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Subject: Should money be kept hidden in Modern Art? rss

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Kanalja
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I recently played my first game of Modern Art and enjoyed it quite a bit. The Finnish edition I own comes with nice components. However, while playing I pondered whether I could use poker chips instead of the small money counters that come with the game. But then again that would mean playing with open money because the screens are not big enough to hide a pile of chips. Even though many detest against it, I actually prefer to play games with open money even when the rules say money should be kept hidden. Is there a reason why Modern Art should not be played this way? When it comes to blind bids I guess everyone could just write down the sum they are willing to offer.
 
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J C Lawrence
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Heartily agreed, and open is the only way I'd play the game. For the blind bids players can take a handful of chips off the table, put their bid in one hand and their other bid-hiding cash in the other. This is exactly what we do for Container (which we play with open money and poker chips).
 
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Kanalja
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I thought so. Thanks for the swift response.
 
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Daniel Corban
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This thread is like telling a Catholic Priest you are pregnant and were planning on getting an abortion, but you are thinking that you might keep the baby after all and is this a good idea?
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Kanalja
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You have a point Daniel I admit that. What I wanted to know was whether there is a reason why Modern Art should or could not be played with open money. You know, open money might not work with some major strategies because of the nature of some cards or something like that. As said above I have played the game once and only such reason I was able to spot are the blind bids. However, blind bids can go hand in hand with open money as momentary secrecy can be kept in various ways. All in all I am going to play the game with open money from now on.
 
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james napoli
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hmm, i guess the game could be played with open money and not ruin the core mechanics.

however though i would think it would sterilize the nature of the theme. I could also see that if there was open money it would be possible for players to gang up on both the weak and the strong by price fixing. You can psuedo price fix now but you would have to try to do so from memory which can be pretty difficult especially in a five player game.

personally i enjoy games with secret vp's, it especially helps keep players who are behind in the game interested.
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Marshall P.
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So Joe put up a Karl Glitter. Now, let's see, I think it'll be worth 60 at the end of the round so I could probably bid 40 for it and go up to 45 if challenged.

"I bid..."

But wait. Let's count Joe's stack. 100, 150, 200, looks like about 220. If I give Joe 40 he'll have 260 and I'll only have 100, 150, about 190. So, maybe I should only bid 30. Shoot, it's Eddie that's in the lead though. Let's see, he has about 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, about 310. Eddie could pay 50 for it which would give Joe. Shoot, I forgot, I better count again. It would give Joe 100, 150, 200, 250, looks like about 270, which would leave Eddie with 100, 150, 200, 250, looks like about 260, but then it would put him back up to 320 if the Karl Glitter comes in at 60 like I expect. Dang, both of those guys would be ahead of me then, because I only have, um, let's see, I have 100, 150, about 190. So, maybe I should actually bid 55 for it. Ok, I'll do that, but first let me see what Jill has. Let's see she has 100, 150, about 160. But look at that, she's got two Karl Glitters played. She probably has another in her hand which would make those Karls worth 80 if she plays it. So if Eddie buys it for 50 and sells it for 80 he'd have. Let me count, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, about 340. But if Jill knows the Karls will be worth 80 she might pay 65 for it. That would give Joe, I forget, 100, 150, 200, 250, about 280. I should probably go ahead and bid 60 then. That would leave me with, let's see, 100, about 130. Wait a minute, I better calculate how far behind I'll be if the Karls only comes in at 40. I'll start with Joe...

"I know it's my turn I'm thinking..."

Nope, don't see a problem with open money at all.
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J C Lawrence
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mdp4828 wrote:
But wait. Let's count Joe's stack. 100, 150, 200, looks like about 220. If I give Joe 40 he'll have 260 and I'll only have 100, 150, about 190. So, maybe I should only bid 30. Shoot, it's Eddie that's in the lead though. Let's see, he has about 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, about 310. Eddie could pay 50 for it which would give Joe. Shoot, I forgot, I better count again. It would give Joe 100, 150, 200, 250, looks like about 270, which would leave Eddie with 100, 150, 200, 250, looks like about 260, but then it would put him back up to 320 if the Karl Glitter comes in at 60 like I expect. Dang, both of those guys would be ahead of me then, because I only have, um, let's see, I have 100, 150, about 190. So, maybe I should actually bid 55 for it. Ok, I'll do that, but first let me see what Jill has. Let's see she has 100, 150, about 160. But look at that, she's got two Karl Glitters played. She probably has another in her hand which would make those Karls worth 80 if she plays it. So if Eddie buys it for 50 and sells it for 80 he'd have. Let me count, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, about 340. But if Jill knows the Karls will be worth 80 she might pay 65 for it. That would give Joe, I forget, 100, 150, 200, 250, about 280. I should probably go ahead and bid 60 then. That would leave me with, let's see, 100, about 130. Wait a minute, I better calculate how far behind I'll be if the Karls only comes in at 40. I'll start with Joe...


Asides from the pointless recursion, you meant that's not what already happens with closed money in all your Modern Art games? It certain is what happens today here with such games.

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Nope, don't see a problem with open money at all.


Neither do I. That said, I'm a far slower game player with closed trackable money in games.
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Kanalja
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I actually have a bad short-term memory. As you might guess I wholeheartedly dislike memory games. In games where you first have open information but then turn it into hidden information I would like to write everything down. If this is forbidden, well, I would play something else or with a different group.
 
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Daniel Corban
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mdp4828 wrote:

"I bid..."

But wait. Let's count Joe's stack.

This is exactly why I play with closed holdings in Acquire. The game takes significantly longer for very little gameplay gain when players are constantly having to count (or ask about) other players holdings.
 
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Marshall P.
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Ossessione wrote:
I actually have a bad short-term memory. As you might guess I wholeheartedly dislike memory games. In games where you first have open information but then turn it into hidden information I would like to write everything down. If this is forbidden, well, I would play something else or with a different group.


Well, that's fine as your personal choice. For me personally, I don't try to remember any hidden information. I'm generally glad it's hidden so I don't have to worry about it.
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Marshall P.
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Ossessione wrote:
I actually have a bad short-term memory. As you might guess I wholeheartedly dislike memory games. In games where you first have open information but then turn it into hidden information I would like to write everything down. If this is forbidden, well, I would play something else or with a different group.


Here's a question for you. The distribution of tiles in Carcassonne is known before the game (i.e. it's NOT hidden). Every tile played is also public. Do you feel the need to write down every tile played in Carcassonne so that you know exactly what's left in the bag?
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J C Lawrence
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mdp4828 wrote:
The distribution of tiles in Carcassonne is known before the game (i.e. it's NOT hidden). Every tile played is also public. Do you feel the need to write down every tile played in Carcassonne so that you know exactly what's left in the bag?


I provide tile distribution sheets to the players when playing Carcassonne.
 
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Marshall P.
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clearclaw wrote:
mdp4828 wrote:
The distribution of tiles in Carcassonne is known before the game (i.e. it's NOT hidden). Every tile played is also public. Do you feel the need to write down every tile played in Carcassonne so that you know exactly what's left in the bag?


I provide tile distribution sheets to the players when playing Carcassonne.


Fair enough if that's fun for you. For me, unless my life or A LOT of money is on the line, that's not playing Carcassonne at a level that I would find fun.
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clearclaw wrote:
I provide tile distribution sheets to the players when playing Carcassonne.


Gotta admire the consistency, folks
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Daniel Corban
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clearclaw wrote:
mdp4828 wrote:
The distribution of tiles in Carcassonne is known before the game (i.e. it's NOT hidden). Every tile played is also public. Do you feel the need to write down every tile played in Carcassonne so that you know exactly what's left in the bag?


I provide tile distribution sheets to the players when playing Carcassonne.


Do they have little checkboxes so players can keep track over the course of the game?
 
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Daniel Corban
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astroglide wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
I provide tile distribution sheets to the players when playing Carcassonne.


Gotta admire the consistency, folks


I am surprised he doesn't have some sort of spreadsheet or helper program on a computer that calculates the probabilities of each tile draw as the game progresses.
 
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Kanalja
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I have played Carcassonne only once and that was few years ago. Supposedly I would play the game without writing everything down. At the time of playing I thought drawing tiles was about luck not of memory. I feel the same way about Tikal too.

But you have a point Marshall, there are games that contain information that I could track with pen and paper but do not. El Grande, just to give an example, is one. I guess I could play the game with an open Castillo but so for I have not. It seems I can remember for three turns how many cubes are in. I would not mind trying the game with an open Castillo though. Samurai on the other hand is a game I prefer with open scoring, especially in multiplayer games, even though I want to keep the tiles hidden behind the screens. In Samurai, it seems to me, it is really important to know how many pieces everyone has collected so far.

Especially economic games are ones where I want to know how much money everyone has. It seems to me that not knowing how much funds other players have and then make decisions based on, I don’t know, gut feeling, is not that interesting. To me that would make games like Imperial and Wabash Cannonball almost broken. Sure there is some counting in these games when played with open money but I do not see that as a negative. If a game is about making money than it is also about counting.
 
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dcorban wrote:
Do they have little checkboxes so players can keep track over the course of the game?


If I thought that was valuable I'd give them markers to mark off the tiles that had been played. In practice that type of tracking isn't so important. In practice in Carcassonne the interest is in whether a particular tile form is available at all and if so, how many tiles that fit that description are left in the bag, and that's a simple count: just look at the table, do a simple visual count and check the tile sheet.
 
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Just call me Erik
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mdp4828 wrote:
Ossessione wrote:
I actually have a bad short-term memory. As you might guess I wholeheartedly dislike memory games. In games where you first have open information but then turn it into hidden information I would like to write everything down. If this is forbidden, well, I would play something else or with a different group.


Well, that's fine as your personal choice. For me personally, I don't try to remember any hidden information. I'm generally glad it's hidden so I don't have to worry about it.


I'm not alone!!! You are geekbuddied, sir.
 
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mdp4828 wrote:
Ossessione wrote:
I actually have a bad short-term memory. As you might guess I wholeheartedly dislike memory games. In games where you first have open information but then turn it into hidden information I would like to write everything down. If this is forbidden, well, I would play something else or with a different group.


Well, that's fine as your personal choice. For me personally, I don't try to remember any hidden information. I'm generally glad it's hidden so I don't have to worry about it.


I have to agree, if the information is hidden I don't try to remember more than a basic relative standing and focus on doing what's best for me.
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Definitely closed money! And no writing it down either! This game is not about "screw the leader" (which inevitably happens with open money). Play to maximize your own gains. If you have to use poker chips, then make bigger screens . . .
 
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I gotta ask why anyone would debate how an individual likes to play a game with them. Clearclaw plays every game with hidden but trackable information with open information, and if he wants to how's it skin off of anyone's nose.

Advantages to playing with all information open:

1. There's no benefit to those with stronger memories, which can be significant in some games.

2. Players can make decisions based on "real" information rather than their memory, guess, or the table-talk.

3. New/inexperienced players are likely to find the game more approachable since they either won't track the right information and/or won't know what information is important to track.

Disadvantages to playing with all information open:

1. Skilled players will tend to have their advantage reduced since tracking the right information is a skill.

2. You can create more AP since players with access to information may want more counts, double-checking, etc. to make sure they're making the optimal play. This isn't to say you won't have AP with hidden information, but you won't be counting down amounts, etc.

3. Knowing the exact standings in some games can create more "kingmaking" situations due to the open information. It certainly makes it easier to make the optimum play in both the shorter and longer term, removing some mystery/"fog of war" which many will find enjoyable.

If you're playing with a very friendly, not particularly competitive group or you're introducing the game to new players, play with open information 'cuz it's lighter and more fun. If you're a more competitive player in a competitive group, play closed information 'cuz it's an additional challenge for you.

Room for both.
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Daniel Corban
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Let's take a quick look at the skills required in this game.

1) Which painting to sell - This decision is based on your cards in hand, what is already on the table and who owns the paintings on the table. You can't control what cards you have in hand. You don't really have any control over what cards are on the table. This means the decision is based on who you want to benefit from the painting you play. There are a few factors for this, but one of them is which of your opponents is your competition (aka "winning"). Open money would make eliminate this calculation.

2) When to end the round - Again, this decision is based on cards in hand and who owns what paintings on the table. Again, open money would make it trivial to see who would benefit the most.

3) How much to pay for an opponent's painting - The price you pay is determined by the profit you would make, the profit an opponent would make if they buy it, the profit the auctioneer makes, and there is also a factor of incentive/disincentive by you owning or preventing another from owning the painting. Open money would make this a raw mathematical calculation.

I have boiled the game down to three decisions. In my opinion, open money weakens or completely eliminates these decisions and reduces them to calculator level, making the game a "puzzle". If you have ever played Medici vs Strozzi and enjoyed it, then open money in Modern Art is the way for you. As for me, I truly despised the 100% open, "solved" aspect of Medici v Strozzi, so I will keep my money hidden.
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Paul Sauberer
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perfalbion wrote:
If you're playing with a very friendly, not particularly competitive group or you're introducing the game to new players, play with open information 'cuz it's lighter and more fun. If you're a more competitive player in a competitive group, play closed information 'cuz it's an additional challenge for you.


I would think it's just the opposite.

If you're in a freindly and not as competitive group, play with closed info, since it's lighter and more fun. Play by the seat of your pants and let the chips fall where they may.

If you're a more competitive player in a more competitive group, play with open information because you can calculate everything out and reduce the risk of faulty memory spoiling your calculations. Or, in clearclaw's case, your group will not be annoyed by having to devote a miniscule amount of your huge brain power to figuring out the exact location of everything that is trackable, which you can do with 100% accuracy, but just don't want to.

Quote:
Room for both.


This, however, we can agree on 100%.
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