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Subject: Observatory rss

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J Kaemmer
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It says the player may look at the top card of any deck. Is there any limit to this?

-only on your turn
-once per turn
-...etc?

Or can you literally look at any deck's top card, at any time, as often as you feel like?

If so, I think I this card is criminally underestimated by most everyone in our group (haven't built it once!).

Spoiler (click to reveal)
I guess in the first 2 games the only decks you can look at are advisers and damage. So unless you are denying someone a type of adviser or checking to see if spending luck will be worth it based on the damage card it's not very useful. But once you can start looking at uncharted waters cards or research cards to know if it will be worth spending the money/action it can be VERY good.


Has any played with the observatory and found it useful?
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Becq Starforged
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Don't forget the event deck!

We were playing that new events went into the event deck unseen. One of my opponents used the Observatory to look at the event deck, and said, "oh, so *that's* what the new card is. Then the game ended. So while the event didn't occur then, he's the only one who has knowledge of that event.

Worthwhile? Well, I guess we'll see next game...

But I agree with you: I think that the Observatory, however valuable it is now, will become MORE valuable as the game progresses.
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David desJardins
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I can't see anything that would limit its use.

Whether it's worth more than a ship upgrade, in general, I'm not convinced. Most cards are revealed when drawn, and most cards are going to be drawn whether or not you know what they are, I think. So it sounds nice to know what you're going to draw, but how often does it change what you do?
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Thomas Robb
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I think David brings up a good point

What are the most valuable cards/actions for me to take this turn?

this game?

There may be times when knowing the next card is valuable
I don't know

that's what makes this kind of game interesting

what are my choices?
which ones do I need or want now?

sometimes, of course, it is a gamble . . .

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J Kaemmer
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DaviddesJ wrote:
I can't see anything that would limit its use.

Whether it's worth more than a ship upgrade, in general, I'm not convinced. Most cards are revealed when drawn, and most cards are going to be drawn whether or not you know what they are, I think. So it sounds nice to know what you're going to draw, but how often does it change what you do?


Spoiler (click to reveal)
I'd say it would influence me in several situations:

1- I want to find a new island but the top card of the incharted waters deck is a dangerous waters card
2- I want to explore an difficult location and need some help from research, but the top card is sea related
3- Using luck on a raid or explore because the top card is awful for me (reducing hold when its full, for example)
4- Using the guild hall or other powers to dismiss cards from the adviser line-up if I would rather have the top card of the deck.

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J Kaemmer
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Becq wrote:
Don't forget the event deck!

We were playing that new events went into the event deck unseen. One of my opponents used the Observatory to look at the event deck, and said, "oh, so *that's* what the new card is. Then the game ended. So while the event didn't occur then, he's the only one who has knowledge of that event.

Worthwhile? Well, I guess we'll see next game...

But I agree with you: I think that the Observatory, however valuable it is now, will become MORE valuable as the game progresses.


Aren't you supposed to shuffle the event deck every round? Looking at the stack wouldn't help...
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David desJardins
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iswearihaveajob wrote:
Aren't you supposed to shuffle the event deck every round? Looking at the stack wouldn't help...


There's one event card per year that's at the top of the deck on the last turn but never gets drawn for use. So the player with the Observatory would get to peek at a couple of event cards per game that never otherwise get revealed.
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Becq Starforged
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iswearihaveajob wrote:
Aren't you supposed to shuffle the event deck every round? Looking at the stack wouldn't help...

You shuffle the event deck each winter and when new event cards are added. During the year, however, event cards are dismissed (placed on the bottom of the deck) at the end of each turn.

But during turns 1-5 of each year, you'd be able to see the following turn's event before taking your actions this turn. So, for example, if you knew that (trivial prologue event deck spoiler)
Spoiler (click to reveal)
goods would sell for more next turn, you might opt to wait a turn before selling goods.


How valuable that ability is will be situational, but that is true for most buildings. The Marketplace is nice, but how many times during a game will you make use of it? Certainly not every turn...
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J Kaemmer
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Ah, that's my bad. I thought it was shuffle after every draw. This makes way more sense.

I honestly thought that seemed dumb, we practically got nothing but the buy/sell events for Game 1, we still haven't gotten either of the sail ones. So I was right that it was dumb, but that's because we were playing that wrong.
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David desJardins
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As you know, the event deck gets bigger over time, so once there are many more than 6 cards in it you aren't going to have cards repeating very often either way. When the deck is small then drawing from the whole deck every time would make more of a difference.
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Thomas Robb
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I am happy to see that as the game goes on there are more and more interesting options!

Cool

cool
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JR Honeycutt
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I think it's very powerful to know what event is coming up the next round.
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Frank Pelkofer
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Knowing what damage you're going to take also seems good. It makes it a lot easier to decide if the fortune token is worth it or not.
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jesse largent
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posting my experience with the observatory in game one.

I built it pretty early on in the first game and found it helped me win the first game.

I found it helpful to know what event would happen next as it would help me set myself up for trading or exploring or raiding the next round. This actually helped me achieve the one of the milestone because i knew to wait for next round to try it.

additionally, I found it helpful to know what damage I might receive. I made the choose to actually have one of my upgrades flipped instead of taking the damage card.

With the help of the observatory, my timing in completing milestones through forward planning enabled me to end the game with a large margin of glory over the other players. I reached the cap and next closest player was 6 glory behind me.
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Jason Pisani
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Did I miss the answer? Is there any limitations to looking at the top card of the decks. I think it should be only on that player's turn.
 
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Becq Starforged
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iamthepisani wrote:
Did I miss the answer? Is there any limitations to looking at the top card of the decks. I think it should be only on that player's turn.

While an official answer would be great, I'll give you my unofficial one for now. To my understanding, there are no limitations. The card text could easily say "... in any one deck" or "Once per turn, you may ...", but doesn't. That makes it feel deliberate to me. So my assumption is that so long as you own the observatory (and it's not exhausted, for whatever reason), you may look at the top facedown card of any decks you wish. Basically, "you can see what's coming". And by the way, if the owner of the observatory accepts a reputation from someone in order to use their facilities, that would include the observatory (until the end of their turn, as normal).
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Ian Liddle
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I'd forgotten about the Event deck! That definitely makes it more attractive.

Hmmm... Does the Observatory also allow you to (Rule 12 Spoiler)
Spoiler (click to reveal)
look at the "deck" of undiscovered islands, prior to discovering it? The rule on says "Take a random island card from the storage chest," so we've been fanning and picking from them blind, but shuffling and drawing is random also, but perhaps more interesting with the Observatory
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David desJardins
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Spoiler (click to reveal)
Clearly the undiscovered islands in the box don't form a "deck", nor do they have a "top".
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Benj Davis
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Clearly the undiscovered islands in the box don't form a "deck", nor do they have a "top".


Huh. I guess you're right.
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Nathanaël Dufour
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jayahre wrote:
I think it's very powerful to know what event is coming up the next round.


Could you confrim you can use it as much and as ofen as you like ? Do I really get to know ALL OF :
the next damage
the next research card
the next event
the next Advisor
minor spoiler for box 2/3
Spoiler (click to reveal)
the next Uncharted water card

AT ALL TIMES ?

We always played you can only use it once per turn and on your turn.
 
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Frank Pelkofer
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Osuniev wrote:
jayahre wrote:
I think it's very powerful to know what event is coming up the next round.


Could you confrim you can use it as much and as ofen as you like ? Do I really get to know ALL OF :
the next damage
the next research card
the next event
the next Advisor
minor spoiler for box 2/3
Spoiler (click to reveal)
the next Uncharted water card

AT ALL TIMES ?

We always played you can only use it once per turn and on your turn.


The rules don't say anything about once per round or on your turn. I'm not sure why you'd interpret it that way.
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Jason Pisani
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No reason it would only be once per turn. I'm thinking you mean only one deck. You can look at all the decks. Seems to me that it is at all times, too. If your group rules that it's just your turn I'd understand it. Someone reaching across the table at all times to see cards is pretty annoying, but it is within the rules.
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Nathanaël Dufour
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I agree the rules as written support taft interpretation. It seems very powerful, that's all. guess we underestimated the usefulness of an observatory !
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Jason Pisani
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You get a lot of information, but I don't think it is that powerful. One guy in our game uses it A LOT! But it rarely affects his decisions.
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Gerald Butler
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I agree with everyone that the text itself doesn't specify any limitations as to when it can be done, and for the first few games that's how my group treated it. But then we thought about a couple of things that changed our minds:

1. The building's ability can be viewed as analogous to an advisor's special ability, which can only be activated on the player's turn. The other buildings that have some kind of permanent or "other time" activation, all specify when they can be used or when their effects take place. If you take a strict "everything is disallowed unless there is some clear indication that it is allowed", then the fact that it doesn't say you CAN use it outside your turn means that you can't because what else in the game works like that?
2. [spoiler for I think box 3?]
Spoiler (click to reveal)
There are certain relics or tablets that have wording that's unclear about when they should be used as well. For example, IIRC, there's one that lets you take a ship back to your harbor. Should that be something you can do at any point, or is that meant to be a power that that ship can use when the player is taking actions on their turn?


We decided for consistency's sake that we'd not allow it outside of a player's turn due to various other analogous-seeming things not being allowed despite also not being specific about when they can be used.

Having said that, viewing it not on your own turn is kind of pointless in practice, because there are very few situations where you'll have an ability to make decisions outside your turn anyway. The biggest benefit to me is just giving me more time to consider my options while waiting for others to finish their turns.
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