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Subject: Diplomat and the Tax Office - 4p game rss

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Jarad Bond
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Just finished a 4 player game. The Tax Office is extremely powerful, allowing you to gain 3 resources and opponents lose 3 collectively.

The Diplomat and the next player can effectively repeat this action, locking out the other two players and makes them very unhappy. Thoughts on this? I wanted to point it out because it seemed unfair.
 
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J. M. Lopez-Cepero "CP"
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I can see how you can repeat the action twice in a row, but not how you can lock the other two players. Note that the Diplomat must move to the building when using her ability. Likely I'm not understanding what you mean correctly

What I'm not sure of, though, is if it's intended for the Diplomat to be able to pay 1 good to stay in the same building she is at, which means that she can single-handedly block a building. I can see that being pretty annoying.

Assuming she can't:

Player A uses the Tax Office
Player B (Diplomat) pays 1 good to use the Tax Office
Players C and D do whatever
Player A has his turn, he has to leave the Tax Office
Player B has her turn, she has to leave the Tax Office

The Tax Office is now free for players C and D.

Cheers
 
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Here's how it works...

Let's call the Diplomat Player 1.

1. Player 2 enters the Tax Office
2. Players 3 and 4 take their turns.
3. Diplomat enters the Tax Office with Player 2 in it.
4. Player 2 moves out, but Players 3 ans 4 can't enter because Diplomat is still in it.
5. Diplomat moves out.
6. Player 2 moves back in.

Voila! Diplomat and Player 2 are the only 2 players who can use the Tax Office.

(Note this trick can be used with any building.)
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Andy Van Zandt
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Also note that this benefits player 2 more than it does the diplomat, since they would get paid from the diplomat ability every time this happened. Thus it's not such a great repeat choice on the part of the diplomat.

If the diplomat wants to benefit the most from the tax office without giving a single player a huge advantage OVER herself, it's better for her to let people take turns on it (also note that while she gets numerical resource advantage, she's getting whatever the worst resource is- usually way more of the 2 value resource than she wants, while she's handing out cube-of-choice).
 
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Jarad Bond
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It can be used with any building, but the Tax Office is particularly nasty because the other two players lose one resource each, both times. On average, players earn 2 resources with one action. Really good buildings or combos get you 3, and sometimes you are stuck with just 1.

So, if P3 and P4 get 2 resources each, then P1 (diplomat) and P2 take them both away (gaining 3 in the process), every round, it's not much fun anymore. You can try to load up the taxers with same resource if you're clever and that'll slow things down a bit, but only until they fill up on a resource of their your choice. They still retain a big advantage.

truekid wrote:
Also note that this benefits player 2 more than it does the diplomat, since they would get paid from the diplomat ability every time this happened. Thus it's not such a great repeat choice on the part of the diplomat.

If the diplomat wants to benefit the most from the tax office without giving a single player a huge advantage OVER herself, it's better for her to let people take turns on it (also note that while she gets numerical resource advantage, she's getting whatever the worst resource is- usually way more of the 2 value resource than she wants, while she's handing out cube-of-choice).

Good points, but it's very subtle. We are all fairly methodical gamers and didn't quite come to that conclusion. I don't think it is that HUGE of a disadvantage to keep draining your opponents and still get a net resource (gain 3, lose 2 worst ones). I do know our diplomat did that for a few turns and I did it (being P2) because it was just too good to pass up and still needed more resources. Some turns later, we could each buy something and gave everyone else a slight relief.

Also, some players are jerks about that too and would revel in such a thing if it came to pass. (What? The rules say I can do that!)
 
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J. M. Lopez-Cepero "CP"
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ampoliros wrote:
Here's how it works...


Good! Didn't think of that ordering.

Not that it wouldn't be annoying, of course, but when I first read the OP I thought that there was some loophole allowing the TO to be used twice each round, which would indeed be very nasty. As it stands now, you will suffer the TO once each round, so you will be drained -1 resource per round - which can be pretty irritating, but not as gamebreaking as if you were drained 2.

In a regular 4P game, the Tax Office (or any other building for that matter) can only be used once every 5 turns, as it spends 4 turns occupied following each use.

With the trick, the turn ordering is:

1 - P1 - whatever
2 - P2 - Tax Office
3 - P3 - whatever
4 - P4 - whatever
5 - P1 - Tax Office with ability
6 - P2 - whatever
7 - P3 - whatever
8 - P4 - whatever
9 - P1 - whatever (leaving Tax Office)
10 - P2 - Tax Office
11 - P3 - whatever
12 - P4 - whatever

... and repeat from 5. So, on average, it's an use every 4 turns instead of every 5, alternating between two players.

That said, I can see how this can be unfair to players in the wrong end of the table, as they wouldn't get a chance to use the TO, and how it would be a problem unique to 4P (the TO is not as interesting with 2 or 3P).
 
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J. M. Lopez-Cepero "CP"
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truekid wrote:
Also note that this benefits player 2 more than it does the diplomat, since they would get paid from the diplomat ability every time this happened.


I was under the impression that the diplomat ability did not involve paying other players (at least in my v5 PnP copy) - it's 'spend' a good, not 'pay' a good.
 
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Nick Shaw
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andvaranaut wrote:
That said, I can see how this can be unfair to players in the wrong end of the table, as they wouldn't get a chance to use the TO, and how it would be a problem unique to 4P (the TO is not as interesting with 2 or 3P).


So if player 3 or 4 see this situation happening, they're best plan is for one of them to BUY the tax office (and hope P1 and 2 have spent so long hogging it, they've not acquired any Top Hats)...
 
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J. M. Lopez-Cepero "CP"
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njshaw2 wrote:
So if player 3 or 4 see this situation happening, they're best plan is for one of them to BUY the tax office (and hope P1 and 2 have spent so long hogging it, they've not acquired any Top Hats)...


I seem to recall reading in an update that the Diplomat was "fixed" and has a Top Hat now, unfortunately
 
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The TopHat would only make it so the Diplomat wouldn't have to pay to use an owned building. She will still have to pay to enter an occupied building.
 
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Andy Van Zandt
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andvaranaut wrote:
truekid wrote:
Also note that this benefits player 2 more than it does the diplomat, since they would get paid from the diplomat ability every time this happened.


I was under the impression that the diplomat ability did not involve paying other players (at least in my v5 PnP copy) - it's 'spend' a good, not 'pay' a good.


When the diplomat shares a building, the person she shares with gets a good of their choice (she doesn't pay it, they just gain it). This changed shortly after the POD/PnP files went out. This is better for the Diplomat in most situations, but is slightly worse for her in regards to the tax office (because she doesn't get to give up the garbage she's handed).

edit to add: The corrected text is listed in update 11 on the kickstarter.
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J. M. Lopez-Cepero "CP"
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truekid wrote:
When the diplomat shares a building, the person she shares with gets a good of their choice (she doesn't pay it, they just gain it).


Thanks for the heads up! In this case, yes, P2 is getting the best part of the deal by far!
 
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Jarad Bond
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I'll have to try a game or two with the updated character rules. You guys are right, it's not a complete lock-out. Every other round, basically, you would drain the opponents' resources. I came late to this KS and only played the PnP in it's current form and don't know what the updates have affected (they haven't corrected the rules in PnP).

So, if the diplomat lets P2 gain a resource, they might not want to do it so often. Usually, there's a good spot that gains you 2 resources you might need pretty well. I just don't want to be the one to the right of the diplomat (P4) when I play Harbour - you'd probably never get a chance at good buildings.

I also want to mention that the tax building is fun, otherwise, because everyone eventually gets a turn and it can't be milked quite as unevenly. It's not the best building in the world, but the net gain (over opponents) is pretty dang good. The Bookkeeper can really have a party with it!
 
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