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Subject: Our games are ending too quickly rss

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JB
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Hi all,

I recently picked up ED and am loving it, however our games, especially 4-player games finish very quickly, the last one in about 30 minutes.
I tried the research strategy however the game finished before I was able to use any of my strategy cards.
I was also gonna try thinning my deck but didn't have time for that either.
The way it's ending for us is running out of 2 piles from the middle.
Are we doing something wrong ?
 
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Lee Benson
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I doubt that you're doing anything wrong. EmDo is one of those games where it feels like it ends just when you're really starting to get things going. I'm pretty sure this is on purpose, otherwise certain strategies would likely be overly dominant.

With four players, it can end pretty quickly because there's so many people taking cards from the center. The 3-player game tends to be just the right length/number of turns.
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Seth Brown
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Nothing wrong; 4 player games give you fewer turns than 2p games, and it will be rare that someone gets up to the top tier of research. A big reason 4p games end so fast is that people tend to want to draft off of the actions of others, so you'll follow my Colonize to put some on your planet and then be incented to Colonize as your own role to flip it, which in turn will let someone else follow to drop colonies and they'll want to pick it as a role... likewise if everyone's calling research, it's hard not to want to fill your hand with lightbulbs for the free follow actions. But you can lengthen the game slightly by going against the grain; if everyone is colonizing and researching, you can try to trash your colonies and stack warfare and trade, which will run piles out slower.

Still, there's plenty of time to hit the second research tier if you prioritize -- grab a matching planet to your starter with a survey, and then once you have both planets active, use research as an action to trash non-research cards and as a role to grab more research. Especially if you defect on all other player's turns, you'd have an 8-card hand by the time your turn comes around, and if half of those are research (or you can survey-action into a 4th lightbulb), you can grab research as a role and pick a 5-bulb tech.
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JB
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I have a feeling we are playing research cards wrong - we don't have tiers of research, all the research cards are shuffled so you can get any level of research card come up on top.
No ?
 
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Seth Jaffee
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JBTheChamp wrote:
I have a feeling we are playing research cards wrong - we don't have tiers of research, all the research cards are shuffled so you can get any level of research card come up on top.
No ?

You're not supposed to shuffle the Tech cards... there are 3 stacks, one for each planet type. You're allowed to take any tech that you qualify for (with planet pre-requisites) and can afford (with Research icons).

Another common mistake people make is that they put newly bought tech cards into their discard pile. They go into your hand, and you can keep them or discard them at the end of your turn as normal.

One other common mistake new players have made is that they think they're playing Dominion, and they discard their entire hand at the end of each turn. This makes it harder to build up to a big turn... which is why you're allowed to keep /discard as many cards as you choose at the end of your turn, then reconcile your hand to your current hand size (5, unless you have planets which increase it).

As for games ending too quickly, I have noticed that, especially with new (inexperienced) players, people have a tendency to over-call roles like Colonize. If you stick with the game, you'll probably find that you can perform better by switching to Research or Produce/Trade quickly, and keeping a minimal number of Colonize cards in your deck.

I hesitate to say that this inexperienced dynamic is "playing wrong", because you can play however you want, but I CAN tell you that you can get better results if you get out of the early game as quickly as possible.

Eminent Domain is highly susceptible to groupthink. Often times you can win by shaking things up and doing what other players aren't doing... especially if you can leech off of their roles while choosing roles that don't benefit your opponents as much.
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JB
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OK thanks, we are doing things wrong.
We are dividing the research cards into the 3 piles of different planet types, however only the top card of each pile is available to buy.
Can we only take the top card or any tech card in the stack ?
And yes, we were putting the research card in the discard pile !
Thanks.
 
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Rob Robinson
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JBTheChamp wrote:
Can we only take the top card or any tech card in the stack ?


You can sift through a stack and take whatever card you can afford.
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Chris Berger
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JBTheChamp wrote:
OK thanks, we are doing things wrong.
We are dividing the research cards into the 3 piles of different planet types, however only the top card of each pile is available to buy.
Can we only take the top card or any tech card in the stack ?
And yes, we were putting the research card in the discard pile !
Thanks.


Oh yeah, those are big ones. I'm on record as saying that I think the game really does end too quickly and am in favor of playing the 3p extended game (and even then sometimes feel like it's too quick). But those two handicaps on research will make the game feel even shorter, as the game will end before you can use more than a couple of researched cards.
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JB
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thanks all, you've all found some big errors we are making, which will help indeed.
Any opinions on expansions ?
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ɹɹǝʞ uɐɥʇɐu
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JBTheChamp wrote:

Any opinions on expansions ?


Play the base game a bunch before you worry about it.

We played it around 50 times before the expansion came out.

Now that we have the experience of the base game, the expansion just adds more awesome.

If you were to get it too early, you'd be overwhelmed with the number of different things you could do.
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Seth Jaffee
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TheBosZ wrote:
JBTheChamp wrote:

Any opinions on expansions ?


Play the base game a bunch before you worry about it.

We played it around 50 times before the expansion came out.

Now that we have the experience of the base game, the expansion just adds more awesome.

If you were to get it too early, you'd be overwhelmed with the number of different things you could do.

This is my advice exactly.

I've played probably 400+ games of Eminent Domain with just the base game, and I still enjoy it.

The expansions do add something to the game, but they're best if you are very familiar with the base game.

Also, I recommend playing with each expansion by itself quite a bit before trying to throw everything in together.
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JB
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OK good, happy not to buy expansions.
 
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Seth Jaffee
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JBTheChamp wrote:
OK good, happy not to buy expansions.

Hopefully you'll enjoy the base game enough that after a few months you'll start to want an expansion

I'm finalizing a third expansion now, which adds a Politics role.
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JB
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Excellent !
Our group were hoping for an expansion that allows us to blow up each others planets
 
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Seth Jaffee
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JBTheChamp wrote:
Excellent !
Our group were hoping for an expansion that allows us to blow up each others planets

There is a (limited) amount of that in Escalation... a couple of techs that allow you to go after each other's planets or tech cards.
 
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Christopher Grace
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JBTheChamp wrote:
Excellent !
Our group were hoping for an expansion that allows us to blow up each others planets


I don't know who this "Seth" character thinks he is .. IF that really IS his name (or why he hates money for that matter), but I consider "Escalation" to be mandatory. The base game is great, but the starting points introduced in Escalation add so much flavor and take it over the top. Buy it right now.
 
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Seth Jaffee
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krztoff wrote:
JBTheChamp wrote:
Excellent !
Our group were hoping for an expansion that allows us to blow up each others planets


I don't know who this "Seth" character thinks he is .. IF that really IS his name (or why he hates money for that matter), but I consider "Escalation" to be mandatory. The base game is great, but the starting points introduced in Escalation add so much flavor and take it over the top. Buy it right now.


I know a lot of players like the Scenarios...

Eminent Domain: Microcosm comes with 5 Scenarios that work with the base game only9 they don't require any expansions)... and I believe some of the Scenarios from Escalation also can be used without the rest of that expansion.

So even if you want to use Scenarios, I still recommend becoming very familiar with the base game before adding in all the tech from Escalation.
 
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George Louie
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JBTheChamp wrote:
Hi all,
I recently picked up ED and am loving it, however our games, especially 4-player games finish very quickly, the last one in about 30 minutes.
I tried the research strategy however the game finished before I was able to use any of my strategy cards.
I was also gonna try thinning my deck but didn't have time for that either.
The way it's ending for us is running out of 2 piles from the middle.
Are we doing something wrong ?


We experienced the same thing playing with 4 last night..it seemed like it would be impossible to ever get to the higher priced research technology cards..

sedjtroll wrote:
You're not supposed to shuffle the Tech cards... there are 3 stacks, one for each planet type. You're allowed to take any tech that you qualify for (with planet pre-requisites) and can afford (with Research icons).

Another common mistake people make is that they put newly bought tech cards into their discard pile. They go into your hand, and you can keep them or discard them at the end of your turn as normal.

This is the way we played it too.. We stacked the cars so the more "expensive" ones were lower in the deck too. My thought is that then the only reason why there are 3 stacks is for expediency in sifting through them quicker. Correct?

sedjtroll wrote:

As for games ending too quickly, I have noticed that, especially with new (inexperienced) players, people have a tendency to over-call roles like Colonize. If you stick with the game, you'll probably find that you can perform better by switching to Research or Produce/Trade quickly, and keeping a minimal number of Colonize cards in your deck.

I hesitate to say that this inexperienced dynamic is "playing wrong", because you can play however you want, but I CAN tell you that you can get better results if you get out of the early game as quickly as possible.


I get that its possible for a group as a whole to play a game with a sub-optimal strategy and cause the game to end too quickly. But I'm curious as to whether if 3 of the 4 players were taking all the colonize and warfare cards, and the other one was playing it "correctly", whether the game would still end too soon for the "correct" strategy to work.
 
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Seth Jaffee
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glouie wrote:
sedjtroll wrote:
You're not supposed to shuffle the Tech cards... there are 3 stacks, one for each planet type. You're allowed to take any tech that you qualify for (with planet pre-requisites) and can afford (with Research icons).

Another common mistake people make is that they put newly bought tech cards into their discard pile. They go into your hand, and you can keep them or discard them at the end of your turn as normal.

This is the way we played it too.. We stacked the cars so the more "expensive" ones were lower in the deck too. My thought is that then the only reason why there are 3 stacks is for expediency in sifting through them quicker. Correct?

Correct.

Quote:
sedjtroll wrote:

As for games ending too quickly, I have noticed that, especially with new (inexperienced) players, people have a tendency to over-call roles like Colonize. If you stick with the game, you'll probably find that you can perform better by switching to Research or Produce/Trade quickly, and keeping a minimal number of Colonize cards in your deck.

I hesitate to say that this inexperienced dynamic is "playing wrong", because you can play however you want, but I CAN tell you that you can get better results if you get out of the early game as quickly as possible.


I get that its possible for a group as a whole to play a game with a sub-optimal strategy and cause the game to end too quickly. But I'm curious as to whether if 3 of the 4 players were taking all the colonize and warfare cards, and the other one was playing it "correctly", whether the game would still end too soon for the "correct" strategy to work.

Why not give it a shot and find out? I think you'll find that you'll win a lot if you're the only player getting out of the early game and into the mid-late game.

Again, it's not that my suggested play style is "correct" -- it just leads to better results. Players can play however they want, but some plays are more optimal than others...
 
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Christopher Grace
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Although ED is one of my favorite games, the card stack depletion end game mechanic is absolutely my #1 gripe. Is just not satisfying when it happens and often occurs before anyone can get their engine churning.
 
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sedjtroll wrote:

Quote:

I get that its possible for a group as a whole to play a game with a sub-optimal strategy and cause the game to end too quickly. But I'm curious as to whether if 3 of the 4 players were taking all the colonize and warfare cards, and the other one was playing it "correctly", whether the game would still end too soon for the "correct" strategy to work.

Why not give it a shot and find out? I think you'll find that you'll win a lot if you're the only player getting out of the early game and into the mid-late game.

Again, it's not that my suggested play style is "correct" -- it just leads to better results. Players can play however they want, but some plays are more optimal than others...


I'll try it the next time we play.. I just have a feeling that 1 person playing a long game strategy, while the other 3 are playing a short game strategy isn't going to work too well. If I'm right, then there's a problem with game design or at the very least the rule on the endgame condition. IMO, they have to modify the game rules to end the game with 3 pile depletions or perhaps limit the ability to deplete the Colonization cards. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy the game and want to play it more, just found it odd that the game ended so quickly..

Re: suggested "correct" play style, I totally get what you're saying.
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glouie wrote:
sedjtroll wrote:

Quote:

I get that its possible for a group as a whole to play a game with a sub-optimal strategy and cause the game to end too quickly. But I'm curious as to whether if 3 of the 4 players were taking all the colonize and warfare cards, and the other one was playing it "correctly", whether the game would still end too soon for the "correct" strategy to work.

Why not give it a shot and find out? I think you'll find that you'll win a lot if you're the only player getting out of the early game and into the mid-late game.

Again, it's not that my suggested play style is "correct" -- it just leads to better results. Players can play however they want, but some plays are more optimal than others...


I'll try it the next time we play.. I just have a feeling that 1 person playing a long game strategy, while the other 3 are playing a short game strategy isn't going to work too well. If I'm right, then there's a problem with game design or at the very least the rule on the endgame condition. IMO, they have to modify the game rules to end the game with 3 pile depletions or perhaps limit the ability to deplete the Colonization cards. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy the game and want to play it more, just found it odd that the game ended so quickly..

Re: suggested "correct" play style, I totally get what you're saying.


I almost wish there were a mechanic whereby you could add cards back to a stack, or maybe restrict the ability to take the same role turn-after-turn.
 
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glouie wrote:
sedjtroll wrote:

Quote:

I get that its possible for a group as a whole to play a game with a sub-optimal strategy and cause the game to end too quickly. But I'm curious as to whether if 3 of the 4 players were taking all the colonize and warfare cards, and the other one was playing it "correctly", whether the game would still end too soon for the "correct" strategy to work.

Why not give it a shot and find out? I think you'll find that you'll win a lot if you're the only player getting out of the early game and into the mid-late game.

Again, it's not that my suggested play style is "correct" -- it just leads to better results. Players can play however they want, but some plays are more optimal than others...


I'll try it the next time we play.. I just have a feeling that 1 person playing a long game strategy, while the other 3 are playing a short game strategy isn't going to work too well. If I'm right, then there's a problem with game design or at the very least the rule on the endgame condition. IMO, they have to modify the game rules to end the game with 3 pile depletions or perhaps limit the ability to deplete the Colonization cards. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy the game and want to play it more, just found it odd that the game ended so quickly..

Re: suggested "correct" play style, I totally get what you're saying.

Maybe this will help...

I don't think what I'm suggesting is a "long game strategy" vs a "short game strategy". Eminent Domain is about quickly and efficiently ramping up to doing bigger and better stuff.

If you transition to the late game and ramp up inefficiently or too slowly, then you probably WON'T win vs the people who just keep calling Colonize. But it's very possible to ramp up quickly, and the fun part is figuring out how

Good luck!
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