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Alchemists: The King's Golem» Forums » News

Subject: Sneak Preview - Part 3 rss

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Paul Grogan
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Welcome to the third and final part in the series of sneak preview articles for the expansion to Alchemists, The King’s Golem. In Preview 1, I gave you an overview of the expansion and explained the Palace Library, and then in Preview 2, I told you about the first 3 modules. Now to take a look at the King’s Golem itself!


Module 4: The Golem Project
This module is more involved that the others and only recommended for people who are very familiar with the base game.

It requires a whole host of extra components: an extension to the main game board, a Golem deduction board, new favour cards, approval tokens, and much more. I’ll just cover the basics here.
Note that The Golem Project also requires The Royal Encyclopedia expansion.

The extension to the main board is the first thing to explain.

This new board offers two new action spaces

Research Golem (at the bottom)

Visit Library (at the top)

The “Buy Artifact” space now appears on this board instead of the main game board and there is a special “Under the Counter” artifact mini-board to cover up the original “Buy Artifact” action space.


Resolving actions still happens clockwise around the board as before, so doing Golem research now happens after selling a potion, and after you have visited the library, it is the debunking action space.




Visiting the Royal Library
I’m actually going to explain this action first, because it is the easiest to explain. You simply spend one of your approval tokens to take a book, which you use immediately. See previous previews on how to use books. And read on to see how you can get approval tokens.


Researching the Golem
The king has taken a special interest in golem research. He looks kindly on those who work in this field – as long as they get their work done before he gets bored.

This action space allows you to either test an ingredient on the golem or attempt to animate it. Either action can give you an approval token, and there is only a limited number of these tokens available each round, depending on how good of a mood the king is in.
The first two times you use this action space, your only option is to test the golem. If you have already performed at least two such tests, you may continue to do more tests, or attempt to animate it.

Testing the Golem
This action helps you discover information you will need for animating the golem. To test the golem, place one ingredient card in your cauldron and use a new feature of the app to scan it in. Record the result and discard the ingredient.

The golem might react to your ingredient or not. Its chest might glow, or steam might come out of its ears, both might happen, or neither.
The reaction allows you to deduce something: the chest reacts to one aspect of a certain size, and the ears react to a different aspect of a certain size. The two aspects are always different colors, but the two sizes may be the same or different. Note that the golem reacts to the aspect's size, not its sign.


For example, If the ears steam when presented with a small green aspect, only these four alchemicals will make the ears steam.

The aspect that makes the chest glow will be either red or blue. It will be either big or small. In all cases, two alchemicals will make both chest and ears react.

So, let’s say you test the golem by feeding him a toad. Mmmm, tasty... And let’s say that steam comes out of his ears. We mark this on the bottom of our deduction grid as follows:



Now, on its own, this doesn’t help us. But, lets say later in the game, we do some more tests with the toad (normal test), and we find out that the toad has a small red aspect. So we can say for certain that the ears don’t react to a big red aspect and cross this off. We also know that a small red aspect does not make the chest glow. We record this on the bottom of our sheet as shown here.



As the game goes on, you will do more and more tests, and maybe you will end up with something looking like this:



So, you now know that to awaken the golem, you need to provide an alchemical with a Red + and a Green - (the actual sizes are no longer important).

Now you just need to work out which two ingredients correspond to the the two alchemicals which have a Red+ and a Green- in and huzzah!
Armed with this information, you can try to animate the golem, which is worth lots of reputation. But get it wrong, and you will lose reputation as your fellow alchemists laugh at you.

Progress Reports
The king demand regular progress on what is happening regarding your attempts to wake up the golem. This happens after the “Drink Potion” action space, and does not cost you any action cubes, so all players can do it.


You can only submit a report once you have completed at least two tests. Reports are represented by placing new tokens on the Golem Research board. You have six tokens, one for each size of each colour.

You place them face down so that other players don’t know what you have put, and you can put one or two tokens.

If you put only one token, it means you are sure about the size and colour. If you put two tokens, you are saying it could be either of those possibilities.



New Conferences
When playing with this module, you use new Conference tiles in addition to the old ones and they work in a similar way: you need to have made some progress to get the benefit. For example, in the first conference of the Apprentice variant, if you have written a progress report, you gain 1 reputation and a favour card.

There is much more to this module than I’ve covered here, but I just wanted to give you a rough idea of how it plays. For the full details, please check out the rulebook which should be available soon.


And that brings us to the end of the sneak previews. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them and found them useful.
I’m off to make myself a toad and scorpion sandwich...
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Carl Bussema
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Wow! This seems crazy to try to think about on top of everything else, and I definitely see the strong recommendation not to try this until you are very experienced with the base game. Wrapping your head around the Golem tests is going to take a bit of practice.
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Philip Morton
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Interesting; it seems like something that shouldn't take too much investment to figure out once you know the whole board, but of course that usually only happens late....

I think it also means that other players' hedges on the main theory board significantly affect the meaning of your results from the golem, because the pairs that match on two colors always differ in sizes...

The new conference tiles being "in addition" is really interesting. I'm guessing the super-tough "regular" conference goes at the end of the final round, and the other two that check progress reports don't add a huge burden mid-game because "publishing" progress reports doesn't take an action. I'm curious how the conference with the > and < symbols works, because it sounds like having four progress reports actually means you're less competent than the person with only two (unless they're both on one side, I guess).

The tile that looks like it has updated end game scoring makes a lot more sense knowing how the progress reports work.

Some things I'm curious about from the symbology on the component pictures:

The progress-report (non-)action looks like you can recall your submitted progress reports? Curious how this affects the end-game thing, it seems like recalling your publishes freely would make it hard to get hit with the failure penalties...though maybe it makes it just a bonus for having the right knowledge at the end of the game...

The encyclopedia board appears to have a publish action that costs approval instead of gold and has no spots for cubes. Now seeing that the golem board has a similarly-structured space for the cube-free progress report submission, I'm wondering if it means there's some way to use approval tokens to publish without an action, or maybe that the encyclopedia can only be published to using approval?

Guessing the icons next to the board that covers the original shopkeeper means the under-the-table artifact costs one less gold but costs an approval?

PaulGrogan wrote:
The aspect that makes the chest glow will be either red or blue.

It took me an excessive amount of time to connect this to the prior paragraph's supposition that the ear-steam in this example was triggered by the green aspect. ("Why would the deduction grid include green entries for the chest glow if it can only be red or blue?")
 
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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Um what Royal Encyclopedia expansion?? It's not listed as an expansion of Alchemists on BGG.
 
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David desJardins
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Um Sneak Preview - Part 2
 
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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DaviddesJ wrote:


Oh, duh!! Carry on
 
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Justin G
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Can more deduction pads be purchased ?
 
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That deduction pad looks like the clarity of +/- symbols has been improved over the original print run?
 
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Philip Morton
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After thinking about the golem testing further...

PaulGrogan wrote:
In all cases, two alchemicals will make both chest and ears react.

It's not just the dual reaction; each of the four possible results has two alchemicals that should cause it, and those two ingredients together in a normal test would make water. Therefore, if you do golem-tests on two different ingredients and get the same result, you gain a normal test's worth of information (a water result).

There's only four unique color+size combinations on the alchemicals; any pair of two has one color that's the same size and two that differ.

Once you have full knowledge of the ingredients (or trust a full board at the end of the game), I think you need three different golem tests to know both how to awaken the golem and the unhedged progress reports; two (different) tests should give you enough to know at least one ingredient that will awaken the golem, but not enough to get both progress reports right.

The really interesting part I think is going to be properly interpreting things before the stage where the whole board is known...

Currently I'm guessing the best plan will be to get 2-3 tests using things you know don't make water during the game, then awaken the golem once you learn the rest of the board. Maybe with cubes getting diverted to golem-testing the board won't reach full knowledge state as often, though.
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Gary Duke
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Chrondeath wrote:
Maybe with cubes getting diverted to golem-testing the board won't reach full knowledge state as often, though.

One detail that hasn't been mentioned yet (I've seen a preview of the rules!) is that you will get more action cubes during the game when you use the golem module, so you can allocate some cubes to golem testing without needing to use less on the other stuff you already do.
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Carl Bussema
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I'm trying to wrap my head around the Golem. In case it helps anyone else, I thought I'd try to write out some of my thoughts.

The example (my thoughts/comments in italics).
1. Test golem with toad: Result is EARS.
2. Subsequent tests (not shown): Toad is small red

The conclusion now stated is:
3. EARS do not react to LARGE RED
4. CHEST does not react to SMALL RED

For me, 4 was obviously true. We know that's true because given Toad[small red], if chest reacted to small red, it would have reacted when we did the initial test.

3 confused me for a minute, because I thought, "Toad still has a green or blue component, it could be reacting to those," and then I remembered that if it's reacting to green or blue, it isn't reacting to any size red by definition, since it only reacts to one color.


5. Eventually, you deduce exactly which size & color causes EARS to react and which causes CHEST to react. (tests not shown)

The next step confused me because it's only in the images, not in the text.

6. (not written!) Follow the arrows down on the production grid to convert SIZE to SIGN (large = +, small = -).
7. You are now looking for the two ingredients that have those two Color/Sign properties. You will need BOTH to animate the golem (which is a separate action). Animating the golem is worth at least 5 VP at end of game, and 3 rep if done before the 2nd conference.

Looking forward to trying this!

(edited after reading rules which do a decent job of explaining it.)
 
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Steve Dupree
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jschlickbernd wrote:
Um what Royal Encyclopedia expansion?? It's not listed as an expansion of Alchemists on BGG.


Why is the Royal Encyclopedia expansion required for the Golem expansion? I can see that it's a way to use approval tokens, but is there another reason? E.g. are you more likely to gain encyclopedia-worthy knowledge from golem tests (than you are to gain theory-board-worthy knowledge)?

Chrondeath wrote:
The progress-report (non-)action looks like you can recall your submitted progress reports? Curious how this affects the end-game thing, it seems like recalling your publishes freely would make it hard to get hit with the failure penalties...though maybe it makes it just a bonus for having the right knowledge at the end of the game...


The recently posted rules explain that you can only remove one token from a report with two tokens, and specifically calls out that it's not possible to add a second progress report token when you already have one there. Furthermore, the (steep) 6 point penalty for having two tokens both wrong is actually not as bad as the 8 point penalty for having only one token but it being wrong. So if you find out that both the tokens you placed are wrong, you are better off just leaving them there than removing one. (I don't know what you should do if you find out one is wrong but aren't sure about the other one.)
 
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Carl Bussema
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stannius wrote:
(I don't know what you should do if you find out one is wrong but aren't sure about the other one.)


Probably remove it if you're at least 50/50 on the other one.
 
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Gary Duke
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InfoCynic wrote:
7. You are now looking for one or two ingredients that have those two Color/Sign properties. Either (?) will animate the golem, which is worth a lot of reputation.

Unclear what the benefit of two is? Can you animate the golem once with each ingredient? Do you actually need both to animate it?

Yes, you need both. The nice thing is that the King will supply the actual ingredients for you; you don't need to have the physical ingredient cards, you only need to know what the ingredients are.

stannius wrote:
Chrondeath wrote:
The progress-report (non-)action looks like you can recall your submitted progress reports? Curious how this affects the end-game thing, it seems like recalling your publishes freely would make it hard to get hit with the failure penalties...though maybe it makes it just a bonus for having the right knowledge at the end of the game...


The recently posted rules explain that you can only remove one token from a report with two tokens, and specifically calls out that it's not possible to add a second progress report token when you already have one there. Furthermore, the (steep) 6 point penalty for having two tokens both wrong is actually not as bad as the 8 point penalty for having only one token but it being wrong. So if you find out that both the tokens you placed are wrong, you are better off just leaving them there than removing one. (I don't know what you should do if you find out one is wrong but aren't sure about the other one.)

The idea is that placing two tokens is like hedging a theory - you're making two guesses but aren't sure which is right. Taking one token off is like debunking the wrong part and publishing the correct version - you're now sure that the remaining token is correct. As you're able to report your own progress independently of everyone else, you can't fix it if you're completely wrong, and your reports are secret until the end, there's no bluffing possible here, though you might decide you're desperate enough to guess.
 
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Sophia Lechner
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Gary Duke wrote:
Chrondeath wrote:
Maybe with cubes getting diverted to golem-testing the board won't reach full knowledge state as often, though.

One detail that hasn't been mentioned yet (I've seen a preview of the rules!) is that you will get more action cubes during the game when you use the golem module, so you can allocate some cubes to golem testing without needing to use less on the other stuff you already do.
Although, now that we've seen the rules, it turns out this depends on player number. 2 players get no additional cubes; 3 players get an additional cube in rounds 4-6, and 4 players get an additional cube in rounds 2-6.

I wonder why that is?
 
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Philip Morton
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stannius wrote:
The recently posted rules explain that you can only remove one token from a report with two tokens, and specifically calls out that it's not possible to add a second progress report token when you already have one there.

Interesting....that will make it tricky to get something proper down before the first conference.

I see I was wrong in my guess about conference timing....and I was analyzing the golem assuming it only took one of the two ingredients with the right signs to wake him up, with both ingredients needed I don't think it's possible to (guarantee) waking him up with less than three tests, but I might have to think about it more....
 
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sonny sonny
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any information concerning languages? i'd like to get a german version for my wife and i see a german rulbook in the downloads. but i can't find any information on a german version of the expansion. will there be / is there one? is the material language-independent with multiple language rulebooks in the same box?

thx!
 
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Zdeněk Vilušínský
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letsdance wrote:
any information concerning languages? i'd like to get a german version for my wife and i see a german rulbook in the downloads. but i can't find any information on a german version of the expansion. will there be / is there one? is the material language-independent with multiple language rulebooks in the same box?

Probably same as the base game (because favour and artifact cards are language dependent) I know for a fact (asked them) that Czech translation will come, hopefully before Christmas, published by the same company that did the base game. So i would ask the German publisher in your case.
 
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Bernd Weber
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The CGE preorder form for Essen did include the option to order the German version, so there should be a German version available at Essen and soon for all others.
 
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sonny sonny
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thx
 
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