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Mare Nostrum: Empires» Forums » General

Subject: First game comments: Player screens and resource poker chips rss

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A J
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Riverside
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We played our first game yesterday and really enjoyed it. Ended much faster than I anticipated (4 players at 2 hours, pyramid win). Definitely a lot of talking afterwards about what each player could/should have done differently. Looking forward to my next play.

Have a couple comments/questions, though.

1. We played with the large resource poker chips. While they certainly felt nice, it got to be quite the chore to distribute resources. Every. Single. Round. I'm sure it's not that much better with smaller cardboard tokens. Anyone find an improved way to streamline the resource collection phase?

2. Is there really a reason we need to use the player screens? They're super flimsy and didn't hide my large chips that well anyways. Plus, you can see what everyone collects and trades, and you can only keep up to 2 coins after building. Why the need for all the secrecy?

3. This didn't happen, but reading from the rules, seems like it's possible for someone to lose all their production and be basically eliminated, even though they can't lose their capital province. Is that accurate?

4. Sure seemed like Hannibal has almost no need to trade. *grumble grumble*
 
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Curt Carpenter
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Kirkland
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ayejae wrote:
1. We played with the large resource poker chips. While they certainly felt nice, it got to be quite the chore to distribute resources. Every. Single. Round. I'm sure it's not that much better with smaller cardboard tokens. Anyone find an improved way to streamline the resource collection phase?

I don't have the large poker chips. Seemed silly to me. Small tokens work just fine. It's easy to make a pile and just dig through to find what you need. I can imagine it's a bit more of a production with big ol' chips.

ayejae wrote:
2. Is there really a reason we need to use the player screens?

No. Don't. As in most games with hidden trackable information, it makes the game worse, not better. The only caveat to that is that a couple times we noticed some players getting tempted to scope out all other players stuff when choosing what to put up on offer. We said "don't do that". I.e. you can hide your stuff while choosing offers. But more simply, just look at your own stuff until your offer is out. But we do look at what people have when choosing what offers to take. There's no way I'd want to add a memory element to this game. Or more chaos by simply ignoring it.
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Ryan Amos
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ayejae wrote:
1. We played with the large resource poker chips. While they certainly felt nice, it got to be quite the chore to distribute resources. Every. Single. Round. I'm sure it's not that much better with smaller cardboard tokens. Anyone find an improved way to streamline the resource collection phase?

Heh. Those are the improvement. The old game had everyone trading cards and a long pile of thirteen decks of cards sliding all over the place. It was a mess.

ayejae wrote:
3. This didn't happen, but reading from the rules, seems like it's possible for someone to lose all their production and be basically eliminated, even though they can't lose their capital province. Is that accurate?

Ya, it can. But, I think you will find that taking over regions will happen less frequently once people know what they are doing. Occupation happens a lot though and players can be hurt by any aggressive actions.
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Roger Reisinger
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We generally dont return the core setup resources to the bank, we just keep them in front of the player after they are spent. Then you just take them back in the next production phase.

Hiding saved gold is importnsnt only to people close to building pyramids. You are right that if people could remember they would know who saved what from round to round, but I find it mildly helpful to have the screens. I know of at least 2 surprise pyramid wins in our games.

Yes a player could lose all production if all their buildings are occupied. Ive never witnessed this.

Yes, that is the strength of Hannibal. He can force a lot of factions to waste resources by using the 0 trade token, which gives him some negotiation leverage.
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Thaddeus MacTaggart
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ayejae wrote:
1. We played with the large resource poker chips. While they certainly felt nice, it got to be quite the chore to distribute resources. Every. Single. Round. I'm sure it's not that much better with smaller cardboard tokens. Anyone find an improved way to streamline the resource collection phase?

I bought a box with smalll compartments to streamline the token stuff. Admitted, it's a bit tiresome sometimes.

Quote:
2. Is there really a reason we need to use the player screens? They're super flimsy and didn't hide my large chips that well anyways. Plus, you can see what everyone collects and trades, and you can only keep up to 2 coins after building. Why the need for all the secrecy?

After a few rounds, it's hard to keep track of what people are keeping all the time. Especially at the end of the game it's crucial. Do you have to attack Greece because they have 2 spare coins and buy the 5th hero - and give up your chance on buying that extra caravan? Or doesn't he have any and may you be winning next turn?

Quote:
3. This didn't happen, but reading from the rules, seems like it's possible for someone to lose all their production and be basically eliminated, even though they can't lose their capital province. Is that accurate?

If you destroy a player's cities and caravans he doesn't get any income so he can't play anymore either. I almost wiped Rome from the board like that one game.

Quote:
4. Sure seemed like Hannibal has almost no need to trade. *grumble grumble*

On the contrary! ;-) Especially for non-tax oriented empires trade is a very handy tool. I think only Greece and Egypt have no strong trade interest.
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A J
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Riverside
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Lowecore wrote:
We generally dont return the core setup resources to the bank, we just keep them in front of the player after they are spent. Then you just take them back in the next production phase.


Thanks for the comments! I like this particular suggestion. Going to try that next time.

I'm still skeptical about the screens. I can see the benefit of keeping stashes secret, but they're so small for the poker chips. I'm half-regretting getting the chips, and might just go with the original cardboard chits instead.

Teowulff wrote:
[q="ayejae"]
Quote:
4. Sure seemed like Hannibal has almost no need to trade. *grumble grumble*

On the contrary! ;-) Especially for non-tax oriented empires trade is a very handy tool. I think only Greece and Egypt have no strong trade interest.


Hm, I'm not convinced (yet). Being able to double-up your resources pretty much means you can do almost anything you want. In our game, the Carthage player was basically just handing over his whole stack, not bothering to split them up into sets. "Here's 12 chips, I'm going to build this, this, this, and this."
 
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Thaddeus MacTaggart
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ayejae wrote:
Teowulff wrote:

Quote:
4. Sure seemed like Hannibal has almost no need to trade. *grumble grumble*

On the contrary! ;-) Especially for non-tax oriented empires trade is a very handy tool. I think only Greece and Egypt have no strong trade interest.

Hm, I'm not convinced (yet). Being able to double-up your resources pretty much means you can do almost anything you want. In our game, the Carthage player was basically just handing over his whole stack, not bothering to split them up into sets. "Here's 12 chips, I'm going to build this, this, this, and this."

Yes - that's if you just want to buy things with a 3 commodity pricetag.
Once you start building temples, markets and - especially - heroes or a pyramid it becomes more vital to have different resources.

But it's by no means mandatory to win the game, if you go for 4 cities or 3 leaderships.
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Sean D.
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We love the large poker chips. We have 2 designated bankers that help everyone get their resources every round. With a few games under our belts the whole process goes quite quickly as everyone has some practice now. The main advantage with the large chips is that you can read/see what resources are up for trade on the other side of the table easily - which is a big plus for us older types (40+ years for most in the group) whose vision isn't as good as it once was. We couldn't play without them at this point.
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A J
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Teowulff wrote:
ayejae wrote:
Teowulff wrote:

Quote:
4. Sure seemed like Hannibal has almost no need to trade. *grumble grumble*

On the contrary! ;-) Especially for non-tax oriented empires trade is a very handy tool. I think only Greece and Egypt have no strong trade interest.

Hm, I'm not convinced (yet). Being able to double-up your resources pretty much means you can do almost anything you want. In our game, the Carthage player was basically just handing over his whole stack, not bothering to split them up into sets. "Here's 12 chips, I'm going to build this, this, this, and this."

Yes - that's if you just want to buy things with a 3 commodity pricetag.
Once you start building temples, markets and - especially - heroes or a pyramid it becomes more vital to have different resources.

But it's by no means mandatory to win the game, if you go for 4 cities or 3 leaderships.


Ok I can see that. Leaders were under-utilized in our game, as we mostly worked on our trade and cities. Repeated plays might flesh out other strategies that use Leaders more.
 
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Michael Phebus
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Denver
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"The only caveat to that is that a couple times we noticed some players getting tempted to scope out all other players stuff when choosing what to put up on offer."

The rules say to put your recourse chits on your player mat upside down, and not turning them right side up until all the players have made their choices. This should fix this problem.
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