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Subject: 2 players? rss

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Massimo Paini
Italy
Romanengo
Cremona
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This game works well in two players?It remains a valid? Thank you.
 
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Bob D
United States
Michigan
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In short, it is fantastic at all player counts including 2-player. One of the best scaling heavy euros around.
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chris ward
Scotland
Paisley
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We've only ever played 2 player and both love it. Strong contender for my favourite game.

I would however love to play a 4 player game someday.

Great with 2.
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Julio Ruiz Blake
Spain
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It's a very good game with 2 players.

Indeed a gorgeous game with 2 to 4 players.
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Jennifer
United States
Newark
Delaware
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As previously mentioned, this game scales very well even down to 2. We have found it's actually less forgiving with 2 than it is with 3 or 4. A different strategy is needed and there is a different feel for each scenario but all compliments enjoyable.
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Christopher Slugocki
United States
Lisle
Illinois
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Just adding my voice to the choir. Very good game at all player counts.
 
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Benjamin Benson
United States
Pleasanton
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Just did two players tonight and it worked but I think it's not as balanced with two. It seems the city focus bonuses are the way to go in a two-player game, leaving the market strategy as a 2nd best option. Could be wrong, only had one game as two-player but it makes me think it's definitely playable but probably shines at four. Also, if you do city strategy, then every new round you are guaranteed to be able to reset 50% of your bonus tokens to use again and again.
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Andrew J
United States
Royal Oak
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Sonicwarhol wrote:
Also, if you do city strategy, then every new round you are guaranteed to be able to reset 50% of your bonus tokens to use again and again.


Actually, when you select turn order and a group of guild dice at the beginning of a round, while each of the two available choices contain two different guild symbols (white/green or orange/purple), you only get to choose one color of guild favors to reset, not both (e.g., you could choose the first slot and then reset either green or white, but not both).

I've actually found that it isn't particularly easier in a two-player game to reset guild favors than it is in a four-player game. You still have the same types of pressures as in the four-player game--i.e., you can go for green or white guilds, knowing that you can reset those guilds by choosing an earlier turn order, but knowing that the other player may also prefer the earlier turn order and will block you; or you can go for the orange or purple guilds, thinking that perhaps they will be easier to reset because you would be choosing a later turn order to do so. However, it is never as simple as this, because while turn order is one factor in determining which position will be selected at the beginning of a round, that choice is also highly influenced by what the values are on the rolled guild dice and what Crown Request tiles are available for selection in a particular row.

This is why Madeira is my all-time favorite. It is never as easy as a simplistic strategy, particularly if you are playing against other skilled players. There are so many variables that go into optimizing a particular choice that while you can have a general strategy that you might be following, you will frequently find it needs to be fine-tuned on the fly to take advantage of certain variables than cannot be known from the outset of the game.



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Andrew J
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Royal Oak
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I was having a conversation with another Geek through GM about 2-player vs. 4-player, and thought I would post one of my responses there because I think it highlights how good of a game Madeira can still be at 2 players.

Quote:
Madeira has a different feel with 2 players, but I find it can be just as tight and cutthroat, particularly if your opponent is also a skilled player.

In some ways, a 2 player game actually feels tighter (to me at least) than a four-player game. One of the areas where this manifests itself is with the Character actions. Because there is a hard limit of the number of dice that can be placed on a particular Character per round (in a 2-player game, only two guild dice OR one guild die and one pirate die), it feels much easier to block an opponent out of using a particular character. If I choose the Commander as an opening move, for example, if my opponent wants to use the Commander AT ALL during that round, they MUST use it on the immediately following turn in order to guarantee that it will still be available to them (otherwise, I could use the Commander again on my next turn, possibly for the harvest action, and block the person from being able to move ships at all during the round, unless they choose the passing action that allows the movement of one ship). In a four-player game, because either 4 guild dice OR one pirate die and 3 guild dice can be placed on a character, I have a lot more freedom of when to select particular characters unless I have reason to think that ALL of my opponents are going to use their next actions in turn to select that character.

This manner of controlling when an opponent must place a Guild Dice can really screw with their strategy (in the above example, I can force them to have to use the Commander PRIOR to the time in which they may have all of the wine/goods available to send to the market or colonies--if they don't have the goods immediately available and if I can block them by using the Commander for a harvest action on my next turn, I can deny them points in a fairly severe manner).

You bring up the example of the Urbanization crown request. I've had some pretty notable battles to optimize that request in even a 2-player game, though in theory you'd think that only 2-players would mean that the cities are more open. Again, in part this depends on whether you are playing with another skilled player who realizes that points denied to you are effectively the same as points gained to them.

In one game, my opponent was going to get first choice of Crown's Requests and both of the Urbanization requests were in the second row. Knowing that attempting the Urbanization request is fairly popular for Round One, I positioned my starting worker in Machico (since I had first choice as the second player) immediately to the left of the starting neutral worker. My opponent followed by placing her starting worker in Machico as well, but at this point she was in third place for that city (losing the tie breaker to both me and the neutral player). As anticipated, she selected the Urbanization Crown Request, which made her second player during the Character actions round. In the Character actions round, I selected the Mayor and moved an additional neutral worker into Machico (so that all open spots were now filled with workers). This basically forced my opponent to use the Mayor to both (i) move a neutral worker out of Machico, and (ii) reposition herself within Machico to win the tie-breaker. She couldn't simply try to move more workers to the city later as there was no room to accommodate them. She made the move I forced her to make. However, in doing so she opened a spot in the city. I was stuck with the Colonization Crown's Request for Round One (for a variety of reasons), but one of the King's Reward slots in India allowed the movement of a worker into the city. I performed moved a ship to India and selected that reward to move a worker into the last open spot, so that I now had the outright majority in Machico (two workers to her one worker and one neutral player).

Anyway, I thought I had a lock at this point, but then my opponent purchased a Guild Favor from Machico which happened to be the Bishop. This opened two additional spots, but my opponent had no action markers in the Capitania--I passed first and did not block her out of the passing action which allowed the movement of a worker into the city, because I thought even if she used that action I would just use my action marker in the Capitania to move a third worker into the other open spot (and thus still win the majority: three workers for me, two for her, and one neutral). This was stupid on my part because even though she did not have an action marker on the Capitania, she was able to use the Bishop to move a marker there AND she had first turn position in Phase C because I had selected the passing action which gave me 5 reals. She ultimately used her first turn position to get a third worker into Machico first, taking the last open spot, meaning I was unable to deny her the majority there. Obviously, if I had been smarter I would have blocked her from using the passing action that moves a worker into the city because I should have foreseen her use of the Bishop. It was an epic battle for position though--much more intense back and forth than I've ever seen in a four-player game.

I find the interaction is MORE important in a two-player game, specifically because if you block your opponent from gaining points it is the same as points gained yourself--this is not true in the four-player game, because if I deny one opponent points it doesn't necessarily help me unless it somehow also hurts the other two opponents.

Anyway, just some of my thoughts. I love it with 2 players.
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Steve Duff
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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aeroguru1978 wrote:
Actually, when you select turn order and a group of guild dice at the beginning of a round, while each of the two available choices contain two different guild symbols (white/green or orange/purple), you only get to choose one color of guild favors to reset, not both (e.g., you could choose the first slot and then reset either green or white, but not both).


Good point, that's easily missed in the rules (it's not in the summary of 2 player differences). It sounds like Benjamin missed that.
 
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zrobin
Italy
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this latest point i've not understood so clearly.
please correct me:
when you chose a row of green dice,
- if you chose first row, you will be the first player for actual turn and you can flip green or white favours;
- if you chose second row, you will be the second player for actual turn and you can flip orange or purple favours;

is that right?

Thanks
 
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Andrew J
United States
Royal Oak
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zrobin wrote:
this latest point i've not understood so clearly.
please correct me:
when you chose a row of green dice,
- if you chose first row, you will be the first player for actual turn and you can flip green or white favours;
- if you chose second row, you will be the second player for actual turn and you can flip orange or purple favours;

is that right?

Thanks


Correct (with the slight caveat that you will only necessarily be first player for the Character actions--for the Building actions it will depend on passing order--and passing choices--at the end of the Character actions phase).
 
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