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Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small» Forums » General

Subject: Variance in Game - longterm replayability rss

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lebuk the wise
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Hi,

I just wanted to bring this issue to the attention of the gaming community and hear your oppinon/ideas about it.

Agricola 2 Players is a very interesting, nicely done, simplified version of Agricola that plays very fast. However by focusing on animal husbandry the game also got rid of all potential luck involved. Without the exception of the uncertainty of which action the other player is taking, this game can be carefully planned throughout all the 8 turns it takes.

Now I am about to assume that there might be the one "perfect game" where you set the perfect actions to achieve the highest score. Each game you play will be a process of evolution towards this perfect stratey. In a process of trial and error this will lead to a standard opening and game flow in the course of time with each game played until you reach the perfect standardised moves and each game will be the same.

eg: starting player does action A
2nd player responds with his best option to this move
and so on and so forth

So far I did not reach this point as I have only played a couple of games and I am curious whether games will really tend to become more alike the more you play (I highly anticipate that).

If it will turn out like that, the only way to revitalise this game then will be to bring some sort of mission cards or assymetry in the game but this will be the sound of the future and still some way to go till I think I/we will reach this point.

The casual gamer of course will not have a problem with the above mentioned.

Just to be claer: I do like the game and I just played a few games so far but still ...

Curios on your thoughts on that topic whether

a) you see this tendency too and
b) if yes once you reached this point on your thoughts of how to fix it

cheers, lebuk

 
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Thomas Staudt
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You can certainly find an optimal 8 turn strategy e.g. if you just play as a single player.

But I think / hope there is nothing that is so good that the knowledge of this strategy to the second player will still make it viable.

So far all games I played with different strategies / level of familiarity with the game were within 2 VP, so I think it's all very close.

But only time will tell. With the large number of playtesters Uwe Rosenberg's games usually have, I have high hopes that all the values / actions are well balanced.
 
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Tom Steynen
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Well, any game without randomness is inherently solvable. The question is how easy it is to solve it. Time will tell I guess.
 
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Thomas Staudt
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Tekar wrote:
Well, any game without randomness is inherently solvable. The question is how easy it is to solve it. Time will tell I guess.


"Not knowing what your opponent will do" may not account for randomness in a strictly mathematical sense, but you have 8 turns * 6 actions, with 10+ possible actions, plus the variety in placement, so I don't think there is an easy way to find an "always winning" solution independent of what your opponent does.

There are more different things to do each turn than in a Chess game, so except for the limited number of turns it should be more complicated to find the best strategy ...
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Bruce Murphy
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ashman wrote:
Tekar wrote:
Well, any game without randomness is inherently solvable. The question is how easy it is to solve it. Time will tell I guess.


"Not knowing what your opponent will do" may not account for randomness in a strictly mathematical sense, but you have 8 turns * 6 actions, with 10+ possible actions, plus the variety in placement, so I don't think there is an easy way to find an "always winning" solution independent of what your opponent does.

There are more different things to do each turn than in a Chess game, so except for the limited number of turns it should be more complicated to find the best strategy ...


It's not about how many things there are to do, it's about how easy it is to construct a pruning function that allows you to ignore most of them as unhelpful.

B>

 
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Kuba P.
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thepackrat wrote:
ashman wrote:
Tekar wrote:
Well, any game without randomness is inherently solvable. The question is how easy it is to solve it. Time will tell I guess.


"Not knowing what your opponent will do" may not account for randomness in a strictly mathematical sense, but you have 8 turns * 6 actions, with 10+ possible actions, plus the variety in placement, so I don't think there is an easy way to find an "always winning" solution independent of what your opponent does.

There are more different things to do each turn than in a Chess game, so except for the limited number of turns it should be more complicated to find the best strategy ...


It's not about how many things there are to do, it's about how easy it is to construct a pruning function that allows you to ignore most of them as unhelpful.

B>



this discussion is brought to you exclusively on BoardGameGeek.com

just kidding, actually i find it quite interesting
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Thomas Staudt
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thepackrat wrote:
ashman wrote:
Tekar wrote:
Well, any game without randomness is inherently solvable. The question is how easy it is to solve it. Time will tell I guess.


"Not knowing what your opponent will do" may not account for randomness in a strictly mathematical sense, but you have 8 turns * 6 actions, with 10+ possible actions, plus the variety in placement, so I don't think there is an easy way to find an "always winning" solution independent of what your opponent does.

There are more different things to do each turn than in a Chess game, so except for the limited number of turns it should be more complicated to find the best strategy ...


It's not about how many things there are to do, it's about how easy it is to construct a pruning function that allows you to ignore most of them as unhelpful.

B>



Agreed, not all actions are always useful.

Let's wait and see.

I know I'm not playing any game often enough to get to that point ...
 
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Dan C
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I'm on the fence on this one (still waiting to see more reviews). I like my games to have a dash of randomness, so if this has none, I'm not quite as interested...
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Black Bart
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I had the same feeling after reading the rules. But nothing stops you from being adventurous and trying other strategies if you win too many games...
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jood shine
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hmmm iknow what you are saying but i feel that it wont get samey in the way you are talking of...well no more than lots of other games i play..i was wondering that about conhex for example and thought the chances of each player doing the same moves each time , getting the same game is slim and it could be said of this too for me - i think playing 2 player with same person you both can get into a set pattern of play - ive not found this a problem or that the games before staid or fixed or boring so i cant personaly see this becomign any different

 
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James Cheevers
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This thought had crossed my mind after my first couple of games.

Then a second thought of, "What the hell, my kids like playing this with me", soon took over.

Also solo player challenge could be interesting in the short term.
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Rainer Ludwig
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I guess I'm not telling secrets when I say that there are already plans for an extension, which will consist of additional special buildings, bringing in the randomness and setup variability that some seem to be missing.

That said, I do like games with minimal randomness, and that's why I'm already happy with ACBaS as it stands. My girlfriend and I have played ~10 games and it's not like there's a winning strategy even beginning to fall out. (There is one player that has won decidedly more often than the other, however she's changing her strategy from game to game... ;-) ) There certainly are opening moves that are less promising than others (yeah, go ahead and take that one reed)... just as there are in chess. And just as in chess, I expect no two games ever to be the same, since there's just too much room for variation. Players can adopt to each other's strategies, react to each other's moves, try to anticipate the other's plans, and so on. Just think of finding the right point to get a yard extension... should I gamble and hope to get it along with three border pieces next round, or is it better to play safe and be happy with two?

I'm not an expert and haven't even started doing the math, but my impression is that it will be about as easy to find the one always-winning strategy for this game as it is in chess.
 
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Chris F.
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thuki wrote:
I guess I'm not telling secrets when I say that there are already plans for an extension, which will consist of additional special buildings, bringing in the randomness and setup variability that some seem to be missing.

Oooh - then they could add a deck of cards the players draw from to "improve" their farm, or maybe another deck to teach their workers special skills!
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Thomas Staudt
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and add more players, maybe the chance to get additional workers, add farming - oh, wait.

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Grzegorz Kobiela
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