Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
17 Posts

Caylus» Forums » General

Subject: Manners on BSW rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Dan The Man
United States
Unspecified
Nevada
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I've been noticing that on BSW there are quite different sets of manners and game-personalities in the different game rooms. Puerto Rico is pretty mellow, and most players there are quite polite. Catan seems to have a bunch of people out for blood; some leave games because of bad dice rolls and some like to pick on the last place player, and I saw a LOT of team play. I suspect the RNG is not so good either (BSW programmers aren't the best).

Caylus, especially now with a huge influx of rookies (me!), tends to stratify by mid-game, with one or two players obviously out of the game by the tower phase. I have yet to see a game with every player close at the end, but I haven't watched a HUGE number of games.

What are the "unwritten rules" regarding dead-in-the-water players?

Like Catan, the rules for Caylus tend to favor the leader, and there is little for the trailing player(s) to contribute to the outcome of the game except (make it more difficult for/make small gains at the expense of) the other trailing players or to give up and allow the other trailing player(s) to have a slightly better chance against the leader (unlike Catan, where the dice decides the trailing players get screwed more often than the leader). The reason, in both cases, is that the leader can afford to play more conservatively and/or has better access to resources, forcing the trailing players to take the risky moves which either support the leading player or are subject to disastrous sanction.

So, is the trailing player required to "better his/her postition" at the expense of the other trailing players, or can s/he, as in FTF games, concede the game and do what s/he can to get out of the way and/or quicken the pace of the game without making moves to better the already hopeless position? This usually has the effect of tightening the race for first at the expense of the race for last (in my short experience).

I've been told (by game leaders) that I need to keep scrabbling, and I must try to improve MY game (i.e., is better for the leader). How do you guys and gals feel?

- - - - - - - - - - - - Examples - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Recently, against my desire, I was started into a 2-player game (my 4th game of Caylus). I played, but about halfway through the wall phase I goofed and lost the game (tactical mistake, not misclick). The game was over. On a previous occasion, the opponent spoke of a desire to try to get a high score, so I felt obliged to prevent same (there was a stake in the game). This game was low scoring, so that was not a factor. But when I played to END the game ASAP, my opponent went ballistic and started cussing me out... Hell, in many other venues, his opponent would have walked out - I at least went to the end of the game so he would get credit he deserved on BSW. Who was right?

In a recent 3-player game (my 5th), a situation arose where the other trailing player caused me to have to make a tactical decision: either concede the castle build, or sink all of my resources into gaining the available favor (either option favored the leader and hurt me). I chose, for a variety of reasons, to concede the favor. This had the effect of helping the second place player WRT the leader, though it also gave me additional flexibility. The leader was furious, claiming I helped his opponent, and declaring I had violated BSW "unwritten code." I did my move for my own tactical reasons, but his response got me to thinking: I was the last place player at the time with some chance, I had just been hosed for playing my best possible move - what then are my obligations to the game? Am I obligated to maximize my score, maximize my delta WRT some player I choose, or is it acceptable to get out of the way and see if the leader can be brought down with my help?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Cote
United States
Maine
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I tend to only play with "friends". Too many unknown players leave games or are otherwise "mean".

I agree about BSW programmers. While BSW itself is an amazing thing, they seem to drop the ball so often. They seem intent on keeping this MUD system that almost everyone agrees is difficult to use. It could be so user-friendly and much easier to communicate with people and find games. Even with a game so hyped as Caylus, it's got many bugs/problems that have been unaddressed for over a week. I have been unable to even POST problems to their forums. I've had a bug happen in every game I've played so far, so I'm not even going back to BSW until I see someone wake up over there.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You say that, against your desire, you were entered into a 2-player game.

How did that happen? You can't enter a game unless you join it. Of course, you may have joined thinking it would be a 3- or more-player game, and the other player started with 2.

Generally, before you join a BSW game, you should ask for permission to join. If (for example,) you only want to play with 3 or more, you should announce that fact and see what the other player says. If they say fine, you can join and wait for a 3rd. In that case, if they start, you can explain immediately that you don't want to play a 2-player game. After that, you can leave the game if they won't reset.

I believe once in a game you should finish it unless there's an emergency (in which case you should try to explain before you leave.) I don't believe there's a rule about how you should play while finishing, but I believe you should try to maximize your own position based on some reasonable view of what maximize means (there are different alternatives.)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Myke Madsen
United States
Salt Lake City
Utah
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DnaDan56 wrote:
Puerto Rico is pretty mellow, and most players there are quite polite.


Was this sarcasm and I just missed it? A lot of Puerto Rico players on BSW are neither mellow nor polite.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd agree with that. In my experience, Puerto Rico players can often be intolerant, like those in other games.

For many games on BSW (as with many other activities in life,) there's a huge difference between playing with experts and playing with newbies. If you were a beginning tennis player, an expert tennis player might find it tedious to play tennis with you. Most people don't simply want to win, but to have an enjoyable and challenging game.

Of course, if no one were willing to play with newbies, the activity would eventually die out, so it's important that at least some of the experts devote time to helping teach others. This is an investment people make for the good of all. Many people on BSW give time generously to do this. Not everyone does, though, and even those that do may have times when they would prefer not to. For this reason, if you're learning a game, you should try to find a set of opponents that is happy to have a newbie.

When I'm new at a game, and I want someone to help me learn, I use one of two options:

(1) I enter a room where someone is putting a game together and ask "I'm new at this game. Are you willing to teach me?" I find that 75% of the time they say yes, and 25% of the time they politely say no. Either way it's okay; in the latter case, I look for another game. When they say yes, they are almost always patient, because they've been warned and have voluntarily agreed to accomodate me.

(2) I go to Englishtown (the town I belong to) by typing "/room C10". I then post a general message saying "is anyone willing to teach me [game]?" This very often works, and in fact often there is one or even two other newbies lurking who also want to learn. This approach generates people who volunteer to do a teach. Of course, this will work with most of the towns in BSW, but naturally I use my own.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Rockwell
United States
Lynnwood
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DnaDan56 wrote:

Recently, against my desire, I was started into a 2-player game (my 4th game of Caylus). I played, but about halfway through the wall phase I goofed and lost the game (tactical mistake, not misclick). The game was over. On a previous occasion, the opponent spoke of a desire to try to get a high score, so I felt obliged to prevent same (there was a stake in the game). This game was low scoring, so that was not a factor. But when I played to END the game ASAP, my opponent went ballistic and started cussing me out... Hell, in many other venues, his opponent would have walked out - I at least went to the end of the game so he would get credit he deserved on BSW. Who was right?


You did fine. As long as you dont leave the game, you will ahve done nothing wrong. I think its perfectly reasonable to desire to end the game faster. The opponent should be fine with this, it is basically a concession.


Quote:
I did my move for my own tactical reasons, but his response got me to thinking: I was the last place player at the time with some chance, I had just been hosed for playing my best possible move - what then are my obligations to the game? Am I obligated to maximize my score, maximize my delta WRT some player I choose, or is it acceptable to get out of the way and see if the leader can be brought down with my help?



Imo, as long as you make a move that is not hurtful to your own position, you did well and no one should complain. I have been in positions where one opponent did something like not mayor at the end of a Puerto Rico game, thus costing them X points and the leader X points, costing the leader the game, instead doing a meaningless move. This is bad, because the player hurt themself for no reason to hurt the leader. If it cost them X and the leader 2X, it could be fine, but it wasnt. Players who do this usually claim that they didnt realize the game would end or somehting like that, and quite likely that is accurate, but it does hurt the game for others, who expect their opponents to not make a move which costs themself a lot of points to hurt a certain opponent by less than they hurt themself.

In your case, you chose between two options and you didnt pick somehting that was obviously much worse for you, so no one should complain much. Thats just what happens in multiplayer games. If you play a multiplayer game, you must accept that that can happen. As long as its not collusion or something like that, its fine. I have had about two games ever on BSW where I felt my opponents were colluding, said so, and left. I felt very justified in doing this, and I would never have done it unless I was strongly convinced that they were colluding (one screwing himself repeatedly to screw me and help the other). However, it is extremely rare.


I personally prefer 2p or team games just because I am not a fan of these kingmaking situations. I dont like it when the game is decided by a player having to choose which opponent to help (its not that player's fault either..he has to choose a move). And I dont like being in the position where I cannot win but must decide who does. That part of why I like the 2p so much (plus is very good tactically)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Hannes
United States
New Windsor
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Alexfrog wrote:
I have been in positions where one opponent did something like not mayor at the end of a Puerto Rico game, thus costing them X points and the leader X points, costing the leader the game, instead doing a meaningless move. This is bad, because the player hurt themself for no reason to hurt the leader.


Well, this is an inherent problem with computerizing board games...Personally, I see nothing wrong with a player doing whatever he wants -- so long as you have the opportunity to try to talk him out of it. The problem is that most online boardgames strip out the social aspect.

I was a huge fan of BSW for awhile, especially when I was learning all the tactics of Puerto Rico, but online play simply does not capture the full experience of a good boardgame. In a well-designed multi-player game, managing the players is as important as managing the pieces on the board. One of the things I love about Puerto Rico is that you can make deals, convince people to do moves that are in their best interest -- but subtly help you more.

To me at least, it's this kind of brokering that makes multiplayer games so much fun. I also happen to be pretty good at it, so that doesn't hurt either. :-P The kingmaking aspect is an extension of this. The image you present throughout the game, the way you interact with the other players, can have a big impact come endgame. If you were helpful to another player early on by not making an obvious move that would outright screw him, he might be inclined to help you later in the game -- or at the very least not go out of his way to screw you. When you are sitting in front of another player and he reaches for a particular piece, you can say "wait" and try to convince him to do something else. Online, you pretty much have no mechanism, or even opportunity, to do this.

I stopped playing games on BSW right around the time I got yelled at for suggesting one of the other players make a particular move. Apparently in this particular game room proper "ettiquitte" was keeping your mouth shut. To me, this is the absolute opposite of what multiplayer gaming is all about. The social interaction is part of the game.

I do agree with Alex that if you're looking for a purely tactical and strategic experience, 2-player is the only way to go. There are no politics, and you don't have to play the social aspect of the game. But as soon as add a third player, the human factor enters the equation.

To bring this back on topic... I've sat back and read alot of posts on what the optimal plays in Caylus are. The fact is, there exist some very strong mechanics that are affected by SOCIAL player interaction. The first time I played Caylus, a situation came up where early in the game I could screw two people out of resources by moving the Provost back two spaces. I had the cash to do it, and tactically it was the best decision. But at the same time I was aware of the impact it would have on the two players I screwed, and that they would take it as a personal affront. Of course, it was hard to turn down a clearly superior tactical move, so I decided to split the difference...

Before the player before me (I was loast to move the Provost, he was second-to-last) passed on moving the Provost, I brokered a deal with him. I told him that if he paid 1 Denier to move the Provost back, I would pay the other 1 Denier. After much discussion (and threats from the two affected players if we went through with our plan), he decided to take the deal. If he had passed on it, I would not have moved the Provost. End result, I may have ticked off two players, but they were equally (well maybe not EQUALLY :-P) annoyed at the other player who moved the Provost. So I didn't take the full brunt of the blame, and in the process earned a short-time ally in the player who had moved the Provost with me.

This kind of interaction is pretty much impossible on BSW.

So to the original poster, I'd say this... If you are going to play on BSW, do so to learn the tactics and strategy of the game, but know that the experience will never fully reflect what you'd get sitting around a game table. As to "etiquitte" play by your own rules...People who expect others to make certain plays but don't bother to actually tell you what the expect deserve exactly what they get. It's the wonderful irony of BSW. People refuse to communicate, and then get pissy because you didn't do what you told them to do.

There was a time when I was obsessed with my Puerto Rico rating, but in the end it's just a GAME. And a multiplayer one at that. If optimal play guaranteed you a victory every single time, what fun would that be? Multiplayer games, by their very nature, are social.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Campbell
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmb
xanalor wrote:
The first time I played Caylus, a situation came up where early in the game I could screw two people out of resources by moving the Provost back two spaces. I had the cash to do it, and tactically it was the best decision. But at the same time I was aware of the impact it would have on the two players I screwed, and that they would take it as a personal affront. Of course, it was hard to turn down a clearly superior tactical move, so I decided to split the difference...

Before the player before me (I was loast to move the Provost, he was second-to-last) passed on moving the Provost, I brokered a deal with him. I told him that if he paid 1 Denier to move the Provost back, I would pay the other 1 Denier. After much discussion (and threats from the two affected players if we went through with our plan), he decided to take the deal. If he had passed on it, I would not have moved the Provost. End result, I may have ticked off two players, but they were equally (well maybe not EQUALLY :-P) annoyed at the other player who moved the Provost. So I didn't take the full brunt of the blame, and in the process earned a short-time ally in the player who had moved the Provost with me.

This kind of interaction is pretty much impossible on BSW.


In larger Caylus games, that kind of deal is an important part of the game. It can be very efficient to spread the cost and blame from a defensive move between several players. It's also a good part of the game's design, and clearly an intentional part. I wouldn't say that it's impossible to have that on BSW, but it is somewhat more difficult and less routine for that to happen there.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wayne Ellis
United States
Evansville
Indiana
flag msg tools
I walked out on my first game the other day...

In over 1000 games on brettspielwelt I have never quit early but I was in a 3 player game, halfway through, and the player who was last in points and also last to move the provost moved it 3 spaces forward with his last 3 coins. All 3 of those spaces were occupied by the other opponents workers.

All this jerk did was give the third opponent 3 cubes and 6 denier (for a cube).

There was no conversation up to this point. No bad blood. I had never moved the provost back on this guy. Even if I had would this have been justified.

I got mad and left.

What would you have done? Is it justified to leave if somebody is blatantly trying to throw a game for no reason at all?

Fortunately this normally doesn't happen.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Rodriguez
United States
Carrollton
Texas
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
Good post Xanalor. I pretty much completely agree with you. Missing out on the social interaction is a big reason why I don't play games online very much. The social aspect to Caylus can be huge in regards to the provost.

It sort of comes down to personal preference. Some people don't like the social aspect of games (e.g. the provost). In the gaming group I run with (rather large) I know I'm not the most tactical nor the most analytical. Some of the gamers I play with are extremely smart (ranked chess players, mensa candidates) - I know that strait up they will probably best in most analytical games when it comes to puzzling out what is always the best move. However, when you introduce the negotiation element suddenly the scales can tilt. I pay attention to what the players are doing, what thier moods are. I am vocal about making deals and pointing out when I helped someone. I can exploit someone's feeling of fair-play or remind someone of another player's action that was painful. That's not to say I'm completely snarky, nor overtly deceptive, but I do take any advantage I can get.

With computerized version I often feel like I'm competing in a dry contest decided solely by raw intelligence. And I can accept and enjoy that sometimes - but I really enjoy throwing the social aspect into the play.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Russell Bryan
United States
Lexington
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Wayne8348 wrote:
In over 1000 games on brettspielwelt I have never quit early but I was in a 3 player game, halfway through, and the player who was last in points and also last to move the provost moved it 3 spaces forward with his last 3 coins. All 3 of those spaces were occupied by the other opponents workers.

All this jerk did was give the third opponent 3 cubes and 6 denier (for a cube).


Surely you're aware of how crappy that interface is. I've done the same thing, completely by accident. Did he admit to doing it deliberately or did you storm off in a huff before he had a chance?

Wayne8348 wrote:

What would you have done? Is it justified to leave if somebody is blatantly trying to throw a game for no reason at all?

I don't leave. Ever. By leaving, you ruined the game for everyone just because you were pissed, probably unreasonably, at one person.

If you were to ask the third player about it, which one of you would he say was the jerk?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
jbrier
United States
Aventura
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In an ideal world when I got home on weeknights there would magically appear a group of people for me to play a couple games with and then leave whenever I wanted. Meanwhile here in the real world I'll enjoy BSW for what it's worth
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gary Bradley
United Kingdom
Unspecified
Scotland
flag msg tools
Play Lost Cities instead. Everyone who plays that is lovely.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wayne Ellis
United States
Evansville
Indiana
flag msg tools
Russell,

I should have added that he absolutely said it was 100% intentional. He was completely out of it and just wanted to mess around with our game. I asked him and he basically said that he had no chance so it didn't matter.

I've seen lots of people accidentally move the provost. The interface on bsw can be confusing. I lost the first 2 games I played by accidentally moving the provost - to my own detriment.


Wayne
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Russell Bryan
United States
Lexington
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Wayne,

Thanks for the clarification. With someone like that in the game, there's no point in playing on. With a deliberate spoiler in the game, I doubt the third player was much interested in continuing, either.

I suppose the only reason I haven't quit, then, is because I haven't come across that kind of player. Well, at least not in BSW... other online games are filled with jerks like that.

-- Russ
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
T Jesper Edmark
Sweden
Hässleholm
Skåne
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As for unwritten code and approaches in BSW there is alot that can be said. Some has already been said by the posters above. This is my view and should be read as such:

Regarding manners in BSW:
There are alot of active, and not so active, people in BSW, and they are all unique individuals. I have met very rude and annoying people (rare, but it happens) and I have met very polite and friendly people (a common event). When you join a community like BSW you have to be prepared on meeting both.

My own approach is to always check that the game is one that fits my wants. I always ask how many players the game starter has in mind and always state the number of players intended in my own gameyells.

I keep a friends list of people that I know are gamers with a good friendly attitude and, while not having a physical list, I have some people that I avoid, knowing that they are bad sports.

Being a frequent gamer in BSW I made sure to join a town (EnglishTown) as soon as possible and I believe this the best way to find good company. There usually are someone that can teach you a game you don't know or answer questions. Another option is the BoardGameGeek channel that has become more and more active as of late.

Regarding unwritten rules:
In my experience there aren't many unwritten rules in BSW beside being friendly, to not leave games unless you really have to and to have an understanding for those that really do have to.

Of course there will be individuals that are so keen on their win percentage that they will abuse these rules, but unfortunately all you can do is to avoid those b*****ds as much as possible.

Other than that it's the rules of the particular game that dictates the amount of table talk allowed. In Caylus it's not only allowed to discuss the movement of the provost, it's encouraged by the rules. Doing so over a chat might be awkward, but as long as all dicussion is made in the open it's something that should take place.

Regarding kingmaking:
Kingmaking is often frowned upon. I say that as long as you play to further your own position you can't go wrong. If this happens to further an opponents position as well, though luck on the other opponents, they should have seen the possibility and probably could have prevented it if playing differently (not always possible, but that is a rare occation).

If you happen to find yourself in a situation where you have no chance of winning see how you can loose by the least amount. Ending a 2 player game as quickly as possible is often the best way to keep the margin as low as possible, for example. What you should not do is to wreak havoc to the game by playing randomly or by going against one opponent in particular disregarding your own position. Also, leaving is no option since you will destroy the game by doing so, so don't.

See the challenge inherent in a suboptimal position and try and learn from it. I know from experience that you can learn alot from the games that have an otherwise unfavourable result.


Much more could be said, but this will have to do for now.

Mordachai
aka
T Jesper Edmark
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
What are the "unwritten rules" regarding dead-in-the-water players?


I wish that BSW would implement an "offer resignation" function. For sure, it would be useful in 2-er's, but I think it could be expanded to multiplayer games in some cases.

In a two player game where I have no chance (happens mid game in Carc sometimes), I play it out, but do not spend a lot of time in analysis. laugh

If it's multiplayer, I try to better my position, but may not try real hard in a lost cause. In general, I will not hurt myself and the leader if there is a move that will help me (even if it helps the leader).

IMO, as long as a player is consistent, no one should gripe. They will, of course, but I'm ok with that.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.