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Subject: Anyone play With The Legendary Cities? rss

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Jon Snow
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I stopped playing MNE for a few weeks and am now thinking about trying out the Legendary Cities expansions. Has anyone used them? Did you play with one or all? How does it affect the game? What mix of Heroes/Wonders did you use?
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Steven Townshend
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SOON! Had a group set up for last Monday but 3 canceled. Hopefully next week...?

Really looking forward to mixing these in.
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James Park
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I played a game with Syracuse. It added a little something but was not a particularly significant change. Some things that caused this not to have much of an effect:

1) You still had to go for victory conditions. While the bonus cards can aid that, the basic mechanics really don't change.

2) 3/15 (the ratio of blank fortune teller cards) gives people an incentive to draw more than one card...but they're not terrible odds. And the person who kept fulfilling bonus objectives just took his chances and drew one card.

3) It seems like in each configuration, certain civilizations are more likely to fulfill objectives than others.

Other cities might have had different effects. But I'm not certain how much of an effect they would have had.
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Jon Snow
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Steven,

Since you're a great reporter, I'm looking forward to your insights. Will I be able to sandwich a game with live players in now, after playing ten games of my new GenCon copy of Star Trek Ascendancy but before Cry Havoc comes out in a week or two? Only time will tell...


James,

What you say about one Legendary City favoring certain players over others makes me wonder if their themes of trade, war, and 'religion' will each aid different players more. What do you think? I'd assume they each would help most the players biased towards those kinds of victory wins.

This confirms my intent of throwing all three of them in at once (perhaps as it is meant to be played by advanced players) for an initial solitaire game. Thus perhaps overall favoring no one or two players over the others. Maybe?

And for good measure, I'll be throwing in the three Kickstarter/Promo Heroes of the Labyrinth into the H/W pool for the first time as well. Because why not? Not to mention that Theseus is my favorite Greek Hero!

***

Chin up to everyone who has not yet received their game! I'm now waiting for my War and Peace tokens, and for Uwe to finally weigh in on the FAQ thread. Meanwhile, I hope my posts here have given you a taste of Things To Come.
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Steven Townshend
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chas59 wrote:
This confirms my intent of throwing all three of them in at once (perhaps as it is meant to be played by advanced players) for an initial solitaire game.


This is probably wise and I should do it too.
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James Park
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chas59 wrote:

James,

What you say about one Legendary City favoring certain players over others makes me wonder if their themes of trade, war, and 'religion' will each aid different players more. What do you think? I'd assume they each would help most the players biased towards those kinds of victory wins.

This confirms my intent of throwing all three of them in at once (perhaps as it is meant to be played by advanced players) for an initial solitaire game. Thus perhaps overall favoring no one or two players over the others. Maybe?

And for good measure, I'll be throwing in the three Kickstarter/Promo Heroes of the Labyrinth into the H/W pool for the first time as well. Because why not? Not to mention that Theseus is my favorite Greek Hero!



I guess that could happen. Having multiple objectives could cause multiple players to have options that didn't seem realistic in a single objective set game. But, unless you play with open Heroes and Wonders, I'm not sure what overall effect it would have on the actual gameplay. Honestly, I think it depends on how long of a game you're able to play. The longer the game, the more of an effect. But I've found that once you reach equilibrium with player experience, most games run about 2 hours.
 
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Jon Snow
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goo Reviewing the rules for using all three Legendary Cities, they seem to keep the impact minimal:

* With only a total of three possible objectives there can only be three Bonus Card picks per game. However, one Hero in each city pack can choose one type of their corresponding city card per turn: Ajax, Croesus, and Minos; they would be killers! But I'm planning to use the Academy Only Five Up At A Time rule, so the chances of any particular one showing up is slim.

* Normally, substituting 9 of the new H/Ws for the 9 "removals" gives you the same size pool of 17 H/W + Pyramids as in the core game. However, if you add in the 5 Atlanteans (not including Atlas unless Atlantis is in as its Leader), and the 3 Labyrinthians, the total H/W Leader pool now increases to 25 (plus Pyramids). So the odds of any one showing up are now a bit less--especially as you are also removing half of each legendary city group of H/W as well!

It would be interesting to figure out why nine originals are removed. I'd assume there is a duplication or overlap of their powers. Has anyone looked at this? And while the Wonder Helicarnassus (Tomb of Masolus) is added, the Wonder Temple of Artemis is removed. So you never do play with all 7 Wonders! I find this frustrating, and I'm not sure why. Of course, in a sense, you never "play" with the Pyramids, as once they're included, the game is over.

There has yet to be a discussion of these modules here on the boards except very generally, so feel free to add your two cents here. Which H/W do you like best? Which card would you most like to draw, or even select, if you have two Fortune Tellers? How gutsy would you be in drawing 1-5 cards (the more the gutsier)?
 
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Haz Dhim
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My gaming group prefers games with a very present military aspect, and is always slightly disappointed when not a lot of fighting occurs during a game. In our first game this was more or less the case, with only two minor battles: one between Greece and Babylon and another between Egypt and Rome. The game ended with Egypt building the pyramids and Carthage building its fifth hero during the same building phase. Still an enjoyable learning game though.

For our second game, I'm considering to throw in the Troia expansion and to include the 3 Labyrinthians in exchange for the Colossus (1 free commodity), the Hanging Gardens (store up to 2 commodities) and the Temple of Artemis (1 free coin). This keeps the amount of heroes and wonders at 17, while excluding the more economy-oriented heroes & wonders that might facilitate pyramid and hero/wonder victories.

Perhaps we're rushing into this a bit too fast, and perhaps the increased difficulty to win through pyramids/heroes&wonders might put certain nations at a slight disadvantage, but hey, with all those battle-minded heroes, things just might get a tad more intense.

Thoughts?
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Jon Snow
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That's certainly a different initial plan from mine. And most other posters have, like me, tried MNE many times without the city modules at all before adding them.

Then again, why would they give us three separate Legendary Cities Modules (LCMs) if they didn't want to allow us to tweak the game toward the kind of play we like best. Let us know what happens!

Many variations are possible. Someone just said on a different thread that Uwe has been suggesting at conventions starting the empires with different Starting Heroes, so there you go!

It would certainly be interesting to hear from the designer about whether the LCMs were more or less an afterthought, or play tested carefully and expected to be added in my experienced players. I expect we haven't heard the last from Mr. Laget about this game!
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Nicholas
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chas59 wrote:

It would certainly be interesting to hear from the designer about whether the LCMs were more or less an afterthought, or play tested carefully and expected to be added in my experienced players. I expect we haven't heard the last from Mr. Laget about this game!


I have the strong impression that the additional heroes (and 6th player) are the stuff that the designer designed and playtested - possibly excepting the promo hero. Then the goals and cards would have been added by the publisher. I think that this might be the case because the goals and cards are really disjunct from the rest of the game. In addition, the rules concerning the cards are not as clear as they could be. Of course, this is purely speculation on my part and I could be totally wrong.
 
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Jon Snow
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goo Yesterday we played three games with all three Legendary Cities modules. We see no reason to not use them all. In fact, we think their impact is too mininal. Next time we plan to use all nine objectives, not just three (only one from each city module, as directed in the rules). Ditto putting all of the LCM heroes into the mix. As we're already using the Atlantean and Labryinthains Heroes, the number of H/Ws in a game goes up anyhow. We did remove those core game H/Ws as directed. Since we are continuing to use the "Five At A Time Face Up Only" Academy Games rule, it make little difference how many H/Ws we put into the potential draw pool, since many will not appear in any one game.

With the limitations noted in the rules on the H/Ws, and Objectives (and thererfore card draws), we also noted the three heroes that get to draw from their module Bonus Card discard piles are practically useless, because those piles only ever have 1-5 cards in them during the game.

We had two hilarious card draw moments:

1. A two card draw leaves one player out. But the joke is on the other two, for both are Fortune Tellers (useless since each player is only getting one each!

2. The same two players get real cards on a five card draw, leaving three left for the player who got nothing before. But we all we all laughed again now, as he looked over his three cards, and saw that all three were Fortune Tellers--and useless to him with only one card kept!

I did 'salt' the Leader Tiles in the third game. While still randomly drawn as five at a time, I took out most we had used in the first two games, so as to add in many we had not had a chance to try out yet. While there are still about a half dozen at least we did not draw yet, this gave us a good taste of the possibilities of most of them.
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Haz Dhim
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We had our second game yesterday. There was a new player at the table, so contrary to my intention in one of the posts above, we didn't use the Troy expansion yet. I did switch out 3 more economy oriented wonders (Colossus, Hanging Gardens, Temple of Artemis) for the KS exclusive heroes, hoping for more dynamic gameplay.

What a difference this game was! With occupations (Carthage vs Egypt) and  cold war tensions (Rome vs Greece) starting from round 1, military action was very present. By the end of the game, all nations had all of their legions on the board, before clashing into each other. Cartage invaded both Sicily and Cyrenaica, Rome pillaged Athens and Egypt invaded and sacked Jerusalem. In the end, Greece (me) won with a risky but unexpected assault on Cappadocia (Babylon), claiming total leadership.

I was very pleased with how the game played out. Despite all the bloodshed, everyone was in a very decent position to win by the end. Given how satisfactory this game was, I might follow your advice and wait a bit longer before including legendary cities.

For the record, heroes bought:
- Carthage: Spartacus & Ariane
- Rome: Lighthouse of Pharos
- Greece: Antigone & Ramses II
- Egypt: /
- Babylon: /
 
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Jon Snow
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Players have stated different goals when using tghe LCMs. So I guess my goal is to put as many possibilities into the game, to give players the opportunity to have more options about which winning strategy to adopt during a game. And one of the best ways to do that is to make different leaders randomly available in the 17 out on the leader board for choice in buying.

This is especially true with the new tier of Alternate Starting Leaders and to a far lesser degree with Heroes of the Bible. these two sets are now available to those just getting their War and Peace orders confirmed.
 
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