The current rule set removes a lot of the skill from the game

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Joined: 04 April 2020, 19:21

The current rule set removes a lot of the skill from the game

Post by WhiskeyHammer » 08 April 2020, 01:40

The skill in Koi-koi is very similar to some poker variants in both board state manipulation (i.e. matching and discarding strategically to maximize your yaku chance while blocking or minimizing your opponent's yakus) and in risk-reward management (i.e. making smart calls about when to Koi-koi). Two of the default rules basically remove all the skill from the risk-reward management side of the game.

Going first when you win. This is the biggest offender. Going first in Koi-koi is a huge advantage. Hitting a double match on a full board of eight cards gives you a huge starting lead that significantly disadvantages your opponent. Suddenly instead of being able to match against 7 cards they can only match against 6. Under these conditions, when compared to going first the second player has only 75% of the matching options. And hitting a double match is statistically most common on the first move of the game so it happens a fair bit. When you alternate back and forth this advantage is evenly spread. When the winner goes first, it creates a huge incentive to pretty much never call Koi-kio unless it's late in the game and youre losing. This is even more true when you consider the second default rule at play.

Starting multipliers. Out of the gate, a starting multiplier further disincentivizes the risk of calling koi-kio. When even the weakest 1 point Yaku can score you three or four points off of this multiplier system there really isn't a good reason to risk it, especially when there's such a powerful advantage to going first.

The two combined mean that there are very very few situations where you need to even bother to think about the risk vs reward side of the game. I've read that the rules are designed to encourage aggressive play but they have the opposite effect. They encourage low-risk fast-play that often devolves into an unbeatable snowball effect for who ever hits the first yaku.

Try it in your next game. Shoot for the fastest yaku you can hit and never call koi-koi. If you hit the first yaku and your board state control skill is roughly in the same ballpark as your opponent you'll rarely lose.

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Re: The current rule set removes a lot of the skill from the game

Post by nmego » 20 May 2020, 19:41

The current arena configuration isn't the most-skill rewarding ^ This should be changed.

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Re: The current rule set removes a lot of the skill from the game

Post by andycupid » 15 July 2020, 03:39

I wonder why there is lack of discussion here.
I pretty much do approve of the points mentioned above. As a luck based game Koi-koi still requires skill to pilot, to evaluate yours and the opponent's hand, while choosing what pairs to form or block are crucial in close games.

There is one other question I have in mind. With the variant "Viewing Yaku", you form easy 5s or 10s in a move or two. The sake cup is tremendously powerful and serves multiple purposes, while the blue ribbon in the same month also offers a chance to score the blue ribbon bonus. So there are many games where the opponent takes it right off the bat without any thinking whatsoever, and that round results in me blocking them like mad and they cruising through effortlessly. I don't have too much experience under my belt, but may experts share some thoughts on whether this variant suits competitive play?

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