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Subject: Clans not balanced? Ferguson really bad? rss

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Jonas Åkerblom
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I just played my first game with Ferguson, Stewart and Buchanan to chose from in a 2 player game.

I cannot see how clan Ferguson can be balanced compared to for example Clan Stewart. Clan Ferguson gives three shipping which is worth 12 money (only 2 shipping for 2 players, so 8 money) and no special ability. The three workers you have to pay for and you are limited where you have to place them. Any other clan can just do this as a normal action and place it anywhere.

Clan Stewart gets you three merchants and one shipping which is worth 16 money plus that it gets one money with every trade. Stewart is clearly way better so how can these two clans be balanced?

Is the balancing as bad with all the clans?
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Alexandre Moron
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I'd like to see some respones. But maybe the Ferguson's can be useful to reach certain tiles before anyone else in the first few turns? And that way make sure you get those best prices.
Other than that, I share your concern.
 
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john newman
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Check out this link to stats of actual games. It does look like some clans are better than others, but it's too early to be certain.

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1893519/stats-caledonia

According to the stats so far, there doesn't seem to be a large disparity between Stewart and Ferguson, with a slight advantage to Ferguson. Check it out and report your game stats.

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Rafael Ponga
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After just one game... Just read this.

I've played just a couple of times myself, so I wouldn't know...
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Terry Fung
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Bracca wrote:
I cannot see how clan Ferguson can be balanced compared to for example Clan Stewart. Clan Ferguson gives three shipping which is worth 12 money (only 2 shipping for 2 players, so 8 money) and no special ability. The three workers you have to pay for and you are limited where you have to place them. Any other clan can just do this as a normal action and place it anywhere.


I play clan Ferguson situationally. Its shipping power is really its strong suit. The third worker placement really serves to empower the clan with an additional factory. I only play Ferguson if I can calculate out how to use all three factories to complete two export contracts and pick up a third. Not many other clans can do that. That boost leads to a lead that is difficult for others to catch up and the 10 lb sure makes up that difference.

Also, the shipping advantage allows for cutting people off early in the game. That comes with the player's style. I always look for cutting people off to factories and connecting settlements.
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Jonas Åkerblom
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tmf2115 wrote:
Bracca wrote:
I cannot see how clan Ferguson can be balanced compared to for example Clan Stewart. Clan Ferguson gives three shipping which is worth 12 money (only 2 shipping for 2 players, so 8 money) and no special ability. The three workers you have to pay for and you are limited where you have to place them. Any other clan can just do this as a normal action and place it anywhere.


I play clan Ferguson situationally. Its shipping power is really its strong suit. The third worker placement really serves to empower the clan with an additional factory. I only play Ferguson if I can calculate out how to use all three factories to complete two export contracts and pick up a third. Not many other clans can do that. That boost leads to a lead that is difficult for others to catch up and the 10 lb sure makes up that difference.

Also, the shipping advantage allows for cutting people off early in the game. That comes with the player's style. I always look for cutting people off to factories and connecting settlements.


I see the advantage in this in a 4 player game but I still dont think it is that strong. And what about a 2 player game? You get one less shipping and cutting eachother off is less prevalent.
 
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Jonas Åkerblom
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ParaSiempre wrote:
After just one game... Just read this.

I've played just a couple of times myself, so I wouldn't know...


How does this help? I play enough games to be able to raise this concern. I would never pick Ferguson over Stewart.
 
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David Harris
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Bracca wrote:
I just played my first game with Ferguson, Stewart and Buchanan to chose from in a 2 player game.

I cannot see how clan Ferguson can be balanced compared to for example Clan Stewart. Clan Ferguson gives three shipping which is worth 12 money (only 2 shipping for 2 players, so 8 money) and no special ability. The three workers you have to pay for and you are limited where you have to place them. Any other clan can just do this as a normal action and place it anywhere.

Clan Stewart gets you three merchants and one shipping which is worth 16 money plus that it gets one money with every trade. Stewart is clearly way better so how can these two clans be balanced?

Is the balancing as bad with all the clans?


Ferguson seems situationaly good. If there are 3-4 strong port tiles Ferguson will tend better than others being able to grab them sooner and potentially cut off opponents from the tiles themselves. Also, 3-4 player games will favor Ferguson slightly better at the start because it's less likely that their settlements will be crowded in by other players. Ferguson should always have a decently cheap tile placement throughout the game.

That being said I do think Ferguson is one of the weaker clans, largely because it offers no real clan bonus to help facilitate poor engine building. A good player will do well with Ferguson while a bad player will probably do far worse than normal with them.

I definitely wouldn't recommend Ferguson to any first time or casual type players. I houserule that first time players or weaker opponents can pick one of the top tier clans from the pile rather than taking one of the randomly selected clans.
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Selecting clans is all about the glory point score tiles that are drawn. If the one with points for stuff on the edge of the board is scored in round 3-5 then Ferguson is an automatic first pick for me. And for Ferguson you also have to consider the port tiles, with good port tiles the starting advantage is quite considerable. For example in my last game with Ferguson i won with 178 points versus Stewart with 139 points (it was a 4 player game, but the other 2 players were new players so their scores mean not much - Robertson 116, McKencie 97).
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Jonas Åkerblom
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Kelteel wrote:
Selecting clans is all about the glory point score tiles that are drawn. If the one with points for stuff on the edge of the board is scored in round 3-5 then Ferguson is an automatic first pick for me. And for Ferguson you also have to consider the port tiles, with good port tiles the starting advantage is quite considerable. For example in my last game with Ferguson i won with 178 points versus Stewart with 139 points (it was a 4 player game, but the other 2 players were new players so their scores mean not much - Robertson 116, McKencie 97).


I cannot see that as an auto pick anyway, I would still pick Stewart and I can just buy two shipping in the first round and even if you cut me of one port I would be able to cut you off another one and I will collect more money through the game and you anyway on other scorings even if you have a small advantage on one round scoring. One round scoring is not so much on a whole and if you pick a clan because of just one round scoring you are looking to much into that small scoring.

 
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Bracca wrote:

I see the advantage in this in a 4 player game but I still dont think it is that strong. And what about a 2 player game? You get one less shipping and cutting eachother off is less prevalent.


I'd suggest playing more. My wife I thought the same thing about the 2 player game at first, but as we got better, we started blocking a lot (from the beginning of the game through the end). We are ending now with only a couple spaces left unpopulated.

The same applies to Fergusson. Being able to start with 3 unconnected settlements in the beginning to get more cheap spaces and getting the port bonuses early makes a big difference. And, as others have said, given the right situation (port tiles, contracts, round bonuses, starting tile paired with Fergusson, map setup), Fergusson can be very strong.
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Bracca wrote:

I cannot see that as an auto pick anyway, I would still pick Stewart and I can just buy two shipping in the first round and even if you cut me of one port I would be able to cut you off another one and I will collect more money through the game and you anyway on other scorings even if you have a small advantage on one round scoring. One round scoring is not so much on a whole and if you pick a clan because of just one round scoring you are looking to much into that small scoring.


You pick that clan that benefits the scoring tiles the most - of course you have to look at all tiles. I think the game is very well balanced and so you have to consider the little things. With that approach i have won most of my games. Also how much money does Stewart really save/earn on trade actions throughout the game? 10-15 coins? And most of them will be saved in later rounds. If Ferguson gets one port more this is easily offset by that.
 
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Andrew Watson
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johnpnewman wrote:
Check out this link to stats of actual games. It does look like some clans are better than others, but it's too early to be certain.

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1893519/stats-caledonia

According to the stats so far, there doesn't seem to be a large disparity between Stewart and Ferguson, with a slight advantage to Ferguson. Check it out and report your game stats.



Thanks, John, for linking to my stats form, and for the bolded (by me) parts of your post. I'm adding a little gold to your clan coffers.

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Terry Fung
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2 player has a smaller map so the places to build to reach industry is much less. Build along it and block off access to industry. Three industry advantage in first round is a major advantage.
 
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Mike Stevens
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I only have this to add. We have played 2 games of Clans, a 2-player game and a 3-player game. In the first game we played, I picked Clan Stewart, while my gf took Clan Fergusson. In that game we also had drawn the Round scoring where you get points for every 2 pieces on the boarder tiles. Thanks to her shipping and quickly expanding she was able to use all 4 of her port tiles that game and just kicked my butt 131-71. I realize it was our first game and she clearly picked up the nuances, mechanics, and strategy of this game much quicker than I did.

Needless to say this was ONE game and neither of those 2 Clans was drawn in our 2nd game but at least in that first game, I would say that Clan Fergusson was stronger or at least the player who played themshake

Game ON!
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Avery Bailey
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Ferguson can often receive the benefits of 3 ports before taking a turn. That access is HUGE. Also, that they start with extra shipping means they save money and more importantly actions not spent on increasing shipping during first round expansion.

The bonus shipping also gives them access to gobble up the cheapest spots on waterways earlier than opponents. They very much can dictate the flow of the map, especially in a 2 player game.

If the edge point scoring, that's all gravy.

The last thing I love about Ferguson is that sometimes in CoC, you can get locked out of connecting your two opening settlements. With 3 opening, it's almost impossible for Ferguson to lose the settlement race.

Stewart on the other hand is more effective with more players as their greatest strength is using those bonus merchants with neighborhood bonuses. Without that, it's tough to get to the market enough to make their £1 bonus that helpful.
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Juma Al-JouJou
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In general, Fergusson has the difficulty to connect all starting settlements by the end of the game to max out # of settlements and make full use of the extra starting settlement (if you don't try to connect 1 starting settlement you basically dont use their expansion potential).

In a 2 player game this is much easier, because the map is smaller plus there are less players that can block Fergusson off the central loch.

So during playtesting Fergusson seemed overpowered with all 3 bonus shipping upgrades from the start.

Also, extra merchants are worth much less in the first round compared to extra shipping since you almost always need to upgrade shipping in the first round but you rarely need 5 merchants in the first round.

The extra settlement does not only give access to one more port early on, but it allows to expand more cheaply. Usually in a game you eventually expand to other areas of the board later in the game but by then players who started there have grabbed all cheap spots. That won't happen to Fergusson. Fergusson also saves a turn by playing the extra worker and due to the bonus shipping which makes them pass first often.



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Ben Moscrop
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Kelteel wrote:
Selecting clans is all about the glory point score tiles that are drawn. If the one with points for stuff on the edge of the board is scored in round 3-5 then Ferguson is an automatic first pick for me.


Off topic but how are you able to make this decision when picking your clan when the setup says the scoring tiles are face down?


*Edit* Just read the rules again and I've totally miss-read them. Scoring tiles are face up at the start. Carry on!
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Mike Stevens
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We played another 3 player game of Clans last night with the same 3-players who played last time and I was the last player so I got to pick my Clan first and Clan Fergusson was one of the options. Since I had not played with them yet and I had already been thrashed by them once, I decided to pick them. Deb picked second and took Clan Robertson along with the River Delta discount, and Terri picked last and took Clan Campbell along with the Factory Discounts. The game started great for me as the 3rd Round Scoring Tile was 3 glory points for every 2 of your pieces on border tiles. I quickly expanded with my advanced shipping and made up my mind that I was certainly going to win the Most Connected Settlements race which I did over Clan Campbell ending up with 14 Settlements to her 12.



I was blue, Campbell was red, and Robertson was white. So while I spent lots of time expanding and trying to score as many points for each round scoring bonus that I could, Terri and Deb were picking the best and easiest export contracts to complete and unfortunately for me, that is what ultimately decided the game as I finished last in completed export contracts. Campbell completed 8, Robertson 5, and Fergy only had 4. Once the game ended and the final score was totaled, Fergusson was able to squeak out a 2nd place finish. Terri with Clan Campbell got her 3rd win in a row scoring 180 points, I was a distant second with Clan Fergusson finishing with 144 points, while Deb ended up in 3rd place with Clan Robertson and 137 points.

The funny thing is that at the beginning of the game, Terri had loudly complained once I picked Clan Fergusson that they were over powered. She only knew that because I had talked to her about this thread on BGG that I was following. She also pointed out that in our very first 2-player game of Clans she had used Clan Fergusson and slaughtered me which was very trueshake I mean lets be honest, starting with 3 workers and 3 shipping is certainly a HUGE starting bonus but in this game at least she certainly proved that another Clan being played by a better player can certainly overcome Clan Fergusson's very nice starting bonus. Of course since Terri has won the last 2 games playing Clan Campbell, I could start a sub thread saying that I think Clan Campbell is over powered and the strongest of the clans

Until I have a chance to play multiple games of Clans and get to use all of the different Clans and see how they play against the other Clans, I will simply have to say that for now, Terri is the best and most over powered person that I have played Clans against!

EDIT: I just now re-read this entire thread and realized that I misunderstood what the OP was trying to say in his original thread and it is actually right in the title. He is asking if Clan Fergy is actually really bad not really good and over powered like I originally thought. Well as you can see from this post and my previous one, it appears to me that it really boils down to who is playing them and their skill level with the game. My gf played Clan Fergy and slaughtered me. I played Clan Fergy and she slaughtered me. At least from my perspective they are neither over powered or really bad. All in the eyes of the beholder and who is heading the Clan!
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Mike Stevens
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Innovatormentor wrote:
In general, Fergusson has the difficulty to connect all starting settlements by the end of the game to max out # of settlements and make full use of the extra starting settlement (if you don't try to connect 1 starting settlement you basically dont use their expansion potential).

In a 2 player game this is much easier, because the map is smaller plus there are less players that can block Fergusson off the central loch.

So during playtesting Fergusson seemed overpowered with all 3 bonus shipping upgrades from the start.

Also, extra merchants are worth much less in the first round compared to extra shipping since you almost always need to upgrade shipping in the first round but you rarely need 5 merchants in the first round.

The extra settlement does not only give access to one more port early on, but it allows to expand more cheaply. Usually in a game you eventually expand to other areas of the board later in the game but by then players who started there have grabbed all cheap spots. That won't happen to Fergusson. Fergusson also saves a turn by playing the extra worker and due to the bonus shipping which makes them pass first often.





In a 3-player game with Clan Fergusson are you supposed to start with your shipping marker on 3 Shipping or on the 3rd Shipping space which is actually 2 Shipping if you count River Crossing as the 1st Shipping space? Sorry if we are overthinking this.
 
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Andy Newman
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I haven't found there to be a balance issue after playing 10+ games and using a variety of clans and starting bonuses.
What I have found is the round bonuses and port bonuses impact the game and can be beneficial to a clan if played right and the timing is right. Basically, if the stars align any clan be overpowered. Who plays the clan and how they play it have more impact on the game than the clan's individual powers. Plus, I have found that if you only focus on the clan's ability for your strategy you will find yourself falling behind pretty quickly.
This game makes you use the entire field and constant adjustment to your plans/strategy.
I have played 2, 3 and 4 player games and the balance has been consistent throughout, for me at least. I am sure there are plenty of players out there who could kick my butt regardless of clan.
and yes, I have won with Fergy.
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Andrew Watson
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Omahavice wrote:
In a 3-player game with Clan Fergusson are you supposed to start with your shipping marker on 3 Shipping or on the 3rd Shipping space which is actually 2 Shipping if you count River Crossing as the 1st Shipping space? Sorry if we are overthinking this.


The rulebook (on p. 11) tells us that Ferg starts with 2-loch shipping (1-loch in a 2-player game). That seems very clear to me. The clan tile says the same thing in a different way. The tile is less clear to me. I only really get what it's trying to tell me once the rulebook has told me the same thing in words. That happens to me a lot, not just with Clans. Perhaps I should get an icon interpretation chip implanted in my brain...
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Joey Leang
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Translating straight to gold, the benefits don't seem that great. But you're really relying map position as your main advantage here and how much faster you can get to places you need to get to. I mean, getting 1 extra work + 2/3 shipping is essentially a 3/4 turn head start. This could mean you end your first turn sooner than everybody else, get the bonus gold and turn advantage.

As somebody else already mentioned, having 3 unattached settlements can definitely help you in the beginning as well as this is the only time you can build in a spot that's not adjacent to something you already have. This will allow you flexibility in trying to build next to an opponent to take advantage of the neighborhood bonus or take advantage of ports easier.

Definitely not the easiest clan to play, but the two times they have shown up in my 5 games, they did win (though one was probably out of luck).

 
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Bracca wrote:
I just played my first game with Ferguson, Stewart and Buchanan to chose from in a 2 player game.

I cannot see how clan Ferguson can be balanced compared to for example Clan Stewart. Clan Ferguson gives three shipping which is worth 12 money (only 2 shipping for 2 players, so 8 money) and no special ability. The three workers you have to pay for and you are limited where you have to place them. Any other clan can just do this as a normal action and place it anywhere.

Clan Stewart gets you three merchants and one shipping which is worth 16 money plus that it gets one money with every trade. Stewart is clearly way better so how can these two clans be balanced?

Is the balancing as bad with all the clans?


Did you actually play the Clan or did you just think it is not worth picking?

I experienced some nice plays with that Clan. Especially with the scoring tile in play that gives you points for claiming spaces at the edge of the board.

To me the clan has some nice advantages:
- You have some free actions that might give you the advantage of passing early in the first round and get good money for it.
- Easy access to three different ports very early by having loch shipment to reach the ports.

The problems are:
- You do not have too much money in the first round to get production running.
- Or you want to complete a task early and you don't have enough money to buy from the market - being early in the playing order helps here to have a bigger display of availabe tasks.
- Gain access to the big loch is hard

I don't see the Clan so weak, actually. The thing about these things is, like in Terra Mystica or Marco Polo as well, that you need to play them according to their strength. And that is fun to find out... :-)

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Brandon Cooper
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Just played them last night. I won the 3P game. Final score was 141, 140, 139. I vote balanced.
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