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Century: Spice Road» Forums » General

Subject: Not enough "harvest" cards rss

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Simon Ouellet
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I've been playing this game a lot since i got it three months ago. I really enjoy it. But the first time my wife played with me and other friends, the game was draging a lot and they weren't too sure if they liked the game.

The problem was that almost all the merchant cards available were trading cards. Only two players had more than one harvest card by the end of the game. It felt like a "grinding" game. We had to play our basic harvest, trade those 2 turmerics with other cards and then rest and repeat. The game felt long and not so fun. The two players with more than one harvest card crushed us. It felt like a game of luck : if you have the chance to get a second harvest card, you're going to win....

This was the first game that something like this happened. I played again with my wife after that and the game was much better, we all had more harvest cards and the game was flowing. She then told me that she actually like the game.

Now, we recently played a game with my brothers and nephew and it was even worst than my wife's first game. Only one player had more than one harvest card and all the market cards (points cards) were very high. It took forever to get our first points. After that, some cheaper cards were drawn but the game was still long and grinding.

Has this happenened to any one? Most of the game i played were fun and quick. But those two games were really too long for a simple game like this.

My real question here is : does anyone have a house rule to prevent this? Something like redrawing the cards if no harvest comes out a certain amount of turns.

I like Spice Road, but i know eventually another game like those two will happen and i'm not looking forward to this.

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Pierre Beri
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Symont wrote:
does anyone have a house rule to prevent this? Something like redrawing the cards if no harvest comes out a certain amount of turns.
I have one: when you play a Trade card, you may apply its effect as many times as you like and can.

No, wait, this is the real rule!

Also, make sure you always have nice leftovers after claiming a VP card.
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Simon Ouellet
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beri2 wrote:
Symont wrote:
does anyone have a house rule to prevent this? Something like redrawing the cards if no harvest comes out a certain amount of turns.
I have one: when you play a Trade card, you may apply its effect as many times as you like and can.

No, wait, this is the real rule.

Also, make sure you always have nice leftovers after claiming a VP card.


In a "normal game" you can do this and it helps. But when you have no harvest card, it still takes many turns of harvest, rest, harvest, rest, harvest, rest, multiple trade.

That's the strategy we use, but it doesn't change the "grinding feel".
 
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Molokov (AU)
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If you don't like any of the Merchant cards, just take the free one every turn Then the deck will slowly be emptied, and you'll probably also have some really good trading cards in your hand!

All kidding aside, I've never found the lack of Harvest cards to slow the game down. In a 5 player game, we've pretty much blitzed through the entire Merchant card deck by the end of the game!
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A Huynh
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Symont wrote:
beri2 wrote:
Symont wrote:
does anyone have a house rule to prevent this? Something like redrawing the cards if no harvest comes out a certain amount of turns.
I have one: when you play a Trade card, you may apply its effect as many times as you like and can.

No, wait, this is the real rule.

Also, make sure you always have nice leftovers after claiming a VP card.


In a "normal game" you can do this and it helps. But when you have no harvest card, it still takes many turns of harvest, rest, harvest, rest, harvest, rest, multiple trade.

That's the strategy we use, but it doesn't change the "grinding feel".


Harvest cards are very much overrated by new players compared to a solid combo of trade cards, the value you can get from trade cards is higher than new players think. Setting up combos with the trade cards is the most fun part of the game!
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Simon Ouellet
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katanan wrote:

Harvest cards are very much overrated by new players compared to a solid combo of trade cards, the value you can get from trade cards is higher than new players think. Setting up combos with the trade cards is the most fun part of the game!


I agree with you. Finding good combos is key. But to use combos, you need spice!

In the second game, i actually had a decent combo where i would harvest 2 turmerics, trade them for saffrons, upgrade them to cardamon, then double a trade card to get 2 saffrons and 4 turmerics. It helped to multiply my spice, but i then had to rest twice to upgrade those to cinnamon since all the market cards needed at least 2 cinnamons. I actually won that game, but it felt too much like grinding.

.
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Pierre Beri
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beri2 wrote:
Also, make sure you always have nice leftovers after claiming a VP card.
Emphasis added. Having nothing good left after claiming a VP card is when production cards are most useful. You need to leave some embers in the hearth to get the fire going again more easily.

Unless this is the part you were replying to. Then in a clearer way, I’ll state that you may have missed this rule.
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Gil Bellemare
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Symont wrote:

My real question here is : does anyone have a house rule to prevent this? Something like redrawing the cards if no harvest comes out a certain amount of turns.




We have a house rule for that here.


Every round where no one took one card from the merchants row, we add a yellow cube to the first one.

It's not much, but it tends to help alot.




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Simon Ouellet
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Takezo Qc wrote:

We have a house rule for that here.


Every round where no one took one card from the merchants row, we add a yellow cube to the first one.

It's not much, but it tends to help alot.



Seems interesting, more spice in the game and more merchant cards.
I'm going to try this for our next game.
Thanks
 
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Gil Bellemare
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Symont wrote:
Takezo Qc wrote:

We have a house rule for that here.


Every round where no one took one card from the merchants row, we add a yellow cube to the first one.

It's not much, but it tends to help alot.



Seems interesting, more spice in the game and more merchant cards.
I'm going to try this for our next game.
Thanks


Ça me fait plaisir Simon !
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Jeremy Gray
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katanan wrote:
Symont wrote:
beri2 wrote:
Symont wrote:
does anyone have a house rule to prevent this? Something like redrawing the cards if no harvest comes out a certain amount of turns.
I have one: when you play a Trade card, you may apply its effect as many times as you like and can.

No, wait, this is the real rule.

Also, make sure you always have nice leftovers after claiming a VP card.


In a "normal game" you can do this and it helps. But when you have no harvest card, it still takes many turns of harvest, rest, harvest, rest, harvest, rest, multiple trade.

That's the strategy we use, but it doesn't change the "grinding feel".


Harvest cards are very much overrated by new players compared to a solid combo of trade cards, the value you can get from trade cards is higher than new players think. Setting up combos with the trade cards is the most fun part of the game!


Agreed. In the first couple games I played, someone postulated that whoever got the free cinnamon card would always win. It's a common misconception that the "free" stuff cards are better than the conversion cards. But I don't use those cards nearly as much as the conversion cards. If you construct your engine well, once it's running you may not have a need for free stuff cards at all.

And the key to high-level play is definitely efficient multiplied use of the conversion cards. There is nothing more satisfying than dumping 10 greens in the bowl, then grabbing 10 browns (with the 20 point card with 5 brown available, of course) with everyone's jaw dropping. Haha.
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Jeremy Gray
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beri2 wrote:
beri2 wrote:
Also, make sure you always have nice leftovers after claiming a VP card.
Emphasis added. Having nothing good left after claiming a VP card is when production cards are most useful. You need to leave some embers in the hearth to get the fire going again more easily.


Also agreed. It's one of those "easier to make money when you have money" things. Unless someone can immediately swipe the card you're going after, take a chance and use your cube capital to work for you. There's a good chance you can generate a few more cubes that will be leftover after you eventually purchase the point card.
 
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Molokov (AU)
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gragian wrote:

And the key to high-level play is definitely efficient multiplied use of the conversion cards. There is nothing more satisfying than dumping 10 greens in the bowl, then grabbing 10 browns (with the 20 point card with 5 brown available, of course) with everyone's jaw dropping. Haha.


We missed this rule on our first several plays of the game, and probably would have continued to miss it had I not seen mentions of it here on BGG.

OH MY GOODNESS does this simple realization change the game and the strategy used. Instead of doing a simple exchange, being able to use the trade card multiple times in one turn can create a really efficient engine for getting those points.

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Trevor James
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On the subject of not enough harvest cards - I think this applies more in the 2 player game. With more players this doesn't matter so much and it in fact improves the skill level necessary in building the deck and I'd agree with the previous post that the enjoyment of the game mainly comes through the building of a powerful trade deck that comes into its own in the middle and end game stages.
 
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Martin Larouche
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Symont wrote:
I've been playing this game a lot since i got it three months ago. I really enjoy it. But the first time my wife played with me and other friends, the game was draging a lot and they weren't too sure if they liked the game.

The problem was that almost all the merchant cards available were trading cards. Only two players had more than one harvest card by the end of the game. It felt like a "grinding" game. We had to play our basic harvest, trade those 2 turmerics with other cards and then rest and repeat. The game felt long and not so fun. The two players with more than one harvest card crushed us. It felt like a game of luck : if you have the chance to get a second harvest card, you're going to win....

This was the first game that something like this happened. I played again with my wife after that and the game was much better, we all had more harvest cards and the game was flowing. She then told me that she actually like the game.

Now, we recently played a game with my brothers and nephew and it was even worst than my wife's first game. Only one player had more than one harvest card and all the market cards (points cards) were very high. It took forever to get our first points. After that, some cheaper cards were drawn but the game was still long and grinding.

Has this happenened to any one? Most of the game i played were fun and quick. But those two games were really too long for a simple game like this.

My real question here is : does anyone have a house rule to prevent this? Something like redrawing the cards if no harvest comes out a certain amount of turns.

I like Spice Road, but i know eventually another game like those two will happen and i'm not looking forward to this.



It has been said countless times before.

But you hardly need ANY harvest cards to win. They are just easier to figure out as they are pretty straight-forward to use.

The main thing to understand is that when you buy a points card... do NOT EVER completely empty your caravan. Starting fro scratch will cost you the game. If you are left with many cubes after buying your card, you can go straight into trading again. Not ever needing to harvest.

Let other, less experienced players pay a fortune to get the harvest cards, then get the cubes they left instead. You'll gain cubes AND a card that just might prove very useful later on as the game evolves.

This is key to winning: A trade card can be used multiple times in a single turn. A harvest card cannot. You can gain cubes much faster trading than harvesting.
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Rich
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Overall, I "see the light" in regards to the play efficiently tactic but we played a game tonight where the first card available was the 4 yellow cubes and there wasn't another harvest card to be seen for several turns. It was pretty much decided that the game was over before a turn was played.

I'm sure this was just bad luck on the card draw but I couldn't see how any strategy could overcome that. It just took way too long to generate anything when the other player had that much of an advantage from the first turn.

Has anyone else run into something like that and been able to overcome it?

 
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Trevor James
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I agree, in spite of my previous post. A similar thing happened in our last game. We were playing with 4. 3 good harvest cards came up and I was the last to play! Needless to say, I felt a bit peeved when they all disappeared before my turn. I suppose it's bound to happen occasionally but it's still a great, fun game!
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Trevor James
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This happened again last night but this time I managed to snaffle the 4 turmeric harvest card as I was first to play - and I won! Tee-hee!
 
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Jeremy Gray
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dickb79 wrote:
Overall, I "see the light" in regards to the play efficiently tactic but we played a game tonight where the first card available was the 4 yellow cubes and there wasn't another harvest card to be seen for several turns. It was pretty much decided that the game was over before a turn was played.

I'm sure this was just bad luck on the card draw but I couldn't see how any strategy could overcome that. It just took way too long to generate anything when the other player had that much of an advantage from the first turn.

Has anyone else run into something like that and been able to overcome it?



This can, absolutely, be overcome. I don't even like to acquire many harvest cards at all. Sure, you have to be more creative about how you generate your inventory, but you can craft an engine that is more powerful than one dependent on harvest cards. Pay particular attention to cards that allow you to take one or two spices and generate 2 or 3 or more times as many spices. An engine based on harvest cards is more straightforward, but more limited.
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Tim Powell
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I've read this thread and have kept the trade one or two for many rule in mind as "the key to victory", but I guess I'm just too dense to figure out how to use it effectively. The person who has the harvest cards usually wins.

I need someone to spell out an example of a winning card combination/engine that doesn't depend on harvest cards.

 
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sisicaivrai sisicaivrai
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bcoot9 wrote:

On the subject of not enough harvest cards - I think this applies more in the 2 player game.


Totally agree.
I was thinking of a house rule when no card is taken from the market for x rounds then the first card is discarded and a new one added. To allow a market turnover without overwhelming your hand with non needed cards.
 
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