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Subject: Degenerate win/lose rss

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Stephen Shaw
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Ok so wait --

I just watched grudunza's great video review, and read the rules without having played the game. The rule that makes my argument: "Hatches close automatically after EACH ITERATION of the steps of a player's Movement Phase." So just open a hatch (1 minute), move to the next room [hatch closes], open the hatch again (1 minute), move to the original room, and continue to repeat. What is to stop the following from happening:

1) Player one (without the aqualung) simply moves 60 times, getting himself to the end game marker without ever doing anything, and then triggering ALL of the event cards that happen along the way (starting fires, times events, and floods). Then each other player simply finds a way to die quickly (they start in a flooded or fired room and choose no move/no action, or move quickly to a room that will end up killing them). Game over with a victory for the gnomes (all surviving gnomes have reached the 60 minute point). All timed events never have time to trigger the loss, and I cant imagine that it would be a frequent occurrence that those triggered events would cause one of the tracks to reach 10.

2) Player one (or two, or three, or whatever . . . WITH the aqualung as a part of the random initial item draw) does the same thing (using his 60th move to exit the sub), expecting everyone else to die because of all of the events that they have triggered.

Not having played the game, is there something that I am missing here? Will all of the events triggered by that massive move SURELY doom the sub? Is it harder to kill one's self than I read??! If the events triggered over 60 moves are SURE TO DOOM the sub, then the player starting with the aqualung wins. If the events triggered over 60 moves are SURE NOT TO DOOM THE SUB, then the gnomes will win easily every game.
 
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Shawn Simas
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I wouldn't really consider this winning, let alone playing.
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-=[Ran Over]=-
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I think the timed events ruin this idea. You are well past when they come out, thus dooming the sub.
 
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Steve Duff
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sshawmd wrote:
Game over with a victory for the gnomes (all surviving gnomes have reached the 60 minute point). All timed events never have time to trigger the loss


That would be a loss, not a win. The only surviving gnome is past the event, and didn't fix it, and his buddies died before they could fix it as well.

Kaboom.
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Stephen Shaw
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Quote:
I wouldn't really consider this winning, let alone playing.


Im not asking whether or not its FUN, Im asking whether or not the rules allow for such a foolish auto-win. That's why the title of the thread is a "degenerate" win condition -- something ridiculous that the rules should not allow for.

In my opinion, AS SOON AS THE LAST GNOME dies except the one (player one) that is at the 60 minute point, two events trigger:

1) The players win the game
2) The players lose the game if all gnomes HAVE PASSED the timed loss conditions (Kraken, asphixiation, etc)

The rules certainly dont make the priority clear. In fact, it seems as if the win is assured -- quoting page 18 "If all players' tokens PASS a Destruction token on the Time Track, the game ends immediately and is lost. A player attempting to prevent the event automatically fails if the Ghost Time Keeper passes the Destruction token." No PASS event ever happens. And sometimes, no timed events have been drawn, resulting in the auto-win -- Im sure that this would be rare, though, and inconsequential to the argument at hand.
 
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Alex Martinez
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Timed events must be resolved before a win can be scored. The rules don't state this explicitly, but I think it just makes sense. Just because you can discover a loophole that the rulebook doesn't directly address, doesn't mean you beat the game.

So no, I don't think it would or should count as a win.

But, y'know what? It's a cooperative game. If you feel like you've won because you've outsmarted a game, then congratulations. Knock yourself out.
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Steve Duff
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sshawmd wrote:
In my opinion, AS SOON AS THE LAST GNOME dies except the one (player one) that is at the 60 minute point, two events trigger:

1) The players win the game
2) The players lose the game if all gnomes HAVE PASSED the timed loss conditions (Kraken, asphixiation, etc)


You seem hung up on this "passed" word, but it's irrelevant. If you insist that a dead gnome dying before a timed event doesn't count as "passing" it, then by definition, almost every game would be a win as soon as one gnome died. "Hey, six of us failed to deactivate the nukes, but Bob died on turn 1, so he never passed the nukes, so we win!". shake

To win:

rules pg 22 wrote:
The game is won if all Time Keepers of surviving gnomes reach the “Rescued!” space at the end of the Time Track, and all events have been resolved without causing the game to be lost.


Yes, it's theoretically possible to get an amazingly lucky draw of 25 events out of 56 without getting any of the 5 timed events, *and* to get a bunch of disaster events that just happen to kill off the rest of your gnomes. Committing suicide is not a simple task, you *cannot* enter a flooded room, and you *must* leave a room on fire.

Complaining about this astronomically unlikely result is like complaining that poker is broken because it's possible to get a royal flush every single hand.
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Steve Duff
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sshawmd wrote:
2) Player one (or two, or three, or whatever . . . WITH the aqualung as a part of the random initial item draw) does the same thing (using his 60th move to exit the sub), expecting everyone else to die because of all of the events that they have triggered.


Further note, a player cannot exit on his first turn. He must get *his marker* into the under 10 zone, not the ghost marker, so on his first turn, he'd activate all the events to get his marker caught up to the ghost marker, and then on his *second* turn he could leave. But he wouldn't get his second turn until after everyone had all played the game and passed him on the track, deactivating all the bad events.
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Andy Van Zandt
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Quote:
If you feel like you've won because you've outsmarted a game, then congratulations. Knock yourself out.

while i think you meant that sarcastically, that describes every solitaire game, including a lot of video games, as well as puzzles. and most co-ops share a vein with both solitaire games and puzzles- all the actual people are on one side working towards a common goal, presented by an inanimate system.

i think the people who seem offended by his theoretical question missed the point- it's not a "loophole" if it works (which it doesn't sound like it would very often in any case), it's just the way it is. would he actually sit down and play 10 games with a group of players and do that every single time, assuming it proved to be easy to accomplish? i can't imagine so. he would either set aside the game and play something else, or impose further unwritten restrictions on himself. let's not get up in arms over *gasp* playing the rules as written.
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Dave J McWeasely
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However, the Aqualung player would righteously screw his shipmates by spending his initial 50 minutes walking in circles, almost ensuring they'll lose. If they try to win and actually make it ot the 50 minute mark, Mr Aqualung is in a strong position to screw them again, or at least get beaten to death with a crowbar. However, given the huge number of Bad Things the initial 50 minute stint will generate, the most likely result is a dead sub before Mr Aqualung gets to move a second time, in which case he also loses.

But hey, if I have two aqualungs can I spend two turns outside the sub? Now they're going to have a devil of a time crowbaring me to death!
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Alex Martinez
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Bob Gray wrote:
UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
Committing suicide is not a simple task, you *cannot* enter a flooded room, and you *must* leave a room on fire.


No. You MUST leave the room (if possible) only if you started in a room which is on fire OR you are in a room which is on fire and you failed the action to extinguish the fire. However, if you MOVE into a room which is on fire (Fire Extinguisher Tile/ Grog Tile) and select another action instead of trying to extinguish the fire, you die at the end of the turn.

SOURCE: http://www.faidutti.com/index.php?Module=mesjeux&id=566&fich...


Incorrect. The only action you can perform while in a room on fire is to try to extinguish the fire. You simply can't ignore a fire in a heroic attempt to repair engines, unjam hatches, etc, or in an attempt to get yourself killed.

Check the rulebook under extinguish action.


 
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Stephen Shaw
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MrSkeletor wrote:
This has to be the 10th time this idiotic 'strategy' has been brought up - what, is the BGG search function broken or something.

No it does not work unless you are very, very lucky. If you don't know why then you are playing it wrong. It's also very boring.

If you think it works then do it and provide a session report, all details.


Yeah -- once again, I am NOT bringing this up as a strategy, for the hard of reading or the cognitively impaired. I am pointing it out as a degenerate win/lose condition that the rules seem to allow for, hoping to be proven wrong.

When you make a co-op, there should not be a loophole that allows insta-victory, even if all of the other players at the table groan that its "not in the spirit." We would all run into someone who would do this. Heck -- even I would the first time I thought of it, just to see if it worked! Poorly written rules, or poorly tested product -- either way, it seems to me to need a fixin'

And as for point number 2 in my OP, any time you make a co-op that allows one of the players to screw the rest under certain conditions, those conditions shouldnt be ALMOST EVERY GAME.

And as for searching for it, you show me how to do so for this point. And when I looked back through the forum, I found only one article that even CLOSELY resembles this, and it doesnt mention the second point.

I'm not interested in playing it this way, and I wasnt sure that it worked -- I'm interested in bringing it up to see if other BGGeeks can tell me why I'm wrong, or else acknowledge that it needs a fix. So thanks for your post, Frank -- as usual, about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.
 
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Miguel (working on TENNISmind...)
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sshawmd wrote:
When you make a co-op, there should not be a loophole that allows insta-victory
Then don't worry, there isn't one.

sshawmd wrote:
And as for point number 2 in my OP, any time you make a co-op that allows one of the players to screw the rest under certain conditions, those conditions shouldnt be ALMOST EVERY GAME.
Again, don't worry about it, you can't. As explained in at least 5 different threads here, you need your time marker, not the ghost marker, to be beyond 10 in order to escape. So you will have to wait for your second turn, when all other players have passed you (almost 1h of play later while you were just watching them repair all the problems you generated), if you want to escape, and that if they don't hit you with a crowbar in the face before you try...

sshawmd wrote:
And as for searching for it, you show me how to do so for this point. And when I looked back through the forum, I found only one article that even CLOSELY resembles this, and it doesnt mention the second point.
Then you didn't look well, as I said there are at least 5 different threads, including your point 2), you go to the "rules" forum in the game page, and you click on "search". If you are not sure of what are the key words you are looking for, just go through the few pages and quickly read the titles of all the rule threads, this is how I found that one question I had (drinking grog and coffee in the same turn) had already been asked, and avoided all other users to see it posted twice...
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ZMeston wrote:
KingCroc wrote:
Incorrect. The only action you can perform while in a room on fire is to try to extinguish the fire. You simply can't ignore a fire in a heroic attempt to repair engines, unjam hatches, etc, or in an attempt to get yourself killed.

Check the rulebook under extinguish action.


You didn't check the source that Bob cited, did you?

Here's the relevant graf from that source, the Red November FAQ from the designer's own website (italics mine):

Q : Can a gnome use a grog or fire extinguisher to enter a room on fire and there make an action other than extinguishing the fire, such as stopping the missile countdown or fixing the engine?
A : Yes, he can, but this means the heroic gnome will die in the fire immediately after his action succeeded - or failed. That's not exactly what the rules state, but we think such a heroic death is true to the game's logic, so it must be legal.

I think you are both right:

1) It is forbidden by the rules.

2) The designer thinks now that it fits well the spirit of the game.

So I guess you just need to decide before playing if you will play following the rules or including the designer "official variant"...

 
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Stephen Shaw
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ZMeston wrote:
sshawmd wrote:
MrSkeletor wrote:
This has to be the 10th time this idiotic 'strategy' has been brought up - what, is the BGG search function broken or something.

No it does not work unless you are very, very lucky. If you don't know why then you are playing it wrong. It's also very boring.

If you think it works then do it and provide a session report, all details.


Yeah -- once again, I am NOT bringing this up as a strategy, for the hard of reading or the cognitively impaired. I am pointing it out as a degenerate win/lose condition that the rules seem to allow for, hoping to be proven wrong.


Why depend on others to make your point for you? A better idea, as Skeletor suggested, would be to prove yourself right by detailing a session in which you had successfully used your proposed rule-exploit.


Not a better idea at all. As already stated, Im not interested in playing this way, nor am I interested in turning my friends off of a game that I hope them to like WHILE playing this way. The rules were unclear to me, so I thought that BGG would be the place to help get clarification. Once again, I figured that "this CANT be right," but I couldnt see why not.
 
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Stephen Shaw
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So for original issue #1:

You only win if timed events have all been resolved, thus that line of play has very little chance of winning.

Issue #2:

All players would be able to have multiple turns catching up to the auqalung escapee, who is at 10 minutes or so (or 9), and in that time they would all likely die, including the traitor.


Ah yes, after a 20 minute search, finally found the post that addresses issue #2 -- one of two (not 5 or 10) posts that addresses either of the issues above, on page 9 of 11 of this forum. Sorry for pissing everyone off.
 
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I do think it's a terrible way to play the game, but strictly speaking, what you're saying is possible.

I did a quick solo 3p runthrough to try it, and I gave the first player (Blue) the aqualung and the duck (to avoid three of the events). As it turned out from the event card draws, Blue was able to get to the 13 minute mark before drawing a timed destruction event. So presumably, per your #2, Blue could have bailed after passing the 10 minute mark and won the game alone if no one else survived. The oxygen, heat and pressure tracks were all at about the halfway point, so no real danger there, but the whole question would be whether or not you would draw one of the timed events before the 19 minute mark... But in that situation, you're still counting on the others not making it... and even though you've left a pretty big mess, it's not inconceivable that they could clean it up enough to survive (in my example playthrough they others didn't make it, but they gave it a decent try). But your #1 would not work unless all events were resolved by the time Blue reached the 0 minute point... if they're the only one to survive, then their marker couldn't have passed the timed event... so they'd have to count on not drawing a timed event before the 9 minute mark, which you certainly can't, even if you had both ducks.
 
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Alex Martinez
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franchi wrote:
ZMeston wrote:
KingCroc wrote:
Incorrect. The only action you can perform while in a room on fire is to try to extinguish the fire. You simply can't ignore a fire in a heroic attempt to repair engines, unjam hatches, etc, or in an attempt to get yourself killed.

Check the rulebook under extinguish action.


You didn't check the source that Bob cited, did you?

Here's the relevant graf from that source, the Red November FAQ from the designer's own website (italics mine):

Q : Can a gnome use a grog or fire extinguisher to enter a room on fire and there make an action other than extinguishing the fire, such as stopping the missile countdown or fixing the engine?
A : Yes, he can, but this means the heroic gnome will die in the fire immediately after his action succeeded - or failed. That's not exactly what the rules state, but we think such a heroic death is true to the game's logic, so it must be legal.

I think you are both right:

1) It is forbidden by the rules.

2) The designer thinks now that it fits well the spirit of the game.

So I guess you just need to decide before playing if you will play following the rules or including the designer "official variant"...



Well, it seems an unnecessary change in the rules to me. I don't know why they'd bother listing a FAQ update that directly contradicts the rules as written. It seems completely superfluous.

I think the original rules make more sense. Not only do they put more pressure on the gnomes, they prevent voluntary suicide, which I think is logical. But yes, whatever rules you want to use is fine. But FAQ that addresses non-issues seems just . . . odd to me.

I think the rulebook way makes more sense as it keeps the game more challenging and prevents suicide just for suicide's sake. It's one thing when I gnome dies heroically, but it's another when they just throw themselves into fire for no good reason.

Thematically, I also think it just fits more for me. None of these gnomes are heroic. They're just overenthusiastic submariners who jumped into an untested, experimental submarine. Now they're just trying not to die. I don't picture anything remotely heroic going on. Just desperate gnomes running around in a panic to save their own skins.
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Michael Kefauver
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If you want a 'fix' for suicide Gnomes, you can simply say that when they die, you have to resolve all remaining events for them. That way dying early on is devistating.
 
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