• Conventions pervert minds

    A few days ago, I had an interesting conversation with a player used, like 99% "good players or more" on BGA, to the "play left discard right" technique. I invited him and another such player on a table where I wanted to play with no conventions and no finesses, only logic and basics (see Definitions).

    During the game, there was a situation where I (player A) had no clue tokens left and player B's chop card was critical. I had just been clued a card to play. I discarded to let B know that he should save his chop.

    In the end game conversation, that player told me "ok you want to play with no conventions, but discarding to tip the next player not to discard his chop is a convention".

    I found this very interesting, since it shows that playing with coded conventions (which are derived from an initial logical trick and then go astray) distorts how one perceives logic.

    Playing newest card of several clued with one clue (leftism) is logical only in some situations and most players on BGA play so in situations where it is not. And they get so used to it, so blinded by how easy this convention is, that they forget it is not always logical.

    And they end up seeing convention in purely logical moves. To make myself clearer, here is why intentional discarding is logical.

    Player D > player A, this is yellow, play it (there are no clue tokens left).

    Player A > I discard.

    Player B > What the--?? He knows he has to play it and he chooses to discard instead, man, what was that?!. Why is he doing this? Is he stoopid? Oh, wait a minute, there were no clues left. If he played, I would have to discard. Eureka, perhaps he didn't want me to discard. Ok, I have to save my chop.

    This is a logical reflexion that even a smart newbie could have.


    I will be happy to teach anyone a logical game with no conventions on BGA. Just send me a PM on Boardgamearena.

    For more basics, also see "Over-assuming -- do you have what it takes for finesse?".

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  • Commentaires

    Lundi 11 Mai 2015 à 15:30

    Isn't this an error of player C who should either discard or save the chop of player B? depending from the card he can see on your chop?

    Lundi 11 Mai 2015 à 17:24

    Sometimes you have no choice anyway (particularly in 2-player game).

    And once you know the trick, you can do it on purpose as player C did, to force A to discard intentionally to save B's chop.

    Lundi 11 Mai 2015 à 17:42

    If there were clues left and player C's hand was ok, the fact that player A discards instead of playing would tell player B he should save his two chop cards, otherwise A could simply clue his chop.

    Mardi 19 Mai 2015 à 00:09

    talking about convention take a look at this starting hand...


    what is the best move?


    Mardi 19 Mai 2015 à 00:17

    I'd go with:

    - Bamm > azigos Y
    - Frollo > azigos 1
    - azigos > averza 1
    - averza plays M1
    - Bamm > Frollo 1

    Although 1 clue, then play Y1, then 1 clue works fine too.

    Mardi 19 Mai 2015 à 22:14

    and what you think about what happened in the game?

    Mardi 19 Mai 2015 à 22:48

    I think the beginning is immensely conventional.

    Mardi 9 Juin 2015 à 14:17
    Sorry for digging this out, but just noticed this. Without looking at bamms hand, the best conventional start would be imho:

    - Bamm > azigos 3
    - Frollo > averza 1
    - azigos plays R1
    - averza plays M1
    - Bamm > Frollo 1
    - Frollo plays R2
    - azigos plays R3
    Then continue the game with Y1/Y2 or R4.
    A noteworthy alternative would be to mark 1R and 3R together to bluff 2R with a 2-clue directed at 2B the following round.
    Vendredi 4 Août 2017 à 22:58

    How about:

    Bamm > Azigos Y

    Frollo > Azigos 1

    Azigos plays R1

    Averza > Frollo's 4

    Bamm > Azigos R (or 3 if another red pops)


    Should enable Frollo to know that both his non-4s are playable.


    We could also imagine variants where we don't give Azigos' Y. If Frollo doesn't consider any conventional order on his starting cards, he should still understand that both are playable from my PoV.

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