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Subject: counting points during the game rss

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sonny sonny
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last night player X suddenly in round 14 started to count everyones points during the game. he claimed that by the rules he was allowed to do that (that's obviously true since nothing that gives points is hidden).

he did it because he wanted to take an action that would hurt himself, but even more another player. so he wanted to make sure that a) this would put him before the other player and b) everyone else was far enough behind so he doesn't lose to them.

our games are usually quite fast - like 20 mins per player (that means 1.5 mins per player per round). this alone took some time and was especially annoying in the last round when everyone wanted to finish the game. so afterwards i suggested to not do this in future games, and everyone, except player X, agreed. he said then he won't play agricola anymore.

i personally prefer to play faster and more games and for me it's boring if people take so much time for their turns. if someone starts counting points during the game others will too (especially because i have to avoid a situation where player X could win with a destructive action after counting the points)

what do you think? is it worth to increase the game time by about 10-15 mins for that?
 
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Alex Bove
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Why would anyone take an action in Round 14 that would hurt him at all? You really need to start playing with some better players.
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Scott Everts
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That player was annoying. I've never counted other player's points and neither have my friends. That's part of the fun of the game to see if your strategy worked.

And to say he won't play if he can't count is just being a big baby. I'd say good riddance!

Games are suppose to be fun!
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Sean Shaw
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montu wrote:
Why would anyone take an action in Round 14 that would hurt him at all? You really need to start playing with some better players.


If it hurts the other player so much more than himself...and thus will let him win...byall means...he'd want to take the action.
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Tim Seitz
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That's just silly. There's no action you could take that would require counting ALL points. All you need to determine is points in the related category (sheep, fields, veggies, etc.) and ony for the player(s) you were hoping to impact.
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Eugene van der Pijll
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out4blood wrote:
That's just silly. There's no action you could take that would require counting ALL points. All you need to determine is points in the related category (sheep, fields, veggies, etc.) and ony for the player(s) you were hoping to impact.

Of course there are situations in which you have to count all points for several players.

Let's say that its a three player game, and it's very close. It's player 1's last action in round 14, and he can choose between two actions: action A, worth 3 points (let's say family growth), or action B, also worth 3 points (let's say buld fences). Player 2 has wood to build fences, but no spare room; player 3 has spare room for family growth, but no wood for fences.

If the current score is A: 31 - B: 32 - C: 30, player A should obstruct player B, and choose fences as the last action. If the score is 31 - 30 - 32, he should choose family growth.

In my opinion, counting points is legal. I would ask that player to count points during other player's turns; if he still insists on making the game 10 minutes longer just to maximize his position, I would let him, and not play with him again.
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Guy Srinivasan
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montu wrote:
Why would anyone take an action in Round 14 that would hurt him at all? You really need to start playing with some better players.

Um... if only two players are in contention, then it becomes zero sum, and taking an action worth 0 points instead of 1 if it makes your opponent take an action worth 1 point instead of 3 is often a good move.

You don't win Agricola by getting lots of points, you win by getting more points than your opponents.
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Dave Kudzma
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I think someone is a little too concerned with WINNING; and that's the shame of it all.

If it only took a short glance, say an extra minute to make this kind of check, I could see it, but to delay the game an extra 15 minutes while they figure out the "perfect move" is obscene.

Sounds like you might be better off playing without them. It's going to truly be their loss, not yours.
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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letsdance wrote:
he said then he won't play agricola anymore.


There's your solution: just don't play with him any more.
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Adam Bartlett
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Ponton wrote:
letsdance wrote:
he said then he won't play agricola anymore.


There's your solution: just don't play with him any more.
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Randall Bart
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letsdance wrote:
so afterwards i suggested to not do this in future games, and everyone, except player X, agreed. he said then he won't play agricola anymore.

Win-win
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Alex Bove
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GreedyAlgorithm wrote:
montu wrote:
Why would anyone take an action in Round 14 that would hurt him at all? You really need to start playing with some better players.

Um... if only two players are in contention, then it becomes zero sum, and taking an action worth 0 points instead of 1 if it makes your opponent take an action worth 1 point instead of 3 is often a good move.

You don't win Agricola by getting lots of points, you win by getting more points than your opponents.


Yes, of course, this is true in *all* games. But still, one should be looking to maximize one's own points in Round 14. If the OP had given more details, perhaps we could analyze the position more carefully, but my initial reaction is that strong players ought to play so they have multiple options available to them.

Therefore: 1) the strong player who is ahead should have an action that allows him/her to pull further ahead and 2) the 2nd strong player, even if his "best" action is taken by the other player, should have other good actions available. I want to be the 2nd player in the OP's scenario: I want the leader to intentionally hurt himself thinking he's hurting me, and then I will take a different action to get the same amount of points and beat him anyway.
 
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Gabe Alvaro
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What cost, winning? Sounds like he lost the metagame.
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sonny sonny
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i didn't offer more details because i didn't want people to discuss the actions instead of the topic (this is what usually happens), but here they are:

the action in question was renovating with fences, which would have left me without any pastures and like 6 more empty spaces / unfenced stables (about 10 points) whereas the improvement from other renovate would have given me about 1-2 points.

my brother (the other player) got like 2-3 points from the improvement but couldn't build any fences. so the difference was about 4-7 points (all rough guesses but high enough to allow a little uncertainty about the points gained from the following round 14 actions), which can be significant. in the end he played constructive but i think i would have won anyways.

the fact that it's my brother who lives next door (high availability) and is a good player in general, is why i care about losing him for future games. but this is also a matter that i don't want to discuss =)
 
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Peter Van de Voorde
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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OK, this is a totally different situation now that we know the details. Some brothers and sisters love to compete with each other. No wonder he wanted to beat you. In his case I'd just play destructive no matter if I win through it or not - not for kingmaking reasons (I hate kingmakers) and not for personal reasons, but just to punish your bad play: who waits with fencing until the last round and even hopes to get the renovate+fences action without taking starting player one turn earlier to ensure it, needs to be punished. That's bad planning. I'd also take away all sheep from you if you wasn't able to feed your family - even if I needed to throw away all of those sheep. That's not cruel - in the meantime you took away many actions I'd possibly like to take. You surely were aware of the risk to don't get what you want. That's the game.

BUT: In no way would I count points beforehand!
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sonny sonny
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i don't mind destructive gameplay and like i said i don't want to discuss why i didn't build fences before round 14. the only thing that annoyed me and where i want to talk about here was counting all points.
 
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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And as you can see - we all agree that counting points during the game is a no-go; it's allowed, but still a crappy thing one might want to do.
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Tim Stellmach
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locusshifter wrote:
If it only took a short glance, say an extra minute to make this kind of check, I could see it, but to delay the game an extra 15 minutes while they figure out the "perfect move" is obscene.


If that's your standard of "obscene," then you must be leading a pretty sheltered existence. There are all sorts of things that go on in this world that really are obscene. Playing to win at a pretend farming game isn't even close.
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Justin
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timstellmach wrote:
If that's your standard of "obscene," then you must be leading a pretty sheltered existence. There are all sorts of things that go on in this world that really are obscene. Playing to win at a pretend farming game isn't even close.


oh jeez
 
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Jonathan Challis
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It depends on whether your group is more casual or competitive. Neither way is wrong, it's just a case of having a group of a like mind.

In our group most of us would do this calculation a couple of times during most games, not just Agricola.

...but then we are much more concerned with playing well, rather than playing fast - for us, that's where the fun comes, but for others they want a fast moving backdrop to a social night...

Horses for courses...
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Gabe Alvaro
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A more accurate title for this thread might be:

"stopping the game to count points"
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Randall Bart
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blindspot wrote:
A more accurate title for this thread might be:

"stopping the game to count points"


thumbsup There's nothing wrong with counting points before deciding a move in Agricola. In Power Grid there's nothing wrong with adding up how much it will cost you to build seven more cities before you decide whether to build any. The issue is how much you delay the game. A minute or two once in the game is never a problem. Delaying a minute or two several times during a game, or delaying 10 minutes all it once is just bad sportsmanship.
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Tony Chen
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Why not have everyone count their own points and (honestly) give it to him? That would make it much faster.

After all, what you have on your board is open information, and if you aren't willing to help him by (honestly) reporting your own score, I find it hard to begrudge him for counting it out himself.

I would have just told him my score to speed things up. Now if he didn't believe me and insists on counting it out himself then I might be annoyed.

And slightly off topic, this (looking at other players' board to determine your best action) is what player interaction in Agricola consists of. When someone criticizes Agricola for being a multiplayer solitaire, you have defendents pointing out the interaction in looking at other players' board, and taking ones that will screw them over the most. Well, following that advice, this (your admittedly boring situation) is what you get.
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sonny sonny
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drunkenKOALA wrote:
Why not have everyone count their own points and (honestly) give it to him? That would make it much faster.

After all, what you have on your board is open information, and if you aren't willing to help him by (honestly) reporting your own score, I find it hard to begrudge him for counting it out himself.

I would have just told him my score to speed things up. Now if he didn't believe me and insists on counting it out himself then I might be annoyed.

And slightly off topic, this (looking at other players' board to determine your best action) is what player interaction in Agricola consists of. When someone criticizes Agricola for being a multiplayer solitaire, you have defendents pointing out the interaction in looking at other players' board, and taking ones that will screw them over the most. Well, following that advice, this (your admittedly boring situation) is what you get.

because we didn't feel like counting points during the game.

no one minds "looking at other players boards" to choose your action. what we did mind was the delay caused by it. like i said we're fast players and usually no one ever needs more than 2 mins for one decision.
 
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