Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
10 Posts

Scythe» Forums » General

Subject: Some Balance Questions rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Gary Wooldridge
United States
Richmond
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmb
Disclaimer: I haven't been able to get a group together to try out this game... that said, I have read the rules several times and checked out all the maps/mats/etc, and I have two broad questions.

1) How are the Rusviets not overpowered? It seems to me like they can be to the factory before anyone else even has a chance. They can use any action twice in a row, so that means they hit the factory at turn five. It would go as follows... turn one, trade for two metal, turn two, trade for two metal, turn three build mech at village with worker(on no playmat does a mech cost more than four), picking the ability "township", turn four, move character to village, turn five, move character(and Mech) to factory. Am I missing anything? Is there some way another power could get there first? What do I give up as Rusviets to persue this course?

2) How is Saxony not underpowered? Their ability seems far and away like the least useful since it depends gaining lots of coins quickly then ending the game, and is useless if your strategy only works for a longer game. It would make sense if you got coins for completing objectives, but you don't. Also, they are only faction in the base game that is five spaces away from the factory(though the whale faction for the expansion also has this drawback.) It doesn't seem to be offset with a correspondingly useful faction ability.

This game has 750 playtests, so I can't be be the first one to notice these things, what am I missing? (note: I still plan on backing on kickstarter, it looks amazingly fun and the art is fantastic)
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jamey Stegmaier
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Gary: It is true that if the Rusviet player chooses that path, they can beat any other player to the Factory. The key is (a) that it's their choice to do that (opposed to other things they could be doing instead and that (b) that ability isn't inherently linked to a Rusviet victory. All of the abilities in the game--faction and mech--are overpowered in some way.

One of the easiest way to get stars is through objective cards and combat, so the Saxon player has the easiest path to the easiest achievements in the game. You get coins for stars, and the Saxon player could get all of their stars from those two elements alone (if they choose to do so). It's actually quite a powerful ability.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gary Wooldridge
United States
Richmond
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmb
Sir: Thanks for the quick response, upon reading that you get coins for stars, I retract my concerns about Saxony. However, I would still be interested to see what the Rusviet players loses by going all out to be the first in the factory.(and this is a general question, not directed solely at you) It seems to me that not only would he get the best pick of the factory cards, but would also be able to bait other players into attacking him to get the factory, leading to the possibility of winning stars without losing popularity. I understand that it is the player's choice to rush to the factory, and the amazing level of freedom is what I like about this game. I just fail to see an alternative strategy to the factory rush that is likely to generate as many coins. I suppose if you lose the combat to someone else soon after you get there, you're really in a bad way with board presence, but even then, it seems like someone would have to rush to get there right after you, otherwise you'd have a turn or two to consolidate and expand, and you'd still have forced him to react to you.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jamey Stegmaier
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Gary: Sure, I can see that being a good strategy for the Rusviet player. It's just not the only decision. Instead of building that mech, do they upgrade early and reap the ongoing benefits? Do they build? Do they enlist? There's a pretty broad decision tree of viable options from which to choose--there is no right answer.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
JR Honeycutt
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Seconding Jamey's answer (after a bit of my own grumbling about playing with the Blue faction) - everything seems overpowered in some circumstances, and much less useful in others. Getting to the factory first is great, but it isn't *that* much of an advantage later in the game. While you're busy funneling resources into getting that advantage, other players could be expanding their territory, which is also worth points.

I played the Rusviets in my first game and loved them, did almost exactly what you said, and coasted to my 6th star while everybody else had 2 or 3... and I lost by more than 10 points because I only controlled 4 territories.

The game is really well-balanced (in my experience), and I hope to test that as much as I can over the course of the next few years
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wabi Sabi Will

Oregon
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I just destroyed both the Nords and Rusviets as Saxony after having the same concerns myself. I just didn't understand Saxony as a faction when I drew their card. I thought for sure I was going to lose.

I gave it a few minutes of thought while others were setting up and devised a good strategy, focusing on Popularity (to fuel attacks against workers too far afield and to steal resources), resource denial and territory control.

I made only what I needed to hit the ground running. I barely used my workers for building, rather, moved them around with my mechs and used them as 'defense' against counterattacks (people hate taking that Popularity hit). I made aggressive moves quickly and as often as possible, choosing to steal resources rather than produce them.

It was completely different from the other ~8 times I'd played the game. And it worked.
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joshua Hutchins
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Gary: I had this same thought (as did everyone else I'm sure), but when you play the game you realize that this power is cool, but not over powered. In our first four games I was always the first to the Factory (this has always been because of an objective). This ended up being a very small part of the game and in no way a winning play.

I think the belief is that the Factory cards are a big boost, this isn't necessarily true. Since the payment on these cards tends to be high, these factory cards are more of a strategy play than a straight power boost. And since you are selecting your card on turn 5-8, your strategy for the rest of the game will not be fully formed. The game is very intricate and you don't always know where your next star will come from. You may find that your choice of Factory card on turn 5-8 has become useless to you on turn 16, or worse it may have hamstrung your next star by using it early.

And playing king of the hill is great, but you are a target. And spending too much time holding the factory is going to hamper your engine building.

So while what you mention is a strategy, it is really a small part to a much larger game and is certainly not a game winning power by any means.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
R.J.
United States
Citrus Heights
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
B52Ltd wrote:
What do I give up as Rusviets to persue this course?


I too have not played this game, only watched videos and read the rules.

While you do get first choice of Factory cards (definitely a benefit), you still only get 1 action choice a turn. While you could choose the same action over and over (as that faction in the scenario), I doubt that would be as beneficial, so you won't be getting that benefit every turn, and you aren't choosing other actions when you are choosing the Factory card action. Yes, you can get extra moves out of it, which is beneficial, but you still have to choose that card (and by doing so, you aren't choosing other actions).

You are giving up (or, rather, delaying compared to your competitors), the chance to move towards recruits, which can give you on-going benefits whenever your competitors to the left and right of you do an action. This will be on-going throughout the game, not requiring you to choose an action.

You are giving up or delaying the chance to upgrade, which will make things cheaper for you (adds up over time), and give you more benefits EACH TIME you choose the upgraded actions.

You are giving up or delaying the chance to build buildings, which can give you on-going benefits EVERY TIME you choose the action associated w/ the building you built.

So, while getting to the factory first, and getting first choice of the available actions is definitely a benefit (but it only pays off when you choose the Factory action), you delay those important engine building aspects that pay off for you every time you choose the other actions (or an opponent does in the case of the recruits).

Does that make sense?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gary Wooldridge
United States
Richmond
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmb
Thanks to everyone for the input. I feel alot more confident about the balance now, glad to be backing it. Can't wait until August.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexander Davis
United States
Warren
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
One more note, I'd say that getting the Factory card early is a little less beneficial for this faction, since they can already move every round anyhow... (and I think the consistent movement is a pretty decent draw for Factory cards...)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.