Recommend
8 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

Pax Renaissance» Forums » Sessions

Subject: First solo learning game - This is a whole lot of game. rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ingólfur Valsson
Iceland
Sauðárkrókur
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So I decided to try to play a 3 handed solo game (I wanted to see how it flows at something more than 2 players) to learn the game. It was quite something. At first I felt like I had no idea what I was doing but after the game I understand just how clueless I am.

I got green, yellow and blue in that order. Green and Yellow got "lucky" early queens in the east, meaning they had some concessions around that area the trade routes start. Green got Ottoman which seems strong in the early game with so many pieces, while yellow got Byzantium. They campaigned against the neighbors and exchanged vassals a few times and most of their money, they gained so easily, went towards paying for those armies. Blue meanwhile wen't for probably some bad cards early on. I grabbed Luther with reformation while still not understanding how this would help me. No money made it to the West at all and trade shifts never came.

With green I got a lot of early religious prestige so I was thinking he could maybe try for religious victory if not the imperial one. Meanwhile yellow got richer and richer and did better and soon enough managed to own most concessions and vote green out of Ottoman power. The whole time it looked like blue was out of the running because he never had money and never owned a empire. He slowly built up while the other too fought. But after Green lost Ottoman it seemed tables had turned. Blue ruled the west and had set up for a Renaissance victory. Yellow managed to add some Law prestige to make it harder for him.

Two comets came up in each row in the same turn and Yellow had a winning hand for Imperial victory but not the money to buy towards the comet, so first action had to be trade route, while the second bought the card and activated Imperial victory. Blue managed to grab a vassal with his sole king, but while going though the rest of his ops (he had a really long and good west tableau while his east was empty) I realized that with a vote I could turn that new vassal into a republic that gave me a law prestige, and use the money I finally had to buy that other comet and set it up for a renaissance victory. A useless green turn (he became very weak with almost a empty tableau and no concessions out) later it was yellows turn again. I thought, "wait a second, didn't I grab the vassal for blue to ensure Yellow wouldn't have victory) and realized that he had two more kings than blue since he converted his new vassal to a republic blush. So first action victory for Yellow.

So after the game, here are my thoughts and wonders. No trade shifts ever came, there was one for Novgorod at the bottom. This meant money never seemed to reach the West. Blue managed to use West commerce to gain money, but there wasn't always money there because the other two focused more on the East cards. I also ever saw that one white bishop come out. Green's chance in the latter half of the game rested with his single catholic prestige and the need to flip Mamluk so papal state Mamluk would be the only theocracies and both Catholic, yeah I never saw any religious wars in this game either. I also never saw any pirates.

Especially in the east all borders filled with Concessions and serfs started to collect on the Empires. I didn't get a good feeling how this would impact the game, unless perhaps that peasant revolts would be easier. Those concession did't go until I managed to Tax a little bit, but it was hard in the east because it was almost always saturated.

I noticed how easy it can be to have a rotten situation, no money, no way to get money and thus hard to do anything constructive in your turn. Blue was in that situation early on and green as well later in the game. It was worse for green because it was later in the game and his tableau was bad, forced to sell cards to do anything at all.

Religious and globalization victories seem to depend a lot on the cards that come up. You could have all the prestige in the world in a religion but if the right bishops and religious wars don't show up there is nothing you can do. So I guess this kind of victory is something you only start aiming for midway through the game where you start to realize that it could happen. Globalization is perhaps easier to aim for but it dependency on concessions might mean that you probably are doing well in Imperial or Renaissance as well.

I must say I'm very impressed with this game, it has so much going on for it but still manages to be pretty tight in mechanics. But I also felt it was very hard to realize the board state and all the different war mechanics was easy to confuse.

It seems so easy to screw someone over you could be thinking you are doing just fine and then next you know you have nothing, and being down in this game seems really bad.

I'm interested to hear where you think I went wrong in this game, what mistakes I might have done.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dom Rougier
United Kingdom
Bristol
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Pax Ren is an awesome game.

You're quite right - the main challenge with learning and teaching Pax Ren is that there is an overload of information at the start. Combining that with the variable (and player-dependant) victory conditions, there may well be no "best" move or good line to take in a given situation.

"What if I do this?"
"Well, this, this and this will happen"
"Is that good?"
"I have no idea"

Is a fairly common conversation early on.


I haven't played any of the Pax games as much as I'd like, but In common with all of them, I think that the usual win condition is actually a tie, with the victory conditions being motivators to get you to that state.

You certainly do not want to decide "I'm going to try for a Religious victory" early on, and then do everything towards that goal - your focus should be more on the other players than your own tableau, and you should be aware of how close everyone is to winning.

You need to build to every victory condition (or at least stop someone else getting far away from the table), and

Quote:
It seems so easy to screw someone over


is a huge part of that.

Quote:
I noticed how easy it can be to have a rotten situation, no money, no way to get money and thus hard to do anything constructive in your turn. Blue was in that situation early on and green as well later in the game. It was worse for green because it was later in the game and his tableau was bad, forced to sell cards to do anything at all.


Yup. Selling cards from hand and tableau is more than viable, and is one of the few ways to add money into the game. Money in the game is mostly zero-sum, but with massive exceptions for selling cards and Campaign ops, in each direction.


Quote:
Especially in the east all borders filled with Concessions and serfs started to collect on the Empires. I didn't get a good feeling how this would impact the game, unless perhaps that peasant revolts would be easier. Those concession did't go until I managed to Tax a little bit, but it was hard in the east because it was almost always saturated.


The amount of ruling class pieces on the map card end up representing how stable that regime is - the East is often more stable than the West. Stable regimes are great for making trade money from, but are much harder to make a regime change. As repressed serfs mount up, peasant revolts are certainly more likely, but this often means that Western Europe is a much more dynamic place, for good or ill.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jack Francisco
United States
Cumberland
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This game is madness. I love it and wholeheartedly immerse myself in it.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joel Carr
United States
Ruckersville
Virginia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
One of these days I'll be up on RI and look up Jack for a game. Until then, I am starting my kiddos on Pax Porf. while I play pax ren. against myself...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jack Francisco
United States
Cumberland
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sounds like a plan, Joel! Playing this game feels like looking at a bowl of spaghetti and trying to figure out where each noodle leads to. And I mean that in the best way possible.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gillum the Stoor
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Unfortunately, my Rhode Island years (there were 6 of them) are long behind me, and I have been in Oregon now for more than 20.

For many years, my daughter was precocious with boardgames. But she came to enjoy the company of girls her age and playing games with dad lost its allure. About a year back she rallied to learn and play Pax Pamir (!) - and then it was over: she discovered video games and the iPhone. And she's 13 now.

Some guys were here today for 6-player Carson City, and there were 1-2 who were intrigued by PaxRen (which I had left out). So maybe maybe it won't be just me someday.

It is a great game for sure. I appreciate the spaghetti comment because some of the strands are printed right on the board in black and white (!) - but you have to master those that aren't as obvious as well - like the way that Bishops can move.

I have also noticed the problem of finding yourself with no money and no apparent way to get more. I think that it's important to watch out for that - don't spend too much unless you can see some return from the cards you're buying. If you're low on cash, maybe bide your time till there's something worth buying.

I know that the focus is all Black and Aegean seas until there is a trade shift. Maybe it's better for players who don't dominate the concessions there to focus their buying on the west. If more money goes into the west, cash from the western trade fairs will reach past the Aegean and into the west itself. And pulling cards from the west deck may hasten trade shifts.

But of course anything I can say is an oversimplification ...
3 
 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.