Wei-Hwa Huang | 1 Apr 01:03 2005
Picon

Re: Backgammon


On Thu, 31 Mar 2005 16:44:35 -0500, Doug Orleans <dougo@...> wrote:
> Wei-Hwa Huang writes:
> > On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 09:51:54 -0500, Doug Orleans <dougo@...> wrote:
> > > But mainly, [backgammon] has a big runaway-leader problem.  Which is
> > > probably why you don't need a doubling cube in most other games-- people
> > > have learned to design that out.  Well, some people.
> > 
> > Um.  I'm not sure that runaway-leader is an undesirable thing in
> backgammon.
> 
> I don't follow-- if it's not an undesirable thing then why was the
> doubling cube invented?

I believe it was invented to save time.  Since a player who is behind
still tends to have a chance of winning the game, without a doubling 
cube it's always disadvantageous to concede.

If backgammon were a game that had a lot most back-and-forth 
swings (i.e., no runaway-leader problem), the doubling cube would
still fulfill its purpose of saving time.  

> Or are you saying that if you found some way
> to remove the runaway-leader problem from backgammon without a
> doubling cube then it wouldn't be as good a game?

Definitely not saying that.

> > By the same metric, chess has even more of a runaway leader problem -- at
> > least in backgammon the player who's behind still has a small chance of
(Continue reading)

Curt Carpenter | 1 Apr 01:17 2005
Picon

Shadow of the Emperor question


I read the rules and want to play tonight, but I don't understand what
the "colored chips" that are placed on the thaler track are for. I
understand about moving the score markers down as cards are purchased,
and back up during income. But I didn't notice anywhere where it
mentioned what the colored chips are for, other than syncing them up to
the scoring markers after income. 

So, what are the colored chips for?

Thanks,

Curt

To unsubscribe: spielfrieks-unsubscribe@... 
To email the moderators: spielfrieks-owner@... 
Spielfrieks on the web -- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/spielfrieks  
Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/spielfrieks/

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
    spielfrieks-unsubscribe@...

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
    http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

Josh Adelson | 1 Apr 01:17 2005
Picon
Picon

Re: Re: Backgammon (was Re: [Review] Monopoly)


"Wei-Hwa Huang" wrote

> I'm not convinced that the perfect information damages the doubling
> cube mechanism at all.  The doubling cube is effectively a very limited
> bet; one player proposes raised stakes, and the other player has the
> decision of conceding current stakes or playing with the current stakes.

I'm fairly certain that hidden, not perfect information was cited as a 
possible impediment to the doubling cube's efficacy, but in any case the 
doubling cube is always used as a mitigator of luck.  I double you because I 
wish to make your reliance upon luck as painful as possible, thus amplifying 
(hopefully) the effect of my prior luck and/or skillful play.  The only time 
this is sensible, in my opinion, is when I know exactly how much of your 
future position rests upon luck.  San Juan's cyclical deck makes card 
counting extremely tedious (if not downright impossible) and therefore the 
game's potential for hidden information is fairly extreme.  True, I can base 
my decisions at any given time in great part upon the number of cards I note 
in your hand, but the uncertainty regarding your potential draws as well as 
current holdings is fairly extreme.  Poker rarely relies upon cyclical deck 
variants, and is also pretty infrequently-regarded as much of a 2-player 
affair.  Tournament play practically requires the last man standing 
approach, but in the popular formats for such events these days, by the time 
you are down to your last two players, the blind bets are substantial, 
requiring great sacrifice in order to cling to an untenable position.  This 
is pretty similar to the effect of the later facets of the doubling cube.

Due to its multiplayer emphasis, I really don't buy the comparison you're 
making below regarding slow discrete stake raises vs. large jumps.  By the 
time poker gets two-handed, the jumps can be obscene, and if you view the 
(Continue reading)

Greg Aleknevicus | 1 Apr 01:43 2005
Picon

Re: Re: Backgammon (was Re: [Review] Monopoly)


David desJardins wrote:

>To tell the truth, that doesn't sound very workable to me either.  One
>reason the doubling cube works well in backgammon is that it is a game
>of perfect information: each of the players can objectively estimate
>their chances of winning, and it doesn't depend on what the other player
>knows and they don't.  Card games like San Juan, where both players have
>hidden information and that information would presumably affect their
>doubling decisions, are quite different, and in my opinion less well
>suited for this mechanism.

It's true that a player is better able to gauge his chances of victory in a
game of perfect information. However, I do not think this completely
negates the usefulness of a doubling cube in games of imperfect
information. There are games where it's relatively easy to gauge the
relative standing of each player even when some information is hidden. I
believe that a doubling cube would work very well for such games (if
playing multiple rounds).

--Greg Aleknevicus
http://pacificcoast.net/~greg/index.html - Wood Cubes & Cardboard

To unsubscribe: spielfrieks-unsubscribe@... 
To email the moderators: spielfrieks-owner@... 
Spielfrieks on the web -- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/spielfrieks  
Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/spielfrieks/
(Continue reading)

Greg Aleknevicus | 1 Apr 02:02 2005
Picon

Re: Backgammon (was Re: [Review] Monopoly)


John Cartmell wrote:

>
>On 31 Mar, Wei-Hwa Huang <onigame@...> wrote:
>> If only there was a good multi-player doubling cube mechanic... maybe
>> someone can think of one?
>
>That's easy.
>Everyone has a doubling cube in front of them and the stakes are found by
>multiplying all the uppermost faces. No-one can move their cube to 4 unless
>everyone's shows at least 2 &c
>
>But better:
>
>Everyone has a standard 1-6 die and all start showing a 1. Anyone can
>change his to show a 2 but cannot change this to 3 unless more than 50% of
>players' dice show a 2 or more. Stakes are a multiple of all shown numbers.

The $64,000 question is what you do when several players (but not all) wish
to concede? Do the conceding players drop out or are they forced to
continue? Dropping out is not a particularly good option because (for many
multi-player games) this will affect the other players unequally. If forced
to continue, they are in an even worse position since this "round" will now
count at least double in the overall contest.

Even if you have a game in which individual players can drop out without
affecting others, your system is open for abuse. 

e.g. Imagine a contest in which the winner is the first player to score 50
(Continue reading)

Wei-Hwa Huang | 1 Apr 02:22 2005
Picon

Re: Re: Re: Backgammon (was Re: [Review] Monopoly)


On Thu, 31 Mar 2005 16:17:52 -0700, Josh Adelson
<adelson.05@...> wrote:
> The only time
> this is sensible, in my opinion, is when I know exactly how much of your 
> future position rests upon luck.  San Juan's cyclical deck makes card 
> counting extremely tedious (if not downright impossible) and therefore the 
> game's potential for hidden information is fairly extreme.  True, I can base
> my decisions at any given time in great part upon the number of cards I note
> in your hand, but the uncertainty regarding your potential draws as well as 
> current holdings is fairly extreme.  

You might not have played San Juan as much as one of my groups have.  :-)
Usually near the end of the game we have a pretty good idea of where 
all the purple 6 buildings are, and certainly in the early game we have a
feel of who's the leader.  Furthermore, watching what other people do often
give indications as to what's in their hand as well.

> Due to its multiplayer emphasis, I really don't buy the comparison you're 
> making below regarding slow discrete stake raises vs. large jumps.  By the 
> time poker gets two-handed, the jumps can be obscene, and if you view the 
> whole match's betting history as some modulated waveform, you usually see 
> the largest amplitude near the end.  At least I think you do, but as usual I
> have nothing whatsoever to back up my opinion.

Well, one big difference between a backgammon match and a heads-up 
poker match is that the definition of a "win" is quite different.  If we're 
playing a backgammon match to 30 points, whomever gets 30 points first 
wins, regardless of how many points the other player has.  We know the
match will take no longer than 59 games.  But in a heads-up poker game
(Continue reading)

Rick Thornquist | 1 Apr 03:05 2005
Picon
Picon

Re: Shadow of the Emperor question


Curt - 

> So, what are the colored chips for?

Just to keep a note of how much income you started with in case you 
need to recheck how much you have spent.  That was my understanding of 
it, anyway.

Rick Thornquist
Editor, GameWire
http://www.gamefest.com/news

To unsubscribe: spielfrieks-unsubscribe@... 
To email the moderators: spielfrieks-owner@... 
Spielfrieks on the web -- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/spielfrieks  
Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/spielfrieks/

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
    spielfrieks-unsubscribe@...

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
    http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

Doug Orleans | 1 Apr 03:30 2005
X-Face

Re: Backgammon


Wei-Hwa Huang writes:
 > But my point in bringing up chess is that just because a
 > game has a runaway-leader effect doesn't mean it's a "big problem", as your
 > post seemed to suggest.

It's only a big problem if you can't (gracefully) concede, and
everyone's stuck in an almost-foregone conclusion until the game ends.
That's pretty much the definition of runaway-leader, which goes away
if you allow player elimination.

I think we're in agreement, but talking around each other...

--dougo@...

To unsubscribe: spielfrieks-unsubscribe@... 
To email the moderators: spielfrieks-owner@... 
Spielfrieks on the web -- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/spielfrieks  
Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/spielfrieks/

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
    spielfrieks-unsubscribe@...

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
    http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

(Continue reading)

Wei-Hwa Huang | 1 Apr 03:39 2005
Picon

Re: Backgammon


On Thu, 31 Mar 2005 20:30:22 -0500, Doug Orleans <dougo@...> wrote:
> Wei-Hwa Huang writes:
> > But my point in bringing up chess is that just because a
> > game has a runaway-leader effect doesn't mean it's a "big problem", as
> your
> > post seemed to suggest.
> 
> It's only a big problem if you can't (gracefully) concede, and
> everyone's stuck in an almost-foregone conclusion until the game ends.
> That's pretty much the definition of runaway-leader, which goes away
> if you allow player elimination.
> 
> I think we're in agreement, but talking around each other...

Yes, now with this post I see that we actually mean different things
by "runaway-leader".  I use the term to mean a game effect where 
the game gives additional advantages to the players who are ahead,
thereby magnifying the initial disparity between players.  Whether
the game allows for a small probability of the rear players to catchup
or not doesn't affect whether I consider the game to have a 
"runaway-leader" property or not -- but the way you're using the term,
it does.

--

-- 
Wei-Hwa Huang, onigame@...
-----------------------------------------------------------
"What Would Jesus Do For A Klondike Bar?" -- Internet joke, circa 1999

To unsubscribe: spielfrieks-unsubscribe@... 
(Continue reading)

Doug Orleans | 1 Apr 04:35 2005
X-Face

runaway-leader vs. rich-get-richer (was Re: Backgammon)


Wei-Hwa Huang writes:
 > Yes, now with this post I see that we actually mean different things
 > by "runaway-leader".  I use the term to mean a game effect where 
 > the game gives additional advantages to the players who are ahead,
 > thereby magnifying the initial disparity between players.

I'd call that a "rich get richer" effect, although it does often lead
to "runaway leader" too.  On the other hand, if done right, it can
mean the game is over sooner than it would if the difference between
player positions remained more or less constant over the course of the
game.  Think of what Settlers of Catan would be like if cities didn't
double your income-- the game could drag out as no one would ever get
a big bonanza of resources.

--dougo@...

To unsubscribe: spielfrieks-unsubscribe@... 
To email the moderators: spielfrieks-owner@... 
Spielfrieks on the web -- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/spielfrieks  
Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/spielfrieks/

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
    spielfrieks-unsubscribe@...

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
    http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
(Continue reading)


Gmane