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Subject: The worst Pyramid Arcade game so far rss

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There is already one post summarizing how the game works, and the rules are available here:
http://www.looneylabs.com/lit/rules/pyramid-arcade-instructi...

So this will be a description of my impressions of the game.

We tried it with 4 players last night and I doubt it will ever hit the table again. We just went round and round for half an hour, accomplishing nothing. One player would attack another, and because the board was so full, instead of being displaced, the losing defender would be shrunk one size. Then on the defender's next turn they'd grow again. Essentially a long-term stalemate (with some variety in the specifics). No-one gaining any real ground. We would just bash on our closest neighbor for several rounds, someone would try something different and eventually get 2 pyramids in a foreign continent, the rest of us would gang up on them just long enough to prevent them from winning, then it was every man for himself again.

Nobody was making alliances, and I feel like that's kind of what you'd have to do - everyone work together to wipe one player off the board, then wipe a second player off the board, then with 2p you can chase each other around the map a bit and more easily push the other out of the continent you want.

But I don't like being forced to use a particular strategy in order to make the game function. And I don't mean "if one player doesn't use this strategy they will lose to a more skilled player," I mean "if all the players don't collectively use this strategy, the game stops working." I want to be able to choose how to play, and if the result of my choice is I lose, fine - I'll do something different next time. But if the result of my choice is that there's essentially no more game for anyone, I'd say there's something wrong with the game.
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Lee Valentine
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I wonder how the mistakes on the graphic design impacted this game. A number of things were changed from the original release version of this board, apparently by accident. I suspect that it alters some of the strategies that players may have.

Lee
 
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Rex Moore
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I offer this constructively… it doesn’t sound like any WW5 game I’ve played. Even with four players, there are usually adjacent retreat routes into other continents (though certainly not always). There can also be exciting rushes into unclaimed continents that force reactions from other players. (And remember that you can only spawn and grow in your home continent.)

It would be interesting for you to try a three-player game and see if that reveals more options and strategies for you.
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Russ Williams
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orangeblood wrote:
I offer this constructively… it doesn’t sound like any WW5 game I’ve played.

Same here; it's been a while since I played, but I played 4 times and it never got into a stalemate/deadlock, but rather always finished decisively within a quarter hour or so. (And the players all seemed to enjoy the game.)
 
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So it goes.
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geerhead wrote:
But I don't like being forced to use a particular strategy in order to make the game function.


With 2p the rolling of dice means that anything can happen, even drawn out engagements. However, at 4p I think that WW5's need for fleeting alliances to form and dissolve is the great strength of the game. I don't want this to sound critical, but I think that viewing that as a weakness of the game is misguided. Instead, I think that the best way to view it is that the game imposes this constraint on the players forcing them to find a way to work out their strategies despite it. Many people describe WW5 as a miniature Risk, but I think that at 4p it's also akin to a miniature Diplomacy. Without extremely lucky dice rolls, you're unlikely to get very far in WW5 without embracing the diplomatic side of the game at higher player counts -- it's fundamental to wining the game. That said, if you happen to dislike that aspect then this is definitely not the best game in the Arcade for you.
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Bwian, just
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We ran into a few stalemate situations when we started. But we had also missed the rule that you were eliminated from the game if you lost your home continent: the need to divide between offense and defense broke us of the "run and regroup" tactics we were seeing initially.

I think we also usually saw one player eliminated before a winner emerged, at 4+ player counts.
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fogus wrote:
...at 4p I think that WW5's need for fleeting alliances to form and dissolve is the great strength of the game. I don't want this to sound critical, but I think that viewing that as a weakness of the game is misguided. Instead, I think that the best way to view it is that the game imposes this constraint on the players forcing them to find a way to work out their strategies despite it. Many people describe WW5 as a miniature Risk, but I think that at 4p it's also akin to a miniature Diplomacy.


Fair! I don't expect to like every game anyway, and I'm glad you posted, as it brings another viewpoint to the thread.

Yeah, it's simply possible that I don't like a Diplomacy-type game, or it didn't occur to any of us to play that way. I was going to argue that I prefer a game that, by its design, gently guides the players towards good strategies, so I suppose one could argue that its total breakdown in this case was a pretty clear message that we were playing "wrong." I feel a bit bashed over the head though.
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Rex Moore
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I wanted to revisit this thread because our 4-player game last night hit the entrenched situation mentioned in the original post. It did work itself out and the game lasted less than 30 minutes, but I see where geerhead is coming from.

And, as Lee also mentioned:

Quote:
I wonder how the mistakes on the graphic design impacted this game.


He’s referring to Andy Looney saying:

Quote:
For the record, these are the errors:
1) Missing connection between Southern North America & Western Africa.
2) Missing connection between Southern Africa & Western Australia.
3) Northeastern Europe should not connect to Southwestern Asia.


Now, at first glance two missing connections and one extra connection wouldn’t seem to alter play that much. But I haven’t really thought about it deeply.

At any rate, I will definitely try some different strategies in my next 4-player game.
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