Five Tribes Five Tribes

Forum

Suche
Forum » Ticket to Ride - the Board Game - English » Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion
Anzeigen: Heutige Nachrichten 
  
VerfasserThema
AK_Aramis
Senior Member

Fan-Seite
Nachrichten: 399
Registriert:
January 2006
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Tue, 03 April 2007 06:15
Not in 4-5p games, RV, not in 4-5p games.


Anyone who blocks simply to prevent another is throwing away their own strategy simply to hurt others.


In 2p, perhaps, but but not 4-5p
      
pl_walker
Senior Member

Nachrichten: 115
Registriert:
October 2006
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Fri, 06 April 2007 20:25
(Sorry, this is much longer than I intended)

This is an interesting discussion. Being a newbie, I'm not sure I have much to add, but I'll throw my $.02 into the mix. (Sorry the dollar is so weak, probably means my comments are worthless overseas.) Smile

I think part of the problem is that there are three types of blocking. The lack of clarification makes it difficult to discuss. Here, let me explain the three types...

Innocent Blocking. I take the route from New Orleans to Houston for my Omaha to New Orleans ticket. In doing so, I block your ticket from Los Angeles to Miami. I wasn't aware of the fact that you were working on that ticket, I just took a route to finish my ticket.

Malicious Blocking. I suspect that you are working on Omaha to New Orleans ticket. I take all the routes into New Orleans even though all my tickets are West Coast routes. Just to make you miss that ticket.

Strategic Blocking. This one can take two forms and, I think is the key of the discussion.

First, I see moves that lead me to believe you are working on the Omaha to New Orleans ticket and that you are working through Houston. I have the Los Angeles to Miami ticket. I take the Houston to New Orleans route even though I know it blocks you, but I want to complete my ticket using that route.

Second, I see moves that lead me to believe you are working on the Omaha to New Orleans ticket and that you are working through Houston. I have West Coast routes and enough extra cars and cards to take the New Orleans to Houston route and thereby force you to go a different path.

OK, I don't think most people here would complain about Innocent blocking. The only real problem arises when there is debate about whether the player knew. In most cases, I think everyone would agree that the fine line between Innocent Blocking and the first example of Strategic Blocking can only be defined by the person doing the blocking. In either case, most fair and honest players shouldn't have a problem with either of those types of blocking.

Also, from reading the comments made here, I don't think many people would advocate a Malicious Blocking strategy. Well, maybe some would disagree, but to me, this is more of a "sore loser" attitude. "If I can't win, I'm going to prevent you from winning, too."

I think, for the most part, the problem comes from the second example of Strategic Blocking. When I move to a route to block you, but don't completely cut off your access.

For games at home with my kids, I probably wouldn't do it. If I'm playing a game for fun, I'm not interested so much in diving into a deep strategy, just in playing.

Now for competitive games, I'm still wavering. At issue for me is the purpose of the game. I mean, the purpose of any game is to win, but how you win is what is at issue. A few comparisons to shed the light on the reasoning...

Checkers - the purpose of the game is to be the last person with a checker on the board. The way to do that is to prevent your opponent from jumping your checker. I don't think that anyone would complain if I moved my checker behind another to prevent you from jumping (or double-jumping) me. That move did not actively help me win, but prevented you from winning.

Chess - the purpose of the game is to get the other King in checkmate. If I see you moving to put my king in check and moving towards checkmate (successfully winning the game), I would not consider it improper to move a pawn or other piece to prevent you from making that move (because I would take your piece). I would make the move even if it didn't set me up to move toward getting you in checkmate. Indeed, this is a common part of the game. Again, that move did not help me win, but prevented you from winning.

So bringing this back to TTR. What is the purpose? Getting the most points via completing tickets (among other things). So if I have a move that doesn't help me completing my tickets, but does prevent you from completing your tickets, is it appropriate to take that move? Well, that is a move that didn't actively help me win, but it does prevent you from winning. I guess I consider it a defensive move (active defense as opposed to passive defense.

And I think that is what blocking boils down to. Or should I say, what Strategic Blocking boils down to. You could play an entire game of football (soccer for my American brethren) with your entire team playing defense. You won't win, but you have a much better chance of not losing. You can also play with your entire team playing offense. You have a chance to win or lose, but you won't prevent the other team from scoring very well. The balance is in the middle. Part of your team focuses on scoring goals; part of your team focuses on preventing your opponent from scoring goals. In TTR, part of your job is to complete tickets, but part of your job is to prevent your opponent from completing tickets.

So, to sum it up, I guess I do see blocking as a legitimate part (PART) of a complete TTR strategy.

Paul
      
Mr Bean
Senior Member

Fan-Seite
Nachrichten: 792
Registriert:
May 2006
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Fri, 06 April 2007 22:15
Also, from reading the comments made here, I don't think many people would advocate a Malicious Blocking strategy. Well, maybe some would disagree, but to me, this is more of a "sore loser" attitude. "If I can't win, I'm going to prevent you from winning, too."

I mean, the purpose of any game is to win, but how you win is what is at issue.

So bringing this back to TTR. What is the purpose? Getting the most points via completing tickets (among other things). So if I have a move that doesn't help me completing my tickets, but does prevent you from completing your tickets, is it appropriate to take that move? Well, that is a move that didn't actively help me win, but it does prevent you from winning. I guess I consider it a defensive move (active defense as opposed to passive defense.

In TTR, part of your job is to complete tickets, but part of your job is to prevent your opponent from completing tickets.

So, to sum it up, I guess I do see blocking as a legitimate part (PART) of a complete TTR strategy.


Paul, you're making it too complicated Razz
We are talking 2-player game (that's where the objections come from mostly), so only one opponent.
The object is very simple: getting more points than opponent by whatever means possible
As i've said before : theoretically it's possible to win with minus points as long as opponent has even less.
Blocking at the cost of fulfilling your own tix is a risk of course as you may be wrong in your guess of opponents tix, but if that's the risk you are willing to take, so be it.
      
travisjhall
Senior Member

Nachrichten: 358
Registriert:
November 2004
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Sun, 08 April 2007 17:06
AK_Aramis wrote on Tue, 03 April 2007 14:15

Not in 4-5p games, RV, not in 4-5p games.

Yes, in 4- or 5-player games. Just not indiscriminately, as I already pointed out. In occurs less often, in specific situations.
      
player 577453
Member

Nachrichten: 54
Registriert:
April 2006
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Fri, 13 April 2007 01:45
I think the heading of this thread sums up this subject nicely.I like playing in blocking games ,it is what makes ttr interesting and challenging .I would like to comment on blocking in multi games.I disagree with comments about there not being much blocking in multi games.In the multi games i play in , blocking is a big part of the games and my strategy and i think most of my oppenents for that matter.Whether it just be taking a route 1 of your opponents wants(and u know they want it and if u take it 1st they will be stuck with useless colours and or taking a lot of small routes instead ) or u stop them getting to a destination, or even just taking open colours u know 1 of your opponents wants.These are all forms of blocking.These can all be good tactics depending on your tixs ,route or colours u have.Because in multi's unlike 2p games sometimes u just have no chance of winning for a variety of reasons so if u can block 1 player it might make the difference between 3rd and last or even snatching a 2nd place if u can annoy 2 players( very very rarely u can annoy 3 oppenents) As well i see nothing wrong with going for 2nd place ( i mean sometimes 1 player has the game in the bag and there is nothing u can do about it) so taking out the 2nd place player is a very good strategy . It might come across as helping the winning player ,or hurting the both of u, but inreality it is helping u to 2nd place which could even be a point or 2 if u are playing similar ranked players and just a point or 2 loss , instead of say 20 + pts for 3rd or 4th if u are playing lower ranked players ( and some of those losses are very very expensive Sad ).So to sum up my ramblings i think blocking is just as important in multi games as in 2p games(I must say unfortunately it does come across as very personnal to the player u have blocked if u only block 1 player in a 4p game ,but hay life is short so have fun Rolling Eyes )
      
Angelo
Senior Member
Maggiore

Fan-Seite
Nachrichten: 194
Registriert:
June 2005
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Wed, 18 April 2007 19:51
lets say that at the beginning of a 2 players game i draw Denver-El Paso and Kansas City-Houston (total accomplished routes give 9 points) and my opponent Seattle-New York and Vancouver- Montreal (total 42 points). If I want to win the game i've to block (drawing new cards can be a risk..) since for my opponent it's easy also to build the longest route (that gives other 10 points).
Blocking can be a good strategy for winning and I dont see the point of non-blockers Confused
      
Zeno
Senior Member
Cadet

Fan-Seite
Nachrichten: 582
Registriert:
February 2006
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Thu, 19 April 2007 03:23
To the original thread:
People have come up with a wide variety of analogies for blocking, comparing it to chess or basketball, but my personal favorite is that TTR is like backgammon. For those of you who know and love the game, there are various strategies, dependent on your rolls and the opponent's position. There is a running game, a holding game, a back game and a blocking game. If you manage to get a string of consecutive points, and trap an opponent piece behind, then you can establish control. Most satisfying is when you manage to get all of your out-going points and put an opponent on the bar. It is almost as good a feeling as sniffing out and blocking Van-Mon. Now for the interesting thing: This causes no friction in backgammon circles! For some strange reason, some think it bad to block in recreational TTR games, but in backgammon we merrily block a friend or a lover (especially if articles of clothing are involved). Perhaps I would lay off if playing a small child (probably not though). Perhaps the biggest difference is that backgammon is so minimalistic that it is obviously a strategic game. TTR, on the other hand, is so lushly illustrated that it hides its wonderful architecture. Played strategically it is a very good match for backgammon. Those who recognize TTR as a strategic game quickly become blockers, because as Angelo points out, there are times when that is the only viable winning strategy.

On the multi-player tangent:
There is a type of blocking that bears scrutiny. I was playing a multi game today with a second account (while in New Zealand I have to play on an uncomfortable laptop, and since my son wasn't using his account, I took it over. My second account is called 'SecondAccount' for anyone who is interested. The laptop interface also is the reason why I have not produced any stats, since copying data is all messed up between my versions of ie and excel). I was playing directly after a player who played 5 black, 6 grey, 6 white. I had a line in the NW, and so I played Sea-Cal, knowing this would make Van-Cal a tempting block for one of the next two players, one of whom is a known blocker. The blocker did indeed take it. Now the first player had to hope to get through via the 6 yellow or 6 blue. After the 6 yellow was taken away by the other blocker, they went for the 6 blue. I automatically took the 4 grey Cal-Hel, which meant they had to get another 4 blue, the 6 orange or limp in via the 5 red (trust me that this was the way the board was set up). The other blocker took the 4 blue, I took the 6 orange and things were looking bleak, especially when the first player had to connect to NY. I sprinted home, and the other blocker took the 5 red to cut the first player's line in half. It turned out that the first player had the big two, and went down hard to last place. Now for the ethical point. There is explicit tag, where partners communicate and can block effectively, but this variant should only be played unrated. There is also implicit tag, where one player intentionally plays so that another player can block, but where there is no communication between them. Both of these versions are fine imho. Then there are the times where people do not declare that they are communicating via skype, MSN usw. This is clearly wrong, and is the basis for one of the popular cheats. The most interesting though, is where the chat window is used to point out possibilities, perhaps hinting that if you take track A, then I can take track B, and that will ruin player X. Personally I believe that this should only happen between twisted friends playing private games, and that even then you should be careful.
      
THE Andrew's Daddy
Junior Member

Nachrichten: 20
Registriert:
April 2005
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Tue, 24 April 2007 00:10
I used to be one who thought blockers were "poor winners" and "poor sports."

But, I've recently changed my mind and see the value of all sorts of blocking. I generally do NOT block others. I haven't played long enough to develop that tactic into my arsenal, but I have no problem with those who try to block me.

And I actually get a lot more satisfaction out of winning a game when somebody has tried to block me.

      
Dandy
Member

Nachrichten: 99
Registriert:
June 2005
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Tue, 15 May 2007 03:35
BRAVO, Andrew's Daddy!!! My congratulations to you! You just made a very important step in the right direction.

And now - my call to all the people asking for "no blocking" or "fast & fair" games:

Dear "non-blocking" player!

Please, please, PLEASE - try to understand and learn how to play REAL Ticket To Ride game - you will find it much more interesting and satisfying than the thoothless, dull version you are palying now.

By consciously not blocking you narrow down your possibilities, you devoid yourself from making the strongest move possible. At the same time - surprise, surprize - you still want to win your games against strong opponents?! This is not possible! If you seriously want to win against strong opponent, you should learn how to block - and, EVEN MORE IMPORTANT, how to conceal your destinations, how to prevent others from blocking you.

But instead of learning how to make the strongest moves possible, you prefer to complain, put the blame of your loss on other players. You have not seen this blocking move coming out of the blue - but you are not responsible for your loss. It's all "their" fault, oh, those nasty blockers!!! And you try to ban some moves, or somehow to prevent others from making the strongest moves, just to make your life in TTR easier.

But, by making the game easier and less challenging - you will make it not that interesting, if not completely dull. Yes, there is still a lot of luck involved in the TTR game, even with blocking allowed - but the strongest players somehow manage to win 9 times out of 10 or even more often, despite the bad luck.

How do they do it???

The answer is: they are much better players than me and you. But better in what? In getting better destination tickets? Or in drawing more locos from the deck? No-o-o-o... They are better in concealing their destinations, better in guessing your destinations, better in accessing the risk of not making the move now and still drwing cards from the deck. In other words, better in preventing lucky opponents in using thier chances to win. Yes, they are better blockers and anti-blockers. They will block you - and won't let you block them in return. That is how they win. That is what you must learn if you want to be able to say that you understand this game and really is a strong TTR player.

And believe me, as long as you learn how to block - and how to avoid being blocked by your opponent - you will start to enjoy the TTR game much more than you did before! Do you like to strategise, plan the best routes and then do re-planning on the go, make quick decisions, be smart, confuse your opponent? Excellent!!! You will get much more of it if you stop complaining about blocking, admit it in your games, master that skill for yourself. Just try it!

Please!
      
Bigslug
Junior Member

Fan-Seite
Nachrichten: 27
Registriert:
January 2006
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Tue, 15 May 2007 07:44
Very well said Dandy...

I had a player the other day after about 6 or 7 turns play SEA - PORT. My tics were POR - NASH, San Fran - ATL. So i took POR - SAN FRAN with 5 greens. Now remember, this was only the 6th or 7th turn roughly. Well this player snapped and called me a disgusting blocker and refused to play and just typed instead.

Eventually this other player just started playing and at the end of the game appologized when she realized which tickets i had.

The point i would like to get across to new players is that you should never have an exact route planned out because almost everytime someone will take a route that you had planned upon. Be prepared to make a slight detour whether the other player makes an intentional block or not.

Bigslug
      
THE Andrew's Daddy
Junior Member

Nachrichten: 20
Registriert:
April 2005
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Wed, 16 May 2007 19:01
Dandy wrote on Mon, 14 May 2007 20:35

BRAVO, Andrew's Daddy!!! My congratulations to you! You just made a very important step in the right direction.



Well, don't say "Bravo."

I usually don't block unless I need the route myself.
Senseless blocking just to keep somebody from completing a long ticket is really not my style. I might lose 10% more games [by NOT blocking] than the rest of you, but that's OK, too.

I do find it a challenge to make the best out of the tickets I'm dealt and subsequently draw. When I know an opponent probably has both NY-Sea and Vanc-Mont, I'm probably not going to win, but I don't go out of my way to try to block them. I just enjoy the challenge of trying to get 9 or 10 average or small tickets and see if I can win anyway. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don't.

I also love beating folks who just keep two low scoring tickets and then merely try to complete all the 6-train routes and go for longest route. There is a lot of satisfaction in beating these guys, too.

Well, there. That's my strategy.
Now you know how... and can easily beat me...

I enjoy the game all the same, don't mind blockers and just cope with them and try to win the game anyway.

My rating isn't up to the Top 300 or Top 500, but that's OK. It's just a game and I've got other things to do with my life. I am, after all, the best looking guy on the planet!!
Cool
      
michelliebean
Junior Member

Nachrichten: 2
Registriert:
February 2008
On the fence about Blocking Thu, 10 April 2008 18:28
See I was a "blocker hater" for awhile. Then after reading some posts on this forum, I started to understand the strategy behind hiding your destination, and I became a hesitant "believer." However, I have to say that there are times that blocking is just rude, whether you believe or not. If it is clear that you are already winning and you block me just to do it...it's rude! So, I am a blocker convert, but in some circumstances it is still just rude and obnoxious!!
      
CIA dizz
Senior Member
T2R FEUd Cup 2010 Winner

Fan-Seite
Nachrichten: 265
Registriert:
January 2006
Re:On the fence about Blocking Thu, 10 April 2008 21:28
michelliebean,

Welcome to the dark side, but I caution you, once you get on that fence, I think you will find it very hard to resist not being lured all the way over. Wink And believe me when I tell you, there is no going back. Twisted Evil There is something devastatingly and horrifyingly beautiful about a surgically precise and lethal block, even when you're the victim. Trust me on this, I know from whence I speak. Rolling Eyes

Embrace the block! Very Happy
-dizz
      
Nemo_
Senior Member

Fan-Seite
Nachrichten: 561
Registriert:
December 2006
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Fri, 11 April 2008 11:30
Blocking is of course ok, if you dont like the chance that someone could block you in TTR game, go play other games.
It dont take no skills to build track from easiest way and show opponent(s) what do you have. Real talent is make track that way that other player cant block you, or see how you can block other.
I block when i see good chances to it, but not normally. Usually i block longest away from other player, cause its easier.
People who havent NEVER block anyone, probably have score under 1600.

In 4-5 p game its almost the same, but of course only reason to block in multis is that player who you block is getting better point than you. If you win for sure, and still block others, its just rude, theres no strategy then.

Or what do you say about this situation, your startng tickets are kan-hou, chi-new o, and ny-atl. You choose 2 first and hope you got 14 locos and you can make 90 point track, and steal 6s from others.

During the game you notice that other player is going to new york via seattle, which means probably 1-2 big tickets.
Options are:
1)Make own track and let other player make 42 from tickets and win for sure

2) Block New york and take 12 minus or make only one ticket and win, BUT with blocking

I guess if your score is higher than 1550, you dont think even a second which option is better.
      
CIA Truckerteller
Senior Member

Fan-Seite
Nachrichten: 677
Registriert:
October 2007
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Fri, 11 April 2008 15:51
The purpose of the game is to win. You win by getting more points than your opponent(s). The rules that stipulate what is allowed are found in the booklet or on the website. You can win by taking and making as many tickets as possible, building the longest route, prevent your opponent from making a lot of points and/or finishing as fast as possible. Weaving these four concepts into one and prioritizing is a strategic challenge, an art.

I would go as far as to say that not doing everything rightfully possible to win is an insult to your opponent or at least a lack of respect. Anybody who holds me to sub 80 points while taking the whole board has my respect. Without any interaction or struggle, it's not a game. In many sports, it is actually considered unfair or unsportsmanlike if there is no battle or struggle.

Not blocking is the same as letting somebody else win, like you would let your 6 year old niece win. If I let you win at TTR online, I'm not taking you serious as an opponent at all. Would you like that?

Personally I've never introduced anybody to the board game who wasn't immediately enthousiastic about the concept of making tickets, finding solutions, frustrating the opponents and prioritizing. Most wanted to continue playing game after game, becoming fiercer every time. This blocking discussion and leaving the game crying or shouting abuse is just pathetically unsportsmanlike to me.



      
CIA Truckerteller
Senior Member

Fan-Seite
Nachrichten: 677
Registriert:
October 2007
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Sat, 12 April 2008 15:15
Even better than blocking is building a second station after a mutual block, to make it impossible for your opponent to connect, or building two stations you don't even need, to accomplish the same objective.
      
AK_Aramis
Senior Member

Fan-Seite
Nachrichten: 399
Registriert:
January 2006
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Thu, 17 April 2008 16:51
Blocking when one has already assured a win by other means is not "respecting your opponent" but is simply rubbing salt in the wound.

The reduced impact of blocking (And thus reduced need to do so) in TTRE is why I will always consider it the superior game over TTR:USA
      
michelliebean
Junior Member

Nachrichten: 2
Registriert:
February 2008
Thank You Sun, 27 April 2008 21:39
Smile Thank You Aramis! I find blocking very satisfying...but outright disrespect is just not good sportsmanship Smile
      
*player351832
Junior Member

Fan-Seite
Nachrichten: 17
Registriert:
May 2007
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Sat, 03 May 2008 12:06
Wildfire2099 wrote on Fri, 23 February 2007 07:09


So, to those who decry blocking as 'unfair' I'd like to tell me the following:

1) How do you decide if you are being blocked? I rarely block aggressively, but if you're building you route in a nice path and its clear you're heading for a route I need, I take it first. Is that blocking? In such a case, do you say "gee, it looks like my opponent might play Hou-Elpaso next, even though I need that route and I have 6 green, I don't want to be unfair, so I'll just play something else" If you play it, aren't you blocking?

2) If you consider Blocking unfair, what do you consider a 'good' strategy for TTR?

3) I find MOST of the people who hate blocking will play what they consider 'key' routes (the 1 grays (Nas-Atl, Por-Sea, Sea-Van.. not to mention Pit-NY, Hou-No) on their first turn, never giving their poor opponent a chance at these routes... Is that blocking? and, if not, how is it different from me filling in the middle of an opponents route when they foolishly build from either end for my last play?


I apologize if my tone is a bit, well, condesending, but I trutly would like to understand the mind set of people who think blocking is bad... to me getting your choice of routes to fill you tickets most effeciently, while stopping your opponent from doing so is the essence of the game, and if you don't like that, why play? What do you like about the game?






Hello Wildfire, thank you and I would like to respond to your many points and your question.

First, I truly appreciate people who are able/willing to discuss the many facets of the issue vs. the people who are so limited in vocabulary, insight, or perspective that "LOOSER" is the only rejoinder they can muster. Quite frankly, they personify all that I truly dislike about the "blocking" concept. I'll mention that more later. Meanwhile, I will take your questions point by point, to stay on target...

1. How do I decide if I'm being blocked - Well I try to reserve the "blocked" judgement for the most clear representations. If we are both/all of us sort of clustered around Warsaw, for instance, or Montreal, well clearly a bit of tussle is inevitable. Whoever can figure out how to manouver out of the quagmire first is the skillful and lucky dog! I do not consider that "blocking". If we are both/all headed in a same general direction then whoever figures out how to most skillfully play their trains first, gets to have it first. When the person is pretty clearly NOT "going my way" but throws up a block on my route just to keep me from my destination...? I admit, I do consider that cheap. Find your quickest, most profitable route, and get there before I do. And if you can't do that without resorting to throwing a wrench in my gears, well, I don't know what to say. I hope that answers your question of "if you're heading to a route I need...".

I do object to a block throw up when it is clear that you don't need that route - i.e. *you have no other trains in that vicinity and can't possilbly hope to get them there!* In my book, that is what qualifies as "malicious".

2. I think I answered some of that question and I don't think I can add to it right now anymore.

3. I don't know what to say re "most people", but I will try to offer some perspective re that: As in most things in life, we learn by observation. When I first started playing this game I saw "most" people "taking" those spots. Sometimes I would find that I needed them and couldn't get there, so of course I eventually started taking them also. However, after a bit I decided that it was counterproductive on a few levels. One, unless I *knew* I needed it, I was wasting a turn. Two, if I didn't actually need, it I was being a selfish pig. Three, was I giving away my intended destination? To sum up, I rarely take any of those spots unles they are truly integral to my route - i.e. *both* of them necessary as in Nash-Atl/Hous-NO/Sea-Van. So now when I play with people - esp in a two person game as I did tonight - and they snap up all those spots, I do wonder about them.
Which I guess brings us to the "ticket kiting" thing - taking a whole lot of tickets - I'm still not too sure how that works, so I can't really speak to it. I am aware that there are people that feel as strongly about (anti) that as I do about blocking. My question there would be - why is that a greater "evil" than blocking? I think that viewpoint shows that perspective is everything.

4. As to the "IT'S A GAME! YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO WIN!" argument... well, I do also have problems with that. I've never been one for "the end justifies the means". (I'm not trying to make a universally definitive statement here, but I am trying to offer some perspective.) That - end justifying the means - is pretty much the abiding concept behind the "sportsmanship" that I think someone referred to. That is - No Virginia, winning by any means is *not* "sportsmanship". (I think it is interesting that someone used the example of winning a hockey game! This, where violence and the unextected slam in the face is de rigueur for the game!)
HOWEVER!!! vis-a-vis this particular discussion, I think there is a vast difference in the perspectives of some players who support blocking as a strategy and can discuss the issue vs. those other players whose only retort is a simple-minded scream "LOOSERS!" This is not the sort of person I would want to have any dealings with in "real" life. This is the sort of person that I do, in fact, see as incontrovertibly committed to winning to succeeding or sabotaging others in their environment so long as they are able to come out a little more ahead.

5. And with all that, I actually have attempted in and succeeded in the occasional block - one in which I did not need the route, I was simply fouling up my opponent. I did this under the reasoning of - "it's a game, you're SUPPPOSED to win". But I will say, I only felt like a creep and a bully. (Oh, and yes, I won.)


So, I'll take your condescension, and simply say that I find many interesting aspects and challenges to the game - I just don't find it "sporting" for someone heading for Marseille to block my route for Smolensk "just because they can". Further, for you very advanced players, that's fine for your games, but when you engage those of us less experienced don't you find it a bit like shooting fish in a barrel to just anticipate and block our every move (as I have had happen)? I mean, why bother? It isn't even a game! It's just a cheap and easy way for you (figuratively) to advance your score!

ok then....
adios and happy trails,
Lyn
      
Nemo_
Senior Member

Fan-Seite
Nachrichten: 561
Registriert:
December 2006
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Sat, 03 May 2008 12:38
I have one more thing to say about blocking:

If you play right and see what colors your opponent has (about, not stricktly) you can build your ways that way, that other player cant block you. Do not play too open, leave open only those tracks which your opponent cant build.
      
Zeno
Senior Member
Cadet

Fan-Seite
Nachrichten: 582
Registriert:
February 2006
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Sat, 03 May 2008 14:32
timmylyn

And with all that, I actually have attempted in and succeeded in the occasional block - one in which I did not need the route, I was simply fouling up my opponent. I did this under the reasoning of - "it's a game, you're SUPPPOSED to win". But I will say, I only felt like a creep and a bully. (Oh, and yes, I won.)


This is troubling. The adrenaline boost from the preparation to block, followed by the endorphin rush from winning are supposed to overwhelm the feelings of being a creep and a bully. I would suggest a complete neurological workup to find out what is wrong with you. Twisted Evil Rolling Eyes
      
kolmo
Senior Member

Fan-Seite
Nachrichten: 556
Registriert:
November 2006
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Sat, 03 May 2008 16:56
Those who want preliminaries are just wussies. Those who scream for preliminaries are just whiners. Wussies whine all the time, so let's just pretend now we are talking to them.

Is there a rule mentioning that say we should have preliminaries ? No. Case closed.

What is the point, anyway ? Preliminaries are not called preliminaries for nothing. They're to be skipped, except of course when it's called the National Anthem.

Real men are not built like wussy whiners. They are engineered to seek their sole chemical rushes. That's the explanation that is the nearest to physics, so it's the best.

PS: For once, I agree with Baron - you're a meanie, Peter !
      
Nemo_
Senior Member

Fan-Seite
Nachrichten: 561
Registriert:
December 2006
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Sun, 04 May 2008 16:39
I still have bit to say:

I think in multis blocking might be good way not to be last, but c'mon if you are winning and block others for fun, I dont see whats the point.
      
Wildfire2099
Senior Member

Nachrichten: 654
Registriert:
June 2005
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Thu, 05 June 2008 00:06
@ Timmylyn:

With respect, I agree your points about 'being a bully' and such... if I was playing a game with my kids, or family members, etc... when the point of the game is really just to have something to do to hang out.. I do this regularly with the board game.

If that's what you're doing when you play TTR online(which is 100% fine, btw), no problem, TTR can be a great casual game for 4 or 5 players.. but you shouldn't be playing against anyone with a rating over 1400, Most people with ratings that that level and above are playing for the strategy and competion of the game, rather than to hang out... such people (myself included) want to win, and will do so by whatever means works, and, as Truckteller eloquently put it, to do less is an insult to your competitor.

I think the issues arise when someone who is playing just to hang out with friends (or attempting to make new ones) joins a game against a serious player.

      
LadyImmortal
Junior Member

Nachrichten: 15
Registriert:
April 2008
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Tue, 17 June 2008 06:20
I used to run no blocking games and then I sat and thought about it and wondered WHY.

80% of the games I play are Mega games. There are so many tickets in the USA 1910 expansion Mega Game that of COURSE you're going to get blocked by someone who needs the same route you do. That's a fact of life and it's going to happen. You're going to run into situations even in the regular USA game where two or more players are heading for a showdown at junction a, b and it's natural someone is going to try to get there first.

There are two times I had a cow about someone blocking - once when they took ALL THREE Routes out of Miami. That just seemed overkill to me - and unnecessary (I noticed later on they didn't finish all their routes anyway so I guessed it all evened out in the end). Another time was when I was heading up to Vancouver and two people took the route from Seattle to Vancouver - including some guy who was only on the east coast. I considered that a bit spiteful but, again, now GENERALLY consider it a part of the game.

Do I block? Only when I'm actually working on a route I'm trying to build. I don't do it spitefully, as it were (or try not to... I can't say I'm perfect <G>).

So, there's my thinking on blocking.

(Heck, I get 'blocked' so often in Europe you just gotta take it with a grain of salt!)

      
Peter de Zeeuw
Senior Member
T2R Nation Cup 2012 Winner

Fan-Seite
Nachrichten: 505
Registriert:
March 2005
Bastard 4 Life Tue, 17 June 2008 09:44
I block...

...because I can.


I'm not here to make friends. I'm here to humiliate, take down names and be the most memorable bastard you have ever encountered in the game.


(This thread must be the most popular one I've ever started thus far! Surprised )


Cool

D.I.S.
      
austex
Junior Member
Cadet

Nachrichten: 1
Registriert:
June 2008
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Wed, 18 June 2008 19:52
My thoughts - I'm not a fan of deliberate blocking for a few reasons:

1) There is no thinking and strategy involved. If I want a game based on blocking and where no thinking is required, I'll play tic-tac-toe.

2) If you make blocking a major focus of your strategy, you'll end up losing quite a bit if you are playing against good players, because they accept that natural blocking is going to happen all the time. They plan for it and your deliberate blocking is not going to stop them. Even if you shut them out of a city, they'll simple draw more tickets to negate the point loss and while you are piddling away your trains on trying to stop them, they are racking up the points.

If I know somebody is prone to actively try and block me (or just block in general by grabbing certain routes) from the start, I love it, because it makes them easy to beat - I can make them burn through trains and turns by leading them on a wild goose chase. They end up using up more trains and more turns than I do and that's going to make it easy for me to beat them. By the time they realize they were blocking routes I didn't need, the game is almost over Laughing

In real life, out of the 15-20 people I regularly play it with (friends, family, gaming club), nobody really bothers with blocking, mostly because we are playing 4-5 player games and there is so much natural blocking going on that spending the time and resources on actively blocking will only insure you finish with more unfinished tickets than everybody else (i.e. you lose). The fact that we are sitting across from one another - that may impact it as well, but most of the serious players I play with get more enjoyment out of maximizing their points while completing tickets and shooting for the longest routes in the process and seeing just how close they can cut it to the ending of the game (i.e. completing 6-8 tickets with one or two trains left over as the game ends and potentially ending up with the longest train).

In online TTR (on the USA map), I've got a mental list of a few people who, every single time they play, will automatically grab Houston <-> New Orleans and Nashville <-> Atlanta, regardless of whether they intend to use those or not (i.e. they grab them as soon as the game starts). I tend not to play with those types when possible not because they deliberately block, but because they aren't very good if they are relying on grabbing those up front.

If you play like I do and collect a ton of trains up front before ever playing any (perhaps all of the trains you need for a ticket plus a few extras), and you are focused on using the longer routes to generate the most points, by the time you actually start putting trains down on the board, most blockers are not going to be able to come up with the resources to block you. By the time they realize where you are headed, you're going to be putting down the next 4, 5, or 6 trains and you're over halfway to the city you are trying to reach.

In other words, they would have to neglect their tickets if they are piling up trains on the off chance they could block you on larger routes.

After I've said all of that, as far as online TTR, I find that it's not as big of a problem as some make it out to be. Granted, I play 4-5 player games only (where natural blocking has to be expected and where blockers have to worry about being naturally blocked themselves).

[Aktualisiert am: Wed, 18 June 2008 19:55]

      
Wildfire2099
Senior Member

Nachrichten: 654
Registriert:
June 2005
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Thu, 19 June 2008 21:56
austex wrote on Wed, 18 June 2008 13:52

My thoughts - I'm not a fan of deliberate blocking for a few reasons:

1) There is no thinking and strategy involved. If I want a game based on blocking and where no thinking is required, I'll play tic-tac-toe.

2) If you make blocking a major focus of your strategy, you'll end up losing quite a bit if you are playing against good players, because they accept that natural blocking is going to happen all the time. They plan for it and your deliberate blocking is not going to stop them. Even if you shut them out of a city, they'll simple draw more tickets to negate the point loss and while you are piddling away your trains on trying to stop them, they are racking up the points.




You are very much mistaken here. A good competitive player HAS to block sometimes to have any chance to win.. the fact that you suggest taking tickets as a solution tells me you don't generally play those people. TTR, at it's heart, is a game of effeciency.. the person who makes his 2 or 3 tickets with the most points on the board in the closest they can to 30 turns usually wins. A well placed block can make a person either blow off a route, take an extra turn or two, or even just swing longest, and that's all it takes to win.

austex wrote on Wed, 18 June 2008 13:52


If I know somebody is prone to actively try and block me (or just block in general by grabbing certain routes) from the start, I love it, because it makes them easy to beat - I can make them burn through trains and turns by leading them on a wild goose chase. They end up using up more trains and more turns than I do and that's going to make it easy for me to beat them. By the time they realize they were blocking routes I didn't need, the game is almost over Laughing



This behavior is not blocking, it's just silly. A good block is when you see your opponent has a big ticket (or made even a small one) and you play the route they want, thereby making them use more time to either get different colors or attempting going around. A very good block makes them miss their ticket. A great block does both and stays along your own path. Slapping down Atl-Nash or, as you mentioned, Hou-No on the first turn 'just in case' isn't a block, it's just bad strategy.. I actually groan a bit when people do this, because I know it'll be a quick, boring easy win.


austex wrote on Wed, 18 June 2008 13:52


In real life, out of the 15-20 people I regularly play it with (friends, family, gaming club), nobody really bothers with blocking, mostly because we are playing 4-5 player games and there is so much natural blocking going on that spending the time and resources on actively blocking will only insure you finish with more unfinished tickets than everybody else (i.e. you lose). The fact that we are sitting across from one another - that may impact it as well, but most of the serious players I play with get more enjoyment out of maximizing their points while completing tickets and shooting for the longest routes in the process and seeing just how close they can cut it to the ending of the game (i.e. completing 6-8 tickets with one or two trains left over as the game ends and potentially ending up with the longest train).



If you're playing games with people that are regularly completing
6-8 tickets, then you're not playing the game right Wink

I'm mostly kidding, obviously, you can play however you like, but
if you ever observe any of the top players here play, you'll see
that that NEVER happens in a regular game.. it just takes too long.

Next time you play with your group.. try simply going out as fast as you can.. get as many 5 and 6 routes as you can, make your 2 tickets, and end it.. I bet you'll win, or come very close.

I also agree that blocking in 4-5 players games is far less effective than in 2 player.. it's really more a matter of beating your opponent to the spot you need rather than blocking.
Any block that takes more than one play will really just hurt you almost as much as the person you're blocking in alot of cases. Most of the argument I (and others) make about blocking are definately refering to 2 player games.


      
LadyImmortal
Junior Member

Nachrichten: 15
Registriert:
April 2008
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Fri, 20 June 2008 07:49
Wildfire2099 wrote on Thu, 19 June 2008 14:56


This behavior is not blocking, it's just silly. A good block is when you see your opponent has a big ticket (or made even a small one) and you play the route they want, thereby making them use more time to either get different colors or attempting going around. A very good block makes them miss their ticket. A great block does both and stays along your own path. Slapping down Atl-Nash or, as you mentioned, Hou-No on the first turn 'just in case' isn't a block, it's just bad strategy.. I actually groan a bit when people do this, because I know it'll be a quick, boring easy win.


I wanted to note here that there are people who play either HOU/NO or NASH/ATL because they actually need them - not to block.

I'm not going to argue whether blocking is good or not. In some strategies I can see it being good and in some I can see it not working as well (such as a game I just finished playing where the guy managed to take two routes into Miami and block the third but yet came in dead last.... so whatever he was trying to prove doing that didn't work so well. (I think, mostly, he ran out of cars).

I do think blocking could be used efficiently and, obviously, it's done often (I get blocked by the bots on the cd version of the game so often it's not worth getting upset about anymore).

Wildfire2099 wrote on Thu, 19 June 2008 14:56



Next time you play with your group.. try simply going out as fast as you can.. get as many 5 and 6 routes as you can, make your 2 tickets, and end it.. I bet you'll win, or come very close.



Ooh, that's an interesting strategy to note. Thanks! Very Happy. (I always love trying new things out). I always assumed getting the longer routes was better? Is it?

Wildfire2099 wrote on Thu, 19 June 2008 14:56


I also agree that blocking in 4-5 players games is far less effective than in 2 player.. it's really more a matter of beating your opponent to the spot you need rather than blocking.
Any block that takes more than one play will really just hurt you almost as much as the person you're blocking in alot of cases. Most of the argument I (and others) make about blocking are definately refering to 2 player games.



I have found that I get blocked on purpose a lot less in 4 player than I do in 2 player. Face it - in 4 or 5 player there are so many people going for various sections of the board, it stands to reason SOMEONE isn't going to make it there...

Good conversation here - and good way to pick up some strategy tips too! Thanks Wildfire...
      
Wildfire2099
Senior Member

Nachrichten: 654
Registriert:
June 2005
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Fri, 20 June 2008 17:42
In 4 and 5 player, what tickets you get matters alot more than in 2 player, I think, but, If you manage to get the long track sections you need to make an effecient route while completing your tickets, I think you'll win most games against people who try to draw tickets and compete a bunch of route.


The big IF being the ability to get those track sections you need... the more people, the harder that is.
      
chasfinney
Junior Member

Nachrichten: 1
Registriert:
June 2006
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Thu, 03 July 2008 23:47
I was actually told by a player today that "there are punishments for blockers" on this site.

Yeah. Punishments for playing the game as it was designed to be played. Suuuuuuure.

Folks, I just play the best strategies, and those often involve blocking. If you are an inexperienced player and this bothers you, then just don't play anyone with a rating over 1400. I guarantee you that those players got that rating by playing the fourfold strategy mentioned elsewhere in this thread, which definitely DOES include blocking.

But when someone attacks me personally for blocking, that degrades MY enjoyment of this site. It makes me wish someone would post a comment at the very "front" of this site: a sort of Dantean message: "Abandon hope, all ye who do not block."

In my mind, it's a simple matter: those who attack people who play strategically need to get educated about the game, or play somewhere else. Their angst emerges out of ignorance, as far as I can tell--and that ignorance could so easily be cured by reading this thread, or even by thinking for just a moment about the competitive nature of almost ALL games.

Why should a few folks who don't like to play competitively spoil it for all those who do? THAT's what I consider "unfair."

Just my two cents . . .
      
Black Baron
Senior Member

Fan-Seite
Nachrichten: 219
Registriert:
November 2007
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Sat, 05 July 2008 03:34
Actually I think I can tell you were this whole idea of "blocking is unfair" idea has come from.

It came from the world coddling their children for the last 15 years.
Soccer games where neither team loses and everyone plays the same amount of time.
Schools where taking an English test and responding to the essay question with "f--- you" gets points because it was spelled correctly and made a statement.
Offices where you can't comment on anyone's effort to look nice because it's sexual harassment.
Blogs where you can not express your own opinions because they might offend others.

And having a world where many children are never allowed to develop real independence. Parents hovering over their children to make "sure" they right decisions are made, checking in with them multiple times a day. etc.

A new favorite quote of mine is "Cell phones, the longest umbilical cord ever invented".

People today just can't seem to emotionally handle somewhat offensive speech, any criticism, or having their plans frustrated in any way shape or form. Too many years of child sports teams where "everyone wins!" has seen to that.


Baron

[Aktualisiert am: Mon, 07 July 2008 02:34]

      
Peter de Zeeuw
Senior Member
T2R Nation Cup 2012 Winner

Fan-Seite
Nachrichten: 505
Registriert:
March 2005
Nuff Said Tue, 08 July 2008 10:47
_Baron wrote on Sat, 05 July 2008 03:34

Actually I think I can tell you were this whole idea of "blocking is unfair" idea has come from.

It came from the world coddling their children for the last 15 years.
Soccer games where neither team loses and everyone plays the same amount of time.
Schools where taking an English test and responding to the essay question with "f--- you" gets points because it was spelled correctly and made a statement.
Offices where you can't comment on anyone's effort to look nice because it's sexual harassment.
Blogs where you can not express your own opinions because they might offend others.

And having a world where many children are never allowed to develop real independence. Parents hovering over their children to make "sure" they right decisions are made, checking in with them multiple times a day. etc.

A new favorite quote of mine is "Cell phones, the longest umbilical cord ever invented".

People today just can't seem to emotionally handle somewhat offensive speech, any criticism, or having their plans frustrated in any way shape or form. Too many years of child sports teams where "everyone wins!" has seen to that.


Baron



Amen.

D.I.S.
      
Wildfire2099
Senior Member

Nachrichten: 654
Registriert:
June 2005
Re:Nuff Said Tue, 08 July 2008 19:43
That's a damn fine post Baron... I agree 100%

      
erps
Senior Member

Fan-Seite
Nachrichten: 1637
Registriert:
July 2005
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Wed, 09 July 2008 10:39
Hi

Hm, how to express your opinion without getting banned forever?

Let's say, that in my opinion maybe 10% (could be also 50% or 100%) of all non blocking players may be no idiots at all. But i may be wrong! And all people reading this thread are exempted, of course!

bye, erps
      
LadyImmortal
Junior Member

Nachrichten: 15
Registriert:
April 2008
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Sat, 12 July 2008 07:06
I was totally on the no blocking side of things for about a month - and then I quit caring. I've found I end up blocking (moreso to get where I'm going than to be 'mean'). If I'm going from point a to point b and it's through your route, well, that's life.

And near the end of the game I HAVE been known to take up an unneeded route - but since I don't think I'm very good at blocking where I don't need to be, I don't try it. The couple of times I did try it sorta backfired on me.

One of those strategies I just don't have down yet... (which is why my score is in the upper 1200's eh?)
      
Wildfire2099
Senior Member

Nachrichten: 654
Registriert:
June 2005
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Fri, 18 July 2008 00:03
Snyder -

You'll find the more you play, the more often you'll just KNOW where the other player is going, but what routes they take, or even sometimes by what colors they take. A big part of beng a good player is recognizing this while being confusing yourself.

Once you have a good idea of their tickets, Then you can assess what you're doing and decide whether you want to stop them or not.

There's always the chance they're trying to fake you out, or (more often with lower rated players) building the route in the hopes of drawing the tickets later... I've lost a few games that way, it's pretty aggravating to have made a nice block to stop the person from getting LA-NY only to find out they really had west coast routes and Den-Pit and beat you by 20 points. It helps far more often than not, though.


Once you can do that, you'll start movin' on up Wink
      
Black Baron
Senior Member

Fan-Seite
Nachrichten: 219
Registriert:
November 2007
  Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Sat, 19 July 2008 09:26

[Aktualisiert am: Sat, 26 July 2008 15:48]

      
GameJunkieJim
Junior Member

Fan-Seite
Nachrichten: 5
Registriert:
July 2008
Re:Blocking - An Endless (But Always Interesting) Discussion Wed, 23 July 2008 05:06
Just bought the board game a couple weeks ago, and registered here this morning, and have to say that I cannot believe this is an issue at all.

I'm a new player. I don't have a tenth of the experience of most of the people here probably. However I can say that blocking is A-OK.

Not that I've done it much, I'm usually more worried about completing my own tickets.

But if you are able to complete your tickets, maintain your score, and still successfully block my route, good for you. Well played and all that.

Complaining about an aspect of the game that makes it harder for you to win is poor sportsmanship. It's competition, plain and simple. The object is to win. The goal is to have fun. If you can't have fun playing the game as it was intended, maybe you need a different game, or to agree on house rules beforehand.

There is a reason you draw the destination tickets in secret. The other players aren't supposed to know what they are. If you claim your routes in an obvious fashion, you have nobody but yourself to blame when your route gets blocked on purpose.

Yay, my first post, and it points out silliness.
      
Peter de Zeeuw
Senior Member
T2R Nation Cup 2012 Winner

Fan-Seite
Nachrichten: 505
Registriert:
March 2005
Welcome, GameJunkieJim Wed, 23 July 2008 09:47
GameJunkieJim, welcome to the community. Very Happy

D.I.S.
      
Seiten (3): [ «  <  1  2  3  >  » ]     
Vorheriges Thema:What is the total number of ranked players?
Nächstes Thema:Discrepancy between online and offline rules
Gehen Sie zum Forum: