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David Harrison
United States
Greenville
SC
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The rules change regarding the tasting room seems rather significant (even drastic) to me; requiring a wine token in your cellar makes it significantly harder to use.

I'm curious what the opinions are from some of the experienced players. Specifically,

1. Was the tasting room overpowered originally? What about the wineless strategy? 7 VP (most games will last 7 rounds) for 6 lyra seems like a lot, especially considering giving a tour is an otherwise good action anyway. However, it's hard for me to see how this could form the basis of a winning strategy without supplementing it with wine-making; you'd still need at least 13+ more VP from other sources to even have a shot of winning.

2. Is the tasting room underpowered now? In most cases I have more success getting points from the windmill by planting 1 vine a round than the tasting room. The windmill also costs less and is more reliable. I often don't have a wine token until turn 3+, and in many cases I use them for filling orders before I'd get a chance to use it in my tasting room. Considering how pricey it is, it just doesn't seem worth it most of the time.

To me, the tasting room went from being perhaps somewhat overpowered to being rather bad. My main fear is this was a knee-jerk reaction to some players complaining about wineless strategies (which as mentioned I don't see how these could be competitive, but I am a new player). Overall though, I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this change so I'd like to hear other peoples' opinions.


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Sky Zero
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Illinois
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Played with and without the rule change. Didn't have an effect on our game. Me just play with the rules as written.
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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coblackmagus wrote:
The rules change regarding the tasting room seems rather significant (even drastic) to me; requiring a wine token in your cellar makes it significantly harder to use.

I'm curious what the opinions are from some of the experienced players. Specifically,

1. Was the tasting room overpowered originally? What about the wineless strategy? 7 VP (most games will last 7 rounds) for 6 lyra seems like a lot, especially considering giving a tour is an otherwise good action anyway. However, it's hard for me to see how this could form the basis of a winning strategy without supplementing it with wine-making; you'd still need at least 13+ more VP from other sources to even have a shot of winning.


When we playtested we could use the no wine strategy a bit too effectively, when played with Tuscany or Essential Edition. To a large extent this was because of the new and more generally useful visitor cards.

We didn't want to change the visitors back to one option versions like in the first edition and so we did the tasting room tweak to bring the no wine strategy more in balance with wine making strategies.

coblackmagus wrote:
2. Is the tasting room underpowered now? In most cases I have more success getting points from the windmill by planting 1 vine a round than the tasting room. The windmill also costs less and is more reliable. I often don't have a wine token until turn 3+, and in many cases I use them for filling orders before I'd get a chance to use it in my tasting room. Considering how pricey it is, it just doesn't seem worth it most of the time.

To me, the tasting room went from being perhaps somewhat overpowered to being rather bad. My main fear is this was a knee-jerk reaction to some players complaining about wineless strategies (which as mentioned I don't see how these could be competitive, but I am a new player). Overall though, I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this change so I'd like to hear other peoples' opinions.


Personally I think that the price should have been adjusted a wee bit down, but on the other hand, we've gotten a flak for making too many changes to the game.
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Mark Johnson
Canada
St.John's
Newfoundland
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“Brothers, oh brothers, my days here are done, the Dornishman’s taken my life, But what does it matter, for all men must die, and I’ve tasted the Dornishman’s wife!”
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This thread may be of interest to you:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1601156/tasting-room-old-ve...
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David Harrison
United States
Greenville
SC
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mortenmdk wrote:


When we playtested we could use the no wine strategy a bit too effectively, when played with Tuscany or Essential Edition. To a large extent this was because of the new and more generally useful visitor cards.

We didn't want to change the visitors back to one option versions like in the first edition and so we did the tasting room tweak to bring the no wine strategy more in balance with wine making strategies.


Thanks for these insights. Ultimately, I definitely prefer the new version, as the old version seemed almost like a no-brainer buy to me if you could get it the first round. As it is, it's still useful if you get certain draws (e.g. some of the new visitor cards from Moor Visitors that give you a wine token) or if you just have excess money and nothing better to spend it on (even if it just gives you a couple points, it's better than nothing).
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Eric Hogue
United States
O'fallon
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coblackmagus wrote:
The rules change regarding the tasting room seems rather significant (even drastic) to me; requiring a wine token in your cellar makes it significantly harder to use.

I'm curious what the opinions are from some of the experienced players. Specifically,

1. Was the tasting room overpowered originally? What about the wineless strategy? 7 VP (most games will last 7 rounds) for 6 lyra seems like a lot, especially considering giving a tour is an otherwise good action anyway. However, it's hard for me to see how this could form the basis of a winning strategy without supplementing it with wine-making; you'd still need at least 13+ more VP from other sources to even have a shot of winning.

2. Is the tasting room underpowered now? In most cases I have more success getting points from the windmill by planting 1 vine a round than the tasting room. The windmill also costs less and is more reliable. I often don't have a wine token until turn 3+, and in many cases I use them for filling orders before I'd get a chance to use it in my tasting room. Considering how pricey it is, it just doesn't seem worth it most of the time.


It the original game, was a good way to ensure you get enough 20+ points in 7 rounds. However, wine-makers in our group ended the game in 6 rounds about 50% of the time. So, it was a variant strategy in our group.

While it's not underpowered now, I did not see it as overpowered in Tuscany.
 
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Fee Weasel
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Lake Jackson
Texas
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I'm familiar with the old rule and some of the discussions about it being over powered. I have only ever played with the new rule and I consider the old one on the verge of being too good of an option. I don't feel it would be overpowered, just a really good option.

I like the change and it makes sense in my head, you have to have wine to have a tasting.
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Darin Bolyard
United States
Oak Grove
Missouri
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Having only played Essential Edition rules/visitors, and now Moor Visitors added, I feel the tasting room is eventually a good buy in most games. I won a recent game by one point over my wife. And at least a few of my points came from the tasting room. It's at least a nice auxiliary point source. Even if you only gained one point from it, it might be the push you need to take the win.

However, I'll NEVER choose to take it at the start with my papa card and forego any real starting cash, unless I get a visitor card from my momma card that'll land a wine in my cellar. Otherwise, at least half of the other buildings are immediately useful vs. the typically longer set-up time required to make the tasting room pay off. I will usually build it later once I'm set up for it.

I really can't answer your question I suppose, since I've never played the original rules. However, I have come to appreciate the circumstantial nature of different choices and strategies offered by something that appears 'imbalanced' or 'under/over-powered' in games like Viticulture. Replayability is increased, as your choices vary each game. To quote a fellow geek on the subject of choices (in an unrelated game--Firefly):
George Krubski
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"...one thing to remember is that everything in the game is really about choices, and those choices are situational."
He was responding to my thoughts around a single card that to me appeared rather weak at first, but can be quite useful under the right circumstances. I believe his statement applies well here also.

 
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Paul Ferguson
Australia
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The change makes total sense, as before you could have no wine in your seller but somehow get money. It also fixes some issues with the no wine making win strategy that was an issue. Just a shame it has taken 3 versions of rules to make the game playable.
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Eric Hogue
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itmo wrote:
The change makes total sense, as before you could have no wine in your seller but somehow get money. It also fixes some issues with the no wine making win strategy that was an issue. Just a shame it has taken 3 versions of rules to make the game playable.


The amount of wine you would need to fill an order, producing money year after year after year, with no additional work on your part, is clearly an order of magnitude larger than that required to give a small tasting that you have to commit a worker for. All vineyards make wine, some just chose to focus on smaller batches of wine and do other activities.

The "no wine win strategy" will fail more often than it succeeds against competent competition, even without this rule change.
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Jason Walker
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California
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I only played the 'no wine win strategy' once (without realizing it was an actual strategy at the time), and won. No lie: the rule was changed the very next day. And at that moment, I was convinced my boardgaming mastery was so epic that it sent shock waves all the way from my dining room to Jamey, who realized the only possible response was an immediate rule change. I've come to accept that's probably not how it happened. shake
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David Harrison
United States
Greenville
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itmo wrote:
The change makes total sense, as before you could have no wine in your seller but somehow get money. It also fixes some issues with the no wine making win strategy that was an issue. Just a shame it has taken 3 versions of rules to make the game playable.


I think everyone agrees the change makes sense thematically. The issue is whether it's balanced gameplay-wise. Also, keep in mind that gameplay balance takes precedence over thematic sense; this is precisely why grapes in the crush pad age every year and don't go bad.

They could have, for example, required a wine token in the cellar but also decreased the cost to 5 instead of 6 to offset this "nerf" and still have everything make thematic sense. Still, as I said, I think the current version is still useful in certain circumstances, although it's gone from being in the top 2 buildings to the bottom two IMO.
 
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Darin Bolyard
United States
Oak Grove
Missouri
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But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
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coblackmagus wrote:
...I think the current version is still useful in certain circumstances, although it's gone from being in the top 2 buildings to the bottom two IMO.

Something has to be at the bottom. And a gold coin at the bottom of a heap is still a gold coin
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