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Subject: Wanna play Rialto again? Not a chance... rss

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Bruno Valerio
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Ok this is awkward!

Yesterday @InvictaCon i played a 5 player game of Rialto and managed to win it while only getting one of my councilman on the board.

We where all very surprised about the final result of the game but it was already foreseeable by the start of turn 5.

My strategy was to go immediately for the number 4 blue buildings. The ones that awards the player 3 points every time they are activated, paying one coin, in phase III of the game.

I got one on the first turn and another on the second turn of the game. After that i just focused on choosing a row of cards which would grant me enough coins to activate these buildings in phase III and grabbing a few bridges along the way to score a few more points and not go back 1 point on the VPs track.

I got the third number 4 building on turn 5 thus managing to score all the 3 buildings in both turn 5 and 6, getting 18 VPs just but doing this.

The rules clearly state on page 5 under the Buildings section that:
Quote:
A player may have any number
of the same type of building.
So this rule was not overlooked.

Some of you will say that i only managed to get 3 of those buildings because the other players let me. That is obviously true.

But i must counter that although it was everyones first play of Rialto, we are all very experienced gamers and very few players are thinking of blocking out one of the buildings that give points, in an area control game where most of the points were supposed to came from area majority scoring on the gameboard.

Also with this 1 councilman i placed i the board early on i only managed to get 1 point from him. The player that came in second was 6 points behind, so in reality i would have won anyway without putting any councilman on the gameboard.

The only way i wouldn't win was if the player that came in second had scored first position in all areas of the board.

I also must say that with all the card drafting possibilities provided by the other buildings it was quite easy to get all the cards i needed to pursue my strategy... construction cards at the beginning to grab those buildings and both coins and bridges for activation and vps from the 2nd turn on.

And to prove how easy this was, i came in last on the turn order, (doge track), every turn of the game except for the last one. I simply didn't need any other cards!

I didn't enjoy the game has didn't all the other players who felt very surprise that such a strategy would prove to be the wining one.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? Does anyone else think that this wasn't supposed to happen? Am i approaching this from the wrong angle?

I really would like some input on this because although i did win it was not fun at all.
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Jimbo Sutherland
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I almost won my first and only game with a similar strategy (I just got into in too late).

Not played again nor inclined to do so.

The 4th Feld game I dislike, although The Castles of Burgundy remains my favourite game of the last two years.
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Brian B.
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Oblivion wrote:
...an area control game where most of the points were supposed to come from area majority scoring on the gameboard.
Are you sure about this?

Oblivion wrote:
...we are all very experienced gamers...
Their expectations were that they would catch up to you during the endgame scoring? Because that's where the points are "supposed" to come from?

It does seem clear that your friends were caught by surprise. But that might be a good reason to play the game again! Next time they will have a better feel for what the different paths are really worth when there is too much competition in one aspect of the game! (Especially 5-player.) If it's *still* not fun for you, then I guess you move on.
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Quote:
Their expectations were that they would catch up to you during the endgame scoring? Because that's where the points are "supposed" to come from?
hi there Brian, i guess by the time we started to noticed the advantage on the VPs track, it was already too late.

I know the VPs don't have to come exclusively from the area scoring, but this was something different... it was a huge lead.
 
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Gordon Watson
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Hi,

I would echo Brian's implied point that this is not just an area majority game - at end building VP and VP generation from blue buildings or population growth, can be sources of significant victory points.

In most VP chase games if all the other players leave one player to follow a mono-strategy without contesting it, then that player will often win.

This is not a multi-player solitaire game, you have to be watching what the other players are up to and spoil their strategies, as well as following your own.

To counter your strategy the other players should have stopped you getting as many 4 strength blue buildings or tried to restrict your gold resources.

I like Rialto - it's not too heavy but has a fair chunk of subtle strategy and plays pretty quickly.
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Bryan Thunkd
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It seems to me that the area majority is more important in a three player game and a lot less important in a five player game.
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Neil Christiansen
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I have house ruled that no player can have more than 1 level four building of a given type. This is exact same as Endeavor. I understand this restricts certain strategies.

I much prefer it with the house rule and would never choose to allow it if it were up to me. No need for it.
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If everyone else had gone for buildings and left you alone to contest for the majority in each district, would you not have won with that strategy as well?

As others have pointed out, allowing anyone to follow a focused strategy with out any competition for it will almost certainly lead to that player winning the game.
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Oblivion wrote:
Ok this is awkward!
My strategy was to go immediately for the number 4 blue buildings. The ones that awards the player 3 points every time they are activated, paying one coin, in phase III of the game.

I got one on the first turn and another on the second turn of the game. After that i just focused on choosing a row of cards which would grant me enough coins to activate these buildings in phase III and grabbing a few bridges along the way to score a few more points and not go back 1 point on the VPs track.

I got the third number 4 building on turn 5 thus managing to score all the 3 buildings in both turn 5 and 6, getting 18 VPs just but doing this.

Some of you will say that i only managed to get 3 of those buildings because the other players let me. That is obviously true.

But i must counter that although it was everyones first play of Rialto, we are all very experienced gamers and very few players are thinking of blocking out one of the buildings that give points, in an area control game where most of the points were supposed to came from area majority scoring on the gameboard.

I really would like some input on this because although i did win it was not fun at all.
As the editor of the game it's no problem for me if someone doesn't like the game - games are a matter of taste.
But because you ask what could've been the reason for your bad experience I'd like to give you an answer that might show that your game was not necessarily a typical one. I don't know if that really could change your mind, but maybe you'll give it a second chance ...

As you said: This was the first game for all of you. So it can happen that the players are not aware how important buildings can be - especially when only one player is concentrating on them ...

With more experienced players this usually doesn't happen that one player manages to get three buildings with the value of 4 when he's last on the doge track - the rows mith many building cards are just gone then.

Let me put it this way: if you manage to get 3 of the "big buildings" in the rounds 1, 2 and 5, it usually doesn't matter which colour these buildings you have - it's difficult to beat you then (but not impossible!).

So it was not the point that the "blue buildings-strategy" is too strong - it's more like Gordon said: You should care, what the other players are doing! And it's not like in some other games, that one has to sacrifice himself to stop an opponent - it almost always makes sense to get a big building for yourself.
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Bruno Valerio
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Ralph thank you for your answer, the idea behind this thread was to find out if it happened before and what could've been done to prevent it...

I agree with almost everything you wrote. Yes games are a matter of taste and i don't usually put aside a game after the first play nor claim it to be the better of the year for that matter.

Maybe our mind set was just overly focused on the map area, (well mine wasn't ), and yes although we are all experienced gamers we were all new to the game.

I agree that if more players had gone with a buildings strategy the outcome would have been evidently different...

But as you can see from other posts here, others have had the same concerns with the game and even made house rules for this scenario not to occur.

It just felt strange that's all!
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Bruce Murphy
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chris1nd wrote:
I have house ruled that no player can have more than 1 level four building of a given type. This is exact same as Endeavor. I understand this restricts certain strategies.

I much prefer it with the house rule and would never choose to allow it if it were up to me. No need for it.
Personally, I've house-ruled it that other people are only allowed to have a majority in one region and that nobody is allowed to be ahead of me on the Doge track. I understand that it restricts certain strategies, but it is basically the same as Calvinball.

B>
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And then there is Bruce, always with a positive contribution to the conversation. shake
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Bruce Murphy
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chris1nd wrote:
And then there is Bruce, always with a positive contribution to the conversation. :shake:
If we're supposed to be anti house rules, I could do that too.

B>
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thepackrat wrote:
chris1nd wrote:
I have house ruled that no player can have more than 1 level four building of a given type. This is exact same as Endeavor. I understand this restricts certain strategies.

I much prefer it with the house rule and would never choose to allow it if it were up to me. No need for it.
Personally, I've house-ruled it that other people are only allowed to have a majority in one region and that nobody is allowed to be ahead of me on the Doge track. I understand that it restricts certain strategies, but it is basically the same as Calvinball.

B>
I tried Bruce's house-rule last night and my wife trounced me. Going back to RAW.
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Neil Christiansen
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You should just see the strategies that open up in Endeavor when you remove the constraint of being limited to 1 of any given level 4 building. It boggles the mind, really.

From my perspective, the OP was frustrated. We have tried a very simple variant that solves his perceived problem.

That is what I consider a positive contribution.

Feel free to try it sometime. Making a positive contribution, that is.
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Getting the OP to understand that you can be blindsided by your assumptions in a game with multiple scoring opportunities that you don't yet understand where points can come from would solve his problem for all games

House ruling this game to match his preplay assumptions doesn't.

B>
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Neil Christiansen
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Except that scrolling up I do not see a response to the OP, just to me.

You could have, for example, pointed out that having ANY level 4 buildings on those turns would be quite strong if there were few other buildings in the game. Three Green or Three Yellow as well as one of each. Especially if no one else were buying many buildings or stopping you from moving the highest bridges to the later section of the city. Ignoring buildings in Rialto is generally a mistake, as they yield too many victory points. With only one player investing heavily in buildings, the area points would get divided more evenly.

I am sure that is what you meant, rather than derisive post that served more to insult than elucidate. Clearly we have a different idea of what it means to try to be "constructive".

Of course, I could have done all that too, with examples, except that I prefer the variant that I presented even though I am aware of all those things.
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I found Bruce's comment funny.
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thepackrat wrote:
Getting the OP to understand that you can be blindsided by your assumptions in a game with multiple scoring opportunities that you don't yet understand where points can come from would solve his problem for all games

House ruling this game to match his preplay assumptions doesn't.

B>
But it's so much easier to house rule the game to work how we play it. If you force us to play the game as is we'll have to discover strategies and think in different ways than we're used to. What do you want of us man?
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Neil Christiansen
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It is always a nice place until the Variant Lynch Mob show up. Filled with people who have never tried the house rule in question, nor are interested in it, but feel compelled comment nonetheless.

Of course Bryan, generating and testing house rules could never lead us to "discover strategies and think in different ways than we're used to". How silly!

In reality, the opposite is actually true and the Variant Lynch Mob really just come off as cognitively rigid folks who are a bit too fond of rules and regulations.
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I don't understand the source of the disappointment.

You played well, your opponents played poorly, you won. You should be happy about this, because the alternative is horrific (where you played well and *lost* to someone who played poorly).

Are we expecting the box to contain a little hologram of Stefan Feld saying "Hey idiots! Pay attention to what that guy is doing!"
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Neil Christiansen
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I am pretty sure the disappointment wasn't (just?) that there was a dominant strategy, but rather that one could be so successful ignoring the board. Making it a card game not a board game.

I felt a bit of the same the first few times I played London. The board mattered, but board-based decisions seemed pretty obvious.
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Whoever said it was a dominant strategy?

Also, if everyone values the buildings properly, then I image the board matters very much.
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The OP as much as said he believed it was dominant outright and at the very least implied it. He also suggested it wasn't hard nor much fun to execute.

And of course the board matters very much if buildings are valued properly.

I don't think it is a dominant strategy amongst experienced players. Might be one of the harder ones to interfere with though.
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chris1nd wrote:
I am pretty sure the disappointment wasn't (just?) that there was a dominant strategy, but rather that one could be so successful ignoring the board. Making it a card game not a board game.

I felt a bit of the same the first few times I played London. The board mattered, but board-based decisions seemed pretty obvious.
So is anyone actually surprised that board points split four ways are less than one person with all the building points? If the board isn't worth four times the tiles ( not cards) then it isn't a board game?

B>
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