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Subject: Almost perfect. So, so almost. rss

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Bob Bobberson
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I played the game once, and I LOVED it. It's beautiful, smart... everything that you are looking for in a game.

BUT, there are two small things that are so glaringly wrong that it hurts. It hurts only because the rest of the game is so well thought out, and these two small things make a huge impact.

#1. The emperors/noblemen/senators (The little pawn that move around the track.) We played with 5 players. The nobleman that gives you tons of points starts near player 1. It is extremely difficult/impossible to get him around the track to players 3/4/5. So players 1 and 2 get tons of points/money for having him in their Colosseum constantly, and the rest of the players never see him. This is a huge disadvantage. There needs to be a way to win him over, instead of making him walk 10 miles to the last Colosseum on the board. You may say "so buy the thing that give you two dice." But when you only have one move in the buying phase, it's a total waste to buy the extra dice when everyone else is buying season tickets or events or expanding their Colosseum.

#2. The first player on round 5 has a HUGE advantage when it comes to buying events. I was the last player on round 5, and all of the events that I wanted were taken before I could buy them. So I was left with crap, and I had to trade a ton of stuff to finish a much less valuable event.

Being last for the emperor and last on the crucially important final round REALLY killed my game. I was leading for three rounds, but I got the lowest score at the end simply because of these two unfortunate scenarios.
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Jerry Martin
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Play again?

No one could hope to understand the intricacies of a good game on your first play.

1 - You actually have a solution to your problem in your answer , but then discount it. Having the Emperor early in the game can help get money, but the point is to have the best show of the game and I would prefer to have the Emperor at a later point helping get my maximum score higher since in the end that is all that matters.

2 - If you are setting yourself up so much that you need to have a specific show or lose the game in the final round...you should buy it on a different turn.
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Lars Wagner Hansen
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I've played this game 64 times, and I can assure you that those two observations (from a single game) are not significant.

The Emperor's Loge is very important for controlling the movement of the Senators, Consuls and the Emperor. Without this you are to dependent on luck.

There are several ways to winning this game, and leading for three rounds is no guarantee.

The game is about planning ahead. If you see one of your opponents having asset tokens matching the show you would like, then either buy it before him, maybe even in round 4 even though you can't perform the show yet, or trade your tokens for something else and go for a different show.

Planning, planning and planning, and hiving a backup plan, is the way to winning this game.

If the game was as broken as you suggest, then it wouldn't have the successful kickstarter it just had. And the stats says it's still quite high in the ranking despite it being 10 years old.
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Mitch Lavender
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The game is not perfect but the two factors you mention are really more a problem caused by unfamiliarity with the game's ebb and flow. While it is a game about planning, it is also about predicting other's moves and adapting as effectively as possible to changes caused by other's choices. It was your first play after all. If you could actually master it in one game, would it hold your interest? Probably not. I hope you give it another try.

edit for typo. ninja
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Roberto Rivera
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i had a play where the emperor went around the board almost twice. it ended on the 3rd player (1st, 2nd and 3rd player had the emperor twice during the game)
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Bob Bobberson
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Oh I would love to play it again. I know that I cannot know everything about a game the first time that I play it.

It seemed to me that players 3, 4, and 5 had to work much harder to have the same shot as players 1 and 2. Although, no one took the emperor's logue (sp) so I don't know how that factors into the game.

In my game, the emperor barely made it past player 2.

Does anyone else that's played it feel like there is a disadvantage based upon positioning? I guess that I'll just have to change my tactics and see what happens.
 
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Lars Wagner Hansen
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In my experience there is no advantage to any of the positions.

I do however play different strategies based on how many players, where I'm positioned and which shows I start with.
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Jason Rothe
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The Emporer's Loge is very powerful in that it enables you to acquire more medals and move more nobles. However, you must decide to do this in lieu of the other equally important options in phase 1.
 
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Bob Bobberson
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I will have to try what you both said. Thank you for the information.
 
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Lars Wagner Hansen
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And btw it's possible to win without ever acquiring any of the big shows (21-30). You have to plan it, and be a bit lucky, but it can be done, and I've personally done it about 5 times (out of the 64 plays).

It's also possible to win with having the highest score in round 4. I've only seen it done once, and partially because we had three incompetent players. Unfortunately I was not the one benefitting from the incompetent players.
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Roger Edwards
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l-hansen wrote:
It's also possible to win with having the highest score in round 4.


There's reason for deliberately NOT winning round 4. In round 5 you have a big show to put on, and if you win in 4 the last player will likely take an asset you need for the show. This will likely be worth 5 or so points in the end, which is not off-set by the 3 points from the podium you get for winning the round. You should still have plenty of money from your round 4 score to buy any season tickets (if any are left by now) and deal with the high final round bidding.

Of course, there is some luck and decision making to be had here based on what is in the bid lots, but then you don't know what asset the last player will steal from you.

And it seems fair to comment on the original post. Yesterday's game was 5 player with 3 newbies and the emperor made it around the board twice. I bought my big show in round 4 to make sure I had it, an expensive double buy that round, but no bid lots were of much help to me so I could wait out for a cheap and hopefully better one.
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