$30.00
Recommend
6 
 Thumb up
 Hide
4 Posts

Islebound» Forums » General

Subject: The 'When to end the game' dilemma rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Kim Williams
United Kingdom
St Just
Cornwall
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm loving playing Islebound. So beautiful, so charming and yet so crunchy as well. So many options, so much to think about, just really satisfying. We've had 5 plays, three with 2 players, one 3 player and one 4 player.

However, when it comes to the end game, it's been feeling a little bit weird that the only end condition is someone building their 8th building (in 2 player, less are required with more players).

I generally have no issue with games where the players determine when it ends. Race for the Galaxy is my all time favourite game, and that has game end triggered by either someone building their 12th card or the VP tokens running out. But their are many factors about Islebound which make deciding to build that last building and trigger game end, much more challenging than in games like Race:

1) Buildings are worth the exact same points as the coins it costs to build them. (Unless you happen to have one of the buildings which makes it cheaper to build or rewards you with points for building)

Now all buildings give you some additional benefit, so at the beginning and mid game building something that gives you an ongoing benefit, or might give you an end game bonus, is really attractive. But by the end game there are many buildings that you can be pretty sure will be no benefit whatsoever (Why would I go to Fels Garden now? etc)

In our games, we typically build lots of engine building stuff at the beginning (and occasional juicy end game building), then build all the end game points buildings we think we can benefit from, and then the building row sits there with less interesting buildings, while we focus on gaining points. At some point, someone has to decide to build their 8th building, but that has multiple times been more of a decision to end the game for the sake of ending it, rather than either a) because they really wanted that building or b) because they were 100% sure that ending the game now was in their best interests.

In Race for the Galaxy, settling/developing is a pure point gain - cards in your hand will be worth nothing when the game ends, but if the game ends in Islebound and you didn't build something(presuming it didn't give you end game points), no worries as the money you would have spent is worth the same as the building.

2) When the game end is triggered everyone still gets at least one extra turn (and possibly your opponent might get two depending on turn order). This means triggering game end doesn't deny your opponent a final opportunity to create more points - they can still spend their influence cubes on allying, or their sea serpents on attacking, or convert their books to points etc.

In contrast, in Race for the Galaxy the game ends immediately so controlling game end is very powerful. You can settle a final planet meaning they won't have enough time to do another round of produce and consume, or save up enough cards to get that juicy 6 cost development out.

3) You can buy as many buildings as you like on a turn. This means saving up money has no down side if there are no buildings you calculate are valuable to you. Then on the final turn you can buy anything remotely beneficial - and while you still have a pile of money it's worth buying buildings that are not worth more than their cost, on the hope of revealing a building worth extra end game points to you (obviously this works best if you have three books and you have to be careful about revealing something nice for your opponent)

4)There are so many ways to get points that there can often feel like there's never a good time to end - "I don't want to end the game now as I've got a pile of books I can still convert to points", or "I don't want to end it until I've used all my influence cubes/ sea serpents up". But meanwhile as you move through the map to do those things you end up accumulating more things which you want to turn into points before game end...

5) Points are so high, that calculating who will win if you trigger end game is pretty challenging, particularly taking into account 2) and 3). Last night our final scores were 136 to 138, with a reasonable chunk of that coming from the final turn blow out. It was my husbands choice to end the game then, and it was me who ended up getting the 138 for the win, but he couldn't realistically calculate that.

6) It's so fun you don't really want the game to end


But I do really enjoy playing it. I'm kind of wondering if an additional game end trigger might be helpful, at least for 2 player. Last night we ended up running out of renown tokens, and I did wonder if that might make a helpful additional end game trigger (mirroring Race's running out of VP token trigger) I also wondered whether capping the number of buildings you can buy on a turn might incentivize building earlier rather than later.

I'm also wondering if any of the official variants might help things (including the Architect's variant, Ryan posted). We've been playing without any variants and we haven't yet tried the Metropolis cards (though we have tried the advance side, which if anything made the 'when to end the game' dilemma even more challenging).

Any thoughts?
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Annemarie Post
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I quite agree with you.
In my last 2-player game, there were so many good buildings out there and they combined very nicely, that I bought 7 very quickly. I was clearly in the lead, so I really should have just finished the game. But I had just bought the building that got me Ichor the seaserpent, and I'd only got to use him once. So for reason number 4 & 6, I really wanted to keep playing, because I wanted to get Ichor back.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Derr
United States
New Jersey
flag msg tools
badge
Get off my Avatar NERD!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We ran into the same issue with the running out of renown tokens. I was considering game end triggers of when you run out of either of the event decks, run out of renown tokens, or run out of crew members.

I think the major issue with us is what you listed as number 4. It's so much fun to just keep piling up points, that I almost forget to look at buildings for ending the game.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kim Williams
United Kingdom
St Just
Cornwall
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So hopefully Ryan's new ruling will help sort out some of the above problem. Great to be able to play that without feeling it's a houserule, and great that I can continue to play on the advanced side (as I was wondering if the number of renown available just broke the game).

However playing on the non-advanced side we didn't come close to running out of renown tokens, and thus that end trigger wouldn't help.

On the other thread someone Richard above suggested having a number of possible game end triggers including running out of events - and I think in 2 player that might work well.



1 
 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.