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Subject: Scaling problem with 2 rss

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Brian "Langalore"
United States
Sewell
New Jersey
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I really love this game at 2 and 4 players (haven't tried 3 yet but I assume it's just as good).
I have found a small issue with the 2 player version that isn't what most people are talking about (defensive play / "meanness"): there is scaling for the number of markets but not for the number of tiles in the bag.
In a 2 player game, it is entirely possibly, and more than likely that the bag will never cycle. There are 100 tiles and 20 put out per round. This means that 5 rounds, enough to fill a row, takes exactly 100 tiles.
In a 4 player game, the bag cycles in the 3rd round, and in a 3 player it's the 4th round.

I've had a thought to take out 5 or 10 of each tile type to make the bag cycle. I'm wondering if the game was ever play tested this way or if anyone's tried it this way. It seems to make sense to me. 50 tiles in 2 player means it cycles at the start of the 3rd round. 75 tiles in 3 player means it's cycling in the 3rd round too.
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Evan Scussel
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Longwood
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What’s the issue if the bag cycles earlier or later in the game? What problem are you trying to correct?
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Jonathan Maisonneuve
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There is 20 tiles of each color, so 5 of each color for every players in 4 player game. So it seems logical to remove 5 of each color for every missing players, because anyway, you can't have more than 5 tiles of a color on your scoring board.

When I will finally get my copy, I intend to play that way (just like with Sagrada, we reduce the amount of dice based on player count).
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Brian "Langalore"
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Sewell
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The issue is that when it cycles, it's easier to complete the "all of 1 kind" +10 point bonus.
In a 2 player game that ends at 5 rounds, one person has to collect 15 of 20 possible tiles to complete that bonus. If it cycles, you could get some rows done then complete more rows with the same tiles you used previously.
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Chris Bock
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I noticed the same thing, but I wouldn't call it a problem. It's just one way that it plays differently at 2.
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Chris Funk
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I've played plenty of 2 and 3 player games. Tile distribution has never been an issue. We've also cycled the bag with every 2 player game at least once. Now, if the other player is trying to cut the game short, yeah, you may not cycle the bag, but that's a possibility with higher player counts, too.

You have to watch the other players and see what their plans are to gauge what you need to concentrate on. If you see someone filling a row and they're at 4, you either need to try and grab what they need to keep them from getting it or finish out your board and hopefully max your points before they do.

There's really not a problem with the tile distribution and player count. It's directly affected by player strategy and play style to who much of each tile appears in the span of a game..
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Brian "Langalore"
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I'm guess I'm not saying it's a "bad" game but the end of game scoring is much different and much less. In 4 player games, someone can be behind by 10-15 points and still win. The way I've seen 2 player games, it's unlikely.

We played 4 times at 2 player last night and the bag only cycled once. It's guaranteed to cycle in a 4 player game it's likely that it's cycled twice before finishing factory placement during round 5. It's a much different game.

Edit: to be clear, my wife and I LOVE Azul. The only other game we've played 4 times in one night is Biblios, our most played game.
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Michael Frost

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I'm missing the problem, since both players know it and both players can look at their own board and their opponent's board to see how far along they are in completing each of their rows.

A player that fails to advance the appropriate row(s), usually the 1 or 2 tile rows, each round puts themselves at the mercy of the other player when it comes to them ending the game. I have let it go a 6th round rather than end it in 5 when it benefitted me greatly (usually by allowing me to complete a 2nd column and usually a 2nd row
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Jim McMahon
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Wildhorn wrote:
you can't have more than 5 tiles of a color on your scoring board.
Are you also considering any rows on the left side that may have more than one with the same color tiles?
 
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Christina Law
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I actually like how it plays differently at 2, compared to 3 or 4, because of the likelihood that you only go through the bag once. (In my ten 2-player games we rarely went more than 5 rounds since it's so easy to complete the top two rows.) Different strategies are employed since you can count how many tiles are left in each color. It's like a different flavor of ice cream on the same cone. Both enjoyable, just unique ways of enjoying the same game.
 
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Andi Hub
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Langalore wrote:
The issue is that when it cycles, it's easier to complete the "all of 1 kind" +10 point bonus.
In a 2 player game that ends at 5 rounds, one person has to collect 15 of 20 possible tiles to complete that bonus. If it cycles, you could get some rows done then complete more rows with the same tiles you used previously.

Let's say you just take 10 of each color. If you try to complete a color, you have placed already 3or 4 tiles of this color and for a next cycle the number of tiles of this color is reduced compared to other colors. This makes it again a bit harder to complete it in comparison to having a larger pool of 20 tiles.

It certainly scales a bit differently across player numbers. I also think it is easier with 4 players to avoid minus points (possbily due to the 2n+1 number of factories).

I am pretty sure that the designers intended to design a family game. For this it is better to have some differences in player scaling (differences does not mean that one way is better or worse) than to to count the number of tiles always during setup. In the end, I can imagine that the game plays perfectly well if you reduce 4 or 5 tiles of each color for every player less than 4. Anybody who thinks there is a problem can try this out.
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Jonathan Challis
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Playing differently at different player counts is normal, often impossible to avoid, and generally a good thing. Scores from 2P and multiplayer usually vary.

You have observed a 'thing' not a 'bad thing'. This is not a problem, would would you want to do anything about it? Leave it as it is, it's working as intended.
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James Clarke
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This thread badly needs a new title. Nobody (including the OP) has identified a problem.

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Jonathan Maisonneuve
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Played 2 games yesterday with 2 players. We played both way, with all the tiles and by removing half of each color.

Half: The bag cycle alot (a good thing) and it makes gameplay more competitive.

Full: The bag will not cycle. So you better be counting the tiles that already got out if you do not want to be stuck with uncompletable lines due that all the tiles of a color already been drawn.

I prefered by far playing with only half of tiles.
 
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Martin G
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I played 2p for the first time the other day (with the regular rules) and *loved* that you can track the tiles that have gone (we just left them all out on the side of the board).
 
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