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Subject: Uncontrolled Governments rss

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Anthony
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We are about to play this game for the first time today and while the rules were confusing I found most of the answers I needed in various threads here. The one thing I didn't see was what to do in a 4 player game with the 2 uncontrolled nations prior to someone buying control. Are their turns skipped?
 
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David Bohnenberger
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If there are NO bonds for a nation in play, it does not act.
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Anthony
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Great thanks, I think we are set to give this a try today.
 
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Jason Reid
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If you're playing without the Investor card, after each turn is skipped, each player gets a chance to buy a bond in the nation (but for the life of me I can't remember which player has to decide first).
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Romain Jacques
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I dont think it is mentionned in the rules.
 
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Evan Stegman
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Yoren wrote:
We are about to play this game for the first time today and while the rules were confusing I found most of the answers I needed in various threads here. The one thing I didn't see was what to do in a 4 player game with the 2 uncontrolled nations prior to someone buying control. Are their turns skipped?


To be clear: just because there are only four players, that does not necessarily mean there will be two uncontrolled nations (using the standard start):



Example four player standard start:



Because Player 1 has the most invested in Russia, that player controls that nation and gets Russia's flag (in addition to Britain's) at the start of the game.

Same goes for player 4 and Italy.

In this example, there are no uncontrolled nations at the start of the game.

It is possible though.

If Player 4 received the Russian flag instead, Italy would start the game uncontrolled:



In this example, Italy would not act on its turn as long as it remains uncontrolled.

Once the game begins, Italy would become controlled once players started buying its bonds.
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Romain Jacques
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Wow! Very well explained Evan. For completeness there are two ways to start the game, the one you describe that I strongly recommend for beginners and the one for advanced players where bonds are bought more freely.

EvanMinn wrote:
Once the game begins, Italy would become controlled once players started buying its bonds.

True, but the question remains, who can buy first when you do not play with the investor card?

 
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J C Lawrence
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I consider the beginner's start to effectively be broken. Worse, it is uninteresting. Start out immediately with the advanced start: it makes for the better game.

When playing without the investor card, the player that currently controls the country has the first opportunity to invest in it.
 
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Evan Stegman
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clearclaw wrote:
I consider the beginner's start to effectively be broken. Worse, it is uninteresting. Start out immediately with the advanced start: it makes for the better game.


Auction start is problematic for new players because they have never played before so have no idea what nation they might like to start with, what reasonable values to start with are or what combinations of nations they should try and prevent other players from getting.

Like most games that have a standard start and an advanced auction/draft start (Shogun is another example off the top of my head), those are the reasons the rules recommend starting without the auction/draft. People have very little context for judging the worth of the options until they have played at least once.

Players using an auction to start when they don't have the context of at least one play ends up being, effectively, not a random start but an arbitrary start. There is little practical difference between the two in this case.

I say play at least once with the standard start. Once you have that context for the auction, it becomes much more meaningful.
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J C Lawrence
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EvanMinn wrote:
Auction start is problematic for new players because they have never played before so have no idea what nation they might like to start with, what reasonable values to start with are or what combinations of nations they should try and prevent other players from getting.


Shrug. People can learn.
 
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Evan Stegman
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clearclaw wrote:
EvanMinn wrote:
Auction start is problematic for new players because they have never played before so have no idea what nation they might like to start with, what reasonable values to start with are or what combinations of nations they should try and prevent other players from getting.


Shrug. People can learn.


Right. And I explained why the standard start is what I think is the best way to learn (to give the auction context).

I would recommend that over possibly sitting through a first game that is not that much fun because of an unbalanced start because people didn't know what they were doing in the auction.
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Romain Jacques
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clearclaw wrote:
When playing without the investor card, the player that currently controls the country has the first opportunity to invest in it.


Even with the advanced start, it could happen that nobody buys bonds of a country. So, nobody has the control.
 
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J C Lawrence
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EvanMinn wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
Shrug. People can learn.


Right. And I explained why the standard start is what I think is the best way to learn (to give the auction context).

I would recommend that over possibly sitting through a first game that is not that much fun because of an unbalanced start because people didn't know what they were doing in the auction.


The basic start has built-in pathologies that can easily produce a sufficiently pessimal game as to be called broken (see other threads for details), and it is in the first player's direct and obvious interest to create that situation in ever game (and if he doesn't then the other player's should). The advanced start may produce a gaggy game, or may not. However, their fate is in their hands. They can control their engagement, for instance by calling the game and restrating or playing in a communal puzzle-solving manner without pre-built traps, and they get to entirely control their fates.
 
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Evan Stegman
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clearclaw wrote:
The basic start has built-in pathologies that can easily produce a sufficiently pessimal game as to be called broken (see other threads for details), and it is in the first player's direct and obvious interest to create that situation in ever game (and if he doesn't then the other player's should). ...


That is true for experienced players. People playing for the first time aren't going to know those optimal moves. And even knowing about them is not enough. One also needs the experience and understanding of the nuances of the interlocking mechanics to take full advantage of them. So that downside doesn't really apply to first time players.

The odds of the downside of an unbalanced start because inexperienced players don't know how to properly value things in an auction or what they should be striving for is exponentially greater.

So with the experienced players have an optimal move being the only mentioned downside and it doesn't really apply to first time players, the recommendation is to go with the relatively balanced start for the first play. It is much more likely to produce an enjoyable first time game.
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J C Lawrence
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EvanMinn wrote:
That is true for experienced players.


It isn't hard to figure out from first principles without any prior experience with the game.

Quote:
So that downside doesn't really apply to first time players.


I expect (and see and get) more of first-time players than you appear to.

Quote:
The odds of the downside of an unbalanced start because inexperienced players don't know how to properly value things in an auction or what they should be striving for is exponentially greater.


Throw 'em in the deep end. Let 'em learn. It isn't that hard. Really. It isn't that hard and the risks aren't that large either.
 
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Greg Jones
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With the basic setup, all governments will always be controlled.

With the advanced setup, it's possible nobody opts to buy any bonds in a country in the initial buying rounds.

I play with the investor card. It usually happens that some Investor phases happen before that country's turn, and somebody is interested in buying control of it for cheap, if they can get it.

It has happened that no one did buy it after all the other countries started on or after Investor. The country is skipped. It makes for an interesting game. Not only is that country skipped once, it continues to be skipped at least until another country makes it around the rondel back to Investor. By that time, the skipped country is a rondel-cycle behind, and that can make it pretty undesirable. Then it still doesn't get bought. The result is that it can often stay out of about the first half of the game. It's almost like playing a different version of the game without that country in.

I don't think I've ever actually seen a game end without all six countries playing, though.
 
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Romain Jacques
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morningstar wrote:
I don't think I've ever actually seen a game end without all six countries playing, though.


Because it is powerful to control a country for a cheap bond, I dont think it will never happen with the investor card. However, without the investor card, it could happen if nobody initialy invest in a country.
 
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Evan Stegman
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clearclaw wrote:
EvanMinn wrote:
That is true for experienced players.


It isn't hard to figure out from first principles without any prior experience with the game.


The empirical evidence would seem to indicate otherwise as I looked throught the first couple years of threads and didn't see any mention of it.

Quote:
So that downside doesn't really apply to first time players.


I expect (and see and get) more of first-time players than you appear to.

I have done it a lot and it is unusual to have someone get the best strategies (let alone this claim that they might discover a strategy that will break the game) on their first play through.

Much, much more common is people AFTER and experiencing how things work that the get the game a lot better.


Quote:
The odds of the downside of an unbalanced start because inexperienced players don't know how to properly value things in an auction or what they should be striving for is exponentially greater.


Throw 'em in the deep end. Let 'em learn. It isn't that hard. Really. It isn't that hard and the risks aren't that large either.[/q]

The risk of someone pretty much knocking themself out of the game in a auction where they have no idea what there are doing is not that far-fetched. And that is not just in Imperial but most games with an auction/draft start.

I couldn't even begin to count the times that I have seen people start themselves at a big disadvantage (even against advice). Number of times people have discovered the absolute best set opening on their very first play through? Can't think of any.

It is just commons sense that, for a game of all first time players, the danger of knocking themselves out of the game or setting someone up with a excessively advantageous combination by having an auction where people don't have the experiential context to properly value things is much greater than someone figuring out an optimal opening.

Safer for a game of first time players to treat the first game as a learning game and ensure a relatively balanced start.
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Eric Flood
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My personal recommendation is:

-if all players are new to the game, very first game can use the beginner variant for the first game only

-else use advanced/real game rules

I would say the same for the stupid Investor card variant
 
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tekkyy tekkyy
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Who buys first? According to the revised rules...
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/weblink/32750/revised-english-r...
the previous government gets to buy first.

The question is what happens at the beginning of the game if no players has bought any Austrian bonds.

First-time rules? I'll go with it unless the new player is really patient and happy to watch a game first.

First-time rules is needed. It ensures a semi-decent first game. Without which the game goes funny/bad and the new players often have learnt too little, think is a bad/difficult game, and probably won't play it again.
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