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Subject: What is the best way to actually play this? rss

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James Clarke
United Kingdom
Caithness
Scotland
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We really enjoy the basic game concept (find the amoeba which escaped from the lab and mutated and/or scuttled through a vent along the way).

Our problem with the rules, is that the first person who thinks they have found the amoeba is required to touch this particular card. However, it is not really clear whether all the other players are then expected to immediately stop searching in order to validate the identification. In any case, we have found this to be a most unsatisfactory way to play, mainly because all players want to carry on and conclude their own investigation. Unfortunately, the interventions of the first player tend to completely spoil these continuing searches, not least by the obstructing arm stretched across the table.

We have concluded that claims should ideally be discretely and silently marked, and that all players should be allowed to make a claim. Consequently, we also feel that points should be awarded for the first 3 correct claims (say 4pts, 2pts and 1pt, for 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively). This rewards fast accurate play, without destroying incentive for the marginally slower investigators. All wrong claims receive -1pt.

One potential way of fulfilling this aim would be to issue each player with their own coloured disc to mark their claim. Disc placed on top of disc would register the heirarchy of claims.

Has anyone else found this aspect of the game to be similarly troublesome, and perhaps would like to share their own improved house rule? As I said, there is an excellent game in here, but the rules seem to lack the necessary refinement in a critical area.

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Lee Fisher
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In our limited plays so far, we did a combination. Sometimes the answer is pretty obvious, so someone claims it immediately and we generally just agree. Other times it is a little more involved. Someone will either claim an answer and quickly realize it is wrong while the rest of us keep playing.

So on more complex puzzles we may each get to claim one and then evaluate. Or someone will come to the same conclusion as one of the other players and we'll evaluate and score at that time.
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Robert Stewart
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A friend brought this along to our gaming club a while back, and got a couple of games with different groups - the end-game scores were 5-2/3-0-0-0(-0-0-0-0-0) (the first game only had 5 players and the runner-up's score was different).

Our conclusion was that the game is too sensitive to the range of skill levels, so will generally create a runaway winner simply because their slight advantage in reaction-time and rapid deduction wins unless other people skip ahead and guess, losing points as often as they gain.

You can't really do a "2 points for first to get it right; 1 point for anyone else" because that just encourages everyone to wait for the good player to commit, and then copy their answer.

To actually get a workable game out of it, you'd need some way of keeping your guess secret once you'd made it - labelling the locations somehow and writing your guess would probably work - or each having a stack of playing cards to match...
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Lloyd
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Odd, we didn't find the imbalances at all really.

We had one player on 5, two on 3 and two on 1 point at game end. It worked just fine with us having one person point at a card and then get out of the way, so others could continue.
 
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Andrew Griffiths
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Bexleyheath
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Highland Cow wrote:

We really enjoy the basic game concept (find the amoeba which escaped from the lab and mutated and/or scuttled through a vent along the way).

Our problem with the rules, is that the first person who thinks they have found the amoeba is required to touch this particular card. However, it is not really clear whether all the other players are then expected to immediately stop searching in order to validate the identification. In any case, we have found this to be a most unsatisfactory way to play, mainly because all players want to carry on and conclude their own investigation. Unfortunately, the interventions of the first player tend to completely spoil these continuing searches, not least by the obstructing arm stretched across the table.

We have concluded that claims should ideally be discretely and silently marked, and that all players should be allowed to make a claim. Consequently, we also feel that points should be awarded for the first 3 correct claims (say 4pts, 2pts and 1pt, for 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively). This rewards fast accurate play, without destroying incentive for the marginally slower investigators. All wrong claims receive -1pt.

One potential way of fulfilling this aim would be to issue each player with their own coloured disc to mark their claim. Disc placed on top of disc would register the heirarchy of claims.

Has anyone else found this aspect of the game to be similarly troublesome, and perhaps would like to share their own improved house rule? As I said, there is an excellent game in here, but the rules seem to lack the necessary refinement in a critical area.



I like this idea - will definitely give this a go - will give my mum chance to catch up
 
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