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June 3, 2014

Tabletop Tuesday: Fluxx: The Board Game

Filed under: Tabletop Tuesday — Tags: , , , , , , — Willis @ 10:00 am

The Fluxx card game has existed for a while, and for what it is, I’m a fan. What the card game is, is a light, very random game that you can play almost anywhere in a shortish amount of time (10-30 minutes). The game has a bunch of different themed versions (Pirate, Zombie, Monty Python) that add a small amount of dressing to what the original is.

I can neither confirm nor deny that a picture of college-aged me was used as inspiration for a certain spot on this board.

I can neither confirm nor deny that a picture of college-aged me was used as inspiration for a certain spot on this board.

At their core, the Fluxx games are about having the “rules” change as the game is played. For example: the number of cards drawn at the start of the turn or the number of cards you can keep in your hand at the end of a turn. The difference between the board game and card game, is that in the card game, part of the randomness is your card draws of “Keepers” or the cards to be combined for a win, but in board game you move your pieces on to symbols that represent these keepers. This, of course makes it much easier to accomplish the goal. To make up for this, in the board game you have to do this 3 different times. But in the end, it’s still doing something pretty simple 3 times with the slight inconvenience of trying to do it before the other players or with them futilely trying to get in the way.

To win, just be the first player, and with your pre-game rule adjustment increase the movement by 1. Then just waltz through a few turns collecting the wins and game over. This removes all fun from the game. There seems to be no strategy that can be attempted to combat this tactic more than a slight delay. And the random cards and rule changes don’t affect the outcome so are therefore adding nothing to the game.

Final Rating:  1 “You Sunk My Battleship” out of a broken pop-o-matic Trouble bubble.

January 17, 2009

Commissioner’s Corner: Keeper Leagues and Parity

Which one do you keep?

Which one do you keep?

There are 2 basic kinds of fantasy leagues when it comes to how players are chosen from year to year: keeper and re-draft.  (An auction where all players are put back in the pool is just a re-draft where the draft style is auction.) And when it comes to keeper leagues there are very many ways to set them up.

It could be as simple as keeping just one player from the previous season – A franchise player. Or it could be as complex as keeping the same roster year to year – a dynasty league. Or anything in between. Whatever way your league chooses to run things, there should always be an eye towards parity. 

Why is parity so important in fantasy leagues? Because the goal of any fantasy team should be to win the league this year. Not next year. Did you join your fantasy league mainly because you enjoy doing maths and managing and spending money on nothing? I doubt it. You probably joined for the same reasons everyone else is playing: your friends and the love of the sport. You don’t see me playing a fantasy fishing season (even though I get the damn emails). I’m not playing because I don’t enjoy playing fantasy sports (I clearly do, I’m writing a blog about it), but because I don’t particularly enjoy fishing — especially from a watching others do the fishing perspective.

I’m also not saying that a team that makes good decisions over the season shouldn’t get rewarded with good keepers. It should never get to the point where some teams don’t have a real chance of winning the league solely because of the keeper rules.

With that in mind, lets look at some of the methods of setting up and retaining parity in a keeper league. (more…)

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