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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

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sedjtroll
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As has been mentioned before, I have been playing Micropul. Both solitaire and 2 player. I have been playing since before Hpox' rules change on the scoring of large Micropul, so if you want to compare scores please note that the big 'pul were scored as 5 points each...

My top score so far in Solitaire Micropul is 97 points. With the updated scoring I believe that would drop to 85 points.

Use this thread to post your high scores. Who will be the first to break 100???

Don't forget to mention weather you used the 5pt Big guys or 1pt Big guys. I suspect it's possible to break 100 with the 5pt Micropul... probably not with the 1pt 'pul.

- Seth

hpox
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

Cool!

If you want to play; print the game, cut the 48 tiles and find 3 markers to act as the stones and then read the rules:
http://www.neutralbox.com/micropul/files/micropul-Game-1.0.pdf
http://www.neutralbox.com/micropul/rules/micropul-Rules-1.2.1.pdf

Since it's only implied in the rules, I'll explain how solitaire works:

First of all, it's always your turn. Do not play as 2 players. It's only 1 player playing all the time. You'll notice that this make the special (+) catalysts useless because they give an additional turn.

Everything else is the same. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Here's a template for posting games:
Solitaire
Supply:
Hand:
Groups:
Total:

hpox
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

Solitaire

I messed up for this game.

hpox
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

2 players

Green - 23
Supply: 22
Hand: 1
Groups: 0

Blue - 27
Supply: 24
Hand: 3
Groups: 0

No groups were closed during this game. It seemed to end pretty quickly as Dralius recently suggested. Interesting...

sedjtroll
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

Nice pics!
Maybe I'll borrow my work's digital camera and take some of my own (but only if I get a respectable score of course). My set isn't quite as nice as hpox' though, my tiles are flat and chipboardy.

- Seth

Deviant
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

:o Ooh, wow, I'm impressed with the components!

How did you get your graphics onto the wood pieces? Are they burned in or just painted? And how do you cut the squares?

Torrent
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

Nice game. I do have a question for hpox on his solitare post. If I understand the rules correctly (I haven't re-read them since the first post, so they may have changed), the big group of 27 isn't closed. There is an outlet on the Left Lower Corner near the stacks.

hpox
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

Oh..ah.. DOH! You're right Torrent, the white group is still open. :oops:

nosissies
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

I haven't had time to read the rules for this one yet, but with this visual aide... I'm going to have to now. I love the aesthetic!

peace,
Tom

hpox
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

Solitaire

Supply: 32
Hand: 2
Groups: 4, 20, 21
Total: 79 IF big pul = 5: 83

That's a pretty normal scoring, not too bad.

Solitaire

Supply: 28
Hand: 0
Groups: 3, 23, 33
Total: 87 IF big pul = 5: 95

An amazing score! This is the best yet with the current scoring method. Groups are very important, much more than in 2 player games.

sedjtroll
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

hpox wrote:
Total: 87 IF big pul = 5: 95

An amazing score! This is the best yet with the current scoring method. Groups are very important, much more than in 2 player games.

Congrats! I'm going to have to play some more and try to break 90 with the new scoring.

- Seth

hpox
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

Deviant wrote:
How did you get your graphics onto the wood pieces? Are they burned in or just painted? And how do you cut the squares?

The wooden squares are bought pre-cut. I print the game on a transparent sheet, cut out the "stickers" and apply to each tile.

sedjtroll
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

Well, I played quite a few games of 2-player Micropul tonight with a friend who hadn't played before. She picked it up pretty quickly (Diana is a pretty smart cookie- she read the Hobbit at age 4)

Scores were generally around 40 to something. Diana blew Marc (the other guy who's played 2p with me) out 40 to 13. I beat Diana once 40 to 26 or so. There was a tie 27-27, and a couple close games like 36-31 and maybe 29-25 or something like that. I think she won twice, we tied the once, and I won the rest (probably about 4 games)

It was pretty fun as well, and Diana liked the game. She's not even what I would refer to as a "gamer".

- Seth

hpox
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

Thanks for the report, very very interesting. Do you remember how much points was from the groups, supply & hand?

sedjtroll
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

hpox wrote:
Thanks for the report, very very interesting. Do you remember how much points was from the groups, supply & hand?

There were usually about 0-2 points in hand, 14-20 points in Supply, and the rest from groups- +/- 15-17 or so.

nosissies
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

Another question on production.... yeah I know, kind of off topic.

hpox wrote:
The wooden squares are bought pre-cut. I print the game on a transparent sheet, cut out the "stickers" and apply to each tile.

One of my prototypes follows a similar scheme, and I've been trying to figure out what folks would think if they bought a game that had wood pieces with "stickers" on them. I'm a bit of an idealist and would much rather have the images screened directly onto the wood, but this gets rather cost prohibitive, so I'm trying to find some reasonable alternatives.

thoughts?

peace,
Tom

hpox
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

For a professional company to do a run of say 1000 games, I bet the cost of producing good wooden tiles is much less than what it cost me.

The stickers are actually not that bad, they stick well and seamlessly. You have to look really closely to see that they are stickers.

Anonymous
Micropul - Bragging Rights!

Just found this post - the game looks awesome...

Where did you get the wooden tiles?

Thanks,
Andrew

sedjtroll
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Micropul Redeux

I played a couple games of Solitaire tonight, having played it a few times with 2players lately (introduced it to several friends).

My first game was, I guess you could say, average (maybe a high average). The number in parenthises indicates scoring for big micropul worth 5pts instead of just 1, which I think is good for the Solitaire version:
Solitaire
Supply: 24
Hand: 1
Groups: 15, 16, 17
Total: 73 (85)

I haven't done this is a while, so I'm a little rusty. I also don't optimize every move like I probably could, I don't start trying that until the end of the game.

The second game was much better:
Solitaire
Supply: 30
Hand: 0
Groups: 21, 29, 1
Total: 81 (97)

Still haven't broken the 100 point barrier, or at least not that I can remember. I maintain that it must be possible to break 100 with the 5pt scoring, but maybe not with the 1pt scoring.

- Seth

CDRodeffer
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Around 80

I haven't played Micropul in a few months, but my solitaire scores are generally in the upper 70s or lower 80s. I should play it more!

Clark

sedjtroll
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

I thought this score would be better, but it was about the same as last night I guess...

Supply: 40(!)
Hand: 0
Groups: 20(24), 13, 7(11)
Total: 80 (88)

hpox
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

I played a few games last week and I was rusty too. I scored in the high 50's. But then I scored 70+.

70 and up seems to be the norm when you apply yourself. 80 is pretty hard. Getting to 85 (with the big=1 pt scoring) is a challenge. To get to 90, I think you need to be real good and you need luck in getting the right tiles.

Here's a few observations on strategy versus luck.

First, the tiles can be categorized by the number of micropul they have.

- The corners (1 micropul) are kept and used to close groups.
- The fulls (4 micropul) are best to get at the very beginning.

Obviously, some tiles are better than other. But often, it's depending on the time. At beginning, you want the fulls and at end you want the corners. Drawing a corner at beginning have the extra penalty of using up one of your hand space.

Tiles can also be sub-categorized by micropul's color: Pure black, pure white, mixed.

Mixed often don't fit because of the color conflict rule. But I think it's also important not to set yourself up for it. Organising the micropul in clearly separated groups help a lot. The incentive is already there because of the group scoring so it's usually not a problem.

sedjtroll
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

As for strategy in this game, I think part of it is figuring out wheather to draw more tiles. This is why I really think in Solitaire the big Micropul should be worth 5 points...

You see, at some point you will have to make the decision to finish off the game with what you have in your hand, or to draw more tiles.

You can build up to that as you decide where to place each tile- making sure to get double use out of Fissions and so on- but no matter what, at some point you will be able to finish the game with what's in your hand. The question is: Should you?

With the 5pt rule it may be a good idea to draw some more, fishing for the big 'pul. Also, you'll want to make sure you can close your groups of course, so there might be another reason to draw more tiles even if you can finish off the game with what you've already got.

Last night's game I was almost forced to finish the game before closing my last group, because I wasn't too careful about what I was leaving myself. My score was about the same as the previous game, but I only had 2 big 'pul instead of 3. But I had 5 more tiles in my supply. Perhaps I should have drawn a few more looking for that big Micropul.

It's sort of a gamble to do so, but if the big 'pul is worth 5 points than it might entice people to take that gamble. You lose 2 points from drawing the tile, but you gain 5 for getting it in a group. Similarly, you could be digging for the 4-pul tiles which add more to your score in a group than in your supply.

I think ideally you'll want to drwa a new tile every time youplay a tile, at least for a while, rather than play more than 1 tile in a row. Then you'll re-evaluate all your options. It gets tricky when your hand is full of 'corners', but that's part of what makes the game fun!

- Seth

Hedge-o-Matic
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

This game's great. But I do have a question about the name. Did you have a version called "Pul" at some time? Micropul is just a bit awkward. Everyone I show it to say "Pill?" It's just an awkward-sounding name; sort of hard to say. Since this is supposed to be some exotic element, could you re-brand this as something vaguely elemental sounding?

phpbbadmin
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

Hedge-o-Matic wrote:
This game's great. But I do have a question about the name. Did you have a version called "Pul" at some time? Micropul is just a bit awkward. Everyone I show it to say "Pill?" It's just an awkward-sounding name; sort of hard to say. Since this is supposed to be some exotic element, could you re-brand this as something vaguely elemental sounding?

JF told me once what it meant. Some sort of combination of words. Perhaps a rebranding would be good. Call it Quarks and give it a quantum physics theme.

-Darke

FastLearner
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

Greg Schlosser of the Westbank Gamers recently posted a review of Micropul. It's not on the WBG website yet, but here's the text:

"MICROPUL

"Michael downloaded this interesting 2-player abstract by Jean Francois
Lassonde from the Boardgame Geek website. We had some time before other gamers began arriving, so he taught the game to me. I had some confusion as to the exact placement rules, but did manage to catch-on just in time to eek out a 1 point victory.

"Basically, the game is a tile laying game. Each tile must match certain features on previously laid tiles. Points in the form of extra tiles are arned when tiles are placed, and bonus points are earned by completely enclosing certain tile features.

"The game is VERY abstract, with no attempt at a theme being made. Although somewhat confusing, the game is actually quite good. I’m not one to download games and construct them, so I likely won’t be playing this one again anytime soon. However, it would make an interesting “small box” release from an established company.

"Finals: Greg 26, Michael 25

"Ratings: Michael 6.5, Greg 6"

sedjtroll
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

[edit] I tried to post this before, but it the site stopped responding... [/edit]

Interesting. I guess I'm in the minority thinking that Micropul is not confusing at all. There are like 2 rules.

Has anyone else from this forum played this game? Were you in any way confused by the rules?

For those wondering what I'm talking about, here's a summary. It's a verbose summary so as not to confuse anyone ;):

Players start with 6 tiles in hand, a start tile on the board, and the rest in face down community stacks.

On your turn you do 1 of 3 things-
1. Draw a tile from YOUR supply to your hand - max hand size = 6
2. Play a tile to the board - at least 1 big dot (Micropul) must match (white to white or black to black), and no white Micropul can touch black Micropul.
3. Claim a group - place a stone of your color (of which you have 3) on an interconnected group of Micropul of the same color. You can't claim a group that's already been claimed.

Some of those things trigger other things:
1. No triggers, you just draw the tile.
2. There are other symbols on the tiles, other than big white dots and big black dots. After following the placement rules, if one of these symbols is placed next to a Micropul (any color) then it 'activates'
2a. Fissions (little dots): For each fission you activate, take a face down tile from the community stack and put it in your face down supply. Note, there are some Double Fissions, in which case you get 2 tiles.
2b. Catalyst (plus sign): If you activate any Catalysts, you take an additional turn. These don't stack, you could activate 3 Catalysts at a time and you only get 1 extra turn.
3. There is no trigger for claiming a group, but at the end of the game you score points for closed groups (see below for open vs closed groups).

SCORING:
When the last tile is taken from the community stacks, the game immediately ends and scores are totalled as follows:
Players score 1 point for each tile in their HAND. 2 points for each tile in their face down SUPPLY. And 1 point for each Micropul in a CLOSED GROUP that they have claimed.

Open vs Closed groups:
As I mentioned, a group is one or more interconnected Micropul of the same color. Interconnected means adjacent orthagonally (not diagonally) to each other. A group is OPEN if it can still be added to. It is CLOSED if it cannot be added to because all the elements of the group are surrounded.

So that's it. I guess there's a rule about what happens if both players end up with a stone on the same group (carcassonne style). In that case nobody scores the group. Since it's a 2 player game it's the same as saying that both players score it. Technically if you end up with 2 stones on the same group you don't score that either, but that's a really unusual situation, and frankly a rule I think the game could do without.

- Seth

Hedge-o-Matic
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

I'm not impressed by that review. First off, how could people be confused by the rules? Confused by their friends explaination, perhaps, but the rules are crystal clear. And I think that the scores reflect their enjoyment of the single game they played, rather than giving any insight as to how much depth or emergent complexity the rules encapsulated.

The reviewer seemed very unfamiliar with the conventions of abstract gaming, as the somewhat derogatory comment about the lack of theme shows, as well as the shallowness with which the game was evaluated. There was no attempt to evaluate any of the tension-creating decisions that make abstracts so compelling, nor any thought given to strategies, learning curve, or any other enduring analysis method abstrct players love to hear about.

A very limp review.

For everyone who enjoys a good abstract, check out Micropul, and judge for yourself. This review doesn't come close to doing the game, the distribution method (print and create... a very nice game for free!) or the genre justice.

sedjtroll
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

I have to agree wtih Hedge-O-Matic here. I hadn't really given thought to the quality of the review itself, but Hedge is right- it's hardly a review at all.

I had some discussion through this forum with hpox about his game and the theme, and frankly, this game has as much theme as some of the Euro board games... Ra being a good example.

I think Hedge hit the nail on the head when he mentioned the reviewer not understanding his friend's explanation of the rules rather than the rules themselves. Many people are terrible at teaching games, and even some that aren't terrible at it are still no substitute for actually reading the rules oneself. I know the first few times I played Puerto Rico we played with face up VPs because that's what my friends thought the rule was. We also played Settlers to 12 points, and a different group played Princes of Florence with open money holdings. The point is, it really feels like the reviewer didn't give the game a fair shake, abstract or not.

To make a long story short, noone should let this review taint their opinion of Micropul without trying it themselves.

- Seth

FastLearner
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

And here I thought it was quite the positive review, from someone who doesn't like abstracts, anyway. I keyed in on "the game is actually quite good" and "it would make an interesting “small box” release from an established company."

And Greg is well known for his reviews, which are generally quite good and unbiased, so I think a 6 from somone who doesn't like the type of game is pretty sweet, frankly. (Otherwise I wouldn't have posted it!)

-- Matthew

jwarrend
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Micropul - Bragging Rights!

Another observation is that this wasn't actually a review; it was an entry in Greg's weekly session report. So, make sure you judge it by the right criteria.

Also, this SR did give Micropul a fair bit of exposure, and I agree with Matthew that the overall tone was quite positive, whether he delved into the transcendent beauty of abstract gaming or not (which is really a lot to ask from a non-abstract gamer).

My only regret is that we didn't get a BGDF plug out of the SR!

-Jeff

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