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Subject: Is deck-cycling in the designer's intention? rss

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Bert Nerdsen
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The rules clearly state: A card from the drawpile has to be used as a good, which, after it is consumed, has to be put in the discard pile. The designer intends, so it seems, that cards get burned and the deck gets cycled - otherwise the cards could be returned to the drawpile instead.

As everybody knows shuffling between two games is lousy, but shuffling during one game is a pain in the ass. So, in respect to handling, it would be great to prevent the deck from getting cycled (e.g. using wooden cubes or dice to represent goods instead of using cards).

Playing with both expanions alone makes it very unlikely that the deck gets cycled (can't tell for more than 4 players). Moreover, I wonder which benefit there is in cycling the deck with such an amount of cards as in use with both expansions (and a third one to come)? The only aspect could be: "If i drop this card, there is a chance that I, or an opponent, can draw it again". But due to the amount of cards this chance is that small that I tend to neglect that and rather play without cycling.

Do you have any reason to regard card burning and deck cycling as a game-relevant mechanism for rftg?
 
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Mark McEvoy
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This thread has happened 100 times.

Yes, it is designer's intent that some cards never pass before the eyes of any player. You cannot assume that, by the time the deck has been run once through, someone has drawn and held/discarded any specific world or 6-dev. Some random subset of cards will never have been witnessed by any player.
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Tom Lehmann
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Yes, I consider deck-cycling without players seeing all the cards to be very important, especially in larger games, given that the 6-developments are unique.
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Bert Nerdsen
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thatmarkguy wrote:
This thread has happened 100 times.


oh, pardon me.
 
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Nick PA
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Well first of all I think it is to meet several strategies more easily while cycling.

When cycling the deck you cannot hope finding the exact card you're looking for. The chance of this is way of the scales to even be considered a good strategy.
But you might hope that some cards that goes towards your strategy might pop up! This is what the cycling is meant to do.
I'll agree that the deck cycling is less likely to happen due to the addition of cards. But then the additional players should accomodate this. As plays with 5 or 6 players will make the cycling happen again.
Though it will still pose a problem in the lower ends of participating players (2, 2 adv., 3, or even 4). But there should be enough of any kind of cards to go on any strategy with these numbers of players so as cycling isn't needed. As the players increase the need of a cycle to fully complete your strategy becomes more evident!
(Not saying that some strategies might be more indifferent of cycles than others, no matter the number of players!)

In order to increase the number of cycles I have been thinking about creating a list of cards that might be taken out depending on the number of players (I know a lot of people that might not encourage this action whistle ). But i think it will change some of the strategies more, and more importantly make people keep cards that the other players need!

As you say
bert_nerdsen wrote:
The only aspect could be: "If i drop this card, there is a chance that I, or an opponent, can draw it again". But due to the amount of cards this chance is that small that I tend to neglect that and rather play without cycling.


Consider this:
A 6 player game. You and another player are going for produce-consume, and all the others are going for military in one way or the other. Some rebel and some just plain military. The cycle is near and you're sitting with "New Galactic Order" or "Galactic Imperium".
You're confident that there is at least 3 turns left! Not suspecting any-one to lay down a development and a settlement 2 times in a row.

Will you discard the card? A deep search for each of the militaries will turn at least 32 cards (counting in the two of yours). The chances of one of them hitting the card now becomes some what increasing. I might think again in this situation.

Some will say that this theoretical situation is far out! Hmm... On second thought maybe it is. shake

But as also mentioned in other topics the strategy of military is far faster than produce consume. So more people might start with such a strategy (depending on their hand!). And therefore the distribution of military strategies in a 6 player game might easily be 4 of them doing that.

A quick calculation of how many deep searches is needed i have this.
With both Gathering Storm and Rebel vs. Imperium there is a total of 180 cards. After game start of 3 players there is only 162 cards.
In a deep search i use 7 cards drawn. Then you have 23 deep searches. And thats only deep searches. Placing goods, settlements (and drawing) and so forth decreases this is any way.
If doing the same calculation with 6 people there is a staring deck of 144 cards which leaves 20 deep searches.

Well what I wanted to say is that in games with high number of players it could still be relevant! Regarding the keeping this card so others can not enjoy the powers of it is on the other hand not as frequent (in the games i've played anyway).
For lower number of players the cycling will be less important.
Even though I still feel that the game is balanced in such a way that an increase in players and their chances of succeding a strategy is increases as the cycling rate is also increased!
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Bert Nerdsen
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Nick, thank you for your thorough reply!

Zerothi wrote:
A 6 player game. You and another player are going for produce-consume, and all the others are going for military in one way or the other. Some rebel and some just plain military. The cycle is near and you're sitting with "New Galactic Order" or "Galactic Imperium".
You're confident that there is at least 3 turns left! Not suspecting any-one to lay down a development and a settlement 2 times in a row.

Will you discard the card? A deep search for each of the militaries will turn at least 32 cards (counting in the two of yours). The chances of one of them hitting the card now becomes some what increasing. I might think again in this situation.

Some will say that this theoretical situation is far out! Hmm... On second thought maybe it is. shake


I would argue that:
- highly theoretical (but that's okay ;-))
- while you argue that the probability of drawing a card is enlarged by deck cycling, the mechanism which forwards cycling is also intended to lower the probability of a specific card to be drawn (since it could get burned)
- last item is all the more relevant for large games (i guess that in a 6 player game, there is no way to prevent the deck from cycling)
- the probability alone should not be the foundation of the decision but rather the expected utility, which is, at least as far as i can see, extremely lowered by a card that you neither want to play nor to use as ressource, i.e. a card that does nothing else than blocking a slot in your hand

So it seems to me that the opponent aspect is even less important than the redraw aspect. Anyway, I must admit that I have overseen the consequence which is the main intention behind this mechanism.
 
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David Jackman
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bert_nerdsen wrote:


Playing with both expanions alone makes it very unlikely that the deck gets cycled (can't tell for more than 4 players).


I've played a number of four player games with both expansions, and yes, you'll definitely make it through the deck at least once.
 
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Nick PA
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bert_nerdsen wrote:
Nick, thank you for your thorough reply!

Thank YOU! , you started me
bert_nerdsen wrote:
- highly theoretical (but that's okay ;-))

can't argue there ninja
bert_nerdsen wrote:
- while you argue that the probability of drawing a card is enlarged by deck cycling, the mechanism which forwards cycling is also intended to lower the probability of a specific card to be drawn (since it could get burned)

Yes, but as several players has laid at least 4-6 cards on their tableau an increase in rate of cycling is going on throughout the game, it is this fact that i base the probability on. But then again you need higher players numbers! Well, I see your point.
But it's not so much the probability of drawing a single card to your benifit. It's the increase of probability of meating more strategy strong cards.
bert_nerdsen wrote:
- last item is all the more relevant for large games (i guess that in a 6 player game, there is no way to prevent the deck from cycling)
Totally agree on this
bert_nerdsen wrote:
- the probability alone should not be the foundation of the decision but rather the expected utility, which is, at least as far as i can see, extremely lowered by a card that you neither want to play nor to use as ressource, i.e. a card that does nothing else than blocking a slot in your hand

But if the next turn you're cycling would you rather not hold the card to ensure no one else to get it? Of course there needs to be a couple of opponents having great use of this card, otherwise the gain is to small. One should also consider a weak card in your hand which you're in doubt of to play or use as a discard. If you're down to chosing between this card and the strong card for the other players i would rather keep the strong card (as the cycling also increases my chances of hitting strategy strong cards, i.e. a better card than the weak!).
bert_nerdsen wrote:
So it seems to me that the opponent aspect is even less important than the redraw aspect. Anyway, I must admit that I have overseen the consequence which is the main intention behind this mechanism.

In order to increase the opponent aspect of holding cards you could do as I've stated. Remove some cards! But remember to keep the game balanced!
 
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