Cristian Cano
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Today we played Comuni for the first time. After the first 2 invasions we started to say that the game was broken, why? because it has no sense in earn more points than the rest and even worst to contribute to the common defense in the invasions.

We stopped the game before it ended. Now I'm very dissaponinted for the bad experience because I expected a lot from this game reading the rules and some reviews. I thought that Comuni would be a great game, but nevertheless it was one of the worst experience since I'm boardgaming.

I'm explaining myself, we concluded that every player must follow this conservative strategy:

If you built only (or almost only) city walls and in the first invasion you have 0-1 victory points, you'll defend with a strength of 4-5. If you have 2 walls and a soldier in each of them you'll defend with a strength of 1+1+2+1=5 so you don't have to contribute to the common defense at all.

After that, you build one more city walls and collect basic income for your city the rest of turns getting always a black cube if you are not Sienna with the remaining wild cube option, so in the next invasion you make the same defending (1+1)+(2+1)+(3+1)=9, no contribution to the common defense.

And so on until the last invasion. In that last invasion you'll have about 15 black cubes and try to get the bonus and win the game putting all of them in the common defense.

The rest of the game has no sense since the most points you'll get compared with the player with less victory points, the more you'll have to defend yourself alone.

If one player take the brave decision of build buildings and earn points playing the game "normally", collecting great amounts of cubes from that buildings in the taking income phase, when the invasion will come he will defend itself against a strong enemy while the other players will feel comfortable with his city walls cards and a few soldiers on them. The plunder collected by the courageous player will be a heavy pain the rest of the game, a new need that nobody else have of getting pilgrims (brown cubes) to heal the injuries will start to that player... and probably by the end of the game he can fall to the last position.

Conclusion: getting points is bad so don't build almost anything.

Anybody had think the same than us before? Where is the gameplay here?

Please convince me that this game is not broken!
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Dave Kudzma
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It's not broken, it just sucks.
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jbrier
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I quite like Comuni. I think the factor you aren't taking into account is that having less points means less infrastructure which means less resources.

I think holding back as a tactical move, i.e. for one turn, particularly when an invasion is about to be triggered, can be a smart move.

Staying behind in points as a strategy has always failed in my experience. Sure, those players have it easy during invasions, but I find they never manage to catch up in points at the end (points ARE what win you the game).

If everyone is pursuing the strategy you say, then getting the rewards should be easy. Just make sure you don't get TOO far ahead in points, and you'll probably win handily.

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Michael Cook
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I actually enjoy the game. I find it a fun balance of building buildings, building walls, and preparing for invasions. It is a catch 22 in regard to getting too far ahead of the other players. The further you get ahead the more invaders you'll face.
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Gordon Adams
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Played this about 5 or 6 times and put it away. Well, I did try to find out what the heck was going on. The rules are not the best, but the game is darn awful, IMHO.

Regards.
 
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Dave Kudzma
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elfrododumbo wrote:

Played this about 5 or 6 times and put it away. Well, I did try to find out what the heck was going on. The rules are not the best, but the game is darn awful, IMHO.

Regards.


I'm certain that instead of "this game sucks" I should have said, we tried this game 3 times; twice with my local game group and once at Prezcon. All plays were with a full group.

I didn't feel the problem was too many players but often that the chaos of the appearance of the cards, combined with the fruitlessness of being in first place simply made the game no fun to play.

The fruitlessness of first place:

Playing better than anyone else, getting ahead, and the game penalizing you for it. It has one of the worst catch up mechanisms in any game I've played.
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Cristian Cano
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locusshifter wrote:


Playing better than anyone else, getting ahead, and the game penalizing you for it. It has one of the worst catch up mechanisms in any game I've played.


I totally agree with you, it's the only game I know you are better positionated if you go last until the last turn.

Comuni,what a dissapointment!!!
 
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Dave Kudzma
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bravucon wrote:
locusshifter wrote:


Playing better than anyone else, getting ahead, and the game penalizing you for it. It has one of the worst catch up mechanisms in any game I've played.


I totally agree with you, it's the only game I know you are better positionated if you go last until the last turn.

Comuni,what a dissapointment!!!


I know some might point out that since I love Power Grid that I should understand about not being in "1st"; however that just simply doesn't apply here. At least in Power Grid your position in turn order is not directly related to your overall standing.

Why should I be penalized for earning twice the points of anyone else?
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Gordon Adams
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Yep, one very weird system. No incentive whatsoever to carry on playing when you are ahead and yet you are the loser !gulp
 
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Steve Duff
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This criticism makes no sense.

Walls generate no points. Not building all game and then winning the final heroism token for the common defense gets you 6 measly points.

6 points will get you last place every single time, not win the game on the final turn.

Meanwhile, the other guy has been building all game long, generating points through building and easy heroism wins, earning the guild masters for more points plus improved income, building up a large income compared to your tiny 2 cubes, allowing them to build large armies to defend their own walls, as well as large quantities of pilgrims to remove plunder damage should some battles be lost.

If he gets too far ahead to make the battles tough, he simply has to slow down, and accept his easy victory.

This really sounds like you had some major rule(s) wrong.
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Cristian Cano
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I had thinking a lot after posting my first impressions and I conclude that Comuni needs another try, I'm sure I will finish liking this game but my friends maybe won't give it another try so ... let's see.
 
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Michele Nesci
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
This criticism makes no sense.

Walls generate no points. Not building all game and then winning the final heroism token for the common defense gets you 6 measly points.

6 points will get you last place every single time, not win the game on the final turn.

Meanwhile, the other guy has been building all game long, generating points through building and easy heroism wins, earning the guild masters for more points plus improved income, building up a large income compared to your tiny 2 cubes, allowing them to build large armies to defend their own walls, as well as large quantities of pilgrims to remove plunder damage should some battles be lost.

If he gets too far ahead to make the battles tough, he simply has to slow down, and accept his easy victory.

This really sounds like you had some major rule(s) wrong.

The walls are quite powerful in defending your city. If you got a lead in points and did not build the walls to protect them, and did not produce the armies to man them, then you just made some strategical and/or tactical mistakes. The games I played, even when hardly anybody put armies in the league, ended with scores around 70, so to me saying that all you have to do is go for those 6 points on the last turn is frankly laughable.
You have to make points to win. Only, you also have to defend them.
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Seth Jaffee
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We played a 4p game, and found that the Common Defense (whatever it's called - Defense League?) is a fool's errand.

Since you can get as much defense just putting your armies in front of yourself as you can by contributing to the defense league, there's no real need to contribute. There's a little incentive in that you can score points, BUT notice this:

If all other players can fully defend themselves against their full invasion force, then sure - you can bid 'extra' armies for the VPs available. However, it seems more often all players cannot fully defend themselves. In that case, every army you send to the Defense League is 1vp you're giving each other player (1 fewer Plunder tokens). That's the same as you just going down 1 vp. So sending armies the defense league is effectively a bid of VPs to try and win more VPs.

That said, in the first Invasion you stand to win 1 or 2 VPs. How many VPs would you bid to win 1 or 2 VPs? Seems like a bad deal. If everyone has enough armies to defend themselves then maybe you could eke out 1 or 2 points by sending an army or two to the Defense League.

The second and third invasions are similar - and they're more likely to give points away because with higher Invader strength it's harder to fully protect oneself. In our game I contributed 3 armies trying to get the 4vps in the 3rd invasion... noone else contributed any armies. I actually needed someone to contribute in order to succeed, so I actually didn't even get the 4vps, just saved each of my opponents 3 Plunder tokens. If someone had contributed, say, 2 armies as well... I would have gained my 4 VPs + 2 more (from their aid) which sounds like 6vps - woo hoo! The other contributor would have gained 2vps + 3 from my aid = 5vps as well. All other players not contributing would gain 5vp from our combined aid... so basically I would net 1vp and the other contributor would net 0vp. Suddenly doesn't sound so good. The 2nd contributor could have spent his 2 armies on his own defense and actually made out much better, as all players would be down 2 points (the aid he'd given), and without his aid I would have taken Plunder and missed out on my 4 points (which is exactly what happened).

In the final round the numbers are high enough that it might be worth bidding some VPs to get them. We postulated that the numbers should be higher on the Heroism tokens across the board to encourage actually using the defense league. But today I was talking to a friend who actually played wrong, and perhaps stumbled onto a better rule!

My friend had played that you cannot assign armies to your own defense unless you have wall space to put them. That way, if you fill up your walls and still need more defense, you MUST contribute to the Defense League! I'd take that a step further and say that instead of doing the double bid, you could just do 1 bid, then assign armies to your walls first, with all remaining armies going to the defense league - though that removes the possibility of just assigning guys to your big walls and leaving your small walls empty to bid instead on the Heroism tokens. Maybe you should have built fewer walls then!

I think that's a variant that would be much better.
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Bálint Nagy
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sedjtroll wrote:
We played a 4p game, and found that the Common Defense

My friend had played that you cannot assign armies to your own defense unless you have wall space to put them. That way, if you fill up your walls and still need more defense, you MUST contribute to the Defense League! I'd take that a step further and say that instead of doing the double bid, you could just do 1 bid, then assign armies to your walls first, with all remaining armies going to the defense league - though that removes the possibility of just assigning guys to your big walls and leaving your small walls empty to bid instead on the Heroism tokens. Maybe you should have built fewer walls then!

I think that's a variant that would be much better.


I have a much better idea. Let's play with higher value Heroism tokens...
 
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Hélio Andrade
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Played this yesterday, and the plundering was so big that we ran out of plunder tokens on invasion 3! We had to write down the values for each player in invasion 3 and 4!

We clearly felt we were playing wrong, but after checking I can't see where! The invasions are clearly a BIG part of the game, and some players will lose dozens of points in each invasion!
 
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Clive Lovett
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I know this is an old thread but I just picked up the game last week and played it for the first time.

My initial reaction to the OP was one of amazement. How can someone not play the whole game through and then review it and most of all say it is broken?

Our first play was with three players. The scores were close and the game was okay though I did not like the end game attack scenario. It is one of those end game scenarios where players could make the game go on forever in hope that they get the resources needed before the final attack occurs (just collect income and don't remove the final cards) - eventually someone would, of course, remove the cards when they think they are in a winning position. This is what I did!

I felt I was in control. I had no plunder tokens. However I came in second to the guy that had the most plunder tokens! The difference was the ownership of guild members - he had run out far enough ahead of everyone else with building points and managed to capture three of the guild members (a mistake on our part letting him do that). I don't think the game is broken...it has some 'issues' but it is still a game I would likely pull off the shelf once and a while.
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