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Subject: Re-balancing variant for St Pete rss

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Daniel Eig
United States
Huntington
New York
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My friends and I believe that the Mistress of Ceremonies is definitely too powerful first round, and that observatories in the first round probably are as well.

To combat this, we currently are using this simple variant:
-If a Mistress comes out first turn - its shuffled back into the deck.
-If an observatory (or two) come out first turn - all observatories are shuffled back into the deck.

We find that this takes out the most unbalancing aspect of the games; 1st round mistress - with runaway gold and point accumulation, and the observatory player getting 1 (or 2) extra workers 2nd round).
 
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Bill Heaton
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Victoria
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THe expansion which has been coming out in English for a million years it seems, but SHOULD be out very soon, fixes the mistress issue by making her less valueble.
 
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Daniel Eig
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I also remember seeing something that the expansion raises the cost of the observatory to 8... but all this was (over?) a year ago... for all I know things have changed between then and the eventual final version.
 
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Jonathan Takagi
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dtolman wrote:
My friends and I believe that the Mistress of Ceremonies is definitely too powerful first round, and that observatories in the first round probably are as well.

To combat this, we currently are using this simple variant:
-If a Mistress comes out first turn - its shuffled back into the deck.
-If an observatory (or two) come out first turn - all observatories are shuffled back into the deck.

We find that this takes out the most unbalancing aspect of the games; 1st round mistress - with runaway gold and point accumulation, and the observatory player getting 1 (or 2) extra workers 2nd round).


We have raised the cost of the Mistress to 21, the Observatory to 8 and the Judge to 17. This seems just about right. I still think a first round mistress at 21 is almost a game-breaker, but in any other round it works.

I don't think that a first round observatory will break the game, however. The person buying it is putting themselves at a early money shortage which can hurt if you pull the wrong cards (especially if you're playing with the Banquet expansion, where pulling a Weg Damit or Schwarzmarkt can really hurt).
 
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John Weber
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Unless you do more than what you initially stated, the Mistress on Turn 2 or the Judge on Turn 1 is also a potential game-breaker.

Anyone heard anything about some official expansions or variants to address this imbalance? Otherwise, I have no great desire to play the game again (it dropped from an 8 to a 4 once this issue became apparent).
 
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Daniel Eig
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In a few dozen games using this variant, we haven't found 2nd turn mistress or first turn Judge to be as powerful... and definitely not game breakers.

In any case, the upcoming St Pete expansion will have rebalanced versions of these... we'll see what the play tested solution is then.
 
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Tony Chen
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In 2 players, observatories isn't a problem at all.

The mistress and judge a little bit, but I can live with that.
 
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