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Subject: The King - balanced? rss

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Daniel Eig
United States
Huntington
New York
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Got through a single play with 4 players, and the king left a sour taste in some of our mouths.

First two players pretty much got lucky, and got out kings in the first era. As a result they grabbed instant points for getting them out, and grabbing the token for the space. They also were the only two players able to get out all possible nobles, give them another big leg up since they got (16 and 12?) pts each. Finally - they split the huge king points at end game.

The other two players spent over an era trying to get all the card types in their hands, unsuccessfully (thanks to the general hand limit, and the decreasing hand limit at the end of an era) even while trying to flush the shown cards as quickly as possible, or going for nothing but face down cards...a very frustrating gaming experience.

Just seems out of balance somehow - if only two players get them out, they can pretty much claim 30+ pts which is huge end-game. But the requirements are so high (no wilds), that you can waste over a third of the game trying to get them out. So is the risk/reward out of balance? Should the 3d and 4th players been working on Princes instead, and let the other two players monopolize the points for getting out one of each noble type, plus the king points at end game?

Also wasn't sure about the play balance concerning the capitol(?) region: it would basically take at least 2 turns to accumulate enough assassination cards to take out an entranced prince/king - those players who have them out already seemed to have a big advantage because of the points they already get from them - but that is a post for another day.
 
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John Farrell
Australia
Rozelle
New South Wales
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Averagely Inadequate
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Buster Keaton from 'Go West'
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In the 5 or so games I've played, every player has been able to build a king, and the player with the most kings usually has 3 or so of them. It is quite a big deal when a player kills a king and replaces him, but it usually happens in every game. It sounds like you're doing something wrong but I can't notice anything awry in your description.
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Babak Hadi
Australia
Brisbane
QLD
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In the many games I have played I have never come across this problem. Even when someone gets great cards to build a King without any discards it still will allow other players to build at least two nobles and under normal conditions often three (even four when picking up good cards and focusing on lower nobels). Once a King is build it will take a while for players to build princes. This is because most princes are on the King spot and therefore will collect the lower score during scoring. I think it is better to focus on other nobels during the early and middle play (if someone else is focusing on Kings). But then again what card you will draw will determine what to play. Maximising the usage of the cards drawn is more important than focusing on a strategy of buildng certain nobels. Discarding cards is a terrible waste!
Somehow I also think something must not be right in your gameplay to have come across this problem?
 
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ɹǝsɐɹɟ
Australia
Melbourne
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
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We had a four player game last night and all players "built" one king and one person built three kings!

It can take a while, especially if you distract yourself by playing a Prince when you were saving up for a King
 
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Bruce Miller
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
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Princes are a little easier to obtain since they can be created with the help of Courtesans, in the games we're played we had few kings, but a fierce fight for the prince points.
 
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