Carl Bussema
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Lansing
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The rules claim you can normally just do everything simultaneously, but realistically, that doesn't seem possible when Ambassadors are in play.

Here's a sample scenario:

Everyone flips. To try speeding things up, we all quickly announce what we think we're doing, so we know if there's any conflicts that require the timing rules.

Player 1 (current most VP): "Recruiting"
Player 2 (currently 2nd most VP): "Building"
Player 3: "Depends on if player 1 takes the ambassador I want."

So now Player 1 actually takes his ambassador, everyone stops and reads the new one (it would take a LOT of plays before you could just quickly say the name of the ambassador and maybe a quick summary), and suddenly Player 2 is like "well wait a minute, that's like a billion points for me, I want to recruit that one." So Player 2 changes (he's allowed to as far as we can tell, the rules say he doesn't have to commit to something until Player 1 is done). Now player 3 doesn't see an ambassador he wants and just discards for money instead.

This was happening almost every turn in the one 4p game of this that I tried with ambassadors. While the ambassador abilities were really cool and added an interesting decision to the game, they complete ruined the pacing of the game.

Anyone got a way around this? What are other groups doing to keep things going? We contemplated a house rule that you are locked into your choice after the reveal, but that just seems to punish people who don't have as many VPs and can neither get first crack at the ambassadors who are currently up nor react to a new one being revealed.
 
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Aditya C
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The rules mention that you reveal your actions simultaneously and the effects take place in order of victory points. If you are taking an ambassador you have to discard as part of your declaration so you can't randomly switch actions.
 
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Carl Bussema
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Ambassador rules, page 5, emphasis mine:

"First, all players select a card from their hand and pass the rest to the next player.
Second, all selected cards are revealed simultaneously. The player who currently has the most VP announces which action they’re taking."

You have to select which card you're using, but you could change between building it / discarding it to invite / discard to take money / discard to get power plant at the moment that it becomes "your turn."
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Aditya C
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So how is it impacting the pacing that much. You literally have to choose between two cards.
 
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Carl Bussema
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Because you have to stop and read and understand the new card, and many of the ambassadors take a second read to understand. If you're a visual learner, I probably have to pass the card to you, can't just read it aloud for everyone. Multiplied by 3 players doing this almost every turn and the game takes a lot longer.
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David Brock
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I believe the problem is that there is a slight misruling here. If i remember correctly, you only put out new ambassadors at the end of each year.

This means you'll have to go through all 3, but only 4 times a game. Should solve the delay problem.

Admittedly this doesn't resolve the timing issue and "locked in" choices, but that depends on how much your gaming group take this into account.
 
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Panagiotis Zinoviadis
Greece
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During the playtest, this was the rule that we used. However, as we developed and tested more interactive ambassadors (mainly Nyxtos and Garrn, situations (especially with energy costs) came up that although you had the money or energy to play the location when you chose your action, an ambassador effect played by another player made you either poorer or stole some of your energy, so you could not play your location any more.

THAT IS THE REASON that the ability of the ambassadors take effect after all the players have spent their money and energy to play their locations.

HOWEVER, there is still the scenario that you wanted to invite a specific ambassador with cost let's say 0 and someone else grabbed him before you. And then all the other ambassadors have cost >0 and you have no credits. What do you do?

That is why there is a window of opportunity for you to decide your action when this happens.

If you feel that the game takes too long for your group because you have to read each new ambassador, then feel free to use whatever rule you like. You can say that the players announce their actions simultaneously (that is after all the idea of the game).

BE CAREFUL HOWEVER, to enforce a special rule that when a player ends with no valid action due to the scenario described above, then he can change his action.

Most of the times players do not change their actions when they decide to build a location because they really want that location. Most changes occur when you do not have anything good to play and you just discard for credits for future use.

Play the game, enjoy the game.

I hope that i was helpful.

Cheers!


Edit: Sorry for the caps but I was writing from a tablet and it was the only easy way to emphasize instead of bold or something.
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Panagiotis Zinoviadis
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Halos wrote:
I believe the problem is that there is a slight misruling here. If i remember correctly, you only put out new ambassadors at the end of each year.

This means you'll have to go through all 3, but only 4 times a game. Should solve the delay problem.

Admittedly this doesn't resolve the timing issue and "locked in" choices, but that depends on how much your gaming group take this into account.


There are always 3 ambassadors open for the taking. Otherwise the limit enforced by the limited number of bureaus, would not have much meaning since in a 4 player game there would be 12 ambassadors for 20 "empty" slots.

Play the game. Enjoy the game.

Cheers!
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Contig the fallen
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InfoCynic wrote:
Because you have to stop and read and understand the new card, and many of the ambassadors take a second read to understand. If you're a visual learner, I probably have to pass the card to you, can't just read it aloud for everyone. Multiplied by 3 players doing this almost every turn and the game takes a lot longer.


This has been my experience. What do people think about simply dealing out 2 more ambasssadors than the number of players each year, and not refreshing them during the year? Then the ambassador field won't be changing (and players that want the better ambassadors will have to take them early).
 
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David Jones
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InfoCynic wrote:
This was happening almost every turn in the one 4p game of this that I tried with ambassadors.

I think the fact that this was your first game, and I assume everyone's first game, with ambassadors might be the key. A lot of the ambassadors are useful, but very few of them actually score points. When you play with them the first time around, its easy to get distracted by the shiny new toys. But once you see how the ambassadors work and you weigh them against actually scoring points from a building or getting some money, you start to realize that they aren't always as good as they seem. I think I've played four games with ambassadors now and our recruiting has gone down by about a third from the first time we played. The problem you describe doesn't completely go away, but it does start to temper itself.

To be clear though, I love the ambassadors expansion and I don't mean to imply that they are useless. Every decision in this game is question of opportunity cost. The value of an ambassador often depends on what is in your hand. Sometimes ambassadors are better than buildings, sometimes not. Its just that, as mentioned above, when everything is new you don't know how to make that evaluation properly and you gravitate towards the new and interesting. Once you can evaluate them properly, their value goes down a bit. Do ambassadors still slow down the game? Yes. But considering I can teach, setup, play, and breakdown the game in under 90 minutes (even with ambassadors) I don't really see it as an inconvenience. We spend far more time choosing cards than we do switching actions because ambassadors shuffle mid-turn.
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Carl Bussema
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Sure, but remember, every player at the table needs to know what every ambassador does to be able to correctly weigh recruiting vs. building.

Now until everyone at the table has played multiple times, that's going to be a lengthy process, especially with the changing pool.

I like the idea of floating a pool of N+2 or something and not drawing new ones until end of turn. That should help a bit. Unless it backfires and just adds AP time as now people have to consider 6 ambassadors.
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