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Spirits of the Rice Paddy» Forums » General

Subject: Spirit #1 too strong? rss

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Martijn Weekenstroo
Netherlands
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Played a 4p game last week and we all really enjoyed the game! We did all had the feeling though that the #1 spirit was a bit OP.. Was wondering if this was just circumstances, poor play by the rest or of more people have had this feeling?
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Dok Indigo
Germany
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Don't have the game at hand and can't remember. What does the spirit #1 do?
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Hunter Bennett-Daggett
United States
Portland
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cito88 wrote:
Played a 4p game last week and we all really enjoyed the game! We did all had the feeling though that the #1 spirit was a bit OP.. Was wondering if this was just circumstances, poor play by the rest or of more people have had this feeling?


I'm no expert on the game, but I do have 22 plays at a variety of player counts so I feel I have a pretty good depth of experience. While some of the spirits are useful in a wider range of circumstances than others, in general I haven't found any to be useless or over-powered. I really like Spirit #1 (allows you to look ahead at the the next card in the rain deck, and also puts you permanently at the head of the line when selecting achievements) because I like having a little more information, but I have definitely lost badly when using it. Often times just knowing what's coming doesn't allow you to do too much to counteract it, beyond perhaps changing what you buy at market if you're preparing for pests/weeds. And picking achievements first is great, but only if you can get the necessary "stuff", and most of the other spirits will help you more with that. For instance, the spirits that give you free workers and/or animals are enormously useful both for standard tasks and getting achievements, and you can argue that by taking Spirit #1 you're arguably forsaking an opportunity to get one of those others instead.

Anyway, I just wanted to offer a counterpoint. When we were relatively new to the game we concluded that some spirits were far better than others; with additional plays we've generally found that not to be the case. In my opinion, the designer(s) did a good job with the balancing. I hope your experience is similarly positive!
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Martijn Weekenstroo
Netherlands
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Thank you for your comments We figured that it might have been the circumstances that led this player basically claim 2/3 of all the achievements so good to hear your view with so many plays. Need to play this again soon I think!
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Louisville
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DiAtros wrote:


I'm no expert on the game, but I do have 22 plays at a variety of player counts so I feel I have a pretty good depth of experience. While some of the spirits are useful in a wider range of circumstances than others, in general I haven't found any to be useless or over-powered. I really like Spirit #1 (allows you to look ahead at the the next card in the rain deck, and also puts you permanently at the head of the line when selecting achievements) because I like having a little more information, but I have definitely lost badly when using it. Often times just knowing what's coming doesn't allow you to do too much to counteract it, beyond perhaps changing what you buy at market if you're preparing for pests/weeds. And picking achievements first is great, but only if you can get the necessary "stuff", and most of the other spirits will help you more with that. For instance, the spirits that give you free workers and/or animals are enormously useful both for standard tasks and getting achievements, and you can argue that by taking Spirit #1 you're arguably forsaking an opportunity to get one of those others instead.

Anyway, I just wanted to offer a counterpoint. When we were relatively new to the game we concluded that some spirits were far better than others; with additional plays we've generally found that not to be the case. In my opinion, the designer(s) did a good job with the balancing. I hope your experience is similarly positive!


I think our experience disagrees with this, generally the person who gets #1 card is usually the winner or 2nd place (in a 4 player game). It is one of the best cards in the game, and especially in a 2 player game, it significantly unbalances the game. We play this mostly 2 player, but do play 3-4 player too. I think the more we play this game, the more our group has zeroed in on the achievements being in general unbalanced and poorly implemented.

If the lower number cards are weaker than higher number cards, and that is balanced by player order access to rain, adding the additional 1st player gets first access to achievements seems to negatively tip this balance. Achievements generally can swing the game way too much if you have first dibs, especially when the game presents a series of similar achievements that compound. They create a run away leader effect that minimizes the actual planting game play, as well as adds one more level of randomness that is not easily mitigated.

As a result, we have already house ruled it that different achievements that do not compound are placed out (Or no more than 2). We had an idea to figure out another way to determine 1st achievement access, such as most water in the fields gets 1st choice, or the least amount of water? We havent tried that yet, though. But really, its the access to achievements that we feel like was a big miss to the game that really hurts the overall game play.

There was an idea to have once someone "buys" an achievement, other players can choose to gain that reward too as their 1 achievement for that round, and then it is removed. I am not sure that would just ruin the achievements too, but it is another idea we are floating to try.

We like the mechanics of the game, and the game is so beautiful and clever, but just seems to off.



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