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Subject: Much Fumbling and Mumbling rss

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But the drumbeat strains of the night remain in the rhythm of the newborn day.
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    Finished building my copy on Saturday (a super-easy print-n-play by the way), sat down to a first play last night. I played through the turn at the back of the rules and then tried to proceed through a second turn on my own.

    I'll be honest, I've read the rules twice and was still more than a bit neck-deep while trying to proceed playing solo. I can't say I was understanding what was going on. I certainly didn't have any sort of strategy short of trying to get one path to complete, across all players.

    I'm ok with this -- that's how some games are and this one certainly is consimming a very touchy moment in history. I'm just wondering if this is par for the course on this one. I'm usually a pretty quick study. Can anyone weigh in on how long it took for the game to "click" for you?

             S.

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Sean McCormick
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Hasn't happened yet. :-)
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I believe I read somewhere that Cole stated it doesn't click until the late game. Maybe playing by yourself doesn't let you see it. I've read the rules a lot, I've reread them, dissected them, tried most scenarios out. I think I understand the game fairly well, but I have yet to get anyone to play it with me.

To me the game is about finding opportunity to shut down you opponent. For instance, if you have no investments available to you this turn, but your opponents do, then perhaps you take a conspiracy action, to play some qing forces, hitting their chain with a police action and breaking their chain, and hey, maybe you get some british influence out of it to give you more control at the end of the turn. There are many situations like this where you have to know when to strike to not only build up your empire, but cripple your opponents.
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Also at the beginning players mostly have to "work together" to get completed supply chains. It might stay that way for a turn or two, but you need to find that moment to get an advantage. The conspiracy tokens and British influence do a lot in that regard.
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But the drumbeat strains of the night remain in the rhythm of the newborn day.
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    On the surface it appears to be remarkably simple to screw up someone else's plans. I read somewhere (might be in the rule book) that breaking even at the end of the game may be all you need for a win. I've been trying to keep that in mind, proceeding with the attitude of do-less-worse-than-everyone-else.

    A very touchy design, done that way on purpose. Could be very interesting gaming if I can get through the basics of how everything runs.

    My entire build cost on this one was $20 including the game purchase, and I have materials left over. So this is an adventure I can afford to take.

             S.


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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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Keep your eye on both victory conditions and work backwards from there. It is a very cutthroat game.
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Andrew Denison
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Sagrilarus wrote:

    Finished building my copy on Saturday (a super-easy print-n-play by the way), sat down to a first play last night. I played through the turn at the back of the rules and then tried to proceed through a second turn on my own.

    I'll be honest, I've read the rules twice and was still more than a bit neck-deep while trying to proceed playing solo. I can't say I was understanding what was going on. I certainly didn't have any sort of strategy short of trying to get one path to complete, across all players.

    I'm ok with this -- that's how some games are and this one certainly is consimming a very touchy moment in history. I'm just wondering if this is par for the course on this one. I'm usually a pretty quick study. Can anyone weigh in on how long it took for the game to "click" for you?

             S.




Playing Solo will help you get the mechanics down. As for how to win this game consistently that is up in the air. The game is very opaque as advertised and it will take some plays to get an idea of how to win. Think of the Pax games. It kind of feels similar to them in a way.
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Daniel Thurot
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One and a half games were what it took to reach my Click Point.

I'd read the rules twice and explained them once, so I felt pretty confident that I understood everything in theory. Then we started playing, and nope, no idea. It didn't help that none of us really grasped the importance or opportunities that come with opium wars. One of us, it turned out, was even thinking of "outrage" as a very bad thing (picture Archipelago's risk of native uprising and you'll be in his exact headspace), so every time I would increase the outrage, he would immediately work to lower it.

Then, about halfway through our second game, it absolutely clicked. We began underselling one another, using the conspiracy pieces correctly, destroying entire sale chains... at one point, I forced someone to lose 11 revenue in one fell swoop.

Can't wait to play again, and I'm relieved I've finally reached this point.
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Roel van der Hoorn
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I would say towards the end of the first game it kind of clicked for me. In the first turn we were just doing something, although two of us were in a completed supply chain, which the third player immediately broke. So there was some understanding of not letting the others keep their gained revenue.

In the first three turns all conspiracy counters were used. Not so much because it mattered, but often just to stall for time to be able to gain more information on the other prize. At the end of the second turn we were underselling, stalling even more by lowering your prices by 1 in a full but not completed supply chain (low demand).

And in the third turn people cooperated (by actions) to complete an internal supply chain, which benefitted them more than the third player.

That said, I guess you need to play the game at least once to be able to understand how and why things matter.
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But the drumbeat strains of the night remain in the rhythm of the newborn day.
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There's a part of me thinking I should take a couple of players with me on this first play so I have two more brains in the mix. Often you don't see things playing solo.

And I think we should get "Click Point" into the vernacular. A useful handle.

Thank you all.

S.
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