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Five Tribes: Whims of the Sultan» Forums » Rules

Subject: Utug and the Fabulous Cities rss

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Benji LB
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Hello,

We came across a situation tonight. Does Utug allow you to put a camel on a Fabulous City, even if this city contains a whim card ?

On Utug's description, it says "One Tile with only Meeples on it", but it also adds "(no Camel, Palm Tree or Palace)". And, well, whim cards are neither camels, nor palm trees or palaces.

We played that yes, Utug may take a fabulous city even if there is an objective card on it. But it seemed a little overpowered.

I would be glad to have your opinion.
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baboon baboonov
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It would seem that there is nothing in the rules that clearly states otherwise; and a clarification is indeed needed
Though, in my opinion the wording states that the tile should have only meeples on it...meeple

However, I don't think it is that much over-powered; only in a 2 player setting, and only at the beginning of the game, and only if all the things are aligned to the 1st players favor.
- the first player would have 2 consecutive turns
- Utug came out among the djinns
- He can get at least 4 elders and buy the djinn on his first turn, and used it to buy a fabulous city
- on his 2nd turn, he had a fabulous city with more elders - and thus he took over another 2 cities (and got a whim card).

This would net him 45 points for the cities, and 4 points for the djinn, and possible ~10 points for the other tile; a total of ~59 points.
But you can bet that the 2nd player would take over the other fabulous cities, and make sure to have a lot of consecutive turns (after realizing how dumb he was for letting the other player get 2 consecutive turns).
The 2nd would net 20 from the cities, and possibly more points from the extra whim card (10-15 points).
Moreover, I didn't take into account the bid money that the players might have used.

TL;DR The advantage the 1st player may have is very situation dependent and is not that large. Yet, I think that you shouldn't use the djinn on a city with a whim-card (because it clearly states that the tile contains only meeples).
 
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Andy Burgess
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I'd say it's allowed, because you have to think about the reason for the "(no Camel, Palm Tree or Palace)" wording - no camel, because you can't take over another player's tile, and no palace or palm tree because Utug should only get you the base points for the tile, i.e. you can't go around grabbing all the tiles with the extra points on them.

If other players have left more than one multiple city with no meeples on them, then more fool them.

Also, maybe this is already clear enough, but I just wanted to point out that owning the tile doesn't get you the whim card. You only get those by finishing your turn on the tile - and cards are replaced even on owned cities.
 
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baboon baboonov
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MercifulBiscuit wrote:
I'd say it's allowed, because you have to think about the reason for the "(no Camel, Palm Tree or Palace)" wording - no camel, because you can't take over another player's tile, and no palace or palm tree because Utug should only get you the base points for the tile, i.e. you can't go around grabbing all the tiles with the extra points on them.

If other players have left more than one multiple city with no meeples on them, then more fool them.

Also, maybe this is already clear enough, but I just wanted to point out that owning the tile doesn't get you the whim card. You only get those by finishing your turn on the tile - and cards are replaced even on owned cities.


This is the exact wordind from the reference sheet (base game)
Quote:
Take control of 1 Tile with
only Meeples on it (no Camel, Palm Tree or Palace); place 1 of your Camel


So, you can stil interpret it both ways , especially since the expansions didn't exist at the time that the above was written.

I tend to belive that it implies that there won't be anything on the tile - including cards.
A clarification from the publisher/designer would be appreciated.

Either way, as I've stated before, it isn't that overpowered even if you could use Utug this way. (if you manage to win this way - you probably would've won either way)
 
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Benji LB
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Thank you for your answers.

In our game (3 players), it felt overpowered. Utug came on the first turn. I bought it immediately and then simply had to wait for the opportunity to get white meeples (and slaves) in order to take the fabulous cities, one by one.

Those tiles were difficult to get for the other players, because they had 3 meeples of 3 different colors. So not so easy to empty. I ended up getting all 5 fabulous cities and the final scoring was:
Winner : 217
2nd : 141
3rd : 140

Now that I think of it, they should probably have tried to empty the fabulous cities by starting the movement from these tiles. They would not have won those tiles by doing this, but they would have been a little more difficult to control with Utug.

MercifulBiscuit wrote:

Also, maybe this is already clear enough, but I just wanted to point out that owning the tile doesn't get you the whim card. You only get those by finishing your turn on the tile - and cards are replaced even on owned cities.


That part was clear. But thanks for pointing it out anyways.
 
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baboon baboonov
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benjilb wrote:
Thank you for your answers.
Now that I think of it, they should probably have tried to empty the fabulous cities by starting the movement from these tiles. They would not have won those tiles by doing this, but they would have been a little more difficult to control with Utug.


Indeed, they underestimated the value of those fabulous cities; all five cities would bring quite a large points swing, especially in 2-player games (where 2 or even 4 turns in a row are possible).
For better or worse - you can't ignore the fabulous cities (and as a proxy the whim-cards).
I've raised concerns about it in another thread here

I'm quite surprised they didn't try to stop you.
If each of them grabbed a single city - then you'd only have 45 points from the cities.(and each of them would have a whim-card + 5 points).
This might have not changed the outcome - but at least the scores would've been closer.

 
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Laszlo Molnar
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I'm also thinking it can be overpowered especially but not exclusively in a 2-player game (3-player can still be a lot) when Utug comes early. If a player buys it and there are tribe members of 3 colors on each of the Fabulous Cities it's hard to stop them placing camels in 4 or 5 of these cities. How could you block them?

- If you end your move on the tile you take the card but there are still meeple left there; obviously your opponent would place their camel on tiles with the fewest meeple and it's an almost impossible mission to stop them taking these tiles.
- If you take the meeple off the tile that means your opponent needs to cross the tile with meeple first in their (probably consecutive) turns but it's easy to do this and still get white meeple in the first rounds of the game.

However, when Bruno Cathala explained Utug's ability he said
Bruno des Montagnes wrote:
only meeples means at least one meeple and nothing else than meeples

which might mean 'no cards either' but I'm also not sure. Those cards may be looked at as "else than meeples" but also as just the action of the tile, and in the latter sense it would mean Utug can still place camels there.

(edit: and while Leta might be somewhat easier to block, it still might be an issue and the wording - 'empty tile' - should be probably undertstood by the analogue of how Utug's special ability is interpreted.).

I hope Bruno can give a definitive answer to Utug's and Leta's special ability concerning fabulous cities here!
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Morris Ho
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I would hope neither Utug (or its opposite Leta) would work on fabulous cities because of that Whim card. Seems too game-breaking otherwise.

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baboon baboonov
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lacxox wrote:
I'm also thinking it can be overpowered especially but not exclusively in a 2-player game (3-player can still be a lot) when Utug comes early. If a player buys it and there are tribe members of 3 colors on each of the Fabulous Cities it's hard to stop them placing camels in 4 or 5 of these cities. How could you block them?


The other two player can collaborate devil
If the tile has 3 different colored meeples, a 4th meeple on that tile would solve the problem (you just end from where you started). So one player would make a move that passes through a city, and the other play takes it.
Thus, at most, the Utug player would take 3 fabulous city tiles.

In my honest opinion, the cities score way too many points' but that's another issue.

Edit: to clarify I think that Utug doesn't work like that. It is a bit broken, especially with the crazy points given through fabulous cities.
 
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Laszlo Molnar
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baboonov wrote:

If the tile has 3 different colored meeples, a 4th meeple on that tile would solve the problem (you just end from where you started). So one player would make a move that passes through a city, and the other play takes it.

No, ending where you ztarted is not a possibility since there are no meeple left in your atarting tile thwn.

Quote:
In my honest opinion, the cities score way too many points' but that's another issue.
Since the whole expansion is about makine every tile and action score more, I disagree.
 
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baboon baboonov
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lacxox wrote:
baboonov wrote:

If the tile has 3 different colored meeples, a 4th meeple on that tile would solve the problem (you just end from where you started). So one player would make a move that passes through a city, and the other play takes it.

No, ending where you ztarted is not a possibility since there are no meeple left in your atarting tile thwn.

Quote:
In my honest opinion, the cities score way too many points' but that's another issue.
Since the whole expansion is about makine every tile and action score more, I disagree.


The player that played after the Utug player adds a 4th meeple to a city tile. The next player has enough to go around the city and take over it. (They show it in the rule book).

The problem is, that now this game has partnerships (and betrayal?) in itgulp

The expasion increases the points through the whim cards; thus, you prety much have to go there eventually. But even so, whoever takes over all cities, would have a tremendous advantage.
It would be very difficult to win after that. Thus, the expansion creates an almost scripted beginning where all players race to the fabulous cities.
The scoring is just too high from them, it should be much lower (around half).
 
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Laszlo Molnar
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baboonov wrote:
lacxox wrote:
baboonov wrote:

If the tile has 3 different colored meeples, a 4th meeple on that tile would solve the problem (you just end from where you started). So one player would make a move that passes through a city, and the other play takes it.

No, ending where you started is not a possibility since there are no meeple left in your atarting tile thwn.


The player that played after the Utug player adds a 4th meeple to a city tile. The next player has enough to go around the city and take over it. (They show it in the rule book).

I'm still not sure what you mean. Creating loops is indeed a possibility, but even if you have 4 meeple in a city it is not possible to take all the 4 meeples from a city, start to move and then end your movement in the empty city as there needs to be a meeple there that is just the same color as the last meeple you drop there - but since you took all the meeple from the very space it is impossible.
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baboon baboonov
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Holy sh*t!surprise
I've played the game wrong all this time.
Didn't notice the last meeple rule!

This radically limits the amount of possible moves. I don't know if I'll even like the game that way.

So, 5 meeples are needed for a loop; thus coirdinating a counter to Utug would be quite difficult.
I agree with you - Utug is overpowered if used in this way.
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bruno cathala
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Hi everybody !!

sorry for my late answer, but i was ob trip (GENCON)... and the trip to come back home was quite... epic !
We arrived 31 hours later than previously scheduled due to:

- One plane where they first had to replace a tire (they had to repair it)
- Then one plane who got a technical problem just before take off (they had to find a new plane)
- Then one plane delayed and delayed again because of bad weather
- Then one plane with technical problems again (they had to find a new one)

and... my bagage are.. somewhere, but nobody knows !!

I'm quite tired (you can imagine) but i'm bak and it's time to answer your question:

Yes, for sure, UTUG allows you to take control of fabulous cities. When i wrote "only meeples means at least one meeple and nothing else than meeples", the expansion was not available.

Sultan cards have to be considered as something equivalent to the icons explaining special abilities of the tiles.

UTUG + fabulous cities is not overpowered, because, to be in position to get these cities, you need to have a lot of elders + fakir cards. Which is not that easy.

So, if this combo comes early into the game, you opponents still have the opportunity to run for elders / fakirs, end to empty fabulous city tiles

For sure, if you are experimented and play against beginners, they won't understand how powerful it can be. The best, in this situation, is to focuse their attention when you take yourself the first fabulous city. Winning as a gentlemen is always a better win ! ;-)
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Benji LB
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Thank you for your answer !

Quick and clear, as usual :-)

And sorry that you had so much trouble coming back from GenCon.
 
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Laszlo Molnar
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Thank you very much for the official answer! So if utug comes up early you need to do everything to stop hom Good to know you returned safe in the end.
 
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