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Game theory

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zaiga
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Here is a theory I have been pondering about for the lasts few weeks. This theory applies to strategy games with some kind of resourcemanagement.

I think that a strategy game is more interesting when the ending of a game, the victory-condition of a game and the resources of a game are unconnected (or perhaps only loosely connected). I think this also prevents a lot of potential problems.

Take this imaginary game. Players get a certain amount of starting money and use this money to bid on certain items. After one full round of auctions players can use a combination of the acquired items to generate more money. This money can be used in future auctions. The winner is the player who is the first to obtain an amount of $1 million.

Now this is an example of a game where the end of the game, the victory condition and the resources used are all the same: money. I use this example because I

JPOG
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Game theory

Great post and I

zaiga
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Game theory

I

Scurra
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I came to a similar conclusion: linking resources to VPs was too prone to favouring the early leaderand then leading to "hit the leader" issues.

Looking at Reiner Knizia

zaiga
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Scurra, could you explain how the "high bid marker" in Ra works?

Also, I

Anonymous
Game theory

Hi,

Well, in a territory gathering game, where the territory provides resources to sieze more territory, as well as the VP, then generally the problem is that the more territory you have the more ways to be attacked, and the more you have to garrison it, spreading your larger forces, until such time as a collapse occurs, hopefully somehere around the victory threshold. I dunno, maybe theres a analogy in there for you (eg the cost of protecting, maintaining the value of your purchases etc). plus theres always tax.

Scurra
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Quote:
20-03-2003 at 06:58, zaiga wrote:
Scurra, could you explain how the "high bid marker" in Ra works?

OK, there are 16 bid markers. Each player has three (some are removed if there are fewer than five players), and one is face-up in the centre of the board. When an auction is triggered, players bid to win the revealed tiles *and* the face-up marker. The winner of the auction replaces the face-up marker with the one they won the bid with.
Thus the trick is to force other players to win low markers with high markers, whilst you win high markers with low ones! (Yeah, right :-) )

IOW the auctions are effectively zero-sum affairs, since no new markers are introduced, and the markers are always face-up so you can see what other people are able to bid at any one time.

zaiga
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Game theory

Quote:
24-03-2003 at 22:38, max_torq wrote:
Well, in a territory gathering game, where the territory provides resources to sieze more territory, as well as the VP, then generally the problem is that the more territory you have the more ways to be attacked, and the more you have to garrison it, spreading your larger forces, until such time as a collapse occurs, hopefully somehere around the victory threshold. I dunno, maybe theres a analogy in there for you (eg the cost of protecting, maintaining the value of your purchases etc). plus theres always tax.

I

zaiga
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Game theory

Quote:
IOW the auctions are effectively zero-sum affairs, since no new markers are introduced, and the markers are always face-up so you can see what other people are able to bid at any one time.

That

Scurra
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Well, auction mechanics have been one of Knizia

FastLearner
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Quote:
25-03-2003 at 08:43, Scurra wrote:
I won a game of Medici by 1 point purely because I calculated exactly how much I could afford to bid in one round even though I was a fairly long way behind the leader; he didn

zaiga
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Game theory

Thanks for the great analysis Scurra. Note that my theory not only applies to auction games, but any game with some sort of resource managent. Perhaps the problem is simply more visible in auction games. Other games usually have some sort of self-balancing system, for example a territorial game where having more territories gives you more resources, but it also means you have to invest resources in keeping these territories.

Quote:
This is, unfortunately, my very concern with the mechanic -- it can lead to analysis paralysis. (Not saying it did in your examples, mind you.)

That was exactly my thought. I like the psychological aspect in auction games and when you know exactly how much you need to bid, because you know the other player has a certain amount of money, well that

FastLearner
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Quote:
25-03-2003 at 13:51, zaiga wrote:
By the way FastLearner, every time I read one of your posts or one of your journal log it is like I could have written it myself. Look slike we share the same thoughts on game design! :-]

I guess that either means that great minds think alike, or... we both fall for the same traps. ;-) Good to hear I

Scurra
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Quote:
25-03-2003 at 13:51, zaiga wrote:
Thanks for the great analysis Scurra. Note that my theory not only applies to auction games, but any game with some sort of resource managent. Perhaps the problem is simply more visible in auction games.

And that

Anonymous
Game theory

"Bash the Leader" can work effectively, or bog the game down depending on your point of view concerning Settlers of Catan or Puerto Rico. I sought to solve this very problem in my stategy game. The answer was in making multiple ways to score victory points. The resources in the game are used to perform actions that could generate victory points. The catch was there are multiple actions and multiple conditions that qualify for gaining victory points. So perhaps the players by ganging up could shut off a few ways, making it harder for the leader to score, but if the leader was resourceful he could still have the chance to win.

FastLearner
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In some games -- Puerto Rico is a good example -- you are somewhat limited in how directly you can bash the leader. There are no direct attacks, so it

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