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The special tile that allows one of your boats to advance 3 hexes enables a nasty game-breaking trick:

Deploy your three most valuable pawns in the island hexes that are closer to the safespots, deploy a boat near them, and move them into the boat. Then, if you get the "advance 3 hexes" tile, you can play it to move the boat to the safespot and disembark all your pawns in the same turn. This move cannot be countered, as monsters are always 3 hexes away from your boat. This simple and safe trick can guarantee an early victory, breaking the game.

In order to counter this trick, I present the variant "Changing Winds". This variant only changes the effect of the tile "advance a boat 3 hexes". The effect of this tile is changed to the following:

-If there are beaches left on the board, this tile allows you to move up to 3 boats, one hex each.
-If there aren't beaches left on the board, but there are forests on the board, this tile allows you to move one boat up to 2 hexes and, optionally, another boat 1 hex.
-If there are only mountains on the board, this tile allows you to move one boat up to 3 hexes (just like in the regular game).

This way, in order to benefit from the most powerful "take that" effect, the game should be in its last stage, which means that the other players probably had many opportunities to kill your guys.
 
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James Cheng
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I don't see the problem here. If someone gets an early lead, I would thought that the other players would ganged up on him.
 
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Stephen Buonocore
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Hollyhock wrote:
The special tile that allows one of your boats to advance 3 hexes enables a nasty game-breaking trick:

Deploy your three most valuable pawns in the island hexes that are closer to the safespots, deploy a boat near them, and move them into the boat. Then, if you get the "advance 3 hexes" tile, you can play it to move the boat to the safespot and disembark all your pawns in the same turn. This move cannot be countered, as monsters are always 3 hexes away from your boat. This simple and safe trick can guarantee an early victory, breaking the game.


???

This assumes the following:
1. You get these guys into that boat (ok, that's fairly easy).
2. You GET the "Favorable Winds" tile. This is NOT easy, and very random. You can't guarantee (or even make it more likely) that you will get this tile.
3. Your opponents do not sink that ship before you have the opportunity to use the tile.

Whenever an opponent gets 3 Explorers into one boat, it is all other players' responsiblity to sink that boat IMMEDIATELY! That boat is worth a lot of points, so all other players should be going after it with full force. Therefore, placing 3 People in one boat is almost always a poor strategy, not a winning strategy at all.


Thanks,
Stephen M. Buonocore
Stronghold Games LLC
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evilone wrote:

This assumes the following:
1. You get these guys into that boat (ok, that's fairly easy).
2. You GET the "Favorable Winds" tile. This is NOT easy, and very random. You can't guarantee (or even make it more likely) that you will get this tile.
3. Your opponents do not sink that ship before you have the opportunity to use the tile.

Whenever an opponent gets 3 Explorers into one boat, it is all other players' responsiblity to sink that boat IMMEDIATELY! That boat is worth a lot of points, so all other players should be going after it with full force. Therefore, placing 3 People in one boat is almost always a poor strategy, not a winning strategy at all.


-You get these guys into that boat in the first or second turn.
-Your opponents cannot make anything against your boat because there are still no whales in play and sea serpents are very far away. They don't even know that your guys are the important ones, because getting guys into boats as soon as possible are typical first turn moves.
-If you get the "Favorable Winds" tile, you can move the boat 3 hexes near the serpent and move your guys to safe place in a single turn. Congratulations, you have safely gained an overwhelming advantage that will make you most surely win the game.
-If you don't get the "Favorable Winds" tile, there's little to no drawback, as you could still save the boat by regular play. If you prefer a safer plan, you can have your guys wait on land and embark them only if you draw the "Favorable Winds". It's slower, but still works.


Anyway, trying to save your "6" and your "5" (and sometimes your "4") pawns using an early "Favorable Winds" is a winning strategy that cannot be countered and has little to no drawback if you don't get the required tile. If players are competitive and know this trick, they can't help but try it: the few hexes from which this trick can be performed will be the most wanted ones, and the winner will be the first that draws a "Favorable Winds" tile.
 
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Stephen Buonocore
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Well, we will agree to disagree.

Maybe, if we get "Favorable Winds", we will find ourselves in the same location with free time, and we can play a game. Maybe we can wager for my favorite bet: 1 beer...

Thanks,
Stephen M. Buonocore
Stronghold Games LLC
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