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Terra Mystica» Forums » General

Subject: Thinking about buying TM and have a question rss

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peter dink
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Hey guys, i really want to try out TM but a bit worried by the amount of rule changes and balance issues the game seems to have.
If i buy the base game, are there any major things i need to do before i play it(like important rule changes)?
Also are there plans for a second edition with a better balance and updated rules?
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Grant
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nimrod1610 wrote:
Hey guys, i really want to try out TM but a bit worried by the amount of rule changes and balance issues the game seems to have.
If i buy the base game, are there any major things i need to do before i play it(like important rule changes)?
Also are there plans for a second edition with a better balance and updated rules?

There are exactly two rule changes to the base game:
d10-1The spade scoring tile may not appear in round 5 or 6.
d10-2Cultists gain a power if at least one player was eligible to leech from their build and all eligible players declined.

I don't know if the latest printing reflects these changes, but they are extremely easy to remember.

In the expansion there are rules changes for both variable factions, but you aren't asking about that.
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Mark O'Reilly
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Peter,
I have been playing Terra Mystica since its first printing under Feureland , and have always enjoyed the heck out of it.

I wouldn't worry about balance, just learn the game in the box and once competent at gameplay, chase down any updated rules here in the files section on bgg.

I think most balance issues are to do with the expansion, namely shape shifters and I printed out updated rules for those.

A lot of people play the game on Snellman ( digitally ) , and this is where most of the analysis comes from. You could always try the game for free on Snellman to see if it's a good fit for you.

Edit: ninja by Grant.
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Yohan Trudel
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Here you have an asymmetrical game that has been played and analyzed so much (thousands upon thousands of games for which detailed statistics are publicly available) that some balance issues were discovered.

Not only that, but the designers cared enough to pay attention to what the community discovered and to officially provide rule erratas to address the issues.

I think a good analogy is encryption. Would you rather trust the public encryption system that everyone pored over and deemed good after a few small fixes or would you rather go with a less known algorithm that hasn't received anywhere near as much scrutiny but for which no issues has (yet) been found?

I think it's wishful thinking to assume that any games of such complexity have no flaws. They all do. Some have been discovered and addressed, some remain unknown or - worse - ignored.

I cannot find the words to properly described how much awesome Terra Mystica packs up! I would highly recommend you try it out.
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James
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If you are playing casually with your friends the errata for the game doesn't matter. The rules out of the box work great. The extra errata is there if you are playing seriously with other people who have played hundreds of games.
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Marc Bennett
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for the average player (like myself) you will not notice any balance issues.
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Jason Johns
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Klaxas wrote:
for the average player (like myself) you will not notice any balance issues.


Concur. I have played quite a few times, without noticing any balance issues.
 
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Robert
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Klaxas wrote:
for the average player (like myself) you will not notice any balance issues.
This!

In your first 20-30 games, you'll win or lose because you made less or more sub-optimal moves than your opponents, and not because you resp. your opponents picked an OP faction.

Note that faction picking is an important skill to become better at TM, as the very same faction which sucks in one setting of scoring and bonus tiles may perform very well in another. So one reason why certain factions fare better for beginners is that they tend to be ok in a lot of settings, so without the faction picking skill, they are more likely to fit (somewhat). But if you pick a faction just because it's supposedly better than the other factions without looking at the setup, you may find that just because it's supposedly good in general it is not in this particular setting. whistle
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Kristo Vaher
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biffta wrote:
Peter,
I have been playing Terra Mystica since its first printing under Feureland , and have always enjoyed the heck out of it.

I wouldn't worry about balance, just learn the game in the box and once competent at gameplay, chase down any updated rules here in the files section on bgg.

I think most balance issues are to do with the expansion, namely shape shifters and I printed out updated rules for those.

A lot of people play the game on Snellman ( digitally ) , and this is where most of the analysis comes from. You could always try the game for free on Snellman to see if it's a good fit for you.

Edit: ninja by Grant.


While I am personally not worried about balance per se, I like to have the latest edition of games that fix balance or errata rules etc. Are new print runs of Terra Mystica incorporating the notable amount of changes done to the game since the release of the expansion?
 
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James Wolfpacker
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The Bonus Landscape rules are not quite official yet. The main idea has been voted on and approved, but playtesting is being performed to fine tune it.

Also, I don't recommend the Bonus Landscapes for newer player groups because it adds another layer of rules and strategy that is not needed among beginners. The same goes for auctioning factions.

What I do recommend is using Variable Turn Order with the base game. It is an easy hack. Take the orange start player token and use it as a Marker for the current round instead. Then take a landscape tile for each faction and place it in a column beside the start token. As each player passes, they move their landscape to another column for the next round.
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Space Trucker
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nimrod1610 wrote:
Hey guys, i really want to try out TM but a bit worried by the amount of rule changes and balance issues the game seems to have.
If i buy the base game, are there any major things i need to do before i play it(like important rule changes)?

Both changes that grant listed above are not hard to remember and pretty small. The spade bonus changes only solves a problem that with a very late spade bonus tile one extreme strategy was a bit too easy and too promising (which would probably not affect your first face to face games).

Even if one user here in th4e forums is both very bitter and sustained about how awful the balance is, I don't think that you should woryy about this. Overall it's pretty good and clearly not broken. The best player will almost always win, even if he plays one of the weaker factions.
On statistics from the online implementation: That's indeed what came out of tens of thousands of online games and even with that knowledge the game is still very well playable (which would not apply to many other games).
In yourr first games you will most like find other factions too weak or too strong.

nimrod1610 wrote:
Also are there plans for a second edition with a better balance and updated rules?

At least nothing was announced so far.

JamesWolfpacker wrote:
The Bonus Landscape rules are not quite official yet.

They are available (but without any further changes so far):
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/137416/bonus-landscap...
Quote:
These rules were compiled by the community at boardgamegeek.com.
Feel free to use them as you wish. They are still subject to change and
you are welcome to share your experience with them at boardgamegeek.com.


Personally I would clearly not recommend the bonus tiles from the "Erweiterungsbogen" to to beginners, as they are actually not very well implemented (everything in TM can be done by just looking at board and tableaus, you don't need the rules to play, which is amazing - for the bonus tiles each single tile adds a complex new rule one has to read and remember), so that they'll primarily mean more confusion and more stuff to remeber for beginners.


All in all I would say that there are a lot of possible reasons to not like TM: It's long, it's complicated, it's realtivly abstract and about getting victory points all the time, it's pretty unforgiving and a clearly better player will almost always win,...
All those points could be reasons for you to be unhappy with Terra Mystica. But I'm pretty sure that faction balance is not a reason.


sthrjo wrote:
Statistics for 3-5 player, Original map, Original Scoring, Players rated 1000+ on snellman, average score (VP):
As we already discussed in various other threads the average score of a faction is not really a good measure to compare faction's strength. Better have a look at win chance or average position.
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Don Sombrero
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I it is also worth remembering that Project Gaia is in the works (perhaps Essen 2017?).

It is called 'sister game' but I am pretty sure it will be more of the second edition so I would expect better balance (looking at you Eldritch Horror, Avalon and Caverna).
 
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biffta wrote:
A lot of people play the game on Snellman ( digitally ) , and this is where most of the analysis comes from. You could always try the game for free on Snellman to see if it's a good fit for you.


I'd strongly recommend NOT doing this until you can play the game face to face first. The online implementation is great, but the interface has quite a steep learning curve to it. Combine that with learning the game fresh and it might put you off a fantastic game.

Ideally find someone else with a copy who can teach you first.
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James Wolfpacker
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TMAI might be better for trying out the game. It walks you step-by-step through all moves, tells you about errors, and you are not stringing along other people in trying to learn the game. Just use the standard options and uncheck Fire and ice factions.

http://lodev.org/tmai/
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Robert
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JamesWolfpacker wrote:
TMAI might be better for trying out the game. It walks you step-by-step through all moves, tells you about errors, and you are not stringing along other people in trying to learn the game. Just use the standard options and uncheck Fire and ice factions.

http://lodev.org/tmai/
I doubt that learning TM with the TMAI is any better than being thrown into a snellman game. You want to have at least one FtF game with a person who explains you stuff along the game.
 
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James Wolfpacker
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^DocCool, that is true, but he can also use the Observe AI check box and watch what they do to get a basic understanding of the game as well.

ETA: OP, just don't click on Fast or Fastest since it will start cycling too fast for you to see what's going on. Just use Next.
 
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