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Renaissance Man» Forums » Rules

Subject: Should Recruit Board Recyle after Each Round? rss

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John Drake
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Tonight, I played the game twice (2p), and realized the game seemed to drag on a bit towards the end. Players tended to focus their "strategy" on drawing/discarding cards at the end of the round, in hopes of placing the needed cards next round. Now this is a new game that is conceptually very different then what I am used to playing; the game may have simply dragged on because of poor planning and a general unwillingness to remove cards in order to free up actions. But the recruit board just felt odd to me.

In the rules, cards in the recruit board are taken whenever a player has a majority. The rulebook makes no mention about discarding uncontested areas at the end of the round. Thus, we played the game with the uncontested cards remaining each round.

Thing is, if you recycle the recruit board... you would give each player new options. Which makes me wonder... perhaps this rule was mistranslated.
 
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Lee Fisher
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BaBang wrote:
Tonight, I played the game twice (2p), and realized the game seemed to drag on a bit towards the end. Players tended to focus their "strategy" on drawing/discarding cards at the end of the round, in hopes of placing the needed cards next round. Now this is a new game that is conceptually very different then what I am used to playing; the game may have simply dragged on because of poor planning and a general unwillingness to remove cards in order to free up actions. But the recruit board just felt odd to me.

In the rules, cards in the recruit board are taken whenever a player has a majority. The rulebook makes no mention about discarding uncontested areas at the end of the round. Thus, we played the game with the uncontested cards remaining each round.

Thing is, if you recycle the recruit board... you would give each player new options. Which makes me wonder... perhaps this rule was mistranslated.


What do you mean translated? Everything was done in English.
 
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John Drake
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lfisher wrote:


What do you mean translated? Everything was done in English.


Well apparently I have a strong bias in believing only Germans make games =p
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Anthony Rubbo
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Hello John,

Good question - the game was tested thoroughly both ways, and the way the game is printed is indeed the way it is intended.

The game rewards clever play and coming up with 2 (or more) turn plans, which often times utilizes cards to be acquired from the Recruit board. Essential to these plans, especially in the late game, is to always always always keep in mind the ability to freely remove cards from your structure. Taking 1 step back for 2 steps forward is typically much better than playing the waiting game, and can lead to very satisfying implementations. We placed this in bold to emphasize in the rules, however I do understand how it can be tough for first-time players to want to let go of their hard-earned workers. meeple

Thanks for your question.
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Robert Taylor-Smith
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LemonyFresh wrote:
Hello John,

Good question - the game was tested thoroughly both ways, and the way the game is printed is indeed the way it is intended.

The game rewards clever play and coming up with 2 (or more) turn plans, which often times utilizes cards to be acquired from the Recruit board. Essential to these plans, especially in the late game, is to always always always keep in mind the ability to freely remove cards from your structure. Taking 1 step back for 2 steps forward is typically much better than playing the waiting game, and can lead to very satisfying implementations. We placed this in bold to emphasize in the rules, however I do understand how it can be tough for first-time players to want to let go of their hard-earned workers. meeple

Thanks for your question.


Sorry in advance for a potentially stupid post since I might be playing incorrectly.....

A detailed session report by skilled players would be really helpful for new players, like myself, trying to understand the games strategy. Right now my experience is Renaissance Man is multi-player solitaire with a huge luck factor determining the winner. I get the feeling some skill factor is not understood by myself and my play group, ie. there's something more to the game.

My play group had the same experience as the OP's (John). The game really drags at the end with the winner generally being the first one get the best hand refill. A big luck factor. Drags maybe the wrong word as Renaissance Man is a Racing game; ie. every turn counts and our games do go fast. I meant 'drags' in the context of finding the necessary cards for the endgame through luck in the hand refill and the 'stall' of the Recruit board filled with cards nobody wants. Yes, my group does try pyramid restructure through discard to try to get a leg up but the cost seems always too high and too slow a strategy for the game speed.

Hand discarding and refilling seems to be the far better way to get useful cards than a focus on the Recruit board. Everyone is massively discarding every turn on the hope for better cards. Recuiting requires both an action and (to be useful) a helpful card on the board. The recruit board can get plugged (and does in the endgame) with not useful cards (for anyone) and the only way to discard em is through the use of a (recruit) action followed by discarding the acquired card from one's hand. Recruit seems to be the least useful or minor action to victory and thus my play group tends to have the knights covered rather than other actions. I believe we are playing with the correct rules but something feels 'not right'.

I've played a few games now but I can't really see the big point of using the stucture card removal unless under unique circumstances. In our group the player(s) that use the rule, or focus on it, don't seem to win over the simply lucky hand draw of other players. It doesn't seem to be a really big help in victory unless one has awesome memory of the discard deck (ie. card counting) and use it to predict the upcoming cards. I get the feeling I'm really missing some additional trick of play strategy. I understand Recruit can be used to basically get a extra hire action as the newly acquired card can be put directly on the pyramid structure. Still ditching a card or cards from the structure to get some action(s) or card 'offers' to set up the pyramid with the goal to place a new recruit seems to be not be useful long term. Unless immediate victory is the result. Having the right set of cards in hand (one can't rely on the recruit board cards since they can 'go') to use a new setup (through structure discard) in later turns is a big luck factor. Pyramid restructure has a big cost in the form of lost (previous turn) actions. A bigger cost than a potential gain.

Maybe some additional restriction on hand discarding (loss of turn?) might be a helpful game variant rather than a end of turn flush of the Recruit Board. Another wild thought would be cards discarded from hand somehow directly ending up on the recruit board, as this would result in more care in which cards to discard since they could help opponents. A single recruit action might allow a selection from a group of cards on the board. I also wish the game came with planned action cards, like in Race for the Galaxy , to help with simultaneous play of action declaration rather than Action pawns. My edition seems overproduced with not very useful components (ie. pawns and player boards) and missing some potentially really useful components (action planning cards and a detailed deck manifest).

What are we doing wrong or is RM just a card luck game in the spirit of Rummy, etc. and I'm expecting too much?
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John Drake
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Just played it again tonight and basically forced myself to discard cards, in my pyramid, when I couldn't do anything else. I got to say... the game is growing on me and didn't feel tedious at all. Basically, when you start considering how each card you have access to interacts not only with the active cards but cards below... you have a real brain burner. Furthermore, hand management becomes more crucial in the game and you start planning ahead looking at your options in the recruit board... even if it will take 2+ rounds to grab that card; Thus, the static recruit board may actually enhance the tactical/strategic decisions in the game.

It's such an unsettling feeling destroying the cards you built up... but necessary to win.

Need to play it more. But I ended that game with a much better impression then the first night I played it. This game is unique... I like that =)
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Mike DiLisio
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This is a game which really rewards planning ahead. I think if your end game experience is simply discarding your hand over and over and waiting for a particular card, then you didn't make good use of your previous turns. It's easy to paint yourself into a corner in this game, and to me that's what creates the tension. Making sure that you've given yourself multiple options to an end game run is essential. It may take multiple games for this to become apparent, or it may never be your experience at all, but I've found it to be the case when I've played.
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