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  #151  
Old 03-27-2020, 07:02 PM
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Aside: I've heard that in Nevada, the official procedure for resolving tied elections is for the tied candidates to play a single hand of five-card stud. With the stakes set like that, it does in fact become a trivial game, and in effect no different from a coin flip... but I do have to admit that it's a lot cooler than a coin flip.
This may be a city law somewhere in Nevada, but Nevada state law says that ties in statewide or "district" elections are broken either by vote of the state legislature or "by lot." Technically, a game of stud poker could be considered "by lot."

At the Nevada Democratic Caucuses, if there was a tie in determining which candidate received a County Convention delegate, it was broken by a card draw (high card won; ties broken by the suit order used in bridge).
  #152  
Old 03-27-2020, 07:24 PM
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Wasn't there a game mentioned somewhere on SMDB that consisted of:
(a) The board is 101 spaces, numbered 0 through 100;
(b) Each player starts on 0;
(c) Roll a die - on a 6, advance one space; on a 5, remain where you are; on a 1-4, go back to space 0;
(d) The first player to reach space 100 wins?
I worked out that it would take a very, very long time just for any player to get to space 10.
  #153  
Old 03-30-2020, 12:40 PM
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The Crying
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  #154  
Old 03-30-2020, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by That Don Guy View Post
Wasn't there a game mentioned somewhere on SMDB that consisted of:
(a) The board is 101 spaces, numbered 0 through 100;
(b) Each player starts on 0;
(c) Roll a die - on a 6, advance one space; on a 5, remain where you are; on a 1-4, go back to space 0;
(d) The first player to reach space 100 wins?
I worked out that it would take a very, very long time just for any player to get to space 10.
The odds of successfully getting to the tenth space, from space 0, are 9,765,624 to 1.

The odds of completing the game are such that were every human on earth to play the game nonstop, no one would win before the heat death of the universe.

This game sucks.
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Last edited by RickJay; 03-30-2020 at 03:03 PM.
  #155  
Old 03-30-2020, 08:10 PM
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The odds of successfully getting to the tenth space, from space 0, are 9,765,624 to 1.

The odds of completing the game are such that were every human on earth to play the game nonstop, no one would win before the heat death of the universe.

This game sucks.
The expected number of rolls needed for a player to reach space 10 is 14,648,436.
The expected number of times reaching space 10 needed for a player to reach space 20 is also 14,648,436.
The expected number of turns to reach space 100 is about 4.5 x 10^71.
  #156  
Old 03-30-2020, 11:07 PM
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I have to come in here to put in a dishonourable mention for Betrayal at the House on the Hill. For those of you who haven't met it, it's sort of an RPG-ish boardgame where you play a stereotypical group of dumb teenagers investigating the haunted house. You explore the house and find stuff and then the monster is revealed...

Except that it's basically Snakes-and-Ladders in an expensive Halloween costume. It is not a game. The exploring and finding are completely random and depend entirely on your ability to roll dice and draw cards. When the Plot is revealed, one player is randomly chosen as the Bad Guy and given a random objective, which the Good Guys have to stop. Depending on the random items collected, one side or the other may be massively overpowered. Depending on the random room draw, either sides' objective may be anything from trivial to impossible.

I understand some people like it for the story-telling elements, but really, why not just play an RPG?
Betrayal is still fun to play, even if you occasionally get screwed. Some of the scenarios are better than others, though. The players have a greater chance of beating the traitor the longer they can go without triggering the haunt. As items are uncovered, the players need to use the high-speed member of the party to ferry items between players to balance out items (i.e. one player doesn't hog all the weapons) and optimize usage (items that require knowledge go to the player with the highest knowledge, etc.)
  #157  
Old 03-30-2020, 11:26 PM
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I would say the worst board game I have played is a dud called Innsmouth Escape. It's a one player vs the rest game, where one player is trying to rescue their captured fellow Miskatonic U students wit secret movement and get to the edge of the board and out of Innsmouth, while the other players play hordes of Deep Ones. It's incredibly unbalanced against the solo player, and the cheap jack production values didn't help. (Every piece of art in the game is clipped from the cover painting, although there are lots of Deep One plastic figurines I've used in other games.)
  #158  
Old 03-31-2020, 01:09 AM
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  #159  
Old 03-31-2020, 08:27 AM
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  #160  
Old 03-31-2020, 11:29 PM
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I know I'm in the minority but I hate Fluxx. It's basically a disguised version of War that makes you think there's a strategy to winning. And then someone changes the winning condition and your plans all go to hell.

Last edited by Deeg; 03-31-2020 at 11:29 PM.
  #161  
Old 04-10-2020, 06:55 PM
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Whelp, I can't stand games of chance so I guess I'm biased in that respect, but my family likes playing Skip Bo and I absolutely hate it. That game is as close to 100% luck as anything I've ever played. There are very few decisions one needs to make when playing the game. That is my choice.
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  #162  
Old 04-11-2020, 08:44 AM
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I already dislike UNO as it is, but when we were on vacation once we bought a variant called UNO Texas because, well, I’m from Texas.

It turns out that the variation is that if you have a card in your hand called “last stand“, and it’s your turn, you can play it if another player has one card left in their hand, and they have to switch hands with you. Essentially it just takes all the hard work of getting your hand down to one card, and subverts it. So fucking stupid.
  #163  
Old 04-11-2020, 09:06 AM
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And never mind that, Texas lost at the Alamo.
  #164  
Old 04-11-2020, 09:37 AM
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Uno.
I used to love playing this variant of Uno. It made the game a lot more lively and fun.
https://offbeathome.com/killer-uno/
  #165  
Old 04-11-2020, 09:38 AM
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I already dislike UNO as it is, but when we were on vacation once we bought a variant called UNO Texas because, well, I’m from Texas.

It turns out that the variation is that if you have a card in your hand called “last stand“, and it’s your turn, you can play it if another player has one card left in their hand, and they have to switch hands with you. Essentially it just takes all the hard work of getting your hand down to one card, and subverts it. So fucking stupid.
Wow. If there's one thing I've never, ever, ever wanted in a game of Uno, it's a way to prolong the experience. This variant sounds terrible.
  #166  
Old 04-11-2020, 04:16 PM
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Wow. If there's one thing I've never, ever, ever wanted in a game of Uno, it's a way to prolong the experience. This variant sounds terrible.
Indeed. Once we threw away the last stand cards, the game successfully reverted to boring old UNO.
  #167  
Old 04-11-2020, 05:16 PM
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I know I'm in the minority but I hate Fluxx. It's basically a disguised version of War that makes you think there's a strategy to winning. And then someone changes the winning condition and your plans all go to hell.
I think it's a reflection of your playing style. I know some players like to play a strategic game where you plan out your moves ahead of time - and you can't do that with Fluxx. Fluxx is a tactical game, where you have to decide what your best move is when your turn arrives.

Personally, I like Fluxx.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 04-11-2020 at 05:16 PM.
  #168  
Old 04-19-2020, 06:09 PM
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I have to come in here to put in a dishonourable mention for Betrayal at the House on the Hill. For those of you who haven't met it, it's sort of an RPG-ish boardgame where you play a stereotypical group of dumb teenagers investigating the haunted house. You explore the house and find stuff and then the monster is revealed...

Except that it's basically Snakes-and-Ladders in an expensive Halloween costume. It is not a game. The exploring and finding are completely random and depend entirely on your ability to roll dice and draw cards. When the Plot is revealed, one player is randomly chosen as the Bad Guy and given a random objective, which the Good Guys have to stop. Depending on the random items collected, one side or the other may be massively overpowered. Depending on the random room draw, either sides' objective may be anything from trivial to impossible.

I understand some people like it for the story-telling elements, but really, why not just play an RPG?
My seven year old son (I know, but we're a gaming household, he's pretty accomplished) declared it "the most unfair game in the universe...it should be...practically ILLEGAL!" and burst into tears.

And I think that's because you're right: it looks like it's got some complexity and skill so the others should have had a chance against me (the villain). But no: I just sat and watched my character win.
  #169  
Old 04-20-2020, 11:39 AM
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Candyland is just drawing cards on a colorful background. Utterly boring and with no skill needed whatsoever.
It's even worse than that. Once the cards are shuffled and the order of play has been set, the outcome is predestined. It's the board game equivalent of Calvinism.
  #170  
Old 04-20-2020, 01:13 PM
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I suppose that's technically true, but I don't see how it's relevant. If you instead added a rule that the deck be reshuffled after every draw, or every ten draws, or whatever, the game wouldn't be predestined any more, but I fail to see how it would be significantly different.
  #171  
Old 04-20-2020, 02:50 PM
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I suppose that's technically true, but I don't see how it's relevant. If you instead added a rule that the deck be reshuffled after every draw, or every ten draws, or whatever, the game wouldn't be predestined any more, but I fail to see how it would be significantly different.
People bet on all sorts of things that they have no control over, where there's no strategy, and the only decision is to play or not to play, because dumb luck takes over from there. Doesn't matter if it's Chutes and Ladders or buying a lottery ticket. People will bet on coin flips.

The difference between those games (or your revised version of Candy Land) is that you could literally look through the deck before the game began, and tell the players which one of them was going to win. There's not even any element of chance. It's all done.

Now it's true that by and large, nobody's going to actually DO that, so it doesn't affect the play. But the very fact that it's possible - that the outcome is knowable before you start - is still a fundamental difference, IMHO. Chutes and Ladders is a game of chance. Candy Land is not. All it is, is a way to teach kids how games operate.
  #172  
Old 04-20-2020, 06:23 PM
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It's knowable if you allow people to look through the shuffled deck. Not being allowed to do that is kind of fundamental to any game involving cards.
  #173  
Old 05-07-2020, 11:39 AM
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The difference between those games (or your revised version of Candy Land) is that you could literally look through the deck before the game began, and tell the players which one of them was going to win. There's not even any element of chance. It's all done.
Is there really any difference between these two games?:

Game A: Each player rolls 10 dice at once blindfolded, and covers the dice with a sheet of paper. Each player takes turns revealing one dice at a time. Winner has the highest total number.

Game B: Each player takes turns rolling dice until each player has rolled 10 times. Winner has the highest total number.

Both are poor games, but I'm struggling to think of any reason why Game B has more of an element of "chance", unless you think that someone is able to personally affect the results of an individual dice roll.
  #174  
Old 05-07-2020, 12:59 PM
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Wow. If there's one thing I've never, ever, ever wanted in a game of Uno, it's a way to prolong the experience. This variant sounds terrible.
I was at a talk about how skill and luck aren't opposites in gaming, and he had two examples. Tic-tac-toe has no luck, but also requires minimal skill, and a hypothetical version of chess. In this version of chess you roll a dice after checkmate, and if you roll a 6, the checkmated player wins. His point is that hypothetical chess requires just as much skill as regular chess, even though there's now a luck element involved. He does acknowledge that it's a terrible rule, and no one should ever play it.

I was going to say that that variant wouldn't prolong the game, and was more like terrible hypothetical chess, but while typing I realized that the whole table would now know what that one card was, and so it would prolong the game considerably.
  #175  
Old 05-07-2020, 01:07 PM
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Oh, and re: the Candyland debate, I think an unknown card counts as a random card regardless of when or how many times it has been shuffled.
  #176  
Old 05-07-2020, 01:58 PM
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I was at a talk about how skill and luck aren't opposites in gaming, and he had two examples. Tic-tac-toe has no luck, but also requires minimal skill, and a hypothetical version of chess. In this version of chess you roll a dice after checkmate, and if you roll a 6, the checkmated player wins. His point is that hypothetical chess requires just as much skill as regular chess, even though there's now a luck element involved. He does acknowledge that it's a terrible rule, and no one should ever play it.
I think Luck can drive more skillful play, since players have to come up with a wide array of strategies to mitigate against it's effects in order to win consistently. A game of blackjack would be pretty stale skill-wise if the same cards were dealt every time. An NFL game with a random bonus running back for one team, played on a mechanically tilted field would certainly result in some interesting strategies.

Luck is often like the antagonist in the story, that the hero (skill) has to overcome. If the antagonist is weak, the hero doesn't have much of an obstacle to overcome (not much of a hero at all), and the story is boring. If the antagonist is too strong, nothing the hero does matters anyway, and the story is also boring.
  #177  
Old 05-07-2020, 02:48 PM
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I think Luck can drive more skillful play, since players have to come up with a wide array of strategies to mitigate against it's effects in order to win consistently. A game of blackjack would be pretty stale skill-wise if the same cards were dealt every time. An NFL game with a random bonus running back for one team, played on a mechanically tilted field would certainly result in some interesting strategies.

Luck is often like the antagonist in the story, that the hero (skill) has to overcome. If the antagonist is weak, the hero doesn't have much of an obstacle to overcome (not much of a hero at all), and the story is boring. If the antagonist is too strong, nothing the hero does matters anyway, and the story is also boring.
The talk was claiming that luck was important to draw new players into the game - if a new player has absolutely no chance of winning, then it is hard to convince the new player to play, and the more experienced player will likely be bored playing a novice opponent. Of course there are better and worse implementations, no new player is going to be satisfied by winning the dice roll in hypothetical terrible chess, but a good streak of critical hits in TF2 doesn't seem as much of a cheesy win.

But you are right that any game that tests skills in probability or sussing out secret information will definitely need or benefit from an element of luck.
  #178  
Old 05-07-2020, 07:29 PM
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Even regular chess has an element of luck to it.

Let's say that I'm sitting down to a game with Gary Kasparov, but I'm cheating: I have a Bluetooth earpiece hidden in my ear, and I've paid a coalition of Carl Magnussen, Alpha Chess, and Fritz to sit on the other end and feed me moves. I'm going to win, right? Except now suppose that the bluetooth battery dies, and so I never actually get any of the messages they're sending me: Every move, I just randomly guess which move they were going to advise me to make. And now suppose that I just happen to guess correctly. I'd end up winning by pure luck. OK, it's phenomenally unlikely, because chess is much more skill than luck, but it's possible.
  #179  
Old 05-07-2020, 09:17 PM
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I don't mind luck being a factor in a game as long as I have some control over the effects that the luck produces.
  #180  
Old 05-08-2020, 06:25 AM
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Is there really any difference between these two games?:

Game A: Each player rolls 10 dice at once blindfolded, and covers the dice with a sheet of paper. Each player takes turns revealing one dice at a time. Winner has the highest total number.

Game B: Each player takes turns rolling dice until each player has rolled 10 times. Winner has the highest total number.

Both are poor games, but I'm struggling to think of any reason why Game B has more of an element of "chance", unless you think that someone is able to personally affect the results of an individual dice roll.
Sounds like the element of chance is equally present in both when the game starts. (I'm counting the rolling of the dice in Game A as part of the game. YMMV.) In both cases, once the players have rolled the die, the element of chance is gone.

In Game A, the illusion of chance is maintained after it is actually gone. If we compare Game A from the moment the dice start to be revealed, with Game B from the moment the dice start to be rolled, I agree that there's no difference in the game from the perspective of the players. But that doesn't change the fact that the result of Game A is already determined, while B is not. The fact that the players don't know the result yet doesn't change that underlying fact.
  #181  
Old 05-08-2020, 10:25 AM
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I hate Pass Out. Any game that requires you to wake up with a hang over is not fun.
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