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Subject: Gipf gave me cold feet rss

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Chester
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Joe Gola's recent experience with his coworker was the last straw. Although I don't tend to get giddy over abstracts...I also don't mind them. I thought, "Maybe I just haven't played the BEST 2-player abstracts." I grew up on chess...and don't feel much interest in playing that anymore. I respect Go more than I want to play it. I thought, "Hey, these Gipf games may be just the thing."

This Saturday I took a swing by the local store only to discover a magnificent sale going on. Buy one get one free...anything in the store...one day only. They've done this to me before...and I've gone overboard. This time I decided to be much more conservative.

So...I snagged Power Grid, which I'd been wanting. I grabbed Memoir '44 for a buddy. I considered many others...bought a couple for the sake of later reselling (to fund MORE games) or trading. Decided to pass on Medici. I'd walked in intending to get it....but I just couldn't get excited about it looking at that ugly board. And I doubt I could have gotten others excited about it, either. I did snag Clans and Pizarro...although I know very little about either.

Then I was standing by the little abstracts section. All the Gipf games were there except Tamsk. I'd walked in the door planning on getting one (or even two). I could'nt decide what to do. Maybe that was the problem. If I'd already come to a decision about which one is the best one for me to get started with....maybe it would have overcome my abstract inertia. But in the end, I got my oily germs all over the packages....but did not take any of them home with me. And I'm feeling something about it...but its not exactly remorse.

I don't think I'd turn down an invitation to try any of these games. On the other hand....if the choice was sitting down for a 2-player abstract or getting in on a 5-player game of almost anything else in the top 100, maybe I would turn down the abstract. I guess these are games I'd really LIKE to try out. But I can't seem to develop the enthusiasm to BUY one without any experience playing it. With many other games, reading about them is enough for me to decide whether or not to purchase. Maybe someday I'll be able to play games before purchasing...but its not today. And please, no one point out that I can try stuff on BSW....I find that a poor substitute for the face-to-face experience. I'm not bagging on BSW...just stating that its not the information I need.

So...maybe my fellow-Geeks can persuade me of my folly. I should have snagged the whole stack of Gipf games. Or maybe I can understand myself better and realize that maybe these just aren't a good idea for me.
 
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Chris Tannhauser
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For me, an abstract 2-player game is an intermediary piece of equipment, a coupling device, that allows two minds to wrassle. If that idea doesn't get you off, if it just sounds like too much work (as opposed to the relaxation that gaming can afford) then the Gipf games are probably not for you. There's no shame in admitting that--I've gone out of my way to acquire some of the best German games only to find that they just aren't my bag. I mean, Puerto Rico is a great game, I can see that, but I just don't have an insurmountable urge to play it again.

Self-knowledge in the realm of gaming can save you dollars.

I'd pass if I were you.

Chris
 
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Jason Henke
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Only what you'll play. Period.
Unless you intend on trading/selling certain games off the bat (which you do here with a couple of the ones you picked up), never ever ever buy a game you don't think you'll play. It's very unsatisfying and will just bug you as it sits there. Make no apologizes for what you like or don't like (well, that's what I think at any rate).

Some people love the abstracts and make Chess, Go, etc. literal hobbies...for others it's scrabble, boggle, etc....for other gamers it's Puerto Rico, Princes of Florence, Advanced Squadleader, Panzer Blitz, etc. Get what you want and what you enjoy playing. We play games because we like 'em...it shouldn't be a pressure to play one or another like duties...that's work and we're here to escape and enjoy the ride.

You never know, you may end up loving one of the Gipfs, but try it first; wait for a gathering or ask someone at a store to play it. If you like it then...well, there'll be ways to come across the game or a sale again. You could always trade one of your "for trade" games if you decide too.

But, speaking to the dangers of the two for one sales...They get me every friggen' time with those things and my friends have to restrain me in a huge hog-pile or divert my attention like Marge Simpson trying to hide the Chilifest from Homer.

Don't stress missing the games this go around. You looked at 'em, hand 'em in your hand, and listened to your gut. You put 'em down. Wait for the right "feel" and time.
 
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Malachi Brown
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ya big chicken!
I have dvonn and zertz and they're both great games. I intend to get the other three eventually, although I don't know that I'll ever find a copy of tamsk.

But, I like Go a lot. Chess, not so much, but two player abstracts are... more pure game for me. No luck, just the skill of two players moving on a board. I've played a lot of Blokus lately, as well as the two gipf games I own, so I may have a bias. You seem to prefer multiplayer games with more interaction and more complex systems, but no collection can be complete without a few good two player abstract strategy games.

I do think you should have picked up at least one of them instead of Clans or Pizzaro.
 
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Chester
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On 2-player mind vs mind
I grew up on chess. I played a lot. Entered tournaments. Put in enough time and study to become average (which I say with some real satisfaction....as anyone who plays much chess knows that an average player is actually something of an accomplishment). But looking back, if I'd known then what I know now....I'd have been doing something else.

For the player vs player battle pitting minds together....there are several wargames that give me this experience. Obviously, most abstracts eliminate luck from the equation...but there are some wargames that have almost NO luck. I don't mind a bit of luck, if its in the context of a game where the one who does the best at managing chance will usually win.

I don't have anything against abstract 2-player games. I'm open-minded enough to suspect that some of the newer abstracts may be much more satisfying than chess has been. I enjoy the mental exercise. I know for some, those style of games are too much "work" to enjoy. I don't mind that at all. I do enjoy trying to manage lots of complex interactions....particularly if this includes the unknown factor of what several other players are perceiving and trying to do.

I also like having a lot of variety to my gaming experience. Maybe I'll still score a game. Perhaps my biggest obstacle this time was not having decided on ONE in particular yet. I'd have guessed I could have made that decision on the spot without too much trouble. But when I got there...they all kind of looked the same and I didn't become enamored with any of them.

....Or maybe it has to do with not having an obvious opponent. My wife would probably be a good sport and try to play, and would lose and get frustrated. She just doesn't think "that way" in order to do well at games with nuance. I'm not saying I'm all that, either, but our record is pretty one-sided. Maybe if I had an eager opponent that would really challenge me and kick my butt regularly, I'd find a new motivation. Right now...its just not there.

Malachi, maybe next time I'm in the neighborhood you can introduce me to your favorite Gipf game and kick my butt...and I'll rush out and get one. I just have a hard time seeing myself get one at the moment....when I walk in the store and see St Petersberg or something else I don't have that sounds interesting for the same price.
 
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Jon Aquino
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The thing about abstracts is ...
The thing about abstracts is, you can't get tired of them - there's no theme to get tired of. Yes, they lack the excitement of the themed stuff, but they reward you with depth in the long run. Years after you've become tired of Puerto Rico (maybe you already are), you'll still be able to whip out one of the Gipf games and learn more things about it (or at least still have fun).

That's my hope anyway.
 
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Nate Sandall
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You're missing out!
Yinsh is destined to become an all time classic. I can't wait to try Zertz! And someday I might save up the money needed to get my dirty hands on Tamsk. Dvonn is cute and fast and harmless, and I'm sure I wont hate Gipf!meeple

And they sure look good next to my Aleas!
 
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S W E E T !
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"this time I decided to be much more conservative"

cut to

"Power Grid...Memoir '44...a couple for selling/trading...Clans and Pizarro"

If this is conservative, I'd LOVE to see you go overboard. In fact, where do you live again? Do you know if there are any openings for security guards studying to be marriage & family therapists? Do you need any more people for your gaming group? Is it really going to be at Hooters?
 
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Chester
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Clayton,
1) Not really at Hooters. It would be hard to play with bloody stubs for hands. Domestic tranquility is better.

2) The 2 for 1 sale. Everything is marked at suggested retail price. Still a great deal. You just have to find 2 games with about the same sticker price. Last time they had this sale (about twice a year they do it) I had to take two trips to the car to carry all the bags of goodies. This time caught me off guard. And the sad truth is...there are less games there that I'm really interested in. My collection is reaching some kind of new level....where I'm only looking for hard to find older games or paying attention to the new ones...but the intermediate stuff is mostly gathered in.
 
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Chaddyboy
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Go back to the store...
and piss all over the Gipf collection games! Make sure you take off the shrink first so that it'll do some damage. They're all boring, especially if you're not someone who gets overly excited about two player abstracts.
 
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Jason Henke
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I've been playing Blokus as well (like Malachi) and it's a good social game with 4 or 2. It's another gateway game I've been using for introducing people to some alternate type of games. If you go for an abstract, I'd do something along these lines as they're open to more people than 2.

I should look to see if you have them, forgive me but I'm at work, but along the Blokus lines, "through the dessert" and "samurai" work well. Not quite the same as the Gipfs I grant, but they're abstracts that can involve more than 2 and yet be played by 2. A positive in my mind.

I happen to like Go and Chess, but I'm nowhere near "average" in either one...I'm clearly on the sucking sides there.
 
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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wrassle...laughlaughlaugh
 
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Eric Jome
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Abstract strategy games with no randomized elements are essentially hobbies in and of themselves. You play once to say you have played or you devote lifetimes to theory, practice, and play. There is no forgiving, no relaxing. To do so is simply to play badly.

Personally, I find Chess, Go, and the entire concept pretty sterile and uninteresting. You are in for a long haul of brutal study and lots of losing in a game with no flavor other than it's simplistic mechanics. There is no casual game of Chess. There is no "fun" way to play Go. I have made a half hearted attempt at some games of this type, but they really don't interest me enough to warrant giving up the vibrancy, dynamics, or soul that comes with other things.

If you don't already have a love affair with this type of game or a particular game like this, you are probably better off skipping the entire genre entirely.
 
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Joe Gola
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Abstract strategy games with no randomized elements are essentially hobbies in and of themselves. You play once to say you have played or you devote lifetimes to theory, practice, and play. There is no forgiving, no relaxing. To do so is simply to play badly.

Personally, I find Chess, Go, and the entire concept pretty sterile and uninteresting. You are in for a long haul of brutal study and lots of losing in a game with no flavor other than it's simplistic mechanics. There is no casual game of Chess. There is no "fun" way to play Go.



Good God, man, lighten up.

The fun of abstracts is in the game play and the exploration. If you decide the point of an abstract game is only to master it, with all the learning games to reach that point a necessary evil, then you really are wasting your time, no matter how motivated or successful you are. With an outlook like that a better hobby might be to become a connoisseur of antidepressants.

If a person can find someone else at their level, there's nothing stopping them from having a great time being a casual chess player, a casual go player, or a casual Gipf player. Two beginners playing chess can have as much fun as two experts. If two experts walk by and point out to the beginners that they are "playing badly," I would suggest to the beginners that they get up and beat the hell out of the experts until they learn some manners.
 
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Eric Jome
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Good God, man, lighten up.

I guess we agree to disagree.

One of the really nice things about most abstract strategy games is that the rules are very easy. You can pick them up, sit down, and be playing in no time.

Another good thing is that it is easy to get a lot better at the game quickly. Since these games are based on practice (recognizing common positions, understanding common strategies, planning basic attacks), a little goes a long way.

See? I can say nice things about abstract strategy games.
 
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