Jake Smith
United States
Seattle
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I love the concept of this game, but it has fallen a little flat.

We (3 players) played a short game, which ended waaaay too soon, so for our second game we went to the long game goal cards. One player wound up as the separatist.

We wound up losing the long game when we drew two crises requiring pineapple in a row on one turn. The first consumed the two pineapples on the local market and our only remaining explore tile. The second increased rebellion by 12 or so for the loss.

Do you find that the game scales down to lower player counts well? With higher player counts more of the evolution cards will be purchased, so you could have up to 10 crises in the same turn, if I am understanding the rule correctly; however, you have more actions for collecting a variety of resources to avoid losing by drawing crises for resources no one had.

I am understanding the rule correctly that there could possibly be a yellow crisis and then a red crisis for every replaced evolution card in a single turn, right? It seemed like way to many were being triggered in the game we played.

When I first read about the game, I thought the crises would be a game of brinksmanship, with each player trying to contribute as little as possible while still keeping the group afloat. In our last game, every player (even the separatist) contributed everything they could to every crisis and we still lost.

The next question I had was how exactly are you supposed to combat the separatist? As I said above, the separatist player actively aided us, as he did not want the game to end prematurely, but we still wound up losing. In a game where they are maliciously acting against the rest of the group i.e. by taxing every turn and never contributing resources what are the other players supposed to do to stop them? You can't exactly attack them or otherwise prevent them from taking actions or force them to contribute goods.

I will likely try the Benefactor variant next time we play, as that may help keep the game from self-destructing, I hope.
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Tim P.
United States
Medford
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theintangiblefatman wrote:
I am understanding the rule correctly that there could possibly be a yellow crisis and then a red crisis for every replaced evolution card in a single turn, right? It seemed like way to many were being triggered in the game we played.


I think you might be playing it wrong...only the red crises are immediately resolved in the Evolution Card Purchase phase. Yellow crises are resolved during the Balance of the Archipelago phase. If someone buys a new evolution card, it doesn't trigger the new yellow crises right then and there.
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D Clevenger
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Collecting goods and exploring are both huge early. What I have seen is players go after their victory condition early (eg constructing buildings) and not have enough resources. Horde resources early. Explore a lot early so you can fill up the markets and get the exploration tokens. Have babies and buy surplus workers when they get cheap. Buy lots of surplus workers. It has double benefit of getting population up and keeping surplus workers low which adds rebellion.

Next build temples. Temples can be key to keeping the natives calms. Several of the crisis cards lower the rebellion per temple. Plus there are a number of characters and other cards that allow temples to lower the rebellion. Third, temples allow you to stand up discontent workers

This is a difficult game but not impossible. When a player is the separatist it is very difficult for inexperienced players. Plus, I'm not sure you should use the separatist with only three players. I don't have near enough plays to know for sure but that would seem very difficult.

I think four players is probably the sweet spot although the solo variant is a lot of fun.

But this is a hard co-op game.
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Dan Regs
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I've played the game with one (with solo expansion), 2, and 4 players.

As others have noted crisis with brownish backgrounds only need to be adressed during the 'balance the archipelago' phase. Whereas crisis with red backgrounds only need to be addressed if revealed when someone buys or rotates a card during phase 6 - evolution card purchase.

Also players can tactically choose which crisis are important to them. In my learning games I usually explain that the foreign crisis can largely be ignored - and they can be for the most part.

'balance the archipelago' is an apt phrase. Heavily populating the island (without churches) dramatically increases the risk behind getting a domestic crisis that requires 1 fish per 5 population blowing you out of the water (no pun intended).

Exploring heavily tends to ramp up unemployment, which also adds to the amount of rebels you have to deal with.

Collecting resources and trading needed goods into the markets before the crisis hits is a great way to build up a buffer. Not to mention get gold for first player bid or using other player's evolution cards

Evolution cards that manage rebels or unemployed workers are pretty vital to managing the island in my limited experience.

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Jake Smith
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I worded it really poorly, but that is how I am playing it, Tim. I did find something else I was doing wrong, looking through the rules. I haven't been adding a good to each domestic market to start the game, which should make the early turns less demanding.

We'll give it another try, probably without anyone playing the separatist. It sounds like all it serves to do is to make the co-op portion of the game harder.
 
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Chris Linneman
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The game functions very well with three players. I have probably played it with three more than at any other player count.

It shouldn't be that hard to control the rebellion. In fact, if all players work at it, it should be easy. So I think you might be doing something wrong.

Did you remember you can use the exploration tokens as wild goods at any time?

You should be exploring a lot in the early game, which should reveal lots of resources and provide exploration tokens. Players can then harvest the resources and either sell them to the market or keep them on hand. Early on when the population is low it doesn't require much to satisfy the crisis cards.

I would recommend playing with the separatist. To me it is an important threat to prevent players from playing too selfishly. If your group enjoys playing it as more of a co-op than playing it competitively, though, you could leave it out. Definitely use the benefactor trend card if you found it hard to stave off rebellion.
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Mark Mitchell
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I think if you haven't got the rules pinned down yet you shouldn't play with the seperatist. Get used to the game and rules first.
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Jake Smith
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In our game, the trend gave points for population, so both another player and I grew our population very quickly. That had the positive side effect of keeping the orderly population ahead of the rebel population, but then we ran out of workers to place, leading to the loss. Perhaps we expanded too fast.


I don't really see the need for the separatist in our case. If players play too selfishly then they lose to the game and have to stop playing. That is enough of a deterrent for our group. As I said before, our separatist player was actually working towards keeping the rebellion under control, because he wanted to play the game, not have it end four or five turns in.

That said, obviously not every group thinks this way, as evidenced by the large number of threads looking for solutions to "losing" players intentionally causing a rebellion.
 
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