Peloponnesian Zombies from the Cyclades cause Pandemic at Notre Dame

After several weeks of dealing with Gwen’s work, someone in my household being sick, or me being out of town, I actually had a “normal” schedule for game night this week.  That means that Gwen came to Burlington, we picked up Samantha, ate supper together, and then I came to game night.  I even got there just a little after 6 o’clock!  Unfortunately, most everyone was involved in games already, or wanted to play something that I just wasn’t feeling.  So, instead, I sat down to play a solo game of…

Peloponnes [GeekDo]

While I was still setting up, however, Tom came in and I offered to let him join me.  I taught him the game and we got right into things.  More than anything, I wanted to make sure that I could feed my people.  So that led me to be pretty conservative in taking too many extra people or in overcommitting myself to buildings that required a lot of resources.  The big thing with the 2-player game is that it can be absolutely brutal.  If you’re short on money, there are only going to be two “real” choices of tiles (since the Conquest row adds 3 to the base price), and if neither of those matches the last land tile you have or the resources you have (or can even generate), then you’re just freakin’ outta luck.  And bidding order can be a big two-edged sword as well, because it’s awesome to be able to jump onto that ideal conquest tile first, but the second person always has the chance to outbid on the “regular” tiles (assuming that he, like Tom, has lots of cash). 

In the end, the way that the disasters came up (with Decline taking 10 of my luxury resources on the last turn), I didn’t have the food (despite my carefulness in planning and building) to feed all of my people, and both Tom and I found ourselves with only 6 population.   Despite losing a tile or two during the game, Tom had still invested in more prestigious tiles, and along with his big bankroll, he managed to rack up more points for the tiebreaker and the win. 

It was, actually, Tom’s first win with the Hypermind Boardgamers.  So congrats to Tom!

Time: 25 minutes
Score: Tom* 12 (29), Me 12 (25)
Ratings: Tom 7, Me 7

My opinion of Peloponnes is continuing to go up.  As I said before, I really need to play it with more than two people, but I’m very happy both with the solo game and the decisions created in the 2-player game.  It’s a lot more “resource management” than “civilization building”, but that’s still cool and interesting to me.  I also need to play it with the correct rules for supply round timing…

Notre Dame [GeekDo]

Keith (finally returned to us after a month or two of work distractions) and his nephew Kenny then joined Tom and me for a play of our new Game of the Month!, Notre Dame.  Kenny hadn’t played many modern boardgames, but he seemed to pick up on the basics of the game pretty quickly.  Personally, I was a little worried about coming in last, since I traditionally suck at Notre Dame, and losing twice to Tom, in addition to two new players, actually concerned me.

I started off trying to activate more of my cubes and got into the cathedral.  As the game went on, I basically ignored the rat track (as I usually do), and eventually tried to pull of the “move cubes to the Residence (VP scoring building)” strategy.  Despite Tom’s continual extra scoring from the Park, I still managed to get enough scoring opportunities from my Residence to get the win.  

Time: 53 minutes
Score: Me 52, Tom 42, Kenny (Keith’s Nephew)* 40, Keith* 38
Ratings: Me 8, Tom 8, Kenny (Keith’s Nephew) 7, Keith 8

In addition to additional comments below, let me start by saying, with all sincerity, “I like such a type of games. Thay are so homy!”

I’m really, truly happy that this group is finally giving more attention to the Alea line of games.  And more particularly, to Stefan Feld.  Obviously, we’ve had back-to-back GotM!‘s from him (Macao and now Notre Dame), and while the mechanics of the games are very different, the feel is pretty similar.  There’s always this luck-based obstacle that you have to overcome (the dice in Macao and the card draw in ND), and there’s a threat of some type of “punishment” hanging over your head all the time.  You can’t really “plan” too much in advance, because ultimately, you have to tailor your actions to what you draw and what other players pass you.  So you have to be flexible, opportunistic, and think on your feet.  It’s exhilarating, and with Notre Dame, you even get it in (generally) 35-45 minutes.  I hope that I can get in at least one game of this every week here in July.  

Cyclades [GeekDo]

All the games sort of wrapped up at about that point, and we were all milling about looking for the next thing to do.  Several people had mentioned Cyclades at one point or another, and others were eyeing it with gamer-lust, so I just called out “who wants to play Cyclades?”  Four hands were up before I finished the sentence, and these with the most hand-raising prowess were able to make it into my game.

I went through the rules since Tom and Britt were new, but you wouldn’t have known that it was Britt’s first time with how well he played.  On the first turn, he took Poseidon (relatively cheap) and immediately sailed out to cover two additional trade route markers, thus increasing his income significantly.  I went for the early Zeus and bought an extra priest.  Michelle (playing, appropriately, the Amazons this time) went after her Apollo strategy, and started building up one of her island to be the treasury of our little corner of the world.

Unlike last week, this game developed a lot more slowly.  No one built many buildings at all in the first several turns, and even the military moves were relatively inoculous.  Britt was raking in money and attracting attention, but Kenny was being all tricksy in making slow progress to the real goals of the game.  It all came to a head when he built his fourth building and turned it into a Metropolis.  He also held two Philosophers, and I assumed enough money to buy two more if he were able to get ahold of Athena’s favor.  So, in reprising my role as The Obviator, I made sure the whole table knew about it.

As it turned out, I had to delay him myself by outbidding for Athena.  We bought enough time for Britt to link up to him with ships and eventually take a huge force across to claim the metropolis for himself.  Unfortunately, this left Britt in an incredibly powerful position, and he had enough cash to get Ares and invade my island containing the only other Metropolis in the game (which I had built using Philosophers) on the following turn.  I had one chance to stop him, because I won Zeus for the round, and was able to mill through the mythical creatures.  What I needed was the Chimera, so that I could grab the Kraken from the discard pile and eat the ships connecting to my island, but I didn’t find it before my money ran out.

Britt taking Kenny’s metropolis…

Britt, therefore, won the game.       

Time: 104 minutes
Score: Britt* – Win; Ken, Michelle, Tom* & Me – Lose
Ratings: Britt 8, Ken 8.5, Michelle 8.4, Tom 8, Me 7.5

I actually dropped my rating on this by a half-point from last week.  It felt like it dragged on just a little too long, and that its victory conditions may be just a bit too simple.  It’s kind of funny, though, because of course, as The Obviator, I intentionally delayed the game.  But in a game like this, you really need to do everything you can to win, or the whole thing gets to feeling very arbitrary and pointless. 

If we all sit here for an hour or more, and then all of a sudden, someone is allowed to win just because no one wants to bother stoping him, it would just suck.  There is an unspoken social contract at play here that everyone play the game in such a way as to win it.  It’s almost the same with king-making, which you could almost claim that I did when I rallied against Kenny, thus allowing Britt to win.  But in that case, I still felt like I was in the game, and I knew that Kenny was about to end it and win.  Britt was, of course, in a very strong position, and I wished that it hadn’t been him that invaded Kenny, but still, I had to deal with the most imminent threat first.  Unfortunately, I had to blow out my own income in that attempt, and neither I nor anyone else could do anything to stop Britt when he make his move.

So, is being The Obviator (specifically, one who calls attention to others who are doing well in the game) cool, or does it make me a jerk?  That seemed to be an “almost-spoken” discussion around the table during this game, and I wanted to discuss it a little bit as well.  First of all, if The Obviator is not actually in the game (i.e. a bystander), then absolutely yes, he is a jerk.  ‘Cause if the other people actually playing can’t figure it out, then they didn’t deserve to win anyway.  But to me, if I am trying to pursue a path to victory as a player, then it’s just a tactic as legitimate as forming an alliance with another player.  Both are just ways to sway or manipulate others to do your will.  Whether because you don’t want to spend your own resources or because you’re not in a position to do anything right then, I think that it’s totally alright. 

Charles (who was watching the game and was the recipient of my Obviating attention last week) disagreed, but I want to know what y’all think.  So, down in the comments, let me know whether it’s jerky behavior or not.            

Pandemic [GeekDo]

We had a little bit of a shuffle after Cyclades finished up, and ended up with 5 players looking for a game.  It had been a few weeks since I’d played Pandemic, so I sort of pushed it a little, and the others agreed to go along with me.  We played with both the Mutation and Virulent Strain challenges, and used 5 Epidemic cards.

Things started off very bad for us, when we drew an Epidemic on either the first or second turn, causing an immediate outbreak in our virulent strain color (which was black).  Thankfully, I as the Medic was in a good position right after that to clean up some of the mess, and I also used Resilient Population to remove one of the hot-spot black cities from the infection deck. 

We caught our breath from there, cured and eradicated red, and got to the business of curing everything else.  As the end of the game neared, Kenny (the Archivist) was planning to pick up the last few black cards he needed to cure it (our last disease), but due to one of the virulent strain effects, it was going to require 6 cards rather than five.  When we counted up the player deck, we realized that he’d only have one more turn.

We then had a bit of a strategery session.  We made a plan that involved the next player curing purple (since we had it still hanging around), someone moving to Kenny’s location to get him one of the cards, and then playing Borrowed Time (+2 actions) on Kenny to let him get to the research station in Chennai, draw its card back from the discard pile (per his power) and play the cure.  As the plan was unfolding, however, we realized that we hadn’t accounted for the Government Interference effect from one of the virulent strain epidemics, which makes you treat a disease cube before leaving a city containing the virulent strain.  So Borrowed Time was played on someone else to let him clear the way for Kenny.  Without the extra actions, however, Kenny was able to get to Chennai and draw the card, but lacked the one extra action to actually develop the cure and win us the game.

And that, my friends, is what makes Pandemic freaking awesome.  These moments of living or dying by the slimmest of margins are commonplace, and they are just magical.

Time: 52 minutes
Score: Mutant, Virulent Pandemic – Win; Wretched Humans (Brett, Charles, Josh, Kenny & Me) – Lose
Ratings: Brett 9, Charles 8.5, Josh 8.5, Kenny 9, Me 10

Again, “so homy!”

Zombie Dice [GeekDo]

It wasn’t quite midnight, so we pulled out Zombie Dice for a final play.  It’s just a shame, though, that in such a simple game with just one sheet of rules, they still can’t make it clear how to play.  We had debated how the whole “footprint” die face worked the first time we played, and in looking back at it again, we’re pretty sure that we did it wrong.  So, with the “real” rules, we played again.  And sort of like Cloud 9, I think that I preferred our “accidental variant” better.  

What we were doing before was to leave all the dice on the table once you rolled them.  But you could take more dice out of the cup equal to 3 minus the number of feet you had rolled and roll them as well.  And if you ever had three feet, your turn was over and you scored.  

The actual rule is that you sperate all your dice (brains to one side, shotgun blasts to the other, and feet in the middle) and then you take out enough dice from the cup and add to the feet to total 3 dice, and roll all three.  There are still some nice push-your-luck decisions to make, but they didn’t seem to be quite as interesting as what our variant produced.   

Time: 17 minutes
Score: Kenny 13, Josh* 10, Me 9, Brett 5, Charles 3
Ratings: Kenny 7, Josh 7, Me 6, Brett 7, Charles 5

It’s okay, but only as a really quick filler.  And you have to be in the mood to talk like zombies (Ughhhhhhhh) and make loud shotgun blast sounds.  (KA-BLAM!)

Other Games Played

Time: ??
Score: Chip 18(3), James 18(1), Brett 18(0), Tommy* 15
Ratings: Chip 8, James 8, Brett 7, Tommy 8.5

Fairy Tale
 26 minutes (for 2 games)
Game 1: Graham 39, Charles* 35, Steven 35, Chris 29
Game 2: Charles 52, Steven 50, Graham 49, Chris 39
Ratings: Charles 8, Graham 8, Steven 9, Chris 8

 62 minutes
Score: Chip* 92, Chris* 81, Matt* 64
Ratings: Chip 7.5, Chris 7.5, Matt 7.5

No Thanks
Score: Chip 65, Kenny 120, Matt* 144, Britt* 156, Michelle 163
Ratings: Chip 8, Kenny 8, Matt 8, Britt 7, Michelle 8

Notre Dame
Time: 34 minutes
Score: Graham 63, Chris 61, Steven* 45
Ratings: Graham 9, Chris 9, Steven 8

 20 minutes
Score: Steven* 41+, Graham* 41-, Chris 35
Ratings: Steven 7, Graham 8, Chris 8

Race for the Galaxy
 27 minutes
Score: Chris 76, James 55
Ratings: Chris 10, James 10

 77 minutes
Score: Britt 3, Kenny 2, Matt* 1, Charles 1, Michelle 1
Ratings: Britt 8, Kenny 8, Matt 7, Charles 7.5, Michelle 7.5

Zombie Dice
Time: 14 minutes
Score: Kenny 13, Graham 10, Steven 6, Michelle 4, Matt* 3, Britt* 3, Chip 1
Ratings: Kenny 7, Graham 5.5, Steven 6, Michelle 7.6, Matt 7, Britt 6, Chip 6.5

* First play for that Person


  1. Adam Koehler

    I vote slightly jerky to full blown jerky, depending on the forcefulness of the obviator.
    My Reasons:
    -obviating isn’t honorable to the opponent on the precipice of a win. Someone’s crafty work and planning “in” the game falls prey to a silver-tongued rabble-rouser “outside” the game.
    -obviating cheapens the quality of the win for the person who swoops in to win.
    -obviating appears to drag out a game.
    -obviating encourages players to avoid doing too well too fast, which is just patently annoying.
    -“obviating” has a high a vowel to consonant ratio.

  2. Kenny

    I’ll expatiate on the ethics of the obviate later, as it deserves more than I can give it on an iPhone. But I know I rated Tribune higher than a two!

  3. tomg

    Obviating is fine. It sometimes makes more interesting game.
    I was totally out of Cyclades. I just couldn’t get anything going. I tended to lose my first choice auction bid most times and often my second. That kind of put me in a funk and I just couldn’t get into things. I had fun but not from my playing specifically. It was more from watching everyone else. I want to play it again.
    Notre Dame is just great. I really like it.
    Peloponnes was fun. I’d like to play with more people. Did Chris mention that I beat him?

  4. Ok, briefly – my issue with the obviate move is as follows: as it seems to work out in our gaming environment, what it sometimes does is turn the game from ‘all against each other’ into ‘everyone plus Chris N vs whoever is winning.’ There’s a subtle difference between those two statements, and I’m not sure quite how to phrase it delicately, so here goes and apologies for any ruffled feathers. There are people at game night – quite arguably including myself, depending on the game in question – who can get whipped into a frenzy and then sent off to do someone else’s bidding. It may not be full-on jerky, but the practical effect is entirely the same as the situation you complained about earlier this summer when Michelle handed a win to David – it alters the relationship between the players from one of free-for-all competition into collusion between two or more people against the rest of the table. The motivation behind said collusion is frankly immaterial for our purposes; the important point is that we wind up with one person having an extra set of resources/turns/what-have-ya, because he or she has a cat’s paw on their side now.

    Now, is this jerky? Maybe not, although there are times when it irks me more than others (having said that, you can only really irk me if I give a damn about the game being played, so if I am getting irked I’d be doing so whether someone was beating me with obviation, good dice rolling, or brilliant strategy – and all of you who know me probably realize by now I like getting a little worked up over stuff). But I think part of the problem here is that this obviating behavior seems to synergize a bit with your (Chris N) position at game night. As someone who’s fairly close to ‘primus inter pares,’ when you say stuff in a game the other players are going to pay attention – and it’s relatively likely that you’ll be able to get at least one person at the table to listen, since you’re probably right.

    So what’s the solution? I dunno, I’m not even entirely sure it’s a problem that rises to the level of needing a solution. It certianly doesn’t make me not want to game against you – if anything it makes pulling a win off against you all the sweeter (eg our last two games of online Wallenstein, ha ha ha). But you wanted to know, and like you said it’s a conversation we almost had at the table Tuesday anyway, so here it is.

  5. Chris Norwood

    It’s actually, to me, pretty important that we discuss things like this.  We all make assumptions about the social contract we use at game night, but sometimes they may not always jive with each other.

    So let me respond, somewhat scatter-shot, to things that both Kenny and Adam said…

    First of all, I need to ask something.  When are social interactions between players considered “in the game” (making reference to Adam’s in/out of the game statement).  In Bang!, it’s really the whole game.  In Twilight Imperium 3, you’ve got to have it.  If we could ever play Diplomacy in some fashion, then it’s clearly the heart of what’s going on.  And even in something like El Grande, I’ve heard many, many people talk about how the game falls apart if people don’t gang up on the leader and bring him down.  

    So, maybe based on my assumptions about “conflict” games, or just my approach to games in general, I usually think that the social skills and machinations of a player are fair game.  Britt obviously felt the same way, because very early on, he made an alliance with Michelle, which is a totally social-type thing.  Obviating, to me, seems like exactly the same thing.  It’s a temporary alliance between, well, everybody, to bring down the leader.  Once that happens, it’s back to everybody-for-himself (or “everybody gang up on someone else”).

    It is unlike the “conjugal kingmaking” between Michelle and David because it is a function of players in the game responding to a gameplay situation.  Conjugal kingmaking is when an outside relationship is used as the basis of preferential treatment in a game.  In this case (and as I said in the report), my “accidental” kingmaking for Britt was still motivated by the desire to better my own position and deal with the most pressing threat first, all of which were inside the game decisions.  Even though we’re not intimiately involved, it would be just as bad if Kenny and I (based on freaking 25 years of friendship, if you can believe it) decided that we’d always help each other out in the games we played. 

    Now, on the other hand, what Kenny says about my “position” in the group does make me re-think things a little bit.  If it’s just my social skills and the strength of my personality influencing people, then I don’t see anything wrong with it.  You wouldn’t ask people to limit use of their intellectual skills when playing a game, so why ask them to limit use of their social skills?  But if my “authority” outside the game (informal as it may be) is getting me more “favor”, then maybe I should back off.  Of course, in many cases, I find the position as “rule teacher” or “expert” to be a hinderance, because people tend to automatically gang up on the person that they perceive to be the “best”, which (in many cases) is often not me.

    And still, if the majority of people think that obviating behavior is not okay, I can curtail my use of it.  Personally, though, I think that it would actually diminish the experience of the games.

  6. Chris Norwood

    Oh yeah, let me say it again… I beat Tom in Notre Dame!

    That is what you wanted me to make clear, right?

  7. Chris Norwood

    Oh, you’re just pissed off that you actually lose Macao last week!  Heck, you were so angry that you didn’t come back this week!  (I sincerely hope that was just a joke, by the way…)

    And by the way, it was Kenny’s idea to have you discover that you didn’t win Macao when reading the report.  I was swayed by his silver-tongued rabble-rousing…

  8. Adam Koehler

    It twas lots of work that kept away this week, and threatens to keep me away next week too. Wednesday always seems to be a big meeting day for me.

    I shall return in good humor as soon as I can.

    Obviating isn’t all bad. For me, it hinges on the style of the delivery of the obviator. Said with a smile and wink, obviate away.

    But I have seen it make for awkward moments … Person A outright badgers Person B into doing their bidding to prevent Person C from winning, Person B reluctantly does said bidding not out of agreement with Person A’s case for action, but simply for fear of harsh judgment as a game player by Persons A, D and E.

    This is not a scenario I’ve seen in our group per say, but I have seen it. As long as obviators don’t go into verbal abuse territory, I think it’s acceptable. Though whether it actually adds to excitement the gameplay or just adds an unexpected social twist to the gameplay I think is still up for debate.

  9. I think an honest person, whether inside or outside of the game, pointing out a game situation that is open information (although not all may realise it) is fine, as long as he is not trying to mislead some players or trying to draw attention to a leading player who actually isn’t in the lead. In some of the games that my friends and I play, when there are people new to the game, sometimes the leading player points out his position to remind the new players to do something. And of course, the leading player can also point out that if some players gang up on him, another player will gain a larger benefit than others.

  10. Chris Ingersoll

    I find Obviating to be an art form in Cosmic Encounter. But the allegiance mechanic there makes “everyone vs. the leader” a viable option. I can’t speak for Cyclades, since I haven’t been able to play it yet. I think its validity varies from game to game.

    Although in my experience the best time to Obviate is when you’re in second. 😉 Obviating from the rear is just whining.

  11. Keith Carter

    A 3000 character limit? I have draft response has 4533. I am going to need to split my post.

    I have a number of things to cover so please bear with me.

    1. It was great to be back. The Hypermind Boardgamers is a great group of gamers and I miss spending time with them. Alas, work has me in NYC next week so I will miss out once again. I should be able to make it on a regular basis after that.

    2. Board gaming is a fairly new experience for my nephew. We were inclined to stick with the games I had played with him the previous weekend (Forbidden Island, No Thanks, Pandemic) in anticipation of going to gaming night. Chris’ “sit down your playing Notre Dame” was exactly the right approach.

    I do need to make a score correction. My nephew beat me by two, a fact he was rightly proud of. So put me down for 38. Boy did I stumble all over my planned strategy the first third of the game. I started down the park\bonus strategy (which worked well for Tom) then inadvertently dismantled it by moving my cube. I then moved to Notre Dame when I only had one coin forgetting I had to pay to get in and then was unable to hire anyone.

    What I needed was an Obviator declaring Keith is in a strong position for last place to wake me up. Speaking of Obviators…

    3. Bottom line = I am fine with someone playing the role of Obviator, however, whether it is generally okay depends on the group playing.

    The term Obviator does come with some semantic spin on it. After all, if it is obvious then it is readily known and how bad can it be to echo what the board already clearly says to the other players? That would be like shooting the messenger. Now if we called it the Defensive Organizer we would have spin in the other direction.

  12. Keith Carter

    My first gaming group played a lot of Cosmic Encounter and Illuminati. There was a lot of leader tracking which lead to open warnings and produced a lot of reaction. It fit the spirit of the games. It was a big part of the fun we were having.

    The open state of the game discussions extended to other games where it was not part of the design. The consistently strongest player would find themselves pressured based just on their track record. It made for an unlevel playing field but it leveled the game results. Stronger players won less and others won more. I thought at this point that being and Obviator was part of how a multi-player game adjusts its balance to the strength of the players. Even in cases where game design had some imbalance in it, group level self interest would rebalance the game. It turned out that this is not the case for most gaming groups.

    I was quite surprised, when running Illuminati tournaments at conventions, or working with gaming clubs to play test a game in development, at how often one person would run away with the win without anyone saying anything. On those few occasions when someone did raise the alarm the other players did not seem interested in someone else calling for them to react. Most groups did not want an Obviator.

    Thirteen years later I formed another gaming group. All the players were law students or attorneys. The Obviator role was just a starting point. Players actively organized to take the leader down and while they were at it decided who would then be the new leader and should be taken down after that. One favorite tactic was for the true leader to try to miss-label the closest competitor as the true leader and get the other players to gang up on the wrong target. Having just an Obviator would have been dull for this group. What they enjoyed went way beyond what my first group would have enjoyed.

    The Hypermind Gamers do not seem inclined to having an Obviator much less an organized attempt to gang up on the leader. I played in a game of Agricola where one player had a set of cards that gave them a strong advantage. I think it was even pointed out and generally acknowledged very early in the game that this was the case. Nobody worked together to deny that person the resources they needed to counter their advantage. No one played the role of Obviator as we closed in on the end of the game.

    Since no Obviator has seemed to me how the Hypermind Gamers work, I have said little about who seems to be winning and have not attempted to work with someone against the leader at all. I would enjoy having an Obviator (and more). I am fine with going with the flow of no Obviator. I will note that an Obviator role would work against consistent leaders like Chris N more than others. If we were inclined to take it further and gang up on the leader then Chris N would win substantially fewer games.

  13. Chris Norwood

    Very good points, Keith.  And I agree with pretty much everything… except that I win a lot.  I win my fair share, of course, but Chip is the real shark amongst us all.  He wins a LOT, which you can easily see if you look back at my play reports.  My “winning a lot” is more just perception because I do so much game teaching. 

  14. Okay, I’ll chime in on this debate.

    Get over it.

    Wanting to play a game without social interaction getting in the way? You can do that. For a totally controlled, manipulation-free, mob mentality-free game, you can play solo, play an electronic adaptation against the AI, play a video game without online multiplayer and headsets…whatever.

    Board games are always going to be prone to people pointing out obvious things and trying to manipulate others. It’s part of what makes it fun, and good game design either embraces or mitigates this factor.

    People should be aware of this, and outside of explaining game rules, anything’s fair game. Heck, I’m not too good at it, as Alton can attest. (The guy reads me like a book.)

    Anyway, I’m not going to make this an essay. Simply this: don’t complain about board games because people get to talk to each other. Seriously. If someone pushes the “obviating” too far, it stops working, because people notice. It’s part of the game.

  15. This is a really good post. Must admit that you are amongst the best bloggers I have read. Thanks for posting this informative article.

  16. Alton

    Gaming banter is fine, pointing out what should be obvious to other gamers is just wrong. Play your own game; always playing to win while having a sense of gaming honor is always the best way to go, Chip and Chris I. are great examples of this and why I always enjoy playing a game with them; and more so why the wins with them are always so much sweeter. If I win that is.

    King making is always wrong, it remains me of a spoiled child “well if I can’t win you want win either” and the recipient of the win feels like he or she didn’t really win and in most cases didn’t really want the help to win… it ruins the game for all and shows poor game/sportsmanship of the one doing the king making.

    Like life; it’s playing “your” best game and not necessarily the “win” that gives the most pleasure and the best memories.

    Lastly my own personal pet peeve is quitters and whiners; there’s just no excuse for it in a game. If you can’t play the game to the end or don’t want to play to win; then don’t start the game and if you are going to whine hook-up with the other spoil children in the room, I’m sure you’ll have your own “special” fun together.

  17. tomg

    So far this is not really that big of an accomplishment. Let’s see you win the tournament then you can use bold fonts.

  18. tomg

    I was good to see you Keith and to meet Kenny the nephew. He seemed very interested and was a fun player.

  19. tomg

    CHRIS SAID”So, maybe based on my assumptions about “conflict” games, or just my approach to games in general, I usually think that the social skills and machinations of a player are fair game. Britt obviously felt the same way, because very early on, he made an alliance with Michelle, which is a totally social-type thing. Obviating, to me, seems like exactly the same thing. It’s a temporary alliance between, well, everybody, to bring down the leader. Once that happens, it’s back to everybody-for-himself (or “everybody gang up on someone else”).

    It is unlike the “conjugal kingmaking” between Michelle and David because it is a function of players in the game responding to a gameplay situation. Conjugal kingmaking is when an outside relationship is used as the basis of preferential treatment in a game. In this case (and as I said in the report), my “accidental” kingmaking for Britt was still motivated by the desire to better my own position and deal with the most pressing threat first, all of which were inside the game decisions. Even though we’re not intimiately involved, it would be just as bad if Kenny and I (based on freaking 25 years of friendship, if you can believe it) decided that we’d always help each other out in the games we played.”
    I agree with you on these points. I would also say that your role in the group a organizer doesn’t really interfere with any of the gaming as far as I have observed. It might for the first timers but once you’ve been to a couple of game nights any hint of that fades.
    You’ve focused on the obviator that points out the leader with the intention of taking him down. There is another form too. Obviating the loser. This I think is the real tragic/jerky obviating. Unless it is to help that person in some way and then you open up a whole nother kettle of donkeys.
    Graham is right too. If the obviating becomes too much, people will ignore or say something.
    I think Alton has some good points too. You should always play your best even if it is obvious(!) that you are going to lose. Heck, I’m all over this most nights. If I was only there for the wins, I would have stopped coming long ago. I’m there to have fun with friends and use my brain some. If I win, sweet. If not, still sweet.

  20. When is actually the actual i phone five ( or even the successor of the iPhone 4) most likely to be released? I lost my personal apple iphone a little ago, and I was wanting to know if I should just get the apple iphone 4 now or wait for the apple iphone five… Additionally, I read the i phone 4’s display screen shatters simply if you ever fall it w/o a case. Is actually that correct?

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