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Subject: Does luck make a game replayable? rss

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Timothy Adamson
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In this thread, someone claims that luck makes X Wing replayable. I disagree, so I'm starting this thread to get some more brains on the idea.

To clarify, I'm not talking random events or anything like that.

But does the fact that sometimes your actions in a board game don't turn out the way you plan make the game replayable?

I think it doesn't, because ultimately you're faced with the same decisions if you choose to do the same thing. Being given the same choices is boring.
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Paul DeStefano
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Rolling a D6 to see who gets the better score is not necessarily fun enough to be replayable.

However, the proper introduction of risk and reward based on luck might.
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Charlie Theel
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Sure it does, but maybe not in a meaningful way and certainly not in a way that should be valued over true replayability.

How does it add replayability? By randomizing the outcome you may experience more outcomes than if luck was taken out of the equation. For instance, say you were much better than me at Go. We can play all day long and the same exact result may happen. If Go worked that you could place a number of stones equal to a die roll of a D3, every game will be vastly different just based on taht die roll.
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Bart Hornung
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timonkey wrote:
In this thread, someone claims that luck makes X Wing replayable. I disagree, so I'm starting this thread to get some more brains on the idea.

To clarify, I'm not talking random events or anything like that.

But does the fact that sometimes your actions in a board game don't turn out the way you plan make the game replayable?

I think it doesn't, because ultimately you're faced with the same decisions if you choose to do the same thing. Being given the same choices is boring.


He actually said it was one of the things that made it replayable.

But answer your question Yes. as part of the game that helps leveal it out.
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Bart Hornung
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charlest wrote:
Sure it does, but maybe not in a meaningful way and certainly not in a way that should be valued over true replayability.

How does it add replayability? By randomizing the outcome you may experience more outcomes than if luck was taken out of the equation. For instance, say you were much better than me at Go. We can play all day long and the same exact result may happen. If Go worked that you could place a number of stones equal to a die roll of a D3, every game will be vastly different just based on taht die roll.


This is why I don't play Go, checkers, or chess. And if I do, I end up making random moves anyways just to drive others Craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy!
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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I think you answered your own question:

timonkey wrote:
ultimately you're faced with the same decisions if you choose to do the same thing. Being given the same choices is boring.


With luck based elements (random cards, random dice rolls, etc), you are rarely faced with the same decisions even if all of the 'setup' for a game is the same. Due to luck, every turn can and usually is different, and thus adds more interesting choices and decisions to be made. You tend to weight your decisions based on the chances presented to you, but your well laid out plans can all be for naught if you are unlucky. And for me, I like to replay those games to see if my luck changes.

-shnar
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Paul W
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timonkey wrote:
In this thread, someone claims that luck makes X Wing replayable. I disagree, so I'm starting this thread to get some more brains on the idea.

To clarify, I'm not talking random events or anything like that.

But does the fact that sometimes your actions in a board game don't turn out the way you plan make the game replayable?

I think it doesn't, because ultimately you're faced with the same decisions if you choose to do the same thing. Being given the same choices is boring.


Where randomization adds re-playability is in the way it alters successive game states. You are right in that for a given game state, randomization in the outcome doesn't have any effect on how I make that particular decision, but it does alter the decisions I make subsequent to that.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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I should add, this tends to be a defining the difference between Eurogames and Ameritrash awesomeness: luck. A lot of Eurogames have fewer luck elements and focus more on strategy of players. They tend to still have some luck though (randomized decks of cards for example), but it's not as significant as you see in Ameritrash games. Some people absolutely love Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game because of the luck of the draw in dice and cards. Others love DungeonQuest (third edition) precisely because of how luck-dependent the game is, and this dependency adds to its replayability.

I like being able to mitigate luck with strategy, but I still appreciate some luck in my games. Keeps me on my toes

-shnar
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Scott Hill
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Re-playability comes primarily from the size of the possibility space for the game (that is how many different situations can occur in the game), and from the number of legal paths through that possibility space (what legal moves you can make in the game).

Tic-tac-toe is not very re-playable because the number of possible board configurations, and then number of legal moves, is very small.

Chess, on the other hand, has a vast possibility space, and a huge number of legal moves, and possible board configurations, and so it is much more re-playable.

A random element often increases the size of the possibility space, and almost always increases the number of paths through that space, but not always - chess with random moves isn't any more re-playable, just more random.
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Marcel van der pol
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I had that discussion with a couple of friends recently. While "luck" may make a game less predictable, a purely ""luck-based" game would not seem fun to me. There has to be the right balance between skill and luck, otherwise I might stop after rolling 1 die: one a 1-5, I win, on a 6, you win.

While some luck makes the game less predictable and more exciting (more exciting than say chess) I don't replay games just because they are based on luck. I don't like games like Mother Goose, Talisman and Ludo because the amount of meaningful choices and the influence they have on the outcome is very limited. I also don't like them because their "fluff" is limited (well, Talisman has some flavor) and I like my games to tell a story. Both requirements are fulfilled with X-Wing; I want to replay the game because next time I'll make different decisions and the game would tell a different story. I would not replay the game just because the next time the dice would come up differently.
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Gary Querns
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Me and the missus have now clocked in 60+ games of Stone Age and over 100 games of Kingsburg. These two title are by far our most loved and played games, which co-incidentally, rely fairly heavily on luck. So I guess as far as were concerned yes it does.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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marcelvdpol wrote:
I had that discussion with a couple of friends recently. While "luck" may make a game less predictable, a purely ""luck-based" game would not seem fun to me. There has to be the right balance between skill and luck, otherwise I might stop after rolling 1 die: one a 1-5, I win, on a 6, you win.

While I personally agree with you here, that is not the case for everyone, otherwise you wouldn't see Dice games. Yatzee, Craps, ZombieDice, etc. So some people like purely luck based games...

-shnar
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Kevin M
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I think that it really depends on who you ask but I personally like a game that involves some level of luck and don't really care for games that you can plan out everything from the start. Although, luck for luck sake isn't a good thing either.

Why do I love Mage Knight Board Game? You roll mana dice and the results directly influence what you can do each turn. You uncover random map tiles, mage towers, keeps, etc. which make you choose different strategies. I might not get a particular artifact, skill, spell, etc. in a game, so I can't come in to a game with a preconceived game plan. Add the randomness of the monsters and the cards that I draw, it all combines to a great amount of re-playability.

EDIT: So based on the responses, this could be seen as a combination of luck, but also randomness.

If you want to look at dice rolling games as a typical example of games that people look at at a purely luck, Elder Sign as an example, I think that people could be turned off by it because they think that it's too "lucky" of a game. While I think that luck is a huge component of it, there's a ton of strategy as well. It's all math. You have to play the percentages. You know that there are some difficult rooms on the board, so you have to strategically think about chancing it with what you have, getting some other items to help you, etc. The game has luck but it still has strategy too. Based of that, I certainly think that it would be extremely re-playable as well.

I think that it's like asking someone if Euro games or Ameritrash games are better. It depends on the crowd that you ask and, at the core, whether the game is any good in the first place. Bad or ill conceived mechanics will make a bad game regardless.
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Kelly Bass
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shnar wrote:
marcelvdpol wrote:
I had that discussion with a couple of friends recently. While "luck" may make a game less predictable, a purely ""luck-based" game would not seem fun to me. There has to be the right balance between skill and luck, otherwise I might stop after rolling 1 die: one a 1-5, I win, on a 6, you win.

While I personally agree with you here, that is not the case for everyone, otherwise you wouldn't see Dice games. Yatzee, Craps, ZombieDice, etc. So some people like purely luck based games...

-shnar

Yatzee & ZombieDice have some skill in them. Craps is pure luck, but people are gambling on it. Maybe a better example of a pure luck game that some people like is LCR.

Edit: Actually, come to think of it, people play LCR for gambling, as a drinking game, or Strip LCR too. Still totally luck based, but probably makes the game more exciting.
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Sean Boyll
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Luck? No.
Randomness? Yes.
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Mike Fox
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Pure luck? no

But games with a combination of chance and skill are highly replayable.

timonkey wrote:
In this thread, someone claims that luck makes X Wing replayable. I disagree, so I'm starting this thread to get some more brains on the idea.

To clarify, I'm not talking random events or anything like that.

But does the fact that sometimes your actions in a board game don't turn out the way you plan make the game replayable?

I think it doesn't, because ultimately you're faced with the same decisions if you choose to do the same thing. Being given the same choices is boring.
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Ethan Larson
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Randomosity can make a game great (like Cosmic Encounter).
Randomosity can make a game unfun (like Inkognito, which would rule except for the horrible randomizer).

The main trick is to integrate the randomosity into your game properly.

Macao has dice, but they work in a really interesting way.
Caylus only has one teeny random element, but that helps kick the starting phases of the game to be different.
My colonialist game has the same random element as Puerto Rico, and it makes a big difference to making each session present different choices.
 
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Jackson Gardner

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If it is an adventure based game then I can see it being playable. But if it's more of a strategic game then, it would get to be anoying.
 
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A boy named Sioux
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No luck at all in chess and I find it replayable.
 
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Laura Creighton
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What matters is how the 'luck' aspect interacts with giving the player meaningful decisions to make.
 
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Timothy Adamson
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Some people are discussing the merits of including luck in games in general, or how much to include. While that's an interesting discussion, I'm trying to focus specifically on replayability issues here.

JonJacob wrote:
If in one game I am unlucky in some rolls and my opponent is lucky on others then when we replay that might not happen in the same way and a different outcome is sure to play out. However there is no guarantee that the events will play out the same either. What is to stop your opponent from choosing different maneuvers or even you from doing the same?


But here luck isn't making the game replayable, but the fact that there are different viable options for the players to make.

Quote:
EVERY SINGLE RESULT in the game will effect what my next choice is and if those results are somewhat random (and they are.. somewhat) then that will change how I play each turn after that result AND it will also change how my opponent responds. You’re thinking of it all wrong. Your OP makes it sound like all other aspects would be identical and only the rolls would change. That’s simply not the case.

Which means to me that when you say this:

Quote:
because ultimately you're faced with the same decisions if you choose to do the same thing. Being given the same choices is boring.


It's not true because you are not being given the same decisions at all. The decisions are different becuase the sate of the game is different and that effects your decisions.


I think you're getting closer here. The luck helps force you into different decisions.

fizzmore wrote:

Where randomization adds re-playability is in the way it alters successive game states. You are right in that for a given game state, randomization in the outcome doesn't have any effect on how I make that particular decision, but it does alter the decisions I make subsequent to that.


But as others mentioned, just having more game states doesn't help. Those states have to be meaningfully different, providing new and interesting choices.

So after thinking about it based on people's comments here what I've come up with is this: for games with simple decisions (not many options), luck can increase replayability if your decisions are significantly affected by the game state. This is because the randomness creates more possible game states than otherwise possible with such a small decision space. X Wing does seem to be such a game, but that's a far cry from luck in general increasing replayability.
 
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fizzmore wrote:
timonkey wrote:
In this thread, someone claims that luck makes X Wing replayable. I disagree, so I'm starting this thread to get some more brains on the idea.

To clarify, I'm not talking random events or anything like that.

But does the fact that sometimes your actions in a board game don't turn out the way you plan make the game replayable?

I think it doesn't, because ultimately you're faced with the same decisions if you choose to do the same thing. Being given the same choices is boring.


Where randomization adds re-playability is in the way it alters successive game states.


Thus, the game has more replayability because its initial state is different. I view this as not that different as randomizing initial hands in 7 Wonders -- it prevents you from doing the same thing each time since the initial setup is different.

This is especially interesting in a game like Eminent Domain which has some initial luck, but not a whole lot.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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SPBTooL wrote:
Luck? No.
Randomness? Yes.

Difference?

-shnar
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David B
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Siouxfire wrote:
No luck at all in chess and I find it replayable.



If you say there is no luck at all in chess, you have not played much chess. Luck has contributed to a win for me many times. I have had many instances where my pieces were in the right place at the right time....and I assure you I did not plan it to be that way. I could tell you I planned it completely, but I'd be lying.
 
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Timothy Adamson
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Yea, maybe not correctly, but I think we've all meant randomness when talking about luck in this thread, not the result of the chaos of lots of choices, which can also result in luck.
 
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