Curt Carpenter
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travvller wrote:
Neither of us were able to place many tiles and it was obvious that we weren't going to make it to the Northwest Passage.

The game is a race. Get a move on already!

travvller wrote:
All moves cost their stated cost regardless of it was the first, second or third action taken.

That's a disaster. It completely removes the delicate timing element of the game.
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Patrick C.
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travvller wrote:
Neither of us were able to place many tiles and it was obvious that we weren't going to make it to the Northwest Passage.

Quote:
The game is a race. Get a move on already!


That's why I keep losing!

If you read the comments for this game you'll see that many have found that 1)the 2p experience is lacking and 2)many have found that getting to the Northwest Passage actually can cause you to lose the game. As I said, my SO actually wins the game over and over by NOT treating it as a race. She basically hovers around Greenland by placing tiles with point generating tokens and making islands. This was something also mentioned as a negative in the comments posted about this game by other players - that basically you can win rather easily by not being aggressive, especially at 2p.

travvller wrote:
All moves cost their stated cost regardless of it was the first, second or third action taken.

Quote:
That's a disaster. It completely removes the delicate timing element of the game.


I was exploring the game and explaining the steps I'd taken so far. I wasn't suggesting it as a variant. I'm sorry I'm not the designer so I don't know the game inside and out. I needed to get a feel for how far the game could be stretched to make the 2p experience acceptable. It didn't work. I posted what I did so that other people wouldn't make the same mistake. So I discovered what was too far. Now I'm trying to pull it back and come up with ideas to get the game tighter while also more exciting for 2p.

This is the third or fourth time I've created a discussion on a game page about variants and how to improve the 2p experience on a game that most say is best with 3p or more. Every single time people try to negate my experience. I don't think anyone has ever posted something about validating the experience and joined me in making suggestions on how to make a game work better with 2p.

If the game is okay with you at 2p then great for you. It's not for me. I'm not an inexperienced gamer. I have my personal legitimate reasons for disliking the gameplay at 2p. If you have a suggestion regarding that matter then great. Otherwise, why bother? You're not going to convince me with your superior attitude to think otherwise.
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Curt Carpenter
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Sorry you were not amused by my lighthearted comment. I will leave you to resume your serious discussion. Carry on.
 
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travvller wrote:
This is a game I really wanted to love. I've had it in my wish list since 2010, probably longer than any game I've waited to be published. The final product is visually stunning. It's the essence of a antique worn leather.


My feelings and reaction to a T!

travvller wrote:
Sadly, I've found the 2p experience to be severely lacking.


Not at all my feelings and reaction! My first plays of ENP were two-player, and I had read similar comments as you had read, Patrick. I remember thinking after my plays, "Wow! If the much-maligned two-player game is so fabulous, I can only imagine how great three or four-player is!"

Well, I have not played it three-player, but I've played a lot of two and four-player games. My verdict: they're both equally great, but radically different in how one should strategize.

And now, the details:

travvller wrote:
Before I explain the variant I'll plain my problem with the game: It's too tight - not enough tiles get played and not enough exploration happens. It rewards caution and the games severely limiting. The first time I played [with] my SO...neither of us were able to place many tiles and it was obvious that we weren't going to make it to the Northwest Passage. In another game she stayed back and never went beyond the first region.


My experience (in two-player games) has been that if one player is hanging around close to Greenland, hoovering up tokens, the other player should be doing the very same thing...only much farther west!!! In such a situation, you have no one else competing with you in the west, so snag useful tiles, construct islands, grab valuable tokens (which will only be more valuable the farther west you go), and get to the NorthWest Passage. Your opponent will be doomed if she doesn't follow suit. I'm curious what you meant, Patrick, by "neither of us were able to place many tiles": how did that happen?

travvller wrote:
As for my SO winning all the games, I think it's because she's so conservative in her style. I push and want to explore and take risks. I feel like the game punishes that approach. While that might be more historically accurate, I don't feel it makes for interesting gameplay.


I think ones needs to be constantly pushing the envelope, yes; but the risks are always calculated. It's never a matter of "Let's see what's out there": you know what the tiles are you're going to be playing, and (obviously) one should be playing tiles that are going to score high points.
 
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travvller wrote:


If you read the comments for this game you'll see that many have found that 1)the 2p experience is lacking and 2)many have found that getting to the Northwest Passage actually can cause you to lose the game. As I said, my SO actually wins the game over and over by NOT treating it as a race. She basically hovers around Greenland by placing tiles with point generating tokens and making islands. This was something also mentioned as a negative in the comments posted about this game by other players - that basically you can win rather easily by not being aggressive, especially at 2p.


I could be wrong, but in my recollection of the comments about problems with two players, they were all speculation: "I think this wouldn't work well with two players." As I said, my experience has been contrary to that. In a multi-player game of ENP, one needs to (in essence) carve out one's own niche (focusing on one or two types of tokens, or making small islands, or getting to the Northwest Passage first or second, etc.), which leads to painful competition. In two-player, on the other mitt, you have to be doing what the other person is doing...but in a different area of the board. If the opponent is already in an area filled with Inuit, for example, you need to visit another area of the board and start laying Inuit tiles yourself, because the opponent has a head start in her neck of the archipelago. If you do this, and start making great westward leaps, this usually results in a race to the Northwest Passage...which may or may not be enough to win! There's no guarantees about that one. Simply racing to the Northwest Passage on its own without any other coherent strategy probably will sink you (pun intended).

travvller wrote:
This is the third or fourth time I've created a discussion on a game page about variants and how to improve the 2p experience on a game that most say is best with 3p or more. Every single time people try to negate my experience. I don't think anyone has ever posted something about validating the experience and joined me in making suggestions on how to make a game work better with 2p.


I can sympathize with your experiences, Patrick. The only reason I'm chiming in is due to my equally positive experiences with both two and four players.

As for Curt....well, he's like that! whistle
 
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Quote:
"neither of us were able to place many tiles": how did that happen?


I'm confused as to how it could not happen in a 2p game.

One action to draw the tile, two to place it, two move your ship to it. If a cairn or Inuit token is placed you can grab it. If it's a straight or Franklin you don't have enough actions left over. You have ten turns in total with up to seven action points per turn. All of this leads to probably, at most, a dozen tiles being placed during a whole 2p game. Fewer if you grab tokens, a couple more perhaps if both just run straight to the Northwest Passage. I haven't counted the number of tiles, but it's been a small amount. This is my biggest beef with the game. There aren't enough turns and enough actions available to place that many tiles. I find it extremely uninteresting to play a tile laying game in which, literally, 75% or more of the board remains barren and unplayed.

I see that a lot of people have complained about AP and that makes the game longer. Not so with us. Most of our turns have been fast. It's why my SO said, "Is that all there is?" when we finished our game. I read and reread the rules. Yup, that's all there was. Maybe ten tiles on the board. Neither of us made the passage.

I want the game to feel like a race. It doesn't. It feels like a puzzle at 2p for me. I figure the number of tiles played at 4p would double. That sounds interesting. I'd like to come up with a variant that makes it feel like what I suspect a 4p feels like. If that's not possible then I'll probably ditch the game since my chances of actually playing 4p are slim.

Quote:
As for Curt....well, he's like that!


Yes, I know. It's why I responded with hostility. I tire quickly of his judgmental comments.
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From the comments section:

asfhgwt: "The problem with this game is that you can win without getting anywhere near the NW Passage. Just keep to yourself, take and place tiles that come with bonus chits, then grab those chits, and also make complete islands for more VPs."

umbre: "2p game is a bit empty, more interesting with 3/4p."

futhee: "Here's my problem after my first play of the game: I got to the Northwest Passage and made my way back. Although I picked up only a few little exploration items along the way, I think I should have won. However, I wasn't even close! I was the only way to make it to the Passage and I got crushed! This makes no sense to me."

There are several other negative comments, but these are the ones that resonate with me.
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travvller wrote:
Quote:
"neither of us were able to place many tiles": how did that happen?


I'm confused as to how it could not happen in a 2p game.

One action to draw the tile, two to place it, two move your ship to it. If a cairn or Inuit token is placed you can grab it. If it's a straight or Franklin you don't have enough actions left over. You have ten turns in total with up to seven action points per turn. All of this leads to probably, at most, a dozen tiles being placed during a whole 2p game. Fewer if you grab tokens, a couple more perhaps if both just run straight to the Northwest Passage.


OK, now I'm REALLY confused! You said: "One action to draw the tile, two to place it, two move your ship to it." It's one action to draw a tile, ONE action to place it, ONE action to move your ship onto it. The only reason it would cost you more would be if you were to do two actions in a row.

Admittedly, in a two-player game, the game is going to end with large sections of the board unfilled. But a mere dozen tiles? I haven't seen that! And 75% of the board unfilled? Maybe in a worst case scenario, it might be 60%...but I more typically see a two-player game end in 60% of the board filled!

As I said, I am confused!
 
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travvller wrote:
From the comments section:

asfhgwt: "The problem with this game is that you can win without getting anywhere near the NW Passage. Just keep to yourself, take and place tiles that come with bonus chits, then grab those chits, and also make complete islands for more VPs."


Sure: but if I just let you grab stuff without giving you a run for your money (by sticking close to you in a multi-player game, or getting tiles with the same kind of stuff you're going after in a two-player game), then I am definitely playing poorly.


travvller wrote:
futhee: "Here's my problem after my first play of the game: I got to the Northwest Passage and made my way back. Although I picked up only a few little exploration items along the way, I think I should have won. However, I wasn't even close! I was the only way to make it to the Passage and I got crushed! This makes no sense to me."


The reason he was crushed was he was under the impression that getting to the NWP wins you the game; but it's not. Getting to the NWP is the single biggest VP grabber; but every one else would really have to be playing pathetically to lose to a player who's going after the NWP alone. This is very much a game with multiple paths to victory. I mean, being the player finding the most wreckage of the Franklin expedition scores you almost as much as being first to the NWP in a four-player game; and it ties with first to the NWP in a three-player game!
 
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We love the 2 player and it is truly different every time. We have no problem making it to the NW passage but don't always choose to.
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Hi Patrick,

Please correct me if I'm mistaken, but my understanding from reading your description is that you are both consistently taking multiple actions in a single turn, and therefore are only take 3 actions or do each round before passing. If that is the case, let me suggest that you let your partner do this, while you do the following instead:

- take a single action each turn;
- take actions that will not benefit your opponent earlier in the round then, when she has passed, take actions (such as placing a tile with a symbol on it, or that closes off a landmass) that they are helpless to capitalize on;
- enjoy the 3-7 actions you will get each round while your opponent fumes.

The game is a race, but it is also one where you have to trade off between expediency (doing a few things in succession at greater individual cost) and efficiency (doing many things slowly at a lower individual cost). You and your opponent both must either sacrifice initiative or actions - if you sacrifice initiative, you will have enough actions to wallpaper the board. It sounds like you have both been sacrificing actions, with little benefit to you.
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Yves Tourigny wrote:


Please correct me if I'm mistaken, but my understanding from reading your description is that you are both consistently taking multiple actions in a single turn, and therefore are only take 3 actions or do each round before passing.


Yes! THAT'S it! Yves, I love your game (it's currently #4 on my Top Ten!), but one major flaw is how the rules (in English, anyways) don't clearly explain what a "round" is and what a "turn" is. If your assessment of Patrick's problem here is correct, then I was under the same misimpression before I played my first game. I thought each player did all of the actions they wanted to do in a round, and then the next player did all of his, and then etc. But in reality, each round is made up a maximum of seven turns for each player, depending on how many actions each player chooses to use on any given turn in that round.

But why should I go on babbling like this? I found this thread to be EXTREMELY useful in understanding how things work!
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amacleod wrote:
...one major flaw is how the rules (in English, anyways) don't clearly explain what a "round" is and what a "turn" is.

Did the rules change? My English rules seem pretty clear:
"The game is divided into ten Exploration rounds, and each Exploration round corresponds to one Game round.
A Game round is composed of:
– One Action Phase, in which all of the players will take all of their actions.
– End of the round, in which the Solar disc is moved and the next round is prepared.
...
The Action phase takes place through several turns. Following turn order, each player executes one or more actions. Once all of the players have played, a new turn starts, and this
continues until ALL players have Passed."
Other than using both "game round" and "exploration round" for the same thing, is there some other confusion? I'm just curious.
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curtc wrote:
amacleod wrote:
...one major flaw is how the rules (in English, anyways) don't clearly explain what a "round" is and what a "turn" is.

Did the rules change? My English rules seem pretty clear:
"The game is divided into ten Exploration rounds, and each Exploration round corresponds to one Game round.
A Game round is composed of:
– One Action Phase, in which all of the players will take all of their actions.
– End of the round, in which the Solar disc is moved and the next round is prepared.
...
The Action phase takes place through several turns. Following turn order, each player executes one or more actions. Once all of the players have played, a new turn starts, and this
continues until ALL players have Passed."
Other than using both "game round" and "exploration round" for the same thing, is there some other confusion? I'm just curious.


If you read the rules with great care, it will be clear what is meant; but using two different terms for the same thing was an error in clarity. It could have been worded with greater precision so no one would be confused.

"Turn" and "Round" are also problematic, since it's so easy to confuse the two terms. Is Turn the greater or the lesser?

"One Action Phase, in which all of the players will take all of their actions" is going to cause problems because of the use of the word "all". "OK, so on my turn, there's an Action Phase where I have to take all my actions; and then I pass. Then the next player has his Action Phase." Oh, yeah: that's looking for trouble.

Plus, in the two sections you quoted, Curt, there is over half a page of text and illustrations between those two sections. It's easy for a person to get confused simply because of the dislocation.

Oh yes: the rules make sense as translated; but one would have to be reading with great attention to detail in order to comprehend them fully, and (alas) most people don't read with absolute strict attention to detail most of the time. Hence the reason for the rules forums at the Geek being filled with questions!
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amacleod wrote:
Plus, in the two sections you quoted, Curt, there is over half a page of text and illustrations between those two sections. It's easy for a person to get confused simply because of the dislocation.

Yeah, I think you're right about that one.
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What confuses me, is why so many, think this is so fun (I don't need or want to hear any more why you think it is). I'm really waiting for a set of P & P tiles and a variant to use them. Who am I kidding? It's for sale.
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