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Personal background: I love and adore TtA, I've played 365 online games on BGA (old story), 7 live games with the old story and 5 live games with the new story.

I showed yesterday TtA to a fellow gamer that wanted to try it out before buying it, so we set up a 3-player game with another girl, who was playing it for the second time. Let's call this fellow gamer "Julian" and let's call "Mathilde" the third player.

Julian understood pretty quickly the importance of science, as I emphasized a lot during the explanation that science is important. He therefore soon built a second Philosophy to bolster his science production; probably on turn 3 or 4. He had taken Hammurabi as his Age A leader, eventually replacing him with Barbarossa. But, due to the circumstances, he stayed on 2 science production for the whole Age I:

- The first Alchemy dropped quite early, during his turn, for 3 CA. He skipped it, being too expensive, so I took it for 2 CA.
- The second Alchemy dropped also on his turn, again for 3 CA. He skipped it again, but as many cards had been taken during the other two turns, when Julian's turn had come around again, the second Alchemy had been discarded; Mathilde didn't take it.
- The first Printing Press dropped on his turn for 3 CA. He skipped it again, and Mathilde took it for 2 CA.
- The second Printing Press arrived finally at the end of Age I; having lagged behind in science, he took it for 3 CA.

Therefore, he really wanted to bolster his science production, but he just couldn't. In the meantime, he had spent his early science production on:
- Iron (5 science points)
- Masonry (3 science points)
- Monarchy (8 science points); he admitted that this was an error.

He had also spent spent early on 2 CAs to draft and play Cultural Heritage A (1 science, 4 culture). Eventually, he did fix his science production once he had set up his first Printing Press.

On the other hand, I had Aristotle and took the Breakthrough cards, developing Code of Laws, Knights, Alchemy and Swordsmen.

He didn't like the game. While admitting that "everything else was really well balanced", his grudge on the game was that "science can create a snowball effect, as it gives an exponential boost" and that "it's too frustrating if you lag behind in science". He was even considering house rules to "fix this problem".

Apparently, one person (me) is not enough to make a solid argument on that. How would you respond to such a claim? Is science indeed creating a snowball effect in the game? Is it that overpowered?

(NB: I do know the answer, of course, but want the input of others as well)
 
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Paul M
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It's funny to me how Julian's "one game of anecdotal evidence" is enough to convince him that "science" is broken.
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Chris Wilczewski
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The best way to make this argument is to play again.
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Hi Jorge,

nearly every good economic/civ-building strategy game I know has what your friend called "snowball effect". The whole point of investing resources now is getting more (and better, bigger) things done in the future. I believe this concept to be inherent to any "euro-style" game.

It is of course frustrating to be missing the "science-train" altogether, even more so when your friend identified science as being an important thing in the game. But this first game will have showed him, that it is sometimes necessary to take that newly appeared card for 3 CAs if you (and everyone else) really really need it. That's the point of having a card row that goes from 1 to 3 CAs.

I say: Have another game with that same player. Your friend will probably over-value science this second game, neglecting something else. You will probably know better than I do, that balance is key to this game. All your shiny new techs won't be worth a thing if you lack the resources or the population to build it. Have him learn that lesson, but do it the soft way :-)

Greetings

Peter
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If he thinks it's frustrating to lag behind in science, have him try focusing only on science and lagging behind in military next time devil
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I'm guessing he also passed up on the Library and the Universitas as well. Sometimes you just have to spend the civil actions to take either Alchemy and/or Printing Press, but I wouldn't say it creates 'a snowball effect'.
 
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Picon wrote:
(NB: I do know the answer, of course, but want the input of others as well)

I agree with you, of course. There's a wide variety of winning strategies; they all require some amount of science, but not necessarily the most, nor during age I.

I will say that TTA gives you many bad options, and it's not at all obvious what they are without experience. Printing Press is weak without Leonardo or excess population. Masonry is rarely good, and worse with Iron. Whether to use Monarchy is typically a difficult judgment call. And until you know the cards, it's impossible to fully understand the options for achieving a given goal, such as fixing science production in Age II.

Once you've played a game or two and seen all the cards, you get a much better sense of how to plan.
 
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mindphaser1 wrote:
I'm guessing he also passed up on the Library and the Universitas as well.
He took the Pyramids, so no Library of Alexandria. The Universistas Carolina was one of the last Age I cards to come out.
 
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One of the reviews of this game here on its BGG page was what hooked me on this game--the one which instructs you on how to lose at Through the Ages.

Basically, the review describes the ten different balls you're juggling while you play this game, and how you can lose the game by ignoring any one of them. Ignore your military, and you'll get crushed. Ignore your science production, and you'll get crushed. Ignore your food production, and guess what happens?

While it's possible to specialize in this game, it's NOT possible to ignore any part of it without risking the snowball effect that your friend was talking about.

Apparently, my favorite way to lose is by being the weak sister for a round or two too long. That's the mistake that buries me more often than any other...
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Was it the over emphasis on science in age 1? Science is not significantly more valuable than the others. It is possible to, with additional experience and knowledge of the event cards, gain a snowball effect from other advantages (like military by attacking or resource by building wonders)

Seeing little chance of getting additional science, perhaps he should not have played Masonry and Monarhcy. Then, with Iron, saved science point and possible action cards, he could have grabbed an early age 2 alchemy or library with 3 actions.
 
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Staying at 2 science/turn for a while is not a problem. You just have to prioritize science-yellows even more than usual, and must only develop the most crucial techs: military and farms, maybe mines, Code of Laws if you don't have Pyramids.

Masonry is not worth 3 science when you are struggling with science production, and with Pyramids there is no reason to pick Code of Laws or Monarchy, unless you are swimming in science with Aristotle or early Alchemy upgrades.

If Julian did not use 11 science on those two cards he did not absolutely need to develop, I'm sure he could have upgraded his science production age II with ease, while still being able to play the other necessary upgrades like age II military.

Does that make science something that needs to be fixed? I don't think so, because it is quite reasonable that the game forces you to use sparingly whichever resources you produce the least. He had Iron, so for example he should have tried to grab an extra wonder to take advantage of that.
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"I lost, so the game is broken."

The arrogance of the man is astounding. Some ego.
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I am the fellow player in question.

So the argument that every civ game has some snowball is half right to me with one important note to this :

Many games when you are behind you can hope to catch back if other players are competing against each other and come back in the game. The problem is that this game is quite (not completely) a one sided mechanic, you can hardly slow another player therefore the player behind will not be abble to catch back.

To reply to the argument made that you can compensate somewhere else, well I could because I had production and actions so good to build wonders but all wonders came at the end of the age ... so screwed on this side too.

So for me there is no debate about the existence of this proble .. there is in some situations a hard flaw in the game on this very specific mechanic and I wil not take back this statement.

TThe question that needs to be answered is : "Was I very unluck and found myself in a very rare situation" therefore making this problem real only in 1% of the games or is it a problem that happens often ? ... this question is still open and need more games to have a definitive opinion on this!

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Agone07 wrote:
I am the fellow player in question.

So the argument that every civ game has some snowball is half right to me with one important note to this :

Many games when you are behind you can hope to catch back if other players are competing against each other and come back in the game. The problem is that this game is quite (not completely) a one sided mechanic, you can hardly slow another player therefore the player behind will not be abble to catch back.

I don't think this is true. You can nearly always slow the other players, you can take cards they need and manipulate the card row, and obviously play aggressions and wars. If you are behind on military, then there's definitely situations where this becomes harder. But that's not the game, that's the result of decisions you made earlier.

Quote:
To reply to the argument made that you can compensate somewhere else, well I could because I had production and actions so good to build wonders but all wonders came at the end of the age ... so screwed on this side too.

The luck of the card row does impact the game, but you must surely see that if you're strategy relies on a particular card at a particular time, then the strategy is flawed, not the game.


Quote:
So for me there is no debate about the existence of this proble .. there is in some situations a hard flaw in the game on this very specific mechanic and I wil not take back this statement.

I think there is definitely debate. It sounds like you would like the game to always have an opportunity for everyone to win regardless of their starting strategic decisions. This cannot be, or we would all buy stuff and build stuff and then roll a die to see who won after 2 hours.

Quote:
The question that needs to be answered is : "Was I very unluck and found myself in a very rare situation" therefore making this problem real only in 1% of the games or is it a problem that happens often ? ... this question is still open and need more games to have a definitive opinion on this!

I cannot say for sure, but it sounds like through some inexperienced choices and strategies you found yourself behind with no way to catch up.
I would say this is 100% likely to happen against an experienced player, and probably 90% chance of happening to one of the players if you're all inexperienced.
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Agone07 wrote:
Many games when you are behind you can hope to catch back if other players are competing against each other and come back in the game. The problem is that this game is quite (not completely) a one sided mechanic, you can hardly slow another player therefore the player behind will not be abble to catch...



Where you playing the peaceful variant? Because there are events, aggressions and wars that help you catch up.

obviously on a first game there's a lot of stuff to digest. It's probably best to play the peaceful variant or a game with a low level of conflict with new players.
 
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Agone07 wrote:
I am the fellow player in question.

So the argument that every civ game has some snowball is half right to me with one important note to this :

Many games when you are behind you can hope to catch back if other players are competing against each other and come back in the game. The problem is that this game is quite (not completely) a one sided mechanic, you can hardly slow another player therefore the player behind will not be abble to catch back.

To reply to the argument made that you can compensate somewhere else, well I could because I had production and actions so good to build wonders but all wonders came at the end of the age ... so screwed on this side too.

So for me there is no debate about the existence of this proble .. there is in some situations a hard flaw in the game on this very specific mechanic and I wil not take back this statement.

TThe question that needs to be answered is : "Was I very unluck and found myself in a very rare situation" therefore making this problem real only in 1% of the games or is it a problem that happens often ? ... this question is still open and need more games to have a definitive opinion on this!



You played a bad game, and had bad card drops - but the game is not flawed just because you got smoked. You were new, made bad decisions and lost convincingly. Seems like the game is perfectly well balanced to me. This game (thank god) does not have a built in catchup mechanic, except for player decisions by way of pacts or targeting the culture leaders with aggressions/wars (if able).

I happen to think the exact opposite: [at the risk of sounding arrogant] if I played you on your first game, and you were anywhere even close to a challenge, that's when I would consider a game flawed. The wonderful thing about this game is the better players usually win.

You underestimated science, weren't willing to spend the CA's, and lost. Do better next time.
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Riku Koskinen
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Agone07 wrote:
I am the fellow player in question.
So the argument that every civ game has some snowball is half right to me with one important note to this :

Many games when you are behind you can hope to catch back if other players are competing against each other and come back in the game. The problem is that this game is quite (not completely) a one sided mechanic, you can hardly slow another player therefore the player behind will not be abble to catch back.


An unrelated note: It's a very bold move to blame a game as deep as Through the Ages to be flawed, and propose house rules to it, after just one play. I have made the mistake of judging games with one play in the past, only to find them very enjoyable later as I understood better what should I really focus on in them. You really should have a lot more plays of TtA before you can analyze its aspects with believable arguments.


As I understand, this all was due to lack of improved science production because of the circumstances listed in the first post. But why would you need to "catch up" in science? The game can be won with very low science production throughout the game, and can be lost with the highest science output of all players. There does not have to be a way to prevent other players getting even more science, because you don't have to care about them doing so.

You don't even snowball science in this game. You certainly don't get Alchemy so that you can quickly upgrade to Sci Method and Computers later. And those are one of the cheapest techs of their ages, science-cost-wise. Upgrading from Philosophy to Computers is very doable.

If you meant that because of low science production you can't snowball in every aspect of the game as well as players with more science, I can only say it's not that simple. More science usually means you can change to a better government faster, you can take and play blue techs, and you are not "forced" to use plenty of CAs to grab science-granting yellow cards. These are things you can live without. Even with those two philosophies and by paying attention to certain yellow cards, and maybe revolting to a new government, you are going to be fine in the critical aspects of the game: military first, then culture and/or infrastructure that will lead to culture later.

After all if the game is flawed in this sense, wouldn't the playtesters have noticed it at least in this new TtA version, and add enough Alchemies so that everyone is guaranteed to get it in 3p and 4p games as well?

In the end what ended up costing your science capabilities were most likely paying 8 science for Monarchy (should have ignored it, or revolted with 2 science+likely 2 resources to corruption) and 3 science for Masonry. This has been mentioned in the thread several times, including the first post. With 9 or 11 extra science you certainly would have had different kind of experience in the game. This was an understandable mistake from a beginner, but instead of blaming the game mechanics you should first analyze what you could have done different to avoid the low-science situation, and of course ask then for rematch!
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Badoux Jerome
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If you get late for any reason (missplay, missluck,harassment, ...) well when you are behind if the mechanic creates an effect that the gap will exponentially increase because of that. This is called snowball and it is not an advice but a mathematical fact easily proven.

And In the game I played the Snowball effect was real... I am not talking about the many mistakes I made that is not the game faults but I am talking about an inherit mechanic of the game that cause this gap to increase Just because you are behind.

Yes I fall behind because of mistakes I made but this is not the subject and I read many people that seems to not understand that. But once behind (by my own fault + missluck) the dynamic of the game created an effect of increasing this gap naturally during the end of Age 1 and Age 2. (didn't felt that as much in age 3 as in age 3 science is not so important anymore ... but by age 3 it was too late.)
 
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Agone07 wrote:
If you get late for any reason (missplay, missluck,harassment, ...) well when you are behind if the mechanic creates an effect that the gap will exponentially increase because of that. This is called snowball and it is not an advice but a mathematical fact easily proven.

And In the game I played the Snowball effect was real... I am not talking about the many mistakes I made that is not the game faults but I am talking about an inherit mechanic of the game that cause this gap to increase Just because you are behind.


I would like to see a more concrete example of this snowballing. What do you mean by "being behind"? What does this science-induced snowballing actually entail, and why is this thought of as a negative thing? After all the thread's first post mentions you think the game is flawed in some way and that the science stuff should be houseruled. That is likely the reason a lot of people are eagerly defending the game, because the majority seems to have the opinion that there is nothing wrong with the science side in the game.

Quote:
Yes I fall behind because of mistakes I made but this is not the subject and I read many people that seems to not understand that. But once behind (by my own fault + missluck) the dynamic of the game created an effect of increasing this gap naturally during the end of Age 1 and Age 2. (didn't felt that as much in age 3 as in age 3 science is not so important anymore ... but by age 3 it was too late.)


But the thing is that the game is not like that when you have more experience. There will be no unwinnable snowballing cases because of science when all the players know how to cope with the different situations they face in the game. Your experience from that one game does not represent what TtA actually is. It just seems you exaggerate the impact of snowballing way too much, as it is not that big of a deal in the big picture.

There can be huge snowballing by others if you never build your second Philosophy nor get science by any other means. Does that mean the game is flawed and houserules are required, because you chose to stay at 1 sci/turn for the entire game?

A challenging, serious boardgame like TtA rewards good play and punishes those who make suboptimal moves. That is not a flaw. Whenever I play with new players, I always instruct them about what they should pick and do during their turns thanks to civil cards being public knowledge. If you play the first game with no help from the opposition, assuming they are not new TtAers, and they let you pay 8 science for Monarchy with 2 sci/turn production and no military techs discovered yet, it's not going to be very fun for you and is a rather hardcore way to play the first game indeed.
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So to explain in details :

I had 2 science and missed the 2 upgrades.
I focused for the rest on production and actions in order to build wonders... but the good ones were not coming ... so couldn't do it.

Therefore my opponent was producing 4 science each turn and so was abble to place thae cards he obtains to upgrade his military and his generalengine.

On my side I couldn't ... it was taking a lot of time to gather enough science to do like him (improving military and my engine). I had therefore twice less cards being developped than him, so round after the extra cards he plays can be used giving him even more advantage, all those advantage were then giving even more etc...

As I had twice less researched cards I had to make a choice ... either trying to do both (military and my general engine) but having them half less efficient as him or give up on once to put all my efforts on the other.

Then I had to rush the printing press when it Finally came out after a while, but printing press is another nuilding not an upgrade of philosophy so I couldn't upgrade my workers and had to hire new workers... therefore adding some more efforts in farming to pay for them (what I wouldn't have needed to do if being abble to upgrade) therefore the gap was growing even more. And after a a while eventually I finally had the science I needed with the printing press and the farming and all those efforts.

But with all this efforts I couldn't build my military and Jorge was abble to and of course he was abble to do huge cultural wars.

And the third player had some armies (not as much), she got attacked but the mechanic is such that armies are not lost so it was not putting Jorge behind (In other words it didn't helped closing the gap).

So even with all my efforts to compensate my science deficit the gap was getting wider and wider (Because all this efforts are efforts that my opponent was abble to do other things.)


So I think the 2 urban buildings maximum on science is a flaw of the game. (And yes I know there is govs that allows to increase that maximum ... and I had one... but guess what... not enough science to play it!)


And yes I imagine that experience players will be abble to avoid this situation but when it happens (because of a mistake) there is a real snow ball effect.

And to reply to a comment about every game having this snowball effect, yes but take clash of culture for instance if the others are fighting each other they will lose units, cities, ... and therefore they will lose some of their advantages on you by fighting, giving you a chance to fill the gap if they let you alone ... this kind of mechanics that help to reduce the snowballing doesn't really exist in this game as if a player is ahead in military he will not fall down because he will never lose units in the combats therefore the way to compensate the snowballing is not existing in this game!

And is it a bad thing? that is a question of point of view maybe it is not a bad thing for you it is bad for me because my personnal taste is that I don't like games that snowballs (especially if there is no ant-snowball mechanics).
 
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Picon wrote:
Personal background: I love and adore TtA, I've played 365 online games on BGA (old story), 7 live games with the old story and 5 live games with the new story.

I showed yesterday TtA to a fellow gamer that wanted to try it out before buying it, so we set up a 3-player game with another girl, who was playing it for the second time. Let's call this fellow gamer "Julian" and let's call "Mathilde" the third player.

Julian understood pretty quickly the importance of science, as I emphasized a lot during the explanation that science is important. He therefore soon built a second Philosophy to bolster his science production; probably on turn 3 or 4. He had taken Hammurabi as his Age A leader, eventually replacing him with Barbarossa. But, due to the circumstances, he stayed on 2 science production for the whole Age I:

- The first Alchemy dropped quite early, during his turn, for 3 CA. He skipped it, being too expensive, so I took it for 2 CA.
- The second Alchemy dropped also on his turn, again for 3 CA. He skipped it again, but as many cards had been taken during the other two turns, when Julian's turn had come around again, the second Alchemy had been discarded; Mathilde didn't take it.
- The first Printing Press dropped on his turn for 3 CA. He skipped it again, and Mathilde took it for 2 CA.
- The second Printing Press arrived finally at the end of Age I; having lagged behind in science, he took it for 3 CA.

Therefore, he really wanted to bolster his science production, but he just couldn't. In the meantime, he had spent his early science production on:
- Iron (5 science points)
- Masonry (3 science points)
- Monarchy (8 science points); he admitted that this was an error.

He had also spent spent early on 2 CAs to draft and play Cultural Heritage A (1 science, 4 culture). Eventually, he did fix his science production once he had set up his first Printing Press.

On the other hand, I had Aristotle and took the Breakthrough cards, developing Code of Laws, Knights, Alchemy and Swordsmen.

He didn't like the game. While admitting that "everything else was really well balanced", his grudge on the game was that "science can create a snowball effect, as it gives an exponential boost" and that "it's too frustrating if you lag behind in science". He was even considering house rules to "fix this problem".

Apparently, one person (me) is not enough to make a solid argument on that. How would you respond to such a claim? Is science indeed creating a snowball effect in the game? Is it that overpowered?

(NB: I do know the answer, of course, but want the input of others as well)


Pretty simple. This game is not for him.
When a player does not spend the CA required to get what they need and fail to see that they need to spend the CA required, they will never understand how to play TTA. Its not for everyone.
 
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Agone07 wrote:
If you get late for any reason (missplay, missluck,harassment, ...) well when you are behind if the mechanic creates an effect that the gap will exponentially increase because of that. This is called snowball and it is not an advice but a mathematical fact easily proven.

And In the game I played the Snowball effect was real... I am not talking about the many mistakes I made that is not the game faults but I am talking about an inherit mechanic of the game that cause this gap to increase Just because you are behind.

Yes I fall behind because of mistakes I made but this is not the subject and I read many people that seems to not understand that. But once behind (by my own fault + missluck) the dynamic of the game created an effect of increasing this gap naturally during the end of Age 1 and Age 2. (didn't felt that as much in age 3 as in age 3 science is not so important anymore ... but by age 3 it was too late.)


Games that are more skill driven than luck driven tend to have this. TTA has no catch up mechanic. All you can hope for is one of the top players stalls.
Having less science than both players does not loose you the game. Not having enough science to get what you need out can loose you the game. Spending 3 CA to get what you need is a choice that you either make, with limited sacrifice or choose not to make with maximum sacrifice.
Easiest way to play TTA is ask yourself what is the worst case scenario. If you cannot live with it, then you should probably avoid it.
 
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Padish wrote:
I would like to see a more concrete example of this snowballing. What do you mean by "being behind"? What does this science-induced snowballing actually entail, and why is this thought of as a negative thing?
Let me sneak in the discussion: here's the session report with details on what happened. I was a bit reluctant to post it for "anonymity" reasons, but since Jerome posted, there's no need to hold it back anymore.

I will not fuel the discussion with my opinion; after all, others find the same "snowballing" others find the game perfectly fine. Nevertheless, let me speak with facts, which are indisputable. For reference, it was a 3-player game.

Here is the amount of spent science on Age I cards from Jerome:
1. Masonry: 3 mb
2. Iron: 5 mb
3. Monarchy: 8 mb
4. Printing Press: 3 mb

And on Age II cards:
5. Coal: 7 mb
6. Selective Breeding: 5 mb
7. Architecture: 6 mb (yes, Masonry was discarded after this)
8. Opera: 5 mb (reduction from J. S. Bach)
9. Riflemen: 6 mb

Key Points
- Both Alchemies appeared on Jerome's turn for 3 CA. He passed up on both. I took the first and the other one was discarded before he could play again.
- Both Printing Presses and the Universitas Carolina came out at the end of Age I.
- Jerome only took a single Breakthrough II. In general, it was me who was taking Breakthroughs and sometimes Revolutionary Ideas; often for 1 CA.
- The Importance of Science was properly noted in the explanation.
- Proper advice was given prior to drafting from the card row Architecture (after Masonry) and Coal (after Iron) but they were drafted and played anyway.

Other Points
- One of the Age A events was Development of Science and another one Development of Trade Routes.
- Jerome did take the second Knights, but "never had enough science" to discover them.
- Nobody took the second Irrigation or the second Knights, even though my own Medieval Army was in play and available for copying.
- As for me, I was "snowballing" in science, but I was lacking in resources. I was relying on yellow cards until a late Age II Coal kicked in. Guess what, I took both Engineering Geniuses I & II (for 1+2 CA), which came back-to-back when Age II kicked in. They were thrown on the Eiffel Tower, eventually.

I hope I have helped the discussion a bit. Again, just laying down the facts, to give a complete picture of the session.
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Riku Koskinen
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(Edit: This was a response to Jerome's previous post. A couple of other posts appeared in the meantime.)

Thank you, now I see. However, 2 science per turn will be enough for crucial techs like either Swordsmen/Knights and a farming and/or mining tech. No other tech is an absolute must in age I. If with Iron you are unable to pick Universitas Carolina, if for example it was drawn early and you couldn't finish age A wonder before it, it is not worth it to go for Printing Press. You wouldn't have population for it unless you got a yellow token colony. In age I all extra population generally goes to military after 3 mines, 2 farms, 2 labs and one happiness building, otherwise you risk being too weak.

If the game goes so that neither Alchemy or Universitas Carolina become an option, ignore all non-essential techs and wait for Scientific Method or Journalism (you often can spare a worker to Journalism sometime in age II). And of course the Breakthroughs and other science-granting yellows are premium picks. Anyway, after upgrading to say Scientific Method - which by the way the Alchemy players do not pick unless they just want to counter-draft it to hurt just one other player, a questionable tactic in 3/4 players game - your science output will be at least 6, which will be enough to make you able to play the other techs to keep up with other aspects in the game as well.

Now what I said is again the same thing said for the millionth time in this thread, but the fact is that you would not have had any problems with science had you used it more sparingly. But how could you have known? Excatly, you couldn't, and opponents didn't advise you. That's certainly an understandable first-play mistake. But based on that experience, you seriously can't suggest to house-rule the urban building limit to be more for Despotism just for the sake of making the game more balanced. That's a completely unnecessary houserule, and would make Monarchy and Theocracy even less appealing than they are now.
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Jorge
Switzerland
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Padish wrote:
If with Iron you are unable to pick Universitas Carolina, if for example it was drawn early and you couldn't finish age A wonder before it, it is not worth it to go for Printing Press.
Universitas Carolina showed up at the end of Age I, I think together with the two Printing Presses, after Jerome had long finished his Pyramids and had Iron mines. Jerome passed up on it, taking the Press instead. I think the Press showed up first, but, in Jerome's defense, he couldn't had known that a science wonder was down the road just a turn later.
 
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