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Subject: Skill Based Board Games (No Dice) ? rss

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Hidden Mirrors
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Hey guys,

I was wondering, in your opinions, what are some Skill Based Conflict resolving methods that have been presented in Board Games of the past, or you think should be used in the future?

I don't mind Dice too much, but it is horrible when you plan great and roll bad, and feel like a lesser opponent won off die rolls. I also have tried to introduce people to board games and this is the number 1 turn off I heard from them.

Any other ideas?
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David H
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Could you define what you mean by "skill based conflict"?

It appears offhand that you prefer deterministic combat. Random thoughts:

1) Area control: Whoever has more units in area wins
2) Worker placement: Whoever places first and/or more wins
3) Auction: Bid stuff until somebody can't take it any longer and "loses".
4) Fisticuffs: Certainly a skill based method of resolving conflicts
5) Voting: Other players vote on winner, possibly weighted voting (eg. Lancaster)
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Paul DeStefano
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Alfred Leonardi's simultaneous book resolution games, as found in Ace of Aces: Handy Rotary Series, Lost Worlds and a slew of others.
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Agent J
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Imperial has units removed one-for-one instead of having dice decide.

Diplomacy has every unit worth one strength, and able to support other units to give them more strength, and the higher number wins. This is further difficult because you can only have one unit per territory, and you must be able to move to the territory you're supporting or supporting an attack into...
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Hidden Mirrors
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Pretty Much any method not based on Random Outcome. Flipping a Coin, Rolling a Dice, Picking Numbers out of a hat, drawing straws, all things I think are more luck based.

You mention some good ones too.
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Martin Larouche
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HiddenMirrors wrote:
Pretty Much any method not based on Random Outcome. Flipping a Coin, Rolling a Dice, Picking Numbers out of a hat, drawing straws, all things I think are more luck based.

You mention some good ones too.


Checkout Dungeon Twister or Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation.
No luck, non-random card driven system that's pretty similar in both games.
 
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Timothy Adamson
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HiddenMirrors wrote:
I also have tried to introduce people to board games and this is the number 1 turn off I heard from them.

What games has this happened with?
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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timonkey wrote:
HiddenMirrors wrote:
I also have tried to introduce people to board games and this is the number 1 turn off I heard from them.

What games has this happened with?


Probably just some random ones.
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Hidden Mirrors
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Yeah, From Shadowrun, Warhammer 40k to Pictionary.

Pictionary is a good example of a skill based game, that is then heavenly influenced by pure luck. A solution to that would be, draw 10 cards, play 10 turns, who even figures out the most pictures first wins. (I think that is how the television version worked.)

But there are many games where people walk away saying "I just had bad rolls tonight" or "I am so bad at rolling dice (which i realize is pure mental)" Still, it can lead to a bad experience with board games in general when these thoughts start.

So I am seeing what other ideas are out there. You guys have presented some good ones, I am reading about them still
 
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Blorb Plorbst
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There are a lot of No Luck or Low Luck boardgames out there.

Are you looking for something more akin to a wargame without random combat resolution? Or just any game without luck?
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Hidden Mirrors
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CrankyPants wrote:
There are a lot of No Luck or Low Luck boardgames out there.

Are you looking for something more akin to a wargame without random combat resolution? Or just any game without luck?


I guess no luck. A game players can feel like they get better at by playing again and again. Risk is another game where its low luck, but even that can be a pain at times.

Would you guys consider Rock Papers Scissors Luck? I am studying it, some say yes, some say no.
 
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Agent J
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Not luck. Determined by players, therefore it is not luck perse. It's simultaneous action selection. That's not luck, but it FEELS like luck, and can often surprise you like luck can. It's my favorite substitute for luck.
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Timothy Adamson
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HiddenMirrors wrote:
Would you guys consider Rock Papers Scissors Luck? I am studying it, some say yes, some say no.

No, but the best strategy is to pick randomly. If you did that - which you can't - then it would be luck. So it's kind of a weird case.
 
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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timonkey wrote:
HiddenMirrors wrote:
Would you guys consider Rock Papers Scissors Luck? I am studying it, some say yes, some say no.

No, but the best strategy is to pick randomly. If you did that - which you can't - then it would be luck. So it's kind of a weird case.


So I should roll a die to determine what my RPS throw is?
 
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Agent J
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I usually just throw rock. Nothing beats rock!
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Timothy Adamson
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Jythier wrote:
timonkey wrote:
HiddenMirrors wrote:
Would you guys consider Rock Papers Scissors Luck? I am studying it, some say yes, some say no.

No, but the best strategy is to pick randomly. If you did that - which you can't - then it would be luck. So it's kind of a weird case.


So I should roll a die to determine what my RPS throw is?


If the die is fair, yes.
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David H
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Jythier wrote:
Not luck. Determined by players, therefore it is not luck perse. It's simultaneous action selection. That's not luck, but it FEELS like luck, and can often surprise you like luck can. It's my favorite substitute for luck.


I disagree completely.

Simultaneous action selection does not just feel like luck, it is luck. See Revolution! or to some extent Diplomacy.

Sure, theoretically, you could read my mind completely and determine that I'm about to throw paper, and I agree that I am not a very good random number generator. However, to imply that winning at rock paper scissors (especially a reasonably limited match of say 50 throws) is anything but pure luck is ascribing a much greater level of skill to people than I think anybody on this website actually posesses.

Note that this is different than blind bidding, where is there is some value that I can calculate people will assign to a given item up for auction. I still believe that blind bidding has a very very large luck component, but at least there is some skill. In rock paper scissors, where all 3 options are completely identical, I would argue that there is no skill at all.
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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timonkey wrote:
Jythier wrote:
timonkey wrote:
HiddenMirrors wrote:
Would you guys consider Rock Papers Scissors Luck? I am studying it, some say yes, some say no.

No, but the best strategy is to pick randomly. If you did that - which you can't - then it would be luck. So it's kind of a weird case.


So I should roll a die to determine what my RPS throw is?


If the die is fair, yes.


If it's an advantage to do so, that would not be fair. Therefore, unfair die.
 
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David H
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Jythier wrote:
I usually just throw rock. Nothing beats rock!


Poor predictable Jythier, always goes for rock
 
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Agent J
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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Knave wrote:
Jythier wrote:
I usually just throw rock. Nothing beats rock!


Poor predictable Jythier, always goes for rock


Can you smell what the Rock is cooking?
 
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Timothy Adamson
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Jythier wrote:
timonkey wrote:
Jythier wrote:
So I should roll a die to determine what my RPS throw is?


If the die is fair, yes.


If it's an advantage to do so, that would not be fair. Therefore, unfair die.

???
 
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Timothy Adamson
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Knave wrote:
Jythier wrote:
Not luck. Determined by players, therefore it is not luck perse. It's simultaneous action selection. That's not luck, but it FEELS like luck, and can often surprise you like luck can. It's my favorite substitute for luck.


I disagree completely.

Simultaneous action selection does not just feel like luck, it is luck. See Revolution! or to some extent Diplomacy.

Sure, theoretically, you could read my mind completely and determine that I'm about to throw paper, and I agree that I am not a very good random number generator. However, to imply that winning at rock paper scissors (especially a reasonably limited match of say 50 throws) is anything but pure luck is ascribing a much greater level of skill to people than I think anybody on this website actually posesses.

There are computer programming competitions for RPS. Some do much better than others. However, RPS is a bad game for discussing luck in a game without random elements because the winning strategy is to choose to be random.

Quote:
Note that this is different than blind bidding, where is there is some value that I can calculate people will assign to a given item up for auction. I still believe that blind bidding has a very very large luck component, but at least there is some skill. In rock paper scissors, where all 3 options are completely identical, I would argue that there is no skill at all.

But say we're playing something like A Game of Thrones, where you secretly select cards and then reveal. Once you decide what you're going to play, the result is entirely dependent on what I choose. There is no luck.

However, in a sufficiently chaotic system like that, it may FEEL like luck, even though there is none. Maybe something like Get Bit (caveat: I haven't played it).
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Vince Lupo
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I hate rock, paper, scissor. It's some luck but I feel like it's more of a mind game. Also I feel like a quick cheating person could see your choice and change their choice as it's coming out from behind your back.


Dice are much better. Random.org is even better.


When it comes down to it, cards are a little like dice depending on the game. For example, if you're in a game of dominion and hoping that your next card draw will be the card you're hoping for but you only have one copy of it in your deck AND perhaps you even have a rather large deck AND this draw will happen right after a shuffle. You could theoretically be just as likely to roll a twelve on two 6 sided dice as you are to draw 1 card out of 36 other cards. And when your neighbor does draw their card luckfully and you haven't it's sort of like when you roll really low/bad in stone age but your opponents rolled really well. Thankfully though you happen to be pretty mostly responsible for the contents of your deck/odds in dominion. AND eventually you do end up drawing all your cards and using them unless it's close enough to the end of the game, in which case you're buying non-usable cards anyhow.

So I am more forgiving of dice than I have been in the past. Cards are still better as eventually the odds of a certain card showing up are high enough that it happens anyhow.

I like the way dice are handled in arkham horror. But it is a coop and perhaps dice feel more welcome in coop.



Alba Longa has interesting hero cards to resolve fights. Each player gets a numbered hero and they simultaneously reveal one. That combines with their workers in their military area and then you compare the difference. Numbered heros that you've used, remain in a pile until you've used them all. It's almost like "decide your die roll" but you have to cycle through good ones and bad ones.

I like the luck of first placement in worker placements.


I'm working on a game system/mechanic similar to Alba Longa's but it involves using 3 cards, revealed and chosen one at a time. Obviously there are more cards in my case.


Also, no luck board games tend become more abstract I think. But there's a magic/fun ratio of luck to determinism. I don't know the math/ratio, but I'm guessing that games with 30% luck to 70% skill could be close. But even with "no luck" game design there's STILL "luck". For example, when you make a move in chess, you hope that your opponent doesn't notice the one move they need to take now in order to stop your plans. I consider that a form of luck if they don't notice it or unluckiness if they do. Brass and Caylus have high skill and low luck to no luck. In fact, Caylus is all deterministic but the other players become your luck factor. But for some that level of determinism is too high. Brass has the luck of your card draws and the luck of the external market. I think Brass is a little more fun there.


Small World's combat system is pretty neat. It's a mostly deterministic game in fact. Rarely does it involve the one die and it rarely makes that big of a difference.


 
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Agent J
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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If I make a move in chess knowing that you can punish it horribly, I've either already lost or I won't make that move... also, catching the fact they can punish it is skill, not luck.
 
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Blorb Plorbst
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There are a bunch of train games that are not only luckless (except for initial seating) but also highly rated:

Steam/Age of Steam
1830: Railways & Robber Barons and the whole 18XX family
Baltimore & Ohio
Chicago Express

I'm sure I'm missing some . . .

Some war games would include Simmon's
Napoleon's Triumph and
Bonaparte at Marengo

Euros like
Puerto Rico
Agricola (Family Game or with variant card drafting rules)
Caylus
Imperial
El Grande has some luck but it affects all players equally -- there's an alternate rule and components in the reprint that removes this as well.

I'm sure there are many more in the top 100 that I'm not aware of.
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