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Subject: Winning balance issue? rss

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MS-06 Zaku II
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From some video reviews, the players mentioned there was a sort of balancing issue which one color of cards is easier to get a winning strategy/chance, is this true?
 
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The Original Thumb #50
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I really have no idea but I suspect that at this point in time, the sample size of games played to winning strategies is too small to make any definitive statements on if the game is biased towards certain strategies.
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M. B. Downey
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ah3Dog wrote:
From some video reviews, the players mentioned there was a sort of balancing issue which one color of cards is easier to get a winning strategy/chance, is this true?


Just like straight science was the easiest winning strategy in regular 7 Wonders...
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One thing is certain. When the Law token is available(7th symbol), it is the most optimal time to gather science. You can even win the game right in the beginning of the 3rd age by having the lowest military(starting the 3rd age) and grabbing the 6th symbol.

One problem they fixed in Duel is the fact that now getting only a couple science cards makes sense since grabbing at least one of the science tokens is usually very beneficiary. In regular 7 wonders you would go full on science or not at all since getting a couple science cards usually didn't make any sense, if you'd want to take a card away from your opponent, you'd build your wonder.
 
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Matthias Beschorner
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I managed to win both of the two games I played at Essen with military which actually made me hold off on purchasing the game then and there. My first opponent could have done more to counter my strategy, my second opponent couldn't really have done anything better.

Ending the game before the final scoring didn't feel satisfying to me, so I'd be interested if the game continues to final scoring in the majority of games.
 
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Jason Webster
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From video reviews, your two for two military wins is an uncommon occurrence.
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Seb
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I've got a dozen games under my belt now and we had one military victory (and we were very close to a second one), zero science victory (one very close) and the rest was various strategies (yellow being a viable way of development now).

From my limited experience I would say it's pretty balanced.
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Olli Juhala
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The question of balance makes sense only if you assume all three ways of winning are meant to be balanced evenly. From my understanding science and military victories are there not as completely equal ways of winning but as ways to create additional tension between players and heighten the idea that you ignore those things completely at your own peril.
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bruno cathala
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If an experimented player plays against someone less experimented, it's sur that military and science victories will appear more often.

But as soon as both player have the same experience level with the game, military and science may happen, but not very often. Military is the easiest one to counter. Since is more tricky if the law token is in play. But that just mean that you have to take that in consideration since the beginning of the game.
With players having the same experience of the game, Military and science are "only" damocles sword to lead your opponent to make choices that allow you to pick the best victory points
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Michal Starek
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Speedboat wrote:
I managed to win both of the two games I played at Essen


Don't judge by playing it at Essen. The decks of the demo games there mixed with one another (we had totally no green cards in Age II and two different cards in two copies in Age I), which created quite an unbalanced experience... the only thing you could gather from the demo boxes is how the two player draft works. And that's ingenious, if you ask me.
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Matthias Beschorner
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Bruno des Montagnes wrote:
If an experimented player plays against someone less experimented, it's sur that military and science victories will appear more often.

But as soon as both player have the same experience level with the game, military and science may happen, but not very often. Military is the easiest one to counter. Since is more tricky if the law token is in play. But that just mean that you have to take that in consideration since the beginning of the game.
With players having the same experience of the game, Military and science are "only" damocles sword to lead your opponent to make choices that allow you to pick the best victory points


Thank you for your answer, I was hoping for it to be like that! I know that my two Essen games are probably not representative, but they put a slight damper on my enthusiasm nonetheless. I'm going to give the game a few more tries.
 
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Johny D
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I am starting to severely dislike 7 wonders duels. It seems that every game is a matter of recognizing the winning strategy from the begging and having luck with the resources. Played 30 games so far with my girlfirend and one of the friend that regularly plays 7 wonders with us and also watch them play more than 10 times.

The science tokens "law" and "economy" are completely broken and imbalance the game severely. Guilds have an extremely low impact on the game, while military provides marginal benefits unless you have Rhodos. Getting the free brown cards is of extreme importance in the early game, because it provides opportunities for science to dominate in the mid game. Once a scientific engine is created, you simply can't beat it. It either ends with a scientific victory, or if the opponent takes the uphill battle to counter this strategy, it remains behind in blue.

As a consequence I strongly believe there is a strong imbalance towards science dictated by the economy of the game. Basically, Duels is optimally played as a game of attrition. Science breaks this game, by providing ways to circumvent it.
 
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R. O. Schaefer
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rulezfin wrote:
The science tokens "law" and "economy" are completely broken and imbalance the game severely. Guilds have an extremely low impact on the game, while military provides marginal benefits unless you have Rhodos.


The law token is very interesting, but even it's existence doesn't guarantee a science victory is even possible theoretically. Most of the time it is though, but all you have to do is being a bit attentive.
Are you sure you are playing this right and (it's not a joker for pairs). By the rules it is very far from broken imho.

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1451937/law-token-variable-o...

Economy might be strong, but there are ways around it - and that's why it is very interesting to me too.

Military can be a very serious threat you have to take into account especially with the military science token in game or with the wonder in opponent's camp that can search for additional science token.

I really like the game with every play more. I't such a clever design :-)
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R. O. Schaefer
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Speedboat wrote:
I managed to win both of the two games I played at Essen with military which actually made me hold off on purchasing the game then and there. My first opponent could have done more to counter my strategy, my second opponent couldn't really have done anything better.


My accentuation in bold.
It's a pity to read that Essen demo games were not played with the correct set of cards. Anyway, the statement in bold remains a bold statement after just two plays.

I would say, it's by design always possible to counter military - the interesting question is: to what degree is enough to reach other game ending conditions and at what cost you counter it. This might at some point include thinking some moves foreward (I take this card, he takes this ect.) with some speculation going on who has to free which open card or who has to reveal certain cards and how many of them at the same time. Such things are difficult to do at Essen in the first game.
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Johny D
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Califax wrote:
rulezfin wrote:
The science tokens "law" and "economy" are completely broken and imbalance the game severely. Guilds have an extremely low impact on the game, while military provides marginal benefits unless you have Rhodos.


The law token is very interesting, but even it's existence doesn't guarantee a science victory is even possible theoretically. Most of the time it is though, but all you have to do is being a bit attentive.
Are you sure you are playing this right and (it's not a joker for pairs). By the rules it is very far from broken imho.

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1451937/law-token-variable-o...

Economy might be strong, but there are ways around it - and that's why it is very interesting to me too.

Military can be a very serious threat you have to take into account especially with the military science token in game or with the wonder in opponent's camp that can search for additional science token.

I really like the game with every play more. I't such a clever design :-)


We are definitely play according to the rules. No mistakes made. The problem with economy is the huge snowball effect it can cause. In classic 7 wonders (2p) this effect is mitigated by the neutral city or by your neighbours (3p+ games). Red cards don't look too powerful especially with wonders like circus maximus or Statue of ZEUS. If both are in the control of one player ....

Final scores are also odd. Usually the difference in regular 7 wonders is around 1-4 points. In Duels, the winner, wins by a larger margin. I simply can't recall a game that ended with a 3 point or less difference. Usually is 6-9 points with occasional complete stumps (>10 points). In about 40 games we had 1 military victory and 5 scientific supremacy due to LAW and/or Halikarnos ability often coupled with wonder abilities to take second turns
 
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R. O. Schaefer
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rulezfin wrote:

As a consequence I strongly believe there is a strong imbalance towards science dictated by the economy of the game.
...
The problem with economy is the huge snowball effect it can cause.

...

Final scores are also odd. Usually the difference in regular 7 wonders is around 1-4 points. In Duels, the winner, wins by a larger margin.


Large margins can happen if one player is desperately trying to win by military or science and fails. But this doesn't mean these games are not tense - on the contrary. Often enough the position of the last two face down cards (and which cards are out) can decide the game, but this type of randomness creates emotions and is a good thing imho.

Economy might be strong but it can't get into play before age II (the wonder library aside, which is expensive to build with 5 resources and 3 wood for a reason I guess), and even than the opponent might delay it's entry in the game by discarding or building a wonder with that green card that is needed to get a token early in age II. Being starting player can be crucial for this, so if, for instance, your opponent attacks you (you as the round 1 starting player) with this one free red card, think twice before countering this by bringing the conflict marker back to the middle.

I really can't see, how Law can be broken. Sure, it's existence will affect game play for both as a threat, but I don't even think it will get bought that often. The opponent just has to take care of about 3 or max. 4 cards to make science victory impossible. If however, law wins you the game it can be really cool and tense anyway, because you are likely at the verge of military defeat in that moment.

If both players think that highly about sience (in your games?) the effects will level out anyway, because each player will get at least 1 of the science cards in age I and then either complete their pair in age II or destroy the opponent's pair always taking into account the other present possibilities of course. I don't even understand what you mean by "Once a scientific engine is created" - there is not so much of an enginge imho, unless one player gets all the green cards without competition. And you don't even have to compete in the literally sense as you know as a 7 wonders base game player already. There is always hatedrafting (discard unless opponent has mausoleum - watch out for this - or building a wonder).

Finally, if you - during the drafting of wonders - let your opponent get 3 wonders with a double turn while you are getting none this might be cause some trouble regarding science vicotry condition, of course.
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Michal Starek
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rulezfin wrote:
The science tokens "law" and "economy" are completely broken and imbalance the game severely.


I had the same opinion about "Economy".
But "Economy" gets significantly weaker by your 20th game, more or less. You MUST play it somehow that you don't purchase much, anyway. Giving away 2 coins in 5 turns doesn't matter too much, to the bank or to your opponent. There are ways to circumvent building costs otherwise, even when not having many resources.
The Economy is a pretty strong combo with one of the wonders making the opponent discard some resource cards, but there are other strong combos.

The "Law"... its only purpose is the scientific win. Even with the Law in the game, the player must be missing ONLY ONE SCIENTIFIC SYMBOL from the 6 different on the cards. Considering quite a high probability some green cards are thrown away during the very setup and by your 3rd symbol the opponent must see what you're after, this is pretty hard to pull off.
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M. B. Downey
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Much like in regular 7 Wonders, group think will impact the game.
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Brian C
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Drafting Military/Science cards that you don't want isn't something that you have to do in 7 Wonders. Some players may not appreciate being forced into "counter-drafting" and I suspect that's where a bit of dislike for Duels will come from.
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downeymb wrote:
Much like in regular 7 Wonders, group think will impact the game.

...and with only two players(you and your regular gaming partner) it happens quite easily.

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Lucas Kragh
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I agree with Michal,

Played 10+ games and i don't think the game is unbalanced. The law token and economy token are both powerful but the great thing about the tokens are that they make you adapt your game if the come into your opponents possesion.
If i see my opponent grab the law token i will try my best to deny him science cards and if you have 1 or 2 Wonders that grant an extra turn this is normally possible to pull of.
So the tokens are powerful yes but this actually just makes the game more tactical and forces you to adapt.
Thinkt that it is very well designed and what seems like small imbalances are possible to counter and only makes the game more fun.
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R. O. Schaefer
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Propbuddha wrote:
Drafting Military/Science cards that you don't want isn't something that you have to do in 7 Wonders.


You mean "hate-drafting" military/science? I think this can be a very good idea in regular 7 Wonders as well. But my favourite form to play regular 7 Wonders is the teamplay with just 2 teams, which obviously has some similarities with a 2 player game. So I might be biased.
 
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Propbuddha wrote:
Drafting Military/Science cards that you don't want isn't something that you have to do in 7 Wonders. Some players may not appreciate being forced into "counter-drafting" and I suspect that's where a bit of dislike for Duels will come from.


Not quite. I personally like the "hate drafting" in regular 7 wonders and our group makes the most out of this strategy. This is a sign of a more mature and experience player group at 7 wonders. We played this a lot with 4 and 5 players and I must say after the 200 games mark our total scores has gotten lower with 5 points on average. Not only the regular deny science or military strategy are common at this level of play, but resource attrition wars and chain construction denies have begun to emerge. Black cards are completely insane for this kind of "aggressive strategies"

In duels counter drafting is mandatory (due to the 2 player aspect of the game), but not very rewarding. The 3 extra cards for each era often have a much greater impact on the overall game strategy. The nature of military mechanic (as +2) adds an interesting twist, but it feels like games are rather determined by order of play and access paths to certain cards. For example, if your opponent takes 2/3 from Lumber yard, clay pool or quarry (0 cost era I resources) you start the game with a severe economic disadvantage. Sadly, this kind of situations can't be mitigated by chains, because a part of the chain may be face down or excluded from the game
 
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Brian C
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I wasn't suggesting hate-drafting is a bad thing, I do it all of the time in 7 Wonders...

 
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Juan Crespo
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rulezfin wrote:
I am starting to severely dislike 7 wonders duels....

Played 30 games so far with my girlfirend and one of the friend that regularly plays 7 wonders with us and also watch them play more than 10 times.
Sounds to me more like you're burned out. Very few games see so much table in so little time without getting a bit stale...
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