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Subject: Is it really that hard to break 2P groupthink? rss

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David Jones
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Wilsonville
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From the "Agricola: All Creatures" forum...

PasiMax wrote:
Norbert666 wrote:
We've played ACBAS a lot lately. We really like it but I'm starting to have concerns about the longevity. The game (or our strategy) doesn't change much once you've got it cracked. Maybe its because it's always my wife and I, and we end up doing the same things?


Yes, I can see that sort of mini-group think happening....


I've seen comments like this posted on several forums for specific games and while I don't mean to pick on anyone in particular, I'm curious to know why people don't simply pull themselves out of two player ruts. For example, a friend of mine and I have played Macao at least 50 times, probably closer to 100. For while, the game did fall into a rut, but it was largely because we kept leaning toward the same strategies. So a few months ago, we've deliberately started taking cards on the first one or two rounds that we don't normally (or maybe would never) pick up. A few times we just took random cards and one time we even forced ourselved to take two cards in the opening setup. I wouldn't go so far as to say that the game became "fresh" but it did feel different and we were surprised to find new aspects of the game that we hadn't considered before. With Le Have, we've made deliberate efforts to use more special buildings or sometimes we will rig the build pile so that an essential building is buried or removed. Even with Navegador, which can be especially ruttish, we will sometimes pick difficult strategies or combine non-complementary stratgies just to do things different. Beleive me, I do understand that games will eventually hit a "rut" point, espically if your only goal is winning. But the important thing with these examples is that in each case, we've made a deliberate choice to do something new once we've hit that mark. Sure, sometimes the changes do not always turn into game winning strategies, but sometimes the fun comes from simply exploring new ways to work with the mechanics or trying to win with some kind of self imposed limitation.

To me, it seems that many games become ruttish if you deliberately box yourself in to established strategies. Granted, some games like, perhaps, Aquadukt and TransAmerica might simply be too shallow to encourage such variance, but I've seen people make the "rut" comment about deep games like the one's I've mentioned above. Again, I'm not trying to be critical of anyone, but I am genuinely curious. Even once you feel you've "cracked" a game, what stops you from choosing to do something different simple for the sake of difference?
 
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Kathleen Nugent
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Tamworth
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I recently bought Roma. At first my opponent and I concentrated on Fora (plural of Forum) to get VP. But the games ended in just a few minutes. I think players have to consciously decide to use other strategies; e.g., attacking, stealing points from the opponent; to make the game last longer and be more varied.
 
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