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Subject: Huge RotW points rss

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Chris
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Second game last night, both 4 player. First one ended with us in Area 6, I won with... 115ish... crap I know. Last night though, we hit RoTW in age 8 I believe. and I came a close second with... 293 points.



I would've won (by virtue of knowing RotW was coming only) if I'd had an extra disc. Each disc was scoring 23 points... with that being the case, who would ever care about losing 3 points for an old ship etc.?

As in the pic, we did very little merchant stuff on the map, (I think cubes were only pulled back once) so raced through the whole area.

Balancing the two tracks seems that you can group think your way to strategically win with a respectable 200, or blow out in a mad dash and lose with a measly 400. We probably should have done more merchant stuff, which wouldn't left us reaching RotW and 11 at a closer point, but we'd have had much lower scores if we played... better...?

Is this one of those games where the scores don't matter, just the positions? Losing by 100 points might only come from one missing nav token or such. Does anything else really matter compared to disk dumping in the last few turns, and the prep work to be able to do that well (hoard food, black cubes and a bit of cash? Now HOW yo line those things up is implicitly how you do well at the game, but ... hmmm. that's all... just ... hmmm.
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Steve Carey
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The exact same situation developed in our 4P game last night. The table hurriedly pushed the areas on the map with many warships, so Area 7 (RotW) opened up early on and we were able to flood ships into the zone over many turns until the session finally ended. Winning score was 299, which somewhat shocked us.

Looking back, no one really took advantage of Navigation tokens except on sporadic occasions (one player completely ignored them). This slowed down the tech/Ages track as ship advancements were only made when they didn't cost any Nav tokens or there was an opportunity to penalize other players with obsolete ships.

So yes, balance between the Areas and Ages seems rather important and when they're out of whack then strange things happen.

(On a side note, one downside of not putting enough merchants into play is that you'll have few of them on the map and they'll be spread out over different areas, making a Retrieve Cubes action from a single Area on the map usually pointless. So your few merchants end up stranded, and your cube count is lower)
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Chris
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Steve Carey wrote:
So yes, balance between the Areas and Ages seems rather important and when they're out of whack then strange things happen.
And if strange (and disappointing) things lead to higher scores... not good.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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But if everyone is hammering AgeArea 7, then someone will make more points than the rest, because of more actions, of more discs, of more opportune seating. I think that absolute scores in this game mean very little; it's the relative position that matters. In other words, if you are all pushing towards the end hard, then invariably people will lose because of little things. Which is not a sound strategy.

I am reminded of several other games, for example Hansa Teutonica, where something similar happens. Players need to learn how to reign in wayward strategies lest someone is simply unstoppable. Whether that makes for an agreeable game remains to be determined, though.
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MC Crispy
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cymric wrote:
But if everyone is hammering Age 7, then someone will make more points than the rest, because of more actions, of more discs, of more opportune seating. I think that absolute scores in this game mean very little; it's the relative position that matters. In other words, if you are all pushing towards the end hard, then invariably people will lose because of little things. Which is not a sound strategy.

I am reminded of several other games, for example Hansa Teutonica, where something similar happens. Players need to learn how to reign in wayward strategies lest someone is simply unstoppable. Whether that makes for an agreeable game remains to be determined, though.
Perhaps it's early days to be calling it on another MW game?
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David Larkin
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Steve Carey wrote:
The exact same situation developed in our 4P game last night. The table hurriedly pushed the areas on the map with many warships, so Area 7 (RotW) opened up early on and we were able to flood ships into the zone over many turns until the session finally ended. Winning score was 299, which somewhat shocked us.
The game ends when there are five or more ship counters in either box and players have had the same number of turns. I don't see how you got some many ship counters in ROW in the photo.

The difficulty in this game is that you want lots of free actions for your last turn, but it cost money to execute them, so you need to have placed enough warships to open up your bank and warehouse enough so that you can trade goods in the last turn get that money to play all the rest of your free actions
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James Clarke
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Zark wrote:
The game ends when there are five or more ship counters in either box and players have had the same number of turns. I don't see how you got some many ship counters in ROW in the photo.
The number of discs in RoW, doesn't necessarily correlate with the number of ships in Age 11.

Edit: Having said that, I'm wondering where all the food came from to fund all that warship building?

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Maarten D. de Jong
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From what I can make out a Steel Driver-like scenario appears to be unfolding. (Or, strangely enough, Duck Dealer, which I've been reading up on for the past few days.) The game appears solid enough, but once you try and sit down to plan and steer the whirls and whorls of chaotic interaction in your favour to prepare for the Big End, the controls turn out to be surprisingly slippery, at odds with the precision you need (or think you need).

If I am right, then I foresee a bright future for Ships' second hand market, for I cannot imagine many people wanting to spend time with a design which proves to be so intractable. In general those games never do well.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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cymric wrote:
From what I can make out a Steel Driver-like scenario appears to be unfolding. (Or, strangely enough, Duck Dealer, which I've been reading up on for the past few days.) The game appears solid enough, but once you try and sit down to plan and steer the whirls and whorls of chaotic interaction in your favour to prepare for the Big End, the controls turn out to be surprisingly slippery, at odds with the precision you need (or think you need).

If I am right, then I foresee a bright future for Ships' second hand market, for I cannot imagine many people wanting to spend time with a design which proves to be so intractable. In general those games never do well.
If not many people want to navigate the intractable, don't you mean a flooded second hand market? If so, I better put mine on the marketplace right away!
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Chris
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Highland Cow wrote:
Zark wrote:
The game ends when there are five or more ship counters in either box and players have had the same number of turns. I don't see how you got some many ship counters in ROW in the photo.
The number of discs in RoW, doesn't necessarily correlate with the number of ships in Age 11.

Edit: Having said that, I'm wondering where all the food came from to fund all that warship building?

Personally I had 5 coming into Area 7 thanks to an industry chit, picked up a few more from my cubes in RotW.

Always room for error, but I'm personally very comfortable that the rules were followed to the letter.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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jschlickbernd wrote:
If not many people want to navigate the intractable, don't you mean a flooded second hand market? If so, I better put mine on the marketplace right away!
I see what you did there...
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Chris
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TheRocketSurgeon wrote:
Always room for error, but I'm personally very comfortable that the rules were followed to the letter.
Ha, well we were giving discs points for ALL cubes not just your own colour, but still, that doesn't change too much.
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Chris
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cymric wrote:
jschlickbernd wrote:
If not many people want to navigate the intractable, don't you mean a flooded second hand market? If so, I better put mine on the marketplace right away!
I see what you did there...
I'm not sure he did!
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Steve Carey
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Zark wrote:
The game ends when there are five or more ship counters in either box and players have had the same number of turns. I don't see how you got some many ship counters in ROW in the photo.
Areas (land) and Ages (ships) progress separately. When ship technology lags (far) behind, repeatedly upgrading and then placing more ships is easy to do.

Highland Cow wrote:
Edit: Having said that, I'm wondering where all the food came from to fund all that warship building?
Industry - players put a merchant into the RotW and get 2 food. Also, they stocked up on food (in their Warehouse) from prior areas.

Food was a concern, as was money, but running out of discs happened too.
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David Larkin
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Steve Carey wrote:
Zark wrote:
The game ends when there are five or more ship counters in either box and players have had the same number of turns. I don't see how you got some many ship counters in ROW in the photo.
Areas (land) and Ages (ships) progress separately. When ship technology lags (far) behind, repeatedly upgrading and then placing more ships is easy to do.

Yes, but the game ends regardless of what shipping age has been reached once five ships have been placed in the ROW so generally as soon as one person places in ROW the game will end that turn as everyone else jumps in to avoid getting losing out.
Our games have all finished around the start of the third era, we haven't reached age 11 yet
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Thibaut Palfer-Sollier
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Rule mistake :
"The game ends when there are five or more ship counters in Age Eleven, in either box AND each player has had an equal number of turns."
Only the ship technology can make the game end.
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Zark wrote:
Steve Carey wrote:
Zark wrote:
The game ends when there are five or more ship counters in either box and players have had the same number of turns. I don't see how you got some many ship counters in ROW in the photo.
Areas (land) and Ages (ships) progress separately. When ship technology lags (far) behind, repeatedly upgrading and then placing more ships is easy to do.

Yes, but the game ends regardless of what shipping age has been reached once five ships have been placed in the ROW so generally as soon as one person places in ROW the game will end that turn as everyone else jumps in to avoid getting losing out.
Our games have all finished around the start of the third era, we haven't reached age 11 yet
The rule for ending the game is
Quote:
The game ends when there are five or more ship counters in Age Eleven, in either box AND each player has had an equal number of turns.
The items placed in RotW are not in Age Eleven. They are in Area Seven.

Also, in the section about Area Seven, the rules state:
Quote:
There is no upper limit to the number of cubes and discs which can be placed in these boxes. Consequently, it is impossible for a player to be blocked from placing a cube or disc.
Am I missing something? I can't find any other references to Area Seven or The Rest of the World.
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James Clarke
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Zark wrote:
Yes, but the game ends regardless of what shipping age has been reached once five ships have been placed in the ROW so generally as soon as one person places in ROW the game will end that turn as everyone else jumps in to avoid getting losing out.
Our games have all finished around the start of the third era, we haven't reached age 11 yet
You've got the rules pretty wrong here, David.
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David Larkin
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Highland Cow wrote:
Zark wrote:
Yes, but the game ends regardless of what shipping age has been reached once five ships have been placed in the ROW so generally as soon as one person places in ROW the game will end that turn as everyone else jumps in to avoid getting losing out.
Our games have all finished around the start of the third era, we haven't reached age 11 yet
You've got the rules pretty wrong here, David.
Damn, how did I misread that?! Need to play again now
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Chris
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Highland Cow wrote:
Zark wrote:
Yes, but the game ends regardless of what shipping age has been reached once five ships have been placed in the ROW so generally as soon as one person places in ROW the game will end that turn as everyone else jumps in to avoid getting losing out.
Our games have all finished around the start of the third era, we haven't reached age 11 yet
You've got the rules pretty wrong here, David.
Potentially to the benefit of the game though! That plus the player triggering the end game condition having their last turn there and then and dropping the equal number of turns sounds like it could work well.
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RotW...Rake of the Week?
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clydeiii wrote:
RotW...Rake of the Week?
Rest of the World
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Personally, and I am sure to get some disagreement, but I don't think it was intended that the game develop into a hoard food & black cubes/end game RotW rush to build umpteen ships in the final round. Besides, as first player in the only game I've played I feel that player is really hampered at game end, i.e. can't "control" the game end or compete with others in Areas 6&7 if they are hoarding actions. I "feel" that MW or others that played a part in the design or play test rather felt that the actions were limited to the cubes shown in the different eras, i.e. 2 merchant actions in Galley, 2 merchant and one free action in Sailing, and 2/2 in Steam; or maybe limited to one additional free action cube each turn other than what's shown. I would like to see an official variant posted. I think the hoarding of black cubes, then having 10 or more upgrade/build ship actions in the final turn is an absurd way to play the game.

Also, it's much more fun to play out each area and advance them at about the same speed as advancing the ships. Something to the extent of requiring sailing vessels to advance to Age 4 and Steam ships to advance to Age 6 (or 7) is much more realistic. I mean, galleys could not realistically be used to trade with or conquer South America, right?!

I think the base game mechanics are fun and interesting, but something has to be done to corral these issues or no one will play it.
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hgcoleman wrote:
Personally, and I am sure to get some disagreement, but I don't think it was intended that the game develop into a hoard food & black cubes/end game RotW rush to build umpteen ships in the final round.
I asked this very question to Martin Wallace in Essen. And he was cristal clear about it : it was intended.
My take on this is that managing the unlocking (or the non-unlocking) of RotW is one of the main strategic issue to handle for the players. The other is warships, through the unlocking of your bank or your warehouse. No need to say that both are intertwined.
Players have everything at hand to make this issue a very interesting one.
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hgcoleman wrote:
Personally, and I am sure to get some disagreement, but I don't think it was intended that the game develop into a hoard food & black cubes/end game RotW rush to build umpteen ships in the final round. Besides, as first player in the only game I've played I feel that player is really hampered at game end, i.e. can't "control" the game end or compete with others in Areas 6&7 if they are hoarding actions. I "feel" that MW or others that played a part in the design or play test rather felt that the actions were limited to the cubes shown in the different eras, i.e. 2 merchant actions in Galley, 2 merchant and one free action in Sailing, and 2/2 in Steam; or maybe limited to one additional free action cube each turn other than what's shown. I would like to see an official variant posted. I think the hoarding of black cubes, then having 10 or more upgrade/build ship actions in the final turn is an absurd way to play the game.

Also, it's much more fun to play out each area and advance them at about the same speed as advancing the ships. Something to the extent of requiring sailing vessels to advance to Age 4 and Steam ships to advance to Age 6 (or 7) is much more realistic. I mean, galleys could not realistically be used to trade with or conquer South America, right?!

I think the base game mechanics are fun and interesting, but something has to be done to corral these issues or no one will play it.
I don't know that playing a game in a way that wins can be regarded as 'absurd'. It sounds to me as though you are describing a situation that the groupthink of the designer and playtesters didn't spot because they played the game 'the way it is supposed to be played' and not every way that it could be played. If that is the case then we can add Ships to the list of such games. It's a shame when a game turns out not to have a robust enough strategic surface.
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