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A Feast for Odin» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Emigration too strong? rss

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Antonis Georgountzos
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A few days ago I completed my 10th play of this amazing game.

I need to tell you that as a player I tend to experiment with as many aspects of a game as possible, which is the reason I liked this game a lot from my very first play (too many paths to choose, occupation cards really challenging etc.)

Excluding the first 2 plays, all my next efforts got me a score in the range of 100-125. I was really surprised by the fact that in a play where I got 1 exploration board and fully filled all the gaps in my territory I scored more points than in another play where I managed to fully fill 2 exploration boards and a shed (the large one). This puzzled me in a very nice way, trying to understand better this game's balance.


However during my last play I decided to go for extensive emigration, which during playing I found more straightforward. No need to setup any great combo with occupation cards, just maximize your income and emigrate. Just to be clear, this wasn't left uncontested by my opponent, who also emigrated 3 times in that game.

The result was a score of 142, way above any of my previous scores, only taking 1 extra exploration board and playing only my starting occupation, the one that lets you grab a mountain resource before vrafting (I really spammed crafting actions).

Now, the thing is that I really didn't feel doing any extraordinary resource management or tough decision making in that game, and still my score was far beyond my best one so far.

Is emigration action too rewarding?
 
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How many times did you emigrate?

I'm not remotely an expert yet, but it does seem that emigration is perhaps the simplest way to get high scores. At minimum, doing 1-2 emigrations seems like a significant point boost. If you are lucky enough to have an emigration-boosting occupation, it is even better.

It's POSSIBLE to get high scores with other methods and leveraging occupations, but perhaps more challenging.
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Antonis Georgountzos
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I emigrated 5 times (all knars - got 90 points for that)
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Franz Derphausen
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I think it will all become clear when everybody posts their end-score composition as has already been suggested in another thread here on BGG. However, it would surprise me a lot that Mr. Rosenberg did not do the math when he designed this amazing game.
That said, it is your opponents fault to let you rake in those 90 emigration points, not the game's.
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Magic Pink
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We've only played once in a 2 player game but we were pretty surprised at the wealth of points we got from emigration as well, not to mention the bonus of easier feasts.

It definitely feels like something you have to do eventually.
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Grant
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antonick wrote:
Now, the thing is that I really didn't feel doing any extraordinary resource management or tough decision making in that game, and still my score was far beyond my best one so far.

Just imagine what your scores will be like when you do emigration AND have extraordinary resource management AND make tough decisions...
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Nathan Ehlers
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Derphausen wrote:
That said, it is your opponents fault to let you rake in those 90 emigration points, not the game's.


This isn't accurate with respect to game theory and design. Imagine the criticism is "We have too many chocolates in the house and I got sick to my stomach eating them." The question on the table is about the amount of chocolates in the house, not whether or not your room mate let you eat all the chocolate. But you might say "except if there's enough chocolate for two people and one person ate it all, of course it's the room mate's fault for not eating their fair share." This too misses the essential criticism, which is about the amount of chocolate with respect to the ability to eat the chocolate. "But what about if the game is a race to eat the chocolate, then it must be the other person in question?" Still you've implicated the question about volume to access. If you're in a chocolate-eating-race, why would there be so much chocolate that you could get sick to your stomach?

And to defend the specific criticism formulation, there are three spaces on which you can emigrate so it's mathematically impossible for one player to defend them all.
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Mohammad Ali
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Emigration, while it earns you a lot of points, also costs points and tempo to do.

If you buy the longboat with silver, you paid 8 silver. At minimum when you emigrate you pay one silver but more likely a few more silver. So, with a minimum of paying 9 silver for 21 points at the end of the game and no longer having access to the long boat, I think the value is actually quite fair.

You can surround a full bonus without any tiles with that 9 silver if you need to, as a tempo example. Or you could use that long boat to raid. Etc.

I still think it is worth Emigrating if you aren't racking in a bunch of yellow and red tiles and if you don't need the silver to plug things it is a wonderful point outlet. Certainly during the last round.
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Murr Rockstroh
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antonick wrote:
A few days ago I completed my 10th play of this amazing game.
......
Excluding the first 2 plays, all my next efforts got me a score in the range of 100-125.
......
However during my last play I decided to go for extensive emigration, which during playing I found more straightforward. No need to setup any great combo with occupation cards, just maximize your income and emigrate. Just to be clear, this wasn't left uncontested by my opponent, who also emigrated 3 times in that game.
......
The result was a score of 142, way above any of my previous scores, only taking 1 extra exploration board and playing only my starting occupation, the one that lets you grab a mountain resource before vrafting (I really spammed crafting actions).

Now, the thing is that I really didn't feel doing any extraordinary resource management or tough decision making in that game, and still my score was far beyond my best one so far.

Is emigration action too rewarding?

From where I sit, I don't see emigration as too rewarding. I see this as you getting better and more efficient in your actions.

Having only played the game twice, I can see myself improving. My first game, I struggled to get my home board filled completely. My second game, I managed to get my home board filled and emigrate 3 times. I still haven't even attempted an exploration board yet.

You said "Excluding my first two games" ... what if you don't excluded those first two games and look at your improvement over all?

Like someone said above me, imagine your scores when you can start making more efficient plays, combine more occupation cards, and fill out one or two exploration boards for even higher scores.
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There's a shape called "The Golden Rectangle". Have you heard of it?
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It refers to a rectangle that's approximately contstructed in the ratio of 9 to 16. The golden rectangle has several characteristics. Let's say I create a square within this shape. Then, this smaller rectangle that I just created will also be a
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The idea of an action that everyone can do equally being "too strong" is ridiculous. Getting a 3rd family member in Agricola is "too strong". Getting a vehicle in Fields of Arle is "too strong". Sometimes there are actions that need to be done and the strategy is not "will I do it or not?" but "when, how, and how much will I do it?" which is a far more interesting question.

Now if you're saying that emigration is so strong that it takes up a majority of your actions there would be a point there. It would still be balanced -- everyone can do it -- but it wouldn't be very interesting. As it is, I don't think emigrating 5 times is necessary and anything less than that still leaves plenty of room for diverse strategies.
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Mike Walko
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I've only played once, but I would definitely tell people to not ignore emigration when they play. I had 93 points from emigration (18/18/18/21/18) had all my negative points covered on my main board (the only board i had) and my income the entire game never went above 3. I had another 11 points from leftover silver and played cards. The other two players in my game had 57 and 32 points respectively.

Is a mechanic too strong if you can't win if you ignore it? I'm not sure. But, like growing your family in Agricola, I think it always needs to be pointed out when teaching the game to new people. Always be emigrating.

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Philip Morton
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kakitamike wrote:
I've only played once, but I would definitely tell people to not ignore emigration when they play. I had 93 points from emigration (18/18/18/21/18) had all my negative points covered on my main board (the only board i had) and my income the entire game never went above 3.

This sounds like silver would be really tight for paying for the emigrations, even if you were constructing the boats and not buying them. Was there something in particular you were focusing on to get more silver?
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Mike Walko
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I emigrated in rounds 2-6. I started with a card that awarded me 1 extra silver if i didn't feast with mead, which i was able to take advantage of every turn. In between, I would take advantage of actions that netted me silver in addition to other actions, like gathering resources, or a few of the crafting and upgrading actions.

I would of missed my fifth boat if a player had not played an action that had us feast immediately, which netted me the sixth silver i needed that turn.
 
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kakitamike wrote:
I would of missed my fifth boat if a player had not played an action that had us feast immediately, which netted me the sixth silver i needed that turn.


Is there such a thing? I know the Chief gives an extra feast but that's only for the player who played it (to balance out the card's high VP value).
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There's a shape called "The Golden Rectangle". Have you heard of it?
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It refers to a rectangle that's approximately contstructed in the ratio of 9 to 16. The golden rectangle has several characteristics. Let's say I create a square within this shape. Then, this smaller rectangle that I just created will also be a
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golden rectangle. I make another square within that and the leftover is another golden rectangle. And I make a few more, and when I connect all the central points of these shapes it creates a spiral that continues forever. This is the "Golden Spin".
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There is not. That's also the only card that gives another feast phase.
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alexander stark
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This thread makes me a little sad. I haven't play the game yet, but if it's true that emigration is a must to properly win the game, then the myriad of ways to play the game promises is falsecry. Please, someone give me a reason to think it's not true.
 
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It is certainly not the only good strategy.
Exploring islands early on is very rewarding too.
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Eric Booth
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Where is everyone getting the silver to do this? The cost to Emigrate is equal to the round you are on. I never have enough to do it a couple times.
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theericbooth wrote:
Where is everyone getting the silver to do this? The cost to Emigrate is equal to the round you are on. I never have enough to do it a couple times.

With an occupation or certain actions it's easy to get enough silver early on. With high income, it's easy to get enough silver to do it a few times.

I tried a 6-emigration solo game as an experiment. The score was not great though (106) since the return on investment for the last 2-3 emigrations is mediocre.
 
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Antonis Georgountzos
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alexandermagno wrote:
This thread makes me a little sad. I haven't play the game yet, but if it's true that emigration is a must to properly win the game, then the myriad of ways to play the game promises is falsecry. Please, someone give me a reason to think it's not true.


Let me be clear on that:

This is an amazing game. I haven't been so eager to play a game for years. It will probably be in my all-time top10 (I guess). You have plenty of decisions. During the first 4-5 plays of the game you realize that you barely scratched the surface of the gameplay.

Don't be discouraged by speculation on game balance. Just play the game.
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alexandermagno wrote:
This thread makes me a little sad. I haven't play the game yet, but if it's true that emigration is a must to properly win the game, then the myriad of ways to play the game promises is falsecry. Please, someone give me a reason to think it's not true.


The best way to explain it is this:

Emigration is the obvious way to get points, because you see the 18 and 21 printed on the boats.

The others ways you will improve at as you play the game, whereas emigration will always be similar.

In my first game, I mainly filled my home board.

In my second game, I got closer and half-filled an exploration board.

In my third game, I filled the home board AND an exploration board, and beat the 4-ship emigrator by a single point.



N.

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Dok Indigo
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antonick wrote:


Is emigration action too rewarding?


From what I read, you do understand the game quite well and you focused on a strategy. I don't think that the high score is a result of emigration being too strong. It is more likely that it is the result of you playing well and focusing on a strategy.

You probably could get that many points with focusing on a different strategy.

I find it hard to focus on a strategy in this game. There are so many options that pull me away from my strategy.

Emigration does look good on the board, as it shows those high numbers. But for 21 (18) points you are giving up 8 (5) points and the silver for the round. So from a point-per-worker view emigration is not that good.
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Bob Boberson
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Hexendoktor wrote:
I find it hard to focus on a strategy in this game. There are so many options that pull me away from my strategy.


Oh man, so true. The potential for AP in is thing is insane. In a solo game I've literally sat staring at the board for an hour or more on one turn, trying (mostly in vain) to properly evaluate the best moves for the current game state, and all the branches that arise from each one. And then trying to factor in the spatial elements resulting from some decisions, and on and on to oblivion. Honestly, this game makes my head spin.
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Josh
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The important thing to parse when considering Emigration is the chain required to make it happen:

You need to get resources to do so, which is at least 1 worker. You need to build the ship, at least another 2 workers(knarr), and then emigrate it which is ANOTHER 2 workers(if no one else took it) and 1-7 Silver(which are points) For this you net yourself 18pts gross, not net, because you need to subtract the spent silver from the gross points.

Another option is to buy the ship outright, but then you're still spending 2 workers and now you're netting 13pts-Current round number.

The above just assumes you have the silver to pay for the emigration which may/may not require workers to set up too.

It is important to remember you're also giving up covering spaces on any of your boards. You do cover a food space, which is the equivalent of the mead horn bonus, but less flexible. You are also giving up access to the more powerful actions provided by owning the ships you emigrated with.

Yes it can be a good 'boost' especially in the short game, and for new players who don't yet know how to fill exploration boards/buildings well and manage the risk of taking those things on. But it is a dead end strategy as a main path.

That said if you're stuck with more goods than space coming in at the end emigration does give you positive points which is nice, but that just means you didn't risk enough earlier on.
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Bryan Gerding
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Wife and I played together this morning. She won by 25 points. She immigrated twice while I played a pretty poor game starting as farming and never immigrated.

Immigration is a great source of points, but I wouldn't say it is some super powered thing.

I mean, you definitely want boats that's for sure, and if you have the cash at the end then immigration is a great idea, but I don't think it is required.

Andrew put up a walkthrough of his game yesterday.he got 164 points for a solo game and only has one immigration. https://twitter.com/UpliftAndrew/status/794932402422480901
 
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