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Subject: Co-op or not co-op rss

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Gregg Saruwatari
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Hello,
I was just thinking about recommendations that people give for gaming with husbands and wives and I thought it would be a good spot to post my question here. I see lots of recommendations that strategy gamers play co-op games with their less gamer-ish significant others. My experience is much the opposite. If my wife and I are in conflict in a game, I cannot get mad at anything she does, but if we are co-op, any stupid or non-transparent moves by either of us turn into big fights. Actually, the only co-op game we enjoy playing together is Battlestar Galactica and that is because we don't know if any questionable decisions are self-serving or not.

My question to you gals is: Do you prefer to play against or with your significant other and why?

On a side note, nothing makes my wife and I madder then in a giant free for all strategy game where someone trades their chance at winning to give their significant other an unfair advantage "because they love their honey." (as we are stabbing each other in the back) "This isn't a team game! You guys are not on a team!"
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Agnieszka
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I don't mind playing co-ops with my boyfriend, but we don't have many such games in our collection and I think there's a reason for this. Cooperation games are nice to play from time to time, but we prefer games where we are struggling against each other. But keep in mind that we are both gamers and very much into the hobby.
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Kathy Sheets
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We are not co-op types either, but have only really tried Pandemic and found it boring after less than half a dozen plays. We like the competition with each other. He is definitely less gamer than I am but has really come right along with me for which I am so grateful.

There are some games that we don't play well together, like Survive: Escape from Atlantis! because he really finds it too personal to knock me out of a boat or send a shark or sea monster after me. On the other hand, he doesn't seem to have much trouble setting a Sea Hag or Witch after me in Dominion.
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Bella
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If there are kids involved, coops are often a great way to play with the adults without anyone having to play down to the youngest level. We just make sure everyone gets a say in what happens. We don't ONLY do coops with the kids though...they learn the rules and strategies for competitive games amazingly quickly.
If it is adults only, we tend to prefer strategy games against each other. If a "new gamer" adult comes over, depending on the specific personality, a coop sometimes works well here too.
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Ms Aura

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He's not a huge board gamer (loves Fluxx, likes other card type games) but he's a huge role player. I introduced him to Castle Panic. He loves this! We work together so well, neither one of us are more overbearing than the other. I love the game. I think the average gamer might find it a bit boring or light (i play with the wizards tower).

Then again neither of us are huge conflict game people. I sometimes dabble when I get the chance.

Hope you find something cool!

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Serena
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I like co-op games, specially the idea of working together and winning and loosing together. But I see a problem if one of the players doesn't play that well that the other players tend to do everything for that player so it gets boring for him/her.
I also like to play against my boyfriend, but I had to learn a bit, that if he does something against me in the game, it's nothing against me, he is just playing by the rules and now I also do "bad" things against him in the game. It's just a game and it's not as fun to play if you skip parts of the rules.
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Kristen Hansen
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My husband LOVES co-ops and I HATE them.

(One exception has been Space Alert, but that's probably because I'm a Vlaada Chvátil fangirl.)

He keeps around a couple of his favorites (Pandemic, etc.) but they rarely see the table.

My issue with them is that, generally, one person starts to control everyone else and basically becomes the leader. (Of course, there are exceptions, but those are rare gems.) I feel that when this happens, why should I be playing anyway when I can't make my own decisions? Those types of situations become fun for on one but the leader. Also, I'm not really for the, "Yeah, everyone wins! We saved Earth (or whatever)!" It even bothers me when there is no tie-breaker in a regular (not co-op) game!
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Jill Hara
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Only ever played one co-op game and it was right at the start of our gaming Lord of the Rings. Got it from a cheap bookshop when not looking for games. I remember it as being an interesting different way of playing. Also that we lost more often than we won . And that there was very great suspense involved.

But somehow we were never attracted to play more co-ops.
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Cheryll Gerk
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I love to play Co-Ops. My boyfriend and I own several and plan on buying a few more.
I cannot remember any coop induced arguments. We always discuss and plan our combined moves a few turns ahead, so if one of us would do a stupid move, it's the other's fault to, for not catching it. But that doesn't happen very often. We both think pretty logical, so one of us will usually catch a good way out of the mess.
 
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Jennifer Derrick
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I'm no help. We like to play both equally. It usually depends on the kind of day one or both of us has had as to which we'll choose. If we've had a tough day, we'll probably go coop so we can share the planning. But if we're both fresh, we'll try to beat the crap out of each other at something.

Nobody around here gets offended either way. To us, it's just a game with no hard feelings and the fun part is spending time together, regardless of what we're playing.
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Neither of us is a huge fan of coops, except for Arkham Horror, which is one of my all-times favorites. As to tension/arguments, well, amusingly we've probably had more arguments over one of us destroying someone's victory point engine than over a game with military for example. There's something about one of us destroying the little engine that could.

Edit: I have seen groups of people get really annoyed at each other during coops. Usually it's because one person is a gigantic pain about dictating everyone's actions. It's amusing to watch people slowly turning red over it. So it's not surprising to have disagreements, particularly if you have two very headstrong people who like to have 100% control over their actions in a game. Especially if one of them is getting annoyed that the other person keeps telling them what to do.
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Sarah Reed
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We like coops, especially since I can get a little petulant when his superior mind beats me bad in a highly competitive game. Sadly, we don't own many coops, but have played a few at the game store. I expect we'll be getting more as time goes on. And one of the games we're designing is a coop.

But we like euro games the most because, while there is a winner, it's not directly confrontational, most of them. I don't usually get as upset when I lose because I often feel like I am competing more against myself and trying to improve my playing abilities and skills. Like I always enjoy Agricola, even though I don't win very often. The game challenges me on a level that is very satisfying, even when my husband is doing better than me.
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Gregg Saruwatari
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SilvaShado wrote:
We like coops, especially since I can get a little petulant when his superior mind beats me bad in a highly competitive game. Sadly, we don't own many coops, but have played a few at the game store. I expect we'll be getting more as time goes on. And one of the games we're designing is a coop.

But we like euro games the most because, while there is a winner, it's not directly confrontational, most of them. I don't usually get as upset when I lose because I often feel like I am competing more against myself and trying to improve my playing abilities and skills. Like I always enjoy Agricola, even though I don't win very often. The game challenges me on a level that is very satisfying, even when my husband is doing better than me.


My wife doesn't mind co-ops every once in a while, and she enjoys Euros, but I think the happiest I ever saw her was when she broke an alliance and annihilated my fleet in Eclipse. That or when she she sabotages the humans in BSG.
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Benjamin Maggi
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I love co-op games, but I don't think that there are many great ones that scale down well for 2 players. The only one which I can think of off the top of my head which would be challenging yet fun is Ghost Stories, with each human playing two characters.
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I don't play co-ops with my DH because we don't think alike at all. Even when we play team games, we never ever play on the same team. I don't mind him beating me in a competitive game but if I feel like he caused me to lose a co-op game, I would not be happy.
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Sara Grace
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My husband and I are in the same boat as the OP.

If we try to play a co-op with just the two of us we always end up fighting. Someone ends up feeling bossed or criticized or rushed every time. On the other hand, we happily tear one another apart at competitive games. Every couple/gamer is different.

Oddly, we can play co-op games with other people just fine.
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Gregg Saruwatari
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Fran_Kubelik wrote:
My husband and I are in the same boat as the OP.

If we try to play a co-op with just the two of us we always end up fighting. Someone ends up feeling bossed or criticized or rushed every time. On the other hand, we happily tear one another apart at competitive games. Every couple/gamer is different.

Oddly, we can play co-op games with other people just fine.


I looked at your games and it looks like your tastes are pretty similar to ours. If you can get 5 people together I highly recommend Battlestar Galactica for you guys! And RFTG is our favorite, too. We have RFTG night with 2 other couples every Friday!
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Pasi Ojala
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GrimThunderbrew wrote:
If you can get 5 people together I highly recommend Battlestar Galactica for you guys


(And Panic Station for 4-6. What we play is similar as well.)
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Lynette
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My reality is that I love co-ops AND direct confrontation one on one games and group games etc. What I HATE is genuine bad feeling level conflicts and cranky attitudes in whatever games are being played.

I play to have fun, engage my brain and even practice my social skills. Fighting isn't fun, nor is enduring sulking, pouting, or genuine bad sportsmanship. No matter what the game type.

I even love good trash talk and joking, ribbing, and mock upset as part of gaming conflict, but when it turns real... it sucks the fun out of any game.
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Sara Grace
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GrimThunderbrew wrote:
Fran_Kubelik wrote:
My husband and I are in the same boat as the OP.

If we try to play a co-op with just the two of us we always end up fighting. Someone ends up feeling bossed or criticized or rushed every time. On the other hand, we happily tear one another apart at competitive games. Every couple/gamer is different.

Oddly, we can play co-op games with other people just fine.


I looked at your games and it looks like your tastes are pretty similar to ours. If you can get 5 people together I highly recommend Battlestar Galactica for you guys! And RFTG is our favorite, too. We have RFTG night with 2 other couples every Friday!


I played BSG once and wasn't completely sold on it but I am 90% sure that was because the rules explanation I got was desperately incomplete. I am very interested in trying it again. We get a little stuck though because in our gaming group (of six people) one person really doesn't like games where you have to "lie" to each other. So we sneak in Resistance when she isn't around but sneaking in a 'quick' game of BSG isn't really at thing...
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Pasi Ojala
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Fran_Kubelik wrote:
one person really doesn't like games where you have to "lie" to each other.


It's good that you have the quotes there. In BSG you are not lying when you misdirect and are vague and perhaps back-stab someone to kill humans, you are still playing perfectly honestly, according to the rules and acting the character according to their loyalty. Remind that the game is just a game, where anything within rules is allowed, and reality is reality. Being a good cylon in the game does not make a player a bad person outside of the game.

You rarely even need to directly lie. Due to the secrecy rules you should not be asked too specific questions, and even if you are, you are not obliged to answer. If you are accused of being a cylon, just smile. If you are flat out asked, respond with another question.

Maybe the person comes around when thinking about this the right way. (And it really is great to play the traitors in games, exactly because you can't be anything like that in real life.)

Edit: And the same applies to The Resistance and other traitor-ish games too.

(Edit: BSG is optimal with 5 players.)
 
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Gregg Saruwatari
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Fran_Kubelik wrote:
GrimThunderbrew wrote:
Fran_Kubelik wrote:
My husband and I are in the same boat as the OP.

If we try to play a co-op with just the two of us we always end up fighting. Someone ends up feeling bossed or criticized or rushed every time. On the other hand, we happily tear one another apart at competitive games. Every couple/gamer is different.

Oddly, we can play co-op games with other people just fine.


I looked at your games and it looks like your tastes are pretty similar to ours. If you can get 5 people together I highly recommend Battlestar Galactica for you guys! And RFTG is our favorite, too. We have RFTG night with 2 other couples every Friday!


I played BSG once and wasn't completely sold on it but I am 90% sure that was because the rules explanation I got was desperately incomplete. I am very interested in trying it again. We get a little stuck though because in our gaming group (of six people) one person really doesn't like games where you have to "lie" to each other. So we sneak in Resistance when she isn't around but sneaking in a 'quick' game of BSG isn't really at thing...


A female friend that doesn't like lying?! I think that is like every guys' dream.

Everyone I know LOVES misleading the group in BSG. I have a reputation for NEVER lying irl and being a terrible liar, but somehow during BSG sessions I have fooled quite a few people in just the way Pasi said. To me, it isn't lying, but more like playing poker.
 
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Sara Grace
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a1bert wrote:
Fran_Kubelik wrote:
one person really doesn't like games where you have to "lie" to each other.


It's good that you have the quotes there. In BSG you are not lying when you misdirect and are vague and perhaps back-stab someone to kill humans, you are still playing perfectly honestly, according to the rules and acting the character according to their loyalty. Remind that the game is just a game, where anything within rules is allowed, and reality is reality. Being a good cylon in the game does not make a player a bad person outside of the game.

You rarely even need to directly lie. Due to the secrecy rules you should not be asked too specific questions, and even if you are, you are not obliged to answer. If you are accused of being a cylon, just smile. If you are flat out asked, respond with another question.

Maybe the person comes around when thinking about this the right way. (And it really is great to play the traitors in games, exactly because you can't be anything like that in real life.)

Edit: And the same applies to The Resistance and other traitor-ish games too.

(Edit: BSG is optimal with 5 players.)


I hear you. She says she just doesn't like games with "too much" deception because she doesn't like people lying to her. It is a little confusing because games like Cosmic Encounters seem ok (that's why I put too much in quotes). I don't claim to really understand her viewpoint, but I do know that she refuses to play these games (specifically Resistance and BSG).

Which would be ok if she could entertain herself but she tends to sit to the side, observe, and then blurt out accusations. She's often correct because since she isn't playing she can keenly observe things like body language and shifts in behaviors. So at some point in the game this will happen:
C: "Sara is clearly a Cylon!"
S: "Why do you always think it is me?" (internally "SHUT UP!! STOP RUINING IT!)
C: "Because it is clearly you, you did [blank] and [blank] two turns ago."

It totally ruins the game because you can't really defend yourself since she is often correct. We just have to wait for game days when she isn't available.

__________________

This all makes her sound sort of awful. In her defense, with most games she totally great. She loves lot's of good games and is typically a good person to play games with. Just these specific games are a nonstarter.
 
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Crysta Mathis
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a1bert wrote:
Fran_Kubelik wrote:
one person really doesn't like games where you have to "lie" to each other.


It's good that you have the quotes there. In BSG you are not lying when you misdirect and are vague and perhaps back-stab someone to kill humans, you are still playing perfectly honestly, according to the rules and acting the character according to their loyalty. Remind that the game is just a game, where anything within rules is allowed, and reality is reality. Being a good cylon in the game does not make a player a bad person outside of the game.

[...]

Maybe the person comes around when thinking about this the right way. (And it really is great to play the traitors in games, exactly because you can't be anything like that in real life.)

Edit: And the same applies to The Resistance and other traitor-ish games too.


I'm the person Sara is talking about, and you're misunderstanding the situation. I've played both BSG and Resistance plenty of times, and it's not that I misunderstand the games in any way. I don't think the Cylons or Spies are being "bad" or even that the games are bad. There's no right or wrong way to think about it. They're just not my kind of game, and why play a game if you don't enjoy it? I don't mean to stop other people from playing games they want to though. Sounds like something we might need to talk about more in person.

How odd to come to a forum post meaning to respond the the main question, and then realize I've become a side topic myself! =P

On the original topic I was just going to mention how my spouse and I both like board games a lot, but tend to squabble when we play together, regardless of whether it's a co-op or a competitive game. It's so unfortunate to live with another person who loves games, but not be able to take full advantage of it! We're working on it though, and I have high hopes for the future.
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Sara Grace
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Tapilou wrote:
a1bert wrote:
Fran_Kubelik wrote:
one person really doesn't like games where you have to "lie" to each other.


It's good that you have the quotes there. In BSG you are not lying when you misdirect and are vague and perhaps back-stab someone to kill humans, you are still playing perfectly honestly, according to the rules and acting the character according to their loyalty. Remind that the game is just a game, where anything within rules is allowed, and reality is reality. Being a good cylon in the game does not make a player a bad person outside of the game.

[...]

Maybe the person comes around when thinking about this the right way. (And it really is great to play the traitors in games, exactly because you can't be anything like that in real life.)

Edit: And the same applies to The Resistance and other traitor-ish games too.


I'm the person Sara is talking about, and you're misunderstanding the situation. I've played both BSG and Resistance plenty of times, and it's not that I misunderstand the games in any way. I don't think the Cylons or Spies are being "bad" or even that the games are bad. There's no right or wrong way to think about it. They're just not my kind of game, and why play a game if you don't enjoy it? I don't mean to stop other people from playing games they want to though. Sounds like something we might need to talk about more in person.

How odd to come to a forum post meaning to respond the the main question, and then realize I've become a side topic myself! =P

On the original topic I was just going to mention how my spouse and I both like board games a lot, but tend to squabble when we play together, regardless of whether it's a co-op or a competitive game. It's so unfortunate to live with another person who loves games, but not be able to take full advantage of it! We're working on it though, and I have high hopes for the future.


Ack! This was totally the post I was afraid you would stumble upon. I apologize. I no longer remember why I was so wound up and venting but I shouldn't have done that on a public forum where you might someday run into it...

Mea culpa blush
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