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Subject: Help me understand this... rss

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Galen Iliev
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Today I had the first crack at this game. I was so excited...

I was overwhelmed by the sheer randomness and uselessness of planing in this game.
Maybe we might have missed a rule of somekind... but...
I got a Mama/Papa card that lets me start with 2 purple and 1 blue.
All the other 4 players got green blue and yellow.

In my 2 purple cards I get 2 contracts to produce 4 white wines.
So I go for green cards and draw 3 cards only getting red wine...

While the player to my right plays a yellow card that gives him 5 money followed by another yellow cards that lets him draw 1 card of each type.
Thus later playing another yellow that let him draw green and instantly plant it.

And I am twiddling my thumbs with my starting 2 PURPLE Cards...

Winter phase comes I am thinking i will play my blue which lets me train a worker for 3 instead of 4...
The player to my right plays a card that lets him train a worker for 2 and the player to my left a card that lets him and everyone else train a worker for 1 gold if gets 1 point. It is turn one so everybody essentially does it. And I am still left with "train a worker for 3" card...

Next turn I draw 2 more green cards again get 2 red ones value 1 and 2. Next player get 2 green ( 1 from turn order) 1 for placing worker he get 2 card that gives him both 1 red and white each...

Another player puts down a yellow that makes him draw yellow cards from other player or get points. He chooses the 2 players that don't have yellow cards.. getting 2 more points from a card... he is now sitting at 6 points 2 turns in not having planted anything or done anything worthwhile except get yellow cards that randomly give him points.

So on turn 2 I am 10 money behind one player 5-6 points behind another
3 structures behind the 3rd and the 4th has fields that produce 4 grapes of combined value over 10... while my fields produce 3/1 red...


So...
Please help me understand how this game is balanced?

What good are my 2 starting purple cards? They give me 0 boost...

You can't plan what grapes you can plant.
Which I guess is OK, since you can't plan what contracts you will get.
From turn one you can get cards ranging from useless to cards that save you 3-4 workers placements with a single play (like draw 1 of each type)


The theme seems fantastic though...
 
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J Hagen
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Purple cards are for later in the game. Filling wine orders is one way to make a ton of points.
 
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Scott Cantor
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Basic Viticulture can be somewhat dependent on card draw, Tuscany includes board spaces that mitigate that by trading cards for other cards or points. Honestly I don’t play Viticulture anymore except as a teaching game.
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Adrian Sperling
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More Mellotron wrote:
Basic Viticulture can be somewhat dependent on card draw, Tuscany includes board spaces that mitigate that by trading cards for other cards or points. Honestly I don’t play Viticulture anymore except as a teaching game.


This. In base Viticulture, you are drilling through one deck or another to get the cards you need. With the extended board in Tuscany, I actually prefer to get a few wine order (purple) cards and get a plan going as to what I will aim for first, second, etc. Then I go for the vines I need, grabbing them from the wake up chart, the influence map (? - can't remember the exact name, the map you place stars in and get end-game points along with rewards: one of the rewards is a green card), and the spot on the board, as well as the occasional visitor card. Then when my hand is getting too full, I start trading cards on the spot mentioned above until I have cards I can work with. Its not perfect, you will still need to make adjustments and roll with the punches or you'll fall too far behind, but for me that's what this game is about: winning the race by making lemonade ('cuz you'll end up with a number of lemons).
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Galen Iliev
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lugielord wrote:
Purple cards are for later in the game. Filling wine orders is one way to make a ton of points.


I most certainly get that, but i got to start with 2 of them which is basically useless at the start of the game.

So I am getting that, the game should always be played with the expansion board.

Otherwise it is basically luck of the draw?
 
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Eric Hogue
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zippystar wrote:
lugielord wrote:
Purple cards are for later in the game. Filling wine orders is one way to make a ton of points.


I most certainly get that, but i got to start with 2 of them which is basically useless at the start of the game.

So I am getting that, the game should always be played with the expansion board.

Otherwise it is basically luck of the draw?


Any games with cards is going to involve some degree of luck, and you had especially bad luck in your first game (five cards on only red grapes is just terrible). It's very unlikely to happen twice in a row. Normally, early wine orders allow you to set up your vineyard to match them.

Tuscany is a great addition, but the base game is still a good game. Try again, and no doubt your luck will improve.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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We give players two papas and two mamas and let them keep one of each. I thought that was the official way to play. That usually allows you to avoid getting something like two purples if you don’t want them.
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Galen Iliev
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EricHogue wrote:

Any games with cards is going to involve some degree of luck, and you had especially bad luck in your first game (five cards on only red grapes is just terrible). It's very unlikely to happen twice in a row. Normally, early wine orders allow you to set up your vineyard to match them.

Tuscany is a great addition, but the base game is still a good game. Try again, and no doubt your luck will improve.


Well...any game that has 1 card.. do this for 1$ and do the same for 2$ and another basically the same for 3$...
that is a up to 200% difference in usefulness...

And yes maybe the 2nd part of the card could have been better on the card, but at the beginning of the game it is useless...

I still don't find that to be good. Getting on scale from 0 usefulness to I steal 2 yellow cards from other players...

I play on the wake up track to get my 1st yellow.. and another player plays a yellow that steal my yellow and another yellow...

I just don't get it... I was supposed to produce wine... and yet the guy that started with the yellow cards now has more yellow cards and 6 points by turn to. While I haven't even harvested yet.
 
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Eric Hogue
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zippystar wrote:
EricHogue wrote:

Any games with cards is going to involve some degree of luck, and you had especially bad luck in your first game (five cards on only red grapes is just terrible). It's very unlikely to happen twice in a row. Normally, early wine orders allow you to set up your vineyard to match them.

Tuscany is a great addition, but the base game is still a good game. Try again, and no doubt your luck will improve.


Well...any game that has 1 card.. do this for 1$ and do the same for 2$ and another basically the same for 3$...
that is a up to 200% difference in usefulness...

And yes maybe the 2nd part of the card could have been better on the card, but at the beginning of the game it is useless...

I still don't find that to be good. Getting on scale from 0 usefulness to I steal 2 yellow cards from other players...

I play on the wake up track to get my 1st yellow.. and another player plays a yellow that steal my yellow and another yellow...

I just don't get it... I was supposed to produce wine... and yet the guy that started with the yellow cards now has more yellow cards and 6 points by turn to. While I haven't even harvested yet.


I believe the $3 version allows you to use that worker in the same year you pay for it, basically giving you another action that year, which is not an insignificant advantage. As you mentioned, the $1 allows everyone else to train workers.

However, it's true that not all cards are completely balanced.

As I mentioned in the other thread, one way to mitigate luck is to allow everyone to choose a Pinot as their first wine draw.
 
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Douglas Klipfel
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EricHogue wrote:
zippystar wrote:
lugielord wrote:
Purple cards are for later in the game. Filling wine orders is one way to make a ton of points.


I most certainly get that, but i got to start with 2 of them which is basically useless at the start of the game.

So I am getting that, the game should always be played with the expansion board.

Otherwise it is basically luck of the draw?


Any games with cards is going to involve some degree of luck, and you had especially bad luck in your first game (five cards on only red grapes is just terrible). It's very unlikely to happen twice in a row. Normally, early wine orders allow you to set up your vineyard to match them.

Tuscany is a great addition, but the base game is still a good game. Try again, and no doubt your luck will improve.


Viticulture is in my top ten games of all time. As Eric said there is going to be some degree of luck due to the nature of drawing cards from a deck. Personally I am ok with that. I enjoy that everyone starts with a differen't hand of cards. Just like in real life we all have different talents and skills. You could house rule that everyone starts with the same cards, I personally enjoy how the Mama and Papa cards kick the game off with everyone having a differn't start. We however do deal out 2 Mama's and 2 Papa cars to each player and let them pick 1 of each to start the game, giving them some control.

More specifically on the ruff draw of Red Vine Cards not matching up with your orders. If you find yourself in this position you have to make some hard decisions. Do you start planting Red Grapes and hope orders will come? (Is not this a decision we make in our lives often? Do I invest in blank when there is no guarantee it works out) Do you continue to train workers while searching for orders that match your red grapes? Maybe you build a Windmill and Tasting Room to grind out victory points. Taking starting position #6 for 1 point, giving a tour for 1 point (combo with tasting room and wine) and planting a vine for 1 point (combo with Windmill).

I think it is a fantastic game, I hope you give it another try.
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Bryan Thunkd
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Viticulture has randomness. Some cards are better than others. Many cards are better depending on when you get them, what you're set up to do, etc. The card might be worthless to you but critical to another player. But while your opponent got a card you think is overpowered, there's probably other cards you could get that he'd think the same of.

Getting cards is important in this game. So take the turn order spots that give you cards. Build the cottage. Prioritize the action spots that let you draw cards. If you get enough cards the luck aspect of this game will balance out most of the time.

I consistently see the same players winning and/or threatening to win. If the game was really as dependent on random luck as people sometimes claim then that wouldn't be the case.
 
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Chris Laudermilk
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I consider dealing with the card draws as part of the challenge of the game. I certainly do make plans ahead--I'll spend a few minutes during winter (and usually while waiting on the last other players to finish theirs) plotting out exactly what I want to do in the next year. This is often heavily influenced by what cards I hold in my hand. But, not infrequently if I get a happy surprise in visitor draws, I'll throw out that plan and jump on an opportunity. Then I'll return to my overall strategy later.

Tuscany mitigates the card draw influence and adds several new wrinkles to the game. Now my group almost exclusively plays with T:EE.
 
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LudoH LudoH
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I agree with most of the comments above.

Personally, I removed 2 mammas/pappas from my game because they feel really unbalanced to me:
- the one mentioned by the OP that allows you to draw 2 purple
- the one that allows you to train one worker at a low price

Except from that I generally give 2 mamas and papas, but sometimes just 1 with beginners and in this case i try to avoid the mama/papas that give purple cards
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