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Subject: Outcome Cards - Different Colors rss

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Darrel Raines
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I don't see a post on this subject, so it may not be a general problem. I received my new copy of the game a few days ago and sat down for my first play. I had a blast!

However, I noticed a problem with the Outcome Cards. I can see a distinct difference in the color of the backs of the Success, Minor Failure, and Major Failure cards. The Minor Failure cards have a very subtle orange tinge to them (barely noticeable). The Major Failure cards have a definite red tinge to them which makes it pretty easy to guess when I am about to draw a Major Failure. Does anyone else have this problem? Or has anyone had this issue?

I will contact the author (and manufacturer), but I wanted to see if anyone has had this issue before. Also, I know that Joe frequents these boards quite a bit. I can post pictures if I need to do so.

Just wondering. Thanks all.
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No problem for me on the Outcome Cards (or nothing enough for me to notice in any case) but the whole colorimetry on the game seems pretty random.
My space cards have huge differences between them, specially on the same planet, making the game not as beautiful as it could have been. Back are different two (can matter when you randomly select one location between several) but is not really a big deal.
 
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Barry Miller
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Well thank you very much! I received my copy of the game two weeks ago and after playing perhaps four or five games I hadn't noticed till I read your post! Now I can't help but notice. So thanks for that.

Seriously (the above was all in jest ... sort of), now that I can attest that my copy has the same flaw, I agree that this needs to be pointed out. Though given the size of the publishing operation, I'm not sure there's an easy fix.

Off the top of my head, I can't think of a way to avoid knowing that you either have or don't have a failure outcome on your advancement card. Edit: Yes I do: use sleeves. But two easy work-arounds for drawing a random outcome are to shuffle and draw while holding the cards under the table, or use a die to select the card.

But still, simply having advance knowledge of the outcomes that are ontop of each Advancement (informed by the different shading on the card backs), is an issue.

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Joe Fatula
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Well, this isn't great. I'll look into the printing process, but I'm not sure what to do about it. All the outcome card backs use the same image, so it's a problem somewhere downstream.
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Mike Hoyt

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FWIW, I have the first printing of the base game and do NOT have this problem. I had my artist wife double check me and the backs are identical.

So maybe limited to the most recent printings?
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Mike Hoyt

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For anybody with this problem, a simple and cheap solution to keep you playing at least

Substitute regular playing cards. There is a fixed percentage of Success, Minor and Major Failures, so you could assign say black cards to Success, minor failure to Diamonds and Major to Hearts

I've deliberately avoided learning what that percentage is, but other people have posted the information here on BGG, so with at most 2 or 3 decks of playing cards you recreate the right numbers and odds and continue to enjoy the game
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A P
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Someone made an app or webpage that can be used to keep track of the cards.
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Barry Miller
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Another obvious solution that I just thought of is to use colored sleeves.

Though only to save on the number of sleeves required, I wonder how much the gameplay would be affected by cutting the starting number of outcome cards in half (i.e., cutting the starting deck size in half) while retaining the correct ratio of success to minor failure to major failure outcomes.

I wonder, only because as cards are discarded during the course of the game, different sampling sizes (i.e., different starting deck sizes) will yield different probabilities of distribution of the outcomes. I don't know if this variance in distribution is enough to affect gameplay.

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Leon
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@Barry:

Simple solution! Shuffle all remaining cards (pile+discard) before drawing a new 3 card outcome deck for new techs. I do this every time.
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Darrel Raines
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I probably should have done this originally. Here is a color corrected picture of the Outcome cards in my set. The left two are Success cards, middle two are Minor Failure, and right two are Major Failure. You can download the image and use color correction software to ensure you are seeing the image with correct black, white and grey.



Hopefully, this will provide further details so that we can figure out if I have vision problems or if I am perceiving this correctly. To me there is a color variation among the three sets that jumps out at me when I play. I can really tell when the next card to be drawn will be a Major Failure.

Let me know what you think. Am I crazy?
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Darrel Raines
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bgm1961 wrote:
Well thank you very much! I received my copy of the game two weeks ago and after playing perhaps four or five games I hadn't noticed till I read your post! Now I can't help but notice. So thanks for that.


Sorry about that! I can't help but see the difference now whenever I play. It is very difficult to choose to fire a rocket when I believe it will be failure.
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Darrel Raines
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Thanks for all the suggestions on how to proceed. I really don't want to substitute different cards for the ones that are the perfect size and have the game theme embedded in them.

An app(lication) is not ideal for board games.

Re-shuffling every time I draw a card from the main deck and discards has two problems: it changes the statistical mix of technology that has already been tried and it is not what the rules tell me to do. Also, I can still tell the difference when I have drawn the new cards.

I don't have nor know where to get colored sleeves for cards that size.

The only way I have found to handle this (as an interim solution) is to put another card as a blind on top of the Outcome cards until I decide to use a technology. Not ideal, and kind of messy, but it will do for the moment.
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Leon
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Oh boy, that is bad. I felt bad when I heard that they gave the cards nice backs. Now I feel sorry for everyone that got this version and am kind of happy that I do not have this problem. It is really an issue and I do understand your problem.

Quickest solution would be (as mentioned before) to use colored sleeves. You could also use transparent sleeves and copy one background and put it on the back of every card inside the sleeves as well. That way you would not lose the art and have the same "coloured" back on every card. Ok, this is a patch work solution, but it keeps the cards close to their designated appearance.

Joe, could you provide a full page of the card backs to make printing easier, please?
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Samuel Hinz
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Yep I'm thankful I have the outcome cards that just have the logo.

 
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Barry Miller
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draines wrote:
Here is a color corrected picture of the Outcome cards in my set. The left two are Success cards, middle two are Minor Failure, and right two are Major Failure.

I can attest that my set looks exactly the same. My copy of the game arrived in the mail about 2-3 weeks ago.



 
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Samuel Hinz
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Damn guys that sucks, totally ruins the game once you notice it.
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Barry Miller
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Telrak wrote:
@Barry:

Simple solution! Shuffle all remaining cards (pile+discard) before drawing a new 3 card outcome deck for new techs. I do this every time.

Though I think that your method would disrupt the statistical model Joe intended in his design, wouldn't it?

 
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Michel Kangro
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bgm1961 wrote:
Telrak wrote:
@Barry:

Simple solution! Shuffle all remaining cards (pile+discard) before drawing a new 3 card outcome deck for new techs. I do this every time.

Though I think that your method would disrupt the statistical model Joe intended in his design, wouldn't it?



Nope, since you shuffle all discarded and previously unused cards only when drawing three new cards for a newly acquired tech. Given the size of the outcome deck, I believe Joe intended the ratio of failures and successes to be more or less constant througout a game, which would be best achieved with this method.

Quote:
The only way I have found to handle this (as an interim solution) is to put another card as a blind on top of the Outcome cards until I decide to use a technology. Not ideal, and kind of messy, but it will do for the moment.


Maybe just put newly acquired outcome cards beneath the corresponding tech. Blindly shuffle after drawing a card (unseen) from below and put them back. Not quite comfortable, but maybe doable...
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Barry Miller
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mideg wrote:
Nope, since you shuffle all discarded and previously unused cards only when drawing three new cards for a newly acquired tech. Given the size of the outcome deck, I believe Joe intended the ratio of failures and successes to be more or less constant througout a game, which would be best achieved with this method.

Then why not simply publish the game with a smaller deck and instruct the player to return discarded cards to the draw deck? That'd be the simpler solution in that case.

Instead I can't help but think that Joe designed the distribution of outcomes across such a large sample size (i.e., the large deck) in order to achieve a random probilities curve as the deck diminishes during the game. This would yield a different probability curve for each game thereby helping to make each game different from one another.

OTOH, by reshuffling the discards back into the draw deck, the sampling size never changes so neither do the probabilities of drawing one outcome over another, as your space program matures from one decade to the next.
 
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Michel Kangro
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bgm1961 wrote:

mideg wrote:
Nope, since you shuffle all discarded and previously unused cards only when drawing three new cards for a newly acquired tech. Given the size of the outcome deck, I believe Joe intended the ratio of failures and successes to be more or less constant througout a game, which would be best achieved with this method.

Then why not simply publish the game with a smaller deck and instruct the player to return discarded cards to the draw deck? That'd be the simpler solution in that case.

Instead I can't help but think that Joe designed the distribution of outcomes across such a large sample size (i.e., the large deck) in order to achieve a random probilities curve as the deck diminishes during the game. This would yield a different probability curve for each game thereby helping to make each game different from one another.

OTOH, by reshuffling the discards back into the draw deck, the sampling size never changes so neither do the probabilities of drawing one outcome over another, as your space program matures from one decade to the next.


I agree that shuffling discarded cards back into the pile would change the probability distribution compared to not doing it, although only slightly. I don't see much of a change in the probability distribution between games, though. Why would there be a substantially different probability to draw a, say, success, if there was a failure discarded previously?

Given the size of the stack and the number of cards drawn and discarded during a typical game, the probability distribution of the stack won't change dramatically, certainly not enough to give each game a different probability distribution and even more certainly not increasing the chance for a success, as you seem to imply with "maturing space program".

Or is there a misunderstanding on my part?
 
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Darrel Raines
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mideg wrote:
Or is there a misunderstanding on my part?


I think there may be a misunderstanding here, but it could be on my part.

Here is how I understand the rules:
1) When learning/buying a new tech, you get the tech card and three randomly drawn Outcome cards that are placed on the tech card.
2) When you use a technology, you draw the top Outcome card from on top of the tech card and use that outcome.
3) You may then pay the cost ($5/$10) to remove the card. This represents a refining of the technology based on usage of that technology.
4) If you do not pay, then you shuffle the deck and know that there is a 1/3 chance that you will draw the same outcome next time you use the technology.
5) Eventually you have bought the outcome of a positive success (3 buys) or you have a pretty good idea of what your outcome will be (multiple samples of the 3 cards) and feel more comfortable that the tech will work.

Example from my first game: I used the Soyuz rockets 5 times, all Success outcomes. I never paid to remove Outcome cards. When I looked at the deck after the game was over, I had one Major Failure in the 3 cards. Statistically, I always had a 1/3 chance of a Major Failure. In 5 firings I never experienced that failure. But the game seems to be modeling latent problems in a technology with specified card usage.

So, back to the original question: Yes, I believe that if you do not treat the Outcome deck exactly how it states to handle it in the rules, you are changing the intended game experience. Those are my thoughts.
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Joe Fatula
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We've been running some tests today, and here's what we've found:

The good news is that we can't replicate the problem, all the outcome cards are coming up with exactly the same backs.
The bad news is that we can't replicate the problem, so we don't know for sure what caused it.

My guess is that we had some kind of color error happen that didn't get caught in time.

If you got a bad deck of outcome cards and would like a new one, send an email to sales at lumenaris.com and we'll take care of you.
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Robert Manning
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Are you going to spend the $10 million to remove the success?

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Mike Hoyt

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Joe, and Lumenaris, are studs! Had absolute confidence this is what you would do.

(And Robert Manning is a funny guy)

Cheers!
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Darrel Raines
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buffalohat wrote:
The good news is that we can't replicate the problem, all the outcome cards are coming up with exactly the same backs.
The bad news is that we can't replicate the problem, so we don't know for sure what caused it.


I am glad the problem is not systemic. I am sorry that you couldn't identify the source of the problem. But I appreciate a great deal your willingness to fix the issue.

And, by the way Robert, this classifies as a Minor Failure and only costs $5 Million to remove!! shake
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