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Kamil Łukasik
Poland
Lublin
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I think that it's utterly unfair that players with less VPs not only receive additional gold, but through that they are way more likely to grab 5VPs for being the richest. Why is the leader punished so much for playing a good game? Not only he doesn't get financial aid (which effectively is worth VPs at the end of the game - maybe not much, but still), but also he is handicapped when it comes to fighting for being the player with the most gold. As a leader you may strategize, set your prices wisely and build money engine with whiskey barrels hoping to get these 5 VPs. But in the end it doesn't matter since others will be given gold automatically...

I usually hate catch-up mechanisms as they make bad play more forgiving and allow worse players to still be competitive throughout the entire game. I'm a big fan of "if you play bad - well, you should do better next time" type of approach.
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Alexander Pfister
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This mechanism puts different weight on the scoring tiles A-D. Later points are more valuable than early points therefore D is more valuable than C and C more valuable than B etc. If you buy tiles which help you with scoring A, you have a lower return than buying tiles for D. This is even more the case when the scoring Tile "richest player" is in game. This is open information.

This could also have been accomplished by giving each position (A-D) a different multiplier to their points. But that would have been very difficult to handle and calculate.
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Kevin Shillinglaw
Canada
Kitchener
Ontario
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This has been debated quite a bit here, and the only thing I can say if you don't like the catch-up, then don't play with it and see what happens.

Alternatively, just don't play. There are too many games to get hung up on one you don't like.
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Kamil Łukasik
Poland
Lublin
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The catch-up doesn't bother me that much unless there is a "Money Tile" in the game. When it sits in the D slot then the losing player can profit from the catch-up gold enough to grab 5VPs from the tile possibly even two times. The leader is just handicapped in this case.
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Grzegorz Kobiela
Germany
Hanover
Lower Saxony
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If the current leader loses because of the catch-up money another player gets, then that supposed "leader" has played badly. If I manage to trail behind the leader and surpass him due to catch-up money, then I have gamed the system and, thus, played better. Being first mid-game does not equate to playing better. Check out Power Grid, by the way, the prime example of how being in the lead is not always the best play.
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Kamil Łukasik
Poland
Lublin
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Power Grid is a different beast in this regard, you can control how fast you expand your network and simply chose not to be a leader (if you want to buy resources cheaply). This is embedded in the game strategy. In Isle of Skye the catch-up mechanism depends purely on VPs - not on the number of tiles in your little board or the money you have. It's beyond your control.

I'm not talking about how to make the best out of the game system here and build your strategy around the implemented catch-up mechanism or how to exploit it. All I'm saying is that the leader is handicapped when it comes to competing for VPs from this particular tile. Yes or no? (am I missing something here?) Every other player gets free gold. The leader has to work infinitely harder to compete for being the richest as he didn't get any gold for free.

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Stuart Boston
United Kingdom
Prenton
Wirral
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I suppose this is a lesson in hidden VP. Just because you are currently in the lead on the victory point track, it does not mean that you will win.

This is one of the great aspects of the game. I have played games where I have been mid-field (2,3,4 out of 5 players) for the entire game, only in round 5 to storm ahead because i've been concentrating on the late game scoring.

Certainly in the last round, I will make sure that what I offer my tiles up for sale leave me with the same victory points as if I had them in my own area. That is, if the tile is worth 2VP to me, I price it at 10 gold (it might be less if I want to tempt someone I know wants it, because it's worth double the VP in gold if they buy it).

I've also seen one person lead the entire game and only buy/keep a few tiles by correctly pricing them every round, she won with a very small isle and lots of cash.

TL;DR It's a mechanism of the game that you have to account for when playing. Use it to your advantage or mitigate it's effects.
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Alexander Pfister
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warlock000 wrote:
The catch-up doesn't bother me that much unless there is a "Money Tile" in the game.

I see what you mean. Indeed, this scoring tile on D intensifies this mechanism. Whoever does not like this, don't use the "Money scoring tile" (on D).
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Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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AlexP wrote:
warlock000 wrote:
The catch-up doesn't bother me that much unless there is a "Money Tile" in the game.

I see what you mean. Indeed, this scoring tile on D intensifies this mechanism. Whoever does not like this, don't use the "Money scoring tile" (on D).


Having said that, it's never going to sneak up on the players. Everyone knows it's there from the start, so everyone has the same opportunity to play to it (or ignore it)
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Alan
Brazil
Interior de São Paulo
São Paulo
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warlock000 wrote:
Power Grid is a different beast in this regard, you can control how fast you expand your network and simply chose not to be a leader (if you want to buy resources cheaply). This is embedded in the game strategy. In Isle of Skye the catch-up mechanism depends purely on VPs - not on the number of tiles in your little board or the money you have. It's beyond your control.

I'm not talking about how to make the best out of the game system here and build your strategy around the implemented catch-up mechanism or how to exploit it. All I'm saying is that the leader is handicapped when it comes to competing for VPs from this particular tile. Yes or no? (am I missing something here?) Every other player gets free gold. The leader has to work infinitely harder to compete for being the richest as he didn't get any gold for free.



Considering that you can price your tiles and can choose what or not what to assembly in your isle, and you know all the scoring requisites, I can not see Power Grid as a "totally" different beast (specially regards about how fast you can control your expansion). You could have done something to slow down your scoring machine.
Probably you should have target some more scrolls tiles, and hold the construction of a powerful isle.
 
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Kamil Łukasik
Poland
Lublin
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I guess it would be possible, but it would feel more like "working against the system" instead of "working in the confines of the system" (if that even makes sense) .

Anyway - it's not that I'm bashing the game as a whole in this thread . I'm only talking about this one single "Money Scoring Tile". And I'm really glad that the designer addressed this issue - kudos to you Sir!
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Alexander Pfister
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I think one should have as much fun as possible from a game. And if you don't like a certain scoring tile, just omit it.

On the other side: I like it when a game really feels different depending on the scoring tiles in play. And the money scoring is such a tile.
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Rich A
United Kingdom
London
NW London
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Im not a dog eat dog person. Id rather have fun playing a game where everyone feels like they have a chance (even if its just perception) rather than one strong player who runs away with victory early in the game.

This mechanic seems fine to me. As all the scoring information is available at the start, you need to plan for this type of thing.
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Armand
United States
Los Angeles
California
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AlexP wrote:
I think one should have as much fun as possible from a game. And if you don't like a certain scoring tile, just omit it.

On the other side: I like it when a game really feels different depending on the scoring tiles in play. And the money scoring is such a tile.


That's what I like about you, Alex!

If you don't like a tile, throw it out. There are plenty of others in the box
.

In these forums you seem to make game design into a series of scientific experiments where the only objective is increased fun. Or maybe, 'maximum fun condensed into minimum time'. I know keeping the pace up is a theme throughout your body of work, from Mombasa (heavier) to Oh My Goods! (lighter).

Thanks for being engaged with your players! I'm sure we all still get a kick out of getting commentary from the source.



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Ryan Peddle
Canada
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What I find interesting about this debate OP is that you aren't recognizing that using the catch up mechanism is part of the strategy. Yes, it is a catch up mechanism, but I don't look at it as a reward for losing.

First it helps fund that buying and selling of the game. That is obvious. But there are strategic reasons to not be in first. And if the game is really close, (4 to 5 point spread) then it is very strategic to hang a couple of points back and grab extra gold. Even more so when the "richest player" scoring tile is out.

Seems like the strategic aspect of the catch up mechanism is getting overshadowed by the "catch up" aspect only.

I can see in future games the benefit of being a close second or third in this game as a way to purposely leap frog the leader in the end. And the leader has to recognize this too.
 
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Ryan Peddle
Canada
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Ponton wrote:
If the current leader loses because of the catch-up money another player gets, then that supposed "leader" has played badly. If I manage to trail behind the leader and surpass him due to catch-up money, then I have gamed the system and, thus, played better. Being first mid-game does not equate to playing better. Check out Power Grid, by the way, the prime example of how being in the lead is not always the best play.


Having played this game a few times now, I both agree and disagree with this.

Experienced players can certainly game the system. No doubt there.

But, the games I have played, it has simply allowed poorer players a way to maintain their inability to manage their money properly.

I am at a crossroads with this mechanism. It is definitely needed to keep the flow of the game going. But I personally think it starts too early in the game. Should only be for the last 2 or 3 rounds depending on the number of players.
 
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