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Subject: Sacagawea OP? rss

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Steve G.
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I was listening to a new podcast on the Dice Tower network, Board Gamers Anonymous. The cast insisted that Sacagawea's special power broke the game and allowed one player to hoard most of the canoes.

Haven't played the game yet. Can anyone attest to the accuracy of their assessment?
 
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brian
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steveg700 wrote:
I was listening to a new podcast on the Dice Tower network, Board Gamers Anonymous. The cast insisted that Sacagawea's special power broke the game and allowed one player to hoard most of the canoes.

Haven't played the game yet. Can anyone attest to the accuracy of their assessment?

I am not sure how to reconcile what you are saying. Sacagawea let's you use any one space on the board. The Canoe space is unlimited already so it really isn't useful to take this action (unless you mean the Boats which is something else entirely).

You still need to pay for whichever of the two you mean and if you mean Canoes, then you also have to store them somewhere.
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Ken Dilloo
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Very powerful, not OP.

OK, on to the next OP very powerful card thread......
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Dan Williams
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After our first play, we pulled Sac. The guy who got her showed us her 6-8 card deck(max) and how it could do so much every cycle. This was with no foreknowledge of the debate/discussion of possible OP.

But that was that situation. Maybe a regular group would know to focus on it, adapt, and so on. We just wanted to enjoy the game on a lower level.

 
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Dan Blum
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
steveg700 wrote:
I was listening to a new podcast on the Dice Tower network, Board Gamers Anonymous. The cast insisted that Sacagawea's special power broke the game and allowed one player to hoard most of the canoes.

Haven't played the game yet. Can anyone attest to the accuracy of their assessment?

I am not sure how to reconcile what you are saying. Sacagawea let's you use any one space on the board. The Canoe space is unlimited already so it really isn't useful to take this action (unless you mean the Boats which is something else entirely).


It's more efficient to use Sacagawea since you don't lose Indians as you would if you just put them on the Canoe space. However, that is in my opinion not a huge efficiency gain, and I agree that Sacagawea is not overpowered (certainly not to a game-breaking extent).

I also note that even if she DID allow you to hoard all the canoes easily, there are plenty of cards that allow you to move on the river without canoes.

TL,DR: Board Gamers Anonymous is full of it.
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brian
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tool wrote:
It's more efficient to use Sacagawea since you don't lose Indians as you would if you just put them on the Canoe space. However, that is in my opinion not a huge efficiency gain, and I agree that Sacagawea is not overpowered (certainly not to a game-breaking extent).

True, unless you are using Indians to power her instead of another card.

Quote:
I also note that even if she DID allow you to hoard all the canoes easily, there are plenty of cards that allow you to move on the river without canoes.

Aren't resources unlimited? Tried looking for it quickly in the rules and didn't see so maybe it was clarified in a thread.
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
tool wrote:
It's more efficient to use Sacagawea since you don't lose Indians as you would if you just put them on the Canoe space. However, that is in my opinion not a huge efficiency gain, and I agree that Sacagawea is not overpowered (certainly not to a game-breaking extent).

True, unless you are using Indians to power her instead of another card.

Quote:
I also note that even if she DID allow you to hoard all the canoes easily, there are plenty of cards that allow you to move on the river without canoes.

Aren't resources unlimited? Tried looking for it quickly in the rules and didn't see so maybe it was clarified in a thread.

It's possible that there was a textual change in the rules between printings/editions, but in mine, it has the following on page 2, in italics under the 8 Resource Multiplication Markers section:

"Resources will not run out during the game. Multiplication Markers allow you to compensate for a potential shortage of resource hexagons."

While it doesn't outright say the word "unlimited", it implies that
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Brandon H
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
Aren't resources unlimited? Tried looking for it quickly in the rules and didn't see so maybe it was clarified in a thread.

It's on page two:
Quote:
Resources will not run out during the game. Multiplication
Markers allow you to compensate for a potential shortage of
resource hexagons.

So hoarding canoes is impossible.

Assuming the OP meant the boat tiles, that might be possible. With the right hand, you could snap up a lot of boats. You'd have to get your wood without Sacagawea, or camp between using her to get wood and trading it for boats. Don't forget that you can't use any resources you collect using Sacagawea on the same turn.

And while you're giving yourself a massive holding area, you're not advancing yourself during all those turns.
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Dan Blum
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
tool wrote:
It's more efficient to use Sacagawea since you don't lose Indians as you would if you just put them on the Canoe space. However, that is in my opinion not a huge efficiency gain, and I agree that Sacagawea is not overpowered (certainly not to a game-breaking extent).

True, unless you are using Indians to power her instead of another card.


You keep Indians used to power a card, though.

Quote:
Quote:
I also note that even if she DID allow you to hoard all the canoes easily, there are plenty of cards that allow you to move on the river without canoes.

Aren't resources unlimited? Tried looking for it quickly in the rules and didn't see so maybe it was clarified in a thread.


Yeah, that's an excellent point.
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brian
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tool wrote:
ColtsFan76 wrote:
tool wrote:
It's more efficient to use Sacagawea since you don't lose Indians as you would if you just put them on the Canoe space. However, that is in my opinion not a huge efficiency gain, and I agree that Sacagawea is not overpowered (certainly not to a game-breaking extent).

True, unless you are using Indians to power her instead of another card.


You keep Indians used to power a card, though.

Which you then have to load into boats and pay for in days most likely.

We are on the same side of the argument on this one, the cost difference is negligible and not game breaking.
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Matthias Pseudonym
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CSerpent wrote:
ColtsFan76 wrote:
Aren't resources unlimited? Tried looking for it quickly in the rules and didn't see so maybe it was clarified in a thread.

It's on page two:
Quote:
Resources will not run out during the game. Multiplication
Markers allow you to compensate for a potential shortage of
resource hexagons.

So hoarding canoes is impossible.

Assuming the OP meant the boat tiles, that might be possible. With the right hand, you could snap up a lot of boats. You'd have to get your wood without Sacagawea, or camp between using her to get wood and trading it for boats. Don't forget that you can't use any resources you collect using Sacagawea on the same turn.

And while you're giving yourself a massive holding area, you're not advancing yourself during all those turns.


I'm very sure the podcasters meant boats instead of canoes, referring to them as the only resources that are limited.

Anyway, while Sacagawea can fuel a lot of strategies and is pretty much the most versatile card in the gamem if you don't get any good mountain movement cards, she won't save you from losing.
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Steve G.
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If you want to hear exactly what the BGA comments are, go here: http://boardgamersanonymous.com/episode-28-lewis-clark-the-e...

It's at 57 minutes.

"So, quite unlike the real adventures of Lewis & Clark, if you want to play this game smoothly and successfully, you have to kill Sacagawea!"

"Folks, Daniel broke the game!"

"Sacagawea is just waaay too powerful. She lets you use worker placement places without placing workers there, and you can use them multiple times per round if you give multiple resources to her to do so. And this allowed me to, I think, by turn two to own almost every canoe, and there are a limited number of canoes which allow you to hold additional Indians."
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Brandon H
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I listened to the podcast this afternoon. In many ways, it's a very well done review. However, they clearly had some rules wrong. They said resource collecting accounts for all cards in play and gave an example using four players (54:15) -- not correct, it's only adjacent players and yourself. There was another resource rule they described incorrectly but I forget what it was.. I remembered: they said you have to take all of a resource available when you collect, which you don't (55:57).

And all that said, I don't know how they could have the rules wrong enough to get, as they said, almost all of the boats by the second turn. It's very unlikely to even be able to get a three power card by the beginning of the second turn, much less power it to three and have the three resources to use her, plus nine wood. And after all that, you could only get three of the boats. A great move, but no way could you pull it off that quickly. So I have to question what they were doing.

Yes, she's powerful. The 3 power cards generally are. She's not overpowered.
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steveg700 wrote:

. And this allowed me to, I think, by turn two to own almost every canoe, and there are a limited number of canoes which allow you to hold additional Indians."


So they meant the boats, not the canoes.
Anyway that is simply impossible. And even it was: It not such a big advantage to own most of the indian boats. You don't need any of them to win the game with most strategies. All you need usually is one resource boat.

So those guys played the rules wrong, and the Sagaceawa guy played a bad strategy, though the other guys obviously an even worse one.
One shouldn't make reviews about games one hasn't understood.

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Brandon H
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actaion wrote:
steveg700 wrote:

. And this allowed me to, I think, by turn two to own almost every canoe, and there are a limited number of canoes which allow you to hold additional Indians."


So they meant the boats, not the canoes.
Anyway that is simply impossible. And even it was: It not such a big advantage to own most of the indian boats. You don't need any of them to win the game with most strategies. All you need usually is one resource boat.

So those guys played the rules wrong, and the Sagaceawa guy played a bad strategy, though the other guys obviously an even worse one.
One shouldn't make reviews about games one hasn't understood.


It's true that that many aren't useful BUT it keeps them out of everyone else's hands. The question is, is that worth the turns you have to spend hoarding them?
 
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Steve G.
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I went over to the BGA guild and informed of this thread. Let's see if there's a response.
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Brandon H
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steveg700 wrote:
I went over to the BGA guild and informed of this thread. Let's see if there's a response.

Cool, I would be interested in hearing what the actual play was.
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Daniel Weissglass
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Hey all, I'm Daniel from BGA (aka Sacagawea guy). Thanks for the thoughtful discussion of our podcast, and thanks (Steveg700 in particular) for bringing the discussion to our attention.

First, I was being sloppy in my use of the word 'canoes'. As several of you have already determined, I was referring to the boat tiles that can carry the Indian meeples. The initial confusion of the first few posts is totally on me, my apologies.

Second, we did misread some of the rules. Thanks so much for the pointers, CSerpent. That sort of feedback is extremely valuable to us. We are going to try and schedule another play through with the corrected rules. Since right now BGA is not a money-making endeavor, all of our BGA activities are done in what free time we have. This means that most of us are learning several new games a week in the narrow spaces around full time jobs, family obligations, etc. Unsurprisingly, this means we make a mistake every now and then. In this case, Anthony was the host - and was trying to power through several rule books on the flight back from an out of town business meeting, while on some cold medicine that made him a bit drowsy. Not an excuse for the error by any means, but that is the reason for it.

Third, all that aside, I still think Sacagawea is overpowered. The full argument would take a ton of space, and this post is already threatening to become a mighty wall o' text, but (largely in response to your extremely helpful comments here) I am going to write up a full discussion over at the BGA blog. The post date should be Thursday, and I will walk through my boat-hoarding strategy, as well as more general issues with the card (I think Sacagawea is OP, regardless of your preferred strategy).

I'll post here as soon as the post goes up on boardgamersanonymous.com. I've also subscribed to this thread, so I'll be around to chat. We really appreciate that you guys took the time to listen, and doubly appreciate that you are taking the time to discuss what we said. Clearly, everything we say is up for debate, and this sort of discussion with fellow gamers is what we are all about. Thanks again for listening to and discussing (i.e., correcting) us. We look forward to continuing this exchange of ideas as we move forward.

~Daniel

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Brandon H
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DanielatBGA wrote:
Hey all, I'm Daniel from BGA (aka Sacagawea guy). Thanks for the thoughtful discussion of our podcast, and thanks (Steveg700 in particular) for bringing the discussion to our attention.

First, I was being sloppy in my use of the word 'canoes'. As several of you have already determined, I was referring to the boat tiles that can carry the Indian meeples. The initial confusion of the first few posts is totally on me, my apologies.

Second, we did misread some of the rules. Thanks so much for the pointers, CSerpent. That sort of feedback is extremely valuable to us. We are going to try and schedule another play through with the corrected rules. Since right now BGA is not a money-making endeavor, all of our BGA activities are done in what free time we have. This means that most of us are learning several new games a week in the narrow spaces around full time jobs, family obligations, etc. Unsurprisingly, this means we make a mistake every now and then. In this case, Anthony was the host - and was trying to power through several rule books on the flight back from an out of town business meeting, while on some cold medicine that made him a bit drowsy. Not an excuse for the error by any means, but that is the reason for it.

Third, all that aside, I still think Sacagawea is overpowered. The full argument would take a ton of space, and this post is already threatening to become a mighty wall o' text, but (largely in response to your extremely helpful comments here) I am going to write up a full discussion over at the BGA blog. The post date should be Thursday, and I will walk through my boat-hoarding strategy, as well as more general issues with the card (I think Sacagawea is OP, regardless of your preferred strategy).

I'll post here as soon as the post goes up on boardgamersanonymous.com. I've also subscribed to this thread, so I'll be around to chat. We really appreciate that you guys took the time to listen, and doubly appreciate that you are taking the time to discuss what we said. Clearly, everything we say is up for debate, and this sort of discussion with fellow gamers is what we are all about. Thanks again for listening to and discussing (i.e., correcting) us. We look forward to continuing this exchange of ideas as we move forward.

~Daniel


Thanks for responding, Daniel. This was the first BGA I've listened to, and I enjoyed it. I'll be listening to more. And I look forward to your boat-hoarding post. It does seem like a pretty nasty strategy if you can pull it off.

For what it's worth, when reread the rules before posting in this thread, I found that I had been missing the rule about getting two resources/1 Indian when you buy a boat. Doh!
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brian
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DanielatBGA wrote:
Third, all that aside, I still think Sacagawea is overpowered. The full argument would take a ton of space, and this post is already threatening to become a mighty wall o' text, but (largely in response to your extremely helpful comments here) I am going to write up a full discussion over at the BGA blog. The post date should be Thursday, and I will walk through my boat-hoarding strategy, as well as more general issues with the card (I think Sacagawea is OP, regardless of your preferred strategy).

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I am still suspicious of your findings though. It sounds like you guys had one play through, played wrong, and think you have an unbeatable strategy. That just doesn't seem like a formula for a valid statement (regardless of opinion).

But I would be curious if your theory holds up with correct rules and giving people a chance to counter it. Boats are very useful but if I thought you were going to use this against me, either grab a couple while you try to hoard them all (as it will take you several turns to corner the market) or find work arounds to it.
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Daniel Weissglass
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We made the same mistake for the first few rounds too, CSerpent. That actually mangled my initial strategy. That fact is actually part of what makes the boat-rush strategy so powerful.

ColtsFan76 wrote:

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I am still suspicious of your findings though. It sounds like you guys had one play through, played wrong, and think you have an unbeatable strategy. That just doesn't seem like a formula for a valid statement (regardless of opinion).

But I would be curious if your theory holds up with correct rules and giving people a chance to counter it. Boats are very useful but if I thought you were going to use this against me, either grab a couple while you try to hoard them all (as it will take you several turns to corner the market) or find work arounds to it.


Thanks for the comments, ColtsFan76, and I think you are totally right to be suspicious of the idea that boat-rush with Sacagawea is unbeatable, but that isn't quite what I am arguing. 'Unbeatable' strategies are extremely rare, even in the most poorly balanced games. It is more about 'unbalanced' than 'unbeatable'. If we used that word in the podcast, our apologies for the hyperbole.

I'm not even particularly concerned with the individual strategy. It is just one of many strategies that take advantage of Sacagawea to disrupt game balance. The core issue is that Sacagawea gives too much and takes too little, but I'll talk about this at greater length in the article.

While I don't think the errors we made will change this much, I am going to do my best to get the team together for another play through to give a more proper test. I'm not going to be happy if our only play-through of this game is by bad rules. I'll make sure to test the boat-rush in our next play through to let you know how things turn out with that particular strategy.

I do think you open up an interesting question on top of whether Sacagawea is overpowered: what are the best counters to the boat-rush strategy? Given how thoughtful the comments have been here, I'd bet we can come up with some nifty wrenches to throw into the works. I think you've given us two general approaches - snag a few boats before they are gone, or totally ignore the boats and go for something lower competition - that both have some promise. I wonder what other strategies people suggest to deal with the boat rush, and if we can make the two given suggestions more precise (snag two resource boats, etc.)?

Thanks so much to all of you for sharing your thoughts with us!
~Daniel
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brian
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Thanks Daniel for your further comments. I am not sure what term was used but just read the transcript of "Broke the game" and "waaay too powerful."

It was further said that one could hoard all the boats by turn two. There are 12 boats. Sacagawea can only be used 3 times max per turn. So even if you used both Boat spaces for 2 boats (and needing 6 wood) and then got Sacagawea for 3 more, you would still need help from the Shamanism spot (or the character that has the same action) to even get to 6 boats taken. And then you need to be able to repeat this miraculous sequence of events a second time right away.

I just don't see how this is possible and so I am concerned there were more rules played wrong for it to even get to this point. Straight up using Sacagawewa for 3 every turn would take 4 turns before your got them all and that if you are setting up camp every turn.

And all this is predicated upon her coming out early. The longer it takes for her to show up, the better others can prevent this.
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Steve Duff
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I'm with Brandon and Brian and the other doubters, I think something is wrong.

Just to get yourself into this situation is a metric buttload of resources. You're talking getting Sagagawea, and probably another three-power card to power her. So that's around 4 furs and 3 equipment each, 14 resources. Or, you need a bunch of indians to power her, so you have to wait for everyone to play their one and then collect them all.

Meanwhile, you're also gathering something like 12-15 wood so you can purchase all the boats (as was pointed out, you can't use the free resources coming with your boats to buy more boats that same turn). So you need 9 wood the first run through your Sacagawea powered deck, then at least 3 more the second time through your deck to go along with your free 6. And that still only gives you six of the twelve boats.

And the end result of all this is that you haven't done anything that progresses you towards winning the game. You have a bunch of empty space for resources, or indians. Yippee. The point of the game is to be moving up the river.
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I am wondering if they were using Sacagawea to just take the result of the action (3 boats) instead of paying into it the 3 wood each?
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
I am wondering if they were using Sacagawea to just take the result of the action (3 boats) instead of paying into it the 3 wood each?

That does sound more likely than conjuring dozens of resources in 2 turns.
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