Tiebreaker rule - for real?

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dschingis27
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Joined: 27 June 2015, 18:30

Tiebreaker rule - for real?

Post by dschingis27 » 13 June 2020, 22:55

The tiebreaker rule for Potion Explosion is one of the worst tiebreaker rules I know.

First, it doesn't fit to this kind of family game, we don't need a tiebreaker at all, instead let it be a tie. If I play this with my young nephew and we end up in this really rare tie stituation and we just let it be a tie, we would laugh about it with happy astonishment and enjoy ourselves. Instead with the tiebreaker, this can end up in weird frustration for one of the players.

However, the tiebreaker is just so random, almost like a simple coinflip, it feels totally pointless. Potion Explosion contains some deep engagement in pattern recognition and little tactical maneuvers and at the climax of the game, we have to decide on the winner by a simplistic coinflip mechanism? This is so weird. Of course the game contains a lot of luck but in the tiebreaker, the randomness is just "in your face".

I think that better tiebreakers were easy to find: Who has the most marbles left? Who has the highest scoring potion or the most high-scoring potions? Who has the highest number of different potions? There are lots of possibilities where the tiebreaker relates stronger to the rest of the game and hence players could relate to it and integrate in their thinking during gameplay.

I know that BGA will stick to the official rules. I am just staggered that this rule made it into the final rulebook.

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diamant
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Re: Tiebreaker rule - for real?

Post by diamant » 13 June 2020, 23:47

dschingis27 wrote:
13 June 2020, 22:55
I think that better tiebreakers were easy to find: Who has the most marbles left? Who has the highest scoring potion or the most high-scoring potions? Who has the highest number of different potions? There are lots of possibilities where the tiebreaker relates stronger to the rest of the game and hence players could relate to it and integrate in their thinking during gameplay.
I agree with that.

I quote here an excerpt from my comment on this bug report #19060: "Give clear indication that a tied situation happened and include note to say what to do when tied" https://boardgamearena.com/bug?id=19060 :

"... the rule does not specify if tied players only have the tie breaking action described on page 10 of the rule, or if they can drink one or more potions as in a normal turn, on the understanding that the marbles eventually picked by means of potions do not count for the tie breaking score.

The possibility of drinking potions would make this tie breaking less random."

See also : #19006: "It was draw and I couldn't pick a potion for the tie break" https://boardgamearena.com/bug?id=19006 .

El_Borre
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Joined: 23 May 2020, 23:34

Re: Tiebreaker rule - for real?

Post by El_Borre » 25 June 2020, 04:51

dschingis27 wrote:
13 June 2020, 22:55
The tiebreaker rule for Potion Explosion is one of the worst tiebreaker rules I know.
I totally agree with this comment. It describes very well my feeling about the tiebreak rule. It does not leave any feeling of satisfaction in the winner and leaves the feeling of frustration in the loser (at least that's the way I felt and I've experienced both already). I'm not sure if game developers read these posts, but if it helps in any way, I agree they can find a better tiebreak rule, or just open the possibility of the draw.

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RicardoRix
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Re: Tiebreaker rule - for real?

Post by RicardoRix » 25 June 2020, 09:31

https://theprovince.com/sports/london-2 ... c-roulette

Olypmic wrestlers have to draw a ball out of a bag. Football may go down to how many corners you concede.

The saying in boxing and mma - don't leave it to the judges.

It's obviously not a great rule, but does go with the wacky theme. If you own the game then you can play how you like. The designer may have put as much thought into it as care he has in his own mind about breaking tie-breakers. It's got to be more fun than re-counting coins or something even if it's less fair.

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dschingis27
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Re: Tiebreaker rule - for real?

Post by dschingis27 » 25 June 2020, 16:48

@RicardoRix: I would be interested to know if you have already experienced a tiebreak in this game yourself. Because on paper, the rule does not look like a big deal but once you experienced it, I think most people will feel very disappointed.
RicardoRix wrote:
25 June 2020, 09:31
It's got to be more fun than re-counting coins or something even if it's less fair.
Agreed. But for this game, the tiebreak rule is totally fair (it's basically a cointoss) but it's no fun at all. I think the problem is that you suddenly have no agency anymore. This game can stimulate intense thinking (and it is intense for children, too) and then, suddenly, thinking doesn't count anymore, let's just play cointoss instead. It leaves no satisfaction. I think children don't like it, too (at least the ones I know do not).
There should be at least the illusion of some agency over what happens, the problem is that the luck-part is just too obvious.

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RicardoRix
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Re: Tiebreaker rule - for real?

Post by RicardoRix » 25 June 2020, 17:31

Yeah you're right, I'm not disagreeing with you, just stating that tiebreakers often receive little value of thought.

You could petition the game designer on a re-think.

For the record I haven't experienced it - I plan to always win big, or go home crying ;)

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apollo1001
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Re: Tiebreaker rule - for real?

Post by apollo1001 » 28 June 2020, 13:58

El_Borre wrote:
25 June 2020, 04:51
I'm not sure if game developers read these posts, but if it helps in any way, I agree they can find a better tiebreak rule, or just open the possibility of the draw.
Yes, I try to keep a vague awareness of the forums.
RicardoRix wrote:
25 June 2020, 17:31
You could petition the game designer on a re-think.
Agreed: you would need to get in touch with the publisher/designer for an official tie-break change.

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Lacedog
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Re: Tiebreaker rule - for real?

Post by Lacedog » 13 August 2020, 17:03

Yep, I've only had two tiebreakers so far but I went second both times and it was already a foregone conclusion. Literally zero chance to win it. The first time my opponent just had an obvious 7 balls in the grid, one blue inbetween six blacks. The second time my opponent picked a top ball and luckily for them, the hidden balls happened to match for a score of ten! I had no hidden ball options and only '3' balls. Again, literally no chance.

Why not just pick another two potions each and have one more round (or as many that were needed). Any kept potions would be an advantage to those frugal players.

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frogstar_A
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Re: Tiebreaker rule - for real?

Post by frogstar_A » 16 August 2020, 10:35

It's a poor tie-breaker rule. Most potions or something would be much better.

Compare to games like Sushi Go (most puddings) or 7 Wonders (most coins) where towards the end of the game if its close you can deliberately seek out those things to improve your tie breakers,

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aymaliev
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Joined: 26 July 2016, 17:39

Re: Tiebreaker rule - for real?

Post by aymaliev » 28 August 2020, 14:15

The tiebreaker should be whoever used less "magician's help" wins. - That is how players can have some control over it.
The current tiebreaker is meaningless.

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