Torgo wrote:Well I think you've largely figured it out right there. To turn it around, if you like luck so much, why not just cut a deck of cards and have the losers give all their money to the winner? I can say that I prefer Zung Jung over any other mahjong style because of the reduction in luck. To me, it seems unfair that a player with a valueless hand such as pinfu can score an overwhelming number of points because of luck-based add-ons like menzen tsumo, ippatsu, kan dora, and ura dora. Again to me, it makes sense in riichi to go out as quickly as possible, because you cannot plan your score when luck overwhelms anything based on the patterns you create.
if you like luck so much, why not just cut a deck of cards and have the losers give all their money to the winner?
Riichi Mahjong is fun in that it's a game where luck is a wild factor that adds new elements to the game, but at the same time there's a consistent strategy and amount of skill that can be used in order to fight back and win. It's like assuming Poker is strictly luck based, when there's a real amount of skill being put into the game to overcome things such as luck. Also:
To me, it seems unfair that a player with a valueless hand such as pinfu can score an overwhelming number of points because of luck-based add-ons like menzen tsumo, ippatsu, kan dora, and ura dora.
It's not unfair, because that element can apply to ANYBODY at any given moment. Instead of thinking it like "Well, he could just get all of this luck, so I don't like it", you should think in terms of "I look forward to gaining more points and an advantage if things go my way!" Thinking in terms of the former is assuming "I'm definitely going to lose this hand, and I don't like that."
Again to me, it makes sense in riichi to go out as quickly as possible, because you cannot plan your score when luck overwhelms anything based on the patterns you create.
Luck also dictates which patterns you make in the first place. Sure, you can effectively discard, but it's still a matter of luck if you wind up 2 away from tenpai, or 5 away from tenpai. Mahjong is an inherently luck based game. The reason why I like Riichi so much is, again, because you can do something ABOUT that luck. You can capitalize on your own, or you can attempt to mess up the luck of other people through discard reading or calling if you believe in flow.
In my limited experience, riichi players only play riichi and no other competitive games, while the people I play Zung Jung with also play many other board games. Riichi seems unbalanced due to luck and therefore a worse game. Even poker (to compare to another limited knowledge game) where you decide how much to bet based on your own hand has an advantage because you limit your own losses.
I also play Go, a zero-luck based game, DnD and other forms of pen and paper tabletop games, a collection of many board games including Risk, stratego, and of course, chess, as well as shogi, including a number of other games. Even fighting games and strategy games. I'm a bit of a game enthusiast actually. Of the games I play, besides DnD and Go, I tend to prefer Riichi because it is in fact quite balanced out, especially with the small luck elements playing as a wild factor. In fact, games with luck and unknown elements tend to be the most interesting games there are. Stratego is an incredibly fun game because although there's zero-luck involved in the game, there's still a large factor of unknown, such as "Did the enemy place the spy, or the captain here? Maybe he would place a bomb and try to fool me?" It makes the game interesting, fresh, and unique.
Also, the skill in Poker comes purely from the gambling and psychology aspect of it, rather than the actual hands. The same situations can occur in Riichi, such as decalring Riichi and your opponents immediately going on the defensive. Or the calling of suit tiles making it more difficult for that player's suit tiles to come out. Riichi is more or less balanced in the situations rather than in the hands and points.
Indeed it is. That is the designed goal, and he's done an excellent job of it. It makes the game more fun to play and to watch.
The score given to each element is designed to balance risk versus reward. Seeing how many points you get for a pattern gives you an excellent idea about how hard that pattern is to complete. Your own tiles complete the picture.
You are entitled to like what you like, but your experience does not match mine. Once players try to win the game, they will not go for small hands.
Actually, when I said that, I was lamenting the decision allowing players to win a round on a "chicken hand", because even if you don't have a good pattern to start randomly stealing tiles from, you can simply make a chicken hand and ruin the other player's hands on the spot. "I'm too far away from any of the patterns here, so I might as well just make a chicken hand to prevent them from winning" is actually WORSE than having Open Tanyao hands. And the only real way to combat that is to HOPE to get lucky and make a chicken hand faster than the other guy makes HIS chicken hand, because there's simply no punishment for doing that. Eventually, a player will get lucky and be able to make an easy to steal pattern and go for that instead, earning him points, and then after that, it's chickens, chickens, chickens everywhere.
Actually, my two main problems with Zung Jung when I think about it.
Chicken hands emphasize the mentality of "Get into first place, and tear apart other people's hands with cheap wins"
And the removal of Luck and wildcards just makes the game incredibly bland. Like a steak without fat. Sure, we don't go to a resturant to EAT that fat on a steak, but it's the fat that makes it so tasty. Without it, the steak is kinda flavorless.
I mean, with Zung Jung, you might as well just play Gin Rummy with a $50+ set of cards, right?