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Subject: What are suggested time controls/penalties for this game? rss

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Grant Fikes
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I may be a relatively casual player, but I like playing with time controls whenever I can as a way of giving my opponent assurance that, yes, I will play in a reasonable amount of time, there's no need to be impatient. Having not played this game yet, I'm not sure what a good time control would be. In the basic two-player game, one player gets 9 moves and the other gets 8 moves, so the time controls would almost certainly be stricter than in chess, where the game is rarely over that quickly and players need more time to think because they have more turns. (On the other hand, the possible moves for a single turn are almost completely unlimited, which might mean more thinking is needed per turn. Plus, scoring a turn has the potential to be a little time-consuming. Hmmm.) One thing is for certain, though: to combat the advantage of having 9 turns versus 8 turns (which the rules already combat by making the first player lose ties), both players should have the same amount of time, so that the first player has less time per turn. Actually, I think that for a tournament setting, it would be preferable to make each "game" the sum of the scores of two games so each player gets the same number of turns (17). If there's a tie score, it's just a tie.

What should the penalty be for overstepping one's time limit? In chess, the penalty is just "you lose" (assuming your opponent has sufficient material to make you lose). However, in tournament Scrabble, the penalty is that you instead lose points according to how much extra time you used (10 points per minute or portion of a minute above the allotted 25 minutes). Having no idea what typical scores are in Topology, I'm not sure what a good penalty would be.

Dear Lord, I take games too seriously. . . .
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Markus Hagenauer jr.
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mathgrant wrote:
Having not played this game yet, I'm not sure what a good time control would be.


I have played it a lot, but I don´t know too.


mathgrant wrote:
On the other hand, the possible moves for a single turn are almost completely unlimited, which might mean more thinking is needed per turn.


But on the other hand you don´t have to think further ahead than to the next turn of your opponent (not make him a huge gift).

mathgrant wrote:
Actually, I think that for a tournament setting, it would be preferable to make each "game" the sum of the scores of two games so each player gets the same number of turns (17). If there's a tie score, it's just a tie.

I totally agree.

mathgrant wrote:

Having no idea what typical scores are in Topology, I'm not sure what a good penalty would be.


The typical scores are form 90 to 150. If no player makes a big mistake, the difference between the players should not be more then 30.


mathgrant wrote:

Dear Lord, I take games too seriously. . . .


Yes,
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Markus Hagenauer jr.
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My gut instincts tell me
10 minutes per player and a penalty of 5 per additional minute might work.
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Russ Williams
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If it lasts a fixed/constant number of turns, why not just use a fixed/constant length of time instead of adding in an overtime system? And running out of time means you lose, simply? Keep it simple and all that...
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Grant Fikes
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russ wrote:
If it lasts a fixed/constant number of turns, why not just use a fixed/constant length of time instead of adding in an overtime system? And running out of time means you lose, simply? Keep it simple and all that...


I'd be tempted to try a penalty like 5 points for the first 30 seconds, 10 points for the next 30 seconds, then 20, then 40, and so on. Also, you lose automatically if your score goes negative. More merciful than losing automatically, but more painful than a gentle poke in the nose.
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