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Saghiet
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Defining no blocking Sun, 03 July 2011 11:20
It seems to be an ongoing discussion, this one, doesnt it? Wink

I think it would be usefull to have a thread in which non-blockers explain what the mean by that.

I myself prefer the non-blocking game. I think it is a challenge to get the worst draw and still win simply by finishing first, or getting such a good longest route, the other one doesnt stand a chance. Regardless of their tickets. I also respect that blocking is a valid strategy. Which I had to grow into because I never played it like that before, and in the beginning it just felt really wrong to intentionally sabotage some elses game. But I have seen that when mutually accepted blocking can make for a very interesting game. So this thread is in no way meant to jugde blockers, or make them feel bad about their game. No jugdement either way, generally accepting that everyone has their own preferences.

But someone who doesnt mind blocking, entered a no blocking game of mine, trying to play by my rules. But this players felt I was blocking, so got a bit annoyed cause I didnt play by my own rules. I can see why, because it seemed I went out of my way to take the route he needed, while I didnt need it for finishing tickets. What I was doing was making sure I got longest, in the fastes way I could. I think longest is, especially in a 2-player-game, just as important (if not more) as finishing tickets. You could see it as the most important ticket you have to finish. So I really didnt mean it as block, but it did turn out like that.
I respected that it really did seem like that, and could understand why he felt the need to get into it a bit. Have to say that in this case is was a very polite conversation, and in the end we really did see each others points of view. He said something that really made me think. He said something like, the creators of no-blocking games have the advantage to make op their own rules.
Which led me to write this thread, hopefully to help prevent future misunderstandings.

My definition of 'no blocking' is
- You don't build routes only to sabotage others, not benefitting your own route or tickets
- If you have to build a route that someone else is obviously wanting to build, its okay as long as it's a route you had in mind for finishing your tickets or longest route.
- If you block someone to avoid them getting longest, its also considered a block. Again with the strategy in mind that longest is at least just as important as tickets finishing.


What I also think is that people who like no-blocking games shouldnt call their games 'fair'. Because blocking isnt unfair, at least not when everyone knows it's permitted.

These of course are just opinions, not facts. Non of this is officially written somewhere. This is just how I see it, and what I'd expect coming into a no-blocking game.

And then, having said all this, in the end it remains a matter of trust when someone seems to block in a no-blocking game. Saying they needed or wanted it form the start. You can never really proof that, so I decide to give people the benefit of the doubt as long a it isnt a obvious block.

Feel free to add or make changes to my list of course!

[Updated on: Sun, 03 July 2011 11:25]

      
Mr Bean
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Re:Defining no blocking Sun, 03 July 2011 12:33
What about people who start (most of their) games with atl-nash, port-sea and / or hou-no ? Would you consider that blocking? It might depend on your own tickets of course, but we're assuming the opponent doesn't know these.
These are usually the people who don't like blocking, but they like to take these tracks in advance of drawing more tickets later.

However, looking at the first part of your definition:
they aren't really deliberately sabotaging others, but they are also not benefitting their own route or (current) tickets.
So, is it blocking or not Rolling Eyes ?


Quote:

I myself prefer the non-blocking game. I think it is a challenge to get the worst draw and still win simply by finishing first, or getting such a good longest route, the other one doesnt stand a chance. Regardless of their tickets.


That is just an illusion, i'm afraid. I'm sure you can win some games with inferior tickets without blocking, but if your opponent has e.g. NY-Sea and Mon-Van and you have Dall-NY and Kan-Hou, there is no way you are going to win without blocking.
Even more so, since by these rules he could even openly state having these tickets, which would mean you have to give a free ride, because with those tickets you would have no reason to get in his way (other than blocking).
This also shows why intentional non-blocking is not a good idea. You are taking something out of the balance of a perfectly good game and turning it into something less.
      
Saghiet
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Re:Defining no blocking Sun, 03 July 2011 12:43
Sorry about first that bit, I see how I myself with that started the discussion again. That was not my intend with this thread. My intend was to specify what people mean by no blocking, so misunderstandings are not as common in the future. I am aware of the fact that there are certain combinations which, without blocking are almost impossable to win with. I specificly said I respect everyone's preverences so this wouldnt turn in another blocking-is-stupid, or no-blocking-is-stupid thread. We know there are strong feelings an oppinions about it. My oppinion is, let everyone play there game the way they want, wether you think its a good strategy or not. My intent was to create a thread in which the definition of no-blocking becomes more clear then it is now.

Hmmm good point with the building of routes in advance. Hmm, I dont consider it a block I guess, it could be because they see that they will be needing more tickets and want to improve there chance to get some doable tickets that way.

So as long as its not meant to make use someone elke cant finish, but mainly to make sure you have a fighting chance I'd say its not a block.

But again, thats of course just an opinion.

[Updated on: Sun, 03 July 2011 13:00]

      
Zeno
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Re:Defining no blocking Mon, 18 July 2011 19:44
I've given this some thought, off and on, and have finally come up with a workable definition of no-blocking.

"Play as if your opponent is a chimpanzee who is laying routes at random."

It handles all of the situations listed above admirably. It rules out any route laying based on guessing what your opponent is likely to play. It allows you to extend your lines to get longest, but without interfering, because you are playing without caring about how your opponent is likely to play. It is only blocking if you are acting to pre-empt an opponent move that you think is more probable than chance would dictate. It also explains why some people find choosing nash-atl to be questionable. Are you taking it because you know it is often taken? If so, then you may be taking early, without blocking, merely because you are risk averse. Still, it seems to be against my rule.

{Technically, the chimpanzee portion is not necessary to the definition, and merely indicates my position on the no-blocking debate, as I tend to think of the game as a strategic one, played against intelligent opposition.}
      
CAT-pegaso
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Re:Defining no blocking Mon, 18 July 2011 21:25
More questions:
If you play one sixtie that you just don't need, only to get the 15 points, is this blocking?
Is you take an open card of a colour that you don't need, only to avoid your opponent to get this colour, is this blocking?
If you leave your tickets, only to finnish one turn faster and avoid your opponent to make their owns, is this blocking?

If you want to play no blocking games is nice to define this as good as possible, BUT for me this is like when you play soccer in the school and you don't allow to kick the ball too hard (this 'too hard' is imposible to define).

As it has been said several times, blocking and avoiding to being block (hidding your tix) gives a lot of spicy to the game, why don't give a try Saghiet?
      
Saghiet
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Re:Defining no blocking Tue, 19 July 2011 20:00
Pegaso, who says I haven't Wink. I did play blockers for a long time, I just like the no-blocking games better. But again, I am repeating myself, this thread isnt about discussing which strategy makes for a more interesting game cause thats personal. There's lots of players out there who prefer a blocking game over a no-blocking game, and the other way around. Lets respect each others preferences. I cant help but seeing that even though I specified very clearly what I wanted with this thread people cant help but trying to convince that blocking is better, more interesing, more spicy, more intelligent, etc. Some poeple think so, some people dont. There's really not much more you can say about it. Its an oppinion, a preference, a subjective thing. There are no facts when it comes to peoples personal likes and dislikes.

The only thing I keep running into is in de games called 'no-blocking' people can get really frustrated, some even pissed-off and extremely unreasonable, when what happens doesnt fit their definition of no blocking. So a more clearified defenition written by non-blockers would be helpfull I thought.

To answer your other questions..

If you play one sixtie that you just don't need, only to get the 15 points, is this blocking?
No, not in my opinion. My personal strategy is to get as many points, as fast as I can. Sometimes I even choose very small tickets with the intend not to finish them and just build as many 5 and 6 ways, as fast as I can. I dont do that to make sure someone cant get around me anymore, but for the points, and for the points alone. Lets say I have 6 greens. Winnipeg-sault st Marie is open, and also El Paso-Houston. El Paso doesnt benefit my longest, and its obvious my opponent needs it. I want to build a six-way for the points, I would then choose winnipeg. So if I dont sabotage my longest or loose points by it, I will always choose not to bother someone elses route.

I think that also answer your third question, doenst it? I dont think its blocking if you know you have a losing combination of sucky destinationtickets to leave them be and try finish fast building large ways for points. The point of the game still is to try and get more points then someone else. If you think that leaving the tickets and finishing fast is the way to get the most poinst, of course you choose to do that.

Second question..
Is you take an open card of a colour that you don't need, only to avoid your opponent to get this colour, is this blocking?
Blocking is not the right word, but it has the same feel to it, indeed. I would only take colours my opponent obviously needs if I really do need them myself. For example, I have 4 greens, and 1 yellow. I want one more sixway to finish. There are greens but obviously my opponent needs them too. I am gonna take them, cause I really do need them. Would there also be reds that my opponent really, I would leave them. Only greens would benefit me.

I hope this answers your question..
Input from other no blockers if they dont agree with me of course is welcome!

[Updated on: Tue, 19 July 2011 20:05]

      
solinsf
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Re:Defining no blocking Tue, 19 July 2011 21:16
"I'm sure you can win some games with inferior tickets without blocking, but if your opponent has e.g. NY-Sea and Mon-Van and you have Dall-NY and Kan-Hou, there is no way you are going to win without blocking."

Just last night I played a game in which I had the hideously bad combination of Ny-Atl, Chi-NO. My opponent began by taking Sea-Por, then proceeded to grab every yellow, orange, and purple up-card for the next 10 turns or so. So I began my game by going NY-Pit, NY-Mon, and NY-Washington. Then, when he tried to sneak in through Boston, I took Mon-Bos. At that point, I got called a "pathetic [Bip]."

Turns out he not only had Sea-NY, but also LA-NY. I don't care how good you are (and I'm not particularly good). If the made-up rules require me to sit back and let my opponent complete his tickets, I don't know how anyone with my combination beats a person with his combination. If you don't like being blocked, don't make your tickets obvious, like this guy did.
      
Saghiet
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Re:Defining no blocking Tue, 19 July 2011 21:58
OMG, how often do I have to repeat myself that this is not meant as a discussion between blockers and no blockers...

I give up. It was a sincere attempt to get more clearity and understanding between players, and not another thread for blockers to endlessly repeat and push their own opinions.
      
dea1
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Re:Defining no blocking Tue, 19 July 2011 23:48
This is an input from a nasty blocker - I hope it's still appreciated Wink

Saghiet - I think, people who play like you are scarce if existant at all.

You do everything the "good players" do - besides your idea of blocking.

Players who open games "no blocking" or "fair" expect that
- you NEVER take the tracks or cards they need
- you give them ample time to complete whatever tickets they assembled

When I played games with players stating "no blocking" or lower ranked players stating nothing at all I followed your ideas. It only earned me "nice names", so I don't play any of those any more.

It's not so easy - from the "other side" people frequently don't see whether you needed a track/colour or not.
And they may not share your opinion about what's "needed" ... you don't "need" the green 6er (to complete your ticks) you just "like" it (because it makes you win) - is that evil???

My feeling is, that the world you're looking for, cannot exist.
Either you play competitively - meaning, you do EVERYTHING (but cheating, of course) to win
Or you pay "friendly" - then your style of playing is already "too much"

My view - my experience - may still be wrong
      
Saghiet
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Re:Defining no blocking Wed, 20 July 2011 11:54
Thnx for your post (and yes imput like this is really on-topic, so very welcome Wink). Altough it isnt my opinion that blockers are 'nasty'Smile, they just prefer another way of playing.

I have come across the exact same thing you describe here, the lower score players who think no blocking also means
- not finishing before someone else is done with their tickets
- No taking routes they need, not even when you really do need them yourselve
- etc. All the things you just stated.

I dont wanna generally judge a group of players, but it has come to my attention that these different interpretations happen more often in games where I allow all ranks and scores to play, then in games where I ask for 1300+ players. 1300+ non-blockers generally play the game like me. There's always the occasional exception of course.

But the way some lowerrankplayers describe their view on no-blocking is just undoable im my opinion. You can just sit back then and say, please take all my points. I will do everything in my power to loose this game Rolling Eyes Very Happy . Of course you always try and win. I think thats one of the big frustrations that blockers get when no-blockers call their games unfair. Its not unfair, its just a way of trying to win. Which should be accepted without any comment if the game wasnt named 'no blocking'.

Thats why I set up this thread to begin with. I think if people really prefer to play trying not to block others, and like to be played that way by others, they should be able to name their games like that. It would only be nice if the defenition of no-blocking wouldnt be so wide spread and unclear. Exactly like you described in your post.

I am starting to think you might be right though that my attempt, however well I meant it, does not have the effect I hoped it would.

But I really appreciate you taking the time to respond and go deeper into the subject I wanted to discuss. Thnx.

[Updated on: Wed, 20 July 2011 11:54]

      
Robo_
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Re:Defining no blocking Wed, 20 July 2011 14:08
Hi all,

like you see, it's hard to define, what 's blocking or not..... So I think, all players should agree, BEFORE the game starts, wich roules they want to follow ( like a friendship-game in other kinds of sports).
You could call it "family- roules" or "friendship-rouls" etc. The best way, I think, to avoid blockers from games, is to open unrated games......no competitive player would join it Razz .

ps: in former times, i've had the same thinking like "NO Blockers", but I thought it over and came to the solution, that there have to be some possibilities, to fight good tickets with crap tickets Razz

regards Robo

[Updated on: Sat, 23 July 2011 14:59]

      
Austin2002
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Re:Defining no blocking Fri, 08 April 2016 08:23
Completely agree
      
Austin2002
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Re:Defining no blocking Fri, 08 April 2016 08:24
Flop_dea1
      
    
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