Rory
United States
Maine
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As I sat around today I thought of an interesting question that I would like to pose to the collective BGG hivemind. Here goes.

What is the more impressive victory?

A: Playing a game with almost all information available and executing a gameplan to perfection and winning......

OR

B: Playing a game with a factor of the unknown, randomness, etc, and adapting to a changing situation and winning.......

Discuss
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lexingtonian
United States
Unspecified
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm not sure one or the other has to be more impressive, but the latter is certainly more fun.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Isaac Citrom
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

B, adapting to the unknown, in my mind is by far the more impressive victory. A, devising and executing the perfect plan is by far the more fun and satisfying. There's just nothing like it when everything falls into place including the contingencies you setup to handle negative events. At least, that is how it is with me.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew H
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
B
A often means you put more time into researching and memorising the game than your opponents. It is about as impressive to me as memorising pi to the nth degree.
B does involve "luck" but it definitely involves complex reasoning and higher order thinking. That takes skill.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Edwards Jr
United States
Wilmette
Illinois
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
B
Hitting back on the volley inches away from certain disaster just quickens the blood. Isn’t that what we all really desire, the underdog who by shear pluck determination overcomes the vastly superior opponent. laugh

The flip side is being the one with prefect execution with perfect info and then losing really sucks. You struggle to form the words "good game" to your opponent who just dismantled perfection. angry
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexander B.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmb
The problem with "B" is that you'll never know for sure if it was luck or skill that caused you to win.

With "A", you can be 100% sure that it was skill that caused you to win.

In both cases you must adapt to changing circumstances... there is nothing about luck that is more difficult in terms of adaptation of play (since you cannot control your opponent, they will present you with an unknown just like luck does).

The difference is that in games with luck, the luck can trump skill and determine a win regardless of skill.

Thus, a win of type "A" is a greater indiator of raw skill, especially if there aren't 100s of games so that the law of large numbers can balance the luck out and allow the skill to show through in a reliable manner.

Of course, this varies somewhat game to game. Some games have a high luck factor where skill makes little difference (e.g. craps), others have a medium luck factor where skill will often make a difference, but not always (e.g. Monopoly), other games have a fairly small amount of luck so lets skill shine through fairly well (e.g. any good war game).

However, it is only in games with zero luck that skill will always determine the winner.

In practice, any game that I'm playing that has medium luck or greater, I refuse to acknowledge skill has caused the win, regardless of if I win or not. That's why I rarely play such games.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Edwards
United States
Shoreline
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
"To crush your enemies, to see them fall at your feet -- to take their horses and goods and hear the lamentation of their women. That is best."

The method don't enter in to it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thomas P. Felder
Germany
Munich
Bavaria
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I want to somewhat take your question in another direction:
I'd rather like to win because something I had in mind did work out, then by winning because the other player(s) didn't see the for them obvious move.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Lundström
Sweden
Täby
flag msg tools
Now who are these five?
badge
Come, come, all children who love fairy tales.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Depends.

Victory A is not impressive at all if the other opponents were less experienced.

Victory B is not impressive at all if the randomness happened to play into your hands.

Victory A is very impressive if you were suppressed, but by a clever plan managed to come back and retake what you lost (I've had this in Go with a pal of mine. He's clearly better than I, and yet I outplayed him in one corner. He worked around me, took the corner and handed me my ass. That was impressive.)

Victory B is very impressive if you've played such a way that you can benefit a lot whatever randomness gives in your direction. (I've seen players in Robo Rally making weird programs that weren't optimal, but that would place them somewhere safe at least regardless of whether they were pushed 1 or 2 squares in round 2. That is impressive.)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Molnar
United States
Ridgewood
New Jersey
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
For me, it simply depends on the number of players. With two, I prefer games with perfect information. But with more players, perfect information games break down into kingmaking exercises or two players beating up on each other while the third coasts, or something like that. So I would prefer some randomness involved - I'd rather win a game because I hedged my bets properly than because I got attacked the least. Or, I'd rather lose due to luck than due to being ganged up on.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Bauer
United States
Gilbert
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Bazinga!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A win is a win, next question?

Seriously, I agree with a lot of what has already been said.

I think I am generally more impressed by case B, the come from behind win that should not have happened, it is also more fun to watch but in the end a cheap thrill. However, I will respect you more in the morning in case A were I just got out played. Do you want my admiration or my respect?

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Man thinks, the river flows.
United States
Riva
Maryland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb

    It depends on how many openings you have to memorize.

             Sag.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Jome
United States
Franklin
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mb
It takes more study and hard work to win at Chess, but I prefer to win with overcoming luck as well as my opponents.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hawaka Winada
United States
Stornhelm
Rivenspire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
roboman wrote:

What is the more impressive victory?

A: Playing a game with almost all information available and executing a gameplan to perfection and winning......

OR

B: Playing a game with a factor of the unknown, randomness, etc, and adapting to a changing situation and winning.......


These are not necessarily mutually-exclusive choices. There are perfect information games with no randomness but with enough player choices that they have a high factor of the unknown - how your opponents play. Antike and Imperial are good examples. To win you must adapt to the changing situation created by your opponents, you can't have an immutable gameplan that will always win. IMO to win such a game is more impressive than either winning a 'solvable' game or winning a game where you had a lot of luck compared to your opponents.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J. Green
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is just the basic "Eurogame Vs. Ameritrash" debate. Obviously the answer is B, but only because A represents a triumph of player vs. system, whereas B represents a triumph of player vs. chaos, which is much more representative of reality.

(ignore me. this reply is obviously flame-bait. I never check back to read responses to my inflammatory sillinesses.)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexander B.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmb
D-Rider wrote:
... There are perfect information games with no randomness but with enough player choices that they have a high factor of the unknown - how your opponents play.....


Chess is certainly this way for any but masters. This idea that memorization of openings is essential to winning is really wrong. Believe me, if you took one person with a photograpic memory who memorized the 6 volume international opening books but who had only played a year, and put them against a player who had played daily in a park for 5 years but never cracked an opening book, the former would get slaughtered so badly that they'd not know what hit them.

I played tournaments for years, and purposefully used an opening that would get us "out of the book" within about 5 moves. And that was against experts!

All opening books do is get you to a point where they put a little "=" mark in. That means that black had equalized the game and gotten rid of white's tiny advantage (tiny to any normal Chess player).

At that point, the rest of the game is 100% creativity. It is 100% unknown, it is perfect information, and it takes the highest level of skill--as well as adapting to an unknowns and changing situation--to win.

ALL games that involve skill take some degree of familiarity with how the beginning might unfold in various ways, and such knowledge will create an advantage.

There is a reason that Chess and Go are widely considered to be the ultimate tests of mental ability in board gaming.

There is also a reason that tournament Bridge uses methods that take all luck out of the game so as to determine who is really best at the game, instead of who got dealt the best cards that day.

So long as the decision tree is more complex than the human mind can actually navigate to the end, the game will not be about any kind of memorization or long term (to the end of the game) planning: the heart of it will be skill, creativity, and the certain knowledge that only your ability to look ahead and plan *better* than your opponent will determine the winner.

I personally enjoy a portion of luck (because I enjoy heavily themed games that include simulation of reality that is out of our control), but don't for one moment think that when I win at ASL that my win is more meaningful than a Chess master winning a tournament: that takes *real* skill, and the dice aren't there to pull my nuts out of the fire when things go bad
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexander B.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmb
bookgnome wrote:
This is just the basic "Eurogame Vs. Ameritrash" debate....


Not at all. Some Euros have a very large amount of luck e.g. Tigris & Euphrates. Also, AT games vary substantially on how much luck is involved. Battlelore has a substantial portion of luck (due to short length, and victory usually being a matter of simple attrition), but Descent, Starcraft, and many other AT games have enough skill so that skill can really shine through: depends on the game.

Other Euros have so much multi-player chaos that, unless diplomacy is an explict part of the game (rarely the case), the chaos will often actually play a higher factor than luck can in determining the winner.

Some war games have a lot of dice rolling, but the better player will win upwards of 95% of the time (mostly due to high complexity and the long length allowing luck to balance, along with complex victory condition): Empire of the Sun comes to mind as a game that I'd bet I wouldn't at all vs. an expert, even though I love it and it has both card and dice luck.

This isn't a genre issues so much as the actual ratio of luck/skill/chaos in each specific game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Harlan Rosenthal
United States
Fair Lawn
New Jersey
flag msg tools
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
Sounds like a simple question, and yet reaches the core of one of the most contentious differences among gamers.

This is why the full BGG hive-mind will never agree on any particular game, certainly not one game for all situations/groups. Sometimes you feel like randomness; sometimes you feel like pure strategy. Some people only want one or the other. There is glory to be found in both. I submit that the true gamer enjoys each in their place and time.

It also depends what you're playing for. I'd rather have a fun gaming session and lose because of bad cards/tiles/rolls than either (a) out-strategize an outclassed opponent, or (b) not play.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Harlan Rosenthal
United States
Fair Lawn
New Jersey
flag msg tools
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
diamondspider wrote:
{chess} is 100% unknown, it is perfect information, and it takes the highest level of skill--as well as adapting to an unknowns and changing situation--to win.

Unknown, but not unknowable. That's the difference.

This is my favorite example trying to explain wargames and strategy games to non-believers: In chess, whoever attacks wins. Pawn takes knight, or knight takes pawn, the mover wins the encounter. Imagine the real world, no matter who takes initiative: the knight probably kills the footsoldier, but maybe the horse mis-steps or the footsoldier ducks or the knight is hung over, and the encounter does nothing; maybe the footsoldier just manages to get in a lucky blow and do some damage. The battle probably takes more than one hit anyway, and in the meantime the other pawns are ganging up from the knight's blind side.

I'm not saying it's better that way; just that I enjoy the enactment of theme a lot more than I enjoyed chess club. Pushing wood is abstract, and gaming is story-telling.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexander B.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmb
Harlan wrote:
diamondspider wrote:
{chess} is 100% unknown, it is perfect information, and it takes the highest level of skill--as well as adapting to an unknowns and changing situation--to win.

Unknown, but not unknowable. That's the difference.


What is the difference between something that cannot be known in theory and that never is known in fact? No human can see even 10 moves ahead in Chess reliably, so the game is unknowable in reality. Of course, it then all becomes about seeing as deeply as possible.

Harlan wrote:

This is my favorite example trying to explain wargames and strategy games to non-believers: In chess, whoever attacks wins.


Actually, defense is more important that attacking in most Chess games. Most games are lost by one bad move, you want to do all you can to be sure that it isn't *you* who makes it!

A famous Chess quote:

"When you don't know what to do, wait for you opponent to get an idea; it is sure to be bad." - Siegbert Tarrasch

Harlan wrote:

I'm not saying it's better that way; just that I enjoy the enactment of theme a lot more than I enjoyed chess club. Pushing wood is abstract, and gaming is story-telling.


Agreed. If you look at my top games, they all involve luck, for the same reason you state. Even though I'm good at Chess and spent years learning it, I choose not to play it since I enjoy games with *some* luck more.

Too much luck, however, starts to feel like I'm a spectator watching luck decide the game, and I stop trying... why try when luck can nail me in a few rolls?

All that said, I have no doubt that the skill involved in games like Chess is far greater than in games with even moderate luck. Probability calculations are really easy compared with the combination of creativity, instinct, and *very hard work* that is required to play Chess or Go well.

It is the "hard work" part that is one reason I prefer lighter games that include luck (yes, I consider ASL to be a lot lighter than Chess). I don't need to try as hard when luck is involved--a better use of my free time since this feels more fun to me--but with this choice, I do sacrifice being able to gloat at my skill, and I also let go of believing I'm a better player after a won game: not that that bothers me

After all, I chose to put fun before meaningful winning when I picked a game including luck (again, relative to how much luck it has). If I wanted a true and pure test of skill, I'd break out the Chess/Go board.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.