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Subject: The 81st Edition of Blott's TGIF Poll rss

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Ben Lott
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If you want updates on when new polls are posted, go to The TGIF Poll Subscription Thread.

Poll: The 81st TGIF Poll
For how many games would you consider yourself an expert?

(Not necessarily the best in the world, you're just very experienced with the game and you win a lot.)
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
Almost every game
2.0% 6
Several games
21.7% 66
A few gmaes
35.5% 108
Maybe 1 or 2 games
22.7% 69
I'm not an expert at any games
18.1% 55
Voters 304
How often do you read strategy articles?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
Constantly
0.3% 1
Frequently
9.5% 29
Occasionally
33.2% 101
Rarely
41.4% 126
Never
15.5% 47
Voters 304
This poll is now closed.   304 answers
Poll created by Blott
Closes: Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:00 am


#3. Take a wild guess: What game (that you've played more than a few times) would you say you have won the largest percentage of your games played?

Any discussion is encouraged.
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Randy Cox
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I would have to think about it and know what you consider "a few times." To me, a game I play more than three times is a frequent event. I recall winning my first four games of Premier and doing well since. So that may be one. Or it may be random chance. Other than that, it's hard to think of a game I win often. And I attribute that to the fact that I play against people who are very good. I could go out and find patsies and win most of my Scrabble or Hanging Gardens games, but as long as I keep playing against my wife and other great gamers, I only win as often as I "should."
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Mike Jones
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Wow, I'm not sure which one.

I had a string of wins at Container, but I don't think so lately.

El Grande I win a lot, but I lose it too.

No one wins Nuclear War more then everyone combined.

Maybe Industrial Waste.
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Andres F. Pabon L.
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I win Tyrus a lot. I don't particularly love it, but I do play it often at Yucata.de to improve my status, as I do tend to win more than 80% of the time.

Of the ones I love, I guess Puerto Rico is the one with my highest winning ratio (somewhere around 60% perhaps).
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Steve Bauer
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The Pillars of the Earth. my BSW percentage is 70% and I think I have won almost all of my face to face games. Not sure why I always do well at this game. It does reward knowing all the cards as it is somewhat programmed which helps against opponents that have not played it as much.

I just finished reading the book so I want to play it soon while I know all the characters.
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#3 I'm a loser baby. I tend to lose way more than I win. Probably the whole do what seems fun rather than what is optimal approach. Heh. But really I'm a winner because it's really just about having fun. Right? Right?
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Don Barree
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The games I tend to play the most are the ones I don't win that often. I would have to say my highest winning percentage is either Kingsburg or Arkham Horror. If I have my statistics right, I have a win rate of over 80% for Arkham and I'm 8 of 11 at Kingsburg. Obviously, Arkham Horror is a shared win so I'm not sure that counts.
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1 Several, but this has to do with my position on the sampling/mastering scale. I'm not a sampler (though I'm surrounded by samplers and I'm willing to compromise). Once I discover an excellent game, I want to play it a lot and get into it. Mastery isn't really the goal, I just have more fun with repeat play than with learning - yet again - a new game. Games I would consider myself an expert on: Twilight Struggle, Pandemic, Brass, Le Havre, Vikings, and more. Most of these games I've played 30 or more times. There are some games I've played that much (Puerto Rico would be a good example) that I don't claim to be an expert on by any stretch.

2 Never. I may glance at one depending on the author but otherwise I'm just not interested in strategy articles.

3 Brass: Lancashire. No question.
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Gary Heidenreich
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Well, I guess I would consider myself an expert on a bunch of games but my expertise does not transfer into wins (which I have no clue on winning percentages). I look at expert as in knowing the rules like the back of my hand and knowing the ins and outs.

Or would that just mean I'm a Jack of All Trades?

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David Y
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The game I win most often is Puerto Rico. It is also currently my favorite game to play.
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#3 - None actually. I lose more than I win. That's because my main opponent, Mystery Bob, is a fierce competitor and is very good at figuring out the best strategies to win a game. He also doesn't relax when he plays, he goes all out to play his best and hopefully win!!!

Another reason is that I am not good at money games (where you buy and sell stuff), perhaps because I'm a bit conservative with spending money IRL???? I dunno, but my husband, on the other hand, is GREAT at money games and always has more to spend and makes the best purchases, the most profit, etc. I have yet to beat him at Acquire, although it was really close the last time. I was actually SHOCKED to finally beat him at St. Petersburg a couple of weeks ago. He had way more rubles than me the entire game and converted a lot at the end too!!!

I think I have "mastered" Louis XIV and Saint Petersburg in that I am pretty confident in knowing what I have to do and how to do it in order to win. However, it is VERY hard to beat my husband, so I don't have the majority of wins in either game.

I agree with Jack in that I prefer numerous plays of a few select games than sampling lots of games 1 or 2 times only. That is my goal, to have a small, core collection of great games that I love and then play them a lot!!!!

(the playing them a lot is the struggle in my house!)
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Jesse Dean
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1) Agricola is pretty much the only one I would consider myself an expert on, though there are others I consider myself to be reasonably knowledgable at.
2) I read them and write them.
3) There are a lot of games that I have won the majority of my games played with, largely as a function of either a) being a better gamer than those around me, b) having played more games than a lot of the people around me, or c) having played a particular game a lot more than those around me.

With all that being said, Agricola is still the game that I probably have the highest winning percentage with. Other high percentage games include: Caylus, Le Havre, Through the Ages, Campaign Manager 2008, Twilight Struggle, At the Gates of Loyang, Power Struggle, and others with lower total plays.
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For #3 I would say Vegas Showdown. I don't know why really. I wouldn't say I'm an expert in it. The only game I'm remotely an expert in would be Air Baron, but my winning percentage would probably be lower due to the fact that I've played it over 150 times.
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Metropolys is the only game I noticed I seemed to grasp quicker than my friends, resulting in a winning streak.

I wish I could say I was still undefeated, but I lost a game recently. I blame it on jetlag though!
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[edit] #2: If I read strategy articles my wife won't play with me on account of my unfair advantage. I only read strategy articles for games that we are already very familiar with, and really only for amusement (I won't remember most strategies later)
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Jonathan Moody
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#2 - I like to discover strategies on my own, but I will read articles after I have played a game several times. By that time I am just curious as to the approach other people take.
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Jeff Wolfe
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1. I'm probably expert at "a few."
2. I rarely read strategy articles.
3. My first thought was Torres. I've won 5 of the 6 games I've played of it. The one game I didn't win, I thought I was too far behind to catch up, so I bypassed a play that I think would have netted me an extra point or two because I wanted to keep the game moving and I didn't think it would matter. I ended up losing by 1 point.

I didn't know if 6 plays would be enough to qualify for your "more than a few" criterion, so I thought some more and came up with Black Ice. It's a two-player game, so that helps the percentage, and I've played it 20 times. I haven't kept track of win percentage, but I'm reasonably confident that it's over 50%.

Still not satisfied, I looked at my game log. Then it hit me. Volcano. I've played it 39 times (perhaps a few more before I started logging), and I usually win. I'm usually teaching the game, and I can't seem to keep myself from playing to win. On the other hand, I played several times at Origins last year against some really good players (including the designer), and found out that I still have some things to learn. I did okay in those games, though, so it didn't hurt my overall win percentage too much. Volcano is helped by the fact that I usually play with 2. I've played a few times with 3 and, I think, once with 4. For it to have beaten out Torres, I would need to have won 33 of those 39 plays. It's possible.

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John Burt
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3. Civ/Adv Civ

When we were playing this on a monthly basis my winning percentage was in the 40-50% range. Now that may not seem like a lot, but in a 7 player game it certainly feels that way

This would also qualify as the only game I think I am an expert in.
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1 - At best I'm only an expert at 1 or 2 games. I like playing these games, but I never said I was good at them. However, if you take the additional meanings of expert offered by others in this thread (knowing the ins-and-outs, fully understanding the rules, etc.) it might apply for a lot more games.

2 - Never. Part of what I love about playing games is discovering the different ways to win. For me, reading a strategy article is like using a cheat sheet. Sure I may find the path to the right answer quicker, but I don't get any sense of fulfillment when I get there.

3 - Start Player! Just kidding. I've never lost Fairy Tale, but I only play with my nephew and he tends to play distracted. If he would focus on the game and his strategies more I bet he would win sometimes. Finally, Blokus is a game that I've only won lost once. I'm quite proud of that track record!

Edit: Wow! That was a pretty bad typo. My fingers and my brain don't seem to be working in harmony today.
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I have a pretty good track record with El Grande and Vegas Showdown, but I'm certainly not claiming I'm an expert at them by any means.

I would say that I'm an expert Euchre player, but it's not a hard game to master.
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I'm not an expert on any game that anyone would claim to be an expert at. I'm probably an expert at Tic Tac Toe and that dot game they have on the Children's menu at On The Border, but nothing any more involved than that.

The game I probably win the most is Dominion. Don't get me wrong, I'm horrible at Dominion when I play on BSW, but I tend to use Dominion to introduce my friends to gaming, and I always have to try outlandish strategies to avoid a massacre and I usually still win.
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I don't consider myself an expert because that's tempting fate... I'm reasonably competent at Agricola, Scrabble and Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries.

I enjoy reading strategy articles for some games, but not others. I suppose there are some games I don't want to have spoiled in that way, whereas others I need a little insider info to be able to enjoy the game.

My win percentages for games I've played more than ten times look like this:

Top 10
Ricochet Robots 80%
Scrabble 80%
Boggle 76%
RoboRally 75%
Space Alert 75%
Agricola 62%
Ticket to Ride - Nordic Countries 62%
Battlestar Galactica 61%
Pandemic 61%
Through the Ages 58%

Bottom 3
No Thanks! 14%
Gambit 7 30%
Race for the Galaxy 35%

Strangely, despite winning at Scrabble 80% of the time and Boggle 76% of the time, I only win at Bananagrams 37% of the time.
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Brad Miller
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Crokinole is about the only game I win consistently.
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1) A few games. I usually don't play one game enough to reach "expert" status, but some games just make sense to me and figure them out quickly.

2) Frequently. I'll refrain for the first few playings, though.

3) I've played BSG around five times, and won them all. About 50/50 human/cylon. As an aside, I'm probably going to lose my first PBF version, but the pace, lack of body language, etc. makes it almost a different game. It's a lot like Werewolf in that respect.

Other games I've been very successful with: Galaxy Trucker, Power Grid, Race for the Galaxy. In all three cases, I almost never lose to someone who wouldn't also consider themselves an "expert".

All-experts games are a lot of fun, though!
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David C
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100% of the two games of battleline.

I RULE!!
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