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504» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Learning 504 rss

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Joe Masinter
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Friend had an Essen copy around last night and I was very eager to give it a shot. Unfortunately none of us had really read through the rules much, so it took a bit to sort through the components and setup the intro game #123.

The game is pretty simple, as should be for an intro to the system. Pick up and deliver + race + privileges. A few interesting decisions to be made regarding which privilege to buy, how to upgrade your transport, and which destinations to race for. Ultimately not that interesting a game though. The one part of 123 that doesn't really make sense is that you have these 5 settlements that you can drop off along the way to earn a few extra bucks, one time only. There are plenty of spots for everyone so it really seems superfluous. Probably makes more sense if you have different modules.

Anyway after we finished 123 we thought, okay so let's dive in, pick a random number and we'll figure out the rules. Ohoohohoo, but no... please don't make that same mistake. An hour later we were packing up the game and shaking our heads. Trying to decipher the rules for a modular scenario is several orders of magnitude more difficult than learning any normal Euro game. The rules are written in typical Power Grid-style somewhat poorly translated German, but more importantly, for each module you have to piece together several parts of sequences, filtering the sections according to priority which apply to the game you are currently playing. If module 2 is in a different position, then quite different rules apply, depending heavily on what's in the first position. It also seems (not sure about this though) that some parts of the full rules for modules 1/2/3, such as the auction for turn order, were omitted from the intro game rules.

I think we first tried to learn 912 and then 235, figuring using some of the same numbers as 123 would make things easier. Well, I strongly advise before attempting a new scenario that you read through the entire rulebook carefully and study up on the particular number you want to try thoroughly beforehand.

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Matt L.
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As the general GM of boardgame night, noted.

+1 for avatar btw.
 
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Jack Spirio
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joeeoj010 wrote:
The one part of 123 that doesn't really make sense is that you have these 5 settlements that you can drop off along the way to earn a few extra bucks, one time only.


5 settlement? you should have 20
this encourage you to move through places no one has taken yet to generate some nice extra income

joeeoj010 wrote:
It also seems (not sure about this though) that some parts of the full rules for modules 1/2/3, such as the auction for turn order, were omitted from the intro game rules.


there is no auction in 123 as module 3 is not in TOP I or II
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Joe Masinter
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Jack Spirio wrote:

there is no auction in 123 as module 3 is not in TOP I or II


Right, when module 3 (privileges) is in the first or second position (determines VP or determines income) it makes sense that there would be an auction instead of a draft. In 123 basically it was luck of the draw if you were able to snag a useful privilege for cheap, but I assume it's tolerable because they aren't so crucial when mod 3 is in the 3rd position.

#123 definitely makes more sense with 20 settlements instead of 5 though still probably not a very important part of the game. Income seemed to be plenty high without it.

Really looking forward to trying out some other combinations once I get my own copy, unfortunately it looks like it'll be a month or two.
 
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Jack Spirio
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know that feeling, still waiting seems forever cry
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Gabriel Edge

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May I suggest world 468. I've only played that world (skipping the unanimously panned 123) and found it engaging, appropriately complex and yet a great intro to the module system.
 
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One other suggestion for the intro game is 132. Just swap two modules together and you get a game that's better than 123.

- Bidding for the first turn nullifies the advantage of going first that's crippling in the 123 game.

- Auction for privileges cancels one more huge advantage of the first player who'd get the best privilege. Besides, auctions are plain fun. The downside is they add to the play time (so instead of 45 minutes you'd get 75) but they're worth it.

- There are legitimate choices in how you spend your money. In 123 buying one speed upgrade every turn is no-brainer because money flows fast. Here you decide between factories, privileges and upgrades.

- The race to 5 VP by delivering two of the same goods is much better for the feel of race than the kinda-race for reaching the cities that benefit everyone equally.

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