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Subject: How much luck? rss

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UA Darth
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I don't like kickstarting boardgames because of the lack of many reviews out there. That being said, I do like Feld. I also like near luckless games. Someone mentioned that cards can give you more workers. For those who have played it, how much luck is there?
 
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Keith McNeil
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The rulebook gave me the impression that the majority of "luck" comes from the setup, and some of that is mitigated (i.e. # of time tokens/player depends on the type of locks you're next to). As long as it is balanced there shouldn't otherwise be too much luck beyond specific, synergistic cards/upgrades/etc. becoming conveniently available to you.
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8-bit Matt
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See http://boardgamegeek.com/article/16392264#16392264

If by luck you mean variance and/or opportunistic randomness, then there's a decent amount. It's not going to be Terra Mystica
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Daniel Hadlock
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These are the random elements in the game and my thoughts on their impact:

Starting Labs/Sectors/Setup.

Really small effect on the overall game play, at most it helps guide first few choices which frames your game foundation.

Program Cards/Markers in the Headquarters from round to round.

At first these may feel like they have a bigger luck effect than they really do. The reason being is you can always see from the beginning of a round how the next round is going to be set up. This actually adds to the decision making helping you choose your pace through the Headquarters this round to make sure you get what you want next round.

The luck of this is made even less impactful when you consider a once a round action of being able to program any bot of your choice for 3 time, and the "wild" space that lets you stall and program a bot based on sector positioning.

Lab Expansion & Research Cards that come out round to round.

This is the highest luck factor in the game, and sometimes you may feel fortune really (dis)favored you. But it is also somewhat minimal in effect because each has a capacity cap. Also, these are open knowledge and the advantages gained by these tiles and cards may strongly impact your approach to the game which gives the other players more information how to get in your way.

Center Tile orientation that indicates how each sector is refreshed from round to round.

Similar to the program cards you can always see one round ahead so the orientation is easily planned around, with experience looking ahead can help you gain a bit of an extra edge.

As to the cards giving more workers, that is not entirely accurate. Research cards can make programing certain bots more efficient, in a variety of ways, and programed bots more represent a single action than a worker who may perform multiple actions throughout the game. The cards making it more efficient means that to take full advantage they need to be planned for throughout the whole game.

Example, I may gain a card that allows me to between rounds spend 1 time to program a Expand Lab bot, so from round to round I need to make sure that I have the time to dedicate to that card each round that is not needed elsewhere.

Hope this helped, cheers.
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8-bit Matt
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Thanks, Daniel!

That is a great point about the next round's Programming and Center Tile cards being visible during the current round. Will make planning easier/less random.

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UA Darth
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UncleDragon wrote:
These are the random elements in the game and my thoughts on their impact:

Starting Labs/Sectors/Setup.

Really small effect on the overall game play, at most it helps guide first few choices which frames your game foundation.

Program Cards/Markers in the Headquarters from round to round.

At first these may feel like they have a bigger luck effect than they really do. The reason being is you can always see from the beginning of a round how the next round is going to be set up. This actually adds to the decision making helping you choose your pace through the Headquarters this round to make sure you get what you want next round.

The luck of this is made even less impactful when you consider a once a round action of being able to program any bot of your choice for 3 time, and the "wild" space that lets you stall and program a bot based on sector positioning.

Lab Expansion & Research Cards that come out round to round.

This is the highest luck factor in the game, and sometimes you may feel fortune really (dis)favored you. But it is also somewhat minimal in effect because each has a capacity cap. Also, these are open knowledge and the advantages gained by these tiles and cards may strongly impact your approach to the game which gives the other players more information how to get in your way.

Center Tile orientation that indicates how each sector is refreshed from round to round.

Similar to the program cards you can always see one round ahead so the orientation is easily planned around, with experience looking ahead can help you gain a bit of an extra edge.

As to the cards giving more workers, that is not entirely accurate. Research cards can make programing certain bots more efficient, in a variety of ways, and programed bots more represent a single action than a worker who may perform multiple actions throughout the game. The cards making it more efficient means that to take full advantage they need to be planned for throughout the whole game.

Example, I may gain a card that allows me to between rounds spend 1 time to program a Expand Lab bot, so from round to round I need to make sure that I have the time to dedicate to that card each round that is not needed elsewhere.

Hope this helped, cheers.

Thanks for the in depth response! With these kind of games, I sometimes make futures card reveals. In Keyflower, for example, I put out all the tiles for the rest of the game, so everyone will know what is coming. Would this further reduce luck?
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Daniel Hadlock
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Yes, knowing which cards and tiles were to be coming out would further reduce luck.
 
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UncleDragon wrote:
Starting Labs/Sectors/Setup.
Really small effect on the overall game play, at most it helps guide first few choices which frames your game foundation.


After a few games played, I have a different feeling.

Take for instance the cards that give you 4KP for a given engineer move. They are worth 18KP (2 + 4 * 4) at the very beginning of the game but only 5 KP at the very end of the game. Similarly, the lab expansions with increased capacity are worth more at the beginning of the game since you will be able to use them more. So, the sooner you get them, the better.

An initial robot that can get you a card or lab expansion not only gives you an earlier access to these but it does also give you more. It is easy to buy two cards or two expansions in the first round with such a robot. With the luck of the draw, you could even get two cards with the same trigger and, for instance, get 4KP plus 1 crystal for a single engineer move that you could use up to four times during the game...

In comparison, an initial octopods catching robot is pretty useless. Either you use it early and you get 1KP (and clear a sector that you are not sure at all to control at the end of the round), or you wait and clutter your programming board.
 
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Ralph Bruhn
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lcg74160 wrote:
UncleDragon wrote:
Starting Labs/Sectors/Setup.
Really small effect on the overall game play, at most it helps guide first few choices which frames your game foundation.


After a few games played, I have a different feeling.

Take for instance the cards that give you 4KP for a given engineer move. They are worth 18KP (2 + 4 * 4) at the very beginning of the game but only 5 KP at the very end of the game. Similarly, the lab expansions with increased capacity are worth more at the beginning of the game since you will be able to use them more. So, the sooner you get them, the better.

An initial robot that can get you a card or lab expansion not only gives you an earlier access to these but it does also give you more. It is easy to buy two cards or two expansions in the first round with such a robot. With the luck of the draw, you could even get two cards with the same trigger and, for instance, get 4KP plus 1 crystal for a single engineer move that you could use up to four times during the game...

In comparison, an initial octopods catching robot is pretty useless. Either you use it early and you get 1KP (and clear a sector that you are not sure at all to control at the end of the round), or you wait and clutter your programming board.
Useless? In the first round there's always one sector with 3 Octopods. Try to get a lab tile before hunting which allows you to get 6 points for hunting all 3 octopods. And take the 2 crystals before hunting the octopods.
Or if you really don't want to use it: Return it to get 2 Time markers, and with only one more time marker you can program a bot of your choice. This is only a loss of 1 Time marker - so the influence on the initial Bot shouldn't be TOO big.
 
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barandur wrote:
In the first round there's always one sector with 3 Octopods. Try to get a lab tile before hunting which allows you to get 6 points for hunting all 3 octopods. And take the 2 crystals before hunting the octopods.

This would indeed be a pretty good use of the octopod catching robot if you can catch 3 octopods. Otherwise you only catch 2 octopods and are left with a sector with a malus, which is not nice.

This plan has several prerequisites:
- there is indeed a lab expansion with one more octopod to catch
- you can grab this lab extension without wasting too many time markers
- the programming board allows you to do both lab expansion + crystal
- nobody steals these crystals before you

barandur wrote:
Or if you really don't want to use it: Return it to get 2 Time markers, and with only one more time marker you can program a bot of your choice.

IMHO, the key thing here is timing. You can indeed reprogram your robot for only 1 time marker but, by doing so, you basically loose one turn and allow the other players to grab the most interesting expansions or cards before you.
 
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Ralph Bruhn
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lcg74160 wrote:
IMHO, the key thing here is timing. You can indeed reprogram your robot for only 1 time marker but, by doing so, you basically loose one turn and allow the other players to grab the most interesting expansions or cards before you.
... but if you have the last move in a round, you may have the final word concerning the majority - so you can't tell generally, if it's better to be first or last ...
 
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