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Subject: How does your Tunit compete with the Thule? rss

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Tolga CORAPCI
Belgium
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In our group games, it has been observed that the Thule's asymetric advantages outshine the asymetric advantages of the Tunit who share the Northern biomes. Mainly the following two:

1) The importance of reroll in sea hunting biomes (Thule) compared to rerolls in fishing biomes (Tunit): The difference appears to be huge because hunting large sea animals yield superior return in babies and energy compared to tiny outputs of small fishing.

2) The first auction monopoly of the Thule (thanks to Peepeelee): This gives the Thule a guaranteed grab of the first import with the inital ivory they have. Some of our players observed that such early grab may often cause a "snowballing" advantage to Thule (who already have the big advantage referred to in number 1 hereinabove).

Compared to those two, Tunit asymetric advantages seem to be "mute". The early New World presence may be more of a nuisance rather than advantage (although it makes sure Tunit will probably not suffer from energy shortage in the short run).

So I would like to benefit from other players' experiences on the above subject. How do you capitalize on Tunit advantages to compete Thule? Do some energy-poor environment openings polish otherwise mute Tunit advantages. Does early glaciation possibility limit sea-hunting techniques of the Thule?

Looking for some enlightenment.


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Franz Derphausen
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I always treated Greenland more as a simulation rathan than a balanced worker placement game with equal conditions for each of the three factions. History was not kind to the Tunit (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenland#Norse_settlement). The challenge for the player who controls the Tunit is to find ways (technology acquisition, marrying Thule daughters to gain reroll powers, etc) to create an alternate time line in which the Tunit people can thrive and emerge on top of the other two factions. I think it is always interesting to observe these exact moments when Greenland the simulation deviates from the intended path of history as written. However, having played this only solo yet, I can imagine players becoming frustrated over the perceived disadvanatages.
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Julien Griffon
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In our games, admittedly almost exclusively two-player, I feel the Tunit player often has a strong advantage due to its initial New World presence. Of course, it greatly depends on the events, but we often find ourselves in lack of combustible and lose most of our elders with no means to promote new ones. If elder losses don't happen so often, the game usually feels more balanced.
 
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Tolga CORAPCI
Belgium
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Derphausen wrote:
I always treated Greenland more as a simulation rathan than a balanced worker placement game with equal conditions for each of the three factions. History was not kind to the Tunit (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenland#Norse_settlement). The challenge for the player who controls the Tunit is to find ways (technology acquisition, marrying Thule daughters to gain reroll powers, etc) to create an alternate time line in which the Tunit people can thrive and emerge on top of the other two factions. I think it is always interesting to observe these exact moments when Greenland the simulation deviates from the intended path of history as written. However, having played this only solo yet, I can imagine players becoming frustrated over the perceived disadvanatages.


Hello Franz

I think in every "game", there are a number of players who defend the game's actual status as is, much more than the designer himself would. The arguments vary in a large spectrum from pedantic "the simulation necessity" to simplistic "don't change if it ain't broken".

The truth is, in such a "game", game play entertainment would not necessarily undermine the "simulation value" as if it is a zerosum game. On the contrary... it may sometimes endorse it. From another angle at least. If, for instance, I ask you "why all players start with exactly 5 energy and 1 iron & ivory each", would you explain the rule from a "simulation" angle or "gaming" angle? If somebody suggests that the game will have more simulation value if Tunit starts the game with 2 ivory rather than 1, because Tunit "being there done that earlier" than the other 2 factions, is justifed to have a larger ivory caché, can you reasonably pull the "simulation" card and insist that "one ivory each rule has more simulation value"? I guess not. On the other hand such a basic set-up change, will break Thule's acquisition monopoly for the first import (if indeed Tunit decides to empty their ivory caché for a precious import)and possibly bring early specializition advantage to Tunit rather than their rival Thule.

Phil Eklund has an interesting article on "game design" where he finds much commonality between a game designer and an artist. An essay that I delightfully read several times.

... and if it is so, may be it is also the time to remember Leonardo Da Vinci's immortal words: "Art is never finished, only abandoned".

Actually, I am not suggesting any change. Going back to my initial question: "How does your Tunit compete the Thule". How do you get the best of their assymetric advantages and under what conditions? How does having an "energy bank" help Tunit? I am after "refined play" beyond the basic.




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Tolga CORAPCI
Belgium
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captncavern wrote:
In our games, admittedly almost exclusively two-player, I feel the Tunit player often has a strong advantage due to its initial New World presence. Of course, it greatly depends on the events, but we often find ourselves in lack of combustible and lose most of our elders with no means to promote new ones. If elder losses don't happen so often, the game usually feels more balanced.


Are these situations refer to the lack of sea-hunting biomes which usually include large sea animals providing numerous energy tokens?
 
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Julien Griffon
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It's just a general feeling, I can't tell exactly what the situation was in every game.
The worst case, however, is when you draw two elder decimations in the first two turns. Then, if you're the Tunit, you still have chances to do well, but it's much harder for the other players, who can't even promote a mariner to go to the New World.
Sometimes, it's just the dice rolling against you. Those games tend to be very unfun for the affected player.

Maybe it's just poor play on our part, but we don't pay so much attention to the biomes, and more to the rewards. It could also be because with only two players, you don't need to compete as much for the interesting biomes. Plus we're usually not too confrontational in ou games (we're playing to enjoy a nice time as a couple, after all).
 
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Tolga CORAPCI
Belgium
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Thanks Julien.

I think along the same lines. If two first turns, two eldar decimations occur and there are no good marine-hunting biomes that will replenish Thule energy bank (or early glaciation rendered the sea hunting difficult takıng good biomes to the Cold side) then Tunit's mute advantages (as well as the New World energy returns) transmute from "marginal advantages" to "real advantages".

In a sense, Tunit is more "potent" to compete in harsher conditions. They are the masters of misery! (At least in theory.)

Looking forward to more plays to observe it in practice.
 
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