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Subject: Do you share this feeling about YOUR games... rss

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Jesse G
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So i recently had a Board game night (BGN) and i Just got a new game...

And during play the other players were suggesting that the game be played a certain way that would skew the rules slightly or sort of work around some of the game mechanics that make it what it is.

Now is it just me? or does OWNING a game make you feel that that game should be played out "Properly" or rather, within the specs the game lays out to the potential players.

I kinda felt like i took offence and was defending the game against the tyranny of other players suggestions...



have any of you felt that twinge of gaming righteousness to defend the gaming rules?
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Depends on the game ...

... I only get my back up when its a game I love ...laugh

PS ... and given I'm a bit anal myself ... its "too anal"
 
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Gláucio Reis
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Regardless of ownership, I generally find it utterly ridiculous to suggest house rules the first time one plays a game - and even worse during that game.
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Jesse G
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GSReis wrote:
Regardless of ownership, I generally find it utterly ridiculous to suggest house rules the first time one plays a game - and even worse during that game.


The game has to have some guidelines. i see your point and have played almost all games loosely the first few times...

The game in questions was HANABI, where giving too much information defeats the game mechanics. Players were constantly trying to work around the games structure, making it too easy, i guess in a way taking the mechanic of co-op assistance and abusing it....
It was frustrating and the point of the string was to highlight the idea that maybe because they do not own the game, or respect it as a viable game, maybe they see it of no consequence to play outside the games guidelines... we have all done it, but i felt as though i had to stand up for the game to keep it a game.

If no rules are upheld, then why would anyone want to play it afterwards?? if its not challenging or unique why play it at all...


 
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Keith W
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It's one thing to make note of things during a first playthrough that don't feel right, or perhaps after the game discuss options together that might help the game flow better. Trying to make those changes during the first play session just doesn't sit well with me though. I've seen a few mechanics that didn't feel right at first, but you just had to get to the end of the game to see why they were done that way.
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Gláucio Reis
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By the way, was that one of the D&D boardgames? I never play them outside home because I'm yet to find a group that plays them by the written rules.

EDIT: Posted before seeing the OP's reply saying the game was Hanabi.
 
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いい竹やぶだ!

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"Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist." —Picasso

I can see making house rules—I do that pretty often—but the very first time you're playing a game? shake
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Bill Eldard
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GSReis wrote:
Regardless of ownership, I generally find it utterly ridiculous to suggest house rules the first time one plays a game - and even worse during that game.


Agreed.

It's particularly agregious when the proposed "fix' to the game is inspired by a misreading of the rules.

Regarding the OP, I think it's natural for a game owner to become a bit defensive about negative criticism (e.g., "This game is broken.") on the first play. For one thing, the owner has usually laid down some hard-earned cash to get the product, so there can be some sensitivity about criticism.

On the subject of house rules to the games I own, I generally avoid them, but I have made a few minor exceptions. Once folks own games, they can do whatever they want with them. That being said, I think it's appropriate for any player who doesn't like the house rule to decline to play.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Nope, quite happy to do on the spot house rules. I would tend to insist on playing by the games rules for a new games (and whilst learning it), unless there is a major flaw or omission, but once we are sure of the game then the game if a fair target for player modification (in fact many games need it).
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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GSReis wrote:
Regardless of ownership, I generally find it utterly ridiculous to suggest house rules the first time one plays a game - and even worse during that game.
Actually there have been one or two occasions when a purchased game has been so poor (to our minds) that we have modified (or added) rules the first time out. It's not very common but has happened.
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Enrico Viglino
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Orange_Chef wrote:


Now is it just me? or does OWNING a game make you feel that that game should be played out "Properly" or rather, within the specs the game lays out to the potential players.



Owning has nothing to do with it. If the game doesn't accurately
portray its subject, I'm often willing to tinker. In the end though,
so long as everyone at the table doesn't agree, the house-rule is
not used.


slatersteven wrote:
GSReis wrote:
Regardless of ownership, I generally find it utterly ridiculous to suggest house rules the first time one plays a game - and even worse during that game.
Actually there have been one or two occasions when a purchased game has been so poor (to our minds) that we have modified (or added) rules the first time out. It's not very common but has happened.


It is also useful (especially in longer games that take many hours/days)
to test tweaks out in a game that is already somewhat
suspect being a learning game.
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secoAce -
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I think a game should be played by the official rules as much as possible too, especially when it's a new game. But it's not a matter of a game's ownership. I've gotten defensive trying to uphold official rules to games others own.

It's more because established rules provide the guidelines by which they have been (presumably) tested and balanced out to make the game play out as designed and that's how the game should be played, at least until everyone is familiar enough with the game. And I just happen to prefer sticking by the rules unless they is reason to change them.

Some games may have broken rules, some too easy, too hard, or make a game too long. As long as everyone agrees to it, I see nothing wrong with house rules. But they should be talked about and declared before the game starts. In the end playings games should be fun where you have a good time with others.
 
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Orange_Chef wrote:
The game in questions was HANABI, where giving too much information defeats the game mechanics. Players were constantly trying to work around the games structure, making it too easy, i guess in a way taking the mechanic of co-op assistance and abusing it....


... ok ... knowing the game in question .... Hanabi ... now I'm on your side ... my back is up and I'm not making any house rules till' this game gets played out ... but I've played many games the first time where the game has obvious flaws which would appear to be rectifiable with some easy house rules which we would discuss during game play ... that didn't get my back up in those instances ...
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Matt Brown
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Orange_Chef wrote:
GSReis wrote:
Regardless of ownership, I generally find it utterly ridiculous to suggest house rules the first time one plays a game - and even worse during that game.


The game has to have some guidelines. i see your point and have played almost all games loosely the first few times...

The game in questions was HANABI, where giving too much information defeats the game mechanics. Players were constantly trying to work around the games structure, making it too easy, i guess in a way taking the mechanic of co-op assistance and abusing it....
It was frustrating and the point of the string was to highlight the idea that maybe because they do not own the game, or respect it as a viable game, maybe they see it of no consequence to play outside the games guidelines... we have all done it, but i felt as though i had to stand up for the game to keep it a game.

If no rules are upheld, then why would anyone want to play it afterwards?? if its not challenging or unique why play it at all...


Ownership has little to do with it for me. I try to follow the rules regardless of who owns it. I also have the same problem you do with Hanabi. What's the point in getting a score of 23 with no strikes?
 
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Allen OConnor
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It's a tough one. We've implemented house rules in our first play of a game in the past, but it's usually suggested from the owner of the game. I think I would be a bit pissed off if I was enjoying a game that I owned playing by the rules and somebody suggested that we change them.
 
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Playing games is about having fun. If altering a rule will increase everyone's enjoyment, then change the rule.

Ownership means nothing. Unless you're plan on playing solo, you better hope that everyone else is having a good time with the game you purchased; chances are if they are having fun you'll be having fun with them.
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Adam Porter
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jasss333 wrote:
Orange_Chef wrote:
The game in questions was HANABI, where giving too much information defeats the game mechanics. Players were constantly trying to work around the games structure, making it too easy, i guess in a way taking the mechanic of co-op assistance and abusing it....


... ok ... knowing the game in question .... Hanabi ... now I'm on your side ... my back is up and I'm not making any house rules till' this game gets played out ... but I've played many games the first time where the game has obvious flaws which would appear to be rectifiable with some easy house rules which we would discuss during game play ... that didn't get my back up in those instances ...


If I recall correctly, HANABI's instructions even state that a group should decide for themselves what is acceptable in terms of communication between the players. I found this very problematic in my one and only play of this game.

As someone who likes to stick closely to the written rules, I found some of the "tactics" of my fellow players rather too close to cheating (communication was often loaded with rather transparent "clues"). But with the rules as written, I can't really say that the other players were wrong.

I personally feel this is a flaw with the game-design. The designer clearly had experienced different approaches with different groups, but rather than pick one approach and dictate it in the rules, left it open for players to argue over. I don't play games to disagree with other players over rules - I play for fun - so Hanabi essentially becomes "anything goes". I'm not clamouring to play again.
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Terry Gwazdosky
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robigo wrote:
"Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist." —Picasso


Picasso was a rules lawyer? shake
 
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Anthony Simons
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It's rather presumptuous to throw in house rules, for a game which has (usually) been thoroughly playtested, during the first game. Unless the problem is a glaringly obvious one (in which case everybody will see it), and everybody is certain they have the rules correct, it will probably be down to how everybody is approaching the game.

Ownership always confers biases, but I tend to feel the same about any such game regardless. So for me, usually there will be no house-ruling first time out, whoever owns the game.

There have been exceptions; this is usually because the designer or publisher has issued an errata, or corrected something missed or found late in the process. For instance, you should never play Time Pirates with the original publisher's rules, as they do not work as well as the designer's rules, or the rules from Rio Grande.
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Enrico Viglino
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Adam78 wrote:


As someone who likes to stick closely to the written rules, I found some of the "tactics" of my fellow players rather too close to cheating (communication was often loaded with rather transparent "clues"). But with the rules as written, I can't really say that the other players were wrong.

I personally feel this is a flaw with the game-design. The designer clearly had experienced different approaches with different groups, but rather than pick one approach and dictate it in the rules, left it open for players to argue over. I don't play games to disagree with other players over rules - I play for fun - so Hanabi essentially becomes "anything goes". I'm not clamouring to play again.


I don't see how something is a flaw to try and appeal to different groups.

Sounds more like a flaw in the group composition that you couldn't
bother to nail things down when the rules sound as if they clearly
pointed this out.
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Norman Mueller
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Hanabi is more or less the only game I can think of that gives you enough leeway to be offended.

For me, it is a big turn-off. Not only does the game group have to decide "how strict they want to follow the rules", no, the scoring in this game feels very unsatisfying as well. I never had the feeling of "we won the game", because it lacks a fixed winning score.

Maybe that is different for people who are highscore hunters, but I never was one of those.. which makes most solo variants of popular game pointless for me, as well.
 
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Adam Porter
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calandale wrote:
Adam78 wrote:


As someone who likes to stick closely to the written rules, I found some of the "tactics" of my fellow players rather too close to cheating (communication was often loaded with rather transparent "clues"). But with the rules as written, I can't really say that the other players were wrong.

I personally feel this is a flaw with the game-design. The designer clearly had experienced different approaches with different groups, but rather than pick one approach and dictate it in the rules, left it open for players to argue over. I don't play games to disagree with other players over rules - I play for fun - so Hanabi essentially becomes "anything goes". I'm not clamouring to play again.


I don't see how something is a flaw to try and appeal to different groups.

Sounds more like a flaw in the group composition that you couldn't
bother to nail things down when the rules sound as if they clearly
pointed this out.


I don't think so. I don't own any games which require players to fill in the gaps in the rule book. The group composition works great. It's a new group of polite adults who have no desire to debate rules before, after, or during a game. We each took a different approach to the open-ended rules in Hanabi and none of us has any authority over the others to dictate the "correct" way to play. This is where I would normally look to the rule book for guidance. In Hanabi, all I find is ambiguity. To me, that's a flawed rule book for an otherwise interesting game.
 
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Enrico Viglino
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I don't know the game - but this is what elicited my comment:

Quote:
If I recall correctly, HANABI's instructions even state that a group should decide for themselves what is acceptable in terms of communication between the players


It sounds to me that you didn't bother to follow the instructions,
and that they were quite clear.

It doesn't seem too different from providing variant options,
and then assuming that the group would actually settle on one,
instead of each deciding on their own set to play.

 
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Orange_Chef wrote:
The game in questions was HANABI, where giving too much information defeats the game mechanics.

I didn't find it quickly just now, but there was an interesting thread in the last few months? where someone talked about playing it as a communication game instead of a logic game. Approaching it as a logic game, I would deliberately ignore hints I "couldn't" know; like, yes, I know you're telling me this is a two, and from your elaborate winks and twitches I gather that it's a two I could play right now, but since I can't know that, I won't use that information... anyway, I hope you find that thread, ha ha.
 
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I almost always stick to the rules as is, not because I'm some kind of OCD rules lawyer, but the designer of the game (usually) went through a lot of play testing to make sure their mechanics worked and were balanced. I used to work in statistics, so I know how fussy a system can be to even the most minor changes. Most game consumers, on the other hand, don't. I've played with people who have their own house rules "to make things more interesting", but in more cases than not, they merely just unbalance the game. I usually go with it though. Knowing the chink in their armor, so to speak, has often given me and edge to win.

That being said, if I play a game (enough) and notice a flaw the designer must have overlooked, I would consider a tweak to remedy it.

Quote:
The game in questions was HANABI, where giving too much information defeats the game mechanics. Players were constantly trying to work around the games structure, making it too easy, i guess in a way taking the mechanic of co-op assistance and abusing it....


I don't know this game, but based on what you're saying here, it sounds like they weren't really house ruling, but found a way to break the game. I'm all for that. It's a good way to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak I used to do that with PnP games (really easily, actuall) when I used to play them, and a friend and I did it with board games. I remember this one LoTR board game that had come out. It was 2 player, one is the good guys, the other is Sauron. It was super impressive looking and pretty and had tons of interesting pieces. But, after our second play through, we found a gap in the mechanics that would allow the good guys to win every game without fail. After that, it was shelved.

Maybe the designer needs to re-evaluate the mechanics.
 
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