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Scythe» Forums » General

Subject: We thoroughly dislike the Scythe ending. rss

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Loomis
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Our play group is comprised of several people with a ton of gaming experience. We've played everthing from Acquire 40 years ago to Zooloretto. We probably have a combined 150 years of gaming experience between the four of us.

Anyhow, I've got many plays of Scythe in now, all 4-5 player games, and we all hate the ending.

The starting increases the higher-numbered races receive are flat-out not strong enough to make up for the lack of receiving an additional turn after someone triggers the end game. I know the designer disagrees, but I think he's wrong on this one.

With very good players, the player who triggers the game ending is almost always the game winner.

What are your experiences and or house rules / variants?
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J Kaemmer
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The thing is, sure the game ender is usually the winner... but it doesn't matter if they were 1st or 3rd in line. They win most of the time regardless of play order. Ending the game is inherently advantageous. Is it solely because of play order? No. Its the fact they know its coming and can maximize it by taking extra territories or over producing (not to mention star-bonus coins).

I would be much more worried if you said the Industrial mat always won because it always goes first.
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Greg
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Is the winner always the 1st or 2nd player in original starting order?
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Jamey Stegmaier
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You should give people the context of WHY the designer made the game end the way it does.
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David desJardins
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jameystegmaier wrote:
You should give people the context of WHY the designer made the game end the way it does.


He should? I can think of other people who could perhaps do that better.
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Jeff Watts
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loomis wrote:

The starting increases the higher-numbered races receive are flat-out not strong enough to make up for the lack of receiving an additional turn after someone triggers the end game. I know the designer disagrees, but I think he's wrong on this one.

With very good players, the player who triggers the game ending is almost always the game winner.

What are your experiences and or house rules / variants?


That's the tendencies I've seen. The Winner is usually (70%+) the player to place the last star. The winner usually (60%+) places two stars to go from 4 to 6 stars.


Since the third game, my group has been making the minor adjustment of randomly selecting a 1st player and then placing the Player Mats out in order. This alleviates the 5th player mat going second and having an advantage in both starting resources and order position.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1609049/player-mat-order

I don't feel like I've played enough games to get a feel if that's still too little. If you haven't tried something like this, I'd recommend it.

And if the group are all experienced, then logically a bid mechanic can always be implemented for player order.
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Jason Brown
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My experience is that Jamey is right and the start position and conditions bear negligible impact on the game's outcome. I've gotten in a dozen multiplayer games and the person that ended it has won a bit more than half. We don't house rule anything, we randomly distribute the boards per the rules.
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andrew kirby
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My group has played scythe about 6 times now. The person who placed the last star has only won overall scoring twice. Edit: not aware of how turn order affected anything, but it for sure wasn't something we noticed or commented on
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Loomis
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"Since the third game, my group has been making the minor adjustment of randomly selecting a 1st player and then placing the Player Mats out in order. This alleviates the 5th player mat going second and having an advantage in both starting resources and order position."

Very interesting. Thank you.
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Greg
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jeffjwatts wrote:
loomis wrote:

The starting increases the higher-numbered races receive are flat-out not strong enough to make up for the lack of receiving an additional turn after someone triggers the end game. I know the designer disagrees, but I think he's wrong on this one.

With very good players, the player who triggers the game ending is almost always the game winner.

What are your experiences and or house rules / variants?


That's the tendencies I've seen. The Winner is usually (70%+) the player to place the last star. The winner usually (60%+) places two stars to go from 4 to 6 stars.


Since the third game, my group has been making the minor adjustment of randomly selecting a 1st player and then placing the Player Mats out in order. This alleviates the 5th player mat going second and having an advantage in both starting resources and order position.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1609049/player-mat-order

I don't feel like I've played enough games to get a feel if that's still too little. If you haven't tried something like this, I'd recommend it.

And if the group are all experienced, then logically a bid mechanic can always be implemented for player order.


Prior to your change Jeff, did the 1st or 2nd player always win? did the player going 2nd with a number 4 or 5 board generally win? Were the winners of specific factions, as some people think Polonia and Rusviets are the strongest?
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Nathan Clegg
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Sure. Why would an experienced player end a game he isn't winning? :D
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Nick Case
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Is it now the time it becomes 'cool' to publicly hate on Scythe? Two days after general release.....yes judging by the usual BGG standards, I guess it is.

Do I care if anyone likes or dislikes it? No.

Do I care that I like it? Yes.

Will I feel the need to tell the world? No.
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David desJardins
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Big Bad Lex wrote:
Is it now the time it becomes 'cool' to publicly hate on Scythe?


If I criticize one aspect of a game (after playing it several times) am I "hating" on it??
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Mark Jackson
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I think this is working as designed? Unless you are seeing the first or second player winning a disproportionate amount of the time more than the players later in the turn order, then logically someone is only going to trigger the end of the game when they feel they have a good shot at winning.


Edit: also I bet there's a good German word for when people complaining about people complaining about a thing becomes more annoying than the people complaining about the thing in the first place...
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Clyde W
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Even if the start player has, say, an 80% advantage of winning, assuming no one gangs up on them, then isn't this balanced out by the fact that all the other players can gang up on them? (Clearly this logic doesn't hold up in 2p, but OP is asking about 4-5p.)
 
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Peter Collins
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moramis wrote:
Sure. Why would an experienced player end a game he isn't winning?


To start a different game sooner.
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Jeff Watts
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Hahma wrote:

Prior to your change Jeff, did the 1st or 2nd player always win? did the player going 2nd with a number 4 or 5 board generally win? Were the winners of specific factions, as some people think Polonia and Rusviets are the strongest?


Well there was a combination of factors. As a group of veteran players, the fact that the higher numbered Player Mats got better resources, but potentially went earlier was an immediate topic of discussion.

The very first game was a 3 player, with the 1, 5 and 3 mats in play. The 5 Mat was playing Polonia and won. Obviously the Polonia faction ability comes off as pretty strong to first time players. However, that hasn't been consistent.

Since this was the result of the very first game and the issue had already been discussed, it became of greater importance.

The second game was a 5 player and the player with the 4 Mat won in the third position. The 5 Mat was in a later position, but still was 2nd in scoring.

At that point, rather than the player order be a point of contention, we started randomly assigning Factions Mats, randomly picking a first player and giving out the Player Mats in order.

The Player starting bonuses might not make a significant difference, as numerous people have said, but the disparity was getting in the way of the fun. And the point of games is to Have Fun!
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Jamey Stegmaier
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DaviddesJ wrote:
[q="jameystegmaier"]He should? I can think of other people who could perhaps do that better.


I've already explained it. I just think it would be helpful for people to see that explanation; either a link to it or in Loomis' own words. That might help people better understand where he's coming from so there can be an informed conversation here.
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David desJardins
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jameystegmaier wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
[q="jameystegmaier"]He should? I can think of other people who could perhaps do that better.


I've already explained it. I just think it would be helpful for people to see that explanation; either a link to it or in Loomis' own words. That might help people better understand where he's coming from so there can be an informed conversation here.


Definitely don't provide such a link, then. That would cut short this pleasant and informative exchange, which I'm sure everyone is enjoying so much more.
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Peter S.
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If we rephrase this as "Players who believe they are winning and are able to end the game by placing their last star tend to do so", it loses some of its impact.

Is the intent to instead discuss whether there's a start player advantage, either in general or in relation to certain boards?
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bort
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Big Bad Lex wrote:
Is it now the time it becomes 'cool' to publicly hate on Scythe?


Hardly seems like a hating thread
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Des Lee
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ErsatzDragon wrote:
If we rephrase this as "Players who believe they are winning and are able to end the game by placing their last star tend to do so", it loses some of its impact.


Pretty much this. Of course the player who places their last star already believes they're in a pretty good position to win, OR is concerned about protecting their margin if they believe the leader is going to get even further in front in the next few rounds.

Stating "first player always wins" or something, would be more of a concern to me.

Why should the player triggering the end of the game be disadvantaged by allowing everyone else a final turn? They put themselves in a position to place the stars, good for them.
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Jamey Stegmaier
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My interpretation of the OP's comment wasn't that it's related to the player mats so much as he doesn't like that the game ends immediately when the 6th star is placed.

Loomis, could you clarify the part of the design you don't like? Is it the immediate game end or the way the player mats function at the beginning of the game?
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bort
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Havent kept stats on it, but it does seem like the first player to 6 stars does win. I'd expect this, since that player is usually doing pretty well, and stars are worth the most in points. And (as someone else pointed out), if you're not winning, why would you end the game?

The game is a race - theres no point in setting everything up perfectly if the game is over before any of your plans come together.

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Kapu Kapu
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Easy solution: You see that someone wants to place the 6th star in his next turn? Then kick his but or pay people to kick his but. Now he has less territories and/or less ressources, I bet he doesn't want to end the game like this.
If nobody saw it coming, I say "Bravo" and the player did a good job at winning.

Be creative about f****** up their plans and hide your own plans well!

I have the feeling that too many people play this like a plain euro with minimal interaction like "Oh, he is going to win. Too bad I can do nothing about it." and then complain here on the forum that random stuff is unbalanced.

In games with interaction you have to play the players in addition to the game. And before complaining about balance you should check your sample quantity or else you will deduce stuff that is non-existent or only exists in your play group. Maybe tell us more about your play group, so that we can give a better advise on how to fix the game for you.
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