Simon
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Few thoughts before laying down the main question:

1. Drafting the 4 cards
By drafting, a player effectively has gone through 10 cards (4+3+2+1).
Drafting from the secondary piles (3,2 and 1) might present him with lower probabilities of finding a desired card.
But "One man's trash is another man's treasure" so maybe he can find even better cards in the secondary piles than the initial one. However, opponents can also counter-pick cards, maybe the chance for good cards will diminish after every pile.


Question 1: Does drafting 4 cards is effectively equal to picking 10 random cards, but being allowed to buy max 4?

Or picking 8? (reduced probabilities due to potential counter-picking strategy) . The "correct" number is for sure lower than 10 and bigger than 4.


Question 2: Do the "blue" cards giving extra cards' draws are too strong? (not drafting variant)
This is more of a feeling. But one card of those would give you 25% more card to go through.
1 game in my starting 10 card deck I had two of those and one was actually giving it for free - the planning was easy, the needed tags was falling into my hands easily and the win was easy.


Main question: Would it better for the gameplay to get 5 cards instead of 4, but being allowing to buy max 4?

Food for thought.








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Sam Carroll
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Viximo wrote:
Question 2: Do the "blue" cards giving extra cards' draws are too strong? (not drafting variant)
This is more of a feeling. But one card of those would give you 25% more card to go through.
1 game in my starting 10 card deck I had two of those and one was actually giving it for free - the planning was easy, the needed tags was falling into my hands easily and the win was easy.


Sounds like you got a perfect storm of opportunity!

What I can say is that the designer and his brothers usually do not play with drafting; thus the game is balanced for the non-drafting version. Blue cards that give draws can be powerful, but they are expensive to use (costing energy or MC) or else to build (AI Central has a high cost and requires 3 science tags.)
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Ian Klinck
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Keep in mind that drafting is more than "picking the card you want". Sometimes it's preventing the next guy from getting a really good card that he wants - especially in TM, where you have to buy the cards you pick, too. (i.e. I might pick a card that I know you really want, then just discard it instead of buying it...)
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Rupert Cullum
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Quote:
Question 1: Does drafting 4 cards is effectively equal to picking 10 random cards, but being allowed to buy max 4?


They are not really equal for a couple of reasons:

1) If you draft 4 cards, you only get to pick one from each group at a time - you can't draft two from the first group, none from the second, etc. so the draft is a more restrictive choice than a draw of 10 and buy any 4. With less than 4 players, you do get to see some or all groups twice, but the second time you see the group more cards have gone.

2) Draw 10 and draft 4 (even if you do it in groups or 4/3/2/1 to mimic the limitations of the draft) does not have the decision making as to whether I buy card A to boost my production or card B to prevent another player improving their production.

Drafting allows for the decision making around your points vs opponents whereas the straight draw of 4 does not. This appears to be one of the main reasons why players go one way or the other.
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Simon
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iklinck wrote:
Keep in mind that drafting is more than "picking the card you want". Sometimes it's preventing the next guy from getting a really good card that he wants - especially in TM, where you have to buy the cards you pick, too. (i.e. I might pick a card that I know you really want, then just discard it instead of buying it...)


Yes, I know - that is what I mean with "counter-pick" in the 1st post

Rupertc wrote:
Quote:
Question 1: Does drafting 4 cards is effectively equal to picking 10 random cards, but being allowed to buy max 4?


They are not really equal for a couple of reasons:

1) If you draft 4 cards, you only get to pick one from each group at a time - you can't draft two from the first group, none from the second, etc. so the draft is a more restrictive choice than a draw of 10 and buy any 4. With less than 4 players, you do get to see some or all groups twice, but the second time you see the group more cards have gone.

2) Draw 10 and draft 4 (even if you do it in groups or 4/3/2/1 to mimic the limitations of the draft) does not have the decision making as to whether I buy card A to boost my production or card B to prevent another player improving their production.

Drafting allows for the decision making around your points vs opponents whereas the straight draw of 4 does not. This appears to be one of the main reasons why players go one way or the other.


I know they are not equal - that's why I wonder about the "draw 4".

I like the drafting and I prefer it by far, but since it prolongs the game, the other people I play with prefer the drawing.
Since I compare the drawing to the drafting, I feel it as quite luck-dependent and handicapping.

Thus I was wondering about that "draw 5, but buy max 4" to mimic slightly the drafting (I checked more than 4 cards, but I can buy only 4) to slightly reduce the luck dependency without increasing the game duration.


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Rupert Cullum
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True - the more cards you draw and then can only keep max 4 will reduce the luck with the straight draw to some extent, but drawing 5 is probably not enough to really move the needle there.

Drafting maybe does reduce the luck element in some ways, but is probably more than compensated for by the actions of other players. You could still be prone to a combination of bad luck on the draws plus astute drafting by your opponents so that you end up with only useless or low value cards.

We draft when we play, but probably because we like the ability to deny cards to each other rather than there being any real reduction in luck vs straight draw.


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