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Subject: Do you let people win? rss

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We have been playing a lot of different games over the past months, with 12 of the same people (30+ year olds) in 4 - 8 player sessions. The games vary including settlers, train games, cosmic encounter, carcassone, stone age, and even for sale.

Normally we play 2 to 3 games in a session as they can go for a few hours, and I literally win 90% of the time (but often they are pretty close), so I'm starting to feel bad and worried that others will be less excited about playing.

If you were in this situation, would you intentionally start letting others win? Normally I am of the opinion that letting someone win is a huge insult (unless they are a child), just wondering if I'm alone on that.
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Pater Absurdus
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I would be super stinkin' ticked if someone let me win but only really ticked if I lost 90% of games...

I don't let others win and don't want others to let me win.

Discussing strategy in a round table fashion after games can be fun and helpful for all involved and could balance the win ratio a bit.


Happy Gaming,
Redward
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Yeah good point about the strategy stuff, I sometimes point out what others could have done to win.

It's not like I play super aggressively or anything, and I often don't know what strategy I'm going for until midway into the game.

A lot of these games are new to us so it may just be that I'm understanding the mechanics of the game quicker than the others.
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David Debien
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They should gang up on you Roger. arrrh
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Alex C
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Short answer: No

Long answer: If no one has said anything about it, then why make it an issue at all? Just play and have fun. The only reason you are probably worrying about this is that you would likely not want to play if you were the one losing 90% the time. That says more about you than the people you play with. If it's really really eating at you, then maybe you can find a way to discuss some strategy, casually and conversationally. Don't be the "I'm going to teach how to play right" condescending guy...nobody likes that guy.
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No I wouldn't care if I lost 90% of the time to be honest, I was more worried that they would lose interest and not want to play anymore

There isn't much sign of that happening so I guess it's nothing to worry about yet, and I really am against the idea of letting people win.

Just wanted to make sure people had the same opinion as me regarding letting people win!
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Doe Gibson
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For me winning something all the time, feels as bad as losing something all the time. I want the people I play with to enjoy the time we spend together. I don't want them feeling stupid afterwards. In a way gaming is therapeutic around here. laugh

But those gamers are good sports. If I were playing with tantrum throwing adults, I'd smash 'em if I could. devil
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Henry Ho
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Yes, I do let people win...but I don't let them know that.

Depending on the players involved, I also help point out what I would do if I was in their situation...if it's the type of players that want help. The more often the specific game is played, the less help I would provide...unless some new players are involved. Our gaming group is really good with sharing strategies, but not give away too much, so that the new players can still make their own final decisions.

The joy of seeing the new players getting excited when they win is very cool (even if I had thrown the game for them to win).
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Brian Bankler
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People, no.

Wookies, yes.
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Geoff
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I don't throw games, but sometimes I'll decide to experiment, even when it means I won't likely win the game. Going with the fun or interesting strategy can be more fun to me than going with a winning strategy.

However, I don't have the "problem" of being too awesome at board games laugh
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This's been something that's come up for me, recently. I've been teaching a bunch of kinda complicated games to new players, games that I'm very familiar with, and I generally trounce 'em without really trying, just through my familiarity with the systems. I think that there's a cognizance that these are learning games for them, but I still feel embarrassed "winning" with such stacked decks.

It's agreed that they wouldn't want me to throw a game, but I still try to lie back a little, take faster turns, and play with a relative lack of aggro (I won't do something directly screwy if I have an option that improves my station while leaving them unmolested). These games are also great opportunities to try some far-out strategies that I wouldn't normally risk against an evenly-skilled opponent.
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Jeff Wiles
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I don't let people win.

It only looks like I do.
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I like the idea of trying far-out strategies and subtly helping others with their strategy.

Some games like settlers can be tricky because so much relies on lucky dies rolls!
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Tim Park
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Yes, that is what I am doing. Everyone knows now, it's out of the bag, that's why I have such a terrible win-loss ratio.

Seriously, I will strive not to take especially cutthroat actions, or play using nuances that have not become apparent to new players.... until they get the game. So sometimes that results in me playing a little suboptimally into a loss on my first play with that person. If they get it part way through the first game, the velvet glove comes off and I get down to losing the old-fashioned way, by earning it. Depends on the other game though. With hard-core gamers, I don't play easy, really, though I might take the opportunity to try some new or off-the-wall strategies. Non-gamers who are trying some Euro fare, I might walk them to a win a couple times.

Tim
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Sheezwack wrote:
I like the idea of trying far-out strategies and subtly helping others with their strategy.


I think helping others with their strategy has to be done very careful. I understand when others don't like it if you make their turn too.

As an alternative you could tell others about your strategy during the games or "I am gona win next turn if...". That would help them and it would make it more difficult for you to win.
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Lori
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Sheezwack wrote:
Normally I am of the opinion that letting someone win is a huge insult (unless they are a child), just wondering if I'm alone on that.


Alone? Oh hell no. In fact, I think it's pretty crowded in here. (And I don't throw games to a child either.)
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Kent Reuber
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I don't let other people win, but if I know the game better than they do, I don't hesitate to give "you might want to consider" play suggestions.

Letting someone win doesn't make them a better player, but suggestions given during play might.
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Jay Sheely
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Nope. I always try my absolute best.
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Anthony Fry
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I don't "let" most adults I play against win.

I have been teaching my daughter (she's a teenager) more games of late, and depending on how quickly she is picking up the concept, I will usually either take it easy on her, or explain what is going on.

Teaching her to play Mechwarrior the other night, we were playing our third game ( I had won the first two) and I could tell she was getting frustrated since I was "in the lead" again.
This is really the first battle strategy game she has ever played, so she has no concept of focusing fire on a single piece to knock it out, or manuevering into position to "force" your opponent into a certain action.
So I began showing her the possible moves she had, and explaining why each would be beneficial or harmful.
She wound up beating me that game, but I made sure that she made all her own decisions, with a little guidance.
By teaching her strategy, I am helping her build skills for future strategy games.

Playing dominoes later (teaching her that as well) we started the first game showing all our dominoes, so that I could "help" her make the best plays possible. I took the time to explain what her options were, and the pros and cons of each.
I taught her how to think ahead, not just of scoring quickly, but of playing to keep your opponent from scoring.
The next game, we played dominoes hidden, but I explained the reasons for each domino I played, and without looking at her dominoes, would suggest certain moves she could take (if you have the 3/5, you could score 15 pts here, or if you have the 3/1 you could keep me from scoring since the 6/4 has already been played). Things like that.

While I don't "throw" the game, I will sometimes "assist" someone else in attaining victory if I know it will maintain their future interest in the game (not a lot of gamers around here) and if I know it will make them a more formidable opponent later on.
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Pater Absurdus
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Jeff Timothy
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I play to enjoy.

Which means, I will adjust my game on occasion and offer suggestions if I can see that those I am playing with are absolutely frustrated. It doesn't happen often. Some people, although, do not like being given suggestions. If everyone is having a good time I play to win. Wiping the floor with someone just because I can, is in my opinion, not fun. Where's the challenge in that. Now if that someone has been talking smack, well that's a different story. When that happens, the gloves come off.

My motto:

"A close game is a good game"

~Jeff.
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Zack Boatman
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Hi,

Perhaps you could try bringing the same game to the table for a handful of weeks in a row.

This would allow everyone at the table to gain some experience with one game instead of several different games and give you a chance to explore some of the more difficult winning strategies for the game.

Maybe once everyone gets a handle on playing one game well, these skills will help them start winning the other, different games that follow in the evening.

Since you are playing a few games a night, this will still give you a chance to introduce new games while helping the group develop some strong player skills by become familiar with one specific game.
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Manuel Pasi
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All the time...wait you mean intentionally...well no but they win anyways modest
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Greg Udvari
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Certainly no. However, if they don't think it patronising, teach them how to play better. It could even be their holy grail to finally "get you". I have a similar position in our local Agricola game. My brother or I win over 95% of our games. It is actually great to see people learn and get better in the game. If you are too worried, play more luck oriented games like Incan Gold.
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Everytime I lose it's because I let people win.whistle
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