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Subject: so is the hammer broken? rss

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trevor

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Alot of talk about the second edition fixing the hammer. Of course there are those that say it is not fixed.

Is therea consensus? Is it still strong but not an unbeatable strategy?
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Chris
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bigGameGeek wrote:
Alot of talk about the second edition fixing the hammer. Of course there are those that say it is not fixed.

Is therea consensus? Is it still strong but not an unbeatable strategy?
I'm sure all the opinion you could possibly want is already here if you read those old threads. 2nd edition tweaked the balance in an asymmetric game. But as it's asymmetric there will always be some benefit to one side. Just play the game and enjoy it.
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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There have been a number of threads on the topic.
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Phil Triest
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I have the 2nd ed and have found that corner just leads to fortifications in my three plays and then both players move on to elsewhere on the board.
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Chris
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philtrees wrote:
I have the 2nd ed and have found that corner just leads to fortifications in my three plays and then both players move on to elsewhere on the board.
Well it's all about the balance of how much you protect yourself from potential attack vectors vs working on building up your own. It feels like each end game method can be mitigated through certain counter actions, which might invalidate their end game. e.g. if you raid our their cities whilst they're trying to develop they may well end the game by doing so, but you'll have potentially forced a 20+ point swing when their last disc goes out, invalidating their strategy. Never played anything that allows you to cover these very different mechanisms so well.
 
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Thomas Büttner-Zimmermann
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With the exception that, if Quebec falls, the points are not counted...
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trevor

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whac3 wrote:
There have been a number of threads on the topic.


Yes thank you. I have read a number of threads and the only conclusion is there is no conclusion. Really i am asking about 2nd edition only. Not house rules, ect.
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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bigGameGeek wrote:
whac3 wrote:
There have been a number of threads on the topic.


Yes thank you. I have read a number of threads and the only conclusion is there is no conclusion. Really i am asking about 2nd edition only. Not house rules, ect.

Just trying to be helpful.

Anyway, I own second edition and am not convinced it's a problem but I seem to be decidedly in the minority in that opinion.
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Thomas Büttner-Zimmermann
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Seriously, if you and your gaming companions have no problem with AfAoS - perfect!
I myself do not care about HH and do not try to learn it - so it is no problem for me, either! :-)
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Scott Henshaw
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Technically, it is a problem which hardly anyone can do. The late Tim Seitz was the one who found the issue and claims that the 2nd edition did not fix it. Mathematically, I am sure he was correct, however it took a player of unbelievable skill to pull it off. Tim could win 100% of the time as the British, but as the French he won around 90% of the time. He was an awesome player and loved to play the game even though it was technically 'broken'.
In other words, unless you have the great game skill of the late, great Tim, it is not a problem, Even those who knew Tim and worked with him as he tried to prove the game was broken, could not duplicate his ability to win as the British.
Many people claim the game is broken due to HH, yet I am sure most, if not all, would have lost to Tim if he played the French against them.
The game is not broken for most of us mere mortals playing the game. Play and enjoy!
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Ken Dilloo
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ScottH wrote:
Technically, it is a problem which hardly anyone can do. The late Tim Seitz was the one who found the issue and claims that the 2nd edition did not fix it. Mathematically, I am sure he was correct, however it took a player of unbelievable skill to pull it off. Tim could win 100% of the time as the British, but as the French he won around 90% of the time. He was an awesome player and loved to play the game even though it was technically 'broken'.
In other words, unless you have the great game skill of the late, great Tim, it is not a problem, Even those who knew Tim and worked with him as he tried to prove the game was broken, could not duplicate his ability to win as the British.
Many people claim the game is broken due to HH, yet I am sure most, if not all, would have lost to Tim if he played the French against them.
The game is not broken for most of us mere mortals playing the game. Play and enjoy!


Yeah, that dude was freakishly, scary good at this game. Tim thought that the 2nd edition rules actually made it easier to pull off. As someone who has been hammered repeatedly, I think the 2nd edition rules made the bar to entry much higher. It seemed as though anyone could pull it off with 1st edition rules, whereas, it was a much finer line with the 2nd edition. Much easier to make mistakes with 2nd edition hammer, but Tim never made a mistake, even after 600+ games.

That is my feeing, anyway, but have to respect his thoughts about 2nd edition. Like a giant black hole, that dude changed the gravity/relativity of the whole deal.

Just play the game and enjoy. Even whilst getting hammered, it is still an exciting game, even if you are just holding out for a British error.
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Clyde W
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It was not fixed. It actually made "the hammer" easier, although it doesn't work the same as in 1st edition.
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Moshe Callen
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ScottH wrote:
Technically, it is a problem which hardly anyone can do. The late Tim Seitz was the one who found the issue and claims that the 2nd edition did not fix it. Mathematically, I am sure he was correct, however it took a player of unbelievable skill to pull it off. Tim could win 100% of the time as the British, but as the French he won around 90% of the time. He was an awesome player and loved to play the game even though it was technically 'broken'.
In other words, unless you have the great game skill of the late, great Tim, it is not a problem, Even those who knew Tim and worked with him as he tried to prove the game was broken, could not duplicate his ability to win as the British.
Many people claim the game is broken due to HH, yet I am sure most, if not all, would have lost to Tim if he played the French against them.
The game is not broken for most of us mere mortals playing the game. Play and enjoy!

I interacted with Tim in RSP where he was a regular before I had ever encountered this game. Frankly I don't know that we ever agreed but he was always up for an interesting conversation and yes "out for blood" there too.

He even liked by blog which Wordpress says he's still following. I wish he were.
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Bill Eldard
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ScottH wrote:
Technically, it is a problem which hardly anyone can do. The late Tim Seitz was the one who found the issue and claims that the 2nd edition did not fix it. Mathematically, I am sure he was correct, however it took a player of unbelievable skill to pull it off. Tim could win 100% of the time as the British, but as the French he won around 90% of the time. He was an awesome player and loved to play the game even though it was technically 'broken'.
In other words, unless you have the great game skill of the late, great Tim, it is not a problem, Even those who knew Tim and worked with him as he tried to prove the game was broken, could not duplicate his ability to win as the British.
Many people claim the game is broken due to HH, yet I am sure most, if not all, would have lost to Tim if he played the French against them.
The game is not broken for most of us mere mortals playing the game. Play and enjoy!


Great summation, Scott. I agree.

I own the 2nd edition, and managed to execute the HH successfully but once, and even that was a close call. It takes very strict hand management.

I haven't tried HH since because I enjoy the game without it. No one I've played against has tried it against me, but if I saw it developing, I think I would gather up all the Native American cards and the Courier de Bois and conduct a relentless ambush campaign against the British. When there are no British cards in his reserve, raid - raid - and raid again.
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N S.
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At the highest levels of play, the game is indeed solved. For some, just knowing that kind of sours the game for them, even if they will never play at that skill level. Others have actually mastered all the nuances of the Hammer, and are understandably disappointed that the game has nothing left to offer them. Still others cheerfully accept that they will never play at the skill level where the Hammer is even an issue, and if they ever do achieve that exalted status, there are all the house rules and variants to mess around with. And then there are even some who stubbornly maintain that the game isn't really broken at all.

So yeah, there's no consensus. Which group you belong to is largely a question of your attitude to games. I'm having fun with the game, having played something like 70 online games. I do prefer to use some of the variant rules most of the time.

If Wallace ever does a 3rd edition, with, say, a random empire card market set-up (as I understand is the case in Mythotopia) I think it would be a smash hit. Everyone who stayed away because they heard AFAOS was broken would buy it, and all the hardcore fans subscribed to these boards would buy it again.

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David Marsh
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I agree completely with Scott. I have tried to play the Hammer and it is almost impossible for me and not very much fun. This game still offers so much that imagine I will continue to enjoy it for years to come.
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Eric Brosius
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ScottH wrote:
Technically, it is a problem which hardly anyone can do.

A historical analogy:

It was originally legal to goal-tend in basketball---that is, jump up and knock away a shot that was coming down and would score a goal if it weren't goal-tended away. In practice, some people could do it some of the time, if their timing was right, but it wasn't easy, and throwing these people's timing off became part of the strategy.

Then George Mikan started to play, and he was able to successfully goal-tend on almost every shot. As a result, the game of basketball was broken. That's why we have an anti-goal-tending rule in basketball today---it was the fix to prevent the game from being broken.

This is all true, but if a bunch of people like me were to play basketball today, with no rule against goal-tending, we wouldn't notice the absence of the rule. The original game wasn't broken for us; it was only broken when players like George Mikan were playing.
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Clyde W
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The original Hammer was quite easily pulled off. I don't know enough about Hammer 2.0 to say how easy it is, but they both involve:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
deck thinning
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