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Race for the Galaxy» Forums » General

Subject: Improved Logistics - Broken Card rss

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Well after a 25 games of RFTG + the gathering storm. I have an opinion to make.

Improved Logistics is Broken.

The card is too damn good, if you combine it with a military strategy or replicant robots you cant rush the game really fast and mostly win.

My solution, have only 1 improved logistics in the deck or take it out.

Saludos

Leviatas
 
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Scott Russell
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Doesn't having only one just make the problem worse?

I have won with it in my tableau and lost with it.
My opponents have won and lost with it in their tableau.

After ~1100 games, I don't think it's broken. Like any other card, you have to use it correctly and/or react to it correctly.
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Trent Hamm
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Improved Logistics is strong, but not broken. You just haven't figured out how to react to it yet.
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Jim Henderson
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Old news snore

See the following thread: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/411518

In any event, this belongs in the forums for Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm.
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Nyarlathotep
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How well are you playing off of your opponent's choice of action when they have Improved Logistics? Are you choosing Settle when they have it? Are you choosing Explore? What counter strategy do you run as they try to rush it? Is it a 2-player game or multiple players?

Improved Logistics can be a powerful card sure but it's also not the be all end all. Even with a good military or Replicant Robots, they still need "funds" to get those cards going or actions to get them in their hands to play them, and odds are they won't have any 6-developments out to enhance their score any. Also, are you playing with the yellow bonus tiles (whatever the hell they're called) or not? That could be a big factor as well, I personally think they help balance the game out with the expansion, others disagree of course but I've found it gives you more options and other goals to help carve out a victory (Goal Cards, that's it, now I remember!).

Just keep an eye on what your opponent is doing and try to second guess them and play off of what they're likely to do; if you have even a decent economy setup consuming X2 can beat out Improved Logistics, it'll be a low scoring game but the relative score matters, not how much you win by.
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Dave J McWeasely
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Improved Logistics + Goals = Fun.
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Cameron McKenzie
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leviatas wrote:


The card is too damn good, if you combine it with a military strategy or replicant robots you cant rush the game really fast and mostly win.



Rushing the game really fast is the idea behind any strategy. Consumers aren't going to stop before the points get exhausted and give the others a chance to catch up. It's possible to end the game VERY quickly by consuming, and you don't even need any specific card to do it.
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Matt N

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It's really not a broken card. It's great in some instances and weak in others, like every other card in the deck. Among other things, you can call trade when you expect them to settle, and gain some cards to help you keep up. You can also develop, since they probably won't be able to keep up with the develop phase. You rarely need to settle yourself.

There's also the situation where they play the card, but don't have much in their hand. In that case, you can seize control by settling yourself and forcing them to draw out to beat you.
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Wei-Hwa Huang
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Playing with only one copy of IL does temper its effects a little bit. Like many other cards (Hidden Fortress, take-over powers, Trade League), it is a card with game-shifting effects, and complacent players who aren't playing to defend against its appearance can often fall behind. Having fewer of them in the deck results in less of these shifts, which tends to award non-adaptive strategies a bit more.

At some point in the development cycle of The Brink of War, we playtested adding a third Improved Logistics as a way to help the military rush strategy. After a bunch of testing we realized that that definitely started putting the game towards the "broken" side. So we got rid of the 3rd Improved Logistics and went about fixing the problem another way.
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Drew
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The last few times Improved Logistics passed through my hand, I didn't even bother to try to play it. Oh, sure, it seems like a no-brainer, but it did not fit in with my plans. I just don't see that it's "broken" in any way.
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Michael Brough
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onigame: That's quite interesting; I'd been expecting a third IL to probably show up in BoW, because it's such an important card. But I guess you're right, because it would be too much of an almost-guaranteed find if you explore/trade through enough cards looking for it.
 
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Scott Russell
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Wei-Hwa,

Why does allowing only one player to have a card make it more balanced?

Is it because then only one person will be picking settle?

Or because it will be harder to find one for a player wanting it?

If the latter, then isn't it even more powerful if someone gets it in their starting hand?

Thanks for your responses!
 
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Tom Lehmann
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The problem with adding a third IL is a scaling issue. In games with 5-6 players, the large deck actually gets fairly small during the late midgame. If there were three copies of IL floating about, then even if only 1-2 players are set up to use it effectively, the odds that one of these players would find an IL are pretty high. And, then the game would end with IL being played quite often.

And, the more this happens, then the more other players are tempted in later games to then play IL themselves earlier, even if it's not quite the right move for their position, since they reason that it's going to happen anyways. And so on.

Now, one could argue that with two ILs in just the base game + TGS, this same process is going to happen. And, in some groups, with a particular mindset, it can. (This is why if only one copy of IL was in play, the odds of this happening would go down.) However, in observing play tests, this didn't seem to happen that often, compared to the 3 IL scenario which we tested with the base game + TGS + RvI.

Why? In many 4-player games, often only one player is really set up to exploit IL effectively, so it becomes 1 out of 4 chasing two copies, not, say, 2 out of 5 chasing three copies (where only one of them has to find a copy to change the endgame). Another reason is that hoarding a copy of IL through a deck reshuffle becomes a much stronger defensive tactic when there's only two copies (since you're halving the chance of an IL ending, instead of reducing it by a third).

The issue that the OP raises is not just that an IL ending happens too frequently (which is my concern, since I don't want the game ending to become stereotyped), but that players are generally winning by doing this. That's where our playtesting (in several different groups) differs from his group's experiences.

What we found was that players had to adapt to TGS, and learn how to set up larger produce/consume economies (6-8 VPs per cycle initially, not 4-6) in response to the possibility that the game might end very quickly. If a group is unwilling or unable to adapt their play styles to TGS, then, yes, I can see where IL may be viewed as too strong by that group.

However, as most players have found over and over again, with first the base game and then with each expansion, with more play experience they learn how to do produce/consume better and the military or tableau rush strategies which initially looked so strong, start to pale in comparison.

I would certainly agree that with just the base game and TGS, the "right" number of IL is probably "1.5" copies; however, I don't think I made a mistake by putting 2 copies in. I intentionally wanted to shake players out of their complacency (if they had become too used to doing produce/consume with just the base game) and force them into a more adaptable play style. This is why I commented in several threads before TGS was published that there would be a card in it that some players would say was "broken"...
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J
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We removed ours long ago.

It was becoming every game if someone played IL he would win especially when military or replicant robot were involved.

We tried to come up with a patch.
1 was you "cannot use any settle powers to settle your second planet"
another even more strict one was "You may not use any other settle powers this phase if you use IL"

In the end we agreed that it would be for the best to remove it. In fact 2 different gaming groups of mine both agreed separately to remove it.

This led to the funny situation where one game a guy +7 explored like 4 times in a row before giving up. No one could figure out what he was looking for. At the end of the game we asked him what he was looking for and he said IL. We then told him the bad news. Don't feel too sorry for him. We had specifically informed everyone before the game started that ILs had been removed. He was just not listening at the time.
 
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Michael Brough
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I feel sorry for him.
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NtN Scissors
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MrWeasely wrote:
Improved Logistics + Goals = Fun.

Improved Logistics + Expansion Leader > Fun.
 
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Jahz
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For me the two most irritating aspects of IL are:
- unexpected end of game with a 9 card player able to put down IL then two worlds in one turn, then how are you meant to adapt ? Very common situation in 4p game.
- too easy to steal or get "world" goals with IL in play. IL becomes too good when the goals are "world" ones.

And you can combine both for even more pleasure ;)
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El-ad David Amir
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Fortunately we can now support the notion that IL is not broken using some empirical data from the genie server:

http://rftgstats.com/

While IL is indeed the non-6c development with the highest winning rate, it is definitely not the most "winning" card in the game.

Should we expect another "Terraforming Guild is broken" thread anytime soon...?
 
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Rob Neuhaus
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I think the rftgstats graph understates the power of IL. The stats are ~45% non-goal games, where IL is considerably weaker. Furthermore, it is misplayed a fair amount, when players put it out first before other settle powers. I wouldn't quite call it broken, but it is really strong. I've had an in person game where fairgr literally took the card from my end game tableau and threw it after it gave me a victory. It can be quite frustrating.
 
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Colin Hunter
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I've played quite a bit of RvI (2 player) now and for some reason I rarely find it is worth it. When I was playing the Gathering storm it seemed stronger. I have no idea why that is to be honest? Any thoughts or it is quite possible I am just under valuing it (sometimes it is awesome, but often there are better developments).
 
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Serge
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ibn_ul_khattab wrote:
I've played quite a bit of RvI (2 player) now and for some reason I rarely find it is worth it. When I was playing the Gathering storm it seemed stronger. I have no idea why that is to be honest? Any thoughts or it is quite possible I am just under valuing it (sometimes it is awesome, but often there are better developments).

I haven't noticed much difference yet, but if anything IL is probly even better in RvI. Tho the odds of drawing it are reduced since the deck got 33% larger. All the goals in RvI can be impacted by IL. It makes especially easy snatching the First 8 cards (Expansion Leader) goal.
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Tim Seitz
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When we first started playing with TGS, we thought Improved Logistics was insanely over-powered. Almost like the Coliseum in Glory to Rome!

But the more we play, the less we find a use for it. Sure it helps with a military tableau, or a with Replicant Robots, but it has not "decided" any of our games in a long time.
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Nick Short
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out4blood wrote:
When we first started playing with TGS, we thought Improved Logistics was insanely over-powered. Almost like the Coliseum in Glory to Rome!

But the more we play, the less we find a use for it. Sure it helps with a military tableau, or a with Replicant Robots, but it has not "decided" any of our games in a long time.
I really agree. It was a card that required people to change the way they analyze the game state. Before, you always need to keep in mind "how long will the game last if someone has IL?" As long as you take that into account, it won't steal nearly as many games.

Frequently, this means that you have to start running your P/C engine a little earlier than you would have otherwise, just to ensure you get enough cycles. Yeah, it's a strategy altering card, but as long as you keep it in mind, it's not dominant. It's only when it has the element of surprise on its side that it becomes a problem.
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Colin Hunter
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entranced wrote:
ibn_ul_khattab wrote:
I've played quite a bit of RvI (2 player) now and for some reason I rarely find it is worth it. When I was playing the Gathering storm it seemed stronger. I have no idea why that is to be honest? Any thoughts or it is quite possible I am just under valuing it (sometimes it is awesome, but often there are better developments).

I haven't noticed much difference yet, but if anything IL is probly even better in RvI. Tho the odds of drawing it are reduced since the deck got 33% larger. All the goals in RvI can be impacted by IL. It makes especially easy snatching the First 8 cards (Expansion Leader) goal.
That seemed obvious, I've just noticed I have less pressure to place it if I get it, hopefully we will be able to try it online. This may seem odd, but RvI seems faster than without, what I find is I can rarely get the resources together to support IL before the game ends, not always mind you (and obviously at times it is awesome), but the more I think about this, it may well be that I'm a better player (or perhaps understand the card better) than when I was playing TGS and I realize now it isn't as powerful as I first thought, in fact, this makes the most sense to me, as it would explain my perception.
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Serge
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ibn_ul_khattab wrote:
it may well be that I'm a better player (or perhaps understand the card better) than when I was playing TGS and I realize now it isn't as powerful as I first thought, in fact, this makes the most sense to me, as it would explain my perception.

Yeah, you've likely gotten better at understanding when to play it and when to ditch it. Less experienced players think "woot i drew the awesome logistics" and play it every time regardless of tableau and such, when more often than not it's worthless and a recipe for disaster.
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