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Subject: End of Game Condition Favors Start Player ??? rss

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Paul Incao
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I have played Dark Minions once and really enjoyed the gameplay experience. I came in second yet beleive I had a turn order advantage.

I personally don't enjoy games that have an end game condition which is triggered immediately when a player reaches a certain number of points. This may not be a problem with the game if all players are aware of this advantage, and keep players early in the turn order in check.

Otherwise I would suggest, for first time players of the game, an end of round scoring check where all players are asked "Has anyone exceeded the winning condition". If multiple players exceeded the condition, the player with the most points wins...with ties going to the player first in turn order.

Thoughts ?

-Paul
 
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Re: End of Game Condition Favors Start Player ??? Variant needed ???
pincao wrote:
Thoughts ?

I think you need to play more than once before "fixing" things.
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Paul Incao
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Re: End of Game Condition Favors Start Player ??? Variant needed ???
Sphere wrote:
pincao wrote:
Thoughts ?

I think you need to play more than once before "fixing" things.


With respect, IMHO I am asking a general question about the use of this type of game mechanic.

As an experience game developer and gamer, I am aware that it is the responsibility of ones opponent to keep the game balance in check with this type of game. So I am not suggesting the game is broken or a variant is needed (otherwise I would have posted this to the variant thread).

All I am suggesting is that noobs be made aware of this at the start of their first game for the best possible gameplay experience.

Cheers.

-Paul
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Re: End of Game Condition Favors Start Player ??? Variant needed ???
pincao wrote:
As an experience game developer and gamer, I am aware that it is the responsibility of ones opponent to keep the game balance in check with this type of game. So I am not suggesting the game is broken or a variant is needed (otherwise I would have posted this to the variant thread).

If you're not suggesting a variant is needed, it's odd that Variant needed ??? appears in your thread title.

I don't know about your experience; I have some myself, but I'd venture to say neither of us has credentials to match those of Al Newman. If you want to talk about game design concepts generally, you might do better in the Game Design Forum.

This forum is for Dark Minions specifically, and having played it 7 times so far, my opinion is that it works very well with the rules as published.
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Paul Incao
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Sphere wrote:
pincao wrote:
As an experience game developer and gamer, I am aware that it is the responsibility of ones opponent to keep the game balance in check with this type of game. So I am not suggesting the game is broken or a variant is needed (otherwise I would have posted this to the variant thread).

If you're not suggesting a variant is needed, it's odd that Variant needed ??? appears in your thread title.

I don't know about your experience; I have some myself, but I'd venture to say neither of us has credentials to match those of Al Newman. If you want to talk about game design concepts generally, you might do better in the Game Design Forum.

This forum is for Dark Minions specifically, and having played it 7 times so far, my opinion is that it works very well with the rules as published.



I'm fine with removing "Variant Needed" from the title....point taken. As to your experience with the game wouldn't you agree that it's important for new players of the game to understand that players early in turn order need to be kept in check. This was the general feeeling of most of my game group.

I just thought I was doing a service to this community by informing anyone that wanted to try this fun game...how best to approach it. This is why I posted here...

Good Gaming.

-Paul
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pincao wrote:
As to your experience with the game wouldn't you agree that it's important for new players of the game to understand that players early in turn order need to be kept in check. This was the general feeeling of most of my game group.

No, I wouldn't agree. You said you only played once - was that the feeling of your group after playing, or did you go in expecting that?

My group has played 7 times so far, and we've seen no correlation between seating order and who wins. And we've not taken any special notice of who goes first; I'd say what you roll on the first turn has far more impact than where you sit. And that levels out, because you're rolling dice every turn. I suggest you just play a few times without preconceived notions about how it's going to work.

pincao wrote:
I just thought I was doing a service to this community by informing anyone that wanted to try this fun game...how best to approach it.

What confuses me is why you think you would know how best to approach it after one game. There's more to it than you'll likely fathom in your first play.
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Paul Incao
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Sphere wrote:
pincao wrote:
As to your experience with the game wouldn't you agree that it's important for new players of the game to understand that players early in turn order need to be kept in check. This was the general feeeling of most of my game group.

No, I wouldn't agree. You said you only played once - was that the feeling of your group after playing, or did you go in expecting that?

My group has played 7 times so far, and we've seen no correlation between seating order and who wins. And we've not taken any special notice of who goes first; I'd say what you roll on the first turn has far more impact than where you sit. And that levels out, because you're rolling dice every turn. I suggest you just play a few times without preconceived notions about how it's going to work.

pincao wrote:
I just thought I was doing a service to this community by informing anyone that wanted to try this fun game...how best to approach it.

What confuses me is why you think you would know how best to approach it after one game. There's more to it than you'll likely fathom in your first play.


To answer your last question...this is basic game design theory 101. Multi-player games that have a game end point scoring winning condition require that all participants keep opponents early in the turn order in check. You don't need to know "the game" to understand this...

Let's just say we agree to disagree. Happy Holidays.

-Paul
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pincao wrote:
To answer your last question...this is basic game design theory 101.

That answers my first question equally well - you saw what you expected to see. I imagine you could have written the same advice without playing at all.

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Sphere wrote:

This forum is for Dark Minions specifically, and having played it 7 times so far, my opinion is that it works very well with the rules as published.


Dude, playing 7 times doesn't make you any kind of an expert, so lay off the holier-than-thou attitude. The man asked a question in good conscience.
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Alan Newman
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CapAp wrote:
Sphere wrote:

This forum is for Dark Minions specifically, and having played it 7 times so far, my opinion is that it works very well with the rules as published.


Dude, playing 7 times doesn't make you any kind of an expert, so lay off the holier-than-thou attitude. The man asked a question in good conscience.


Ok, let's allow the designer to answer the question. There is no first player advantage. If there had been, it would have been an easy fix.

FYI, in my last game with 4 players, near the end it seemed it was between the players who went 3rd and 4th (and last). The player who went 4th won.

Regards,

Alan

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Alan Newman
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BTW, to take this a step further, with any [edit] some groups, open holdings of VPs will not work because it can lead to analysis paralysis.

Plus, it's not just a matter of closed holdings and 40 points to win (with 4 players)!

40 points only gives one the right to declare the end of the game. We have actually had games where a player got to 40 and withheld the game end because if he ended it, he might be a VP or 2 behind!

By delaying the game end, the player might have an opportunity to push into the lead on a subsequent turn and declare the end at that time.

It doesn't happen very often, but it's a great aspect of the rules for game ending conditions in my view.

Regards,

Alan

Example: Joe vanquishes a Town but realizes that Alex's 2 VPs for finishing 2nd in the Town may mean Alex is in the lead (but is not quite sure). So, Alex doesn't claim the game's end and Joe holds back because he is sure to get another 2VP chip on the very next turn.

Anyone can end the game when they have at least the required VPs. They are not required to end the game immediately.

Also, there IS already a variant! You can play that the game ends when any Town is vanquished when any Town marked "game over" is in play. That should take care of any lingering concerns.
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Paul Incao
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Al Newman wrote:
BTW, to take this a step further, with any groups, open holdings of VPs will not work because it can lead to analysis paralysis.

Plus, it's not just a matter of closed holdings and 40 points to win (with 4 players)!

40 points only gives one the right to declare the end of the game. We have actually had games where a player got to 40 and withheld the game end because if he ended it, he might be a VP or 2 behind!

By delaying the game end, the player might have an opportunity to push into the lead on a subsequent turn and declare the end at that time.

It doesn't happen very often, but it's a great aspect of the rules for game ending conditions in my view.

Regards,

Alan


Alan,

Thanks for the clarification. I totally get your point. The hidden information surrounding running player point totals adds a great element to the game. Because of the mystery surrounding point totals, I will always play this game with the assumption that I need to keep the start player in check as he will always have 1 extra turn before I can take my turn...with the ability to immediately end the game (if he wants... to your point).

By the way I love this game....It is the best of the new crop of dice games. Felt Quarriors! was poor, liked King of Tokyo quite a bit...but Dark Minions is the best of these I have played.

Someone should write a comparison review of these games. whistle

-Paul
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CapAp wrote:
Dude, playing 7 times doesn't make you any kind of an expert, so lay off the holier-than-thou attitude. The man asked a question in good conscience.

I didn't say playing 7 times made me an expert, although it does give me 7 times as much experience as the O.P. What I said was I didn't see how he was qualified to be giving advice based on one play. I also said my experience didn't match with what he was saying.

You did notice he asked about thoughts, right? I gave mine. We're big boys, and I think we can handle honest discussion.
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pincao wrote:
Someone should write a comparison review of these games.

Now there's an idea.
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Alan,
Good clarification on ending the game. I think this is what is important to emphasize to players- that you can (if you have the VPs) control when the game ends to a certain extent, so keep it in mind. I like this aspect of the game, it's a nice twist that may at times be a factor.
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Alan Newman
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Lunga wrote:
Alan,
Good clarification on ending the game. I think this is what is important to emphasize to players- that you can (if you have the VPs) control when the game ends to a certain extent, so keep it in mind. I like this aspect of the game, it's a nice twist that may at times be a factor.


Yup. It's a bit of a longshot but is pretty neat when it happens. Personally, I'd rather play with the slightly longer (maybe 5-10) minute condition, where the game ends when any Town is vanquished with a "game over" Town in the mix. That usually results in a little more suspense.

Regards,

Alan
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