Armando Cardoso
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Hello everyone, last night me and my sister brought T&E for the first time to the table, I spent about 2 days looking at videos and reading through the instructions trying to figure out game mechanics and basic gameplay. And after 2 days I said I got this, pretty simple right? But after 2 plays we can't seem to find what's the point of the game. And before a very small minority of BGGs starts criticizing us harshly saying this is to deep and we are stupid we are looking for answers and constructive criticism. I'm writing this "little" back ground story before I ask a few questions, and yes there is some ranting further ahead but nothing serious. yes we are both total newbies to this game and to modern board games in general. you can skip this big paragraph and go to item #1 but you are all welcome to read the whole thing. Cheers.


Me and my sister have played boardgames our whole life, but most of our small collection consisted for many years on monopoly,clue,risk, battle ship, parcheesi and all the usuals our only major game at the time for many years was heroquest follow by battlemasters and we never played the later cause of the ridiculous mat but in general just casual fun silly time killers to talk and bond and whatever I don't mind loosing to her all the time I just enjoy the time I spend with her, but then one day she got tired of playing monopoly and risk and she memorize every single scenario on heroquest she decided to stop playing and for a good 8 years I believe, we stop laughing and hitting the table, then one day this little video shows up just as I sign in to YouTube, it was zorastos zombicide painting guide, and it had this little awesome painted dude on the video pic, so of course me loving everything zombie end up clicking on it, and it brought back the interest of getting a new boardgame, that video let me to some research and board game geek was the second thing I found and from there, the dice tower game reviews and after I show her and she got intrigued as well, next thing i know we are watching dozens of dice tower reviews and many other sites and becoming members to this site we found the top games list and we decided to start our new huge improved collection full of fun, themed, engaging and exiting games, our goal to get 100 boardgames that we can play and like and enjoy and that we can eventually share with our friends, we decided to start playing and deciding which games to keep and which to sell when we reach the 100 mark, it took us about a year to search, compile the list and buy every game on that list, most games are used from eBay great prices great condition, while we where getting the games we fix a room in the house where we grew up, neither of us lives there but when we have time off is our hang out spot, so it was the perfect place to set a game room. We where so excited when we christened the game room so many different promises of great experiences, new places to explore and travel, the possibilities where endless we thought this guys new their stuff that BGG was the ultra highest power in command in the subject and if it is in the top 100 games is because this are the greatest 100games ever made, wow we got disappointed quickly, as soon as we started playing all this new games we have come to a conclusion that many of the games we got are really crappy or more like child's play, and avoid comments on classic many hate monopoly but is been around for decades for a reason and it can bring out the best or worst in people and even tho is pure dice luck it is a great engaging punishing game, anyways most of the games we played so far suck we have already 15 games in the get rid off and that is not counting T&E but maybe is just us we don't enjoy this type of game either or in reality the game is just simply boring or really pointless or we are doing something wrong or probably is just not for us. Before we tried T&E we played many of our lighter games to understand many different game mechanics that are seem to be used all over this more advance or different games but we wanted to get a little taste of everything from simple to more complex or what she calls geeky. to name a few of the games that she liked so far ticket to ride, relic runners, Agricola loves it, carcassone, catan, Puerto Rico and through the ages a story of civilization.
After reading so many reviews praising T&E not just the dice tower but so many different channels we decided to put it on our list even tho we knew it was label abstract and many people saying there where not quite sure at what they where doing but so many more praised it as such a great game. So after all that said and 2 plays of this game, this is what happened, and what we are trying to figure out, she said she would give it one more try after reading answer to this post. So if you read this far please help us figure out the game cause it looks beautiful on the shelf and the name is interesting and intriguing but I'm afraid she might be right when she said fancy name for a boring game which should have been called equilibrium instead. So with no further delay this is what happened on Our 2 first play throughs.


#1 point scoring

It's a Mayfair 1999 rule book edition, we know is a 3 player game but we used the 2player variant stated on this site.
However after the first game we where a little confuse are you supposed to add the treasure points to your lowest VP pile in order to get advantage in the final scoring or you have to distribute them among ur piles? also we are still trying to figure out what's the point of scoring points if you only use your lowest denomination it really undermines in our mind the sole point of sitting there for 45 minutes placing tiles with no real purpose because what's the point of scoring 20 black if your lowest is gonna be 12 the rest was just pointless..... please enlighten us.

#2 Monuments and point scoring???
On the first game play we open 3 monuments each and collected points at the end of each round at it got messy we where piling up on victory points quick and it got a little overwhelming right before the end with all this point tracking we had to start changing the 1VP for fives and it felt u spend more time tracking and collecting and exchanging than actually playing a strategy game and at the end of that first game my lowest score was 20 blue but my highest was 26 red that I felt I had just been strip off all those great hard earned time consumed red points, why did I even score you why do I bother, in order to make you count I need to raise the other 3 colors pass 26... so basically in order to feel not cheated in our second gameplay we came to the conclusion that u have to collect as much treasure as fast as possible with the minimal amount of points scored, so we just kept collecting 1 point for each color in each round for each color to keep everything balanced so we don't feel cheated by all those great meaningless VP, at the end it took us 25 minutes to finish the second play through we didn't even bother on trying to build a monument and just collect as fast as possible with the least amount of points and from there who ever has the highest of the lowest 2 wins. She had 10 I had 11 wow. After that happened she said this is the worst game we played so far get rid of it. Please tell us something not to get rid of the beautiful and intriguing box displaying in our game room with that fancy name that says is all about culture, Crisis, conflict and civilization, that when I read the first page of the rule book I felt we where gonna really time travel and get immersed in this great themed game, only to fail miserably in every aspect that it promises. Anyways what are we doing wrong which way is it or you just forget everything I just said in this paragraph and u only get the points for building the monument when u build it and that is it end of story if this is the case again why even bother?? Please Enlighten us.

#3 treasure?
In order to retrieve treasure you need a green tile next to both temple tiles with treasure in order to claim one treasure correct?

#4 Laying tiles and placing leaders???

Are we doing this wrong? What's the point of internal conflict in a 2 player game are we not understanding something???
So basically each player is allow to place 1 tile during one of his actions anywhere on the map correct? As long as a leader is not in a kingdom you don't collect VP for the lonely tile u just placed neither you get points for placing it next to a starting temple with no leader correct?

Each player can place 2 leaders using his 2 actions? Can each leader be placed during each round in separate starting temples containing treasure so that at the end of your second turn you have placed 4 leaders on the board on 4 different temples containing treasure just as an example OR you need to choose one of the first starting temples and start placing your leaders next to this tile and build your civilization from there on?

If the first example is correct? What is the point of internal conflict in a 2 player game we both can start on one corner of the board collect all treasure till one is left, that's what we did both times and both times ended the same way in order to collect the last treasure we had to do an external conflict we both had our four leaders on the board and both times one single conflict ended the game, is this how is the game supposed to be?
In this case since I won a couple leaders but lost the other 2 so same for her in this case who takes the last treasure the attacker or the defender???

The only way we figure out it would make sense after debating for a while was that we are doing that first example incorrect and that the first player chooses a random starting temple and from this temple on we both have to start building the civilization but then again there wouldn't be regions and/or separated kingdoms after a few conflicts have been dealt with leaving the starting kingdom separated and in this case it would make sense for internal conflict 2 factions fighting for the same tiles and then growing your dinasty from the ashes of those first conflicts until there is only 1 treasure left? Please enlighten us.

Thanks for reading!





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Armando Cardoso
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Disaster tiles?
Forgot this one, so we never got to used this tiles, again there was no point in using them if playing a 2 player game with the first example stated on item#4, only way we figure out it would work is again if we where playing it wrong and the correct way to play is example 2 in item#4 this way it would be really more strategic u would race for the VP and to build or block a monument it would make sense to use the disaster tile to block ur opponents play. We are thinking of trying the game like this to see what happens on Friday, even if it is not the correct way, we tend to always tweak and house rule our games. But please again we just want to get it right, or maybe is not meant to be a 2 player game cause we can see clearly that a 4 player game will reduce the board quickly and conflict would be more frequent but again if that is the game mechanic the scoring idea sucks, we might even come up with a new scoring idea to our liking not to feel cheated on meaningless actions and come up with a more interactive scoring that gives value to all your VP at the end including a color hierarchy bonus,, cause that lowest point is your greatest achievement totally sucks or simple both of us are not wired to understand the meaning of such a deep scoring technique
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Adrian Brooks
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iZombie82 wrote:
What is the point of internal conflict in a 2 player game we both can start on one corner of the board collect all treasure till one is left, that's what we did both times and both times ended the same way in order to collect the last treasure we had to do an external conflict we both had our four leaders on the board and both times one single conflict ended the game, is this how is the game supposed to be?


This is your problem. You are not trying to stop each other winning, so who wins is entirely arbitrary.

Here's what to do next time. When she's placed her king - her Black leader - next turn, place your Green leader in the same kingdom (next to the same temple as her King). Is she going to want to join two temples with that kingdom now? I don't think so.

This isn't great tactical advice - it causes problem to you, as well. It's a way of shaking up your non-conflict mindset.
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1) The point of the scoring how it is to to force players to try to maintain balance and achieve equal numbers of colored cubes. So they are rewarding a society in harmony, not one dominated by one aspect. The treasure points are wild and can be applied to any color you want but mathematically you want to put them toward the color(s) you have the least of.

2) Monuments are a great way to get points but as you found after a while collecting off of the same monument is pointless. Personally I would abandon a monument and try to "steal" one from another player so you can get different colors to keep a balance of colors. I have never tried playing with two and maybe there is just not enough competition to work at two players. I would recommend trying the iOS app if you have access to an iPad. Or I think there are online versions out there.

3) To collect a treasure cube you need to connect two on the tiles with the treasure cubes on them and have a green marker connected to that kingdom.

4) Sorry I don't know the 2 players rules so I'm not going to comment on this one.

Overall I will say T&E is not for everyone. I have not played the two player variant but it sounds like maybe the two player variant is not the best way to first experience the game. T&E was my favorite game for a period of time but I haven't played it in years because I can't get anyone to play it any more so you are not alone in dislike of the game.
I hope you get a chance to play it with more people (or on the app/online).
Sorry that I wasn't much help. Good luck and I hope someone responds with something that helps.
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Bleicher
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Don't worry. Many people who currently rate Tigris&Euphrates as an outstanding game thought it was really confusing in the first play. I'm ok telling you this, because I'm one of them.

When I decided to buy T&E, in the rare occasions I played board games it was usually Risk or Pictionary derivatives, so something similar happened to me.

T&E is a game with very simple rules when compared to most "eurogames" you see at the market these days. But what you can actually do with those rules is not immediately obvious, and that's the beauty of it - when you start discovering what can you actually do with them, things start to click and make sense. Let's think of your particular points for example:

1) The point scoring
So you ask "what's the point of scoring 20 black if your lowest is gonna be 12"?
That's exactly the point. The consequence of T&E points scoring is that it forces you to score on all colors (because, as you said, if you simply accumulate dozens of black points but has a meagre amount of greens, your final scoring will be crappy). In many "modern euros" the players basically do "their own stuff" and optimize for something specific. Reiner Knizia, the designer of T&E, thankfully isn't having any of that! He likes his players to interact! A game on which someone focused on getting green points while someone else was focusing on getting black points (for example, by building monuments in different places of the board) would be boring. In T&E you always need to re-evaluate what you are doing ("-Hm, I accumulated a lot of red points, but I'm currently with very few blue points, I need to do something different - perhaps trying to break into that guy's yummy kingdom with a blue monument!").
Which by the way address your last comment on that paragraph - the thing about "sitting there for 45 minutes placing tiles with no real purpose". Yes, I admit that on my first plays of T&E most people were thinking like that. Until people started to find out how to actually use that "tile placing" for getting big points. You will never win a T&E game solely by tile placing. The BIG points comes when kingdoms are merged. Your merchant is on a kingdom with 4 green tiles, you have other three on your hand. Will you just keep placing those tiles? No! Look at that kingdom close to where your merchant is with someone's else merchant and just two green tiles! Start placing tiles so you can start a war, that will give you three green points with just one move! That's only one example of what can be done, but there's a lot, obviously. The rules don't tell that details, it's playing the game that let you discover such things (it takes longer when everyone is playing for the first time). Oh, by the way, my opinion (and most people agree with me) is that T&E is much better with more than two players. For me, that's exactly because it lets you always thinking about "where I'll go next?"

2) Monuments
Whenever you build a monument, you need to "lose" four tiles of one color. What does it means? Well, it means you're suddenly much weaker in a color, and you have something that produces points until the end of the game. So, whenever an experienced T&E player sees someone building a monument, the first thing he/she thinks is "oh, I can't let him get away with that! That's a good thing he's now weaker by building it!". In other words, when someone builds a monument in a kingdom, usually someone will try to break into that kingdom. From your description it seemed to me you guys never engaged in a single conflict, is that true? Then it is no surprise the game was never interesting - if all the points you guys accumulated came from placing tiles and building monuments, so there was never any meaningful decision and the winner was simply down to luck of the draw/who built monuments first.

3) Whenever a merchant is in a kingdom with more than one treasure, the owner of the treasure can get one treasure. The connection does not need to be done with green tiles.

4) The point of internal conflict in a 2p game: so your opponent has just built a couple of monuments, you have none. This means that, if nothing changes, he/she will get four points on each round. In other words, you will probably lose unless you do something. One idea would be simply to do an internal conflict. You need green points, she has a green monument, you have some red tiles on your hand? Place your green leader next to a red tile on the kingdom with the monument and start an internal conflict. If you win it, you will be the one getting green points from that monument from now on.
On external conflicts and treasures: "running for the treasures" is only good for the player who's winning. If you are not winning, it is not a good idea to run for the treasures and risk seeing the game end too soon. Also, you mention "in both plays you went for all the treasures and then the game ended in a single conflict". It is rare that games have a single conflict, and that may be a reason you guys don't think the game is interesting. More common is seeing the game having some of them, each one resulting in tiles being removed from the map and making the kingdoms fractured, which can completely change the equilibrium (with experience you will learn how to best choose the order for deciding the conflicts so that this "fracturing" will be on your favor).
BTW the game ends if there's two treasures on the board or less, so with two players all going for treasures the game would end even before the "final conflict". That wouldn't be a very interesting game, though, it is much better to trigger conflicts way before treasures are scarce.
Also, even if the game happens in the way you describe (everyone runs for the treasures then there is a single conflict) it is very unlikely this would finish the game, because there will be so many removed tiles due to the resolution of the conflicts (the kingdoms would be huge by that time) that when the conflict finally ends, the treasures won't be in the same kingdom anymore and so you won't remove one of them.
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Nicholas Hjelmberg
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Hello Armando and welcome to BGG!

First of all, don't worry if you don't "get" Tigris & Euphrates. No game is for everybody and there are many of the top 100 games that I respect but nevertheless have no interest in playing. In fact, the top 100 games are by no means the all time best games, only the games that happen to be hot right now. I encourage you to find people who like the games you like, make them your "geekbuddies" and see which other games they like.

As for Tigris & Euphrates, it is a unique game that forces the player to think differently compared to many other games. It has more in common with abstracts like chess than the standard euro "convert resources to victory points" game. If you want to give it a new chance, here are my answers to your questions:

1. The point about the scoring is that it forces you to collect points of all four colors rather than focusing on just one. Do you have enough black? Go for another color! Does your opponent have a lot of black? Don't worry about losing wars that give her more black as long as you get a color that you need. Playing your leaders and tiles to get points of all colors is the key to winning.

2. Monuments generate a lot of points but comes with caveats. If you build a monument of, say, four black tiles, you already have four black points and don't really need the monument. In addition, your kingdom is now four black tiles weaker, making it vulnerable to an attack by another kingdom with a black leader. Hence, if your opponent builds a monument, don't build a monument on your own but try to capture the existing monument. Once you learn how to fight successful wars, you will beat any newbie.

3. To claim a treasure, you need a green leader (not tile) in a kingdom with two treasures (so that the two treasures are connected by tiles and/or leaders).

4. You can place your leaders in the same kingdom or in different ones and even refrain from placing them the first rounds. I often start with the Black and the Green leader around one temple, then place tiles to earn points and get treasures. Remember that the Black leader earns points when tiles of any colors are placed if the "right" leader is missing. The Blue and the Red leader usually enters my games later.

An internal conflict can be interesting for several reasons.

a) A kingdom has a monument and you want to place your own leader there to earn points.
b) A kingdom has several tiles in a certain color and you want to place your own leader there to be able to fight a war.
c) A kingdom is about to connecting several treasures and you want to place your own Green leader there to get the treasures.
d) Etc.

Again, Tigris & Euphrates may not be for you anyway but if you do want to play it again, I hope my answers will help you. There is a lot to discover if you choose to do so.
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I suspect you are making some rule errors and also playing poorly. Getting the rules right will help to improve the game. However, this isn't a game that always works well with 2 players (largely depending on your play styles and interest in direct conflict).

No game will appeal to everyone, and maybe this isn't the right game for you. Many people think that T&E is a brilliant game; I tend to agree with that opinion. That doesn't mean you'll enjoy it.



#1a) Treasure tiles go into your lowest scoring colors, one at a time. You can have multiple treasures representing the same color.

#1b) The point of final scoring is to encourage balance. If you've spent the game hoarding many black cubes but neglected blue cubes, then you've been playing poorly and are most likely going to lose.

#2) Monuments generate points at the end of every turn for the person who has the appropriate leader in that kingdom. These are HUGE point generators, and so should be a huge point of conflict if placed on the board.

#3) The color of the connecting tile doesn't matter. Anytime a kingdom has two or more treasures, the person with a green leader in that kingdom will receive excess treasures and leave only one behind in the kingdom. (Pretty sure the black leader special ability counts here too, but would need to check the rules to confirm.)

#4) This is the part that makes me think you don't really understand the rules. I'm going to go over all tile placement rules. Maybe try playing online to see how the game is supposed to work.

#5) Disaster tiles are huge. Destroying a key tile that connects kingdoms, or that supports a particular leader, can lead to huge point swings.
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Bleicher
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iZombie82 wrote:
Forgot this one, so we never got to used this tiles, again there was no point in using them if playing a 2 player game with the first example stated on item#4, only way we figure out it would work is again if we where playing it wrong and the correct way to play is example 2 in item#4 this way it would be really more strategic u would race for the VP and to build or block a monument it would make sense to use the disaster tile to block ur opponents play. We are thinking of trying the game like this to see what happens on Friday, even if it is not the correct way, we tend to always tweak and house rule our games. But please again we just want to get it right, or maybe is not meant to be a 2 player game cause we can see clearly that a 4 player game will reduce the board quickly and conflict would be more frequent but again if that is the game mechanic the scoring idea sucks, we might even come up with a new scoring idea to our liking not to feel cheated on meaningless actions and come up with a more interactive scoring that gives value to all your VP at the end including a color hierarchy bonus,, cause that lowest point is your greatest achievement totally sucks or simple both of us are not wired to understand the meaning of such a deep scoring technique


I would very strongly recommend that, instead of doing "house rules", you guys spend a bit more time trying to figure out what to do with these rules. Here's an example on how the catastrophe tiles can be useful:

You mentioned you guys are "running for treasures". That is not a very good idea, because by extending a kingdom with a line of tiles until the next treasure, one could very easily break that line in two with a catastrophe tile. Imagine for example your opponent has put eight tiles in a single line to reach for a treasure, and six of those tiles are black, two are red. You could put a catastrophe tile breaking that line close to where his leader is, and then put your black leader next to a red tile in that line - now you are suddenly in a kingdom, supported by six black tiles! It can get better - after that you can try to cause an external conflict involving your "new" kingdom and the old one your opponent was (which suddenly became extremely weak in black tiles, because you now control them!), so you could easily win an external conflict, get some points and kick your opponent's black leader from the "old" kingdom.

Catastrophe tiles are very powerful. You can use them to break kingdoms apart, to weak a leader's support by removing red tiles around him (if it's the last one, the leader goes out as well!), to prevent players from doing stuff. There's a reason there are only two for each player!
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Nicholas Hjelmberg
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A good thread for learning the game is The Annotated Game (Part 1).

Also, I strongly agree with Bleicher: do not add house rules to established games. The rules have been tested and work well for thousands of players. It's more likely that you're playing wrong than that you've discovered a better rule.
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Armando Cardoso
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Ok I see now, that last treasure goes to no one and the game doesn't end there, first big mistake, thank you.
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Armando Cardoso
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Ok second mistake I realize know only with the green leader u can pick up the treasure. Thanks for that.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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iZombie82 wrote:
#1 point scoring

The idea of T&E is to collect sets of cubes. A set consists of 1 black, 1 blue, 1 green, and 1 red cube—obviously representing the need for a society to become a harmonious whole in which all of these elements are equally present. At the end of the game the player with the most sets wins.

Quote:
... because what's the point of scoring 20 black if your lowest is gonna be 12 the rest was just pointless..... please enlighten us.

You got the gist alright, you just didn't come up with the correct answer: you need to up the 12 instead of augmenting the 20! meeple So yes, it can transpire that at times you let scoring opportunities be because they're not the opportunities you need.

Quote:
... in order to make you count I need to raise the other 3 colors pass 26... so basically in order to feel not cheated in our second gameplay we came to the conclusion that u have to collect as much treasure as fast as possible with the minimal amount of points scored, ...

Nonono. Again, you're approaching this the wrong way around. Monuments are just there as an alternative and fairly low-effort means to VPs in a particular colour. At some point, those cubes mean nothing anymore because they don't augment your set-score. So you need to start looking for other sources, and then you will run into conflict with your opponent who is after the same things as you are.

Quote:
so we just kept collecting 1 point for each color in each round for each color to keep everything balanced so we don't feel cheated by all those great meaningless VP, at the end it took us 25 minutes to finish the second play through we didn't even bother on trying to build a monument and just collect as fast as possible with the least amount of points and from there who ever has the highest of the lowest 2 wins. She had 10 I had 11 wow.

So you basically sat there watching each other collect cubes. You've got to keep in mind that the point to the game is to end up with more sets than your opponent, not that you achieve a particular score. Hurting the outlook of the opponent is quite an acceptable way to accomplish this. There is nothing wrong with the way you played, but the desire to have control over the outcome (namely that you win instead of your spouse) should motivate you to cut off some of her VP sources from time to time.

Quote:
What is the point of internal conflict in a 2 player game we both can start on one corner of the board...

Because if an opponent's leader is not on the board he's not collecting cubes of that colour while yours is. That mean you are increasing that part of your sets while he is not. Seems rather obvious that forcing each other off the board is a smart move...?

From your story I conclude that you played the game rather cooperatively. You let each other be. There is no rule forbidding this, but the game turns incredibly bland and boring because of it; and you get little say in who wins or not.
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Armando Cardoso
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Thanks for the quick reply.
Thanks for the quick inputs I realize a few things now and got many others clear, monuments do collect points at the end of each round.
Also the fact the we ended the game after a single conflict is wrong.

However I been giving a lot of thought to give the game a try playing it how we taught it would make sense and see what happens. We believe nothing is written in stone a tested set of rules might not be appealing to all, and you are free to tweaked any game up anyway u want. even tho we made a few mistakes and avoided conflict the rest we got it right I believe, and yes I agree the rules have been tested, and we would still need to try a 3-4 player game through with the stated rules, we can see how conflicts would be a big deal, however for a 2 player game the more we think about it the more It makes sense to us is to play using the last example on item #4 this would really create a lot of conflict and interaction in our opinion for the 2 player game.
 
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Helmer Aslaksen
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Armando, I really respect you for the way you ask questions in a polite and respectful way. And I admire the community for all the insightful comments in this thread! There are many threads here on BGG where people claim that certain games are crap, all luck, only for children and so on, when it is clear that they have not bothered to understand them properly.
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Ted L
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I don't blame you for wanting to try the game with two players since that's what you have available.

Also, the majority of the other responses here are very helpful.

The one thing I would add is to really try to get a four-player game in. I think you'll benefit not only from the "best" player count by making the board a bit more contested, but also by exposing yourselves to other players' ways of thinking about the game. You may find that you've been approaching it wrong when someone else does to you what you should have been doing all along.

In any case, I always try to give a game a good shake at its best-rated player count before coming to judgment, since many games can be very sensitive to that. T&E is rated "not recommended" for 2 players by about a third of the votes, and as "best at" 2 players by only 13%. I normally avoid playing a game at a player count if it's rated as not recommended by 10% or more (presuming there are enough votes for a quorum). I'm a bit aggressive that way, but usually there are better games to spend my time on in that case.

Good luck!
 
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Anne Skelding
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Connecticut
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You might just not like eurogames. Don't get discouraged, there are so many types of games out there!

That being said, I love this game. I highly recommend downloading the app. The tutorial mode should explain most of your questions, and playing a few rounds against an AI will show you different strategies. It's very well done.

Two more pieces of advice: 1) Don't think of any kingdom as "your" kingdom. Move your leaders to the best place on the board. You can (and sometimes should) completely abandon the place where you initially start. 2) Think of scoring as set collection. One set of red-blue-green-black is one point. Treasures are used to fill in missing sets and are be moved around from set to set as needed. Does that make sense?
 
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Rob Rob
United States
Tampa
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As stated above, 3-4 will produce better results (and more variety of conflict). Also, this game is indeed "dry" as well as deep. Think of chess, or maybe scrabble? There's a lot of deep "if I do this, they might do that" thinking. 2 players (even with special rules) really detracts from that.

Finally, not everyone likes all the same things. Best of luck.
 
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Mark Jackson
United States
Greensboro
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What is the sound of one card shuffling?
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T&E 2p can be fun and interesting if you both know how to play and you both are savage from the word go. If you aren't familiar with the game and/or you play passively it will probably not be an enjoyable game 2p. Even if you play it right it's not at its best 2p.
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James Patterson
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Utah
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Ah_Pook wrote:
T&E 2p can be fun and interesting if you both know how to play and you both are savage from the word go. If you aren't familiar with the game and/or you play passively it will probably not be an enjoyable game 2p. Even if you play it right it's not at its best 2p.


If both players are reasonably aggressive, 2p can be great. Most of my plays are head to head with my oldest daughter, and most of the time it's a heated slugfest with disasters and conflicts galore. Sometimes the final score is a blowout, but it's not uncommon for one person to win by only 1 or 2 points. And we don't modify the board at all; we just don't leave each other alone. Timing of when to mess with your opponent is the key.
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Bleicher
Brazil
Belo Horizonte
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By the way, one thing I found out is really great for any game I'm learning is to immediately re-read the rules right after finishing a game. At least for me this seems to be the best way to fixate the rules in my head, as I'll immediately notice if I did something wrong (and avoid it in the next game).
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Peter Strait
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Sacramento
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Also, it might help with the mental load if you look at it as scoring one point for each set of colors you can make. This might make it more intuitive to look at the board and ask, "What do I need?" and "How do I get it?"
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Fraser
Australia
Melbourne
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
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Plenty of people have talked about scoring, treasures and monuments.

The Mayfair box says 3-4 players, but it has the same rules as other editions which say 2-4. Just play it with the same rules.

I find that T&E is three separate games depending on the player count.

2-player is combat. Pure and simple. If you play to grow and your opponent attacks you lose.

3-player is very different. There is time and space for players to develop their empires if they so choose before encroaching on other players.

4-player is different again. There is not enough room for everyone, so contact and conflict will happen quite quickly but it is generally not as cut-throat as two player because there are the other players to worry about!
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Peter Mumford
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Somerville
Massachusetts
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It doesn't require a 2 player 'variant', but I do change one rule when playing with 2: on set up I don't place the two treasures farthest from the confluence of the rivers. It just makes the 2-p game a little quicker.
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