Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

Vegas Showdown» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Session Report: Vegas Showdown rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Greg Schloesser
United States
Jefferson City
TN
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jim suggested a return to the casinos of Las Vegas, so Gail, Erin, Jared, Jim and I competed to construct the most profitable and famous complex. From the get-go, Gail warned everyone to prevent me from acquiring features that were flush with fame points. Her persistent warnings worked, as I was unable to secure the fame-rich buildings I tend to seek.

Jared was able to acquire the valuable theatre, a building that may be worth a bit too many points. In future games, I’m going to try reducing its fame point value to 8 as opposed to the 12 it now grants. This was just enough to allow him to tie his wife with 62 fame points. He won the tie-breaker by having $28 remaining to Erin’s $2.

Finals: Jared 62, Erin 62, Greg 56, Gail 45, Jim 42

Ratings: Erin 9, Jared 8.5, Jim 8, Greg 7.5, Gail 7
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alan Kwan
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
gschloesser wrote:
From the get-go, Gail warned everyone to prevent me from acquiring features that were flush with fame points. Her persistent warnings worked, as I was unable to secure the fame-rich buildings I tend to seek.

This should be obvious: since Fame is the goal of the game, everyone should be going for (not just prevent someone from getting) Fame-rich tiles. Though there are sources of Fame besides printed Fame values, the printed values are very significant.

Quote:
Jared was able to acquire the valuable theatre, a building that may be worth a bit too many points. In future games, I’m going to try reducing its fame point value to 8 as opposed to the 12 it now grants.

Undoubtedly, the Theater is the strongest building in the game. Whether it is desirable to change it by reducing its value, though, does not have a sound backing, because this is an auction game.

If, after more games are played, either of the following trends are observed, then some adjustment for the Theater should be in order:

1. If the players begin saving cash (since the stage when the Theater is about to come into play) as a dominant, winning strategy, and the game is usually won by the player who buys the Theater at the maximum bid of $52 (by virtue of luckily going first, despite that the competition also has the cash).

2. The Theater often does not show up, so that saving cash in advance for it does not become the dominant, winning strategy, but in case it comes out, the player who then luckily gets to buy it will usually win the game.


In my experience, typically 8 or 10+ among the total 15 "B" tiles will show up in a game, so case #2 is unlikely. Thus it remains for us to test case #1. Should case #1 be true, I would still propose extending the maximum bid (i.e. adding bid spaces above $52 for the Theater) instead of reducing the point value, because the Theater seems to serve a purpose: for a player pursuing a strategy which focuses more on income than on early Fame, the Theater rewards him with a chance to "come back" later in the game.

Barring the above two cases, there are not enough grounds to justify adjusting the Theater. For example, if someone buys the Theater at less than $52, when the Theater is largely expected to come out, then the other players could only be blamed for failing to save up and outbid for the Theater.

In any case, I do not feel that the Night Clubs are too strong (a Fancy Lounge can easily be worth 7 Fame, including 3 for its red corners), so the Theater should be all right at 10 Fame.

IMO, the Mistress/Judge in Petersburg do more obviously call for adjustment. Not only have they shaped the dominant, winning strategy which usually wins the game when those cards come out on turn one, but also, the seeming intent of their high values (namely, when you get a big aristocrat, you sacrifice getting several small ones, so you deserve to be compensated for sacrificing the aristocrat bonus) has turned out to be fallacious. And, in that game the other players don't get a chance to outbid.

Quote:

This was just enough to allow him to tie his wife with 62 fame points. He won the tie-breaker by having $28 remaining to Erin’s $2.

To be precise, money in multiples of $10 is translated into Fame, and not factored into the "tie-breaker".
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Greg Schloesser
United States
Jefferson City
TN
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Quote:
Jared was able to acquire the valuable theatre, a building that may be worth a bit too many points. In future games, I’m going to try reducing its fame point value to 8 as opposed to the 12 it now grants.

Undoubtedly, the Theater is the strongest building in the game. Whether it is desirable to change it by reducing its value, though, does not have a sound backing, because this is an auction game.

Reply:

Well, I've played the game probably 10 times now, and the person who acquires the theatre has won 8 of those times. The other 2 times it didn't appear. I'd say that's enough proof for me.


Quote:

This was just enough to allow him to tie his wife with 62 fame points. He won the tie-breaker by having $28 remaining to Erin’s $2.


To be precise, money in multiples of $10 is translated into Fame, and not factored into the "tie-breaker".

Reply:

Acording to the rules, after calculating all fame points (including the 10 coins for 1 point conversion), if there is still a tie, the palyer with the most cash wins.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Sauberer
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
gschloesser wrote:

Quote:
Jared was able to acquire the valuable theatre, a building that may be worth a bit too many points. In future games, I’m going to try reducing its fame point value to 8 as opposed to the 12 it now grants.

Undoubtedly, the Theater is the strongest building in the game. Whether it is desirable to change it by reducing its value, though, does not have a sound backing, because this is an auction game.

Reply:

Well, I've played the game probably 10 times now, and the person who acquires the theatre has won 8 of those times. The other 2 times it didn't appear. I'd say that's enough proof for me.


Getting back to what Alan was saying, that isn't enough to say that the Theater is overvalued. It depends on what is causing that to be the difference in the games you are playing. If the Theater owner is getting it cheaply, then the problem is not with its valuation, but with everyone else's play.

If someone finds in Chess that a player who gets a pawn consistently across the board and changing it into a queen wins the game, that is not an indication that the rule allowing the change of pawn into queen is unbalancing. Players should just prevent their opponents from advancing their pawns that far.

Similarly if players are letting someone get a Theater cheaply, then maybe the solution is for them to adjust their strategies. Maybe they are overbuying early, leaving them with little cash on hand to challenge for the Theater or drive up the price. Or maybe they just don't think that it is worth the price when it comes up and drop out too early to prevent the Theater owner from winning.

Alan gave some good tests as to whether the Theater is overvalued. The why the wins happening is more important than just that they are happening.

Changing the value just because someone is succesful by acquiring the book could end up as a case of "my strategy in this game is not succeeding therefore we should change the rules to accomodate my strategy" instead of seeking to accomodate strategy to fit the game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Greg Schloesser
United States
Jefferson City
TN
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote: Getting back to what Alan was saying, that isn't enough to say that the Theater is overvalued. It depends on what is causing that to be the difference in the games you are playing. If the Theater owner is getting it cheaply, then the problem is not with its valuation, but with everyone else's play.

Reply:

Well, let's just say I disagree. I've played 10 times, and in 8 games the theatre appeared, the person who secured it won all of those games. That's enough to convince me that the theatre is too powerful.

If that one room is SO powerful that everyone has to alter their strategies to concentrate on acquiring it, then I feel the game is skewered. Fortunately, it is easily fixable by reducing its value to '8'.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Sauberer
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
gschloesser wrote:
Quote: Getting back to what Alan was saying, that isn't enough to say that the Theater is overvalued. It depends on what is causing that to be the difference in the games you are playing. If the Theater owner is getting it cheaply, then the problem is not with its valuation, but with everyone else's play.

Reply:

Well, let's just say I disagree. I've played 10 times, and in 8 games the theatre appeared, the person who secured it won all of those games. That's enough to convince me that the theatre is too powerful.

If that one room is SO powerful that everyone has to alter their strategies to concentrate on acquiring it, then I feel the game is skewered. Fortunately, it is easily fixable by reducing its value to '8'.


It's not necessarily that the room is so powerful that if someone gets it they win. It may be that if someone gets it too cheaply, then they will win. That doesn't mean that the room is too powerful, it means that the other players are pursuing poor strategies.
In Traumfabrik, if you let a player get the 4 star directors for 1 contract each, my guess is that that player will win the game. Does that mean that the 4-star directors are too powerful? No, it doesn't. It means that the players should alter their strategies so that the 4-star directors equal the cost.

Similarly, in Vegas Showdown, unless the inherent value of the Theatre is more than 52, then the problem isn't with the fame points, but rather with the players who let it go for too low a price. It is quite possible that groupthink has resulted in a cheap theater for 8 games. Maybe the leson is not that "the Theater gives too many points" but rather that "we have been letting the theater go too cheaply."

Now, is it possible that the Theater is a key building that must be paid special attention to? Possibly. But that is the case in many games. If someone gets three large purple buildings in Puerto Rico, they will probably win. Does that mean the buildings are overpowered? Not really. It means that the opponents didn't do enough to prevent someone from acquiring them.

IMO, in most cases strategies should be adapted to games. If a particular strategy doesn't work, then a player should try to discover a different strategy instead of changes the rules to accomodate instead of changing the game to result in a certain strategy becoming successful. With auction games this is especially true. Unless the maximum bid possible is less than the value of the item being auctioned the players have it within their power to control the relative worth of any item.

Of course, it is perfectly valid to alter the rules if a particular game requires a strategy that would result in an unsatisfying experience for the players. If the style of play you have been using in Vegas Showdown is enjoyable and you don't want to have the theater as key, then by all means change the points. However that does not mean that the game or tile is inherently unbalanced, just that it doesn't mesh with your play style. In that case, better to change the value than have a disagreeable time with it or let it sit on the shelf.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alan Kwan
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks Paul, for elaborating my ideas very clearly.

gschloesser wrote:

Acording to the rules, after calculating all fame points (including the 10 coins for 1 point conversion), if there is still a tie, the player with the most cash wins.

Those multiples of $10 are turned in for the Fame bonus, so only those money which is left over goes towards the tie-breaker.

In fact, I feel that this is obviously the only logical (consistent) way to count money for tie-breaker when they are also counted for points. (At least, the "leftover" money should be a primary tie-breaker, and "total" money a secondary tie-breaker only if the former is also tied.) Why some previous games do not do this, I don't understand.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alan Kwan
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
A relevant example for my point, re-posted:

If I get two Fancy Lounges and manage to put them together, that's worth 11 Fame (4 + 4, plus the red square in the middle). Against the 13 Fame (12 + 1 for Publicize once) for the Theater. So if Fancy Lounges typically go for $25, the Theater is not too strong at $52. The question is, do the players evaluate the various tiles correctly, and prepare properly (cash management) for them?

In practice, it is often a mistake to buy anything else (unless ridiculously cheap) once you see the Theater on the board. Save up your cash, to bid it up if not to win it.

The Theater seems to be always the winning tile in novice's games. That is true. But discussing game balance, and its fixes, is pretty meaningless on such terms.
 
 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.