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Subject: Better without milestone's? rss

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Rupert Defossez
Belgium
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Is a game of FCM better with or without milestones?

After a few plays with milestones, my gaming group came to a conclusion, that the milestones turn the game into a race game to get the most ( importent ) ones. Some of them create runaway leaders at certain points , they speed up the game at certain points, sometimes so fast that it becomes hard to catch up. people can be left out, have to change strategie but there is no time, a few turns later you are running behind ... and by the time you find a spot to hurt the runneway leaders the gap is so big , you can't close it anymore. we come to the conclusion that without the milestones, the game lasts a little bit longer. it gives you more time to train and plan a good worker pyramid. the game becomes smoother , more realistic, it gives you more time to adept your strategy. the scores at the end are much closer. Everybody has a chance.
The game itself keeps it beauty, its still tough, but not punishing as it is with the milestones

are there people feeling the same?
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Brad Keusch
United States
Ann Arbor
MI
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I fail to see how it would be much of a game without the milestones.
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Rupert Defossez
Belgium
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have you played without?
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Jean-Michel Petit
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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If your feeling is that the game is funnier without the milestones, who are we to question that?

The goal is to have fun with your friends.

With that said, I think if the milestones are played correctly, they shouldn't impact your game that much. Evidently, if nobody's paying attention to what the others are doing while playing, milestones are harsh as hell.

Anyhow, I think that in general, milestones are only accelerating the game, a game that is, most of the time, concluded well before the "real" end.

With my friends, we agreed that once the clear winner is going to wipe us all, it's time to end the game if there is a consensus. That way, we can play another game. That's a win-win situation.

So, I digress...back to the original question : playing without the milestones? Not in my group.
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There are no milestones which cannot be countered.

First to Hire 3 and First to train have equal power.

If you don't have First to throw away, pick up the Chefs.

First waitress counters missing First to train.

First to have $20 is just a small amount of information and doesn't need a counter.

First to have $100 is countered by having the CFO.

First to lower prices is situational, to be used when your restaurants are close, and is countered by the Discount Manager

First to train can be countered by picking up First to Hire 3 and First to Throw Away

First burger produced and First pizza produced are situational, but good for when you want Chefs and only have Trainers to train up to them. They are countered by some combination of grey employees that gets you Chefs or lots of Cooks.

First errand boy is invaluable when a limited supply of drink is on the table, but only somewhat valuable otherwise. Mostly it leads into First to throw away usually.

First cart operator is, again, situational. Countered by Zepplin Pilot and First errand boy.

First to pay $20 in salaries is generally a midgame threat countered by Coach and Guru.

First billboard is my least favorite milestone and is countered by good supply, low prices, and by snagging the First airplane/First radio. (Both in a two-player game, the latter in a multi-player game.)

First burger marketed, First pizza marketed, First drink marketed are all useful, countered by low prices and especially alternate marketing campaigns.

First airplane is countered by the 10x Executive Vice President.

First radio is countered by having a ton of food and drink in production or supply.
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Eric Glimme
United States
California
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The milestones are where almost all the game is for me. They provide most of the strategy and cutthroat tactics. I have played the intro game that doesn't use milestones, but it just didn't feel like a complete game.
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Rupert Defossez
Belgium
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THX for all the reactions:
just one more thing, for us with the milestones the opening moves are more restricted limited, like in a game of chess. you do that , i do that , so you do that because he will get this, and so on...
For us after a couple of games with the milestones, and learning how to play the game , without the milestones it felt like a relief to be free in the beginning , ...
anyway , thx for the reactions,

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O.Shane Balloun
United States
Bellingham
Washington
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TheUbiquitous wrote:
First to have $20 is just a small amount of information and doesn't need a counter.


Grasshopper, you are mistaken.
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To be fair, I have mostly played two-player and basically always choose $300 ...
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Max G
South Africa
Cape Town
Western Cape, South Africa
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I have not played without milestones but I am curious about other peoples experiences?

I do feel it could open the game up a bit and create a more measured dynamic game. It would definitely remove the need to go for Trainer or RG first turn which would be refreshing.
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Rupert Defossez
Belgium
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it goes much slower in the beginning , no one has the money for payday yet.
( the milestone "first to train someone" normally gives) so the Trainer is useless in the first turns waitresses and campaign becomes more important.
everybody has more choices,it feels more natural like starting a real bussiness.

first to "receive 100" milestone race is gone! you want CFO you have to train one.

for us is much more fun, endscores are much closer , everybody starts the same ,
the game after a few rounds get more tense , no one has refrigerator , the numbers on the campaigns and houses become much more important, ...

I think people who know the game really should try leave the milestones out again and give it a go. you will feel free, equal, but still mean CEO,
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John Rogers
United States
Yakima
WA
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So my best gaming partner feels almost exactly as the OP. In fact, he feels so strongly about the milestones that he said he would refuse to play the game further with them. He is an engine-builder first and foremost and while he has not said so, I believe he feels, whether he realizes it or not, that the milestones undermine his engine.

However, has anyone further explored FCM w/o the milestones? What affects have you seen? Does it fundamentally change the game? If so, in what ways.

Thanks.
 
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Alex P
France
La Plaine St-Denis
Ile-de-France
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It necessarily changes the nature of the game. First off, without the "First to place a billboard" milestone: the game can come to a long pause, midway through the game. Without the "First to train" milestone, you need to make some money with Waitresses before you train anyone unless you're sure you can risk advertising and making the cash the following turn with a Kitchen Trainee.

It would force everyone down 2 or 3 different paths, IMO.

But I'd love to hear from others who've continued playing like this. Is everyone just getting a Hiring Girl and then hiring a bunch of Management Trainees and loading up on single-resource food/drink producers?
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Capn Crunch
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I agree that the game is more "even" and fun for a group of players without Milestones. There's opportunity for all players to come back from behind as well as heavily impacting any one player from running away with it because they were clever enough to get the best Milestones.

I also thought it was very interesting and relevant that the pro-Milestone commenter on this thread "The Ubiquitous" plays mostly 2-player games as opposed to 4 or 5 player games. I have neer played 2p FCM, but I would think in a 2 player game the Milestones might be a lot more relevant and useful.

Bottom line: it seems that on a 4 & 5 player game Milestones are bad: Milestones will lead to unfair advantages and the high likelihood that one player will run away with the game and impossible to catch up. However, on a 2 or 3 player game using Milestones might help speed the game up - as long as everyone is familiar with details & repercussions of each Milestone.

For my part, I am in favor of leaving Milestones completely out of the game in most cases.
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J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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gzigg wrote:
...because they were clever enough to get the best Milestones.


Surely being clever and better understanding the game and using that understanding is the point of a game in the first place.

Quote:
Bottom line: it seems that on a 4 & 5 player game Milestones are bad: Milestones will lead to unfair advantages...


How are the advantages unfair? Did they not earn them?
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Capn Crunch
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JC: I dont disagree with you but i think the point is about making it a more fair game for experienced and new players alike (in the same game). Over and over literature and forums about FCM reinforce the idea that to have a competitive game all the players need to be at about the same experience level - so newbies or folks that do not play often will always have a disadvantage. I dont know about your part of the world, but finding 5 people whose schedule lines up to play on a Friday night that have the same experience in something so esoteric as board games of this level of strategic complexity is really really tough - virtually impossible. For groups such as these, you'll typically have 2-3 players that are experienced, 1 player that played one time, and a complete n00b - or some iteration of that mix. Removing Milestones in a game of 4/5 players that may not all be at the same level just gives everyone a similar advantage and better odds that a more experienced player will not run away with it.

That's the point here, it's about having fun and not a "beat down session" with less experienced players, otherwise if all players are at the same level then Milestones might make more sense in a 4-5 player game, I get it no argument there.
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John Rogers
United States
Yakima
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clearclaw wrote:
gzigg wrote:
Bottom line: it seems that on a 4 & 5 player game Milestones are bad: Milestones will lead to unfair advantages...


How are the advantages unfair? Did they not earn them?


For me the milestones facilitate competitive advantages, making sessions harder to get a firm grip on. I like that.

Now my primary gaming buddy loves more stability in his longterm strategy so the more monkey wrenches available for throwing the less he is likely to enjoy it.
 
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J C Lawrence
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Campbell
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gzigg wrote:
That's the point here, it's about having fun and not a "beat down session" with less experienced players, otherwise if all players are at the same level then Milestones might make more sense in a 4-5 player game, I get it no argument there.


Or rephrasing, you are selecting for games which don't reward skill (as strongly). Which is fine, but be aware that's what you're doing.
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Joris Wiersinga
Netherlands
Leiden
Unspecified
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If you want to play: without milestones; with salaries; and with a lot of freedom, I'd advise giving all players some starting capital (maybe $25?) so as to not limit initial options too much and allow for some differentiation between players.

Joris
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John Rogers
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Yakima
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joriswiersinga wrote:
If you want to play: without milestones; with salaries; and with a lot of freedom, I'd advise giving all players some starting capital (maybe $25?) so as to not limit initial options too much and allow for some differentiation between players.Joris


Thanks for the advice Joris.

I have sent your comments to my group. I would love to hear your thoughts regarding the overall design of FCM and the reason behind the milestones, which again I enjoy.

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Max G
South Africa
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Thanks as well Joris.

We trying the game without milestones this Thursday , 4 players and starting $25 each. Curious to see how it goes.
 
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Aljon Vizewsky
Slovenia
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John Rogers wrote:
the reason behind the milestones



I think that the designers said in one of their interviews that the purpose of milestones is diversification, so that all players don't use the same strategy.
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John Rogers
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Yakima
WA
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skywide wrote:
John Rogers wrote:
the reason behind the milestones



I think that the designers said in one of their interviews that the purpose of milestones is diversification, so that all players don't use the same strategy.


Thanks!
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