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In the Name of Odin» Forums » Rules

Subject: No Compensation Based On Turn Order? rss

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Keith McNeil
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We played a four player game. Raids are a limited resource, and "the game ends immediately when the last Raid Card is completed." The second player in turn order ended the game by taking the last raid, so the first and second players each received one extra turn. It's clear that if you go 3rd or 4th in turn order, there's a very good chance you're going to get one fewer turn, which seems woefully unbalanced. Without some way to make this more equitable I don't think I will want to play again. I want to like this game, please tell me I'm missing something.
 
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Scott Mohnkern
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What about changing the rule so the game ends at the end of the round when the last raid card is completed?

There are other ways to score Fame than completing raids.

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Luke Turner
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book_worm71 wrote:
Without some way to make this more equitable I don't think I will want to play again.

If you're ever getting hung up on a single rule that is ruining an otherwise great game for you then house rule it. In this case let the last raid trigger the end rather than end (give the remaining players a final turn). See if that makes it better for you.

I personally don't see a problem with the rule, as predicting the end and deciding to leave or take raids is part of the game. As well as the game was balanced and playtested with this end game in mind.

book_worm71 wrote:
I want to like this game, please tell me I'm missing something.


Under scoring on page 12 you see that ties are broken by the player with the least raids. This is the rule that helps balance what you are talking about. I'd give the game at least 5 plays to see if your concerns are validated, and even then just bellow "Odin!" louder next time so you can go first (Rule 9 of setup).

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Keith McNeil
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Predicting the game end and deciding when to leave or take raids has nothing to do with an equal number of opportunities to score points. All things being the same, the 4th player is going to get one less turn than one or more of the other players 75% of the time. That is a serious handicap. The 1st player, on the other hand, will never have fewer turns than any other player and is in a significantly better position than the 4th player; no amount of playtesting changes that. I hate house-ruling games but this may be the first.
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Keith McNeil
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I might house rule it like this:

1) turn order is reset at the beginning of each round
2) the new turn order is based on player score, last place player goes first, first place player goes last.

Not perfect, but at least there can be some jockeying for position, unlike the current situation where you are either favored by turn order or you're not.
 
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Luke Turner
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book_worm71 wrote:
I might house rule it like this:

1) turn order is reset at the beginning of each round
2) the new turn order is based on player score, last place player goes first, first place player goes last.


As far as solutions go, this looks like a good one to address your concern. Before house ruling it though I would still encourage you to give the actual rules at least a few more tries to see (Maybe log starting position and player name and see what you get over several plays).

I think it's balanced though (sorry for not thinking of this rule earlier as a counter) as when a player raids the other players get a chance to play a card to 'modify the raid requirements' (see: Page 9 part D of Raiding). What this does is allows players later in turn order to trash useless cards leading up to their turn, so by the time 3rd and 4th players get to go their hand of cards has been somewhat curated and they get a shot at a stronger turn (unlike 1st and probably 2nd player who are just stuck with their hands and the swap cards).
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Keith McNeil
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I found the ability to "curate" my hand to be a decidedly mixed bag, as the board state is likely to change quite significantly from turn 1 to turn 4. However I take your point. On the very first turn, player 1 will indeed not have had a chance to curate their cards at all.

However - I maintain that taking a full turn with an uncurated hand - the lot of player 1 - is still markedly better than completely missing a turn because the game ended - the likely plight of player 4. What is an average turn worth? 4-6 points?
 
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Nigel Buckle
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I agree turn order seems to give an advantage to those going earlier. It's much more marked in a 5 player.

Fix we came up with was to give VPs at the start based on player order.

Player Bonus VP
1 - 0
2 - 1
3 - 2
4 - 3
5 - 4

Feels about right - we tried swapping the turn order during the game, that just got confusing and slowed the game. We thought about having a turn order section, and you can take an action to move to the front, but that means more components and you have to track when a turn is over (to recalculate), all in all bonus vp at the start seems easiest to implement.
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Wayne Harding
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I like the player bonus idea. We played a 4 player game and first player would have won because it ended on the second players' turn. All players agreed the game should go an even amount of turns so 3rd and 4th finished up and 4th player won by 2 points gathering vikings. Even with a 4 point lead and ending the game on the 2nd players turn 4th would have push through, by a thread. We also came to the point that no one wanted the last 3 point raid card. Second player took it to just end the game. I believe it ended to be a wash out for him, gave up 3 points for 3 points. Maybe house rule get an extra VP for taking the last raid or some incentive.
 
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Luke Turner
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bucklen_uk wrote:
Fix we came up with was to give VPs at the start based on player order.

Player Bonus VP
1 - 0
2 - 1
3 - 2
4 - 3
5 - 4



I like this solution and think it might have the best synergy with the rules in the game. I'll have to give this a try and see.

waynea wrote:
We also came to the point that no one wanted the last 3 point raid card. Second player took it to just end the game. I believe it ended to be a wash out for him, gave up 3 points for 3 points. Maybe house rule get an extra VP for taking the last raid or some incentive.


In another thread there is a suggestion by the designer about this particular problem. The gist of which is to basically just go one final round after the last raid is left on the table, that way if someone takes it, cool, but otherwise everyone else isn't just stalling the end.
 
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Keith McNeil
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I had considered VPs based on player order, but it still doesn't feel equitable to me. Lets say that in a 4 player game, the game ends after the third player's turn. Players 2 and 3 have now been compensated for something that they were never missing.

I feel like In The Name of Odin is still missing a way to seize first player initiative, which would be thematic as well.

I reeeeally want to love NSKN games, they feel like they are *almost* amazing, but their hallmark so far has been the need for tweaks and variants (see Praetor).
 
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Chris Mikols
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Does anyone feel this game would benefit from having a set amount of rounds based on player number and passing a first player marker, raids keep filling til game end.
This would eliminate the 'race' mechanic (maybe I'm biased as its my least favorite mechanic ever) and the most efficient player with their turns would win.
Let me know what you think?
 
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foksieloy
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I find it works just fine as it is.

For me it seems as most players assume this game to be something different, but ultimately it is all about hand management.
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Keith McNeil
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chris0zz wrote:
Does anyone feel this game would benefit from having a set amount of rounds based on player number and passing a first player marker, raids keep filling til game end.
This would eliminate the 'race' mechanic (maybe I'm biased as its my least favorite mechanic ever) and the most efficient player with their turns would win.
Let me know what you think?


Yes, I think that would be interesting to try. If only more raids were included, you could set a reasonable number of rounds. Maybe 8?

Quote:
For me it seems as most players assume this game to be something different, but ultimately it is all about hand management.


Certainly you're correct that hand management is key. But it's also true that the majority of the time the players later in turn order will receive one fewer turn than the earlier players. That is not mitigated to any meaningful degree by hand management.

 
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foksieloy
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book_worm71 wrote:
Certainly you're correct that hand management is key. But it's also true that the majority of the time the players later in turn order will receive one fewer turn than the earlier players. That is not mitigated to any meaningful degree by hand management.


It doesn't have to be, because the extra turn when there are no raids remaining is not very useful.
In my experience two turns before the last raid is done is when you are aware you will not get it, and possibly not get a turn, and that is enough time to hit the optimal viking combo of 6 points. Perhaps even a scoring building.
Those 6 points might well be more than the net gain player scoring the raid got. Hence another topic in this forum of "nobody wants to do the last raid".
 
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John Van Wagoner
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I'll leave it as is...we just need to pay attention to when the "raid display" is getting really low...as long as everyone knows ahead of time we haven't had an issue yet (after about 7-8 plays)...
 
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John Aronis
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I agree. It is a race and efficiency game (essentially) so having less turns is a disadvantage. Not to mention starting players get first pick (if particularly good buildings, raids or ships come up).

I am going to try playing with 5 extra raid cards and triggering the end game when there are no more raid cards to draw, then giving all players equal turns.

Alternatively, maybe a bonus in lines of (adapted from Manhattan Project):

1. Nothing
2. +1 action card on the first round only.
3. Choice of +1 action card or +1VP.
4. +1 Action and +1VP
5. Choice of +1 Action/+1VP Twice (i.e. +2 of one or +1/+1)
 
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Nigel Buckle
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Been playing this more and the ending of the game definitely bothers some players (usually those who feel they've missed out their last turn).

Way we're playing now (and it seems to work for us), is as soon as we are down to 2 raid cards 3 more are added from those removed from the game (taking the total back up to 5), that round gets played out and then we play one final round.

Seems to fix the AP issue of "do I take the last raid?" and also the "I got 1 less turn than everyone else, it's not fair"
 
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Jarad Bond
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I'm just doing equal rounds - last raid triggers the end of game and play till the end of the round. That is the only end condition for me, and no extra setup. The last raid can be completed by someone else, and if so, you just maximize your vikings and/or try to get another building or buy a ship or purchase a hero.

It is not uncommon for the last turn in a euro to yield very low benefits. There's still some challenge, still some risk of having to do something different if you were not first player, but, you've had equal turns, so you have been given a relatively fair opportunity to make the best of what you were dealt.
 
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Joao Rodrigues
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For me it works just fine as it is. It is perfect information how many raid cards are left and you can easily identify when the game is about to end, so if you know you won't be able to get another raid, you can try to gather buildings or sets of vikings in order to get scoring points that way.

I've played two 4 player games, and in both of them the second player in turn order ended the game. In one game the 4th player was the winner and in the other the 3rd player was the winner, proving that this so called "advantage" is not that bigas you are thinking.
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