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Subject: Typical flaw of recent games? rss

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Jim Leesch
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Having played this four times in the last two days, there seems to be a significant flaw (feature? ) that arose given that we had at least one newbie in every game.

I call it the "gift" syndrome. A player who sits immediately to the left of a less experienced or skilled player will be able to get a large lead uncontested, being the first (and sometimes only) person to capatilize on the mistake.
 
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Ken Boone
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Re:Typical flaw of recent games?
JimPAX (#41906),

Jim, welcome to Puerto Rico!
 
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Alex Rockwell
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Re:Typical flaw of recent games?
Yes. This is a very common flaw in many multiplayer games.

If you randomize players seat positions, you at least spread out the luck over time...
 
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Alan Kwan
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Re:Typical flaw of recent games?
JimPAX (#41906),

I'd say that, it can't be helped. But the other players can try to advise the novice to get the good cards.

And Petersburg plays well as a 2-player game, too.
 
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Nomadic Gamer
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Re:Typical flaw of recent games?
JimPAX (#41906),
No. One card doesn't make that big a difference. Unlike PR-
ptooey!
 
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Jim Leesch
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Re:Typical flaw of recent games?
davedanger (#42062),
True, one card shouldn't make that big a difference, but there are other issues:

a. if the player two seats to your right is really sub-par, it will be more than one card over the course of a game.

b. it also matters that players understand how to manage the board, and it is difficult if not impossible to overcome errors in how many cards are left on the board if the person to your right is good, and the person to his right is not.
 
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Ricardo Christe Homsi
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Re:Typical flaw of recent games?
JimPAX wrote:
I call it the "gift" syndrome. A player who sits immediately to the left of a less experienced or skilled player will be able to get a large lead uncontested.


I really don't think this is an intrinsic flaw, least of all one restricted to recent games. Something similar could be said of any game where players alternate turns, whether they require card management, abstract thought, bluffing, diplomatic backstabbing, or whatever.

Let the newbie hear some advice as the game goes. Let him err, and later point it out to him. By allowing him some time (even an entire game) to become "on par" with the others, your game becomes "balanced". It's the people, not the game.

If I don't want anyone taking advantage of what you call a Gift, I simply avoid inviting a newbie to the table. Since I don't care much for winning, anyway, I tend to have a good time whether or not someone leeches a victory out of the newcomer. But I see the issue; and take care to avoid it if there are "veterans" with a highly competitive spirit lining up for the game. Better not mix up diametrically-opposed audiences.

Cheers!
 
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James Stuart
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Re:Typical flaw of recent games?
ricardochriste (#42955),

There are plenty of games which are not sabotaged by new players.

Games like El Grande, which have no fixed turn order, dodge the issue entirely.

Games like Aladdin's Dragons, despite a fixed turn order (and with order being important), playing after a weak player does little to your improve situation.

Games like Ra have minor problems: sitting after a weak player will give you some advantages, but the advantages don't build upon themselves particularly fast, and figuring out how to play effectively is pretty simple.

Games like Puerto Rico have gamebreaking problems: unless a weak player is particularly receptive to advice (in which case the game devolves into an unpleasant and lengthy "convince the newbie what to do" game), one weak player among relatively skilled players will throw the game to the person on his left, and all the mistakes that he makes (and the next player capitalizes on) are extraordinarily exponential. I love Puerto Rico quite a lot, but I know better than to bring it out in these kind of situations.

St. Petersburg lies somewhere between Ra and Puerto Rico: the game is simpler than Puerto Rico to play well, and the advantage isn't quite so overwhelming, but the effects are exponential.
 
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Nomadic Gamer
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Re:Typical flaw of recent games?
JimPAX (#42172),
a. if the player two seats to your right is really sub-par, it will be more than one card over the course of a game....
Uh, no. Over time the 'bad' player will be first to fourth,
and will have not the same affect on the pick of good cards in that round.
hmmm. Not as clear as I hoped. I know what I thought I meant to say. Someone else explain it....???:0
 
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Alex Rockwell
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Re:Typical flaw of recent games?
anonystu wrote:
There are plenty of games which are not sabotaged by new players.

Games like El Grande, which have no fixed turn order, dodge the issue entirely.


Instead, if that new player is losing, he chooses who to screw and thus plays kingmaker, much better!?


Games like Puerto Rico have gamebreaking problems: unless a weak player is particularly receptive to advice (in which case the game devolves into an unpleasant and lengthy "convince the newbie what to do" game), one weak player among relatively skilled players will throw the game to the person on his left, and all the mistakes that he makes (and the next player capitalizes on) are extraordinarily exponential. I love Puerto Rico quite a lot, but I know better than to bring it out in these kind of situations.


Its not always the guy on their left that benefits. Sometimes its actually the guy on their right. It depends on which of the newbie fetishes this player adopts.

Yes, bringing a newbie into a game with experienced players wont end up being a great game unless everyone accepts it as a teaching game.
 
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James Stuart
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Re:Typical flaw of recent games?
Alexfrog (#43812),


True enough. It's a moderate issue in El Grande, that if you pick on someone, they can pick back, quite hard at times, but it's not nearly as bad as other games (where, for example, in Traders of Genoa, you can blockade players, or even worse, that newbie can just give away his entire stack of money at the end of the game). On the other hand, screw-your-leader mechanics aren't necessarily kingmaking problems, or even problems: part of the game in El Grande is not peaking too early, and not drawing too much concern (I prefer to play without much table talk, and just make people rely on their own perceptions of who to contest against). I understand why players don't like those mechanics, but they're not as inherently flawed as kingmaker or turn order problems.

I wouldn't consider kingmaking a new player flaw: they're likely to end up in hopeless situations more often, but it's really more of a personality flaw: that certain people are prone to throw tantrums when losing.

Still, I agree, it's something that I'd consider. Puerto Rico has a heavy turn order problem, and a low-to-moderate kingmaking problem. El Grande has a low turn order problem, and a low-to-moderate kingmaking problem (I consider them about the same because both have no easy mechanism with which to decide who wins in the endgame, but you can still hurt (but not necessarily cripple) someone you don't like).

Neither of those vulnerabilities makes me think they aren't both great games: it's just I know that I'll have to watch for those issues. Similarly, St. Petersburg has a moderate turn order problem, and a minimal kingmaking problem. That's all.
 
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Kenneth Wofford
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Re:Typical flaw of recent games?
I wouldn't say that the turn order issue is a problem, but an intrinsic property of some games. On BSW capitalizing on turn order is limited by the "drawseat" option, and always, tabletalk is encouraged. I would also say that excluding newbies is bad, because it dozens of losses against better players to learn how to play a decent game.
 
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Nick Fisk
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That's weird. This bit used to mention Shire Games, and tell you all how wonderful we are. But it seems to have got deleted. Let's see what happens this time ....
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Re:Typical flaw of recent games?
Here's a thought ....

(and I honestly don't know if it's a good one, I've only played this game with two!!)

What if the turn order was based on the wooden markers ... ie, worker, building, aristocrat, trader ?

If this was the case, and thre was a newbie at the table, wouldn't a different person follow them each time the markers were rotated ??

I might be wrong .... let me know
 
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Chris Shaffer
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Re:Typical flaw of recent games?
southseasnurse wrote:
On BSW capitalizing on turn order is limited by the "drawseat" option, and always, tabletalk is encouraged.


I've only been playing on BSW a short while, but I have to say that in my experience table talk is actively discouraged. Players get very impatient if you slow the game at all by chatting.
 
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Kenneth Wofford
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Re:Typical flaw of recent games?
Caveat: in a game of experienced players, yes, it is expected that you will play quickly and effeciently. If I am teaching/learning a game I let anyone joining know that and give them a chance to go elsewhere. During learning games, however, many patient players will give basic instruction on tactics/strategies to help newcomers avoid common mistakes.
 
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Paul B.
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Re:Typical flaw of recent games?
We see this in Bridge, when new players make a mistake that is to their benefit and experienced players feel 'fixed.' i.e., getting a bad score because they played 'correctly' and the inexperienced players played badly, but due to fortunate lay of the cards, it worked out well.

I've always been of the opinion that if experienced players can't figure out how to take advantage of new players, to counteract their mistakes, it is the experienced player's fault, not the new player's fault. Such experienced players are simply good enough to win usually against other good competition, but are probably not yet masters of the game.

Giving other experienced players fair warning that new players are at the table is a nice gesture, and will hopefully keep an antagonistic experienced player away from the table, where they may verbally berate a newbie and chase them from the hobby (something that was a problem in tournament bridge up until about 7 years ago).
 
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Paul Harrington
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Re:Typical flaw of recent games?
Actually, with most newbies, I would suspect that the player on his left is at a disadvantage against other experienced players. The reason: Each experienced player takes the blue cards that they are 'supposed' to to open spaces for their red cards, upgrade cards, and green cards. If an experienced player is on your right and he takes HIS blue card to open a space for HIS red card, then you need only take ONE blue card to open a space for YOUR red card (replace red with green or upgrade where appropirate.) When the newbie DOESN'T take the blue card because he's clueless about giving himself a red card, then you must either take two blue cards or miss out on the red round.
 
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