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Subject: Hopeless? rss

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Brad Johnson
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We tried our first game of Gloria Mundi last night and it did not go well. Upon further review, we discovered that we missed on rule: When the Gaul does move, he moves to the last covered space, NOT the first open space (which in my opinion is a little more intuitive but that's not the point....)

Our problem was that by about halfway through the game we had pretty much reached a point where no one could keep more than 1 production card in play at a time, and it took several turns around the table for anyone to get enough resources to buy even the least expensive building card. We would each put out a production that DIDN'T match the next Goth space, and then refuse to pay tribute so the person to your left (or HIS left) would lose his production card, and so on. Real unfun.

Now given that we were playing incorrectly, does that one simple correction really make that big a difference?? (It didn't seem to me like it would, but...) I know the premise of the game is the destruction of Rome, but it's not very fun to have no hope of building anything up that you can benefit from on a later turn at all. If you're playing correctly, about how many production cards should each player typically be able to maintain? How SHOULD you be playing to maximize your ability to stay a couple steps ahead of the Goth?

Any advice appreciated!
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Alexander B.
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I played this game for the first time yesterday, and didn't love it either.

I don't agree that the game is broken somehow. After all, if constant revenge like you describe is how people want to play, that strategy is perfectly reasonable and someone will be furthest away from Rome at the end and will win.

This means that always nailing the person on your left is generally not a good strategy. Why? Because the person you want to nail is the leader so you can catch up! It is also very possible that you WANT to play the card that would get destroyed. Why not help yourself to win at the cost of 1 or 2 resources rather than taking down someone every turn who probably is no threat in most cases anyway?

The game does seem more fun when more build-up can happen (paying of the Visigoth), and more players probably helps too since when the Visigoth hits, he might not get to everyone in any case so those players that lost no cards will end up winning.

All that said, I feel there are many better games that are similar but a bit less... how to say it, odd, abstract, and a bit awkward.
 
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mrbass
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I played it too...not sure why you can't just play with cards, cubes, and a cribbage scoring board. The board is nothing more than a racing track. I didn't like it that much either but willing to give it one more shot before deciding for sure. Looks pretty at least.
 
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Luca Iennaco
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After two attempts, my last hope is that it is good at least with just 2 players (but at the moment I'm not eager to play it again only to discover if this is true).
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Morgan Dontanville
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This one is a stinker.
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Inno Van
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Once again, here's the rush to be the first to condemn a new title.

Based on only one play, and getting the rules wrong.

Because all the cool kids are negative.
 
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Nick Szegedi
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We played a (5) player game and loved it... I am eager to try it out with my brother for a (2) player game! SHould get interesting!
 
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Nick Fisk
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We've played several games, with all numbers from 2 to 6, and enjoyed it every time.

The 6-player game had a little bit of a runaway leader, but then he was the only guy to have not been hit after the Goth had moved twice (9 spaces), so it was partly down to the other players letting him getting away with it early on.

I can kind of picture the situation in the original post arising, although I'd be very surprised if you can continue that strategy for a whole game.

When a new game comes along, we try and play it with no pre-conceptions.

It seems that the longer a game is delayed, or the earlier it is announced, the more it will get panned when it finally arrives.


N.
 
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Jim Cote
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tempus42 wrote:
Our problem was that by about halfway through the game we had pretty much reached a point where no one could keep more than 1 production card in play at a time, and it took several turns around the table for anyone to get enough resources to buy even the least expensive building card. We would each put out a production that DIDN'T match the next Goth space, and then refuse to pay tribute so the person to your left (or HIS left) would lose his production card, and so on. Real unfun.


Nick, can you comment specifically on this issue? Does it only happen if players are playing very poorly? No offense, Brad. I'm just trying to understand how likely it is to occur. If the game can degenerate this way for experienced players, then my interest in this game might die.
 
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Carl-Gustaf Samuelsson
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tempus42 wrote:
Our problem was that by about halfway through the game we had pretty much reached a point where no one could keep more than 1 production card in play at a time, and it took several turns around the table for anyone to get enough resources to buy even the least expensive building card.

This sounds as you didn't start with one production building type each in the setup. I agree that the rules are crappy, but when we finally understood them it had a nice flow. We played pretty quickly as it was a learning game, but I can imaging that this might suffer from Analyses Paralyses ib the future. Mainly when it's best to let the Goth move or not. Probably it's good to try to keep at least one unbuilt production building of each type (maybe not all the time), to use for tributes. After a while everyone seemed to get a lot of resources every turn and the redistribution of the tributes gives some to rebuild your own buildings. Definitively an interesting game and it's on my "must buy list".
/Carl
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Nick Fisk
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That's weird. This bit used to mention Shire Games, and tell you all how wonderful we are. But it seems to have got deleted. Let's see what happens this time ....
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ekted wrote:
tempus42 wrote:
Our problem was that by about halfway through the game we had pretty much reached a point where no one could keep more than 1 production card in play at a time, and it took several turns around the table for anyone to get enough resources to buy even the least expensive building card. We would each put out a production that DIDN'T match the next Goth space, and then refuse to pay tribute so the person to your left (or HIS left) would lose his production card, and so on. Real unfun.


Nick, can you comment specifically on this issue? Does it only happen if players are playing very poorly? No offense, Brad. I'm just trying to understand how likely it is to occur. If the game can degenerate this way for experienced players, then my interest in this game might die.


Hmmm ....

When I first read this, I thought that something must have been played wrong.

Then, when I thought about it, I started to wonder if it was possible after all.

My first question would be: Did you start with one of each production card in front of you?
If so, then (almost) everything was played correctly.

My second question: How many players? As I think - if it is possible to force this situation - it may only occur at a certain number of players.

I've tried to picture the situation to see if it could happen, and I guess, if you actively tried to do it, it might be possible.

Played correctly, this won't happen from the beginning. The first tribute is food, and the start player will lose a farm without any recompense if he moves the Goth. Next up is a gold (IIRC), and the next player could choose to move the Goth, but he would lose the farm and gain a food cube as a replacement; however if he does this, he will have one less production building than everyone else.

Once there are as many tributes in front of the Goth as there are players, that's when you start thinking about moving him. However, sometimes it jumps from having N-1 resources to having N+1 resources, and you would be fairly unwilling to move him in either circumstance, as with N-1, the guy on your right gets away with ot (OK if he's in last place, I gues) and with N+1, you get hit twice (possibly OK if there's some Glory to pick up).

The number of cards you have in front of you peaks when the Goth is about a third of the way to Rome. After that, more double-tribute spaces appear and then your cards start to diminish.

By the end of the game, you are reduced to 1/2/3 cards. By this time, quite often you are buying a building card for the steps, knowing full well that the chance of executing its special ability is slim!

In conclusion to all this rambling ...

I imagine that there *might* be a situation where this could occur, but the players would have to actively play for it, with no interest in trying to further themselves in the game, just constantly pick on the guy to their left (who may be in last place ... one of them had to be). The only person that would benefit from this continuing is whoever is leading.

I guess this applies to a lot of games.

In Caylus, if the first couple of guys pass every time instead of placing a worker, then no-one else will be able to afford to place a guy, the bailiff will move and the game will end without anyone getting very far or enjoying it. However, I've yet to see it happen!

 
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Scott Kinsey
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I played this game for the first time Saturday with a total of six players and can't wait to play it again. The rules were a bit clunky and it took a few turns for the game to get rolling but it was a very interesting experience. Frustrating, yes, to watch things you worked so hard to build be destroyed at a moment's notice by the heartless Goth (or rather, the #%$$ that released him!), but a very interesting mechanic. Not really sure what I should have been doing (I finished 5th) but I'm anxious to do all the wrong things again soon!
 
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Alexander B.
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Innovan wrote:
Once again, here's the rush to be the first to condemn a new title.

Based on only one play, and getting the rules wrong.

Because all the cool kids are negative.


Negative like you are towards people who say they don't like something? Harsh stuff man...

I'll tell you what I didn't like about it:

1) Why am I building things when I am running? If I want to get out of Italy, the last thing I'm going to do is build a farm.

2) The seating order seems to be extremely important. I don't mind some of this in a game, but this seemed over the top for my taste.

3) I didn't like the day-glo Goth guy. Components are important to me.

4) The game was more "back-stabby" than I liked. Games where "kill the leader" is the main goal are games that I find can foster resentment more often than other games that have general conflict.

5) The main thing I didn't like is, again, the abstract nature of what is going on. For example, I create an archer building that creates three legions for me when a farm card is played and then I spend a legion and a large assortment of other resources to build a tax collector? What the heck is all that supposed to mean? The theme is just not well tied to the game well for my taste. This is a problem with many Eurogames, but is seemed particularly substantial here.


Long story short, I don't have to eat a food I don't like 10 times to know I don't like it...

There is nothing "wrong" with this game. It is unique and the rules work well. It takes a while to learn what all the cards do (which a bit of text could have really helped with), but all that said, it is perfectly possible to dislike a game for reasons other than it is "broken" somehow.

Again: to each her own. I gave it a 6 with is nearly the average others gave it. The definition of 6 meaning I might play it on occassion if in the mood, but the game is far from being "great".
 
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Brad Johnson
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Thanks for the feedback all -- First, it wasn't my intent to just be negative and hate the game: I realize we played it incorrectly, and I want to try it again, but only if people who were playing it correctly can confirm that it does work that way. (If it still has issues when played correctly, then I don't want to spend the time to try it again.)

Yes, we did start with one of each type of production card. After a couple times around the table, we mostly felt like we were doing ok, getting up to about 4 production cards with 1 or 2 buildings in play per player. I thought it would continue something like that, maybe fall back 2 steps for every 3 taken, so to speak, but still generally making it so you would have more options by mid game. Instead, we were all pretty much down to 0 to 1 production cards per player by mid game with no real hope of ever rebuilding since the Goth was destroying stuff faster than we could ever build it. We *were* playing it wrong, so my question is still: "If we play correctly, could we expect it work more like I had thought it should?" We were all very frustrated that it just seemed to be an exercise in futility after the first few rounds. Carl seems to be saying above that yes, if you play correctly, you do get a chance to get a little ahead of the curve. It sounds like Nick is confirming that. We were playing with 4 players, and remember that we were playing INCORRECTLY, essentially moving the Goth a bit faster than he should have been. So my real question is, does that little bit make all the difference? (If so, I think that rule needs to be printed in large, bold, highlighted font, because it's really only 1 or 2 words that we missed, and like I said, I still think my way was more intuitive, even if wrong.

As for avoiding the Goth by not producing whatever it is he next wants to kill so you can pass the pain to your left, that was by no means a "strategy" that we intentionally chose, it was just the only thing we could do. Either that, or play out the production card the Goth *does* want to destroy and then let it be destroyed, which clearly seems to be the worse choice.

 
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Alexander B.
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tempus42 wrote:
We were playing with 4 players, and remember that we were playing INCORRECTLY, essentially moving the Goth a bit faster than he should have been. So my real question is, does that little bit make all the difference? (If so, I think that rule needs to be printed in large, bold, highlighted font, because it's really only 1 or 2 words that we missed, and like I said, I still think my way was more intuitive, even if wrong.



I can't see how this slight mistake you were making would change the outcome much at all. It is the past resources that were given as tribute that cause the destruction, so moving him one more forward would not add to the tribute pool and thus the destruction.

In the game I played, we were playing it right and I got totally wiped out of cards at one point. Then again, I didn't give tribute several times, so "hit myself" several times.

The guy who won paid tribute every single time IIRC except for once to kill a key building of the player on his left. At the end, he had about 4 buildings working for him. So, even in a game where a good bit of descrution is happening, so long as MOST players aren't allowing the Goth to move, there is a possiblity to build things up a bit it seems.

I ultimately agree that putting so much thinking into what building I want, then paying for it, then getting it clobbered the next turn, is not exactly my kind of game play. There is nothing "wrong" with it, but it isn't really to my taste.

I would suggest trying the game where everyone agrees to pay the Goth for the first 5 turns or so just so you can see how it unfolds. I believe that is often the "best" strategy anyway. At that point, "kill the leader" is probably the name of the game.

The problem with letting the Goth move a lot early on, is that the number of tribute resources grows as he moves down the track. So, indeed, if he moves a lot at first it would have the effect of both ripping up early resources and then also causing more resources to get ripped up in mid-game. The fact that "revenge wars" can ruin the game for everyone, in a way, is part of the game is seems, and not really a flaw IMO.
 
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Jim Cote
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diamondspider wrote:
1) Why am I building things when I am running? If I want to get out of Italy, the last thing I'm going to do is build a farm.


Not to excuse the game, but I always pictured it that this takes place over decades. Imagine that you live on the ocean and you know that sea level is rising and will destroy your home in 20 years. Aren't you still going to mow the lawn while you live there?
 
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Chris Bailey
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ekted wrote:
diamondspider wrote:
1) Why am I building things when I am running? If I want to get out of Italy, the last thing I'm going to do is build a farm.


Not to excuse the game, but I always pictured it that this takes place over decades. Imagine that you live on the ocean and you know that sea level is rising and will destroy your home in 20 years. Aren't you still going to mow the lawn while you live there?


I was thinking the same thing. Good point!cool
 
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Alexander B.
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ekted wrote:
diamondspider wrote:
1) Why am I building things when I am running? If I want to get out of Italy, the last thing I'm going to do is build a farm.


Not to excuse the game, but I always pictured it that this takes place over decades. Imagine that you live on the ocean and you know that sea level is rising and will destroy your home in 20 years. Aren't you still going to mow the lawn while you live there?


No doubt, with enough imagination, anything can make a kind of abstract sense...

...I think what bugged me most is why when another player plays, say, a Legio, I then move forward a space if I spend a Legio because I own a stables building on my own Legio... again, we could try and make a story up for what is happening here, but we're talking some seriously abstract stuff!

At least in say, Puerto Rico, buying a Coffee Roaster for my coffee, or grabbing some people to man the thing is really easy to envision.
 
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Josh Wheeler
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We played a brief 3-player game of this for the first time last night, and it may just suit our style of play, because we very much enjoyed it, and look forward to further plays. I like that the game moves along at a brisk pace, and for the 3 of us playing it felt like we were engaged in an epic game of chicken.

I really can't answer the question posited by this thread, as I haven't played it enough to say if that one rule would make a big difference or not, but in my gut, I feel this game landing in the 7 to 8 range on my rating scale.

One does need to love backstabbing to enjoy this game, methinks.
 
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Alexander B.
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Nonamnon wrote:
...
One does need to love backstabbing to enjoy this game, methinks.


What is unique about this game, as far as I can see, is that nearly every choice a player makes will have a directly and usually substantial impact on several other players.

This goes for both good and bad impacts. I might be in a place I need to play a Legio, but that will help 2 other players more than me! I might also decide not to pay tribute and hurt myself a little to hurt others a lot.

It is not common in games to have so much impact each and every move. Indeed, if you like both your fate and the fates of others to be almost on the whim of each player, this game is not only good at that, I cannot think of many other games that have this heavy of an impact dynamic!
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David Engle
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diamondspider wrote:
tempus42 wrote:
We were playing with 4 players, and remember that we were playing INCORRECTLY, essentially moving the Goth a bit faster than he should have been. So my real question is, does that little bit make all the difference? (If so, I think that rule needs to be printed in large, bold, highlighted font, because it's really only 1 or 2 words that we missed, and like I said, I still think my way was more intuitive, even if wrong.



I can't see how this slight mistake you were making would change the outcome much at all...


No, no, no. This misreading of the rules creates huge problems.

Normally it is disadvantagous to advance the Goth. But when the number of existing tribute markers is equal to the number of players, it becomes advantageous to advance the Goth because the acting player gets to apply the damage first.
So with four players, if the Goth is advanced every fourth turn, playing correctly, every four turns four cards will be destroyed. Under your reading of the rules, every four turns FIVE cards will be destroyed ( or more likely, four cards every three turns. ) In either case, you have significantly increased the rate at which cards are being destroyed. No wonder you could not build up anything.

Furthermore, your mistake creates a big problem with the modulo of the turn order. Under the correct rules, the advantaged position (being the guy who releases the Goth) passes one seat to the left each time the Goth moves. Using your mistake, the advantaged seat never changes.

This pattern is not set in stone. The two resource spaces and other tactical considerations will cause people to break the pattern. But, still, your small misreading breaks fundamental parts of the game's machinery in very significant ways.
 
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Andy Daglish
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Assessing the outcome of advancing the Goth isn't merely about the effect he'll have on the on-board position, but also what will happen in subsequent turns, which may not be immediately obvious. Advancing the Goth may seem advantageous but his subsequent advance might be very bad for the player who didn't pay tribute initially, depending on the choices of loss made around the table.

tempus42 wrote:
Instead, we were all pretty much down to 0 to 1 production cards per player by mid game with no real hope of ever rebuilding since the Goth was destroying stuff faster than we could ever build it.


This can happen towards the end of a game, and getting into this position isn't a good idea is because:-

Quote:
I might be in a place I need to play a Legio, but that will help 2 other players more than me!


Having opponents make your best move for you is more likely with more players.

Quote:
As for avoiding the Goth by not producing whatever it is he next wants to kill so you can pass the pain to your left, that was by no means a "strategy" that we intentionally chose, it was just the only thing we could do.


this can be a devastating move, and I'd hope it wouldn't happen very often. This seems to be the case, but I suspect its something of an unhappy weakness in the game.
 
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Alexander B.
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daengle wrote:
So with four players, if the Goth is advanced every fourth turn, playing correctly, every four turns four cards will be destroyed. Under your reading of the rules, every four turns FIVE cards will be destroyed ( or more likely, four cards every three turns. ) In either case, you have significantly increased the rate at which cards are being destroyed. No wonder you could not build up anything.
.


What the heck are you talking about? First of all, the number of tributes put in each space varies, sho this comment implying that the number of tribute in the "pool" would be equal to the number of players to have moved is already totally wrong.

Not only that, even if he moved the Goth one extra space forward, that would NOT create another card to be destroyed that turn, because where the Goth lands does not determine what cards are destroyed: the past tribute that was paid determines that unless there was no tribute paid in the past at all.

Finally, I already noted in my post that it IS an issue that the further the Goth gets to Rome the more tributes on average per square are asked by it which WOULD somewhat speed-up the destruction of building: however, it is quite possible for several people to get wiped out of all cards even playing correctly and THAT was my point: if very few players are paying tribute, then it will cause the experience the OP was writing about. The trick is to realize that since you get wacked first that paying the Goth is usually the best strategy. If it is paid most of the time, then, obviously, the build-up of buildings will be allowed to happen.

I stand by my statement, that small misunderstanding of the rules would generally make fairly little difference in the game (although some).
 
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Dave Heberer
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Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast.
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I just wanted to chime in with some degenerate play example, since people seem to be hypothesizing what could happen maybe.

You just need one guy acting crazy to really throw the game off for everyone. This is what happened in the one correct game I played, 5 players.

I'm first in the turn order. I, and the 2 people following me pay tribute to the man. The next guy decides that he doesn't want to pay the man, and sets him to burn. Furthermore, he has decided that he wants to invest in green, (which I didn't invest in) and keeps both of those and burns his gimme gold card. I end up losing my green card. The next player also plays green, giving both of them 2 green cubes and me nothing. Now it's my turn, the man wants a green cube to stop the hurting, but I don't have any. I set him to burn once more.

This kind of thinking happens from just 1 person playing to hurt others in the beginning. Since he/she voids players in a color, they have 2 choices available to them:

1) play in a color the other person voided you in and pay the man the 1 cube you get while the players that were dicks reap the benefit? So they can do it again when it comes around to their turn?

2) play out of suit again so you can set the man to burn without hurting yourself.

The choice seems pretty obvious. I personally think if they had made it so that if you don't have a card of the right color you burn a card of your choice, these problems wouldn't exist. It still makes it a taxing, vindictive game, but at least I wouldn't have cursed the person who suggested I play.
 
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Daniel Stahl
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I'm always drawn to games that claim they can play 6 players, so I picked this up.

After two plays at 6 players, both games ended up in the same situation - a runaway player and 1-2 players totally screwed by others to the point that they aren't even in contention halfway through the game.

Most of this seems to occur due to large Goth movements by the same person.

The general concensus of my casual game group is that there are several that are hurting a 6 player game.

The Goth is too devestating when you lose a key resource

Some buildings are just too expensive early in the game where you actually haven't been hurt by the Goth as much

Here are two house rules we are considering for 6p:

1. Start with 2 of each type of resource (including purple)

2. Change the Goth payment entirely

When a player doesn't pay tribute -
a) move Goth to the next space
b) active player pays one resource of the type displayed then move tribute to central pile (if any). If the active player has none of the resource types on the space - no one is hurt - it doesn't go to next player)
c) next player moves goth one space if there is tribute on it and pays one of the resources shown on the space. Move resources to central pile
d) repeat C if next space has tribute on it

This way - the Goth isn't as deadly and it still allows for some strategy by allowing you to determine what gets destroyed and ways to avoid the Goth.

These are the only things we can think of to make the game move swiftly as well as with more balance as what really hurts most is when the Goth goes around the table once and then hits the active + 1 or 2 to his left twice.

In both games I've played - this happens 2-3 times per game and leaves 1-2 players totally out of it for nothing that they did which just makes everyone not want to finish the game.

You have to admit that losing a game based on nothing that you had any control over is horrid.

But maybe thats why "screw your neighbor" games just aren't that fun.

I'm curious if this game would be more fun if you just removed the Goth entirely and simply raced?

-HG

 
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