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Mare Nostrum: Empires» Forums » General

Subject: Some negative thoughts about Mare Nostrum rss

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Lychenus Laplace
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Let me say it up front: I love this game. And prolly I will play it a few more 10 times and up with the expansions with that easy to learn and execute game mechanics, and a need to deeply consider in terms of both micro- and marco- strategy.

But this game has a problem as seen in a lot of war-like kind of games. It is mostly a game of 1v1 & 1v1 & 1v1... line up, or you just have to hit everyone with a fair share in order to win. After all, if it was like a simply 2v1, those players would have wasted too much resources to kill off a player. And the rest would have good resources to build up econ and defend, and they are more likely to win. And this kind of game it is extremely easy for less experienced players to be so triggered and would chase off another one until he is dead, which he won't. And this is bad for the game in terms of power balance. I just do not like kind of idea. And it feels a little bit weird that one has to 'hurt everyone with a fair share' in order to win slightly ahead by game end. It feels a bit of inconsistency when Rome and Greece was almost 'supposed' or destinated to be born rivals, but you just had to let and persuade Greece get Egypt because Cleopatra is running away, but Rome has been the pit of the ass for Greeks. And somehow it feels bad to be the one who is left-alone in a three or four way war, so I sit back played simcity and win easily because I had the most resources to develop the economy with minimal defense, getaway and win. This is similar in Eclipse.

I hope later games would be better in terms of this. I do not know how to make this situation better, but prolly this game is too late to be saved from this.
 
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g colhoun
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Such are the problems of multi player games with combat.

Kemet solves it as well as any game I've played, and I also like what Golden Ages and Scythe do.

Clash of Cultures and Civilisation work by ensuring that all out war will lead to mutually assured destruction, so skirmishes tend to occur only.

And Antike I and II (which are close to Mare Nostrum as games) use the rondel mechanism to make all out war a less likely option.

I'm not a game theorist but I know much has been written about this issue. It's not easily solved
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Aaron Bredon
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When a player has a large economy, he cannot effectively defend all of it, so he is vulnerable to pillaging raids. If players keep aware of who is producing how much, they can easily pull back said economic leader to parity while getting some resources as well.
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Sean D.
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I have only played one game and as the player who was least involved in War, I was able to win by military with Babylon by capturing Troy, Jerusalem and Egypt. Rome and Carthage went to war with Rome beating Carthage quite badly. Greece turtled up with Forts and Legions holding a large portion of the map and had detente with Rome. Egypt and Carthage had a few battles as well - contributing to Rome's attacks. It was interesting as the trade leader mostly limited trade and Rome probably could have won by building the Pyramids. Overall we all had fun - even the Carthage player. We will play again and as of yet we haven't fallen into any patterns where every game will play out the same. I am curious to find out though!
 
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Patrick G.
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Glenshaw
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genoan wrote:
Such are the problems of multi player games with combat.

Kemet solves it as well as any game I've played, and I also like what Golden Ages and Scythe do.

Clash of Cultures and Civilisation work by ensuring that all out war will lead to mutually assured destruction, so skirmishes tend to occur only.

And Antike I and II (which are close to Mare Nostrum as games) use the rondel mechanism to make all out war a less likely option.

I'm not a game theorist but I know much has been written about this issue. It's not easily solved

yeah Scythe fixes combat by mostly removing it. I hear that is a great way to fix any "problem".
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A. I. H
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corkysru wrote:
genoan wrote:
Such are the problems of multi player games with combat.

Kemet solves it as well as any game I've played, and I also like what Golden Ages and Scythe do.

Clash of Cultures and Civilisation work by ensuring that all out war will lead to mutually assured destruction, so skirmishes tend to occur only.

And Antike I and II (which are close to Mare Nostrum as games) use the rondel mechanism to make all out war a less likely option.

I'm not a game theorist but I know much has been written about this issue. It's not easily solved

yeah Scythe fixes combat by mostly removing it. I hear that is a great way to fix any "problem".


Scythe doesn't remove combat, it just makes it too costly so that you wouldn't go into one unless you're forced, or the reward is too big to pass on.
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Manuel Bourgeois
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Longueuil
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After a few games played, I've noticed this trend as well.

I have high hopes that what my play group lacks is experience with the game and that over time things will even out.

Nonetheless, I am finding the game harder and harder to bring to the table because of these issues.

1) Turn order matters ALOT, so much so that it causes issues.

Turn order mattering by itself is not a bad thing. In fact one of the things I like about the game is how much control the various leaders have over the flow of the game.

The issue is that turn order matters so much that players can often ruin the game for others by inadvertantly making grave mistakes in who builds or attacks first.

2) The game has a large griefing issue.

The easiest provinces to take are often the ones belonging to the weakest player.

As a players loses provinces, their income decreases and in turn so does their ability to produce defenses. Suddenly other players are jumping on them to get their share of free territory.

The end result is the player who managed to stay out of the war or who managed to grab the losers weakened territories wins.

 
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Steven Townshend
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So far, in my experience, weaker players are those who spend multiple turns building their trade and/or buying heroes and wonders instead of military units. In fact, this is the strategy I see most new players pursue in the game. Building trade is great, but:

- If a player can build trade unchecked, they will have the most resources/power, and
- If a player expends most of their resources on heroes/wonders to the exclusion of other things, and the other players raid them, the raided player is still closer to victory since heroes/wonders can't be taken away. I've seen Egypt win twice with heroes/wonders while being attacked on all sides.

It is amazing how much a single fortress can do for you in discouraging attack. Triremes also help.

In the first game of Mare Nostrum we ever played, everyone sat back and tried to build, but Carthage (trade king) built 5 heroes/wonders before anyone was able to catch up. The players concluded that military strategy was suboptimal. We played again and the players again raced to trade. I (Babylon) built Troy and Jerusalem, then defeated an undefended Alexandria.

I think players need to be aware of what's happening (or could happen) on the board. If your neighbor starts building legions and triremes, it's time to build fortresses and legions (and maybe triremes) and put aside big trade ambitions for a while.
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Steve O'Grady
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Jacksonville
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Such a great game!
Checks and balances at every turn.
Best advice....watch what your neighbor is doing while executing your own strategy.
I played one game at GenCon where 4 of 5 players were all within 1 turn of victory. Turn order matters.
Love this game. Hoping to explore it many times over.
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Aron R
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Ashburn
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Also, don't focus exclusively upon your neighbors. Any player with 2-3 triremes can project their forces to most locations on the board much more effectively than one might first realize. I've seen Greece and Rome build up defensive forces, only to have Greece move a couple of triremes and invade Carthage. Rome could easily have also done the same thing to Egypt or Babylon.
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