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I answer some questions about games
sword
tiger_spot
"What's the most satisfying gaming-related experience that you've ever had?"

This one.

That was the most fantabulous suffusion of awesomeness I've ever been part of, and it's made me really picky about my gaming groups. The bits that will give you the best sense of the game are probably the quotes and the ThoughtRecord of the Power of Stories (Andres' character; he kept the most complete set of notes).

The absolutely most satisfying bit was the part where we won. You don't usually win roleplaying games.


"When you play games, is it important to you that you win?"

Um... well, I can't really say no after that, can I?

I would say that it is not so much important that I win as that I have the possibility of winning, if it is the sort of game that someone wins. I am quite happy to play games with no winners, like catch or Zendo (or roleplaying games), and I am quite happy to win or lose a game that is a fairly equal contest of skill, but I won't play two-player games with andres_s_p_b any more because he always wins. I prefer that my possibility-of-winning be preserved as long as possible, so games in which a player who falls behind at first will almost certainly lose tend to frustrate me. I don't like losing due to luck or another player choosing to damage me in a way that doesn't win them the game, but I'm fine with losing because I made an error or another player did something clever. I am much more cheerful about losing short games than long games.


And from a different questioner:

"You and andres_s_p_b have a lot of games. I like cooperative games. Do you have any you recommend?"

Hm. We don't really have much in the way of cooperative board games. I generally play Zendo somewhat cooperatively; it can be pushed as far in that direction as you'd like.

Scotland Yard and Fury of Dracula are both played as one player (the villain) against a cooperating team. They're effectively two-player games, where one side gets extra brains. They have very similar gameplay, except that Fury of Dracula adds a lot of complicating cards and so forth and takes a lot longer. Basically, the villain moves secretly around a board, and the other players try to find out where he is. I like playing the villains, but find the hero side less entertaining. Scotland Yard is short enough that the hero side can be a fun little puzzle, but Fury of Dracula drags too much for me to recommend it.

One of the many Lord of the Rings board games is cooperative. I believe the basic game is entirely cooperative, and the villain is played only by dice. (One of the expansions adds a player who controls the side of evil.) I have played it once, but I don't remember much about it. I think it's fairly popular for its type of game.
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There are some good cooperative video games: Starcraft, Warcraft III, etc, played against computer opponents.

You also can do something like Yahoo Spades as a team against two Internet opponents. Actually this isn't really a good idea, unless you are very confident in your ability not to blame or feel guilty about making errors.

Arkham Horror is a pretty good co-operative game and we have another one whose name escapes me. I prefer AH to it, which may be why I'm blanking. :)

Vanished Planet. It's actually a really great game and more intensely cooperative than AH, but the two major flaws it has are cheesy artwork that turns most people off before they ever try it and requiring such a high degree of cooperation that the most forceful players in the game will tend to dictate the actions of the least forceful players.

requiring such a high degree of cooperation that the most forceful players in the game will tend to dictate the actions of the least forceful players

And that in a nutshell is my problem with cooperative games.

"I would say that it is not so much important that I win as that I have the possibility of winning, if it is the sort of game that someone wins."


Thanks for this. I think of myself as someone who doesn't care about winning so much as it's an interesting game, but lately I've found myself frustrated in a few occasions in ways that seemed tied in to winning. This clarifies things for me. When I get frustrated is when I'm playing a game where someone snatches an early lead and there's no chance of me ever closing that margin, so it's just several turns of hopeless slog. I think it feels like having your nose rubbed in the defeat. This is especially frustrating if I feel like the large gap was entirely due to chance -- I don't mind as much if they beat me due only to skill. (That's a little backward, because one should think that if the gap was due largely to chance, chance could swing in my favour as well, but.. *shrug*) I've found lately that I've been much less frustrated if we just "call" games when it's clear that there's a winner who can't be unseated within the remainder of the game. As long as there's a chance I could win, though, it's not important to me whether I actually do or not.

Just so.

(I have been a cranky poor loser lately, with the dammit-I-have-fallen-behind, and I really need to cut that out. Maybe I should just play short games for a while.)

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