GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters at year's end: 1000!
7,522 Supporters
$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
22 Days Left

Support:

Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
13 Posts

Atlantis Rising (second edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Is it like any other co-op..? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Tim
Australia
Canberra
ACT
flag msg tools
There is no try...
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As in, is this a game that is most likely going to suffer from the dreaded 'alpha-gamer' or 'quarterback' problem?

Or does the co-op have some type of hidden information or prohibition on group decisions over the individual?

I love co-ops, but mostly play them solo because chances are when played in a group it mostly boils down one or two people making most of the decisions anyway.

I am wondering if this is the case here? Or is there some independence to each players' actions/decisions?

Watching/reading reviews and play throughs is not as good as hearing about real experiences, so please don't direct me to 'x-video/reviewer on YouTube'

Thinking of backing this but not sure if it will be something I would play by myself or enjoy bringing others along for the adventure.

Thanks in advance!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
No One
United States
Burien
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb

Since I've only played 1e, my answer is based on that and what I've seen of 2e presented here in BGG and on the KS page.

1e could definitely suffer from an alpha-player's personality.

Most often this came in form of "you have councilor X, then you should be placing your workers here or here nearly every round." 2e looks like it may have fixed this with the leader/follower mechanic and the councilor powers being a lot less specific-location ideal... and also with the removal of the navy.

In 1e I found that when the players would each decide to work on a specific component, then it was very difficult for anyone to alpha-game where workers should go. This is because everyone generally needed all resources. Rounds then became a bit of a negotiation of, "okay, if you go to the outermost mountains tile this round, I'll go next round... so this round I'll go to the forests, and put an extra meeple on the navy."

I don't like the game mechanic approach of curbing alpha playing by having secret information. I think it's mechanically better handled by giving players enough viable choices that one player can't possibly compute them all (Spirit Island style). Given my approach to 1e in the previous paragraph, and add to that the leader/follower mechanic, the ability to utilize gate components, and what appears to be a more robust library, I suspect it'll be much harder to alpha game the 2nd edition due to too much info to crunch.

tl;dr: 1e could promote an alpha-gamer, but it looks like 2e has done a lot to mitigate that. But, since I haven't played 2e yet, I can only speculate.

~V


P.S. Sometimes someone just needs to take a deep breath and ask the alpha gamer to back down. That's going to solve the alpha gamer problem better than inherent mechanics.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim
Australia
Canberra
ACT
flag msg tools
There is no try...
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Veero wrote:
P.S. Sometimes someone just needs to take a deep breath and ask the alpha gamer to back down. That's going to solve the alpha gamer problem better than inherent mechanics.


Thanks for the response! Looking forward to hearing some more perspectives

Regarding your last point, in our groups it is less like the alpha saying, "you must go here and do this or else..." and more like one or two people always have the best strategies or can see things others don't and so everyone just defaults to what they say, resulting in the individual players involvement simply being to just move their pieces around as decided but others

So what I am looking for is something that almost forces everyone to make some choices independently of others, so that everyone feels like they have some control over their own involvement and are not just following the herd
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aj Nowaczyk
United States
Potomac
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I have play tested about 5-6 games of 2nd edition and while I don’t think you can ever completely eliminate quarterbacking, I truly didn’t feel like it was a big issue. Obviously the people playing make a difference, but every time I have played it has truly felt like teamwork. Worst case, the designated first player has final say, but I have never had that even happen. My best game have been at the 4-5 player count and I have played with many different people. Hope that helps, and let me know if I can clear anything else up.
2 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Galen Ciscell
United States
Auburn
WA
flag msg tools
designer
Check out my game, Atlantis Rising! :)
Avatar
mb
Veero wrote:
I think it's mechanically better handled by giving players enough viable choices that one player can't possibly compute them all (Spirit Island style). Given my approach to 1e in the previous paragraph, and add to that the leader/follower mechanic, the ability to utilize gate components, and what appears to be a more robust library, I suspect it'll be much harder to alpha game the 2nd edition due to too much info to crunch.

This is exactly how I would have responded, V. Especially with the added component placement spots (and build spots) in 2e, there are just too many permutations for one player to dictate everyone's actions.

In addition, there are a lot of choices that are more about play style preference or "feel" than there being a "correct" choice. Is it better to place your Atlantean on an inner tile, where you'll have almost no chance of flooding, but a much tougher roll to succeed, or on the outermost tile, where the chance of flooding is greater, but so is the chance of success if you survive? There's no "right" answer, it's more about your own personal tolerance for risk.

Veero wrote:
P.S. Sometimes someone just needs to take a deep breath and ask the alpha gamer to back down. That's going to solve the alpha gamer problem better than inherent mechanics.

Our house rule for cooperative games is that you cannot offer advice unless someone specifically asks for it
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Ackerman
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've played 4 games of the 2nd edition and I largely agree with AJ and Galen. There is no hidden information in the game, but it is complex enough that no single person can think about all of the different actions and possibilities, so turns really are a collaborative effort with everyone submitting ideas.

That said, I have had a couple games where I was playing with much more experienced Atlantis Rising players. At which point it was like 3 quarterbacks telling me what to do. Very different from the traditional alpha gamer problem, but still not much fun on my end. These games were playing fast and loose with some of the rules which prevent quarterbacking, so if you play closer to rules-as-written it would be less of a problem. I think you'd have an awesome time introducing this game to a new group and discovering it together!

Also, agreeing with Galen's point, generally there are no "correct" moves just different risks and rewards and players are allowed to play how they want. I've had the most success in groups where some players tend to play conservative and others more risky.

Hope this helps!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Runcible Spoon
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Mossquito wrote:
As in, is this a game that is most likely going to suffer from the dreaded 'alpha-gamer' or 'quarterback' problem?


No game suffers from these problems.

Players do.

Certain players suffer from alpha-gamer syndrome; but games don't. The question then becomes; what are the people like that you game with?

Also, if you mostly solo game why is that even a problem?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Aronis
New Zealand
Christchurch
flag msg tools
Runcible Spoon wrote:
[q="Mossquito"]As in, is this a game that is most likely going to suffer from the dreaded 'alpha-gamer' or 'quarterback' problem?


I like the spirit island approach where it gives you allot of options and multiple pathways to advance that are viable. Mysterium also gets over this system with hidden information and voting tokens while still being a pure co-op.

I think alpha-gaming is a games problem when it either gives you only one viable pathway going forward or it limits options so much that one player doing something effectively locks down the other players to do the same actions or lose very quickly.

However, it sounds like this new version has actually opened up options a little bit. That being said, when watching some playthrough videos, I still noticed some alpha gaming happening.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brent Dickman
United States
Champaign
Illinois
flag msg tools
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jakkaof86 wrote:
However, it sounds like this new version has actually opened up options a little bit. That being said, when watching some playthrough videos, I still noticed some alpha gaming happening.


Are you referring to the play through on Board Game Spotlight?

I served as lead developer on this game and probably have played the new edition more than anybody. I've seen games where someone tries to quarterback and they wind up just ignored.

It might also depend on player count. It's easier for 1 person to try to control a group of 3 than for 1 person to do so with 6.

The worker placement is designed to allow teamwork. I typically see players deciding that they'll focus on resources, with another going for library cards, and another maybe activating components and getting mystic energy, for example.

Players still have agency over where they place their workers. I'll hear people say "Come here to the Forests with me and help me get crystal," but I haven't heard anyone try to dictate where all, e.g. 12+ workers in a 3 or 4 player game should go (let alone 18+ in a 6 player game).

Players are supposed to decide as a team which tiles to flood when Controlled Flood or Wrath of the Gods comes due. But you could easily house rule it that the starting player decides, if it proved to be a problem for you group.

The goal is for everyone to have fun.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim
Australia
Canberra
ACT
flag msg tools
There is no try...
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Runcible Spoon wrote:
Also, if you mostly solo game why is that even a problem?


I never said that, I said I mostly play co-ops solo because of the problem with having one or two people making most of the decisions

jakkaof86 wrote:
I think alpha-gaming is a games problem when it either gives you only one viable pathway going forward or it limits options so much that one player doing something effectively locks down the other players to do the same actions or lose very quickly


This explains what I am meaning much better - thank you

As I said before, for us it is much less players dictating what others should do, but more one or two players see the obvious strategies and the most effective plays, so everyone just defaults to what they say because they usually know better - and want to win, right?

jakkaof86 wrote:
However, it sounds like this new version has actually opened up options a little bit. That being said, when watching some playthrough videos, I still noticed some alpha gaming happening.


From what I am hearing, seems that both are true. On paper, the options have been opened up so that one or two players can't possibly see all viable paths... but there is still the real possibility that those one or two players will still be the ones calling the shots or dictating the 'overall strategy'

Interesting responses though, thanks everyone
2 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Olivier Prevot
France
Paris
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Mossquito wrote:
but there is still the real possibility that those one or two players will still be the ones calling the shots or dictating the 'overall strategy'

Clearly these people should not play coop games as they do not understand the meaning of the word.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ross C
Germany
flag msg tools
grouik wrote:
Mossquito wrote:
but there is still the real possibility that those one or two players will still be the ones calling the shots or dictating the 'overall strategy'

Clearly these people should not play coop games as they do not understand the meaning of the word.


It's quite an easy behaviour pattern to fall into, especially if you are used to playing with kids and trying to help, or with newer players who look to you for guidance.

I prefer to let people decide for themselves and then explain pros and cons, but I have definitely been known in ultra tight games of Pandemic Legacy to be more "opinionated".

Mostly I would say tailor games to ythe group, if it's something so important, like a Legacy game, then you need an equal group as much as possible and fewer less interested/novice parties who can "sour" an outcome becaus ethey don't see or care less about the outcome.

For more fun games I have learned to not care and enjoy watching mistakes being made, it's part of the co-op process and adds some novelty to games that you might "know" how to beat in a dedicated hardcore group.

Looking at this game, I would say there seems to be a good balance of too much to know for one person, too many random events to have clear strategies and a balance of fun.

So looks like Alpha players shouldn't be too much of an issue here and I am very interested in this game for myself and my family. Will be nice to have a co-op Atlantis game, as we are fans of Escape from Atlantis, but it's a much more cut-throat affair!

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Galen Ciscell
United States
Auburn
WA
flag msg tools
designer
Check out my game, Atlantis Rising! :)
Avatar
mb
Jamey Stegmaier just posted a short video that explains how the simultaneous worker placement in Atlantis Rising prevents "quarterbacking" (alpha players)



3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.