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Subject: Expert Clue play rss

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Terry Rosen
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Interesting discussion.

Consider the following about Mastermind.

Anyone can learn to play Mastermind by randomly putting pegs in the board. Anyone.

Not a good strateggy, per se, but it counts as game play.

Basic tactics for Mastermind include making guesses that include two colors, two each, in the guess.

This 'basic' tactic dramatically improves game play.

In Clue, basic tactics will dramatically improve game play. However, the age of the player may have some effect on his/her ability to grasp the tactic in question. If you don't understand deductive logic, it may be tricky to improve your game.

As you learn better tactics, in any game, your game quality improves.

I read a comparison of Othello to Chess. Othello computers can play 'perfectly', I guess, and the author mistakenly suggested that human players are not good enough to beat an Othello computer, but in Chess players ARE good enough to still beat computers.

The author was mistaken.

Tic Tac Toe is programmable to play by computer. Computers thus cannot lose Tic tac Toe. Ever. It is easy to program. The rules are easy, not losing is easy. Period. The same is true of Othello, at a higher level.

Chess is not so easy to analyze.

But how does all this relate to Clue?

Part of Clue is deductive logic.

Part of Clue is 'not being stupid'.

But part of Clue is 'tactics'. And tactics come in different flavors.

One easy tactic is to ask a question that includes a card you have in your own hand. You might do this in the hope of misleading someone about the actual solution.

This tactic is easy, but not TOO easy. And yet its value is obvious.

The point is, any game, has tactics. As we learn better tactics we play better.

And lots of the tactical game can be programmed into computers. But some of it cannot.

For instance. If your big sister always plays Miss Scarlet, and 'always' asks the same first question, because she has this thing about candlestiks in the ballroom, then 'you' can predict her behavior in a way the computer cannot. (unless ya'll play a bunch of games with the computer)

Or, this one's tricky....

When you sit down at the table, does your dad always sit in the same spot? Does the person to your dad's left always 'never win' at Clue? Then sitting there is a disadvantage. At your house.

That cannot be programmed into the computer.

Or...for more complexity, how about the silly commetns your sister makes during the game? Or the fact that your mom holds her cards a little bit sideways so you can't help but see them? (better sit to her left then eh?)

There are a multitude of tactics that do not relate to computer programming, that affect game play.

Ask any poker player.

-T












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Brian Franzman
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A better tactic is to not just put an 'X' in the box for a card that you've been shown, but the initial of the player who showed it to you. That may allow you to make inferences about cards that are being shown to others on their turns. And there's always the old gag of (if you have them and a turn to spare) asking for three cards that you are holding, if you really want to try and make people panic.

I love this game! But haven't played in a good twenty years, probably. A shame, really.
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Tim Gilberg
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With good Clue players--good deductive gamers in general--you will not win based solely upon answers and information derived from your own questions. Too slow. Beyond a doubt, you need to be figuring out what other players know and are learning from their questions.
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Vince Lupo
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ALEXANDRIA
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Gilby wrote:
With good Clue players--good deductive gamers in general--you will not win based solely upon answers and information derived from your own questions. Too slow. Beyond a doubt, you need to be figuring out what other players know and are learning from their questions.



I basically observe and chart EVERYTHING. Who asked for what on which turn # and where did it stop? Definitely agree that you can't only use your own card info and answers.
 
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Regards,
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The first post in this thread has more to do with non-verbal communication than it does about expert Clue play, because a good deal of it could be applied to practically any board game for the same reasons that were stated.

I agree with VL: ideally, having a record of every suggestion that was made in the game and who showed what card to whom... that would eventually become useful. Hence, why I like Master Detective's large deduction sheets, which provide almost enough space to write down all the relevant information for later reference.

In addition to using player initials rather than checking boxes, I like listing players' hands separately from the checklist so it's easy to tell at-a-glance what their hands are comprised of and how far away I am from deducing their entire hand.

On that note, here's a strategy that only works if you're using Master Detective's suggestion rules (which I enjoy using even in regular Clue):

Focus on deducing the entire hand of the player to your left. Once you've reconstructed their hand, you can start naming cards from their hand in your suggestions for the same reason you'd name cards from your own hand. Here's the key point: after that player shows you one of the cards from their hand, the suggestion continues around the circle, allowing you to see multiple cards in one turn, with the possibility of further obfuscating your tactics. This does NOT work with the original Clue rules since those state that you stop after the first person shows you a card. In the original Clue, the tactic of not sitting to the left of an expert player is more useful.

There's also the tactic of attempting to conceal certain cards as long as possible to lead your opponents into suspecting they are in the Confidential file. But that's a tactic that even a new player could catch on to.
 
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Christopher KrackerJack
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Something I rarely see mentioned about Clue:

Since there are more rooms than weapons or people, the room is generally the hardest item to deduce. Couple this with the rule that requires you to be in the room you are guessing (but not accusing) and you are further limited in your ability to deduce the room. Lastly, when you make a guess, the person you are naming must move to the room you are in, therefore you can limit someone's ability to guess accurately.

To sum up: You have more rooms to choose from, you cannot guess any room on any turn, and you can force someone into a room (and away from where they want to be) by naming them on your guesses.

As a result, we find board position to be the overriding factor in determining who wins.
 
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Regards,
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KrackerJack wrote:
Something I rarely see mentioned about Clue:

Since there are more rooms than weapons or people, the room is generally the hardest item to deduce. Couple this with the rule that requires you to be in the room you are guessing (but not accusing) and you are further limited in your ability to deduce the room. Lastly, when you make a guess, the person you are naming must move to the room you are in, therefore you can limit someone's ability to guess accurately.

To sum up: You have more rooms to choose from, you cannot guess any room on any turn, and you can force someone into a room (and away from where they want to be) by naming them on your guesses.

As a result, we find board position to be the overriding factor in determining who wins.


I have to acknowledge that everything you said is true, but I must also state that it is my least favorite aspect of the Clue board game.
 
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Jim Robinson
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Alexandria
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When I play Clue at my place we simply ignore the rule of moving the suggested player into the room. That dramatically makes the game more fun for everyone.
 
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