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Subject: Ending with an unbeatable lead rss

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Joe Fatula
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The game usually ends when one player has an unbeatable lead over the other players. Page 16 in the rules says this, but it doesn't clarify at all what an unbeatable lead means. The rule should read something like this:

If the first-place player's score is greater than the second-place player's score plus all available missions, the game ends.

In other words, if I have 35 points, you have 25 points, and there are only 9 points left in available missions on the table, the game ends immediately. The other way to interpret this rule (which is not what I had intended at all) is:

If there is no longer any way for the second-place player to ever catch up with the first-place player, the game ends.

These two interpretations sound similar (and with the base game, they're practically the same) but with the expansions, they have very different effects. Unrevealed missions do not count towards the available missions remaining. Features likewise do not count.

So if I have 35 points, you have 25 points, there are 9 points left in available missions on the table, but there might be more points left elsewhere that are still hidden, the game ends anyhow.
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David desJardins
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Probably calling this "unbeatable" is unnecessarily confusing.
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Judgement Dave
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buffalohat wrote:
So if I have 35 points, you have 25 points, there are 9 points left in available missions on the table, but there might be more points left elsewhere that are still hidden, the game ends anyhow.

Though if I was in the lead (in this situation) then I'd be happy to carry on playing if the other player wanted and there was a fair chance that currently hidden missions could make the difference (maybe a shortfall of a small-average mission value).

I'd maybe feel I hadn't quite deserved the win if I found out that I'd called it when I could still be beaten.

Though, as I say, only if my opponent wanted to play on still - I'd never force someone to play on as, iirc, it's banned by international convention.
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David desJardins
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JudgementDave wrote:
I'd maybe feel I hadn't quite deserved the win if I found out that I'd called it when I could still be beaten.


But the designer is telling you that, per the rules, you have achieved the victory condition when you reach this situation. If the rules didn't end the game at that point, then the other player might be able to beat you later, but since the rules do end the game, they can't.

There are plenty of other games that end the game at a variable time and whoever has the highest score at that point wins, even though if the game continued someone else might have taken the lead later. This isn't particularly unusual.
 
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Judgement Dave
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DaviddesJ wrote:
JudgementDave wrote:
I'd maybe feel I hadn't quite deserved the win if I found out that I'd called it when I could still be beaten.


But the designer is telling you that, per the rules, you have achieved the victory condition when you reach this situation. If the rules didn't end the game at that point, then the other player might be able to beat you later, but since the rules do end the game, they can't.

There are plenty of other games that end the game at a variable time and whoever has the highest score at that point wins, even though if the game continued someone else might have taken the lead later. This isn't particularly unusual.

Yes - and I'm not saying that that should be changed.

Just noting that if all parties wanted to continue until there is absolutely no possible way that the lead can be changed, then I would be happy to even if I was winning.

Consider it just a comment that I'd be happy to house rule this.
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Joe Fatula
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DaviddesJ wrote:
There are plenty of other games that end the game at a variable time and whoever has the highest score at that point wins, even though if the game continued someone else might have taken the lead later. This isn't particularly unusual.


Most of the other titles I've put out actually do this. To me, it seems good to have a way to push the game to an end.
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Leon
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buffalohat wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
There are plenty of other games that end the game at a variable time and whoever has the highest score at that point wins, even though if the game continued someone else might have taken the lead later. This isn't particularly unusual.


Most of the other titles I've put out actually do this. To me, it seems good to have a way to push the game to an end.


Why would you end a game even if the winner stands? We like to finish every game! We enjoy planning way too much to stop early.
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Michel Kangro
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Hm, I'm not completely solid with this change.

Say, while completing the last mission that made me fulfill the above criteria (my points > the second players points plus all avaiable missions points) I have an astronaut (or ten) in space and there's still time to tick of.

With this rule, I could plan the last mission beforehand to not include a way to make the astronaut survive until the game ends or return to earth, given the knowledge that the game ends the moment I get the needed amount of points.

While this rule will cover 99% of the cases, it opens a loophole.

Maybe add something to it, for example:

If the first-place player's score minus two times the number of astronauts not on earth is greater than the second-place player's score plus all avaiable missions, the game ends.

It won't be a big difference, but you have to bring your guys home or support them until the game ends or suffer the penalty.
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Joe Fatula
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The alternative to this rule is to consider all the ways that your score could still change when determining if someone has a sufficient lead:

* astronauts that could still die
* unexplored Outer Planets missions that could still be revealed
* Stations features that could still be discovered
* the Life Sample mission in Stations that could still be revealed

If you have to consider all of these, and you're using either Outer Planets or Stations, it's going to be very hard to determine if someone has a sufficient lead.
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Judgement Dave
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buffalohat wrote:
The alternative to this rule is to consider all the ways that your score could still change when determining if someone has a sufficient lead:

* astronauts that could still die
* unexplored Outer Planets missions that could still be revealed
* Stations features that could still be discovered
* the Life Sample mission in Stations that could still be revealed

If you have to consider all of these, and you're using either Outer Planets or Stations, it's going to be very hard to determine if someone has a sufficient lead.

What would the mean or median value for an unexplored Outer Planet mission or a station feature be?

Couldn't you say something like the lead has to be more than 2pts per mission/feature left?
 
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Joe Fatula
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JudgementDave wrote:
Couldn't you say something like the lead has to be more than 2pts per mission/feature left?


Assuming I didn't make any mistakes in a quick check, the average explorable Outer Planets mission is worth:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
16.5 points (median) or 18.8 points (mean)


Off the top of my head, the average feature in Stations is worth:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Probably only about 1 point, but it's hard to know how many features are left to be discovered. For an additional wrinkle, some features are only worth points when you bring them back to Earth, while others are worth points simply on discovery.
 
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Judgement Dave
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buffalohat wrote:
JudgementDave wrote:
Couldn't you say something like the lead has to be more than 2pts per mission/feature left?


Assuming I didn't make any mistakes in a quick check, the average explorable Outer Planets mission is worth:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
16.5 points (median) or 18.8 points (mean)


Off the top of my head, the average feature in Stations is worth:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Probably only about 1 point, but it's hard to know how many features are left to be discovered. For an additional wrinkle, some features are only worth points when you bring them back to Earth, while others are worth points simply on discovery.

Maybe make the calculation easy (not that we're adverse to maths if we play LE) and call it a simple 10pts per outer planet mission.

It would still stop the worst cases of calling a victor when there's a good chance they could still be toppled!
 
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Joe Fatula
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JudgementDave wrote:
It would still stop the worst cases of calling a victor when there's a good chance they could still be toppled!


It would do that, but my goal was that you'd have to go out and prove there were points to be earned if you wanted to stop the game from ending.

Thematically, if the Soviets are winning the space race, NASA can sit around grumbling for ages that "there's probably something worth doing on Titan", but it's not going to convince anyone that the race isn't over. If you want to keep the race going, prove that there's something worth racing for.
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Gustav Åkerfelt
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So basically, when looking at the board for the purpose of the game-end-trigger you just look at the points currently visible in missions, apart from Stations ongoing missions and "SETI" missions, and compare to scored points. Right?
 
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Joe Fatula
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Paladin_fin wrote:
So basically, when looking at the board for the purpose of the game-end-trigger you just look at the points currently visible in missions, apart from Stations ongoing missions and "SETI" missions, and compare to scored points. Right?


Add up all the missions left on the table that are currently revealed. If the lead player is ahead by more than that amount, the game is over.

Missions that are not currently revealed:

* Outer Planets missions that haven't been discovered yet.
* The Stations mission Life Sample if Life Survey hasn't been completed yet.
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George Simpson
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So how do occupation missions fit into this? Are they just considered to have an amount of points equal to their /turn rate x the game's remaining years?

 
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Adam H
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gbs5009 wrote:
So how do occupation missions fit into this? Are they just considered to have an amount of points equal to their /turn rate x the game's remaining years?



Per the manual, occupation missions do not count towards this rule.
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