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The other day whilst playing an epic, 4-deck game of Munchkin, I found myself well behind and in a position to let someone win so we could quit. I didn't want to leave early (I did anyway!) but the game had gotten out of hand somewhat.

Would it have been ok to King-make? I'm considering a non-game specific answer to this wherever possible. I realise this isn't the sort of thing you do in munchkin.

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possible duplicate of Is kingmaking in multiplayer games a problem that can be fixed? –  user1873 Sep 11 '12 at 5:40
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up vote 6 down vote accepted

In general, king making is contentious.

In my mind, it's best reserved for when it will allow ending a game "Now-ish" in order to either facilitate a different, more generally enjoyable game, or to allow players to leave.

There are a few other conditions where I find it less than unacceptable. These basically boil down to "not letting A have a runaway victory by aiding B."

In some cases, it's a matter of allying with B (publicly or not) so that A has some competition because A is in a clear runaway. I've seen this a lot in a variety of public scoring track games.

In others, it's quietly avoiding helping A because of A being in the lead, which results in B having a chance. This is most frequent in my plays of Settlers of Catan - no one trades with the leader... In this case, it generally lengthens the game needlessly, as the leader often is able to stay the leader.

The other condition is when the game allows for alliance victories, or as with Dune, one or more players has a kingmaking victory condition. In Dune, the Bene Gesserit win by correctly predicting the turn of victory and the victor - the BG player works very hard to king-make.

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I don't like unnecessarily long games, so trading with the leading player (eg in Catan) is fine with me. Sometimes I have to swap cards under the table to avoid heckling from others, though! –  The Chaz 2.0 Sep 13 '12 at 3:49
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Never.

The only reason you should help another player is if it increases your chances of victory during that game. Everything else is unfair against the others.

If someone is clearly winning or you for any reason feel the game is just a waste of time to continue: Bring it up for discussion. If the others feel the same way you can often just agree to give the leader the victory and end the game right there. If they want to continue maybe you can drop out or you'll just have to play the game out to make your friends happy.

King making is quite bad etiquette.

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It's not always possible to drop out of a game. In many games, dropping out means the game can't conclude, in which case it's better to just kingmake. –  epsalon Sep 16 '12 at 17:35
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Generally speaking, questions of etiquette should be decided within your group before you begin playing. If the players are all serious competitive gamers, they will try to win no matter how slim the chances are. Another big issue is the question of position: Is it better to guarantee getting second place, or try for a slim chance to win that if it fails, means you'll end up in last place. There are no right or wrong answers, which -- if the players are not aligned in their point of view -- could lead to a frustrating gaming experience.

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