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Subject: Rendezvous until certain to succeed rss

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Steve
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I was playing this with my sons the other day and one of them boosted a couple of components into Earth Orbit, then proceeded to repeatedly separate and dock them until we agreed he could just examine and remove all his outcome cards from Rendezvous. We now all do this same thing early in every game. Are we misunderstanding something or is this really allowed?
 
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Michael T
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I don't see why not, as long as you are drawing a freshly shuffled outcome card for each attempt, damaging components as required and paying for outcome card removal. Are you using your astro/cosmonauts to repair any damaged equipment using onboard supplies before re-attempting any failed rendezvous?
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Robert Manning
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Except for the looking at all of the cards part, yes. But a simple house rule of "after ten consecutive successes you may reveal and remove all outcome cards" takes care of that. But even after ten successful draws there is still about a 0.6% chance that you could draw a failure -- a litle more likely than that of rolling an 18 on 3d6.
 
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Steve
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Failure cards are resolved, but assuming 2 or 3 success cards remain, we "theoretically" don't stop after 10 attempts, but presume a thousand or even a million attempts - why would you ever stop - hence deciding to just allow inspection of the cards.
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Michael T
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If you are certain that you've got two Success cards left on your advancement (after multiple draws, as you've said), you'd still have to pay $10M to remove one of them before the last one gets removed for free.

Edit: ...and I see now from further replies that it's a time saving thing for future rounds, when you're certain you've only successes left. Yup, why not? If everyone at the table agrees, go for it.
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Robert Manning
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I am in full agreement with you (Steve) -- the actual number of draws doesn't really matter; what matters is that everyone playing the game is sufficiently satisfied that it isn't worth going through the motions of testing the outcome any further.

In some of my solo games I have had Rendezvous with all success (in happens about a third of the time); I played the game "rules as written" so didn't just look at them all until after the game -- but there were several turns that I shuffled through them a half dozen times or more "just to make sure". In a multi-player game with everyone doing that? Yeah, I would allow a short-cut if everyone agreed.
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Craig C
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I've done this before, too. After 8-10 successes, I asked my friend's permission to just look at all three cards, and if they're all successes, I've discarded them to save time in the future.
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Jaime Mayol
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bird94us wrote:
I've done this before, too. After 8-10 successes, I asked my friend's permission to just look at all three cards, and if they're all successes, I've discarded them to save time in the future.


I would check the cards but not remove them if I am playing multiplayer, as you can sell that technology to other players and it would be worthier with less outcome cards.
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Will H.
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I'm not sure why you would do this.

I've been "certain" that both of the two remaining outcome cards were successes. In fact, I played almost a whole game, consistently drawing a success every time I launched a Saturn rocket.

Then with just a few years remaining to win the game, and having to launch the current year in order to get to Mars and back to win the game, I boosted a payload to Earth orbit and was absolutely floored when I drew a major failure and exploded my spacecraft--losing the game.

What you're talking about is an approximation of the "Gambler's Fallacy". The law of averages doesn't apply to the limited number of outcome card observations in a single game.

I also think that's why it's so expensive to remove a success. It's a lot more difficult and expensive to find "problems" in systems that you think are working well. It is easy to shake out the problems in a new system when the problems are obvious. I think the game mechanics work well and "peeking" at the outcome cards after observing "a lot*" of successes is cheating, IMHO.
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Tom Chick
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Yeah, I'm astonished anyone would do this if they understood how the card draws work. It's one of the brilliant bits about Leaving Earth's design. If you want 100% certainty, you have to pay for it. If you don't pay for it, you simply don't get it.

I love that about the game and can't imagine someone houseruling it away because they figure, well, heck, 9 out of 10 is close enough that it might as well be 10 out of 10!

-Tom
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Bart Rachemoss
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slashing wrote:
[...] one of them boosted a couple of components into Earth Orbit, then proceeded to repeatedly separate and dock them until we agreed he could just examine and remove all his outcome cards from Rendezvous.

Erich Cranor raised this point earlier:
Erich Cranor wrote:
If it's true that you can use rendezvous with damaged components and you can repeat during a turn--then as long as you have 2 things in orbit--even just 2 Junos--you can just say "okay I'm going to rendezvous a thousand times this year and buy away any failures"

Perhaps the people who object to slashing's idea didn't realize that the rendezvous could be repeated over and over and over beating down the odds of failure to be arbitrarily low. Are you really suggesting that the rendezvous action be repeated hundreds or thousands of times just to be sure only successes are left? With the current rules, at the very least a player should be able to simply look at the rendezvous outcome cards and buy all the failures which is a simple way of modeling the player repeating the rendezvous action an infinite number of times.

In this way the Rendezvous action is fundamentally different from testing a Saturn rocket because repeating the rendezvous is free while testing a Saturn rocket is very expensive.

I now agree with Erich that being allowed to infinitely repeat the rendezvous action is broken. Perhaps one way to fix rendezvous would be to have a non-zero cost for each rendezvous as long as there is at least one outcome card on it. Or add a cost after the first rendezvous each turn. Or limit the number of rendezvous actions per turn.

I see this as a small flaw in a great game.
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Steve
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BitJam wrote:
I now agree with Erich that being allowed to infinitely repeat the rendezvous action is broken. Perhaps one way to fix rendezvous would be to have a non-zero cost for each rendezvous as long as there is at least one outcome card on it. Or add a cost after the first rendezvous each turn. Or limit the number of rendezvous actions per turn.

I see this as a small flaw in a great game.

Completely agree and have come to much the same conclusion.

I've played a lot of Liftoff! and like the fact that in that game you can never achieve complete certainty in most of the technologies. In Leaving Earth you can't really play beyond the recommended 6 missions and 20 years, or even a multi-agency cooperative game within the 20 years because eventually the key technologies become so reliable that the outcomes are completely calculable.

My two sons and I set up a game with 12 missions in which we agreed to cooperate fully, and ended with "Ok, so we can complete all these last three missions in exactly 5 years and so we don't need to play them out."

This gives me some doubts about the viability of the Outer Planets expansion or some other longer playing scenario as the outcomes mechanic starts to break down with sufficient time and investment. I'm toying with the idea of preventing total reliability for a bigger scale game. For example any component has a chance of failing, by drawing 3 successive cards from the outcome deck and suffering a failure only if all three cards are failures.

Don't get me wrong - I really like the three card outcome mechanic, I just think its current structure constrains the game which would make for an excellent grand-scale sandbox simulation that has the potential to go beyond its current scope.
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Michael T
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BitJam wrote:
slashing wrote:
[...] one of them boosted a couple of components into Earth Orbit, then proceeded to repeatedly separate and dock them until we agreed he could just examine and remove all his outcome cards from Rendezvous.

Erich Cranor raised this point earlier:
Erich Cranor wrote:
If it's true that you can use rendezvous with damaged components and you can repeat during a turn--then as long as you have 2 things in orbit--even just 2 Junos--you can just say "okay I'm going to rendezvous a thousand times this year and buy away any failures"

Perhaps the people who object to slashing's idea didn't realize that the rendezvous could be repeated over and over and over beating down the odds of failure to be arbitrarily low. Are you really suggesting that the rendezvous action be repeated hundreds or thousands of times just to be sure only successes are left? With the current rules, at the very least a player should be able to simply look at the rendezvous outcome cards and buy all the failures which is a simple way of modeling the player repeating the rendezvous action an infinite number of times.

In this way the Rendezvous action is fundamentally different from testing a Saturn rocket because repeating the rendezvous is free while testing a Saturn rocket is very expensive.

I now agree with Erich that being allowed to infinitely repeat the rendezvous action is broken. Perhaps one way to fix rendezvous would be to have a non-zero cost for each rendezvous as long as there is at least one outcome card on it. Or add a cost after the first rendezvous each turn. Or limit the number of rendezvous actions per turn.

I see this as a small flaw in a great game.


I may be wrong with this, but I thought that if a rendezvous suffers a failure then a component has to be damaged - damaged components would then need to be repaired before another attempt at a rendezvous could be attempted. That means you would need an engineer space person up there with 1 Supply to repair each failure.
Edit: turns out I am wrong, haha, I've just read the other thread you referenced and the game designer has said you can rendezvous with damaged components.

My impression from the OP is that after doing multiple draws they were happy that only Success cards remained on the rendezvous Advancement and were just going for a time-saving house rule. Personally, I'd be happy with that in my games, though I'd probably add a caveat that if any failures did appear when turning up the remaining cards then the player would, say, forfeit their next years budget
 
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Steve
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ariochRN wrote:
I may be wrong with this, but I thought that if a rendezvous suffers a failure then a component has to be damaged - damaged components would then need to be repaired before another attempt at a rendezvous could be attempted. That means you would need an engineer space person up there with 1 Supply to repair each failure.

This was clarified in another thread - it is still possible to dock with damaged components, to allow for the possibility of rescue missions.

Nevertheless, even if this were not so, one could just boost up 4 components to have enough to complete 3 rendezvous attempts.

ariochRN wrote:
My impression from the OP is that after doing multiple draws they were happy that only Success cards remained on the rendezvous Advancement and were just going for a time-saving house rule. Personally, I'd be happy with that in my games, though I'd probably add a caveat that if any failures did appear when turning up the remaining cards then the player would, say, forfeit their next years budget

Pretty much. What we actually did was say, "I'm pretty sure I only have successes left. Would you check those cards and if there are any failures I'll suffer the consequences and buy them off."
 
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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BitJam wrote:
Are you really suggesting that the rendezvous action be repeated hundreds or thousands of times just to be sure only successes are left?


Yes. If you want to be that certain, I would argue you have to put in the sweat and would make you draw every time you use the technology.

If a player doesn't like, there's a way out -- pay the ten bucks.
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Steve
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sdiberar wrote:
BitJam wrote:
Are you really suggesting that the rendezvous action be repeated hundreds or thousands of times just to be sure only successes are left?


Yes. If you want to be that certain, I would argue you have to put in the sweat and would make you draw every time you use the technology.

If a player doesn't like, there's a way out -- pay the ten bucks.

To me it's actually what the other players probably would or wouldn't like, rather than the one trying to test the rendezvous tech to destruction. I didn't want to hide, shuffle and re-offer the outcome cards on my opponent's rendezvous card the many 10s or 100s of times it would take to satisfy him that the tech was completely reliable. That would be unacceptably boring for everyone else... as well as the tester.

"I'll keep on docking and separating."
"Ok, I'll look through the cards and see whether you ever fail."

I just couldn't be bothered to go through the process and so gave in with this short cut.
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Evan Stegman
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If I am understanding this correctly, some people are saying they want to remove two success without paying the $10M.

I wouldn't allow it.

You want to not have to do it, pay the money.

It may be a hassle, but it is completely within your power to end that hassle while still playing within the rules: Pay $10M.

If you want to be cheap and not pay the money, the price is that you have to shuffle and draw every time you use it.
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Steve
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EvanMinn wrote:
If you want to be cheap and not pay the money, the price is that you have to shuffle and draw every time you use it.

No - the price is that everyone has to sit around waiting while you repeatedly dock and separate as many times as it takes to satisfy you that your rendezvous outcomes are all successes. It's boring, and unnecessarily wearing to the cards. For all the other technologies I'd agree with you, but for Rendezvous, the "do it as many times as you like in a turn" rule means it makes sense to test it thoroughly as soon as you have sufficient components (two) in orbit.
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Evan Stegman
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slashing wrote:
EvanMinn wrote:
If you want to be cheap and not pay the money, the price is that you have to shuffle and draw every time you use it.

No - the price is that everyone has to sit around waiting while you repeatedly dock and separate as many times as it takes to satisfy you that your rendezvous outcomes are all successes. It's boring, and unnecessarily wearing to the cards. For all the other technologies I'd agree with you, but for Rendezvous, the "do it as many times as you like in a turn" rule means it makes sense to test it thoroughly as soon as you have sufficient components (two) in orbit.


But when you let someone take them off for free, then it penalizes the players who paid the $10M and that is not fair.
 
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Steve
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EvanMinn wrote:
slashing wrote:
EvanMinn wrote:
If you want to be cheap and not pay the money, the price is that you have to shuffle and draw every time you use it.

No - the price is that everyone has to sit around waiting while you repeatedly dock and separate as many times as it takes to satisfy you that your rendezvous outcomes are all successes. It's boring, and unnecessarily wearing to the cards. For all the other technologies I'd agree with you, but for Rendezvous, the "do it as many times as you like in a turn" rule means it makes sense to test it thoroughly as soon as you have sufficient components (two) in orbit.


But when you let someone take them off for free, then it penalizes the players who paid the $10M and that is not fair.

Well, we all do it now, so it balances out.
 
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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slashing wrote:
Well, we all do it now, so it balances out.

Have fun playing whatever game you are playing that is not Leaving Earth.
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Josh Zscheile
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This argument is exactly why I would not allow multiple docks and undocks of the same components in a round. This way you can't test endlessly (unless you have infinite number of components at one place that is not earth) and the question does not arise.
 
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Steve
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Dagar wrote:
This argument is exactly why I would not allow multiple docks and undocks of the same components in a round. This way you can't test endlessly (unless you have infinite number of components at one place that is not earth) and the question does not arise.

That was my first instinct too, but the designer already ruled that this is permissible in another thread.
 
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Evan Stegman
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slashing wrote:
EvanMinn wrote:
slashing wrote:
EvanMinn wrote:
If you want to be cheap and not pay the money, the price is that you have to shuffle and draw every time you use it.

No - the price is that everyone has to sit around waiting while you repeatedly dock and separate as many times as it takes to satisfy you that your rendezvous outcomes are all successes. It's boring, and unnecessarily wearing to the cards. For all the other technologies I'd agree with you, but for Rendezvous, the "do it as many times as you like in a turn" rule means it makes sense to test it thoroughly as soon as you have sufficient components (two) in orbit.


But when you let someone take them off for free, then it penalizes the players who paid the $10M and that is not fair.

Well, we all do it now, so it balances out.


In Power Grid, it is too much of a hassle to constantly be having to wait for the resources to be restocked so we are just going to let everyone take the resources for free. It's fair because everyone gets them for free.

Sure, everyone has more money than they normally would have but not having to wait is better than playing the game correctly.


 
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Steve
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Right - just to be clear - I'm not trying to defend the way I played to mitigate the recursive Rendezvous loop. I did that as an expedient workaround to a perceived problem of a player being able to take potentially infinite actions in order to thoroughly test the technology. Now I can understand that some people may not see the possibility as a problem, but assuming you agree with me that it is, I'd be interested to learn how you would work around it. So far the options appear to be:

1) Do nothing. Everyone will have to mechanically play out the repeated dock / separation attempts until the player taking the actions becomes bored.

2) Limit the number of docking actions per turn.

3a) Inspect the cards, play out any failures and allow discarding.

3b) Inspect the cards, play out any failures but keep the success cards for future tech trade purposes.

4) Impose a cost per docking attempt.

I'm currently favouring 3b.
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