Board Game Smorgasbord: Exploitation
Join us for some gaming news, a Top 3, Back Talk, and more!
Today’s episode of Smorgasbord is brought to you by Bezier Games, publisher of Sync or Swim! Sync or Swim is a co-op party game where you and your teammates will be diving in to race against the clock to sync up as fast as possible!
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A Backtalk without screaming, yelling, rocking out at the beginning!?
I'm more with Zee on the Backtalk. In these cases the game is broken and it's the game/designers fault. If everyone at the table wants to play with a house rule, that's fine, just like a house rule with any game, but for a tournament, once it's known the game is broken it shouldn't be part of the tournament. Don't include broken games in a tournament, there are plenty of non broken ones to use.
The problem with what Tom and Mike are complaining about is that they are complaining about what amounts to clever play. Just because something doesn’t “seem in the spirit of the game”, doesn’t mean it isn’t the optimal way to play. And really, what is the difference between what Tom complains about other people doing and his self-admitted habit of purposefully choosing to play unusual strategies in games? If the only difference is that other people are successful, that’s not a good basis to chide someone.
For the Top 3’s maybe include pictures when you can, even for something like Top 3 Anime’s or whatever you pick, a quick photo would be a nice way to connect more with what you are saying.
For the Back Talk, not sure if this is a hot take type of segment but when those types of convos happen it’s nice to have one person be the opposite, when everyone agrees it doesn’t feel as if the take was hot because you all agreed. Not saying that’s what today’s topic was or what this segment is, just a thing to keep in mind.
Keep calm shirt. BOOM!
Would like a shirt with a simple subtle logo. Gaming but not "loud"
m/ backtalk m/ glad to see the return!
If it's legal per the rules, it's fine. Unless it's absolutely broken where you win 100% of the time, it's fair game.
Backtalk: I like trying crazy strategies that go against theme, especially if I'm playing against someone who is good at the standard way to play; but I care more about that experimentation than winning… And a lot of the times I lose because of it. For me though,winning is a low priority,so I usually will never play that strategy again if it wins… I just want to try new or unexpected things and see if I can make them work. Also, if I see that it is leading to an unpleasant game for others, I'll back off and pretty much guarantee my loss since it's likely too late to pivot and still win.
For example, the people I play with most often get upset over aggressive play toward others (they're primarily euro fans… I like almost everything else, but just find euros to be ok.) So I try to just read the room.
Talk back: so is breaking a game like breaking the 4th wall in a movie? You were talking about the "spirit" of the game. You could also say it's not within the theme of the game. So could you say you are breaking the theme?"
I care about Hasbro. If it wasn't for Hasbro games, I wouldn't be into gaming now.
I like the switch up of format from Breakfast.
Doner kebabs are delicious!!
The Games Industry Conference GIC logo uses the same font for the G and C in the Game Developers Conference (GDC) and I assume that logo will likely face some trademark issues in the coming months.
I'd say I agree with both sides of the argument. More so with Zee, in that the onus primarily falls on the game designers/developers to be more thorough in their testing of the game. However, I will still more than get my revenge(in other future board/video/sports games) on somebody who purposefully uses a scumbag exploit that clearly goes against the spirit of the game. To be fair, I will warn them, haha.
Engine building uses the same exploitation mentality. Build on something to a tipping point so you can win. It's the designer's fault they make one superior strategy and the others are worthless. Blame the publisher, not the player.
about breaking the spirit of the rules… how do you guys feel about people researching strats online? Too me it feels a bit wrong until I think about chess….
No pictures of the food? Shame! 😊
That 30th Anniversary Magic set thing for $1,000 is a massive sin. This is about as greedy and dirty as Wizards has ever gotten. Very unhappy they are leaning so heavily into this sort of thing.
This was nice. I'm hoping for a Sour Herring show now (sour herring or Surströmming in swedish is fermented herring that reeks something fierce).
We need a T-shirt with a MASSIVE ASTERSIK!!! Also one with "Frankly I won't stand for this!"
OMG, Nathan, in chat, where I'm barely paying attention drops, "At this point it's cheaper to just buy a printing company and print your own Magic cards"! I laughed out loud and no one's around to share it with. I hope I remember to tell my boys as we went to grab a basic booster last week and found it was $12.99. What happened to the $4.99? Wasn't that just last year?
Will there be contributors on this show?
We need a Bryan Drake shirt of him cut a game in half.
I played against a guy who played Splendor that way. He won. I had no desire to play it that way.
It's called "Götterspeise" or "Wackelpudding". The green one (Waldmeister) is best with vanilla sauce.
I'd push back a little on the idea that people who find these broken strategies are trying to "break the game." Some of us just really want to win. I'm not trying to break a game, I'm trying to maximize my score.
To be fair, I've never been the one to find a broken strategy in a game, I'm just saying if I did it would be purely out of chasing a win, not trying to ruin the game.
Would LOVE to see Dice Tower toques and beanies!
In regards to back talk… I had this problem with Hanabi on BGA. Random people were getting mad at me because I wasn’t playing this unofficial variant way. I had never even played it and I was so confused. I agree with Mike, I don’t want to play with people that want to play this random variant to break the game and win… there is no fun in that
Where you kill your own units. 1. Cannon fodder 2. Decimation (Romans) 3. War of Attrition 4. Suicide mission
Kill something of your own to get something magical: human sacrifice, Abraham and Issac.
Where do you draw the line? You're given a ruleset and asked to earn the highest score. How optimal is "too optimal"?
Great show guys!
Not sure of your business model or setup but just curious if you are only going to have products made ahead of time or if you are going to also possibly utilize one of the print on demand companies that might enable more 'niche' or experimental products without the commitment of purchasing large orders ahead of time. I was going to actually bring the merch concept up to Tom at the my next convention in Vegas as a suggestion before this announcement came out today! Excited!
I hated when at Awkward Quests two players wrote down the numbers of the cards passing their hands. IMO against the spirit of the game.
Really enjoyed the first show!
Growing up in Michigan, we had Sweden House as our dine-in smorgasbord.
Missed seeing the game show though.
Why… why did you not call it "Smorgas-board"?
On Stone Age starvation strategy — if the other players know how to counter it, it won't win, but they usually don't. And even if they do, that forces them to play defensively against the starvation player, instead of enjoying playing for themselves to win. I really hate it. When I run Stone Age tournaments at conventions I tweak a rule to greatly increase the penalty for starving more than once or twice, and that completely removes that strategy. …… On Splendor — one way to make it the way the designers intended, i.e., a machine building game, is just to play to more points. I know that's a huge change, but it keeps the general feel, and players who build level-1 cards that they can use over and over wiĺl win. Making the goal 20 points pretty much takes care of it, and 25 points definitely does that. And the game still doesn't take very long.
When I play Architects of the West Kingdom, I go hard on the corruption early. That isn't the intent I'm sure, but the things you do that cause that are so worth it. Does that make me a bad person?
A great merch item would be the Aquatica playmat that Tom got permission to make for the Dice Tower. It's beautiful! I'll buy one.
I bought a polo shirt at Gaming Hoopla a couple of years ago that I love. I can wear it to work and be professional and a geek at the same time.
I’ve always thought of a smorgasbord as just something with a wide variety of items. Never thought of it relating to food. Hmmmm. Sort of like saying a “cornucopia” of things.
I would like to purchase some golf shirts similar or the same as Tom and some of the guys have worn in the past 😊
I also would really love to purchase a board game blender t-shirt. That was my favorite variety show that you guys did and I'd like to have a t-shirt to remember it!
RE: breaking the game. I agree with Zee that if a game is breakable, then that's a design flaw and a development flaw. People like winning, that's a fact. If your game rules give you a way to win the game that is not fun, you are compelled to do it anyways, because you like to win, and you can't blame the players for doing so. You can agree beforehand to not do a certain strategy, or you can decide you don't want to play a game with people that will use that strategy to play the game. Worst case scenario, you never want to play that game ever again. But people that play that game are not jerks, you shouldn't hate them, they aren't looking to be obnoxious, they are playing the game.
The solution? The Stonemaier Games way: patch your game. A certain faction is overpowered? Nerf it, ban certain combinations, release an errata. That's easy to do and every publisher should do it.
Donner Kebabs are food we brits eat when we've had a drunken night out. If it's the same thing it's regarded as junk food. The idea is to spill most of it down your new top before you get home and pass out. Good times.🤣
German kebabs are absolutely top tier food, I loooooove them
I would love the jigsaw puzzle with all,the dice characters on it to be available. Will you be shipping internationally?
BGG is full of people who intentionally set out to break games. They brag about it. I’m like Mike and Tom, I would not play with those people.
Love this show. Glad to have the show and format
I wouldn't call the exploiters as jerks they may not be able to help themselves or realise they are being a nuisance to other players especially if they fall somewhere on the autistic spectrum
But they may not be on the spectrum and enjoy spoiling games for people then I would say they are jerks
I tend to agree with Tom & Mike on the rules exploitation issue. I think it really depends on the game and the situation though. If I'm playing with people at a convention or even local board game night, if someone plays to exploit rules I don't like it. Especially when it's for a hard to beat winning strategy. It's usually not fun to play against. In friendly games I still play to win, but I'm not going to be hell-bent on winning and pouring every brain cell into my strategy. I'm going to have fun with it and relax.
Now in a tournament setting, if the rules exploitation is in line with the game and not cheating, I understand it and while I don't love it, at that point I'll say ok, the game has a flaw and part of playing your best might be to exploit that. Fine.
In casual games though? If you're trying to play like that, it's just not fun for the other players and frankly is a waste of their time. You don't usually play casual games with people to play highly competitive games. Maybe some do, but most don't, and it's important to understand expectations when you sit down to play with someone or a few people.
Persona is such a cool world! I REALLY hope this turns out well!