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Subject: How is the two player replayability? rss

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Enon Sci
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Naturally I mean the variability between games.

I just purchased this after a brief scan through a few text reviews and videos. I purchased the expansion as well, but am unsure whether the "on paper" variability (e.g. 90 power card!) really feels different, or whether its more like Glass Road's take on variability (i.e. slight, color swapped, variations on abilities).

I'll chiefly be playing two player.
 
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B C Z
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The 2 player expansion adds the concept of the 'blocked slots' moving, so they weren't fixed every round.

I feel that was enough to make this a viably repeatably two player experience.
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Phil McDonald
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Have only played it once so far, 2p.

We were both very impressed with the experience and would happily play it as a 2p in future.

We did feel it would be considerably better as 3p or 4p though.
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Enon Sci
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philmcd wrote:
Have only played it once so far, 2p.

We were both very impressed with the experience and would happily play it as a 2p in future.

We did feel it would be considerably better as 3p or 4p though.


I know it's a bit of a digression from my stated topic, but what elements do you think would have been improved (and are you using the expansion content)?
 
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Justin G
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Two player is the best way to play. The Dahlgaard's Gifts expansion provides essentially infinite replay-ability.
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Enon Sci
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jgunnz wrote:
Two player is the best way to play. The Dahlgaard's Gifts expansion provides essentially infinite replay-ability.


How so?
 
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Angela Mcgavisk
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jgunnz wrote:
Two player is the best way to play. The Dahlgaard's Gifts expansion provides essentially infinite replay-ability.

Two player is really good, but wouldn't say the best way. I do think it lacks a little from the reduction in tricks and performance tension. The preprinted cards help, but I would say best at 4
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Daily Grind
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Anarchosyn wrote:
I purchased the expansion as well, but am unsure whether the "on paper" variability (e.g. 90 power card!) really feels different, or whether its more like Glass Road's take on variability (i.e. slight, color swapped, variations on abilities).

I've got 4 games under my belt, all 2 player, and so far it's been an absolute blast.

The variability I think would suffer without the power cards, because the actual magician powers themselves are rather lackluster and only offer slight changes play to play. But the expansion's power cards + the fortune teller in dark ally are great fun and I feel like do the most for variability.

With all the expansions mixed in, I have no concerns for replay-ability at this time.

As to the 'is 2p the best player count' aspect... considering the heaviness of the game, I think 2p is exactly long enough and would think a 4 player game would wear me out. But if you like 4 hour games, then I can see how more players would be more fun because there are more opportunities to perform tricks on another player's show. But all that being said, its still really great at 2.
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Phil McDonald
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Anarchosyn wrote:
philmcd wrote:
Have only played it once so far, 2p.

We were both very impressed with the experience and would happily play it as a 2p in future.

We did feel it would be considerably better as 3p or 4p though.


I know it's a bit of a digression from my stated topic, but what elements do you think would have been improved (and are you using the expansion content)?


Well, there's the built in expansion which we used, and there's the purchasable expansion which I haven't bought yet.

I can't imagine wanting to play without the dark alley in particular, and 7 turns is a must to fully experience some of the more advanced tricks.

With regard to why we feel the game will be better with 3 or 4 players...

Well we LOVED the secret allocation of tasks, and the blocking off of spaces for placement in the 2 player game created good tension and competition, but we just felt that there would be a lot more 'take that' and D'oh ! With more players, more interesting performances and harder choices. Rest assured it's an excellent 2 player game in a way that many games aren't. Different magicians, assistants and tricks will provide quite a bit of variety.

We will mainly play it 3 player, and very happily. The intention is that we draw lots to have a different one of the 3 assistants in each game to start, making the game asynchronous.

Our 2 player game took exactly 2 hours, which is not bad for a first playing of a game with lots of choices.
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Adrian Schmidt
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philmcd wrote:
Anarchosyn wrote:
philmcd wrote:
Have only played it once so far, 2p.

We were both very impressed with the experience and would happily play it as a 2p in future.

We did feel it would be considerably better as 3p or 4p though.


I know it's a bit of a digression from my stated topic, but what elements do you think would have been improved (and are you using the expansion content)?


Well, there's the built in expansion which we used, and there's the purchasable expansion which I haven't bought yet.

I can't imagine wanting to play without the dark alley in particular, and 7 turns is a must to fully experience some of the more advanced tricks.

With regard to why we feel the game will be better with 3 or 4 players...

Well we LOVED the secret allocation of tasks, and the blocking off of spaces for placement in the 2 player game created good tension and competition, but we just felt that there would be a lot more 'take that' and D'oh ! With more players and harder choices. Rest assured it's an excellent 2 player game in a way that many games aren't. Different magicians, assistants and tricks will provide quite a bit of variety.

We will mainly play it 3 player, and very happily. The intention is that we draw lots to have a different one of the 3 assistants in each game to start, making the game asynchronous.

Our 2 player game took exactly 2 hours, which is not bad for a first playing of a game with lots of choices.


If you plan on playing two-player at all, you really should get the expansion. It makes the two-player game so, so much better!

I can't imagine not being allowed to freely choose my starting specialist though. The starting specialist and the bonus attached to it plays so heavily into your early strategy, I think I would find it too punishing not to be able to choose it for myself.
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Lawrence
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Sources of replayability (assuming all expansions used... which IMO should be the only way to play)

- 8 different magicians, each with unique magician abilities
- 12 magician power cards per player, of which you keep 8
- 3 different specialists
- Dice determine what downtown action spots are available every turn (i.e. which specialists you can buy, tricks you can learn, money you can get)
- 4 categories of special assignment cards that differ each round (these are modified action cards that allow you to place a worker AND do something extra)
- Variable performance cards that affect what tricks are most optimal to play at different points in the game
- Variable prophecies that change every round, allowing magicians to break a game rule or enhance a specific action greatly
- Variable dummy players that change which worker placement spots are available every round

I agree that 2p is the best way to play. The game drags a little bit at 4p due to the slight AP that occurs when multiple magicians are trying to optimize trick placement on crowded cards. It's a sort of mini-tile laying game.

Edit: Forgot to add magician power cards!
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Phil McDonald
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I always prefer asynchronous games. Personally I would always prefer to have whichever of the 3 assistants is left than risk playing the game with the same start assistant as everyone else.

Tastes vary and you're welcome to enjoy it the way you prefer too

I will probably buy the expansion, but I'm not a completist like I used to be. On many occasions I've bought expansions at the same time as base games only to be disappointed. I'm more circumspect these days.
 
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Dylan Bradshaw
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The expansion adds three thick stacks of gift cards that players choose from at the beginning of the game. These cards give powerful game changing abilities that give a unique direction and strategy to each game. One of most replayable games! Compare this to a static Caverna and it is night and day IMO.
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Titus M
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I'm just going to echo what's been said above - the two player game (with expansions) is amazingly replayable. I haven't even broken out the magician's powers yet; the Dark Alley special assignment cards do a great job of creating interesting asymmetries among players.

I have been wanting to play with a higher player count though - I would like to use the gentleman to gain fame by shopping and try just piggybacking on other players' performances. With two players there isn't enough going on in the theater each round for this to work.

By no means does this temper my love of the 2p game, I'm just interested to see what changes with more magicians at the table.
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Enon Sci
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Titus brings up a good angle for inquiry -- seeing as how I purchased the expansion with the base game, any recommendations for what to leave out of our initial games? Naturally I'll make a final determination after learning the rules in full, but I'd welcome friendly suggestions as well.
 
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Barry Miller
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Anarchosyn wrote:
How is the Two Player Replayability? Naturally I mean the variability between games.

I always like to answer these sort of questions with a question...

To the OP, do you feel that Chess, as a two player game, offers "variability between games", or is a "replayable" game?

I mean, in Chess,
- Both sides use exactly the same in components
- There is never any variation to setup
- Both sides play with exactly the same rules
- There are no cards or dice to introduce a random or strategic element

Actually, Trickerion doesn't have any of the above qualities! Yet Chess does. So if you feel that Chess is a replayable game, then you'll definitely find Trickerion to be a replayable game!

*******
I love to pull out the Chess comparison when people have questions or issues about replayability. Most gamers today will wildly balk at any item from the above list, and wouldn't touch that game with a 10 foot pole!

And yet, there's Chess, which processes just about every quality in a game that players today abhor. I'm not saying that today's players are wrong for behaving according to current trends. But let's not forget that there really is nothing wrong either, with anything from the above list, and that some really great games can be had from such a list!


 
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Michael D
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Try this progression

1. Base game 5 rounds
2. Add dark alley but not the prophecies action
3. Use dark alley with the prophecies.
4. Add the magician abilities.
5. Add the magician powers cards.

You can probably combine 2/3 or 3/4 but you have lots of incremental rule add ons.
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Titus M
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^ This.
 
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Daily Grind
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electricalstorm wrote:
Try this progression

1. Base game 5 rounds
2. Add dark alley but not the prophecies action
3. Use dark alley with the prophecies.
4. Add the magician abilities.
5. Add the magician powers cards.

You can probably combine 2/3 or 3/4 but you have lots of incremental rule add ons.

For whatever its worth, I did 1, 3, 5 and in hindsight regret it because we felt the game was frustrating & lackluster until we got the full game in play ... and then everything clicked and we fell in love with it.

The growth curve of the magician's fame is non linear (more like a stair-step) with big jumps at 16 and 36. So without the 7 rounds and magician powers we were mired in the 0-16 point range for most of the game and felt like we were missing half the game. And in fact we were.

I'm just glad we plowed through and gave it a third try.
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Krisztian Posch
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We love it with two, the only caveat is that some of the magician abilities seem to be unbalanced with this player count. Other than that, and with more than a dozen games played, I can highly recommend it.

The expansion is really a must buy for two. meeple
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Enon Sci
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Szajko wrote:
We love it with two, the only caveat is that some of the magician abilities seem to be unbalanced with this player count.


How so, and which?

bgm1961 wrote:

Anarchosyn wrote:
How is the Two Player Replayability? Naturally I mean the variability between games.

I always like to answer these sort of questions with a question...

To the OP, do you feel that Chess, as a two player game, offers "variability between games", or is a "replayable" game?


Well, the chess analogy is not lost on me; I used chess in an example just yesterday while discussing variability in the Recommendations Forum.

That said, I think this comment missed the mark on two points:

1) It's more appropriate if the question was "IS [insert game here] variable," instead of my more nuanced inquiry "HOW is [insert game here]'s replayability" -- the latter is more an inquiry into the specific flavor, not the mere existence of variability.

2) Chess is a perfect information system. This isn't the totality of the commentary, but the overall structure of chess has notable differences from other games, and in these differences may lay the key to a distinction.

This is more a "food for thought" commentary than a specific criticism, but -- for example -- one could argue chess has staying power (replayability) precisely because it's such a clean battle of wits between players, and the essence of that characteristic arises from the perfect information aspect of its design.

After all, almost any modern video game CAN be replayed (save One Chance, perhaps), but most people never do so -- in part because of the time commitment, in part because they've likely exhausted the spectrum of discovery that drives such an experience.

... but, all that said, I refer you back to comment #1.
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In the case of Trickerion, what everyone is saying is that there is enough variability throughout the game that each new situation will create new/different opportunities or challenges for each player. It would be difficult to find a dominant strategy in this game that would work every time. But I’ve only played 3 games, all two-player, so it’s really too early for me to tell about a dominant strategy. Given what I’ve experienced, I’m not convinced it’s possible yet.
 
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Barry Miller
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Anarchosyn wrote:
2) Chess is a perfect information system. This isn't the totality of the commentary, but the overall structure of chess has notable differences from other games, and in these differences may lay the key to a distinction.

Yes, that's a great point!

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Krisztian Posch
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Anarchosyn wrote:
Szajko wrote:
We love it with two, the only caveat is that some of the magician abilities seem to be unbalanced with this player count.

How so, and which?


Master of Chains, because it's harder to make links with two, Priestess of Mysticism, because with two, it's more difficult to block her, the Gentleman, because with two his ability of getting money is augmented etc. etc. Our feeling was that the balance is ruined for two with the magician powers. It worked marvelously with three and four though. Again, this is only our experience, others might disagree.
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