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Re: [Unity_Games] Q1 2003 gaming report & Top 10

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  • Doug Orleans
    ... I like it too, but it s a little frustrating that the scoring round (which is entirely automatic) takes about 10 times as long as the playing round... ...
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 1, 2003
      Matthew Gray writes:
      > #7: Light Speed (4 plays)
      >
      > I'm not usually a fan of "real time" games, but this is refreshingly
      > different and surprisingly fun. This is a very recent discovery, so
      > it may grow old quickly, but for the moment, it amuses me a great deal
      > and I expect to continue.

      I like it too, but it's a little frustrating that the scoring round
      (which is entirely automatic) takes about 10 times as long as the
      playing round...

      > Cheapass hasn't had what I'd call a "hit"
      > with me in some time, so this is a nice reversal.

      Have you tried the five other Hip Pocket Games? Er, wait, I know I
      played Agora with you at UGV... I like them all (a lot more than the
      other Cheapass games), though I haven't played them enough to see if
      they're replayable. I think my favorite (after one playing) is the
      latest one, Steam Tunnel-- it's not a placement game, so there's not
      quite as much analysis paralysis as the others, plus I'm a sucker for
      wrap-around (i.e. torus-shaped) boards.

      > #6: Cathedral (4 plays)
      >
      > Somehow, I had never played this old classic until this year. As time
      > goes on, I am finding abstract games more appealing and this one is
      > gorgeous and plays quickly.

      Are you playing with the standard rules, or a variant? With the
      standard rules, I quickly lost interest in the game-- the player who
      places the cathedral always loses, and even if you play two games and
      compare total scores, games always seem pretty much the same-- play
      your pieces in order from largest to smallest. Don Woods posted this
      variant to rec.games.board:

      The cathedral is NOT placed at first.
      The first player places one of his own pieces.
      The second player then places one of his pieces AND the cathedral
      on his first turn.
      After that play alternates as usual.

      but I haven't tried it. Here's another interesting-looking variant:
      http://www.pastymegames.com/instructions/cathedral.html

      --dougo@...
    • Matthew Gray
      ... I don t mind it so much and I feel like it adds a little feeling of tension which is so often absent in speed games. Obviously, you no longer have any
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 1, 2003
        > I like it too, but it's a little frustrating that the scoring round
        > (which is entirely automatic) takes about 10 times as long as the
        > playing round...

        I don't mind it so much and I feel like it adds a little feeling of
        "tension" which is so often absent in speed games. Obviously, you no
        longer have any control, but still, I enjoy it.

        > > Cheapass hasn't had what I'd call a "hit"
        > > with me in some time, so this is a nice reversal.
        >
        > Have you tried the five other Hip Pocket Games? Er, wait, I know I
        > played Agora with you at UGV... I like them all (a lot more than the
        > other Cheapass games), though I haven't played them enough to see if
        > they're replayable. I think my favorite (after one playing) is the
        > latest one, Steam Tunnel-- it's not a placement game, so there's not
        > quite as much analysis paralysis as the others, plus I'm a sucker for
        > wrap-around (i.e. torus-shaped) boards.

        I liked Agora, but wouldn't call it a hit. I'm interested to try
        Steam Tunnel. Care to give a brief review? (I'm more interested in
        opinion than in description of play).

        > > #6: Cathedral (4 plays)
        > >
        > > Somehow, I had never played this old classic until this year. As time
        > > goes on, I am finding abstract games more appealing and this one is
        > > gorgeous and plays quickly.
        >
        > Are you playing with the standard rules, or a variant? With the
        > standard rules, I quickly lost interest in the game-- the player who
        > places the cathedral always loses, and even if you play two games and
        > compare total scores, games always seem pretty much the same-- play
        > your pieces in order from largest to smallest. Don Woods posted this
        > variant to rec.games.board:
        >
        > The cathedral is NOT placed at first.
        > The first player places one of his own pieces.
        > The second player then places one of his pieces AND the cathedral
        > on his first turn.
        > After that play alternates as usual.

        I'll have to give it a try.

        ...Matthew
      • Doug Orleans
        ... Well, see that last sentence... Or, less briefly: The game is a deck of cards, each showing tunnels and endcaps connected to six entrances on the edge of
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 1, 2003
          Matthew Gray writes:
          > > > Cheapass hasn't had what I'd call a "hit"
          > > > with me in some time, so this is a nice reversal.
          > >
          > > Have you tried the five other Hip Pocket Games? Er, wait, I know I
          > > played Agora with you at UGV... I like them all (a lot more than the
          > > other Cheapass games), though I haven't played them enough to see if
          > > they're replayable. I think my favorite (after one playing) is the
          > > latest one, Steam Tunnel-- it's not a placement game, so there's not
          > > quite as much analysis paralysis as the others, plus I'm a sucker for
          > > wrap-around (i.e. torus-shaped) boards.
          >
          > I liked Agora, but wouldn't call it a hit. I'm interested to try
          > Steam Tunnel. Care to give a brief review? (I'm more interested in
          > opinion than in description of play).

          Well, see that last sentence... Or, less briefly:

          The game is a deck of cards, each showing tunnels and endcaps
          connected to six entrances on the edge of the card-- pretty much the
          same configuration as The Very Clever Pipe Game, except everything's
          the same color. There are four special cards with six endcaps with
          number values from 2 to 4; these are placed face-up in the four
          quadrants of a 6x6 grid of face-down cards. On your turn, you flip
          over one face-down card, and then either claim one tunnel segment
          anywhere on the board, or "bury" a face-down card, which permanently
          turns it into three straight-through tunnels. After all cards have
          either been flipped face-up or buried, the game ends, and all tunnel
          networks are scored. The value of a tunnel network is the number of
          tunnel segments in the network times the sum of all the endcap
          values-- there may be more than two endcaps because some tunnels
          branch. The player who has claimed the most segments in a tunnel
          scores the tunnel's value, with ties splitting the value equally;
          refreshingly, there's no rounding, so you can end up with a fractional
          score.

          Anyway, it feels a little like Metro in that you're trying to extend
          your own tunnels while keeping others short, a little like a
          majority-influence game like Mexica with battles for control over
          shared tunnel networks, and a little like Carcassonne with the
          opportunities to take over control by merging multiple networks. But
          since you're just flipping over cards in place rather than choosing
          where to place a card, you spend less time searching for the best move
          and play more by intuition, betting on which tunnels will get
          connected most optimally for you. The decision of whether to bury a
          card is interesting because not only does it guarantee certain
          connections, it shortens the game because there's one fewer card to be
          flipped over. Because of the multiplication in the tunnel network
          value formula, some networks will score much, much higher than others;
          this may lead to a balance issue, because someone could get lucky and
          score a 100-point network while others work hard to get six networks
          that only add up to 40 or 50. In practice, I don't think this will
          happen, especially as players learn to predict how a high-scoring
          network might form and put their tokens on it early. On the other
          hand, it may turn out to just be a light, random game, but it's short
          enough (20-30 minutes) that it wouldn't bother me, and I just like
          tracing out the maze of tunnels to figure out where all the
          connections lead.

          --dougo@...
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