Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
18 Posts

Jump Drive» Forums » General

Subject: Concerns about Balance for "Galactic Survey: Seti" card rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
flag msg tools
"Watch, but do not govern; stop war, but do not wage it; protect, but do not control; and first, survive!" - Cordwainer Smith
badge
"So long, play actor!"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DISCLAIMER: So far we have only played this game once.

We had a very dramatic, come-from-behind victory from the player who built this card, and while it was certainly entertaining to see a player go from earning ~10 VPs a turn to earning ~30 VPs a turn, other players voiced concerns that the card may be over-powered.

I did a quick totting up of all the cards and found the following...

112 cards (w/starting cards)

- 51 w/ Explore symbols(1 w/ 3, 5 w/ 2, 45 w/ 1)

[6 w/ Explore + Military]

- 25 w/ Military symbols (3 w/ 3, 7 w/ 2, 15 w/ 1)

[1 w/ Military + Genetics]

- 16 w/ Genetics symbols (2 w/ 2, 14 w/ 1)

[3 w/ Explore + Genetics]

- 29 w/ No Symbols

(The bracketed numbers are overlap, so for example of the 51 cards with explore symbols, 6 of them also have Military symbols and 3 of them also have Genetics symbols.)

As can be seen, a little under half the deck has one or more explore symbols. While there are similar high-cost developments that give points for another player's other symbols (Uplift Code for Genetics, and a few others that are points for cards rather than symbols, i.e., military worlds, developments, etc), the rate of return on those would seem to be much lower given the deck composition and what other players decide to build. The chances of having one or more other players to benefit off of seem to be much higher with explore symbols than with any other.

So given the preponderance of explore symbols in the deck, how is this card not an insta-build for the person who draws it?

Outside of "the player may not have enough cards in hand to build it right away" (and the related "if you have it in your hand in the opening, you might want to focus on your engine first"), I'm having a hard time thinking up situations where a player shouldn't at least try to get it out at some point in the game. Building said development looks to always be a good idea and sometimes a game-winning one.

Naturally, I'll play more games to see how things shake out in practice, but what do you guys think? Is my math off? Is there anything I'm missing?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
msg tools
This one didn't strike me as overpowered. The best comparisons are probably the two other 9-cost developments, right? Galatic Federation has a great power: -2 cost to developments, and Uplift Code is probably going to give you ridiculous income, 1 per chromosome. SETI...besides the points, it's only got 3 eye icons on it, and IMO those are pretty much useless, who actually explores ever? Especially if you have enough income to play something like SETI, you're probably seeing way too many cards already every turn.

For which card I'd be most happy to draw in the mid-part of a game, it's hard to pick. If I have at least 1 chromosome, I'd probably rather draw Uplift Code.

Also in my very humble opinion, if anything is overpowered, it's the chromosome strategy in general, and as you pointed out, very few cards have both eye icons and chromosomes. So that's another point for hoping to draw Uplift Code in my book.

Heck, I'd definitely rather draw Galactic Imperium (8-cost), that one gives you +4 military toward REBELs, that's awesome.

But anyways, some card always has to be the most powerful in the game, right? So a card being overpowered isn't really a huge deal unless it is miles ahead of every other comparable card.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J Rachfal
United States
Rochester
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I think you (and I) need to play more. I think you'll find that when you get enough cards to play any of the 7-9 cost developments that it will be late in the game and that they all bring large points. I lost my first game to a player who played the 9 cost uplift code development (two players had lots of genes). I won my most recent game with the 8 point Galactic Imperium card.

While there may be lots of cards with explore icons, it's not at all clear that you (or other players) will want to deliberately try to get more explore icons out into your empire. The game's short, so giving up a turn to explore (especially later in the game) to take advantage of lots of explore icons doesn't seem like a sound strategy. The other consideration is that there are only two cards in the deck which give you points for explore: Galactic Survey: Seti (1 per icon of you and another player) and Survey HQ (one per PAIR of icons). Contrast this with a "Blue World" strategy and the 7 Free Trade Association development (2 per blue world + one per other player) and the possibility of 2 cheap Consumer Markets (1 per blue world).

I'm willing to bet on multiple viable paths to victory and would definitely NOT consider the Galactic Survey: Seti and auto buy.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Caleb
United States
Seminole
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
"Disclaimer: I've only played once, but I think the people that balanced the game by playing hundreds or thousands of times missed something."

Just play more
7 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jonathan Schindler
United States
Lombard
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
For what it's worth, someone played this card against me recently, and I happened to have a decent number of explore symbols, so they scored points for my empire too. (I had Survey HQ in my empire.) Even so, I and the other player in the game beat this player. Granted, if he had scored those points another few turns, he might have won (although I scored 30 points my last round). All of this to say, I think the power of the card is balanced by opportunity (you have to have already built toward it and ideally have someone else who has done the same) and cost (you essentially have to discard your whole hand to build it).
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
flag msg tools
"Watch, but do not govern; stop war, but do not wage it; protect, but do not control; and first, survive!" - Cordwainer Smith
badge
"So long, play actor!"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cannoneer wrote:
"Disclaimer: I've only played once, but I think the people that balanced the game by playing hundreds or thousands of times missed something."

I LITERALLY included that part so you wouldn't have to waste your time with a snarky response, but sure, tell me something I don't know

If I really thought that the designer didn't thoroughly play-test his games, I would have offered some half-baked balancing idea. Now THAT would have been a prime thing to ridicule

cannoneer wrote:
Just play more

I plan to!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
flag msg tools
"Watch, but do not govern; stop war, but do not wage it; protect, but do not control; and first, survive!" - Cordwainer Smith
badge
"So long, play actor!"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Epyo wrote:
SETI...besides the points, it's only got 3 eye icons on it, and IMO those are pretty much useless, who actually explores ever?

I agree that the potential for explore actions isn't really the point, but that given how players will most likely have built cards that at least have a few eye symbols on them no matter what they choose to focus on, getting 1 VP per your own eye symbol AND 1 VP per eye symbol of another player seems like it would shake out to a decent amount of points no matter how players have played.

Epyo wrote:
Especially if you have enough income to play something like SETI, you're probably seeing way too many cards already every turn.

Ahh, that's an excellent point I didn't consider. If the card draw is big enough, there's a good chance you'll get a high cost card that synergizes better with whatever you've been building.

Epyo wrote:
Also in my very humble opinion, if anything is overpowered, it's the chromosome strategy in general, and as you pointed out, very few cards have both eye icons and chromosomes. So that's another point for hoping to draw Uplift Code in my book.

I'll have to give that one a shot and see how it shakes out.

Epyo wrote:
But anyways, some card always has to be the most powerful in the game, right? So a card being overpowered isn't really a huge deal unless it is miles ahead of every other comparable card.

Oh, for sure, I think that most of the high cost developments could net a huge amount of points provided that players build toward them (which as you pointed out previously, is likely if a player's draw engine is robust enough). My main point was that SETI is less situationally good and more generally good, at least in comparison to the other high-cost developments.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
flag msg tools
"Watch, but do not govern; stop war, but do not wage it; protect, but do not control; and first, survive!" - Cordwainer Smith
badge
"So long, play actor!"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jrachfal wrote:
I think you (and I) need to play more. I think you'll find that when you get enough cards to play any of the 7-9 cost developments that it will be late in the game and that they all bring large points. I lost my first game to a player who played the 9 cost uplift code development (two players had lots of genes). I won my most recent game with the 8 point Galactic Imperium card.

Agreed, and this is the sort of stuff I was looking to hear about, that is "we played and so-and-so won by this other card/set of cards."

jrachfal wrote:
While there may be lots of cards with explore icons, it's not at all clear that you (or other players) will want to deliberately try to get more explore icons out into your empire. The game's short, so giving up a turn to explore (especially later in the game) to take advantage of lots of explore icons doesn't seem like a sound strategy. The other consideration is that there are only two cards in the deck which give you points for explore: Galactic Survey: Seti (1 per icon of you and another player) and Survey HQ (one per PAIR of icons). Contrast this with a "Blue World" strategy and the 7 Free Trade Association development (2 per blue world + one per other player) and the possibility of 2 cheap Consumer Markets (1 per blue world).

This is a good point, and one I sort of glanced at but didn't explore: The other high-cost developments tend to give a better rate of return, points-wise, for their scoring parameters in the player's own tableau over others. Both the Free Trade Association and the CRAZY Alien Technology Institute can be better if one builds toward blue/yellow (though there seems to be fewer and more expensive yellows than blues, which is definitely a point in the "balanced" column).

jrachfal wrote:
I'm willing to bet on multiple viable paths to victory and would definitely NOT consider the Galactic Survey: Seti and auto buy.

::thumbs up::
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Keith
United States
Oakland
California
flag msg tools
"Watch, but do not govern; stop war, but do not wage it; protect, but do not control; and first, survive!" - Cordwainer Smith
badge
"So long, play actor!"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Goatcabin wrote:
For what it's worth, someone played this card against me recently, and I happened to have a decent number of explore symbols, so they scored points for my empire too. (I had Survey HQ in my empire.) Even so, I and the other player in the game beat this player. Granted, if he had scored those points another few turns, he might have won (although I scored 30 points my last round). All of this to say, I think the power of the card is balanced by opportunity (you have to have already built toward it and ideally have someone else who has done the same) and cost (you essentially have to discard your whole hand to build it).

Excellent points, thanks.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Raphaël Langella
France
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
touchstonethefool wrote:
My main point was that SETI is less situationally good and more generally good, at least in comparison to the other high-cost developments.

Disclaimer: I haven't played Jump Drive (but I played a lot of RFTG). This does sound exactly like SETI in race. In race, the card power is really underwhelming comparing to other 6-devs, but it scores well in most tableau. I usually score it around 10 points.
So maybe it's similar in JD. It scores well in most games, but its power is not as strong as other high cost devs.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
rain
Canada
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
touchstonethefool wrote:
cannoneer wrote:
"Disclaimer: I've only played once, but I think the people that balanced the game by playing hundreds or thousands of times missed something."

I LITERALLY included that part so you wouldn't have to waste your time with a snarky response, but sure, tell me something I don't know


It is hard not to be snarky when someone writes something so ridiculous.

You probably spent more time writing your post than playing the game, and you still think you have more insight than others who have played it hundreds or thousands of times. Your self-esteem outweighs your evidence.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wei-Hwa Huang
United States
San Jose
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Rainstar wrote:

You probably spent more time writing your post than playing the game, and you still think you have more insight than others who have played it hundreds or thousands of times. Your self-esteem outweighs your evidence.


Sort of off-topic, but I'm not sure anyone's played the game thousands of times. Close to one thousand, quite possible.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Lehmann
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
I'm certainly played more than 500 Jump Drive games, particularly since I would typically play 2-3 games per session, but I don't think I'm over a 1000 games (so far).

I've played The City well over 3000 times, probably closer to 5000 times, possibly more. But, that's because I have an unreleased app of it on my computer and can play a game in a minute or so. So, I often play 10-15 games at a time.

I know of another player who is in the 500+ game range for The City without access to an app. It was his most played game for several years running, most often in sessions without me.
16 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brent Mair
United States
Roy
Utah
flag msg tools
The Meeple Nation Boardgame Podcast - 30 minutes a week!
badge
BGGCon 2015 or Bust
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I lost to this card today. My plan for next game is to win with this card.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philippe Castonguay
Canada
flag msg tools
mb
I find the Galactic Federation to be the card that wins when we play. Everyone has developments whether or not we plan on getting this card or not. It is often worth 15+ points. I've only seen it played and lost once, but both of us were stacking genomes and the winning player had the genome development as well as a hefty lead. Still, GF brought the game to within 6 points.

My group argues that it's overpowered... it seems to trump all the other 9 drop developments, and I don't think it's possible for someone to get over 50 points quick enough to prevent the 8 or less cost this requires.

There is no hint that this card is coming, it's always viable, at least if I knew it would drop I could plan an exponential lead with Trendsetters or something. If it costed 12 at least I knew my opponent could ONLY play it if they had investment credits or something. I don't know if setting it to /1 + /1 other player is too much of a nerf? Maybe the +other players is too much?

I don't have a good answer... how, in the thousands of playtests, did people prepare for the possibility of Galactic Federation? The only one I see is drawing it yourself.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Lehmann
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
Of the six high cost developments that score for "one other player", Gal Fed, Uplift Code, and Seti are the "big three", each quite capable of scoring 15+ VPs when played. Not coincidentally, these three devs cost 9, making it impossible -- without dev discounts -- to play them and a world on the same turn.

Gal Imp can sometimes score 15+, especially if there is another military player in the game or if its owner put Military Convoy down early and placed multiple worlds several times. But, often this is the only military player and they spent a round exploring, so then it scores less. Gal Imp originally cost 9, but during testing, after noticing this, I reduced its cost to 8 so it can be played with a military world.

If you have 5-7 military and a 5-9 cost world, NGO (also cost 8) can be placed along with it for 12-18 total VPs. This is quite competitive with Gal Fed (but is a 2-card combo).

Mining League can often score 12-18 VPs on its own, particularly given the various discounts for brown worlds (robots, Conglomerate, Moles), which can allow one to be placed with ML.

FTA and ATI cost only 7 but tend to be more situational, often scoring in the 8-12 VP range.

So, one brake on Gal. Fed (and Seti and UC) is that you rarely get to place a world on the same round with it.

In a 4-player game, yes, someone will usually have lots of devs besides the Gal Fed player. In games with fewer players, this may not be true if one of the other players is pursuing a Trendsetters strategy (discarding Colony Convoys) or if someone starts "big money" with brown worlds (something like Asteroid Belt, Comet Zone, Mining World on rounds 1-3).
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Shuck
United States
Arlington Heights
Illinois
flag msg tools
I've now played 5 games of 3 player Jump Drive and 3 of the 5 were won by the person playing the Seti card. At least with beginning players, there always seems to be at least one person with lots of eyeballs making this card overly powerful.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chance Rushing
United States
Amarillo
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So its settled then that the 8 and 9 cost cards are powerful for winning games, and they all balance each other out depending on which cards get played in a specific game.

Any one game can run hot or cold for a specific strategy depending on card draw for the players.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.