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Subject: The reason we lose at games rss

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Andrew
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"Writing in PNAS, a University of Manchester physicist has discovered that some games are simply impossible to fully learn, or too complex for the human mind to understand. Dr Tobias Galla from The University of Manchester and Professor Doyne Farmer from Oxford University and the Santa Fe Institute, ran thousands of simulations of two-player games to see how human behavior affects their decision-making. From the article: 'In simple games with a small number of moves, such as Noughts and Crosses the optimal strategy is easy to guess, and the game quickly becomes uninteresting. However, when games became more complex and when there are a lot of moves, such as in chess, the board game Go or complex card games, the academics argue that players' actions become less rational and that it is hard to find optimal strategies."

http://www.moneyscience.com/pg/blog/Admin/read/451148/the-re...
 
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Oh you seekers of the new who run terrified from history into the clutches of an eternal life where no electric shaver can be built to last.
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    One of the things that significant random elements and increased complexity put into a game is a need to develop general rules of thumb rather than discrete algorithms. In my opinion this is when gaming becomes more rewarding, more fun. When the players at the table can come to an agreement on the "proper" play there's no way to put your personality into your approach.

    For a while "Euro" came to mean discrete solution set and the games didn't have legs. But that certainly doesn't have to be the case and the grandaddies of Euro weren't wed to small solution sets. Lately it's been swinging back to the more traditional concepts, where "bigger" plays are becoming more common and better respected.

             S.


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Paul DeStefano
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So does this mean no one ever wins due to skill?
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Harper Hobbs
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So it takes a PhD to figure out: We need to make things simpler to understand initially, the number of players involve decreases your chances of ironing out a solid strategy, and you should practice and prepare before entering into a venture (whether that venture be the stock market or a board game).

Seems pretty commonsense to me.
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Almostel .
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but... I thougth... that the point in gaming is exactly that, not having a perfect strategy so you always need to adapt to what is happening in the moment in the board (deck, dice, wathever).

If the perfect strategy is out, then the game is broken, because there is no way you can make a "decission" on it.
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Bryan Low
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No one wins when I flip the game table in a fit of uncontrollable rage.
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nyn -
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asboog wrote:
However, when games became more complex and when there are a lot of moves, such as in chess, the board game Go or complex card games, the academics argue that players' actions become less rational and that it is hard to find optimal strategies."

http://www.moneyscience.com/pg/blog/Admin/read/451148/the-re...


That word, "rational", can be very misleading. The most "rational" choice depends both on the desired results (both short and long term) and the available information from which to determine the probability on potential results from each choice. Sacrificing a queen in a game of chess appears to be an irrational choice unless you are able to see a clear path through which it provides an advantage. Probability comes into play with "random" elements, particularly when anticipating the most likely decisions to be made by opponents.

I can't see the actual study so I have no idea what was really measured, how it was measured or what the controls were. I will say that the information provided seems to offer little to no actual insight regarding either gameplay or predicting outcomes.

It appears that the researchers are more interested in deterministic algorithms for financial modeling than in actual gameplay. I am periphally familiar with these slants on social economics and while the studies are interesting they have a long way to go before they are truly reliable. The models typically rely on large demographics and cannot be applied to individual events within a microcosm because at that level individual personalities, knowledge and abilities weigh too heavily on determining outcomes.

So in the end it's just noise to someone interested more in games than in trying to predict the buy & sell patterns of mobs.

But that's just my opinion...
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Mario Lanza
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It is because strategy board games have more dimensions that they can't be analyzed in the way that Go or Chess can. It is for this reason I find them more enjoyable. When every aspect is clearly on display and can be analyzed ad nauseum, it wracks my brain and creates a less enjoyable experience. That some of the elements are in the periphery makes it more necessary to rely on instinct. And when I play such games it feels more like practicing a skill where you're training the subconscience -- this feels more like "fun" to me.
 
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David B
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I just want someone to tell me why I can NEVER F%#*ING WIN AT STONE AGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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John Enoch
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I lose because I suck...or mis-read a rule...or didn't READ a rule...or my wife dicks me over...or the person to the left of me hates me...maybe it's the fact that the DICE hate me...or I was a crappy character to start with...and who loves the Researcher anyway...plus those yellow pieces were cursed...and having a ton of routes in the middle of the country, while efficient, doesn't count enough in this game...maybe it's the fact that that one bastard steals all the wood before my turn.

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ICONOCLAST

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What I want to know is, how much money was spend on that study? shake
 
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Harper Hobbs
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pfctsqr wrote:
I just want someone to tell me why I can NEVER F%#*ING WIN AT STONE AGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!


My 2 cents:
Your building your family to early, not getting enough Civilization Cards and if your having to put people in the hunting fields...your loosing
 
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Jeff Meunier
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Bhobs wrote:
So it takes a PhD to figure out:
...
Seems pretty commonsense to me.


Yeah. A lot of hard research seems intuitively obvious, to the point where you can't believe that the person got a conference paper, journal publication, or even a Ph.D. out of it. But the implications are usually a lot more subtle than the summary of the research will indicate. That's especially true if you have big numbers to back it up.

From the summary:
Quote:
ran thousands of simulations of two-player games

This ^^^ is the research. N > 1000 is a HUGE number as far as research in human subjects goes. And so what is intuitive to everyone has now been quantified. All of us BGG-ers would say that harder games are, well, harder. Durr. But this guy can point to the numbers and say exactly how much harder.
 
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Jeff Meunier
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Bhobs wrote:
pfctsqr wrote:
I just want someone to tell me why I can NEVER F%#*ING WIN AT STONE AGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!


My 2 cents:
Your building your family to early, not getting enough Civilization Cards and if your having to put people in the hunting fields...your loosing


Or you're playing against my wife.
 
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Stephen Cassady
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Bhobs wrote:
pfctsqr wrote:
I just want someone to tell me why I can NEVER F%#*ING WIN AT STONE AGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!


My 2 cents:
Your building your family to early, not getting enough Civilization Cards and if your having to put people in the hunting fields...your loosing


Cards are the big thing. I won the other night by building up my family to 10 and then getting mostly cards that gave me VP for family members. I only went up on the food track by 2 and I went to the fields almost every turn. I only built 3 huts total and only had 1 tool.
 
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Jason Hinchliffe
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pfctsqr wrote:
I just want someone to tell me why I can NEVER F%#*ING WIN AT STONE AGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!


You SUCK at rolling dice.
 
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Jason Hinchliffe
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Quote:
"...However, when games became more complex and when there are a lot of moves, such as in chess, the board game Go or complex card games, the academics argue that players' actions become less rational and that it is hard to find optimal strategies."


Wow! It's harder to play a difficult game well than an easy one. My mind is blown!
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Adrian Hague
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Sagrilarus wrote:

    One of the things that significant random elements and increased complexity put into a game is a need to develop general rules of thumb rather than discrete algorithms.
This.
When playing a moderately complex game, it's all about developing successful heuristics, as opposed to hard-and-fast 'scripts'.
 
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