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Subject: Rules update for Cultists rss

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Helge Ostertag
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This is an official rules update for the cultists:

Ability: Whenever at least one of your opponents decides to take
Power due to your building activity, advance 1 space on a Cult track of
your choice. (You only get to advance 1 space in total regardless of the
number of opponents taking Power.
New Rule: If all of your opponents refuse to take
Power, do not advance on a Cult track, instead gain exactly one Power.)
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S. R.
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OF course, I will forget that next time we play. And the game afterwards. And so on...


Will you include this (and possible other Errata) in the upcoming expansion? Would be cool to have included a printed FAQ, or somesuch...

[Edit]
Oh, and you should post a link to this thread in the Game description - as way of pinning the important information...
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Mark O'Reilly
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Love it Helge, Cultists just got a heck more appealing .
Great stuff.
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Rich P
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What's the reasoning behind this change? From what I've read, Cultists are not the weakest faction. Why do they get this slight power boost?

I'm not keen on games receiving small designer-sanctioned online errata unless absolutely necessary because it causes confusion as to what the proper rules are. Not every player will have read about the changes and it then creates a pre-game discussion over which rules to use. Will this rule change be added to future printings of the rule book, or be included in the expansion?
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Juho Snellman
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woodnoggin wrote:
What's the reasoning behind this change? From what I've read, Cultists are not the weakest faction. Why do they get this slight power boost?

Cultists are a funny faction in that their special power depends completely on the decisions of other players. With the other factions, no matter how weak, you're the master of your own destiny to a much larger extent.

There are groups where the players almost instinctively refuse to do something that gives another player a bigger benefit then themselves. And I don't just mean that they'd refuse it if the Cultists are doing well -- refuse it as a matter of policy throughout the game. In an environment like that the Cultists are basically no fun at all. And unless you know in advance how the other players feel about this, it means that picking the Cultists is a huge gamble.

So I'd speculate that it's this variability that's the cause for the rules change, not the absolute power level.
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W M
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I like this change. However, as you are getting a benefit in either case, I suspect there will be less incentive for your opponent to deny you the cult track increase, thereby resulting in more opponents accepting power.

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Giants and Fakirs are crying.surprise

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Ben
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Based on the use of the word "refuse," I assume this does not apply to situations where your opponents cannot take power:

(1) where you have no directly adjacent opponents, or
(2) where directly adjacent opponents have all their power in Bowl III.
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Jeff Kayati
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chally wrote:
Based on the use of the word "refuse," I assume this does not apply to situations where your opponents cannot take power:

(1) where you have no directly adjacent opponents, or
(2) where directly adjacent opponents have all their power in Bowl III.


(1) Would never apply, as you never earn power from non-adjacent players, so it's impossible to refuse something you cannot get.

(2) This is tougher, but I would think you do get the 1 power, since the player could earn it by the rules, but get no benefit since Bowl III is full.
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Helge Ostertag
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jsnell wrote:
woodnoggin wrote:
What's the reasoning behind this change? From what I've read, Cultists are not the weakest faction. Why do they get this slight power boost?

Cultists are a funny faction in that their special power depends completely on the decisions of other players. With the other factions, no matter how weak, you're the master of your own destiny to a much larger extent.

There are groups where the players almost instinctively refuse to do something that gives another player a bigger benefit then themselves. And I don't just mean that they'd refuse it if the Cultists are doing well -- refuse it as a matter of policy throughout the game. In an environment like that the Cultists are basically no fun at all. And unless you know in advance how the other players feel about this, it means that picking the Cultists is a huge gamble.

So I'd speculate that it's this variability that's the cause for the rules change, not the absolute power level.


archivists wrote:
I like this change. However, as you are getting a benefit in either case, I suspect there will be less incentive for your opponent to deny you the cult track increase, thereby resulting in more opponents accepting power.


That's how we felt about it, also there will be another faction in the expansion that has the same sort of dependency and we wanted to give them at least some benefit - so it was just logical to expand these rules to the cultists as well.


jkayati wrote:
chally wrote:
Based on the use of the word "refuse," I assume this does not apply to situations where your opponents cannot take power:

(1) where you have no directly adjacent opponents, or
(2) where directly adjacent opponents have all their power in Bowl III.


(1) Would never apply, as you never earn power from non-adjacent players, so it's impossible to refuse something you cannot get.

(2) This is tougher, but I would think you do get the 1 power, since the player could earn it by the rules, but get no benefit since Bowl III is full.


Ben has it right:
(1) of course you don't get anything
(2) you should have a quick glance on the other players' player boards, to see, if they could earn (or refuse to earn) power, if they all have all their power in bowl III, you don't get anything.
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Jan B.
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Great for Cultists. This makes them a very good race and I already liked them a bit. I understand that it makes the playing experience of a Cultist better.

But it really does raise the question about a boost for Fakirs, Giants, Auren. Changing one race will always create demand for other changes :)
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Edward Reece
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Seems like the Cultists may have just become very powerful.
 
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Philip Thomas
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EdFactor wrote:
Seems like the Cultists may have just become very powerful.


"Gain 1 power when building or upgrading adjacent to your opponents" doesn't seem very powerful to me. Even when combined with "your opponents gain no power"...
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Jan B.
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I think it's pretty good. Compare it to the Alchemists. They get (two) power for each dig (which is a considerable better conversion rate), but you only dig to build out, have built you stronghold and you only get points for this race feature when the appropriate bonus tile is active.

The Cultists can gain power with each build they do and they can align this always to the bonus tiles. I think this is pretty good and makes them a race that should not be considered weak anymore. As said, I would consider them good now, even very good, but I need to try them out again to get proof
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Sean Flynn
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oxmond wrote:

Giants and Fakirs are crying.:surprise:



There's nothing weak about the giants, they are one of my favorite races.
 
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Georg D.
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Philip Thomas wrote:
EdFactor wrote:
Seems like the Cultists may have just become very powerful.


"Gain 1 power when building or upgrading adjacent to your opponents" doesn't seem very powerful to me. Even when combined with "your opponents gain no power"...


Lets say your opponents deny every single power offer. Suppose you can trigger it at least 2 times per round (on average). That are 12 power during the game.
I've seen people accept a 2:1 power leech during round 5 often and even sometimes in round 6. So I think we can suppose that 1 power is worth about 1/2 vp. (perhaps a bit less in the last rounds and a bit more in early rounds)
So you will get additional power worth about 6vp.
In addition your opponents will get less power and you will be more active taking poweractions, with more power you will be able to spread out a bit more. That all will make game more difficult for your opponents - resulting in less points for them.
So I think the change will lead to about 5-10 additional vp for games where your opponents deny most powerleeches. I can imagine that this change will result in cultists becoming one of the top 3 races.
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Jan Kahánek
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aeroflynn wrote:
oxmond wrote:

Giants and Fakirs are crying.surprise



There's nothing weak about the giants, they are one of my favorite races.


Yes giants are playable, but what about fakirs? How to win with them?
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Philip Thomas
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kent_bro wrote:
I think it's pretty good. Compare it to the Alchemists. They get (two) power for each dig (which is a considerable better conversion rate), but you only dig to build out, have built you stronghold and you only get points for this race feature when the appropriate bonus tile is active.

The Cultists can gain power with each build they do and they can align this always to the bonus tiles. I think this is pretty good and makes them a race that should not be considered weak anymore. As said, I would consider them good now, even very good, but I need to try them out again to get proof


The Cultists only gain power when building or upgrading) adjacent to opponents who have not got full power bowls. That said I agree that this is a boost. Another relevant factor is that Cultists were reliably considered one of the 3 or 4 worst races. Given the 30 VP gap between worst and best race, I don't see this change as making the a top race...
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Boris Dvorkin
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Philip Thomas wrote:
Another relevant factor is that Cultists were reliably considered one of the 3 or 4 worst races.


What's your source for this claim? After almost 350 games (at the time of my writing this), Cultists are in the top 6 for win %.

http://terra.snellman.net/stats.html

Now, you could make all kinds of arguments for why those stats aren't a perfect indicator of balance: player counts aren't taken into account; player skill isn't taken into account (race X might only be taken by experienced players, while noobs take race Y); people who play asynchronously are not representative of the general population; etc.

But even so, while you could reasonably argue that the stats are not perfect, I still don't see how one could defend the notion that the Cultists, as originally created, "were reliably considered one of the 3 or 4 worst races."
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Just played a 4p game last night, using Cultists with this new rule. This was my 6th game I think, everyone elses 3rd game at least. I won, 134 points to 2nd places 101 or so. I had largest area, top two of the cult trackers, and 2nd place in the other two.

This rule seemed to make some players think "Damned if you do, damned if you don't, might as well do." I got a lot of cult tracker bonuses early on, then got more power bonuses later on instead. I never had a time that I expanded solo, except on the last round to get enough dwellings to claim largest area.

It worked well!
 
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Benjamin Lindvall
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Ravendas wrote:
I never had a time that I expanded solo, except on the last round to get enough dwellings to claim largest area.


That just means you played a good game anyway
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birchbeer
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Horologiom wrote:
This is an official rules update for the cultists:

Ability: Whenever at least one of your opponents decides to take
Power due to your building activity, advance 1 space on a Cult track of
your choice. (You only get to advance 1 space in total regardless of the
number of opponents taking Power.
New Rule: If all of your opponents refuse to take
Power, do not advance on a Cult track, instead gain exactly one Power.)


Sorry if this was answered elsewhere. Does this new rule also apply in the 2-player game? Since 'all' would mean only your opponent, this would seem to be a pretty significant advantage for the cultists over the course of a game, since he gets a free benefit regardless of what the opponent does.
 
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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And how is this different from the multiplayer game exactly?
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Mik Svellov
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bamonson wrote:
Sorry if this was answered elsewhere. Does this new rule also apply in the 2-player game? Since 'all' would mean only your opponent, this would seem to be a pretty significant advantage for the cultists over the course of a game, since he gets a free benefit regardless of what the opponent does.
Shouldn't each race get a benefit linked to their race?
Cultists gain a Power/Cult point every time he builds adjacent to another player. Halflings score 1 VP for each spade he get.

I know which one I would rather have.
 
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Lee Fisher
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Great Dane wrote:
bamonson wrote:
Sorry if this was answered elsewhere. Does this new rule also apply in the 2-player game? Since 'all' would mean only your opponent, this would seem to be a pretty significant advantage for the cultists over the course of a game, since he gets a free benefit regardless of what the opponent does.
Shouldn't each race get a benefit linked to their race?
Cultists gain a Power/Cult point every time he builds adjacent to another player. Halflings score 1 VP for each spade he get.

I know which one I would rather have.


This is a big plus from what I see. Cultists were terrible in 2P before. Your opponent could always have complete control over your ability. This seems a lot more balanced.
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