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Subject: Are we playing right? rss

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Eduard reed
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Hello! On to the topic!!

Yesterday I got my copy of Emiment Domain, fruit of the various reviews and positive coments over it. Me and a friend unwraped the thing and we started playing right away. We found the game last arround 30 minutes. with all the learning and troubleshooting in game. here's what happended:
We started colonizing planets not even caring what kind of planet they were, one by one. We then got to produce, research, and warfare ( I in fact invaded a planet), but mostly we spammed colonize.
We felt like the game was short and uneventfull, we only got to LvL 1 technologies, before the Colonize stack was wasted. It takes literaly 16 player turns to blow out the colonize stack, which felt odd because whe had 5 planets each at the end of the game. Are we doing something wrong with the colonize role? Do cards get back to that stack in some way?

We feel like we have to force ourselves to do other stuff in order to lenghthen the game, for no reason other than that, so we're thinking that we did something wrong.

I feel like there should be a mecanic to either stop spam, refill stacks or something, specially with colonize, since it is the most eficient role to play, in my non expert but honest opinion, and spamming that role makes sense, specially for begginers.

So yeah, I'm confused because I've been hearing that 2 player games are too long, people get 40+ VP (the winner on our game got 13), and the game play was uneventfull.

And to me, it feels wierd if I have to force myself to not do what is most eficient in order to not end the game early.

Hope some one can elighten me on the rule side of this and/or house rules.

For now, my friend's review on this is: "they've got the art, they've got the plastic spaceships, they've got the tokens and no rule-set; STFU and take my money!"

Thankyou
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Chad Miller
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Are you returning the colonize cards to your discard after you settle a planet? I don't see anything else that looks like a rules misunderstanding. Strategically, calling Colonize too often is a common beginner trap ime. The key is that if you follow your opponent's colonizes while Settling as your action you free up your own role phase to do other things.
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Thomas Büttner
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Question: Why did you take the Colonize role, when you could have easily followed your opponent, when he did? Instead, you could have lead the Produce/Trade role, or the Research role - but since you both only "spammed" Colonize (appropriate word, since spamming is also something you do whether it's useful or not...) you took redunadant roles to lead...

I heard this complaint already some time ago. In fact, Eminent Domain is a game, in which the course of the game is heavily dependant on the roles and actions the players take. If they let it end quickly, because they empty one stack, than that was their "plan" - the question is: Could you have done better, if you had also researched and traded for Influence Points, instead of just colonizing?
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Doobermite
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If you are only taking Colonize cards then you are not really trying to win.
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Eduard reed
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I'm going to take a wild guess here and say : yes I could have don better if I had traded or reasearched or even warfare.

WHY? - Because I got 13 VP, and people arround here get 40+, that's why

Makes sense what you say about following and then taking the turn with research or produce.
Feels like a wierd trigger to have only one stack of cards gone.

Back into rule questions:

If you play reasearch as an action, those cards removed go to their respective stacks of cards?

Could you play any role and not thake the card from the center? (wether they are gone or not)

Any way, I'm going to play a couple of times more till I get my final opinion on the game, and wether house ruling need to be applied or not.
But to me, this feels like a very week spot on the ruling that should be reviewed, because it can make games monotone and boring, and rules are there to prevent that from happening, that is the sole purpose of rule sets, keep games fun and even.
 
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Doobermite
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Quote:
If you play reasearch as an action, those cards removed go to their respective stacks of cards?


No. They get removed from the game.

Quote:
Could you play any role and not thake the card from the center? (wether they are gone or not)


No. You must take a card from the center. (4 player exception though)

Quote:
I'm going to play a couple of times more till I get my final opinion on the game, and wether house ruling need to be applied or not.


No offense, but I find it highly annoying when someone plays a game once or twice, declares it broken, then starts applying all kinds of house rules. Just try to learn to play the game well. In the first couple of games you will have barely scratched the surface as evidenced by only reaching Tech 1 and scoring very low point totals.

Try not to run the game out so quickly, but rather play to win! Our two player games sometimes last up to an hour because we are both pushing our strategies to the max.
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Eduard reed
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I do not declare it broken, allthough if there is a chance of breaking the game, my call is to get it revised.
If one player can run out the colonize stack in 16 turns, and the other trys to go for technologies, most likely spamming colonize will bring you to victory, because you'll be colonizing a planet per turn most likely, you'll have to atack planets first, and then with that get technologies which earns you the same amount of points as most planets, so there is little chance you are going to win against colonize spamming.

When ever I get new people in to a game, say ascension, I don't tell them "don't kill monsters, it will end the game!", I tell them "do what you feel is right to do". And colonizing feels like something you want to do, you don't get huge amounts of points, but you still got more that your opponent, so that's winning.

What I'm saying is that there is no restriction to that kind of spamming, which earns you points EACH turn, and that can easily kill any long term strategies.
to graphically demonstrate that, spamming colonize would look like a line going up in points vs time, and long term strategies (sell&tech) look like exponential. If the spam gets to end the game before the meeting point of both curves they win, If they get pas it, they loose. And this is not only legitimate, but broken; Thats why in most games spamming brings you to a logaritmic* graph in points vs time (turns), so before triggering the end game, you've allready changed your strategy to keep winning VP's. (*look for ln(x) in google images)

This is all nerdy stuff, but it's the best way to explain what happens when you spam colonize, and how other games handle spamming.
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Doobermite
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How can you play the game only once or twice and declare so much insight as to what will happen? There is much more going on in the game then simply drawing colonize cards. You need to play more in order to find out.
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Jeff Wood
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Wait, how are you spamming Colonize each turn? You need Survey just to get new planets into play?

Plus, also, you will discover that if your opponent insists on using Survey/Colonize, he/she will be easily beaten by you choosing to Research/Produce/Trade for your own Role, and using your Action to play a Colonize card to build a planet where he/she can't leverage to add Colonize cards to a planet on your turn.

In short, you reap the work your opponent is doing, and make your opponent do all their work themselves.

They Colonize? You add cards to a Colony, then use your Action to claim a planet solely, then do something else to deny your opponent a free chance to add cards. If they need Colonize cards, why should you give them the chance freely? They work for you.
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Chad Miller
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Also, if your opponent is calling Colonize and Survey every time, while you're just following those things, your deck should be generally thinner giving you the research advantage.
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Chad Miller
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thcrusade wrote:
I do not declare it broken, allthough if there is a chance of breaking the game, my call is to get it revised.
If one player can run out the colonize stack in 16 turns, and the other trys to go for technologies, most likely spamming colonize will bring you to victory, because you'll be colonizing a planet per turn most likely, you'll have to atack planets first, and then with that get technologies which earns you the same amount of points as most planets, so there is little chance you are going to win against colonize spamming.


The problem in your logic is that you are essentially stating that the game ends too quickly to use different strategies, but failing to realize that the game wouldn't end as quickly if you were using a different strategy.
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Trevor Schadt
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thcrusade wrote:
I do not declare it broken, allthough if there is a chance of breaking the game, my call is to get it revised.
Try playing the game with a different group of people than your usual gaming group, preferably people with more experience with the game. EmDo is a game that can fall relatively easily into the trap of "group-think," and you miss 90% of the game that way.

A very similar thing happens with a lot of new Dominion players, where their group comes to the "conclusion" that there is "one way to win" -- usually the "Big Money" strategy -- and everyone is so busy trying to outdo each other with that strategy that nobody bothers to try anything else because "well, every time we played, the person who did this won, so that must be the only way to win."

To be honest, if you want to win through pure planet-spam (eschewing both Research and Produce/Trade to get as many points as possible through planets), I find that Warfare is actually better than Colonize, because if you happen upon a cheap planet when someone else Settles and you Follow, you can go ahead and Attack it with the fighters you already have in your armada rather than waiting to settle your already-partially-colonized planets.
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Vanilla Chu
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My first game of EmDo was actually very similar to the OP post. Except one person went warfare and quickly realized that the colonizers were giving him free cards each turn b/c he would just dissent. He quickly nabbed dissension and stomped everyone.

Moral of the story: this game rewards those who are different. We've noticed that when two people do the same thing, they will both lose.
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Contigo
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Vanilla Mint wrote:
My first game of EmDo was actually very similar to the OP post. Except one person went warfare and quickly realized that the colonizers were giving him free cards each turn b/c he would just dissent. He quickly nabbed dissension and stomped everyone.


This is apparently common among first time players. Players usually pick colonize and keep colonizing until the pile runs out. As you might imagine, if several players choose the same thing, they can follow each other. However the game will also end quicker.
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Michael Logan
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Vanilla Mint wrote:

Moral of the story: this game rewards those who are different. We've noticed that when two people do the same thing, they will both lose.


Actually, I feel it is almost the opposite. Following, when done correctly, if far more effected than dissenting.

In a 3 player game, I want to be doing what one of the other players is doing so that I can follow.

(I definitely agree there are exceptions to this rule though.)
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Alex Brown
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EmDo is great because Unlike every other Euro ever you win by leeching, rather than the path not taken.There is subtlety, but following is good.
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Eduard reed
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Thakyou to all for your answers, at the very least you've given me the will to keep playing this game and see for my self what you're all saying.

I do agree with most ( to not say all) of the comments, and sure some of you may have convinced me to quit spamming , which I don't usually do anyway.

Have fun
 
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Chad Miller
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ryudoowaru wrote:
To be honest, if you want to win through pure planet-spam (eschewing both Research and Produce/Trade to get as many points as possible through planets), I find that Warfare is actually better than Colonize, because if you happen upon a cheap planet when someone else Settles and you Follow, you can go ahead and Attack it with the fighters you already have in your armada rather than waiting to settle your already-partially-colonized planets.


FWIW I think this strategy (warfare planet spam) might actually be overpowered in 4p. I strongly prefer to play this game 2p or 3p extended.
 
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Chad Taylor
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I'm glad Jeff brought up Surveying, because I've been reading this wondering the same thing.

You can't possibly just be spamming Colonize. Apart from your starting planet, every planet card needs to be Surveyed before you can think about Colonizing.

On top of that, there are planets that are cheaper to use Warfare on than Colonize. How has that not factored into your game play?

When you don't mention Surveying, I have to wonder if you were playing the game correctly.

I'd be interested to hear about a follow up session (or even comments after re-reading the rules).

Also, watch one of the gameplay videos or reviews. There's a Dice Tower overview that may help.
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