Tim P.
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I always thought that trading in games like Settlers of Catan was odd. Only one player can ultimately win, so there's disincentive to help certain people, even if it would be mutually beneficial to your board position. It's not quite zero-sum, but it's more so than in real life.

Then there's a cooperative games, but they force cooperation by putting everyone in the same boat. What I'm looking for is games where, in the final tally, each player wins or lose independently of other players. Of course, you can act in mutually beneficial ways, but it's natural cooperation: if you help them out, they can help you out.

For example, a trading game like Settlers of Catan where the game ended at a specified time, and whoever had X or more victory points wins, while everyone else loses. Trading is mutually beneficial, but cooperation is emergent, not forced by the rules. Also, there's no benefit to arbitrarily hurting others...like if you just played a card that said "Target player gets -2 victory points." (Though you could use it to extort) I'm not just looking for trading games, either: any game where your victory/loss isn't inherently determined by other player's victory/loss.
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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Re: Looking for games where you win/lose independently of other players, with emergent cooperation
Have you played Cosmic Encounter? It has a lot of negotiation and sometimes shared victories.
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Re: Looking for games where you win/lose independently of other players, with emergent cooperation
In Livingstone, it's possible for both players in a 2p game to lose if they don't donate enough throughout the game, but I'm not sure how they'd help each other in-game.
 
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Michael J
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Re: Looking for games where you win/lose independently of other players, with emergent cooperation
Santiago is one of my favorite competitive-cooperative games. You really have to work together or lose. But you can't help
Opponents too much either. One of my all time favorites!
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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Re: Looking for games where you win/lose independently of other players, with emergent cooperation
There are quite a few "semi-cooperative" games, where everyone can lose, or one player can win. Livingstone is one example. Others (in no particular order) include: The Lord of the Rings: Nazgul, The Hobbit, Fallen City of Karez, CO₂, Castaways, Dungeon Raiders, Terra. But that's not what the OP wants, nor is it what I am interested in.

The idea of a game where each player can win/lose independently is one I have been thinking about for a year or so. But I haven't seen any games that work like that, and haven't figured out how such a game could work (well).

I'm very interested in the topic, so I'm hoping someone can point to an existing game like this. It seems like an opportunity for an aspiring designer to come up with something innovative.
 
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Re: Looking for games where you win/lose independently of other players, with emergent cooperation
I forgot to mention: The closest I have seen so far is Exalted: Legacy of the Unconquered Sun, but it's not all that close to the request.

In Exalted, within any one play of the game, the players can choose to work together, or against each other, and can switch back and forth between those modes at any time. So it can be played purely cooperatively, or purely competitively, or as an "alliance" game with us vs. them, or as a semi-cooperative game where you work together most of the game, and then have a betrayal near the end that gives just one (or more) players the win.

Like I said, it's (also) not what the OP is looking for. I mention it because it is more fluid with winning/losing and cooperating/competing than any other game I have seen.
 
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suPUR DUEper
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Re: Looking for games where you win/lose independently of other players, with emergent cooperation
Diplomacy
 
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Ed G.
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Re: Looking for games where you win/lose independently of other players, with emergent cooperation
Mage Knight: Board Game
 
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Chris Ferejohn
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Re: Looking for games where you win/lose independently of other players, with emergent cooperation
Container
Chicago Express

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Tim P.
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Re: Looking for games where you win/lose independently of other players, with emergent cooperation
peakhope wrote:
...The idea of a game where each player can win/lose independently is one I have been thinking about for a year or so. But I haven't seen any games that work like that, and haven't figured out how such a game could work (well).

I'm very interested in the topic, so I'm hoping someone can point to an existing game like this. It seems like an opportunity for an aspiring designer to come up with something innovative.


I've been very interested in designing a game like that myself, just to fill the vacuum I went ahead and posted what I'm working on now here: http://boardgamegeek.com/article/9856426
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Re: Looking for games where you win/lose independently of other players, with emergent cooperation
For anyone who posts a game, it would be really helpful if you could add a few words about why you think that game qualifies.

In Cosmic Encounter, any player(s) who have 5 colonies win, and any that do not will lose. Quoting from the rule book: "It is possible, through alliances and successful negotiations, to have more than one player gain five colonies at the same time. In this case, the players share a win." It's definitely more on the competitive side, rather than the cooperative (or multi-player solitaire) side, so not really interesting to me. But does seem to be an example of what the OP asked for.

Santiago has some elements where players can/must work together, but clearly it is a competitive game. From a translation of the rule book: "The player with the most money after the final scoring wins the game."

In Diplomacy, if a Great Power controls 18 supply centers, it wins. Before that happens, all the surviving players can agree to stop the game at any time, and all those survivors share a draw. EDIT: So winning or losing is not independent. You can only win by yourself, or by agreeing with others that you should all share the win.

I haven't played Chicago Express, but I sure would be shocked if more than one player could win. Or, for that matter, if everyone could lose. I couldn't find a working link to online English rules, but the "Concise reference" says this: "Richest wins."

From the Container rules: "The player with the most money at the end of the scoring round is the winner."

Mage Knight has a variety of scenarios. Many are best score wins. The cooperative scenarios seem to be: everyone can win or everyone can lose, but feel free to check your individual score to see how well you did. The competitive and "slightly competitive" scenarios tend to say that the best score wins, regardless of whether or not the group mission was successful.


So other than Cosmic Encounter, none of these games seem particularly close to what the OP asked for.


EDIT: Fixed a newline; added commentary about Diplomacy
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Tim P.
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Re: Looking for games where you win/lose independently of other players, with emergent cooperation
cferejohn wrote:


I checked the rules for these, and they don't fit the description. I'm looking for games where your own victory conditions have no dependence on whether other players have won or lost. The rules for both of these games say that "The player with the most money wins," so winning is dependent on the other players losing.
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Sicaria Occaeco
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Re: Looking for games where you win/lose independently of other players, with emergent cooperation
I believe Maria and Friedrich both fit. Each player plays a different power with a different strength and starting point. Each power has different winning conditions. You have to work together but also work against each other.
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Kevin B. Smith
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Re: Looking for games where you win/lose independently of other players, with emergent cooperation
Maria has an Introductory game, and an Advanced game. Each supports only 2 or 3 players. In the Introductory game, each player has a different victory condition, but the game ends immediately when any one is fulfilled. So it is impossible for more than one player to win. Perhaps you could house-rule it differently. In the Advanced game, whoever runs out of victory markers first wins. There are tiebreaker rules for running out at the same time. If time runs out before anyone wins that way, lowest total score wins. And again there, there are tiebreakers.

Friedrich seems to be a one vs. many game, with Frederick playing against the attackers Elisabeth, Maria Theresa and Pompadour. The attackers are allied and cannot fight each other. Among the "many", "If two or more nations fulfill their victory conditions simultaneously both will win." It is impossible for the "one" to win if any of the "many" win.

In thinking about house-ruling Maria, it seems that the psychology of the players would have to be considered and/or managed. People coming in with a competitive frame of mind might think that a solo win is better than a shared win. People coming in with a cooperative frame of mind might think that a shared win is better than a solo win. So either might make moves thinking "too much" about the impact on others, rather than on the impact on themselves.

I think the rules, as well as the mechanics, would have to be delicately balanced to achieve the desired results. Unless the desired results are that each group could decide for themselves what the desired results are.
 
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Re: Looking for games where you win/lose independently of other players, with emergent cooperation
I'm not entirely sure if this is what you mean by "emergent cooperation" but:

Medina I think would qualify.
You can work on a building of one of 4 different colors. But if there's an existing building of a given color, even one started by someone else, and you want to build that color, you have to add to that building. So you are cooperating to make that building larger. But it's not "enforced by the rules" in that, if you wanted, you could just claim the building for yourself instead of making it larger.

Meuterer maybe?
This game has a simple economic angle, but the meat is in choosing the roles when you pass on the economic part. You can choose a "mutineer" roll, or you can choose a different roll that gives you some specific benefit. Someone else can choose a roll that supports the mutiny, or they choose one of the "non-partisan" specific benefit cards. This is all hidden. So you can choose to cooperate to do a successful mutiny or not, it's up to you.
Verräter is a similar game.
 
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todd sanders
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i am more curious why you are looking for this type of a game
 
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dumarest123 wrote:
i am more curious why you are looking for this type of a game

Speaking only for myself...I'm coming at it from a pure co-op angle...

This proposed type of game would solve the "alpha player" syndrome. Each player would be concerned with his or her own success, so would have no incentive to boss anyone around. Sure, they could try to beg and plead for assistance from others, but that's entirely different, as they are not in a position of power when they do so.

It would be FAR more enjoyable (for me) than any of those "semi-cooperative" games I mentioned, because there could be multiple winners. We could all be winners. Hugs all around. But at the same time, folks who don't like pure co-ops might like a game like this, so it might be more likely to get to the table on game night.

As the OP mentioned, it is more like most real-life situations. Well, I guess that depends on your life and your world-view. It's more like *my* life. YMMV.

It would also be different, unusual, innovative, and cool. Who doesn't like that?
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JohnnyDollar wrote:
Medina I think would qualify.

It may have some emergent cooperation during the game, but the winner is the one player with the highest score.

Quote:
Meuterer maybe?

Here again, the person with the most VP at the end of the game wins. During the game, when someone attempts a mutiny, players must choose sides.


To me, the most important part of the request was that at the end of the game, zero, one, several, or all of the players may have won. Whether a player wins or loses does not depend on other players having won or lost.

There are tons of games with temporary alliances. In fact, I would argue that most multi-player games that allow direct pvp interaction have that. And there are tons of games where players "build" something together, each contributing some parts to it. So those aspects aren't very interesting to me.
 
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Cesar Puga
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That is SO easy!

Galaxy Trucker is exactly what you are looking for!

From the rulebook:

Quote:
The game ends after Round 3, once all the rewards have been collected and all the penalties paid. Add up all your cosmic credits. If that number is 1 or more, you win!


You win/lose independently of other players!

Ta Da!!

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peakhope wrote:
JohnnyDollar wrote:
Medina I think would qualify.

It may have some emergent cooperation during the game, but the winner is the one player with the highest score.

Quote:
Meuterer maybe?

Here again, the person with the most VP at the end of the game wins. During the game, when someone attempts a mutiny, players must choose sides.



Yeah I misunderstood the part about one person winning regardless of whether another person won or not; I noticed he edited the post & title and also removed "emergent cooperation" from the title so not sure if his criteria changed or he just made it clearer or what

For Meuterer though, if you've chosen a non-partisan role, you don't choose sides. You're not involved in the conflict at all. So when you pass, if you see that someone took the Mutineer card, you could take the Cabin Boy to help this sometimes mystery person (depending on how many people have passed yet), or choose not to help them, and take a non-partisan role instead.
 
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Werner Bär
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Magic Realm

Each player (secretly, i think) records his victory condition. During the game, players might ignore each other, help each other, or fight against each other. At the game end, each player with a non-negative score wins.
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Mike_Bonn wrote:
Galaxy Trucker is exactly what you are looking for!
Quote:
The game ends after Round 3, once all the rewards have been collected and all the penalties paid. Add up all your cosmic credits. If that number is 1 or more, you win!

Wow. Not the way I was taught the game, but there it is in black and white. On the other hand, the rules follow up the quote above with "Of course, the player who has the most credits is a bit more of a winner than everyone else." Plus, there really isn't any emergent cooperation in the game. So close, but not quite exactly there.

Werbaer wrote:
Magic Realm

Ah yes. I haven't played it, but have heard that it would fit. Now if we could just boil it down into a manageable board game for the rest of us. And perhaps have it be a bit more directed, rather than free-form.
 
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I just found out that an about-to-be-released game does allow each player to win or lose independently: Level 7 [Escape]. Zero, one, many, or all players can win.

It will be interesting to hear how well it works in practice, when the reviews start to appear.
 
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Tim P.
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oeste wrote:
I haven't played it yet, but does anyone know if Tales of the Arabian Nights might work?


Almost, except for tie breakers:

Quote:
Game End:
If you have collected enough Destiny and Story Points to meet your secret goal you must return to Baghdad in order to win. Once you reach Baghdad (and remain there after surviving an encounter), you announce that you are going to win.

All of the other players each have one last turn to try to complete their goals and reach Baghdad. At the end of this “last turn” any player in Baghdad who has filled his victory conditions can win the game. At the end of the “last turn,” it is possible for one, several, or all players of the game to be in the running to win the game. If you are still the only eligible player at the end of that last turn, you are victorious. If more than one player with enough Destiny and Story Points to win ends their turn in Baghdad during that “last turn,” the tied player with the most statuses wins. If there is still a tie, the tied player with the most skills wins. If there is still a tie, the win is shared.
 
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Byron Campbell
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oeste wrote:
I haven't played it yet, but does anyone know if Tales of the Arabian Nights might work?


From how I understand it, there is only one winner in the official rules of TotAN. But you could probably easily house-rule that, as the winning conditions never seemed that important to the game.
 
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