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The Pursuit of Happiness» Forums » General

Subject: First Play -- No Hearts rss

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Christine Biancheria
United States
Pittsburgh
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Just played a learning game, so I need to re-read the rules to see what all we did right and wrong.

But in the whole game, there was only one heart and it came out on the 4th line of a project in the next to last round.

It felt difficult without hearts. You could never really benefit much from resting.

What are other people's experiences with the hearts?
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Jorge
Switzerland
Lausanne
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Hearts are strong, but not deal-breakers. Essentially, a heart gives you a whole extra round, but you have to heavily invest in actions for a minimal initial return. Usually projects that grant hearts do not provide much Long-Term-Happiness or a lot of resources, so it's a tradeoff. Now, if the life goals are "have the least stress" or "be the first to die" may swift the power of a heart to one way or another.

Remember that you may always lose a Short-Term-Happiness point to refresh any card row. If you go heart-hunting, this will really help you! Just bear in mind that:
- If you are already at -3 STH, you lose -1 LTH instead. LTH can go negative!
- For every negative STH point you have to pay one more resource of your choice to take/advance a project.
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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Christine Biancheria wrote:

It felt difficult without hearts. You could never really benefit much from resting.


Resting is mostly a wasted action. You really ought to do it only if you're at 2 stress already and there's nothing useful for you to do that turn (and only so you can Overtime on a later turn, when it's going to be beneficial). Hearts are rare because they would be a bit broken otherwise (like in every worker placement game the most broken thing is typically getting more workers). In fact, unless they show up in the early game you probably don't want to take those cards, they typically cost a lot of actions for little benefits so unless you will get a few turns worth of extra hourglasses and an extra turn, it's not worth it.

You can take up to two stress without repercussion in the game, without getting random Relax benefits from Items/Activities (or Projects? I don't remember seeing a Relax on those but there's probably at least one). That's either one extra hourglass (from Overtime) or doubling up in a turn on an action twice per game (typically an early extra Take Project in your Teens or a late extra Spend once you've gotten a good Job and are swimming in money). With two Stress, if you don't get an heart you will still die at beginning of second round of Old Age without losing any extra hourglass or still die at the beginning of third round without losing any extra hourglass if you got the one heart. I haven't really done the math on the second heart (since I don't think it's ever come up) but I think two stress still is a wash for that as well.
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Dave S.
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Des Moines
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We only played once so far as well, and I ended up getting a heart during the teen years, but didn't plan for it. My wife then waited all game for another heart to show up, but it never did. We counted that there were only 7 (if I remember correctly) cards in the project deck that have a heart, so there's a really small chance that these will come out in the right time.

I'm curious of the design decisions behind why the final round was only made for the players who were lucky enough to grab an activity with a heart early enough in the game. So basically, in games where no heart is acquired by players, you won't play the final round. In the long run I guess that doesn't matter, but it seemed odd to us.

I'm also curious about the decision for the player elimination. In the game we played, my wife died in the 2nd to the last round and had to sit and watch me finish playing the game. How did this come up during play testing?
 
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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I've never played the third Old Age turn yet and most of the time I've not played the second one either.

I believe it's thematic. When you consider each step to be roughly a decade, you get your teens, 20s to 50s as adult and 60s+ as old age, and most die when they hit their 70s, which is roughly real life expectancy. You get to live to your 80s or 90s if you work really hard on your health.
 
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Vangelis Bagiartakis
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The purpose of Hearts is to signify good health. If you take Projects that give hearts, then you improve your health and get to live longer (thus, an extra turn in game terms).

The reason for that choice was purely thematic. Better health -> live longer -> extra round. However, extra care was given to make sure that getting one a heart was not essential in order to win. In fact, I have won many games where one or more of my opponents went for hearts while I didn't. As Picon said above, the hearts come with a cost - you get less LTH than usual while often requiring many resources in order to be advanced.
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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All the Heart projects have high cost to complete and very little benefit beyond the Heart, so you need to do it early in order for it to not be just a wash.
 
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Michael Gardner
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Kingston
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My gut tells me the heart cards are the only real flaw to an otherwise delightful game.

I know their purpose, but I feel they don't quite work. I think I'd prefer not to have them, and have the game end for everyone (unless they were playing recklessly) to die after the 2nd old age round. That would mess with the theme of the game, though, so I don't know.
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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I don't understand why people are so adamant on being against player elimination on principle, as opposed to worrying about too much downtime for some players. If it was that player elimination left you out of the game for like 20% of it I'd understand, but the second and third Old Age turns are worth maybe one or two hourglasses (that are not already spent on upkeeps) anyways. It's no more downtime than having one or two hourglasses more than your opponents tied on upkeeps or spent on extra costs for leveling up a Basic Project on a given Adult phase.
 
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George Nebesnik
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I think people over value the heart cards.

If you get one heart card to give yourself that one extra round of play and you are in a relationship and have a job, you will be lucky to go into that last round with 2 hour glass tokens.

My first couple of games I stressed over trying to get heart cards. Then once I got more comfortable with the game I went into it realizing I was going to only play in one level of old age.

Personally I think it is one of the brilliant designs of this game.
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Brad Neuville

Wisconsin
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If you do get a heart and live longer you will most likely have 1 to 3 fewer actions that last (extra) turn. For this and the other negatives to the heart projects mentioned I would guess everything balances out. Have people who have played quite a few games noticed that those who manage to get a heart often win more? Would be curious. Should be easy to just remove those cards if you don't care for them.
 
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Antonio Tang
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Since card upkeep comes after the initial stress deduction in the Upkeep Phase, if a player survives that deduction, that's a lot of LTH earned from card upkeep alone -- even if she/he has no hourglass to place in that last round.
 
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Dave S.
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avyssaleos wrote:
The purpose of Hearts is to signify good health. If you take Projects that give hearts, then you improve your health and get to live longer (thus, an extra turn in game terms).

The reason for that choice was purely thematic. Better health -> live longer -> extra round. However, extra care was given to make sure that getting one a heart was not essential in order to win. In fact, I have won many games where one or more of my opponents went for hearts while I didn't. As Picon said above, the hearts come with a cost - you get less LTH than usual while often requiring many resources in order to be advanced.


Thanks for the explanation. I'm not against the design, I was just curious behind the design thoughts for it. Your explanation makes sense, and I've only played once so I definitely don't have enough data to back any claims. In my previous post I was just giving my initial thoughts after our first game. It's nice to hear there is a balance between heart cards vs. other options.
 
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Lawrence Myers
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2 player game with my real life GF. she went for the workout project that give a heart at level 4, but she did not finish the project until the last stage of adult life. she was in the lite green area but then old age happen and she was moved back to normal stress and did not benefit with an extra hourglass. That gave her so much real life stress that she wanted to quit the game.
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Trevor Schadt
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Bogusgig wrote:
2 player game with my real life GF. she went for the workout project that give a heart at level 4, but she did not finish the project until the last stage of adult life. she was in the lite green area but then old age happen and she was moved back to normal stress and did not benefit with an extra hourglass. That gave her so much real life stress that she wanted to quit the game.
She absolutely got an extra hourglass benefit out of the project: if she hadn't completed it, she would have been in the yellow section and lost one, so she had 6 instead of 5.
 
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Lawrence Myers
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ryudoowaru wrote:
Bogusgig wrote:
2 player game with my real life GF. she went for the workout project that give a heart at level 4, but she did not finish the project until the last stage of adult life. she was in the lite green area but then old age happen and she was moved back to normal stress and did not benefit with an extra hourglass. That gave her so much real life stress that she wanted to quit the game.
She absolutely got an extra hourglass benefit out of the project: if she hadn't completed it, she would have been in the yellow section and lost one, so she had 6 instead of 5.

Yep that's the logic I explained to her also, but she did buy it.
 
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