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Subject: Importance of books in a 2-player game rss

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Fredrik Stahre
Sweden
Stockholm
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Thank you Rustan & Co for a great game!

I was wondering about the importance of books. It seems to me as it is more important the more players there are in the game. Is there a reason for this?

In a 2 player game there is 1 point per age to gain resulting in an average of 0,5 points per player. In a 5 player game there is potentially 10 points to gain which means an average of 2 points per player. There is of course higher possibilities for draws the more players there are but it still seems more important with books when playing with more people.

One could argue that you should get 2 points for having more books in the end of an age in a 2-player game to make the importance of books more important.

I am sure you have playtested this a lot and came to the conclusion that 1 point is "good enough" but it would be interesting to hear your thoughts about this.
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Daniel Corban
Canada
Newmarket
Ontario
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The zero-sum aspect of the two-player game means this one point is essentially the same as gaining two points. Every point you take away from the other player is the same as gaining a point.
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Fredrik Stahre
Sweden
Stockholm
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That is true and I understand the concept that if you pass a player on the book scoring track in a 5-player game you are gaining a point but only "hurting" one of four players (25% of your opponents while in a 2-player game you are hurting 100%). Hence the point is worth more in a 2-player game.

Still... and I don't think I made that point clear in my initial post...

From my games (2 x 2-player games and 2 x 4-player games) the scores have been pretty even averaging around 40 points for each player.

Therefore, in a 2-player game the VP:s from books give the players around 5% of the total VP:s while in a 5-player game the books could potentially stand for 20% of the total VP:s. (Not counting the additional VP:s for total resources as these are the same no matter how many players)

It's in the middle of the night here in Sweden and things might seem more logical in the morning ...but at this early hour it seems to me that it is more important and rewarding with a "book-strategy" when playing more players. Besides, I love the concept of books and the cultural things are the most satisfying to build in a civ game to me. So maybe I just want them to be more important in the 2-player game... Well, time for some sleep...
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Rustan Håkansson
Sweden
Norrköping
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Yes, we have tested with 2 (and also 3 VP, or perhaps I misremember and we we never played with that, only did modeling for how that would perform) for books per age in a 2-player game, but concluded that 1 VP was cleaner and worked best. Both for reasons given by dcorban above and because 2-player games have a slightly higher tendency to one player taking the books lead and keeping it for 2-3 ages, with heavy competition only for 1-2 ages at the end.
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Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
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Books are worth more than just 4 points (in a 2p game, via end of age scoring)... each one is 1/10th of a point for final scoring, plus each one is a potential alternative to losing important resources to pay your debts. So they're always worth pursuing when possible, IMO
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