|Beer, wine, pretzels, and pigs - my final losing "pig out"|
What a great question. I don't like games based on luck - games like Life, Sorry, War, and any other game in which luck renders decision-making moot. But I certainly do like risk management games, and PtP is squarely in that category. I've posted before about my early observations on how the teenage brain works in assessing risk. In our first family game of Incan Gold,
[My son] bolstered my working hypothesis on teenagers and risk assessment. He was always still in the expedition when the second monster of a suit came up, so he ended up with no treasure after five rounds.On the other hand, I remember getting my butt kicked in Can't Stop at Congress of Gamers last fall because of that very phenomenon.
One brilliant element of PtP is that since the pigs aren't really dice, it's very difficult to calculate probability in the conventional sense. The pigs are oddly shaped, and because I'm too lazy to run 1000 trials of pigs to estimate the expected value of a roll (although somebody else wasn't), well, I just wing it on the risk assessment. My "wing it" threshold for PtP is typically eleven points. (Actually, maybe I shouldn't post that number online.) If I'm significantly behind, I'll take bigger chances, but overall, I'm still pretty conservative. My wife said her threshold was 15 points, but after I told her mine was eleven, she started stopping at eleven, too. And she won. So what does that tell you?
So now that I've been thinking about the fact that somebody else actually did run the numbers on the pigs, my inner mathematician compels me to calculate the optimal threshold for rolling again vs. not rolling again. I think that will be a topic for a future post...