James Naylor
United Kingdom
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I'm doing a bit of research on the stock shares mechanic and potential improvements to it. I am curious to know how often the tie-breaker rules are actually used.

Specifically: how often two players have the same number of stock shares in a company?

Sadly BGG can only let me enforce one row choice, not one row AND column choice (do let me know if this is wrong!). But if you can stick to clicking only one button that'd be brilliant.

Poll
How often have you experienced a tie on stock-shares when scoring a game of TTR: Pennsylvania?

Please indicate how many times you have played in the columns and how often you have experienced a tie on stock-shares on the row.

Please select only ONE radio button(one row and column combination).
  Played this expansion once Played this expansion a few times Play this expansion regularly
Never seen a tie
Seen a tie once
Seen a tie 2-3 times
Seen a tie more than 3 times
      25 answers
Poll created by jamesDN


Thank you very much!

 
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Greg Darcy
Australia
Blue Mountains
New South Wales
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I don't see that there there is any tiebreaker at all.
The rules clearly state that the person who has the most stocks take first points, with priority given to the first investor. That is not a tiebreaker to me, but rather a way to ensure there is no tie. A subtle but important difference.
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Håkan König
Sweden
Linköping
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It depends also very heavily on the number of players. I've played once F2F and maybe 10 times in the app, and with more players there are more occasions when people have the same number of shares. If you play with 2 or 3 the you usually have enough control that there won't be more than one or two (or even no) ties for number of shares. But when you play with 5 then almost every stock will feature some occasions when the share number will come into play. Everybody will try to snag at least one or two share in hope of reaching at least the 4th or 3rd place for that particular stock.
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James Naylor
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Thanks @Hakan! That's a very useful insight. Thanks!
 
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@Greg and @Hakan - Thanks again for filling the poll (I assume you have!). How often would there be an overall tie in points if the shares weren't scored like this? i.e. if you had the same score for the the same number?
 
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Amanda Zimmer
United States
Decatur
GA
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I did not vote in the poll because I have no recollection in games I've played how often ties happened. Since points are not split between "tied" players (there is a tie breaker), it doesn't register in my memory that several ties occurred. They probably happened several times per game as all of my games have been 4-5 player.

jamesDN wrote:
@Greg and @Hakan - Thanks again for filling the poll (I assume you have!). How often would there be an overall tie in points if the shares weren't scored like this? i.e. if you had the same score for the the same number?
I think this is hard to say because the people would play the game differently. If I had to guess, maybe ties would happen more often as now the player who was behind would have something to gain from a tie (where as before if you don't break the tie, there is no increase in points).

But the game would play a bit differently. As having the lowest numbered stock is what determines if you get the better payout in case of a tie, people build VERY early just to grab the #1 stock in companies. If ties were friendly, this sense of urgency would not be present.
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James Naylor
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Thanks Amanda! That's some very useful feedback

@all participants: thank you again for your help. I have now written my article using the data from the poll: https://naylorgames.com/2018/06/07/when-is-a-mechanic-worth-...

Cheers!
 
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David Grabiner
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Unspecified
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Ties happen in almost every game; they are particularly common at the extremes.

The first share of Western Maryland is worth 7 points for whoever gets it. The second share is worthless to the owner of the first share, who will probably take another company instead, but worth 4 points to anyone else. This makes it very likely that there will be a 1-1 tie.

At the other end, everyone usually gets at least one share of Pennsy, since getting one is a guaranteed 6 points, and there are many tracks which are Pennsy-only. If everyone gets Pennsy in a five-player game, there must be a tie unless the shares happen to be 5-4-3-2-1. Similarly, if four players have shares of B&O, there must be a tie unless the shares are 4-3-2-1.

A side effect of the tie-breaking rules is that it is important to get the first share. A common first move in a game with a lot of players is to lay a 1-link or 2-link track to get the first share of Pennsy or B&O, in order to win any tie-breaker.
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