GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters at year's end: 1000!
9,385 Supporters
$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
17 Days Left

Support:

Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
7 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Everything Else » OLD BGGBlogs (do not use)

Subject: Kingmaking and Saudi Princes rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Nicholas Jost
United States
GIlroy
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I was watching an interview of the Saudi foreign minister awhile back on some US news outlet and something he said struck me. As I remember it the conversation went something like this, “the difference between our governments [style of elections] is that if you get voted out you just leave the office, if we get voted out we die.” Today I was randomly thinking about kingmaking opportunities in board games and the comment struck me as being somehow appropriate.

The Saudi prince wasn’t claiming, I don’t think, to have a representative democracy. What he was saying is that the the people, the other players in the game of government, do have a say in what goes on no matter what the rules are. Pretending that isn’t so is ignorant and naive.

Unfortunately, it seems we approach games with this attitude. We believe the current mindset of the other people in the game should magically have no impact on how the game is played. That is probably not only impossible in all but a few cases; it is likely to also be undesirable.

The easiest way of eliminating a less talented player’s influence on the outcome is to reduce the number of players. In a two player game with equal sides or in a two player game with unequal sides where the players play a match with different positions, we expect the most talented player to win. In some games an invisible third player, luck, will affect the outcome. However, most modern games reduce the element of luck and provide the player with rich tactical opportunities that allow them to overcome any imbalance due to luck.

A derivative of this method is to create mechanics that essentially create solitaire play. Some games like St. Petersberg have been accused of using this method. Most would agree that this is not an acceptable method of restricting the opportunity for kingmaking possibilities since games should focus on interactivity between players.

…to be continued.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John O'Haver
United States
Louisville
Kentucky
flag msg tools
badge
Pet photographer, that's me.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nick, I had a similar experience recently
One of my cubical mates likes to have the radio on as background radiation in the office. ESPN Sports radio is his favorite but my co-worker does not hear very well at all and didn't realize that ESPN 620 AM had been sold to a "Spanish only" station. We sat there all morning typing and making phones calls with a talk show in Espanol running in the background. He never noticed.

My Spanish is pretty rusty and I was only able to pick out a few words. Mostly just the the Spanish words for "the."

Somehow it occured to me that Al Qaeda does not have a U after the Q and thus messes with my mind some. BUT if it were La Queda it might be a Spanish word so I looked it up. According to the on-line Spanish-English dictionary, Quedar seems to mean "meet" or "situation." Thus La Queda might mean "The Situation." If anyone has a correction, I'd be interested in knowing the truth. I can handle it.

Anyway the whole Spanish-English Language/Al Qaeda thing got me thinking about my La Queda in gaming. It is difficult for me to put together a group with similar gaming interests to play MP games. Which is ok.

I had a lenghty discussion yesterday with my regular gamer friend Richard and Vance von Borries on the state of wargame design. Richard and I demo'd Age of Napoleon, Waterloo and M'44 for Vance. Our goal was to show that card driven mechanics effectively and elegantly simulate command and control problems, supply problems, etc., more simply than a series of Unit Activation die rolls, Task Checks, Supply Unit counters and the varying abilities of different historical military organizations to effectively maintain battlefield control over many units strung out over many hexes.

Furthermore, the use of "special dice," something that I had looked down for years as a kids game mechanism, is an effective way of generating a wide range of combat results in a simpler manner than one OR MORE CRTS with an attached subtable of Die Roll Modifiers. This was demonstrated when Richard rolled four dice against a single man stand trapped on the board edge with no retreat. He rolled four Tanks, all misses. Statistically, my guy only had 1 chance in 81 of survivng and he did. It could have won the game for Richard that turn but on the next turn I drew the card that allowed me to occupy the a Victory Point hex for the win.

Vance observed the whole dog and pony show pretty much without comment on the game mechanics themselves although we all agreed game artists should be mandatory play testers for some issues I won't go into now.

Additionally, I prefer to play 2 player games anyway. When there are only two, a couple gaming problems don't exist. There is no kingmaking issue AND player elimination does not force anybody else to sit idle for an indeterminate period of time while the others duke it out to the finish. 2 player games also eliminate the possibility of hard feelings resulting from the backstabbing that is often required in multi-player games.

If I've gotten too far off the point of this entry, let me just say this...Saudi Princes.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nicholas Jost
United States
GIlroy
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It really wasn't a political statment...it just seemed what he said made a lot of sense in regards to kingmaking. Someone has the oppurtunity to get upset or like someone better and that will always happen in a multi-player game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nicholas Jost
United States
GIlroy
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Corrections
Thank God for the editing feature. I came back and read the first paragraph and it sounded like I was couldn't form thoughts.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Jome
United States
Franklin
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mb
I took your post at face value. Obviously, some people are so obsessed with politics that they cannot understand cross-pollination of ideas.

If your concern in a game is that one player who cannot win will throw in his lot with another player to help them win, you should probably stop worrying about it now.

You are right, perfect information games with only 2 players will prevent this from happening. Of course, those games aren't very interesting or fun for a lot of people either. Why play if you are going to lose?

A game with a good degree of interactivity will always have a chance for a set of players to monkeywrench the system. Instead of trying to prevent them from doing so in the rules of the game, consider adding incentives not to do it.

One method that has been suggested is introducing a metagame. Record the final standings of everyone in every game on a big, public record. People begin to compete for overall standing or for best standing in a particular game... finishing as high as possible in every game becomes the metagame.

Another thing you can try is discussing it with your friends. Convince them that vendictive revenge at the cost of your game position, for example, hurts the game for other people. If they are reasonable adults, they will probably listen.

But remember, what the Saudi Prince is really saying is that if you push them hard enough, the people will "vote" you out in a revolution. In game terms, this means accepting that if you push someone, they may push back. Be prepared for kingmaking and prevent it before it happens in the context of the game.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nicholas Jost
United States
GIlroy
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Cross-Polination
Exactly. But I don't view limited vindictive behavior as bad as you'll see in issue two.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.