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Author Topic: Keeping Score  (Read 49692 times)

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popsofctown

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2011, 12:36:17 am »
+1

Poppycock.  I may have just inspired OP to scratch his left pinky every time he buys a Duchy.
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Jimmmmm

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2011, 12:37:39 am »
0

(okay, maybe blackjack might have something to say about this, but I am yet to receive a good explanation as to why card counting should be illegal).

It's legal in both the sense of "the rules of blackjack" and "the actual law."  Casinos just don't LIKE people doing it, and exercise their right to ask people to leave the establishment.  It's like if you're an obnoxious drunk: nothing against the rules of blackjack if you're an obnoxious drunk, but you might be asked to leave anyway.

But, yeah, it's perfectly all right to count cards in blackjack.  It might get you banned from casinos if you're good at it.

Thanks for the clarification. I obviously don't play much Blackjack.

In my opinion, privately scoring on paper is a violation of the spirit of the rules rather than the rules themselves.
The rules do not affect any spirit whatsoever with respect to writing things on paper during the game. It's simply outside the scope of what they deign to address.

Well okay, the spirit of the game then. I think (and people who know can correct me on this) that the game was designed (and is best played) for the players to know the score up to the extent that they can keep track of in their head if they choose to do so. So while doing more than this is technically not against any particular rule in the rulebook, it's not how the game was meant to be played, which I think we can all agree on.
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jonts26

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2011, 12:47:32 am »
+1

Poppycock.  I may have just inspired OP to scratch his left pinky every time he buys a Duchy.

I'll accept your argument, but only for the use of the word poppycock.
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guided

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2011, 12:57:58 am »
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Well okay, the spirit of the game then. I think (and people who know can correct me on this) that the game was designed (and is best played) for the players to know the score up to the extent that they can keep track of in their head if they choose to do so. So while doing more than this is technically not against any particular rule in the rulebook, it's not how the game was meant to be played, which I think we can all agree on.
I already discussed decorum, which is what you're talking about here. I think you can find broad consensus (including from me) that tracking Dominion scores on paper would be rude. Still, rudeness and cheating are different things.

It's just question-begging, though, the idea that Dominion was specifically designed to be most fun for each individual player by that player and each other person they play with tracking the score in their heads exactly as much as each of them is willing to do. I think someone with no interest in mentally tracking the score will find it less fun to play with a group who is obsessed with mentally tracking the exact score, but certainly nobody has cause to complain that the other players are cheating or even violating the spirit of the game.
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danshep

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2011, 01:35:24 am »
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It all depends on your approach to the game.

If dominion is a fun game for you to play with friends around the table with the expectation that winning or losing is a fairly random event, putting the extra effort in to do score tracking detracts from the people having fun aspect, so it's rude.

If, however, you're approaching dominion as battle of strategies, which I'm sure a lot of the higher-level player do, you want the game to be determined by strategy as much as possible. I don't want to lose because I didn't notice when my opponent trashed two curses, but I don't want to win that way either. If all players are playing with this view of the game, a point tracker makes the game better for everybody.

Memorization of public information is NOT a strategic aspect of the game (taking into account the difference in players memory skills is a strategic decision, remembering whether you bought 3 duchies or 2 is not).
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DStu

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #30 on: October 28, 2011, 02:20:09 am »
0

@offtopic:
I just glanced through the ( German Version of the  " International Skat and Tournament Order ", which for me is the vogon example of german bureaucraty, with 16 paragraphs on how to give each 10 cards to 3 players, and I have not found any hint on what it thinks using a paper to keep track of the (puplic information) game state that you are not allowed to recover by other means like counting cards, except (in bold face!) (translated from the german version, the english version somehow misses the point I want to make
Quote
Alle Teilnehmer haben sich in jeder Situation fair, sachlich und sportlich zu verhalten und kein fadenscheiniges Recht zu suchen.
In every situation, every participant has to behave fairly, sportingly and objectively [ not sure if that are the correct adverbs all, but the important point is the next one anyway ] , and may not seek for paltry right.
Maybe we need something like that also.

@topic:
I usually keep track of my victory cards. Sometimes only the "important" ones, but usually I try to also remeber how many GreatHalls I got. You anyway want to be sure if the difference of them crosses and important barrier (like 3vp or 6vp) to see if you need a Duchy or two to compensate for the difference...
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guided

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #31 on: October 28, 2011, 08:14:51 am »
0

@topic:
FtF multiplayer games: I track Province/Colony counts and have a pretty good idea of counts of other victory cards. I keep up with trashing & cursing decently well but not religiously or anything. In general, I'm much more willing to end the game in 2nd place (or be happy with a good non-winning score in general) and much less willing to try desperation tactics (like the $15 Duchy buy or whatever) in a multiplayer game where there are multiple other people who could end the game before my next turn.

2p games (mostly online): I track Province/Colony and Duchy counts exactly, with probably about 95% accuracy. I track Estate counts (including trashing) with maybe 80% accuracy. If I end up in a situation where I need the exact count, I mentally replay the game to get the best count I can (and I'm pretty good at this even when I may not have tracked the score exactly to that point). Or, at least, that's all what I used to do: I started using the official isotropic point tracker (requiring the consent of both players, notice!) a couple months ago, and it's taken the tedium of tracking scores out of the game for me.
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greatexpectations

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #32 on: October 28, 2011, 08:41:05 am »
0

i don't think it is all that hard to keep track of points in 2p.  you just have to keep track of what you have and what you have trashed.  by then looking at the supply and trash pile you can figure out what your opponent has pretty easily.  gardens/fairgrounds/silk road/vineyard is a little trickier, but i still keep track in my head if it seems like it is a close game and it might matter. 

alternately, i will sometimes just keep track of point differential.  it doesn't matter much if the score is 24-20 or 44-40, it matters that the difference is 4.

i dont care either way on the presence of the point tracker, and just leave that box set as don't care.  if others play with it, sure, if not oh well. im not sure what the big deal is myself.  as long as it is information that we both have free access to, i don't see how it could affect the game in any negative way.
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popsofctown

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #33 on: October 28, 2011, 01:40:12 pm »
0

There's an iPhone app you can pay money for that will flash Dominion victory cards at you on the screen and test whether you can remember the score at the end so you can practice card counting on the go.

Explain to me a universe where something is right with that.
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Nato

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #34 on: October 28, 2011, 02:33:14 pm »
0

Wow, thanks for all of the replies! I had no idea this would spark such a heated debate about ethics...

The bottom line for me I think is: practice.
As i improve, I have also started to take the view danshep mentioned: that dominion is a battle of strategies. One part of a well-executed strategy is knowing when to end the game and to end it in your favor. That's why I asked in the first place.

popsofctown, i can definitely think of a better use for my time (and money) than that.. like buying another expansion...  ;D
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ChaosRed

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #35 on: October 28, 2011, 03:37:25 pm »
0

Explain to me a universe where something is right with that.

Without coming across as too pedantic and contradictory, I imagine the app is pretty good at sharpening short term memory in general, and helping you develop memory maps. Which actually, is a pretty useful skill for your brain.

I have to do similar exercises, because I am old, and as a programmer you work your short term memory a lot, transitioning things to long term memory all the time. Something our brains are not really very good at and get worse at, as you get older.

Practicing this stuff helps. Which of course, reveals the fact that when I do keep score on a quick scratch pad, I am really cheating myself.

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biopower

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #36 on: October 29, 2011, 12:07:42 am »
0

There's an iPhone app you can pay money for that will flash Dominion victory cards at you on the screen and test whether you can remember the score at the end so you can practice card counting on the go.

Explain to me a universe where something is right with that.

There are numerous exercises in card counting in general with, y'know, actual playing cards. I don't feel like there are any ethical qualms to card-counting in poker, so I don't really believe that there is any moral problem with an app that does the same thing for Dominion.
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Karrow

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #37 on: October 31, 2011, 12:00:30 pm »
0

Back to the OP.  There are exceptions, but in the big scheme of things it usually doesn't matter. 

If ending the game will cause you to loose, what are your other options?  If you don't end the game, your opponent who is winning probably will.  Realistically in most cases, instead of buying that province you can get one duchy.  So all your opponent needs to do is buy the prov to win, or buy a duchy to return to the exact situation when you started your turn.  In most cases, your options are to end the game losing, or drag the game on and lose.

In 3-4player if you can end the game and don't, odds are that you will not get another turn.  If you can't pull a lead, you are loosing no matter what.

So really 95+% of the time if you're beat, you're beat.  By skill or luck they built a better deck and played better.  Dragging it out will not change that.  If you don't have a way to pull off 3 buys or have a kings court/possession combo in your deck, why bother.

As someone suggested, if you want to count, only keep track of your opponents score difference.  It keeps the numbers small.  It's usually easier to remember that your opponent is +2 rather than "he has 21 and I have 19".
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popsofctown

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #38 on: October 31, 2011, 12:14:10 pm »
0

Studies show that arbitrary memorization doesn't tend to improve memorization in a different application.  The app is only useful for dominion.

There's nothing immoral about the app.  I just think something is wrong when people have to do work just so they can play the game well.
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Jack Rudd

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #39 on: October 31, 2011, 06:39:09 pm »
0

There's nothing immoral about the app.  I just think something is wrong when people have to do work just so they can play the game well.
That's true of pretty much any strategy game worthy of the name. I know I did a lot of work to become an IM.
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theory

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #40 on: October 31, 2011, 06:52:20 pm »
0

There's nothing immoral about the app.  I just think something is wrong when people have to do work just so they can play the game well.
That's true of pretty much any strategy game worthy of the name. I know I did a lot of work to become an IM.
This is true of everything in life.  No one ever excels at anything without deliberative practice.

You might argue that this app is a foolish use of time, insofar it spends a lot of effort for very little gain, but this whole forum is living proof that people like to work in order to get better at a board game :)
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #41 on: October 31, 2011, 07:03:37 pm »
0

I presume that the 'have to do work to play the game well' comment was really meant to be 'have to do so much work that doesn't really have anything to do with the strategy of the game to play a strategy game well'.
And I disagree with theory on the point about practice. I know plenty of people who are exceptional at certain things without much or any practice. To be fair, they more or less always get more exceptional with more practice.

cayvie

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #42 on: October 31, 2011, 07:50:35 pm »
0

If you believe public information can't be legitimately tracked, why is it OK to track it mentally? Can I pause to commit score changes to memory? Can I count points on my fingers? Can I make up a little rhyme about the current score every time it changes? What if I'm rhyming in code that only I understand; is that better or worse? Where exactly on the scale of practicality is this bright line you have in mind between public information tracking that is OK vs. that which is against the rules and constitutes a variant separate from the official game?

What is your opinion on using computerized anagram generators in Scrabble?
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Kirian

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #43 on: October 31, 2011, 11:28:04 pm »
0

Studies show that arbitrary memorization doesn't tend to improve memorization in a different application.  The app is only useful for dominion.

There's nothing immoral about the app.  I just think something is wrong when people have to do work just so they can play the game well.

There's a sucker born every minute.  The only thing vaguely immoral about it is that someone's making money off of... something you could do by yourself with a deck of cards.
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guided

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #44 on: November 01, 2011, 12:37:12 am »
0

What is your opinion on using computerized anagram generators in Scrabble?
I'd suggest you make your arguments directly rather than asking loaded questions, particularly given that I've repeatedly addressed the points you seem to be hinting at.

I would not play FtF scrabble with someone who is using an anagram generator, since a generator will replace some very large fraction of the skills the game seeks to test. A Dominion point tracker, on the other hand, is tinkering slightly at the margins with a tedious bit of tracking that has little bearing on the skills required to play the game well. And even so, I've already stated (several times) that I would not play FtF Dominion with people who insist on writing the score down on paper, because this would fall outside my personal standards of decorum for FtF play. For online play, I don't care, since the tracking is not distracting from the game nor giving anybody some huge advantage (especially since I can figure the score pretty accurately even if I haven't been making an effort to track it, in the rather rare cases where knowing the score is the difference between winning and losing).

I would expect a Scrabble tournament to specifically forbid the usage of an anagram generator, and of course if it's against the rules of your tournament then it's against the rules of your tournament. Similarly a Dominion tournament could forbid the use of paper or smartphones or whatever else to track the score, and then it would be against the rules. And as I've already stated (again, several times) any game that wants tracking something on paper to be illegal can simply print in the rules that it's illegal, or at least establish clear intent by specifying in the rules that scoring is secret or private. Dominion's rules establish no such intent. Do Scrabble's? I have no idea.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2011, 12:59:40 am by guided »
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Donald X.

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #45 on: November 01, 2011, 08:04:14 am »
+8

And as I've already stated (again, several times) any game that wants tracking something on paper to be illegal can simply print in the rules that it's illegal, or at least establish clear intent by specifying in the rules that scoring is secret or private. Dominion's rules establish no such intent. Do Scrabble's? I have no idea.
I am cool with people playing Dominion by whatever variants they want, provided that all players have agreed to them, including using an automatic score tracker.

I disagree vehemently with what you're saying here though.

In all games, within game contexts, you may only do things expressly allowed by the rules. This is what it means to have rules; it is the covenant you have agreed to by agreeing to play. You can play tic-tac-toe in a van while yodeling, but putting a Z in a box is out of the question.

It is not up to any rulebook to say that you can't use a memory aid; rather it is up to the rulebook to specifically allow it, or else you can't use one. It doesn't matter how much the game for you is not about this memorization, how much the memory thing seems tangential to whatever fun the game provides; you do not get to use anything other than your brain to handle that memorization, unless of course you are explicitly playing a variant. You also do not get to - and this is important - scrawl notes to yourself on your belly using your own blood. Games between players are played between players, and "players" do not by default include notebooks or pencils, even makeshift ones that are constructed from the players. Expecting all rulebooks to repeat this is nonsense, and anyway would offend people who don't like to talk about blood.

My original long essay on this topic also addresses the question of glasses; I will leave that as an exercise for the reader here.
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barsooma

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #46 on: November 01, 2011, 09:26:36 am »
+2

And as I've already stated (again, several times) any game that wants tracking something on paper to be illegal can simply print in the rules that it's illegal, or at least establish clear intent by specifying in the rules that scoring is secret or private. Dominion's rules establish no such intent. Do Scrabble's? I have no idea.
I am cool with people playing Dominion by whatever variants they want, provided that all players have agreed to them, including using an automatic score tracker.

I disagree vehemently with what you're saying here though.

In all games, within game contexts, you may only do things expressly allowed by the rules. This is what it means to have rules; it is the covenant you have agreed to by agreeing to play. You can play tic-tac-toe in a van while yodeling, but putting a Z in a box is out of the question.

It is not up to any rulebook to say that you can't use a memory aid; rather it is up to the rulebook to specifically allow it, or else you can't use one. It doesn't matter how much the game for you is not about this memorization, how much the memory thing seems tangential to whatever fun the game provides; you do not get to use anything other than your brain to handle that memorization, unless of course you are explicitly playing a variant. You also do not get to - and this is important - scrawl notes to yourself on your belly using your own blood. Games between players are played between players, and "players" do not by default include notebooks or pencils, even makeshift ones that are constructed from the players. Expecting all rulebooks to repeat this is nonsense, and anyway would offend people who don't like to talk about blood.

My original long essay on this topic also addresses the question of glasses; I will leave that as an exercise for the reader here.

Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
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PettyThiefLout

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #47 on: November 01, 2011, 09:39:24 am »
0

My original long essay on this topic also addresses the question of glasses; I will leave that as an exercise for the reader here.

Link to that? It's not under the "bible of Donald" section.
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Dauntless

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #48 on: November 01, 2011, 11:04:16 am »
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If you are using a non-standard aid without informing your opponent it falls somewhere between "poor form" and "cheating". For Dominion this shouldn't be an issue. In an FtF game you can easily explain why you need your score pad. On Isotropic there is a score tracker (although I can't figure out how to activate it). If you are using a point tracker that isn't the built-in one... Why? Just get out of the moral grey area and use what is provided.
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Octo

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #49 on: November 01, 2011, 12:02:59 pm »
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Well, of course you can explain why you have your score pad and if you're both okay with that then it's all fine, but the point is what happens if the other guy thinks that the pad is poor form and doesn't want you to use it? Are they within their "game-rights" to refuse you that privilege?

Donald X. is clear on this: the use of a score pad is a variant, and you must decide whether to play a variant, or to play standard rules.

A more demonstrative example could be this: there's nowhere in the rules that says you can't run every purchase through a simulator before you make it to find the optimal purchase. Now, sure, you could both agree that it's fine to do that and so go for it, but then the game has become something slightly different from standard dominion and is most certainly a variant.
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