Q: About "Sorry!" Rules

My wife and I were playing “Sorry!” with my 5 year old. What happens in this situation? Player “Red” is at the start of a Red slide. Player “Blue” picks a card that advances Player “Blue” precisely to the square occupied by Player “Red”. So, is Player “Red” sent home and Player “Blue” stops there? Or, must Player “Blue” slide past missing Player “Red”? Or, both “Red” is sent home AND “Blue” continues to slide to the end of the red slide? - Jinx :dubious:


That’s my vote

Your turn ends after you slide. If your pawn ends up in the same square as an opponent, the oppossing pawn is sent Home. Blue slides and Red (since nobody else occupies his square) stays where he is.

Holy Crap. After re-reading Aesiron’s quote of the rules, it appears EVERYTHING throughout the slide gets sent home. Guess I need to change the way I’ve been playing.

Absolutely. During the many hours spent playing the PC version, my wife and I had numerous occasions where we’d take out two or three tolkens that were foolishly grouped together on a slide. Back home with the lot of them.

I just wanted to pop in to say that both Sorry and Pop-O-Matic Trouble are the two games that bring out the worst in people. They get so spiteful and mean when they play. I try as best I can not to bump people in those games, and start out only doing so if I have to (i.e., I only have one piece out.) The problem is, no one else follows this stategy, they bump like mad on purpose! The bastards! So then us nicew players get the shaft, and are reduced to stooping to their level, whereupon they yell at me for stooping to their level!

“Hey, you bumped me on purpose! That’s not fair!”
“You’ve been doing it to me all night!”
“Yeah, but you’re not suppossed to, you’re nice! That’s it, from now on I’m only bumping you!”

What evil, cold-hearted, souless man came up with the idea for these games? They are Satan’s spawn, they are! Forged in the very depths of Hell!

Bit of a leap here, but that reminded me of the ‘tough but fair’ strategy from ‘golem in the gears’, which I think I’m justified into going into detail a little bit since this is CS.

Basically, it’s a philosophical approach to the question “How can you be a generally decent and trusting person, without letting nasty and opportunistic people take total advantage of you?”

Grundy’s answer was “the first time you interact with someone and have an opportunity to either be nice or attempt to stab you in the back, be nice. From then on, do exactly what they did to you, last time.”

Thus, if you run into someone who’s completely nasty or who just has it out for you in particular for some reason, the first time you let them torpedo you, and then the two of you will fall back into a state of canny, bitter warfare, with neither trusting the other.

If you run into someone who’s a perpetually nice doormat or someone else using this same strategy, you’ll always be nice and co-operate and make out like bandits.

Some situations come out more interesting. If you find someone who always alternates between being nasty and nice, or someone who is always nasty first and then copies you, the two of you will basically take turns torpedo-ing each other. (The way the game was set up in ‘golem’ you earn big points if you successfully torpedo someone, so if two players take turns torpedoing each other, they end up each making out almost as well as two players co-operating all the time. In contrast, two people always being nasty to each other each do almost as poorly as someone always on the receiving end of getting torpedoed. It was a variant on the prisoner’s dilemma.)

I always liked the philosophy behind that plan. :slight_smile:

You MUST bump even your OWN men back to start? I guess this might happen if, say, one of your own men went backwards into a slode zone. I’m not sure I’ve been playing it right all these years, either! “Gorsh!” - Goofy Jinx

Sure 'nuff. Any piece that is on the slide gets bumped back home, even if it’s your own.

Too much game theory… these are games we’re talking about here! :wink:


Let me guess, bouv… Do you also try to play chess without making any captures? Because captures are, you know, mean, too.

And I must point out that Golem in the Gears is hardly the origin of the “Tough But Fair” strategy. It was known to game theorists and others long before that book, and is typically the best strategy for repeated playings of Prisoner’s Dilemma-type games against varied opponents. Of course, if the game you’re playing does not follow the Prisoner’s Dilemma pattern (most competitive games like Sorry or Trouble are zero-sum), then Tough but Fair is not the optimum strategy.

I was thinking about that myself when I noticed that this thread had come back from the almost-dead.

‘sorry’ is zero-sum. The consequences of the game, on the other hand, can extend into the relationships you have with the other players, which are NOT zero-sum. :slight_smile:

You ought to try Diplomacy some time. Just don’t play with friends. Or should I say ex-friends-to-be…

Sorry is not a zero sum game. One often has the opportunity to advance your pieces either with or without attacking your opponents. These choices break zero-sum symmetry, which requires that every gain of one player corresponds to a loss by someone else.

For games like Diplomacy or Civilization (the board game) we had a saying: either play with your best friends or with people you’ll never see again. The alternatives are not pleasant.

Except that the moves are only a part of a whole game. The game has one winner, and all the rest losers. Any move you make which decreases the chance of an opponent winning correspondingly increases the chance of you winning.

Hmm, that does make it see likely that it is zero sum. But…

I am not sure this is true. If Sorry has exactly two players, then it true. Sorry is definitely zero sum with only two players.

With more than two players, however, I do not see how it is so. Two players can cooperate against a third to jointly improve their odds, at the expense of the other. Or two players can consistently attack each other, with the net effect of lowering both of their odds.

Ah, I see what’s going on. Sorry is zero sum. But that does not mean a tit-for-tat (er, I guess we’re calling it tough-but-fair in this thread) strategy cannot be used. While the overall game is zero-sum (the probably of each player winning the game sums to a constant unity), between any proper subset of players, the game is not zero sum. Since the proper subset can always jointly improve their odds at the expense of the others.

So the tit-for-tat strategy has application even in non-zero-sum games with more than two players.

I see what you mean about it not being zero-sum for a proper subset of players, but I still don’t think that tit-for-tat is optimal. Consider the case with three players, where one of the players (through luck, skill, or whatever) is much closer to winning than either of the other two. Even if that player never bumped your pieces, you still don’t want him to win (because that would mean that you don’t). So it would be to your advantage to bump his pieces pre-emptively. Yes, he might retaliate, but it’s quite possible that his retaliation won’t be as dangerous as the threat he was previously posing.

Typo–I meant: So the tit-for-tat strategy has application even in zero-sum games with more than two players.

In your example, the two players behind should cooperate to attack the winning third player. So the two trailing players use tic-for-tat between themselves (thus enforcing cooperation) and a simple attack strategy against the winning player.

I forget the paper, but I believe it has been proven that tit-for-tat is the best strategy for a large class (again, I can’t remember the details) of games when you don’t know your opponents’ strategy.

A mathematician friend of mine who was a great gamer explained it this way:

In any multiple-person game, you can just about guarantee that another player will lose. Trying to do so will just about guarantee that you will also lose.

That’s been my experience. I’ve seen people in such games take out a vendetta against another player and pull that player down; in doing so, the angry player inevitably pulls himself down as well.

In games that allow dealmaking and dealbreaking, I’ve got a variant of the Prisoner’s Dilemma strategy: I’ll make deals freely with people, and I won’t break them. Any given person may break a deal with me exactly once, in any game I ever play with them. Once they’ve broken a deal with me, they won’t be breaking any more deals with me again.

I don’t play enough games to know if this is a winning strategy :). My idea is that people will be more willing to make deals with me because they know I’m honest about it, and less willing to make deals with me that might cost them the game, because they know I’ll remember.

Of course, when I do make deals, I always make exit conditions for the deal clear, or the limits of the deal clear; and I’ve got no problem at all with keeping to the letter of the agreement while violating the spirit of it.

As for bumping people in Sorry, why on earth WOULDN’T you do so? If you want to play a cooperative game, that’s what D&D is for. The entire point of Sorry is to win, which kind of requires making everyone else lose.