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Majesty: For the Realm» Forums » General

Subject: Nobles may be an issue. rss

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Dan Smith
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I've had Majesty for a few days now.

So far everything seemed balanced, but I've been noticing that Nobles may be problematic.

The Noble gets you the most points per card, and thus the best multiplier. That in itself isn't an issue. The problem is that there is normally an opportunity cost to each card you acquire, and a cost in resources to buying cards beyond the first card in line.

Normally, if you buy the last card in line. You have to pay five meeples, and on your next turn, you're stuck buying whichever card is in first position. Which essentially means other players decide what you get. Nobles are an exception because, since they award meeples, they always give you at least the choice of the first two cards.

It becomes problematic when a player has more than one, and Nobles start paying for themselves. Not only does buying them grant you more opportunities rather than reducing them. But the more Nobles you have, the more likely it is that you will be the player able to buy the next one.

Now, I'm aware that the brewer also grants meeple, and in theory would be in the same boat, but there are two big differences.

1. Brewers award less points, and players are unlikely to buy them in last or even 5th position. So they don't tend to snowball.

2. Buying Brewers give points to you opponents. So there is a very real trade-off to getting them.

Even-Inn-keepers, the 2nd most valuable card, will grant points to other players. So it's not all upside.

Nobles don't give anything to anyone but yourself. And they have both the highest value, and the highest end game location value. Also, they are never going to get hit by a soldier. I have yet to see one in the infirmary.

So there's rarely a reason not to go for them if you can get them.

1. WIll I ever be left without ressources when buying one? No.
2. Does anyone else benefit from me getting one? No
3. Could it limit my choices in the future? Less than any other card. And less the more Nobles you have.
4. Is there any argument against buying one? It's not an I Phone X.

I'm not yet 100% sure, but I'll keep an eye on it. For the moment, I'm considering using Side B of the castle with a Side A game setup.

I would really hate "Get Nobles" to be better than all other strategies.
 
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Brandon Kempf
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Hit 'em early if folks start picking up Nobles. In that first round if someone has a Noble and you have an opportunity to put it in the Infirmary, do it and don't quit hammering on them. Really the balance in this game is reliant on other players, you can't let them focus on one thing like the Nobles or the Soldiers.

Also don't forget that the Inn and the Brewer give you bonus points as well as other players.

I wish I would have kept track, but I haven't seen Soldiers or Nobles become overpowered after 16 plays or so on a regular basis. Sure there are the random games where the card draws help that happen, but most of the time the rest of the table makes sure that it doesn't happen.
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Richard Dewsbery
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What's the distribution of the deck(s)? There always seem to be fewer nobles than any other type - and more millers - which makes me wonder if the distribution is deliberately weighted towards the lower cards.

The other drawback is the Knights' attacks - you need either guards or cannon-fodder.
 
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Brandon Kempf
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RDewsbery wrote:
What's the distribution of the deck(s)? There always seem to be fewer nobles than any other type - and more millers - which makes me wonder if the distribution is deliberately weighted towards the lower cards.

The other drawback is the Knights' attacks - you need either guards or cannon-fodder.


I've been meaning to do a look at deck/era dispersion. But with era 1 cards the fewer players you have, the fewer cards you see of that era, in 2 player it's only 6 cards, right? The opening offer.
 
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Dan Smith
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Vacabck wrote:
RDewsbery wrote:
What's the distribution of the deck(s)? There always seem to be fewer nobles than any other type - and more millers - which makes me wonder if the distribution is deliberately weighted towards the lower cards.

The other drawback is the Knights' attacks - you need either guards or cannon-fodder.


I've been meaning to do a look at deck/era dispersion. But with era 1 cards the fewer players you have, the fewer cards you see of that era, in 2 player it's only 6 cards, right? The opening offer.


The randomization will make a difference of course. I think my last game had two Nobles in tier one cards. It just so happened that the card order favored the player who already had the 1st Noble. (3 player game)

At some point, the Noble was in 6th position, but I was focusing on millers, brewers and soldiers that game. So I thought, let her spend her 4 meeples, she'll be piss poor after that and she won't be getting the next one. Too late did I realize that she would get 3 meeples out of it, and after the next two turns, she could still get the card that was last on her turn. So she got the other one and made 20 points and 4 meeples. Being richer than me, and making bonus points from extra meeples. (She also played last that game, which I'm finding is a very good thing)

(There were no soldiers in the early game)
 
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Gregory Mucklow
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I think this is just part of learning the dynamics of the game. First time someone got all the soldiers we were like 'zomg soldiers are broken' then someone got a bunch of nobles and it's 'arrrgh too strong'. But the game is about balance and controlling what picks are available.
We've had players win solely with brewers and millers. And other times coin score has been very low but won on variety and bonuses. The multiple routes to victory are part of what makes this so good
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Jeff W
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I played a dozen times with most games on the A side and I agree with the OP that the nobles are too strong. The times where only one guy is going for the nobles, that player runs away with the game. The times when everyone guns for the nobles, the one who is lucky enough to get noble draws wins.

The B side is even more unbalanced with the innkeepers.

I really wanted to like this game, and I’ve been trying to push it in my group. But the two problems are beginning to bother me that I’ll no longer push this game. Yes, I know there are probably good house rules to employ. But I really don’t want to play test this game.
 
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Dan Smith
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PuzzlingEnigma wrote:
I think this is just part of learning the dynamics of the game. First time someone got all the soldiers we were like 'zomg soldiers are broken' then someone got a bunch of nobles and it's 'arrrgh too strong'. But the game is about balance and controlling what picks are available.
We've had players win solely with brewers and millers. And other times coin score has been very low but won on variety and bonuses. The multiple routes to victory are part of what makes this so good


This is different. I never thought Soldiers were a problem at any point, because there are so many ways to mitigate them.

And I did win a the game where I noticed how oppressive Nobles were. But the only reason I won, was because the player who had most of the nobles bought her 1st Brewer too late, which made her miss 12 passive points. She bought a Witch on a turn she really should have grabbed a Brewer. Since there were 3 witches in play, she was guaranteed to get one on her next turn anyway. I only won by 4 points. And she also noticed that she would have won without that misplay.

You cannot control which picks are available since the deck is (normally) randomized. You can certainly take a card to deny it to your opponent. But if it wasn't part of your game plan, you often end up losing more than you gain.

Ex: You own, 3 Inn-keepers, and buy a Noble to deny it to the player on your right who already owns 2. On that turn, you will make 5 points instead of 16. So buying that card gets you a net loss of 11 points.
 
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Dan Smith
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junesen wrote:
I played a dozen times with most games on the A side and I agree with the OP that the nobles are too strong. The times where only one guy is going for the nobles, that player runs away with the game. The times when everyone guns for the nobles, the one who is lucky enough to get noble draws wins.

The B side is even more unbalanced with the innkeepers.

I really wanted to like this game, and I’ve been trying to push it in my group. But the two problems are beginning to bother me that I’ll no longer push this game. Yes, I know there are probably good house rules to employ. But I really don’t want to play test this game.


You don't really need to house rule it.

Just use B side Castle and A side Inn. The game does specify that locations don't all have to be on the same side.
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Alan Kwan
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Phaseshifter wrote:
Ex: You own, 3 Inn-keepers, and buy a Noble to deny it to the player on your right who already owns 2. On that turn, you will make 5 points instead of 16. So buying that card gets you a net loss of 11 points.


That's not how I'd count score when playing a game.

That single Noble, if I have 4 other types, being the 5th type, will add 9 points to the diversity bonus at end of game.

Plus the Meeple should generally count for at least one point, so the Noble is not 5x, it's 6x. The Noble gives me 6+9 instead of 16 for just a one point deficit.
 
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William Beasley
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I've only played M:FtR in a 2 player setup about a dozen times. In the games I played I personally didn't find any of the available types to be overpowered, unbalanced or in any way problematic.

The reason I don't think that Nobles are an issue is that of chance / randomness. Even in a 4 player game that will consist of 26 randomly chosen cards of the 33 Tier 1 cards there is a chance that none of the 5 Tier 1 Noble cards will be available and out of the 27 Tier 2 cards there is a chance that none of the 4 Tier 2 Noble cards will be available. While the chance for games with no Noble cards is unlikely I see it just as unlikely for an extremely unbalanced game to happen even with all Noble cards in play. To me the reason is simple: Again in a 4 player game, you'd have to have the Noble cards revealed in the Back position to the same player several times. And then that player will always have to have the full count of meeples available. Can it happen? Sure. How many times will this happen? I'm certain not enough for me personally to ever think the Noble type would ever be an issue.

 
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Dan Smith
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Alan Kwan wrote:
Phaseshifter wrote:
Ex: You own, 3 Inn-keepers, and buy a Noble to deny it to the player on your right who already owns 2. On that turn, you will make 5 points instead of 16. So buying that card gets you a net loss of 11 points.


That's not how I'd count score when playing a game.

That single Noble, if I have 4 other types, being the 5th type, will add 9 points to the diversity bonus at end of game.

Plus the Meeple should generally count for at least one point, so the Noble is not 5x, it's 6x. The Noble gives me 6+9 instead of 16 for just a one point deficit.


The meeple would give you points only if you already have five. And obviously, it will sometimes give you an end game multiplier.

But the point was that byuing a card to deny it can sometimes hurt you more than your opponent.
 
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Dan Smith
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chiefowl1971 wrote:
I've only played M:FtR in a 2 player setup about a dozen times. In the games I played I personally didn't find any of the available types to be overpowered, unbalanced or in any way problematic.

The reason I don't think that Nobles are an issue is that of chance / randomness. Even in a 4 player game that will consist of 26 randomly chosen cards of the 33 Tier 1 cards there is a chance that none of the 5 Tier 1 Noble cards will be available and out of the 27 Tier 2 cards there is a chance that none of the 4 Tier 2 Noble cards will be available. While the chance for games with no Noble cards is unlikely I see it just as unlikely for an extremely unbalanced game to happen even with all Noble cards in play. To me the reason is simple: Again in a 4 player game, you'd have to have the Noble cards revealed in the Back position to the same player several times. And then that player will always have to have the full count of meeples available. Can it happen? Sure. How many times will this happen? I'm certain not enough for me personally to ever think the Noble type would ever be an issue.



We just have different outlook. To me, the fact that somthing unbalanced can happen is enough to justify fixing it. Because the people who will experience it will have a bad time. An engine that feeds itself is never good. I believe it should always be avoided, regardless of the odds.
 
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