$30.00
Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
24 Posts

Scythe» Forums » General

Subject: balancing the factions for 2p rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Thomas
United States
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
"Music That Glows In The Dark"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Any suggestions to balance the factions starting resources for two players? Seems if you don't use two that are close in number the spread is too wide.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sky Zero
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I was just thinking I hope Scythe doesn't devolve into the Terra Mystica forums with waves of threads on how imbalanced the factions are and the need to fix them. The factions really aren't all that different and are a little too balanced for my taste. Just my opinion.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Jackson
United States
Greensboro
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
You fell in a pit on the first turn. Good job!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Presumably you are talking about the player mats, not the faction mats? Have you seen a correlation between higher numbered player mats winning in your games so far? I haven't personally...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Greg
United States
Lowell
Indiana
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I would suggest playing it a few times first with random faction and player board combos and seeing if there is a balance issue. Then if you find that there is, then you can adjust it.

From what I understand, the starting resources for the player boards has more to do with the actual board itself, rather than the player order number on it. So perhaps if a board has better starting resources, maybe it's a reflection of the bottom row costs, as well as the top/bottom combos.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jamey Stegmaier
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks Greg. That concept is fresh on my mind, as I just answered a similar question on Facebook about the player mats:

"The starting "resources" on the player mats are balanced in two ways: One is based on starting position (the first player is more likely to have one more turn than the other players). Two is based on the strength of each mat based on playtesting. That said, those starting elements are very minor and close to inconsequential over the course of the game. They just give the slightest bump early on. So if you want it the starting positions 100% perfectly balanced, you'd hand out the player mats sequentially clockwise around the table, but I think it's more interesting for them to be random (and only 99% balanced)."
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thomas
United States
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
"Music That Glows In The Dark"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jameystegmaier wrote:
Thanks Greg. That concept is fresh on my mind, as I just answered a similar question on Facebook about the player mats:

"The starting "resources" on the player mats are balanced in two ways: One is based on starting position (the first player is more likely to have one more turn than the other players). Two is based on the strength of each mat based on playtesting. That said, those starting elements are very minor and close to inconsequential over the course of the game. They just give the slightest bump early on. So if you want it the starting positions 100% perfectly balanced, you'd hand out the player mats sequentially clockwise around the table, but I think it's more interesting for them to be random (and only 99% balanced)."


That's not what I'm asking.. If you don't use them sequentially in two players then it causes problems.. Say I want to use #1 and the other player #5, then there is too big of a spread.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jamey Stegmaier
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
That's very precisely what I answered: "Two is based on the strength of each mat based on playtesting. That said, those starting elements are very minor and close to inconsequential over the course of the game. They just give the slightest bump early on. So if you want it the starting positions 100% perfectly balanced, you'd hand out the player mats sequentially clockwise around the table, but I think it's more interesting for them to be random (and only 99% balanced)."

Do you understand? I'm saying that part of the balance of the player mats as a whole--the entire interlocking system of each mat--is the starting resource configuration. I'm also saying that it's a very small difference. So the conclusion is that it does NOT cause problems if you don't use the mats sequentially or if you have a spread between the player mats.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thomas
United States
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
"Music That Glows In The Dark"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jameystegmaier wrote:
That's very precisely what I answered: "Two is based on the strength of each mat based on playtesting. That said, those starting elements are very minor and close to inconsequential over the course of the game. They just give the slightest bump early on. So if you want it the starting positions 100% perfectly balanced, you'd hand out the player mats sequentially clockwise around the table, but I think it's more interesting for them to be random (and only 99% balanced)."

Do you understand? I'm saying that part of the balance of the player mats as a whole--the entire interlocking system of each mat--is the starting resource configuration. I'm also saying that it's a very small difference. So the conclusion is that it does NOT cause problems if you don't use the mats sequentially or if you have a spread between the player mats.


Ah gotcha, mis read. Thanks as always. Loving it so far maybe we just had a bad couple games.. Will keep trying them out.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
The Mirror
United States
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
jameystegmaier wrote:
That's very precisely what I answered: "Two is based on the strength of each mat based on playtesting. That said, those starting elements are very minor and close to inconsequential over the course of the game. They just give the slightest bump early on. So if you want it the starting positions 100% perfectly balanced, you'd hand out the player mats sequentially clockwise around the table, but I think it's more interesting for them to be random (and only 99% balanced)."

Do you understand? I'm saying that part of the balance of the player mats as a whole--the entire interlocking system of each mat--is the starting resource configuration. I'm also saying that it's a very small difference. So the conclusion is that it does NOT cause problems if you don't use the mats sequentially or if you have a spread between the player mats.



15 games in and I haven't noticed any issues with balance using a completely randomized approach, though according to my training in statistics, the fact that I'm playing every game and that our N has been well south of 30, I'm nowhere near figuring out of its technically balanced.

Jamey, have you run thorough statistical analyses? If so, I'd be curious to hear about your method.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jamey Stegmaier
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Mirror: I ran a pretty thorough analysis of the factions through each wave of playtesting (3 waves of about 250 playtests each). One of the playtesters also ran a more detailed analysis that looked at pairings of each faction mat and player mat. There are some pairings that skew slightly towards higher or lower win percentages, but the standard deviation was acceptable.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jamey Stegmaier
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
LunarSoundDesign wrote:
Ah gotcha, mis read. Thanks as always. Loving it so far maybe we just had a bad couple games.. Will keep trying them out.


My apologies for being overly blunt--I should have had a full stomach before getting on BGG this evening.

I think a player's decisions during the game will far outweigh the variance of the starting elements of each player mat.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
The Mirror
United States
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
jameystegmaier wrote:
The Mirror: I ran a pretty thorough analysis of the factions through each wave of playtesting (3 waves of about 250 playtests each). One of the playtesters also ran a more detailed analysis that looked at pairings of each faction mat and player mat. There are some pairings that skew slightly towards higher or lower win percentages, but the standard deviation was acceptable.


Thanks for the feedback. Guess I was really asking for the recipe for your special sauce, but I'd be curious to know which combinations skew to higher and lower win percentages, so I can set handicaps, though I'd also understand why you'd be hesitant to answer that question.

For the record, I'm very much enjoying the game, thank you for the beautiful design.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jamey Stegmaier
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I honestly don't even remember at this point. They were insignificant enough for handicapping to be unnecessary. If the difference were significant enough to warrant that, we would have continued to tweak and test them.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam Salvail
Canada
Sherbrooke
Quebec
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
mirror33 wrote:
jameystegmaier wrote:
The Mirror: I ran a pretty thorough analysis of the factions through each wave of playtesting (3 waves of about 250 playtests each). One of the playtesters also ran a more detailed analysis that looked at pairings of each faction mat and player mat. There are some pairings that skew slightly towards higher or lower win percentages, but the standard deviation was acceptable.


Thanks for the feedback. Guess I was really asking for the recipe for your special sauce, but I'd be curious to know which combinations skew to higher and lower win percentages, so I can set handicaps, though I'd also understand why you'd be hesitant to answer that question.

For the record, I'm very much enjoying the game, thank you for the beautiful design.


I can give you one. We played a two player game where the first player played Anna and the bear with the Mechanical player mat against Zehra and the eagle with agricultural.

In the first few turns, Anna tried to get a mine up with the nearby wood to be able to gain access to resources outside her little island while Zehra built her first mech with riverwalk. That was an incredible mistake for Anna who got CRUSHED about 10 turns later when she lost a battle over a mine without a mech while Zehra had two. We figured that with the power to steal a random combat card from Anna's hand before each combat would prevent her from ever making a significant come back. Anna forfeited, not even a third into the game since she couldn't get enough power to ever win a combat in which she would arm her opponent herself.

In 1vs1, the ability to steal a combat card before any combat is devastating. You can easily starve your opponent, even if you don't directly invade him/her.

Based on that game, I wouldn't recommend 2 players games.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thomas
United States
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
"Music That Glows In The Dark"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ASalvail wrote:
[q="mirror33"]

Based on that game, I wouldn't recommend 2 players games.


I hope this is a one off occurrence. From what I've heard so far from others is that it's quite good with two.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Edwards
United States
Havertown
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
ASalvail wrote:
Anna forfeited, not even a third into the game since she couldn't get enough power to ever win a combat in which she would arm her opponent herself.


Did Anna have any way to progress without combat?

What was Zehra doing, camping out in front of Anna's base and taking the popularity hit to chase away workers that dared to leave it?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam Salvail
Canada
Sherbrooke
Quebec
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
weasel47 wrote:
ASalvail wrote:
Anna forfeited, not even a third into the game since she couldn't get enough power to ever win a combat in which she would arm her opponent herself.


Did Anna have any way to progress without combat?

What was Zehra doing, camping out in front of Anna's base and taking the popularity hit to chase away workers that dared to leave it?


Without combat, Anna had access to at most two tiles: a wood and a farm. Not impossible to get something out of trade, but if Anna ever became too much of a threat, Zehra would just come in and return all workers to the base. Since a mech cannot enter the base (AFAIK) to carry the workers, taking them out would take multiple turns. During these turns, Zehra can happily progress in any way she sees fit.

Zehra could certainly take the hit on popularity if it meant a 4-6 turns of development unhindered. Popularity is important, but if you have an advance of 5 stars by the end of the game + control of 11/12th of the map, you can realistically win the game with 0 popularity.

I'm open to strategies, however.

I feel that a third player would have balanced things out quickly: it's a lot less profitable to hammer on someone if that turn could be better spent advancing your civilization, since that gives you an advantage over both other players. With only two player, if you win 2 points or the opponent lose two, it all comes down to a difference of two points.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
GAF Blizzard
msg tools
mbmbmbmb
ASalvail wrote:
I can give you one. We played a two player game where the first player played Anna and the bear with the Mechanical player mat against Zehra and the eagle with agricultural.

In the first few turns, Anna tried to get a mine up with the nearby wood to be able to gain access to resources outside her little island while Zehra built her first mech with riverwalk. That was an incredible mistake for Anna who got CRUSHED about 10 turns later when she lost a battle over a mine without a mech while Zehra had two. We figured that with the power to steal a random combat card from Anna's hand before each combat would prevent her from ever making a significant come back. Anna forfeited, not even a third into the game since she couldn't get enough power to ever win a combat in which she would arm her opponent herself.

In 1vs1, the ability to steal a combat card before any combat is devastating. You can easily starve your opponent, even if you don't directly invade him/her.

Based on that game, I wouldn't recommend 2 players games.

For one thing, that's literally the first account I've read of such 1v1 imbalance, and the games I played 1v1 did not have it.

For another thing, if you are 12-15 turns in, that should be halfway or more, not one third through a game.

How did the other player prevent Anna from leaving the base? Did they block all exit squares with mechs?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Greg
United States
Lowell
Indiana
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
GAFBlizzard wrote:
ASalvail wrote:
I can give you one. We played a two player game where the first player played Anna and the bear with the Mechanical player mat against Zehra and the eagle with agricultural.

In the first few turns, Anna tried to get a mine up with the nearby wood to be able to gain access to resources outside her little island while Zehra built her first mech with riverwalk. That was an incredible mistake for Anna who got CRUSHED about 10 turns later when she lost a battle over a mine without a mech while Zehra had two. We figured that with the power to steal a random combat card from Anna's hand before each combat would prevent her from ever making a significant come back. Anna forfeited, not even a third into the game since she couldn't get enough power to ever win a combat in which she would arm her opponent herself.

In 1vs1, the ability to steal a combat card before any combat is devastating. You can easily starve your opponent, even if you don't directly invade him/her.

Based on that game, I wouldn't recommend 2 players games.

For one thing, that's literally the first account I've read of such 1v1 imbalance, and the games I played 1v1 did not have it.

For another thing, if you are 12-15 turns in, that should be halfway or more, not one third through a game.

How did the other player prevent Anna from leaving the base? Did they block all exit squares with mechs?


How did Crimea get into Polonia's home territory so easily? What was Polonia doing all that time?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Grable
United States
Charlestown
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
LunarSoundDesign wrote:
jameystegmaier wrote:
Thanks Greg. That concept is fresh on my mind, as I just answered a similar question on Facebook about the player mats:

"The starting "resources" on the player mats are balanced in two ways: One is based on starting position (the first player is more likely to have one more turn than the other players). Two is based on the strength of each mat based on playtesting. That said, those starting elements are very minor and close to inconsequential over the course of the game. They just give the slightest bump early on. So if you want it the starting positions 100% perfectly balanced, you'd hand out the player mats sequentially clockwise around the table, but I think it's more interesting for them to be random (and only 99% balanced)."


That's not what I'm asking.. If you don't use them sequentially in two players then it causes problems.. Say I want to use #1 and the other player #5, then there is too big of a spread.



Actually; I played a two player yesterday with mat's #2 and #5. Mat #2 won 43 to 42.

Seems balanced to me.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Laudermilk
United States
Orange County
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Late to the thread (busy weekend throwing a 6 year old's birthday party...no gaming for dad ).

I will basically echo that Jamey and Greg said. Just play as written. I have 16 (IIRC) logged plays, the majority of them 2p with my son plus a few 3P & 4p. We are at almost exactly 50/50 on wins. The player mat starting balance has been such an inconsequential influence that I only think of it because of these threads. You play during the game completely outweighs the additional couple of coins or popularity. Truly, it is a non-issue.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam Salvail
Canada
Sherbrooke
Quebec
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't pretend the game is imbalanced. Maybe Polonia played so poorly that it was hard to make a come back. This was a first game on both side, after all.

In the end, Crimea didn't get into Polonia's home territory. Polonia tried to access a mine to better produce mech (since Polonia has no mines on her territory). To do so, it tried to get enough wood to build a mine and move out of its territory. However, by that time, Crimea, with access to a mine, went the mech path first, thus having 3 mechs by the time Polonia had 1. With a mech stationed on a tunnel, anywhere Polonia exited a mine, Crimea would attack (and win!) since trying to get enough combat points would have had to be done over multiple turns. By winning this one battle, Crimea was so far ahead that Polonia fled Europa.

Basically, this game left me with the idea that Mechs are SUPER important, especially in a 1v1 game where losing a battle could put you so far behind as to lose the game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave E
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
flag msg tools
mb
ASalvail wrote:
I don't pretend the game is imbalanced. Maybe Polonia played so poorly that it was hard to make a come back. This was a first game on both side, after all.

In the end, Crimea didn't get into Polonia's home territory. Polonia tried to access a mine to better produce mech (since Polonia has no mines on her territory). To do so, it tried to get enough wood to build a mine and move out of its territory. However, by that time, Crimea, with access to a mine, went the mech path first, thus having 3 mechs by the time Polonia had 1. With a mech stationed on a tunnel, anywhere Polonia exited a mine, Crimea would attack (and win!) since trying to get enough combat points would have had to be done over multiple turns. By winning this one battle, Crimea was so far ahead that Polonia fled Europa.

Basically, this game left me with the idea that Mechs are SUPER important, especially in a 1v1 game where losing a battle could put you so far behind as to lose the game.


Play Scythe 10 times then try this match-up again and you will not feel it is unbalanced. The result you got was due to inexperience (your first game) Polonia made bad choices at the start and Crimea ended up exploiting that. One suggestion for you, don't forget about the trade action, $1 gets you 2 resources, Anna could have spent 2 turns trading, paid $2 and got metal for a mech that way.

If you did, trade, something else, trade, bolster(deploy), trade, bolster(deploy). Anna could have 2 mech's by the end of her 6th turn of the game if she really wanted to. This wouldn't be very efficient moves but it shows you what is possible even without access to certain resources. With a more efficient plan there is no reason Anna couldn't have had 2 or more mech's and more then 7 power especially since the bolster is paired with deploy on her mat by the time Crimea came to visit.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam Salvail
Canada
Sherbrooke
Quebec
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
davece wrote:
Play Scythe 10 times then try this match-up again and you will not feel it is unbalanced. The result you got was due to inexperience (your first game) Polonia made bad choices at the start and Crimea ended up exploiting that. One suggestion for you, don't forget about the trade action, $1 gets you 2 resources, Anna could have spent 2 turns trading, paid $2 and got metal for a mech that way.

If you did, trade, something else, trade, bolster(deploy), trade, bolster(deploy). Anna could have 2 mech's by the end of her 6th turn of the game if she really wanted to. This wouldn't be very efficient moves but it shows you what is possible even without access to certain resources. With a more efficient plan there is no reason Anna couldn't have had 2 or more mech's and more then 7 power especially since the bolster is paired with deploy on her mat by the time Crimea came to visit.


I will try that. I mean, except the crushing defeat, I find the game plays very well with little downtime, no endless exception rules (except the fact that a character can't move workers), which is an achievement for this kind of game. This was certainly not my last game! laugh
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.