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Subject: Library in 2-player games rss

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Jared Heng
Singapore
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Due to library "abuse" in 2-player games, my group no longer plays with it if there are only two of us. Our experience has been quite satisfying with opportunities to experiment and maximise effectiveness of some other perhaps overlooked building combinations. Has anyone else tried this before and found it helpful?
 
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Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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bgarefun wrote:
Due to library "abuse" in 2-player games, my group no longer plays with it if there are only two of us. Our experience has been quite satisfying with opportunities to experiment and maximise effectiveness of some other perhaps overlooked building combinations. Has anyone else tried this before and found it helpful?


Do you play with the rule that the Library can only be used once during a single round? If you're the Governor, you can use it either during the first role you take or the second, but not both.

I agree that the Library can be a good building, but I don't think of it as being overwhelming. On BSW, people don't seem to talk a lot about the Library skewing the game (unlike the Mistress of Ceremonies in St. Petersburg.)
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Grzegorz Kobiela
Germany
Hanover
Lower Saxony
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To fight against a Library and to win overwhelmingly without it, is quite an experience you'll never have if you ban it from 2p games. I like the game as it is. Neither Guild Hall, Library nor Prefecture are broken in any # of players. People with low experience just do not see this too soon and rather than trying it, they're likely to ban any strong card.
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chris carleton
Canada
bon accord
Alberta
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I honestly don't see how the library can be considered overpowered in a two-player game if you are playing by the rules. It's an expensive card, and your choice of job usually takes priority over the bonus you may want.

 
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Grzegorz Kobiela
Germany
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Lower Saxony
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The Library is really strong and nasty for your opponent if combined with Quarry and Carpenter. With Builder you pay effectively 4 less, without it's effectively 2 less. And that's really strong. But besides this, Library is too expensive to build it alone.
 
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Steve Oliver
United States
Alameda
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If you find the Library is too strong in your 2 player games, then perhaps your opponent isn't picking their roles carefully and without noticing what it is you are probably going to pick. With 2 players who know the game well, you can find you simply don't get much out of the Library because the role you wanted to use it with has been taken, or the role you end up with gives you a bonus that the Library doesn't add to (you don't have an extra good to trade, for example). I think the Library can be less useful in a 2 player game than with more players. That's not to say it is not sometimes very helpful, depending on your strategy and when you get it, and how carefully your opponent is timing the selection of their roles.
 
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Michael Jordal
United States
Austin
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I don't find it any more powerful in the two player game than it is in the 3,4 or 5 player game.
 
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Eddy Richards
Scotland
Allanton
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We also don't use it in 2p games. I can see that opinions might differ, but we found it overpowerful; in particular it tends to force the other player to concentrate on not letting the library player use the builder/prospector roles more than can be avoided, which gets boring. An early library can be beaten but it is pretty good - mainly because it combines well with all other cards/strategies, unlike anything else. It's not a problem in 3 or 4 player games, if only because you only get one role per turn, and less choice of roles (on average).

Having said that we used to find the Guild Hall overpowerful in 2p games, but now just play by the rules - I think because we have discovered other powerful scoring (rather than playing) strategies.

Ed
 
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Werner Bär
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Karlsruhe
Baden
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We increase the cost of the library to 6 in a two player game. Delays it for one round, and makes it more difficult to save other good cards. Works well for us.
 
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Jared Heng
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Quote:
People with low experience just do not see this too soon and rather than trying it, they're likely to ban any strong card.


That's not the case in my group, in fact we have lots of experience trying almost every combination possible against the library in 2 players. We also do not ban any other card including the prefecture even though some call it a powerful building.

But thanks Eric for reminding me about the rules because we've been playing with the library wrongly in 2 players. My consolation is that we have tested and seen the results ourselves the sheer madness of allowing the library player to use his provilege twice in the same round! But in the end, all our skills improved greatly with or without the library! blush
 
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Warren Forrest
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Ed_the_Red wrote:
We also don't use it in 2p games. I can see that opinions might differ, but we found it overpowerful; in particular it tends to force the other player to concentrate on not letting the library player use the builder/prospector roles more than can be avoided

But how would you do that? In 2P, you're always going to get a chance to take either prospector or builder at least once per round. Since the library only gets used once per round anyway, you're always guaranteed a chance to use it.

Or is this yet another case of playing without the "only 1 use per round" rule?
 
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Barry Balof
United States
Walla Walla
Washington
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We also find the library to be a bit of a game buster, especially when one lays it down very early and the other can't draw one. We are playing the correct once-per-turn rules.

We have thought of the following variants

1) Prohibit the library from going down until the 'second half' of the game, that is, until after the player already has six buildings down
2) The holder of the library may only use it on the turn when they are picking two roles, that is, when they are the 'governor'.

We'll let you know how they work out.
 
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