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Mechs vs. Minions» Forums » Rules

Subject: First turn with fewer than 4 players rss

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Kory Stevens
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So, my understanding is that in a 4 player game on the first turn, each player drafts two cards instead of one. Also, I understand that in a 3 player game, on a typical turn the start player drafts one extra card. My question is, what happens in a 3 player game on the first turn?
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James Palmer
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sabaki wrote:
So, my understanding is that in a 4 player game on the first turn, each player drafts two cards instead of one. Also, I understand that in a 3 player game, on a typical turn the start player drafts one extra card. My question is, what happens in a 3 player game on the first turn?



From the rulebook:

Quote:
Double Draft
The first Player Draft of any Mission past the tutorial is a
Double Draft. The First Player deals ten Command Cards,
instead of five, faceup on the table. In order, players take
turns picking one card until each player has two cards total.
Discard the remainder.


So everyone always gets 2 cards on first draft, regardless of how many they normally get in the rest of the game.
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Rodney "Watch It Played" Smith
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James has it right!
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Kory Stevens
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yeah, I guess I saw that, but I found it a bit hard to believe that that would be the rule in 3 players, since I thought the number of cards drafted each turn always being 4 is how the game balances with fewer players, but on the first turn you get fewer cards with fewer players, since like it will be harder than with less than 4.
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Chris Cantrell
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Yeah, in internal playtests we started with what you are describing and it created some interesting edge cases that I felt weren't ideal.

For example, in a 3 player game, if you did a 3-player double draft the cards per person would look like this:

1st turn: Player 1 has 4 cards, Player 2 has 2 cards, Player 3 has 2 cards
2nd turn: Player 1 has 5 cards, Player 2 has 4 cards, Player 3 has 3 cards
3rd turn: Player 1 has 6 cards, Player 2 has 5 cards, Player 3 has 5 cards

Player 3 constantly felt like they were playing 'catch up'.

Also, the way some of the missions are designed, early on, we don't want the mechs to be too powerful. If a wall of lava is chasing you or if there are few minions at the start of the mission, the game feels a bit too trivial in its early stages. Also, one of the more exciting parts of the game (for me, at least) is a sense of a power-growth fantasy that you get throughout the mission. If you start off too strong, that fantasy isn't nearly as compelling as it would be if you started off a bit weaker.

The game has been playtested extensively with 2, 3, and 4 players. Lots of (fair) concerns have cropped up here about how the game is so much harder with 2 players, though I suspect that is from people who haven't played an extensive amount with all player counts. The game is hard with 2 players - but it's also pretty hard with 4 players. Some missions may be slightly easier with 2 and some may be slightly harder with 2, but as long as you've adopted the correct strategy - every mission should be able to be beaten reliably at all player counts. Not saying you'll win every mission on your first try, but once you understand where the real threats are, you should be able to beat the game pretty reliably.

Hope this helps?
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Kory Stevens
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Ok, that makes sense. I noticed the problem that occurs if you give 4 cards to the first player in the first round, so I had figured that perhaps the double draft would give 3 cards to player 1, 3 cards to player 2, and 2 cards to player 3 and then hand the start player makrer to the third player. This obviously is not the rule as written int he reference guide, but I thought perhaps it would be the rule in the proper rule book that I haven't seen yet.

Anyway, if that has a problem with the players building up power early on and ruining the feel of the game, it makes sense to go with the more limited and cleaner rule that you are going with. In the end, it really comes down to playtesting, and if this rule was tested and gave reasonably good results, then thats fine.

Thanks for the response.

One other thing, you said that once you understand the game, you can beat it reliably. I heard there is a hard mode you can play after you complete the initial playthrough, does this rack up the difficulty for experienced players to a good level then? Some cooperative games can have a problem that once you know the game too well it becomes too easy, I want to make sure that our loss rate will stay pretty strong even after we understand the game well.
 
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Nathan Tiras
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At no point in our playtesting did the game ever become "too easy" for any of our playtest groups. Certain missions were harder than others, both from perception and from raw win rates, but the base campaign has a steadily escalating difficulty ramp.

If you find that ramp too easy, new game + (hard mode) should provide some additional challenges.

The overall win rate for the entire campaign ended up around 65% across ~10 playtest groups and 3 months of playtesting for perspective.
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