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Subject: "Automa"? and "neutral player" needed in a 2p game? rss

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John Van Wagoner
United States
Bluffton
South Carolina
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got this as a gift, and being 1-4 players was looking forward to learning and playing...but:

- got it out today, and punched-out all the tokens
- started looking through the rules, etc. and came across "automa player aid", and quite a few tokens pertaining to "automa"?? why?? do you have to play with an automa, or is it optional?
- and under "game setup" it mentions needing a neutral player in a 2p game? why?

if this is not a real 2p game, i'm putting everything back in the box as is and listing it in the marketplace this afternoon...this will probably only be used as a 2p game about 95% of the time, and neither my wife or i enjoy any games that require us to (a) play as 2 players/factions each to make the game work...(b) setup a "neutral/3rd player"...or (c) use an automa to play with 2p...

it probably works fine with most others, but we both really have zero interest if any of a-b-c apply to this game...

so if you've played i'd really appreciate a quick reply (because i have other games unopened, and i will immediately move-on to them and list Gaia)...thanks!
 
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Sebastian P
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Game setup wrote:

With two or more
players, return the Automa cards and Automa player aid to the box.


The Automa is to simulate a two-player game when there is only one player. If you are two, you can ignore it.
 
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John Van Wagoner
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Bluffton
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Burning wrote:
Game setup wrote:

With two or more
players, return the Automa cards and Automa player aid to the box.
thanks...do you need a neutral player in a 2p game?
 
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Sebastian P
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No.

Edit correction: there is something called a neutral player in a two-player game, but the term is misleading. It only makes it tougher for you to score in the end-game categories.
Rulebook p.7 wrote:
When playing with 1 or 2 players, a neutral player is added to
affect final scoring. Take two satellites of an unused color and
place one on each ranking track next to the final scoring tiles;
the number on each final scoring tile determines the satellite’s
position on that ranking track. During final scoring, these
satellites count as a neutral player at the appropriate rank. Return
all unused satellites to the box.
 
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David Baum
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Yes, you put a "neutral" marker on the track for end-game scoring. It just sits there all game and you basically compete not only with your opponent but also with the neutral marker for the end-game goals. For example, if the end-game goal is to colonize the most Gaia planets, you put that marker on a designated spot and it sits there all game. If that is too much "neutral player" involvement, you can just ignore that rule. But if you don't want to ignore that rule, and don't want to put a neutral player color on a track just to tighten up the race for objectives, you should list the game for sale.
 
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James Wolfpacker
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North Carolina
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The Automa is for the 1 player game.

The "neutral player" is a virtual player for 1p and 2p games for the final scoring tiles (most planet types, most structures, most Gaia Planets, most Sectors, etc). There is a small outlined number in the corner of these tiles and it adds a 3rd number to the player order for those final scores. So if both you and your wife only get 3 gaia planets (neutral is 4) then the invisible neutral player get the 18vp and you and her tie for 12vp and 6vp = 9vp each.

Also, there have been some people who have used the Automa to simulate a 3rd (and 4th) player. So if you 2 want to give it a try you can.
 
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David Baum
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And this approach neatly addresses a problem with many two player games, where you just need to do something once to get second place points. And for virtually zero additional work. This is one of my favorite two-player games in recent years.
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Kristof Bodric
Serbia
Novi Sad
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And the ranger's aim was deadly with the big iron on his hip...
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The Neutral Player and the Automa are not to be confused. The Neutral Player actually enhances the 2-player experience because it doesn't allow you to automatically get 1st and 2nd place for end-game scoring. It's not an actual player and makes no moves. GP is much better optimised for 2p than Terra Mystica.
 
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Jeremy
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I'll add that I don't even think the neutral tokens are necessary. Each of the end game tiles have a number printed on them, so you already know if you exceeded that amount or not. Unless you really require the visual of the extra tile, I'd say it's completely superfluous to put it on the board.
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Jay M
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Disaster averted: game not sold in marketplace before reading rules.
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Magnus Magnissimus Maximus
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Tønsberg
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thegermwar wrote:
I'll add that I don't even think the neutral tokens are necessary. Each of the end game tiles have a number printed on them, so you already know if you exceeded that amount or not. Unless you really require the visual of the extra tile, I'd say it's completely superfluous to put it on the board.


I usually mark it with a power token. That way I don´t need to get a third colour components out.
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Matt V
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Great idea! Now I feel foolish for not thinking of that.
 
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