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Eminent Domain: Escalation» Forums » Rules

Subject: Is Scientific Discovery scenario broken? rss

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Piotr Konieczny
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If I understand rules correctly, as soon an action is resolved, it goes to the discard pile. In my recent test game this suggests that Scientific Discovery scenario is broken as it allows easy chaining and leaps you ahead in technology.

On my first turn (second player, dissented), I used SD action to get Double Time, which goes to my hand, correct? And SD gives me a free action, which I can use for double time immediately, right? Well, I have 3 cards in the deck. I use them to draw four cards with two surveys which exhausts my deck by the third draw (at which point my discard pile is SD, DT or survey). So as a fourth card I have 33% of SD, DT or survey. My role is colonize. I dissent during the opponent's turn again. If I got SD, I can get another DT. If I got DT, I can use it for survey and SD. If not I can do it the next turn.

Worse, it seems that you can very quickly - turn 3-5 - optimize your deck into cycle with 2-3 DT, 1 improved research (to remove military / colonize / produces) and SD. Then you get to play several SDs per turn, virtually taking almost all level 1 techs for your hand (presumably you shouldn't be too greedy). The broken mechanic is the fact that SD grabs you a tech, puts itself in the discard pile ready being shuffled/drawn from a survey (improved one or research), and with double times thrown in the mix you can do it more than once per turn!

In addition to putting you a league ahead of everyone else in the first few turns, you also take many techs they may want, and make everybody bored/angry as your action phases look like bad Dominion chains of you playing with yourself for several minutes.

Thoughts?
 
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Paulo Renato
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Vila Nova Gaia
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I run through Rahdo's Runthroughs and make right what once went wrong (via annotations)
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No... cards you are playing only go to the discard pile after you finish your turn, like in almost (if not all) all deck-builders
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Chris Berger
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I believe this was actually changed (or at least clarified) with Escalation, specifically because of the addition of Double Time, which could allow that kind of chaining. In the base game it didn't really matter.
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Seth Jaffee
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arkayn wrote:

I believe this was actually changed (or at least clarified) with Escalation, specifically because of the addition of Double Time, which could allow that kind of chaining. In the base game it didn't really matter.

Chris is correct again!

In the base game it did not matter, so the rules just said the cards go to the discard pile. In the Escalation rulebook that's clarified... when you play a card it is set aside, and the first thing you do in your Cleanup phase is discard all set-aside cards.

Indeed, the purpose for this clarification was because Escalation introduced a way to play multiple actions in a turn.
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Noble Knave
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My glib response on seeing the thread title was "Yes" and then I saw your post and the rules error. Since we're on the topic anyway, I feel that SD is borderline OP. It has such a better start than any other non-Warfare tech, and the ability to nab multiple early Peace Treaties totally cripples Warfare opponents. Plus it can take the three non-Peace Treaty permanents, Elevated Incentives, and DTs for extra oomph.

I think it's a great Level 2 tech, but I'm strongly considering removing or house ruling it as a Scenario since it's unfun to play against. I think disallowing grabbing permanents and/or only giving the extra action if you meet the pre-refs would both help.
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Chris Berger
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thenobleknave wrote:
I think it's a great Level 2 tech, but I'm strongly considering removing or house ruling it as a Scenario since it's unfun to play against. I think disallowing grabbing permanents and/or only giving the extra action if you meet the pre-refs would both help.


I definitely agree with disallowing permanents through Scientific Discovery. I think that originally that arose through a misreading of the card, but I think that grabbing 3 Peace Treaties, especially with the scenario that starts with SD, just shuts down warfare-related scenarios too much.
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Noble Knave
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I ran a solo test of Sci Discovery with no perms allowed, and only getting action or being able to take Escalation cards if you meet the pre-reqs. Tough to tell with a solo game, but it felt much closer in power level to the rest -- still a fantastic scenario.

I also noticed that the card says "Take into hand," so no taking Permanents even makes sense in that context.
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Piotr Konieczny
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thenobleknave wrote:
I ran a solo test of Sci Discovery with no perms allowed, and only getting action or being able to take Escalation cards if you meet the pre-reqs. Tough to tell with a solo game, but it felt much closer in power level to the rest -- still a fantastic scenario.

I also noticed that the card says "Take into hand," so no taking Permanents even makes sense in that context.


Yes, the take into hand seems to imply permanents are not allowed to acquire through it.

One of those things we really could use an official ruling for. Aren't any devs for this active here?
 
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Seth Jaffee
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Prokonsul Piotrus wrote:
thenobleknave wrote:
I ran a solo test of Sci Discovery with no perms allowed, and only getting action or being able to take Escalation cards if you meet the pre-reqs. Tough to tell with a solo game, but it felt much closer in power level to the rest -- still a fantastic scenario.

I also noticed that the card says "Take into hand," so no taking Permanents even makes sense in that context.


Yes, the take into hand seems to imply permanents are not allowed to acquire through it.

One of those things we really could use an official ruling for. Aren't any devs for this active here?

Technically, Scientific Discovery DOES allow you to acquire permanent technology - at least that's how I've always played it.

If your group finds that too strong and want to disallow permanent tech, then that could be an acceptable house rule.

I'm always glad to see people playing EmDo and Escalation! I've got people PnP testing Exotica (the next expansion) over in this thread, if you're interested: http://bgg.cc/thread/1232287/eminent-domain-exotica-pnp-test...

- Seth
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Noble Knave
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Intriguing! EmDo has become a fan fave around here (it helps that I've been promoting it), I'm happy to try a PnP playtest for you if I can get some traction from my group.
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A.J. W
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I'm taking it out of the stack. For most other scenarios, it's turn 2 minimum to the first tech and turn 3 to play it. SD can get it out and play the tech turn 1. Better yet, you can play a different card in your hand if you want a permanent, though pulling iResearch and thinning your deck to 8 improves your chances of getting back SD. Better yet, Double Time, Survey, then Research. Pace through that deck like a champ.

The biggest strength to this card is the ability to play 1 planet ahead in a technology race, allowing the player to sap out a lot of early game options from other players without real commitment or resistance. Usually, it's getting all the Peace Treaties, then all the Double Times, absolutely eliminating anyone who picks a military scenario. Other players don't fare as well, either; it's a choice of 11 cards for the first tech to the SD player's 40, if the SD player is feeling merciful. The last game I played with it, the end result was ugly to watch in motion, and I can't imagine in a full group of competent players there was a solution to the strategy. The early game advantage just shatters everyone else's late game potential.

I don't know. I'm typing this out on a phone so I'm just hammering out my thoughts from the last games I've encountered it. What's bad is that usually a military player gets desperate and starts feeding the SD player, and then can't out-point for point and just makes the lead that much more worse. I personally know that action-military doesn't work against it; it's resulted in the worst scores of my life because I'm lucky if I can get one Double Time.

I just don't know, man.

Actually I'll probably house errata it to limit the card gain to improved role cards, and the additional action to the gained card, because holy crap I'm never playing with that scenario otherwise.

EDIT: Nearly a year later and nobody corrects me on Researched cards going to hand. It's a major game mechanic and nobody calls me out on it! I can't believe I missed that detail and I've read that rulebook front and back twice over. I'm ashamed of my younger self.
 
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