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Subject: Is this game too short? Or am I playing it wrong? rss

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Darth Hidious
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In a 4 player game, if each person takes a role card, then ,with 24 cards in 2 piles, the game is over in 6 single player turns.
I found it too short and decided to wait till the 3rd pile goes.

Am I missing something?
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Nushura
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You are assuming that ALL the roles are in the same 2 which is very bad. What are their roles? Survey and colonize? Then you should do war and piggyback on theirs. The result is that the game now lasts 12 turns and you act on THEIR turns whereas they dont on yours. Oh, and dont forget to research so you get cards that allow you to do even better actions!
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Darth Hidious
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I suppose you Right
But somehow, in our games, players tend to favour the same roles, and the game ends a little too fast.

Thank you!
 
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Seth Jaffee
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Kesavanss wrote:
I suppose you Right
But somehow, in our games, players tend to favour the same roles, and the game ends a little too fast.

Thank you!

This is not unusual groupthink for new players. The trick is to identify that, and find a way to take advantage of it to benefit you.

And as Nushura said, once you start doing that, the game gets a bit longer.
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Darth Hidious
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Is it alright to extend the game to 3 piles empty?
 
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Seth Jaffee
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Kesavanss wrote:
Is it alright to extend the game to 3 piles empty?

I don't recommend it, but if that makes you like the game better than who am I to say no?

I think you'd be better off finding ways to minimize the number of times you need to call Colonize or Survey, and see how quickly you can start researching or produce/trading. Once you start doing that, your opponents will probably see how good it is and will eventually follow suit. At that point, if you're playing to 3 pile depletion, your games will drag on too long.
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Darth Hidious
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Much thanks, Mr Jaffee.

Am in the process of getting Exotica.

My contribution to your Lamborghini!
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Seth Jaffee
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Kesavanss wrote:
Much thanks, Mr Jaffee.

Am in the process of getting Exotica.

My contribution to your Lamborghini!

Oh, man... if only I could afford that! I'd be happy with enough to pay my mortgage this month!
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Ron
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sedjtroll wrote:
Kesavanss wrote:
Much thanks, Mr Jaffee.

Am in the process of getting Exotica.

My contribution to your Lamborghini!

Oh, man... if only I could afford that! I'd be happy with enough to pay my mortgage this month!

And I always thought that game designers are billionaires ... wow
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Jim Parkin
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sedjtroll wrote:
Kesavanss wrote:
Is it alright to extend the game to 3 piles empty?

I don't recommend it, but if that makes you like the game better than who am I to say no?

I think you'd be better off finding ways to minimize the number of times you need to call Colonize or Survey, and see how quickly you can start researching or produce/trading. Once you start doing that, your opponents will probably see how good it is and will eventually follow suit. At that point, if you're playing to 3 pile depletion, your games will drag on too long.

I often find that research is the role which depletes the fastest. Once you have the research cards you need, you have to take another research card to actually research a tech card (including drawing the new role card which gets you to the threshold to research a tech card). This always depletes the pile quickly, as it is difficult for multiple players to actually have five or seven research cards in hand when another player leads the role, so they often lead it themselves to draw into the last research card they need to get a tier II or III tech card.

I tend to see a certain type of player angst here wherein any role which is chosen to lead under performs unless you're the player leading the role. In one session, after we played once already and everyone agreed that following is often not as beneficial as it seems, we played again and the game ended very quickly since everyone kept leading the same early game roles. We then played a third time and attempted the opposite, and the game dragged on because everyone kept following with small, ineffective hands, only to get to their own turn, and have to lead what they just did because they ran out of actionable cards via following.

It was an odd session of three games, I'll admit, but the meta and groupthink of the whole process left a sour taste in two players mouths, and they have not played since.

I still enjoy the game a lot, but I've yet to see the ideal game wherein there is a solid early game of survey/colonize/warfare, a mid-game of research, and late game of research and produce/trade. It's either way too long or way too short.
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Seth Jaffee
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PzVIE wrote:
sedjtroll wrote:
Kesavanss wrote:
Much thanks, Mr Jaffee.

Am in the process of getting Exotica.

My contribution to your Lamborghini!

Oh, man... if only I could afford that! I'd be happy with enough to pay my mortgage this month!

And I always thought that game designers are billionaires ... wow

If Eminent Domain sells a billion copies, then I'll be a billionaire
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Yes, it's too short. Some people will try to convince you, thats just group thinking and you're playing it wrong. No, you're not playing wrong.
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Seth Jaffee
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rattkin wrote:
Yes, it's too short. Some people will try to convince you, thats just group thinking and you're playing it wrong. No, you're not playing wrong.

you're not playing wrong, you're just not playing well.

That's not intended to be an insult, it's just how this game tends to go. Sub-optimal play can lead to a shorter and less satisfying game, while higher level play can lead to a more satisfying experience.

Some groups don't get to the point where their play elevates to that level, and I can understand how those groups could find the game to be too short and unsatisfying.
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Jim Parkin
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sedjtroll wrote:
rattkin wrote:
Yes, it's too short. Some people will try to convince you, thats just group thinking and you're playing it wrong. No, you're not playing wrong.

you're not playing wrong, you're just not playing well.

That's not intended to be an insult, it's just how this game tends to go. Sub-optimal play can lead to a shorter and less satisfying game, while higher level play can lead to a more satisfying experience.

Some groups don't get to the point where their play elevates to that level, and I can understand how those groups could find the game to be too short and unsatisfying.

That's the struggle. I've held on to this one for a long time and continue to play it, but it seems like despite even conscious effort to play "well" (no offense taken), our games still either accelerate too quickly or drag on with artificial effort to get bigger scores.
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Seth Jaffee
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Annowme wrote:
sedjtroll wrote:
rattkin wrote:
Yes, it's too short. Some people will try to convince you, thats just group thinking and you're playing it wrong. No, you're not playing wrong.

you're not playing wrong, you're just not playing well.

That's not intended to be an insult, it's just how this game tends to go. Sub-optimal play can lead to a shorter and less satisfying game, while higher level play can lead to a more satisfying experience.

Some groups don't get to the point where their play elevates to that level, and I can understand how those groups could find the game to be too short and unsatisfying.

That's the struggle. I've held on to this one for a long time and continue to play it, but it seems like despite even conscious effort to play "well" (no offense taken), our games still either accelerate too quickly or drag on with artificial effort to get bigger scores.

Have you played with just the base game, or have you mixed any of the expansions in yet?
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Jim Parkin
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I've played around five or six games of the base game alone, more than ten with the base game and Escalation, and only a single game of the base, Escalation, and Exotica.

The tempo seems the same in all setups--close to right, but also just a bit off.
 
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Ponder Stibbons
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Annowme wrote:
...We then played a third time and attempted the opposite, and the game dragged on because everyone kept following with small, ineffective hands, only to get to their own turn, and have to lead what they just did because they ran out of actionable cards via following...

do you not draw back up to your hand limit after Following? or are you saying that drawing the Dissent card every chance you get is just that much more useful than Following?
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Jim Parkin
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Rumbelow wrote:
Annowme wrote:
...We then played a third time and attempted the opposite, and the game dragged on because everyone kept following with small, ineffective hands, only to get to their own turn, and have to lead what they just did because they ran out of actionable cards via following...

do you not draw back up to your hand limit after Following? or are you saying that drawing the Dissent card every chance you get is just that much more useful than Following?

We do not draw back up to our hand limit after following.

When I follow on your turn, my cards with matching role symbols are played to the table to gain the role effect. When it gets to my turn, those cards are discarded already. I do not draw up to my hand limit until the cleanup phase, meaning that my action and role phases both take place less the cards I used to follow earlier.

I've read the rules several times to clarify this. A player refills his hand at the end of his own turn, not after anyone else's turn.
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Seth Jaffee
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Annowme wrote:
Rumbelow wrote:
Annowme wrote:
...We then played a third time and attempted the opposite, and the game dragged on because everyone kept following with small, ineffective hands, only to get to their own turn, and have to lead what they just did because they ran out of actionable cards via following...

do you not draw back up to your hand limit after Following? or are you saying that drawing the Dissent card every chance you get is just that much more useful than Following?

We do not draw back up to our hand limit after following.

When I follow on your turn, my cards with matching role symbols are played to the table to gain the role effect. When it gets to my turn, those cards are discarded already. I do not draw up to my hand limit until the cleanup phase, meaning that my action and role phases both take place less the cards I used to follow earlier.

I've read the rules several times to clarify this. A player refills his hand at the end of his own turn, not after anyone else's turn.

This is correct.

Note also however that if you follow, say, a Survey role you use your Survey cards. On your turn, a Warfare role would not use those Survey cards anyway. So following the Survey role doesn't really make your Warfare role any worse (except that maybe you could have drawn another Warfare card had you dissented).

In general, if you follow other players, you get to do more stuff, but your turn might not be as good. If you dissent, then you do less stuff, but you might have a better role on your own turn.
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Jim Parkin
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sedjtroll wrote:
Annowme wrote:
Rumbelow wrote:
Annowme wrote:
...We then played a third time and attempted the opposite, and the game dragged on because everyone kept following with small, ineffective hands, only to get to their own turn, and have to lead what they just did because they ran out of actionable cards via following...

do you not draw back up to your hand limit after Following? or are you saying that drawing the Dissent card every chance you get is just that much more useful than Following?

We do not draw back up to our hand limit after following.

When I follow on your turn, my cards with matching role symbols are played to the table to gain the role effect. When it gets to my turn, those cards are discarded already. I do not draw up to my hand limit until the cleanup phase, meaning that my action and role phases both take place less the cards I used to follow earlier.

I've read the rules several times to clarify this. A player refills his hand at the end of his own turn, not after anyone else's turn.

This is correct.

Note also however that if you follow, say, a Survey role you use your Survey cards. On your turn, a Warfare role would not use those Survey cards anyway. So following the Survey role doesn't really make your Warfare role any worse (except that maybe you could have drawn another Warfare card had you dissented).

In general, if you follow other players, you get to do more stuff, but your turn might not be as good. If you dissent, then you do less stuff, but you might have a better role on your own turn.

Yep. It's angst--good angst, though! Tough, good choices!
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Chris Berger
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rattkin wrote:
Yes, it's too short. Some people will try to convince you, thats just group thinking and you're playing it wrong. No, you're not playing wrong.


I agree with that. There's been a trend in gaming for several years towards games that "don't overstay their welcome," which sometimes ends up feeling more like "ends just as it gets good." I suspect that the people who tell you that the game is long enough when you're not a filthy newb just prefer games that end quicker (with all due respect to Seth).

That said, it feels too short because it's a fun, interesting game. If it wasn't, it would feel too long.
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Evil Bob
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I don't feel that the game is too short. Because there no fixed length, the game's pace and overall length is determined by the players' choices. When a player has a VP lead, the smart play is to shorten the game's length. The trailing players should attempt to lengthen the game.

This is a game about collecting the most points before the game is over. It's not an engine building game, which is an expectation I believe many people bring to the table. It's a game about efficiently choosing your roles so that others can't/won't benefit from them, while at the same time setting your deck up to be able to piggyback from their turns.

Great game.

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Jim Parkin
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bbhalla wrote:
This is a game about collecting the most points before the game is over. It's not an engine building game, which is an expectation I believe many people bring to the table.

I do think this is likely the biggest misconception about Eminent Domain. Good point.
 
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Dezza
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One thing I find people get wrong when they first play is how following works. The assumption is usually that to follow a role, you have to have the matching role card(s). This makes first time players feel the best thing to do is take more role cards than looking for icons other ways.

The proper way to follow is with icons. If that's understood, you can get more benefit out of level 1 techs and planets by choosing the ones with icons you need and not for the action/type.

You also dont need to use every card to follow a role. For example use only two survey icons to follow. You only get the top planet of the deck, but it's a 'free' planet.

Other things new players get wrong is that you can choose to keep cards in the cleanup phase and that technology goes straight into your hand when purchased.

I think knowing these things has helped people I've played with plan better and had more productive games
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Kenny VenOsdel
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Annowme wrote:
sedjtroll wrote:
rattkin wrote:
Yes, it's too short. Some people will try to convince you, thats just group thinking and you're playing it wrong. No, you're not playing wrong.

you're not playing wrong, you're just not playing well.

That's not intended to be an insult, it's just how this game tends to go. Sub-optimal play can lead to a shorter and less satisfying game, while higher level play can lead to a more satisfying experience.

Some groups don't get to the point where their play elevates to that level, and I can understand how those groups could find the game to be too short and unsatisfying.

That's the struggle. I've held on to this one for a long time and continue to play it, but it seems like despite even conscious effort to play "well" (no offense taken), our games still either accelerate too quickly or drag on with artificial effort to get bigger scores.


This was a similar experience for me. When it was first released I played about 15 games with a PnP copy during the kickstarter campaign. I couldn't tell if I actually liked the game or not. I enjoyed my plays but just wasn't sure. Eventually I decided that I did like it, a lot, and it has continued to be one of my favorite games. Not everyone will want to keep playing after a handful of games if it isn't satisfying though, so its a fair criticism. It may take awhile for your group to reach a play level where they find it satisfying, and they should understand that it is a game of nuance and incremental gains. While there are some opportunities for big swings in points they are rare. Especially compared to games like Race for the Galaxy and Dominion, which it is often compared to.

If I got to play games still I would keep playing, but sadly I'm too busy with young ones and grad school.
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