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Subject: Is it okay to say, "Let's just end the game now"? rss

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Betty Dingus
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Yesterday, two hours into a six-player game of Catan: Cities and Knights, the guy who was ahead by two points suggested, "We can end the game now, on this turn, and start a new one." I was appalled. (I was also the one behind him by two points). I asked him how often that tactic worked -- saying what is, in effect, "let me win now." He said quite often and that other people used it a lot, too, when they were ahead.

If I've invested that long in a game, I don't want to let someone win just because they ask. And I didn't want to start another two hours of the same game. Luckily the other four declined his offer, too. He kept complaining how long the game went on, and chiding people that it could have been over if they'd been smart and listened to him. After about 30 more minutes, the game ended, and I won.

But it made me wonder -- is this a common request? Let me win? I hope not. I never thought people who agreed to a draw (often before the game began) in chess tournaments were playing fair, either. It's poor sportsmanship to throw a game, isn't it? Opinions?
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Gary Sonnenberg
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I don't recall ever hearing it (seriously) suggested in games I've played.

My boys regularly rout me and my wife in Tichu, but we keep playing to 1000 points each time anyway, even if they're way ahead. (They like to try to beat us by 1000 if possible. zombie )
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Ed Sherman
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A two-hour game of Settlers? I'd be the one suggesting we quit.
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Alex Treacher
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Dingus wrote:
Is it okay to say, "Let's just end the game now"?

Of course it is! It's called 'conceding'...

Jesting aside though, I've never seen anyone in our regular gaming group (or elsewhere that I can actually recall) try this "let's call it a win while I'm ahead" ploy. Surely all regular/experienced gamers - and probably most not-so-experienced ones - recognise that winning or losing can still be in the balance until the last turn... I'm sure we've all had games where a given player has seemed certain for the win only to be beaten by a hair at the very end! I certainly know that I have...

I really don't think anyone in our games group would have the sheer nerve to even think of asking this!
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Ben
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I think it depends on the circumstances. When playing with friends, we all play to win, but the objective is to have fun. If a game is dragging (especially if we're trying a game for the first time), or we're running out of time (maybe someone has to leave by a certain time), or if one person is running away with it, we'll agree to stop and switch games, or agree to play a few more rounds and declare a winner.

If I was in a gaming group or a tournament or some other highly competitive circumstance, I'd consider a request to concede defeat highly unusual, and, if followed by whining or complaints, quite rude.
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John Bobek
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I have heard "let's just end the game now," but never from the one(s) winning. Of course, I usually play wargames with miniatures. If the game doesn't end by the time deadline (7pm if it's at my house) then it's played out till one side clearly loses (wiped out or more normally, most of its forces run away!). Then,it's the side losing that sues for peace. When it's close, even the winning side keeps going. We get caught up in the game. They're too much fun even when you lose!
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Mark Crane
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I think this happens more with wargamers, who aren't playing for fun anyway.
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William Crispin
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It should be okay to ask. I would just say no.
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John Bobek
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craniac wrote:
I think this happens more with wargamers, who aren't playing for fun anyway.


Huh?!? Maybe with boardgame wargamers. NOT with miniatures wargamers. Once, at the Lake Geneva Club GenCon, I was judging an American Civil War battle in 6mm scale and it was obvious that one side (don't ask me which side, that's a few years ago!) was going to win and as it was late, I asked if everyone was ready to call it a game. Both sides said "No" and the game went on for 2 more hours until the security people unequivocaly said it's over, clear out!


With minis, you get into the "movie" of it all and play it out to the end (security personnel permitting!)cool
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Eric Jome
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It is very common, totally reasonable, and a very good idea to ask your opponents if they would like to concede and start another game if it is clearly obvious you are going to win.

If it is not clearly obvious you are going to win, you shouldn't suggest it. Also, it would be nice if the losing players suggested the game end instead of the winner, to show that they are bored with the game and would like to have another go.

It is always just fine for anyone to refuse to concede the game and continue playing. It is only really worth it to concede if you have time and inclination to enjoy another game or have something else to do.
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Peter Enzerink
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I know when playing two player Talisman that at times one player has a much better run and is so far ahead that there is really no chance of catching up. You then need to decide whether it is worth dragging out the flogging or congratulate them on being way out in front agree to call it quits and bailing to play something else.

I must also confess that when I've been the one well ahead I have asked "Do you want to keep going?". It is a one off offer though and not intended to apply pressure to concede rather than move onto something more entertaining for both players.
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Shane Is Board
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It really depends on the situation...

As a tactic to try to "win" hell no, that's just a douchebag thing to ask; not a big deal, I'd just decline and we'd move on and that's that.

Now, if the player asking has an almost insurmountable lead and time is short for your game night, suggesting to end it in order to play more games is more acceptable, and if the other player(s) really don't think they have a chance to win and want to concede, why not? The fun isn't in the winning, it's in the playing, so if everyone thinks player A has it wrapped up, move onto another game...of course if even one player wants to play it out to the finish, do so, otherwise that whole douchebag thing again.

Sometimes you have to end the game as well if people are getting hot under the collar; I was playing Samurai Swords, we were maybe an hour or so in, give or take, and one new player was (admittedly) making some pretty dumb moves against a guy cause he didn't really get what was going on; this pissed off the other player immensely and it was getting nasty, he would not let it go, so I politely asked, "Can we please keep this civil or should we just end the game?" We kept playing but it got worse and worse, so I explained why we were going to be stopping the game, politely without placing blame, and we packed it up...I know this isn't what you were asking about exactly, but yes, sometimes it's ok to end it.
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Jefferson Krogh
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As a general rule, it irks me when someone asks that. There are some exceptions, though. One is if it's the first time we've played a game, and it's clearly not something we enjoy.

The player in the lead asking everyone else to concede, though? That's a jerk move.
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Andrew Lenahan
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Anybody can ask to end a game anytime they wish to. It's a game, not a jury trial. However, the person quitting cannot reasonably be said to have "won", even if they were ahead or likely to have won at the time they quit.

I don't see why it should be any different than in sports: if unable or unwilling to complete the game, it's a forfeiture. It's a forfeiture if you don't even show up, and it's a forfieture if you're ahead and decide to just go home instead.

You quit, you lose.
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Steve Bauer
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edosan wrote:
A two-hour game of Settlers? I'd be the one suggesting we quit.


Cities and Knights is listed at 2 hours and can easily go three if the barbarians are ransacking.
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Chester
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Once we played a horrible 6 player game of Oriente. It was clear no one liked it, and someone (maybe me) suggested we just bag it. There were no tears shed.

In a really long game, I think its reasonable for the losers to concede (though I usually try to play to the bitter end myself). But I don't think its good etiquette for the leader to suggest it.

I don't understand the comment above about wargamers not playing "for fun". I think maybe that means they are playing for historical simulation (among other reasons) and the winner/loser is a more minor issue than it other gaming situations. But OF COURSE they're playing for fun. Why spend effort on a hobby if you don't find it fun?
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Kevin C.
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Quote:
I never thought people who agreed to a draw (often before the game began) in chess tournaments were playing fair, either.


Quick note on this: Anyone doing this overtly before a match in a USCF sanctioned tournament would be subject to sanction by tournament officials.

In Top-flight GM play, you can't do much about this, though. It's simply part of managing the meta-game to manage the table. (Of course, in the 1970's it was also managing politics. There are egregious examples of the draw being used for quite horrid reasons.)

In terms of during play, draws are an essential part of the game. It makes perfect sense, for example, in a theoretically drawn endgame amongst evenly-matched players to offer the draw. Even in a won endgame in time-trouble, it makes sense. You also may look ahead and see the forced draw or perpetual check looming and save some time.

There are some openings that will lead to forced draws. The only way to avoid them at a certain point is to make a sub-optimal move. If you've done your homework, you know this ahead of time. If not and you see it over the board, the draw may be your best bet.

Or, more likely, the theory ahead of both of you is complicated, it is 10:30 pm and the organizer wants to lock up the church basement and go home.

There are completely valid and reasonable motivations for offering and accepting draws in chess that are quite different from the situation you are describing.

Kevin

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Betty Dingus
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chally wrote:
I think it depends on the circumstances. When playing with friends, we all play to win, but the objective is to have fun. If a game is dragging (especially if we're trying a game for the first time), or we're running out of time (maybe someone has to leave by a certain time), or if one person is running away with it, we'll agree to stop and switch games, or agree to play a few more rounds and declare a winner.

If I was in a gaming group or a tournament or some other highly competitive circumstance, I'd consider a request to concede defeat highly unusual, and, if followed by whining or complaints, quite rude.


Well put. In this circumstance, though, it was a designated Sunday afternoon "Settlers of Catan Meetup," with people who'd all played Cities and Knights quite a bit (almost all online, curiously), everyone was still in the running, no one had to leave, and no one was yawning or impatient. Thus my surprise. I imagine situations where a group would agree to "can this and try something else" but it wasn't this situation. The guy wanting to call it his victory, though, acted like his group ends games that way all the time. Which made me curious enough to post here. And made me appreciate my usual game groups (a few other things were odd about the Meetup group).
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The only time we've ever called a game is for time or if someone wants to join in while the game is going on. If someone is running away with the win, we like to see it end; it lends legitimacy to the victory.
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Kevin Rutledge
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I asked that once. I was well in the lead in settlers. I had two or three points to go. Everyone else was cut off and could not get more points. THen the other three players decided to make the game last as long as possible. No more trading, move the robber to the tiles i would need, etc. I asked the question to see if they wanted to move on to another game, but I think that just egged them on.
 
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Nikki Ebright
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I would say, yes, sometimes it is.

In my regular game group, we were trying out a new card game, and it was dead boring and no one really wanted to keep going. Finally it was suggested that we just throw in the towel, and we all agreed. No one was credited with a win, so it was fair in my book.

I would never suggest quitting a game just so I could win, but I would suggest it if the game was basically killing everyone and no one was getting any value from it.
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Mark Crane
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craniac wrote:
I think this happens more with wargamers, who aren't playing for fun anyway.


I'm just ribbing the wargamers. Carry on.
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Betty Dingus
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natsean wrote:

There are completely valid and reasonable motivations for offering and accepting draws in chess that are quite different from the situation you are describing.


Thanks for clarifying that, Kevin. It's been awhile since chess tournaments and I remember you can reasonably ask for a draw in chess, for good reasons.

I just wonder if people do it in other games where there are no real conventions. Most people seem resigned to not quit, even if they're losing at boardgame night. Whether from politeness or because they're learning something. I would guess more out of politeness.

As for chess, we went to a lot of all-ages tournaments and the kids my son was paired with next would tell him, "Let's take a draw, we'll each get half a point!" He always refused (and usually it was a lower-rated player that was so generously offering). But lots of top kids would agree to a draw beforehand and come out of the tournament hall giggling at their trick.
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Kevin Reynolds
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Sure, he can quit, or concede.

If everyone wants to quit, he can win if everyone agrees. If others don't want to quit, well, the winner is in the remaining set of players.

Asking to quit the game is just fine, just don't expect to be the winner when you do.
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Jeff Yeackle
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It all depends.

With Settlers, no one is really winning until they've won. I've seen too many games of folks only one point away from winning and having the player in last suddenly win the game.

As for Munchkin... I don't think we've ever actually finished a game of that without just calling it quits before there's a definitive winner.
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