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SeaFall» Forums » General

Subject: Winning a game, are we doing it wrong? No spoilers. rss

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Chad George
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As a veteran of Risk Legacy let me first say that I appreciate the catch up mechanic. I have to wonder if our group is doing this right though because winning seems like a bad idea. When you win:

You pick a winner's end game upgrade (minor positive).
You get last choice on advisor upgrade (minor negative).
You likely get to keep your weakest advisor, if you get one at all (potentially major negative).
Presuming this was game one, you are assigned the Prince/Princess title card which means:
You take your turn last (fairly major negative).
You lose all tie breakers (variably negative).
In the subsequent game every other player starts with a bonus on top of all the previously mentioned things (moderately negative).

So. Why would someone want to win? You get one small thing from winning and five bad things. Are we doing something wrong? Did the catch up mechanic over correct? Note also that the winner of our game one came in dead last for game two. Our game two winner seems to think game three is going to go poorly for them as well.
Any advice would be welcome.
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Fito R
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Well, winning means you got the most points, usually.

And the goal is to get the most points at the end of the campaign.

Ergo, winning is better.

I understand that maybe getting second place consistently might technically be a superior strategy, but I imagine that getting as many points as you can means that you won't be able to control that very well.

Also I think you are severely underrating the winner end game upgrades, just the ones we know about now are definitely major gamechangers. I know for sure I'm going cutthroat the first game so I get a crack at the appellation that grants one Reputation each winter, that sounds bonkers.
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JR Honeycutt
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Joou wrote:
Well, winning means you got the most points, usually.

And the goal is to get the most points at the end of the campaign.

Ergo, winning is better.

I understand that maybe getting second place consistently might technically be a superior strategy, but I imagine that getting as many points as you can means that you won't be able to control that very well.

Also I think you are severely underrating the winner end game upgrades, just the ones we know about now are definitely major gamechangers. I know for sure I'm going cutthroat the first game so I get a crack at the appellation that grants one Reputation each winter, that sounds bonkers.


Yep
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Ben Martell
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I just want to note and revel in the fact that this is the first thread from someone who bought and is playing seafall.

Feels so close now.
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Rob Daviau
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Webspinner202 wrote:
As a veteran of Risk Legacy let me first say that I appreciate the catch up mechanic. I have to wonder if our group is doing this right though because winning seems like a bad idea. When you win:

You pick a winner's end game upgrade (minor positive).
You get last choice on advisor upgrade (minor negative).
You likely get to keep your weakest advisor, if you get one at all (potentially major negative).
Presuming this was game one, you are assigned the Prince/Princess title card which means:
You take your turn last (fairly major negative).
You lose all tie breakers (variably negative).
In the subsequent game every other player starts with a bonus on top of all the previously mentioned things (moderately negative).

So. Why would someone want to win? You get one small thing from winning and five bad things. Are we doing something wrong? Did the catch up mechanic over correct? Note also that the winner of our game one came in dead last for game two. Our game two winner seems to think game three is going to go poorly for them as well.
Any advice would be welcome.


Winning gives you strategic advantages - the province improvement can never be taken away and it slowly levels up your province. It does provide short-term disadvantages.
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Thomas Dom
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Never played but read the rules 2 - 3 times .
You really get short term penalised but imagine the case that you lose game 2 (last position). In game 3 you are boosted for being last + 1st game upgrade. Which means you are the most advandageous player of that game. Unless i misunderstood something..
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Becq Starforged
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You kind of mentioned it, but I suspect its important to point out that some of those negatives you mentioned aren't linked to winning one game, but to winning fairly consistently.

The winner of the *current* game gets:
+ a province improvement (as Rob noted, I would consider this more than a minor benefit)
+ a larger increase in campaign glory relative to the other players (as Fito noted, this is the victory points of the game, so also significant)
- last choice of advisor training options
- a weaker advisor (or none at all) to keep for next game

Looking at this list alone, there isn't nearly as large a net penalty to winning a single game. The advisor selection is a definite negative, but that really only affects the next game, whereas the province improvement is a gift that keeps on giving for the rest of the campaign. Even the seemingly mundane option of upgrading your fields is very nice -- it gives you enough gold over the course of a game to hire an expensive leader (or whatever else you want to do), and makes it harder for other players to raid you successfully.

And since you have last choice of advisors anyway, the reduced choice of advisor training seems less important too. Consider that since you're going to get a substandard advisor anyway, and might go last, too -- maybe you should train up a poor advisor, so that you don't benefit someone else?

Back to the benefits/penalties, the new leader *overall* (NOT the winner of the current game) gets:
+ is currently the choice to be the next emperor (kind of a big deal, and the objective of the campaign)
- last in turn order (but see below)
- loses ties
- no title-based benefits based

Regarding being last in turn order, note that that applies to the first year only. After the first year, the player with the lowest *game* (not campaign) score goes first. So if turn order makes a big difference in glory during the first year (and I don't disagree that it is likely to) then you probably won't be going last during the second year. So kind of a backup catch-up that seems like it should help mitigate the penalty imposed by going last.

You're right, after the first (non-prologue) game, the game winner will be both the current winner and the overall leader, and will get all of the benefits and penalties of both. But then again, I think the stakes are a bit lower early on, too, so maybe it doesn't matter as much.

Of course, I haven't played the game yet. Probably because you STOLE the copy of the game that my friend was in line for, you JERK!
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Scott Hall
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Tomans wrote:
Never played but read the rules 2 - 3 times :) .
You really get short term penalised but imagine the case that you lose game 2 (last position). In game 3 you are boosted for being last + 1st game upgrade. Which means you are the most advandageous player of that game. Unless i misunderstood something..


That's how I'm seeing it. It's harder to win two games in a row, but losing game two means you're in a better position for game three thanks to your upgrade.
 
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Becq Starforged
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As a follow-up for Chad, what were your scores for each game (including the prologue, if you remember)? I don't think that would constitute a spoiler, but it might be worthwhile to use spoiler tags (or send the info privately) just in case someone else does.
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Chad George
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Tomans wrote:
Never played but read the rules 2 - 3 times .
You really get short term penalised but imagine the case that you lose game 2 (last position). In game 3 you are boosted for being last + 1st game upgrade. Which means you are the most advandageous player of that game. Unless i misunderstood something..


Unfortunately that didn't happen for us. The person that won game one came in dead last in game two but was still in second place overall and they were only two points shy of retaining first place overall. So no boost for being last because the game looks at overall campaign score, not the score from the previous game.
 
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Fito R
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Becq wrote:
Regarding being last in turn order, note that that applies to the first year only. After the first year, the player with the lowest *game* (not campaign) score goes first. So if turn order makes a big difference in glory during the first year (and I don't disagree that it is likely to) then you probably won't be going last during the second year. So kind of a backup catch-up that seems like it should help mitigate the penalty imposed by going last.


This is a HUGE factor, actually, and something I completely missed. I wonder if Chad followed this rule? Because this definitely seems like it should alleviate the exact complaint he has.

Six whole turns is still a disadvantage, but Rob has mentioned games tend to last two to three years on average. How long did your games last, if you remember?
 
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Chad George
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Becq wrote:
The advisor selection is a definite negative, but that really only affects the next game, whereas the province improvement is a gift that keeps on giving for the rest of the campaign. Even the seemingly mundane option of upgrading your fields is very nice -- it gives you enough gold over the course of a game to hire an expensive leader (or whatever else you want to do), and makes it harder for other players to raid you successfully.

And since you have last choice of advisors anyway, the reduced choice of advisor training seems less important too. Consider that since you're going to get a substandard advisor anyway, and might go last, too -- maybe you should train up a poor advisor, so that you don't benefit someone else?

Regarding being last in turn order, note that that applies to the first year only. After the first year, the player with the lowest *game* (not campaign) score goes first. So if turn order makes a big difference in glory during the first year (and I don't disagree that it is likely to) then you probably won't be going last during the second year. So kind of a backup catch-up that seems like it should help mitigate the penalty imposed by going last.

Of course, I haven't played the game yet. Probably because you STOLE the copy of the game that my friend was in line for, you JERK!



Advisor selection could have bearing on multiple games as you could keep the same one over and over again if you wanted. Admittedly last advisor upgrade choice is the least negative, but if you get stuck with someone crappy, had you more options you could make them better.

Regarding fields and turn order... We played the prologue and two games after that. The prologue went to year one round six. Game one went to year two round one. Game three went to year 2 round 5. In all that turn order only changed once and fields only harvested one extra time in the latter two games. The winner of game one happened to be tied for last the only time turn order changed and because ties are broken in favor of the worse title they did not become the new first player. While you are correct that a bonus of two gold every winter would add up, in these games it would have amounted to 4 gold which could buy an advisor but since you get it at a rate of 2 gold per 6 turns it doesn't seem to be super lucrative. (Considering that the first three people in turn order ran and bought up all the goods on turn one, sold them on turn two, and made 6 gold profit in two turns compared to 4 gold profit in 12 turns)

I can assure you that our group did not buy your copy. We were dismayed that the VIGs bought them all and at 5pm threw a stupid amount of money at someone we saw walking out with the game and bought their copy from them.
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Chad George
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Becq wrote:
As a follow-up for Chad, what were your scores for each game (including the prologue, if you remember)? I don't think that would constitute a spoiler, but it might be worthwhile to use spoiler tags (or send the info privately) just in case someone else does.


Nothing about the scores would give away any more info than in the rule book so...

Prologue:
Green 6
Blue and Black 4
Red 2

Game 1:
Green 12
Blue 10
Black and Red 5

Game 2 (campaign total in parentheses):
Blue 12 (22)
Red 8 (13)
Black 8 (13)
Green 8 (20)
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AJ Harris
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Hmm...I feel like your "dead last" comment was a little misleading, Chad. Basically it's just a three-way tie for 2nd place...which seems like an excellent game to me!
 
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Becq Starforged
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Webspinner202 wrote:
I can assure you that our group did not buy your copy. We were dismayed that the VIGs bought them all and at 5pm threw a stupid amount of money at someone we saw walking out with the game and bought their copy from them.

So ... what you're telling me is that you bought our copy of the game from the dirty scalper who stole it from us?

Quote:
Advisor selection could have bearing on multiple games as you could keep the same one over and over again if you wanted. Admittedly last advisor upgrade choice is the least negative, but if you get stuck with someone crappy, had you more options you could make them better.

Well, you certainly have more experience than I do ... but it seems to me that there are a lot more than four good advisors. So even if you can't keep your first choice advisor (Bob the Traveler, obviously), and even if someone snags him from you the next game, there should be other good ones available for hire. (Though it might mean shifting gears, strategy-wise.)
Quote:
Regarding fields and turn order... We played the prologue and two games after that. The prologue went to year one round six.

Hm. I actually thought it might be a bit shorter ... though admittedly it will depend on strategies used, die rolls on exploration/raiding, etc. As a thought experiment, I figured out a (rigged) sequence of actions that would end the game in halfway through the second turn. (But as I said, that depends heavily on certain advisors being available, and die rolls being at least average or better, etc.)

Quote:
Game one went to year two round one. Game three went to year 2 round 5. In all that turn order only changed once and fields only harvested one extra time in the latter two games. The winner of game one happened to be tied for last the only time turn order changed and because ties are broken in favor of the worse title they did not become the new first player.

Did you have a lot of province raiding in game 2? It sounds like you slowed down a lot from your previous trend of the leader getting an average of 1 glory per turn.
Quote:
While you are correct that a bonus of two gold every winter would add up, in these games it would have amounted to 4 gold which could buy an advisor but since you get it at a rate of 2 gold per 6 turns it doesn't seem to be super lucrative. (Considering that the first three people in turn order ran and bought up all the goods on turn one, sold them on turn two, and made 6 gold profit in two turns compared to 4 gold profit in 12 turns)

As an aside, I'm not convinced that the field upgrade is the best option; just the one easiest to quantify. I actually think that having first dibs on appellations might be the best reason to try for winning game 1. Then again, I'd have to pick between several good options, so maybe I'm better off being a loser until the choices narrow?
Webspinner202 wrote:
Nothing about the scores would give away any more info than in the rule book so...

Prologue:
Green 6
Blue and Black 4
Red 2

Game 1:
Green 12
Blue 10
Black and Red 5

Game 2 (campaign total in parentheses):
Blue 12 (22)
Red 8 (13)
Black 8 (13)
Green 8 (20)

In games 0 and 1, it looks like you had a hefty spread of scores, which narrowed somewhat for game 2. Would you say the major reason for the score disparity was bad luck in endeavors (lost turns due to repairs), too many high-risk endeavors (causing ships to sink, losing turns and not getting the glory point for survival), learning curve (ie, making poor decisions the first two games), or something else?

Also, some notes based on your scores: I see that Green won game 1 -- despite the fact that he went last AND didn't get an improvement for winning the prologue. Then in Game 2, Blue (who would have been second-to-last) won, and Green (still last) tied for second place. And consider that at the end of game 2, Green (who has gone last full time up to now) is only 2 glory behind the leader, and *7* glory ahead of the other players!

It seems as though all of that argues that turn order may be a factor, but not a critical one. In fact, I'd say Green is in the best position going into game 3; if I was jumping into that game, taking over a province of my choice -- I think I'd pick Green. He's only 2 glory behind the leader, both have earned an improvement (hopefully they picked good ones!), and should have a better advisor and better turn order than Blue...

Of course, there may well be other factors I'm not aware of, but that's how it looks to me from here...

Of course, the most important question is ... how awesome is the game?
 
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Becq Starforged
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much0gust0 wrote:
Hmm...I feel like your "dead last" comment was a little misleading, Chad. Basically it's just a three-way tie for 2nd place...which seems like an excellent game to me!

Agreed. Looks a lot like it was nearly a 4-way tie, but Blue won by a milestone...
 
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Fito R
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I also note that the winner of the prologue also won the first game, thus invalidating his entire theory.

This just seems like a massive over reaction all around.
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Chad George
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much0gust0 wrote:
Hmm...I feel like your "dead last" comment was a little misleading, Chad. Basically it's just a three-way tie for 2nd place...which seems like an excellent game to me!


Fair enough, but with the tie breaker favoring from lowest title up the person with the lowest title got second place, a middle title got third, and the top title got last.
 
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Chad George
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Joou wrote:
I also note that the winner of the prologue also won the first game, thus invalidating his entire theory.

This just seems like a massive over reaction all around.


My point was that one or two drawbacks (such as going last) is something that can be overcome while having (arguably) five drawbacks leaves almost no chance of winning.

Also, there was no "theory" just trying to see if we were doing anything wrong base on what our group perceived the situation to be. In game two all the players agreed that for that particular game Green was screwed from the get go.
 
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Chad George
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Becq, in response to your massive post...

I wouldn't have called him a scalper, we had to convince him to take our money, lol.

There are a bunch of great advisors, yes, but all it takes is one non-winning player choosing a 1 or 2 cost advisor to keep which leaves the winner with nothing at all or an advisor which costs 1. As their cost is proportional to how good they are...
But what I meant was that if there were an advisor you particularly liked, provided it was a legal choice, you could keep them for multiple games.

No provinces were raided in any games.

No ships sank in any games.

While there were a few failing die rolls none were game changingly epic (and the failures were pretty evenly spread out among all the players).

Learning curve was absolutely a factor in the prologue but seemed to be less so in the subsequent games.

In game one green increased their province garrison strength by one. In the second game blue increased their leader's reputation by one.

The game is amazingly awesome. Spring for the metal coins, they add a certain something.

Two other things real quick...
1. Re: getting advisors... Going later in the turn usually means you get the worst advisors because the best ones get purchased before you get to buy one. Granted you could get lucky, but still. Also, mid-game, once you've kind of picked a strategy for that game, advisors are fairly specific and there were several entire turns when none got hired because no one found them useful (or couldn't afford them).

2. I'm going to be amazingly vague here because I don't want to spoil anything. There is an instance where everyone has to make a decision. This decision is made from the top down. Each player's decision is similar and since it was public subsequent players were able to infer more about their decisions based on the outcome of the previous player's decisions. In this particular instance the first player objectively ended up with the worst decision.
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Fito R
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Webspinner202 wrote:

In game one green increased their province garrison strength by one. In the second game blue increased their leader's reputation by one.

See, here's the thing. I may be more gamist and rules lawyer-y than most, but that's just incorrect. Your players made the wrong choices.

Almost any option is better than increasing your garrison by one, as early on ships won't be nearly powerful enough to raid your provinces profitably; and in such a case you feel threatened you can build an temporary Gun Tower. (e: upon rereading, no provinces were raided - even more perplexing a choice!)

And the reputation increase is strictly worse than the appellation. This might be understood if the player wanted another appellation instead, but then why not just take it? Most appellations are more powerful than the static increase, in my uninformed opinion.

I sense your players are still lukewarm to the idea of permanent changes -"what if I want something else later?" etc- that led to sub-par choices that significantly reduced the main advantage of coming in first place (points notwithstanding).
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Becq Starforged
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Webspinner202 wrote:
There are a bunch of great advisors, yes, but all it takes is one non-winning player choosing a 1 or 2 cost advisor to keep which leaves the winner with nothing at all or an advisor which costs 1. As their cost is proportional to how good they are...
But what I meant was that if there were an advisor you particularly liked, provided it was a legal choice, you could keep them for multiple games.

Don't get me wrong, I definitely think the leader has a disadvantage here; it just doesn't feel like a game-wrecking difference. (I might feel differently after I play, of course.)

Quote:
In game one green increased their province garrison strength by one. In the second game blue increased their leader's reputation by one.

This was part of why Green felt like he gained nothing. Since there was no raiding at all, Green's improvement gave him no benefit whatsoever. If you had a group of warmongers with frequent raiding, the situation might be different, but as it was, I think a field upgrade would have given Green better raid resistance (by boosting the successes required to raid their weakest raid site) *and* extra money per winter, too!

In general, my (current) feel is that garrison improvements are something to save for later. Provinces are fairly hard to raid at the beginning of the campaign anyway (you're probably always better off raiding an island instead). Not only that, but I would almost (almost!) welcome a raid, since I could turn that into an enmity sticker at the end of the game -- which is almost the same as a free garrison against the player who proved himself a warmonger...

Quote:
The game is amazingly awesome. Spring for the metal coins, they add a certain something.

That certain something is also known as "clink".

Quote:
Two other things real quick...
1. Re: getting advisors... Going later in the turn usually means you get the worst advisors because the best ones get purchased before you get to buy one. Granted you could get lucky, but still. Also, mid-game, once you've kind of picked a strategy for that game, advisors are fairly specific and there were several entire turns when none got hired because no one found them useful (or couldn't afford them).

I'm kind of thinking that there's a benefit to shaping a short-term strategy around available advisers, but I'll revisit that after playing.

Quote:
2. I'm going to be amazingly vague here because I don't want to spoil anything. There is an instance where everyone has to make a decision. This decision is made from the top down. Each player's decision is similar and since it was public subsequent players were able to infer more about their decisions based on the outcome of the previous player's decisions. In this particular instance the first player objectively ended up with the worst decision.

Sounds fun. Dammit. I'm going to guess that this has to do with the first unlock, but I guess I'll see ... eventually.

 
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John Nichols
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Looking at the point totals, don't you need 13 glory to win game 2? I recall reading that the glory total increases by 1 for each game (to a max of 24). I guess it's possible that blue had 13 glory, triggering the game end, and subsequently lost one point, but that doesn't seem incredibly likely.
 
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AJ Harris
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11 for Game 1, 12 for Game 2. So this is right.
 
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Becq Starforged
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Or game number + 10 (not counting the prologue), if its useful to you to think of it that way. Oh, and the glory target caps out at 24.
 
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