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Subject: Random Points - Looking for Input rss

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Mat Thomsen
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I just played this game for the second time and I really liked it. I liked it more than I thought I did after my first play in fact. But, I have a problem with the random points awarded for tags and target weights. If the game is close, and I win because I have one more of the right-colored tags, that's a bummer.

What are your thoughts about this?

I was thinking that EACH player could be assigned a tag color, and a target weight. Then, have one target weight for everyone to shoot for.

Does that balance things out at all?

Great game, just needs a couple of tweaks I think.
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Kevin Marema
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If you don't like using the tags, I don't see much of a problem to omit them from final scoring. In all my plays, they rarely make much of a difference in the final score. Plus, I don't see how each player having their own tag would make things better. It's still going to be completely random on what color tags you get as you catch fish.

Regarding target weights, are you referring to the Mystery Weight Contest? I don't have a problem with this contest, either. It also adds a bit more excitement as you flip over a fish in the hopes that it might grab you an extra point. If you aren't talking about the Mystery Weight Contest, ignore this paragraph.
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Mat Thomsen
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Valenso wrote:
If you don't like using the tags, I don't see much of a problem to omit them from final scoring. In all my plays, they rarely make much of a difference in the final score. Plus, I don't see how each player having their own tag would make things better. It's still going to be completely random on what color tags you get as you catch fish.

Regarding target weights, are you referring to the Mystery Weight Contest? I don't have a problem with this contest, either. It also adds a bit more excitement as you flip over a fish in the hopes that it might grab you an extra point. If you aren't talking about the Mystery Weight Contest, ignore this paragraph.


I am talking about that, so no need to ignore you.

I appreciate the comments. I realize now that adding more randomness does not change the balance of how points would get distributed, I would just hate for a game to be decided by random factors because I enjoy the competetion aspect of the game and would feel better about a win based on my decisions.
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Kevin Marema
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Yeah I see what you're saying. I think one of the important things about this game is to mitigate the randomness as much as you can. In essence, it's actually just like fishing. In order to win a fishing title, you want to have the biggest fish. How do you make that happen? Catch more fish.

Things are still going to be random, but you are able to possibly tip things in your favor. That doesn't mean some other angler isn't going to luck out and grab that huge pike, but "that's fishin'."

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Y P
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Madcapmartini wrote:
Valenso wrote:
If you don't like using the tags, I don't see much of a problem to omit them from final scoring. In all my plays, they rarely make much of a difference in the final score. Plus, I don't see how each player having their own tag would make things better. It's still going to be completely random on what color tags you get as you catch fish.

Regarding target weights, are you referring to the Mystery Weight Contest? I don't have a problem with this contest, either. It also adds a bit more excitement as you flip over a fish in the hopes that it might grab you an extra point. If you aren't talking about the Mystery Weight Contest, ignore this paragraph.


I am talking about that, so no need to ignore you.

I appreciate the comments. I realize now that adding more randomness does not change the balance of how points would get distributed, I would just hate for a game to be decided by random factors because I enjoy the competetion aspect of the game and would feel better about a win based on my decisions.


Well, sometimes the fish bite and sometimes they don't, ya know? I think the randomness accurately reflects the fickle nature of fishing as a sport. Sure, there are pros who are really really good at it and would beat amateurs 99 out of 100 times, but among fellow pros the margins are so fine that luck factors in.
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Mat Thomsen
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MentatYP wrote:
Madcapmartini wrote:
Valenso wrote:
If you don't like using the tags, I don't see much of a problem to omit them from final scoring. In all my plays, they rarely make much of a difference in the final score. Plus, I don't see how each player having their own tag would make things better. It's still going to be completely random on what color tags you get as you catch fish.

Regarding target weights, are you referring to the Mystery Weight Contest? I don't have a problem with this contest, either. It also adds a bit more excitement as you flip over a fish in the hopes that it might grab you an extra point. If you aren't talking about the Mystery Weight Contest, ignore this paragraph.


I am talking about that, so no need to ignore you.

I appreciate the comments. I realize now that adding more randomness does not change the balance of how points would get distributed, I would just hate for a game to be decided by random factors because I enjoy the competetion aspect of the game and would feel better about a win based on my decisions.


Well, sometimes the fish bite and sometimes they don't, ya know? I think the randomness accurately reflects the fickle nature of fishing as a sport. Sure, there are pros who are really really good at it and would beat amateurs 99 out of 100 times, but among fellow pros the margins are so fine that luck factors in.


Excellent point. But do you think gamers would feel that way after investing an hour or more playing this game? If it were a 45-min game, I would say absolutely, yes! It's thematic. But this game is closer to 90 min and in my experience, a random winner does not make for a game players want to revisit.
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Dennis Hoyle
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Madcapmartini wrote:
I have a problem with the random points awarded for tags and target weights.


Re Tags: Please note on page 10 of the rulebook it suggests an optional variant in which points are not awarded for tags. This reduces the luck factor.

Re Mystery Weight Challenge: Players can be aware that MW points are awarded for smaller fish (2-7 lbs), and should also be aware of the weight range of a given species noted on the front of each fish card. The decision to catch a particular fish should include a consideration of the likelihood that fish could earn the MW point in addition to helping the player meet their other strategic objectives.

Hope this helps! Glad you've enjoyed the game! You may also note there will be some new rules in the upcoming expansion: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgameexpansion/244926/coldwate...
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Zach Lorton
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In my experience playing this game, and I've played it A LOT . . .

Most of the time the winner isn't determined by random happenstance points like tag bonuses or mystery weights. Whoever does better in the weight contests at each location -- shore, lake, and river -- usually do better in final scoring. Catching Master Angler fish and winning points for the Master Angler Challenges have usually been the 2nd determining factor.
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Mat Thomsen
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DJZachLorton wrote:
In my experience playing this game, and I've played it A LOT . . .

Most of the time the winner isn't determined by random happenstance points like tag bonuses or mystery weights. Whoever does better in the weight contests at each location -- shore, lake, and river -- usually do better in final scoring. Catching Master Angler fish and winning points for the Master Angler Challenges have usually been the 2nd determining factor.


That's good to hear. I'd like to play this more and it sounds like you certainly have more experience with it than I do.

Thanks for your comments!
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Mat Thomsen
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Pinebars wrote:
Madcapmartini wrote:
I have a problem with the random points awarded for tags and target weights.


Re Tags: Please note on page 10 of the rulebook it suggests an optional variant in which points are not awarded for tags. This reduces the luck factor.

Re Mystery Weight Challenge: Players can be aware that MW points are awarded for smaller fish (2-7 lbs), and should also be aware of the weight range of a given species noted on the front of each fish card. The decision to catch a particular fish should include a consideration of the likelihood that fish could earn the MW point in addition to helping the player meet their other strategic objectives.

Hope this helps! Glad you've enjoyed the game! You may also note there will be some new rules in the upcoming expansion: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgameexpansion/244926/coldwate...


I do not own the game so I haven't read the rulebook, so I was not aware tags were optional. But you are correct about the mystery weight. It is certainly something to "shoot for" by catching fish in that range, so yes, that randomness can be mitigated. Thanks for the reminder.

I'm thrilled to learn about the expansion! I had no idea. In fact, I asked the owner of this game about this when we played on Saturday. That's great to hear! Thank you!

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Barry Miller
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Madcapmartini wrote:
Excellent point. But do you think gamers would feel that way after investing an hour or more playing this game?

Well, now you bring up an entire conversation about what motivates us to play games?...

Do you play to win, or play to play?

If you're dead-set on winning (nothing wrong with that), then, yeah, it's understandable that the random factor will annoy you if it decides the game outside of your control! And to that, then I'll repeat what others have said above... that real life fishing is a random sport. But that's a thematic rationalization only, considering that this is a game and not a simulation!

But if you're in the game only to enjoy playing a game, then I submit that the randomness is not only thematic, but can be enjoyable as well. (Especially if you suck at playing games like I do)! Thus I equate "random" to being "fun"... as long as the randomness is thematic, makes sense, and can be mitigated. And this game satisfies on all those requirements.


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Mat Thomsen
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bgm1961 wrote:

Madcapmartini wrote:
Excellent point. But do you think gamers would feel that way after investing an hour or more playing this game?

Well, now you bring up an entire conversation about what motivates us to play games?...

Do you play to win, or play to play?

If you're dead-set on winning (nothing wrong with that), then, yeah, it's understandable that the random factor will annoy you if it decides the game outside of your control! And to that, then I'll repeat what others have said above... that real life fishing is a random sport. But that's a thematic rationalization only, considering that this is a game and not a simulation!

But if you're in the game only to enjoy playing a game, then I submit that the randomness is not only thematic, but can be enjoyable as well. (Especially if you suck at playing games like I do)! Thus I equate "random" to being "fun"... as long as the randomness is thematic, makes sense, and can be mitigated. And this game satisfies on all those requirements.


I'm absolutely not dead-set on winning. But if random factors determine the winner, we can just roll a d6 all day, highest roll wins because many gamers I know would have no interest in investing 90 minutes playing a game where this is the case. As I stated above, I like the thematic tie-in that fishing can be random or lucky, but that will only take you so far with a board game.

The point of this post was to inquire whether or not this has been a problem for those who have played it. All the the comments help me conclude it hasn't.
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