Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 Hide
16 Posts

Vanished Planet» Forums » Rules

Subject: Enough resource tags for the game to be viable? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
David Reed
United States
College Station
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I just finished playing my second two player game of Vanished Planet. In our first game, we did know whether the limited number of resource tags was an absolute limit or whether more tags could be added (in other words, using another color). We went ahead and used unlimited tags. We won the game, but it was very tough.

By the time we tried the second game, I had had a chance to read the expansion rules, which make it evident that the number of tags is fixed at ten. Still, with two players, we opted to play with a limit of twenty tags. Again, the game was a real challenge, but, we eventually won.

During the second game, the other player started to do the math to figure out the real costs of each item that needs to be built in the game (in total resources, not in intermediary personnel and technologies). This work really has me wondering about the viability of the game if played as the designers intended. Once a certain point is hit in the game, mines must be generated every turn for the players to stay in the game. The total number of resources required to generate a mine is eleven, which is exactly the number of tags each player has (the homeworld is a free tag). Okay, this forces one to optimize production to those resources that are needed to build mines and stave off defeat. But if this is done, the end result is a stalemate. No goals will be completed beyond the few that can be achieved by event cards, as the personnel and technology required to complete the goals will have to be channeled away from the production of mines, thereby dooming the planet and its player.

In discussing this, we thought that trade might do something here, but it can't, really. Each player has to create a mine to survive, so no one will have excess goods to trade unless an event card gave them a temporary excess (and the other players will most likely not have an excess to exchange). Add in the trade limits in the basic rules and trading becomes something that is not terribly useful most times. The expansion helps some, but not enough.

Am I missing something? I can't imagine how this will work once we add in the creature growth cards! As it is, one should build two more ships, a relay station for goals, and probably some transport enhancements on top of the items that the goals ask for. Factor in the resources needed for the mine and it seems very very hard. I'm curious to know if I am playing wrong (and have missed that more tags are okay) or that there are strategies that offer a degree of hope.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris
United States
Huntington Station
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
deacondavid wrote:
whether the limited number of resource tags was an absolute limit or whether more tags could be added


The resource tags are limited. The rules don't explicitely state that, but it is implicit and comes up in more than one place in the rules. The only bending we have done is to sometimes allow Mines to use a different marker. A good option for a first timer, then later use the proper limit.


deacondavid wrote:

we opted to play with a limit of twenty tags. Again, the game was a real challenge, but, we eventually won.


You'll find that it won't be a challenge for long. Played this way it will become trivially and predictably easy except for the occasional heavy dose of bad luck.


deacondavid wrote:

other player started to do the math to figure out the real costs of each item that needs to be built in the game (in total resources, not in intermediary personnel and technologies).


I suggest the player aids in the files section. This is a spreadsheet fest without them. An accountant's wet dream. A number crunching tour-de-force. A bookkeeper's ... well, you get the idea.


deacondavid wrote:
The total number of resources required to generate a mine is eleven, which is exactly the number of tags each player has (the homeworld is a free tag).


1) Trade resources among the players. Do this almost Every Turn.
2) Save resources from prior turns.
3) You have an 11th 'tag' in that your homworld is tagged for free.


deacondavid wrote:

the end result is a stalemate. No goals will be completed beyond the few that can be achieved by event cards, as the personnel and technology required to complete the goals will have to be channeled away from the production of mines, thereby dooming the planet and its player.


You have to learn when it is okay for one player to heroically lose his or her homeworld in order that the galaxy be saved!
Tip: They can trade just before their complete destruction.
Tip: You can trade almost any card except for the 4 biggies which say you can't written on them.
Tip: Trade Every Turn (97% of turns).
Tip: Ditto the previous.


deacondavid wrote:

Am I missing something? I can't imagine how this will work once we add in the creature growth cards! As it is, one should build two more ships, a relay station for goals, and probably some transport enhancements on top of the items that the goals ask for. Factor in the resources needed for the mine and it seems very very hard. I'm curious to know if I am playing wrong (and have missed that more tags are okay) or that there are strategies that offer a degree of hope.


You might have missed that your homeworld is tagged for free, thus giving you a max of 11 resources each turn.

I've rarely seen 3 ships built by anyone. I always try as soon as I can to build a second, but usually I find that I wind up having to put the resources to use elsewhere.

This is a Cooperative game. If you don't play as a Team, you cannot win. You have to play as a team from the very beginning, else play something else. We try to have anyone who can build a second ship as soon as possible, but it doesn't have to be me. We either all win or we all lose.

Without Trade you cannot win this game. You can trade most cards, not just the basic resources. Trade up for a doctor, then trade that to another player. Don't get caught with a boatload of basic resources. Trade almost Every turn, on every player's turn.

Plan ahead, set goals as a team, work together to produce some big items. Plan to buy a mine as soon as you can to have for later. These can be traded (iirc - this is the only Big item that can be traded).

Get the files in the file section. I created some of these, I love mine and we all find them very useful, but any of the others are excellent and will help make the figuring much easier. These player aids reduce game play time for us by at least half, and since we can move the focus away from the accountancy the fun factor is doubled. We've got these aids covered in plastic and mark them up with grease pencils as the game progresses.

Every game we play is at least somewhat different. We usually never manage to build the relay station (if at all) until the very last turn, or just before. And yes it's nail biting to try to have homeworlds survive, but eventually one or more have to go in glory before the end (usually), sometimes a bunch of turns before then end. But they better trade over as much big stuff as they can right before they go!

Kind of a lite stream-of-consciousness strategy guide here, it ought to get you started with better thinking on this one. I'd like to see another well thought out comment down the line, regardless of how your future game(s) go.

Liumas
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Deagan
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
Just to keep the razor's edge sharp...

Every time you detonate a mine, it costs a resource tag. So your production decreases with each mine used.

This is clearly a razor's edge margin game. We've won and lost using the tag rules, but haven't used the Creature Growth (and can't imagine how to use them. Well, okay, we can imagine, we're just afraid.)

Our end games consist of desperate mine production each turn combined with a Comm Satellite changing the goal for a single player (all other players having been destroyed as they give over production in their final turns to make the sub resources for mines to trade at a disadvantage, i.e., a harmonic oscillator for a research, legal but not recommended,) until a solvable goal emerges.

Basically, as doom approaches, all give up hope to save a final race.

Not an assured win, but the only way we've made it happen. Heaven forbid that we add Creature Growth. And we've never come close to making things like neutron drives or phase sheilding.


--tim

P.S some of the new player aids added to BGG are essential!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Reed
United States
College Station
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Okay... so what I am hearing is that, for a six player game, the system, as designed, works. For a two player game (or solitaire, which the game is billed as supporting), it does not appear to work. If I pool all of my resources and trade them away to the other player and die, he will die or lock into stalemate two turns from now.

If we lose a tag each time we build a mine, the game is a death spiral on a massive scale. So, if I use the tag when placing a mine, and the mine explodes, can I re-place the tag or is it gone forever? If this is the case, I am not sure how the game could be won - no matter how many people.

Yes, I understand cooperative games. I have been playing Arkham Horror since the original Chaosium version was released. I play Lord of the Rings. I play Shadows Over Camelot. I have even played Runebound and Return of the Heroes as cooperative games. This game has a compelling sense of doom, even with more tags in play. With the intended number of tags, I fear that it may be more a sense of futility.

I also know about the trading, but, honestly, I can't see trade fixing matters enough to solve the problems I see with the game. The rules clearly state that only one card can be traded and only to one other player, so there won't be much shifting of resources where they are needed. What would make sense would be for tags to be tradeable or for the tags of all players to be counted towards goals? Both would help make goals completable. I know that goals are not tradeable, though this would make sense in a cooperative game.

Anyhow, I will try to play it the way that it is written next time (or in the case of number of tags the way it is implied). I'll let you know how it goes. Who knows, I may see the light. Or I may be back with a proposed fix for the rules for a small number of players...

Thanks for everyone's responses. Sorry to sound so skeptical.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris
United States
Huntington Station
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
We've never played 6 players. This is supposed to be a 1 - 4 player game. Most games we've played have been 2 player games. I have no interest in solitaire - I think it would be difficult with no trading.

Clarification: The tag used to represent a mine is not destroyed. It is out of use as a tag while it is a mine (we turn them upside down to represent that they are mines and not tags any more!), but once it blows up it can later be reused as a normal tag.

Trading: A Cryo-Generator costs 13 basic resources. When I trade that to an ally I am effectively trading them 13 cards. Trade up 1st with the bank, then trade the single medium-biggie to the ally.

Quote:
the game is a death spiral


Yes, I think you've got it. Your sense of futility is exactly how you're supposed to feel. It's a fun nail-biter to the very end, where we always feel a sense of accomplishment at the end (if we win). It doesn't have that silly end game problem of SOCamelot where you purposely push black swords just to end the game (I like SOC). This game needs no fixing.

ASIDE: I would Love to know how Return Of The Heroes can be played coop. I don't actually see how it's possible. I suppose this is not an appropriate forum to discuss another game...

CJC Liumas
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Reed
United States
College Station
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
After three tries, I have won a solitaire game of Vanished Planet. I tried to play with the rules as written, with one modification - I did not use one of my tags for the mine, I used a neutral marker.

So, having won, why do feel like I did not enjoy the game? Well, partially because there was no real sense of accomplishment. The early game was fine - I got my tags in place, survive an early Baby Boom card, got a second ship deployed and fulfilled my first goal (3 VPs). Then the game got boring - essentially a stalemate. Each turn I applied my entire production towards mine production, and hoped that I would flip event cards sufficient to allow me to build a comm satellite. Eventually I did. Then I spent the rest of the game flipping goal cards and event cards, hoping that I could flip something I could fulfill before I flipped an event that wiped out all of the accumulated resources that I would have needed to fulfill it. Eventually I fulfilled two more goals for a total of seven victory points (first a one point goal, then a three point).

I want to try it with a friend in this fashion, and see if it improves. I'm not optimistic, though. The game played in this fashion seems to cease being a game once the mine-building becomes mandatory. I wasn't really playing the game after that point, I was merely flipping cards. What I am hoping is that this mere mechanical action will be avoided by playing with more than one player. On the other hand, this seems to be what many of you have suggested - a cooperative effort which degrades eventually to a solo effort (and I have already decided that the solo game is not fun).

I'll let you know how it goes. I think that there is an enjoyable game in there, but it does not appear to be the game that the rules force me to play. Again, I am open to being wrong and hope that I am...

Quote:
I would Love to know how Return Of The Heroes can be played coop. I don't actually see how it's possible. I suppose this is not an appropriate forum to discuss another game...


I'll try to write it up. It's really not that hard and it did work.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Wood
United States
Davis
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Well, it is never a stalemate.

During an endgame, a player (or players) might be reduced to mine-generation with all 11 resources. This is usually with a ship sitting on a resource point to take the tag from for the mine, then replace it at the start of turn.

However, this is not stalemate, this is gotten to the fine edge of survival. At this point, the player is hoping for the luck of the draw of the Event deck! If they get resources, and they have a spare ship to zoom around and get whatever VPs they can, a victory is still possible. Otherwise, a Creature Growth comes up and the game is over.

So eventually the stalemate is broken, with the player in a desperate struggle with a slim but uncertain hope.

That's Vanished Planet. devil
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob McMurray
United States
La Grange
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
deacondavid wrote:
I think that there is an enjoyable game in there, but it does not appear to be the game that the rules force me to play.


I completely agree with deacondavid here. We had the exact same experience as he has detailed in this thread. This game is no fun as written but there does appear to be a good game somewhere in there...we're not patient enough to play test our variants though so I doubt this will get played for a long, long time.

I would be DELIGHTED if someone can refute deacondavid's findings with mathematics, logic, or a detailed session analysis so that I can see what is wrong with how we are playing this game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Andrews
United States
Bedford
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
My experience with Vanished Planet is mostly with 3 player games, though I have tried a couple 2 player.

While I won't refute the "death spiral", I will say that you're fighting the battle at the wrong point.
If you haven't won the game (or at least have a ship on the way to the winning goal, resources in hand) before the creature reaches the home planets, you're pretty much dead.
Then, again, IMHO, you deserve to be. The main reason I don't play as much any more is that the game is pretty easy, at least without a substantial number of creature cards in the event deck (at least 6).

While there is a good challenge to learning the game, once you recognize that this is a co-operative resource game (ramp up production, race to goals, as a single team), I do not find the small changes caused by the event deck to be enough to create a new challenge.

Are you playing with the Version 2 rules (where each race has a special power)? I think it makes for a more interesting game, and probably a more winnable one with fewer players.
Definitely, though, stick to the resource tag limits. That "hand management" aspect is one that adds interest to the game. Then, balance the problems by spreading the load over the players, and finish the game before the creature hits home.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Man thinks, the river flows.
United States
Riva
Maryland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
    I think it's important to have enough goals completed prior to the mine-survival mode at the end of the game.
    I've only played one game, so I may not be the best expert on this, but when we played last night the three of us had about seven points already banked before the last of us had to build mines each turn. With two Comm Links available each of us was able to look at multiple goals for the remainder of the game and pick a winner.
    As long as one of your players has space from the creature your group should be able to gain cards pretty effectively. 11 is one big pile of cards if you're not building mines, even split three or four ways.
    In our game the player that appeared doomed in the beginning turned out to be the deal-maker, assuming that since his death was near he would pump material to the other two of us. This let us do some good work on the common goal prior to the mine-survival mode.
    Also, you get a run at it at the end of the game. On your last turn, you voluntarily don't create a mine, using your 11 resources to create whatever or whomever you need to finish a last goal before being swallowed. For us that was 33 cards not allocated to mine production.

       Sag.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
ace base
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm pretty sure the game was not meant for you to buy a mine every turn to fight off the creature. The math behind it supports this point. The point is, is that this game is TIMED, you have to move fast and make the right decisions. The mines are there to give your 1/2 best hope one extra turn to fulfill their goals. It would be boring if you just staved off the creature with a mine each turn, forever, just building up stuff. Its the rush that makes it cool.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Man thinks, the river flows.
United States
Riva
Maryland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
dragon0085 wrote:
I'm pretty sure the game was not meant for you to buy a mine every turn to fight off the creature. The math behind it supports this point.


    I respectfully disagree. The math seems carefully designed to allow you to just barely survive, not lose ground, not gain, once the creature reaches you. At that point you had better have the goals you need to win the game lined up, and be in a position to act on them in the near future. Since the creature grows twice in some rounds there are still no guarantees for survival even if you're building mines full-time.

    On your last turn you can forgo the mine and go after something else, with the full knowledge that you'll get eaten when this happens. Likely you'll generate ten or eleven resources. If everybody does it in the same turn (and nobody draws a Creature Growth card) the team can get one big rush in and score the final points for the win prior to being crushed. But that means that you have your goals in hand and are in a position to clear them. In my opinion the game is carefully balanced to keep desperation in play.

    I like the game very much by the way. I hope the author is working on a version 2, because it's a killer concept.

             Sag.


1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Bigney
United States
Kingston
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've only played the game twice, both 2-player, and both times we won without producing a single mine or running out of tags. Did we just get lucky?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Man thinks, the river flows.
United States
Riva
Maryland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
    Yes.

             Sag.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Bigney
United States
Kingston
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Cool.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.