the cards through. That would have been funny.

    You're allowed to pick any card you like, for whatever reason you like. Letting them through to him is every bit Kingmaking as what you did, and I'd argue there's no such thing as Kingmaking. Social skills are part of any game where they can be applied.

             S.

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Ren
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Methinks the player to your left is a sore loser. Not letting opponents take cards that give them big points is basic card drafting strategy.
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Stuart Dunn
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In regards to people's feelings, you were in a no win situation with the cards you took. If you let both of those cards pass through to that opponent and he did win, then the person who came in 2nd would have been upset and wondered why you gave that person those two cards knowing that he needed them to score mega points. Therefore, you did what was best for you.
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