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Subject: Worth the spiel nomination? rss

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Michael Barker

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Is this really worth it's Spiel Des Jahres nomination. It seems to be pretty elementary? Is it really as fun as everyone seems to be saying? Also, what stoops you from laughing or giving non-verbal cues to your partners and essentially rigging the game? It seems like one could observe the faces of their teammates to get cues?
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Eoin Corrigan
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It's very, very good. Addictive good.

As regards clues - well, that's cheating. part of the fun of the game is trying to maximise the challenge and avoid giving clues through intonation, body language etc.
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Simon Hammar
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This game is a work of genius; my only question is whether this is something for the Spiel des Jahres. It can quicky become more complicated than your standard 10-year-old can follow.

If you start giving non-verbal clues to rig the game…? What stops you from doing that in ANY cooperative game? What stops you from pressing "stop" on the CD in Escape? Or play with open cards in Space Alert? You can cheat all you want, but will it make the game fun?
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Max Lampinen
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Yes and no. I very highly doubt that anyone will play Hanabi 4 years from now, and I feel like SdJ should factor longetivity too, but right now it surely is one of the best family games out there.
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Allen OConnor
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I think it deserves it. I've never played anything like it, and I keep choosing to play it over all of my other games.
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Eoin Corrigan
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max_s wrote:
I very highly doubt that anyone will play Hanabi 4 years from now, and I feel like SdJ should factor longetivity too, but right now it surely is one of the best family games out there.
Interesting perspective.

Why do you think Hanabi might age so poorly, as compared to other games?
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Wojciech Sieroń
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The great game. Especially with two players.
I don't think, that this game could be boring for me everywhere.
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Max Lampinen
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Eoin Corrigan wrote:
Interesting perspective.

Why do you think Hanabi might age so poorly, as compared to other games?
The nominees are bit weird this year though so it'll most likely win anyway. Past year it has been easy to see the "classic" or even two (2011 Qwirkle and Forbidden Island) among the nominees, but this year it's harder since the obvious choice seems to be Hanabi, which has this problem..

When it's played enough with a single group (or few groups) which is how SdJ target group most likely will play it (as opposed to gaming clubs where you can play with different people every time) it can be "solved", and after that the value of the game is basically zero.
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David B
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max_s wrote:
Eoin Corrigan wrote:
Interesting perspective.

Why do you think Hanabi might age so poorly, as compared to other games?
The nominees are bit weird this year though so it'll most likely win anyway. Past year it has been easy to see the "classic" or even two (2011 Qwirkle and Forbidden Island) among the nominees, but this year it's harder since the obvious choice seems to be Hanabi, which has this problem..

When it's played enough with a single group (or few groups) which is how SdJ target group most likely will play it (as opposed to gaming clubs where you can play with different people every time) it can be "solved", and after that the value of the game is basically zero.

I agree with this. If you play witht he same group, the game will get old quickly. Of course you could always add the sixth included color to really crank up the challenge.


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Chris Schreiber
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max_s wrote:
I very highly doubt that anyone will play Hanabi 4 years from now, and I feel like SdJ should factor longetivity too...
My opinion on the longevity of Hanabi is exactly the opposite. What Hanabi does well it does extremely well---as evidenced by its elegance and passionate devotees. It may not be for everyone, but I expect it to become much more popular in the years to come. It was an underground buzz for two years and is only now getting wide release. I believe it may even cross-over into the mainstream success of titles like Apples to Apples, Jungle Speed, Ticket to Ride, BANG!, and Time's Up.

Having R&R Games behind it here in the US will be helpful to the long-term success that moves a game into the general public (which can take years of steady growth and word of mouth to achieve). I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that in ten years it may be outselling its designer's other well know hit 7 Wonders. While I won't be devastated if Augustus wins SdJ, I have a sweet spot for Hanabi and I believe elegance is a huge contributor to longevity---so I expect the opposite for Hanabi. I believe it may have Liar's Dice potential. Just wait until educators start getting a hold of it because that group (of which I am a member) loves games that feel like activities. It's barely been released and I expect big things.
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Simon Hammar
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max_s wrote:
Yes and no. I very highly doubt that anyone will play Hanabi 4 years from now, and I feel like SdJ should factor longetivity too, but right now it surely is one of the best family games out there.
Straight the opposite of my experience. I will most certainly play Hanabi (or rather, the spinoff MadoMagion) 20 years from now, but it's not at all a family game by any stretch.
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Simon Hammar
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pfctsqr wrote:
I agree with this. If you play witht he same group, the game will get old quickly. Of course you could always add the sixth included color to really crank up the challenge.
MadoMagion must play rather differently, then. It doesn't get old. At all.
 
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Zimeon wrote:
Straight the opposite of my experience. I will most certainly play Hanabi (or rather, the spinoff MadoMagion) 20 years from now, but it's not at all a family game by any stretch.
Family game, party game, whatever you like to call the "genre" that brings people together.
 
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max_s wrote:
Zimeon wrote:
Straight the opposite of my experience. I will most certainly play Hanabi (or rather, the spinoff MadoMagion) 20 years from now, but it's not at all a family game by any stretch.
Family game, party game, whatever you like to call the "genre" that brings people together.
OK, I'll rectify:
It's not a "Family game, party game, whatever you like to call the 'genre' that brings people together" by any stretch.

True, I've mostly been playing MadoMagion and not Hanabi, but it's a game that's being refused by several for being "too much" and "I don't want to burn my brain to cinders".
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David B
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Chris Schreiber wrote:
max_s wrote:
I very highly doubt that anyone will play Hanabi 4 years from now, and I feel like SdJ should factor longetivity too...
My opinion on the longevity of Hanabi is exactly the opposite. What Hanabi does well it does extremely well---as evidenced by its elegance and passionate devotees. It may not be for everyone, but I expect it to become much more popular in the years to come. It was an underground buzz for two years and is only now getting wide release. I believe it may even cross-over into the mainstream success of titles like Apples to Apples, Jungle Speed, Ticket to Ride, BANG!, and Time's Up.

Having R&R Games behind it here in the US will be helpful to the long-term success that moves a game into the general public (which can take years of steady growth and word of mouth to achieve). I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that in ten years it may be outselling its designer's other well know hit 7 Wonders. While I won't be devastated if Augustus wins SdJ, I have a sweet spot for Hanabi and I believe elegance is a huge contributor to longevity---so I expect the opposite for Hanabi. I believe it may have Liar's Dice potential. Just wait until educators start getting a hold of it because that group (of which I am a member) loves games that feel like activities. It's barely been released and I expect big things.
I, too, am an educator and have used Hanabi in class to deminstrate deductive reasoning. It was a huge success.
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Max Lampinen
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Zimeon wrote:
OK, I'll rectify:
It's not a "Family game, party game, whatever you like to call the 'genre' that brings people together" by any stretch.
Well we just disagree on the definition then. I consider any game that's ok to be sold in a supermarket (like SdJ nominees and winners generally are) a family game.
 
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Kirk Bauer
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I definitely think it is deserved. To me it is amazing that he made a very simple change (not being able to see your own cards) to convert something that would be very boring (stacking numbered cards in piles by color) and making it an awesome game. This is one of the few games I have played 50+ times, it is really that good.
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J Valnor
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It is a very odd mix of a game. On one hand you have the very simple rule set you can do x or y or z, so that is good for the SDJ. Cost is a plus. The game is 'modular' in the sense that each game requires a slightly different approach.

On the other hand, the game is tense, very very stressful. It feels awful when you are the one who kills the chance for the 25. Or when your teammates give you a clue which you take a totally different way. Our adult family has certainly entered into shouting matches over this game I almost can not imagine what it would be like with younger-teenagers.
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Michael Barker

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This is my first post on BGG yet I've been a member for 2+ years. It's cool to see this thread taking off.

To respond, I'm receiving the game in the mail, hopefully Wednesday. So I'm stoked to give it a go and I'll post again after.

As for the comment about what is to stop you from cheating I other cooperative games. Well, many of those games aren't dependably on hidden information in such a face to face fashion. Sure, in pandemic you are technically supposed to keep your cards a secret... But this is just so that there is no 1 man takeover. And Escape, one of my favorite games, I do find myself getting frustrated that I accidentally rolled something that I wanted to keep and I choose to not cheat and roll to gain it back. But even stopping the CD would be a really intentional act. I sense that it'd be easy to cheat and not even mean to, just by others reading your body language. Granted, I haven't played yet. I may be making a big deal out of a non-issue, but it seems that there should be a regulator on what clues must be and even a punishment for giving away information accidentally??? I don't know, thoughts?
 
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Michael Barker

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Also, how does it scale with 2
 
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Max Lampinen
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I liked Hanabi with two, but I like almost everything with two that can be played with two so..
 
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When I heard about the game, I was worried about the game being too strict with the clue giving and not allowing enough table talk--a big draw for games (conversing across the table). While in the strictest sense the game should have no talk outside of clues, we've played the game a bit looser in my group. We police ourselves because we enjoy the challenge of less table talk. And there's usually enough to think about that keeps us invested in the game without chatter.

I think the game scales well from 2 to 5. Information and control are inversely related dependent on your group size. With 2 you'll have more control; with 5 you'll have more information. I enjoy it both ways.
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Chris Schreiber
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habanero86 wrote:
Also, how does it scale with 2
My best game ever was with 2-players and that was first time we tried it. We scored a 24 and the third action of the game was a blind discard of a five. I keep wanting to go back to 2-player, but whenever it comes out everybody else wants to play too. How can I say no to that!

I found it very different with two, like you were taking turns surrendering control. Very fun, less prone to someone giving clues when they should be doing what someone told them. We don't have the alpha player problem with Hanabi as it solves that problem of some co-ops, but we do have the "I know what to do, but they don't know what to do---so I am going to help them instead of doing what you told me to do."
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Chris Schreiber
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One thing I love about Hanabi is that in some threads you will hear that it's too light and then others will say it's too heavy to be a family game. I really think it is extremely vulnerable to who is teaching the game, because it can look like a deductive brain burner or it can look like a nice clever party game depending on how you teach it. With non-gamers, I have been selling it like a communication puzzle with a focus on needing to trust your teammates and a need to look out for each other. That has been working.

I've actually had good results teaching it like a party game---and have played it at actual parties. The key is how much 'Hanabi' thinking you share when you teach it and how much you let players discover. I tend to over-share at the beginning and then try to run a tight ship with the clue giving. But sloppy clues should be occasions for laughter and going with the flow, not chastising. It's pretty funny when people over-emote when giving clues---it's obvious to everyone but the person getting the clue.

I read a thread somewhere about people who added green glass beads that they use as 'shame tokens.' If someone is a little sloppy and over-shares with a clue, you move a green token into the center of the table table. It doesn't count against anything except your honor for having played a clean game. I've had people say "We got an 19 with four shame, but followed that with a 17 without any shame." You could tell they were more proud of the game they scored 17.

Note: We also use card holders to help everyone focus on the information rather than the dexterity of what they are holding. It makes a big difference. But I have to admit, we played with a really sharp gamer who had a whole system for holding his cards and it was hard for him to adjust to card holders.
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habanero86 wrote:
Also, how does it scale with 2
I found the game to be unplayable with two.
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