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Subject: Simplifying things to get started rss

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Wulf Forrester-Barker
United Kingdom
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I recently got this game and I'm loving it. However, it isn't the easiest game to get running with, not least because of the cunning way that each card is packed with information and has different purposes depending on how it is being used (for example, as a resource, as a building or as a unit of manufactured goods). I sat down and worked through a simple game on my own and I think I've got the hang of it but the next challenge has been figuring out how to teach it to my wife - otherwise I'll be looking at those solo variants!

For our first game, I set aside all the assistants and we only played to four buildings. That seemed a reasonable way to dip a toe in the water without the game going on too long. We played again tonight - this time to the regular eight buildings but also setting aside the assistants again.

I can see that it will add another aspect to game when we bring them in, including the opportunity to ramp up to faster production of goods. However, do more experienced players think that it is actually breaking anything important about the game to leave them out for now?

Wulf
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Steve Cohn
United States
Racine
Wisconsin
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The one thing I can suggest with this approach is it might make your game take longer. Instead of the opportunity to have two buildings producing with an assistant helping, only one building can ever produce (until the last round, at least).

OMG should be a quick game, especially if playing with the revised rules and you flush your hand to get more useful cards/resources--but this may stretch it out a bit since you are restricting how often your buikdings trigger.

Great game, though, enjoy!
~Steve
 
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Kevin B. Smith
United States
Mercer Island
Washington
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In the 7 games I have played so far, assistants haven't played a huge role. Generally one or two players have picked one up sometime in the second half of the game. I think leaving them out of a learning game is a great idea. Just be sure to mention at some point that you're playing a streamlined game, so people realize there is more depth they're not seeing.

For a super streamlined version, you could flip cards from the market until there are 4 suns, before having everyone place their worker and choose what to build. It would completely remove the push-your-luck aspect, but would allow people to understand the other mechanisms without some of the awkward/confusing timing aspects.
 
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Wulf Forrester-Barker
United Kingdom
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When it comes down to it, I think that, whatever adaptations I could make, I'm going to have to accept defeat for now on persuading my wife to love it and enjoy the solo variants. It really could include that as an official option because, apart from the pressure of an opponent who pumps out a cheap building each round, there isn't really a lot of direct inter-player interaction (except for possible contention over employing an assistant).

One thing the game reminds me of a bit is computer strategy games like Warcraft II. What those did have was a training path where the potential choices in the economy increased over several levels. If there is ever a deluxe version which has even more choices of production chains, that wouldn't be a bad thing to emulate - I think one of the disincentives for my wife is the feeling that she has lots of choices but she doesn't really understand how they fit together.

Wulf
 
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