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Campaign Manager 2008» Forums » Rules

Subject: stalemate - and how often does this occur - sign of an underdeveloped game? rss

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marc magner
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I've been playing a bunch on yucata....

and my opponent and i have reached a stalemate point... we each have 12 or 13 cards in our hands at all times, with 2 or 3 in the discard pile, and hence we can EXACTLY match the others previous play.


with my opponent at 252 states, i'm in no position to let he win any states on the board, so any play by him that puts him in a position to win a state - i match exactly and undo his play.
and like wise - he can't let me win a state...

so the game has locked up.

how frequently does this happen to others?

and should there be a hand size limit, which would prevent this from happening?
 
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Chun Ping
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but you cant draw a card after you have 5 cards, unless the card you played said so. and after you played your cards, you cant draw any more if you have no more discard pile or draw deck, which in your case seems like it's going to happen.

i'm no expert at this game, but i was just wondering if it's truely a stalemate. cant he just play the cards and let you "undo" his moves? and on the following turns, he can do it again. Assuming you again "undo" his moves, both of you would have ran out of cards. and now, with a smaller hand, i presume you wont be able to undo his third attempt to win the game.
 
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marc magner
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cpf86 wrote:
but you cant draw a card after you have 5 cards, unless the card you played said so. and after you played your cards, you cant draw any more if you have no more discard pile or draw deck, which in your case seems like it's going to happen.

i'm no expert at this game, but i was just wondering if it's truely a stalemate. cant he just play the cards and let you "undo" his moves? and on the following turns, he can do it again. Assuming you again "undo" his moves, both of you would have ran out of cards. and now, with a smaller hand, i presume you wont be able to undo his third attempt to win the game.


you can't use the draw action to draw cards, however you can still use your cards to draw cards... hence the (do an action card and then draw a card, the draw 2 play 1, and then the 'draw 3 cards', all allow you to deplete your draw deck)

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Chris Ferejohn
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I haven't played this in a while, but I've never seen this come anywhere near happening.
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Alex Bove
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The scenario you describe seems rare to me. In order for this to happen, all of the following must occur:

1) Both players must perform the same chain reaction move on the same (or nearly the same) turn: play and draw one, draw two and play one, draw three.

2) If he is McCain, he is probably trying to win a state with defense support cards, so you have to have as many defense support cards as he does (which is usually not how Obama drafts). Alternately, McCain could play a lot of economy support cards and you could counter with your own economy support.


3) Even if you both have similar numbers of these cards, you would have to keep playing and drawing and never draw anything except support+draw cards. Again, I suppose this is possible, but it seems very unlikely. As soon as one player "missed" his draw, the other player could win the state.

I think you found yourself in a very rare situation. I've played around 20 games and not even come close to what you describe here.
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Chun Ping
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easterly1 wrote:
cpf86 wrote:
but you cant draw a card after you have 5 cards, unless the card you played said so. and after you played your cards, you cant draw any more if you have no more discard pile or draw deck, which in your case seems like it's going to happen.

i'm no expert at this game, but i was just wondering if it's truely a stalemate. cant he just play the cards and let you "undo" his moves? and on the following turns, he can do it again. Assuming you again "undo" his moves, both of you would have ran out of cards. and now, with a smaller hand, i presume you wont be able to undo his third attempt to win the game.


you can't use the draw action to draw cards, however you can still use your cards to draw cards... hence the (do an action card and then draw a card, the draw 2 play 1, and then the 'draw 3 cards', all allow you to deplete your draw deck)



as i said in my post, "unless the card said so". which means that as pointed out by Alex, all your cards must be draw and play as well as your "draw 2 play 1" must have gotten u the exact same cards. it may happen by chance for one time, but when u reshuffle the discard pile, how is that going to happen again?
 
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marc magner
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montu wrote:
The scenario you describe seems rare to me. In order for this to happen, all of the following must occur:

1) Both players must perform the same chain reaction move on the same (or nearly the same) turn: play and draw one, draw two and play one, draw three.

2) If he is McCain, he is probably trying to win a state with defense support cards, so you have to have as many defense support cards as he does (which is usually not how Obama drafts). Alternately, McCain could play a lot of economy support cards and you could counter with your own economy support.


3) Even if you both have similar numbers of these cards, you would have to keep playing and drawing and never draw anything except support+draw cards. Again, I suppose this is possible, but it seems very unlikely. As soon as one player "missed" his draw, the other player could win the state.

I think you found yourself in a very rare situation. I've played around 20 games and not even come close to what you describe here.


not sure - i've seen this situation come closer and closer to occurring as more and more experienced players are going for the card circulation decks...

and the reality is - top picks in the draft are always draw 3 and always draw 2 and play 1. so that seems to be a default starting hand.

then it's not unusual for players to have 3 or more play and draw cards, which is enough to counter the other player combined with the draw 3 and draw 2 cards....

and in a pinch - you can always play one of the (non draw cards) knowing you'll be able to cycle it with the draw 2.
 
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Alex Bove
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Yes, but even with the "Draw 2, play 1" and "Draw 3," it's hard for both players to have completely full hands. If a player starts with 5 cards and plays the "Draw 2, play 1" and "Draw 3" combo, he/she now has 8 cards in hand. If he/she has a media support card in play and has already eliminated "No More Politics" or "The Game Changer" from his/her deck, he has 5 cards in discard. All five of those cards would have to be "Support" or "Support + draw" cards in order for your scenario to work. And the opponent would have at least 6 cards in discard (since only one player can have media support in play at a time).

Change the scenario a bit and imagine that the first player also gained two cards from the opponent winning a state and the media support card allowing him to draw. Maybe the hand is 11 and the discard deck 3 now, but the opponent is still at 8 cards at best. Something would have to "give" eventually.

Also, maybe the possibility of this kind of game state points out that recursive draw decks are not as strong as once thought, especially if both players are using them.
 
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Bastian Winkelhaus
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montu wrote:
Yes, but even with the "Draw 2, play 1" and "Draw 3," it's hard for both players to have completely full hands.


No it isnt. For Obama it is in fact very easy with "The Audacity of hope". As you said, you play "Draw 3" and "Draw 2, play 1" with a " Do x+ draw" and you got 8 cards in hand. Then you play Audacity and to both cards again and your at 10 cards. Once more, 12.
For McCain its harder, but "Stay the course" on "Draw 3" nets 1 more card (so 9 cards in the above example) while needing less "Do x + draw" cards.


montu wrote:
If a player starts with 5 cards and plays the "Draw 2, play 1" and "Draw 3" combo, he/she now has 8 cards in hand. If he/she has a media support card in play and has already eliminated "No More Politics" or "The Game Changer" from his/her deck, he has 5 cards in discard. All five of those cards would have to be "Support" or "Support + draw" cards in order for your scenario to work. And the opponent would have at least 6 cards in discard (since only one player can have media support in play at a time).


6 "Do x + draw" cards is nothing special:

2 out of 4 "1 support in your strong issue + draw"
2 out of 2 "1 support in your weak issue + draw"
1 out of 2 "move 1 space + draw"
1 more filler card from the above or "shift demographic + draw"


montu wrote:
Also, maybe the possibility of this kind of game state points out that recursive draw decks are not as strong as once thought, especially if both players are using them.


What kind of logic is that? If i play the strongest deck and my opponent plays the strongest deck and we therefor tie, why should those decks not be the strongest decks anymore?
Recursive draw decks should beat all other decks simply on the fact that you can play "Oprah-Palooza" / "The Governator" more often than the other decks and those are the strongest cards in the game.
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marc magner
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montu wrote:
Yes, but even with the "Draw 2, play 1" and "Draw 3," it's hard for both players to have completely full hands. If a player starts with 5 cards and plays the "Draw 2, play 1" and "Draw 3" combo, he/she now has 8 cards in hand. If he/she has a media support card in play and has already eliminated "No More Politics" or "The Game Changer" from his/her deck, he has 5 cards in discard. All five of those cards would have to be "Support" or "Support + draw" cards in order for your scenario to work. And the opponent would have at least 6 cards in discard (since only one player can have media support in play at a time).

Change the scenario a bit and imagine that the first player also gained two cards from the opponent winning a state and the media support card allowing him to draw. Maybe the hand is 11 and the discard deck 3 now, but the opponent is still at 8 cards at best. Something would have to "give" eventually.

Also, maybe the possibility of this kind of game state points out that recursive draw decks are not as strong as once thought, especially if both players are using them.


i think you are missing something here... you do understand that you can start with more then 5 cards in your hand right? it's just if you have 5 cards that you must play a card, but if by playing that card, you are required to draw more cards, you can continue to draw cards right?

so if i start with 5 cards - play a draw 2 play 1 card - then use the draw 3 - i start the next turn with 8 cards... and then
from there i can keep increasing my hand until the only cards in my discard/draw deck are play and then draw cards...
 
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Alex Bove
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easterly1 wrote:
so if i start with 5 cards - play a draw 2 play 1 card - then use the draw 3 - i start the next turn with 8 cards... and then
from there i can keep increasing my hand until the only cards in my discard/draw deck are play and then draw cards...


You can only do this with "Audacity of Hope." I'm not saying I can't see how it's possible, with the perfect combination of cards, to hold one's entire deck in his hand. I'm saying it seems like a lot of things have to happen exactly perfectly.

And this is really only possible for Obama to do. McCain doesn't have "Audacity of Hope," and "Stay the Course" results in no net gain of cards. So at best we might say that Obama's best strategy might be a recursive draw deck while McCain's would have to be something else.
 
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the_kid
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Easterly is correct, it can happen. I've had most and sometimes all of the deck in hand as McCain. It hasn't happened to me yet but another stalemate situation was very close once. Montu, both sides pick the draw cards, it is so important, that McCain will have economy cards and Obama will have Defense cards if they draw a card. Drawing a card while playing a card is so important, go check my games on yucata, only lost one agianst 19 wins, and tied one with Easterly, the 2 card loss on the issue draw killed me and made me go for the tie. And in both those games I was at a drawing card disadvantage to my opponents the loss a huge one and in the easterly game we both had 5 but his all went to support while 2 of mine went to change an issue and key demographic bleah, sometimes they all come up at the same time in the deck building phase. But yes the way easterly describes can definitely happen.

I have another draw possibility. Say both sides are on their natural side Obama economy and McCain defense. There is only one state left to draw, and the other states are one away from their respective sides with no way to stop them. Lets say the last state will decide it and both sides have lots of cards in hand. No one will want to win a state letting the other side go first and then winning the state. One of my games was very close to this happening but hasn't yet but I could forsee it very easily happening.
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marc magner
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the_kid wrote:
Easterly is correct, it can happen. I've had most and sometimes all of the deck in hand as McCain. It hasn't happened to me yet but another stalemate situation was very close once. Montu, both sides pick the draw cards, it is so important, that McCain will have economy cards and Obama will have Defense cards if they draw a card. Drawing a card while playing a card is so important, go check my games on yucata, only lost one agianst 19 wins, and tied one with Easterly, the 2 card loss on the issue draw killed me and made me go for the tie. And in both those games I was at a drawing card disadvantage to my opponents the loss a huge one and in the easterly game we both had 5 but his all went to support while 2 of mine went to change an issue and key demographic bleah, sometimes they all come up at the same time in the deck building phase. But yes the way easterly describes can definitely happen.

I have another draw possibility. Say both sides are on their natural side Obama economy and McCain defense. There is only one state left to draw, and the other states are one away from their respective sides with no way to stop them. Lets say the last state will decide it and both sides have lots of cards in hand. No one will want to win a state letting the other side go first and then winning the state. One of my games was very close to this happening but hasn't yet but I could forsee it very easily happening.


i've had the one stalemate - thankfully the game locked up - so it was deleted... i though it was possible in the game against you and i think it's very possible it could happen in another game i have going....

So the question is, will the game lock up with more experienced players? and should there be a hard cap on cards in hand? and would that make it a random luck fest?
 
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massimiliano tamagnini
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I think the more appropriate for a game you should have a hand consisting of up to 10 cards.
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easterly1 wrote:
should there be a hard cap on cards in hand? and would that make it a random luck fest?


I think a hard cap on cards in hand would solve the problem you describe, Or disallow key cards that fuel the card-drawing engine. Frankly, I think either would make the game more interesting.
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Chad Ellis
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A few things:

1. It is very easy -- for either Obama or McCain -- to draw your entire deck. Anyone who thinks otherwise should try it out -- draft "and draw a card" cards (cantrips) above anything other than "Draw 3" and "Draw 2, play 1". Then try not to play any cards that don't let you draw a card -- if you don't have a cantrip and your hand isn't at 5, just draw until you do or it is. Your goal in this stage is simply to remove non-cantrips from the deck/discard pile so you can achieve a constant stream of cantrips.

2. Following the above strategy I no longer have close games with anyone who is following a different strategy. It's possible that we're all missing a really powerful strategy but I honestly doubt it. Once you're able to gain the influence of your choice each turn (and every other turn you're often able to shift a state's issue one space as well) it's really hard for anything else to keep up.

3. Since this strategy is not risky (point 1) and seems dominant (point 2) I'm pretty much at the point where I think the optimal play is to build a recursive deck that beats other recursive decks. This means being able to do the most powerful thing possible when you reach the "perfect" state of having a full range of cantrips and being able to play a non-cantrip every other turn because of the draw-2 play-1. For this reason if I'm playing Obama I try to pick up the attack cards that let me discard two cards to gain two influence. This delays the cycle but usually you draft enough influence cantrips that you're still always gaining one influence per turn on the non-attack turns.

Everything else I'm trying now has to do with winning the war to drawing the full deck. Once you've done that you don't ever play the draw-3 again but I'm still trying to snag Superman so I can try to nail the draw-3 card before McCain sets up. I choose the "off" influence cantrips over the "on" ones (e.g. as Obama I'll take a military cantrip over an economy one) because sometimes you win because the opponent can't gain the off influence type every turn.
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Joel Eddy
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Won't the cards that remove the card your opponent just played from the game stop this?

Just do it after they play the "Draw 3 cards" card. Just postulating.
 
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marc magner
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eekamouse wrote:
Won't the cards that remove the card your opponent just played from the game stop this?

Just do it after they play the "Draw 3 cards" card. Just postulating.


yes - but mccain has the counter - take a card that isn't in the game and add it to the deck...

and while i think the draw 3 card is important - i think the draw 2 play 1 is more important
 
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easterly1 wrote:
eekamouse wrote:
Won't the cards that remove the card your opponent just played from the game stop this?

Just do it after they play the "Draw 3 cards" card. Just postulating.


yes - but mccain has the counter - take a card that isn't in the game and add it to the deck...

and while i think the draw 3 card is important - i think the draw 2 play 1 is more important


Yep, I just cracked open my set and saw that. I thought it was the other way around for some reason. Hmmm...

Maybe there should be an additional rule: "If you have more than 8 cards at the end of your turn, you need to discard down to 8." I would say 7 or 8 cards would be optimal, given my limited experience of five or six games.
 
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Bastian Winkelhaus
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easterly1 wrote:

and while i think the draw 3 card is important - i think the draw 2 play 1 is more important


This is most certainly true, but you cant remove that card from play since it is never the last card played. That is the card you play with it.
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Maybe it is worth to think about a game variant that avoids playing with the whole deck on your hand by recursive drawing?

If there is a well-reasoned variant I would think about adding it to the online game as an unofficial additional invitation option, although this should be worked out by experienced players. So far, I have not found any suitable variant in these forums.
 
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Brer Bear2 wrote:
Maybe it is worth to think about a game variant that avoids playing with the whole deck on your hand by recursive drawing?

If there is a well-reasoned variant I would think about adding it to the online game as an unofficial additional invitation option, although this should be worked out by experienced players. So far, I have not found any suitable variant in these forums.


I think it's easily done. Leave the rule in place that doesn't allow you to draw if you have more than five cards, but then also add an end-of-turn hand limit of 7 or 8. So, you have to discard cards down to 7 at the end of your turn.
 
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Chad Ellis
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eekamouse wrote:
I think it's easily done. Leave the rule in place that doesn't allow you to draw if you have more than five cards, but then also add an end-of-turn hand limit of 7 or 8. So, you have to discard cards down to 7 at the end of your turn.


This should work reasonably well. The cantrips are marginally better than other cards; what makes them abusive is that at the endgame you can always do just want you want and every other turn you can do two things you want (since the draw-2, play 1 card lets you play a non-cantrip for free).

I think cantrips will still be high picks, but other cards would become more interesting.
 
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Jason Weed
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If you played a draft build, I don't see how this could ever happen, unless both players build identical hands. I've played over 100 games and never ran into anything close.
 
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Chad Ellis
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eekamouse wrote:
Won't the cards that remove the card your opponent just played from the game stop this?

Just do it after they play the "Draw 3 cards" card. Just postulating.


Even without the counter, I don't think this is a big problem. The first draw-3 is a big deal, but if you've drafted a heavy-cantrip deck you often don't need it to reach your endgame state. (This is especially true if you don't rush into playing it and instead burn through the cantrips you have and draw up to 5 cards first.) Once you've reached that endgame state the draw-3 is basically a dead card since the whole point is to do something powerful every turn.

If anything, the biggest threat from Superman is to a McCain deck that only has one economy cantrip (or, theoretically, one military one). If you're able to take that out you may be able to win off of the ability to gain either type of influence while McCain can only gain one type. I've seen this be a problem even when a player has one, so having none of a type might be crippling.
 
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