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Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia» Forums » General

Subject: Run away leader problem rss

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Vince "How it's Played Board Games" Putorek
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Bristol
New Hampshire
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Just wanted to check and see if anyone has had this problem. I love Stonemaier games, I own most of them. Just got Euphoria and have played it 3 times. As always there is much I like about it. But in Euphoria I found something that my game group and I don't like and was curious if anyone else has this problem.

There are no real ways to mess with or hinder another player. We've played 3 games and by about half way through each game it was clear who was going to win because there just isn't anyway to catch up if you are behind. So if a player gets a 2 or 3 star lead on you, you're not going to catch up. Anyone else found this to be true or is it just us.

Thanks,
Vince
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Molokov (AU)
Australia
Adelaide
South Australia
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Possibly just your group.

I've played at least 13 times (well, logged it 13 times) and it's always a close finish. Generally everyone gets in on the market building, so stars are fairly even as the 6 markets are built - if one player misses out and suffers the penalty, they're certain to get in on the next market, and try to place their star to cancel the penalty as soon as possible.

Sometimes, one or more players will get more stars when one of the faction tracks hits the end (usually the Icarites first, but others soon follow)

And the last few stars for the winning player usually come from filling up the Territories by placing stars on markets (either constructed or artefact markets) until some territories are full - and of course, the sneaky final star is usually from the ethical dilemma.

New players may end up a little behind, but rarely does the 2nd place player have fewer than 8 stars placed at the end of the game - so they're not too far behind.

We've found it to be a very enjoyable "race" game, once people get their head around the vast amount of things that are available to do. (It takes 20 mins to teach, and I've done that many times, and have my explanation down pat now!)
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Charles Dionne
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Molokov wrote:
Generally everyone gets in on the market building, so stars are fairly even as the 6 markets are built - if one player misses out and suffers the penalty, they're certain to get in on the next market, and try to place their star to cancel the penalty as soon as possible.


That's the key in my opinion. You really want to get in as many markets as you can and if you sense that a player might be running away with a win, you definitely want to make sure to block out that player from future markets being built. Something a lot of players forget, myself included, is that trades and deals are allowed so it benefits everybody to work together to avoid a runaway leader!
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Vince "How it's Played Board Games" Putorek
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Thanks for your replies. That is one thing we have forgotten in all 3 of our plays, you can trade. That will probably help a lot.
 
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David Vestal
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vputorek wrote:
So if a player gets a 2 or 3 star lead on you, you're not going to catch up.


I would disagree with that characterization, which is a separate issue from "I can see who is ahead, and can't interfere with them enough". Stars are your victory condition, but don't do anything for your engine on their own, so I really wouldn't consider this a "snowball" or a situation that needs a "catchup" mechanic. Like a lot of Euro-style, efficiency games, the general puzzle is to build an engine and then recognize the turning point where you have to stop building and actually start converting your resources and infrastructure into points/victory.

If you're saying "a player gets ahead in markets rolls to victory" that's a different issue, as it's not the stars, but the markets that are powering that player to victory, and there are more direct ways to grab stars. I'm honestly not sure how true this is. I suspect it has a lot to do with which markets pop up, and how they interact with your recruits, and the timing of them flipping. Mechanically it also seems more likely that one player falls behind in markets and is out of the running for victory than one player surges ahead.

As for the second issue - "I can see who is ahead and the table can't stop him/her" - that's probably true-ish, but not specific to Euphoria. I think it's a common downside to most Euro-style games built on the philosophy of indirect conflict. Like Scythe, or other efficiency-focused Euro games, some players will just see the board a bit better than others (e.g. some pick up games better on the first play, some have a higher learning ceiling, sometimes specific games click with a player, some players seem to have above-average performances across the board). In these cases, their victories aren't coming once you notice they are ahead - it's set up earlier in the game by more efficient actions. For better or worse, in many of these games there's not a lot the rest of the table can do, beyond learning to play better to narrow the gap to within the "luck variance" striking distance. The underlying philosophy of these games are to avoid a "gang up and eliminate" strategy (e.g Risk), which has it's own frustrations. It's generally an "as advertised" trade off.

All that being said, Euphoria has a lot of indirect interaction, so depending on how that player is getting stars and winning, there are a few things others at the table can do. A non-comprehensive list of examples:
- leave a worker in the multi-use spaces to prevent a specific faction from advancing on the allegiance track.
- if the leading player starts a building, everyone else can avoid that building rather than rushing to get in on the completion, thus leaving that player with a stuck worker.
- don't bump the leading player's workers
- bump the leading player's workers if doing so has a high chance of causing them to fail a knowledge check
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