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Universal Rule» Forums » General

Subject: I want you to lose rss

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Chip Beauvais
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Maynard
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I don’t want you to win when you play Universal Rule. Sorry if this comes as a shock to you, but I’m surprised you didn’t realize it earlier. For example, just look at the Pessimistic side of the Wim Star planet. It says, “you can’t win”. How much more clear could I be?

When designing most games, I usually bear in mind that at least one player at the table has never played before. This is not always true, but it’s often the case in my experience. Usually, one or more players have played before and are teaching the game to one or more new players. I’d like them all to have a decent chance of winning most games I design. But not Universal Rule. There are no training wheels here.

Statistically speaking, if I wanted you to win, I’d be disappointing 2-4 players in every game. Only one player will win, so it's better for me to focus on the other players. The ones who lose. What can I do to optimize their experience?

After almost every game of Universal Rule, all the players who didn’t win take turns showing how they could have won. One player will say, “if I just had one more turn, I would have produced enough credits to win”, and another says, “If I had explored two turns ago instead of upgrading, I would have won”. These are the stories I love to hear - the what-if scenarios that drive players back to the table.

Where are the 5-cost planets?

Even though I don’t want you to win, I also don’t want you to suffer. Let’s look at an example. Say you have only one planet (or no planets) in play. Then you’re limited to 5 credits. Suppose you have a planet that costs 5 credits that you’re waiting to play, and you’ve already accrued these five credits. What do you do during your opponent’s turns?

* You can’t colonize (because you can’t afford both the follow cost and the planet)
* You can’t explore (saving your credits)
* You can't upgrade (ditto)
* You can't participate in an attack (ditto)
* Producing doesn’t help you (as you’re at your credit limit).

In fact, even when you don’t follow, you don’t get your consolation credit, as you’re at your credit limit. Waiting for your turn with a 5-cost planet in your hand is no fun.

That’s why there are no planets that cost 5 in the game. I still don’t want you to win, but I do want you to enjoy the game.

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Travis Morton
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Iirc, you can play a planet as it's Upgraded side also. So each planet has 2 Colonize options.
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Chip Beauvais
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Maynard
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That's correct. If you can afford the more expensive side of a planet, you can play that side.
 
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