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Subject: Accelerated Development Exped Cards rss

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Nick Case
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I have now played Goa 3 times so arguably my observations may be from wild card events, but it would be interesting to get some feed back from more experienced players.

1st Game: Bit of a rules blur, but generally got the hang

2nd Game: One player drew 3 nicely spaced exped cards that allows you to develop in a fast track style for 6 ducats per progression. They slide from 4 to 12 ducat per action immediately and the other 2 identical cards just blow the rest of us out of the water. Its a slaughter with a 20 point winning margin.

3rd Game: Same again but a different player gets all the fast track cards and ends the game with all developments on the bottom rung. They can't do a thing wrong and score a magnificent 75 points and a clear margin of 30.

Is it me, was this just a fluke, or are these cards just plain too powerful? In the last two games they have totally handed the game to one player and no alternate actions by other players seemed possible to stop this jugernaut in its tracks. We have considered removing these cards completely from the deck. What do people think?
 
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Alexander B.
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I'm sure you got this from the rules, but you can only zip down one level per card, right? You cannot spend more money to keep moving down on one card.

I agree that these are really powerful, but moving down 1 level for that amount of ducats doesn't seem to break the game for me.

It is, of course, possible to play in ways that get me to draw a lot of expedition cards... or not. This is a good strategy, I think, but it has risks also. There is no guarantee you get those cards, and some of the expedition cards are not exactly amazing.

Edit: Actually, is it possible that you are playing this totally wrong? I think this card does not allow you to move free up the ducat track. What it does is allows you to move ONE up ANY track of your choice if you PAY the amount of ducets shown e.g. going from slot 1 to slot 2 costs 6 ducets. Is this how you are doing it? Or have I been playing wrong?
 
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William Attia
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Big Bad Lex wrote:
They slide from 4 to 12 ducat per action immediately and the other 2 identical cards just blow the rest of us out of the water. Its a slaughter with a 20 point winning margin.

Using these cards only allows you to go up one step (for instance, from line 1 to line 2 by paying 6 ducats, or from line 4 to line 5 by paying 24 ducats). You just replace the normal upgrade cost (ships and spices) with money, which may be more convenient (although not always), but is definitely not game-breaking. I guess you must have played these cards wrong.

The best scores I have seen in more than 10 games of Goa are around 45 points at most - definitely not 75.

William
 
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Philip Johnson
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You were definitely playing these cards wrong. You can only move down one space when you use the card, as others have said. That is, if the track you want to advance is at the first spot, you can only move it to the second spot. A score of 75 in this game is basically impossible unless you get INSANELY lucky on the expedition card sets.
 
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jbrier
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The expedition card that lets you pay money to move down is actually relatively weak. The problem cards are the "advance without spices/ships" which ARE very close to broken.
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Alex Bove
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verandi wrote:
The expedition card that lets you pay money to move down is actually relatively weak. The problem cards are the "advance without spices/ships" which ARE very close to broken.


Especially if you get one of each. I've gone from level 3 to level five in a column *very* quickly with that combo many times.
 
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Seth Jaffee
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wlam wrote:
I guess you must have played these cards wrong.

The best scores I have seen in more than 10 games of Goa are around 45 points at most - definitely not 75.

I agree that it's clear you've played the card wrong.

My first game of goa I scored something like 60 points, but that's because the person who explained it said we each get 4 actions per round. Oddly though, other players had "normal" scores and I won by a loarge margin.

When playing correctly though I have definitely seen - and scored - more than 45. I think the most has probably been 54 or so. I lost 48-52 or somethingl ike that in a 4 player game on Saturday. I've definitely scored in the high 40's many times.
 
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Nick Case
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Aiiie...we have been playing way wrong. That does balance things up. Time to try again.

Thanks for the help.
 
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Simon Cox
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But I still won that first game - we were all playing to the same rules!
 
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Mark Wilson
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Maybe you have low bidders in your games. Or people who choose the money action more often than others. Either way, there are ways to fix this strategy a bit. I always find that the key to winning can sometimes being making sure your opponents end up strapped for cash for auctions.
 
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James Faulkner
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Having played Goa 3 times in recent weeks, the one change I was thinking of making was to increase the power of this particular expedition card. In the games I've played it seemed to be one of the weaker cards you could get and I was thinking of reducing the costs to 5,10,15,20 for advancement instead of 6,12,18,24.

As expedition cards are quite a strong strategy it would seem a good idea to reduce the strength of some other cards to balance the above change. The obvious candidates being the ones that allow development without ships or without spice which seem very powerful. Not sure how, but maybe replacing the missing ships or spices with 1 money for each missing ship/spice would give some balance.
 
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Nick Case
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Jamesdcfc wrote:
Having played Goa 3 times in recent weeks, the one change I was thinking of making was to increase the power of this particular expedition card. In the games I've played it seemed to be one of the weaker cards you could get and I was thinking of reducing the costs to 5,10,15,20 for advancement instead of 6,12,18,24.

As expedition cards are quite a strong strategy it would seem a good idea to reduce the strength of some other cards to balance the above change. The obvious candidates being the ones that allow development without ships or without spice which seem very powerful. Not sure how, but maybe replacing the missing ships or spices with 1 money for each missing ship/spice would give some balance.


Since our initial mistake was pointed out, we have played a few more games with the correct rules and for my 2d I have to say that think the balance of the game is cock-on. Paying to slide down the progress chart is a huge benifit and I don't think it should be any cheaper.

Rebalancing a game is a slippery slope IMHO and I trust that most games in the BGG top 50 had 100's of hours play testing before being published. By all means tweak away if it really does best suit a particular group and gaming style but beware that a delicate trade off can be erased as a result, creating a larger problem than the one originally perceived.
 
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James Faulkner
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We tend not to tweak rules for games. Less to do with balance as I think most games would survive the type of tweak I was suggesting, but more to do with the fact we are happy to live with what some of us may perceive as an unbalance (e.g. weaker/stronger cards) and the luck around that unbalance (in this case the cards you draw). Also when playing with new players it can be cumbersome if people have different house rules.

Also I agree it could come down to groupthink, but in my games so far people have not been that happy when drawing the pay for advancement cards but have been very happy with the advance without ships/spice cards. Maybe I need to play more but my gut feel is that that will remain the case.
 
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Dumont Claude
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I have played several game of Goa and the expedition card where you have to pay to advance was not used a lot. We are high bidders and there is not a lot of money left at the end of the turn to buy our way on the bord with that card. It's propably better to gain control on the flag than to spend money on that card unless you are well ahead in the ducat column compared to your oppenents and want to gain interest in the other columns. If you spend to much ducats on that card you might end up been disadvantage in the other rounds bidding process. To pay less for moving would make that card more interesting, but since the rules are the rules, were are playing that card has is.
 
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