The Genius, by A Skymin’s Mind #2

See here for explanation of this series.

Winning Streak

Used as Death Match of Season 1, Rounds 1, 2, 5.


Two people, the Death Match players, are playing rock-paper-scissors against all other people in a randomized order. Plays can only result on a win or a loss; in case of a tie, the play is repeated. After each player has played against all other people, the longest streak of wins is scored; the one with longer streak wins. (As there has never been any tie, it’s not known what happens on a tie, but I guess the next longest streak is compared, and so on, replaying the game if the whole thing is a tie.)


This is almost a purely alliance game, getting as many trustworthy people as possible in a long streak. However, when one finds an untrustworthy person, it becomes a game of psychology, just like a regular best-of-one rock-paper-scissors game.

Normally, a player will state what they are going to throw (or otherwise state what they expect their opponent is going to throw), planning for a win. For the purpose of this exposition, let me be the player and I state that I’m going to play rock. In case of an untrustworthy opponent, I can try strategizing one level above, of throwing scissors instead, hoping that the opponent throws paper, planning to beat the rock. Of course, one can strategize two levels above: the opponent can play rock instead to beat this level-one strategy. Then I can play a three-level strategy of playing paper to beat the rock, and so on…

Safe to say this is not my favorite game as there’s almost nothing to do besides allying as many people as possible and otherwise going to a psychology battle.


4 thoughts on “The Genius, by A Skymin’s Mind #2

  1. Most of Season 1’s Deathmatches are pretty lacklustre, but they can be tense enough that I find I don’t care. Giving the contenders some opponent rearranging powers could perhaps have resulted in a more interesting game. Even so, it gave us the Gone Garnet Gifting Incident, which sets the tone of the show brilliantly. Props to the paper cut writer.

    • Tactical Yutnori and Indian Poker are pretty good IMO. Same Picture Hunt follows; not a good game mostly because it has a high element of luck involved. But ya, not quite interesting; my favorite Death Match over both seasons is Black & White, probably because I’m a game theorist too and that is exactly what game theorists do. 😛

      • Yutnori had a pretty table and tense action there, but in a series of stylish set design the board was something that would embarrass 31Questions ( ) I also found I had trouble following it; the combination of an odd result table, unfamiliarity with the base game and editing emphasis on faces rather than the board left me a bit at sea. I’m looking forward to you covering it, because I always felt I was missing something there.

        Same Picture Hunt is a one trick pony, so it will not reappear now it’s “solved” on camera, but the trick is so beautifully cruel.

        Favourite Death Match game? I’d have to say when they played Set-lite at the finals, because of the huge play-along factor. B&W you say? Lovely presentation, and upon first sight it’s pregnant with promise, but I could hardly find any strategy to it at all. I’d like to be shown wrong when its turn comes.

        • Yes, yutnori is not a popular game outside Korea, but Sunggyu says “all Koreans should know how to play yutnori” and it’s a Korean game show. But yes, I can see what you mean. The fact that it drags for like an hour or two, thus making the result skipped too much, might add to the confusion. I don’t quite get what “odd result table” means. I don’t consider the presentation being a major negative point because I don’t really care too much about presentation in general, apparently.

          Gyul! Hap! is definitely an interesting game. I forgot that exists; it’s also one of my favorite Death Matches, although probably because I’ve analyzed Set before so I felt not much was left. Play-along factor doesn’t seem to be one of my considerations, although it’s a good touch.

          Black and White is purely a game theorist game. I think one can solve the game with some computer power in a few hours. The problem, of course, lies in the fact that the strategy will not be easy to remember, and thus it becomes another psychology battle.


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