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Chaos Point

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Anonymous

This is a topic that's been on my mind for quite some time, but until recently it hasn't gelled into a single tangible concept.

Almost all games seem to have what I call a chaos point. Think of it like this. You plot the position of each player in a given game, using whatever values are used to decide the winner, on a graph. Over the course of turns, players do what they can to improve their chances to win. In general, the graph rises smoothly with small ups and downs as players get various advantages. But invariably, something small always seems to be able to put a player in 4th place into 1st place (or vice versa) in a single instant. Through no fault of your logic or luck could you have prevented getting leapfrogged.

A specific example: You are ahead in Carcassonne by 50 points. The last tile drawn allows your opponent to merge 2 farmers, resulting in a 72 point swing between the two of you. (I don't hate this aspect of the game. It's part of the fun.)

So other than just bringing up this topic for discussion, I was wondering if there are games that are designed to specifically mitigate or even prevent this but still feel "natural".

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