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Subject: Balancing the paths rss

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quaoar 10
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Let me first say that I enjoy Anachrony a lot: Great production, fantastic replay value, fresh ideas.

I very much like the asymmetric starting and evacuation conditions of the different paths but I'm stating to be a bit concerned about balancing. Now, I don't want to be too hasty in my judgement, I'm sure a lot of playtesting went into this. However, in the three games I played so far, Domination with leader Samira won three times and each time with a landslide victory with around 15-20 points ahead of the second place. These games were with 4, 3, and 2 players and Domination was played by a different player each time (once by me). I'm wondering if that's only us or that's something others experience as well?

Edit: all games were played on the B sides (path and player boards).
 
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Phil Triest
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quaoar10 wrote:
Let me first say that I enjoy Anachrony a lot: Great production, fantastic replay value, fresh ideas.

I very much like the asymmetric starting and evacuation conditions of the different paths but I'm stating to be a bit concerned about balancing. Now, I don't want to be too hasty in my judgement, I'm sure a lot of playtesting went into this. However, in the three games I played so far, Domination with leader Samira won three times and each time with a landslide victory with around 15-20 points ahead of the second place. These games were with 4, 3, and 2 players and Domination was played by a different player each time (once by me). I'm wondering if that's only us or that's something others experience as well?


I whooped her in a two player game by 10 points with a competent player playing with Progress (leader was the guy who does not use a worker to do an action). To be honest I think you are being premature.
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Barry Miller
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To the OP, have you tried playing with the "B" side of the Player Boards (not the Path boards)? If so, and if it's a concern, then why not play with all players using the "A" side?

Or if you are concerned about an imbalance using the "A" side of the Player Boards, then have all players switch to the "B" side and come back to use with your findings.



 
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Matthias M
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It is not uncommon that a military path is the easiest one to play for beginners.
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quaoar 10
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Sorry, forgot to mention that: all games were with B sides only (path + player).

As I said, my observation may be premature (I hope so! ) but as all three games were won by a large margin I wanted to hear about your experiences.
 
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David Turczi
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Can you detail strategies?
 
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quaoar 10
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As three different players played, strategies were different but they all involved buying a powerful water generating building early on to overcome the water scarcity. Then invest heavily in own buildings to create an engine for generating cubes and water and start to hire which will help you with your evac condition and allow you to use your buildings efficiently. So nothing spectacular, rather straight forward but seems to work.
 
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David Turczi
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quaoar10 wrote:
As three different players played, strategies were different but they all involved buying a powerful water generating building early on to overcome the water scarcity. Then invest heavily in own buildings to create an engine for generating cubes and water and start to hire which will help you with your evac condition and allow you to use your buildings efficiently. So nothing spectacular, rather straight forward but seems to work.


Ummm. THat's how I would characterise all my winning strategies in Anachrony. The difference being the flavour of that engine. Salvation needs purple and then lots of time traveling. Dominance needs water for morale. Progress needs cool superprojects. Harmony needs workers, and something to use them for.
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Marco Tuzzi
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Since unbalance concerns have risen in other two threads and all are about Dominance B-side, I'm starting to grow concern too.
Since bulding a water generation engine is that crucial especially for Dominance, could it be that on the B-side of player board, due to low morale water costs, this can easily give a big edge to the player?

While the other paths have to focus on things which are a little more complex to come by (experimenting and mining to build Superprojects, recruiting and building for Harmony, mining/trading to get neutronium early and building + time traveling for Salvation), Dominance can just focus on getting a few Life Support buildings that give them enough water to motivate their workers even on the far right of the morale track, which means they will have more workers to use than the other players on average.
If you combine this with Wolfe's or Samira's abilities, Dominance can get the upper hand in most plays, unless the player using them totally screws up strategy and takes all the wrong actions.

It just seems that Dominance not only has the easiest strategy to understand, but it's also the easiest to achieve in gaming terms, since it requires less subsequent steps to build up than the other factions'.
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Adrian Schmidt
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Tootzo wrote:
Since unbalance concerns have risen in other two threads and all are about Dominance B-side, I'm starting to grow concern too.
Since bulding a water generation engine is that crucial especially for Dominance, could it be that on the B-side of player board, due to low morale water costs, this can easily give a big edge to the player?

While the other paths have to focus on things which are a little more complex to come by (experimenting and mining to build Superprojects, recruiting and building for Harmony, mining/trading to get neutronium early and building + time traveling for Salvation), Dominance can just focus on getting a few Life Support buildings that give them enough water to motivate their workers even on the far right of the morale track, which means they will have more workers to use than the other players on average.
If you combine this with Wolfe's or Samira's abilities, Dominance can get the upper hand in most plays, unless the player using them totally screws up strategy and takes all the wrong actions.

It just seems that Dominance not only has the easiest strategy to understand, but it's also the easiest to achieve in gaming terms, since it requires less subsequent steps to build up than the other factions'.


I can't really see why Dominance would be destined to have the strongest water-engine? Harmony can build a water-engine just as strong, and it even gives them their evac base-condition "for free".
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Dana Dawson
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Tootzo wrote:
Since unbalance concerns have risen in other two threads and all are about Dominance B-side, I'm starting to grow concern too.
.


Two threads that recollect data from a grand total of 4-5 games?
Is that even a sample?

If you are interested I can tell you that we had 2 games and Dominance (2 different players) got 2nd and 3rd place in 3P and 4P game.

This isn't a consistent sample neither, but it weighs as much as the others imho.

And, frankly, it look really premature to have concerns without having even played the game yet...
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Joe Van
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Ugh... you guys and your balancing issues after 5 play throughs.... Just because someone finds a strategy that works (you guys probably all used similar strategies when the first player won with dominance) and you haven't yet figured out how to stop it, doesn't mean the game is unbalanced.
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quaoar 10
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*Sigh*

I thought I made it very clear that I am NOT accusing the game to be imbalanced. I know that a sample of three games is too small to make any judgements which is why I wanted to increase the sample size by asking others. I just was *curious* if others habe experienced the same or not.

If that bothers you I'm sorry about that.
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Tom Favazza
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I have not had that experience.
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quaoar 10
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blackholexan wrote:


If you are interested I can tell you that we had 2 games and Dominance (2 different players) got 2nd and 3rd place in 3P and 4P game.

This isn't a consistent sample neither, but it weighs as much as the others imho.



I am. That's the whole point of this thread. Good to hear that you had a different winner.
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Dana Dawson
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quaoar10 wrote:
*Sigh*

I thought I made it very clear that I am NOT accusing the game to be imbalanced. I know that a sample of three games is too small to make any judgements which is why I wanted to increase the sample size by asking others. I just was *curious* if others habe experienced the same or not.

If that bothers you I'm sorry about that.


My comments were directed to concerns of users that didn't even play the game yet and were already theorycrafting about dominat strategies/paths
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Craig Wright
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I have played four times (3x3player, 1x4 player)
Dominance has won once, by 3 points . . .
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quaoar 10
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Ok thanks. Sounds good!
 
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Chris Gordy
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Samira has yet to win in any game I played.
 
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Gordon Dankberg
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It would be nice to begin tallying up recorded plays and victories, much as people have done for Terra Mystica.

I've only played once 4-player and all A-sides... all newbies...no expansions. I'm the only one that read the rules so I taught the game to the others.
I don't even know the names of all the paths yet... but I'm getting from this thread that Blue is Dominance??

Blue didn't use Samira... so I guess it was Wolfe. That player seemed to have the best engine going, trading power cores for water frequently, then the other way around later in the game. He came in dead last. I nearly doubled his score.

The Yellow Player (harmony?) had a great Superproject engine going... no one else was trying for Breakthroughs or Superprojects, so he was uncontested there, and there was an end game condition for most building slots filled and most superprojects, so he seemed a shoe-in for both of those, and his first superproject was the one that gave end-game points for superprojects. everything seemed to be going his way... his evac condition was easy-peasy (just water)... he came in a strong second place with about 54 points though.

I was playing Red and I just maxed out on Warping stuff every era. I completed my evac a full Era after everyone else (so got -3 pts) but gained 27 points in the process (I used the extra era to hoard and trade for Nuetronium as often as I could for 3 pts each). I had 2 end-game bonuses in my favor... highest time-travel range (mine was 11!), and highest on Time travel track both which I won handily; I also tied for most workers. I did not have many buildings, and no superprojects; I won by a good 10 points or so with 65. My Leader was the one that allowed you to remove a paradox for 2 water (or vice versa).

I think I was just the player most familiar with the rules and so was able to take full advantage of the time travel aspect, while the other players were still trying to figure it out. Next game will be much different im sure.
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Gordon Dankberg
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Gumps wrote:
Samira has yet to win in any game I played.


for me, Smaira has yet to play in any game I won. :p
 
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Alexa Elvrayen

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quaoar10 wrote:
*Sigh*

I thought I made it very clear that I am NOT accusing the game to be imbalanced.

You literally did, its right there in the title of the thread. Js
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quaoar 10
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Alexa_Elvrayen wrote:
quaoar10 wrote:
*Sigh*

I thought I made it very clear that I am NOT accusing the game to be imbalanced.

You literally did, its right there in the title of the thread. Js


No, I did not?! Otherwise I would have written something like "path x is overpowered" or "paths are imbalanced" or something like that. But that's not what I wanted to say. If the title is still implying that it was not my intention.

And to be clear once more: I enjoy the game a lot. I played it three times within a week. I find it that good and I'm just curious what others have experienced. Seems like victories are more widely spread in other groups. That's good to know and if my question is causing so much heat, let's just leave it at that.
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Phil Triest
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gdankberg wrote:
It would be nice to begin tallying up recorded plays and victories, much as people have done for Terra Mystica.

I've only played once 4-player and all A-sides... all newbies...no expansions. I'm the only one that read the rules so I taught the game to the others.
I don't even know the names of all the paths yet... but I'm getting from this thread that Blue is Dominance??

Blue didn't use Samira... so I guess it was Wolfe. That player seemed to have the best engine going, trading power cores for water frequently, then the other way around later in the game. He came in dead last. I nearly doubled his score.

The Yellow Player (harmony?) had a great Superproject engine going... no one else was trying for Breakthroughs or Superprojects, so he was uncontested there, and there was an end game condition for most building slots filled and most superprojects, so he seemed a shoe-in for both of those, and his first superproject was the one that gave end-game points for superprojects. everything seemed to be going his way... his evac condition was easy-peasy (just water)... he came in a strong second place with about 54 points though.

I was playing Red and I just maxed out on Warping stuff every era. I completed my evac a full Era after everyone else (so got -3 pts) but gained 27 points in the process (I used the extra era to hoard and trade for Nuetronium as often as I could for 3 pts each). I had 2 end-game bonuses in my favor... highest time-travel range (mine was 11!), and highest on Time travel track both which I won handily; I also tied for most workers. I did not have many buildings, and no superprojects; I won by a good 10 points or so with 65. My Leader was the one that allowed you to remove a paradox for 2 water (or vice versa).

I think I was just the player most familiar with the rules and so was able to take full advantage of the time travel aspect, while the other players were still trying to figure it out. Next game will be much different im sure.


I've played both Anachrony and Terra Mystica. There were serious balance issues with TM in that a few races were really strong compared to the others if all things were equal. I don't think there is too much imbalance in Anachrony as the differences between each faction are more subtle.
 
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Phil Triest
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quaoar10 wrote:
Alexa_Elvrayen wrote:
quaoar10 wrote:
*Sigh*

I thought I made it very clear that I am NOT accusing the game to be imbalanced.

You literally did, its right there in the title of the thread. Js


No, I did not?! Otherwise I would have written something like "path x is overpowered" or "paths are imbalanced" or something like that. But that's not what I wanted to say. If the title is still implying that it was not my intention.

And to be clear once more: I enjoy the game a lot. I played it three times within a week. I find it that good and I'm just curious what others have experienced. Seems like victories are more widely spread in other groups. That's good to know and if my question is causing so much heat, let's just leave it at that.


To be fair, your title says 'Balancing the Paths' which to me says the game is unbalanced. It is worth leaving the title alone though as I think the answers here are pretty clear that in these early times things look pretty good.
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