3,644 reputation
11144
bio website filterjoe.com
location California
age 48
visits member for 2 years, 3 months
seen 4 hours ago

I like a wide variety of games. My favorite is the card game of Bridge. In recent years I find myself far more often playing Settlers of Catan, and, lately, Ticket to Ride. I played a lot of Cosmic Encounter (EON Games version), Stratego, and Risk as a kid.


Feb
13
comment Does Monopoly involve skill to a considerable degree?
Reading through my own answer, it occurs to me that I would win more Monopoly games by pretending to have less skill than I do. For example I could say silly sounding things like "my favorite color has been blue all my life so I really like the blues . . . can I trade you . . . ." If I could make it look like I was stumbling my way to victory despite my seeming lack of skill, perhaps I could go many more games before getting embargoed.
Feb
9
comment Does Monopoly involve skill to a considerable degree?
Despite having acquired some skill in the game, I don't like to play Monopoly because the part that involves great skill and has a large influence on the game outcome - trading - only comes up just a few times in a several hour game.
Feb
7
comment Does Monopoly involve skill to a considerable degree?
This is a good question that should not be closed. I have heard the question several times in my life. In one case, I proved my answer that Monopoly has skill by playing a game with fresh opponents and winning handily, using skill. In my experience, most beginners greatly underestimate the importance of and skill required in trading. I answered the question to describe this important and complex skill and what goes into acquiring and mastering it.
Dec
26
comment Which boardgames need expansion sets before they work properly?
Note that the latest (fifth!), somewhat expensive FFG version of cosmic encounters includes the rough equivalent of the base game plus expansions 1-4 (and even a little more). So variability is plentiful, which justifies the higher cost.
Aug
12
comment How do you make Settlers of Catan work well for 2 players? (Problems and play-tested solution described, alternatives requested)
@Tim Most times I played this was 5-10 years ago so I can't remember too well why we ended up with this precise setup. My best guess is that we found that slightly imbalanced sides made for more interesting games than perfectly balanced sides - I do remember we kept changing around the setup until we fell in love with this one. But I encourage you to experiment and report back results. I believe that the barbell shape and 3-8-11 middle was more important to making this interesting than the precise distribution of numbers on either end. And the robber equalization was even more important.
Aug
8
comment How do you make Settlers of Catan work well for 2 players? (Problems and play-tested solution described, alternatives requested)
Have you tested this 2 player method?
Aug
5
comment Is there any “simultaneous-turn” based game where all players play till the end of the game?
Yes - this would be a poor game to play asynchronously, especially considering that it's a fast game. I think you'll get better answers to your question if you explicitly list the requirements in bullet points - I just reread the question and see how I didn't pick up that asynchronous was a requirement.
Aug
5
comment Is there any “simultaneous-turn” based game where all players play till the end of the game?
The worst feature of this game is getting started. The iconography is dense and cumbersome. So most people (including me) feel totally lost first few games. Play at least 10 games before you decide whether or not you like this game. You won't after game 1.
Aug
4
comment How do you make Settlers of Catan work well for 2 players? (Problems and play-tested solution described, alternatives requested)
Clever idea to start with more settlements and 9 resources with 1 turn robber delay. The worst thing that can happen in 2 player games is 7 gets rolled early and then not for a while, allowing the player who rolled a 7 to easily walz to victory. By starting with more settlements and a bunch of resources, a roll of 7 is not so devastating on turn 2.
Jul
21
comment Why it is important to make a delayed raise and not jump directly to 4-lvl? (System: simple SAYC)
You're right that there's a possibility for slam if the fit is right. If the hand had more points a splinter bid could help communicate the possibility but splinters typically require 13-16 points. I wonder if there's a better bid for a hand like that?
Jun
7
comment Simplest bidding system for introduction into bridge
As I said in my answer, I taught my son to play bridge when he was 5, and it took about a month of playing about 20-30 minutes per day (he had already learned Spades so play of hand was not too hard). If one person knows bridge at a solid beginner level, the way to teach is by playing frequently and having a lot of open hands where the bidding is explained by the one person who knows how to play. Even when you close up the hands, be open to people saying "I have no idea how to bid this hand" and lay down their cards so you can help them through the thought process.
May
24
comment Simplest bidding system for introduction into bridge
First I've heard of MiniBridge but seems like a great Gateway Game to Bridge. Having had a number of negative and positive experiences trying to learn bridge, and then to teach people bridge, I'm of the mind that bidding is very hard for a beginner no matter how much you try to simplify - and quite a bit harder if the student doesn't yet understand much strategy for how to play hands. With Gateway games such as MiniBridge or Spades, you can at least learn hand play without the distraction of trying to learn a bidding system as well.
May
22
comment Simplest bidding system for introduction into bridge
I extensively revised my answer to better answer your question now that you clarified - note that this revised answer is exactly how I taught my son to play when he was 5.
May
4
comment What is optimal robber placement in Settlers?
@Djaian I don't think you're the only one who thinks that way. However, despite the seemingly big luck factors in games like Settlers, Dominion, Stone Age, etc. it is interesting that the very best players win most of the time and consistently do well in tournament settings. Perhaps my favorite of all games is the card game of Bridge which is obviously a fairly deep game. That doesn't mean I can't explore Settlers to its strategic limits, which apparently I haven't yet found.
Jan
29
comment What is a good resource to discover new games?
Agree that it's possible to find interesting comments intermixed among the hundreds (sometimes thousands) of reviews for a given game, especially ranks between 4-7. I've found it time consuming to tease out the better comments. For more popular games (anything in top 300 on BGG), there are usually many lengthy reviews from a variety of perspectives. Where it falls short is for unpopular games that have less than 5 reviews, possibly all from the same perspective of the typical "I own > 100 games including the latest shiny ones" BGG gamer.
Jan
9
comment How to use Chapel card to its fullest potential?
As a point of clarification, are you suggesting that you buy a Chapel and no other action cards until you have 2 silvers? You sort of implied that but I wasn't sure.
Jan
9
comment How to Measure Luck vs Skill in Games?
Stone Age is a game where numerous people who have played less than 20 games comment about how much luck it has. Yet highly skilled Stone Age players never lose to people who have played fewer than 20 times. So if you have 1000 people rating the game, only 50 of whom have achieved a high level of skill, their voices will be drowned out by the other 950 low skill players that aren't good enough to realize that the role luck plays in this game is small once you reach a certain skill level. The dice rolls and random cards/tiles ordering sure gives it the appearance of luck, though.
Jan
9
comment How to Measure Luck vs Skill in Games?
Though BGG does not have a ratings category for either luck (randomness) or skill, I've seen many text descriptions. I am led to believe from the text descriptions that gamers, being human, are a poor judge of randomness. Classic experiment: ask 10 people to distribute themselves randomly throughout a large room. They spread themselves evenly apart, no clustering. Predictable. And very non-random. To site specific game example:
Jan
8
comment How to Measure Luck vs Skill in Games?
Let's say it takes 500,000 lines of code to program a perfect chess player, vs. 20 lines of code to to program a perfect tic tac toe player. Why is this difference a useless measure? It may not be a truly great measure, because it probably doesn't say much if a game takes 20 vs 30 lines of code. But for wide swings of skill - doesn't several orders of magnitude more code strongly suggest more skill required?
Jan
8
comment How to Measure Luck vs Skill in Games?
You've convincingly demonstrated how one particular objective measure is barely (or perhaps not at all) useful. However, this does not prove that all possible metrics are useless. One I've been pondering since I read your answer: how many lines of code does it take to program a computer to never lose? By this metric, Chess requires vastly more skill than the game you describe - which obviously matches our intuitions. But the 10 card version of your game vs. the 3 card likely requires the same amount of code or only slightly more, suggesting that the skill required has not increased.