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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Computer Based Board Gaming » BrettspielWelt (BSW)

Subject: Boycot Stone Age's 'Starvation Strategy' rss

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B
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Good idea ! I'll ask my next Chess opponent to not sacrifice any of his pieces, it is such a wierd concept and totally throws the game in the wrong direction. Also, while we are at it, I'll ask him not to use his towers, who in his ever loving mind would buy that towers could move ! Come on .. that is just so out-of-theme !!
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Eric Phillips
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Chess is an abstract game.
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B
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Fortuna wrote:
Chess is an abstract game.

Agreed (although you could say it has a light medieval theme)

Anyway, that was not the point of my comment.
 
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Nat Li
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The only real implication here is that there is 1 less Stone Age player owing to being personally unable to reconcile issues in this particular game.

Fortunately for the rest of us, there's a large pool of players to play with both online and offline.

 
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Andrew Heywood
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Fortuna wrote:
Second, assuming for the sake of argument that trade is sufficient and that the "starvers" are selling the fruits of culture (vps) for food, why does a culture that needs 1 food unit need to pay the same as a culture than needs 10?

Yeah, that is a different question. Why do many games have discontinuous payoffs when we all know that in real life returns or probabilities generally vary smoothly? Why, in Rise and Decline of the Third Reich, do you get much better results when you attack with 2 times the defender's strength than when you attack with 1.99 times the defender's strength? Most games have discontinuities like this. I think it doesn't contribute to the simulation aspect, but it can make for a much better game. One crucial aspect of a good game is that the "fitness landscape" (i.e., the spectrum of possible payoffs for the different moves you might choose) is (1) complex enough that it's hard to choose the best move (otherwise the game is too trivial), and (2) discontinuous enough that just getting "near" to the best move isn't nearly as good as finding the best move (because then you don't really see any difference in game results between playing well enough to find the best moves, and just getting somewhere close enough). So, in my view, the primary reason for discontinuous payoffs in games that model phenomena that in real life would have continuous payoffs (in addition to playability, which is sometimes a factor) is to complicate the fitness landscape to make the game more interesting to play and reward skill better.

I just wanted to say that I found this interesting and insightful. Food for thought!
 
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Waldemiro Andrade
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Alex , you made a good point. i realy like to play against starvations opponents. I dont think they realy have good chances in this strategy.
 
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Grant S
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mrorwell wrote:
There are even chess players who don't want to play if their opponent uses en passant or castling.

Aren't these rules standard in any game of chess? Are there tournaments or events which prohibit these maneuvers?
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Emma
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frypiggy wrote:
mrorwell wrote:
There are even chess players who don't want to play if their opponent uses en passant or castling.

Aren't these rules standard in any game of chess? Are there tournaments or events which prohibit these maneuvers?

I doubt mrorwell was referring to tournament level chess, but rather amateurs who don't want to deal with the fiddly en passant or castling rules, or who perhaps feel that the rules don't fit the spirit of the game (much like the OP's feelings on starving in Stone Age). Serious players of both games accept both rules as inalienable parts of their respective games.
 
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Alex Drazen
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Quote:
I doubt mrorwell was referring to tournament level chess, but rather amateurs who don't want to deal with the fiddly en passant or castling rules, or who perhaps feel that the rules don't fit the spirit of the game (much like the OP's feelings on starving in Stone Age). Serious players of both games accept both rules as inalienable parts of their respective games

Historical note: I believe that castling was added to make chess a bit more tactical and play faster, as older mid-games involved a lot of King walks to safety, which perhaps tended to bog the game down a bit.

I can't imagine how castling is considered fiddly. If the King and Rook haven't moved, and the King is not under attack and won't cross an attacked square in the process, move King 2 spaces, move rook beside him. I guess 0-0-0 vs. 0-0 is a bit confusing for beginners if you focus on where the King ends up, vs. how many spaces he moves; I remember when I first played I couldn't get the Q-side castle right, but I was also about six years old at the time.

En passant is one that confuses new players and I'll usually show it to them and offer to play without it if they're confused. It's another recent addition - I think originally, pawns could only move 1 square even on the initial move. So when the 2-square move got added, en passant castling had to be added back in to rebalance it.

===

All that said, I think people complaining about Starvation are wrong. Especially since the actual designer has flat-out said it was intentionally included AND meant to be thematic. The designer even play-tested the cannibalism rules, and decided they would break the game. Hate it if you want to, but it's not broken -- neither strategically nor thematically.

Intermittent starvation is a valuable opportunity that I use all the time. Sometimes it just makes no sense to feed on a turn (let's say you have no food, no food civ cards on the display, and need to feed 6 or 7 guys); why not just buy an 11-point hut (1 guy, 3 resources) rather than dump 3-4 guys on food? That's now 2-3 guys I can put somewhere else, which should make up for the resource loss.
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Eric Francis
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Thanks for the link. I've been opposed to the starvation strategy in large part because I assumed it was something that developed after the game was out and the designer hadn't anticipated it during play testing. Obviously he had and they decided to keep it after extensive thought. So I'll just have to work out how to win against someone who uses it.
 
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Tim Gilberg
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squirrelhenge wrote:
Thanks for the link. I've been opposed to the starvation strategy in large part because I assumed it was something that developed after the game was out and the designer hadn't anticipated it during play testing. Obviously he had and they decided to keep it after extensive thought. So I'll just have to work out how to win against someone who uses it.

Winning should be somewhat easy against a starvation strategy. The point gain from farms is unmatched in Stone Age, and anyone using a starvation strategy is by definition forgoing that action. The challenge isn't beating a starvation strategy. The challenge is in finding a way to win while avoiding a starvation strategy when late in the initial turn order.
 
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The Doctor
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johnclark wrote:
I sometimes starve but mostly don't. However, if I am going fourth in a four-player game then I will strongly consider starvation.

Interesting. I would actually prefer starvation if I get to go FIRST. That way I cn be sure to have 6 meeples in the first few turns, since nobody will be able to block my breeding. I wouldn't want to starve with just 5 meeples.
 
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Trevor S.
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And the OP has apparently quit this thread and taken his/her original post home...

I hate that!
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Yours Truly,
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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saint1012 wrote:
And the OP has apparently quit this thread and taken his/her original post home...

I hate that!

Could be worse... thankfully the 2nd current post quoted the OP in full. Good standard practice
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petrolito petrolito
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Well, although i don't like it and I have never used SS, it seems to be a valid strategy for me. It is totally legit. The author said it, there is no discussion. Is like when you play soccer, and you are 2 goals ahead of the other team. You can spend time keeping the ball, passsing and not playing normal soccer. It is not the most honorable strategy, but everything is allowed in war. You just have to counter it with your own play.


Thing is that SS has it's own flaws
when you try to do it and the other players are aware of it. So if anybody wants to Starvate, just go ahead, we know about it and we'll probably block it.


But we do not believe that SS is fair when trying to introduce new people that do not know about it. When we play with new players that are not familiar with the game, we previuosly decide among these 4 options for his/her 3/4 first games.

A) Deep explanation of it after the game basic rules explanation. We usually dislike this one because it seems a lot of information for new players.
B) SS is allowed, but if you have any kind of resource you are obliged to change it to feed your meeples, since I believe that the spirit of the game allows to just concentrate in production in exchange for goods. (I do not believe that any human would starve to death when having a piece of wood to exchange for food xD). Sometimes we have our own trade list with different equivalencies.
C) SS is forbidden.
D) SS is allowed, but the penalty is 10 points for the first meeple that starves and 3 additional negative points for each meeple.


Of course I am not against offical rules. As I said, official rules should be always followed all the way. But we just used those with new people, and it is more fun than one trying to starvate while the new one is asking "WTF is he doing?, he is cheating! What? is it allowed? No way! Shit!" xD


Hope it helps!






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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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petrolito wrote:
But we do not believe that SS is fair when trying to introduce new people that do not know about it. When we play with new players that are not familiar with the game, we previuosly decide among these 4 options for his/her 3/4 first games.

A) Deep explanation of it after the game basic rules explanation. We usually dislike this one because it seems a lot of information for new players.

If the new players are at all familiar with games in general, it's not like it takes much explanation: "Note, you can intentionally ignore food production and plan to take the -10 penalty each turn, on the theory that you'll make up enough points by focusing on buildings and cards. This is an advanced strategy you don't want to try on your first game, and if the player to your right tries it, just take all the farms they'll be handing to you, and you won't have to worry about food at all."
 
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petrolito petrolito
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Santiago wrote:
petrolito wrote:
But we do not believe that SS is fair when trying to introduce new people that do not know about it. When we play with new players that are not familiar with the game, we previuosly decide among these 4 options for his/her 3/4 first games.

A) Deep explanation of it after the game basic rules explanation. We usually dislike this one because it seems a lot of information for new players.

If the new players are at all familiar with games in general, it's not like it takes much explanation: "Note, you can intentionally ignore food production and plan to take the -10 penalty each turn, on the theory that you'll make up enough points by focusing on buildings and cards. This is an advanced strategy you don't want to try on your first game, and if the player to your right tries it, just take all the farms they'll be handing to you, and you won't have to worry about food at all."


You are right my friend, but I am talking about people who just play from time to time. Like, "I liked that game we played six months ago. What was its name? Oh yeah, Catan." I mean that for really casual players can be a headache to explain additional rules, and i refuse to play monopoly instead xD. When I play with people who is familiar to this kind of games i prefer Marco Polo or Goa
 
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Anthony Martins
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crambaza wrote:
Fortuna wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
Did you read the designer's comment? His point was that there were other ways to make up for lack of food in this period, the cost of which is represented in the game.

Yeah, but I don't buy it. First, I don't think neolithic trade was developed to the extent that it could have supplied large quantities of staple foods. Second, assuming for the sake of argument that trade is sufficient and that the "starvers" are selling the fruits of culture (vps) for food, why does a culture that needs 1 food unit need to pay the same as a culture than needs 10?

Would you prefer me to reword the rules for you, but give the exact same gameplay result?

"At the end of each turn, your tribe has automatically scrounged up enough food to survive, barely. If you can feed your tribe 1 food and/or 1 resource per member, you gain a bonus of 10 points, because of the great festival!"

There you go, now having a little extra food gets you 10 extra points than those who don't.

Game on!

Thank you! I'm totally using this. It also makes it sound like a party where you are gifting everyone food, wood, brick, stone, or gold. I can even keep it the same by saying, "If you can't throw the party, people will become upset. They eat all the your food but still complain there isn't enough. You lose ten points."

This also helps with the thematic problem of feeding people bricks.
 
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