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Subject: What are you willing to do in order to become a competent player? rss

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Tuomas Korppi
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I have understood that in order to be a competent Carcassonne player you have to memorize the distribution of tiles. This is something I won't do. I see no point in memorizing meaningless facts in order to play competently.

However, I am willing to memorize go josekis, but they are different. They are an emergent consequence of a simple definition of the game, not a part of the definition of game like the distribution of tiles in Carc, and hence go josekis do not feel like meaningless trivia. The same goes for bridge bidding systems and such.

When I was younger, I preferred games with randomness, since I did not like reading sequences of moves. I still do not enjoy it, but nowadays I am willing to do it, if the game is otherwise good. Nowadays many of my favourite games are two-player abstracts that involve reading sequences of moves.
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ICONOCLAST

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Memorising? Forget it - i have a hard enough time remembering five minutes ago. And I refuse to allow myself to fall victim to delusions of competency. laugh
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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If the tile distribution is that important, it should be on a player aid for everyone who wants to see it.
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いい竹やぶだ!

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I drew the line at memorizing all the legal three-letter words in Scrabble.
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Jack
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Competent player?! I have to be competent at work! When I play, I want to wreck havock!!!
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Arjen Schouten
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bwingrave wrote:
If the tile distribution is that important, it should be on a player aid for everyone who wants to see it.

Actually for Carcassonne there is. At least in my Rio Grande copy.
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Joe Salamone
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I think the only game-related thing I have ever memorized is a blackjack "perfect play" chart, which I use when I go to Las Vegas or other casinos. I never hit, double down or split unless that chart says I should. I never play hunches. In general, I am at the table gambling with the same money far longer than most other players. Of course, I do hit stretches where the cards are against me and I may lose 6 or 7 hands in a row even though I'm playing "with the odds." But if there's no money involved, I'm probably not gonna spend time memorizing how many tiles, cards, colors or whatever exist in a game. As long as I have fun playing, I'm happy.

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I can't even remember who started this thread.
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Ade Lewis
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The Grinch wrote:
Memorising? Forget it - i have a hard enough time remembering five minutes ago. And I refuse to allow myself to fall victim to delusions of competency. laugh


When are you going to pay back my $50?
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Jeff Suchard
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With respect to Carcassonne, I believe you are confusing the word "competent" with "competitive".

One could be a perfectly competent player without memorizing the tile distribution; but to be competitive, one should definitely seek to know the tile distribution.

I play frequently at asobrain.com (where the game is called Toulouse, to avoid copyright infringement apparently), and it is quite clear that the highest-ranked players have memorized the tile distribution. The key to competitive play is to know how and when you can trap your opponent's meeples on the board because there are no tiles left (or there never were the correct tiles available in the first place) that will allow them to score that feature, remove the meeple from the board, and make it available for later scoring opportunities. You can do this without intentionally seeking to memorize the tile distribution; it just comes naturally with repeated play.

Without that level of competitive play, the game is much less strategic and becomes something closer to luck-driven multiple-player solitaire.
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Ed G.
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Answering the question posed in the thread title: Play more.
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Kill all of you.ninja

wait, what?
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Michael Bonet
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I fancy myself a pretty competent Carc player and I have never memorized the tile layout. Where is the fun in the game if you are constantly analyzing your next possible tile? It is a good idea to have a general idea of the different types of tiles in the base and expansions to aid you in forming strategies.

In Ticket to Ride I find it helpful to be able to guess another player's ticket to aid in blocking them if the need arises. Sometimes I can guess other player's tickets but only because I've had the same ticket in a prior game and took the same route. This is far from foolproof.

Play more and keep an open mind. I nearly won Ticket to Ride: Europe last night with 4 mediocre tickets that saw some wacky routes taken to complete even short tickets.
 
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David Janik-Jones
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Buy a game. Wear out two copies playing it for 29 years. Grab a third nearly mint copy to keep playing. Play better players than me and lose lots.

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Kill all of you.ninja

Psst ... That was your out-loud voice.
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J C Lawrence
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MikeNvP wrote:
Where is the fun in the game if you are constantly analyzing your next possible tile?


For many, for me, that is the fun in the game.

In general in order to improve my play, for each hour I play I dedicate two hours to analysis and study of the game.
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Justin Fitzgerald
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What am I willing to do? Play one more time.
 
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Kevin C.
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I think it depends on the rigors of the specific game.

I was trying to make the point in another thread that to become a truly competent chess player, one must tackle theory (both opening and endgame). It will require hours of study and pretty keen dedication.

(I was speaking in that thread about tournament chess. I think the distinction between competent vs. competetitive is pretty crucial here.)

I’m not sure something like Gone Fishing! would require anything resembling such dedication.

So, I think a base level of "competence" is determined by the specific game and player base you are likely to come in contact with.

Kevin
 
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J C Lawrence
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natsean wrote:
I think the distinction between competent vs. competetitive is pretty crucial here.


And highly subjective. I consider them to be largely functionally identical against the base metric of Could you have done better? If yes, then it was to that degree incompetent and uncompetitive. I suspect that others may use more relaxed definitions.
 
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Kevin C.
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Quote:
And highly subjective. I consider them to be largely functionally identical against the base metric of Could you have done better? If yes, then it was to that degree incompetent and uncompetitive. I suspect that others may use more relaxed definitions.


Relaxed...and realistic.

Any working definition of "competitive" would seem to be contingent on your specific player base.

You can always do better in a vacuum for most of the games we discuss here. Such a theoretical notion is likely to induce anxiety in anyone that seriously wishes to improve.

Heck, even if you win you could most likely have "done better" in a theoretical sense.

I think I am a competent Kingsburg player, but I’ve only played against my family. I’ve got about 50+ games under my belt and I think I understand optimal vs. sub-optimal play. I am quite sure, however, that I would get hosed were I to play this in a “serious” tournament setting.

So, I can always play a better game, yet I think I have achieved a certain "competence" with the game.

I see “competence” as a static bar that all players will pass eventually if they keep up with the game. “Competitive” is a moving target that fewer players will actually hit.

Kevin
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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natsean wrote:
I see “competence” as a static bar that all players will pass eventually if they keep up with the game. “Competitive” is a moving target that fewer players will actually hit.

I agree with you about "competence", and I agree that "competitive" is a moving target. However, I think most players will be competitive most of the time. As long as I am competitive among the people I play with, that's good enough for me. Hopefully I will improve at about the same rate that they improve, and thus will remain competitive...within that circle. Competitive doesn't mean you always win. It just means you rarely get crushed.

I'm not willing to memorize a ton of stuff to be better at a game, although often the memorization will come naturally to me. I'm also not willing to kill all of you, for what that's worth.
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Kevin C.
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Quote:
I agree with you about "competence", and I agree that "competitive" is a moving target. However, I think most players will be competitive most of the time. As long as I am competitive among the people I play with, that's good enough for me. Hopefully I will improve at about the same rate that they improve, and thus will remain competitive...within that circle. Competitive doesn't mean you always win. It just means you rarely get crushed.


I agree for the most part, although "most of the time" might be a sticky wicket.

I should have qualified my statement a bit more.

What I meant was that fewer people will actually hit the target of being competitive outside of their group.

The target moves based on the group. I agree that being "good enough" with my group (family) is more than enough for me. I hit the target all the time.

However, when I go to the WBC, I get housed.

So, I think most people will be competitive with their home group most of the time. Fewer will be successful when they venture outside the homegroup.

Indeed, I would wager there are very few truly "competitive" players of our games that would be successful given any group. I think we believe we are good at some of these games, then we go somewhere and meet a guy that has played Ra 2,000 times and makes us wonder when the Candyland tournament is going to start.

Kevin
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David Buckley
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I consider myself a competent Carcassonne player. I have not memorized the tile distribution but I have analysed it a little, so that I know details like how to trap meeples devil You probably need to learn the tile distribution and count to be an expert but not to be merely competent.
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Rob Ryan
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If you want to win more, play with dumber people or at least offer free booze during the game...whistle
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J C Lawrence
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natsean wrote:
Any working definition of "competitive" would seem to be contingent on your specific player base.


I see competitive as successful execution of an attitude. That doesn't mean that you approached the game a certain way and won, or even challenged for the win (posed competition). It means that you approached the game a certain way (competitively) and all of your actions within the game were coherent and consistent with being competitive. ie you didn't blink and back down, you didn't goof, you didn't screw up, you didn't let anything slip or slide: you didn't do anything that was inconsistent with competing. Whether you won or not is beside the point.

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Such a theoretical notion is likely to induce anxiety in anyone that seriously wishes to improve.


And thus we find the areas to focus on and we improve.

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Heck, even if you win you could most likely have "done better" in a theoretical sense.


Yup.

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I think I am a competent...


And that's why I called it highly subjective.
 
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Enrico Viglino
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I'm willing to read the rules (or at least skim them),
and maybe even think a bit whilst playing.
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