Kelvin Lau
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Remember when we are in vanilla Race for the Galaxy, Production and Shipping aren't really an option. It was really weak. The rule set and mechanism seems refreshing but the strategic base seems to be really shallow. You do not have much viable strategy to choose from other than if you feel like trolling or not caring to win. Production-shipping only came into Race after the Gathering Storms.

Now, it seems we are having the same problem in Roll. Unlike actions in Race where it is always free, in a sense it cost you nothing other than the opportunity cost of not picking other actions, actions in Roll always cost you dices which is in the same time your resources to get planets and developments rolling. It was your hand as your resources back in race. Now the problem is that when you used to produce in Race, you take cards from the library to place it as your good, it wasn't really consuming your hand. But in Roll, you have to use your own die as goods, and you have to use your own die to trade or consume, which means really you are spending your resources to play your actions. Now if you use 2 white die to trade, or you use one die and a matched colour die, it is actually an efficiency loss as every die you use in developments and planets will result into more previllages and equal or better VP - there are always follow up benefits. But in produce and trading, not only it takes you two turns and lock up your dices, you have to pay for these actions! Even with benefits from the developments or consuming dices, it wasn't really an option unless you have to rescue dices from the citizenry or they just turn to be bad with tonnes or production or ship.

Or you have tonnes of combos to play with but it is almost always too late. And it is really easy to predict a production and shipping play.

Some players mentioned about collusion with 2 players in a sense one player would produce and the other ship. It is all really about luck given you can't do obvious table talks and there are chances that one player can backstab the other.

Not to mention when you used to ship in Race, you get resources as cards from the library so that you have more developments and planets to choose from. In Roll, you get dices where what you can expect, is always the die. You need to explore to in order to dig for cards.

The planets aren't really have much to say as they are pretty much all the same. Just to say if what was written is vaild, the red dices are always better and you do not really have to aim for green or yellow dices unless they just come alone and when you have efficient reassignments.

Another problem is that developments are scored another way compared to race. Developments now score as their face value and 6+ developments are not 6+X scores instead of X scores as in Race. It is really efficient as every die you successfully spent on developments (or planets to some extend) score 1 VP and with extra following up benefits. It is way way way too efficient compared to shipping-production. Successfully finishing a 6-development with a good start (which you won't start building otherwise) cost you on average two actions and additional follow up benefits, which those are the really strong 6-developments compared to other 6's like the dice wonder as a end game VP bonus.

As mentioned in other forums, we feel like the games nowadays are like old game A mechanism + B mechanism + C mechanism = new game. It is like you can explain Ora et Labora = Agricola + Le Havre. It might not be a good example but you can almost always say this to every 'new game' nowadays despite the ruleset and strategy might in a good balance. We had played like 60 games already non-stop as it has a really refreshing mechanism. I would like to thank the author for such refreshing gameplay. And we just really like to roll that fucking dices in a cup - we don't do pubs or liar's dice .

But it seems the VPs and action costs need a balance rework.
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Bruce Nettleton
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lofung_hk wrote:
Remember when we are in vanilla Race for the Galaxy, Production and Shipping aren't really an option. It was really weak. The rule set and mechanism seems refreshing but the strategic base seems to be really shallow. You do not have much viable strategy to choose from other than if you feel like trolling or not caring to win. Production-shipping only came into Race after the Gathering Storms.

Now, it seems we are having the same problem in Roll. Unlike actions in Race where it is always free, in a sense it cost you nothing other than the opportunity cost of not picking other actions, actions in Roll always cost you dices which is in the same time your resources to get planets and developments rolling. It was your hand as your resources back in race. Now the problem is that when you used to produce in Race, you take cards from the library to place it as your good, it wasn't really consuming your hand. But in Roll, you have to use your own die as goods, and you have to use your own die to trade or consume, which means really you are spending your resources to play your actions. Now if you use 2 white die to trade, or you use one die and a matched colour die, it is actually an efficiency loss as every die you use in developments and planets will result into more previllages and equal or better VP - there are always follow up benefits. But in produce and trading, not only it takes you two turns and lock up your dices, you have to pay for these actions! Even with benefits from the developments or consuming dices, it wasn't really an option unless you have to rescue dices from the citizenry or they just turn to be bad with tonnes or production or ship.

Or you have tonnes of combos to play with but it is almost always too late. And it is really easy to predict a production and shipping play.

Some players mentioned about collusion with 2 players in a sense one player would produce and the other ship. It is all really about luck given you can't do obvious table talks and there are chances that one player can backstab the other.

Not to mention when you used to ship in Race, you get resources as cards from the library so that you have more developments and planets to choose from. In Roll, you get dices where what you can expect, is always the die. You need to explore to in order to dig for cards.

The planets aren't really have much to say as they are pretty much all the same. Just to say if what was written is vaild, the red dices are always better and you do not really have to aim for green or yellow dices unless they just come alone and when you have efficient reassignments.

Another problem is that developments are scored another way compared to race. Developments now score as their face value and 6+ developments are not 6+X scores instead of X scores as in Race. It is really efficient as every die you successfully spent on developments (or planets to some extend) score 1 VP and with extra following up benefits. It is way way way too efficient compared to shipping-production. Successfully finishing a 6-development with a good start (which you won't start building otherwise) cost you on average two actions and additional follow up benefits, which those are the really strong 6-developments compared to other 6's like the dice wonder as a end game VP bonus.

As mentioned in other forums, we feel like the games nowadays are like old game A mechanism + B mechanism + C mechanism = new game. It is like you can explain Ora et Labora = Agricola + Le Havre. It might not be a good example but you can almost always say this to every 'new game' nowadays despite the ruleset and strategy might in a good balance. We had played like 60 games already non-stop as it has a really refreshing mechanism. I would like to thank the author for such refreshing gameplay. And we just really like to roll that fucking dices in a cup - we don't do pubs or liar's dice .

But it seems the VPs and action costs need a balance rework.


I've heard this efficiency argument before: it costs two actions to produce and ship at 1 vp per die, and only 1 action to develope or settle at 1 vp per die. This argument ignores the explore cost to make the tiles available. The produce / ship cycle also allows for very efficient cash production simultaneous with vp production.

In short, I'm not buying the efficiency disparity. I think the net efficiency depends on the advantages gained in early developments or the composition of your dice pool.
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Jeff Wood
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*sigh* And you had to throw in a cuss word, didn't you?

Sadly, I read your 'strategy' here and two points come to mind:

1. You can't get over Race for the Galaxy as a baseline.
2. You criticize the double-phase need for Produce/Ship yet strangely ignore the need for Explore to ever Develop or Settle. This should have factored into your calculations, I feel, for 'efficiency'.
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Kelvin Lau
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Cinnibar wrote:
*sigh* And you had to throw in a cuss word, didn't you?

Sadly, I read your 'strategy' here and two points come to mind:

1. You can't get over Race for the Galaxy as a baseline.
2. You criticize the double-phase need for Produce/Ship yet strangely ignore the need for Explore to ever Develop or Settle. This should have factored into your calculations, I feel, for 'efficiency'.


There game come with the same authors, the same theme, the same name as "for the Galaxy", same methodology and wording and even the same art! It is indeed extreme hard to take it as a complete new game as everything else says otherwise.

Exploration is necessary for everything to come into efficient. Development, shipping, planets. It is really the base of everything so I do not see the point of mentioning the common base. It is really like mentioning that you need a good card drawing mechanism in order to win in every strategy for Race - true but not relevant here. Not to mention it is way more easy to leech an exploration call than to predict a non-combo production.
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Rafał Kruczek
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Cinnibar wrote:

2. You criticize the double-phase need for Produce/Ship yet strangely ignore the need for Explore to ever Develop or Settle. This should have factored into your calculations, I feel, for 'efficiency'.

With carefull planning you can do Big Fat Explore in midgame and get enoungh tiles to Construction Zone so Tableaux size + Costructio Zone size >= 12. If you get 5 or 6 explorers to work you can see through up to half of the tiles. So you don't have to Explore for the rest of game.

And unless you have the 6-dev which allows double goods, you have to produce and ship each other round.
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lofung_hk wrote:
Now, it seems we are having the same problem in Roll. Unlike actions in Race where it is always free, in a sense it cost you nothing other than the opportunity cost of not picking other actions, actions in Roll always cost you dices which is in the same time your resources to get planets and developments rolling.


There is a structural difference. But that does not mean that there is a balance problem. Other differences might tip the balance in the other direction. For instance, money generation is considerably easier to set up as part of a produce/consume/trade engine (and some factions give money bonuses specifically to producing players). Also, trading interferes much less with the engine than it did in Race (since you do not have to give up 'double-consuming' in order to trade).

I have not played enough to be able to say if the game is balanced, but the differences you describe do not, in themselves, settle the matter.
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rafal100 wrote:
Cinnibar wrote:

2. You criticize the double-phase need for Produce/Ship yet strangely ignore the need for Explore to ever Develop or Settle. This should have factored into your calculations, I feel, for 'efficiency'.

With carefull planning you can do Big Fat Explore in midgame and get enoungh tiles to Construction Zone so Tableaux size + Costructio Zone size >= 12. If you get 5 or 6 explorers to work you can see through up to half of the tiles. So you don't have to Explore for the rest of game.

And unless you have the 6-dev which allows double goods, you have to produce and ship each other round.

You can get the correct number of tiles to put you over the 12-point mark easily. But are they going to be tiles that help you get there efficiently? With nice bonuses for whichever 6-point development you picked? It's relatively common for us to have someone winning by scoring 6-12 points off bonuses.

Getting something like that usually takes multiple explore phases, but, in the end, is worth it.
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Mark Delano
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rafal100 wrote:

With carefull planning you can do Big Fat Explore in midgame and get enoungh tiles to Construction Zone so Tableaux size + Costructio Zone size >= 12. If you get 5 or 6 explorers to work you can see through up to half of the tiles. So you don't have to Explore for the rest of game.

And unless you have the 6-dev which allows double goods, you have to produce and ship each other round.


To get to 12 tableau size you'll always need to explore at least 7 times. If the shipper can get to an engine with less explores that's less dice needed. Concentrating the explores is about improving the quality of the picks, not about the quantity of dice needed to get to 12 tableau.
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Bruce Nettleton
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frunkee wrote:
rafal100 wrote:

With carefull planning you can do Big Fat Explore in midgame and get enoungh tiles to Construction Zone so Tableaux size + Costructio Zone size >= 12. If you get 5 or 6 explorers to work you can see through up to half of the tiles. So you don't have to Explore for the rest of game.

And unless you have the 6-dev which allows double goods, you have to produce and ship each other round.


To get to 12 tableau size you'll always need to explore at least 7 times. If the shipper can get to an engine with less explores that's less dice needed. Concentrating the explores is about improving the quality of the picks, not about the quantity of dice needed to get to 12 tableau.


Exactly. However, if you're trying to generate maximum VP, seeing the extra tiles gives you the chance to pick higher scoring tiles so that the ratio of points to dice expended goes up.
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Richard Dewsbery
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Simon's point is the one that I was going to make. The tableau builder has to generate not only new tiles, but also cash to keep buying those dice back; the produce/shipper can usually make that cash relatively easily as part and parcel of his produce-ship "engine".

FWIW, *both* approaches work just fine. I've won by rushing the tableau to 12; I've won by produce-shipping to earn big VPs. And I've won by doing both, simultaneously.

The two approaches that work best (and I say this after about 30 games, so I'm no expert, but I've won most of my last 20 or so) are as follows:
(i) hit on a lucky combination of tiles with your opening faction and starting world, or build one with your first two or three builds;
(ii) whatever other approach you take, make sure that you get every possible advantage out of your opponents' phase selections, and that they get as little as possible from yours.

(ii) is a better approach than (i) IMO, and both are superior to fretting about which of a "dev/planet rush to 12" or a "produce-ship engine" is the best approach. YMMV, but if you think that building new tiles is the only way to win, we need to organise a few FTF games; I want to continue to improve my win/loss ratio
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Bruce Nettleton
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lofung_hk wrote:
Cinnibar wrote:
*sigh* And you had to throw in a cuss word, didn't you?

Sadly, I read your 'strategy' here and two points come to mind:

1. You can't get over Race for the Galaxy as a baseline.
2. You criticize the double-phase need for Produce/Ship yet strangely ignore the need for Explore to ever Develop or Settle. This should have factored into your calculations, I feel, for 'efficiency'.


There game come with the same authors, the same theme, the same name as "for the Galaxy", same methodology and wording and even the same art! It is indeed extreme hard to take it as a complete new game as everything else says otherwise.

Exploration is necessary for everything to come into efficient. Development, shipping, planets. It is really the base of everything so I do not see the point of mentioning the common base. It is really like mentioning that you need a good card drawing mechanism in order to win in every strategy for Race - true but not relevant here. Not to mention it is way more easy to leech an exploration call than to predict a non-combo production.


I thought the discussion was about efficiency. To score a 1 point world as a raw Victory point cost me 1 die to explore it and 1 die to settle it. The efficiency is .5 VP per die spent.

If I am in a Produce/Consume cycle, I spend one die to explore the same 1 point world, 1 die to settle it, and then two dice to ship and consume. If I'm doing well, I might activate the consume two or three times. I've spent (let's say) 8 dice and earned 12 points. The efficiency in this case is 1.5 VP per die spent, or nearly three times the efficiency of the Explore/Settle strategy.

Granted, the higher the value of the world, the more efficient it becomes to settle for raw VP, but it will NEVER surpass the efficiency of the Produce/Consume strategy for the same world if it has successfully consumed even once.

Strategically, there are a lot of other factors in choosing a direction. What Development bonuses are in play? What dice are in your pool, and therefore which phases will you be more likely to activate at will? How will you retrieve your spent dice?

I'm just pointing out that to say it's more efficient to Explore/Settle than to Produce/Consume is a mathematical fallacy.
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Some 6 cost developments are pretty ridiculous so that it far outpace the shipping strategy.

1) 6+1/3 of your total building points, return two builder dice to cup for each completed building

2) 6+1/2 of total reassignment building points, reassign 1/2 non-white dice

3) 6+1 for each building (new economy)

4) 6+1/2 of total non-reassignment building points

These developments sync extremely well with each other and on top of it you get many decent buildings that provide money/reduce building cost/reassign dices. (-1dice to buildings/+$2 per development phrase/+$1 for each completed dev/planets/add virtual dices to other phrases)

The main problem of shipping is that the efficiency is drastically reduced if you can't produce and ship on the same turn. Even in the best case scenario, you get 3vp for 2dices, but you lock up a dice for two turns, so it is closer to 1vp/dice than 1.5.
Furthermore when you get the VPs you get no future benefits unlike developments and planets.

With a wonder heavy strategy, if you put down the correct buildings, you can get 10-15 points each turn just by slapping down 6 developers.

I am friend of OP and I have won two games with 70+ points with just buildings.
 
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After about 30 2p Roll games, my experience mirrors the OP's. I don't (yet) consider it a problem, but produce consume strategies seem to be much weaker than in Race. Efficiency isn't the best justification though. I believe it's a combination of factors:

1. The builder can now trade during the consumer's consume phases, while before he'd have to call Consume:Trade himself. This represents a much stronger leech than before.
2. It's much harder for the consumer to leech build phases. His dice are often locked away on worlds, and the builder can safely call phases where the consumer's stack is empty or has a tile that isn't profitable for the consumer to build.
3. Explore is much stronger as an option now. In terms of efficiency, using an explorer to stock is always fairly competitive compared to trading since it only costs 1 dice, and your dice don't get stranded on planets. And while before you could get stuff to build from any phase, now it can only be done through explore. Since the consumer can't really afford to spend a lot of workers exploring (again, due to his engine requiring a lot of dice to be tied up at any given time), the consumer tends to fall behind in tile count while not gaining a lead in money.

That said, I have won with dedicated consume strategies. The game isn't broken or anything. But in general I think valuing building stuff more and consuming stuff less is a key step to growing as a player.
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Scott Russell
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I've played with three or four semi-overlapping groups and the consume strategy seems at least as strong, if not slightly stronger than settle and/or dev strategy. As with Race, you can't ignore tactics and stick to any strategy no matter what. Contrasted to early Race games, the VP often run out well before anyone has twelve squares down.
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Rafał Kruczek
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frunkee wrote:
rafal100 wrote:

With carefull planning you can do Big Fat Explore in midgame and get enoungh tiles to Construction Zone so Tableaux size + Costructio Zone size >= 12. If you get 5 or 6 explorers to work you can see through up to half of the tiles. So you don't have to Explore for the rest of game.

And unless you have the 6-dev which allows double goods, you have to produce and ship each other round.


To get to 12 tableau size you'll always need to explore at least 7 times. If the shipper can get to an engine with less explores that's less dice needed. Concentrating the explores is about improving the quality of the picks, not about the quantity of dice needed to get to 12 tableau.


Yes, You start with 5 tiles, so least 7 Scouts is needed to go to 12 tiles, but it DOESN'T mean you have to call Explore phase 7 times! . By midgame - I meant that some of tiles has been scouted and built already, a strategy for the game was selected and unless you find something suprisingly good and strategy changing, you know what tiles you need, and that 1 (ONE) Explore with enough Explorers is enough to find all tiles you will need to the end of game. (of course usually isn't very wise to go bankrupt in the midgame, so if you don't leech some Trade in this round you should Stock in this phase as well)
Being in midgame also means that opponent's startegies are already visible and ypu can predict which phases you can leech.
 
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Mark Delano
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rafal100 wrote:


Yes, You start with 5 tiles, so least 7 Scouts is needed to go to 12 tiles, but it DOESN'T mean you have to call Explore phase 7 times! . By midgame - I meant that some of tiles has been scouted and built already, a strategy for the game was selected and unless you find something suprisingly good and strategy changing, you know what tiles you need, and that 1 (ONE) Explore with enough Explorers is enough to find all tiles you will need to the end of game. (of course usually isn't very wise to go bankrupt in the midgame, so if you don't leech some Trade in this round you should Stock in this phase as well)
Being in midgame also means that opponent's startegies are already visible and ypu can predict which phases you can leech.


When referring to dice efficiencies the number of explores is the number of dice that need to be committed to explore. I'm fully aware that explore does not need to be called 7 times. That is still a cost that is required to be paid that someone who is not filling out their tableau doesn't have to, whether it is done in one explore phase or seven.
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Rafał Kruczek
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frunkee wrote:
rafal100 wrote:


Yes, You start with 5 tiles, so least 7 Scouts is needed to go to 12 tiles, but it DOESN'T mean you have to call Explore phase 7 times! . By midgame - I meant that some of tiles has been scouted and built already, a strategy for the game was selected and unless you find something suprisingly good and strategy changing, you know what tiles you need, and that 1 (ONE) Explore with enough Explorers is enough to find all tiles you will need to the end of game. (of course usually isn't very wise to go bankrupt in the midgame, so if you don't leech some Trade in this round you should Stock in this phase as well)
Being in midgame also means that opponent's startegies are already visible and ypu can predict which phases you can leech.


When referring to dice efficiencies the number of explores is the number of dice that need to be committed to explore. I'm fully aware that explore does not need to be called 7 times. That is still a cost that is required to be paid that someone who is not filling out their tableau doesn't have to, whether it is done in one explore phase or seven.



Dice under Explore phase are called explorers.

That is very big difference in cost between assingning a die and choosing phase:
- usually you have more dice than one, so selected phases are rarer commodity
- activating a phase can activate opponent(s) dice
So you want to make Scouting I want do it small number of turn.

When I'm playing a builder and opponents have empty CZ and don't want to "waste" actions on refilling it. Ever better - I can call Develop/Settle without opponents leeching from it.

When I play Produce/Ship dice left in the cup are wasted. And when opposing a builder he wants to build potentially last round. So It would be ideal to leech and build something to use the dice. But it requires tiles in Construction Zone. Such leeching probably doesn't require having 12 tiles but having opportunity to spend dice 1VP/ dice is better than using them for tie-breaker.

So it is old economical problem, you have working production enterprise. Should you spend some resources to invest?

 
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Chi Wai Tang
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Several thought for Roll for the galaxy after a dozen games or so.

1) Ostensibly Roll is developed from Race, but I found that the dice mechanics has more similarity with Eminent Domain that Race. The explore action for Roll is closer to the survey action of ED. The dice lock down is similar to settle action for ED. And you have a dice / hand set to manage that you could not really control all the times. Roll just as in ED, dice / role card are far more usefull if you come up with same symbol that an assorted array of one symbol each for explore / dev / settle / produce / trade.

2) Each player start with 7 dice. Because of the dice locking mechanism, you need 2-3 more dice to make any viable strategy. That means the first few turn you have to lay down some cheap planet.

3) The game is very heavy on dice throwing (reminding me of Titan & Axis and Allies), you should make the most of unlucky dice situation. You should always try to have at least 1 dev & 1 world in stock to prepare the case you throw 6 dev / 6 settle dice. A corolloary is that everything is this game is probabilistic and you can never just produce / trade or dev because your dice may not match. Similarly, you can never be 100% what your opponent will do. There are times when a produce / consume player have 6 dev / 6 settle dice so that he do not produce / consume this turn.

4) Reassignment is nice in this game but most reassignment dev only cover for 1 or 2 dice, in addition to any restriction placed. It is actually easier to get thing done by sheer power (throwing more dice).

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Richard Dewsbery
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Last night the first planet I built was a five- o six-cost alien world (the second planet was the same). I won by a pretty big margin. Though it was a fairly unusual game - between the two of us, we shipped exactly once (and never produced at all).

I'd agree that normally you need extra dice quite quickly, and normally they will come from cheap planets, but sometimes they can come from Developments (virtual dice) or expensive planets. There is no "one size fits all".
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