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Subject: A Cornucopia of Questions on Scions rss

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Aaron Yoder
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Is there any reason NOT to boost your Scions as far as they'll go during the last round?

On the chit it says >/= 7. Should we track (somehow) how much is on our Scion? Or do we just end up with 7 if we would normally exceed it?

If we don't track it, can an opponent pay 8 to get ahead of us, even if he would wind up in the "7" spot? Or is it that no matter how much you pay you'll wind up with 7 and the order in which you pass determines your placing?


The following two scenarios are assuming that there is no end-game penalty for ending with negative Revenues:

If the order is determined by the order you pass because the 7+ is the highest you can get, it seems like there is little reason to play the final round if you have at least 2 Revenue (5 "boosts" would put you at 7+, and leave your Revenues at -3). In other words, if you end Round 3 with at least 2 Revenue, your best move is to pass immediately, insuring you break the ties that inevitably will follow.

If you CAN track your Scion's wealth beyond 7+, then there's no reason to not sell the entirety of your Revenues on boosting. But this will always mean that the players' endgame Scion order will simply be whatever his Revenue was when he passed.


In either case (unless I'm mistaken), not allowing endgame "boosting" will eliminate both issues.

I really like this game, just hoping for some clarity on the endgame!
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Daniel Spaniel
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Boosting and passing first wouldn't ensure a win, regardless of previous prizes. People may undersell your enterprises or invest to usurp your industry or play conspiracy tiles to deplete the dice pool.
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Rich James
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U is for Unicron wrote:
People may undersell your enterprises or invest to usurp your industry or play conspiracy tiles to deplete the dice pool.

Other than potentially causing a revolution (depleting the dice pool), how does any of that impact the London Season? I don't think it does.
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Aaron Yoder
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I never stated it would insure a win.

It doesn't matter if you undersell my enterprises if I've already passed for the last time. Go for it! Doesn't affect my score in the least! I can't prevent you investing in your enterprises, so we could both go to max for the leader tiles and then we'd both be out 2 points. Conspiracy will become more expensive after I pass, too, so there's a bonus.

But all of that is only true if your scions are capped at 7, which is why I asked.
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Ricky Gray
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I pass early in the last round, and watch helplessly as other players use their turns to place more and more enterprises. After they jockey around for a while, someone causes a revolution and the game ends immediately. My 7 Scion matters nothing at that point. He gets no prize, and even if he did it doesn't count. As I look on helplessly the other players break supply chains and reduce my enterprise count. Those enterprises return to my holdings, of course, but I can't do anything about it since I already passed.

Can you tell I tried this? :-)

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Ricky Gray
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Quote:
It doesn't matter if you undersell my enterprises if I've already passed for the last time. Go for it! Doesn't affect my score in the least!


Sure it does. If the door is open to continue investing and placing after you've passed, I keep investing and placing—then I shake up the place and cause a revolution and win with a superior number of enterprises.
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Rebus Carnival
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Preacher wrote:
Quote:
It doesn't matter if you undersell my enterprises if I've already passed for the last time. Go for it! Doesn't affect my score in the least!


Sure it does. If the door is open to continue investing and placing after you've passed, I keep investing and placing—then I shake up the place and cause a revolution and win with a superior number of enterprises.


Not to rub it in, but wouldn't this inevitability be predicted by the conspiracy tokens available? To cause a revolution, the number of dice in the dice pool must be fewer than the number of police actions and black tokens.

Really, it seems like the opposite situation is more likely in the last turn. It behooves whoever has board majority to clear the dice pool quickly. In my mock game, the shipping magnate won because the final conspiracy tokens did not allow the underseller to foment revolution.
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Ricky Gray
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It definitely depends on the conspiracy draw, of course. But in the games I have played so far (2 whole games! 4- and 5-player), bringing China to revolution has not been hard to do (that last statement may earn me a call from the NSA . . . :-))

 
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Aaron Yoder
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rebuscarnival wrote:


Not to rub it in, but wouldn't this inevitability be predicted by the conspiracy tokens available? To cause a revolution, the number of dice in the dice pool must be fewer than the number of police actions and black tokens.

Really, it seems like the opposite situation is more likely in the last turn. It behooves whoever has board majority to clear the dice pool quickly. In my mock game, the shipping magnate won because the final conspiracy tokens did not allow the underseller to foment revolution.


Yes. Conspiracies are predictable.

But really, I just need to know how to score the scion tokens.
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Rebus Carnival
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nomoredroids wrote:
rebuscarnival wrote:


Not to rub it in, but wouldn't this inevitability be predicted by the conspiracy tokens available? To cause a revolution, the number of dice in the dice pool must be fewer than the number of police actions and black tokens.

Really, it seems like the opposite situation is more likely in the last turn. It behooves whoever has board majority to clear the dice pool quickly. In my mock game, the shipping magnate won because the final conspiracy tokens did not allow the underseller to foment revolution.


Yes. Conspiracies are predictable.

But really, I just need to know how to score the scion tokens.


So, looking through the "example of play" I now understand that a scion's base worth is your revenue. That is, if you have 7 revenue when he goes to London, he gets a seven. If you had a 4 revenue, you could then spend (lose) that revenue to increase the scion's score presumably higher than 7.

If you have more than 7 revenue when he goes to London, there is no need to boost him. Just use the revenue number as the scion score. In the final round, everyone else would presumable boost to the max anyway, and the rankings would remain the same even if the numbers doubled.

This could use enumeration in the rules. Also, I think that it is not clear that you lose the revenue for good, although this is can be inferred in context.
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Rich James
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It would be helpful if Cole could weigh in to clarify this. The fact that the one corner of a scion is ">=7" suggests that their wealth is not capped at 7. Otherwise, the corner would just be labeled "7".

I do think the rules are clear that the revenue spent to boost your scion's worth is actually spent. So you have a choice to make in whether to impoverish your future investment ability to enrich your scion. However, that delimma disappears on the last turn, leaving just the concern about being undermined through revolution.
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Aaron Yoder
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rebuscarnival wrote:
nomoredroids wrote:
rebuscarnival wrote:


Not to rub it in, but wouldn't this inevitability be predicted by the conspiracy tokens available? To cause a revolution, the number of dice in the dice pool must be fewer than the number of police actions and black tokens.

Really, it seems like the opposite situation is more likely in the last turn. It behooves whoever has board majority to clear the dice pool quickly. In my mock game, the shipping magnate won because the final conspiracy tokens did not allow the underseller to foment revolution.


Yes. Conspiracies are predictable.

But really, I just need to know how to score the scion tokens.


So, looking through the "example of play" I now understand that a scion's base worth is your revenue. That is, if you have 7 revenue when he goes to London, he gets a seven. If you had a 4 revenue, you could then spend (lose) that revenue to increase the scion's score presumably higher than 7.

If you have more than 7 revenue when he goes to London, there is no need to boost him. Just use the revenue number as the scion score. In the final round, everyone else would presumable boost to the max anyway, and the rankings would remain the same even if the numbers doubled.

This could use enumeration in the rules. Also, I think that it is not clear that you lose the revenue for good, although this is can be inferred in context.


As my initial post would indicate, I'm already aware of all of this.


rebuscarnival wrote:

If you have more than 7 revenue when he goes to London, there is no need to boost him.


This is speculative, as it isn't detailed in the rules, and is what I'm trying to figure out. It does seem to indicate this by capping the chit at 7, but this means your shot at VP for the turn is influenced more by your Passing order than your Revenue (since you would only need a Revenue of 2 to reach the cap), which seems antithetical to the spirit of the game. And since the chit only has 8 corners, well, it could just be that the chit can't go any higher. Is it a marker used only to track your Scion's Wealth? Or is the marker itself the determinate factor in the London Season?

If you are correct, then it still seems to me that your best move if you have 2 Revenue at the start of Turn 4, BARRING A POSSIBLE REBELLION (which I thought was obvious because it changes the victory conditions, but apparently not), is to immediately pass.
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Aaron Yoder
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arjisme wrote:
It would be helpful if Cole could weigh in to clarify this. The fact that the one corner of a scion is ">=7" suggests that their wealth is not capped at 7. Otherwise, the corner would just be labeled "7".

I do think the rules are clear that the revenue spent to boost your scion's worth is actually spent. So you have a choice to make in whether to impoverish your future investment ability to enrich your scion. However, that delimma disappears on the last turn, leaving just the concern about being undermined through revolution.


Yes, and I could also see it meaning "Your Revenue is at 7 or better. It sits here."
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Rebus Carnival
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rules wrote:
5.5.1 Scions.
After passing, a player may choose to
send one of their scions back to London to
secure the family’s reputation. The wealth of
your scion is equal to the amount of your
company’s revenue.


This does not seem equivocal to me. Revenue 10 is Wealth 10. Passing early might lock in your wealth. Sorry for not tracking with your post earlier. We shall see what Mr. Wehrle says.
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Matt Clark
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I asked Cole this same question earlier today and he told me Scions were capped at 7. I'm sure he'll chime in here personally when he has the chance.
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Cole Wehrle
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Yup. 7 is the max value for a Scion. I see now how the counter might have been misinterpreted.

As for Scions on the last round, if you have a revenue of 7 or higher, a first move pass might be a reasonable course of action. There are problems with this move (esp the threat of Revolution and the lost investments which may allow an industry leader counter to be lost).

I'll add to this too that 7 revenue is a lot of revenue in many games and players may find it hard to achieve such a value if everyone is playing well.
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Aaron Yoder
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Cole Wehrle wrote:
Yup. 7 is the max value for a Scion. I see now how the counter might have been misinterpreted.

As for Scions on the last round, if you have a revenue of 7 or higher, a first move pass might be a reasonable course of action. There are problems with this move (esp the threat of Revolution and the lost investments which may allow an industry leader counter to be lost).

I'll add to this too that 7 revenue is a lot of revenue in many games and players may find it hard to achieve such a value if everyone is playing well.


Thanks for the response. A couple more questions:

But can't you boost your scion's value? So you don't need a Revenue of 7, you need a Revenue of 2 to get to a 7+ scion. Revenue 7 is difficult to reach; a Revenue of 2 is much less so.

And it states in the rules that when you lose investments they go back to holdings, and holdings (plus, as was clarified, what's on the board) are what determines the Leader. So another player removing stuff isn't going to affect you, since it goes back into your holdings and still contributes towards the leader. If I have 2 on the board and 2 in holdings, that's 4, just the same as having 0 on the board and 4 in holdings. Am I interpreting this correctly?
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Cole Wehrle
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You are but there are a few things to consider. Even a boost of two or three to a scion can be extremely dangerous in turns 1-3. It doesn't matter so much in turn 4 since revenue is just a means to an end. In fact, it's pretty common to see folks crater their companies in the final round. However, once you pass and send your scion you won't be taking any more actions. This means that you are essentially forfeiting your final investments. In playtesting we found that players made between 6 and 10 investments per turn and that they were pretty evenly spread over the course of the game. Giving up 1/4th of your investments is a big deal. And, even though you don't "loose" pieces that get undersold, you do loose your position on the board which can matter a lot of revolution. The lower price action becomes really important in that last turn as players don't need revenue as much as can afford to take a cut in order to hold position.

re: industry leaders.

You are of course quite right. And, if you've got all five of a type (in holdings or on the board) then you've got that counter locked unless someone can tie you. So passing is fine. But many players come into their fourth turn with only 3 or 4 counters of their main type which makes passing a bit more of a gamble.

So, in general, the last turn pass is totally viable depending on the situation. I've also seen the first turn pass used to great effectiveness.
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Tom Wells

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Cole Wehrle wrote:
It doesn't matter so much in turn 4 since revenue is just a means to an end. In fact, it's pretty common to see folks crater their companies in the final round.


I do not like this 'mechanism' as no company would seriously 'crater' their company - they should have the mind set to continue on despite the game end.

Have you thought of an additional scoring mechanic such as your final investment / investment rank being converted into VP?
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Kurt Purcell
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Major Geek wrote:

I do not like this 'mechanism' as no company would seriously 'crater' their company - they should have the mind set to continue on despite the game end.

Think of the company as a money/prestige making investment for the individual company head(s), this is the end result of them cashing out before the money dries up or when it is no longer fashionable to be invested in the opium trade in China.
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Tom Russell
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kurt_purcell wrote:
Major Geek wrote:

I do not like this 'mechanism' as no company would seriously 'crater' their company - they should have the mind set to continue on despite the game end.

Think of the company as a money/prestige making investment for the individual company head(s), this is the end result of them cashing out before the money dries up or when it is no longer fashionable to be invested in the opium trade in China.


Exactly. It's perfectly thematic in that sense.
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