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Subject: peoples thoughts on refreshing the city tiles each round. rss

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Steram Shaw
United Kingdom
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Hi, I've played this game 4 times now (all 2 player games), I really enjoy it, maybe my favourite game of the year. however, I'm unsure whether or not to carry on playing the variant where you refresh your city tiles each round, I've found it has pros and cons, if the tiles which are in the cities are not required by either player they just sit there the whole game, but if you refresh them every round it seems really random. You can't really plan which career track to move your male meeple up as the tiles are constantly changing.
We have been playing the 6 round variant, playing rounds 1-6, at the end of the 6th round, we gain the 6th and 7th round points bonus if you stay under the threshold, and the 5 money - 5vp twice, as mentioned in the variants forum. Now we've played a few games we are going to play the full 7 rounds in future games.
what are other peoples thoughts on the city tile variant?
thanks.
 
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Brian Pierce
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Stevieram wrote:
Hi, I've played this game 4 times now (all 2 player games), I really enjoy it, maybe my favourite game of the year. however, I'm unsure whether or not to carry on playing the variant where you refresh your city tiles each round, I've found it has pros and cons, if the tiles which are in the cities are not required by either player they just sit there the whole game, but if you refresh them every round it seems really random. You can't really plan which career track to move your male meeple up as the tiles are constantly changing.
We have been playing the 6 round variant, playing rounds 1-6, at the end of the 6th round, we gain the 6th and 7th round points bonus if you stay under the threshold, and the 5 money - 5vp twice, as mentioned in the variants forum. Now we've played a few games we are going to play the full 7 rounds in future games.
what are other peoples thoughts on the city tile variant?
thanks.


I would not recommend that you refresh all of the city tiles every round. That would add far too much randomness and make it impossible to plan ahead.

We played our first few 2 player games with the rules as written and ran into instances where one player was just unable to use any of the city tiles. It wasn't in the other player's interest to take the tiles, so they just sat there and clogged things up.

Since then we have always played in the following way: We mark one of the locations with a spare marker so that we both know that this city will be refreshed at the end of the round. At the end of the round, we swap out the two tiles at this location and move the extra pawn clockwise to the next location. This will now be the location that gets new tiles at the end of round 2. We just repeat this each round so that one of the locations is getting new tiles every round and we know which location it is. This way the locations will refresh, but players can still plan ahead and known what will happen. It also adds a nice timing element where you know you have to get a certain tile soon, or it will be swapped out in a certain round.
 
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Cliff Fisher
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We've been playing where they wipe at the end of each round. It's definitely necessary to get the old stale tiles off the board. I haven't gotten enough plays in to really see the variance affect things too much, but it makes sense.

In that case, maybe instead you should place a disc on an unpurchased tile after the first round, and if it's still there at the end of the next round, replace it? I know I'm making the suggestion above a little more complicated, but seems like thematically it should be based on how long the tile lies there vs. a specified refresh pattern.
 
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Stephen Smith
Canada
Toronto
ON
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I agree that you need to get rid of stale alliance tiles. Especially in a two player game you're stuck with tiles that no player can use and will never be removed.

We play by placing the next round's tiles directly above this round's tiles (so there are four in every city). At the end of the round we wipe the current tiles and pull down the next two. We then add 2 more above them for the round that follows. This way you can both plan for the next round and still manage to be rid of any stale tiles that no one can use.
 
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Cliff Fisher
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I think this idea is thematically great as well - the idea of having a "line of suitors" at each city is cool.
 
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Frank M.
United States
upstate New York
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I have been a strong proponent of refreshing all of the tiles every round. I may have been the first to propose it on this forum.

It really makes the most sense, thematically: opportunities do not last forever!

As for randomness -- so what? They were random in the first place.

As for inability to plan ahead -- so much the better! This adds a delicious tension to those decisions and timing: take the option available now, or wait in hopes something better will come along next round, when I've also had the chance to "improve my standing"?

Great game. In my Top Ten since I played it at Essen 2015.

 
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Steram Shaw
United Kingdom
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norith wrote:
I agree that you need to get rid of stale alliance tiles. Especially in a two player game you're stuck with tiles that no player can use and will never be removed.

We play by placing next rounds tiles directly above this rounds tiles (so there are four in every city). At the end of the round we wipe the current tiles and pull down the next two. We then add 2 more above them for the round that follows. This way you can both plan for the next round and still mange to rid of stale tiles that no one can use.


Tried this variant tonight. This is the way I'll be playing it from now on. Much prefer planning for the next round, Thank you.
 
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Joshua Wolfe
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I have found the game runs more smoothly swapping tiles than not. Sure, there is randomness, but they are randomly determined anyway. I haven't noticed players not being able to accumulate enough tiles to score. When tiles weren't swapped, unwanted tiles would sit all game, creating numerous missed opportunities to get desired tiles. In my experience, players collected far more tiles when swapping than not.

Also, it makes sense thematically and creates a nice urgency to grab tiles.
 
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M H

Palm Harbor
Florida
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I'm going to be contrarian here... At first I assumed with all I've read about this issue that I would find a process to refresh the alliance tiles one way or another, but I've reached a different conclusion from my two player run throughs.

First off, yes indeed sometimes it locks-up as you say where no one can get the alliance tiles they are looking for to complete a set. But the game design really takes this into account and further begins to play more interesting at that point. It is too easy to slide into a formula process in your play with the refresh occurring to bail you out. When the lock-up occurs you are now forced to be more adversome to address the limitation. The first most obvious thing is to switch to another type of training for your men so as to potentially open a spot for another tile pull. And yes, I know that there are going to even here be times that no other track will be possible to fulfill a mission and take a tile. It is at this point that the generic alliance tiles are important and forces you to play an area (worker) or a method (missions) you might not normally consider.

My point is that I see the lock-up event as one more puzzle the game confronts you with to solve. Sure, everyone wants the bonus multiplier of alliance crests, but with the rules as designed you can still score the victory points using the generic crests, making the times you complete the sequence with specific ones even sweeter.
 
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Shoosh shoo
Canada
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Hmm...

I just played A solo test game 2 players. I read about these variants beforehand and although i didnt use any, throughout the game i was leaning towards having all the tiles refresh each round. After reading this post im not sure if i would use the refresh variant. I agree with the last post saying that having the tiles become stale is just another piece of the puzzle forcing you to choose another strategy.

If i was going to use this variant i really like the idea above about having 4 tiles in a city (2 in the city and two on deck).
 
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