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Lychenus Laplace
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I used to play a lot of the classic TTA but I play the new version now because it was too much to be fun. Here is a thing I notice with tactics.

It seems like tactics are even more rare before because you can 'copy' it from others. But then the problem comes with that players can play around the copy by simply not playing tactics when they are not very beneficial to play them avoiding from being copied, especially when they are already slightly military superior to gain edges from the events. Failing to draw a tactic wasn't that much a thing in the classic, although rarely it comes to a situation that if there is no useful tactic drawn at all after age II one can just quit for being unlucky. You can still wait and there feels like a good chance drawing something to come back. Now it looks like the fail of drawing or having a chance to copy tactics makes the downward spiral worse. To catch up, one have to spend more population on military units or special technology, more military actions, resources and lightbulbs are drained down, while the one with the slightest edge can race on VP even earlier than the classic version and you have less chance to draw on tactics.


Even worse, you can expect to see someone holding a tactic on hand when you see the relevant units ready but he will not play it until he holds a relevant war. You hope it is a bluff, but mostly you can see the one last blow incoming next turn.


While you can blame players for not taking actions for military upgrades, there is nothing one can do if no tactics is drawn with 3 military actions sitting there. While chances are equal given a equal probability on good and bad luck, it is now just frustrating coming back with military in behind because the probability to draw tactics seems lower. And by the time you draw anything useful would be too late. The difference of drawing good or bad (or even none) tactics in classic was frustrating enough, now feels even worse.

I think the old tactics mechanism and distribution is not perfect, but still better than the version now. Thoughts?

 
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Ben Kyo
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Here are the actual differences:
Age I
One less Fighting Band, two less Light Cavalry, one less Medieval Army, one less Phalanx
Age II
One less Conquistadors, one less Defensive Army, one less Entrenchments,
Age III
One less Shock Troops

Age I and III changes are mostly irrelevant.
Your complaint seems to be directed to having three fewer Age II tactics in the deck. Do you think that makes so much of a difference?

Certainly in the previous edition there was little reason to hold a tactic in reserve. In the new edition you are much more likely to see the less militaristic players holding tactics they'd get minimal benefit from while an all-in player gets frustrated at not having any to copy.

I haven't found the new distribution to be a problem. I have noticed that in the new edition it seems less likely for the game to degenerate into an all-out military race, which I also don't see as a problem.

EDIT: I will concede that the game might be slightly better if Age II tactics weren't so dominant, or even if the three removed cards were restored, but my point is really that the removal of these three cards doesn't bother me and it doesn't seem all that significant in terms of balance/luck.
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Kester J
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I do think that the distribution of age II tactics in the newest version leads to some weird effects. The biggest one I see is who ends up with Classic Army: if a player who has cannons and wants to push their military advantage draws it, it will usually end up not being played and the rest of the game will be fought over military. If a trailing military player draws it, it will go into play almost immediately and be rapidly copied, and this indicates a game where military will be less emphasised - it's difficult to gain a significant military advantage over someone with Classic until later in age III.

This is in principle fine and creates some interesting texture, but the timing effects are a bit annoying. If you know where Classic Army is early in age II (because it's in your hand or been played) you can react accordingly; if it turns up late in the age, it's usually too late to switch gears and it will tend to somewhat arbitrarily reward the player who invested in either military or culture respectively. In theory one could retain some flexibility to account for this, but a flexible player will tend to lose to one who takes the gamble and heavily invests one way or the other - so much so that I suspect taking the gamble is the correct play.
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Jonathan Challis
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I also think Tactics are much worse in the new game than the old (and Age 1 are VERY relevant - much more than the old game).

Tactics are much rare, but you can use other peoples - except you generally won't have the right technologies to do so in a reasonable time frame.

The old system was one of the weaker spots of the game, but new just swapped one problem for another, and on balance it's worse.

There's lots I like about the new game, but lots I dislike too - on balance, I prefer the original, unless you are teaching new players.
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Ben Kyo
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Kester wrote:
I do think that the distribution of age II tactics in the newest version leads to some weird effects. The biggest one I see is who ends up with Classic Army: if a player who has cannons and wants to push their military advantage draws it, it will usually end up not being played and the rest of the game will be fought over military.

Isn't this exactly the same as the previous edition?
Kester wrote:
If a trailing military player draws it, it will go into play almost immediately and be rapidly copied, and this indicates a game where military will be less emphasised - it's difficult to gain a significant military advantage over someone with Classic until later in age III.

This is a big difference, but not a bad one, surely? And the 2/3-unit tactics can still be much better for a really militaristic player.
Kester wrote:
If you know where Classic Army is early in age II (because it's in your hand or been played) you can react accordingly; if it turns up late in the age, it's usually too late to switch gears and it will tend to somewhat arbitrarily reward the player who invested in either military or culture respectively. In theory one could retain some flexibility to account for this, but a flexible player will tend to lose to one who takes the gamble and heavily invests one way or the other - so much so that I suspect taking the gamble is the correct play.

Again, this seems in practice to be very similar to the previous edition, with the only real difference being "or been played", with the effect above.
 
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Kester J
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Benkyo wrote:
Kester wrote:
I do think that the distribution of age II tactics in the newest version leads to some weird effects. The biggest one I see is who ends up with Classic Army: if a player who has cannons and wants to push their military advantage draws it, it will usually end up not being played and the rest of the game will be fought over military.

Isn't this exactly the same as the previous edition?
Kester wrote:
If a trailing military player draws it, it will go into play almost immediately and be rapidly copied, and this indicates a game where military will be less emphasised - it's difficult to gain a significant military advantage over someone with Classic until later in age III.

This is a big difference, but not a bad one, surely? And the 2/3-unit tactics can still be much better for a really militaristic player.
Kester wrote:
If you know where Classic Army is early in age II (because it's in your hand or been played) you can react accordingly; if it turns up late in the age, it's usually too late to switch gears and it will tend to somewhat arbitrarily reward the player who invested in either military or culture respectively. In theory one could retain some flexibility to account for this, but a flexible player will tend to lose to one who takes the gamble and heavily invests one way or the other - so much so that I suspect taking the gamble is the correct play.

Again, this seems in practice to be very similar to the previous edition, with the only real difference being "or been played", with the effect above.


Maybe you are right, but I'm not really sure that was my experience before. I'm just saying how things feel to me, and it stands out as a significant change in feel compared to the previous version. The reduced tactic density is probably a factor - it means you generally have to wait later into age II to know if and how you should commit to military. In the previous version there was no if, and you found out the how earlier.
 
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Thibaut Palfer-Sollier
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Among other things, I'm more and more convinced that the military decks should have been swarmed with tactics instead of reducing their number even more.
Now that you can copy, there is no point in limiting their numbers.

I've seen mentioned the idea of dual aggression/tactic cards. I can only agree.
 
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Steve Norton
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What would happen if you just laid out all the tactics cards from the start, with all players free to move their tactics marker (at the usual cost) to a new card at any point in their turn? At the start of each new Age the next set of Tactics cards would be added.

I am suggesting this as a big fan of Railroad Tycoon. In that game it was felt that there was too much luck involved in the drawing of Major Lines (which used to be shuffled in with everything else). The fix in Railways of the World (which everyone seems happy with) is to just remove them from the deck and lay them out for all players to choose from at the start.

Caveat: I am an inexperienced player so this may be totally unworkable (although I can't see why).
 
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Bill K
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I've added extra copies of the Tactics cards to my Age-II and Age-III Military Decks to bring all Tactics copies up to two each. (And have made a few other adjustments here and there.) So far, having the extra Tactics cards seems to work better, IMO.
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Matthew Charlap
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ReggieMcFly wrote:
What would happen if you just laid out all the tactics cards from the start, with all players free to move their tactics marker (at the usual cost) to a new card at any point in their turn? At the start of each new Age the next set of Tactics cards would be added.


Caveat: I am an inexperienced player so this may be totally unworkable (although I can't see why).


I think what might be better is to leave it as-is, but maybe have an extra copy of each tactic that is not in the deck, but rather all tactics become available at the END of an age. Then you can plan for any tactic you want, but if you draw one early on, you have reason to go for it. If you made all the tactics available at the start of the age, then everyone would just go for whatever the first military unit they can draft from the card row allows (i.e. if swordsmen comes to you before knights, you go for legion, otherwise medieval; if you don't have knights, then cannon vs. cavalrymen (if you do have knights, then cannon vs. riflemen) will determine your age II tactic, and so on.)
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Steve Norton
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Sounds good.
 
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Bill K
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Qurqirish Dragon wrote:
I think what might be better is to leave it as-is, but maybe have an extra copy of each tactic that is not in the deck, but rather all tactics become available at the END of an age. Then you can plan for any tactic you want, but if you draw one early on, you have reason to go for it. If you made all the tactics available at the start of the age, then everyone would just go for whatever the first military unit they can draft from the card row allows . . .

It could be unbalancing when you get to Age IV. Depending on when Age III ends, the Last Player could use them to mount a War or an Aggression; but no matter what, the Starting Player could only use them for defense.

You could remove this imbalance, I suppose, by not laying out the Age-III Tactics until the start of the final round.

But if you do that, you'll end up blunting final-round Aggressions and Wars, the defender possibly having access to the Tactics, the attacker not.

And if you don't lay out the Age-III Tactics, then you're back with the same issue of not enough Tactics being shared.

---------------------------

Another idea is to remove every Tactics card from the Military Deck and instead deal them out one at a time onto the Military board, on every anniversary of the start of the Age. (E.g., when updating the Card Row on the Starting Player's second Age-I turn, you would deal out the first of the Tactics cards; at the start of his third Age-I turn, the second of the Tactics cards, etc.) If you did this, you would of course remove all duplicate Tactics cards first.

Interesting ideas, I admit, but I still prefer the approach of making extra cards so that there're two copies of every Tactics in the Military decks.
 
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jonas havreglid
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My suggested variant is making the cards double sided. This can be done with stickers or just with a list of which card is which. The main goal is to reduce luck by giving players more options while keeping the variety and the excitement that comes from different tactics and assymetrical information about them. I have also made defending less automatic to make it more tense and mroe balanced.

Reworked military deck so that all cards have 2 functions. Deck size 35/40/35. Used cards are reshuffled as well.
Tactics: No Copying but roughly twice as likely to get at least 1 tactics card. 10/35 in age 1, 10/40 in age 2 and 8/35 in age 3. [compare with 10/50 6/55 8/50]
New rule regarding pacts: “one player my not be part of the same pact twice”.

Detailed lists:

Age 1
15 Events /1 Defense
6 Territories/1 Colonization
4 2 Defense/1Colonization
10 Tactics /Aggressions+Pacts
2 Medieval/Plunder
2 Phalanx/Raid
2 Heavy Cavalry/Enslave
2 Legion/Open Borders
2 Fighting Band/Trade Routes Agreement

Age 2

15 Events /1 Defense
6 Territories/1 Colonization
5 4 Defense/2 Colonization
2 Napoleonic/Raid
2 Defensive/Plunder
2 Mobile Artillery/Spy
2 Fortifications/Infiltrate
2 Conquistadores/Annex
1 War over Technology/Scientific Cooperation
1 War over Technology/International Trade Agreement
1 War over Territory/Promise of Military Protection
1 War over Territory/Acceptance of Supremacy

Age 3

15 Events/1 Defense
6 6 Defense/3 Colonization
2 Raid/Modern
2 Plunder/Shock Troops
2 Armed Intervention/Mechanized
2 Armed Intervention/Entrenchments
2 Military Alliance / War over Culture
2 Tourism / War over Culture
1 Loss of Sovereignty / War over Culture
1 Peace treaty / War over Culture




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Artur Rymanowski
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Tbh change that would be nice to see is to add an extra copy of those tactic cards that are only 1 in the deck.
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Matthew Charlap
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Smash62bill wrote:
Qurqirish Dragon wrote:
I think what might be better is to leave it as-is, but maybe have an extra copy of each tactic that is not in the deck, but rather all tactics become available at the END of an age. Then you can plan for any tactic you want, but if you draw one early on, you have reason to go for it. If you made all the tactics available at the start of the age, then everyone would just go for whatever the first military unit they can draft from the card row allows . . .

It could be unbalancing when you get to Age IV. Depending on when Age III ends, the Last Player could use them to mount a War or an Aggression; but no matter what, the Starting Player could only use them for defense.

You could remove this imbalance, I suppose, by not laying out the Age-III Tactics until the start of the final round.

But if you do that, you'll end up blunting final-round Aggressions and Wars, the defender possibly having access to the Tactics, the attacker not.

And if you don't lay out the Age-III Tactics, then you're back with the same issue of not enough Tactics being shared.


Well, I don't see the problem with not doing this for age III tactics. I don't see those used too much in practice (although I recently played a game where I got a modern army early in III, and was able to modernize my single pre-age II unit soon after) I find that often once someone gets classic or napoleonic, they generally ride it to the end of the game, with an air force augment being the only noticeable age III addition.
 
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Thibaut Palfer-Sollier
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Yes, age III military units and tactics still need a boost. One way or another.
 
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Colin Sham
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Qurqirish Dragon wrote:
Smash62bill wrote:
Qurqirish Dragon wrote:
I think what might be better is to leave it as-is, but maybe have an extra copy of each tactic that is not in the deck, but rather all tactics become available at the END of an age. Then you can plan for any tactic you want, but if you draw one early on, you have reason to go for it. If you made all the tactics available at the start of the age, then everyone would just go for whatever the first military unit they can draft from the card row allows . . .

It could be unbalancing when you get to Age IV. Depending on when Age III ends, the Last Player could use them to mount a War or an Aggression; but no matter what, the Starting Player could only use them for defense.

You could remove this imbalance, I suppose, by not laying out the Age-III Tactics until the start of the final round.

But if you do that, you'll end up blunting final-round Aggressions and Wars, the defender possibly having access to the Tactics, the attacker not.

And if you don't lay out the Age-III Tactics, then you're back with the same issue of not enough Tactics being shared.


Well, I don't see the problem with not doing this for age III tactics. I don't see those used too much in practice (although I recently played a game where I got a modern army early in III, and was able to modernize my single pre-age II unit soon after) I find that often once someone gets classic or napoleonic, they generally ride it to the end of the game, with an air force augment being the only noticeable age III addition.

Also a crazy, modernized Age VI War/Aggression sounds like a great climax for the end of game.
 
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Thibaut Palfer-Sollier
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Ridel wrote:
Also a crazy, modernized Age VI War/Aggression sounds like a great climax for the end of game.

Age VI? Like the Death Star?
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Jack Liu
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I agree that the A2 tactics is the weak spot in the new edition.

A1 seems great, everyone can get something that works or at least copy it in a 4p.

A2 is such a crap shoot, even in 4p. If people who don't have the right tech but end up drawing tactics for those cards.. they will either never get played or only played during A3. They shouldn't have removed the extra copies from A2 just because you can copy now.

2MA is a heavy price at times and the lost of tempo/timing can be huge. I think the player of the tactics still gets a good bonus from it by timing it correctly.

I'm ok with the lost of A3 tactics because as long as you have A2 tactics available, you can make it work. But I think they should have keep an even amount of those too, just so certain odd tactics see more play and creates a more diverse game.


Smash62bill wrote:
I've added extra copies of the Tactics cards to my Age-II and Age-III Military Decks to bring all Tactics copies up to two each. (And have made a few other adjustments here and there.) So far, having the extra Tactics cards seems to work better, IMO.


This is the best solution imo
 
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Garth Tams
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I disagree entirely. Age 2 tactics has always been the main swing point of the military game. It still is, and being the first one too it still gives you the same boost it did. The fact that people can join tactics is the saving grace for Age 2. The rebalance for the military deck, and how aggressions are resolved are such that by messing around with the tactics for Age 2, I think you would really really hammer the weakest person.
 
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Jack Liu
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Mabuchi wrote:
I disagree entirely. Age 2 tactics has always been the main swing point of the military game. It still is, and being the first one too it still gives you the same boost it did. The fact that people can join tactics is the saving grace for Age 2.


I feel your comment contrdites itself. I think everyone wants A2 tactics to be LESS swingy instead of the current iteration where it is STILL swingy.

More copies of each tactics + the current copying is believed to make it less swingy. Just look at how A1 is currently with it's copies of tactics. I believe that age is the most fair in that it is very unlikely someone gets screwed out or someone gets lucky and stomps with a tactics
 
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Lychenus Laplace
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I think the problem is obvious, after seeing the real distrubution and some points above.

Age 2 tactics are still the main thing. As getting a age 3 tact with full power is just too much resources or too much time. By the time you get it ready, it is either too late, or simply you can get better with a air force + something whatever. Or you had suffer too much plunder or event losses where you simply cannot make it up comeback in age 3.

Age 2 tier 2 tactics always comes like a consolation prize in a sense you can at least have a chance to catch up with the real thing 'tier 1' tacts (mobile artelliary / hussar / napoleon army / classic "gg" army) where the power rages from 5-9. Now, there, if there is less of them to be drawn, there are less chance to catch up. Do not forget the tactics are like the thing you can catch up with military with the least effort. You land the draw, play it, bam there is the military. Otherwise you would have to catch up with resources and lightblubs play. The lesser tier 2 tactics are 2-4, meaning you can either 1-4 military short with the leader. So you have to dump 1-2 age II or even more age I units to catch up. Not to mention if the leader itself have any military bonuses.

Which is already 5-6 bulbs, 10 resources, or 3-4 military action to make up the lucky draw you didn't make, and that draw doesn't guarantee to fit you, or simply the technology card roll is not for you. And on above you could be still in age 1 medieval army or phalanx. That seems quite a lot to me.

And I think it sums up why being behind in military in the new version suffers more than it has been in classic.
 
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Jon Cleek
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Ok, how about this? Tactics for all ages can be copied immediately for 2 MA. However, there is a penalty for those who copy: penalty = (2 - how many rounds ago it was played) x (tactic age). In other words, if you copy immediately, the penalty is two times the age of the tactic (e.g. 4 for classic army). After the next turn of the original tactic player, the penalty is reduced to 1 times the age (e.g. now classic army is reduced by 2). And then, finally, reduced to zero after the 3rd turn of original player.

This makes thematic sense in that it takes an army time to catch up and learn the tactic to its full potential.

Note only two differences:
Immediate Round: tactic can be copied for a large penalty. (subtract 2 x age of tactic from military power of tactic)
Second Round: There is now a small penalty for copying (subtract age of tactic from military power).

This encourages players to play tactics sooner in A2, as it now takes more rounds for others to realize the full potential.

Playing table top this might be a bit cumbersome to remember. Playing on computer wouldn't be that bad.
 
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Jon Cleek
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My above post doesn't solve the lack of never getting any tactics. So, better yet (and this would be easy to implement table top) take out all tactics from military deck and place them in the "copied tactic" area (only 1 of each type though). Shuffle them at the start of each respective age and imagine a card row with five slots:0, +1MA, +2MA, +3MA, +4MA. The first one costs MA equal to the age. The next one costs +1, and so on. When a round +1 turn is completed (e.g. 5 turns in a 4 plyr game - this way the "shift" doesn't happen on the same player's turn every round) shift all the cards down one spot (kind of like the regular card row), but never cheaper than their age (e.g. A2 tactic will always cost at least 2 MA). The card previously at the "0 slot" is still available for MA = age. When the new age starts, all the previous age tactics are still available at the cost of MA = age. The new age tactics are shuffled and ordered as described above. A3 only has 4 tactics, so the cheapest one starts at +1 (i.e. the "0 slot" is empty)

This still has a great amount of variability, but a nice amount of consistency because any tactic is available to anyone if they want it badly enough or will wait for it.

This will probably add value to Mil Actions. So Con Mon, and blue war techs may increase in value... not sure. But I guess that's part of the beauty of this game. Any change has a trickle down effect to other cards, etc.
 
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