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Subject: Balance problems rss

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dong hyuk song
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each era random house cards are placed on the board.


it has some problems.

So I think that first era random placing house card and then clockwise moving house cards from next era is much more balanced.


How about?
 
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Jorgen Peddersen
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If you do that, then the fourth year will be an exact repeat of the first year, except that the first and third battles of the year switch positions.

In the first year we have:
1 2 3
4 5 6

Second year:
4 1 2
5 6 3

Third year:
5 4 1
6 3 2

Fourth year:
6 5 4
3 2 1

You also have the issue that have each of the odd houses only battles the even houses and each of the even houses only battles the odd houses.

I'm not sure if you'd consider these problems to be worse than the ones you find with the random system, but they do seem to be pretty big to me.
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Patrick Reynolds
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It's true that there is a lot of randomness in the game, but I'm not sure how knowing the house match-ups would "fix" anything.

Personally, I find the randomness of the Order of Battle cards more frustrating at times, since if a house you want to back is up against a really good Order of Battle, like the one with the space that gives a War Machine, or the one that has three spaces that all give 4 VP, your house is probably going to get beaten regardless of which house is against it.

BUT, that's part of the strategy of this game - you have to react to the changing face of the board each round, and sometimes that means abandoning the house(s) you thought you were going to back and throwing your support somewhere else.

Personally, I really like the way that this game plays. I've seen it won by a player who aggressively supported only the house whose secret favor card he was given at the outset, and I've seen players win by ignoring that secret card, watching the VP tracker for the different houses, and amassing favor tokens for a variety of them.

One thing that's almost guaranteed in this game, though, is if you choose a strategy before the first round and stubbornly stick to it regardless of what's happening on the board, you're probably not going to do very well.
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Jordan Booth
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pkreynolds wrote:
the one that has three spaces that all give 4 VP, your house is probably going to get beaten regardless of which house is against it.

Interesting that you find that one strong. In the games I've played that one is largely ignored because of the high soldier cost. The owner of the game doesn't even like to include it. Might be groupthink on both sides.

I always think that it would be more tense to stack the 4th year battles to match up the house in first vs. the house in second, 3rd vs. 4th and 5th vs. 6th.
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dong hyuk song
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My opinion.
1st era
1 2 3
4 5 6

2nd
2 3 1
5 6 4

3rd
3 1 2
5 6 4

4th:clockwise
5 3 1
6 4 2
 
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Patrick Reynolds
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Born-of-Ashes wrote:
pkreynolds wrote:
the one that has three spaces that all give 4 VP, your house is probably going to get beaten regardless of which house is against it.

Interesting that you find that one strong. In the games I've played that one is largely ignored because of the high soldier cost. The owner of the game doesn't even like to include it. Might be groupthink on both sides.

I always think that it would be more tense to stack the 4th year battles to match up the house in first vs. the house in second, 3rd vs. 4th and 5th vs. 6th.


In our still somewhat limited experience with the game (3 or 4 plays) the winning scores have been in the 40s-60s. A space that gives 10% or slightly less of your final VP score seems really good. They usually get at least one player jumping on with the tactic card that doubles the reward but doesn't move the battle track.

You could consider it this way, too - the knight that it costs to play onto those spaces is worth 1 VP by itself, as are the 3 coins it cost to buy the knight, if they were still in your possession at game end. Converting a 1 VP item into 4 VPs is a good move.

Of course, having this Order of Battle card come into play is no guarantee that the house it's on will win their battle, but it's certainly been a pretty good indicator in the games I've played. Those three spaces always fill up, and even if one player doubles the reward without moving the battle track that's still a movement of 10 spaces to overcome for the opposing house, which makes it a fairly strong card.
 
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Jorgen Peddersen
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diddle74 wrote:
My opinion.
1st era
1 2 3
4 5 6

2nd
2 3 1
5 6 4

3rd
3 1 2
5 6 4

4th:clockwise
5 3 1
6 4 2

Your 1st and 2nd years have the same three pairs of houses battling it out.
 
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Charles Polenzani
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Why are you trying to fix something that isn't broken? To me one of the WONDERFUL things about this game is that the board is completely rebuilt and randomized each turn. It makes for much more interesting game-play.
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Jordan Booth
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pkreynolds wrote:
Born-of-Ashes wrote:
pkreynolds wrote:
the one that has three spaces that all give 4 VP, your house is probably going to get beaten regardless of which house is against it.

Interesting that you find that one strong. In the games I've played that one is largely ignored because of the high soldier cost. The owner of the game doesn't even like to include it. Might be groupthink on both sides.

I always think that it would be more tense to stack the 4th year battles to match up the house in first vs. the house in second, 3rd vs. 4th and 5th vs. 6th.


In our still somewhat limited experience with the game (3 or 4 plays) the winning scores have been in the 40s-60s. A space that gives 10% or slightly less of your final VP score seems really good. They usually get at least one player jumping on with the tactic card that doubles the reward but doesn't move the battle track.

You could consider it this way, too - the knight that it costs to play onto those spaces is worth 1 VP by itself, as are the 3 coins it cost to buy the knight, if they were still in your possession at game end. Converting a 1 VP item into 4 VPs is a good move.

Of course, having this Order of Battle card come into play is no guarantee that the house it's on will win their battle, but it's certainly been a pretty good indicator in the games I've played. Those three spaces always fill up, and even if one player doubles the reward without moving the battle track that's still a movement of 10 spaces to overcome for the opposing house, which makes it a fairly strong card.

That's what's so great about the complete randomization of the board. There isn't any one card that is going to be the best in all situations. Your group highly values the card, mine doesn't. That doesn't mean either of us is 'wrong', we're both just playing to our groups' strategies. There are good opportunities all over the board and you have to weigh them against the value of the house you'd be supporting, what other players are likely to do, and what you actually can do (maybe the people with the doubling tactic don't have any knights and vice versa). In my experience, it's just too situational, sure 4 pts is good, but 6 pts for being on the right side of a winning battle is better (and easier to snipe).
 
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dong hyuk song
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errata

1st era
1 2 3
4 5 6

2nd
2 3 1
6 4 5

3rd
3 1 2
5 6 4

4th:clockwise
5 3 1
6 4 2
 
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Anthony Stockseth
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I rather enjoy the way the houses stack up randomly as well. Sure it's frustrating at times to see a house that you're heavily invested in get the shaft, and also to see the same houses go against each other two turns in a row, or even if first place is against last place.

However, it is an abstract representation of each house battling with another house on the field of battle, with certain resources at their disposal that they have available to bribe mercenaries to aid them. Realistically, we would definitely see houses preying upon those far weaker than them, and offering up rewards that seem paltry for what they ask of their troops, and we would see the same houses battling it out over and over again.

Furthermore, these frustrations are what build suspense and add difficulty to the game. If things played out in some predictable "pattern" each game (i.e. round 1 house A fights house C, but in round 2 I know they are going to fight D, and since I know this, I will back C now, because I want D to win) It could actually make the game rather stale rather quickly I think, and be an even worse abstraction for the random tides of war and shifting alliances of politics.
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Anthony Stockseth
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That being said, if you have a particular hard-on for each house having a shot at each house, you'd have to house-rule in a 5th round with 5 captains, and simply rotate all houses clockwise each turn, EXCEPT the house in slot A, which stays put each round. It would look like this:


Round 1 (3 captains):
A B C
F E D

Round 2 (4 captains):
A F B
E D C

Round 3 (4 captains):
A E F
D C B

Round 4 (5 captains):
A D E
C B F

Round 5 (5 captains):
A C D
B F E


You could also theoretically come up with a similar way to cycle through the order of battle cards as well, if you wanted to make sure that it was truly "balanced," but I think that this would be rather overkill.

Instead, if your group feels that some order of battle cards are too strong, or too weak, either change some of their rewards, so they have more/better rewards, or remove that card from the stack entirely. We were given extras as part of the KS anyway, you could then remove that many as well.
 
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