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Subject: "Group Hug" Rule rss

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Stephen N
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Ok, so there's a rule that states that if more than one person bids the same number of moves, the tie goes to the person with the fewest tiles (points). If a tie remains, it goes to the person who called their bid first.

In our gaming group, we refer to this as the "Group Hug" rule because it tends to make for very close games ending in 3- or 4-way ties (which are easily settled by a final tie-breaking puzzle).

While this rule is great for beginners, or in non-competitive situations, competitive players will find this extremely frustrating.

Well I'm here to say that "It's ok" to throw out this rule, as long as most of the players are in agreement. So next time you start a game, be sure to ask who wants to play with the "Group Hug" Rule.


POLL: Do you play with or without this rule? Do you have a fun name for it?
 
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Giannis Tsekos

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I never use that rule. I don't find it nice to "be nice" in this game. Its a puzzle and the best one should be rewarded. When i play with newcomers i just don't speak till they say a number then i say mine.
With the "Group Hug" rule you can get games that the last "chit", that is the 2 moves one (for example), might go to the one that doesn't deserve to win.

I always play like : If someone says a number then the 1 min starts. All the people have that time to get a lower number. You can always say lower number than your first one but never a greater one. You can even say the same number with someone else in case he made a mistake.
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Derry Salewski
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Whoever says the lowest bid first gets to try first, is how I was taught (along with other rules that probably weren't the correct rules.)

That one seemed to make perfect sense, however.

The way you quoted it would indeed seem to needlessly create ties.
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Frank Eisenhauer
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New Delhi
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Is your need to win greater than to have a game that is enjoyable to all players, no matter how experienced they are?
I always play with the "Group Hug", since it draws in new players that at first don't have a chance against experienced players.
If you always playing against the same people and they are equally strong, than the rule could go, but I always have new people playing and I want them to come back for more, not walk away frustrated.
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Malachi Brown
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I think it's kind of lame, but it's hard enough to get people to play with me with it...
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Todd Redden
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We used the rule when the game first came out, but no longer. Only when new players are learning do we bring it out again. The game is much more fun with die-hard players who don't "hug."
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Mi Myma
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Fountain Valley
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Why is there no Word Games Forum or Subdomain?
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It's a nice rule for newbs, but if your playing "seriously" such as in a tournament, don't bother using it. Separate the men from the boys.

Hey, that could be a good name for the rule: The "Keep the Men and the Boys Together Rule". It sounds even creepier than the "Group Hug Rule."
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norman rule
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eisenphx wrote:
If you always playing against the same people and they are equally strong, than the rule could go, but I always have new people playing and I want them to come back for more, not walk away frustrated.


We do play against the same people, and most of them are almost equally strong... but not quite. Even with the leveling rule in place, one player wins or ties for first more than 70% of the time. Without this rule in place, it would probably be about 90%... and who wants to play against that?
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norman rule
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
It's a nice rule for newbs, but if your playing "seriously" such as in a tournament, don't bother using it. Separate the men from the boys.


I don't know if they are still doing it, but Rio Grande ran RR tournaments at Origins. They always used the leveling rule.

If the publisher is using it for their tournament, it's good enough for us.
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Simon Lundström
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Täby
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I always use the levelling rule. I find it makes it more challenging to stay in the lead, which I think is a good thing. In board games, I see no problem with keeping the men and the boys on the same level. In fact, that's part of what I like with board games. If I want to separate the men from the boys, I'll start a fist fight.

But seriously, if you don't like the rule, then of course throw it out. Playing with a rule that all around the table dislike is just masochism.

In the tournaments I hold, I use it. If someone is good enough, then they'll win anyway.
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david landes
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Meh. Don't care for the group hug rule, we play the 'first called' rule.

For "levelling" reading, see "Harrison Bergeron" by Vonnegut.
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Paulo Santoro
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I use a modified "group hug" rule. You goes first if you have TWO tokens less than the other person. Otherwise, he who calls first goes first.

I create this because I think it is very interesting to level the game, and challenging for the leader (as one mentioned above), but the original rule can be very frustrating because, if the other player is only one token below you, he will draw with you!

Anyway, you can bluff! If you call 9 when you see a 7 and a 9, people will likely find the 9 and be ok with it because they can go before you... but then, when the sand is almost gone, you call the 7!

I would only discard the group hug rule in a very competitive tournament, if I ever participate in one.
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