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Subject: Survey : play well but lose... rss

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Christian
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Hi all,

I'm currently doing tests for using Pandemic in educational projects.
I need your help to know how often an undesired outcome (in this context) could occur.
(wether it's a valid opinion or how we could avoid this occurence is another matter).

I, of course, played the game myself several times, but still, you'll understand, I need the experience of my fellow bggeeks !

Q : did you ever played a game of Pandemic that you lost BUT where every player had the HONEST feeling that everybody played well as a team and in every regard (coordination, strategy, etc.), even after discussion, and after which, as a consequence, some or all players had a feeling of some kind of injustice or unfairness ?

If yes, how many times in how many total games (win + lose) (approximatively of course) ?

Please answer only if the answer is yes or if you have an educated or insightful advice !

Comments welcome.

Thanks a lot !
 
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darren williams
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Without a doubt it's possible to play well, make all the right choices but still lose, some will say this proves too much luck in the game. I don't keep count but we lose more often than win and mainly play with only 2 but on full difficulty.
It's probably my partners favourite game and she is far from a regular gamer but consistenly asks to play this, it's shine is beginning to fade for me bit I still appreciate the process and have used it lure young ones as young as 9 from the playstation and they loved it too!
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Isaiah Tanenbaum
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I can only think of once or twice that this has happened, and I've played at least two dozen games.

Of course, it's theoretically possible for this to happen with any game that isn't completely open-information, 0-luck. Settlers of Catan is perhaps the most notorious in this regard -- you can play the odds all you like, and should do so, but the dice won't sufficiently conform to the bell curve during a single game (ie you'll keep rolling 4's).

In fact, I'd say that I'm much more upset when I lose in Catan, despite good play, than when Pandemic "beats" me. I think it's because Catan gives you the impression that there is always a "right" move, with those dots on the resource tiles, whereas going into Pandemic you know that it's just going to be hard and the cards might be against you from the first shuffle. You accept that and play your best, and you still have a good time watching the world fall apart.

In the opinion of my regular gaming group (such as it is), being beaten in Pandemic despite good play is an acceptable consequence of a completely co-operative game. Since you're playing against an algorithm only (rather than an imperfect yet adaptable "evil player"), you have to acknowledge that sometimes the algorithm will fail, either by beating you despite excellent play or by giving you a win despite mediocre play. But I'd much rather play a game that (sometime) beats even perfect play than a game that isn't sufficiently challenging.
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Steve Duff
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The game has a luck component. By it's very nature, that means that sometimes you'll play well and lose.

It's certainly not unique in this, there are thousands of games with luck components, including many great ones, and it doesn't stop them from being great games.

Do I feel like a victim of unfairness when it happens? Hell no. I just play again.

And of course, sometimes the opposite happens, the game just falls into your lap, and you get a victory you hardly deserved.

I consider that very educational, life isn't fair either. But you keep on working away.
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Christian
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Thank you for your answers and comments.
To be clear, I understand and share your opinions : there are random elements, and sometimes, whatever you do, things go bad (plus I really like the game as is).

I wanted to know if someone met the case I described in my question, and if so how often.

So far, so good !

Steffen : I too consider that educational, but a co-worker thinks that in the context we plan to use the game it could be detrimental, hence my survey
 
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Jim Cote
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Most of my games have been 2p. With 6 epidemics, we win about 35% of the time. With 5 epidemics, we win about 75% of the time. I wouldn't call our play perfect, but I'm certain we are highly skilled after almost 100 games. The thing that keeps the game fun is that you never know how well you are doing. You could cure 2 diseases very early, think the game is a walk, then get wiped out by a sudden or poorly-managed series of outbreaks. You could be close to losing all over the board, and pull out a miracle win. The important thing for me is that Pandemic is SEMI-random. Once the first epidemic occurs, you always know something about what's coming and can make intelligent decisions.
 
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
The game has a luck component. By it's very nature, that means that sometimes you'll play well and lose.

It's certainly not unique in this, there are thousands of games with luck components, including many great ones, and it doesn't stop them from being great games.

Do I feel like a victim of unfairness when it happens? Hell no. I just play again.



Totally Agree.

I think it's the 'Is the game going to screw me' that keeps me coming back to play the game (Single player).

To me it sums up the race against the 4 Disease's nicely.
 
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Branko K.
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I don't understand the point of the OP. What hypothesis are you trying to prove? That the game has an element of luck? It is obvious. That you can play well and lose? That's a direct corollary of the former. The win/loss ratio of the game group that "plays good"? That is rather useless unless you find a way of quantifiable measuring how well the group actually plays.

The only foreseeable conclusion is that "a group that plays good will win more games then a group that doesn't", but that's a no-brainer. As is the fact that more players and more epidemics make the game harder, but that is also a well known fact (it MIGHT be experiment-worthy whether an extremely well coordinated 4-player team can actually provide better results then an extremely well coordinated 2-player team, though).

Also, I think it would be rather easy to artificially construct an "unbeatable" deck. In fact, THIS could present an interesting experiment with some quantifiable results - you make a difficult "scenario" by building a stacked deck (both infection and player), and then try you give it to different game groups who try to beat it.
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Christian
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baba44713 wrote:
I don't understand the point of the OP. What hypothesis are you trying to prove?

It's only some kind of statistical survey. I just wanted to know if the case I described happens a lot or not.

In fact, I think what I really wanted is to "prove" to my co-worker that this case doesn't happen a lot, and when it happens people don't feel bad about it.
 
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