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Subject: 2 Design Questions rss

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John Rogers
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For context, I haven't played the game yet though plan to do so this weekend. I have however, read through the rules and have two design related questions (for anyone who wishes to answer):

1) Why is turn-order fixed? From a cursory glance it seems having first stab at those location cards for the entire game would be a nice advantage. I know there will always be at least 5 options for that last player but it would be nice if they had a shot at going first at least once, no? Or am I reading this wrong? Would it be hard to institute a small auction for turn order?

2) Why score twice? I understand the in-game scoring for building things and cards; however, I am unsure as to why there needs to be a scoring at the end of round 5 and again at the end of round 7? Why not just have one big scoring at the end of round 7? Is it some sort of balance issue? Is the fear that people won't know where everyone is (roughly speaking) regarding score so a quick score check at round 5 is needed?

Thanks,

John
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Dave Eisen
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John Rogers wrote:
For context, I haven't played the game yet though plan to do so this weekend. I have however, read through the rules and have two design related questions (for anyone who wishes to answer):

1) Why is turn-order fixed? From a cursory glance it seems having first stab at those location cards for the entire game would be a nice advantage. I know there will always be at least 5 options for that last player but it would be nice if they had a shot at going first at least once, no? Or am I reading this wrong? Would it be hard to institute a small auction for turn order?


At the end of each player's turn, the draft pool of cards is replenished. Everyone always has a choice of 8 cards to use.

Turn order matters a great deal, but not for the reason you raised.

Quote:
(2) Why score twice? I understand the in-game scoring for building things and cards; however, I am unsure as to why there needs to be a scoring at the end of round 5 and again at the end of round 7? Why not just have one big scoring at the end of round 7? Is it some sort of balance issue? Is the fear that people won't know where everyone is (roughly speaking) regarding score so a quick score check at round 5 is needed?


I guess my question is: why not? Many games have scoring during the game not just at the end. Why does El Grande have scoring at the end of rounds 3, 6, and 9?
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John Rogers
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dkeisen wrote:
John Rogers wrote:
For context, I haven't played the game yet though plan to do so this weekend. I have however, read through the rules and have two design related questions (for anyone who wishes to answer):

1) Why is turn-order fixed? From a cursory glance it seems having first stab at those location cards for the entire game would be a nice advantage. I know there will always be at least 5 options for that last player but it would be nice if they had a shot at going first at least once, no? Or am I reading this wrong? Would it be hard to institute a small auction for turn order?


At the end of each player's turn, the draft pool of cards is replenished. Everyone always has a choice of 8 cards to use.

Turn order matters a great deal, but not for the reason you raised.


So a) why is it important and b) if it is so important why not leave it in the hands of the players?

dkeisen wrote:
Quote:
(2) Why score twice? I understand the in-game scoring for building things and cards; however, I am unsure as to why there needs to be a scoring at the end of round 5 and again at the end of round 7? Why not just have one big scoring at the end of round 7? Is it some sort of balance issue? Is the fear that people won't know where everyone is (roughly speaking) regarding score so a quick score check at round 5 is needed?


I guess my question is: why not? Many games have scoring during the game not just at the end. Why does El Grande have scoring at the end of rounds 3, 6, and 9?


Is it necessary? If so, then why? It makes sense (to my weird brain) to either score at equal intervals as in El Grande, at the end of every round as in Chicago Express, or all at the end as in Container. But what is the purpose for such odd scoring here? There is undoubtedly a reason and I'm just inquiring as to why.
 
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andre spil
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John Rogers wrote:
dkeisen wrote:
John Rogers wrote:
For context, I haven't played the game yet though plan to do so this weekend. I have however, read through the rules and have two design related questions (for anyone who wishes to answer):

1) Why is turn-order fixed? From a cursory glance it seems having first stab at those location cards for the entire game would be a nice advantage. I know there will always be at least 5 options for that last player but it would be nice if they had a shot at going first at least once, no? Or am I reading this wrong? Would it be hard to institute a small auction for turn order?


At the end of each player's turn, the draft pool of cards is replenished. Everyone always has a choice of 8 cards to use.

Turn order matters a great deal, but not for the reason you raised.


So a) why is it important and b) if it is so important why not leave it in the hands of the players?

dkeisen wrote:
Quote:
(2) Why score twice? I understand the in-game scoring for building things and cards; however, I am unsure as to why there needs to be a scoring at the end of round 5 and again at the end of round 7? Why not just have one big scoring at the end of round 7? Is it some sort of balance issue? Is the fear that people won't know where everyone is (roughly speaking) regarding score so a quick score check at round 5 is needed?


I guess my question is: why not? Many games have scoring during the game not just at the end. Why does El Grande have scoring at the end of rounds 3, 6, and 9?


Is it necessary? If so, then why? It makes sense (to my weird brain) to either score at equal intervals as in El Grande, at the end of every round as in Chicago Express, or all at the end as in Container. But what is the purpose for such odd scoring here? There is undoubtedly a reason and I'm just inquiring as to why.



1: starting player

we didnt want to make more rules in the game, and the advantage of starting will be less at the end of round 6, the last player has more advantage. so we decide to start random.
if you want a simple auction for the starting player i would say: play it the first time with the normal rules and the decide if it is necessary.
Bid with youre shares like the wildcatter auction only start with one share.

2: scoring round 5

the scoring in round 5 is to know exactly how many shares everyone has.
It is impossible to know how maney shares players have.
and players can use this knowledge to decide to get rid of worthless shares in round 6 and 7 by using them for money.
Or deliver oil in the last two rounds to a refinery of a player and get a better position in these shares.

hope you like youre first play



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Dave Eisen
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I'm disappointed in this answer as we always know how many shares everyone has (we use poker chips to mark shares). I had assumed a structural element where there was interest in having players generate shares or cash earlier in the game instead of just saving up and powering everything in round 7.

As this is an unusual mixture of building game and area majority this would have made some level of sense. And as it worked well in my experience from a game play perspective I didn't analyze it very deeply.

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John Rogers
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andrespil wrote:

1: starting player

we didnt want to make more rules in the game, and the advantage of starting will be less at the end of round 6, the last player has more advantage. so we decide to start random.
if you want a simple auction for the starting player i would say: play it the first time with the normal rules and the decide if it is necessary.
Bid with youre shares like the wildcatter auction only start with one share.


Thanks for the insights. We will definitely play with the rules as printed the first time around. I just know I'm going to get this question so having an answer from the designer is quite nice.

andrespil wrote:

2: scoring round 5

the scoring in round 5 is to know exactly how many shares everyone has.
It is impossible to know how maney shares players have.
and players can use this knowledge to decide to get rid of worthless shares in round 6 and 7 by using them for money.
Or deliver oil in the last two rounds to a refinery of a player and get a better position in these shares.

hope you like youre first play


So it is for people to get their bearings. If participants were willing, I wonder if one could exercise the round 5 scoring completely without adversely affecting the game? As it stands and without playing, it feels more like a handicap. We could just inquire what the current share status was around the table before the final round without the superfluous scoring.

Thanks,

John
 
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andre spil
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dkeisen wrote:

I'm disappointed in this answer as we always know how many shares everyone has (we use poker chips to mark shares). I had assumed a structural element where there was interest in having players generate shares or cash earlier in the game instead of just saving up and powering everything in round 7.

As this is an unusual mixture of building game and area majority this would have made some level of sense. And as it worked well in my experience from a game play perspective I didn't analyze it very deeply.



we designed it to play it with hidden shares.
so the answer about fifth round scoring is also mend with hidden shares.
spending shares for money you can do from round 1 to 7, the answer was an example to explain our thoughts.


I understand that players dont like it that way and count the shares in an open way like you do with the poker chips.
it is an another way to play the game and for a lot of players the only way.
we just say, play the game in a way you like it and have fun.
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andrespil wrote:
dkeisen wrote:

I'm disappointed in this answer as we always know how many shares everyone has (we use poker chips to mark shares). I had assumed a structural element where there was interest in having players generate shares or cash earlier in the game instead of just saving up and powering everything in round 7.

As this is an unusual mixture of building game and area majority this would have made some level of sense. And as it worked well in my experience from a game play perspective I didn't analyze it very deeply.



we designed it to play it with hidden shares.
so the answer about fifth round scoring is also mend with hidden shares.
spending shares for money you can do from round 1 to 7, the answer was an example to explain our thoughts.


I understand that players dont like it that way and count the shares in an open way like you do with the poker chips.
it is an another way to play the game and for a lot of players the only way.
we just say, play the game in a way you like it and have fun.


My group actually prefers hidden information and we tend to play with hidden money in other heavy economic games like Indonesia, Container, and Chicago Express. If the additional scoring primarily serves to open what is hidden I doubt we'll use it beyond the first game.
 
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In scoring, it seems that the key differences between rounds 5 & 7 are the absence of wildcatter-chips in round 5, no third place score in round 5, and values effectively halved in round 5.

If one were to exercise round 5 scoring comletely would it make Wildcatter chips too powerful? Any other balance issues and thoughts are welcome.
 
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Okay so we had our first 3-player session. We all agreed the round five scoring was unnecessary, for us it just served to slow the session down. Turn order wasn't a big deal because we were all annoyed by the card flips. That was crazy frustrating. Two of us heavily invested into eastern South America and after round four nothing for that area came up so two rigs, two full pumpjacks, and a full wildcatter chip just sat there. At least my network of trains and SA refinery saw some use. We forgot that you could spend 4 VPs to reset the cards but the price seems steep (I won by 3pts).

Is the game better with four?
 
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John Rogers wrote:
Okay so we had our first 3-player session. We all agreed the round five scoring was unnecessary, for us it just served to slow the session down. Turn order wasn't a big deal because we were all annoyed by the card flips. That was crazy frustrating. Two of us heavily invested into eastern South America and after round four nothing for that area came up so two rigs, two full pumpjacks, and a full wildcatter chip just sat there. At least my network of trains and SA refinery saw some use. We forgot that you could spend 4 VPs to reset the cards but the price seems steep (I won by 3pts).

Is the game better with four?


Yes, I would only play this with four.
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larryjrice wrote:
John Rogers wrote:
Okay so we had our first 3-player session. We all agreed the round five scoring was unnecessary, for us it just served to slow the session down. Turn order wasn't a big deal because we were all annoyed by the card flips. That was crazy frustrating. Two of us heavily invested into eastern South America and after round four nothing for that area came up so two rigs, two full pumpjacks, and a full wildcatter chip just sat there. At least my network of trains and SA refinery saw some use. We forgot that you could spend 4 VPs to reset the cards but the price seems steep (I won by 3pts).

Is the game better with four?


Yes, I would only play this with four.


Have you tried the updated Variant rules for 2 or 3 players?
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I have not - be curious if John did. I don't usually find such variants much of an improvement (Mind you, I really enjoy the game 4 player - it will be hard to convince me that a three player game even with the variant would be any good after my 2-3 experiences three player... )
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Bond8089 wrote:
larryjrice wrote:
John Rogers wrote:
Okay so we had our first 3-player session. We all agreed the round five scoring was unnecessary, for us it just served to slow the session down. Turn order wasn't a big deal because we were all annoyed by the card flips. That was crazy frustrating. Two of us heavily invested into eastern South America and after round four nothing for that area came up so two rigs, two full pumpjacks, and a full wildcatter chip just sat there. At least my network of trains and SA refinery saw some use. We forgot that you could spend 4 VPs to reset the cards but the price seems steep (I won by 3pts).

Is the game better with four?


Yes, I would only play this with four.


Have you tried the updated Variant rules for 2 or 3 players?


No. We played with the rules as printed. What is the variant?
 
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John Rogers wrote:
Bond8089 wrote:
larryjrice wrote:
John Rogers wrote:
Okay so we had our first 3-player session. We all agreed the round five scoring was unnecessary, for us it just served to slow the session down. Turn order wasn't a big deal because we were all annoyed by the card flips. That was crazy frustrating. Two of us heavily invested into eastern South America and after round four nothing for that area came up so two rigs, two full pumpjacks, and a full wildcatter chip just sat there. At least my network of trains and SA refinery saw some use. We forgot that you could spend 4 VPs to reset the cards but the price seems steep (I won by 3pts).

Is the game better with four?


Yes, I would only play this with four.


Have you tried the updated Variant rules for 2 or 3 players?


No. We played with the rules as printed. What is the variant?


I'm guessing the first file in the file section for Wildcatters.
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John Rogers wrote:
Okay so we had our first 3-player session. We all agreed the round five scoring was unnecessary, for us it just served to slow the session down. Turn order wasn't a big deal because we were all annoyed by the card flips. That was crazy frustrating. Two of us heavily invested into eastern South America and after round four nothing for that area came up so two rigs, two full pumpjacks, and a full wildcatter chip just sat there. At least my network of trains and SA refinery saw some use. We forgot that you could spend 4 VPs to reset the cards but the price seems steep (I won by 3pts).

Is the game better with four?


we like the game also better with four.
In the original 3 player rules the fourth colour(non player company) places only 3 riggs(they only count as an position and do nothing) and a refinery.
you only play 8 rounds instead of 7.
total open areacards at the end of round 8 will be 8+3x8= total 32. that are all the light areacards. 4 of every area.
only wenn all 8 different areas are choosen by the players this happens.

we thought this over and came with new 2 and 3 player rules for the American Edition(cancelled by pandasaurus)

the fourth colour is a non player company who gets riggs and pumpjacks on the board.
the oil of the non player company is moved by the active player wenn he decides to transport oil.
It goes also to the little continents and it will take a position for end scoring.
So the end scring will be as there are four players in the game.


the 8 open areacards wiil exchange faster in round 2,4 and 6 because you discard the most right card every turn.

download the new 2 and 3 player rules and i hope you like it.
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andrespil wrote:
John Rogers wrote:
Okay so we had our first 3-player session. We all agreed the round five scoring was unnecessary, for us it just served to slow the session down. Turn order wasn't a big deal because we were all annoyed by the card flips. That was crazy frustrating. Two of us heavily invested into eastern South America and after round four nothing for that area came up so two rigs, two full pumpjacks, and a full wildcatter chip just sat there. At least my network of trains and SA refinery saw some use. We forgot that you could spend 4 VPs to reset the cards but the price seems steep (I won by 3pts).

Is the game better with four?


we like the game also better with four.
In the original 3 player rules the fourth colour(non player company) places only 3 riggs(they only count as an position and do nothing) and a refinery.
you only play 8 rounds instead of 7.
total open areacards at the end of round 8 will be 8+3x8= total 32. that are all the light areacards. 4 of every area.
only wenn all 8 different areas are choosen by the players this happens.

we thought this over and came with new 2 and 3 player rules for the American Edition(cancelled by pandasaurus)

the fourth colour is a non player company who gets riggs and pumpjacks on the board.
the oil of the non player company is moved by the active player wenn he decides to transport oil.
It goes also to the little continents and it will take a position for end scoring.
So the end scring will be as there are four players in the game.


the 8 open areacards wiil exchange faster in round 2,4 and 6 because you discard the most right card every turn.

download the new 2 and 3 player rules and i hope you like it.


Thanks Andre. That should help with any future 2-3 player sessions. I'm hoping my next play will be with four.
 
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