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Paul Nomikos
Canada
Kingston
Ontario
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It seems that if the first player gets a decent money production at the start of the game and then locks almost every time the First player spot, it is rather difficult to lose (significant advantage in certain areas, especially the Covert Missions).

This variant is a simple adjustment that works well (meaning the game get more interesting and competitive; and does not require a lot of cooperation of the other players to contain this advantage which is difficult to happen in this rather competitive game).

Paul


No, I have not "tested" this proposed variant. I have played it only once and it did not have the problem that happened in the regular game. But, I don't think I will play the game again without it.
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Matt Smith
United States
Orion
Michigan
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I'll have to keep an eye on this to see if it's a problem. That being said, I wouldn't expect the first player to always place his first guy in the Initiative box, because he'll has more important things to do with his first placement.

Usually a player wants to be first to:
1. Get a certain Tech tile
2. Execute a Covert Mission
3. Get a certain specialist

1. Money is pretty tight early in this game, so it's unlikely a player who purchases a Tech tile one turn will have enough cash to purchase another one the following turn. And since he placed his first guy in Research Technology, any other player can grab Initiative with his first placement.

2. Similarly, if the first player executes a Covert Mission, he'll likely not have enough guys left in the box to do a Covert Mission again the following turn. Unless he's just trying to spam the Covert Mission box and ignoring the rest of the game, he'll not need to be first every turn.

3. If he places his first guy on the Specialists track, anyone else can grab Initiative.

Just my thoughts, but I'll be curious to see if the Initiative box gets hogged by one player. I expect to get the game to the table tomorrow, so I'll report back on my experience.
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Paul Nomikos
Canada
Kingston
Ontario
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Just to clarify. In our game the first player many times (maybe 5-6 times or so) he went first player in our game. And never with his first worker. The first worker from every player will go to the "juicy" places. But the second worker of the first player will go always in the first player initiative box if available. No player wanted to sacrifice his first worker in the initiative box (it can happen that the Covert operation box is lucrative for someone, so he may commit his first worker there, but typically this may not be the case).

It maybe just a picky observation from one game. But the alternative "eliminated" this strategy from the second game. I need to play it more but I am afraid I will not without this rule ... it is a long game so it is not easy to sacrifice a lot of time in something that already in my mind I don't like.

I just wanted to post it here in case others come across this kind of strategy/situation.
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Matt Smith
United States
Orion
Michigan
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What you experienced may be a "group think" thing. If doing a Covert Mission or grabbing a certain Tech on the next turn is critical to my strategy, then the first Initiative spot is likely the "juiciest" spot on the board for me. In that situation I would absolutely place my first worker there.

Initiative is more important in this game than in Empires: Age of Discovery, so players need to assign a higher relative value to that action box.

But you can certainly house rule the game however works best for your group. The point after all, is to have fun with the game.
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Chris Berger
United States
Round Lake
Illinois
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Thrylos wrote:
(it can happen that the Covert operation box is lucrative for someone, so he may commit his first worker there, but typically this may not be the case).


Can someone explain this to me? I feel like this isn't the only place I've seen someone mention going to the Covert Mission spot early in the turn, but I can't see a reason why you would ever do that. Since it's resolved in turn order, if there's a mission to a planet with 0 or 1 Sentinel, the first player can always grab it by placing his last guy in the Covert Mission box... The only reason I can see for going early is if you really want to do a mission that is heavily guarded and need to put a lot of guys there (but still, the last possible moment when you have enough workers left is when you would start placing there).

I think I like the designer's variant to just allow up to 3 missions per turn. Sure, you could theoretically run out, but it rarely seems worth it to do a mission that requires 4 or more points of workers, so there have to be times that it will be skipped...
 
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