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Subject: what kind of gamer are you: question 2 rss

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Do you prefer to try and run away with the lead, forcing the other players to react to you? Or do you sandbag, in an attempt to make yourself appear to not be a threat so as to take charge with one or more plays toward the endgame?


Me, I like the former. I enjoy watching people scramble to catch up and try to take me down with their gang-up-on-the-leader approach. Okay, it isn't that I enjoy this, but it happens too many times so I have to accept it ...
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Vaughn Sandor
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I try to run away with the lead and then maintain it which is damn hard.

Usually I just slog along and get lucky at the end.
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Mendon Dornbrook
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I find that different strategies are important for different genres of games. In games where each player is vulnerable to other players' decisions, I find it generally important to sew doubts about other players, "congratulate" them on excellent moves that will pay off later (if others weren't paying attention), etc... In other words, just slog along. However, in games where there isn't a whole lot of player interaction, I try to take the lead as quickly as I can and run with it. Again, the victory condition should also inform your strategy. Do you get to have hidden victory points or are you on a track outside the board?
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JP LaChance
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Depends on the game
Powergrid for example sandbagging is the best way to win

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Rob Herman
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Sandbagging? Death first! I shall be in the lead at every moment!

Even in games where it kills me, like Colosseum and Power Grid. soblue
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Christian Killoran
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Just like your first question, the answer differs depending on the nature of the game.

When playing games with a significant "take that!" component (Naval War, Citadelles, Formula Motor Racing), I usually try to manage my position into 2nd place until the end. This reduces the likelyhood that opponents will target me with their attacks.

Games that allow me to affect the pace and/or conclusion (Web of Power, Atilla, Can't Stop) encourage me to play for the lead throughout the game, and increase the lead whenever possible.

Still other games (Pacific Typhoon, Ticket to Ride, Spy) encourage me to strike whenever the iron is hot regardless of the current score situation.

In those circumstances where the game's design does not obviously reward a particular style, I prefer to get out in front early and stay there. My only friends are the ones I can see in my rear-view mirror.
 
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Dave Eisen
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Power Grid isn't sandbagging. That's just adopting to the mechanic which rewards via turn order building fewer cities.

Sandbagging is something like El Grande where being the leader guarantees that everyone else messes with your cubes when they can. Or Struggle of Empires. Or Manifest Destiny. Or any of a number of other games where players have a choice of who they will bash each turn.

I'm not really effective at staying under the radar so I don't even try. I'm always the first player bashed at any game even if I am not actually winning.
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Osiris Ra wrote:
Do you prefer to try and run away with the lead, forcing the other players to react to you? Or do you sandbag, in an attempt to make yourself appear to not be a threat so as to take charge with one or more plays toward the endgame?


Like the other question: this one seems game dependant

In Roborally, I either shoot ahead quickly, or stall a turn and wait for the inevitable bunchup at the first flag and zoom through everyone's half-exploded robots which are about to power down.

In Puerto Rico, with limited resources (plantations, buildings), being first is almost a necessity, though there are times that forcing an early game end (which is akin to a sandbag) will make you the favored player.

In bridge... usually you take what you can get unless you need to finesse one or two extra tricks out, in which case yes, you're sandbagging.

 
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Greg Jones
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Sitnaltax wrote:
Sandbagging? Death first! I shall be in the lead at every moment!

Even in games where it kills me, like Colosseum and Power Grid. soblue


I don't think being in the lead in Colosseum is bad. Yes, people get to take your stuff, but you also rack up the +3 podiums.

In Power Grid, I don't think keeping the fewest cities necessarily counts as sandbagging. It's not that you're trying to stay behind so the other players don't gang up on you. If they're smart, they'll notice that you might be leading even though you don't have the most cities. What you're doing is just gaming the system. One of the most leading positions you can have is to have 5 cities during stage I, but power them all with one cheap oil, while the other players power six but need two coal and two oil.
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howl hollow howl
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Of course the answer is game-dependent. In addition, you have to consider whether you mean leading in points or having the best position for the end-game.

That said, more often than that I like taking the lead and demoralizing my opponents to the point where they have accepted their fate and aim for second place rather than dare to take me on. One notable example is El Grande; even though many perceive that the end rounds are all about beat-on-the-leader, I have had great success at setting myself up for the special scoring action cards in the early rounds.
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Greg Jones
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I don't usually sandbag. If people are correctly leader-bashing you, then you should at worst be beaten back until you are just in 2nd place. That's no worse off than you would be if you were sandbagging.

The exception would be if the game mechanics create some kind of momentum to the leader bashing. Is it hard to stop attacking once you start, or is it efficient to continue an attack once started? Do they bash the leader by destroying his income-generators, leaving him stalled right at the endgame?

Even if there is momentum, players who are aware of that can bash the leader not all the way until he's not the leader, but only until enough momentum has accumulated that he'll eventually fall to second.

I can't think of examples of games with leader-bashing momentum. I probably would see that as a fatal flaw in the game and not want to play it. I suppose I could play it and use the sandbagging strategy that I disfavor, but wouldn't everybody try to use this strategy? And then the game would just stall.
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Assuming that we're playing a game that I can actually win? Try to take the lead and run far, far away. I'm not good at sandbagging; I have a lousy poker face and have trouble acting inconspicuous, and generally when I fall behind I end up unable to catch back up. So I just push for first from the beginning and try to stay there.
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Andrew H
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Make them catch me. In many of my favourite games victory pints can't be lost but preparations for winning in the end game can be ruined (eg El Grande and San Marco).
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
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ɹǝpun uʍop ʞǝǝƃ
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My preference is to run sideways and destroy all of their clever strategies with my chaotic ineptitude.

You won't catch me with my trousers!
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Sue Hemberger

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Depends on the game. And I don't think of it as sandbagging so much as pacing myself. I won a game of Politico last night by lagging behind and collecting cards that would let me wipe out early leads, in part by appropriating their assets. So the tide changed suddenly and no one had the cards to stop me, plus they were too busy scrambling to recoup lost followers to want to focus on getting the cards. Probably won't work next time since my husband immediately asked "Do you know why/how you won? Because it seemed kinda random to me." And I had to explain.

Politico is a game we've played a fair amount, so I had a sense of when I wanted to be in the lead. With a new game, I'm less likely to think about timing and more likely to find a potentially promising niche/adopt a strategy that none of the other players seems interested in. In general, I think that our group tends to treat games as collective experiments and to discuss results. In that sense, we're all playing with/against the game as much as with/against each other.
 
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Max Jamelli
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Echoing my fellow geeks - Little bit of both, again depending on the game. Games like Tikal and Carcassonne - I love shooting out to a big lead early. Then there are games like Power Grid where I think the gameplay benefits playing it coy, but I'll still try to stay as close to the lead as possible.

All things equal, I'd rather be the front runner than the chaser. That makes each move seem important and ups the tension between your turns.
 
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tom franklin
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Othello taught me the value of holding off until the end, so i often stick with that approach, however, to be fair, it entirely depends on the game.

...
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Michael Bachelor
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There is nothing like getting the lead and having everyone else gun for you. Then you have a built in excuse for when you lose...

"Of COURSE I lost! Everyone was messing with me! How can you expect to win when everyone is out to get you!" cry

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Osiris Ra wrote:
Do you prefer to try and run away with the lead, forcing the other players to react to you? Or do you sandbag, in an attempt to make yourself appear to not be a threat so as to take charge with one or more plays toward the endgame?


Me, I like the former. I enjoy watching people scramble to catch up and try to take me down with their gang-up-on-the-leader approach. Okay, it isn't that I enjoy this, but it happens too many times so I have to accept it ...


I try to sandbag as much as possible. My most successful sandbagging is in settlers. I can hold out at least 3-5 VP's of actions to the very end, and spring them out when getting close. To many games I play reward subtle covert actions and severely hurt overt to early forward momentum. The MOB rules.
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