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Subject: Victory conditions summary for boardgames/cardgames rss

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Lewis Pulsipher
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For the benefit of my digital game students, I'm trying to summarize/categorize the many victory conditions available in games (especially board and card games).

Achieve a Position
Occupy a location--e.g. Stalingrad, Axis & Allies require occupation of certain cities
Occupy a lot of territory--go, Carcassone, Blokus, many others
Make a pattern of pieces--Tic-Tac-Toe, my Law & Chaos
Move off the other side of board (or the end of the track, as in race games)
There are many other variations...

Wipe out/destroy something
Wipe out everyone--checkers/draughts, Risk
Take a piece (chess, the King)

Accumulate something or get rid of something
$$$$ (Monopoly)
sets of cards (many card games)
use up all your cards (many card games)

Deduce/find answer
Clue/cluedo
if no deduction is required, this is a form of accumulate (as, sets)

Scoring the most points at the end of a set time, or a set number of points, is very common (Settlers of Catan, Brittania), but this is an intermediate step to the achievement of some other goals--money, territory, whatever. Points are used when multiple victory conditions are wanted. For example, Britannia points include holding territory, temporarily occupying territory, killing enemy units, capturing certain locations, and more.

I am going to include "choose own objectives" separately. In the classic game Careers, players secretly allocate 60 points amongst Fame, Happiness, and Money. The first to achieve his objectives wins the game. While it is an "accumulate something" condition, the strategic variability provided by choice is exceptional and notable.

Finally, some games have "Missions" (newer editions of Risk). This is another form of points, that is, each mission is one of the other kinds of victory condition.

I don't consider sports to be a form of boardgame/cardgame, but even sports can be considered in these terms. For example, in baseball, you get points by achieving a position (getting around the diamond to home plate).

I keep feeling that I've left some category out. So lets see what BGgeeks think of.

Lew Pulsipher
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Merric Blackman
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I look at the final results, and get these sorts of game types:

ACCUMULATION - gain the most points (or whatever) by the end of the game (which is triggered by some condition).

Examples: Ticket to Ride, Tigris & Euphrates

RACE - gain a set total of points (or whatever) before any other player does so.

Examples: Settlers of Catan; Niagara

ELIMINATION - remove all other players from the game.

Examples: Monopoly, Poker.


Some games mix the types - Twilight Imperium has all three!
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Thomas P. Felder
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Puh. I guess one has to go through a proper mix of games, write their victory conditions down, and then think again about it.
Even a game as simple as Carcassonne has a mix: It's not only about territory, it's also about positions (like the monasteries or even the cities).

Koldfoot wrote:
(...) I would consider surviving to be different than elimination. (...)

I aggree. Another example: Villa Paletti - you just can stay in game, there's nothing to do to get other players eliminated. Maybe a pinball is another example? Or is that about accumulating?
Most Egoshooters/FPS are about surviving, if you see it this way. Most of the success of multi player FPS like Counterstrike might be due to the fact that they offer a victory condition beside that (capture the flag, placing a bomb).

"Collecting stuff" would also fit into accumulating, I guess?

Trivia games are also just accumulating games, only the means to aquire the sought after things (points, cards, whatever) are different... hm.

I think you got them all.
 
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ɹǝpun uʍop ʞǝǝƃ
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Quote:
Deduce/find answer

Many deduction games tend to boil down to being a race for the process of elimination anyway.

The only other category I can think of right now would be dexterity games.
 
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Christopher Clouser
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I can't think of any examples. But a victory condition where the first one to be eliminated is the winner, would seem to be a novel idea. Anti-Survival.


EDIT: Though I guess 'going out' is a key part of many card games, and in many cases guarantees victory.
 
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Stew Woods
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Yehuda has an interesting post on this topic though I'm not sure I agree with his take:

http://boredgamegeeks.blogspot.com/2006/01/winning-using-mec...
 
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D. J. Hastings
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Koldfoot wrote:
Can't think of a better example, I know they are out there, but surviving is often an alternate victory condition. For example Sleuth. Make a bad guess and you are out of the game. If everyone makes a bad guess before you take a stab, you win.

EDIT: Before the issue arises, I would consider surviving to be different than elimination. There is no mechanism in Sleuth, for example, to eliminate other players. If they are eliminated they have no one to blame but themselves (given no errors were made).

I just wish I could think of a better example.
Doesn't Dune have a faction that wins by surviving for a certain amount of time?
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Merric Blackman
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DJHastings wrote:
Doesn't Dune have a faction that wins by surviving for a certain amount of time?


Yes. Both the Guild and the Fremen can win if the game reaches the end of the 15th turn. However, both are versions of the objective-control game.

You can also see this style of play in ASL and related wargames: at the end of the 7th turn, if this objective is (not) held, you win.

This variant of "get an objective" doesn't care if you met it earlier in the game, only if it is currently valid when the clock hits a certain point.

Cheers!
 
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Cleopatra and the Society of Architects uses something akin to the old joke, "I don't have to be faster than the bear, just faster than you." The corruption factor lends an interesting mechanic and a goodly amount of tension so even if someone is the runaway leader, there is always (usually) the chance that he won't win.

Can't think of any others that use this one.


Taj Mahal uses a system of accumulating points that is incredibly interesting. Gaining a little influence here and there will ensure a greater amount of points in the long run than winning majority control in a couple of areas. Still a VP-based system, but with an interesting means of achieving that end.


Oasis also has an interesting way of accumulating VPs. Points are scored for areas of influence, but are worthless without their associated Scoring Multipliers.


Colosseum has one of the more interesting VP mechanics to come along in a long time (at least in my limited involvement with board games). The winner is the one who can do the most in a single turn (out of five).


Lowest score out of several seems to work in a couple of very good games. This forces players to try and maintain a balanced approach.


Freya's Folly is a combination of a race and a building and a collecting game.
 
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