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Subject: Post-prologue turn order rss

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Becq Starforged
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I don't think this question has been asked before (or at least, I can't find it), but:

Are the titles for game 1 expected to be the same as the prologue, assuming the players choose reasonably optimally?

Originally I had thought that game score in the prologue determined title assignment going in to game 1. And I've seen several places where Rob has said that title assignment was the only aspect of the end-of-game sequence that is performed during the prologue. But as I set out to write a topic called "Prologue: race to the bottom?" (maybe more on that depending on the response here), I re-read the rules:
SeaFall, p21 wrote:
Re-assign titles to players based on their campaign
glory total. If there is a tie in campaign glory, the
player with the least prominent rank in this game
chooses which title they want, then the next least
prominent title, etc

Since glory isn't recorded for the prologue, the campaign glory is automatically a four-way tie at zilch. So using the tie-breaker, we start with the player with the lowest current rank, and let each player choose a title. And since having a lower rank carries the benefit of going first, why wouldn't each player choose the lowest rank not already chosen -- their own?

Am I getting this wrong, or am I forgetting a post that clarified this? Note that this isn't a problem, but it does make it seem as though it's simpler to skip the end of game sequence entirely, given that turn order shouldn't change.

Better yet, since winning the prologue carries no other advantages, why not choose titles starting with the highest game glory (for the prologue only; after the prologue, title selection is part of the catch-up mechanism)? That would give players a solid incentive to want win the prologue, beyond bragging rights, and the prologue would act as a mini-game to establish starting turn order in addition to it's other purposes (which is what I previously thought it did).
 
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David desJardins
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I certainly have no authority to speak as to why, but I think it's a GOOD thing if there are no incentives to win the prologue, as the purpose is supposed to be to learn the rules of the game and players shouldn't feel that they are punished throughout the entire game just because they went into the prologue with the right attitude, to learn the game, rather than to study the rules first so they would have the best chance to avoid mistakes and crush their opponents.
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JR Honeycutt
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It should reference game glory, not campaign glory. The person who finishes first in the prologue will go last in the first game.

It's REALLY not a big deal.
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Becq Starforged
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DaviddesJ wrote:
I certainly have no authority to speak as to why, but I think it's a GOOD thing if there are no incentives to win the prologue, as the purpose is supposed to be to learn the rules of the game and players shouldn't feel that they are punished throughout the entire game just because they went into the prologue with the right attitude, to learn the game, rather than to study the rules first so they would have the best chance to avoid mistakes and crush their opponents.


I agree that most of the advantages and disadvantages that the campaign grants based on glory should not apply to the prologue. The prologue should be low-pressure, and granting the winner extra upgrades would spoil that. With the end of game sequence removed from the prologue, it lets the players experiment with mechanics without the fear of being punished.

But somebody is going to go first during game 1. That's an advantage that you can't remove -- so it's rally just a question of who gets that advantage. And given that winning carries no other benefit at all, why not make that the incentive to be successful in the prologue? If nothing else, it would encourage players to perform as well as possible, which could help solve one of the criticisms regarding the prologue that I've heard repeated a number of times, including by fans of the game -- that the prologue felt too long and a bit uninteresting.
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Becq Starforged
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jayahre wrote:
It should reference game glory, not campaign glory. The person who finishes first in the prologue will go last in the first game.

It's REALLY not a big deal.

Ok, that's what I thought I recalled reading somewhere, and I was having trouble making sense of it. Here's what I mean:

I agree that going last in game 1 is not the end of the world. But it *is* a bit of a disadvantage, nonetheless -- the first player gets first dibs on the available advisers, and can snatch up the best of the nearby goods or one of what might be a dwindling supply of nearby exploration sites. I'm not saying that's going to decide the game, but it can't hurt! And the winner doesn't get any of the usual benefits for winning the prologue. So winning the prologue is a pure disadvantage (even if it isn't a huge one), and losing the prologue is a pure advantage.

So given that, aren't players incentivized to try to play sub-optimally in the prologue? And if so, wouldn't that contribute toward making the prologue longer for no benefit (which has been a recurring complaint regarding the prologue)?


Also, just to clarify, are you are saying that the title distribution is done based on game glory (1) as a (first) tiebreaker in all games (and therefore the main determination in the prologue), (2) as the main determination in the prologue only (and not at all in later games), or (3) as the main determination in all games? (I'm fairly sure it's not the last, but figured I should ask.)
 
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JR Honeycutt
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In the prologue, since there is no campaign glory, you should use game glory instead.

All other cases remain the same.

Yep, I can see how a player might be incentivized to not "win" the prologue, but the balance of these things will even out over the campaign.

If getting last in the prologue means going first in the first game (and if that gives an advantage), that player is more likely to go last in the second game, etc.

It really does all even out. I would rather go first in later games (when there's more to do), but even then, glory is the most important thing. To rule an empire!
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Paul Cooper
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I asked something like this and got a reply from Rob

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1572402/how-legacy-prologue
 
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Becq Starforged
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jayahre wrote:
Yep, I can see how a player might be incentivized to not "win" the prologue, but the balance of these things will even out over the campaign.

If getting last in the prologue means going first in the first game (and if that gives an advantage), that player is more likely to go last in the second game, etc.

It really does all even out. I would rather go first in later games (when there's more to do), but even then, glory is the most important thing. To rule an empire!

Don't get me wrong; I think the title distribution rules are as they should be for game 1 onwards (well, as far as I know now, of course!) I'm not suggesting anything should be done to change the normal title allocation. And yes, I realize that in the grand scheme of things, the results of the prologue are going to be small. But even a small edge in game 1 *could* tip the scales enough to help you win game 1, which would give you a province improvement that could in turn give you an edge in game 2+, and so on. Actual play in those games is going to be the primary factor, but having that extra edge is nice, too.

I generally assume that during each game (including the prologue), reasonable/competitive players are going to want to try to benefit their province as best they can, however small that benefit is. And in the prologue, the only known action that you can do to benefit your province beyond the end of the prologue is to lose the prologue and therefore gain preferential turn order for game 1. Nothing else carries over. So given that, the two best strategies I can think of are:

Quote:
"The thumb-twiddler". Never score any glory. Spend the entire game sailing in circles, and perhaps taxing. Since the goal of the prologue is to have the least glory, don't explore, raid, build, or upgrade. Don't trade, either, because you want other players to gain goods and money to turn into glory so that their scores will be higher. Taxing is safe, as long as you don't buy any treasures.

This, clearly, is not going to make for a fun game, and also means you are playing contrary to all of the goals of the prologue -- ie, to try out and learn the mechanics, get some sites on the map explored, and have some fun. Not only that, but if everyone plays to this strategy the game will never end!


Quote:
"The Race to the bottom". The idea here is to participate in the game, try to get 3 glory so that you can complete one of the milestones, and then lose as much of that glory as possible before the last milestone is claimed by someone else and the game ends. The key here is ship upgrades (at least one, but two on the same ship is ideal), though you will likely have to raid or explore once or twice, or buy a treasure. Once you've claimed your milestone, you then sink your upgraded ship (by raiding the difficulty 6 site on the first island without any adviser bonuses) to lose the glory for those upgrades.

This is a slightly more fun strategy, and gets you some experience with the game mechanics -- but it's still playing contrary to the intent of the prologue. It's also "risky" in that if the game ends before you can sink your ship, you might accidentally win. And there's still the possibility of an endless game, depending on how others play.


Both of these strategies are highly meta-gamey and don't make for a good game. But they are (I think) the strategies with the most long-term competitive value for the prologue, due to the prologue's end game rules. (After the prologue you *want* to accumulate glory and win province improvements, but neither goal applies to the prologue.)

Here's are two possible simple fixes (which would be treated as errata for the starting rules sheet and would apply ONLY to the prologue). I'd love to hear your thoughts on them:

Quote:
"Status quo". At the end of the prologue, skip the entirety of the normal end-game sequence. Players will use the same titles they used in the prologue.


Quote:
"Incentive to win". At the end of the prologue, skip the entirety of the normal end-game sequence. Each player, starting with the player with the highest (not lowest, as normal) prologue game glory, choses a title card to start game 1 with. (Note that ties in prologue game glory are resolved as normal, based on the titles used during the prologue.)


The former option simply eliminates any incentives for winning or losing the prologue, allowing the players to explore the game with zero impact on their province beyond the prologue. The latter option provides a clear (though still minor) incentive to do well in the prologue.

Probably the first option is more in line with your (and Rob's) stated objectives for the prologue.


TheBigB00 wrote:
I asked something like this and got a reply from Rob

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1572402/how-legacy-prologue

Yes, I saw that one (and added it to the compilation of designer clarifications). That was one of the "several places where Rob has said that title assignment was the only aspect of the end-of-game sequence that is performed during the prologue" I mentioned in the first post.
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Eric V
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I think one aspect of the prologue game that affects future play even more than the turn order carryover is island exploration. From what I understand, the state of stickers on the board is carried over, and the more stickers placed during the prologue, the less available glory from exploration from game 1. If one is really inclined to play the metagame (and have fun at the same time), you have several options:

-Bulk up on explore advisers and upgrades and explore high value dangerous sites while the stakes are low, leaving the low hanging fruit for next game.
-Use your exploration endeavors to shape the islands towards profitable trade combos in future turns.
-Try to end the game as quickly as possible through raid upgrades and endeavors to have an exploration-rich board game 1

Taking these approaches will develop the map and help give your game a sense of personality early, and as an upside will get you through the prologue at a quick clip. All of which are things which will foster a positive group experience, while still giving you an edge on your strategy of choice when the stakes are raised game 1.
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Jerry Alan Sayers
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How about enmity on islands? I know the prologue is supposed to have no lasting negative consequences, but can you end up leaving permanent enmity on islands you raid during the prologue? It sort of seems like you should, but also sort of like you shouldn't, since you don't do the other game end stickering.
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Becq Starforged
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jadusty wrote:
How about enmity on islands? I know the prologue is supposed to have no lasting negative consequences, but can you end up leaving permanent enmity on islands you raid during the prologue? It sort of seems like you should, but also sort of like you shouldn't, since you don't do the other game end stickering.

Converting enmity tokens into stickers is part of the end-game sequence. The developers have stated that the end-game sequence is skipped at the end of the prologue, with the single exception of assigning titles.

Other stickers placed *during* the game (exploration), would stay on the board, as would names written on islands or advisers.
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Jerry Alan Sayers
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Becq wrote:
jadusty wrote:
How about enmity on islands? I know the prologue is supposed to have no lasting negative consequences, but can you end up leaving permanent enmity on islands you raid during the prologue? It sort of seems like you should, but also sort of like you shouldn't, since you don't do the other game end stickering.

Converting enmity tokens into stickers is part of the end-game sequence. The developers have stated that the end-game sequence is skipped at the end of the prologue, with the single exception of assigning titles.

Other stickers placed *during* the game (exploration), would stay on the board, as would names written on islands or advisers.


Thanks. I remember that now, but somehow overlooked it in my most recent review of the rules.
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Randal Clark
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For everyone worried about turn order it only really affects during until the second winter where the lowest person in glory is new start player but you don't reseat everyone else so that clearly shows that turn order can't affect the game that much because you could have situation where the second person to go is actually in the lead due to the person on their right being in last place.
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Darren Quinn
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At the end of the prologue I score 4 glory points, winning the game. I am currently the Baron. Because I win, do I automatically get the Prince/Princess title or can I choose any title I would like??

I just found that one part of the rules confusing tonight.

Thanks

"7. Assign Titles (all players)
Re-assign titles to players based on their campaign
glory total. "
 
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Chris Willott
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Whoever has the most Glory is the Prince, then the next most is the Duke, etc. There is only choosing if some people are tied, in which case whoever has the lowest title to start with gets to choose.
 
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Darren Quinn
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Thank you! I'm glad the Prologue exists to iron out such errors.
 
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