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Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm» Forums » General

Subject: Going back to "unadvanced" 2 player rss

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Dave J McWeasely
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Hey, I wanted to bounce this idea off the community, to get feedback.

As you may know if you've read me for a while, I think Alien Toy Shop is mighty strong. Its particularly good in 2p, where it can be used as an early profitiable card cycler - invest 4 cards to get 5 on the early trade, then later as a powerful Prod engine.

To block the early trade requires more than 2 players ... or playing WITHOUT the advanced 2 player rules!

The Advanced rules give players a "lock" on consume/trading new windfalls. And this is probably distorting the value of Windfalls and Trade in Adv2p.

So has anyone gone back to unadvanced 2player? And what would be the consequences, for good or ill?
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Mike Smeding
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Yes, my wife and I always play with unadvanced 2-player now. The game doesn't take much longer to play out, yet you'll still have the turns available to you to put out your strat.
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Agent J
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Funny you mentioned that. I was just reading another RftG thread and deciding that the cards all have much different values in 2 player vs. 4 player...
 
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Tiago Nunes
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I too have "devolved" to the normal version. It rewards thinking about what your opponent will do instead of just picking 2 role cards and doing whatever I want.
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Patrick Runyan
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How about super-devolving and rolling the robot dice to determine randomly what phase takes place each round? You can roll once for each player if you insist.
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I'm looking forward to a possible "advanced 3 player game" in the 2nd expansion, or possibly try a super advanced 2p variant where each player chooses 3 action cards. Yeah, I'm getting spoiled blush
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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jpwrunyan wrote:
How about super-devolving and rolling the robot dice to determine randomly what phase takes place each round? You can roll once for each player if you insist.


Those dice have to be good for something.

2 player random: Each player plays only one action card. Randomly select a die and roll it to choose a third action. * and Robot results are treated as "no action".

Okay, I'm really not going to playtest this.
 
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Henry Allen
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I've thought about it. We don't play with "Improved Logistics" 2 player anymore because it just seems too annoying when somebody can call settle twice in one turn and play out 4 cards (or more if they're leaching off of your develop). If we went back to "unadvanced" we could bring back that card.
 
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James Ludlow
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KlydeFrog wrote:
I've thought about it. We don't play with "Improved Logistics" 2 player anymore because it just seems too annoying when somebody can call settle twice in one turn and play out 4 cards (or more if they're leaching off of your develop). If we went back to "unadvanced" we could bring back that card.


I think that IL is fine, and actually necessary to prevent consumption from dominating like it did in the base set. But if you're worried about it enough to remove it, going back to "unadvanced" isn't going to fix it for you.

You still have 4 phases chosen between two players over two turns, rather than a single turn. Your opponent can still call Settle twice and play four worlds.

In the case where he called two Settles and leeched your Develop to get his IL out, then there somewhat of a difference, because the surprise would be gone by the second turn. It's still not going to stop him from dropping four worlds if he wants to though.



 
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Henry Allen
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jdludlow wrote:

I think that IL is fine, and actually necessary to prevent consumption from dominating like it did in the base set. But if you're worried about it enough to remove it, going back to "unadvanced" isn't going to fix it for you.

You still have 4 phases chosen between two players over two turns, rather than a single turn. Your opponent can still call Settle twice and play four worlds.



You're correct that he can still do 4 settles over two turns but the fact that it is over the course of two turns feels less brutal. One reason is that I can adjust my role selection for the second turn based on the first double settle. More importantly, I can aqcuire more cards with trade during the first turn to help me leech off of the settle next turn. With advanced two player he can potentially pump four worlds out before my consume/produce hits to get me more cards to help leech.
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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To give some feedback, now that we've played a few games:

"unadvanced" does offer some new challenges. Alien Toy Shop is indeed hobbled early, though it is still quite strong. In general, Windfall->Trade is hobbled early for most homeworlds. Further fun fact: Public Works is now not so much better than Investment Credits.

"Prod" strategy - alternately calling Produce and Consume - is now much more interesting! That's because you can drop out of the loop for just one action, not two. It increases the guessing game. Is Prod stronger? In the endgame perhaps it is. However, that doesn't matter because games with Prod strategies aren't as soul-suckingly boring as they used to be!
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Greg Meyer
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It is somewhat sad that the incredible gameplay added by selecting two roles simultaneously has to be sacrifice due to the imbalance caused by one card.

Some claim the produce consume strategy is weakened by the expansion, but when one card gives you an automatic produce consume engine by itself, I have to disagree.

Alien Toy Shop suggestions:
Shuffle it in after the initial draw
Make the consumption power undoublable

I also find it amusing that it ATS in the starting hand is scarier as a windfall world!
 
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mar hawkman
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MrWeasely wrote:
jpwrunyan wrote:
How about super-devolving and rolling the robot dice to determine randomly what phase takes place each round? You can roll once for each player if you insist.


Those dice have to be good for something.

2 player random: Each player plays only one action card. Randomly select a die and roll it to choose a third action. * and Robot results are treated as "no action".

Okay, I'm really not going to playtest this.
Yes you are. Just because you're curious.

Anyways, it's not just one card. Prod/consume strategies in general are much better, too much better. And yes, I think that it's a great idea.
 
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Eric Jome
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If all you ever play is the 2 player advanced version of the game, you owe it to yourself to find a way to play plain old 4 player.

And I think 2 player with normal rules sounds like an excellent idea, too.
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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2p unadvanced is superior to 2p advanced in a way that is more general and more important than a specific nerfing of Alien Toy Shop:

It makes games with Prod-2x strategies actually fun, as opposed to mechanical or automatic.

First of all, there are some who are going to take umbrage at my assertion that any RFTG games are mechanistic or automatic. They are not always that way, to be sure, but at a certain point when a Prod player gets a critical mass of advantage, they only should ever choose Prod and 2x for the rest of the game (or until someone 'breaks' their engine's dominance, usually with Alien Toy Shop). Once someone amasses this critical advantage, their only fun choices for the rest of the game are in what drafting actions they'll take. This makes the game less fun for the other players - no surprises during Phase 0.

It follows that we want to minimize the number of games that fall into this pit. 2p Advanced games are more likely to do this than unadvanced games, for the simple reason that coming 'off the line' - picking something other than produce or consume - will ultimatel force you away from the line for two actions and not one. The penalty is doubled.

With unadvanced 2p, there is more guessing because the penalty for coming off the line is lesser.

Additionally, there is the posiblility for interesting 'unnatural' cranks, like when you have lots of production but not much consumption, you can go with a 3-step: Prod-2x-2x. If you have the opposite - lots of consumption and lots of windfalls, you can do a double-produce to get twice as many good. These are fun patterns I want to explore, and they are all hurt by "advanced" 2 player.

Advanced two player doesn't seem to add anything to the game, and it costs a lot in terms of action-bluffing. I wonder why people like it better (other than the fact that it pays its players a compliment - they're playing an "advanced" game).

One last beef with "a"2p. Since you select two actions, you can't just lay down your action deck with the current turn's actions on the bottom. It takes longer to pull out two actions and stick em on the table, while jugging your action deck and your money deck. A minor, physical point, but one worth making, I think.
 
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