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Subject: Issue with TI rss

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foksieloy
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After playing a lot of games of Ground floor my group came to one conclusion:
TI rush strategy is very powerful and, with more than 3 players, it is hard to counter.

What I refer to is a strategy where you invest most of your resources into building all the possible TI, and on turn 7 building the TI achievement.

It allows you to score 4 points for $5/5i, less if you build construction floor.

Only counter is for others to buy TI that you still do not have, but with more than 3 players, it requires cooperation of at least two people.

This is not as easy to achieve, especially since if you do not have empty floor, you need to sacrifice a ground floor spot.

So, we have been thinking, and an easy and logical fix was accepted:

Quote:
When you build a TI it can be placed beneath another GF improvement room or TI.
That way you can deny the opponent, still get 3 points (so it is not a waste of resources) and not shoot yourself in the foot by building over a TI or improvement that you might need.


The TI rush strategy is still powerful, but no longer dominant.

Any thoughts on this change? Opinions? Suggestions? Critique?
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Rob Thijssen
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I do agree that the TI-strategy can lead to a very good result if none of your opponents is doing anything to stop you.

But all in all I tend to disagree. Even after winning my last game(#34) of Ground Floor because I collected all 8 TI's!
However I first switched to that approach after round 5. Before that I had to sort out loads of issues to get my company running in a decent way and getting an edge in the area that I thought was crucial for me for the last couple of rounds.

A few arguments from my side as I also have played plenty of games of Ground Floor and feel that there are many ways to outscore the TI-strategy.
- Be aware that a 'fast' player builds the 5th floor in round 7 (or 8).
you will have a challenge collecting all TI's before that stage.
- someone else can snatch away the much needed 'TI-Achievement'; especially if you are last in turn order.
- With multiple (>3) players certain TI's will be sold out before you can collect them all yourself.
Popular TI's in this respect in my group are: HR, Network Admin and Public Relations.
- Even without the 'Empty Floor' this is not strange as players without the 'Empty Floor' benefit from those TI's at the expense of overbuilding a ground floor in the early stages of the game.
Depending on the type (roof tile) of your company I usually start ignoring certain ground floor rooms and I happily fill those up with TI's.
- Picking up the TI's early in the game limits you of other options. As you still have to pay $4 / 4 info to go there. You have to invest in other areas as well otherwise you'll never sell many products or get a decent flow of information coming your way.
- Focussing too heavily on TI's also implies that you voluntarily abandon the advertising area with the marketing bonus. A remodel for $1/1 info is more value for money than a TI.

My conclusion therefore is that TI's alone will not do the trick. As always with Ground Floor you'll need to find an optimal mix of 'Remodeled' rooms, Floors and TI's.
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Tim Rogers
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TIs give you 3 points for $5/5 Info and one time disc. So your points are costing you $1.67/1.67 Info each. This is actually worse than the upgraded ground floor rooms which net you points for $1.5/1.5 Info each (or $0.5/0.5 with the Bonus).

With the TI achievement, you are doing a little better on the TIs, but if you count them for 4 points each with the achievement, then you need to remember that the TI achievement itself is only worth 2 points. Suppose you manage to get 5 TIs in addition to the achievement. At this point, you are getting 22 points for $30/30 Info so $1.36/1.36 Info per point (for sure the best ratio aside from the Bonus Option Ground Floor upgrades), but you might be taking a huge risk pursuing this strategy if you can't guarantee the TI achievement (as you are sacrificing some very powerful stage 2 utility floors).

The first few floors you build are probably worth 5 points each. For the first it's $8/8 Info and for the second it's $10/10 Info. The first works out to $1.6/1.6 Info per point and the second is $2.0/2.0 Info per point. This is when the floors start netting you less than the TIs but for arguably greater utility (Info gaining TI only gets you 2 Info per turn, but Info gaining floor gets you 4 Info per turn for example).

Now looking at the achievement floors. I consider those poor if I am not getting at least 10 points (11 is the typical goal, but we'll use 10 to make the math easier). Now you are spending somewhere in the range of $14/14 Info and $16/16 Info per floor (for your 4th and 5th). If a floor gets you 10 points, you are now spending $1.4/1.4 Info and $1.6/1.6 Info per point respectively, once again doing better than the base TI payout. Also, as pointed out before you accelerate the end-game, making the TI-heavy strategy maybe less viable???

Finally, a more subtle drawback to being TI heavy is that you need to use quite a few more discs to use the construction firm all of those times. If you have some high utility floors, like the in-house consulting (2 discs = 5 info), those extra discs can feel costly in the mid-late game.

In short, I can see the TI strategy being viable, but far from over-powered or in need of fixing. You only need 2 other TIs to justify the point grab of the achievement TI, so presumably it wouldn't be hard for another player to justify sniping it out from under the TI-heavy player if they were the perceived front-runner.
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foksieloy
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It is safe to assume that everyone will build all 6 GF improvements, simply because they are so efficient.

(As a note, they are not $0.5/0.5i with the bonus, since you are forgoing the $2 or 2i bonus, so it is actually $1/1i cost).

Please note that when I say TI rush, I do not mean you buy TI every turn, I mean you rush them all in a space of a few turns near the end of the game, which makes it hard for others to suddenly counter you. This is not a "works every game" strategy, but when it does work it is frustratingly good.
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Tim Rogers
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foksieloy wrote:
It is safe to assume that everyone will build all 6 GF improvements, simply because they are so efficient.

(As a note, they are not $0.5/0.5i with the bonus, since you are forgoing the $2 or 2i bonus, so it is actually $1/1i cost).

Please note that when I say TI rush, I do not mean you buy TI every turn, I mean you rush them all in a space of a few turns near the end of the game, which makes it hard for others to suddenly counter you. This is not a "works every game" strategy, but when it does work it is frustratingly good.


I see. So if you get the TI Achievement then you invest heavily in TIs in the last few rounds rather than achievement floors.

In this event you are likely investing roughly $30/30 Info that you otherwise would have spent on floors 4/5, so get 6 TIs the first of which needs to be the achievement TI, getting you 22 points. This is about the points one can expect to get from 2 solid achievement floors, so it does not seem particularly powerful. Also it is costing you 6 time discs rather than 2. Also it assumes you actually get to build 6 times in the last rounds, which can be difficult with everyone visiting the construction firm at that point in the game (combined with the fact that the game might end early).

I see why this strategy is good, but again it just doesn't seem good enough to require a modification of the game rules that presumably came about after hundreds of test plays where scenarios like this were considered. However I am intrigued and will definitely have to give the TI rush a try next game. If my understanding of the strategy changes upon implementation I will be sure to come back to this forum and report.
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Tim Rogers
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foksieloy wrote:


(As a note, they are not $0.5/0.5i with the bonus, since you are forgoing the $2 or 2i bonus, so it is actually $1/1i cost


Ok, but we can't go down this road, as you can always use a time disc to help generate extra money or Info somewhere, so you could then argue that the cost of building anything needs to be augmented by the money or info that time disc was worth. This actually supports the notion that the TI rush is not overpowered as it requires more time discs than a conventional strategy and thus costs you more in terms of the production those time discs could have generated.
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