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Subject: Regarding Craft cards rss

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Echo Chan
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I had played this game once and our group(4 people) had found out that once a round only 12 craft card comes up, so it is possible that one occupation might not come up and hence delay the game or screw people's plan. Can someone comment on this? Is this a flaw? Please help!!!
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Calm down! You've only played once and already you're mentioning words like 'flaw' and using three exclamtion points as if you're in a state of blind panic...?

Of course it is intentional that sometimes a particular craft might not come up, although with 12 cards that is rather unlikely. 'Delaying the game'...? Hardly: there is no need for all craft cards to be sold off, and if there is nothing interesting for you remaining (doesn't happen very often), simply pass and collect money instead. There's just one or two rounds where noone can use the crafts on offer per game. That's not so bad. 'Screw people's plan'...? Of course, that's the general idea! Once underway, this is the only source of randomness in the game; if you and your fellow players dislike random elements, I suggest you play something more deterministic instead.

I have not found the randomness of the craft cards to be a hindrance in my games. People on the other hand are annoying as hell. They always seem to get in my way: moving the caravan beyond a spot I wanted to move to, filling up the farmer spaces so I don't get the right produce, kicking me out of temples, planting plants in the Gardens before I can, ... This is a major flaw in the game which needs to be ironed out as soon as possible!
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Karis Shem
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Thank you Maarten,

I've seen this remark about Craft cards quite frequently those days, and i would like to add a few remarks.

1) Yes, this system is totally intentional. It's even a part of the tension. You've got to prepare everything in this game, and if you really really need a specific craft which is not there, then you've made a mistake (you should have taken it early). If the card is not there and you don't really need anything else, just pass.

2) Your chance to obtain a specific card early in the turn increases with your position in the turn order (and you know what will be this position). That's an element of the game. Play with craft cards at will and there will be no more tension...

3) In the other hand, it's really rare to find a missing craft in a 4-player game (2-player is a bit different) and even if it does happen, then it'll probably be there next turn. I don't remember the odds (maybe someone can calculate them ?), but the chance to have no peasants on 1 turn is really low, on 2 following turns is really really low, and for 3 turns, it's stellar. I've read a remark about the fact it'll happen someday. Well, maybe (and maybe i'll win the lottery), but what will be the problem ? Everyone will pass early and then there will be a new turn...

4) The game lenght is generally between 7 and 10 turns. It has no direct relationship with the craft cards. Even if there's one turn without a peasant, i'm pretty sure it won't change many things, but this situation occured only once in 200 games (with an engineer) and it was not a problem.

To conclude i'd say that you can't say "it'll happen someday so the game is flawed". Just play, and if you find a flaw, let's discuss about it...
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Karis Shem
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Hello again !

I've made some quick calculus. If, i'm wrong, please correct me.

There's 18 cards

5 Peasants - 5 Merchants - 4 Priests and 4 Engineers

In a 4-player game 12 cards are on the table and if i'm not wrong :


-------------------------------------------------------------------

Over 1 turn, the probability to have no Peasant at all is equal to 0.07% or (1 chance over 1429)
The probabibity to have 1 Peasant exactly (not more) is equal to 2.1%

So there around 99,93% chances to find a peasant and around 98% chances to have 2 peasants or more...

The probability for the Merchants is the same (of course)


For the the Priests (or the engineer) :

The probability to have no Priest at all is equal to 0.5% (1 chance over 200)
The probabibity to have 1 Priest exactly (not more) is equal to 7.8%

So there around 99,5% chances to find a priest and around 92% chances to have 2 priests or more...

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Over 2 turns, the figures for "no peasant" or "no priest" grow to :

no peasant/no merchant : 0.000049% (1 chance over 2 millions !)
no priest/no engineer : 0.0025% (1 chance over 40000 !)

I won't calculate for more than 2 turns, because figures are impressive enough at this stage...

Make your own conclusions.

Regards,
Cyril



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Morgan Dontanville
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cymric wrote:
Calm down! You've only played once and already you're mentioning words like 'flaw' and using three exclamtion points as if you're in a state of blind panic...?


I was in that game and I certainly see this a a "flaw" when appealing to my tastes. We quit the game after a few HOURS because we couldn't get anything accomplished. There is no need to be an ass about it. I'd hardly call it blind panic.

cymric wrote:
Of course it is intentional that sometimes a particular craft might not come up, although with 12 cards that is rather unlikely. 'Delaying the game'...? Hardly: there is no need for all craft cards to be sold off, and if there is nothing interesting for you remaining (doesn't happen very often), simply pass and collect money instead.


Yes, but what is your solution to when you already have more money than you need. Pass so that you get more money? I like games where you have to time when you strike to get take advantage of situations, but often in this game you are just passing until you are offered the obvious selections.

cymric wrote:
There's just one or two rounds where noone can use the crafts on offer per game.


This is absolutely true, unfortunately it is also true that there will be one or two rounds where only one or two people will be able to take crafts.

This means that the likelihood of having to wait multiple to actually do something is way to high for what I expect from a modern game design.

cymric wrote:
That's not so bad.


I'm going to go with "bad".

cymric wrote:
if you and your fellow players dislike random elements, I suggest you play something more deterministic instead.


This is very good advice. I will admit I am not a fan of random elements. There are certainly games that have random elements that I enjoy, but these are the exceptions to the rules. Because Amyitis gives the impression that it is a much more serious, deeper and intense game than what I expect from a game with random elements, it comes as a disappointment.

Historically, I have always found that games that offer random actions to be a bit more fragile than those that offer a menu of available actions. Minos pulls it off with rerolls, but even games like War of the Ring still feel a bit flawed to me as there may be times where you just can't do anything worthwhile.

The fact that some actions are just better at times than others means that those actions, when available, will always be taken first. When there is a dry spell of commodities you can expect the commodities to be taken first when they pop up. When there are no camels, camels will be taken.

Honestly, I don't care what the statistics are. When you have this kind of set-up your game can yield flukey results. It happened in our game, it can happen in others. What is worse, is that it isn't just if the cards get flukey one way, the game can slow down dramatically in multiple ways (little to no Aqueducts, little to no Camels, little to no Merchants). Because of the lack of fixed turns, or any kind of sand timer this game can stretch on without any end in sight.

Perhaps there are too many Priests. If you took out priests then it would add to the value of the already weak temple strategy and would encourage more draws of other more useful, game accelerating actions.
 
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Karis Shem
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Hi Morgan,

sisteray wrote:
We quit the game after a few HOURS because we couldn't get anything accomplished.


That's really strange since in never saw a game going more than 10 turns (and a turn is around 10 mn). And, believe me there was plenty of playtests, more than 300...

Are you 100% sure you played the rules ok ? I've seen many errors in Essen, like people forgetting the gardens were V shaped (not just columns). This kind of thing can extend the game...

sisteray wrote:

Yes, but what is your solution to when you already have more money than you need. Pass so that you get more money? I like games where you have to time when you strike to get take advantage of situations, but often in this game you are just passing until you are offered the obvious selections.


I must insist, that's really strange too...


sisteray wrote:
This is absolutely true, unfortunately it is also true that there will be one or two rounds where only one or two people will be able to take crafts.


Could you explain me why ? There's always things to do in the game. Even if you don't need a camel now, you can take one for later. Or you can just place in the temple, or grab a ressource, or put an irrigation for 2 points...

sisteray wrote:

The fact that some actions are just better at times than others means that those actions, when available, will always be taken first. When there is a dry spell of commodities you can expect the commodities to be taken first when they pop up. When there are no camels, camels will be taken.


Not exactly. Ressources are limited (you can only stock 2 of them) and sometimes you've got other things to do (like mooving the caravan). Sometimes you need to take the ressource now, cause you need this kind of ressource and so you don't care if there's only one camel available.
In the other hand, if you really need a camel now (because you plan to move the caravan really soon), you've got to grab it even if there's 5 merchants available.

So, when you don't know what to take, maybe you should take the rarest craft card, but if you've got plans, you must follow them.

sisteray wrote:

Honestly, I don't care what the statistics are. When you have this kind of set-up your game can yield flukey results. It happened in our game, it can happen in others.


Could you please give an example ?

sisteray wrote:

What is worse, is that it isn't just if the cards get flukey one way, the game can slow down dramatically in multiple ways (little to no Aqueducts, little to no Camels, little to no Merchants). Because of the lack of fixed turns, or any kind of sand timer this game can stretch on without any end in sight.


I know you're not interested by statistics, but here are the facts : i've never seen a 4-player game lasting over 10 turns.

In one turn you're 100% sure to find at least 3 different craft and 99% sure to find 4 of them. Those 12 cards ensure the game can't last over 10 turns (unless players refuse to irrigate or plant, which is the goal of the game)

sisteray wrote:

Perhaps there are too many Priests. If you took out priests then it would add to the value of the already weak temple strategy and would encourage more draws of other more useful, game accelerating actions.


That's a funny point of view (no offense), since for most of the testing groups with enough games under their belt, priests are often a first choice during the recruitment step.

There's no "Temple strategy" in this game, but temple are used complementary to different strategies. Good use of the priests and the procession is necessary to master the game. But once again i'm really puzzled and i'm pretty sure there was a big problem with your game, so i'm really waiting for your answers.

Regards,
Cyril
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Maarten D. de Jong
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sisteray wrote:
I was in that game and I certainly see this a a "flaw" when appealing to my tastes. We quit the game after a few HOURS because we couldn't get anything accomplished. There is no need to be an ass about it. I'd hardly call it blind panic.

With all due respect---you didn't write down the question; it was still your first game; and I can be as assy as I see fit, and in this case, I was only mildly so. Now that we both have had our chance to shout against each other, I suggest we leave the name calling out of this discussion and try to act like civilised adults.

Have you considered the possibility of a rules error? See my question about speeding up the 2-player game in this forum to read about my first experience with Amyitis: not a pretty one, I can assure you, and that all because of a minor oversight in the way the gardens function.

sisteray wrote:
Yes, but what is your solution to when you already have more money than you need. Pass so that you get more money? I like games where you have to time when you strike to get take advantage of situations, but often in this game you are just passing until you are offered the obvious selections.

Then perhaps the 'flaw' is in the way you and your fellow players thought how the game worked? Remember, all I had to go on was a message about trade cards locking up game play. I think that is a rather strange statement as all of them are useful in their own way save for, perhaps, the engineer. If played carelessly in the beginning of the game, another player can easily take advantage of you in that case, leaving you with nothing but an empty pouch and a few measly points. Which crafts were holding up play? How many cards were still waiting to be selected once everyone started to pass? Did you realise that moving the caravan on the secondary game board is not tied to chosing a craft card?

sisteray wrote:
This is absolutely true, unfortunately it is also true that there will be one or two rounds where only one or two people will be able to take crafts.

This doesn't sound like a bad deal to me, really. In my games to date, there was always a time when I would be able to spend the money I thus obtained (from passing, I mean) because there were crafts on display I would be interested in. Somehow, somewhere, that balance has gone missing in your game. Or rather, I have not experienced the imbalance you describe in my games to date.

sisteray wrote:
This means that the likelihood of having to wait multiple to actually do something is way to high for what I expect from a modern game design.

That depends of course on the way Amyitis plays out. As I said, my games have not been a carbon copy of yours, and from the looks of things, Cyril's a bit confused about it too.

sisteray wrote:
cymric wrote:
if you and your fellow players dislike random elements, I suggest you play something more deterministic instead.

This is very good advice. I will admit I am not a fan of random elements. There are certainly games that have random elements that I enjoy, but these are the exceptions to the rules. Because Amyitis gives the impression that it is a much more serious, deeper and intense game than what I expect from a game with random elements, it comes as a disappointment.

I wouldn't go as far as to call Amyitis 'deep'---there aren't that many ways in which you can obtain the points you need for a victory, and the other players can, through their actions, force a certain way of playing on you should you wish to remain competitive. I'm not saying it is easy to see that path through (there will be plenty of resistence along the way so the game could be classified as 'intense'), but I am saying that if I were forced to point out a 'flaw' in this game, it is this one. Because my experience has been quite different from yours, and I was arrogant enough to assume you played according to the right rules---which seems a bit of a weak assumption the more I think about it---I also assumed the 'natural' randomness simply did not sit right with you. It happens: some people like to be in control of everything. I prefer a light touch of uncertainty.

Quote:
Historically, I have always found that games that offer random actions to be a bit more fragile than those that offer a menu of available actions. Minos pulls it off with rerolls, but even games like War of the Ring still feel a bit flawed to me as there may be times where you just can't do anything worthwhile.

There we are in agreement, although I lack your experience in Minos and War of the Ring. In my case, however, I have found that difference in player level is magnified without random elements: if one's game group sees a lot of variation, then this is a problem. Additionally, games where a lot more rides on my own skill take longer to master, so I have to be a bit careful with those I chose to play---I simply don't have the time to master them all. This tends to make me a bit sceptical of such titles.

Quote:
The fact that some actions are just better at times than others means that those actions, when available, will always be taken first. When there is a dry spell of commodities you can expect the commodities to be taken first when they pop up. When there are no camels, camels will be taken.

Not necessarily so. Chances are fairly high, of course, but on more than one occasion have I let someone else fill up a farm field so I could play a priest and secure the proper resource I needed to move the caravan to a specific city. Also, if by taking a farmer I fill the before-last square on a row, then I know that whomever finishes the row gets a joker resource. Unless I get the gardener, I'm not inclined to let someone else have those two valuable items, and thus not interested in filling up the before-last square in the row, even if I was short on 'em. The exception if of course if I could make an in my opinion much better move with the caravan with the resource in that 'difficult' square. Likewise, if I have a camel driver up to skill level 2, then I'm not inclined to grab a camel at first sight even if there's a shortage of them.

The tendency is there, of course, but if it turns into a Pavlov-reaction I think you'd be missing out on a few subtle decisions which are quite likely to have a negative impact on your play.
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Thomas Cauet
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sisteray wrote:

Honestly, I don't care what the statistics are. When you have this kind of set-up your game can yield flukey results. It happened in our game, it can happen in others. What is worse, is that it isn't just if the cards get flukey one way, the game can slow down dramatically in multiple ways (little to no Aqueducts, little to no Camels, little to no Merchants). Because of the lack of fixed turns, or any kind of sand timer this game can stretch on without any end in sight.

What I don't understand is: since we reshuffle the craft cards at the beginning of each turn, I don't see a problem of not having a specific craft one turn (which is rare) since it will normally be available the next turn.

Priests are like the rest of craft: too much investment are counter productive (you keep the priests in the temples until they are pushed by other priests?), too few and other players will sometimes take advantage of them 3 turns in row.

If your game takes a few hours then I understand you find this boring (really 2 hours should be a maximum, usually it's more one hour and a half). I don't know if you'll have the patience to skim through the rules again to see if you didn't miss anything (well to be honest I hope you missed something because I though you will like the game... then it won't be the first time I'm wrong ).
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Karis Shem
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Maybe Thomas pointed out the problem : do you reshuffle ALL the cards at the beginning of the turn ?
 
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Morgan Dontanville
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Karis wrote:
Maybe Thomas pointed out the problem : do you reshuffle ALL the cards at the beginning of the turn ?


Well, yes. The rules state that you reshuffle the cards at the beginning of turn set up.
 
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Karis Shem
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So all the 18 cards at the beginning of each turn ?

And do you have an idea of the number of turns which were played ? Which "bad" configuration of cards occured ?
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Karis wrote:
So all the 18 cards at the beginning of each turn ?

And do you have an idea of the number of turns which were played ? Which "bad" configuration of cards occured ?



In a four player game you lay out four groups of three. That makes 12 cards laid out at the beginning of each turn.

I can only hazard a guess of the number of turns. 7? 8? We were about halfway done.

Echo you have a more accurate number?
 
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Sorry i was not clear : normally at the beginning of each turn, you shuffle all 18 cards and prepare 4 groups of 3, which you apparently did (but i've seen people playing with the same 12 cards for the whole game).

Halfway : Do you mean 8 plants already planted ? Because the game ends when there's 4 plants remaining (or less), and the end is quite quick (normally 3 or 4 plants in the last turn).

Also did you noticed the V shape of the gardens ? For example there's only 4 plants of quality 3 (we've seen this error too)

And which kind of bad setup did you sorted with the cards ?

Sorry for all these questions, but i'm trying to guess why your game went wrong.

Regards,
Cyril
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Karis wrote:
Sorry i was not clear : normally at the beginning of each turn, you shuffle all 18 cards and prepare 4 groups of 3, which you apparently did (but i've seen people playing with the same 12 cards for the whole game).

Halfway : Do you mean 8 plants already planted ? Because the game ends when there's 4 plants remaining (or less), and the end is quite quick (normally 3 or 4 plants in the last turn).

Also did you noticed the V shape of the gardens ? For example there's only 4 plants of quality 3 (we've seen this error too)

And which kind of bad setup did you sorted with the cards ?

Sorry for all these questions, but i'm trying to guess why your game went wrong.

Regards,
Cyril


This reminds me of conversations with Tech Guys.

From my reread of the rules I didn't see anything we missed. We had a number of turns where there was a shortage of goods being produced. This made the Temple one of the only places to get goods for a while.

I seriously can't remember how many turns we played or how many plants were built, but we weren't building that many plants as we didn't have goods to move the camel to build the garden.
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sisteray wrote:

From my reread of the rules I didn't see anything we missed. We had a number of turns where there was a shortage of goods being produced. This made the Temple one of the only places to get goods for a while.

Thanks for reading them again.
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sisteray wrote:


This reminds me of conversations with Tech Guys.
Sorry

Quote:

From my reread of the rules I didn't see anything we missed. We had a number of turns where there was a shortage of goods being produced. This made the Temple one of the only places to get goods for a while.


As i said it's strange to have les than 2 peasants for several turns. Even less than 3...

But anyway, you can't hoard ressources (since there's a limit), so peasants aren't always that interesting. There's always things to do with other craft cards. Irrigating for 2 victory points, collecting a camel to move the caravan (you always need camels even if you invested in the caravaneer) or place one priest in the temple (always valuable since the temple are never emptied). If none of those roles is interesting, you can move the caravan, so there's plenty of options available...

Quote:

I seriously can't remember how many turns we played or how many plants were built, but we weren't building that many plants as we didn't have goods to move the camel to build(since the limit is 2) the garden.


And do you have an idea about the lenght ?

For the (intended) limit of the ressource, it's only checked at the end of the turn, so you may possess more than 2 ressources during the turn. And what did you made with those ressource you collected ? In 7 turns, you probably had at least 15 peasants + 7 ressources from the Temple (less is nearly impossible).

Sorry for all those questions.

REgards,
Cyril
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I was also in that game with Morgan and Echo, and I also felt that the random nature of what actions were available was problematic.

In our game, there was a scarcity of engineers in the early game and a scarcity of peasants in the mid-game (we called it quits early so we never reached the endgame). By scarcity I mean that there were between 0 and 2 of those actions available for several rounds in a row.

I think the probabilities presented earlier in this thread are a little misleading, as they suggest that a situation as the one we were in is extremely unlikely. Sure, the chances of there being NO peasant cards for 3-4 rounds in a row are microscopic, but the chances of there being just 2 peasant cards (or less) for 3-4 rounds in a row are much more real and WILL occur at least every couple games (not necessarily with peasants but with one of the available actions for sure)

By itself, I don't think this "random actions available" is necessarily a flawed mechanic, but in Amyitis the problem gets exacerbated by the fact that several distinct resources and conditions are required to accomplish the most simple goals, e.g. in order to buy a tile I need to a) obtain the appropriate resources, b) be able to travel to the city space where those resources can be turned in, which requires camels and proper timing, c) have the desired tile be irrigated, and possibly d) own a special green card that lets you build one level above normal in the garden.

The problem is that it only takes me a couple second to figure out how to execute my plan, but it could take me 3-4 rounds before I even get the two resources I need (let's not even get into all the other requirements), so the game (imho) suffers from a serious lack of density of meaningful decisions... I feel like I am just waiting around for an opportunity to amass enough different resources and be in a position to grab a tile (or a special card that scores VPs), which can be frustrating when I have already been waiting a round or two for that resource I need only to see the first two players snatch up the only peasant cards available-- this was a prevalent phenomenon in our game.

I plan on playing Amyitis again sometime to give it another chance, and when I do I'll come back here and post my thoughts. But sadly I must say that I found the first game a disappointment and I feel that there are issues present that weren't "just a fluke".
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Hi John,

verandi wrote:

In our game, there was a scarcity of engineers in the early game and a scarcity of peasants in the mid-game (we called it quits early so we never reached the endgame). By scarcity I mean that there were between 0 and 2 of those actions available for several rounds in a row.


Scarcity (i've learned a new word !) of priests/engineers is not the same as scarcity of merchants/peasants because :

- With only one single irrigation, you may "open" 2 plants.
- The temples are never emptied.

For those reasons, the game contains only 4 priests and 4 engineers, which is enough (but as a consequence the probability to have less of these 2 is bigger and it's normal and frequent to find 2 or less of these 2)...

Quote:

I think the probabilities presented earlier in this thread are a little misleading, as they suggest that a situation as the one we were in is extremely unlikely. Sure, the chances of there being NO peasant cards for 3-4 rounds in a row are microscopic, but the chances of there being just 2 peasant cards (or less) for 3-4 rounds in a row are much more real and WILL occur at least every couple games (not necessarily
with peasants but with one of the available actions for sure)


I'm sorry but that's still really unlikely to happen for peasants :

The probability to have 2 or less peasants for 1 turn is equal to 17,5%. If i'm not wrong, it means the probability to have 2 peasants or less in 4 different rounds of the game (not necessraly consecutive) is equal to 0,09% (1 chance over 1063), so i won't say it does happen every couple games...

In fact there's even more chance to have 4 peasants than 2 or less. Here are the statistics :

0 peasant : 0.07% ----- 0 engineers : 0,5%
1 peasant : 2.1% ------ 1 engineer : 8%
2 peasants : 15,4% ---- 2 engineers : 32%
3 peasants : 46% ------ 3 engineers : 43%
4 peasants : 27,5% ---- 4 engineers : 16%
5 peasants : 9% ------- 5 engineers : N/A

As we can see the most probable distribution is 3 of each...

Of course things are more complicated if you want to calculate for 4 professions, but as i've explained the setting is more complicated than it appears, since all professions are not equally used. Also, one "poorly represented" profession means more of the others (of course it's not possible to have a shortage of 2 professions at the same time)...

Of course, it doesn't mean that one "really disturbing game" can't happen (and maybe you had one), but it means it can't happen every couple of games. As i said i never saw or was never reported a round without peasant. I've seen one round without engineer, but that's all...

But even if it happens : over 8 turns, let's imagine 4 turns at 2 peasants plus 4 "normal" turns at 3 peasants (no turns at 0,1,4 or 5 peasants ; so we had a really really bad setup). We must add 8 ressources from the temple of Tammouz. It means 28 ressources distributed (plus possibly those on the caravaneer), which is enough for playing a normal game (we're talking about 28 ressouces instead of 32 in a "medium" game with 3 peasants each turn). With just 1 ressource you can plant and you can buy a development card, so this shortage is not that big...

Quote:

By itself, I don't think this "random actions available" is necessarily a flawed mechanic, but in Amyitis the problem gets exacerbated by the fact that several distinct resources and conditions are required to accomplish the most simple goals, e.g. in order to buy a tile I need to a) obtain the appropriate resources, b) be able to travel to the city space where those resources can be turned in, which requires camels and proper timing, c) have the desired tile be irrigated, and possibly d) own a special green card that lets you build one level above normal in the garden.


In fact, that's the point of the game. In Amyitis, you can't hoard ressources, you can't play alone. You 've got to take care of the movement of the caravan by noticing the kind of ressources possessed by your opponents. So in a sense, you're right : in Amytitis everything is about the tempo. But it doesn't mean you've got to choose a plant and spend 3 turns gathering the needed ressources to plant it. It just means that you must gather good multi purpose ressources, and be sure you'll have the camels and a good irrigation scheme. Also caravaneers are useful to reach distant plants...

Of course, the turn order is critical for recruting and planting, but (good news) this is a perfect information.

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The problem is that it only takes me a couple second to figure out how to execute my plan, but it could take me 3-4 rounds before I even get the two resources I need (let's not even get into all the other requirements), so the game (imho) suffers from a serious lack of density of meaningful decisions... I feel like I am just waiting around for an opportunity to amass enough different resources and be in a position to grab a tile (or a special card that scores VPs), which can be frustrating when I have already been waiting a round or two for that resource I need only to see the first two players snatch up the only peasant cards available-- this was a prevalent phenomenon in our game.


I see what you mean, but believe me, the game has a huge learning curve. There's always plenty of things to do in a turn, even if you don't have an access to the desired ressource. I wish i could play the next one with you, but maybe it'll be difficult a bit

Quote:

I plan on playing Amyitis again sometime to give it another chance, and when I do I'll come back here and post my thoughts. But sadly I must say that I found the first game a disappointment and I feel that there are issues present that weren't "just a fluke".


All i can say is that the game was playtested more than 200 times, and we think the game is well balanced. You may try many different strategies based on the cards and temples and all of them let you some chances. But maybe this game simply don't work for you. Thank you for your time anyway and don't hesitate to come back here and post your thoughts.


REgards,
Cyril
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Morgan Dontanville
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Under the optimal condition of evenly dividing 28 resources over 8 turns in a four player game means that each player has only 6 to work with. Hopefully they will have the right ratio, camels and be positioned well enough to use them along with not suffering overflow penalties.

Clearly this game just isn't for my tastes and that is fine. I see that other players are enjoying this. I'm happy this game has found a home.
 
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Karis Shem
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In fact, that's 7 but once again this game with only 28 ressources will happen once in 1000 games. The reality is at least 8 and probably more.

But i agree with you conclusion
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Paul Allwood
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Sorry if a bit late to add to this thread, but I found it interesting. I played Amyitis last night, albeit two player. I also found it difficult to see how anyone could have a problem not finding something useful to do from the craftsmen on offer. One thing that occured to me that may have made a difference, is if you played that only the player with a majority in the irrigation of a field could plant there, or that a field had to be completely irrigated on all 4 sides, or some similar restriction in how you plant; I know that this confused me initially. That could certainly bog the game down!

Paul
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Dan Freedman
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This is an interesting thread. I'm about 6 months late to it, but thought I would comment anyway.

My latest 4er game saw a little of what Morgan mentioned. Not many resources/peasants appeared. In particular, one player kept getting screwed out of resources/peasants. If he was 4th, 3 peasants would come out. If he went earlier, he would just miss out on the free peasant and the "pay 1 gold" peasant. As I remember it, he wasn't always immediately jumping on the "pay 2 gold" peasant. In hindsight, he probably should have been paying 2 for one when available. Peasants were at a premium. Maybe the deck wasn't shuffled well enough. I began to think that as it just seemed weird that more peasants weren't coming out. Anyways, he was doing what was suggested above and taking other cheap resources. In fact, I think at one point, he may of had 8 camels.

And what I've noticed is that resources are essential. Moving the caravan (to plant or get improvements) is vital, and you need resources to do that...and you need peasants to get resources. The only other way to get resources is getting 1st place in that one temple. But due to the scarcity of resources in our game, everyone was jumping in on that temple...so putting a cube in there was never a sure thing. I went in there once and never even got 2nd place.

Our game didn't really run long since some peasants came out. It was just that one player got particularly hosed by the number of peasants that came out. He finished in last place by a large margin. I'm not sure he really could have done any better. If memory serves, early in the game, he may have passed on a couple early "pay 2 for peasant" cards, but it's hard to blame him since it seemed reasonable that he could get one for less later in the game.

Maybe an "in case of emergency, break glass" rule would be good? Trade 5 gold or camels in any combination for 1 resource?



 
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Stephen Tudor
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So the problem is that you aren't able to do everything you want to do in a turn?

Some call this "turn angst", and many players see it as a desirable feature to have in a game. devil
 
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Dan Freedman
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smtudor wrote:
So the problem is that you aren't able to do everything you want to do in a turn?

Some call this "turn angst", and many players see it as a desirable feature to have in a game. devil


Cool, I didn't expect a reply since the thread was so old. The problem was that the player had no way to generate VPs to remain competitive...due to scarcity of resources when his turned rolled around.

But yes, there was plenty of "turn angst" for him as we often selected the last peasant right before he got a turn.
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Double Dan wrote:
And what I've noticed is that resources are essential.

The trouble with this game is that once everyone locks themselves into believing that resources are essential, alternative means of playing the game become less visible. Resources are important, yes. But not as important as getting VPs.

Quote:
Moving the caravan (to plant or get improvements) is vital, and you need resources to do that...and you need peasants to get resources. The only other way to get resources is getting 1st place in that one temple. But due to the scarcity of resources in our game, everyone was jumping in on that temple...so putting a cube in there was never a sure thing. I went in there once and never even got 2nd place.

See? The game is not capable of handling four players attempting the same strategy, you must diversify. If you don't, one player gets hosed. Had he focussed his attention on the middle temple, he'd've been bagging 2 VP every turn. Now add consistent use of engineers to the mix: 2 VP per placed cube, plus VP for having the majority of cubes in the canals surrounding a part of the garden. If noone is actively blocking him, he would've stood a very good chance of winning the game.

Second, if you want to play temples, you have to work them. Use a combination of it being your turn to add cubes to temples at the end of a game round and priest cards to set yourself up for 1st place for a round or 2. Any less effort is just a waste of energy.

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I'm not sure he really could have done any better.

He could. He was just too inexperienced to see alternatives.

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Maybe an "in case of emergency, break glass" rule would be good? Trade 5 gold or camels in any combination for 1 resource?

Definitely not. First play the game 10 times or so while trying out various combinations of strategies and tactics. Once you have a feeling for the game's balance, you'll understand why I wrote what I did. You will also recognise the true flaw in Amyitis' design: what you want to do is not always a conscious decision on your part, but rather forced on you by the game and the actions of the other players. Winning is by no means a given, and execution of the stragegy not always easy, but your choices are in my opinion not as free as they appear to be.
 
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