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Subject: Playing first time with Monuments? rss

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Alexandre Santos
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So I'm going to play Cyclades for the first time, new to all players.

Because I worry that this first play may drag for too long, I'm considering playing with the Monuments expansion straight away, to encourage players to race.

Usually I'm against playing a new game with expansions, but I really would not like to have the game failing to please because of playtime.

Do you think adding Monuments is worth it, or not for a first play?
 
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R. O. Schaefer
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This is tough to answer. My first play of Cyclades was some years ago. So it's hard to imagine now, how monuments would affect first play. Complexity wise, I'd say it does add a layer, but is still manageable. However, I do have some balancing issues with the monuments.
https://boardgamegeek.com/article/26822592#26822592

Do you own other expansions as well?

For further plays Hades is a must, but I probably wouldn't add it first time. From Titans you could very well add special metropolises. This would be the best way to shorten the game without adding difficulty.

That being said, it's really hard to tell whether first game drags or not. This really depends on your group. In my experience this is one of the unusual games that drags more with experience. With all beginners it's easy to overlook some threats to end the game. With more experience not so much.
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Alexandre Santos
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I actually have all the expansions. I had also considered adding the metropolises instead of Monuments. Do you think this would be a better option to Monuments, or vanilla?

I also realise that first play may be unusually short because of unchecked winning conditions, and that would be OK for me. What I don't want is people turtling or getting into a slog.

I do intend to try all expansions eventually, so I'm also interested in an optimal expansion path.
 
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AlexFS wrote:
I actually have all the expansions. I had also considered adding the metropolises instead of Monuments. Do you think this would be a better option to Monuments, or vanilla?

I also realise that first play may be unusually short because of unchecked winning conditions, and that would be OK for me. What I don't want is people turtling or getting into a slog.

I do intend to try all expansions eventually, so I'm also interested in an optimal expansion path.

Indeed, I think that it's wiser to include specialized Metropolises module only from Hades expansion rather than Monuments expansion : for a first play, there is already a lot of things to handle. But specialized Metropolises don't add any rule : they just provide a bonus and are thus an incentive for all players.
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R. O. Schaefer
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AlexFS wrote:
What I don't want is people turtling or getting into a slog.


I didn't understand this one language wise - not a native speaker. As you might not be a native speaker either, it may very well be just some wargame slang I'm not used to ;-)

As for my favourite setup:
I don't like the board from Titans, so we only use Metropolis cards, items from that expansion. But you should try it at some point to see yourself - only not in the first few games I guess.
So we use Base game, Hades, Metropolis from Titans and very likely Monuments (I do like the idea, just would houserule some, which of course is not that good of an idea during first game). The last one is just relatively new and didn't see that many games compared to the overall number we've played.

We had a four player game recently with one overall experienced gamer new to this game with this setup. It wasn't a problem for him.

Still, however, just the base game + Metropolis from Titans would be my suggestion for first game. This has some issues (balance of strategies), Hades will address, but I don't think it's a big deal for first timers.
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R. O. Schaefer
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Just to add one thing to favourite setup for future plays:

Once you are used to Hades, it's really nice to have the Manticore and Hekate promos.

I own the Kemet stuff as well, but didn't feel the urge to test those yet. Not sure, after all, I would like this stuff.
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Alexandre Santos
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Mickski wrote:

Indeed, I think that it's wiser to include specialized Metropolises module only from Hades expansion rather than Monuments expansion : for a first play, there is already a lot of things to handle. But specialized Metropolises don't add any rule : they just provide a bonus and are thus an incentive for all players.

Agreed! But just to confirm : there are metropolises from Titans AND Hades expansions, or is that a typo?

I will go for base game + specialized Titans (Hades?) metropolises.

Califax wrote:
So we use Base game, Hades, Metropolis from Titans and very likely Monuments


Thanks for the tip, we'll probably do the same once we are comfortable with base game + Metropolises from Titans.

Califax wrote:
Just to add one thing to favourite setup for future plays:

Once you are used to Hades, it's really nice to have the Manticore and Hekate promos.

Is it the C3K expansion, or something yet different?

Also have Kemet, but want to try Cyclades first, as I think it's more approachable, it has somewhat less information overload: Kemet has a lot of tiles available from the beginning.

Califax wrote:
AlexFS wrote:
What I don't want is people turtling or getting into a slog.


I didn't understand this one language wise - not a native speaker. As you might not be a native speaker either, it may very well be just some wargame slang I'm not used to ;-)

Indeed also not a native speaker

By turtling I mean players building strong defenses, shying from attacking, and basically turning a game of war into a civ development game.

By slog I mean everybody being so cautious and slow in mounting attacks that the game takes forever to get anywhere.
 
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R. O. Schaefer
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AlexFS wrote:
Mickski wrote:

Indeed, I think that it's wiser to include specialized Metropolises module only from Hades expansion rather than Monuments expansion : for a first play, there is already a lot of things to handle. But specialized Metropolises don't add any rule : they just provide a bonus and are thus an incentive for all players.

Agreed! But just to confirm : there are metropolises from Titans AND Hades expansions, or is that a typo?


I don't have the game in front of me, but I'm pretty sure, it's a typo. Those should be from Titans.

AlexFS wrote:

Califax wrote:
AlexFS wrote:
What I don't want is people turtling or getting into a slog.


I didn't understand this one language wise - not a native speaker. As you might not be a native speaker either, it may very well be just some wargame slang I'm not used to ;-)

Indeed also not a native speaker

By turtling I mean players building strong defenses, shying from attacking, and basically turning a game of war into a civ development game.

By slog I mean everybody being so cautious and slow in mounting attacks that the game takes forever to get anywhere.


That was one interpretation, but I wasn't sure. It pretty much depends on your group, but we always considered 'turtling strategies' strong in pure base game. I'm a bit hestitant here to write more, because the more you read the more of an issue it might become ;-) For beginners with no outside information whatsoever it might very likely only become a problem from second game onwards ...
If you are really interested and don't mind kind of spoilers, you'll find some details here.
Special metropolises, Hades (impact of Hades on this) mitigate this. Titans boards and C3K also mitigate it, but in a less subtle way. See below.


AlexFS wrote:

Califax wrote:
Just to add one thing to favourite setup for future plays:

Once you are used to Hades, it's really nice to have the Manticore and Hekate promos.

Is it the C3K expansion, or something yet different?


Yes, C3K. It does strengthen the war element further. The designers pretty much hated 'turtling strategies', some groups came up with.
For me their counter attempts with Titans boards and C3K are over the top, taking a lot of subtleties out of bidding. But you might have a look, if you are interested in more wars/fights.
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Yes, sorry for the mistake : specialized Metropolises come from Titans expansion.

If you wish, Artifact from Titans could also be added : they are pretty cool enhancement, easy to understand and to handle, without adding weight to the game.

I've played 47 games of Cyclades, using different mix of modules from expansions and that's really a great game which we still enjoy to play time to time.
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Alexandre Santos
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Thanks again for the tips, we played yesterday and we had a great time!

The maritime and military metropolises came out, but as indicated they didn't distort the game.

The game progressed quickly, which is perfect for a workday game night. Everybody was quickly caught by the tension of the auctions, and people enjoyed the game. All in all, the game met the high expectations I had for it, it's a keeper!

As for the play, I carelessly handed the victory by philosophers, because I was too concentrated on keeping the balance of power between my opponents.

I won't read the strategy articles for the moment, as I wish to discover them at my pace, since I'm so late to the party. So for the next plays we'll continue with the current configuration, base game + titan metropolises. Later on I'll have a look at Hecate.
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R. O. Schaefer
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Glad that you've enjoyed it.

AlexFS wrote:
So for the next plays we'll continue with the current configuration, base game + titan metropolises. Later on I'll have a look at Hecate.


You mean at Hades? Hades contains four expansion modules. Hekate and the artefacts from Titans Mickski mentioned belong to the fourth module (not sure if it is called 'Artefacts').
The other three modules here are:
- free positioning at the beginning
- heroes
- Hades itself as a new god

Once you are familiar with the game, I guess you can introduce all four modules at once. While free positioning is somewhat independent, the other three are partly connected to each other.
 
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Califax wrote:
Glad that you've enjoyed it.

AlexFS wrote:
So for the next plays we'll continue with the current configuration, base game + titan metropolises. Later on I'll have a look at Hecate.


You mean at Hades? Hades contains four expansion modules. Hekate and the artefacts from Titans Mickski mentioned belong to the fourth module (not sure if it is called 'Artefacts').

These are indeed called "Artifacts".
"Artefacts" is the french corresponding word.

And they are pretty great figurines.
 
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Nick JoJo
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Monument is essentially a module,so it's pretty easy to be added first game and doesn't prolong the game
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