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Subject: Is Mirroring an issue in 2P ? rss

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Tony M
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I had my first two plays of FCM this weekend, both 2er. Enjoyed the game, and looking forward to exploring it some more. While I enjoyed the two player game, I do have a concern about the early game milestones.

One of the big features of FCM is the milestones. They essentially make FCM a variable player power game. However, instead of the player powers being doled out randomly by faction selection, each player gets to select their unique abilities via game play. Thus you end up with players having variable player powers based on they milestones they choose to pursue. Since all players who fulfill a milestone on a given turn earn the milestone, they are not exclusive to a single player.

My main concern is that it will take away some of the fun of variable player powers if both players earn all the abilities.

A question I wanted to pose to more experienced players is this: Do you find players "mirroring" each others opening moves to be an issue, particularly in two player ? Specifically what I mean is that if the players so choose, they can make sure that each player has a copy of all the early milestones.

It's been stated in other threads that the only viable first turn hire in two player is Recruiter. So let's do a hypothetical based on that.

Let's say its turn 2, and Player A makes two hires, say Errand Boy and Trainer. Player B, not wanting to lose those milestones copies player A's actions. Both players will now collect First Errand Boy, First to Throw Away Food and First to Train Someone on turn 3.

Turn three, turn order switches. Player B takes Marketing Trainee and Waitress and trains the Marketing Trainee to become a Campaign Manager. Next turn, player B will collect First Waitress and First X Marketed. Player A not wanting to lose out does the same.

So my concern is that in two player, the games will always start with both players getting the following milestones:
First Errand Boy
First to Throw Away Drink/Food
First to Train
First X Marketed
First Waitress

This led me to questions over how much of the opening two player game is scripted. I also have potential concerns regarding scripted openings in 2er beyond just the allocation of milestones, but I'll save those for another thread.

In the meantime, I wanted to ask players with more experience if my concerns are warranted ?

Do two player games typically start with identical rounds 1-3 and don't start branching out until after the first handful of milestones are awarded to both players ? Or, in practice does this usually not occur as players will select opening milestones based on board position ?

Is the answer that I just need to play more and I'll find mirrored openings aren't a problem ?


 
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Travis Dean
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Mirrored openings aren't necessarily a problem. There are other issues to consider.

The 1x employees are very powerful, and there is only one copy of each, so it is impossible to mirror another player nabbing one. This isn't a milestone, but it's a powerful employee for your structure, and will forcibly break up the mirroring.

Mirroring is generally good if your opponent is making good decisions, but it isn't always the best option. If you're opponent makes a sub-optimal move, make a better one and accept that you'll be losing out on a milestone but getting other milestones as well as a better company structure. Of course, if you assume both players are experts, this might not apply.

Billboards are limited. I have often taken multiple marketers to place billboards in such a way that my opponent cannot possibly place his billboard, or perhaps he can only now place a billboard somewhere where it won't actually reach anybody else for advertising.

And of course, when you actually start selling goods, there are lots of ways where mirroring can no longer take place. Maybe my billboard reaches 2 houses and yours only reaches one. Now I can get that first to $20 milestone and you can't.


So in short, there are many other things worth getting and worth considering beyond just the milestones.
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Jeff Chunko
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I started to compose a reply, decided to refresh to look for more posts. Dolus said everything I was going to, more clearly than I would have.

Damned ninjas.
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Tony M
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Dolus wrote:
The 1x employees are very powerful, and there is only one copy of each, so it is impossible to mirror another player nabbing one. This isn't a milestone, but it's a powerful employee for your structure, and will forcibly break up the mirroring.


This makes sense. I was reading about how chess players deal with mirroring, and making a move that breaks the symmetry was there answer there as well.

Is it mainly the luxuries manager and two chefs that get used for this purpose ? The rest seem to be far enough down the tech tree to be out of reach in the opening game ?

Dolus wrote:
Billboards are limited. I have often taken multiple marketers to place billboards in such a way that my opponent cannot possibly place his billboard, or perhaps he can only now place a billboard somewhere where it won't actually reach anybody else for advertising.


This is good to hear that billboards can serve a useful purpose. I know in some of the other threads it was mentioned to completely avoid billboards and eternal marketing. It sounds like they may have some utility when it comes to introducing asymmetry into the game.

Thanks for the advice !




 
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Devin Smith
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It's not uncommon for the first 1x employee to be the Guru, who is the only employee that player has trained in the entire game. This opens up the depths of the tree elsewhere, and you can get both the Exec VP and the HR Director two turns later, or just go to market and get Radios/Chef/Zeppelin over the next two turns. (Without either the $20 salaries milestone or an advanced trainer it takes forever to get advanced employees, while training people the turn you recruit them is much more efficient.)
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Travis Dean
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Excalabur wrote:
It's not uncommon for the first 1x employee to be the Guru, who is the only employee that player has trained in the entire game. This opens up the depths of the tree elsewhere, and you can get both the Exec VP and the HR Director two turns later, or just go to market and get Radios/Chef/Zeppelin over the next two turns. (Without either the $20 salaries milestone or an advanced trainer it takes forever to get advanced employees, while training people the turn you recruit them is much more efficient.)


Similarly, Coach is not as effective as Guru, but being able to obtain him a turn earlier than a Guru can be quite effective.

e.g.
Turn x - I get a coach
Turn x+1 - You get a Guru, I recruit a management trainee and train him to a VP
Turn x+2 - You're Guru can get up to Senior VP level, but I can train my VP into a Executive VP or HR Director. One turn sooner than you.


But either way, these are just a few examples of how that symmetry will break eventually.
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