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Zeno
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  'no blocking'. Is this okay? Fri, 28 July 2006 05:54
This is not addressed to the vast majority of those who like to play a game of TTR, and who do not block. This is not addressed to those who play multi-player, nor to those who play europe. This is addressed to the vocal minority who play 2-player USA (or Swiss) competitively, and who insist on a notion of fairness that I find unintelligible. This topic was inspired by reading erps' comments on blocking, and yet another ugly slow-play incident. Sorry that it is so long, but this is how I think things through.

1. What does 'no blocking' mean?
I honestly do not know. Oh, I know a good block when I see one. I have made them, and I have been on the receiving end. Sometimes they are sloppy and ineffective, but sometimes they are clever and devastating. I do not expect to convince you that there is an aesthetic to blocking, though I believe there is. But what types of behavior does 'no blocking' limit? Is grabbing a stretch that is useful to me, but necessary for you blocking? Is taking a track that reduces your potential longest track, but which still allows you to make your ticket blocking? Is grabbing 6's, but leaving open 2's and 3's that lead to the same place blocking? If I let you build from LA-Mia, but take the 5 blue, red 6 and NO-Hou, and make you enter Mia through the 4 purple by way of Dallas, is this blocking? If I recognize that you need the six red to finish, and I just need to draw to fill in some grays, then is it blocking if I pull reds off the open stack? If I have 14 cars left, and you draw and keep three big tickets, and I lay down two 6's unconnected to my track, but not in your way, thus ending the game quickly and leaving you with a load of unmade tix, is this blocking? If I only take two tickets, and finish the game quickly, is this blocking? I honestly do not know. If some of these seem far from blocking, remember that LongBot is dead. Poor, honest LongBot, who never denied anyone entry to New York is no more.

2. What does 'fair' mean, and is it a part of 'no blocking'?
'Fair' is a one of those simple words that is tough to define. If all you mean is "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", or "act only according to that maxim which you can at the same time will should become a universal law", then we are at an impasse. You do not block because you do not want to be blocked. You wouldn't want to play the game if everybody naturally blocked. Well, I block and I relish the good fight with other blockers. I would like the game better if everyone did block, and I play (almost exclusively) people who do block in some form or another. There is a notion of 'evenness' to 'fairness' and 'advantage' to 'unfairness', and since you would not interfere with my track while building yours it would seem even for me to do the same, and I would have an advantage if I had the extra weapon of blocking. If we could agree beforehand on a coherent standard of conduct, perhaps this would be meaningful.

3. Is 'no blocking' enforceable?
Given blocking's effectiveness, players would have every reason to stretch the limits of what would count as 'no blocking'. If there were impartial referees to call fouls, then fine. Is DoW going to suit up a load of people to monitor every game, taking away moves that are deemed fouls? (Psst - the answer is no) It will be more akin to a game of street basketball where everybody calls their own fouls, and that is a tough, ever changing equilibrium, full of snubs and nasty exchanges. Alternatively, imagine World Cup Soccer, where the players are responsible for figuring out what constitutes a foul. If you imagine that allowing blocking will result in Rollerball, you are wrong. The moves of the top players are simple on the surface, but subtle in ways I am still trying to learn. The top players do block, but not as often as you might think. If you find that you are often being blocked, ask what you are doing to make your route so easy to discern.

4. Is 'no blocking' the way that the game should be played?
A game is determined by its rules. There is nothing against blocking in the rules. The only question is whether it is effective, and whether we want to rewrite the rules. The effectiveness question can be answered by looking at the type of people that rise to the top, so obviously blocking is effective. To alter this, you would have to rewrite the rules to make blocking less effective. It is less effective, though still useful in Europe. I do not yet know about Märklin. It was thought that Switzerland was a haven for no blocking, but it is not, as thekid is showing. In the absence of such a rule, it is as if you find it wrong to move a pawn forward two spaces from its initial position. You may believe that you know the way the game should be played because you see a beauty in the way you play it. Just know that I do not share your viewpoint, and that I find my way just as beautiful, and it is a beauty that is in harmony with the rules, where your notion of beauty is contrary to the rules.

5. Why do I care?
Reason 1: (erps' reason)
The debate poisons the lobby. If you want to put 'no blocking' in your title, I have no real objection, so long as you don't use it as a ruse and don't expect to be taken seriously as a competitive player. If you put 'fast and fair' in your title, you are staking out a moral high ground that is not there. Frankly good sportsmanship is more likely to be found among the top players. By calling your version 'fair' you are attempting to change the game through social controls, in a way that is in constant opposition to the rules. The result is a Spanish Inquisition and continuing hostility. Erps' response in the Blocking thread convinced me that this is a real problem.
Reason 2: The zealots
Screaming in the lobby or writing nasty notes in the forum is not good enough for some people. The typical response from the other players is that they are whiners, and all because, um, they are whining. Some players take matters into their own hands and slow play. A typical 2-player game takes 5-10 minutes. Sometimes a position becomes tricky, and so the interface allows you time to think, so long as you remain active in some way. Some social zealots use this feature to slow or stop the play as a way of punishing people they deem offenders. I have heard of others who have had the game stopped for up to two hours. I once had someone stop the game against me for an hour (though I believe it might have been because he thought I was English, and it was merely an anglo-french thing). I find this to be horrible and offensive. I hope that DoW will attempt to enforce some civility, and take this weapon out of the hands of the zealots.
      
*player228974
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Re:'no blocking'. Is this okay? Fri, 28 July 2006 09:06
As to the thread heading , the answer from anyone who enjoys a battle of wits that is, the answer is no.I think this is where the problem lies. not whether blocking is ok or not,but how the different "camps" on the subject interact.I too have had problems with people who don't enjoy blocking,in the past.Although not to such extremes as some players have suffered of late.
The reason i say in the past is i now open all games with heading "ok to block" and never join a game with anyone i don't know,who has a score below 1500, and have had no trouble since.
Although i did get 1 clown who did whinge about blocking during a game ,but promptly shutup when reminded the game he entered was called "ok to block ".And what did he think was going to happen when he made it so obvious as to where he was going.
As to banning blocking i would be very interested to see where the anti blocking brigade,(i say brigade instead of saying WHINGEING WHINING NANCY BOYS AND GIRLS,As that would not be very P.C. of me ). would draw the line.I think u would find that no clear consensus would be reached . Anyway DOW would never ban blocking for 2 very good reasons
1 The cost of policing no blocking would be astronomical.
2 They would never want to ruin a excellent game.
that's my 2 cents worth(well due to inflation 5 cents worth now)
Lets hear from the anti blocking "brigade" Laughing Laughing
      
rudi69
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Re:'no blocking'. Is this okay? Fri, 28 July 2006 15:14
dewey schrieb am Fri, 28 July 2006 05:54


...I have heard of others who have had the game stopped for up to two hours.



I am so sorry but my head's so big every thought (and train) needs it's time to travel through.

Quote:

I once had someone stop the game against me for an hour (though I believe it might have been because he thought I was English, and it was merely an anglo-french thing). I find this to be horrible and offensive.



Puh, it wasn't me. Lucky I am.

CU,

Rudi

PS: I just love these discussions especially the whining. But then again: I am evil. Twisted Evil
PPS: This post is only half serious. Players having played me know which part is serious. Cool
PPPS: If you block me, I also use erps' tactics and whine, moan, lament, wail (love my thethaurus) Razz

[Updated on: Fri, 28 July 2006 15:16]

      
erps
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Re:'no blocking'. Is this okay? Fri, 28 July 2006 15:46
Hi

rudi69 schrieb am Fri, 28 July 2006 15:14


PPPS: If you block me, I also use erps' tactics and whine, moan, lament, wail (love my thethaurus) Razz


I am not using this tactic here in TTR. Really really. Never! You are so evil! *sniff* I will not play anymore against you, last time you blocked me really unfair (and fast!). So go and name all your games "fast un' fair" Twisted Evil

And dewey! You are American? No English? Otherwise i would stop playing you. See, this is an anglo-german thing... Laughing
Just kidding!

Back to topic:
I have said already all to this in another thread. Only a few things remain: I have never encountered in all my games a player who suspended the games for hours. Reason number 1: I read almost all in the forum and know the names of these players or have them in my buddy list. Reason number 2: I name my games with "pw block" or "hard" or "may block". Sometimes a player is leaving after a block (quitter) but i think now that this is nothing compared to whining or stopping the game! It is the same as a "Concede" button, why playing an already lost game to the end?

bye, erps
      
Dandy
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Re:'no blocking'. Is this okay? Fri, 28 July 2006 22:56
Reminds me something: "Four legs is goooood... Two legs is baaaaad..." Laughing

It seems there is a simple way out of this predicament of deliberate slow-playing or freezing the game by the zealots of "fair play". No need to change any TTR rules, just a slight change of TTR web-site behavior.

Now the player who don't do any activity is replaced by the bot after some period of time (don't know exact duration). If there is an activity, but the move is not made, connection persists and the game can be deliberately delayed - with the purpose to punish your opponent (blocker), to "freeze" him/her out of the otherwise lost game and to avoid losing your precious ELO points to this much hated, bad, ugly, "not fair" blocker.

I would suggest that disconnection from the game should happen even if there is some activity, but this activity does not constitute a move in the game for considerable period of time (and maybe in this case it should NOT be allowed to such player to re-connect to the same game). DOW folks, please, PLEASE, implement strict limitation of time for making one move!

Just don't overdo it and don't decrease current period of time for disconnection - anybody who played with me knows that I'm NOT very fast player. Razz For that reason I never join the games with the word "FAST" in the title...
      
Tazilon
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Re:'no blocking'. Is this okay? Sun, 06 August 2006 17:35
I can not grasp the logic behind the concept that blocking is unfair.

This game is NOT about seeing how many cities you can connect in a contiguous set of routes. It is about outscoring your opponent.

Various strategies must be learned to achieve positive results consistently. Blocking is one of them. So is learning how not to be blocked.

What exactly makes blocking "unfair"? It falls within the rules of the game and both players have access to the tactic. Seems a level playing field to me. Players who do not block voluntarily stack the odds against themselves.

Ethically, this is no different than playing someone who favors short routes over long ones. His gameplay decisions handicap his chances of winning.

If you argue that one should not block when playing someone who does not block, then you must also argue that one should only use short routes when playing someone who uses mostly short routes; afterall - one must keep the game "fair".

Cast in this light, the no blocking argument is exposed for the foolishness it is.

Taz
      
junatrain
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Re:'no blocking'. Is this okay? Wed, 16 August 2006 18:04
Point (1):I think the thread starter is intentionally making the definition of blocking more problematic than it really is. In my experience, a lion's share of the medium level players in this community instinctively adhere to a certain simple code about blocking:

"You do not go out of your way to disrupt other players' routes." Simple as that. This means: You do your own thing, they do theirs. IF your routes happen to clash and your progress happens to hinder the other players' progress, that is fine, even a good thing. You MAY even choose to slightly alter your own route to make another person's life harder. This is not blocking, because everything you do makes sense as part of your route. But you do not suddenly build a piece track where you have no route, simply to block another player. For THAT is blocking. Clear?

This must in reality be quite clear, since this is the way most players play the game, even though no such rule has ever been consciously agreed upon. This must not be quite as unnatural as you blockers make it sound, since a majority (in my subjective experience) of people play this way!

Point (2): I personally do not think blockers are mean. They are quite welcome to their own way of playing. Theirs is a different strategy. There should not be a rule against blocking - both schools of playing should learn to live side by side. However, I personally would rather hit myself over the head with a dead fish than play with blockers, simply because:

I personally do not enjoy blocking. ---> I do not block, even against blockers. ---> I automatically lose against blockers.
---> The game loses all meaning for everyone.


I know there is nothing in the game rules against blocking. However, since the game loses meaning if most players don't kind of share a similar strategy, we non-blockers must play against other non-blockers in order for the game not to lose meaning. And this is why getting blocked frustrates us.

[Updated on: Wed, 16 August 2006 18:11]

      
junatrain
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Re:'no blocking'. Is this okay? Wed, 16 August 2006 18:07
whoops, duplicate

[Updated on: Wed, 16 August 2006 18:07]

      
rudi69
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Re:'no blocking'. Is this okay? Wed, 16 August 2006 19:19
Hi,

junatrain schrieb am Wed, 16 August 2006 18:04

Point (1):I think the thread starter is intentionally making the definition of blocking more problematic than it really is.


agreed, that's a technique to make a point. But it's exaggerated only slightly (in my opinion).

Quote:


In my experience, a lion's share of the medium level players in this community instinctively adhere to a certain simple code about blocking:
...deleted stuff of a very questionable definition.



Your experience is not identical to mine. Perhaps because you don't like blockers.

Quote:

This must in reality be quite clear, since this is the way most players play the game, ...


Fortunately you know different people than I do.

Quote:

Point (2): I personally do not think blockers are mean.


You bet we are (look above) Twisted Evil

Quote:


They are quite welcome to their own way of playing. Theirs is a different strategy. There should not be a rule against blocking - both schools of playing should learn to live side by side.



side by side doesn't quite hit it. More like on a lower and an upper half of the ELO-scale.

Quote:


However, I personally would rather hit myself over the head with a dead fish than play with blockers, simply because:



Please include a picture of this.

Quote:


I personally do not enjoy blocking. ---> I do not block, even against blockers. ---> I automatically lose against blockers.
---> The game loses all meaning for everyone.




Hint: there's a fallacy in your last conclusion. (Another hint: it involves I--->everyone)

There are life forms out in the universe (let's call them good adaptive players for no apparent reason) that hate to block and don't do it but still do not loose automatically against a blocker.

Quote:


I know there is nothing in the game rules against blocking. However, since the game loses meaning if most players don't kind of share a similar strategy, we non-blockers must play against other non-blockers in order for the game not to lose meaning. And this is why getting blocked frustrates us.


Just please look at the original posting:

Quote:


...This is addressed to the vocal minority who play 2-player USA (or Swiss) competitively, and who insist on a notion of fairness that I find unintelligible....



I don't think you're meant. So just go on playing in the way "most people" do.

CU

Rudi
      
junatrain
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Re:'no blocking'. Is this okay? Wed, 16 August 2006 20:13
Your experience is not identical to mine. Perhaps because you don't like blockers.

Perhaps. I did hesitate to use my personal experience as a frame of reference, but really had no alternatives, so did.

----

side by side doesn't quite hit it. More like on a lower and an upper half of the ELO-scale.

If this difference of opinion helps you appreciate yourself, feel free. I do not feel inferior to you because I do not like blocking. We do not get to choose the things we like, anyway. (Rationally thinking I should really block, since it is a more successful strategy. But for reasons beyond my control, blocking does not appeal to me, so no such choice.)

----

However, I personally would rather hit myself over the head with a dead fish than play with blockers, simply because:

Please include a picture of this.

I might, if you weren't so (said it yourself) mean Cool

---

I personally do not enjoy blocking. ---> I do not block, even against blockers. ---> I automatically lose against blockers.
---> The game loses all meaning for everyone.


Hint: there's a fallacy in your last conclusion. (Another hint: it involves I--->everyone)

Or is there? Hint: doesn't automatically winning also make the game meaningless? (Another hint: Isn't TRYING to win the point of playing?)

---

There are life forms out in the universe (let's call them good adaptive players for no apparent reason) that hate to block and don't do it but still do not loose automatically against a blocker.

Ok, you caught me there: was using a technique to make a point, and exaggerated (but only slightly). Ring a bell?

---

I don't think you're meant. So just go on playing in the way "most people" do.

I did notice I wasn't meant. Sorry if I butted in on something that does not concern me. The blatant exaggeration in the 1st post kind of forced a reaction. I apologise for any inconvenience and/or irritation.

---

Thank you for reading and reacting Smile



      
Tazilon
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Re:'no blocking'. Is this okay? Sat, 19 August 2006 01:03
Big fallacy! A game may lose meaning to you because you make a decision at some point not to attempt winning but that in no way causes the game to lose meaning to your opponent.

All it means is they get a win easier than they should have gotten it. And you took a loss you may well have won had you displayed a desire to play to win instead of merely trying to make pretty lines on an online map.
      
Dandy
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Re:'no blocking'. Is this okay? Sat, 19 August 2006 01:34
junatrain wrote on Wed, 16 August 2006 11:13


I personally do not enjoy blocking. ---> I do not block, even against blockers. ---> I automatically lose against blockers.
---> The game loses all meaning for everyone.


Hint: there's a fallacy in your last conclusion. (Another hint: it involves I--->everyone)

Or is there? Hint: doesn't automatically winning also make the game meaningless? (Another hint: Isn't TRYING to win the point of playing?)



Actually, the TTR game loses almost all meaning if blocking is not allowed.

It would be almost the same as, playing chess, suggest that is is not OK to capture your opponent pieces. You should just "play nice" and place your own pieces only on empty squares - then the chessboard looks so much nicer and well populated! When your opponent suddenly makes a royal fork on your king and queen and captures the queen - then you automatically lose against this evil capturer -> The game loses all meaning for everyone...

Problem is - even though chess boards and chess pieces made from redwood would still look beautiful and chess pieces could be arranged nicely on the chessboard, it would not be interesting to play chess anymore. No deep thinking - just move your pieces to arrange them nicely! Let's say loudly - NO to these nasty combinations! No to Morphys, to Kapablancas, Tahls, Kasparovs -to these evil pirates of the chessboard, who prey on innocent players who do not enjoy capturing!

In other words - "NO" to chess...

Currenty - if you want to win in a TTR game against a strong player, you have to think how to conceal from your opponent your real destinations. You have to think how to connect your destinations in such a way that it would not be possible to block you. You try hard to decipher the secret meaning of every connection made and every open train taken by your opponent. It is challenging, it is very difficult - but very, very interesting!

Take the blocking away - and the TTR game would be ruined. It would be just about arranging nicely you trains. No deep thinking involved! Winner would be not the smartest player, but just the luckiest one. Winners would be those who got the most locos, drew the best tickets and got the right colors of the trains from the stack. If you like that - you better play lottery, not TTR!

I like this last hint from Junatrain: "Isn't TRYING to win the point of playing?" Yes, it is!!! That is what we blockers are doing all the time! You should try it as well - and when you finally manage to master this skill, you will find the TTR game MUCH MORE INTERESING AND BEAUTIFUL !

I'm just on my way to this real understanding, I'm still below 1500 ELO points - and I love this game more and more with every loss to the best players, getting another lesson and improving my skills gradually.


      
Zeno
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Re:'no blocking'. Is this okay? Sun, 20 August 2006 07:22
Thanks rudi, your answers were better than I would have done.

Thanks junatrain, you took my post seriously. I still think you are wrong, but oh well. I am still glad you posted.

The direction of DoW seems to favor junatrain, at the expense of rudi and myself. USA 1910 gives a bonus for most tix made (rather than longest track). Blocking becomes a secondary option in such a game. It is still a viable strategy, but it is more of a reaction than it was before. On the face of it, 1910 would depend more on luck, so the serious gamer would avoid it.

DoW: Thanks for the USA2 map. It is golden (please leave it alone, in its pristine elegance)

      
junatrain
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Re:'no blocking'. Is this okay? Sun, 20 August 2006 11:45
Hello!

This will be a concentrated answer to all three posts.

Zeno: You are welcome. I thought your post deserved to be taken seriously. (What's with this "right" and "wrong", though? I'm quite happy to agree to disagree and NOT claim that you blockers are "wrong", but I am yet to see your side do the same.)

Dandy: Let me continue your chess analogy. Let's imagine a group of people who really enjoy chess - but for some reason they have a dislike for a certain strategy, strategy X. (Strategy X, however, cannot be the capturing of pieces, since I don't think even you can claim blocking to be QUITE THAT essential to Ticket to Ride. So it is something smaller.) These players decide (privately and individually, not as a group choice) to refrain from using Strategy X.

In this situation, the game does not lose meaning, because non-X-players find it easy to find players who play just like they do. A game never loses meaning, as long as there exist players who agree on how it should be played and are on equal footing. (Therefore even the absurd idea of chess without the capturing of pieces could become another, unique form, probably interesting and challenging in its own way.) Problems would only arise when a non-X-user played an X-user. Which is why I think "no blocking" and "ok to block" are vital and fruitful messages that can be sent out to avoid frustration and confusion.

Now, some people might say these heretics are no longer playing chess. Those people would have a right to that opinion from a purist point of view. However: nowhere in the rules of chess is it stated that you must use Strategy X for the game of chess. (The capturing of pieces is mentioned, which is why I would equate it to the placing of trains on the tracks and not blocking.)

Everyone is always eager to point out that there is no rule against blocking (ergo it must be the intention of game designers). But is there a rule FOR blocking? If there were, THEN you could accuse non-blockers for altering the rules and twisting the game. My reasoning: if the game designers had truly planned for blocking to play as integral a role as you believe, they would have included it in the rules somehow. (I am not naive enough to think they did not consider it one strategy. But it does not seem to have been the only one they had in mind!)

Chess without Strategy X probably wouldn't win tournaments. But I would be happy to leave the tournaments to Strategy X players - ergo, we would still have the Kasparovs. (Your claim that we would not have these top players suggests a scenario where Strategy X was BANNED. Hadn't you noticed that I definitely do not desire such a thing?). All the Strategy X players would have to do is let non-X-players do their own thing (in an ideal world games would be clearly marked). Non-X ONLY makes the game lose meaning when mixed with X (and vice versa).

Tazlion, Dandy: There is thinking involved in non-blocking, and we do play to win. We still strategise, plan the best routes, attempt to combine as many stations as physically possible... Plus, people want the same routes all the time without intentionally blocking, causing re-planning on the go, quick decisions, using one's brain. By choosing not to block, I am definitely not reducing myself to making pretty lines on the map. Also, isn't this game a bit like trying to win the lottery anyway, even for the hardcore blockers? I don't see a way of completely removing the element of luck involved in drawing the cards...

(Also, what if I simply happen to like games of luck more than hardcore, serious strategy? Should I be institutionalised?)

[Updated on: Sun, 20 August 2006 11:46]

      
Dandy
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Re:'no blocking'. Is this okay? Tue, 22 August 2006 01:01
junatrain wrote on Sun, 20 August 2006 02:45


Tazlion, Dandy: There is thinking involved in non-blocking, and we do play to win. We still strategise, plan the best routes, attempt to combine as many stations as physically possible... Plus, people want the same routes all the time without intentionally blocking, causing re-planning on the go, quick decisions, using one's brain. By choosing not to block, I am definitely not reducing myself to making pretty lines on the map. Also, isn't this game a bit like trying to win the lottery anyway, even for the hardcore blockers? I don't see a way of completely removing the element of luck involved in drawing the cards...



Yes, I agree - there is some thinking involved even plaing in non-blocking mode. And, as you said, people want the same routes all the time without intentionally blocking - so there is no way to ban blocking - it will happen anyway.

Yes, I slightly exagerrated to stress my point: indeed, by choosing not to block you still do much more than simply making pretty lines on the map. But 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?!

If you seriously want to win, you should learn how to block - and how to PREVENT OTHERS FROM BLOCKING YOU. But instead of learning how to make the strongest moves (and it is indeed the strongest moves - you admitted that you lose to blockers because they are blocking you, right?) you prefer to complain, put the blame of your "automatic loss" on other players. You have not seen this blocking move coming - but you are not responsible for your loss. It's all their fault, oh, those nasty blockers!!! And you try ot ban or somehow prevent others from making these strongest moves, just to make your life in TTR easier.

But making the game easier, 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 - but still the strongest players manage to win 9 times out of 10, despite the bad luck. How do they do it? The answer is: they are much better players. Better in what? It getting better destination tickets or more locos? No... They are better in concealing their destinations, better in guessing opponent's destination, better in preventing lucky opponents in using thier chances to win. In other words, they are better blockers. That is why they win. That is the best way to play TTR. That is what you must learn if you want to be able to say that you understand this game fully.

And believe me, as long as you learn how to block - and how to prevent from being blocked by your opponent - you will enjoy the game much more! You say you like to strategise, plan the best routes and do re-planning on the go, make quick decisions, using your brain? 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!

      
wmreed
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Re:'no blocking'. Is this okay? Tue, 22 August 2006 02:39
It seems to me that several posters are confusing the term "meaning" as in "loses all meaning" with the term "fun" as in "it's fun to win", but for others may be "it's fun to play a game without blocking."

IMO, the game is fair as it is designed. As has been stated, blocking is available to all players. The rules apply to everyone, and that makes it fiar.

However, that doesn't necessarily make it fun. If some players prefer to play with other players and they all agree not to block, what's the big deal? If someone were to agree not to block but then does (and I admit, the definition of exactly what that means is nebulous), it may not be "unfair" but it certainly would NOt be fun -- to expect someone to play in a manner that they agreed to and then they disregard their agreement in the name of winning.

If someone labels a game as "no blocking", that seems to be an honest way of requesting that joiners agree to that "house rule". It's honorable to abide by that when joining.

Not everyone playes to win. But some do. Respect others, play with honor by whatever "rules" you agree to, and stop calling names.


My 2¢

wmreed

      
pacmon
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September 2005
Re:'no blocking'. Is this okay? Tue, 22 August 2006 14:01
I think blocking is an essential part of the game and in all my games blocking is allowed. I don't always mention 'blocking is ok' in the title, because:
- Blocking isn't forbidden by the game rules, so it's a part of the game.
- I'm too lazy to type long phrases Smile

'No blocking' is just another version of the basic TTR game and it should always be mentioned in the game title. If you start a game with 'no blocking' in the title, it's ok to expect that players who join the game won't block.

I don't join those 'no blocking' games, because restrictions on blocking make the game more about luck and less about strategy. I also don't join 'fast&fair' games, because some people (for some mysterious reasons) find blocking unfair. I don't enjoy finishing the game against bots.

Maybe there should be a separate version of the game with own lobby and own forums for the non-blockers?

Nothing new here, but I thought maybe people want to hear my opinion too Wink

[Updated on: Tue, 22 August 2006 14:02]

      
Tazilon
Member

Posts: 95
Registered:
March 2006
Re:'no blocking'. Is this okay? Tue, 29 August 2006 05:20
First of all, in ANY game, players can agree to alter the rules or add new ones. The things is; if they do this every time they play, they never become good at playing the real game.

By "real game" I mean playing the game the way it was DESIGNED to be played.

The fact that you ADD a rule - "no blocking" - means you ARE altering the rules and are NOT playing the real game.

Second, you will find very few players with a "block first" mentality. Most of the best players incorporate blocking into their route making, requiring a much higher level of thinking than simply making pretty lines on a map. And, I am sorry, but if you play with no blocking that is ALL you are doing - making pretty lines on a map. Yes, it requires thought - but not much.

Why do I say that?

Because part of planning a route and deciding in what order to lay rail is trying to keep one's destinations a secret as long as possible, thereby reducing one's opponent's ability to block.

Take away the strategy inherent in such efforts and you greatly reduce the mental demands of the game, leaving you the nowhere nearly so demanding task of drawing pretty lines on a map.

Without the threat of blocking in place, the game LOSES much of its essence.

On the other hand, blocking well is a true art form. So is avoiding a block.

I can't even begin to count the number of times people have gotten mad at me for "blocking" when I was simply playing my cards in a manner which would net me the most face value points, connect my destinations and, hopefully, set me up for long route, as well.

The bottom line is this: blocking IS legal and IS part of the game.

Remove it and you are playing something besides TTR. Close to TTR? Yes. TTR? No.

Many games include elements of luck. Backgammon, card games, dominoes, hell, even a lucky (or unlucky) gust of wind can affect a futbol game; the list goes on and on. That, in no way, diminishes the strategic elements of such games. In all instances, the best players learn to adapt their play to what luck deals them.

They also learn to adapt to what their opponents deal them.

So, I guess the moral of my post is this:

If you desire to learn how to play real TTR quit whining about blocking and DEAL WITH IT!!!
      
    
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