M. C. DeMarco
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After an abortive attempt at 456 without benefit of the errata or prior study, Kiran requested higher numbers for our next game. I investigated a bunch of worlds with the help of my 504 Almanac, narrowing my choices down to 578, 678, and 687. The first two were rated in the 7s on the official 504 website, while the last came recommended as a teachable game at BGG. I enjoyed the exploration mechanic (5) in our previous half-game, but I thought roads (6) on a pre-built map would be simpler for the new players to grok, and also that majorities (7) would be a less fiddly economic engine than production (8).

I did some research ahead of time, but it still took the four of us a bit of time to figure out how the majorities board and plant-building worked, and we never determined whether two different plant types could go on the same tile (the tile type plus a fish plant). We did allow a fish plant in the desert once. The basic actions (movement, exhaustion, settlement) and road-building were familiar to the two of us who'd played before, so we were able to explain them well enough for people to get into the rhythm of building settlements in order to build roads to get majorities and building plants to get more residents.

We also didn't figure out the strange wording of the final scoring section until near the end of the game. The majorities board is only involved in that it provides the information of how many tiles of each type each player has in his road network (but if you've lost track you can always recount them). You score the number of points listed for the terrain type times the number of tiles in your network, plus a bonus for each completed set of all 5 tile types (deserts not required). I also didn't explain the scoring very well, which affected Player 3's score though not the final outcome.

There seemed to be a significant last-player advantage, although the last player (me) also had the advantage of having played before and researched this particular world ahead of time. I used my position to snipe some majorities, and ended up with much more money than I could spend. Player 3 also did very well despite being new to the game, but Players 1 and 2 got a bit hemmed in. I ended the game by connecting 5 cities and won; the scores were in reverse player order.


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Robert D
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A tile can only ever have one plant. This isn't one per player, just one per tile. Who ever builds it first has it. In this game it also didn't matter if they are fish plants or anything else, the only plants are needed because of the limitation the place on resident production and to mark on the majority board for the matching terrain type

I've yet to try 87x or x78 but want to now. The plants being needed for income and resident production sounds like a race to get them before roads start to be constructed.

the last player can also see where players are building plants and can go for terrain types they will have a majority in to ensure income each turn perhaps? I'll stick this version higher up my "to play list"
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M. C. DeMarco
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In our case the plants didn't affect majorities/income, only resident production, so we were a bit more concerned with building roads than plants. You can see on our map that we mostly built the cheapest plants, though looking back on it I should have sniped fewer majorities in favor of building the more expensive plants, so I could spend my excess money on more residents.

Even so, we never hit a max income level on the majorities board.
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Robert D
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In my. Experience of x7x we have rarely hit the cap and if we do it's often at end of game. In game where the only thing to buy is residents I just buy them all every turn. Personally I'd have gone for the plants as having excess money would be a bad thing. But can see that being balancing act against any income at all. Might have to try this world after trying 679 recently.
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Steve Oliver
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Is 678 a world you would play again?
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M. C. DeMarco
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I'd be willing to play it again, but with only 678 and half a game of 456 under my belt I don't feel I can draw useful conclusions about the world or the whole of 504 yet.
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Sophia Lechner
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It seems odd to say that you were using your position as last player to snipe majorities for income. Each player should have been getting income on their own turn, so they too would be 'sniping' (and probably more effectively, with the benefit of one more turn).
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M. C. DeMarco
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JemL wrote:
It seems odd to say that you were using your position as last player to snipe majorities for income. Each player should have been getting income on their own turn, so they too would be 'sniping' (and probably more effectively, with the benefit of one more turn).


That explains a lot. We were doing income wrong, at the end/beginning of the round instead of in Phase 3H. We may have decided to do it that way due to ongoing confusion about income from 456, or just because we didn't realize it would make a difference (because we hadn't played with Majorities before, and Military wasn't involved).

I'm strangely reassured that we managed to get something wrong...
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Steve Oliver
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I just noticed all the tech gear in your picture -- did it take that much hardware to keep the rules straight?
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Kiran Wagle
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I don't think any of us were constrained by income, since it seemed we were always able to hire as many workers as we had plants.

steveoliverc wrote:
I just noticed all the tech gear in your picture -- did it take that much hardware to keep the rules straight?


Not if you have multiple copies of the rulebooks and can figure out how to actually understand and use the spiral bound book.

steveoliverc wrote:
Is 678 a world you would play again?


I'm not sure any of the 3 worlds I've tried have been exciting enough to play again right away. I think I might try 567 to get a sense of how the modules change as they move up or down the hierarchy.

~ Kiran <entropy@prismnet.com>
 
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M. C. DeMarco
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steveoliverc wrote:
I just noticed all the tech gear in your picture -- did it take that much hardware to keep the rules straight?


Only two of us were looking at the rules. I had the one paper Book of Worlds and one paper Book of Rules (you can see a corner of the latter on the red chair), plus my iPad with 504rules on it. Kiran had an iPad with 504rules, plus another iPad with a PDF copy of the Book of Rules on it. Presumably he could have gotten by with only one iPad for both, but as it was we were passing the paper Book of World back and forth. I think two iPads is the bare minimum. whistle

I also printed out a copy of the 504rules sheet (not pictured), but no one used that until we scribbled our scores on the back at the end.
 
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