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Subject: While waiting for my game to arrive i was wondering how to... rss

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John Van Wagoner
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make the Natives stronger/more of an actual threat? I've been playing AOE for years (everyone seems to enjoy it), and the biggest issue for me has always been why did they make Discovery so easy? there should have been:

- more tiles with higher Native resistance (to make it at least a semi-conquest)
- or another "step" added to discovery; maybe like within 2 turns of making a discovery you have to maintain both a priest and a soldier in the area in order to receive any scoring benefit from it...or it reverts back to being "open"...so another player might send in a soldier, battle/kill my soldier, and thus cause a Native revolt and free up the region for someone else
- or any other ideas

I really do love this game, but there really isn't any tension whatsoever in actually "Discovering"...in fact, I never even bother anymore...I position myself (via turn order, soldiers, priests, etc.) so that right after someone else makes a discovery (and collects the trade goods even) I swoop in and make it mine...i'd much prefer a "mod" that would make discovering "risky", but if successful very beneficial...

any ideas?

(and, I also wonder why some KS backers have rec'd their copy 5 days ago, while down here in SC I just wait for the UPS truck still!!!)
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Ralph H. Anderson
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Hi John,

You have some interesting ideas regarding Discovery. However, I will have to leave this discussion to game veterans as I have just started playing.

As to your copy, I know the warehouse is still shipping them out - we had 1000+ backers, so it takes time to get through them all! I have sent a note to the pledge manager to let me know if there is any issue that would delay your order (such as a payment for extra items).

As you can tell by the posts, people are very impressed with the quality!

Best
Ralph
For Eagle-Gryphon Games

PS - Checked with the Pledge Manager and you are all paid and in line for shipping. Should not be much longer. It is a lot of work and takes time to unload, assemble and ship out so many pledges! Thanks for your patience!
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John Van Wagoner
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DragonCat wrote:
Hi John,

You have some interesting ideas regarding Discovery. However, I will have to leave this discussion to game veterans as I have just started playing.

As to your copy, I know the warehouse is still shipping them out - we had 1000+ backers, so it takes time to get through them all! I have sent a note to the pledge manager to let me know if there is any issue that would delay your order (such as a payment for extra items).

As you can tell by the posts, people are very impressed with the quality!

Best
Ralph
For Eagle-Gryphon Games
yes, everyone's raving about the game! looks like they did a 5-Star job with this...

and again, there's nothing wrong (in my opinion) with the game as is...BUT, when we play we just feel there's no tension/real risk in Discovery...we don't need drawn-out battles, but with "Discovery" in the game's name we feel discovery should be a bigger focus in the game...
 
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Matt Smith
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I think you're looking for a more thematic risk than what's already in the game, which is the risk of waiting until you have 5 workers in the Discovery Box before attempting a discovery. The game only lasts 8 turns, and the first colony scoring happens after turn 3. Your 5 workers/turn are needed for a lot of things besides discovery, including getting your economy started (trade goods and merchant ships), buying buildings, and getting specialists. So the "risk" of discovery is deciding how many workers to commit to your first discovery, and how long you can wait to pull the trigger without putting yourself too far behind the development curve w.r.t. your opponents. Workers sitting in the Discovery Box are not helping you develop your VP engine, so you need to either commit a lot of workers early to discovery, or push your luck and send out less than 5 workers, to avoid falling behind the other players. An even if you have a successful discovery, other players who have spent their workers to get missionaries/soldiers can swoop in and take over your newly discovered region.

Also, if everyone followed your strategy of waiting for others to discover and then take over the new region, no discoveries would happen. Extra workers would build up in the discovery box, and the game would grind to a halt. I've never seen this happen.

In my experience, players consider Discovery as the most risky action in the game. You're risking precious workers/actions to get an unknown amount of VP and money, and if you don't send 5+ workers, you could lose all of those precious workers/actions with zero benefit. One failed Discovery can doom any chance of winning (especially if you send 4 workers and it's a "5" token), so I think that's sufficient risk.
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John Van Wagoner
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matt...

(a) if you send 5 you're always going to win; ties go to you...and even then there are only 2 tiles with 5...and a few with 4...you'll win well over 50% of the time just sending 3

(b) not really much risk; you're getting the colonists back at the start of the next turn anyhow...so you "lose" 3 on a 4 man discovery, but all 3 are coming back as part of your 5 you get each/every turn

my only point is there isn't really any risk or deterrent to discovering as is...and I wish there was a way to just make it a little bit more important in the grand scheme of the game, that's all...
 
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Paul Sauberer
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John_VW wrote:
matt...

(a) if you send 5 you're always going to win; ties go to you...and even then there are only 2 tiles with 5...and a few with 4...you'll win well over 50% of the time just sending 3

(b) not really much risk; you're getting the colonists back at the start of the next turn anyhow...so you "lose" 3 on a 4 man discovery, but all 3 are coming back as part of your 5 you get each/every turn

my only point is there isn't really any risk or deterrent to discovering as is...and I wish there was a way to just make it a little bit more important in the grand scheme of the game, that's all...

Wasting colonists on a turn while others are getting positive results from them is significant. I'm wondering if there is group think in how you play where no one attempts discovery without a guarantee. If everyone does it then you're right, there is no risk. Everyone will be hindered the same way.

However, if there are some who will attempt discovery without a guaranteed win they will either lose ground if they fail or they will get a leg up on those who sit back and wait. That's where the risk/reward element comes in.

Your comment is the exact opposite of what I've seen in the past. Some feel discovery is too large a helping of luck because the effect of losing when risking can be so great. The same sort of complaints are heard about Firefly: The Game. When there is risk in games such as those, luck can play a part. Effectively managing risk and getting good luck helps a lot.
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Ben Rubinstein

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Only played once, but this was not the case in my game at all. People were trying discovery with only 3 workers, and thought they were wasting turns/time by keeping their workers in the Discovery area until they had 5. You're wasting time, but also wasting those workers if you overkill the discovery.

 
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Christopher Bartlett
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Additional risk and timing in the area of Discovery would have to have additional reward, otherwise the time and precious actions spent to achieve discoveries would be out of line.

In addition, this design depends on active, relatively low-barrier discovery actions to open up the board for all the other types of scoring. If discoveries aren't occurring regularly, and fairly often, the game drags to halt.

To do what you suggest would require a rebalancing of most game systems. I would miss the balance presented in the game more than I miss a more thematic risk-reward discovery system now.

Just my thoughts.



 
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Christopher Bartlett
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Psauberer wrote:

Your comment is the exact opposite of what I've seen in the past. Some feel discovery is too large a helping of luck because the effect of losing when risking can be so great. The same sort of complaints are heard about Firefly: The Game. When there is risk in games such as those, luck can play a part. Effectively managing risk and getting good luck helps a lot.

Firefly's risk-reward system can bite me.
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A J
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Psauberer wrote:
John_VW wrote:
matt...

(a) if you send 5 you're always going to win; ties go to you...and even then there are only 2 tiles with 5...and a few with 4...you'll win well over 50% of the time just sending 3

(b) not really much risk; you're getting the colonists back at the start of the next turn anyhow...so you "lose" 3 on a 4 man discovery, but all 3 are coming back as part of your 5 you get each/every turn

my only point is there isn't really any risk or deterrent to discovering as is...and I wish there was a way to just make it a little bit more important in the grand scheme of the game, that's all...

Wasting colonists on a turn while others are getting positive results from them is significant. I'm wondering if there is group think in how you play where no one attempts discovery without a guarantee. If everyone does it then you're right, there is no risk. Everyone will be hindered the same way.

However, if there are some who will attempt discovery without a guaranteed win they will either lose ground if they fail or they will get a leg up on those who sit back and wait. That's where the risk/reward element comes in.

Your comment is the exact opposite of what I've seen in the past. Some feel discovery is too large a helping of luck because the effect of losing when risking can be so great. The same sort of complaints are heard about Firefly: The Game. When there is risk in games such as those, luck can play a part. Effectively managing risk and getting good luck helps a lot.

I'd like to echo Matt's responses. There is so much tension in the placement of workers that putting 5 in Discovery (to guarantee success) is a huge trade-off, but putting 3 and then failing is terrible because not only do you reveal to everyone else, but you've wasted 3 workers and a whole turn. The lost turn is the biggest deal because it might throw your plan completely off, because now you can't colonize it and get the bonus trade good the next turn, and might miss out on scoring it depending on the round. Most of the time we send 5 when Discovering because the cost of failure is too high (something like 33% chance of failure while sending 3). In fact, I almost feel like Discovery needs a slight buff.

I'm curious, if Discovery is so easy, why don't you do it instead of positioning yourself to take over the colony after someone else Discovers?
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Matt Smith
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John_VW wrote:
(b) not really much risk; you're getting the colonists back at the start of the next turn anyhow...so you "lose" 3 on a 4 man discovery, but all 3 are coming back as part of your 5 you get each/every turn
As others have already pointed out, you need to think of what you could have gained with those 3 lost workers. Every player gets a minimum of 40 workers to place each game. If you send 3 on a Discovery and fail, you've just lost 7.5% of your worker actions for the game. In a really tight game like this, losing 7.5% of your actions is pretty bad.

What's interesting about the Discovery Box is the trade off between risking fewer workers/actions and having a lower chance of success, with risking more workers/actions and having a higher/guaranteed chance of success. Some would say you should always risk 3 workers, because you'll have a 67% chance of success, but will only lose 3 workers if you fail. Personally, I usually send 4 workers on my first discovery on turn 2 if I haven't seen any "5" tiles yet. Every once in a while I'll get burned by a "5" (at which point the game is likely lost), but it's more important to me to get that region open because I either plan to colonize it on turn 3 and score, or I really want the trade good from that region.
 
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anthony dutiel
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In my gaming group we've adapted a house rule that makes it more enticing to risk sending less than 5. When a player discovers a region, only the player sees the value of it so in case of defeat, he gains inside knowlede. It really sucks losing; this way it's not a total waste. One common strategy we employ is to go first on the initiative, send one guy to discover as a scout, and then get it next turn with the correct number. Also, if you were to die sending 3, the person discovering next will be sure to hesitate sending his 4 for fear that it's a 5. A new risk reward factor that didn't exist in the current game.
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Glenn Drover
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I actually thought that many people would use the 'scout' methodology when I first designed the game. It seemed like a foolproof solution to the risk aspect of Discovery.
 
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John Van Wagoner
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Budley wrote:
I actually thought that many people would use the 'scout' methodology when I first designed the game. It seemed like a foolproof solution to the risk aspect of Discovery.
but, to me, it really isn't necessary to waste a "going first" action and a colonist on a "scout action" (chances are very slim you'll lose anyhow)...there's usually many more and much better options for you when going first, plus you've wasted the colonist (and another prev. "action" by placing him in the Disc box the prev. turn)...

again, if you discover with 3 you're probably going to win, and 4 makes it almost a slam dunk...
 
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Mitch Willis
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John_VW wrote:
...again, if you discover with 3 you're probably going to win, and 4 makes it almost a slam dunk...
Keyword being almost...one game, a while back, I twice tried to explore the New World with 4...and both times I selected a colony with a "5" tile...I ended up losing by less than 10 points...since then, I've been more conservative when discovering...
 
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Mitch Willis
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John_VW wrote:
(b) not really much risk; you're getting the colonists back at the start of the next turn anyhow...so you "lose" 3 on a 4 man discovery, but all 3 are coming back as part of your 5 you get each/every turn
If I use 3 colonists and get nothing, that's a huge waste of resources and now I consider myself up to 3 actions behind my opponents as I could've used those 3 for something else and at least acquired/achieved something. And if I use 5 to guarantee discovery, it might not be the most efficient use of resources as it could be overkill by 1 to 3 colonists, but at least I got something for 'em...
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John Van Wagoner
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otha62 wrote:
John_VW wrote:
...again, if you discover with 3 you're probably going to win, and 4 makes it almost a slam dunk...
Keyword being almost...one game, a while back, I twice tried to explore the New World with 4...and both times I selected a colony with a "5" tile...I ended up losing by less than 10 points...since then, I've been more conservative when discovering...
really really bad luck, since there's only two 5's avail!!
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A J
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Budley wrote:
I actually thought that many people would use the 'scout' methodology when I first designed the game. It seemed like a foolproof solution to the risk aspect of Discovery.

I think that I would do that more if scouting didn't show EVERYONE the results. I've yet to play with the variant of only showing the Discovering player, but I think I may like that version better.
 
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