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Subject: Making the Caravan more valuable rss

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Bob Marso
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I really like this game but feel that not enough value is placed on the Caravan. I play sometimes with a varient whereby I double the value of the Carvan so you get 2 points per cube times the level rather then 1 at the time of scoring.



Appreciate any comments. Do others find the Cavavan not valuable enough and does this make it more balanced? I have not tried this varient enough times to get a feeling for myself.


Bob

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Dave Eisen
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Given that the general consensus is that the caravan is *too* valuable, seems unlikely that making it more valuable is the way to go.
 
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Michael Webb
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The caravan is subject to your metagame.

In groups where it is heavily used, it becomes very valuable.

In groups where only one person is heading to it, it is worth much less.

If you want to increase the caravan's value, the best method would probably be to convince someone else to go there with you.
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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CortexBomb wrote:
The caravan is subject to your metagame.


I agree.

CortexBomb wrote:

In groups where it is heavily used, it becomes very valuable.

In groups where only one person is heading to it, it is worth much less.


I strongly disagree. If more than one player is using the caravan, and nobody has a strong majority, it becomes a minor factor. But if only one person is using the caravan, and commits totally to doing so, it is overwhelmingly powerful.
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Inno Van
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Hmm. Interesting idea, which is more powerful as a group strategy, the caravan or block placement on the board.

Only one player can ever control the unique space on the board that allows you to place two goods to the caravaan per turn. If you aren't that player, going for the caravan is a weak strategy that boosts their score more than theirs.

In groups that haven't figured out the board location to place two good in one turn, then you're probably right, it's a wash between all players, with some competition on which player gets into the 3x multipler. I wonder if the AI can be programmed to only do a caravan strategy. It'd be interesting to let it run a couple hundred games and compare the stats.
 
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Thomas Cauet
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I don't feel that the caravan needs more points, but if I did a variant, it would be more like a *0 level with one cube of each player on it.

So:
- if you don't put any cube, you gain 0
- if you put one cube, you gain 2 instant and 2 at the first week scoring...
It enhanced the *2 and *3 level when they occured.
 
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Evan Stegman
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Innovan wrote:
...
Only one player can ever control the unique space on the board that allows you to place two goods to the caravaan per turn. If you aren't that player, going for the caravan is a weak strategy that boosts their score more than theirs. ...


There are two spots that send two to the caravan.

And those sending the supervisor to those spots can still be useful even if you are sending up someone else's cube too.

I will sometimes go to that spot when I control only one side of it to force other players to help me get my cubes up to the x3 line. Especially if they don't have a camel for defense.
 
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Daniel Val
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Sphere wrote:
CortexBomb wrote:
The caravan is subject to your metagame.


I agree.

CortexBomb wrote:

In groups where it is heavily used, it becomes very valuable.

In groups where only one person is heading to it, it is worth much less.


I strongly disagree. If more than one player is using the caravan, and nobody has a strong majority, it becomes a minor factor. But if only one person is using the caravan, and commits totally to doing so, it is overwhelmingly powerful.


Exactly my thoughts.
In fact, it's been previously discussed how to make the caravan strategy less powerful.
(http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/1469629#1469629)

I personally liked the suggestion of not being able to stop a player's cube to be sent to the caravan by paying a camel if this action was taken by the cube owner. That way you're not getting points for two things (the caravan and the zouks).
 
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Inno Van
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If people want to start nerfing the caravan strategy by changing the rules, I hereby submit to S├ębastien Pauchon that as a caravan player I find the area control strategy is too overpowered, and he should nerf area control players by removing both the Bazaar +2 building and the Hoist extra cube building. These buildings obviously lead to too many wins by area control players, and are unfair to caravan players.

I don't see why caravan players should have their strategy nerfed by any of these arbitrary rule change proposals without the area control players having their strategy nerfed as well.





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John W
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bobm174 wrote:
Appreciate any comments. Do others find the Cavavan not valuable enough and does this make it more balanced? I have not tried this varient enough times to get a feeling for myself.
I'm just curious -

(Since the caravan strategy is considered so strong as to be potentially unbalancing), why would you suggest a variant to benefit a strategy that noone in your group has played properly?
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Bob Marso
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Maybe because we were not aware we were playing it wrong and now I know which is why I sent this email to learn from competent people such as yourself.


Thank you ever so.

Bob
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Inno Van
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A concise guide to the caravan strategy can be found under the "Strategy" section of this game entry.

Note: The AI of the free downloadable version of the game has been updated to be fairly aggressive on fighting this off now.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/1468705#1468705
 
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Ed
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reapersaurus wrote:
I'm just curious -

(Since the caravan strategy is considered so strong as to be potentially unbalancing), why would you suggest a variant to benefit a strategy that noone in your group has played properly?

I'm just curious -

Why are you so rude?
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Heckle Jekyll
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I just played this game for the first time this past week.

We were playing with three players and I was determined from the beginning to take advantage of the caravan, contemplating that with dedicated attention it would reap a reward at the end. I was disappointed to find that I wasn't able to get to the three multiplier and it gave me relatively few points overall. From that I figured the caravan wasn't that great a bet. The person who won never placed a cube there. I wonder if the caravan does greater with more players. Without knowing the answer to that,at this time, from my one game experience I would have to agree with the op that the caravan needs to be worth more to make it worthwhile for investment.
 
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Karis Shem
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Hello,

I don't think we'll change the caravan (or any point in the game) since we made hundreds of tests to ensure it is well balanced. I think it's difficult to conclude anything about the balance of one game after just a few games, and that's why we test them so much...

That said, each strategy has its strenghts and weaknesses. Sometimes, the caravan (or the hoist, or any other item in fact) will be powerful, and sometimes it won't. Players have to read the game carefully and to decide what is the best opportunity for them. That's why experimented players are generally able to beat beginners in spite of the 12 dice

Regards,
Cyril
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Kevin Peters Unrau
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idiot crow wrote:
I just played this game for the first time this past week.

We were playing with three players and I was determined from the beginning to take advantage of the caravan, contemplating that with dedicated attention it would reap a reward at the end. I was disappointed to find that I wasn't able to get to the three multiplier and it gave me relatively few points overall.


Based on my own experience and comments I've read here, very few first time players are able to make good use of the caravan. Yspahan is a game that offers a learning curve which extends beyond the first play... which is one of the reasons why it is rapidly becoming one of my favourite games.

I was also wondering, based on your comments, whether you were remembering to use only three camels on each row of the caravan since you were playing a three player game. Using all four camels on each row would make it harder to get to that coveted third row.

As a word of encouragement to continue experimenting with the caravan, in my last game of Yspahan (my fifth) I managed to get nine cubes (my opponents only placed one cube each) out to the caravan over the course of the game which contributed 39 of my 107 game points. I don't know what the scoring was like in your game, but in my gaming circles this is enough to make the caravan not only a viable strategy but one you shouldn't ignore.

Good luck with your future plays and I hope you get a chance for a four player game soon. Three is great, but four is even a touch better!
 
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Heckle Jekyll
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Karis wrote:
Hello,

I think it's difficult to conclude anything about the balance of one game after just a few games, and that's why we test them so much...


Yes, I definitely agree, I was only explaining what I found after only one play. Thank you for taking the time to respond.
 
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Heckle Jekyll
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PrairieBoy wrote:

I was also wondering, based on your comments, whether you were remembering to use only three camels on each row of the caravan since you were playing a three player game. Using all four camels on each row would make it harder to get to that coveted third row.


No, I do not believe we played that way, perhaps that would have made a difference. Thanks for pointing that out to me. My friend and I both collect games and it was his game, he explained the game while quickly going to the rules and then we referred to them for specific questions. It never occurred to me that that less camels are used in each row. Thank you for pointing this out. I have a gamenight tonite, and am considering purchasing it now.
 
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