Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The EuroGamer

The new 'toons on BGG have been pretty good in general, but I'm particularly fond of this latest one. Reminds me of a few of us in the group..... . . . .. . . . . . . ..

12 Comments:

At 8:51 PM, September 20, 2006, Blogger Simon said...

I don't mind obvious luck if the game is light. It's the concealed luck in the highly strategic games that annoys me.

I have to say though that I really love dice. Man, are they fun when they have weird, non standard symbols, funky colors, and differing polyhedral shapes. Dice are just neat! Plus rolling them is strangely satisfying on some level. I find myself rolling cubes in Euros just because I feel like I'm missing doing an integral ritual common in gaming. Sometimes I even get a Yahtzee on a coal roll in Power Grid. Good times, good times...

 
At 9:19 PM, September 20, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

I love cards in games, and any game with cards has luck. Luck should never be stronger than strategy in a game though... it should just spice things up a bit and make things harder to predict. Without luck (or perhaps better said, chance), then there's less risk in the decisions you make in a game, which can make things stale or predictable. Of course, in the best luckless games, the meatbags full of biochemicals sitting across the table from you still serve as organic luck generating devices....

 
At 8:54 AM, September 21, 2006, Blogger Jeff said...

Luck in a short, light game is perfectly acceptable (No Thanks!, 6 Nimmt!). It's also OK in a longer game provided I know how much luck there is going in (Axis and Allies, Talisman, Titan, Prophecy). However, I prefer games with very little luck (Puerto Rico, Power Grid, Caylus, Roads & Boats).

I'm with Simon on one thing: nonstandard symbols on dice are great!

Simon: Can you point out some examples of concealed luck in a high-strategy game? Compare and contrast it to Candyland. This will be one-third of your final grade.

 
At 10:43 AM, September 21, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

Excellent games with non-standard dice symbols:

- War of the Ring
- Memoir '44, C&C: Ancients

Good uses of concealed luck (as I understand it) in strategy games:
- Any block wargame or wargame using hidden units
- Any card driven game where each player uses their own deck; you know what they'll have, just not when or how they'll use it
- Descent and Doom with the evil overlord maintaining an evil power hand of cards

Bad concealed luck in strategy games:
- Any game where turn order is important
- Any game with the word Fluxx in it

 
At 11:13 AM, September 21, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

Light shockful-of-luck SHORT games I do enjoy quite a bit. In the heavies I have to agree, it shouldn't be something that defines the game. It should just be one minor element that adds variety (even replayability) to the game, but is never game-defining.

I enjoy luck in the heavies even more if it can be "controlled" or "limited" to a certain extent by the players with their actions.....turning the manipulation of luck then into an element you have to factor into your general strategy for the game.

Case in point: Crusader Rex. As the Franks you want to draw the Crusader blocks (from a face down pool of blocks) as early as possible in the game because they are just vital to a Frank Victory. Now there are certain Frank blocks that instead of being removed from the game when killed, actually go back to the draw pool...... effectively diluting and decreasing your chances of getting the Crusader blocks. So basically, you should focus on using the stronger and expendable blocks first, to prevent "polluting" the draw pool.

This kind of luck is pretty cool IMO, but it still doesn't guarantee that luck won't have the best of you. I recently lost to Ted on Crusader Rex because I couldn't draw the last crusader block I needed in like 5 rounds in a row. He was able to slaugther a lot of my "recyclable" units.


Michael, any thoughts....regarding a game where luck can be manipulated....like say...um, I don't know, Perudo?

*pulls pin, drops grenade, and walks away with a grin*

 
At 12:38 PM, September 21, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

In our recent game of Runebound (and acknowledged dice-heavy ameri-trash fantasy quest game), I was soundly knocked from first to last place through a series of terrible rolls in a single battle. Now, I knew going in that it was going to be a tough battle where victory, though likely, was not assured. If I were to win, I would have been propelled forward to certain victory for the whole game. I knew the risks going in, rolled the dice, and got toasted. Argh! This is the type of luck in a game system I like. Just enough to spice the game up and keep the adrenalin high, but not so much that you don't see the Mack truck coming to squash you.

Perudo works as a drinking game where you don't mind losing, but I'm not a fan of it while sober even as a filler.

 
At 12:52 PM, September 21, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

Hey Ben you may be on to something there with Perudo.... Simon? Do I need to open my house on a weekend night for it? :)

 
At 5:09 PM, September 21, 2006, Blogger Simon said...

Jeff: What I mean by concealed luck is that level or randomness you find in long, heavy games towards the end that makes you realize your actions weren't as decisive as you had been lead to believe. Basically, when you get hosed by no fault of your own and the game isn't supposed to necessarily have "luck" in it. Crusader Rex and the recruitment draw is a good example of this as Rob stated. Another is the coat of arms scoring in Louis XIV. However, I think if everyone knows about this sort of hidden luck, it isn't really much of an issue.

Ben: Keep pretending you would have won Runebound if you had slain whatever blue creature you were on at the time. Michael would've taken it had I not gotten über lucky pretty much no matter what happened. I'm still trying to figure out how he maxed out like that anyhow...

Rob: I don't know if you're joking or not, but I've seriously considered hosting a beer bottle Zendo game where everyone brings a random sick pack of glass bottle beers to use as the playing pieces. Drinking games are fun and they work with near anything – Perudo, Chairs, Hoopla, Winner’s Circle, PitchCar, I’m The Boss, Wits & Wagers. Freaking Loopin’ Louie was made for it; I swear.

Speaking of which, my offer to game at a pub with whomever will stand me is still valid, too. I have a ton of fun, little two player games that play on bar top and can take some spillage (Hive!).

Really, I’m totally cereal, guys.

 
At 7:17 PM, September 21, 2006, Blogger Carlos Pena said...

I have always been fond of at least a little luck in a game. AT least within reason. I would even argue that chess has some luck in it. SOmeone may agree to play you in chess right after he has had an unusually greasy lunch. This random lucky event may help you to win.

 
At 7:23 PM, September 21, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

Simon: I'm up for drinking while gaming. Gaming is a very relaxing way for me to chill, forget about work, etc. so why not have a cold one too. But long gone are my days of drinking games. Heck, 3 drinks and I'm out, so it's not even worth it. hehe

 
At 7:47 PM, September 21, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

Behold the ravages of age: One Guiness down the hatch and my mind powers down; then I'm ready for bed...

 
At 9:12 PM, September 21, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

Ben: I feel your pain. The other day, had 2 beers and a glass of wine in a span of like 4 hrs.... bad splitting headache the next day.

 

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