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Subject: How unfogiving is this game with 2 players? rss

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John Reynolds
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Just curious, I've heard that one mistake can basically put you out for the rest of the game?

Is this true?
 
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Malachi Brown
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Yes.

But with two players, you can call the game early and just play again.
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Cheb
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Yes..but you never make that mistake again!
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8-bit Matt
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Yes, but making a bad mistake doesn't mean you opponent won't also make one later. "Out of the game" assumes your opponent knows completely how to capitalize on a mistake you've made, which may not be the case with two novices.
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Ron Lacer
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This is a game that is very unforgiving, but if players are at least close in experience/skill level I think it is possible to come back from a bad turn and at least be competitive. As said previously, it's always possible your opponent will make a mistake and even things up.
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Andi Hub
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rocksnrolls wrote:
This is a game that is very unforgiving, but if players are at least close in experience/skill level I think it is possible to come back from a bad turn and at least be competitive. As said previously, it's always possible your opponent will make a mistake and even things up.

Of course anything is possible, especially if the other plays messes up a later turn. But if you make errors in the engine builidng of hiring and training people (especially in the beginning), you may have no chance to come back. As said above, you just start a new game then.
 
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Cheb
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I would not recommend starting a new game.. I've seen some pretty epic comebacks out of the blue!
 
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James Perry
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greendayfan333 wrote:
I would not recommend starting a new game.. I've seen some pretty epic comebacks out of the blue!


Far more games though snowball on one mistake. Epic comebacks are usually slow starting engines with massive power.
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John Reynolds
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Regai wrote:
greendayfan333 wrote:
I would not recommend starting a new game.. I've seen some pretty epic comebacks out of the blue!


Far more games though snowball on one mistake. Epic comebacks are usually slow starting engines with massive power.


Is this a bigger issue with only 2? I see this game is for the most part recommended with 2, but is it worth it?
 
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James Perry
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JohnnyR wrote:
Regai wrote:
greendayfan333 wrote:
I would not recommend starting a new game.. I've seen some pretty epic comebacks out of the blue!


Far more games though snowball on one mistake. Epic comebacks are usually slow starting engines with massive power.


Is this a bigger issue with only 2? I see this game is for the most part recommended with 2, but is it worth it?


Maybe a little. But with equal experienced players, it shouldn't be to bad.


Edit to add: yes it is worth it.
 
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Malachi Brown
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With more than two players, there are more potential interactions that are difficult to plan for, so there are more opportunities for the "winning" player to make a misstep.

With only two players, if one player gets ahead in the "tech tree" compared to the other, it can be impossible for the other player to catch up.

Conceding the game (and starting over) is something I would do when I realize that I am in a losing position and that there is no way I can recover on my own without the other player making one or more major mistakes. I would rather learn from my own mistake and try again.

That being said, if I can see a possible realistic path to victory (even if it's not real), I will play it out to see what happens.

So, for the sake of argument, if we play two players and I fail to get any advertising bonus milestones and I we get into a price war before we have even broken the bank the first time, it is unrealistic to believe I can ever recover once I have spiraled down to the point where I have had to fire all my paid employees. Why bother to play that out? My mistake is pretty clear. I failed to get insurance against a brutal price war.

However, if our paths are just divergent and I have a plan for trying to come back then I need to find out how it turns out.

The most painful situation, though, is when you have more than two players some number of them implode with no real hope of recovery. Then it is harder to just have a player concede without killing the game for the players who were still "in it".

This gets into a discussion I had recently about how to teach this game. I was teaching two new players and they both conceded just after the bank broke the first time because they were out of money. We discussed the idea of teaching and playing just a couple of turns and then starting over, but I really don't think that's enough. By the end of turns 4 and 5 both of the new players were making money and feeling pretty good about how things were going. A reset at that point would only lead them back to the same place, where everything seemed fine. On turn 6, when I dropped my prices for everything and started to out-produce the other players is when the realized that it might not be okay, and it was a couple turns after that before one of them realized that not only was he not going to be okay, but that I was just enough ahead of him in tempo that no matter what he tried to do, I would be one step ahead of him. I feel like new players have to get to that point to really understand how they have to think about playing in order to be successful against players with any real experience.
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Malachi Brown
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This also reminds me of a proverb about the game of Go, "Lose your first 50 games as quickly as possible."

http://senseis.xmp.net/?LoseYourFirst50GamesAsQuicklyAsPossi...

In other words, until you have enough experience, don't waste time on a game once you have learned a lesson from it. Try again with that lesson in mind so you can learn something new.

I'm not saying you have to play FCM 50 times, but playing it out just to see how big the margin once you have already identified the problem is probably isn't the best use of your time.
 
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John Reynolds
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Malachi wrote:
This also reminds me of a proverb about the game of Go, "Lose your first 50 games as quickly as possible."

http://senseis.xmp.net/?LoseYourFirst50GamesAsQuicklyAsPossi...

In other words, until you have enough experience, don't waste time on a game once you have learned a lesson from it. Try again with that lesson in mind so you can learn something new.

I'm not saying you have to play FCM 50 times, but playing it out just to see how big the margin once you have already identified the problem is probably isn't the best use of your time.


my concern is if this game is "fun" even when losing? I don't play board games to be super competitive, so your quote about go scares me a bit. Losing a bunch of games just to get a feel for things doesn't sound like much fun (at least, in the context of go). I don't care too much of it win or lose, only that I had fun doing it.
 
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Malachi Brown
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I'm not the best person to ask because I don't like games that are "fun", at least in the traditional sense of the word. I enjoy learning something new about a system and exploring the strategic space it offers, preferably with competent players or at least ones that can challenge my own assumptions and understanding of the game.

FCM is all skill (aside from random board creation and initial turn order/placement). Either you learn to improve the skills involved or you don't. A lot of that is through trial and error. Is that particular journey "fun" or "interesting"? I think that depends on the players involved.
 
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Angel Opportunity
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I personally think this game is fun to lose, but I'm also more competitive when it comes to gaming.

Here is my take on this game at 2-player:

It's a very tight game, but the way milestones work can be tricky in 2-player. In 3+ player, you generally will have at least one player go trainer first on turn 1, which takes that milestone off the table for everyone else who went recruiting girl first.

In 2-player, if both players open with recruiting girl, you are HIHGLY incentivized to both go trainer first next turn, simply because if you don't and the other player does, your opponent is going to have two of the most powerful early game milestones in the game, while you'll have just one. Yes, you can snag some extra marketing milestones, but your engine is just going to be so much weaker.

If you want to avoid having mirroring happen, you can try to go second on turn 1, and then go for the opposite opening as your opponent. You could also both just agree to do opposite openings if you really wanted to.

Any non-standard type of "rush" opening is also weaker in 2-player. In 3+ player, you can rush in hopes that other players will be forced to price war each other while you do a non-standard opening that steals early marketing or errand boy milestones (trying to get first to $100 before everyones' engines go online). If you attempt this in 2-player, your opponent can just target you and counter you only, which means rushes are much less viable.

Various trainer openings are harder in 2-player because you can get stuck having to fire employees, which puts you insanely far behind in 2-player against a recruiting girl. Trainer openings typically need to keep training employees to get leverage out of the opening and out of having fewer open slots for tier-1 employees, so it's very crucial that you have food selling (or waitresses with milestone) online on the turn you would train your fourth employee. One of the easiest mistakes to make it something like sending your trainer (or Guru/Coach) to work, realizing you can't actually make any money, and having to not use a single training action that turn because you also sent your tier 2/tier 3 units to work to produce food that you couldn't sell anyway.
 
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Patrick McGregor
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I like this game best at 2 player because it is very thought intensive and quick. The first couple of turns are scripted but after that it gets to a pretty crazy game of bluffing and risk mitigation, sometimes only running a single trainer to steal turn order. (T1 get recruiting girl, T2 get RG and Trainer)

I would recommend looking at some of the strategy articles written for 2 player if you are interested or to jam a bunch of games on boardgamecore (best recreation of board games online I have ever seen).

Short tips for beginner 2 player.

1. Recruiting girl start will always beat trainer start if you are playing optimally.

2. Get as many marketing milestones as you can, even if you advertise to nothing.
 
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Eric Erwin
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rocksnrolls wrote:
This is a game that is very unforgiving, but if players are at least close in experience/skill level I think it is possible to come back from a bad turn and at least be competitive. As said previously, it's always possible your opponent will make a mistake and even things up.


So, if the two players are completely new to the game (as me and my wife are), it would be much more likely to make mistakes and come back? I read similar things before we played Twilight Struggle about being unforgiving to someone making a mistake, but after playing that I realized it was very likely they were talking about people who have played the game over and over and have all these strategies in mind. For us, that game was very even since neither one of us knew what was going on and had no idea of the cards that lay ahead. Is that similar to what we would experience with this game?
 
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Philipp Eis
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generic_erwin wrote:
rocksnrolls wrote:
This is a game that is very unforgiving, but if players are at least close in experience/skill level I think it is possible to come back from a bad turn and at least be competitive. As said previously, it's always possible your opponent will make a mistake and even things up.


So, if the two players are completely new to the game (as me and my wife are), it would be much more likely to make mistakes and come back? I read similar things before we played Twilight Struggle about being unforgiving to someone making a mistake, but after playing that I realized it was very likely they were talking about people who have played the game over and over and have all these strategies in mind. For us, that game was very even since neither one of us knew what was going on and had no idea of the cards that lay ahead. Is that similar to what we would experience with this game?


Yep, I would say so. As long you are almost playing together you will have the same learning curve (which is quite steep IMO). You will enjoy experiencing the "no gos" in early games and the "possible counters" together - which is great. But it may occur that the other player will realize that there's no way to win the game at some point, because of a different infrastructure in terms of employees. Then, the game is not fun anymore and it depends on the players to dig into the game more and more.

With experienced players, it's kind of a chess-type game. Our first 5-10 games were really funny and well worth the money at that point. Some "niche" cards back then were suddenly OP and, two games later, they were "just okay cards" and "situational" and so on.

So as a conclusion: it's unforgiving, yes, but as long you aren't playing 10 games while your opponent has 1-2 games under his/her belt, it will be a great experience. Secondly be sure you aren't playing 10 different games in that time, to focus on the game
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