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Subject: Too Many Turns in 5 Player? rss

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Ryan Finley
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I recently played my first game of Endeavor with my regular 5 man gaming group. Though I did really enjoy the game, I felt a bit like maybe it went on for one turn too many. By the next to last turn, everything was opened up, and it went into full on aggressive attack mode for everyone, since that was really all there was to do. The player who had been leading most of the game basically got knocked out of everything by the other players in the last couple turns, and he lost a sizable lead. The final outcome of the game would have been dramatically different with one fewer turn, and I wonder if others have seen it as going on a touch too long in 5 player.
 
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James Faulkner
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I just played my first 5 player game at the weekend and was a little worried that something like what you describe might happen as most of the board has been opened up when i've played it 4 player. However, it didn't and we had an area still unopened at the end of the game and a couple of cities in opened areas still unclaimed. There were a handful of attacks in the game but not overly many.

One thought I had afterwards was that amount of culture and economy available was being shared amongst more players so that the average population playable and open buildings was down a little.
 
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Randall Bart
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The map is the same size for 3, 4, or 5 players, which makes it quite different for different player counts. With 5 players, every city in every area will be taken, unless the players are all doing badly building their engines. With 5 players, you will have to do some combat or you'll have wasted actions at the end of the game.
 
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Ryan Finley
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In our final turn it was ALL combat. Is that the norm in a 5 player game?
 
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Jay Sachs
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splendorlex wrote:
In our final turn it was ALL combat. Is that the norm in a 5 player game?


All? That seems a bit outside "typical". I wonder if there was some room for better card draw action maneuvering (perhaps set up in earlier turns).
 
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Ryan Finley
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Well, not all I guess. As there were no open spots in the placement phase, all placements were combat related. After all tokens were placed, there was also a good deal of card drawing. The problem I saw is that the player in the lead was heavily targeted, and there really is no "defense".
 
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James Faulkner
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splendorlex wrote:
In our final turn it was ALL combat. Is that the norm in a 5 player game?

Wow, I was worrying about everything being opened/claimed during the final turn, not before it started. Was there any combat before the final round? We had a bit of early combat to secure trade routes which may have been why we still had a few spaces free at the game end. Also one player made a lot of use of the building which allows you to draw 2 cards to drill down into the valauble cards.
 
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Chris Johnson
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Even in a 5-player game, reasonably good play should leave some regions less than built-out at the start of the last turn.

Especially with beginning players, it should be difficult to get everyone's economies to the state where they can get that many pieces on the board. Are you sure you were playing the gaining/use/loss of player tokens properly?

There should be a reasonable amount of early- to mid-game combat, to secure needed tokens that are trapped between two different players' forts and/or to solidify board position.

It also sounds like your players were not really considering the medium- to long-term effects of your ship placements. You should only be opening regions (or putting others in the position of doing so) if you benefit from doing so more than most of your opponents. (There are a number of ways to frame that question: among them are tokens, board/network position, cards, and the effect on relative incentives for the other players. There are more.)

In fact, ideally, you incentivize (or force(!)) the other players, acting in their own "best interest", to do what benefits you most.

Additionally, by only attacking the "winner", especially on the final turn, most of the other players are actively harming their own potential. Once the "winner" as been taken down a peg, the target should shift to who was in "second", and so on down the ladder.

Really, if you are trying to win, on the last round or two you should probably be doing a mix of the following: actively advance your own position, actively harm the player that you believe is directly above you in position, and, last, and least important, everything else being equal, harm the "winner" as a matter of principle.

Taking the "winner" down should be the primary responsibility of the "second" place player; anyone else doing it beyond minimally is just making it easier for the person in "second" to step into "first".

I put "winner", "first", and "second" in quotes because it takes a few games to be able to actually judge player's scoring potential; picking up (or taking away/blocking) the right cards, tokens, or forts at the end of the game can shift things dramatically.

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Derry Salewski
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It sort of sucks when leaders get bashed on.

But at some point, the guy stops being the leader if he doesn't win!

 
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Ryan Finley
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fnord23 wrote:
Are you sure you were playing the gaining/use/loss of player tokens properly?


I wonder if we were playing improperly in some way. It is an experienced gaming group, however, and we usually get things right. I know with the blue action tokens they were discarded after their one use. I wonder if there's some other vagary about token use we were missing.

Heck, we had everything opened up before the penultimate round was over.

I'll have to look for some commonly "missed" rules in this game.
 
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alan beaumont
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splendorlex wrote:
I wonder if we were playing improperly in some way.

The 'speed' of the game is driven by the population available, payment efficiency and the extra actions provided by the blue tokens. If Europe is awash with blue and/or plenty of green it will be a flying start. Likewise if South America gets opened and pillaged early.
If, on the other hand, the population growth is limited and/or the bonus blues are attack actions and there is some early retaliation, then population will be restricted and there can be a relatively slow build to the game. If players are unable to pay off buildings there can also be a significant drag factor on the actions performed even where population is available.
I don't think there was anything wrong, except perhaps everyone 'played nice' until the end. A war strategy can be a bit risky if you don't have the pop to back it, but it often pays to shoot early if you aren't a worthwhile target for retaliation. In short I don't think the game was untypical, but typically few games will play out as this one did!
 
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Ryan Finley
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I think I may have found something we were doing wrong. When placing guys in buildings for shipping or colonization or whatever, we were playing that as we now had the ability to ship multiple times in a single round. Now it sounds like the building actions are limited to a single instance of that action per round. Is this correct?
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James Faulkner
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Yes that is correct and that explains what happenned very well.

When you place a disc in a building it allows you to do that building's action once (though there are a few buildings whose action allows you to do 2 things if those things are to the same region).
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Steve Duff
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splendorlex wrote:
I think I may have found something we were doing wrong. When placing guys in buildings for shipping or colonization or whatever, we were playing that as we now had the ability to ship multiple times in a single round.


Yup, massively incorrect.

If you want to ship 3 times in a round, you have to build 3 shipyards, or shipyard/guildhall/dock, etc.

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Jay Sachs
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
splendorlex wrote:
I think I may have found something we were doing wrong. When placing guys in buildings for shipping or colonization or whatever, we were playing that as we now had the ability to ship multiple times in a single round.


Yup, massively incorrect.

If you want to ship 3 times in a round, you have to build 3 shipyards, or shipyard/guildhall/dock, etc.



I think the meaning of "round" here means that it's only possible to ship multiple times in a round if you use Cartographer, in which case you can ship twice to the same region.
 
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Ryan Finley
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jaysachs wrote:
UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
splendorlex wrote:
I think I may have found something we were doing wrong. When placing guys in buildings for shipping or colonization or whatever, we were playing that as we now had the ability to ship multiple times in a single round.


Yup, massively incorrect.

If you want to ship 3 times in a round, you have to build 3 shipyards, or shipyard/guildhall/dock, etc.



I think the meaning of "round" here means that it's only possible to ship multiple times in a round if you use Cartographer, in which case you can ship twice to the same region.


This is why the last round was such a mess, too. Everyone attacked with every piece they had.
 
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Jay Sachs
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splendorlex wrote:
jaysachs wrote:
UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
splendorlex wrote:
I think I may have found something we were doing wrong. When placing guys in buildings for shipping or colonization or whatever, we were playing that as we now had the ability to ship multiple times in a single round.


Yup, massively incorrect.

If you want to ship 3 times in a round, you have to build 3 shipyards, or shipyard/guildhall/dock, etc.



I think the meaning of "round" here means that it's only possible to ship multiple times in a round if you use Cartographer, in which case you can ship twice to the same region.


This is why the last round was such a mess, too. Everyone attacked with every piece they had.


Well, you'll find the game to be quite different next time you play :-)
 
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Josh
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I'll throw in my $.02:

Are you sure you were playing the attack action correctly as well? you can only attack in regions where you have presence. Also, when you use the attack action you "burn" (return to the supply) 1 token, and then use another token from your harbor to displace someone's token. If you used a building to take the attack action it should cost you a total of three tokens(1 on bldg, 1 "burned," and 1 for displacing). Blue cannon chit costs 2 when you use it.
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Ryan Finley
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We were basically playing it completely wrong. We were doing it right in terms of presence in regions, but were playing actions totally wrong. Basically, we were playing buildings as if they "activated" the ability to do that action as many times as you had pieces. So I had one piece in my shipping building, and I would ship four or five times.

Yeah, totally wrong. That's why we had everything opened up before the next to last turn was over, and the last turn consisted of constant attacks. I remember thinking at the time that the "bag" track was fairly useless, as I had no reason to want to take guys out of my buildings at any point. Now I see.
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Randall Bart
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What did you think the Cartographer did?
 
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Ryan Finley
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We thought the power of the cartographer was that you could place two in one round, without having to place one then wait for another. Admittedly, the way we were playing it Cartographer was not a very powerful building.
 
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Tom Hilgert
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I think the bigger problem in a 5 player game is that the 1st and 2nd player have two times the starting player position which is very strong.
 
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