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Subject: Taking oaut the pyramid win consition rss

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Jeff Forgues
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After 3 games, our group was very fustrated with the pyramid winning condition. The 3 games end with that condition and everyone around the table was disappointed. Enough that the group dont want the game back on the table... I think of playing without this condition. Anyone had try that ?

JF
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James Park
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I'll admit I've never tried the game without the pyramid win condition.

I will say that pyramid win conditions seem much more common when you first learn the game. This is generally because

1) people tend to play more passive, which allows the game to become dominantly economic

2) people haven't developed the ability to recognize where everyone in the game is at any given time so don't know how to team up to stop them

3) the trade leader hasn't quite gotten a hang of using the trade position to block people from gaining an economic win.

I don't know what to suggest to bring your people back to the table because these lessons only seem to come after experience with the game. I can only say that after playing this game multiple times (a dozen and a half times or so), I haven't seen a pyramid victory in a very long time.
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Steven Townshend
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^ James Park put it very concisely.
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David Chapman
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If you can get 12 different resources for the Pyramid you can generally get the 10 needed for a fifth Hero/Wonder within a couple of turns anyway. Pyramid victory exists to stop runaway Hero victories.
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Tony Graham
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We have had only one pyramid victory which was our very first game. Most have been hero victories. I think our last three player game actually ended with the leader victory as the Romans(Myself0 and the Greeks (my youngest son) got into a giant war that neither of us were willing to back out of. We depleted our armies and our resources and got walked on at the end. I say leave it in and learn the strategies don't be afraid to get aggressive and ruffle feathers!
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Rob W
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We've played probably a dozen times also, and never had a Pyramid victory. We've had one 3 Leader Tracks victory. All others have been Hero/Wonder or 4 Capital City victories. Every time somebody gets near to getting the twelve resources, they get militarily pounded by everyone else and their caravans get occupied or pillaged. Try that.
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James Park
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One strategy you can use or suggest to the group is continually counting resource production. Everyone starts with 9 resources in some combination of trade goods and gold.

To get to Pyramids, you need 12 gold or 12 different trade goods (excepting Carthage and Egypt's power).

While it's not hard to get to 12 resources, it's hard to get to 12 different resources. In a 3 player game, it's not possible with trade goods. Once a person starts accumulating enough resources and gold, people need to focus on that person.

In my experience, Egypt is the greatest threat for this win condition (because of their power and their access to cities), followed by Carthage and Rome. But it's really obvious when a person gets close to that, which is why it's not a common win condition after a group gets more experienced.

No one can get there with trade goods in their immediate area. For trade goods, you will see them expand further and further out. For gold, you will see them build up their cities with multiple temples.

The later in the game you get, generally, the trade leader wants to keep trade low to avoid this win condition (unless the trade leader is the one going for pyramids).

More than most games, Mare Nostrum relies on the mechanic of other players policing other players. If the players aren't able to pick that up yet, economic win conditions become much easier. But unfortunately, it's a skill that has to be developed or taught, because in your first few plays, you're just trying to get a handle of the rules and your own strategy. Which is a shame, because once you get a handle of it, it's a really elegant and complex game.
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Brian Hamilton
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I haven't gotten a chance to play it yet. But would it oversimplify who's in the lead if amount of heros and most unique goods tracked on the leader board.
Could use various colored tokens to symbolize each.
I'm sure surprising opponents w these wins are fun for winning player but this change may be good for first few games.
 
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Jeff Forgues
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Thanks to everyone for your answers and tips.

I understand that we have to be more patient to fully master and enjoy the game.

I am thinking of buying the atlas expansion. Do you think it would help ? Or it's just the same game with a bigger map ?

Thanks

Jeff
 
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Steven Townshend
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jfforgues wrote:
Thanks to everyone for your answers and tips.

I understand that we have to be more patient to fully master and enjoy the game.

I am thinking of buying the atlas expansion. Do you think it would help ? Or it's just the same game with a bigger map ?


Jeff, I don't think that Atlas will help with your specific issue. That said, I think Atlas is very exciting.

For the issues you're dealing with, take James's advice to heart. Be wary of the trade leader and don't trade with anyone who's getting a vast number of coins or diverse resources. I tend to act as banker of resources and ask each player what he or she receives; they tell me and I hand them out. This way, resources get called out at the beginning of the round. The less you trade with those high resource players, the more they have to work and do other things to get the resources they need to build the pyramids. If they're getting a lot of diverse resources, chances are they are militarily weak. Time to march over and seize, occupy, or pillage their markets.

In any case, once you start locking people out of trade (would you like some sheep? How about some nice wheat?) the game length can extend considerably. In your first 3.5 hour game you may long for the days when people would win with pyramids.

Again, Atlas probably won't address your specific issue, but it offers lots of differnet ways to play, including a focus on military. Plus you get a whole other map section. I'm a fan.
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Steve Gagnon
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I was one of the four players of those 3 games and actually won the 2 last and I would like to clarify a point. 3 players were desapointed of the conclusion and I exclude myself.

Effectively we were playing very passively. I think we fear to be the only one to loose time and ressources in a never ending war while passive players sneak out with the win. We played it more like a race than a strategic military and politic game.

Thanks to you all because I think you convinced Jeff to give it one more try!
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James Park
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I'm just curious - in this passive scenario, what were the civilizations that won? As I mentioned in a previous post, I feel like Egypt has the easiest time, followed by Carthage and Rome. Were these the winners?
 
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James Park
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Drammattex wrote:
jfforgues wrote:
Thanks to everyone for your answers and tips.

I understand that we have to be more patient to fully master and enjoy the game.

I am thinking of buying the atlas expansion. Do you think it would help ? Or it's just the same game with a bigger map ?


Jeff, I don't think that Atlas will help with your specific issue. That said, I think Atlas is very exciting.

For the issues you're dealing with, take James's advice to heart. Be wary of the trade leader and don't trade with anyone who's getting a vast number of coins or diverse resources. I tend to act as banker of resources and ask each player what he or she receives; they tell me and I hand them out. This way, resources get called out at the beginning of the round. The less you trade with those high resource players, the more they have to work and do other things to get the resources they need to build the pyramids. If they're getting a lot of diverse resources, chances are they are militarily weak. Time to march over and seize, occupy, or pillage their markets.

In any case, once you start locking people out of trade (would you like some sheep? How about some nice wheat?) the game length can extend considerably. In your first 3.5 hour game you may long for the days when people would win with pyramids.

Again, Atlas probably won't address your specific issue, but it offers lots of differnet ways to play, including a focus on military. Plus you get a whole other map section. I'm a fan.


I echo that sentiment. Your specific issue (as I understood it) was just mastering how all the different mechanics work together. The Atlas expansion will do nothing to aid you in that endeavor.

I think the single best expansion to the game is the poker chips (they're just so much better than the cardboard chips that come with it).

But Atlas adds more to the board, which allows you more variety in the combination of civilizations you can play. And even after you master it, you can start incorporating legendary cities to add a little flavor. So as far as expansions go, I think the Atlas expansion enhances the game play quite a bit.
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A J
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hippibashr wrote:
I think the single best expansion to the game is the poker chips (they're just so much better than the cardboard chips that come with it).


A bit off topic, but since you mentioned it: do the chips include all you need for the Atlas expansion, too?
 
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James Park
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I will say I've never had a problem with the number of chips and I have played six players. I have seen people post about a very specific combination of wonders/heroes/resources that hypothetically mean you could run out, but I have never run across it, personally.

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David Chapman
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ayejae wrote:
hippibashr wrote:
I think the single best expansion to the game is the poker chips (they're just so much better than the cardboard chips that come with it).


A bit off topic, but since you mentioned it: do the chips include all you need for the Atlas expansion, too?


Yes, and the added chips for the sixth player are in a separate section so you can store them easily when playing with fewer.
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David Chapman
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hippibashr wrote:
I will say I've never had a problem with the number of chips and I have played six players. I have seen people post about a very specific combination of wonders/heroes/resources that hypothetically mean you could run out, but I have never run across it, personally.


It's not even a combination of Heroes and Wonders. If you have Hanging Gardens plus a Caravan and Market in Crete, you can end up holding all three Pottery chips at the end of Collect Resources. Pillaging that Caravan thus won't produce anything. A similar effect can be achieved without one of the Hanging Gardens and the Market by pillaging the Caravan with Hamilcar.
 
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Aaron Bredon
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Jedit wrote:
hippibashr wrote:
I will say I've never had a problem with the number of chips and I have played six players. I have seen people post about a very specific combination of wonders/heroes/resources that hypothetically mean you could run out, but I have never run across it, personally.


It's not even a combination of Heroes and Wonders. If you have Hanging Gardens plus a Caravan and Market in Crete, you can end up holding all three Pottery chips at the end of Collect Resources. Pillaging that Caravan thus won't produce anything. A similar effect can be achieved without one of the Hanging Gardens and the Market by pillaging the Caravan with Hamilcar.


Not quite - you have to discard all but 1 of the resources at the end of the build phase, so at least 2 Ceramic are available for pillaging.
In the base game, resource exhaustion is limited to the owner of the Colossus when someone has the Hanging Gardens, as he might not be able to get Ceramic if there is a market on Crete and the player with Hanging Gardens saves one. It is rarely a major issue, as there are enough rare resources that that player can just choose another rare resource he doesn't produce.

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James Park
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I'll be honest, never really saw a market on Crete. I guess I can't say I would never see it, pottery is a rare resource....but I've never seen it. But I think there's 5 with the poker chips, anyway.
 
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Nathanaël Dufour
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jfforgues wrote:
After 3 games, our group was very fustrated with the pyramid winning condition. The 3 games end with that condition and everyone around the table was disappointed. Enough that the group dont want the game back on the table... I think of playing without this condition. Anyone had try that ?

JF


Just have each player annonce out loud at the end of production phase "I produced X differents resources and Y Coins this turn". Then the Trading phase should take this into account.
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Raph Moimoi
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jfforgues wrote:
After 3 games, our group was very fustrated with the pyramid winning condition. The 3 games end with that condition and everyone around the table was disappointed. Enough that the group dont want the game back on the table... I think of playing without this condition. Anyone had try that ?

JF


People have to follow the game and look at who gets whet. There's no time to play with your phone in this game or you're dead.

The Pyramids winning condition is really needed to balance things.
 
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Thomas NORMAND
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We had the same feeling in our group, Jeff.
So far we played something like 8 times this game, each time the win was on pyramids.
I don't think we're newbies on that type of games, nor are we that peaceful. But yes, we may lack of care on the chip count of other players. But I'd like to say that counting chips is not the idea that I have on a conquest game like Mare Nostrum.
We played one game so far without the pyramid win, and I must say that it was really, really interesting. As it was much easier to watch for players trying to win by heroes, the game was more tense, and more conflicted.
Despite the fact that the game was longer, I think we will continue to ignore the pyramid win.
Give it a try and tell me what you think.
 
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Thaddeus MacTaggart
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Ultratom wrote:
We had the same feeling in our group, Jeff.
So far we played something like 8 times this game, each time the win was on pyramids.
I don't think we're newbies on that type of games, nor are we that peaceful. But yes, we may lack of care on the chip count of other players.

Well .. I can still only conclude that you are rather pecaceful players.

We played 9 games thus far and only 1 ended with a pyramid - and 2 times with 5 heroes/wonders.
3 ended with triple leadership and 3 with conquering 4 cities.

Before a player can accumulate so much resources to build a pyramid, the game must have gone on for so many turns .. in our case, people start destroying each other's units (buildings) before that point is ever reached. In the process usually 4 cities are occupied or player stats dwindle so far down that one of the players sees an oportunity to raise the leaderships stats (often by destroying an opponent's temple or caravan or two, especially the military leader gets that chance as no-one has the chance to respond anymore).
 
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