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Subject: Alien Arcology rss

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Luther Hendricks
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I love Roll. It's in my top 5, somewhere. (Which baby do I love most??) But man, I must be missing something, because this faction tile always seems so good. I've played a lot of games, and I can think of maybe once or twice that (discounting it being their first time playing Roll) the owner of this faction didn't win the game. That extra $2 is so huge, that you have such a leg up on income compared to the other faction tiles. Everyone else has to figure out how to make money, while you can just put that yellow die on explore every turn and never run out of money. And the easiest way for those poor deprived opponents to make some cash is explore -- so they're just feeding the beast, trying to catch up.

What am I missing here, guys? The only thing left I can think of is "In a game with (an unfriendly) Alien Arcology, literally never call explore." And that seems pretty game warping compared to the rest of the factions. Is that really the answer?
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Tom Lehmann
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How about just leeching off Alien Arcology's Explores while you do what best benefits you?
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Alien player gets hosed if nobody calls I and he was hoping for one.

And every time you use the yellow die to I, it sure ain't getting used to do other useful stuff.
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Ben Goulding
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I think what also balances it out is that the Alien dice have three wild symbols, making them useful for basically anything.

When I've started with Alien Archaeology, while it is tempting to shovel the yellow die straight into explore, at the same time it can be used for basically anything else, and maybe moving that yellow wild into Settle or Develop might mean you get your first tile out slightly sooner.

Also, generally in Roll you want to run your economy as close to the wire as possible. If you Stock with a yellow die and finish your turn on $5 but you only have 2 dice to buy back, well then you've wasted the yellow dice.

When playing against someone with Alien Archaeology then yes, you should be careful about using Explore. The best thing to do would be to have a big Explore turn, shovel as many dice into it as possible, and really stock up on tiles to build. Then for a while you can focus on Develop/Settle and if the Alien player wants to explore, they'll have to choose it, forcing them to move dice away from other phases.

Of course Alien Archaeology really shines if you can get the (Major?) Research Labs Alien Research Ship as well, as that gives you a +1 white explore and +1 yellow explore dice!
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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I won't say I'm an expert in this game, but often in a game like this there are fairly easy-to-understand strategies that seem to dominate when players are new, and then there are harder-to-understand strategies that come out once they are experienced.

I think the advantage to this tile is prominent with new players, but not as prominent, if it exists at all, with experienced players.
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Zveroboy wrote:
Of course Alien Archaeology really shines if you can get the (Major?) Research Labs as well, as that gives you a +1 white explore and +1 yellow explore dice!
Major Labs is the one which just gives you a Home explorer:


Probably everyone knows the tile you mean, but just in case, it's Alien Research Ship:


I got this yesterday with Alien Archaeology. It was pretty fun. My opponent handled it in the right way, that is, to wait until early-mid game until she could do a huge Explore and get all the tiles she needed with just one phase call. But we were in a two-player game and the dummy called Explore often enough that my Alien Research Ship paid for itself many times over throughout the game.
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Ben Goulding
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That's the one!
 
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Luther Hendricks
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
How about just leeching off Alien Arcology's Explores while you do what best benefits you?
Sure, I listed that as an option. It just seems to me that this faction has a higher "presence" than most of them do. Especially when teaching the game to new players, I hate to feel hand holdy and say "Oh, by the way, Frank has this this faction that says "
'Never call Explore or else', so don't do that. No, Frank, I'm not trying to single you out." Just wanted to make sure there wasn't something silly I was missing.

To reiterate; I love Roll, and I'm certainly not trying to come in and say "Oh hi, clearly this game is imbalanced what were they thinking". Just wanted to poll the hivemind and see how crazy I am regarding this tile.
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David desJardins
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Drab Emordnilap wrote:
Especially when teaching the game to new players, I hate to feel hand holdy and say "Oh, by the way, Frank has this this faction that says 'Never call Explore or else', so don't do that. No, Frank, I'm not trying to single you out."
The whole game is about not calling phases that give other players advantages greater than yours. This one seems pretty mild, actually, as those go. If that aspect of the game bothers you then I'm surprised you like playing it. And if you were to say anything to new players, I would think it would be much more like, "Frank has this power which means he will call Explore a lot, so you can often get the benefit of your Explore dice while selecting another phase, yourself."
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Serge
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This faction was all-powerful for us at the beginning, but it eventually subsided to above average.
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Perry Clayton
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ackmondual wrote:
Alien player gets hosed if nobody calls I and he was hoping for one.
Not really. He just always calls Explore himself. The other players are going to be calling other phases that he gets to leech.
 
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