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Subject: Is the King's Track 20% too long? rss

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ArrBeeDee Dial
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I've had the opportunity to play this a few times now with several player counts and enjoy it greatly BUT

(This isn't one of those cases where everything on front of the 'but' doesn't matter)

We noticed that the game slows down in the last 2-4 tiles and the king is around the halfway mark. I'm not an expert in game theory and mechanics and won't pretend to be BUT... again that word... tightness suffers.

We were discussing ways to change or work around this and I figured 'asking others' couldn't hurt.
Ideas:
1) Change the mechanic so that every meeple that lands 'at the King' moves him. Currently, if you move a pair he only moves one space. This might not be enough - more play is required.

2) Start him closer. 4-Player: 4 steps closer; 3-Player 6 steps; and 2-Player 8 steps closer.

Reducing the game length will supress the decoration buying during the final rounds. Players must decide on tiles or decorations earlier in gathering points.

Other's thoughts?
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Neil Horabin
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Of all the suggestions I've read yours seem the most appropriate. Either of you two options will make the difference and I'll certainly give both a go to see which works best.. well done for posting this!
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ArrBeeDee Dial
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Thanks for your generosity.

I look forward to hearing your experiences.
 
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Phil Campeau
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I've only played once, but I'll admit the King's arrival was never an imminent worry for us. Personally I like the move-per-meeple idea. Advancing the king's start point for lower player counts is probably a good plan too. I'll give it a go soon!
 
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Alejandro G.
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Subscribing to this, because this makes the most sense.
 
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pelle
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The 2-Player game with 8 steps closer works brilliant. The end game is not as long as in the original game. We like it a lot.
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ArrBeeDee Dial
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Glad it worked for you.

A few extra questions:
* Was that the only change you made? (8 steps closer)
* How many times had you played it prior to the change?
* Are both of you equivalent 'level' gamers?
* Were you within the last 2-3 tiles to finish the palace?
* Was there a decoration-rush where you only bought-for-points?

Thanks.
 
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Raujour wrote:
* Was that the only change you made? (8 steps closer)

Yes
Raujour wrote:
* How many times had you played it prior to the change?

I got it this year at Essen and we played 2 "normal" games. I read a lot about the "problems" of the end game but I didn´t tell my girlfriend. I hoped it would work out fine for us. In the first game there was one tile missing in the center and the king was just half way to the castle. So there was a very long (almost boring) endgame. The second time playing we constructed a more complicated castle and I tried to swap a lot of tiles. But in the end, the endgame was almost the same. We liked the first half of the game a lot and so we tried this variant for our third game.
Raujour wrote:
* Are both of you equivalent 'level' gamers?

Yes
Raujour wrote:
* Were you within the last 2-3 tiles to finish the palace?

There was only one tile missing. In fact that specific tile showed up at the construction guild but my gf finished the game before I could get it.
Raujour wrote:
* Was there a decoration-rush where you only bought-for-points?

During the game we collected decorations but at the end there was no rush like in the "normal" game. There was simply no time.



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Phil Campeau
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Raujour wrote:
Glad it worked for you.

A few extra questions:
* Was that the only change you made? (8 steps closer)
* How many times had you played it prior to the change?
* Are both of you equivalent 'level' gamers?
* Were you within the last 2-3 tiles to finish the palace?
* Was there a decoration-rush where you only bought-for-points?

Thanks.


* We also did the double step if people brought two Meeples to the King's favor.
* Twice
* yes
* We managed to complete the castle with 3-4 steps to spare, though I think we forgot to move the king once when someone double-moved past the King's favor.
* No time, it could have ended at any second.
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Jonathan Franklin
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Completing the castle is not always possible. Does this address the tile cycling issue with the end game? In other words, will the King often end it before you reach that point where no one wants to expose more tiles, but you need to to end the game?

I think it is close to being a great game, but the king track length, embellishment hoarding, clearly better tech track, and tile end-game Catch-22 make it hard to get to the table as is.
 
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Phil Campeau
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grandslam wrote:
Completing the castle is not always possible. Does this address the tile cycling issue with the end game? In other words, will the King often end it before you reach that point where no one wants to expose more tiles, but you need to to end the game?

I think it is close to being a great game, but the king track length, embellishment hoarding, clearly better tech track, and tile end-game Catch-22 make it hard to get to the table as is.


In my opinion, this change made the King track tense in a fun way. We were actually nervous that it would cut the game short, but we made it in a move or two under the wire. It was the perfect timing in my opinion.
 
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Jonathan Franklin
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Phil, Thanks - does the game length change equalize the three technology/improvement tracks?

Have you tried the embellishment collection strategy (without building tiles) with the shorter path?
 
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