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Subject: better description of play? rss

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this sort of 'open' game sounds interesting but the posted rules are a bit vague. Anyone familiar with it able to post slightly better directions? Perhaps include a sample turn scenario to help explain it?
 
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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Re:better description of play?
I don't think that there is anything vague at all about the rules. Interesting gameplay derives indirectly from the limitations of the game. If you play it by yourself for a bit then you will find out that you can't really accomplish anything on your own and need to form a coalition. Then you find out how to backstab. At that point you are really playing the game.

From a paper on using games to understand real-world economics ( http://spirit.tau.ac.il/poli/faculty/maoz/shubik.pdf ):

We informally discussed the use of games in the study of game theory, and some of
us devised SO LONGSUCKER to illustrate the vital roles of coalition formation and
double-crossing (Hausner, Nash, Shapley, & Shubik, 1964). In designing SO LONG
SUCKER, we explicitly set ourselves the task of constructing a game where a necessary
condition for winning was to form a coalition, but this was not sufficient. At some
point, one had to double-cross one’s partner. The game depended heavily on cheap
talk. Conversation was free and necessary to persuade an often-doubting partner to
join in a coalition. During one game, John Nash had persuaded John McCarthy to join
him in a coalition and subsequently double-crossed him. McCarthy was furious, but
Nash argued that this could not be regarded as a violation of trust because McCarthy
could have easily calculated that Nash’s defection was in Nash’s self-interest. The
nature of the game is such that someone whose chances of winning have been
destroyed by a defection might still have enough residual power to damage the defector,
even though this behavior is of no operational value in avoiding eventual defeat.
McCarthy’s retaliation prevented Nash from winning, and his actions suggested a rule
of thumb that we called McCarthy’s revenge rule: “When fatally double-crossed, try to
damage the double-crosser as much as possible before your demise.”


See the beautiful mind at work :)
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Brent Ross
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Re:better description of play?
matt_stutts (#48183),

Um... the game really is that simple (after all, it's really intended as a game theory experiment). Perhaps that's what's giving you some confusion... it's a lot like Go, the rules are very, very simple to look at and don't tell you much about how to use them without experience. The mechanics of the game really are just: play a chip (ie a move), resolve capture if necessary, determine who moves next, repeat. The rest of the rules basically say you can kill/transfer prisoners freely, are never held to a deal (which can be made, but never secretly), lose if you can't play on your move (and handles nicely the vagueness of what happens with your chips once you're out), and win if you're the last person left.

For example, Chip placement really is as simple as it says in rule 4. Place one of your chips into the play area (which makes it a "chip already in the play area" ie a new stack) or on top of any stack of chips in the play area (in fact they went as far as to special case single chip stacks to avoid being vague).

And capture really is as simple as placing a chip so that the top two chips are the same colour Note that "capture" is the result of a "move", not a special type of move in these rules. This is old school sabtract game rule common sense which might be confusing in the "spend action points to do any number of different actions" world of modern German games. Here, it's considered obvious that players take turns making things called a "move", something which anyone who's tried playing games out of old copies of Hoyle certainly has to do.
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Brent Ross
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Re:better description of play?
matt_stutts (#48212),

You can play a chip of any colour and are defeated when you cannot play when you have to... but are given some leeway to try and get another player to bail you out with a prisoner transfer.
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Brent Ross
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Re:better description of play?
matt_stutts (#48215),

Now why, exactly, would other players decide to tranfer chips (of any color) to a person with no chips? There doesn't seem to be much point to it unless the benefactor thought that by letting this person back into the game they could form some sort of coalition. It makes little sense to me though. You are letting back in an opponent, and you are weakening yourself yet again by giving away chips to this person whos ultimate goal is to eliminate you.

It really comes down to how you negotiate. This is a very vindictive game, so much that they created the "McCarthy revenge rule" (when you get fatally double-crossed, try to damage the double-crosser as much as possible before your demise). So basically, one reason to bail someone out is because their position will still be hopeless but you're giving them another shot at your mutual enemy (their double-crosser). Taking/making deals in this game is always a risk, but it can be the case that bailing out another player is your best chance (ie give a chip to a hopeless player to kill their double-crosser thus removing two players from the game).

This last part escapes me. let's say you play your last chip. If there's just you and someone else, how can you possibly win?

You killed them because you handed them the next move and they couldn't play either.
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Brent Ross
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Re:better description of play?
Oh, I should have also pointed out the self-desperation bail out. Basically, if a player's going to die the turn is going to rebound to the killer... this might not be a good thing for you at that time and could mean you're about to follow them based on what that player is likely to do next. In such a case it can easily be a good move to hand the dying player a chip so that they get their turn... especially, if you can guarantee that the player who gets the next turn is favourable (ie you can guarantee to a certain extent who cannot get the next turn based on the colour you pass and the stacks on the board). Dying players tend to be easier to make deals with since their ability to effectively backstab is limited and it's harder for them to extort (providing that you're willing to hold the line and be happy with them dying first to teach them a lession if they get obstinate).
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Stuart Faulds
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Well, 'every time' seems a little strong in that context.

If the player whose colour chips you've just used is not eliminated, then he or she is credited with the capture, so decides what chip to kill, and then gets all the rest of the chips in the stack, including both of his or her prisoners back(unless he or she chooses to kill one of his of her own), and then it is his or her turn.

If the player is eliminated, then all chips in that pile, including the two you've just used to capture it, are eliminated and then, yes, it is your turn, but you don't have those two prisoner chips to do that trick with again.
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Gabriel Velasco
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You may play a chip of any color in your possession. In addition, you may transfer and kill any number of prisoners to any number of players at any time - even out of turn, and even immediately before or after another player is about to play or has played.
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Russell
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bwross wrote:
Dying players tend to be easier to make deals with since their ability to effectively backstab is limited and it's harder for them to extort (providing that you're willing to hold the line and be happy with them dying first to teach them a lesson if they get obstinate).


That is cold.
And superb advice.
Thank you. ninja

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J C Lawrence
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I believe the rules I posted are both complete and clear, albeit not suffering any examples or other frippery. Corrections are welcomed.
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clearclaw wrote:
I believe the rules I posted are both complete and clear, albeit not suffering any examples or other frippery. Corrections are welcomed.


Two thoughts:

1. Your rules are missing the explicit statement from the original (?) rules that "The players must keep their holdings in view at all times." It does say they initially put their chips in front of them on the table.

2. Rule 5 reads, as the original rules: "defeat is not final until every player holding prisoners has declared his refusal to come to the rescue by means of a transfer". I was wondering how to deal with the situation where two or more players want to bail someone out, but would prefer that someone else did it, and refuse to transfer a chip until everyone else has explicitly stated they won't do so. Is there a more elegant solution than forcing them to make up their minds in some order, random or otherwise?
 
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klav klav
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i'm still a bit lost on the basics. On your turn you can play any color you want (so also other player's captured prisoner chips)?

You lose when you cannot "move" a chip: your color of chips or any color of chips?
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klavrynd wrote:
i'm still a bit lost on the basics. On your turn you can play any color you want (so also other player's captured prisoner chips)?


Yes, you can play any one chip in your possession (and which colour you choose determines where you can legally play it).

klavrynd wrote:
You lose when you cannot "move" a chip: your color of chips or any color of chips?


You lose when it is your turn (whether because someone choose to give it to you or because it "bounced" back to you) and you have no chip at all to place. If you have a chip of any colour, you can place it.
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