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Subject: How the Draft Variant shifts game balance? rss

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Adhai Gray
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Based on Designer's comment (somewhere on BGG), game was mostly balanced using non-draft variant, but it seems that more than half of player base prefers it. I play often both non-draft and draft variants, so it seems natural to ask how it changes balance of the game.

Another reason for this discussion is observed phenomenon of meta-lock in 2p, when using draft variant, i.e. wide means to optimize game leads to establishing 3 or 4 main strategies, and diminishing of others.

Just inviting to share experience about of performance of various corporations in draft and non-draft, in friendly and understanding manner.

Couple of thoughts about relative power, from my experience (analysis of Simon's database would come later):

Credicor, Teractor, Polyphemos - seems that they work better in non-draft than other corporations (draft helps more more-specialized corporations).

Phobolog, Point Luna - they gain with draft, because it's hard to hate-draft space tags.

Mining Guild, Cheung Shing Mars, Interplanetary Cinematics - should benefit as titanium corps, but building tag seems too diluted.

Tharsis, Poseidon - draft seem to help them, to get now quite diluted city/colony cards. On the other hand, Colonies and investment in trade may lower number of City project cards/game.

Inventrix - should work better in non-draft - it makes use of greater number of cards thanks to ability, while draft lowers value of its' starting draw and makes science-tag collecting easier.

UNMI - should work with draft better, low starting cash, great need of cheap income cards and easier time to make steady terraforming engine. However it seems that other corps benefit more than UNMI from draft.

Saturn Systems (to some degree Stormcraft) - while draft makes pursuing Jovian strategy for Saturn harder (hate-draft) - as it's obvious way; it may make Jovian strategy for other corps actually easier, only dropping VP multipliers later.

I'm thinking about such setup:
Initial hand - non-draft
Early game (4th gen included?) - draft
Mid-late game - non-draft
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Erik Twice
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Generally speaking, draft makes narrower strategies more viable because you see more cards and can pick up the pieces better.

Cards that are more narrow, not as great or specific get better. Credicor, Teractor and other "just give me good stuff" corporations are stronger without drafting.

From your list:

Jovian is easier with draft, because you see more Jovians. People will hate-draft the 1VP/Jovian cards, though.

Science is better with draft because you see more cards and can hit both the tags and the requirements easier.
 
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Peter Bakija
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Mr_Grey wrote:
Credicor, Teractor, Polyphemos - seems that they work better in non-draft than other corporations (draft helps more more-specialized corporations).
I don't know that this is true; I think all three of those want expensive, big impact cards. Which you'll see more of with draft, as a lot of folks tend to ignore expensive, big impact cards, especially early in the game. So it generally becomes easier to grab big hitter cards, which all three of these want to get ahold of.

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Phobolog, Point Luna - they gain with draft, because it's hard to hate-draft space tags.
I don't know that I understand your sentence here. It isn't at all hard to hate draft space tags. You just say "Huh. My neighbor is Phobolog. I'd better take all these space cards..."; that being said, I don't think hate drafting all the space cards from Phobolog or whatever happens *that* often, as it is almost always better to take something that is good for you than it is to take something your neighbor probably wants. But still, it is very likely that, say, someone will hate draft Water Import from Europa or something to keep Phobolog from getting it. But still, you see more cards, so you are more likely to see the space cards you want.

Quote:
Mining Guild, Cheung Shing Mars, Interplanetary Cinematics - should benefit as titanium corps, but building tag seems too diluted.
The "building tags are diluted" group think of this place strikes me as constantly wildly overstated. Yes. There are fewer building tags relative to the rest of the deck than there used to be. Which probably means that the designers felt that building tags were too prevalent (i.e. they didn't accidentally dilute the building tags; it happened completely intentionally). Building tags are still plentiful and steel/building strategies are still perfectly viable. And drafting helps make them more viable, as you see more cards, and as such, are more likely to see the building tag cards you want.

Quote:
Tharsis, Poseidon - draft seem to help them, to get now quite diluted city/colony cards. On the other hand, Colonies and investment in trade may lower number of City project cards/game.
There are as many City/Colony production cards in the deck as the designers feel is appropriate. Draft always helps any situation where you are looking for specific cards (i.e. *all* situations...).

Quote:
Inventrix - should work better in non-draft - it makes use of greater number of cards thanks to ability, while draft lowers value of its' starting draw and makes science-tag collecting easier.
Yeah, I gotta agree with this. I think Inventrix is generally terrible, but in a world of non draft where everyone is working less effectively, the extra 3 card bonus give Inventrix a leg up. And the lack of cohesive planning makes their special power more attractive. So yeah, of all of these, I think Inventrix probably gains most from not drafting. But it is still probably terrible :-)

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UNMI - should work with draft better, low starting cash, great need of cheap income cards and easier time to make steady terraforming engine. However it seems that other corps benefit more than UNMI from draft.
I dunno--I suspect that UNMI benefits as much as anyone else from draft. A lot of "do a thing to get a random TR" cards are viewed as mostly chaff by most corps, but UNMI likes them, and more will likely be passed your way.

Quote:
Saturn Systems (to some degree Stormcraft) - while draft makes pursuing Jovian strategy for Saturn harder (hate-draft) - as it's obvious way; it may make Jovian strategy for other corps actually easier, only dropping VP multipliers later.
Again, like, I don't think hate drafting is as big an issue as people like to make it out as. Yes. Hate Drafting will occasionally make it so that you don't see Water Import from Europa. But then, in that instance, you wouldn't have seen it anyway if you weren't drafting in the first place. And not everyone wants to hate draft every good card, as there is likely another card you want more. As such, drafting helps *any* strategy where you want specific cards (tags, whatever), as, well, you are hugely more likely to see them than you are if you just pick 4 cards at random, even with hate drafting as a potential. As people don't always hate draft. And even picking up second tier Jovian tag cards that no one would even *think* to hate draft *still* improves your game.

So if you are looking for anything in particular (i.e. every corp ever), drafting improves your ability to play your game. The only corp that arguably gets better without drafting is, as noted, Inventrix, as it gets 3 extra cards (which gives you more options than everyone else at the start) and it's ability makes it more flexible in a game where more flexibility is going to be beneficial.
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Adhai Gray
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My suggestion is that draft helps:
a) not equally, but rather to different degree for various corporations
b) draft generally helps when corporation is specialized but not too narrow.

bakija wrote:
Mr_Grey wrote:
Credicor, Teractor, Polyphemos - seems that they work better in non-draft than other corporations (draft helps more more-specialized corporations).

I don't know that this is true; I think all three of those want expensive, big impact cards. Which you'll see more of with draft, as a lot of folks tend to ignore expensive, big impact cards, especially early in the game. So it generally becomes easier to grab big hitter cards, which all three of these want to get ahold of.
Really depends. More expensive cards tend to be more effect-dense, so not-so-rich company may prefer in some cases it over two other. There's also option to not to buy them, starving MC engine and forcing rich player to play Standard Projects.

bakija wrote:
Quote:
Phobolog, Point Luna - they gain with draft, because it's hard to hate-draft space tags.
I don't know that I understand your sentence here. It isn't at all hard to hate draft space tags. You just say "Huh. My neighbor is Phobolog. I'd better take all these space cards..."; that being said, I don't think hate drafting all the space cards from Phobolog or whatever happens *that* often, as it is almost always better to take something that is good for you than it is to take something your neighbor probably wants. But still, it is very likely that, say, someone will hate draft Water Import from Europa or something to keep Phobolog from getting it. But still, you see more cards, so you are more likely to see the space cards you want.
Space tags are 1/4 of all cards, in opposite of Jovians, which are 1/10. To deny them effectively you had to do it at a significant cost of developing your own strategy.

bakija wrote:

The "building tags are diluted" group think of this place strikes me as constantly wildly overstated. Yes. There are fewer building tags relative to the rest of the deck than there used to be. Which probably means that the designers felt that building tags were too prevalent (i.e. they didn't accidentally dilute the building tags; it happened completely intentionally). Building tags are still plentiful and steel/building strategies are still perfectly viable. And drafting helps make them more viable, as you see more cards, and as such, are more likely to see the building tag cards you want.
Of course, there are so many cards as Designer has seen fit. Currently there are very similar amount of both steel/building and titanium/space cards. Some folks report such thing, so I'm bringing it here.
But again, Jacob balanced them using non-draft variant.

bakija wrote:
Quote:
UNMI - should work with draft better, low starting cash, great need of cheap income cards and easier time to make steady terraforming engine. However it seems that other corps benefit more than UNMI from draft.
I dunno--I suspect that UNMI benefits as much as anyone else from draft. A lot of "do a thing to get a random TR" cards are viewed as mostly chaff by most corps, but UNMI likes them, and more will likely be passed your way.
Yet, it's strategy is quite narrow, and only small subset of cards give it a chance to develop economy with limited funds. Prelude helps.

bakija wrote:
Quote:
Saturn Systems (to some degree Stormcraft) - while draft makes pursuing Jovian strategy for Saturn harder (hate-draft) - as it's obvious way; it may make Jovian strategy for other corps actually easier, only dropping VP multipliers later.
Again, like, I don't think hate drafting is as big an issue as people like to make it out as. Yes. Hate Drafting will occasionally make it so that you don't see Water Import from Europa. But then, in that instance, you wouldn't have seen it anyway if you weren't drafting in the first place. And not everyone wants to hate draft every good card, as there is likely another card you want more. As such, drafting helps *any* strategy where you want specific cards (tags, whatever), as, well, you are hugely more likely to see them than you are if you just pick 4 cards at random, even with hate drafting as a potential. As people don't always hate draft. And even picking up second tier Jovian tag cards that no one would even *think* to hate draft *still* improves your game.
Well, it's definetely easier to hate-draft Jovians, than Space-tags - it's more efficient, and less costly for developing own strategy.

bakija wrote:
So if you are looking for anything in particular (i.e. every corp ever), drafting improves your ability to play your game. The only corp that arguably gets better without drafting is, as noted, Inventrix, as it gets 3 extra cards (which gives you more options than everyone else at the start) and it's ability makes it more flexible in a game where more flexibility is going to be beneficial.
Still, I think, that how large this beneficial effect of draft on corporation differs, some gaining more and some gaining not so much - enough to change relative strength of corporations.
 
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Peter Bakija
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Mr_Grey wrote:
My suggestion is that draft helps:
a) not equally, but rather to different degree for various corporations
b) draft generally helps when corporation is specialized but not too narrow.
Sure, but I think in general, draft helps all corporations significantly. And it might help a few corporations slightly more than others and disadvantage a few corporations slightly more, but the extra advantage/disadvantage is marginal, at best, compared to the significant leaps that *all* corporations get from draft in general.

To use arbitrary numbers to illustrate what I think is happening here, assume that without draft, all corporations are 0 (they aren't all equally balanced, no, but for the sake of illustration, assume they are). When you add drafting, *most* corporations are improved to 10. A slim number are improved to 11. A slim number are improved to 9. Again, arbitrary numbers, just to illustrate.

I think draft helps all corporations a lot. And a small number in either direction are improved marginally more or marginally less.

Mr_Grey wrote:
Really depends. More expensive cards tend to be more effect-dense, so not-so-rich company may prefer in some cases it over two other. There's also option to not to buy them, starving MC engine and forcing rich player to play Standard Projects.
Sure. This is all *possible*. But it is unlikely. 'Cause if I pick up my hand of cards and look at what can take, I can take something that is good for me, or I can take something that is good for my neighbor (as I get to take 1 card). Taking something that is good for me is almost *always* going to be a better move than taking something that is good for my neighbor. Because:

A) If I only ever take cards that are good for my opponent, I never get any good cards.

B) Even if I pass the good card to my opponent, they might not actually think it is that good of a card for their particular position.

C) Even if they do think it is a good card, they might not ever actually get to play it for any number of reasons.

You can't build a game around "starving someone's engine and forcing them to play standard projects". 'Cause then you are doing nothing for your own game. And as such, you are losing.

Hate drafting. It has *vastly* less of an impact than you seem to think.

I draft. All the time. And probably I'll intentionally hate draft an obviously important card that my neighbor can clearly benefit from, just so I can keep it out of their hands and throw it in the discards immediately, maybe once per game. I will, on a more frequent basis, look at a hand of 2 or 3 cards that none of which are good for me, and if none of them are good for me, I'll look for something that my neighbor might want, and take that instead, but that is usually just as much of a random shot in the dark as me trying to take a card that might be good for me out of that.

Quote:
Space tags are 1/4 of all cards, in opposite of Jovians, which are 1/10. To deny them effectively you had to do it at a significant cost of developing your own strategy.
Ok. But that is pretty much the same for *all* tag based strategies. Trying to keep your neighbor from getting good card with tag X on them means not taking cards that are good for you instead. Seldomly it will be a good idea to give up something good for you to take something that is good for them instead. But most of the time, not so much.

Quote:
Yet, it's strategy is quite narrow, and only small subset of cards give it a chance to develop economy with limited funds. Prelude helps.
Yeah, see, I'm not on the "UNMI is terrible" train that seems prevalent around here. I don't think it is the best corp or anything, but I have seen UNMI win numerous times. I don't think its strategy is particularly narrow ("Gain TR. Use that to gain more TR. Have a good income and a lot of TR. Then do other things that get you victory points!"). As such, I think drafting is gonna help UNMI as much as anyone else. Especially as lots of folks deeply undervalue the cards that are, like, "Burn a plant production, gain a TR", that is potentially very good for UNMI.

Quote:
Well, it's definetely easier to hate-draft Jovians, than Space-tags - it's more efficient, and less costly for developing own strategy.
But only if taking that Jovian card (that you don't want to play) isn't preventing you from taking something that you do want to play. Yes. There are fewer Jovian tags than most other tags, but that doesn't mean that if I'm playing a Jovian strategy, my neighbors are going to take all the Jovian tags. Even if there are fewer of them. 'Cause them taking a Jovian card instead of a card that is good for them will be counter productive most of the time.

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Still, I think, that how large this beneficial effect of draft on corporation differs, some gaining more and some gaining not so much - enough to change relative strength of corporations.
I mean, yes? I agree with that. But I think the overall effect of drafting is much more beneficial as a whole to all corps than the effect it has in changing balance.
 
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Adhai Gray
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Draft makes things easier and (mostly) stronger, indeed. But I'd like to measure this effect.

Before we start deep analysis, such hybrid variant game setup came to my mind:

3-5p, Free for all.
2 players draft, while others use standard rules of research phase.

I propose to play such setup several times, and see what results will be
 
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Peter Bakija
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Heh. Interesting idea. I dunno that it'll get a lot of takers. And I don't know that it'll be particularly good at discovering results (if two of the good players get to draft, did they win 'cause of the draft or 'cause they are probably just better at the game? if two of the less good players draft, it is probably unlikely to actually help them that much, etc.)

But certainly an interesting idea.
 
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Harald Torvatn
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bakija wrote:


Sure. This is all *possible*. But it is unlikely. 'Cause if I pick up my hand of cards and look at what can take, I can take something that is good for me, or I can take something that is good for my neighbor (as I get to take 1 card). Taking something that is good for me is almost *always* going to be a better move than taking something that is good for my neighbor. Because:

A) If I only ever take cards that are good for my opponent, I never get any good cards.

B) Even if I pass the good card to my opponent, they might not actually think it is that good of a card for their particular position.

C) Even if they do think it is a good card, they might not ever actually get to play it for any number of reasons.

You can't build a game around "starving someone's engine and forcing them to play standard projects". 'Cause then you are doing nothing for your own game. And as such, you are losing.

Hate drafting. It has *vastly* less of an impact than you seem to think.

A common situation is that I pick up my cards and find no cards I want to buy. This may be because they are not all that good, because they dont fit into my long term plan or because I really need that money now and that card is not good enough to disrupt my short term plan. In those cases, I hate draft, and it costs me nothing.

When I hate draft, I do take into consideration how good a card is in my opponents particular position, not just how generally good I think the card is.

My experience indicates that good hate drafting usually costs opponents a significant number of points, certainly more than the final difference in points.
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Richard Young
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Harald wrote:
bakija wrote:


Sure. This is all *possible*. But it is unlikely. 'Cause if I pick up my hand of cards and look at what can take, I can take something that is good for me, or I can take something that is good for my neighbor (as I get to take 1 card). Taking something that is good for me is almost *always* going to be a better move than taking something that is good for my neighbor. Because:

A) If I only ever take cards that are good for my opponent, I never get any good cards.

B) Even if I pass the good card to my opponent, they might not actually think it is that good of a card for their particular position.

C) Even if they do think it is a good card, they might not ever actually get to play it for any number of reasons.

You can't build a game around "starving someone's engine and forcing them to play standard projects". 'Cause then you are doing nothing for your own game. And as such, you are losing.

Hate drafting. It has *vastly* less of an impact than you seem to think.

A common situation is that I pick up my cards and find no cards I want to buy. This may be because they are not all that good, because they dont fit into my long term plan or because I really need that money now and that card is not good enough to disrupt my short term plan. In those cases, I hate draft, and it costs me nothing.

When I hate draft, I do take into consideration how good a card is in my opponents particular position, not just how generally good I think the card is.

My experience indicates that good hate drafting usually costs opponents a significant number of points, certainly more than the final difference in points.
And is why some Corps are more susceptible to it than others. And is why I am leaning away from drafting at all as the Corps were designed before the idea of drafting came along and I like to think that they should all have a reasonable chance at being viable (within the already chaotic nature of a card drawing design).

Look at Railways of the World vs. Steam both members of the track-laying, cube delivery Rail Game family. Steam is an almost perfect information game with very little chance other than what the players choose to do from turn to turn. On the other hand, RotW has two decks of cards (Operations Cards and Event Cards) that add a lot of chaos (luck?) to the mix depending on how the cards come out. How much of this card drawing chaos one is happy with varies. There are variations and options that have evolved to reduce the "luck" factor in RotW advanced by those who would prefer to tone down the element of chance. I think it has gone too far from the original intention of the game and to them I say play Steam instead.

I am beginning to get a similar feeling here and as you can't eliminate the luck element in the basic mechanic here, I now prefer to embrace it as originally conceived. But the options are always there to suit a variety of tastes - I'm just explaining why I am leaning away from drafting now - not to mention the time I'm saving...
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Peter Bakija
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Harald wrote:
A common situation is that I pick up my cards and find no cards I want to buy. This may be because they are not all that good, because they dont fit into my long term plan or because I really need that money now and that card is not good enough to disrupt my short term plan. In those cases, I hate draft, and it costs me nothing.
Sure. I do that too. And while it costs you nothing, it also isn't necessarily doing you any good either. Like, *me* thinking "Hey! This card is probably awesome for my neighbor, and I'll take it, and keep it from them, and throw it out, and that will negatively impact them!" may or may not actually ever be the case; they might have not taken the card anyway. Or might not have played it ever if they did.

I played a 5P game last night; when there were no good cards in my hand for me to take, my secondary card selection choice was, as is likely, "take a card that I think my neighbor wants". And so I did that. But only once or twice the whole 9 generation game did I ever actually pick a card that one of my neighbors really actually would have wanted to play (and even if they did, nothing is saying they ever actually would have). I was playing a Venus heavy strategy, and my neighbor did specifically hate draft Sulfur Exports to keep it away from me. Which I certainly would have taken, played, and benefited a great deal from. Which cost my game some. But, then, if we weren't drafting, I wouldn't have seen it anyway. And I probably cost his game some with a pick too at some point. So likely about a wash across the board.

Quote:
When I hate draft, I do take into consideration how good a card is in my opponents particular position, not just how generally good I think the card is.

My experience indicates that good hate drafting usually costs opponents a significant number of points, certainly more than the final difference in points.
Sure. But it likely costs everyone about the same, generally speaking. If everyone is hate drafting in the way that makes sense (i.e. taking cards that are good for them instead of good for their opponent most of the time when they have to make that choice, taking cards that are probably good for their opponents when there is nothing good for them to take, etc.), then everyone is losing access to some good cards that they want. And everyone is losing some points relative to a situation where no one ever hate drafts. And it is all about a wash, in a grand sense.

And yet everyone is still seeing more cards, everyone is still working more effectively, and all corps are improved over not drafting at all.
 
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Frederick Duewer
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There are at least 5 significant differences.

(1) Card collection strategies should be stronger. The two most relevant ones are science tags and jovians. (Also buildings, but not super impactful) This assumes a lack of effective hate-drafting and/or competition. In particular, for longer games with drafting, Jovians seem to be better than they should be. (Having played 14+ Jovians in a single game at a discount of 10+...0.6 MC/VP for GC...) This is probably compounded by the deck being large enough that decks are probably rarely well-shuffled.

(2) The typical player will see more usable cards - and - therefore - will be likely to be income-limited instead of card-limited for most of the game. This weakens card draw.

(3) Mostly as a side offect of (2), corporations that feature card draw / increases in card usability (Inventrix), increased benefit to TR cards (UNMI), and/or boosts to standard projects effectiveness (Polyphemos, Credicor, UNMI, Thorgate) will be relatively weaker.

(4) Mostly as a side effect of (1), corporations that benefit from a Jovian strategy (Saturn, Phobolog, that weird heat-floater thingy) are stronger.

(5) Cards with energy requirements are stronger.

#1 is probably the most problematic - as player order can start to dominate rankings. (Assume one player is situated between 2 hate-drafters.) Still, #2 is also an issue. For #3, consider that Polyphemos and UNMI would be the bast corporations, absent project cards.
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Adhai Gray
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fwduewer wrote:
There are at least 5 significant differences.

(1) Card collection strategies should be stronger. The two most relevant ones are science tags and jovians. (Also buildings, but not super impactful) This assumes a lack of effective hate-drafting and/or competition. In particular, for longer games with drafting, Jovians seem to be better than they should be. (Having played 14+ Jovians in a single game at a discount of 10+...0.6 MC/VP for GC...) This is probably compounded by the deck being large enough that decks are probably rarely well-shuffled.

(2) The typical player will see more usable cards - and - therefore - will be likely to be income-limited instead of card-limited for most of the game. This weakens card draw.

(3) Mostly as a side offect of (2), corporations that feature card draw / increases in card usability (Inventrix), increased benefit to TR cards (UNMI), and/or boosts to standard projects effectiveness (Polyphemos, Credicor, UNMI, Thorgate) will be relatively weaker.

(4) Mostly as a side effect of (1), corporations that benefit from a Jovian strategy (Saturn, Phobolog, that weird heat-floater thingy) are stronger.

(5) Cards with energy requirements are stronger.

#1 is probably the most problematic - as player order can start to dominate rankings. (Assume one player is situated between 2 hate-drafters.) Still, #2 is also an issue. For #3, consider that Polyphemos and UNMI would be the bast corporations, absent project cards.
(2) leads to (6):
Engine-building strategies are pursued over terraforming strategies
 
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Frederick Duewer
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It that true? There should be a shift towards terraforming without draft, but it isn't clear to me that terraforming strategies dominate without draft. It may be true that draft tends to result in stagnant metas because, eg, engine-building strategies and/or terraforming strategies can be consistently executed.

Generally though, I tend to prefer valuing cards as investments, with some expected return based on the number of remaining turns and milesone/award state. This tends to value engine building at the beginning of the game and TR/VP at the end, with a transition to TR based on expected # of turns.

I'd expect terraforming would become better earlier, assuming normal luck. but it shouldn't be guaranteed.
 
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Adhai Gray
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fwduewer wrote:
It that true? There should be a shift towards terraforming without draft, but it isn't clear to me that terraforming strategies dominate without draft. It may be true that draft tends to result in stagnant metas because, eg, engine-building strategies and/or terraforming strategies can be consistently executed.
I would rather say, that no-draft remains balanced, but draft push it engine-side. No-CE definetely is shifted terraforming-side.
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Ben Haanstra
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I argue that a no-draft just makes the game more luck dependent.

Got a generation of no worthwhile cards? Great. Are you gonna spend your little cash on the inefficient standard project?
Opponent got terrific 3 card combo in the research phase? Great!
Nothing can boggle your mind more than when you have to spend lots of money on upping energy standard projects, whereas your opponent did the same for less than half the price because he got a card.

Draft should have been the standard default mandatory mode. No draft just because 'oh it is too many cards, it will take more time', I argue: it takes more time without draft because you are making people more dependent on the luck of the draw.

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Jacob Fryxelius
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Kofzor wrote:
I argue that a no-draft just makes the game more luck dependent.

Got a generation of no worthwhile cards? Great. Are you gonna spend your little cash on the inefficient standard project?
Opponent got terrific 3 card combo in the research phase? Great!
Nothing can boggle your mind more than when you have to spend lots of money on upping energy standard projects, whereas your opponent did the same for less than half the price because he got a card.

Draft should have been the standard default mandatory mode. No draft just because 'oh it is too many cards, it will take more time', I argue: it takes more time without draft because you are making people more dependent on the luck of the draw.

You mean you don't stock your hand with some cards to play down the road? Yeah, that would make you very dependent on the luck of the draw. Getting no useful cards during research is often actually the best scenario for me; I can instead spend that money to get my cards out.

Had we made draft the standard, I suspect a lot of players would never gotten into the game. Their first game would be walking a quagmire for hours, and then they wouldn't have looked at the game again.

You can of course argue that non-draft takes more time, but all the evidence suggests the opposite. Drafting MIGHT reduce the number of generations, but it might also increase it, depending on the meta.

I can see that you prefer draft, so I'm happy we included it as an option for you - we did that for a reason (draft is good). But people have differing opinions and priorities, so I'm also glad we didn't impose drafting on everyone.

Cheers!
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Xander Fulton
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bakija wrote:
Again, like, I don't think hate drafting is as big an issue as people like to make it out as. Yes. Hate Drafting will occasionally make it so that you don't see Water Import from Europa. But then, in that instance, you wouldn't have seen it anyway if you weren't drafting in the first place.
This is my biggest question about the complaints around 'hate drafting'.

If you weren't dealt the card to begin with, you would never have seen it anyway. If you WERE dealt it, but had to pass on it because something even better came up in your initial deal and you can only keep one...well that's the entire point of the draft. The effect of the draft is that you can get at max one AMAZING card a round, and a couple of 2nd-tier cards, and at most one garbage card that everyone else passed on. The entire point is to prevent one player from getting a number of amazing cards at once, while everyone else lags behind, and one player gets a hand of hot garbage they have to deal with.

Harald wrote:
A common situation is that I pick up my cards and find no cards I want to buy. This may be because they are not all that good, because they dont fit into my long term plan or because I really need that money now and that card is not good enough to disrupt my short term plan. In those cases, I hate draft, and it costs me nothing.

When I hate draft, I do take into consideration how good a card is in my opponents particular position, not just how generally good I think the card is.

My experience indicates that good hate drafting usually costs opponents a significant number of points, certainly more than the final difference in points.
Incorrect part highlighted.

It cost them no points, because the card they wanted was dealt to you, so they never would have had a chance to buy it ANYWAY. Whether you keep it or throw it out is irrelevant - it wasn't dealt to them, they never got the chance to keep it, your action doesn't "deny" them anything.

Whether or not the game length is too negatively impacted by the draft, or the learning curve becomes too steep with it - those are valid concerns to discuss. But "hate drafting" as a complaint is just silly - compared to non-draft, there is no actual loss if you pull a card you have no use for just because someone else wants it. It was just as much unavailable to them in non-draft as draft format, the use of drafting made no difference.
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Mr_Grey wrote:
fwduewer wrote:
It that true? There should be a shift towards terraforming without draft, but it isn't clear to me that terraforming strategies dominate without draft. It may be true that draft tends to result in stagnant metas because, eg, engine-building strategies and/or terraforming strategies can be consistently executed.
I would rather say, that no-draft remains balanced, but draft push it engine-side. No-CE definetely is shifted terraforming-side.
Go to Simon's database and filter on Draft and NOt draft. You'll see that in almost all cases Draft has shorter generation length.

This is, I presume, because drafting helps with whatever you want to do, so if you're in the interrest of ending the game, well, then drafting helps. Additionally, engine builders tend to have card draw so they are less dependent on the draft, so drafting helps non-engine builders to a larger extent arguably.



Tend to agree with most of what bakija wrote in this thread.
I would probably add Polyphemos to the list of corops that really benefits from non-draft. This is because to me this is quite the shitty corporation, and you should mostly be playing it when you have pluto, or other card draw available. You don't really want to be buying a lot of cards. When drafting though you can spend your time hate-drafting more as polyphemos.
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bakija wrote:
And it is all about a wash, in a grand sense.
At a table of equivalent skill, yes.

I think we have been skirting around the main reason drafting is favored by players here and in all tournaments:

It increases the impact that skill has on the game. Being able to make an intelligent choice about whether you need a card more than you need your opponent to not have another card is a skill factor that is fully removed in no-draft games.

Drafting means luck is less important and skill is more important compared to the base game. I think most players feel it strikes a desired balance between the two factors, a better one than no-draft.
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Peter S.
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fwduewer wrote:
(3) Mostly as a side offect of (2), corporations that feature card draw / increases in card usability (Inventrix), increased benefit to TR cards (UNMI), and/or boosts to standard projects effectiveness (Polyphemos, Credicor, UNMI, Thorgate) will be relatively weaker.
It's a very minor point, but worth using to highlight how tricky this can be to evaluate.

In my experience, Inventrix loves drafting. You're hunting for cards with global requirements, and said requirements often make those cards unplayable by others (and thus much more likely to be passed to you).

Polyphemos, by necessarily wanting to be much more selective in which cards are bought, benefits quite a bit from seeing more cards and for having the opportunity to leverage their choosiness as hate-drafting (in the last game I played with them, they took at least three hate-only rounds where they bought nothing).

UNMI doesn't get more out of standard projects than others - the cheaper they can get that first TR increase of the round, the better. If they're hunting for cards that give cheap TR, they benefit from seeing more cards.

Thorgate's discount on a standard project is made weaker by everyone seeing more cards, but their discount on energy tags is made stronger. The net might still lean away from drafting, though I wouldn't suspect it to be by much.

That is, I suspect drafting is more of a rising-tide-lifting-all-boats situation (as others have stated), as I find it difficult to identify a case where a particular corporation isn't able to leverage the draft.
 
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Peter S.
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Also, I prefer drafting just 'cuz I like drafting (in a non-game-specific sense). I find it fun.
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Not sure if it was mentioned, but draft also leverages skill of predicting opponents play, because you can guess what they will pick from the cards you are passing. You can even encourage certain play that fits your strategy ("I will generously give you this titanium mine that you need so badly". Wink, wink)
This is especially true in smaller player counts.

In 2/3p games one more factor comes to play: you can plan around what might (3p) or what will (2p) come back to you in draft. In 3p if you got 2 equally good cards leave the one less tempting to opponents or less obvious as useful for you. It might go around and back to you.

In 2p if you got 2 cards raising energy and 1 raising titanium production and you need both then pick titanium - at least one energy card will be back.
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