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Colonial: Europe's Empires Overseas» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Recovering from War defeat? rss

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Pas L
Australia
Melbourne
Victoria
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Anyone good good advice for preventing/handling the issue when a player becomes so defeated in war that they become free victory points for all the other players (and loses all their fleets and pretty much exits the game stage left)?

Obviously you can try and get ahead on the diplomatic track, however the problem is that only the attacker was lowered by fighting, so even if the defeated is crippled and gets ahead of them, that doesn't mean the other 3-4 players won't pile on.

The argument might be that the other players shouldn't be picking on the player coming last, but take it to those winning, but when other wars might be a random dice throw and picking on the weak one is free glory, they will often choose that free glory and seek to make the difference elsewhere.

It doesn't happen every game, but it seems the combat in the game can explode in a bad way in some games. Is this just a product of novice players, and do others have experience of players recovering from this?

The last game I played had this problem, and it's putting me off a little from playing in the short term as I'm not sure it won't happen again.

I've even considered variants, such as the loser of a battle not being able to be attacked again for the rest of the round? It just feels like the penalties for losing a war pretty much takes a player out of the game all-together (mostly because their merchant fleets will get destroyed).

Another variant idea in this regard: if you declare war against someone with a smaller navy than you you go down two on the diplomacy track (instead of 1), and if you declare war against someone without any navy you go down 3.
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Dave Turcan
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
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I suppose its the nature of the beast in this game. Other than diplomacy with other players, there aren't any rules against it, and its arguably a good strategy to attack for easy Prestige.

As for variants, our group has dabbled in a few for various aspects of the game. A big one we changed was no more doubling money from selling goods. We made the sell of goods worth half as much, so you no longer have those "you ship mine I ship yours, we both get way richer" aspects.

As for the diplomacy track, when someone is at the lowest level, and they do something that would normally cause them to go lower, the affected player can place an unrest marker on any space the culprit owns.

But, a player who is essentially beat can still take loans. They won't win the game, but they can have their revenge. With experienced play, everyone knows the value of being high on the economy track, thus unlocking large loans. So you get your Navy dead, at the very least you SHOULD be able to up your Navy by 4 the following round with a loan. But yes, you would be open for more attacks the entire round.

Your scenario seemed like it might have been a planned attack by all players to beat this guy up and take his prestige so he wouldn't win? There was one time a player in my group broke the alliance to stop someone from winning that turn since they were the last in turn order and instead attacked the weakest for an easy prestige. We rightly all allied, shook the winning players hand and attacked the backstabber and made him come in last place.



I'd like to add that you don't HAVE to stay in a war to the bitter end. You can surrender and give up a prestige rather than go to ruin. WHICH is another variant we added. "wars for territory". To be truthful, we've added so much of our own ideas, they game is much more complicated than it was intended. But meh, its what we like. So, you can give up territory and make bargains in place of prestige AND you don't have to roll at least one year of war. The sovereign allows negotiation between to players in regards to owned territory, and if no agreement is made, then war can be declared. But I won't get into details as its not really the point.

The point was make the game your own if you're not liking how it plays. I loved playing by the rules the first couple of times, and I loved adding more to it later. For all its flaws, Colonial is the best game I've played.
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Pas L
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It was just an unlucky roll, if I remember correctly. Two players with decent sized armies went in, one rolled well and the other didn't. In the end the weaker had only one or two navies left, and the other players with 5+ sized navies went in and beat that up and then removed the merchant fleets.

It was a close game, and the three pile on players were all fighting for victory, so fighting another contender would pretty much have handed the one who wasn't involved (and thus still had their navy) the game as they'd have the only sizable navy left, so the risk reward wasn't there to go in that way unless it was for the final glory.

I like your penalty for the bottom of the diplomacy track, though that seems less of an issue for me.

Thanks for the ideas and thoughts though, maybe I'm exaggerating it in my memory.
 
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John Bradshaw
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I've found that once players start going to War, the end of the game is usually very close anyway - I've not seen a player beat up and then have to struggle, with no chance of winning, for a great length of time. I'm not saying that can't happen - just that I've not witnessed it in the many games of Colonial I've played.

If you're looking for a remedy - one idea that comes to my mind is this - how about raising, on the diplomacy track, the player who was attacked, rather than (or even in addition to?) reducing the diplomacy of the attacking player? I've no idea if this would solve your problem, but it should make it more difficult for a player to be the victim of consecutive attacks.

Personally I'm happy to play the game as it is, but this is just another idea for you to experiment with if War defeat remains an issue for you.

 
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