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Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia» Forums » General

Subject: Icarite Areas and the early game rss

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Pete Goch
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What has your experience been?

Thus far, at higher player counts (4-6), I've seen heavy early use of the Icarite spaces. Not just those with Icarite recruits - everyone piles on since they're all available from the beginning of the game. Once the Icarite territory is full players would only then move on to building the other markets.

The net result is a slight but significant edge for the Icarite recruit players - especially those who picked 2 - as the Icarite allegiance track is likely to get maxed out pretty early in the game. I'm not sure it's entirely offset by the weaker second tier payoff of the Icarite allegiance track.

I've only seen a total of 3 games at higher player counts but they've all started out this way. What has everyone else seen?
 
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Jeff Kayati
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I've only played four times, but with different players each game. Player counts of four, five and six. Every game has been different and been influenced by it's own group think. My most recent game, the Icarite area was rarely used, other games, it's been hit hard.

I think the strongest areas on the board are going to be determined by the recruits selected and the collective mind of the group.
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Itai Rosenbaum
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I think this is where metagaming comes in.

After a few rounds, you'll know that Icarus gets nabbed fast so you'll either:

A. Purposely select Icarite recruits to take advantage of this - at which point everyone will start doing it, making the benefit from selecting Icarites moot

or

B. People will just stop rushing Icarus, so the Icarite players have a harder time.
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Benjamin Lindvall
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We have the same problem in our group, hoping to play again tonight to see if any other strategies develop.

Icarus faction gets raised early, but stars actually don't get placed much. People get resources there then use them to build the other markets and try to catch people out. Stars on markets and Icarite recruits are where a majority of stars get placed so far for us.

It got to the point where when drawing new recruits, any green card was taken without even reading it over other colors, regardless of where the track is. It was always the correct choice.
 
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Pete Goch
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jkayati wrote:


I think the strongest areas on the board are going to be determined by the recruits selected and the collective mind of the group.


True enough. It's just that I think that, at first look, the Icarite areas are going to seem the most tempting because they're available from the start. All 3 games that I played at 4-6 players were with 3 different groups of players with me as the only common member. When you've got that many players at least 1 or 2 will have Icarite recruits and be doubly drawn to those their areas.

Players seemed reluctant to start building Markets for fear of not getting anyone else to join and just stranding their worker there. Only when there was little to no other options did we start building them. It's odd when you consider that participating in building a market is the cheapest way to place a star. I suppose this may be more a factor of playing "pick up" games at game day type events rather than with a regular group.
 
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James Cheng
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I just played a 2 player game last night. I think I'd only visited Icarite commodities area once during the game. I'd two Euphorian recruit(one face down), and my opponent has wastelander.

I focus on building the two market of my areas, and I do so by going to the tunnel a lot, bumping my own worker so that I save a lot of movement.

 
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Anthony Nguyen
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In a three player game yesterday, my wife went for bliss, then resources, then markets. She participated in 5 of the 6 markets this way. Didn't take her long to win 0, 4, 5. She thinks she found a winning strategy all the time. Time will tell.

Also, the ethical dilemma is really anti-climatic. Pretty easy to get the last star. I tried using it for a recruit early on, but neither helped me. Games like this and Catan have this problem, but at least in Catan you can use the robber or Knight to slow down the leader. We also hid our resources/commodities to see if that would add some tension to the game, but not knowing if someone had enough resources to do something.

Still like the game, but I still haven't had the "a-ha!" moment after three games. Luckily my wife and friend like the game enough that we'll keep on playing.
 
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David Chiu
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"Players seemed reluctant to start building Markets for fear of not getting anyone else to join and just stranding their worker there."

The first market we built demonstrated how bad the penalties can be.
After that markets were always started once everyone had a resource and worker. If you did not, the next guy would, and you would be left out and suffer the penalties.
 
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Brent Lindeburg
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Last night I played a four player game where one opponent and I both drafted two Icarite recruits. We ran the allegiance track up very quickly and it wasn't even close. The other guy had Amanda the Broker, so he would pull back all but one die on the Breeze Bar or Sky Lounge and basically force us to bump him so he could reset the die for automatic doubles. I couldn't keep up with him, and the other players simply had no chance.
Something has to be done to slow down the Icarite allegiance track. Why does every market up there have to add allegiance?
 
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James Cheng
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neomalkin wrote:
Last night I played a four player game where one opponent and I both drafted two Icarite recruits. We ran the allegiance track up very quickly and it wasn't even close. The other guy had Amanda the Broker, so he would pull back all but one die on the Breeze Bar or Sky Lounge and basically force us to bump him so he could reset the die for automatic doubles. I couldn't keep up with him, and the other players simply had no chance.
Something has to be done to slow down the Icarite allegiance track. Why does every market up there have to add allegiance?


Every market in each of the faction add allegiance. The difference in Icarite is that they are pre-build.

Maybe don't go there? I've successful in going to Icarite only once in my last 2p game. Of course, neither of us had Icarite recruits.
 
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David Chiu
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neomalkin wrote:
Last night I played a four player game where one opponent and I both drafted two Icarite recruits. We ran the allegiance track up very quickly and it wasn't even close. The other guy had Amanda the Broker, so he would pull back all but one die on the Breeze Bar or Sky Lounge and basically force us to bump him so he could reset the die for automatic doubles. I couldn't keep up with him, and the other players simply had no chance.
Something has to be done to slow down the Icarite allegiance track. Why does every market up there have to add allegiance?


The allegiance track always flies along when half the players have all their recruits from the same faction.

I would try very hard to only kick Amanda only when she has no dice left. The inconvenience of using the other market is usually well worth denying Amanda her double move.
 
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Richard Bush
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Boonec wrote:
neomalkin wrote:
Last night I played a four player game where one opponent and I both drafted two Icarite recruits. We ran the allegiance track up very quickly and it wasn't even close. The other guy had Amanda the Broker, so he would pull back all but one die on the Breeze Bar or Sky Lounge and basically force us to bump him so he could reset the die for automatic doubles. I couldn't keep up with him, and the other players simply had no chance.
Something has to be done to slow down the Icarite allegiance track. Why does every market up there have to add allegiance?


The allegiance track always flies along when half the players have all their recruits from the same faction.

I would try very hard to only kick Amanda only when she has no dice left. The inconvenience of using the other market is usually well worth denying Amanda her double move.


Absolutely wrong. How can the allegiance track fly up for Euphorians if 2 players have Euphorian recruits and 2 have Icarites, and then on turn 2 one player of the Icarites parks a 6 on the generator? I was a player in that game with Neomalkin and was one of the 2 players who started with a Euphorian. We were able to move it up to 4 spaces the entire game. Non Icarites have only one space to move the allegiance track pre markets for 3 cards. Then when a market comes out, they have to spend either an artifact card or a resource, and then 4 commodities to move it forward

Icarites can spend 2 commodities, 2 commodities, 3 resources, or 3 cards to move their allegiance track forward. The Sky Lounge is too good a space, especially when EVERYONE needs resources for markets.
 
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Jamey Stegmaier
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The next time you all play, I'd like you to try something if you're up for it. Cover up the Icarite allegiance icon on the Breeze Bar and Sky Lounge the next time you play. Everything else stays the same, but take away that one benefit. That way those markets are still an outlet for all players when needed, but they no longer guarantee that the Icarite allegiance track will be finished by game end.

We tested the game with Icarus many, many times, and overall I don't think it's an issue. However, I'm amenable to a slight adjustment or at least a variant if we test it. Since you all seem passionate about this, I'd love for you to try it out without Icarite allegiance on the Breeze Bar and Sky Lounge.
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Richard Bush
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I think thats why our group was leaning toward doing. Its just become so bad that we pick Icarite recruits if we see them, regardless of what else we have or what the Icarite recruits do.

Thanks Jamey!
 
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David Morcerf
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Would if you play with a variant where you can only choose one recruit from each faction?
 
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Erich Schneider
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jameystegmaier wrote:
We tested the game with Icarus many, many times, and overall I don't think it's an issue.


So how did this play out in playtesting?

In playtesting, did anyone try the "Icarians park 6s on non-Icarian commodity areas" trick to deny allegiance advancement? That sounds like a "this hurts me a little and you a lot more" situation.
 
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Jamey Stegmaier
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Erich: Definitely, I've seen that method used a number of times, but not just by Icarites. It's a clever defensive move.
 
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Pete Goch
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I'm only up to 7-8 games played between the PnP and the Kickstarter version so I'm hesitant to introduce any variants just yet. I was mostly interested in soliciting people's opinions and to see if others had similar experiences.

I can't rule out that the Icarite rushes that I've seen isn't a factor of how I've taught the game. I do tend to emphasize the fact that the Icarite spaces are available at the start of the game. That and the fact that all these games haven't been with the same group of players may have in impact on what I'm seeing. It may have been a factor in the hesitance I saw in player's willingness to collaborate on markets. I'll have to start emphasizing the value of building a market for no other reason that cheaply placing a star.

That being said I'd love to hear what others observe when trying this variant.
 
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Erich Schneider
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I played a 5-player game last night where we used Jamey's suggested variant; the players were me (having played four two-player games), one player who'd played once, and three totally new to the game.

Only I and the player who'd played once chose Icarite recruits and both of us had them as our hidden recruits; the revealed recruits at the start were 2 Wastelanders, 2 Subterrans, and 1 Euphorian.

There were not a lot of visits made to Icarus; all factions made it to the star, but Icarus was the last to have recruits revealed. Most of the recruits in the game were Subterran and Wastelander, and they were revealed through the tunnels. Presumably with those factions predominating, it was more efficient, once the first tier bonus for them was active, to get 2-3 water/food and then dig twice for two resources (with a bump) than to get Bliss, then another commodity, then visit Icarus for two resources (with no bump), and even better once those tunnels were generating resource + artifact. (I did mention blocking commodity generators with a high die when explaining the game, but no one ever did it.)

The final score was 0, 1, 1, 2, 2. Not having played a lot myself, my feelings are inconclusive.
 
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Jamey Stegmaier
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Thanks for sharing this, Erich. I do wonder if this decreases the power of the Icarites too much. After all, they don't have a tunnel, they don't have markets to build, and there's even a market that says: You can't go to Icarus. But I appreciate you playing that way and would be curious to hear from others.
 
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Erich Schneider
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One thought that came into my head afterwards was the notion of having the Breeze Bar and Sky Lounge only advance Icarus half a space (put the marker on the line separating spaces, or use another token to indicate a half-space advancement). Perhaps this would slow down the advancement rate of Icarus enough, but not too much.

It doesn't address the issue of players with Icarites sticking dice with 4+ in the other factions' commodity generators, though. Perhaps turn off those Icarite markets' advancement effects if the total in the Cloud Mine is 5+? That would allow for a MAD situation with the other factions - "you shut down our advancement opportunities, and we can do the same to you".
 
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Dave Anderson
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I played a four player game today, and was the lone pusher of the Icarite Allegiance Tract. Two other players were pushing the Subterrans, and had their hidden recruits revealed in no time at all, probably in a third of the time it took me. I narrowly pulled out a victory, but I would credit it much more to my recruit cards then my Icarite strategy.
 
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