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Subject: Crisis in IKI? rss

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Gabi Games
Netherlands
Lage Zwaluwe
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We have played IKI three times now. Really nice game! We are wondering though, whether or not we play the game correclty. With four players, we find that up to one third of the shop locations remain empty thoughout the game. Does this happen in other playergroups as well?
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Jeffrey Nolin
Japan
Nakaku, Hiroshima
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I got my copy two days ago and have only been able to try a solo 4 player game to learn the rules and gameplay, so I can teach it later. My impression is that you'd want to have all of your meeples working at shops, so you and the other players have more opportunities to get more stuff. Also, your salary at the end of the season is based on occupation cards, so the more cards in play the more money you'd get. There is also the Humanity Nagaya Bonus that is based on occupation cards in play. Why do you and your friends shy away from occupations?
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Jeffrey Nolin
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I had my first real game with three players yesterday and was thinking about your observation. Even though all of us often had all four workers in place at several points, it took the first 4 or 5 rounds to get them onto the board, then we sometimes lost 1 or 2 due to lack of rice, or retired them in later rounds, so having a third empty, even in a 4 player game, doesn't seem unreasonable. My key observation was that my daughter and I were often spending several minutes worrying over which shops to buy, only to eventually be reminded that we already had 4 workers on the board. Cost and usefulness also often delayed bringing a new shop into play, although cards that gave a firefighting benefit at purchase were hot properties.
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Gabi Games
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Thanks for looking into my question and your replies.
My question concerns the shop locations slots on the player board (and not the use of meeples). Quite a few remain empty slots throughout the game; no shops are built there. I can understand this for the outer corner ones, because of the fire that might spread and hit those slots first. But having only 50-65% occupied with shops seems too few to me, so I was wondering if we played the game right.
 
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Winston Spencer
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It's really depend to the strategy of the players if they go for something that don't need the occupations or prefer the money, they will leave more slots open.

I played one time in 3 players, but only +- 30% shops are stay empty. Only after some mass retirement that the board cleared.
 
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Jeffrey Nolin
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GabiGames wrote:
Thanks for looking into my question and your replies.
My question concerns the shop locations slots on the player board (and not the use of meeples). Quite a few remain empty slots throughout the game; no shops are built there.
Worker meeples, occupation cards and location slots are all equivalent for this discussion, as you need a worker meeple to buy and place an occupation card onto a location slot. Each player only has the 4 worker meeples, so can only have 4 occcupations in 4 location slots at any time.

 
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Anthony Mai
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For my two cents of playing one 2p and one 4p game, it did feel like it would be difficult to fill all the occupation slots during the course of the game. But that didn't make it feel less busy.

The mechanics of the game does indicate it you shouldn't be filling the board completely anyway, unless everyone is ignoring artisans.

Starting off, you only have four Kobun meeples to use for indication ownership of an occupation/building (unless I missed somewhere you use the other meeples for buildings). As longagoigo mentioned, at most one player can fill 25% of the board. If each player has out three occupations at any given time, that's the 25% board being empty.

The initial primary source of income is mutually exclusive to hiring an artisan, so that could mean half of your turns are not getting someone on the board. Hired cards also aren't replaced until round end, reducing the choices and likelihood that succeeding players could hire at all. I haven't looked at all the cards, but I don't believe there is an occupation card that allows for hiring another occupation in the deal phase (who needs middle managers anyway!? whistle).

Attrition by retirement, running away, and fires means also will make it difficult for a full board. Motivation to get a person off the board and in comfortable retirement opens up those slots. A person could intentionally have an artisan run away and play a denial game. Anticipation of fires inhibit hiring.

Lots of factors will cause churning of the hired occupation cards. But that should be how the game plays. People will come and go as you move up along your life to achieve Iki.
 
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