Need a board game etiquette ruling

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stessier
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Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by stessier » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:07 am

I was playing Ticket to Ride this weekend with my wife and 10 year old daughter. Things were going along and at one point it became obvious my wife needed a specific segment to easily complete a route (there were other ways for her to get there, but they weren't short). I took the route even though it did nothing for me at the time (although in the end, I drew a Ticket card that auto-completed because of that little segment).

She was furious at me. It was like I had killed our child. She thought it was just mean spirited and couldn't conceive of why I would do such a thing. I just kept going back to that is how the game is played. Ignoring any marriage related issues, did I technically do anything out of the spirit of the game? I tried to see her point of view but it always boiled down to just letting my opponents do what they want - which doesn't see like the point.
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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by PLW » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:12 am

stessier wrote: Ignoring any marriage related issues...
I think I spotted your problem, right there.


More seriously, blocking your opponent is definitely a legit strategy. BUT, if there are social norms about how to play a game and one person is following those norms while the other is not, then that can unbalance the game in favor of the one who is breaking the norms.

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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by Smoove_B » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:17 am

No, you were right but I doubt being right matters in this situation. :D

I don't own the 1910 expansion, but from what I understand it turns the game into a much more "family friendly" version by giving you alternative winning options. So instead of everyone fighting to complete the longest route, you can earn bonus points at the end by completing the most routes. Hopefully someone with more playtime can verify that for me.

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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by stessier » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:18 am

PLW wrote:More seriously, blocking your opponent is definitely a legit strategy. BUT, if there are social norms about how to play a game and one person is following those norms while the other is not, then that can unbalance the game in favor of the one who is breaking the norms.
I could see that, but it was only the second time we played. Everyone was concentrating on completing their routes and it just happened to be obvious which one she needed. I guess discussion up front before the next game is going to be required. It's not a lot of fun if everyone just cedes the right of way to see who can get the most points.
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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by Archinerd » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:21 am

That is within the spirit of the game and is often part of the winning strategy. You did nothing wrong.

That said, there are different types of board gamers and it sounds like your wife isn't the cut-throat type. Don't steal her cities in Carcassonne if you don't want to piss her off in that game too.

Of course, she just may be mad because she had set her expectations for a friendly game, perhaps because you were playing with your daughter or perhaps because of the colorful board.

If you can convince her to ever play the game again, see what she does next time. Maybe she'll be out for revenge or maybe she's just one of those people you'll have to decide to play nice with if you want to preserve your out of game relationship.

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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by coopasonic » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:21 am

she made it obvious what she needed without covering that need. You spent resources to deprive her of that need. That's what the game is about. Without competition for routes the game is really pretty boring.
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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by Daveman » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:53 am

Blocking routes is certainly part of the game for most. Others prefer a more "friendly" race to complete whatever it is they're building and hopefully get their points before other players do without blatantly blocking others. The catch is two players can easily be pursuing their own goals and wind up getting in each others way regardless. If you play online lots of people will setup games with "Friendly" or "No blocking" in the game description and then make a fuss when people block anyway, blatantly or otherwise.

If someone was meticulously making a cross-country route, clearly headed for Portland or Seattle and then right before finishing it someone takes the final, 1-car route to get there that's what I'd call "blatant" blocking. One type of gamer would say the player deserved it, they should have claimed the 1-car route earlier and/or built their route piecemeal so others wouldn't know what they were up to. Other players would say that's just mean.

The 1910 expansion does add more tickets and a 15(?) point bonus to the player who completes the most tickets. You can pick and choose what extra tickets you use, or just add them to the mix. It doesn't really help prevent blocking if you think that's an issue with the game. If blocking is an issue, I'd suggest:

- Not playing with 3 or less players. 4-5 adds the double routes to the map and makes blocking easier to get around.
- Download the rules for Ticket to Ride: Europe and use the Train Station rules. It'd be easy to make up markers for each player's 3 stations. Train stations give players a way to work around being blocked, at a small cost. Or...
- Play Ticket to Ride: Europe. I think it's the better game for a bunch of reasons and it's only a little more complicated.

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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:02 am

I was on the flip side of this with my wife. I got bend out of shape when she boxed me out of a N-S route through soybean country.

After careful consideration, I admitted that I was out of line and that it was an astute play. YMMV.
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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by hentzau » Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:29 am

It's a legit play, but it does kind of hork me off when someone does that to me when it appears that we're playing a friendly game and they suddenly do that.

All depends on who your are playing with and the kind of game that's being played. If she prefers the nicer variant, just adjust to her expectations and you can still enjoy the experience.
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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by coopasonic » Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:35 am

Target has a version for grade school children (Ticket to Ride: First Journey, I think) that might handle conflict differently. Maybe try that.

Hopefully that comment is not misconstrued.

It was meant harshly.

I have a copy that I am giving to my soon to be 7 year old for his birthday Thursday. I'll let you know how it differs.
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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by LordMortis » Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:51 am

Know your audience? There are different levels of competitiveness. If your wife likes to play just to see how things work out and you like to play a little cut throat, then one of you needs to change your compatibility or you probably shouldn't play together.

For instance, I absolutely hate playing with king makers. That's a compatibility I can't deal with. It's a viable way to compete but I don't find it enjoyable and I'll tend to avoid games that can have a strong king maker leaning with players who tend to play a king maker style of game. "If I can't win then, then I will lose badly and take out the person who hurt my most." I'm not good at games of high diplomacy and positioning myself to take advantage of holding back the reigns to make allies. I also don't enjoy tend to enjoy them.

I also am not a fan of a level of competition that doesn't allow you to go "shit, I didn't mean to do that" if undoing something doesn't alter a past reveal of new information. I will shy away from that sort of detail oriented game with that sort of detailed planning person.

I can change most other compatibilities including my level of competitive play based on whom I am playing with.

Also, if you are gamer by nature and your wife is not (don't know if that is true but it feels true) then onus is on you to change how you play to accommodate her if you want to game or perhaps gently tutor her, if she is not offended by being told to consider the consequences of her actions. In this case is she is receptive to learning by instruction "You might not want to do that. I can easily block that move. If you go that. You would force me to do this." I am very much receptive this kibitz style of game play. Others would protest "Would you just let me play!"

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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by El Guapo » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:26 pm

Of course it's legit, especially in a game with a small (3) number of players. The goal of the game is to score more points than your opponent. You can achieve that both by scoring more points for yourself or by reducing the points your opponent scores. Blocking your opponent's routes is how you do the latter. Ideally you're also scoring lots of points for yourself at the same time, but that's not necessary for the move to make sense.

So you can tell your wife that a guy you sort of know from the internet agreed with you, which should resolve the issue.

The only way there's a legit gripe IMO is in a situation like where you're clearly out of the running for the win and you were blocking her just to spite or, or to arbitrarily favor one opponent over another. Doesn't sound like that was the case, though.

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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by Blackhawk » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:53 pm

Not only was it legit, but avoiding it has always been part of my strategy. If nobody is building anywhere near me, I won't lay track until I can lay a lot of track. I won't lay track on two ends of the same route, as it shows where I need to go in the middle. If possible, I lay easy-to-block routes first, and hard to claim routes last (IE - I'll take the two space neutral track myself first. They're less likely to waste a move blocking if they have to invest six white cars to do it.)

Anyway, it was legit. You were still wrong, because marriage. Pro tip: Don't play Munchkin with her.
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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by Chaz » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:23 pm

It's totally legit. Other players can definitely get mad about it. It happens.

Had something similar when I was teaching my wife Carcassonne. I taught her about the "we can steal each others' stuff" rule before we started. Halfway through the game, I started horning in on her stuff. She was mad about it. Then she started stealing my stuff right back.

Similarly, when we play Lords of Waterdeep with her parents, I'm usually the only one playing the screw you intrigue cards. That usually gets everyone playing all their screw you cards on me and not on each other.

Basically, do everything you can to point out the screw you mechanics when teaching, be prepared for people to be cranky if you're the first one to use them, and then see if they start using them too. If they don't, then maybe avoid doing it if the game allows it. Some games don't, and maybe don't play those games.
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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by $iljanus » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:03 pm

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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by TheMix » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:07 pm

I'll just add my "legit" to the pile.

I've done it before. That said, if I have a long route, I'll always start with the "must have" sections. Usually there are multiple possible routes in the center that can be used to save a route (though often at greater expense). But if there is a section that I have to have, I don't give anyone else the chance to get it.

Of course, I have also stacked most of my gaming library on the co-op side. So there is none of the "nasty" competitive options even available.
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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by baelthazar » Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:39 pm

stessier wrote:
PLW wrote:More seriously, blocking your opponent is definitely a legit strategy. BUT, if there are social norms about how to play a game and one person is following those norms while the other is not, then that can unbalance the game in favor of the one who is breaking the norms.
I could see that, but it was only the second time we played. Everyone was concentrating on completing their routes and it just happened to be obvious which one she needed. I guess discussion up front before the next game is going to be required. It's not a lot of fun if everyone just cedes the right of way to see who can get the most points.
If you want to avoid fights like this, the easiest thing is to buy Ticket to Ride: Europe. It includes "stations" that allow players to use one line built by another player to complete a ticket. The trade-off is that you gain victory points at the end for unbuilt stations in your pool. I find that this small inclusion relieves some of the tension of route sniping in TTR.

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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by killbot737 » Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:45 pm

Hmm, time to add Ticket to Ride to the "boardgames-destroy-families" list. Good to know. Risk is obviously in that pile, as is the eternal classic Monopoly.

Considering you were playing with a 10 year old it was a legitimate yet probably dick move. Would you have played the same strategy against your daughter? I expect your wife thought it was a friendly game. Usually if it's a friendly mood game I try to hint at possible mistakes folks might be making, but if they don't get the hint I'll take the advantage. Games with cutthroat gamer pros get no such warning.

Like LM said: Know your audience.
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Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by Scoop20906 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:35 pm

I am learning your lesson Stess. I was playing a board game with my wife and son and I learned the is normal competitive gaming and family gaming.

Family gaming is more about the social experience and trying to make everyone feel good. Stepping on others fun is considered bad form. At least I learned that after I played to win and my wife refused to play with me for six months. Now I make sure they both have a great time and we are have a much better time. I rarely win but I'm happier being there with me family.


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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by coopasonic » Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:48 am

family gaming is what co-ops are for... now just try not to be an alpha gamer.
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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by Scoop20906 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:51 am

I try


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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:41 am

Or play something with a DM/one-to-many adversarial relationship.

Re-theme a Letters from Whitechapel game, or find one that's similar without all the death and prosti.... er, 'wretched', and you can be as sociopathic as you want to be.
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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by El Guapo » Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:57 am

Scoop20906 wrote:I am learning your lesson Stess. I was playing a board game with my wife and son and I learned the is normal competitive gaming and family gaming.

Family gaming is more about the social experience and trying to make everyone feel good. Stepping on others fun is considered bad form. At least I learned that after I played to win and my wife refused to play with me for six months. Now I make sure they both have a great time and we are have a much better time. I rarely win but I'm happier being there with me family.


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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by Lordnine » Thu Sep 22, 2016 3:03 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:Or play something with a DM/one-to-many adversarial relationship.
This. Games like Mansions of Madness or Imperial Assault should be great for getting around this sort of problem. These games are more about the experience than outright winning/losing. 10 might be a bit young for Imperial Assault, but assuming she is mature enough, the campaign structure might be a boon as well. Even if they “lose” a scenario it is just one mission in the overall campaign and their characters will still become more powerful and feel like they are making progress. Just don’t play as the Propaganda Commander, that one is a bit of a jerk.

You could also go full co-op with this genre, with something like Mice and Mystics, which might be more age appropriate anyways.

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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by Holman » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:35 pm

My youngest was 9 when we started Imperial Assault. It took him a couple of games to get all the rules and limits down, but now he's 10 and loves it.

And Lordnine is right: even losing isn't really losing, and no heroes are ever permanently killed.

Plus it's absolutely dripping with Star Wars.

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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by Remus West » Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:44 am

LordMortis wrote:Know your audience? There are different levels of competitiveness. If your wife likes to play just to see how things work out and you like to play a little cut throat, then one of you needs to change your compatibility or you probably shouldn't play together.

For instance, I absolutely hate playing with king makers. That's a compatibility I can't deal with. It's a viable way to compete but I don't find it enjoyable and I'll tend to avoid games that can have a strong king maker leaning with players who tend to play a king maker style of game. "If I can't win then, then I will lose badly and take out the person who hurt my most." I'm not good at games of high diplomacy and positioning myself to take advantage of holding back the reigns to make allies. I also don't enjoy tend to enjoy them.

I also am not a fan of a level of competition that doesn't allow you to go "shit, I didn't mean to do that" if undoing something doesn't alter a past reveal of new information. I will shy away from that sort of detail oriented game with that sort of detailed planning person.

I can change most other compatibilities including my level of competitive play based on whom I am playing with.

Also, if you are gamer by nature and your wife is not (don't know if that is true but it feels true) then onus is on you to change how you play to accommodate her if you want to game or perhaps gently tutor her, if she is not offended by being told to consider the consequences of her actions. In this case is she is receptive to learning by instruction "You might not want to do that. I can easily block that move. If you go that. You would force me to do this." I am very much receptive this kibitz style of game play. Others would protest "Would you just let me play!"
I like to play with people who attempt to score as highly for themselves as possible. That said, I also like it when those same people take avenues of advancement contrary to the best interests of others. If I can score 5 points thats great but if I can score 4 points and screw you out of 20 thats even better. Its the I get nothing but screw you acts that annoy me the most.
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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:54 pm

I think much of what's been mentioned here is most easily addressed by how you first teach and introduce your game(s) to newcomers. There's a superb BGG post on this, 'How to Teach Games: A General Primer', written by the chap behind the How To Play Podcast, which I've always found to be tremendously helpful in this regard.

One oft-overlooked aspect when teaching and introducing your games, is "How Can I Win?", or what the author refers to as "The Hamster". To clarify:
BoardGameGeek.com wrote:Step Three: How Can I Win?
“The Hamster” (2-5 minutes)

Your players now know HOW the game works and HOW they do things in the game, but generally don’t have any concept of WHY they would do any of these things.

It is at this time that you will have to get the hamster running in the heads of your players, by sharing some of the different strategic paths one might try to follow for victory. Players, especially non-gamers, need a few basic frameworks to try to follow to succeed in the game.

Games are most fun when all players are working their hardest to win the game, the competition makes it fun. We have all played games where one or more people stop trying to win and the game rapidly disintegrates into stupidity. The same situation can occur if someone has no idea of how to win the game, they will make seemingly random moves out of frustration. This will make the game no fun for them and much less fun for everyone else.

This is where a basic understanding of the strategy of the game is essential. Before you start the game “the hamster” portion is when you give general strategy tips, common beginner pitfalls, and typical long term strategies.
In my experience, it's crucial that you cover this while initially teaching your game to non-gamers, so as to minimise frustration and maximise enjoyment for all concerned. As the author points out, sharing some of the different strategic frameworks one might try to follow to succeed in the game is how you facilitate that. Explaining them up front helps to clarify aspects of gameplay that may not otherwise be apparent, especially to non-gamers and newbs.

Perhaps if you'd made it clear to your wife from the outset that route-blocking opponents is one legitimate strategic option in Ticket to Ride that's typically par for the course, it may have altered or improved her strategy in the game and, perhaps, diminished the notion that you were just being "mean-spirited". Or, at the very least, prompted a conversation prior to playing with your 10 year old daughter, over whether to house-rule a more "friendly", and less confrontational, style of play.

Another critical aspect when playing as teacher to newcomers (emphasis added):
BoardGameGeek.com wrote:To Win or not to Win?

Ahhhh, Game Ethics. As a teacher of the game, and at the same time as a participant you will be put in some interesting ethical choices. The most difficult being: should you try your hardest to win the game?

This is an eternal question. With many of these games, especially the more complex games with a higher learning curve, an experienced player will probably be able to crush a set of beginners to the game. Should you sandbag a game to make it closer or even to let someone else win?

Here is what I believe, you are free to agree or disagree with this opinion. You will have to make this decision for yourself for each game depending upon the situation, but I urge you to remember the Golden Rule, whatever you do, you need to make sure that the people playing the game have a good time. It would be nice for one of the other players to win; it will certainly increase their enjoyment of the game. But I also believe in the game having a sense of honesty and integrity. I do not believe a player should win the game if they played poorly. You can show the players that skill is important in playing the game, so winning the game yourself is not necessarily a bad thing, you just have to be careful how you win the game so that the other players still have a positive experience.

Here is what I do when introducing games but as I said, you will have to make your own ethical decisions for each different situation.
  • If a game has a high luck factor, I will play the game all out. In a game like Settlers, even if you are playing your best, you can lose the game due to awful dice rolls.
  • If I am playing a game with a steep learning curve and little luck that I have a lot of experience with, I will play the game well, but maybe not quite all out. There is certainly no need to run up the score.
  • If an opportunity arises to seriously wreck one of my opponents, even if it greatly enhances my position. I might seek an alternative move even if it may be not completely optimal. Once again, the second game is where you crush them mercilessly.
Now, I have heard of players, who are willing to sit out of a game and just act as teacher, without participating in the game, especially when introducing one of the more complex games. As much as I think this is a noble idea and would certainly encourage people to try this, I personally like to play in the games and maybe I am just too selfish to do this sort of thing. But I think there is also something to be said for having an experienced player in the game and letting the others players see how an experienced player plays the game.
Anyway, the point being, particularly when introducing modern board games to non-gamers, do not overlook the importance of "The Hamster", nor the Golden Rule.
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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by Chrisoc13 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:03 pm

Archinerd wrote:That is within the spirit of the game and is often part of the winning strategy. You did nothing wrong.

That said, there are different types of board gamers and it sounds like your wife isn't the cut-throat type. Don't steal her cities in Carcassonne if you don't want to piss her off in that game too.

Of course, she just may be mad because she had set her expectations for a friendly game, perhaps because you were playing with your daughter or perhaps because of the colorful board.

If you can convince her to ever play the game again, see what she does next time. Maybe she'll be out for revenge or maybe she's just one of those people you'll have to decide to play nice with if you want to preserve your out of game relationship.
+1

This describes my wife. She loves ticket to ride. But I don't block even if I know where she is trying to go. It won't hurt our out of game relationship but it will make it less likely for her to want to play again. So since it doesn't change my interest in gaming to play nice with her I play nice.

Funny enough she will play confrontational games when she feels like that's the point of it. So it's a game by game thing. For instance I can steal her cities in carcassonne for some reason.

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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by Kelric » Sat Oct 01, 2016 11:30 pm

I play to win the game. My wife hates competition. We don't game well together. Co-op or bust.

That said, when we do wind up against each other in games then anything that isn't against the rules isn't against the rules. She knows I play to win and tries to play the same way, but I'm much more competitive than her. It has led to her getting mildly upset at times but then she won't play the rest of the night and has to drown her sorrows in wine and cheese, which is what she wanted to do anyway.

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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by Blackhawk » Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:40 am

I'm not a competitive person. I don't really care about winning, but I don't throw games, either. Ignoring good strategies just to be nice feels a little dishonest, almost like cheating backwards. Now, I may avoid particularly trollish strategies, especially against someone I don't know well or who is a beginner, perhaps even skip a good move or two against a beginner, but that's a special case.

I've played this way with my kids, too, ever since we started transitioning from pure co-op to competitive games. With them, though, I've taught them from the beginning to enjoy the game, not the result. If I use a strategy and shut them down with it, I also always tell them what it was afterwards to give them the chance to improve.
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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by Smoove_B » Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:50 am

There was a whole thread on BGG last year about etiquette in Dead of Winter. For those that don't know, the game potentially contains a hidden traitor element. While there are ways for individual players to win doing good things and the group of players to win in a cooperative environment, the hidden traitor only wins if their specific goal is realized - a goal that always harms the other members and the group as a whole. The etiquette issue was that if you're the hidden traitor and it becomes impossible for you to sabotage the game and thereby win, is it considered bad form to then actively prevent the other players from winning - so that in the end, no one wins. I was of the mind that it's not - you're the hidden traitor and only win by yourself. If you can't win (either because you don't have the right cards or the game will be ending in X number of turns), why wouldn't you stop the other players from winning if you could? Anyway, people were out of their minds in the thread thinking it was an unforgivable sin to play that way and if you did, you wouldn't be asked back to the group to play board games ever again.

I'm not ultra competitive (I mean, I like to win) but I would never throw a game or not press an advantage if I had one. I'm absolutely of the mind that it's the experience and not the end result that's worth my time. As long as everyone knows the ground rules and all the possible outcomes, let things happen. But yes, I absolutely also agree that there are definitely games that encourage what some might feel are hostile interactions and unless everyone is cool with that type of game play, you should probably avoid those games. I love Spartacus, but there's no way I'm playing that game with family or strangers.

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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by LordMortis » Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:54 am

Smoove_B wrote:There was a whole thread on BGG last year about etiquette in Dead of Winter. For those that don't know, the game potentially contains a hidden traitor element. While there are ways for individual players to win doing good things and the group of players to win in a cooperative environment, the hidden traitor only wins if their specific goal is realized - a goal that always harms the other members and the group as a whole. The etiquette issue was that if you're the hidden traitor and it becomes impossible for you to sabotage the game and thereby win, is it considered bad form to then actively prevent the other players from winning - so that in the end, no one wins. I was of the mind that it's not - you're the hidden traitor and only win by yourself. If you can't win (either because you don't have the right cards or the game will be ending in X number of turns), why wouldn't you stop the other players from winning if you could? Anyway, people were out of their minds in the thread thinking it was an unforgivable sin to play that way and if you did, you wouldn't be asked back to the group to play board games ever again.
I don't have an opinion on this as I've played. I'd hope that it was social game with social people and that taking everyone down with you could make for a glorious and fun losing. Otherwise, I'd probably call the traitor a dick and get over it for the next game, I'd guess.

To the original question. Have you ever played Go? One of the first things you learn about in the game is recognizing the ladder.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ladder_(Go)

Would you prefer to play with the kind of person who would enjoy playing against someone who doesn't grasp the ladder so they can lay that trap for you again and again or would you prefer the play with the person who helps you to see how to recognize the ladder to help you become a better player?

... Man, it's been a long time since I played Go... I doubt I'd see the ladder coming until the third stone was placed and it was too late...

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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by TheMix » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:08 am

I can see both sides to that point. I think the question boils down to whether the person is just trolling. If they have no chance of winning and decide to make sure everyone else loses too, that starts to stink a bit of trolling. Any play where the player gets zero benefit from it, and where it hurts other players, becomes suspect in my book. When you are playing games for fun (even if competitive), there really shouldn't be maliciousness.

I still remember the unpleasantness of playing Diplomacy in high school with a group of friends and discovering that one of them was not even trying to win. He was intentionally just f#@$ing with everyone else. It did not make for a fun game.
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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by Smoove_B » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:12 am

TheMix wrote:. Any play where the player gets zero benefit from it, and where it hurts other players, becomes suspect in my book. When you are playing games for fun (even if competitive), there really shouldn't be maliciousness.
See that's the thing. Ruining the game for everyone else is one thing. However, if you can't win and would thereby lose if you don't still actively try and stop the other players from winning...what's the point of being a hidden traitor? You're pushing for a "everybody loses the game" condition instead of "you lost/they won". That's still fun and not being vindictive at all.

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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by coopasonic » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:18 am

Smoove_B wrote:
TheMix wrote:. Any play where the player gets zero benefit from it, and where it hurts other players, becomes suspect in my book. When you are playing games for fun (even if competitive), there really shouldn't be maliciousness.
See that's the thing. Ruining the game for everyone else is one thing. However, if you can't win and would thereby lose if you don't still actively try and stop the other players from winning...what's the point of being a hidden traitor? You're pushing for a "everybody loses the game" condition instead of "you lost/they won". That's still fun and not being vindictive at all.
I'm with the against crowd. Just because your special win condition became impossible to achieve doesn't given you a new win condition that requires everyone else to lose. On the other hand isn't there an exile mechanic that DOES give you a new win condition? Ignoring that thought, are you the guy that, when he is bitten by a zombie, hides it and then destroys all the food stores, medical supplies and defenses so everyone else also dies? Because that sounds like how you would react.
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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by TheMix » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:30 am

I agree with coop. You don't get a new win condition. You lost. BUT... technically, you are still part of the "group". So in some ways, if they win, you still "win". In a real life situation, if I was a hidden traitor and couldn't meet my victory conditions, I'd just keep that aspect hidden and go along with the win. Otherwise, it starts to sound like the 3rd grade battle cry of "If I can't play, no one can play." Or, "I'll take my ball and go home." Essentially, it becomes about ruining the game for everyone.

I guess it would depend on the group. If it was some kind of tournament play where you scored points, I guess then it would make sense. But with friends? No way am I going to ruin their game just because I can't win.
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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by Lordnine » Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:07 am

There is another scenario that I unfortunately see all too often in my group. That is, the person who thinks they’ve lost and gives up, thus creating a power vacuum for someone else to win who wouldn’t have gotten the chance otherwise. To me this is even more annoying than the vindictive person. It’s possible to react to someone who is trying to make you lose; it’s harder to stop to a person who is allowing someone else to win.

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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by Smoove_B » Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:04 pm

TheMix wrote:I agree with coop. You don't get a new win condition. You lost. BUT... technically, you are still part of the "group". So in some ways, if they win, you still "win". In a real life situation, if I was a hidden traitor and couldn't meet my victory conditions, I'd just keep that aspect hidden and go along with the win. Otherwise, it starts to sound like the 3rd grade battle cry of "If I can't play, no one can play." Or, "I'll take my ball and go home." Essentially, it becomes about ruining the game for everyone.
Except the hidden traitor cards state that if the group wins, as the hidden traitor (regardless of whether or not your identity is revealed) you lose. You can only win the scenario by completing your hidden traitor goal, so if that's not possible pushing the others into a position where they can't win fits. IMHO, of course. If you as the hidden traitor cannot win and then just sit back and let the other people playing complete their goals to win the game IMHO it's the same as siting back and helping them to win (in Lordnine's example). I say that because before you figured out you couldn't win, you were actively working against them and by doing so stopping them from meeting their goal(s). If you can't meet your goals, I'm of the mind you shouldn't then "throw in the towel" and let them meet theirs.

I understand that group dynamics differ, but what I've learned from all this is that if I were playing with a group of strangers, I'd make sure all the possible permutations of how things could play out were discussed and everyone understood and agreed what was appropriate.

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Re: Need a board game etiquette ruling

Post by LordMortis » Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:21 pm

Lordnine wrote:There is another scenario that I unfortunately see all too often in my group. That is, the person who thinks they’ve lost and gives up, thus creating a power vacuum for someone else to win who wouldn’t have gotten the chance otherwise. To me this is even more annoying than the vindictive person. It’s possible to react to someone who is trying to make you lose; it’s harder to stop to a person who is allowing someone else to win.
I often have a hard time playing involved games with children because of this. Getting distracted and becoming noninvested because you are not experiencing the rush winning is a big turn off for me. It's also why it's not uncommon for me turn down getting involved in 2+ hour games. As there non zero percent chance that I will get distracted and become noninvested before the game ends if it feels like I am just going through motions.

Smoove_B wrote:Except the hidden traitor cards state that if the group wins, as the hidden traitor (regardless of whether or not your identity is revealed) you lose. You can only win the scenario by completing your hidden traitor goal, so if that's not possible pushing the others into a position where they can't win fits. IMHO, of course. If you as the hidden traitor cannot win and then just sit back and let the other people playing complete their goals to win the game IMHO it's the same as siting back and helping them to win (in Lordnine's example). I say that because before you figured out you couldn't win, you were actively working against them and by doing so stopping them from meeting their goal(s). If you can't meet your goals, I'm of the mind you shouldn't then "throw in the towel" and let them meet theirs.

I understand that group dynamics differ, but what I've learned from all this is that if I were playing with a group of strangers, I'd make sure all the possible permutations of how things could play out were discussed and everyone understood and agreed what was appropriate.
I can't speak for this specific game but generally I treat games like horse race. You do as best you can. If 50% of the goal of the traitor is to make the players lose, then I'm going to keep chugging at the goal even if the other 50% becomes untenable. I may even revel in it. (Again depending on the dynamics of the game that I don't understand)

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