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Subject: To VP or not to VP, that is the question. rss

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Mark F
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An interesting distinction between games is actually "How to win".
I know games with preset winning conditions and "Play until X then total VPs to know your score" type.

What do you think? Which of them you enjoy best?

Personally I think VP scoring makes for more flexible games with more ways to win, but I hate it when they just refer them as VPs.
Part of what I like in games is the theming and immersion and somehow that takes it away.
I don't know, maybe I have a problem with the terminology.
For example, if they would call it some other way than just "points", to make it closer to the theme of the game (For example, Lords of Waterdeep)I'd enjoy it more.
For example, in Munchkin you can say the levels are also a type of "Victory Point" scenario, but the theming makes it alot more enjoyable.

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Dustin Rhodes
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In general I like VP the only thing I don't like is when I feel like I have no idea how everyone's doing until after the game ends. I feel like 7 wonders suffers a bit from this. I could add everyones stuff up every turn but it would take to long so it's hard for me to see how everyones doing at any given moment.

My favorites are those where I have a good idea of how everyone's doing but don't know exactly. For example ticket to ride I know how everyone's doing on train points and I know how many tickets they have but it's still exciting at the end for the ticket reveal.
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Christopher Scatliff
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Kobold Kommander
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I personally like games with a clear objective you have to accomplish for victory. Like Talisman for example(at least the vanilla version of it).

I would agree with you, just getting points breaks the immersion for me.
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Laura Creighton
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My favourite games state "whoever has the most money wins". There may be, as in Container, a formula for how to convert goods into money, of course.
 
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Russ Williams
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Whether or not a game determines victory by VPs or by some other means, and whether a VP-based game continues until a specific VP goal is reach or until something else happens, doesn't really have much relevance for whether I like the game or not.

And I have no problem with simply calling them VPs. I'm not a fan of games calling them "prestige points" or "status points" or whatever just to avoid calling them "victory points". Using established/standard terminology is a good thing, for me.
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Simon Lundström
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Personally, "play till end, most VP at the end wins" isn't a deal breaker, because it can be handled well. However, in most cases I feel everything is completely steered by those VPs and as a single change in them changes everything, which often just feels artificial.

I've at several times questioned the VP delivery in Agricola, out of this specific reason. It's very team heavy, yet what says that you should get 1VP for exactly 1–3 sheep, and not 1–4 sheep? Why do you get 3VP for each family member, when they've already brought you so many VP with their actions? Why do you get 4VP for the well, why not 5 or 3?

The reply in all cases will be "it won't be balances then" but I call bullshit. You could very well play Acrigola with zero VP per family member, and it would still be a fine game, you'd just play it differently.

So generally, I'm not fond of post-endgame VP calucations when they're arbitrary. There are many of un-arbitrary ones, though.
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Tuomas Korppi
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I think that in games of the type "play until a non-vp related end condition, then the player with most vp wins" are prone to phenomenon that the winner is in effect decided long before the end of the game, which makes the endgame not meaningful. Usually, when either there's no vp or the game ends when some player gets a pre-determined number of vp, there is a more tense endgame.

EDIT: I like it if the game ending condition and the victory condition are the same, i.e. the game ends when the winner triggers the winning condition. Whether or not there are vp's is immaterial as long as this requirement is satisfied. And yes, although I think go is the greatest game there is, the fact that go does not satisfy this requirement is a drawback of go.
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Enrico Viglino
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Punainen Nörtti wrote:


EDIT: I like it if the game ending condition and the victory condition are the same, i.e. the game ends when the winner triggers the winning condition. Whether or not there are vp's is immaterial as long as this requirement is satisfied. And yes, although I think go is the greatest game there is, the fact that go does not satisfy this requirement is a drawback of go.


Likely this is more a matter of refinement to end conditions -
Go comes to an agreement that the game is over. In a sense, the ending
conditions are determined by both players actions over a progression.

The case where a single player can trigger the end game as a winner
is just a specialized form of the more general case that players'
actions determine that end point.

Some games don't cleanly lend themselves to this kind of situation though.
For example, a battle is often framed by conditions (night say) outside
the players' control.
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Josh Bodah
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I'm not a big fan of "whoever has the most wins". I prefer "first to X wins" or 1-shot secret objectives as they lead to all sorts of metagaming.
 
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Jason Hinchliffe
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The only end condition I tend to mind is the "set number of rounds" style a la Agricola. It feels too restrictive for my taste.
 
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Fork N. Socket
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I'm not a big fan of VP's for most games. The win conditions seem so arbitrary, immersion goes right out the window for me.

Some do hide their arbitrariness better than others. Catan is a quick example, where the number of VP's to win is small and there are multiple paths to victory diluting the sensation of striving for that one winning 'score'.

In general though, I wish most designers would use some other, less obvious or more abstract, scorekeeping mechanic. (with some exceptions)



 
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Enrico Viglino
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ForkInSocket wrote:

I'm not a big fan of VP's for most games. The win conditions seem so arbitrary, immersion goes right out the window for me.

Some do hide their arbitrariness better than others. Catan is a quick example, where the number of VP's to win is small and there are multiple paths to victory diluting the sensation of striving for that one winning 'score'.

In general though, I wish most designers would use some other, less obvious or more abstract, scorekeeping mechanic. (with some exceptions)





Many wargames use a VP mechanism to track how well one is doing,
in terms of capturing key objectives - or to count losses in tactical
games. Doesn't seem the least arbitrary there.
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Fork N. Socket
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True, they make a lot of sense for some wargames, particularly campaign/time-track games.

I was thinking more of resource gathering and area-control games, where I think there are other reasonable options for bringing a game to head.
 
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