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Mare Nostrum: Empires» Forums » General

Subject: POLL: All heroes/wonders open or 5? rss

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Thaddeus MacTaggart
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Hi all,

I was wondering how you prefer to play with the heroes/wonders: all open - or just 5 and reveal an additional one after one is "built"?

Poll
5 wonders or all open?
Just 5
All
No preference
      76 answers
Poll created by Teowulff
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Steven Townshend
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Re: All heroes/wonders open or 5?
Just 5, but we don't reveal new ones until the Build Phase ends (English rules p. 2 diagram).

This gives more power to the Culture Leader and keeps the game moving by restricting choice to what's available at the beginning of the round rather than introducing new options to tempt analysis paralysis.
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Eric Guttag
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Re: All heroes/wonders open or 5?
Just 5 so that players are forced to consider alternate paths for Hero/Wonder development. If all are available, you'll tend to have fixed paths chosen for Hero/Wonder development.
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Thaddeus MacTaggart
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Re: All heroes/wonders open or 5?
Drammattex wrote:
Just 5, but we don't reveal new ones until the Build Phase ends (English rules p. 2 diagram).

This gives more power to the Culture Leader and keeps the game moving by restricting choice to what's available at the beginning of the round rather than introducing new options to tempt analysis paralysis.

I can see that's a useful house ruling!

We also play with 5 revealed. It's much more friendly towards new and casual players so they don't have to look them all up and compare.
Next to that it prevents people from making strategies beforehand and it keeps the games different every time.

Furthermore, we made a pre-selection from all core game and Atlas heroes (taking out the underwhelming and semi-overpowered ones) and made a pool of about 25 heroes out of which we randomly select 17 for each game. It makes the game a bit more tactical en less strategic.
 
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Nicholas
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Re: All heroes/wonders open or 5?
Teowulff wrote:
[q="Drammattex"]
We also play with 5 revealed. It's much more friendly towards new and casual players so they don't have to look them all up and compare.


This is very true! 17 (or 22 if playing with six) new heroes and options at the start of the game can be/is overwhelming.


Eric G wrote:
Just 5 so that players are forced to consider alternate paths for Hero/Wonder development. If all are available, you'll tend to have fixed paths chosen for Hero/Wonder development.


Out of curiosity - how often did you play MN, so that you assume that people already know "the perfect path" to victory?
 
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Steven Townshend
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Re: All heroes/wonders open or 5?
Teowulff wrote:
Drammattex wrote:
Just 5, but we don't reveal new ones until the Build Phase ends (English rules p. 2 diagram).

This gives more power to the Culture Leader and keeps the game moving by restricting choice to what's available at the beginning of the round rather than introducing new options to tempt analysis paralysis.

I can see that's a useful house ruling!


It's not a house ruling according to page 2 of the English rules v54:

"At the end of each Build Phase,
turn over new Hero/Wonder tiles
until there are again 5 tiles face up."

The rule may vary in your language--check page 2.

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Thaddeus MacTaggart
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Re: All heroes/wonders open or 5?
Drammattex wrote:
It's not a house ruling according to page 2 of the English rules v54:

"At the end of each Build Phase,
turn over new Hero/Wonder tiles
until there are again 5 tiles face up."

You're right again .. and I thought I knew the rules !
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Nico
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Re: All heroes/wonders open or 5?
Teowulff wrote:
Drammattex wrote:
It's not a house ruling according to page 2 of the English rules v54:

"At the end of each Build Phase,
turn over new Hero/Wonder tiles
until there are again 5 tiles face up."

You're right again .. and I thought I knew the rules !


Nobody knows the real rules (maybe a mix of the english, frensh and german rules?).
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Steven Townshend
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Re: All heroes/wonders open or 5?
Teowulff wrote:
You're right again .. and I thought I knew the rules ! :p


Full disclosure: I missed it too and played that way the first few games.

Also, I notice that Uwe himself recently remarked in the FAQ thread (p 11) that they've begun to lean toward flipping tiles so there are always 5 revealed: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1590260/mare-nostrum-empire...

So I think it really depends on what kind of experience you want to have. If you have people who are really familiar with the game and want to build power combos, then 17 revealed is the way to go. I personally don't care for it because it doesn't suit the needs of the wide array of people to whom I introduce this game... but to each his or her own.

I can see a benefit to revealing heroes and wonders as soon as one is taken as well, but I don't like the way it takes away from the Culture Leader's power. I've seen situations where the Culture Leader chooses a hero/wonder only to have a much better one pop up and be immediately bought by another player. This caused me to consider the balance of the Culture Leader's role in comparison with the Trade and Military Leader. It seems to me that the Culture Leader having total knowledge of the heroes/wonders available and then making the choice of who gets to build grants the Culture Leader a greater strategic edge, and no surprises.

But again, I think it really depends on how your group wants to play. A Mare Nostrum tournament (should one exist) should make clear what rule will be used, but for home play they all seem like valid options.
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Erik Stratton
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Re: All heroes/wonders open or 5?
I haven't played a game where someone at the table wasn't a newbie, so my opinion (only 5 - or 6 with Atlantis) is biased. But, that said, ANYTHING that prevents or mitigates AP is worthwhile in my book.
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Thaddeus MacTaggart
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Re: All heroes/wonders open or 5?
Drammattex wrote:
I can see a benefit to revealing heroes and wonders as soon as one is taken as well, but I don't like the way it takes away from the Culture Leader's power. I've seen situations where the Culture Leader chooses a hero/wonder only to have a much better one pop up and be immediately bought by another player.

This caused me to consider the balance of the Culture Leader's role in comparison with the Trade and Military Leader. It seems to me that the Culture Leader having total knowledge of the heroes/wonders available and then making the choice of who gets to build grants the Culture Leader a greater strategic edge, and no surprises.

If there’s no good reason not to, I will play by the official rules. After all, I’d think design choices are mostly made with balance in mind. Therefore I can see that renewing the hero/wonder options after the build phase would be best for the cultural leader.

Although I’d say that picking the build sequence is a far more important feature.
And that the trade leader is the one that could use a little more love.
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Eric Guttag
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Re: All heroes/wonders open or 5?
Besides revealing only 5 each turn, I think it's better not to turn up additional Hero/Wonder tiles until after each Build phase is over. As others have noted, that rightly gives the Cultural leader control over the selection of what may be increasingly scarce Hero/Wonder tiles.
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Raph Moimoi
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Re: All heroes/wonders open or 5?
ZdadrDeM wrote:
Teowulff wrote:
Drammattex wrote:
It's not a house ruling according to page 2 of the English rules v54:

"At the end of each Build Phase,
turn over new Hero/Wonder tiles
until there are again 5 tiles face up."

You're right again .. and I thought I knew the rules !


Nobody knows the real rules (maybe a mix of the english, frensh and german rules?).


The real rules are those from the designer, Serge Laget = play with all the tiles face up. The balance has been done with this in mind.
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Jon Snow
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Re: All heroes/wonders open or 5?
That is your real opinion--but as you can see, many disagree!
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Raph Moimoi
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Re: All heroes/wonders open or 5?
chas59 wrote:
That is you're real opinion--but as you can see, many disagree!


Maybe you should ask the designer... he and I were on the ProofHQ when proofreading the english rules, Uwe invented this variant and made it the base game without asking the designer. Serge told Uwe the game was intended to be played with all the tiles revealed. Uwe finished by switching the 5-tiles rule being a discovery mode instaed of being the base game after the deisgner told him this was not how he designed the game, that's all.

Everybody is free to play the game as he like, but the official rule is to play with all the tiles face up.
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Re: All heroes/wonders open or 5?
Pikaraph wrote:
Everybody is free to play the game as he like, but the official rule is to play with all the tiles face up.


Seriously: the English language rules are official for those of us that have them and prefer them. Publisher trumps designer.

Coming to the BGG forums and repeating that your language's version is "official" because the French designer prefers it is _trolling_.

Play the way you want, but stop inferring that others are playing "wrong" when following their own rules.
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Nicholas
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Re: All heroes/wonders open or 5?
You can play however you like, but of course you are playing wrong. The english rules clearly state you should play with hidden heroes for your "first few games".
It's an irony that you insist to follow a specific set of rules (in this case, the english ones) and then don't do it yourself.
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Thaddeus MacTaggart
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Re: All heroes/wonders open or 5?
Nicholas M wrote:
You can play however you like, but of course you are playing wrong. The english rules clearly state you should play with hidden heroes for your "first few games".

Yes so it depends on who are playing. The rules say you play with 17 revealed with experienced players. When do you start to be "experienced"? After 3 games? 20? When you know all the heroes by heart? But let's at least agree that with new (or casual) players it would be better not to reveal all 17 - as it would make the game a lot longer and give (even) more advantage to veteran players.

Another discussion (regardless official rules) is if you want to be the game more strategic, with everything open and no randomness (like chess), or more tactical, where you act and react to random things and have to improvise more.
Mare Nostrum is already a very open game - everything is transparent and the only randomness are the dice rolls, legendary commodities and the three leaders. I can imagine that the 1st 3 or so turns and heroes would be pre-determined if you play with open heroes and very experienced players, that you mathematically create a metagame. Like chess openings. And I'm not sure if I should want that in a game like this. After a few games I already see that there's "best 1st moves" in a lot of scenarios.
What that's concerned I find it surprising that the expansion has so much randomness with all the Bonus Card stuff. It's a bit too much, in my opinion. Almost like it was designed by a totally different team than the one that made the original game.

But "right" or "wrong", in the end it's up to the players to determine how they play the game and how they enjoy the game the most, even if that means adjusting the rules a bit. When I come to think about it, my player group does that a lot. Adjust game rules to what feels fairer, suits all players better, feels more balanced or would be more realistic.
For Mare Nostrum I can forsee that we may 1) give the trade leader an extra bonus and that we will 2) sort and mix the heroes (from the core game plus expansion - minus the scenario specific ones) so we have a pool of 25 that we randomly pick 17 from (with just 5 open, or 6 in a six player game) so we actually don't know which are in the game and which one's coming next. I think the game could use this kind of variety, especially if we get more experienced. Or else our games would become too much the same every time we play it.
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