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Subject: Wallenstein v. Shogun (sea routes) rss

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Derek Carver
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In a review I read by somebody who had played the game the summary more or less said that the differences between the two were not really sufficient to justify the purchase of Shogun if you already had Wallenstein - unless, that is you have played Wallenstein to death and needed the variety that a new board provides.

But I wonder if that's true. Although I think Wallenstein a superb game (let down only by the imperfections in the construction of the tower, which I assume is unchanged) it is inevitable that Shogun might contain a few tweaks. However, one that is mentioned is of supreme importance - the introduction of sea routes linking provinces far apart by land.

The problem with any game dependent upon a map is that the players controlling provinces/areas in the middle of the map have to defend on far more fronts than those at the edge. Certainly in Wallenstein there are areas extremely easily defended. So changing the locale and linking areas by sea routes should make for a far better game. In fact, it makes one feel like ignoring geography and creating similar links between certain areas on the German map. I'm sure Germany won't mind being turned into an island for a change.

In fact, there are probably other games on my shelves that would benefit from similar treatment.
 
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Darrell Hanning
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Salutations, Derek. I was one of the playtesters for New World, back then.

Yes, if you're looking for "geographic equality", then restricting access to centralized nodes, so as to make them equal to perimeter nodes from an accessibility point of view is the empirical solution oft ignored.

Why? Probably because a)it involves more work, and b)it makes a board surrealistic as hell. (With one exception that comes to mind - interstellar conflict maps, using "jumplines" to restrict access.)

The more common approach is making starting positions that preclude occupation of the least or most advantaged locations. Last resort - establish equality through "terrain" benefits (or compensation in superior resources) for the more vulnerable positions, or grant superior numbers to the initial occupant of more vulnerable locations.

There are, no doubt, many games that could be more "balanced" through a more arbitrary approach to the possible transportation routes therein, but I might be more skeptical than you about more balance necessarily being a better thing, unless the game is already an abstract to begin with.
 
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james napoli
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so are you saying that shogun will not be a balanced game b/c of it's geographical flaws? or are u saying that there is a balance b/c each area is properly weighted ?
 
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Derek Carver
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DarrellKH wrote:
Salutations, Derek. I was one of the playtesters for New World, back then.


Greetings Darrell. "We meet again" sort of.

It is most interesting that you should mention NEW WORLD because when I wrote the Shogun posting this was one of the games I had in mind. Back in those days game titles usually meant precisely what they implied and this game was about the exploration and colonisation by Europeans of the Americas.

But therein was a problem. With 5 or 6 players one had to utilise the full board with the result that the game always split - with one group slogging it out in South America, another in the North, and usually somebody in the middle. Although my own version comprised separate tiles that could be reformed into a more appropriate shaped map dependent upon the number of players this took it away from its title. So for the publication of the game we were stuck with what the Americas look like - and whoever shaped them that way didn't have my boardgame in mind.

There is another game of mine that simulated (as best as one can on a board) a sphere. This is not a unique concept as other games have adopted this same idea. Whilst this certainly overcomes the problem of board-edge invulnerability the setting needs must be a mythical world - hardly easy if you intend to call the game WALLENSTEIN!

So by shifting the scene to an island (Japan) Dirk Henn would seem to have addressed the problem in the best way available. I very much look forward to seeing it.

Derek
 
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andrea melegari
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I find the auction for turn order to be a great addiction as well..i couldn’t stand to be picked up as first in the last turn..
 
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