Kris Rhodes
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I love Tzolkin. It's right up there with Troyes as one of my absolute favorite games.

Having read the rules for the expansion, though, I fear that while it adds a lot of complexity and variety, it doesn't add much depth. None, really.

What do others think, though?

I guess by the distinction between complexity and depth, I mean this. Adding complexity is adding dimensions along which players can make meaningful decisions. So for example, the tribe powers add complexity because now the players have more options per turn, and those options, of course, make a difference. They have to be able to think about a greater number of possibilities. That's complexity.

What I mean by "depth" is a little harder to describe. But think of Scoundrels of Skullport. The corruption mechanic adds complexity, but also adds, not just increased things to think about, but a whole new level at which I have to evaluate the game state. I need to be able to evaluate it much as I would a pre-expansion instance of the game, but from there I have to go further ("deeper") and evaluate the board with corruption in mind. The presence of corruption, in other words, systematically changes the way I should value different areas of the board.

How about chess as an example. Adding more pawns would add complexity, but no depth. Complexity because I have more possible decisions to take into account. No added depth because, well, basically I can still think of it just like a _Chess_ position. I can evaluate the board just as I would if I were just playing Chess.

That doesn't carry over exactly to Tzolkin, but the basic idea is the same. Adding the expansion doesn't make me think about the game any differntly. A power that lets me play a space one level above where my worker is, for example, doesn't make me look at the board fundamentally differently. I just have an extra space to play with. (Kind of like having extra pawns to play with.)

Plus and, the sheer variety of tribal powers seems to break the pleasing systematicity of the game. Again, that's complexity without depth--depth is systematic, whereas variety without depth is mere complexity.

Well anyway, maybe some of that made sense. Am I wrong about what the expansion is like? Or right about what it's like but wrong about whether that is likely to make it less enjoyable? Or something else? Or what?
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Dave Eisen
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You might consider the prophecies as additional depth. It another way to score a significant chunk of points and there are real questions about how much to focus on that as opposed to the existing engine growth, skull points, buildings, and temples.

The other new features might or might not be interesting, or just useful in the ability to play when you have 5 players, but I agree with your concern about them from a depth perspective.

But the prophecies do change the game in an interesting way.
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Darin Lea
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I do not disagree with your assessment, but neither do I consider it to be a bad thing. Most expansions do not change fundamental gameplay, but rather add more options and variety; a difference between tactical opportunities and strategic depth, I suppose.

Without arguing semantics, I feel that Tzolk'in: Trives & Prophecies does add additional depth to the game, but not to a game-changing, awe-inspiring degree. I certainly do not consider it a "must have" implementation, unlike, say, Pandemic: In the Lab, which I wouldn't even consider playing Pandemic without.

I do like the tactical variety imposed by the various tribes, and they do force me to consider my strategy (depth) in coordination with my tribal ability (or choose to ignore it and put myself at a disadvantage).

The extra buildings and starting tiles merely add variety.

The prophecies tract does add a new dimension to the overall game, and I believe its presence does require one to approach their strategy with additional depth of concern.

Finally, the quick action tiles add a certain "now or never" factor to your decision making, which I rather like.
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Matt Connellan
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I will also agree that the tribes do not add anything particularly exciting to the game depthwise, but the prophecies do. You have to take into account all of the prophecies at the beginning of the game and factor in how you will work them into whatever strategy you're planning, while also realizing the other people will be doing that as well.
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David Larkin
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Pintsizepete wrote:
I will also agree that the tribes do not add anything particularly exciting to the game depthwise, but the prophecies do. You have to take into account all of the prophecies at the beginning of the game and factor in how you will work them into whatever strategy you're planning, while also realizing the other people will be doing that as well.


I agree the prophecies alter the balance between strategies from game to game which for me makes the game more interesting
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Bryan Thunkd
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Pintsizepete wrote:
I will also agree that the tribes do not add anything particularly exciting to the game depthwise, but the prophecies do.
I disagree that the tribes don't add anything to the game depthwise. Getting one tribe over another can completely change your strategy and how you play the game. Quite often maximizing the value of your tribe requires you to play in a particular way. The interaction of tribes and prophecies and monuments/buildings can be quite intricate and require careful navigation to come up with the best approach. My only quibble with the tribes is that some are fairly obvious how to play while others are a little more difficult to play well.
 
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Matt Connellan
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Thunkd wrote:
Pintsizepete wrote:
I will also agree that the tribes do not add anything particularly exciting to the game depthwise, but the prophecies do.
I disagree that the tribes don't add anything to the game depthwise. Getting one tribe over another can completely change your strategy and how you play the game. Quite often maximizing the value of your tribe requires you to play in a particular way. The interaction of tribes and prophecies and monuments/buildings can be quite intricate and require careful navigation to come up with the best approach. My only quibble with the tribes is that some are fairly obvious how to play while others are a little more difficult to play well.


Tribes of course change how you play, but I don't think that it expands the "decision tree" (as some people like to call it) at all, it just makes playing different ways benefit more. I mean, when you play the person who lets you put two workers on and take one off, you just do that as much as you can to gain benefits! It requires thinking about it a different way, but not with any greater depth. You're just placing workers by different rules than everybody else.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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Pintsizepete wrote:
Tribes of course change how you play, but I don't think that it expands the "decision tree" (as some people like to call it) at all, it just makes playing different ways benefit more. I mean, when you play the person who lets you put two workers on and take one off, you just do that as much as you can to gain benefits! It requires thinking about it a different way, but not with any greater depth. You're just placing workers by different rules than everybody else.
I never claimed it expanded the decision tree... in fact I think expanding the decision tree would tend to be adding complexity over depth. But knowing how to effectively use the tribes ability, and then factoring in how that changes your play does add depth. For example, the tribe that lets you pick up one worker after placing two other workers on the gears requires a little thought. It changes the timing of the game for you. You can place your last two workers on gears and still manage to be able to place the following turn, while someone else in the same situation would have to pick-up in the next turn. And if your opponents are the one who can skip a designated spot on a gear every turn and the one who can execute an action one space ahead of where he is on the gear every turn, then you need to take all that into account when trying to figure out what your opponents might do and what you might do and how those interact. The mere fact that the rules differ for all the players means that you have to think about the situation more than you would when all the players are playing by the same set of rules. That asymmetrical nature of the player powers does add depth to the game.
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Matt Connellan
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Thunkd wrote:
Pintsizepete wrote:
Tribes of course change how you play, but I don't think that it expands the "decision tree" (as some people like to call it) at all, it just makes playing different ways benefit more. I mean, when you play the person who lets you put two workers on and take one off, you just do that as much as you can to gain benefits! It requires thinking about it a different way, but not with any greater depth. You're just placing workers by different rules than everybody else.
I never claimed it expanded the decision tree... in fact I think expanding the decision tree would tend to be adding complexity over depth. But knowing how to effectively use the tribes ability, and then factoring in how that changes your play does add depth. For example, the tribe that lets you pick up one worker after placing two other workers on the gears requires a little thought. It changes the timing of the game for you. You can place your last two workers on gears and still manage to be able to place the following turn, while someone else in the same situation would have to pick-up in the next turn. And if your opponents are the one who can skip a designated spot on a gear every turn and the one who can execute an action one space ahead of where he is on the gear every turn, then you need to take all that into account when trying to figure out what your opponents might do and what you might do and how those interact. The mere fact that the rules differ for all the players means that you have to think about the situation more than you would when all the players are playing by the same set of rules. That asymmetrical nature of the player powers does add depth to the game.


We both see what the other person is saying so I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.
 
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