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Author Topic: Keeping Score  (Read 7788 times)

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barsooma

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #50 on: November 01, 2011, 01:09:44 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.

Donald X couldn't even decide how to properly play KC and durations, so who cares what he thinks is a variant?
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ftl

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #51 on: November 01, 2011, 01:51:25 pm »
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WTH, barsooma? What's with the trolling? Seriously, two one-line posts, the last one saying "who cares what Donald X thinks"?
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rinkworks

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #52 on: November 01, 2011, 01:52:55 pm »
+1

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.

Donald X couldn't even decide how to properly play KC and durations, so who cares what he thinks is a variant?

He changes his mind once -- on a pretty inconsequential point, at that -- and so now we shouldn't care what the designer of this game says the rules are?  Bit of an overreaction, don't you think?

I'm kind of shocked at some of the disrespect toward Donald that gets casually tossed around sometimes.  Not so much here, but I remember one of the responses to one of the card previews on BGG said something like, "I'm sorry but that card seems BROKEN."  What the hell.  A year of Donald and his team of testers pounding at that card, and some upstart pronounces a judgment of failure 30 minutes after he's seen the card and before he's even tried it.

Back to the point at hand.  If one can't extend Donald some trust in his game design skills -- and in particular treat his willingness to change his mind when he thinks it would be appropriate to do so, rather than rotely labelling such a thing as evidence of utter failure -- then why is one playing this game in the first place?  Surely there are other games one would deem more perfect to invest in.
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ChaosRed

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #53 on: November 01, 2011, 02:02:58 pm »
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I'm kind of shocked at some of the disrespect toward Donald that gets casually tossed around sometimes.  Not so much here, but I remember one of the responses to one of the card previews on BGG said something like, "I'm sorry but that card seems BROKEN."  What the hell.  A year of Donald and his team of testers pounding at that card, and some upstart pronounces a judgment of failure 30 minutes after he's seen the card and before he's even tried it.

You are right about Donald X (obviously), but I also really want to highlight the second point that a team of people play test these cards before they are released. NOTHING reveals a card's strength (or lack of it) than play testing it thoroughly. When Donald presented IGG for example, he said something to the effect of, "this is what it turned out costing", meaning during play-testing they realized the card's strength warranted a 5$ cost. A LOT of games, have much, much sloppier play testing teams. Anyone whoever played terrible games like MLB Showdown know this, and even classic games like Axis and Allies have produced utterly BROKEN variants, that were clearly never play-tested thoroughly.

We're pretty lucky Donald cares enough about his brand, to ensure each expansion is nicely balanced and thoroughly play-tested, it doesn't happen in a lot of games. Indeed, to my knowledge, no combination of Dominion cards are banned, after several expansions this is amazing. Even Magic had to "ban" certain cards, because they were broken.

As for the topic, I will still scratch notes to myself when I play on isotropic. Isotropic is a learning tool for me (a rather rough one, the way its designed). I know the scratch pad violates the "spirit" of the rules, but I still need that crutch to learn the game effectively. It's better than the electronic point tracker, because I can jot notes as things happen (like how many curses I still have lingering in my hand), which help me learn the scope of the game. Again, I understand the spirit of the rules are not intended to play this way, but I still find the notes invaluable.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2011, 03:21:35 pm by ChaosRed »
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Kirian

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #54 on: November 01, 2011, 02:34:36 pm »
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I'm kind of shocked at some of the disrespect toward Donald that gets casually tossed around sometimes.  Not so much here, but I remember one of the responses to one of the card previews on BGG said something like, "I'm sorry but that card seems BROKEN."  What the hell.  A year of Donald and his team of testers pounding at that card, and some upstart pronounces a judgment of failure 30 minutes after he's seen the card and before he's even tried it.

Remember, some people still think Chapel is broken.  And are pretty vehement about it.

Agreed with ChaosRed on the playtesting thing.  No particular card is broken.  There are cards I would ban in a tournament if I personally ran one, but for logistics rather than game-breaking reasons.
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Epoch

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #55 on: November 01, 2011, 02:50:19 pm »
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Remember, some people still think Chapel is broken.  And are pretty vehement about it.

Agreed with ChaosRed on the playtesting thing.  No particular card is broken.  There are cards I would ban in a tournament if I personally ran one, but for logistics rather than game-breaking reasons.

Most discussions of what is "broken" end up being semantic exercises in determining the definition of the term "broken."

Jack of All Trades is...  a card that makes 90% of all Province games that it's in a boring exercise in playing the Two Jacks bot.
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ChaosRed

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #56 on: November 01, 2011, 03:24:20 pm »
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Jack of All Trades is...  a card that makes 90% of all Province games that it's in a boring exercise in playing the Two Jacks bot.

Yeah I agree, it becomes a semantic discussion at that point, the difference between "very strong" and "broken" is somewhat subjective. I would say, that as strong as JoaT apparently is, it is nowhere near as broken as other deleterious mistakes I've seen made in other games. In other words, if JoaT is the poster-child of a "broken" Dominion card, that's a pretty good looking poster, compared to a lot of other games.
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guided

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #57 on: November 01, 2011, 04:57:56 pm »
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Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
Actually that's exactly how I feel about what Donald wrote. I do not subscribe to his philosophical position on this issue, nor do I find his arguments convincing. Saying "you do not get to use anything other than your brain to handle that memorization, unless of course you are explicitly playing a variant" is flatly begging the question.

Players will probably find it easier to play Dominion if they sit on chairs. They may find it easier to shuffle with sleeves. They may find they need glasses to properly see the cards. None of these things are allowed by the rulebook either. What is or is not "within [the] game context" is for the rulebook to scope out, or failing that for the players to agree based on their standards of decorum.
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Donald X.

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #58 on: November 01, 2011, 05:09:29 pm »
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Players will probably find it easier to play Dominion if they sit on chairs. They may find it easier to shuffle with sleeves. They may find they need glasses to properly see the cards. None of these things are allowed by the rulebook either. What is or is not "within [the] game context" is for the rulebook to scope out, or failing that for the players to agree based on their standards of decorum.
Dude what?

When you play Dominion, do you shuffle whenever you want to, like say to get rid of an Estate someone left on top with Spy? The rulebook doesn't say you can't.

When you play Dominion, do you eat cookies?

Do you not see the difference?
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ftl

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #59 on: November 01, 2011, 07:12:04 pm »
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When you play Dominion, do you shuffle whenever you want to, like say to get rid of an Estate someone left on top with Spy? The rulebook doesn't say you can't.

I thought it did...

Quote from: the rulebook
Shuffle only when new cards needed.

(emphasis in the original)

I'm pretty sure the rulebook is pretty exhaustive when describing what to do with cards, I remember being very impressed with it because it was so explicit about how the Discard pile worked instead of just saying 'discard cards' and leaving it at that.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2011, 07:14:13 pm by ftl »
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guided

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #60 on: November 01, 2011, 07:16:08 pm »
+1

When you play Dominion, do you shuffle whenever you want to, like say to get rid of an Estate someone left on top with Spy? The rulebook doesn't say you can't.
The rulebook absolutely does say you can't do this, so "Dude what?" right back at you.

What the rulebook doesn't do is give even the remotest hint that it cares about external aids like reading glasses (to more easily see the cards) or pen-and-paper. Other games' rulebooks (like Smallworld was my example earlier) do hint that they care about tracking public information.
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Donald X.

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #61 on: November 01, 2011, 07:35:28 pm »
+3

The rulebook absolutely does say you can't do this, so "Dude what?" right back at you.

What the rulebook doesn't do is give even the remotest hint that it cares about external aids like reading glasses (to more easily see the cards) or pen-and-paper. Other games' rulebooks (like Smallworld was my example earlier) do hint that they care about tracking public information.
Okay, obv. I didn't check, what were the odds.

I cited glasses, man. I did not go into details there but really, do you need that, you do not. Of course you can use glasses, hearing aids, and artificial kidneys.

Rules tell you what you can do, not what you can't do. You can't do things that rules don't let you, inside the game. Outside the game, whatever. If a rulebook mentions that you can't do something, that's just to answer common questions from foolish people; if you aren't told you can, you can't, that is what it means to be rules.

It should be clear that rules work this way, because games are just utterly messed up otherwise. People can produce ridiculous questions all day. Can you put a card from your hand on your deck for next turn whenever you want? Hey maybe the rulebook covers that, I am not checking. It for sure does not answer every ridiculous question of this nature because there is no end to them.

If you accept that rules say what you can do, rather than what you can't - and why would you, this is the internet - then the question becomes, is taking notes like eating or is it actually relevant. And of course it's relevant. The game has a memory component, and of course there are games that are nothing but memory, to make it clear that memory can be an element of a game.

Also, while we're here, in Dominion, you may not take notes. I am making this clear for anyone who somehow does not get it. You can't. You didn't know before, so that wasn't cheating, but if you do now, it's cheating. I would get into the idea of variants but let's keep this simple.
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danshep

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #62 on: November 01, 2011, 09:52:29 pm »
+1

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

I know this is really stretching the topic, but Scrabble is actually a fairly deep strategic game even after you equalize the vocubulary of the players (such as letting players use an anagram generator, or as is the case for most online scrabbles, guess at letter sequences that may or may not be words). It's not just about playing the biggest scoring word at any time. You've got to hold onto strong letters for bingos, protect and expand to score multipliers and recognise placement opportunities.

My opinion of anagram generators is that playing games using them will make you a better scrabble player. My opinion of the point trackers is that using them will make you a better dominion player.

Edit: Though just to be clear, if you play scrabble with an anagram generator, you're playing Scrabble++, not Scrabble. Same as with dominion. I LOVE playing Dominion++, but I don't expect to be able be able to count points if I haven't discussed it with everybody beforehand, so in person and non-point-counter games, I just play Dominion.

Really guys, you're arguing with LETTER of the law, when you get to talk to the guy that wrote the damn law. The SPIRIT is the important part.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2011, 09:59:22 pm by danshep »
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guided

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #63 on: November 01, 2011, 11:55:37 pm »
+1

You can't do things that rules don't let you, inside the game.
I totally agree with this, but see, I reject the notion that tracking public information on the side is "inside the game" unless the rules deliberately include it in their scope. Taking notes is certainly more relevant than eating, and it's more relevant than wearing glasses... but wearing glasses is also clearly more relevant than eating. Where on the continuum of relevance is the bright line drawn between "cheating" and "well duh obviously that's OK"?

This is in practice a complete non-issue. Play groups will use or not use whatever variants or non-variants they like. Tournaments will have rules in addition to the published rules and (failing that) tournament directors to make rulings on the spot. Undetectable cheating or non-cheating on the internet is equally undetectable whether it's technically "cheating" or not. I'm arguing about nothing more or less, in the end, than whether the designer is entitled to use words like "variant" and "cheating" with respect to a particular practice. There's an xkcd comic that comes to mind.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2011, 11:59:03 pm by guided »
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ftl

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #64 on: November 02, 2011, 12:06:46 am »
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Yeah. I had a wall-of-text that I posted here, and then realized that this thread is better off without it and deleted it. SIWOTI indeed...
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Donald X.

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #65 on: November 02, 2011, 12:47:24 am »
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I totally agree with this
hooray

, but see, I reject the notion that tracking public information on the side is "inside the game" unless the rules deliberately include it in their scope. Taking notes is certainly more relevant than eating, and it's more relevant than wearing glasses... but wearing glasses is also clearly more relevant than eating. Where on the continuum of relevance is the bright line drawn between "cheating" and "well duh obviously that's OK"?
It seems so straightforward. Dominion does not have a vision element. If you have trouble seeing the cards, that's not part of the game. In a vision contest, you either would not get to wear glasses, or would only get to wear them in a qualified manner - the competitor is Joe plus glasses, and we can compare that to the competitor that is Joe with no glasses. But Dominion, no vision element at all. There is no point at which the game challenges you to see something, visually.

Dominion does have a memory element though. It is not a pure memory game, but there is a memory element. This mostly comes up with scoring, but is called out specifically by cards like Wishing Well.

That is what is different about memory vs. vision in Dominion. If you don't see that difference I don't know what to tell you. It's right there.

Wait, here's another way for you to look at it. Someone with glasses, that's someone with sub-par vision. The glasses are correcting their vision. They are not wearing x-ray specs for an edge, or what have you; they need glasses. But someone with a notebook, that's not someone with memory damage. It's not that guy in Memento. It's just someone not interested in the memory component of the game.

This is in practice a complete non-issue.
hooray

I'm arguing about nothing more or less, in the end, than whether the designer is entitled to use words like "variant" and "cheating" with respect to a particular practice.
Makes no sense. The rules determine what's a variant; if you aren't following the rules you are playing a variant. That's what a variant is; it's a variation on the rules. I guess it's English speakers who get to decide this, by common usage? That is what they have decided though. The rules can be computer-generated; they speak for themselves.
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tlloyd

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #66 on: November 02, 2011, 02:47:36 am »
+1

I totally agree with this
hooray

, but see, I reject the notion that tracking public information on the side is "inside the game" unless the rules deliberately include it in their scope. Taking notes is certainly more relevant than eating, and it's more relevant than wearing glasses... but wearing glasses is also clearly more relevant than eating. Where on the continuum of relevance is the bright line drawn between "cheating" and "well duh obviously that's OK"?
It seems so straightforward. Dominion does not have a vision element. If you have trouble seeing the cards, that's not part of the game. In a vision contest, you either would not get to wear glasses, or would only get to wear them in a qualified manner - the competitor is Joe plus glasses, and we can compare that to the competitor that is Joe with no glasses. But Dominion, no vision element at all. There is no point at which the game challenges you to see something, visually.

Dominion does have a memory element though. It is not a pure memory game, but there is a memory element. This mostly comes up with scoring, but is called out specifically by cards like Wishing Well.

That is what is different about memory vs. vision in Dominion. If you don't see that difference I don't know what to tell you. It's right there.

Wait, here's another way for you to look at it. Someone with glasses, that's someone with sub-par vision. The glasses are correcting their vision. They are not wearing x-ray specs for an edge, or what have you; they need glasses. But someone with a notebook, that's not someone with memory damage. It's not that guy in Memento. It's just someone not interested in the memory component of the game.

This is in practice a complete non-issue.
hooray

I'm arguing about nothing more or less, in the end, than whether the designer is entitled to use words like "variant" and "cheating" with respect to a particular practice.
Makes no sense. The rules determine what's a variant; if you aren't following the rules you are playing a variant. That's what a variant is; it's a variation on the rules. I guess it's English speakers who get to decide this, by common usage? That is what they have decided though. The rules can be computer-generated; they speak for themselves.

Donald, I've got all the love in the world for ya, but I have to side with Guided here. I personally am of the opinion that differential ability to count cards or keep running totals in your head should have very little to do with who wins a game of Dominion. I prefer to see the victory go to the player with better insight into card interactions, better ability to plan ahead and/or adapt to the other player's strategy, etc. But when I lose to Guided because he can walk back through the game turn-by-turn and thereby assure himself that he can win by three-piling, well credit to him but man I just can't do that. (Guided is also a stronger player on the dimensions I care about, but I'm trying to make a point).

In my mind a memory differential is (or should be) no more determinative of the outcome than an eyesight differential. So it doesn't seem remotely obvious to me that keeping track of the score on paper is cheating ("it doesn't say you can do that in the rulebook!") while using eyeglasses is not. I am not at all surprised that other people (yourself included) strongly disagree, but it's no more obvious than the "it" on Ironworks is unambiguous. (Sorry, low blow  ;D)

I think that puts the issue squarely in the realm of decorum, as Guided has said about a thousand times now. If you felt so strong about this, you could have put something in the rulebook. And given how meticulous and precise the Dominion card texts and rulebooks are (a credit to you), I just don't buy the argument that the rulebook's silence on an issue should automatically be interpreted as a prohibition.
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DStu

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #67 on: November 02, 2011, 03:05:43 am »
0

Quote
If you felt so strong about this, you could have put something in the rulebook.

It's not really consequent to put something like "I feel this is so obvious that it does not need to put in the rulebook" in the rulebook.
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ftl

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #68 on: November 02, 2011, 03:40:24 am »
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It doesn't need to be in the rulebook. It's an academic difference - it's a difference in philosophy for what you call "the rules of Dominion" and what is just custom. In the end, with that in the rules or not, games of Dominion will be played the same way. In-person, you'll agree with your opponents about what to do, regardless of what you're calling it. In tournaments, the tournament organizers will make it clear. Online, well, Isotropic has its optional score tracker. The game's done quite fine without this in the rulebook.
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guided

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #69 on: November 02, 2011, 08:43:37 am »
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Makes no sense. The rules determine what's a variant; if you aren't following the rules you are playing a variant. That's what a variant is; it's a variation on the rules. I guess it's English speakers who get to decide this, by common usage? That is what they have decided though. The rules can be computer-generated; they speak for themselves.
Naked question-begging in an insulting tone (and this isn't the first time ITT) is unbecoming. We've been arguing about whether score-keeping is in the scope of "following the rules" or not, so saying "My conclusion with respect to the central issue of this debate is correct, so obviously you're an idiot," is rather poor form.

It seems so straightforward. Dominion does not have a vision element. If you have trouble seeing the cards, that's not part of the game. In a vision contest, you either would not get to wear glasses, or would only get to wear them in a qualified manner - the competitor is Joe plus glasses, and we can compare that to the competitor that is Joe with no glasses. But Dominion, no vision element at all. There is no point at which the game challenges you to see something, visually.

Dominion does have a memory element though. It is not a pure memory game, but there is a memory element. This mostly comes up with scoring, but is called out specifically by cards like Wishing Well.
You know what Donald, I actually buy this argument. I concede that wearing glasses is categorically different from keeping score on paper with respect to the Dominion rules, and I can't think of another example of an external aid that would better illustrate the point I was trying to argue. You've convinced me that pen-and-paper scoring is sufficiently relevant to fall inside the scope of the rules.

Let me ask though, since this hinges on players not bringing anything outside themselves as a game skill aid: Is it OK to keep score on my fingers? Can I use my fingernails to scratch out the score on my arm, or even to make scoring motions on my palm that help me with visual memory? Can I make up little mnemonics under my breath about the score? None of these things is outside myself as a player. If the answer is "Yes" to all these questions I'm on the same page with that, though I suspect group standards of decorum will put the kibosh on certain of these practices in the wild. If the answer is "No" to any of them I would ask again where the line is to be drawn with respect to memory aids that do not use anything outside yourself.


tlloyd: Thanks for your kind words! I want to say though that I have specifically not been trying to make an argument that scorekeeping is legal just because I don't care about the memory element of the game. While it's an interesting point, I think it's more relevant to the debate of whether reasonable people should be open to allowing score-tracking at their table or online (even if we concede that it constitutes a "variant"). My central argument (which I now concede was flawed) was that external scorekeeping aids were outside the scope of the rules entirely.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2011, 08:46:29 am by guided »
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Octo

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #70 on: November 02, 2011, 09:15:30 am »
+1

Quote from: Donald X.
You also do not get to - and this is important - scrawl notes to yourself on your belly using your own blood.
It seems to me that it's not a game of bodies and physicality (i.e. all of me vs all of you as you seem to be saying), it's a game of wits and mind. Your body is merely required to carry out the game decisions your mind thinks up.

(Not going to comment on any of the specific examples requested because don't want to put words into anyone's mouth, and also I'm genuinely curious about the distinction between mnemonics and paper)

With regard to "I don't think the game is about memory"....well, the creator just said it partly is. So it is. If you want to play a version that isn't, well, again, that's a variant. Your key phrases here are "In my mind" and "I personally", which should tell you the game in your head is probably your own version.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2011, 09:21:22 am by Octo »
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guided

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #71 on: November 02, 2011, 09:29:45 am »
0

It seems to me that it's not a game of bodies and physicality (i.e. all of me vs all of you as you seem to be saying), it's a game of wits and mind. Your body is merely required to carry out the game decisions your mind thinks up.
This strikes me as a rather arbitrary distinction... even if you think the mind somehow transcends the physicality of the brain and body.

I specifically had the comment about scrawling notes in blood in mind when asking those questions. Appeal to authority is a 100% non-argument when one is debating directly with the authority :P
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Donald X.

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #72 on: November 02, 2011, 09:50:15 am »
+1

I personally am of the opinion that differential ability to count cards or keep running totals in your head should have very little to do with who wins a game of Dominion.
That's fine, it's just not relevant to the issue. You are still playing a variant if you use a notebook, even though you like your reasons for doing so.
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Donald X.

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #73 on: November 02, 2011, 10:10:56 am »
+1

Makes no sense. The rules determine what's a variant; if you aren't following the rules you are playing a variant. That's what a variant is; it's a variation on the rules. I guess it's English speakers who get to decide this, by common usage? That is what they have decided though. The rules can be computer-generated; they speak for themselves.
Naked question-begging in an insulting tone (and this isn't the first time ITT) is unbecoming. We've been arguing about whether score-keeping is in the scope of "following the rules" or not, so saying "My conclusion with respect to the central issue of this debate is correct, so obviously you're an idiot," is rather poor form.
I did not think I was being insulting there at all. I was not saying that with that good I-am-insulting-him feeling.

I guess you are finding the question mark insulting and well it not there to say "duh," it is there because we have not uh solidified what we are talking about language-wise and it's all tangential anyway. We would need to fill in some gaps and we haven't and so, question mark? Is this sentence relevant?

But I mean, I am a tactless guy, and love a witty put-down as much as the next guy, so, I am resigned to people thinking I am rude when I get involved in discussions of this nature online. Man, I'm rude. It's an honest rudeness dammit.

Anyway for sure I was thinking "who is this guy" as I typed some of the stuff in those posts, but that question mark is innocent.

You know what Donald, I actually buy this argument. I concede that wearing glasses is categorically different from keeping score on paper with respect to the Dominion rules, and I can't think of another example of an external aid that would better illustrate the point I was trying to argue. You've convinced me that pen-and-paper scoring is sufficiently relevant to fall inside the scope of the rules.
I am again pleased, it is rare that words convince people on the internet of anything. Not to insult you by calling you a person on the internet.

Let me ask though, since this hinges on players not bringing anything outside themselves as a game skill aid: Is it OK to keep score on my fingers? Can I use my fingernails to scratch out the score on my arm, or even to make scoring motions on my palm that help me with visual memory? Can I make up little mnemonics under my breath about the score? None of these things is outside myself as a player. If the answer is "Yes" to all these questions I'm on the same page with that, though I suspect group standards of decorum will put the kibosh on certain of these practices in the wild. If the answer is "No" to any of them I would ask again where the line is to be drawn with respect to memory aids that do not use anything outside yourself.
I am not cool with writing the score on your belly in your own blood, as I gave as an example previously; I am fine with saying the score out loud or using Ars Memorativa or what have you. When you write on yourself, you're using yourself as a notebook; it's a weird thing that only comes up to try to get around the rules. If you say the score out loud to help you remember, that's normal.

While it's an interesting point, I think it's more relevant to the debate of whether reasonable people should be open to allowing score-tracking at their table or online (even if we concede that it constitutes a "variant").
And again, I feel people should change the game any way they want to and agree on, however mild or severe.
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Davio

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Re: Keeping Score
« Reply #74 on: November 02, 2011, 10:34:14 am »
0

This topic made me think about the way games handle VP's. I did some research on BGG and found that a game with a mechanic similar to Dominion is Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico, players ship goods and receive VP's which they may put on their tableaux face-down. I checked the forums and their was a debate there as well.

This quote from Rene Wiersma says how I think about it:
Quote from: Rene Wiersma
We always play with VP's hidden. The reason that VP's are hidden are to prevent overt kingmaker situations and analysis paralysis in the endgame. With VP's hidden you will have an idea of who is in the lead, but not by exactly how much. This way you cannot perfectly calculate what is the optimal move, you have to go by estimation and intuition. This keeps the game going.

I think that for 2p games on Isotropic, using the point tracker is not that big of a deal. It may stall the game somewhat, but not by much. Isotropic games are very fast anyway, due to the fact that they don't require any physical interactions from the player (setup, shuffling, counting) other than clicking the mouse. Besides that, there is no way to make sure that a player isn't using a notepad behind his PC anyway, so it's a good option to have if you are real paranoid about it.

In real life, it's a different case for me. I often play with more than 2p when I play IRL and with any real life game, downtime should be kept to a minimum. Dominion excels as a game because of its speed and relative brevity. You can easily play 4 games within 2 hours (barring excesses of course). I wouldn't like it much if in a game with Gardens, Vineyards and Silk Roads every player takes 10 minutes to calculate the new scores after someone buys them.

I don't think I would allow notepads in a tournament, because it distorts the natural flow of the game. The VP information is available to anyone willing to keep track in their minds and it is up to every player if they want to do this.

Now I like Dominion (probably twice) as much as the next guy, but if anyone wants to bring out his notepad for a simple board game, he is not paying much respect to the golden rule of board gaming: just have fun! To me, the social interaction is the most fun part of real life board gaming and if everybody brings out their notepads, it just goes against that aspect. It's not a math tournament, it's a board game!
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