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Pax Porfiriana» Forums » Variants

Subject: 2+ topplers rss

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Pedro Sequeira
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Why isn't the tie-break skill 1st, and only then gold?

This way sometimes you get to kingmaking situations where someone with higher skill can be the lone toppler if someone that will lose anyway flips their hacendado, or have 2+ topplers if they don't

I agree there has to be a way for it to end (wouldnt make sense, for instance, if there is 2+ topplers no one wins and the game keeps going)

Opinions?
 
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Mark Benson
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Depends on your definition of "skill", I suppose. If you are relying on someone not to flip, then it is probably fair that you have a 50/50 chance of winning in that situation. Whereas, the person who accumulated gold likewise doesn't get a certain win, but that route to victory is equally valid. There is skill in frustrating topples, as well as winning them.

That is my opinion, anyway.

It is great when a game sparkles with tension to the end but sometimes it ends not with a bang but a whimper - and I think multiplayer games are especially variable in that respect.
 
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Martin G
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I think by 'skill' he just meant whoever has most points in the relevant category for the topple.
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Australia
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If you look at the history, putting it simply, Zapata or Villa could never become leader of all Mexico; no matter their revolutionary clout and popularity. Men like Madero or Carranza or Obregon hit that height because they had popularity from the revolutionary quarter, or military aid, or help from the US.... AND money. Inherited, or made over time from business interests.

I think money being the tie breaker is quite fitting. If you've outgunned 2 of your opponents in the relevant prestige race AND still have money to spare, you've had a good game.

As for the kingmaking aspect, well, that fits too, and I don't mind it
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Pedro Sequeira
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yeah, when i said "skill" i meant points in the respective category (:

i like the gold tie-break, but i think it would be fairer and less prone to kingmaking (it still happens of course) if gold only counted at game end or if 2 topplers had the same prestige for the topple, and i feel it is more thematic too

i would follow that guy, he is really rich $$$, but not charismatic enough.. oh wait, he just passed a some threshold, now i dont care about anyone charisma anymore, just give me the $$$

 
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Roel van der Hoorn
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Songok wrote:
This way sometimes you get to kingmaking situations where someone with higher skill can be the lone toppler if someone that will lose anyway flips their hacendado, or have 2+ topplers if they don't

I agree there has to be a way for it to end (wouldnt make sense, for instance, if there is 2+ topplers no one wins and the game keeps going)

Opinions?

If there is a chance you'll lose on a topple, than maybe buying that topple is not such a good idea. And if you still force someone into a kingmaking situation and that person decides to flip so you lose, then you can't blame the person you forced imo.

Also, the chance that two people can win on the same color is fairly low. I think I've seen it twice in 28 games.
 
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Pedro Sequeira
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you can also be the other person the one that doesnt initiate the toppling

this happened on our 2nd game (4p, no iron hand or senility

0, 0 or 1 if flipped, 2, 3
diaz was feeling sick
 
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It's not so much winning support by being rich, like "oh I will vote for the rich guy", it's winning support by having money - paying troops wages, paying bribes etc.

If you look at prestige like popularity, well, often in this period popularity wasn't enough on its own. A vote alone isn't necessarily enough. "I'm the stronger candidate!" The other guy is not backing down over a weak argument like that.

So, Diaz gets shot or falls ill or whatever. Out of 4 candidates there are two who stand above the rest, in terms of the prestige they have attained in the view of the people according to the political situation ("we need strong military men" "we need a revolutionary" etc). But just because one has slightly better credentials than the other, this is not a fair and open system! The other may be more able to win important figures to his side through bribes. Or mount a legal campaign (Reyes attempted this I seem to remember).

I think it's pretty thematic myself
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Pedro Sequeira
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eheh casual, it does make sense, but there is still the "enough" lime

in some cases, lets say in 5p, with 2 players with 0 loyalty and diaz sick

A: 1 loyalty, 50$ Nope, not loyal enough, who cares about all that $
B: 2 loyalty, 8$, Wow, so loyal, and he even has 10$, enough for half an army
C: 4 loyalty, 2$, all that loyalty, I bet he helped out diaz for free, has to be or else he wouldnt be this broke ahah, next candidate please
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Brian E
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I've given the kingmaking question some thought, and I've decided I actively like how Pax handles it. It's simply (occasionally!) part of the game, because as someone with a chance to win, you also have some control over whether you're vulnerable to losing by third-party kingmaking.

A kingmaking situation does not at all arise in every game or with every potential victory path (therefore, kingmaking isn't a systemic game flaw of Pax). In games played on Yucata, I've had such situations present maybe a single-digit percentage of the time, and they don't all follow through.

This makes it just another threat, in a game fraught with threats. It's also real-world applicable. If Player A wants to overthrow Diaz, Player D might be too weak to prevent overthrow or take power himself but influential enough to make Player E the new ruler instead amid the chaos created by Player A's attempt. This kind of instability is very true to history (Diaz? Carranza? Huerta? Villa? Madero? Who?) This ability to interfere might be legitimate security for Player D against Player A even trying... ...or not.

So if you can see a kingmaking hurdle in your victory path, well, there you go: you can either pull the trigger and hope it doesn't happen, or you can postpone initiating the victory sequence until you first execute some sort of strategy for doing something about this exposure to kingmaking. And if it all goes down anyway beyond your control, well, tough for you.
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Brian E
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I would add that generally, most players would play, so that anything they can do to prevent a victory in progress, they would do: players would almost always rather maybe lose later and have a shot, than definitely lose now by passively failing to act when they have some power to block a victory. But the game naturally lends itself to active, engaged play being the fun way to play anyway.

Fundamentally, if you want to win this crazy, delightfully underhanded game, it's your job to make that happen. Complaining that someone else prevented you from doing that is weak. You prevented you from winning by letting that player achieve that position, by not removing the obstacle, by foolishly triggering a victory sequence you didn't securely dominate, or by failing to risk manage in some other way.
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Pedro Sequeira
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Actually I ended up winning that game. but that is not the point

Even preventing that situation in the first place (as an added hurdle) is not all of it

With this rule, it is possible that player A could initiate a topple, and even though you cant win, your decision (for instance to flip vs no flip, discard a card to add to diaz, etc) decides the victory in favor of A or B

How fun is that?

Can this happen in other games? Sure, for instance, your last greenery in TFMars could give 1 point to A or B and that settles it, but usually its not even clear who will win if it is tied, and you couldnt really prevent that situation without changing the whole map play

In Pax it is so easy that if it worked like this in the original rules no one would argue with it
 
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