326 reputation
26
bio website stas.kolenikov.name
location Columbia, MO
age 40
visits member for 2 years, 8 months
seen Apr 10 at 19:26

Applied statistician


Mar
11
comment What techniques do high level SET players use when looking at a layout of cards?
+1 for a suggestion to memorize the 1080 SETs. That's precious!
Jan
22
comment Best cross-country route in TTR USA?
+1 great explanation
Jan
13
comment Good tips for first-time Power Grid players?
boardgamegeek.com/thread/81071/…
Jan
13
comment Square cards larger than 70mm (2¾″)
If you cannot fit all the information in space that others found sufficient, your game is probably too complicated, and the cards try to do too much for the players to really keep in their heads.
Oct
27
comment How to teach strategic thinking to non-gamer players?
Have them take a class in game theory. My wife teaches game theory, and her winning percentage in our typical four-people game (two of us, plus two of our kids, or another couple) is about 40% in either Dominion, Settlers of Catan, TTR, Puerto Rico... you name it.
Jan
18
comment What are good standard tactics for Dominion?
As is often the case with a good game, there are multiple ways to win it. So one player may settle for Workshops + Gardens, and another one, for Big Money, and a third one, to Curse them with the Witch every turn. While looking at what other players are buying is certainly necessary, you don't need to copy what they do, just to be aware of what's going on.
Jan
18
comment What are good standard tactics for Dominion?
My impression is that Big Money usually works well with the basic game, but later expansions can set up combos that beat it rather easily, although they almost always require careful deck construction before they start engulfing Province + Duchy every turn.
Oct
7
comment Kingsbridge Scarlet: trade 1 cloth for 3 VP
Thanks, sitnaltax.
Sep
25
comment Promised future trades as part of legal trades? (Solution described, alternatives/comments requested)
The version that my wife likes to play (with other folks, I don't let her do this to me is), "Look, you've got a sheep port. How about I give you seven sheep, you turn three in to the bank, and you give me two ore and a wheat back? That way, you earn an extra sheep". This does not abuse the letter of the rules, but once we get into this who's-got-the-best-port tactic, it becomes a yelling-at-each-other rather than trading-with-each-other game :(.
Mar
5
comment What are some good ways to transition to more complex strategic thinking games?
No, what I meant was the mechanics of the game, and whether it has randomness in it left after the hands are dealt. (Suppose you play against a computer opponent with fixed strategic behaviors, say.) Sure, we do come across newbies who play "Production" in Puerto Rico every turn they are in charge. (Just make sure you sit on their left, you will win even after ten shots of socializing beverages.). But it's not like you need to roll dice in Risk or, god forbid, Monopoly.
Mar
5
comment What are some good ways to transition to more complex strategic thinking games?
That's a bit extreme. I have not come across very many strategy-only folks even among mathematician friends of mine, whom I have plenty. But then few people would fall squarely into a single category of yours -- I can associate myself with 1 and 4, with some elements of 2 and 7, and have nothing along 6, although I did play a fair share of Scrabble as a kid with my parents. Would you say that the game of bridge is strategy-only, given the hands? If the hands are pre-dealt at tournaments, it means that the remaining interactions of players must be purely strategic.
Mar
5
comment What are some good ways to transition to more complex strategic thinking games?
That might also be another dimension. I am one of these guys who are reluctant to play the games of luck. I would consider Risk to be a game of luck, as I don't see deep strategies and transition from mid game to late game, which is often an important issue in many staged games. (Should I take new routes in TTR? Should I stop messing with aristocrats and buy off all the buildings in St Petersburg? Should I stop mixing browns and purples in Fresco, as there aren't any pieces left of these colors? Should I offer 70 euros for the only 7-capacity plant on the market in Power Grid?)
Mar
2
comment What are some good ways to transition to more complex strategic thinking games?
Do you consider ultra-competitors a subset of game lovers? My wife does not talk to me if I win by one point in TTR or Fresco or you name it that runs the score above a hundred. And our dance teacher seriously does not want to leave until she wins a round of Settlers or Power Grid (a great engineering game, not only because of the theme).
Mar
2
comment What are some good ways to transition to more complex strategic thinking games?
A decent worker placement starter is Stone Age. Our family played it a dozen or so times (which is a lot, given that we have about 40 boxes), but never graduated to Agricola or Puerto Rico -- we played both of these twice at most. Two coop games that worked well for us were Shadows over Camelot (especially for our son) and Pandemics (especially for our daughter).
Aug
29
comment If I have 8+ coins and no Gold, should I buy a Gold or a Province?
@philosophyguy: thanks, I will take a look. Of course setting up realistic strategies would require A LOT of custom coding :)
Aug
28
comment If I have 8+ coins and no Gold, should I buy a Gold or a Province?
@philosophyguy: I'd be curious to see these simulations. (I am an applied statistician, and II must have done simulations of this kind and that kind for a few billions petaflops by now.)
Aug
26
comment Does anyone have a way to modify Ticket to Ride to accommodate six people?
Having fewer carriages also means that you'd be able to complete fewer routes. This may not be so much of an issue on European maps, but on the North America map, you'll only have enough time to complete the initial routes, factoring in the likelihood of that line between Houston and New Orleans (or even between Seattle and Vancouver) being blocked even before you can place your first couple of cars. You can use paper clips for the carriages of the 6th player.