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Just curious what games are out there that are widely considered "strategic", but you think you've solved after less than one full play?

Seems to be quite a "few" lately.
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Thanks to my superior meeple DNA I have solved all of them before I even played them.
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Name Names, Joel

eekamouse wrote:
Just curious what games are out there that are widely considered "strategic", but you think you've solved after less than one full play?

Seems to be quite a "few" lately.
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General_Norris wrote:
Thanks to my superior meeple DNA I have solved all of them before I even played them.


True. One look at the box art and I've already figured out the dominant strategy. No need to play.
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Tuttle757 wrote:
Name Names, Joel

eekamouse wrote:
Just curious what games are out there that are widely considered "strategic", but you think you've solved after less than one full play?

Seems to be quite a "few" lately.


Hah. "No".

Perhaps the OP sounds a bit antagonistic. I'm guilty of it myself sometimes. Possibly spending too much time on here. Just had some experiences lately where I've said to myself, "Wow, I bet the designer himself never even thought of this! Then I douse myself with water."
 
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eekamouse wrote:
Just had some experiences lately where I've said to myself, "Wow, I bet the designer himself never even thought of this!"


Either they probably have thought of this, or you're not playing good enough games.
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I take it the OP deleted the first entry?
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Guantanamo wrote:
I take it the OP deleted the first entry?


No. I didn't have a game in mind. Maybe Quarriors? whistle
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eekamouse wrote:
Guantanamo wrote:
I take it the OP deleted the first entry?


No. I didn't have a game in mind. Maybe Quarriors? whistle


One of our group has solved 'Letters from Whitechapel' he can work out exactly where any Jack the ripper has gone. We just need a Jack the Ripper that can solve Martin
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SamNzed wrote:
eekamouse wrote:
Guantanamo wrote:
I take it the OP deleted the first entry?


No. I didn't have a game in mind. Maybe Quarriors? whistle


One4 of our group has solved 'Letters from Whitechapel' he can work out exactly where any Jack the ripper has gone. We just need a Jack the Ripper that can solve Martin


Ah! That's a good one. Out of the three times I played this, Jack never won. Too much brain power versus "one" brain power?

-edit-

But I only feel like I've solved it after three plays I guess... and I'm probably wrong about that
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eekamouse wrote:
Guantanamo wrote:
I take it the OP deleted the first entry?


No. I didn't have a game in mind. Maybe Quarriors? whistle


Oh, the responses didn't seem to flow.

I haven't run across many that are solved after one play. But, I only sat down to learn Quariors, didn't get a play in.

Some recently said they 'solved' El Grande after one play. But, in my experience games can play out quite different based on players and what cards come out.

Players said that Posiedon's Kingdoms was solved after one play, but based on the fact that I was the only one pulling off the perceived strategy and I lost both times, I don't think it means what they think it does.
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I solved Age of Industry and Le Havre by looking at them from an oblique counterclockwise angle. But when my turn comes around, my available optimal move is always worse than those of my opponents, which is why I still don't win.
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I read recently that someone thought Kingdom Builders was solved.
As Mike sez, I don't think people understand what solved means, or more importantly, what it looks like.

In order for a game to be solvable there are a few requirements:

1. There MUST be perfect information (no hidden information).
2. There MUST be perfect conditions (no randomness say like a dice throw or card draw).
3. There MUST be perfect knowledge (the rules must be static or at least change in a reliable and predictable way, a player needs to know all that is knowable about the units of the game, for example the center of gravity of every piece in a jenga tower).

As such, most modern games don't fulfill any of these principles.
(Kingdom Builder, for example, has two points of randomness which prevent saliency)

Quarriors, for example, uses a random card draw for set up, and to further introduce intrigue to decisions has you randomly select dice from a bag and then additionally roll those dice to determine their effect. There is no way to know what dice you will use before you begin the game, so you have to tailor a strategy after the card draw, then you have no guarantee of what dice you will draw and further, you cannot know what each of those dice will produce. Counting on rolling 8 Quiddity to buy that dragon dice when you have dice in hand that can roll up to 9 quiddity...too bad, you rolled 2 quiddity and 4 monsters, what then?

I'm willing to have a serious conversation about solved and solvable games if you can give me an example of a game you think could be solved.
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I'm still misplaying half the rules after one play. gulp
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Quote:
I read recently that someone thought Kingdom Builders was solved.
As Mike sez, I don't think people understand what solved means, or more importantly, what it looks like.

In order for a game to be solvable there are a few requirements:

1. There MUST be perfect information (no hidden information).
2. There MUST be perfect conditions (no randomness say like a dice throw or card draw).
3. There MUST be perfect knowledge (the rules must be static or at least change in a reliable and predictable way, a player needs to know all that is knowable about the units of the game, for example the center of gravity of every piece in a jenga tower).


That is the logical definition of "solved", but I think that we could broaden the definition for this purpose to mean that "I always know what the best possible move is". You could theoretically use statistics and game theory to "solve" games with random/hidden elements this way, as long as you were comfortable that the "correct" solution didn't always win.

I think the root of the problem is that the OP feels like the correct move is always obvious, which makes the game not fun. Whether that means a truly "solvable" combinatorial (chess, checkers, tic-tac-toe) or simply a game for which the "correct" move is always obvious (e.g. "You can roll this die for a 1/6 chance of $2 or this die for a 1/8 chance of $3"), the net effect is the same: I don't get to make decisions.
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Bagherra wrote:
I read recently that someone thought Kingdom Builders was solved.
As Mike sez, I don't think people understand what solved means, or more importantly, what it looks like.

In order for a game to be solvable there are a few requirements:

1. There MUST be perfect information (no hidden information).
2. There MUST be perfect conditions (no randomness say like a dice throw or card draw).
3. There MUST be perfect knowledge (the rules must be static or at least change in a reliable and predictable way, a player needs to know all that is knowable about the units of the game, for example the center of gravity of every piece in a jenga tower).

As such, most modern games don't fulfill any of these principles.
(Kingdom Builder, for example, has two points of randomness which prevent saliency)

Quarriors, for example, uses a random card draw for set up, and to further introduce intrigue to decisions has you randomly select dice from a bag and then additionally roll those dice to determine their effect. There is no way to know what dice you will use before you begin the game, so you have to tailor a strategy after the card draw, then you have no guarantee of what dice you will draw and further, you cannot know what each of those dice will produce. Counting on rolling 8 Quiddity to buy that dragon dice when you have dice in hand that can roll up to 9 quiddity...too bad, you rolled 2 quiddity and 4 monsters, what then?

I'm willing to have a serious conversation about solved and solvable games if you can give me an example of a game you think could be solved.

Only the third condition you list is required for a solution to exist, that is, for a game to be solvable in principle. I briefly visited this issue in another thread (number 5 on the list) where I provided some other necessary conditions for the existence of a solution. I didn't list your third condition because I would consider it to be implicit in the definition of "game."

Briefly, the first of your conditions is no obstacle to the existence of an equilibrium mixed strategy and games violating the second can be analysed using expected utility theory.

EDIT:
cferejohn wrote:
That is the logical definition of "solved"[...]

I didn't see your post before making this one. There is no such thing as a logical definition. It so happens that we have an accepted, useful definition which is the best that can be expected. That definition does coincide with the intuitive idea that a solution should provide the a priori most useful choice for the player in every game situation.
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Basically the OP just described pretty much every Euro game out there (as far as I'm concerned).
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cferejohn wrote:

That is the logical definition of "solved", but I think that we could broaden the definition for this purpose to mean that "I always know what the best possible move is".


That's my definition anyway.

wytefang wrote:
Basically the OP just described pretty much every Euro game out there (as far as I'm concerned).


Boo, but touche
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wytefang wrote:
Basically the OP just described pretty much every Euro game out there (as far as I'm concerned).

Thanks for contributing.
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timstellmach wrote:
wytefang wrote:
Basically the OP just described pretty much every Euro game out there (as far as I'm concerned).

Thanks for contributing.


And thanks to you, as well for your cogent insight.
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wytefang wrote:
Basically the OP just described pretty much every Euro game out there (as far as I'm concerned).


Care to elaborate?
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Kiraboshi wrote:
Briefly, the first of your conditions is no obstacle to the existence of an equilibrium mixed strategy and games violating the second can be analysed using expected utility theory.


So, the Prisoner's Dilemna is solvable?

(outside of Nash Equilibria which isn't really a solution since there are still choices that can lead to a better solution if the opponent plays "right/wrong")

A truly solved game will always lead to a predictable outcome irregardless of the opponents choices.

While there are optimal choices at decision points, all that does is create a "strong" player. So if a solvable game is one in which you can see "strong" strategies, then, indeed all games are solvable by a competent player, in which case this and all lines of discussion on strategy and tactics and mechanics are moot.
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Bagherra wrote:


So, the Prisoner's Dilemna is solvable?


Funny you should bring that up. It has the EXACT same solution as Quarriors!
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fateswanderer wrote:
wytefang wrote:
Basically the OP just described pretty much every Euro game out there (as far as I'm concerned).


Care to elaborate?


Sure. Most (if not all) pure Euros are like a giant puzzle with one efficient or feasible solution. Sometimes there are a few alternate paths but over time you'll find they're basically just variations of the same gameplay that's mostly solvable over time but with new coats of paint (aka "Theme") on them.

That doesn't mean they can't be fun, initially. And I have enjoyed certain Euros that blend their style with American-style gameplay (great example for me would be Settlers of Catan, a great Euro/Hybrid).

But pure Euro stuff is deathly boring to me for the reasons listed above.

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