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Istanbul» Forums » Variants

Subject: Set a limit for gems you can get from the Gem Dealer/Palace at 2 each rss

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Trey Chambers
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Forces a larger diversity of strategies than just doing a "loop" to get money/goods over and over and over.

Probably a good idea to replace the red gems in those two places with different color gems (easily available online) so that it's easy to keep track of.
 
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Shampoo4you wrote:
Forces a larger diversity of strategies than just doing a "loop" to get money/goods over and over and over.

Probably a good idea to replace the red gems in those two places with different color gems (easily available online) so that it's easy to keep track of.


My counters to this argument are that a. Istanbul, when played with experienced players, is a rather short game b. That is literally why you have to pay when you land on someone- it's an inefficiency slowdown mechanism.

Also, the expansion comes with a barrier blocker, allowing you to break up loops.

Still, yay that it's not videogames, and we can all tailor our experiences how we like.
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Trey Chambers
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hanibalicious wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
Forces a larger diversity of strategies than just doing a "loop" to get money/goods over and over and over.

Probably a good idea to replace the red gems in those two places with different color gems (easily available online) so that it's easy to keep track of.


My counters to this argument are that a. Istanbul, when played with experienced players, is a rather short game b. That is literally why you have to pay when you land on someone- it's an inefficiency slowdown mechanism.

Also, the expansion comes with a barrier blocker, allowing you to break up loops.

Still, yay that it's not videogames, and we can all tailor our experiences how we like.


I think it's pretty clear that if you're only paying opponents occasionally, the loop method is superior from anything else you can do.

Loopstanbul just isn't as interesting as a game where more strategies can be viable.
 
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Jonner Purinton
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Or place the Gemstone Dealer at least 3 spaces from the Tea House. This will slow down at least one of the many "loops" available to all players.
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Murr Rockstroh
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Shampoo4you wrote:
Forces a larger diversity of strategies than just doing a "loop" to get money/goods over and over and over.

Probably a good idea to replace the red gems in those two places with different color gems (easily available online) so that it's easy to keep track of.


Play with random tile placement and that problem normally goes away. This problem really only occurs when you're playing with the standard, starter set up.
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Dirk Meijer
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This sounds like it would make the game less diverse, you are forcing every player to go through the same strategy, whereas is often interesting to see players invest heavily in goods or lira and find out whether this works as expected.
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Trey Chambers
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dwjmeijer wrote:
This sounds like it would make the game less diverse, you are forcing every player to go through the same strategy


How so? Currently the winner is usually the one who finds the most efficient route between money and the dealer or between goods and the palace (or rarely, some combination of both).

This variant opens up many other strategies since you can only do your "loop" a maximum of twice. If you do both loops, that's only four gems. You then need to get your 5th gem somewhere else.

And I've actually beaten someone doing the loops with 1 gem from all 5 sources.

So it turns a game with two, maybe three viable strategies, to game that has at least six viable strategies (loops + wagon, loops + mosque 1, loops + mosque 2, one from each source, two from loop 1 + 1 from each other source, two from loop 2 + 1 from each other source).
 
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Dirk Meijer
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Shampoo4you wrote:
And I've actually beaten someone doing the loops with 1 gem from all 5 sources.


That's exactly the point, getting all gems from the jeweller is not a better strategy at all. You are limiting the possibilities players have, instead of adding new ones.

Getting your gems at different places is already viable (depending on tile layout of course) and you're removing two strategies in favour of others, thus making the game less diverse.
 
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Trey Chambers
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dwjmeijer wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
And I've actually beaten someone doing the loops with 1 gem from all 5 sources.


That's exactly the point, getting all gems from the jeweller is not a better strategy at all. You are limiting the possibilities players have, instead of adding new ones.

Getting your gems at different places is already viable (depending on tile layout of course) and you're removing two strategies in favour of others, thus making the game less diverse.


Sorry, I should have specified, I beat someone doing the 2 loops + 1 other strategy by getting 1 gem from each source.

In other words, we were playing WITH this rule variant. He had to use two different loops to get to 4 gems.
 
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Dirk Meijer
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Ah, alright then.

It still doesn't seem necessary to me. Efficiency is what makes this game great, and I almost never feel getting into a single loop is the most efficient. Usually, I try to rush some gems at the Jewellers and Sultan's Palace, before they get expensive, and then invest either in Lira or in goods.
Forcing every player to go to the Jeweller and the Sultan's Palace at least once seems limiting. If I haven't gotten a single cart upgrade, I don't want to be forced to get my last gem from the Sultan's Palace, I think this method homogenizes play.
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dwjmeijer wrote:
Ah, alright then.

It still doesn't seem necessary to me. Efficiency is what makes this game great, and I almost never feel getting into a single loop is the most efficient. Usually, I try to rush some gems at the Jewellers and Sultan's Palace, before they get expensive, and then invest either in Lira or in goods.
Forcing every player to go to the Jeweller and the Sultan's Palace at least once seems limiting. If I haven't gotten a single cart upgrade, I don't want to be forced to get my last gem from the Sultan's Palace, I think this method homogenizes play.


Honestly, with the randomized tiles, it's more a game of FINDING the most efficient loops anyway.
 
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Trey Chambers
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dwjmeijer wrote:
Ah, alright then.

It still doesn't seem necessary to me. Efficiency is what makes this game great, and I almost never feel getting into a single loop is the most efficient. Usually, I try to rush some gems at the Jewellers and Sultan's Palace, before they get expensive, and then invest either in Lira or in goods.
Forcing every player to go to the Jeweller and the Sultan's Palace at least once seems limiting. If I haven't gotten a single cart upgrade, I don't want to be forced to get my last gem from the Sultan's Palace, I think this method homogenizes play.


I still can't even fathom how you see it this way. I already explained how it turns a game with two, at most three, viable strategies into a game with six viable strategies. Not sure how it becomes MORE homogenized with more viable options.
 
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Trey Chambers
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hanibalicious wrote:
dwjmeijer wrote:
Ah, alright then.

It still doesn't seem necessary to me. Efficiency is what makes this game great, and I almost never feel getting into a single loop is the most efficient. Usually, I try to rush some gems at the Jewellers and Sultan's Palace, before they get expensive, and then invest either in Lira or in goods.
Forcing every player to go to the Jeweller and the Sultan's Palace at least once seems limiting. If I haven't gotten a single cart upgrade, I don't want to be forced to get my last gem from the Sultan's Palace, I think this method homogenizes play.


Honestly, with the randomized tiles, it's more a game of FINDING the most efficient loops anyway.


Right, but then once you figure it out, the rest of the game is kind of on autopilot, with some minor tactical decisions to be made based on Encounters.

In this variant, there are some major decisions to be made even after the beginning phase, since which order you will pursue the gems and what gems you will actually pursue are decisions that must be made with a lot of current game factors taken into account.
 
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Dirk Meijer
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Shampoo4you wrote:
a game with two, at most three, viable strategies


This is where our disagreement stems from.
IMO the game has a lot of viable strategies, not just finding a "good loop" and sticking with it.
And you're not adding new viable strategies, because these were already viable. Getting 5 gems from 5 different sources is not unviable at all, it's just a little more difficult to plan properly, with your opponents getting in the way.

You remove 2 strategies that are no better or worse than the ones that your variant favours.

Anyway, if you think the game is becoming stale, take a look at the expansion, it blows all strategy you had figured out wide open again.
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Shampoo4you wrote:

Right, but then once you figure it out, the rest of the game is kind of on autopilot, with some minor tactical decisions to be made based on Encounters.


Yes and no? Yes, more often than not that happens, but if you're playing with really cutthroat players, it can really be a game of hedging your bets, and playing with no cushion re: goods or lira, to the point where any sort of encounter can cost you the game. In those latter types, going in a loop equals predictability, equals getting screwed, tactically. Especially with more players, as the gem costing ratchets up super quickly.

Again, the expansion does include a literal loop blocker, and options that expand your possibilities, if this niggles that much.
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Trey Chambers
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dwjmeijer wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
a game with two, at most three, viable strategies


This is where our disagreement stems from.
IMO the game has a lot of viable strategies, not just finding a "good loop" and sticking with it.


Some people have said this, but lots of good players disagree and the math seems to indicate that in all but the worst of circumstances and random setups, dealer/palace is the way to go.
 
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Michal Starek
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Shampoo4you wrote:
dwjmeijer wrote:
Shampoo4you wrote:
a game with two, at most three, viable strategies


This is where our disagreement stems from.
IMO the game has a lot of viable strategies, not just finding a "good loop" and sticking with it.


Some people have said this, but lots of good players disagree and the math seems to indicate that in all but the worst of circumstances and random setups, dealer/palace is the way to go.


That really depends. I didn't see "the math" you're referring to, I just know the German gaming school relies on math quite a lot during playtesting and Mr. Dorn is a seasoned game designer. Also, Istanbul is a game that shines in higher player numbers. If many people are using dealer/palace heavily, it gets more expensive with each usage and gradually becomes less and less advantageous.

That said, do get the expansion. Apart from a loop-blocking barricade, it will also grant you the possibilities of making either of those more expensive without actually triggering them.
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