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Subject: Why is the need for deck knowledge considered a good thing? rss

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f s
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In another thread (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/10167745#10167745) the following was stated as one of the reasons why TS would be great:

Quote:
7. It’s Better with Age – No other card-driven game punishes lack of foresight into what might happen (knowing the cards in the deck)


How can that be a good thing? I mean, that is the second thing I find horrid about this game (the first being its unnecessary length.)
 
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Paul M
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Some people don't think that being able to know everything there is to know about a game after 1-3 plays is necessarily a good thing. Some people do. Difference of opinion.
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f s
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My point would be that part of being good at this game is deck knowledge as a skill. I cannot see this as a good thing.
I can totally understand if people like to be surprised by a game, but that is not the issue at hand here. Or I did misunderstand you.
 
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Adam Cirone
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After a few plays, you should have an idea of what most of the key events do and when the are added to the deck. Honestly, I don't know why people freak out so much about needing to "memorize the deck" in Twilight Struggle. Such knowledge will come naturally after a few plays.

In addition, once both players are familiar with the rules and most of the cards, a game of Twilight Struggle should consistently end in less than three hours, a very reasonable amount of time considering the depth of game play.
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Adam Kazimierczak
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TS is like a card driven chess game. Your first play of chess you're just stumbling around learning how the pieces move. Your second game you over value your queen and rooks and plan move to move. Finally you study openers and pattern recognition.

Or you get sick of it after 1-2 games and move on.

TS looks like Risk with cards, but it's not.
 
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Adam Cirone
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kaziam wrote:
Finally you study openers and pattern recognition.


Only unlike chess, the learning curve for Twilight Struggle is less intimidating. You don't need to read dozens of books and memorize hundreds of positions... just playing a few games and reading a few strategy articles will set you on the right path.

I highly recommend: www.twilightstrategy.com
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f s
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Quote:
Honestly, I don't know why people freak out so much about needing to "memorize the deck" in Twilight Struggle. Such knowledge will come naturally after a few plays.


The game seems too long for that excuse. "A few plays" mean 20+ hours playtime in this games case. That just seems too long to me just to get to the level of being able to more or less competently asserting my options.

However, the point was not so much whether this is a problem (which I believe it is), but why one would consider this a good thing.
 
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Quote:
TS is like a card driven chess game. Your first play of chess you're just stumbling around learning how the pieces move. Your second game you over value your queen and rooks and plan move to move. Finally you study openers and pattern recognition.


In that case, any game with some depth and with little luck would be like chess in a way. Agricola is chess then, as is Puerto Rico, as is Dampfross (when played with all players using the same die roll result.)
But of course they all are nothing like chess, because the complexity is distributed in a way that is completely different. You also have hidden information. You also have luck (card hands drawing.)
I think the chess comparison is not helpful at all. All that is also there in many other games besides chess. So, why chess?


Quote:
TS looks like Risk with cards, but it's not.


I dont think anyone said it was Risk with cards.
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Adam Cirone
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Si Fei wrote:
That just seems too long to me just to get to the level of being able to more or less competently asserting my options.


Everyone feels differently about games. I enjoy playing simple-to-learn eurogames, but I also enjoy playing more complex wargames. If you think Twilight Struggle is too long with too steep a learning curve, then you don't even want to look at Paths of Glory.

Some people enjoy the time and effort it takes to figure out a more complex game. There is a sense of satisfaction that comes with comprehending a 20+ page rulebook with over a dozen exceptions and special circumstances.

Some people enjoy playing longer games, because they appreciate a narrative that takes time to unfold and can have many swings of fortune. Even a losing game is fun because it is the experience that matters, not always the competency of play.
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Derek McKay
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I sense some trolling here, but I would like to point out that there is no luck in chess.
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Justin Fitzgerald
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Easy - the game grows with you, rather than getting worse with more plays. Most games I try to play infrequently to keep from figuring them out to much... this one actually is better the more I figure it out.
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Evgeny Reznikov
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Najimbe wrote:
I sense some trolling here, but I would like to point out that there is no luck in chess.


He was talking about TS.
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brad sheehan
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I think you are thinking about this the wrong way. The poster is not saying that you buy this game thinking "wow after i play 15 times and learn all the cards this game is gonna be freaking awesome!!! I can't wait" That would just be stupid. The point of the comment is that if you enjoy the game out of the box, when you don't know what is going on,then you will only enjoy the game more after you learn the cards and the different interactions they can have. There has to be the initial enjoyment of the game mechanics, theme, length, etc for you to get to that stage. This is obviously not the case for you.
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I really enjoy the learning curve in Twilight struggle. I thought it was a fun game out of the box, and doesn't become trivial or obvious as you learn more. I also prefer 3-4 hour games over shorter 45-60 minute games, because it often makes for a deeper game.

Just different styles I guess. Find the style of games that you like and stay with those. Twilight Struggle isn't for everyone, and you will probably be happier with other games. I find it to be a great game that doesn't get old.
 
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Brad, I think you might be right about that. I might have misunderstood what he really meant. That would clear that up.

So no one actually thinks that having to memorize the deck is a good thing? Then we are indeed through with this problem
 
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Chris Ferejohn
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Yeah, Brad put it well. Not knowing the cards is actually kind of fun - you get to be surprised by the cards as they come into your hand (and if you are so inclined you can look up the historical details in the rulebook - my wife loves doing that).

What is *good* though (and really this is true for a number of card-based games) is that the game becomes enjoyable in a different way once the players start to get familiar with the deck.

The one drawback is that an experienced player (who knows the deck) has a marked advantage over a less experienced player, but if two players are learning the game together, I don't really see it as a problem.
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G K
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I don't quite get the "need" for deck knowledge part. You can have a lot of fun playing learning games, as long as your opponent is at the same experience level (provided you enjoy the other aspects of the game). Really you only need to learn/memorize the deck to play at a competitive level, in which case you will have probably already studied the other aspects of the game anyways.

This is true of many games however. Try playing your first couple games of Agricola against a veteran. I'm having a hard time thinking of a game where this is not the case that doesn't include a very high element of randomness.

So no, I don't think having a game that grows with you a bad thing.

edit:typos, grammar, oops
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Dan Moore
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cferejohn wrote:
The one drawback is that an experienced player (who knows the deck) has a marked advantage over a less experienced player, but if two players are learning the game together, I don't really see it as a problem.



That is my largest complaint with the game.

As far as the Counting Cards phenomenon, it's a question of Taste, and there is no dispute in questions of Taste*. Personally I don't enjoy it much either, but I do enjoy TS against my equally inexperience Primary Gaming Partner.

Once past the Fumbling About stage, TS isn't all that hard a game . . .


*digression: overhead small child asking their father, in tones of great concern, "You're really okay that it tastes bad?"
 
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Ahmed Hadzi
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Knowing the deck adds something to this game. It becomes psychological game too. As Frank Herbert would say "it's feint and counter feint". Games that provide that kind of depth with relative simple rules are what separates them from the rest of the games.

I find this game to be more enjoyable with more plays, learning the deck and it's subtleties is a rewarding feeling in my opinion. Every completed game is a learning tool. It's not about being surprised without knowing the script, it is about knowing what awaits around the corner, but never being fully ready for it (or making your opponent think that you are not ready).

If this is not your thing, hey it's not end of the world. There is 60000 entries on BGG, enough for everyone to find something.
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brad sheehan
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catmando wrote:
cferejohn wrote:
The one drawback is that an experienced player (who knows the deck) has a marked advantage over a less experienced player, but if two players are learning the game together, I don't really see it as a problem.



That is my largest complaint with the game.

As far as the Counting Cards phenomenon, it's a question of Taste, and there is no dispute in questions of Taste*. Personally I don't enjoy it much either, but I do enjoy TS against my equally inexperience Primary Gaming Partner.

Once past the Fumbling About stage, TS isn't all that hard a game . . .


*digression: overhead small child asking their father, in tones of great concern, "You're really okay that it tastes bad?"


Your biggest complaint is that experienced players beat inexperienced players? You must complain about a lot of games
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I think the complaint is more about what the skills are that these wins are based on. Detailed card nowledge is rather different from sound tactics. In fact, they are the foundation for any attempt at sound tactics.

Just to add my thoughts on this again, I think it is quite an issue, as you do, for example, need to know that you are not supposed to take South Korea early as the Soviets. Or that Chile will get some Soviet influence. And all that.

If two players are learning the game together, of course all that would be much more tolerable. But is that really the standard scenario for learning the game?
 
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brad sheehan
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its not a bad move taking s korea as the ussr. the korean war is only a 50/50 shot at best and most likely the US will not take s korea until they control japan at least which only makes it a 1/3 shot. If you are relying on odds like that all game you wont win very often. I usually try to drop a point or 2 into s korea early so if i get the war card i can just use its 2 ops to take it. This also prevents the us from using the card event first and if it fails taking the country with 2 ops, or if successful with only 1 op just making it 2/1 again.
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Jack Francisco
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My opinion is that knowing the cards (in any game, really) gives an inherent advantage over not knowing them. Unfortunately, haven't played TS enough to know if it matters that much.
 
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Alex Brown
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It's obvious from the post you quoted that particular poster enjoys the barrier to entry deck knowledge provides.

I agree with you it's hard to agree with that being a good thing.

I'd also say he or she is wrong, and the beauty, and peerless design, of the game, comes from how the game is accessible at every level. Deck knowledge will give you an advantage but also operates within the context of 'sound strategy'.

In some games you cant compete without foreknowledge of the deck; in TS I just think the game opens up more when you understand how to use Ops to setup a few devastating events each turn.

Sure there are situations where not knowing about the possibility of a card is detrimental, but you can't play around everything every game. You are always giving and taking in TS.
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Dan Moore
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bsheehan34 wrote:


Your biggest complaint is that experienced players beat inexperienced players? You must complain about a lot of games


Eh, not so much any inherent learning curve as the very terrible and pointless thrashings that can be delivered upon TS newcomers or mismatched players. So much not fun to receive; I've never been on the other side of hill so can't say what pleasure victors in these matches derive.
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