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Agricola» Forums » General

Subject: Broken? A Look at Some of the More Controversial Occupations rss

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jbrier
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The biggest complaint that has been lodged against this game is that the cards are imbalanced, and in particular that there are a few Occupations that are "broken", too powerful. Let's take a look at them.

Ratcatcher(E): In rounds 10 and 12, all other players may not place one of their family's offspring.

I don't see what all the fuss is with the Ratcatcher. Compared to the many other Occupations that give you upwards of 6-7 resources throughout the game, this card doesn't actually give you anything. It just (probably) robs the other players of their last action in two non-harvest rounds. While this is nothing to sneeze at, it is also true that by the time a player's third or fourth placement comes around the pickings aren't really that good anyways. If the Ratcatcher took effect only one round instead of two, or if it didn't affect a player's 3rd family member, it would almost never get played. As is, you're just netting a one-action advantage over the other players (since it cost you an action to bring the Occupation into play)


Chamberlain(I): At the start of round 11, turn over the round cards for the remaining rounds. You (and only you) can use these actions immediately; the other players must wait until the appropriate round.

This card seems to always elicit eye rolling and screams of "broken!" whenever it comes up. Certain BGG reviewers will even call the game after the deal when they get this card http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/307192. What a mess! But is it really that bad? Once again, we're talking about a card that doesn't actually give you anything material. Undoubtedly, the opportunity to take those last three actions before other people can is strong; but let's keep some perspective here- how powerful is it to get a crack at those actions a few turns early? What material advantage do you end up getting over the other players? "Plow and/or Sow 1 Field" and "After Renovate, also Fences" are combinations of previously available actions (some of which are combined themselves on earlier cards, e.g. "Sow and/or Bake Bread"). What is being gained when a person goes on these spaces is the efficiency of not having to spend two turns to take the two different actions, supposing that it is exactly those two actions that the person wanted to take. But in spending an action to bring the Occupation into play, you now need to compensate for a whole lost turn before even breaking even (and remember, you aren't actually getting any free actions- you take those later actions instead of doing something else). In the end, I don't think the actual advantage adds up to something significantly more than what many other Occupation cards give you. To me the strongest feature of this card is the ability to take the "Family Growth, even without room in your house" space, once or twice before other players have a chance to. But is it game breaking? Eh, I don't think so. Also remember: in taking "unavailable" spaces, you are lessening the competition for all the other spaces on the board.

Taster(I): Whenever another player is the Starting player, you can pay him/her 1 food at the start of the round and be the first to place a Family member. After that, play starts with the Starting player as usual.

Now this one I think is more powerful than the two mentioned above. This doesn't just let you have a guaranteed crack at actions 12, 13, and 14, but at ANY action from as early as round 2! All you have to pay is a food to the Start player. As soon as you establish enough of a food engine that 1 food per round is pretty much expendable, this card is a powerhouse, giving you two early picks possibly before other players have even had their first. I think the card would be more balanced if you were trading your first placement to go first, rather than your last (so in other words, your first normal placement would be skipped). The only game where I saw this in play I was the one who played it, so I was naturally all smiles, but other players (especially the guy to my left) expressed considerable frustration with not being able to get a single turn before I had already taken two (his only way to prevent this would be to become the Starting player).

Wet Nurse(K): Whenever you build room(s), you may grow your family by up to the number of rooms that you build. this costs 1 food per person.

There are a handful of cards that let you get additional family members earlier than usual, usually with some expense that tries to balance things out, e.g. Lover. Of that group of cards, I find the Wet Nurse to be the best by far. If you quickly get the resources to build two rooms in one go, you can grow your family to 4 members, thus saving yourself the competition for Family Growth TWICE (not to mention saving two actions), and it all only costs you an additional 2 food. The only drawback is that you now have to feed your family 8 food each harvest, which is twice as much as other people have to. If you can in the first couple rounds amass the building resources AND enough food to hold you over though, the Wet Nurse can be lethal. Usually, however, this is not easy to do before the time that the Family Growth action becomes available anyways, so the advantage is usually not as drastic as it seems. I don't think this card is broken, but I thought I'd bring it up as the best card in a class of cards that ostensibly seems imbalanced but in practice turns out not to be.

Mail Coach Driver(Z): From now until the end of the game, the other players only receive goods from Action spaces when they return their family members to their home.

I admit, I've never seen this in play, but it seems pretty insane. I understand why they published it- the card really changes the texture of the game in an interesting way. But is it too advantageous for that person who gets it? Although it is yet another card that doesn't give you anything material, in this case the intangible advantage is huge (it seems to me theoretically). Just consider the advantage this player gets in Round 14! I'll have to see this in action before really making a judgment, but I am worried that this is perhaps too intense, and thus (unlike any of the other cards on this list except perhaps the Taster) will merit being removed.

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Alex Rockwell
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Wet Nurse is the only one that really seems broken. And I would say its completely broken, especially if used very early in the game.

Chamberlain seems very strong, because you can use very powerful actions with your late in the round people, that others couldnt block. I would have to play with it to see if it was actually broken though. Generally, something thats good late is a lot less likely to be broken than something thats good early.


Ratcatcher seems completely not broken to me. I had it twice yesterday and never even played it (3 player, one opponent didnt have more than 2 people by the time round 9 came around). Taster is good but it basically just makes you always start player, at a cost. And mail coach driver seems maybe a bit weak to me.

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Scott Russell
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Wet Nurse may be strong. Broken? I don't know. Free actions are very powerful. It might be better if limited to only one new kid per build. (So even if two rooms are built only allow a single new family.)

I've not actually seen it used, yet, but Mail Coach Driver sounds too powerful.

Maybe this has been discussed before, but how much would the game suffer if all the occupations (and maybe the minor improvements) were dealt face up at the beginning and any player could select and play them as if they were coming from hand?

What are folks' opinions on the draft system mentioned as an option?
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David Pontier
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Getting more family members early sounds really good, but there are two issues with it. One is that it only really saves you one action, since you (usually) have to use an action to play the wet nurse, so if you get two kids out of the deal, then you've only avoided having to use the family growth option once.

Also, I find it is always the hardest to feed my family in the second Phase and the easiest to do it in the last phase when all of my pastures and fields are full. So most likely, you will have to use the extra family members you have to get food to feed them, or you will have to use grain or animals that you would rather plant or reproduce.
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Scott Russell
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Piqsid wrote:
Getting more family members early sounds really good, but there are two issues with it. One is that it only really saves you one action, since you (usually) have to use an action to play the wet nurse, so if you get two kids out of the deal, then you've only avoided having to use the family growth option once.



You can add a new person in each new room, I think.

I often wait until I can afford to build two rooms.
 
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Dave Kudzma
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Meh. I never bother thinking about games this hard. I play. I win or lose.

I will say that when the mail coach driver was introduced I did think "we might never use that one".
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Jerry Hagen
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qzhdad wrote:
Piqsid wrote:
Getting more family members early sounds really good, but there are two issues with it. One is that it only really saves you one action, since you (usually) have to use an action to play the wet nurse, so if you get two kids out of the deal, then you've only avoided having to use the family growth option once.



You can add a new person in each new room, I think.

I often wait until I can afford to build two rooms.


You also change the timing of the family growth action. Assume that without Wet Nurse you would take two actions, Build Room and Family Growth. With Wet Nurse, you take Occupation and Build Room instead, which means you can invest an action in family growth before acquiring 5 wood and 2 reeds. Depending on the game state, that might allow you to grow your family during a round when you otherwise would have lost the battle for the Family Growth space. Or it might allow you to grow your family before Round 5.
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Tom Rybak
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Played my first game yesterday. A 5-player game. The only profession of the above that anyone had in hand was Taster. He played it on the second turn (first turn he took Starting Player action as his first action so he could play occupation). The cost to play first is rather minimal (one food, essentially giving everyone else three food and you the "penalty" of only two food). But in return for the "cost" you gain first pick every round, going twice before some players even get to place their first family member, and avoid ever having to take the Starting Player action. On the other hand I had to re-evaluate everything every turn because many a time not even Starting Player was available to me when my turn finally came around. Ironically that player won the game by a large margin.

It's fairly powerful in a 5-player game with diminishing power as the number of players decreases. In a 2-player game its power is okay but definitely not even close.

T
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jbrier
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Alexfrog wrote:
Wet Nurse is the only one that really seems broken. And I would say its completely broken, especially if used very early in the game.


Well, I'm not so sure... Firstly, the opportunity cost of bringing it out early must be considered. Early on the Occupation space is hotly contested and there are many other Occupations that if played early are very good. In short, you are spending an early very valuable action to get the Wet Nurse out. Secondly, how early can you realistically make use of her? How many actions will it take you to get the Occupation out AND 5 wood + 2 reed? At least 4 but most likely more. In all likelihood you'll be building your room by round 5 anyways, MAYBE round 4 but then you're really pushing it, especially since you also need 5 food going into harvest.

So if Family Growth becomes available in round 5, you basically paid an action + 1 food for bringing the Occupation into play and another food at the time of building your house, in order to save an action doing Family Growth, which is a hotly contested space no doubt. You will also be saving an action down the line at a price of another food, when you build another room. Not bad altogether but certainly doesn't sound broken, not much better than many other Occupations in the deck. If Family Growth doesn't come out until round 7 then the Wet Nurse is more impressive, but still I wouldn't say broken.

Saving enough materials to build 2 rooms in one go will push you back to at least round 6 or 7, so the issue won't really be one of getting Family Growth before anyone else but just saving the actions. Once again really good but I wouldn't say broken.

Alexfrog wrote:
Chamberlain seems very strong, because you can use very powerful actions with your late in the round people, that others couldnt block. I would have to play with it to see if it was actually broken though. Generally, something thats good late is a lot less likely to be broken than something thats good early.


Yes, the fact that you can save your later placements for using those "unavailable" actions makes the Chamberlain very strong. Also that it is an Occupation you can bring out later, when the Occupation space is less contested so you are spending a less valuable action, food is worth less, etc... maybe Chamberlain would be more balanced if it was just rounds 13 and 14, but would it be too weak then?

Alexfrog wrote:
Ratcatcher seems completely not broken to me. I had it twice yesterday and never even played it (3 player, one opponent didnt have more than 2 people by the time round 9 came around).


Yea, Ratcatcher is the weakest card of the bunch by far. In fact, I take back my earlier statement that I would "always" play it. In effect, you are paying 1-2 food to deprive the other players of a single late placement, since bringing out the Occupation itself cancels out the other placement they are losing. Not really that strong.

Alexfrog wrote:
Taster is good but it basically just makes you always start player, at a cost.


Whoa, that is a huge understatement! I mean being guaranteed start player every round without having to spend an action to take the start player space by itself is already huge, but this is better than that- unless you are last in a round you are actually getting a position that's better than start player. You get to go first and then you ALSO get to go when your first placement would have been- whoa! For the start player it isn't such a raw deal cause he gets a food, but for everyone else it is a serious disadvantage to lose a position in the "first round draft pick".

Alexfrog wrote:
And mail coach driver seems maybe a bit weak to me.


Well, I can't say for sure since I haven't seen it in action yet, but the advantage of being able to limit other players' purchasing ability to what they have going into a round while you can get things during the round (and they can't block the purchasing actions themselves in most cases) is basically giving you a "half-turn" advantage. I'm curious to see it in action.
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Jon W
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TomRybak wrote:
[Taster]'s fairly powerful in a 5-player game with diminishing power as the number of players decreases. In a 2-player game its power is okay but definitely not even close.

Taster is a "4+" card, so it's only included in 4- or 5-player games.
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Matthew M
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Wet Nurse doesn't change the race to the first room - if anything it makes it even more important to be able to build rooms first, and puts you an action back in doing so as you need to get the occupation out first so you can use it. You get that action back when you have a kid, but until you've had your second kid you are about breaking even.

Mail Coach Driver is a lot less severe in practice than it appears - only setting you back about a half turn. As I've mentioned elsewhere, it can even be used to your advantage should your opponent play it as it permits you to claim animals that you don't have room to house and THEN build the fences to house them afterwards.


-MMM
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Seth Jaffee
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Octavian wrote:
Wet Nurse doesn't change the race to the first room - if anything it makes it even more important to be able to build rooms first, and puts you an action back in doing so as you need to get the occupation out first so you can use it. You get that action back when you have a kid, but until you've had your second kid you are about breaking even.

I disagree. You can collect resources instead of being first to build, and then you can be second to build, build 2 rooms at once, and get 2 kids at that time.

Note also that this not only saves you the actions of taking Family Growth, but it GAINS you the actions of the new family members - one action for each action each of them take before such time as you would have taken Family Growth.

The main downfall of the Wet Nurse is that while it saves you trips to the Family Growth space, that means you'll have less opportunity to play Minor Improvements. I noticed that in a solo game, and depending on your draw, you might really want to be playing your Minor Improvements.

Quote:
Mail Coach Driver is a lot less severe in practice than it appears - only setting you back about a half turn. As I've mentioned elsewhere, it can even be used to your advantage should your opponent play it as it permits you to claim animals that you don't have room to house and THEN build the fences to house them afterwards.

this sounds interesting, but I can't bring myself to play it - I am not sure how to use it to good effect.

What concerns me more are the cards that yield many resources... Forester nets 12 wood, resource Seller gives you 7 free resources over the course of the game. There's a clay bringer guy who gives you 10 clay over the next 5 turns... Then there are cards which net you practically nothing.

Sometimes after a game I look at the cards the winner has in play and see how many additional resources they got off of them.
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Michael S
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verandi wrote:
Mail Coach Driver(Z): From now until the end of the game, the other players only receive goods from Action spaces when they return their family members to their home.
I admit that my gut reacts to this one as well, but as with the other ones in this list it may not be as bad as it seems.

---These comments mostly deal with playing against the MCD---

The Mail Coach Driver(MCD) doesn't really affect taking resource actions (you still get the resources just slightly delayed) and it doesn't really affect building actions (you still get to build - if you have the resources). It affects specific action chains.

If we break the actions into two categories, resource gathering (A) and building (B). Mail coach driver has no affect on A->A or B->B or B->A(eg build fences collect wood/grain etc). It only affects A->B (and only when A and B are in the same chain. ie. wood -> fence)

Further, Mail coach driver has zero effect on your first family action (you get the resources you want or the build you want), it starts to possibly affect your building actions on actions 2, 3, 4 and 5. The later the action the more likely it is to be affected, but the less likely the build action you want is going to be available. Imagine the 14th turn of a 5 player game; everyone has got plans going in (like - I'll hit renovate and fences for big points or maybe option B or C or ...). If your crazy plan involves having to pick up the 9 wood and THEN pick 'renovate and fences', I would call you crazy on a good day. The MCD just makes this an impossibility for everyone else. I'd still call the MCD a crazy person if they expect to pull this off.

Further, for the first 5-8 turns in the game you only have two actions and how likely is it that you will get both a "big wood pile" and "fences" in the same turn. So this is really a late game benefit card (but I don't think it's that much of a turn 14 benefit card, see above)

I think the MCD just requires a little more planning and possibly a bit more working on two things at once, which you have to do in Agricola anyway because you need to do everything and don't have time.

Lets look at the building actions: (1-2)Rooms(need building materials), (1-2)occupation(need food), (1)Fences(wood), (2)sow(grain/veg), (1)improvements (building materials), (1)renovate and improve(building materials), (1)renovate and fence, (1)family with minor, (1)start with minor. That's 10-12 out of 29-31 actions.

Most of the time the competition for the various limited action spaces is tight enough that you need start player to get the one you really want anyway. The chance that you're going to get the resource(s) you need and the thing you want to build in the same turn is low. Add to this that almost everyone at the table is having to play by the same rules and planing a bit ahead. I think the MCD may have a slightly easier time getting early action resources, as pre-planning shifts the focus to early turn builds, but not a very easy time getting build actions.

I could see this being absolutely brutal in a two player game but it's a 3 player plus card.

--------------
Cravat - I have not played with the Mail Coach Driver and all this discussion could be mute if it turns out the MCD wins a lot of games, but I'm going to try playing with him a couple times before I toss him from the game.

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sedjtroll wrote:


What concerns me more are the cards that yield many resources... Forester nets 12 wood, resource Seller gives you 7 free resources over the course of the game. There's a clay bringer guy who gives you 10 clay over the next 5 turns... Then there are cards which net you practically nothing.



Yea... I played in a 5-player game with the clay bringer-guy in play and the owner of that card won in a big way. We are all quite amazed at how useful it was.

One thing I learned from that game is to play occupations and imrovements wisely. We did a card draft to start the game and I neded up with lots of cool cards that I wanted to bring into play. SO I raced ahead buying improvements and bringing occs into play. Unfortunately, I learned that such an approach comes at an opportunity cost of resources you could be attaining, which lead to more rooms, more food, and more family members. SUre, I neded the game with most improvements and occs (4 of each), but I was the last player to get my third family member and eneded up with a pathetic 20 points.

Brian
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David desJardins
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Alexfrog wrote:
Taster is good but it basically just makes you always start player, at a cost.


It's way better than being start player! You get to go first, and you still get your usual choice in the first round as well. I misread this---now it seems really gross.
 
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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What I'm wondering is if someone gets an early Wet Nurse down, it could be worth it to make getting a food engine going difficult for that player. The last time I saw it, we (the other players) didn't react well to it and the person had a very strong game. I think this could be done without sacrificing your game too much, since everyone basically wants to do the same thing anyway. They would just be more direct about depriving the Wet Nurse of an easy food engine.
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Corin A. Friesen
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Alexfrog wrote:
Wet Nurse is the only one that really seems broken. And I would say its completely broken, especially if used very early in the game.

I have a hard enough time getting food, how can I even think of playing such a card when I still have to feed my folks at the next harvest!?
Tips, please.
 
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Eric Flood
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I see the cards you receive as "layered" throughout the game.

Sometimes you get some really good "starting" cards (such as the Clay Mixer or Woodcutter), and if you can get 2-3 of them out in Stage 1, they're really powerful. But then your opponents won't have been playing *their* powerful "starting" cards, which is "their fault."

Then there are the "mid-game" cards, which are best played by the end of Stage 3. The Wet-Nurse falls under this category, although in the right circumstances, could turn out to be a really great "starting" card. The cards don't really give you anything worthwhile during Stage 1, usually they'll give you a bonus on the "Take 1 Vegetable" action or something similar. They are usually very nice bonuses, but aren't as useful throughout the entire game.

Finally there are the "end" cards, which give you bonus points for things you've done. The Chief/Chief's Daughter are good examples of this (bonus points for stone house).



One thing I was getting frustrated with with this game for a while is the luck of the draw. If I don't get any of those "early" bonus cards, what do I do? Red just played the Clay Mixer - that gives her two extra clay every time she takes a clay! That seems so powerful, why can't I have that?

But they had to take 1 of 8 Stage 1 actions to do so. And they might use that action 3 times during a normal game, for a bonus of 6 clay. Nothing to sneeze at, but not OMGZ Br0k3n, either. Even if this was their free occupation, this means they're paying 1 food for their *next* occupation, which might otherwise have been free. And that one action could have been used to get two clay at some other time early on. The clay is only useful during Stage 1 if you're getting a Fireplace/Cooking Hearth/Oven. This requires 3 of your 8 actions - Occupation, clay, and Major Improvement (let's assume this lets you get the Cooking Hearth instead of a Fireplace). It's very unlikely you're actually going to *use* this improvement during Stage 1, unless perhaps you cook up some sheep that arrived in Round 1, and the Fireplace is just as effective at. So was this card really such a great "starting" card? Might it have been better as an "mid-game" card?

As I've played more thoroughly with some of the cards, I'm noticing the limitations on the cards that sound so great upon first read, as well as the unexpected value of cards that sound mediocre upon first read.


Finally, since this seems to be the most controversial among the listed controversial cards, let's look a bit at the Wet Nurse.

Let's first assume it's a "starting" card. You even have the opportunity to play it on Turn 1. (4 player game, why not?) You play it as your first action. Whoops, there goes the 3 wood. And the 2 wood. 3rd player takes the Reed, Wood, Stone. You could take 1 wood or 1 reed, or do something else. Start player - you get first crack at the 3 wood or 2 reed next turn. You play some beneficial minor improvement.

Next turn, you take the 2 reed, as this is more difficult to come by. Someone takes the 3 wood, someone else takes the start player from you. You take the 2 wood, determined to get your family member ASAP.

Turn 3. You are 3rd player, but are left with the 3 wood action. You now have the resources to build a room! Next action, you build that room, and pay a food for a family member. You now have (at most) 2 food. In Round 4, you must get 4 food or beg. You are player number 3. Everyone else needs some food, too, they've played more occupations than you have.

You will likely get at least 2 food, but more is doubtful. That new child could go on the "Take 1 grain" action to gnaw on some undeveloped grain for 1 food. If the stars should even so align, that new child in Round 4 is unlikely to do anything better than grab 2 food for itself.

You now have a begging card, 1 occupation, no building resources, and perhaps a minor improvement. Your opponents will have no begging cards, resources for building rooms soon (or perhaps already have rooms), several occupations and/or improvements. But you do have 3 workers going into the next round.

Hypothetical situation? Yes. Unfeasible situation? No. Broken card? I doubt it - only if the stars should so align.

Now, if it were a mid-game card, you could better balance your early actions to grab more efficiently at the wood, reed, and food, play the Occupation in Round 5 or 6, followed by the Build Rooms card. You could likely build 2 rooms at once, and get 2 workers at once for use in the next round. Food is more plentiful for people at this point, as they have Improvements to develop it, and hopefully you have means with which to acquire 8 food (10 if you include the cost for growing the children with the Room Action).
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Jeroen Harkes
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verandi wrote:
Alexfrog wrote:
Taster is good but it basically just makes you always start player, at a cost.


Whoa, that is a huge understatement! I mean being guaranteed start player every round without having to spend an action to take the start player space by itself is already huge, but this is better than that- unless you are last in a round you are actually getting a position that's better than start player. You get to go first and then you ALSO get to go when your first placement would have been- whoa! For the start player it isn't such a raw deal cause he gets a food, but for everyone else it is a serious disadvantage to lose a position in the "first round draft pick".


Wow! What an intentional misinterpretation of a card's intent. It is so obvious that it's meant to swap to the start player only for the first round, and continue as normal in the second. And not play twice in the first round.

Edit: I'm sorry for my uninformed reply, the appendix clarification changes everything. My interpretation of the card is already strong enough. The appendix makes the card broken indeed.
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David desJardins
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minordemon wrote:
Wow! What an intentional misinterpretation of a card's intent. It is so obvious that it's meant to swap to the start player only for the first round, and continue as normal in the second. And not play twice in the first round.


You don't play twice in the first round, you get to take a turn before the first round and then you also take a turn in the first round.

It's absolutely clear that this is what the card says. I would tend to agree with you that the card would seem more balanced if it did what you say it should do.
 
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Jon W
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DaviddesJ wrote:
It's absolutely clear that this is what the card says.

It's also explicitly clarified in the Appendix.

Consider this card with the Foreman also in play (Foreman puts a food on an action space of your choice prior to anyone placing family members): now you get to go first for free for the rest of the game, provided you start each turn with one food. You're also enriching the start player, but....

Of course, once we go down the path of 2+ card combos, the "possibly broken" list might get out of control.

I'm not sure Tester is broken by itself, as for much of the early game that extra food here and there would be pretty expensive. But if you can set up an engine, wow. I guess the response would be that the other three or four players have to play some defense at that point and contest the food engine somehow.
 
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jbrier
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Aventura
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waddball wrote:

I'm not sure Tester is broken by itself, as for much of the early game that extra food here and there would be pretty expensive. But if you can set up an engine, wow. I guess the response would be that the other three or four players have to play some defense at that point and contest the food engine somehow.


The real issue is simply that it's SO WORTH IT to pay that 1 food if you can. It is basically shifting your personal LAST placement to the very FIRST placement- how often is that first placement not going to be at least 1 food "better" than your last?

Of all the cards mentioned here, the only one that genuinely concerns me is the Taster. The Chamberlain and Wet Nurse a joy to be dealt, but I don't think they are imbalanced. The arguments against the Mail Coach Driver have convinced me it probably isn't that bad.

 
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Jon W
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verandi wrote:
how often is that first placement not going to be at least 1 food "better" than your last?

I don't think the answer is "always," especially if you have to take suboptimal food replacement actions in the face of the other players trying to deny you just that. Something that strong should shift everyone's valuations.

Don't get me wrong; I agree that it seems overpowered. But I'd like to play with it straight up a couple of times, as I think/hope there are some defensive options. Of course, if a concerted, "full court press" defense by all players, all game, is the only option, that's an indictment of the card as well.
 
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jbrier
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waddball wrote:
But I'd like to play with it straight up a couple of times, as I think/hope there are some defensive options. Of course, if a concerted, "full court press" defense by all players, all game, is the only option, that's an indictment of the card as well.


Oh, don't get me wrong- I wouldn't dream of removing the Taster after just seeing it in action once. Interestingly, in that one game where I had it, I was constantly short on food and had to spend most of the last two turns scrounging together food (I never fully developed a good food engine). Nonetheless I managed to win, mostly cause the other players all had negative points from empty spaces- using the Taster to hoard wood was one of my main tactics in the mid to late game.
 
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Carlos Robledo
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verandi wrote:

Mail Coach Driver(Z): From now until the end of the game, the other players only receive goods from Action spaces when they return their family members to their home.

I admit, I've never seen this in play, but it seems pretty insane. I understand why they published it- the card really changes the texture of the game in an interesting way. But is it too advantageous for that person who gets it? Although it is yet another card that doesn't give you anything material, in this case the intangible advantage is huge (it seems to me theoretically). Just consider the advantage this player gets in Round 14! I'll have to see this in action before really making a judgment, but I am worried that this is perhaps too intense, and thus (unlike any of the other cards on this list except perhaps the Taster) will merit being removed.



This has hit the table for us, and we have unanimously (including the person who played it!) banned it from the decks.

This card actually takes away TWO turns from everyone else. The turn it is played your strategy gets screwed up (as occupations are usually played in the first or second pick of a round) and getting any resources on Round 14, since gathering resources on the last turn is now pointless. (unless you get veggies/grain for points only). Also, people are so used to just playing normally that for us it was just a chore to have to keep reminding people to not take their stuff. It was just lame.

If its not fun for anyone then why play it at all.
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