Looney Labs Rabbits Mailing list Archive

RE: Kind of Gamer (was: Re: [Rabbits] Fluxx Concepts/Expansion)

  • FromAndrew Plotkin <erkyrath@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateWed, 30 Jan 2008 12:25:48 -0500 (EST)
On Wed, 30 Jan 2008, Lisa Hayhurst wrote:

joy in pitting wits against a skilled player. Fluxx is highly random> in its outcome

To a point. I do know players who can play the randomness quite skillfully to win.

The boingboing thread, although a bit heated, did a really good job of bringing out different kinds of games and their opinions. People *do* differ about Fluxx, and mostly because they genuinely want different things out of games.

One person wrote:

   I feel
   like it displays contempt for anyone who has been foolish enough to
   invest emotional energy in thinking about what he's doing. These are
   mechanisms that punish you for caring.

If you leave aside the loaded words "contempt" and "punish", he is correct: Fluxx rarely rewards long-term planning. More often than not, any plan that spans more than a turn will be kicked over like a sandcastle at the beach.

But Lisa is also correct: *within* a turn, you frequently have a lot of tactical play. Not always, and it's not the kind of tactics that gives you a solid advantage -- but you can usually increase your chances of winning by thinking about your options. Sometimes, you can think intricately and increase your chances a lot.

So those are two different kinds of gameplay, and it's inevitable that some people will like one, or the other. Or both. Or will insist on one in their games, or the other. (Someone who insists on both kinds of gameplay in every game will be a very picky player!)

The poster-child opposite in these discussions seems to be Puerto Rico. I hate Puerto Rico and other games of its cadre. It's not that they demand long-term planning -- I like a long-term plan or two -- but that they don't reward short-term tactics. At least, not obviously enough for me! (Maybe if I played a lot of Puerto Rico, I'd learn the game well enough to enjoy the turn-by-turn decision making. But I have no reason to play a lot of Puerto Rico, because I don't enjoy it!)

When I lose a PR game, I feel like I lost because every decision I made was stupid. Nobody *ever* felt that way about losing Fluxx. :) You lose Fluxx because the cards hosed you, and I accept that that really bothers some people.

(So I play San Juan instead. That's the strategic level I like.)


"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the borogoves..."
It's a nice distinction to tell American soldiers (and Iraqis) to die in
Iraq for the sake of democracy (ignoring the question of whether it's
*working*) and then whine that "The Constitution is not a suicide pact."