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Matt Smith
United States
Orion
Michigan
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I've yet to play TM against other players, but I'm a bit gun shy to introduce it. A friend of mine who is a respected game designer with multiple published games said he didn't like TM because of the luck of the card draw. I assume he played it with the base Research Phase rules where each player draw 4 cards and chooses which cards to purchase. I know there is a recommended drafting variant for players already familiar with the game, but the rulebook says to not use that variant with new players due to extending the play time. I really enjoy TM, and want to make sure it's a hit when I introduce it to my friends who normally enjoy heavier eurogames.

So, what has been your experience introducing the game to people who have experience playing heavier eurogames? More specifically, in your first play did you:
1. Include the Corporate Era project cards?
2. Use the Beginner or regular Corporation cards?
3. Use the base Research Phase rule or the drafting variant?

With the drafting variant, each player sees 10 cards per round instead of only 4, so I'm confident my friend's opinion would have been more positive if he had used the drafting variant. However, many of my friends are not fans of really long games, so the drafting variant increasing the play length is not a good thing, especially when all of the project cards will be unfamiliar. I can't decide if it would be better to have a shorter game with somewhat less strategy, or go for the full game with maximum options but a longer play time. Please help me sort through the options. Thanks.
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Joe Martineau
United States
Texas
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I personally would not be willing to play the drafting variant with first time players. It would just take too long and I doubt they would be competitive, so it wouldn't be that much fun.

Corporate era and advanced corps are fine to start with if your friends like heavier games, in my opinion.
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Thomas Leitner
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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I played with the draft variant last night with one first time player and two second timers.

It went extremely well, and did not add to the play time at all. I suspect that's because drafting leads to more efficient play and you can think about the cards you will purchase while drafting.

I enjoyed it so much I won't play without it again. In fact, we discussed drafting the opening hand of ten cards to give even more focus to one's strategy.
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Steve Carey
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The first time we played with drafting, it added about a 1/2 hour to the game. Especially with new players because they're uncertain of which cards to keep and which to pass (still trying to figure out what they're doing, let alone their opponents).

Now, like Thomas says, things go smoothly with no time addition so drafting will be the norm for us.
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Rob White
United States
Richmond
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mvettemagred wrote:
I've yet to play TM against other players, but I'm a bit gun shy to introduce it. A friend of mine who is a respected game designer with multiple published games said he didn't like TM because of the luck of the card draw. I assume he played it with the base Research Phase rules where each player draw 4 cards and chooses which cards to purchase. I know there is a recommended drafting variant for players already familiar with the game, but the rulebook says to not use that variant with new players due to extending the play time. I really enjoy TM, and want to make sure it's a hit when I introduce it to my friends who normally enjoy heavier eurogames.

So, what has been your experience introducing the game to people who have experience playing heavier eurogames? More specifically, in your first play did you:
1. Include the Corporate Era project cards?
2. Use the Beginner or regular Corporation cards?
3. Use the base Research Phase rule or the drafting variant?

With the drafting variant, each player sees 10 cards per round instead of only 4, so I'm confident my friend's opinion would have been more positive if he had used the drafting variant. However, many of my friends are not fans of really long games, so the drafting variant increasing the play length is not a good thing, especially when all of the project cards will be unfamiliar. I can't decide if it would be better to have a shorter game with somewhat less strategy, or go for the full game with maximum options but a longer play time. Please help me sort through the options. Thanks.


Hey Matt,

First of all, I don't see in the rules for the drafting varient that you get 10 cards per round. It's still the normal 4 cards per round (other than the first round). So I don't see it adding too, too much time. And I think it'll help a ton with experienced gamers.

My buds and I played first time with different corps, but no corporate era cards and no drafting. My next two plays were with new people mostly and we kept it that way since the game was always a hit. In my fourth game, I added in the corporation era cards (they're very cool and help build an engine but do seem to extend the game a bit. The next time I play with my original crew we'll go with the drafting (along w/ different corps and all the cards).

I wish we'd thrown it all in the first time, but not a biggie. The different corps are the most important thing to me.

Lastly, people who complain too much about bad card draws are annoying. If drafting keeps them from complaining, then I say draft. Like giving s baby a pacifier.
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Steve Carey
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Rob in Richmond wrote:
I don't see in the rules for the drafting varient that you get 10 cards per round. It's still the normal 4 cards per round (other than the first round).


When drafting during Research, you'll see 10 cards as Matt notes: 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 = 10.
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Jonathan Fryxelius
Sweden
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I rarely play with drafting at all. But then, I don't think the random draw is a big issue. Standard Projects make sure there is always something you can do, and as an experienced player, you should be able to plan ahead and make sure the cards you already have will bear you through one or two research phases without any interesting cards. But if I thought it was a big deal, I would use the drafting variant. But not with new players. As a new player, you don't know the game good enough to make informed decisions about which cards to keep, and people trying anyway will add play time. This is why the Beginner Corporations just draw their cards without choosing, to avoid putting new players in that hard position.

With new players that are used to gaming, I add the unique corporations from the start, and I might play Corporate Era also (unless we're short on time). The CE cards are not harder to understsnd, they just focus on different things, so beginners should not have any problems. And with me instructing, leading gameplay, and giving advice, it doesn't necessarily add so much time either.

During playtesting, we have tried to draft the initial 10 cards also, but this is not good. You need to be able to choose freely among your cards and the two corporations to make a solid base for your strategy. With drafting, you really can't. While drafting slightly minimizes luck in the research phase, it actually increases luck if applied at the game start. So we dropped that idea.
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Jacob Fryxelius
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Lord_Aethan wrote:

During playtesting, we have tried to draft the initial 10 cards also, but this is not good. You need to be able to choose freely among your cards and the two corporations to make a solid base for your strategy. With drafting, you really can't. While drafting slightly minimizes luck in the research phase, it actually increases luck if applied at the game start. So we dropped that idea.


This.

The standard game and Beginner Corporations are for new players to easily get into the game and have a good, short-ish first play and then be eager to play with Corps and CE. If you, as a seasoned player start your first game with the full package, including CE, corps, and draft, you might end up with a very long game where they likely made some mistakes early on despite taking time to analyze the cards and shifting situation. And they might blame their loss on bad luck.

CE is OK to start with for seasoned gamers if they are ok with the game time, but I would still recommend the Beginner Corporations, to go parallell with your standard corporations. They ARE balanced to have the same strength as the other corporations, so you can mix. Beginner Corporations just makes your start much easier to digest.
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Love Nilsson
Sweden
Trelleborg
Skåne
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I'd say CE cards, beginner corps and no drafting.

In my gaming group we've been talking about drafting but it has stopped at talking abut it so far. Halfway into the game it's not uncommon to wish a for a research phase with unwanted cards so you can play what's on your hand already.
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