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Subject: Free Trade Zone - misprint OR weak and narrow card?. rss

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Rafał Kruczek
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"Free Trade Zone - Settle: Grey worlds require two fewer settlers to complete (but no fewer than two)"

there are 11 grey worlds (I assume that opposite wolrd to FTZ is not grey)
Number Cost
2 1
3 2
2 3
2 4
1 5
1 6

And only with 4 of them power is fully effective. With 2 it semi effective- and with 2 of then it makes them MORE expansive!
 
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Robin Levins
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rafal100 wrote:
"Free Trade Zone - Settle: Grey worlds require two fewer settlers to complete (but no fewer than two)"

there are 11 grey worlds (I assume that opposite wolrd to FTZ is not grey)
Number Cost
2 1
3 2
2 3
2 4
1 5
1 6

And only with 4 of them power is fully effective. With 2 it semi effective- and with 2 of then it makes them MORE expansive!

Discount bonuses are really good in this game. For example, Investment Credits has the same function as it did in Race for the Galaxy, but now it costs 4! That said, it is quite a narrow card, and I can't speak to it making 1-cost worlds more expensive. (I'm sure we would just play the cost as still being 1 for those worlds, despite that a strict reading of Free Trade Zone might lead you to think otherwise!)
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Rafał Kruczek
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Thesp wrote:
rafal100 wrote:
"Free Trade Zone - Settle: Grey worlds require two fewer settlers to complete (but no fewer than two)"

there are 11 grey worlds (I assume that opposite wolrd to FTZ is not grey)
Number Cost
2 1
3 2
2 3
2 4
1 5
1 6

And only with 4 of them power is fully effective. With 2 it semi effective- and with 2 of then it makes them MORE expansive!

Discount bonuses are really good in this game. For example, Investment Credits has the same function as it did in Race for the Galaxy, but now it costs 4! That said, it is quite a narrow card, and I can't speak to it making 1-cost worlds more expensive. (I'm sure we would just play the cost as still being 1 for those worlds, despite that a strict reading of Free Trade Zone might lead you to think otherwise!)

"This could not reduce cost below 2" may be better wording.
But yes, it is better than original Power Atifact wording ( see http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiver...

"The activation cost of target artifact is reduced by (2). If this would reduce target artifact's activation cost below (1), target artifact's activation cost becomes (1). Power Artifact has no effect on artifacts that have no activation cost or whose activation cost is (0)."
)

Yes UNCONDITIONAL -1 discount is very good especially there are no limit how many tiles you can build in one phase.
But discount (4*(-2)+2*(-1))/55= -0,18 is weak in comparition to other powers of 3 cost developments

For example
"Alien Uplift Blueprints - Settle: Genes (green) and Alien Technology (yellow) worlds require one fewer settler to complete." gives
16*(-1)/55=-0.29
So it is almost twice as good power. Yes yellow and green are more expensive so there is small posiiblity to chain a "super settle phase".
But how often you could have get a set of gray 2 and 3 cost worlds?


 
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Wei-Hwa Huang
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Free Trade Zone has no effect on grey worlds of cost 1 or grey worlds of cost 2.

From a thematic standpoint, the cheap (cost 1 or 2) grey worlds are military-focused worlds, for whom Free Trade doesn't benefit much.

Whether the tile
is "weak and narrow" I think I will wait to see what actual players think before I weigh in.
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Tom Lehmann
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Rafal, your analysis is looking only at expected discounts, not other benefits.

Expensive gray worlds provide Consumption dice, which magnify the value of non-gray worlds when Consuming. Therefore, you generally want to build expensive non-gray worlds *after* building other worlds just as you swing into Produce/Consume mode. (You'd rather build an Alien world earlier in order to Trade from it for lots of credits.)

The problem is that there isn't much time left in the game to exploit the dice that expensive gray worlds provide when you build worlds in this order. Therefore, speeding up the construction of these gray worlds is quite useful. Free Trade Zone's advantage lies more in *tempo advantage* than in expected discounts.

On the flip side, cheap gray worlds mostly provide Military dice that speed expansion. Extending this bonus to them would A) be unthematic and B) would speed up a speed strategy, which creates balance issues.

I'll certainly agree that Free Trade Zone is specialized. But, it ain't stupid (or a misprint). It does NOT make cost 1 gray worlds cost 2, as the parenthetical restriction modifies the first clause and is not a separate rule.
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Robin Levins
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onigame wrote:
Free Trade Zone has no effect on grey worlds of cost 1 or grey worlds of cost 2.

From a thematic standpoint, the cheap (cost 1 or 2) grey worlds are military-focused worlds, for whom Free Trade doesn't benefit much.

Whether the tile
is "weak and narrow" I think I will wait to see what actual players think before I weigh in.

As someone who has played, I would keep it every time I ever had 2 high-cost grey tiles on hand or available to me, and would probably keep it with just one. The one time I played it before having any grey worlds, it was significantly less useful.
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Dave K
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Thesp wrote:
onigame wrote:
Free Trade Zone has no effect on grey worlds of cost 1 or grey worlds of cost 2.

From a thematic standpoint, the cheap (cost 1 or 2) grey worlds are military-focused worlds, for whom Free Trade doesn't benefit much.

Whether the tile
is "weak and narrow" I think I will wait to see what actual players think before I weigh in.

As someone who has played, I would keep it every time I ever had 2 high-cost grey tiles on hand or available to me, and would probably keep it with just one. The one time I played it before having any grey worlds, it was significantly less useful.


That was pretty much what I was going to say. I don't think I'd ever keep it when I had no grey planets waiting (that is, just hoping I would draw some), but if I had two I would definitely keep it, and I would consider it with just one.
 
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James Ludlow
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Keep in mind that the inevitable expansion to this game will likely include additional worlds that work with Free Trade Zone.
 
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Rafał Kruczek
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jdludlow wrote:
Keep in mind that the inevitable expansion to this game will likely include additional worlds that work with Free Trade Zone.

I first hear that expansion is inevitable. I read on BGG that expansion is NOT planned.
So FTZ may have some uses if you are planing to use high cost gray worlds. It also facilitates settling such worlds with sesnsble number of dice - as I assume that dice are tight in Roll and binding 6 dice to one settle can be hard also settling in two instalmnets would be easier.
I didn't understand Tom Lehmann explaination about Consume startegy (maybe with practice with game...). I don't know, what 3-cost world is on other side of FTZ, but it probably isn't grey so if I would pursue Consume engine I would rather have a colored 3-cost world than 3-cost developmnet.
 
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mfl134
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rafal100 wrote:
jdludlow wrote:
Keep in mind that the inevitable expansion to this game will likely include additional worlds that work with Free Trade Zone.

I first hear that expansion is inevitable. I read on BGG that expansion is NOT planned.
So FTZ may have some uses if you are planing to use high cost gray worlds. It also facilitates settling such worlds with sesnsble number of dice - as I assume that dice are tight in Roll and binding 6 dice to one settle can be hard also settling in two instalmnets would be easier.
I didn't understand Tom Lehmann explaination about Consume startegy (maybe with practice with game...). I don't know, what 3-cost world is on other side of FTZ, but it probably isn't grey so if I would pursue Consume engine I would rather have a colored 3-cost world than 3-cost developmnet.


He was saying that getting consumption dice is good for the consumption strategy.
 
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Tom Lehmann
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mfl134 wrote:
rafal100 wrote:
I didn't understand Tom Lehmann explanation about Consume strategy

He was saying that getting consumption dice is good for the consumption strategy.

Further, that the *order* of settling worlds and getting dice matters for consumption strategies.

Since you can't place goods on gray worlds, settling gray worlds with consumption dice early on doesn't do much for a consumption strategy. You want them after settling other worlds and then you don't have lots of time left in the game for those consumption dice to matter, so a discount that gets those grey worlds out quickly *at the right time* is quite useful.

rafal100 wrote:
maybe with practice with game...

And this is why I'm not a fan of releasing rules and game data in advance. It leads to second-guessing and criticisms that mostly go away when people actually play the game.

Unfortunately, in this case, Hasbro's screw-ups have left us in this position, sigh.
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John
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I thought seeing the list of worlds that Free Trade Zone might be useful to some. Here they are.

Gateway Station, Trading World, Tourist World, Transport Hub, Terraformed World, Galactic Trendsetters


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Richard Dewsbery
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zabdiel wrote:
I thought seeing the list of worlds that Free Trade Zone might be useful to some.


Thanks for that.

Everyone can now see that Tourist World will end up costing 2 dice, but gives you $1 to buy back one of those two - so with FTZ gaining a purple die into your citizenry "costs" just one settle die.

Same cost/benefit for Transport Hub and Terraformed World; Galactic Trendsetters will cost you 4 dice, but you get $2 back and 2 purple dice - so each purple die costs you one settler.

With "only" 1 discount for Gateway Station and Trading World they are the red-headed stepchildren of FTZ. Each of the more expensive grey planets become bargains IMO.

But as Tom says, it's a Development that provides its biggest benefit to a Produce>Ship strategy; I'd build FTZ in preference to a lot of other Devs, but perhaps after I'd lined up at least one large grey planet in my Under Construction zone. It also makes leeching Settle actions off the tableau-builders stronger.
 
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Rafał Kruczek
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
mfl134 wrote:
rafal100 wrote:
I didn't understand Tom Lehmann explanation about Consume strategy

He was saying that getting consumption dice is good for the consumption strategy.

Further, that the *order* of settling worlds and getting dice matters for consumption strategies.

Since you can't place goods on gray worlds, settling gray worlds with consumption dice early on doesn't do much for a consumption strategy. You want them after settling other worlds and then you don't have lots of time left in the game for those consumption dice to matter, so a discount that gets those grey worlds out quickly *at the right time* is quite useful.

rafal100 wrote:
maybe with practice with game...

And this is why I'm not a fan of releasing rules and game data in advance. It leads to second-guessing and criticisms that mostly go away when people actually play the game.

Unfortunately, in this case, Hasbro's screw-ups have left us in this position, sigh.


After actually playing the game over 40 times since, I was never in situation when I wanted to get FTZ out for its ability. I don't recall in being in situation when I had multiple Consuption worlds in Construction Zone and then I Scouted FTZ or vice versa.

I'm almost sure that in these games my opponent weren't able to pull FTZ discount twice. Of course I may haven't noticed that discounting and my oppponents probably didn't consider Tom's strategy, but IFAIR Free Trade Zone remains NARROW card for me. It's ability was used at most once per game - so it WASN'T MUCH tempo advantage.
You may consider using it if you see it in Explore and there is Develop/Settle lined up (or probable) and dice discount proved to be extremely strong.
SO I was wrong with "Free Trade Zone is weak AND narrow". It isn't weak, it isn't strong also ,but it remain very situational in it's use. Definition of narrow use card.

Some related remarks.

In comparition FTZ the weakest settle discount despire it is the only -2 discount.

Replicant Robots works great with 2 cost world effectively negating hiddent cost of Explore dice. Making then ideal 2vp for 2 dice.
I understand that allowing FTZ working with 2 cost grey worlds (or lowering 3 cost to 1) would unbalace the tile (and/or make it not thematic?).

Alien Uplift Blueprints
- is cheaper
- gives only -1 to cost
- works on broader pallete (grenn/yellow) of world with much more potential.
MUCH more potential us (but not limited to)
- Green/Yellow worlds can have goods
- Green/Yellow world goods can be sold. Also these are the expensive colors
- Green/Yellow world goods can be consumed. There is also VERY synergistic development Alien Uplift Blueprint
- Goods can start on the Green/Yellow worlds - to be usable in the same and possibly last round. Consume Dice at best start in cup to be usable in the next round.
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Greg Wilson
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I just played a game where I got this early and it sounded really useful.

Halfway through the game, after an awful lot of exploring and abandoning and not seeing any grey worlds, I saw the table on the back of the rulebook and realised it only affected six tiles in the whole bag. Decided to rush technology instead, and got up into second.

Got one use out of FTZ in the game, and it's definitely a nice ability, but I feel like there are just not enough tiles it works on. Worth grabbing if you've already got the grey worlds waiting, sure, but too narrow to gamble on in advance.
 
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