The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

The Joe H. Experience

Just FYI, Joe .posted his Top 170 list

Regarding Troia, Joe wrote: “One of the most despised games on the list…” to which I can only say “Hear hear!” (Certainly I despise it). Amazingly, out of Joe’s list of top games, I’d actively avoid a fair chunk (perhaps a third) and and I’m lukewarm about another 3rd of them. So while Joe’s not close enough or far enough away from my tastes to be an accurate predictor, but always an interesting read.


Written by taogaming

November 14, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Posted in Misc

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10 Responses

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  1. I find it interesting that Joe says he generally does not like deduction games; yet he has three on his list. I do like them, but only one of the three he chose.


    November 15, 2009 at 1:54 pm

  2. Three? Schwarzarbeit and Black Vienna, sure, though on the lower third of the list. What’s #3?

    And I probably overstated – I’m happy to play deduction games sometimes; they just aren’t my very favorites.

    Joe Huber

    November 15, 2009 at 9:42 pm

  3. Timbuktu?

    Jon W

    November 16, 2009 at 10:00 am

  4. Old Town.


    November 16, 2009 at 10:04 am

  5. Ah – I don’t count Old Town as a deduction game. Related, but a different category.

    Joe Huber

    November 16, 2009 at 10:06 pm

  6. If not precisely “deduction,” it’s pretty close.


    November 17, 2009 at 10:16 am

  7. I agree with Joe, Jeff; Old Town has no real deduction. It’s similar to Mr. Jack and Tobago–cards are played which limit the possible locations/suspects, but you don’t have to do any deduction to make this happen.

    I actually thought the third game was Timbuktu. There’s uncertainty involved (like with Schwarzarbeit), but I think there’s still some deduction which can be applied. Not enough for my tastes–that game drives me crazy!

    Larry Levy

    November 17, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    • You’re right, I forgot Timbuktu. That’s clearly a deduction game.

      Pretty funny: when Joe introduced me to Old Town, he described it as a deduction game. I guess he’s changed his mind. Yes, it is more like planning and forcing (sort of like Fresh Fish), but at least with the original board, there seemed to be a huge element of “if he had that, he would have done this, so that can’t be, etc.”


      November 18, 2009 at 12:27 pm

  8. I can certainly believe I did introduce it that way; it just took a while before I realized where to put it.

    For me, a deduction game is one where the goal of the game is to deduce something. Clue, Black Vienna, Deduce or Die – those are deduction games.

    Other games offer deduction as an element of game play, but getting the right answer isn’t the goal – and while it usually helps, it might not be sufficient, or even necessarily useful. Timbuktu, Old Town, and Bridge all fit into this category. But in terms of primary game categories, Bridge is a trick taking card game, and Old Town is a proof game. I’m not entirely certain what Timbuktu is…

    Joe Huber

    November 18, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    • Proofs and deductions are the same thing. If you can deduce something, you have proven it. If you can prove something, you have deduced it. If you think you know something, but you can’t prove it, you have guessed it. They don’t seem like the same thing, because in one case you start with the answer and work backwards, and in the other you start with information and work forwards, but when you are done, you have identical pieces of work.

      Timbuktu is either a deduction game or a guessing game. The players who treat it as a deduction game tend to beat the players who play it as a guessing game, though not always.

      Bridge is not a deduction game, though one produces some results about the hidden information by inferring from other players’ actions or the information you have. It’s more a subtraction game 🙂 Deduction, however, is a useful tool in the game. Actually, imperfect deduction is more useful; bridge is often about educated guessing to get percentages in your favor.


      November 18, 2009 at 8:03 pm

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