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Subject: Reputation in 2p rss

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Joshua Wehner

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I'm checking to see if we've understood Reputation scoring correctly in a two-player game -- we've played that most influence tokens on Reputation gets 10 points and the other player, if they have at least one influence, gets 7 points.

In games where one of us has invested significantly in Reputation, it has felt like a weak choice, as a shortage of influence tokens limits options so severely. The way we've been playing it, the most-Reputation player only gains 3 points over the other player, leaving us feeling like it's barely even worth putting a second influence there.

With >3 players, I can imagine potentially getting 10 extra points seems grand, but with only two of us, it just feels like those influence tokens would be better spent almost anywhere else.

After Game 6, I've been wondering if this is an area where the game doesn't scale as elegantly as I'd like, or if we're actually doing something wrong here. Significant spoilers for (at least) box iv and game 6:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
I got the Spectral Worker and the "good" bit helps with gaining Reputation. As the black charter, though, I've had access to Ghost minions since game 2 or so. And I've built an income building in my charter that also provides Reputation. Basically, I've never found it remotely difficult to get on the Reputation board. Maybe it's just bad/weird luck that I got this dubious perk (on top of already having nearly-identical benefits elsewhere), or maybe we've got a rule wrong? (Or the "good" part of Spectral worker just really isn't good at all?)
 
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Jamey Stegmaier
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You're playing correctly, though I understand what you're saying about scaling.
 
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Chris
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jameystegmaier wrote:
You're playing correctly, though I understand what you're saying about scaling.


So Jamey you are saying that regardless of what is printed on the box (1-6 players) there is a scaling issue? I just got the game for Christmas (as I assume a bunch of us did) and I tend to play two players. Was this a mistake? If this is a known issue do you have any ideas on how to better balance it?

This is my first legacy game but since I was a KS backer for viticulture, euphoria, and Tuscany I felt if anyone could get me to bite it would be you. Please tell me you have a plan or it isn't important or hurt the game.
 
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Jamey Stegmaier
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Chris: I was just respecting Joshua's opinion. I'm not saying there's a scaling issue or that anything needs to be changed.
 
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Luke
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jaw6 wrote:
I'm checking to see if we've understood Reputation scoring correctly in a two-player game -- we've played that most influence tokens on Reputation gets 10 points and the other player, if they have at least one influence, gets 7 points.

In games where one of us has invested significantly in Reputation, it has felt like a weak choice, as a shortage of influence tokens limits options so severely. The way we've been playing it, the most-Reputation player only gains 3 points over the other player, leaving us feeling like it's barely even worth putting a second influence there.

With >3 players, I can imagine potentially getting 10 extra points seems grand, but with only two of us, it just feels like those influence tokens would be better spent almost anywhere else.

After Game 6, I've been wondering if this is an area where the game doesn't scale as elegantly as I'd like, or if we're actually doing something wrong here. Significant spoilers for (at least) box iv and game 6:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
I got the Spectral Worker and the "good" bit helps with gaining Reputation. As the black charter, though, I've had access to Ghost minions since game 2 or so. And I've built an income building in my charter that also provides Reputation. Basically, I've never found it remotely difficult to get on the Reputation board. Maybe it's just bad/weird luck that I got this dubious perk (on top of already having nearly-identical benefits elsewhere), or maybe we've got a rule wrong? (Or the "good" part of Spectral worker just really isn't good at all?)


Remember that ties are friendly.

So if you both have 1 influence on rep, you both get 10 points so it's a wash.

In 2p, it seems that it doesn't make a lot of sense to fight over the rep track. If you place first, I might just give you that 3 points and pretend you used the Cloud Port.

But, regarding your spoiler.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
If you place your one influence as the result of using a building, then I use the spectral worker use a building that gains me victory points(or will shortly), I can place an influence on the rep track, eliminate your 10 point advantage and be up however many points I just got from my previous action.

Effectively, if you have the spectral worker in a 2p game, you have the advantage of dropping a final rep late to speed up the clock and secure a 10/3 point lead after your opponent used their last influence or can't afford to fight you on the track.

I realize in your case that the spectral worker is redundant because of your ghosts, but at least now it sounds like you should be able to control the rep track and not waste actions on rep gain buildings.

Maybe see if you can spend some time on VP gain buildings instead? Given that you can control rep so well?

Aaaaand, since you don't bump their workers, you can use whatever buildings you like without giving them a worker back.

Those are small things, but 3 points make a difference, especially if they put you into a new glory tier, I.e. taking first place in rep is a guaranteed glory at the end of the game.

While I had the spectral worker, I stopped making ghosts and focused on other things. You really only need one ghost/spectral at a time.

The Spectral Worker is great. Just make sure to switch back before it's too late.


My point being, it sounds like you have a lock on the 1st place rep if you decide to have it, which frees you up from one Cloud Port run, or helps if you can't afford a final Building/Crate/Objective.

The game seems to be very well thought out. I do recommend adding an Automa as a third player though. It makes the rep track more contentious, but your current advantage will translate to the 3p game, just not as much as it does now.

For those who didn't want to read the spoiler, 3 points can be the difference between a win and a loss between equal players, and taking first place in rep is 10 points, which is an automatic glory at the end of the game.

I hope that's helpful!
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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lordunborn wrote:
jameystegmaier wrote:
You're playing correctly, though I understand what you're saying about scaling.


So Jamey you are saying that regardless of what is printed on the box (1-6 players) there is a scaling issue? I just got the game for Christmas (as I assume a bunch of us did) and I tend to play two players. Was this a mistake? If this is a known issue do you have any ideas on how to better balance it?

This is my first legacy game but since I was a KS backer for viticulture, euphoria, and Tuscany I felt if anyone could get me to bite it would be you. Please tell me you have a plan or it isn't important or hurt the game.


If you feel that there’s a scaling issue on the rep track you can add an Automa (artificial player) to the game and you’ll have three players to compete for the rep track.

This is not me saying that there is a scaling problem , it’s me saying that if someone feels that there is a scaling problem, then there are rules in the box that make it go away.
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Joshua Wehner

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So, to be somewhat more clear (it's hard writing about these things without too many spoilers, without being unhelpfully vague): I've been pretty happy with the two-player game. Around Game 6, there was a sense that the game put more emphasis on Reputation than I thought it warranted. Which seemed like it could be a scaling issue (as in: it *is* warranted with more players and just isn't with fewer) or it could be that we misunderstood the rules.

Anyway: Thanks Jamey and everyone for helping out. It's been helpful to have the forums to sort out the slight confusions here and there.

We've considered Automa briefly but are likely to continue with two. If we decide to do the re-charge campaign (which, as of game 7, we're currently inclined to do), we'll probably play with more real human players, so we'll see the contrast then, at least.
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Mark Brown
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My wife and I are getting ready for game 11. We played the first 2 games with 4 players, and then dropped to two. We never used any automa players.

We think the influence token mechanism to limit options and guide strategy to be brilliant. You are right, fighting over reputation is expensive in terms of influence for only a 3 point difference. Especially when that influence token can be used at Cloud Port or the Grandstand for 3 to 5 points.

But I think this is no different at higher player counts. The reputation tracks scales in length based on number of players. So fighting on the reputation is still expensive.

It makes for some great decisions in game play. Every influence token is important regardless of the number of players.
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Steve Carey
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Fighting for reputation can get quite expensive, yes.

Played 2P Game 1 tonight, and I ended up with the Reputation Track lead (10 VP's) and also met the Objective card goal for 3 Influence tokens on the track (5 VP). That was 15 VP for 4 Influence tokens (3 on the Reputation Track + 1 to visit the Grandstand). My opponent got 7 VP for 1 Influence token (that he placed via the Progress Track).

Not sure how unwise I was doing that, but I still won anyway 35-34.

We'll be playing with 2 Automas starting with Game 2, so that will be more completion for Reputation VP's.
 
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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shadowjump wrote:
My wife and I are getting ready for game 11. We played the first 2 games with 4 players, and then dropped to two. We never used any automa players.

We think the influence token mechanism to limit options and guide strategy to be brilliant. You are right, fighting over reputation is expensive in terms of influence for only a 3 point difference. Especially when that influence token can be used at Cloud Port or the Grandstand for 3 to 5 points.

But I think this is no different at higher player counts. The reputation tracks scales in length based on number of players. So fighting on the reputation is still expensive.

It makes for some great decisions in game play. Every influence token is important regardless of the number of players.


Do note that by overtaking your opponent you’re not only gaining 3 VP yourself, you’re also taking 3 VP away from him, which makes it a 6 VP swing, but overtaking of course takes at least two rep token placements.
 
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David Nadler
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Adding a single automata to a 2p game creates an issue for the progress track though, since there are rewards for being the player to hit certain spots, namely free reputation. Since the automa effectively bumps the track at random, but a human player will gauge the situation to avoid giving their opponent free points, what that means is the player playing directly after the automa in turn order gains an advantage. This simply replaces one reputation issue with a different, more frustratingly random reputation issue.

Say the progress track is two away from a bonus. If I'm the player who goes BEFORE the automa, then if I bump the track and the automa doesn't randomly bump it, my opponent scores the bonus. If I don't bump it and the automa randomly does, my opponent scores the bonus. If neither I nor the automa bump it, my opponent simply doesn't either and... back to square one. In every case, my opponent gets to take advantage because the automa isn't "thinking" strategically, and if they play it smart I'll never hit a bonus all game long.

I'd highly recommend if you do automa, play with 2 and space them between you. It'll still be random, but it won't favor anybody based on turn order.
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Joshua Wehner

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mortenmdk wrote:
Do note that by overtaking your opponent you’re not only gaining 3 VP yourself, you’re also taking 3 VP away from him, which makes it a 6 VP swing, but overtaking of course takes at least two rep token placements.


I don't think it works this way. If each player had 10 points and no influence tokens on the Reputation track, the game would end as a 10 point tie. If each player had placed one influence on Reputation then the game ends as a 20 point tie. If you place two influence, to your opponent's one influence, then you win 20 to 17. This is why I was originally confused - it felt like there were better ways to spend influence than fighting for three points.
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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jaw6 wrote:
mortenmdk wrote:
Do note that by overtaking your opponent you’re not only gaining 3 VP yourself, you’re also taking 3 VP away from him, which makes it a 6 VP swing, but overtaking of course takes at least two rep token placements.


I don't think it works this way. If each player had 10 points and no influence tokens on the Reputation track, the game would end as a 10 point tie. If each player had placed one influence on Reputation then the game ends as a 20 point tie. If you place two influence, to your opponent's one influence, then you win 20 to 17. This is why I was originally confused - it felt like there were better ways to spend influence than fighting for three points.


The kind of situation I'm talking about is this:

Player A has 1 token on the reputation track while player B has 2. This is a 7-10 score.

Player A then places 2 tokens on the reputation track changing the situation to a 1 reputation lead for player A and a 10-7 score for a 6 VP swing.
 
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Keith Phillips
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I also agree that putting effort and focus into winning the reputation track in a 2 player game seems pretty foolish. My wife and I have been playing 2 player and loving it, until the end of game 6 when she was forced to have the spectral worker as a "gift." She was PISSED. She does not look at it as a gift but rather getting kicked while she is down. She does not want to waste all of her infuence tokens every time she places the spectral worker and the ridiculous 9 point cost to regain the regular worker seems a bit insane. Am I missing something or is getting the spectral worker actually really horrible in a 2 player game? Thoughts Jamey? I almost want to ignore the rule altogether and just let her keep the regular worker. Would that mess up the game?
 
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Becq
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The ideal contribution to reputation is:
1 point more than whoever you choose to compete with
or
0 *only if* there are 4 players ahead of you that you choose not to compete with.

So in a 2p game, your first priority should be to gain 1 reputation. After that, you decide whether or not to fight for first place. As Morten pointed out, the difference between 1st and 2nd is a 6VP swing, so that's not insignificant -- but there are other ways to make VPs, so it's tradeoff. The two best scenarios are:
1) You have 1 rep and your opponent has none (you get +10VPs at little cost)
2) You have 1 rep and your opponent has many (they wasted actions and resources needlessly, but only got +3VPs regardless)

It's a little more complex in larger games, since you don't know whether or not some of the scores ahead of you will be tied. For example, if you're playing in a 4p game and your opponents compete heavily for reputation, in might be optimal to invest nothing, since 4th place is worth no VPs. However, if two of your opponents end up being tied, then 4th place is actually third place, and is worth 4VPs.

In a 6p game, only the top three are guaranteed point, unless there are ties -- so the bottom three have to decide whether they want to compete for 3rd place, compete for 4th and hope for ties, or stay out entirely. That decision will most likely depend on the level of competition for reputation. For example, in my game there are usually at least four other players investing in reputation, which makes it expensive to compete ... so I often find myself steering clear of reputation and investing my actions and resources elsewhere.
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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specialk205slim wrote:
I also agree that putting effort and focus into winning the reputation track in a 2 player game seems pretty foolish. My wife and I have been playing 2 player and loving it, until the end of game 6 when she was forced to have the spectral worker as a "gift." She was PISSED. She does not look at it as a gift but rather getting kicked while she is down. She does not want to waste all of her infuence tokens every time she places the spectral worker and the ridiculous 9 point cost to regain the regular worker seems a bit insane. Am I missing something or is getting the spectral worker actually really horrible in a 2 player game? Thoughts Jamey? I almost want to ignore the rule altogether and just let her keep the regular worker. Would that mess up the game?


It’s voluntary to gain benefits and thus vouluntary to place the influence token as the Spectral Worker.
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