Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I fully expect to be fielding this question a lot as people start to play with Escalation, so to get out in front of it I thought I'd post a response I gave a player already. Maybe this will save me some typing

Feel free to weigh in after playing with Escalation by posting comments below.

Why Peace Treaty doesn't break Eminent Domain

What a Peace Treaty does is enhance the interaction in the game. They encourage a Warfare player to not call Warfare as often. If a Warfare player ignores this and continues to call Warfare roles willy-nilly, then they're likely to give away too many points. Especially when there are multiple Peace Treaties in play.

However, there are many ways to get ships without calling Warfare all the time... there are Improved Warfare cards, there are cards with Fighters on them, and players can store up Warfare cards in hand so that when they do call Warfare they get more Fighters at a time. And when a player does call Warfare, other players can follow to collect fighters without giving away any additional points. In addition to all that, there are Hostile planets, Elite Squadron, Battlecruisers, and Scorched Earth to reduce the number of Fighters needed as well.

The bottom line is that you'll have to make a choice - is 3 Fighters right now worth giving away a VP? What about 4 Fighters? What if it's 2vp that I'm giving away (and are they going to the same player or not)? Sometimes giving a point away to get 3 Fighters is the right play, sometimes it's better to do something else.

I have one regular player who always uses Warfare heavily. She refused to adjust her play when Peace Treaties came out, instead she would give points away left and right, lose, and then complain that Peace Treaties are too strong. Players who play that way will probably not like Peace Treaties, and might think they're overpowered - but I disagree. In EmDo, like in many games, you have to adjust your play based on the actions of other players and the game state.

So what does a Warfare player do to counter Peace Treaties? In addition to the things I mentioned above, you can always buy the tech on the opposite side of the Peace Treaty - that will cut down on the number of Peace Treaties your opponents have access to!

Edited for typo
28 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kenny VenOsdel
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Another thing I'll add in defense of peace treaty is that warfare gets some boosts in the expansion. Specifically the ability to use fighters to purchase some technology. The added flexibility makes warfare stronger than it was and the potential ability to set up peace treaties helps to balance this a bit, though it is situational just like every other EmDo scenario.

I'm looking forward to the expansion! HURRY HURRY!
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steven Steck
United States
Benton
Arkansas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
sedjtroll wrote:
I fully expect to be fielding this question a lot as people start to play with Escalation, so to get out in front of it I thought I'd post a response I gave a player already Premptive Strike. Maybe this will save me some typing


I think you missed a golden opportunity here, Seth. whistle
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nushura
Japan
Sendai
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
What clearly breaks the game is the fact that it has not arrived yet. Other than that....in the PnP version we tried everything seemed fine.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Cameron McKenzie
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We played our first game, and the military player beat the player who got several peace treaties.
The key was that he didn't rely on the Warfare role so much and only called it a few times. Most of his fighters came from the actions on Improved Warfare, Mobilization, and so on.
If you can get a hostile planet, that's a big help as well!

Basically, Warfare requires a bit more finesse than it used to (in the base game you could do very well just by loading a deck up with warfare and survey and nothing else. I don't think that will work anymore, and I'm glad for it)
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Szilagyi
United States
Parma
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In our plays of the base game, the Warfare-based strategies always seemed to us to be more powerful/streamlined than did the Colonize-based options. For this reason, I was very happy to see some subtle balance and limitation imposed on what seemed to be the fastest-off-the-mark VP engine.*

I don't know if this feeling holds across the board, or if it's inherent only to our group, but Peace Treaties, Colony Ships, and the need to upgrade Fighters will definitely open up several new viable strategies for us.

At the same time, new Warfare tactics will keep Warfare-happy players interested and in the hunt for victory.



*I put these statements in subjective terms deliberately to avoid blow-back. In our games, it was more definitive. Of the two main ways of acquiring planets, it was exceedingly rare for the player who favored Colonize to win our games...to the point where I'm not entirely sure I remember it happening.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ZeroZilla wrote:
In our plays of the base game, the Warfare-based strategies always seemed to us to be more powerful/streamlined than did the Colonize-based options. For this reason, I was very happy to see some subtle balance and limitation imposed on what seemed to be the fastest-off-the-mark VP engine.*

I don't know if this feeling holds across the board, or if it's inherent only to our group, but Peace Treaties, Colony Ships, and the need to upgrade Fighters will definitely open up several new viable strategies for us.

At the same time, new Warfare tactics will keep Warfare-happy players interested and in the hunt for victory.



*I put these statements in subjective terms deliberately to avoid blow-back. In our games, it was more definitive. Of the two main ways of acquiring planets, it was exceedingly rare for the player who favored Colonize to win our games...to the point where I'm not entirely sure I remember it happening.

Looks like you're going to enjoy Escalation then!

For the record, I believe your conclusion on Warfare vs Colonize is based in large part on groupthink. That happens a lot with this game.

Colonize symbols on planets are the strongest symbols in the game, so colonizing can be very powerful.

That's the beauty of EmDo though, one game Warfare can be king, and in the next, Colonize can win!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
SLO Knightfall
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
So after playing a bunch of games with the expansion, I have to say that my group and I tend to dislike the Peace Treaty. They basically penalize a player for for using the Warfare role to the point where after the first few games players would rarely touch it.

The majority of the games where a player did go Warfare, by turn 5 there were at least 2 players with the Treaty Tech cards and usually 1-2 players had a planet with the Treaty ability. This causes the Warfare player to stall out, as if he usually just got his first planet and does not have access to the tier 2 tech that will help generate fighters without using the Warfare action. To get the second planet they will need to call Warfare around 3 times to generate the 5-6 fighters they need, unless they were lucky to get a planet with a 4 fighter cost. So before they can even start producing a fighters outside of the Warfare Role, they have given up enough VP to basically nullify most VP they gained via planets. Even with the Tech they tend to produce fighters at a slower pace, which makes being able to use them for Tech pointless if they need to spend more turns to generate & convert the fighter vs turns needed to acquire Research Cards.

This also gets compounded a bit if multiple players decide to go Warfare. As they are competing for the Tech, they are now forced to give up VP to generate fighters to make up from Tech card generation loss.

In reality it is more beneficial for players to now just ignore the Warfare deck completely. If you go Colonize for the first few planet, you get access to the same Tech with out needing to give up any VP and you can then thin your hand of Colonize cards by dumping them on a planet for a while. From there you can play almost the military campaign as someone who went Warfare.

I'm probably going to remove the Peace Treaty Tech card from the game and possibly reduce the Civilized Planets in the deck and see how things go.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
SLOKnightfall wrote:
So after playing a bunch of games with the expansion, I have to say that my group and I tend to dislike the Peace Treaty. They basically penalize a player for for using the Warfare role to the point where after the first few games players would rarely touch it.

The majority of the games where a player did go Warfare, by turn 5 there were at least 2 players with the Treaty Tech cards and usually 1-2 players had a planet with the Treaty ability. This causes the Warfare player to stall out, as if he usually just got his first planet and does not have access to the tier 2 tech that will help generate fighters without using the Warfare action. To get the second planet they will need to call Warfare around 3 times to generate the 5-6 fighters they need, unless they were lucky to get a planet with a 4 fighter cost. So before they can even start producing a fighters outside of the Warfare Role, they have given up enough VP to basically nullify most VP they gained via planets. Even with the Tech they tend to produce fighters at a slower pace, which makes being able to use them for Tech pointless if they need to spend more turns to generate & convert the fighter vs turns needed to acquire Research Cards.

This also gets compounded a bit if multiple players decide to go Warfare. As they are competing for the Tech, they are now forced to give up VP to generate fighters to make up from Tech card generation loss.

In reality it is more beneficial for players to now just ignore the Warfare deck completely. If you go Colonize for the first few planet, you get access to the same Tech with out needing to give up any VP and you can then thin your hand of Colonize cards by dumping them on a planet for a while. From there you can play almost the military campaign as someone who went Warfare.

I'm probably going to remove the Peace Treaty Tech card from the game and possibly reduce the Civilized Planets in the deck and see how things go.

The cool thing is that there are ways to get Fighters without calling the Warfare role. Peace Treaty does nothing during a Warfare action, only during a role... and there are many actions which give you fighters. Most of the new level 1 techs have Fighters on them, and there's always the level 1 Improved Warfare tech to give you 2 Fighters at a time.

If you're leading Warfare roles to get just 2 Fighters at a time, then you're kinda Doing It Wrong (tm) - especially if there are Peace treaties in play!

There are ways to play Warfare against Peace treaties, and I encourage you to try to find them rather than remove those cards from the game - without Peace Treaties you'll probably just find that everyone goes Warfare from the get-go, and I also suspect you'll be unhappy with how short the game is when the Warfare pile runs out quickly!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
SLO Knightfall
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
sedjtroll wrote:
The cool thing is that there are ways to get Fighters without calling the Warfare role. Peace Treaty does nothing during a Warfare action, only during a role... and there are many actions which give you fighters. Most of the new level 1 techs have Fighters on them, and there's always the level 1 Improved Warfare tech to give you 2 Fighters at a time.


True, and as I mentioned above, they are gotten quicker and easier by ignoring Warefare role and going Colonize to get a planet fast and then dropping all them out of you deck by following a Colonize.

sedjtroll wrote:

If you're leading Warfare roles to get just 2 Fighters at a time, then you're kinda Doing It Wrong (tm) - especially if there are Peace treaties in play!


Its hard not to when Peace Treaties are already in play during Turn 4/5 and you only have a few Warfare cards. If the player opted for one of the expansion planets and they get a bad Survey of 5+ fighter planets, they will be lucky to have control of a planet before Peace Treaties are out. And without any planets there is no way for them to get any Tech cards to help out. Its a bit frustrating to have to pay Peace Treaty VP penalty before you even get your first planet.

sedjtroll wrote:

There are ways to play Warfare against Peace treaties, and I encourage you to try to find them rather than remove those cards from the game - without Peace Treaties you'll probably just find that everyone goes Warfare from the get-go, and I also suspect you'll be unhappy with how short the game is when the Warfare pile runs out quickly!


I have to disagree. As you stated above "Peace Treaty does nothing during a Warfare action, only during a role" which makes the only way to combat it to never take the Warfare role and generate fighters another way. Better that the deck runs out quickly than no one using it at all.

It feels that they are to powerful of an tier 1 Tech. No other techs start to give VP until tier 2. Perhaps if they had the 2 non matching planet requirements like Double Time to prevent them from being the first Tech all non military players take. That would give anyone who did go Warfare a few extra rounds to get a planet and possibly a few fighters before being limited on taking the Warfare role.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
SLOKnightfall wrote:
I have to disagree. As you stated above "Peace Treaty does nothing during a Warfare action, only during a role" which makes the only way to combat it to never take the Warfare role and generate fighters another way. Better that the deck runs out quickly than no one using it at all.

I'll agree to disagree then.

In my experience, it's not "all or nothing" - if I can get play a warfare role and boost with a handful of cards and you get 1 vp, that's OK with me. But if you have Peace Treaties in play, I'm not going to call a Warfare role just for 1-2 Fighters, unless I REALLY need 1-2 Fighters.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joshua Simone [The Quasi Geek Dad]
United States
Redmond
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The problem with using your actions to generate fighters is that you shoot yourself in the foot by having to forfeit other actions you can take. Double time helps but if you are going warfare strategy the other players will have gained at least 2 if not more VPs by the time you can get a good machine up and running. 2+ VPs for a 1 planet tech? My only gripe is that this tech is gained too early in the game. If it was a two planet tech it would be balanced with the rest of the tech in terms of VP generation. When we play, Peace Treaty always generates at least 5 VPs. How is that not OP for a 1 planet tech? And that is with warfare using his actions to generate ships. But in all honesty just the mere fact he has to waste so many actions getting ships stunts his ability to keep up with the rest of the players. Who can spam their roles willy nilly.

Another point is that if peace treaty was the only thing giving VPs I probably would be ok (maybe) but it is that in combination with planets that give Vp for warfare dissent. So it isn't a decision of "do I do a warfare role and they only get 1 Vp?" It is "do I do warfare and give them 2 or 3. VPs?"
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joshua Simone [The Quasi Geek Dad]
United States
Redmond
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I just want to add that this game is awesome even if I think peace treaty is OP.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Waste MaLife
msg tools
this "explanation" is just wrong on many levels. It amazes me sometimes how designers can get it so backwards.

It is not OP because you "can't" play around it.. As you said in your post you CAN play around it... This has nothing to do with it being OP. It is OP because it completely dictates to other players how they should play. Games are NOT FUN when you are forced to play in a certain way, player choice is what makes games entertaining. You even say in your blurb, your friend has to change the way she likes to play to play the game with this card in play. That is the definition of OP, a card / combo that forces players to play in a way they do not want to.

Peace Treaty and the associated planets force warfare to basically be ignored. Even "saving your cards for single large plays" dose not negate giving away 3 or 4 VPs. That is more than most planets are even worth.

There is just NO REASON to use warfare cards. It is always 100% better option to go a different rout and not be gimped by warfare. Why take a strategy that has such a serious problem, when you can take any of the other viable starts that has NO problems.

This is a good game, but this choice form the designer is just terrible. No one is perfect.

A simple solution seams to be to remove the +1 Influence on Warfare planets form the game or just ignore their ability. A small tax of 1 influence form the tech is not a problem but still counts in the long run.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
William Crispin
United States
Wilmington
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes, wow. It is amazing everyone cannot be as intelligent and coherent as you.snore
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
bbb ccc
Australia
flag msg tools
couldn't agree more with wastemalife on this one. Terrible, terrible, terrible card.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Cameron McKenzie
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Supposing that Warfare and Colonize were relatively balanced before Escalation, consider this:

Warfare has been given a lot more opportunities with the introduction of fleet mechanics, planets that can only be conquered with warfare, and of course the ability to buy tech with fighters.

It seems to be that it needs a few new disadvantages to balance against its new advantages. The peace treaties and the planets that are expensive to attack seem quite a reasonable trade-off to me.

A tactic that changes the way your opponent plays the game is not overpowered; it's completely normal. It would be a very dull game if the players did not have to react to what there opponents did - they would just be playing solitaire.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
WasteMaLife wrote:
this "explanation" is just wrong on many levels. It amazes me sometimes how designers can get it so backwards.

I'm sorry that you feel that way, but I have to disagree with you. I've played a LOT of Eminent Domain, and I feel like I have the experience to back up the assertion in my original post above, that Peace Treaty does not break Eminent Domain.

Quote:
It is not OP because you "can't" play around it.. As you said in your post you CAN play around it... This has nothing to do with it being OP. It is OP because it completely dictates to other players how they should play.

Well, your phrasing is a bit dramatic... one might argue that a Peace Treaty entering play (or perhaps even existing) may influence the way people play, but doesn't every card entering play do that? Doesn't every card existing do that?

When we play games, our choices are influenced by the choices of others - that's kind of the point. I think it's a bit of an exaggeration to say that the existence of Peace Treaty completely dictates how players play the game.

I especially think that because I've seen MANY of games of EmDo with Escalation where players do very well with Warfare as a central part of their strategy, despite the existence of Peace Treaties, and even their presence in the game (i.e. they came into play).

One of my biggest playtesters (not Mandy, who refused to change her play) is John Heder. He prefers Warfare to Colonize, and the existence of Peace Treaty does not dissuade him. If you were to play him 1 vs 1, I would put my money on him, even if he went Warfare and you got multiple Peace Treaties.

Quote:
Games are NOT FUN when you are forced to play in a certain way, player choice is what makes games entertaining. You even say in your blurb, your friend has to change the way she likes to play to play the game with this card in play. That is the definition of OP, a card / combo that forces players to play in a way they do not want to.

You are right, games are not fun when players are forced to play a certain way. However they ARE fun when your choices matter and they influence your opponents' choices.

I believe that's what's happening in Escalation - some of your choices have an even bigger ramification for your opponents than in the base game. Eminent Domain is now more interactive. I suppose players who prefer multiplayer solitaire will not like that.

Quote:
Peace Treaty and the associated planets force warfare to basically be ignored. Even "saving your cards for single large plays" dose not negate giving away 3 or 4 VPs. That is more than most planets are even worth.

Your comments assume that multiple Peace treaties will certainly be in play. That's not always the case. Peace Treaty is a level 1 tech, so it COULD come into play early - that's true. However, it does NOTHING if no player plays a Warfare role. On the other hand, Thorough Survey, Biosphere, and Freedom of Trade DO have effects which can be very attractive. So it's not obvious that multiple Peace Treaties will be in play in the early game (not to mention that the Warfare player could easily buy Thorough Survey himself, for example, keeping that copy of Peace Treaty out of play forever).

The planets with Peace Treaties are unlikely to come out right away, they are at best the 2nd planet flipped in most games, but usually they come in even later than that because they have no role symbols. Like the Peace Treaty tech, the Civilized planet ability does no good whatsoever UNLESS a player has heavily invested in Warfare, in which case the ability will EITHER score you a few points over the course of the game, OR it will make the Warfare player adjust his play, which may interfere with his plans a bit or slow him down.

That's not broken, it's simply inter-player interaction.

Quote:
There is just NO REASON to use warfare cards. It is always 100% better option to go a different rout and not be gimped by warfare.

This is just categorically untrue. There are many reasons to go the Warfare route, and many of the responders have listed them already. Ships are very strong and flexible.

Quote:
This is a good game, but this choice form the designer is just terrible. No one is perfect.

I'm glad you enjoy Eminent Domain, and it sounds like you may prefer the base game to Escalation. In that case it may be best to play without this particular expansion.

The next expansion (Exotica) may be more to your liking, as it doesn't have as much interaction in it. Exotica will add a planet type and associated tech stack, and Asteroids, which are like bad planets... unless you gear up for them and then they become good for you.

Quote:
A simple solution seams to be to remove the +1 Influence on Warfare planets form the game or just ignore their ability. A small tax of 1 influence form the tech is not a problem but still counts in the long run.

A simpler solution is to play without Escalation. As others have said, if you nerf Peace Treaty you will undoubtedly find Warfare to be the dominant role.

I wish you luck in your future games of Eminent Domain, and I hope you'll explore different strategies in Escalation, but if the expansion isn't to your liking then I won't be offended if you play without it until Exotica comes around
13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I tried the expansion for the first time this weekend. I'd played EmDo base game a few times and was underwhelmed. It was ok, but not great. A friend had been raving about the Escalation, said that it improved the base game (that he already liked). So we broke it out for a 3er with my aforementioned friend and another that had about my experience with EmDo.

I went military and won by two or three points over the player that had two Peace Treaties. I agree wholeheartedly that they are a deterrent to taking the Military role, but it was fun to find a "workaround" to minimize the damage.

I will be cracking the shrink on my Escalation....
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jonah Berlin

New York
msg tools
badge
Yes, we are friends.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:

" there are Improved Warfare cards, there are cards with Fighters on them, and players can store up Warfare cards in hand so that when they do call Warfare they get more Fighters at a time. "



In the couple war-focused games I've played, I've tried this method, but it moves too slowly, even using Science cards to purify my deck. Opponent beat me twice by trading, whereas I found it hard to exploit my Imperium role. If anything Peace Treaty should be more pricy, I think it's available too soon in the game. After all, negotiating with military powers is no easy process.

I feel the same way about Double Time, but I haven't tested the game enough to give a real tester's opinion. My opponent agreed that both cards seemed a bit strong for their price.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jonah G wrote:
Quote:

" there are Improved Warfare cards, there are cards with Fighters on them, and players can store up Warfare cards in hand so that when they do call Warfare they get more Fighters at a time. "



In the couple war-focused games I've played, I've tried this method, but it moves too slowly, even using Science cards to purify my deck. Opponent beat me twice by trading, whereas I found it hard to exploit my Imperium role. If anything Peace Treaty should be more pricy, I think it's available too soon in the game. After all, negotiating with military powers is no easy process.

I feel the same way about Double Time, but I haven't tested the game enough to give a real tester's opinion. My opponent agreed that both cards seemed a bit strong for their price.

Note that Double Time requires 2 planets of different types. As such, they're sort of "level 1.5" techs, they only cost 3 research, but they don't come into play until the mid-game when you have 2 planets. Also, if you have 2 planets that match, you can get the stronger Level 2 techs, while if you can get Double Time that means your planets don't match, and you can't (until you get a 3rd planet at least).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.