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Subject: Isaac - a third suggestion for the stalling problem rss

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Harry Jacobs
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After looking at your suggestion on the issue of stalling, I believe the easy answer would be that after the second prestige building comes into play, and a player is stalling as long as there is no resource of the missing resource on the board then a player on his turn may with use of his card for building resources use the 3rd column (neutral player) to build the resource, the owning resource player may still have his marker however he loses control on where he can put that first resource.

1) The five point penalty is a bit harsh in my opinion and may not being doing it out of spite.

2) the player on the left may not give a damn about the resource and has no vested interest to do so therefore I suggest that on a players turn if the stalled resource after the 2nd prestige building is missing a player may build the missing resource using the neutral column of the action however the payment goes to the bank and the placement is up to the action taker.


3) The fact that the mechanism of using your card to buy the "Missing Resource" fits into the game better. Depending on the location it may penalize the player who stalls, or strategically may help him even if he is a twit for not playing it, which helps the I am going to grab it and put it somewhere, forcing the placing player to make that call so there is a double edged sword component of the action.

Anybody else has thoughts or opinions.

Cheers
Harry
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Bernhard W
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I like your idea better. Pretty much anything that gives players holding back a resource a disadvantage and granting others access to the resource in some way is IMO how it should be fixed.

My choice would be a black market that pops up at a random location after a certain timer is triggered (e.g. 2nd prestige building scored).

IMO, a game should have mechanisms in place that keep the game flowing nicely and not start punishing someone harshly as they play different to what the designer wants. I foremost prefer not to call a player names (let alone the designer) because someone tries out a strategy that's not in the designer's spirit.
 
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Zach Horn
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Simply put a level 2 or 3 trade advisor in the game that lets you buy into another players resources that aren't on the board yet. If the resource is already out it would have an alternate effect maybe?

This way players aren't penalized for waiting to put out a resource, and if they see someone buy that particular advisor (maybe it's a black market merchant to make it more thematic) they know they better put it where they want asap, or else someone else gets to decide.
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Harry Jacobs
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I did think about a Advisor for this, but it is to one time, so that is why I though about using the Neutral column which basically allows you to build the resource of the stalled resource by paying the bank (not the player) and placing it to your advantage and that may hinder or help the stalling player.

But love to see Isaac weigh in on this.
 
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JonGetsGames
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This an interesting idea, but what about taking it abit further and simplifying it down even more.

Make it so that at ANY time you can use the "import and access" third column to put an opponents resource down on the board. This action can be quite expensive so it's highly likely it wouldn't happen early in the game, and even if it did this still helps out that player because they A) got a resource down without paying for it and B) got a decent chunk of change from their opponent too. The only thing they have lost in this scenario is control over where the resource goes, but if someone is desperate to get your resource down then odds are good it'll land in a decent spot. If this potentially causes people to actually want to stall out so that they get paid, then perhaps like the OP said you can have this money go to the bank instead of the player since they are still getting a free resource that they control out on the board.

I have no idea if this induces other game breaking issues, but I hate it when games have clunky tacked on rules and since this mechanism is already in the game (and abit odd in that it only works for 2-3 player games) it seems it could be a more elegant solution to the issue at hand.

Thoughts?
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Zach Horn
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Having it on an advisor would make it so that people couldn't place your resource early in the game though, and assuming there is at least two of them then the other players will have an opportunity to side-step that certain player. If that player wants to keep stalling though, and wants to buy up those advisors, then they should also have that opportunity.

Which goes into the second point on all of this: re-think the prestige buildings and make sure that the game can still end if a player decides to "be a jerk" and withhold a resource.
 
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Anthony Hennig
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Perhaps it could be even more simple. Issac as said that 16 out the 21 prestige buildings requires metal as a resource, If the number of prestige buildings needing metal is a lot less then there is no incentive to hold out in playing it. You are only cutting yourself off from points as other players gain the benefits from resources in play while you are receiving no points as you haven't placed your resource yet.

No need for harsh, tacked on rules.
 
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Bernhard W
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Thoughts of how a black market could work:
- If there are still some basic resources missing on the board during the scoring of the 2nd prestige building, the black market gets placed.
- Mark the missing resources on the black market tile - or resource board if you make it to that - use a neutral token
- The usage of the resource costs 2 VP and 1 fleeting influnce.
- Once a missing resources is build, it's no longer available from the black market.

Edit: It's not necessary to add the tile to the board. You just get access to it.
 
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Geoff Watson
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Yeah, but only one building with an unobtainable resource is enough to prevent the game from finishing.

This would be a jerk move rather than a potential winning move, but still possible.
 
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Bernhard W
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Geoff Watson wrote:
Yeah, but only one building with an unobtainable resource is enough to prevent the game from finishing.

This would be a jerk move rather than a potential winning move, but still possible.

You can have multiple prestige buildings in play and try to finish their requirements. If 8 or 9 have been voted on, the problem comes down to how those buildings are balanced against each other. If the majority of them requires 1 specific resource (like metal with 16/21 possible - still amazed by that, but ok), the buildings need to be redone so the game can end.
 
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Anthony Hennig
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I still think the best and most elegant solution rather than adding more is to simply rebalance the prestige buildings. 16/21 needing metal to complete gives the player of the race who controls access to metal too much power of when prestige buildings are completed...most likely at a time, when they are ready to gain the most benefit from it.

Having balanced buildings with resources, removes that power that one player could have and actually apply a negative effect by withholding resources for too long.

No additional cards or rules are needed. just simple tweaking. I'm surprised this strategy of withholding hadn't come out in play testing
 
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Isaac Childres
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Well, upon further reflection, I do like Harry's suggestion more. Using the mechanics already in place is more elegant. And, really, there are so many shenanigans someone can pull to place their resource out on the board and then just completely block it off, or, through clever use of a bridge, make sure they are the only one who can use it, that there really just needs to be a consistent way to place other players' resources out on the board.

Now, contrary to Jon's suggestion, I think this does still need to be limited to the second half of the game. I think the action economy of getting that opponent's resource out onto the board and getting access to it immediately is just too great in the early game when people are racing for control of the higher tier resources.

The problem then becomes, if this is a static rule in the second half of the game, how do we make sure it is fair to both parties in the exchange? If the money goes to the bank instead of the other player, there's no reason you would ever buy access in the second half of the game. You would always just place new resources to deny people money. Any even if the money does go to the other player, what if he has the resource on a white space? Why would you pay him 4 for access when you could pay him 3 to put his resource on a red space?

For this reason, I've actually decided to tweak that third column of the trade action in general to make it cost 4 gold for any terrain type and you can only do it as a main action. I feel this is more balanced, because, since you don't get any money if someone later buys access to the neutral resource, it doesn't much matter what terrain type you put it on.

So then, after the second prestige building is completed, you can also take this same action to place other players' resources on the board and they get the money spent.
 
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Bernhard W
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Cephalofair wrote:
So then, after the second prestige building is completed, you can also take this same action to place other players' resources on the board and they get the money spent.

So I could build a bridge/gate, connect it and buy someone else's resource to place in a different section that only I have access to and then I'm the only one who can deliver it?
 
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Mr. Octavius
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I find the "after two prestige buildings have been completed" aspect to be kind of clunky. It's a special rule that only comes into play after a certain amount of time and only matters in a specific situation. Strikes me as something easily forgotten until a player comes onto the BGG forums to ask "a player purposely stalled our game, what do we do?"

I'd much prefer a rule that was always in play, balanced to make it a strategic decision as to when it makes sense to spend the money to import someone else's resource for them. Perhaps the cost decreases with each prestige building on the board, or players can import a neutral resource that belongs to another player, and the player controlling that resource can pay the normal cost later to take ownership.
An advisor doesn't work as it is a rare situation, and if the advisor doesn't show up then you're stuck with the same problem.

If this rule only exists to prevent the game from dragging, a second end game trigger would be more elegant. "The game ends when the 6th prestige building is completed or the 10th is placed on the board," Or "if their isn't enough prestige buildings in the deck to fill the offer row, the game ends." These would put a hardcap on game length, and a player that refused to put a starting resource out would lose the potential for half their points.

Another option could be player's place both their starting resources on the board at the start of the game, in diffrent sections of Gloomhaven. This would speed up the early game (could be good or bad), encourage developing in multiple sections, and prevent this problem from happening.
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Isaac Childres
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BeloW06 wrote:
Cephalofair wrote:
So then, after the second prestige building is completed, you can also take this same action to place other players' resources on the board and they get the money spent.

So I could build a bridge/gate, connect it and buy someone else's resource to place in a different section that only I have access to and then I'm the only one who can deliver it?

Yes, but there is nothing stopping anyone else at the table from placing another copy of that resource somewhere else. That's the whole point. No one person can completely control the availability of a single resource.
 
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Fredric Gertsen
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How about not making this action to place another player's resource available on the regular trade action cards, but only when an advisor is played that has a trade follow action related with it?
You could even adjust the timing of these advisors by including them in the more expensive/later categories to negate the need for the arbitrary 2 prestige buildings completed rule.
Currently unable to check the advisors to see if this makes sense, but reading the comments and thinking about what I saw in the game, there might be something there

Edit: Might also make more thematic sense as the advisors can bring something special (in this case; importing another race's resource)
 
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ALeX
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Cephalofair wrote:
For this reason, I've actually decided to tweak that third column of the trade action in general to make it cost 4 gold for any terrain type and you can only do it as a main action. I feel this is more balanced, because, since you don't get any money if someone later buys access to the neutral resource, it doesn't much matter what terrain type you put it on.

So then, after the second prestige building is completed, you can also take this same action to place other players' resources on the board and they get the money spent.


It does matter a little which terrain you build on: later trades of other players pay 2/3/4 to have also access to it.

I like the idea - that way the 3rd column is also in use in a 4p game (before I thought it would be best to have two trace cards per player depending on player count).

And I totally agree that it should only been available in the 2nd half of the game - and neither victory points nor advisors can be used to determine that. The only other option is to have it tied to the placed prestige buildings.

And if it should be available all the time you could make the price dependent on the prestige buildings count, example: Price 8/7/6/5/4 for 0/1/2/3/4+ placed prestige buildings.

FredricG wrote:
Edit: Might also make more thematic sense as the advisors can bring something special (in this case; importing another race's resource)
Yes, but games vary and sometimes only three advisors may be bought - it should not depend on them.

 
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Fredric Gertsen
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txnull wrote:

FredricG wrote:
Edit: Might also make more thematic sense as the advisors can bring something special (in this case; importing another race's resource)
Yes, but games vary and sometimes only three advisors may be bought - it should not depend on them.



I think that if no one is holding back a resource, than its just up to the players to buy the advisors or not, but if someone is holding them back, being able to buy an advisor that would give you access to this resource could create an interesting dynamic in the game.
I do understand the difficulty with the random draw of the advisors and them not being available when needed.
I'll think on it some more
Just don't like the arbitrary '2 completed prestige buildings' rule.
 
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Isaac Childres
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The main problem with using an adviser is that, what if the holdout is the resource needed to buy the adviser? It just doesn't work.
 
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Zach Horn
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Cephalofair wrote:
The main problem with using an adviser is that, what if the holdout is the resource needed to buy the adviser? It just doesn't work.

One solution to this would be making the black market advisor require any resource that's already on the board, as opposed to a specific resource. That way the person withholding wouldn't be able to purchase it either. (or make it purchasable with extra gold and/or prestige)This way it is still thematic.

If using the neutral column on the trade card to do the same thing is easier to implement on your end and the rules make it easy to understand then I'm all for that also. I just echo what other people have said about the 2nd completed prestige building being a rule that is easy to forget simply because this issue is only going to happen in rare cases to begin with.

Edit: One solution to this would be making the black market advisor require any one character's two starting resources, as opposed to a specific resource.
 
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John Bruns
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Quote:
So then, after the second prestige building is completed ...


How about using the advisor deck as a timing mechanism instead? Perhaps a card placed between the level 2 and 3 advisors that allows the new action to acquire blocked resources. Perhaps it would say that the city has expanded enough that there is now a thriving black market.

It would also allow you to change the timing by shuffling it into either the level 2 or level 3 deck if you wanted to make it earlier or later.
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Fredric Gertsen
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Cephalofair wrote:
The main problem with using an adviser is that, what if the holdout is the resource needed to buy the adviser? It just doesn't work.


I don't think you should limit this action to one specific advisor (the suggested black market adviser), but to all advisors with the trade action as a follow action, so with the current adviser setup, that would be 4;
- Haggler
- Showman
- Blackmailer
- Bureaucrat
These 4 all require a different resource, so the chance that none of those resources is in play seems pretty slim.
 
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Anthony Hennig
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Cephalofair wrote:


For this reason, I've actually decided to tweak that third column of the trade action in general to make it cost 4 gold for any terrain type and you can only do it as a main action. I feel this is more balanced, because, since you don't get any money if someone later buys access to the neutral resource, it doesn't much matter what terrain type you put it on.

So then, after the second prestige building is completed, you can also take this same action to place other players' resources on the board and they get the money spent.


Wouldn't this actively encourage people to hold on to their resources rather than play them out onto the board, since you are effectively being paid to put your resource out. Why spend an action or money to build it, when someone else is going to and giving you a a bonus for doing it?
 
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Bernhard W
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yenkin2001 wrote:
...so therefore I suggest that on a players turn if the stalled resource after the 2nd prestige building is missing a player may build the missing resource using the neutral column of the action however the payment goes to the bank and the placement is up to the action taker.

3) The fact that the mechanism of using your card to buy the "Missing Resource" fits into the game better. Depending on the location it may penalize the player who stalls, or strategically may help him even if he is a twit for not playing it, which helps the I am going to grab it and put it somewhere, forcing the placing player to make that call so there is a double edged sword component of the action.

Cephalofair wrote:
...For this reason, I've actually decided to tweak that third column of the trade action in general to make it cost 4 gold for any terrain type and you can only do it as a main action. I feel this is more balanced, because, since you don't get any money if someone later buys access to the neutral resource, it doesn't much matter what terrain type you put it on.

So then, after the second prestige building is completed, you can also take this same action to place other players' resources on the board and they get the money spent.

I hope it means that you can only build missing resources, not everyone can build anyone's resource. This would take a lot of the intersting decisions out of the game if you only have full control over your resources for the first third of the game.
 
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Bernhard W
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Casamyr wrote:
Cephalofair wrote:


For this reason, I've actually decided to tweak that third column of the trade action in general to make it cost 4 gold for any terrain type and you can only do it as a main action. I feel this is more balanced, because, since you don't get any money if someone later buys access to the neutral resource, it doesn't much matter what terrain type you put it on.

So then, after the second prestige building is completed, you can also take this same action to place other players' resources on the board and they get the money spent.


Wouldn't this actively encourage people to hold on to their resources rather than play them out onto the board, since you are effectively being paid to put your resource out. Why spend an action or money to build it, when someone else is going to and giving you a a bonus for doing it?

The only way I see it working is that the player placing the resource for someone else also gains auto-access.
 
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