tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
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The BGG is a wonderful place, but it may have me thinking way to much about games . I am now designing my own game, and am very happy with how the play testing is going, and am looking at all the games I have more in depth now.

I got R-Eco a while back but just finally pulled it out a little over a week ago. I really enjoy the game and how it works, I even went so far as to tell friends this is a really really fun game that has solid mechanics and makes you think more then you think you should have to think - if that makes any sense at all. Which is a good thing. So now that I am really looking at games and how they are made and how they get finished & I find myself being a bit tougher on games. I think this is a Japanese game that got translated to English ( not sure ) and it is still a good game, but I have questions about the design and play testing after about 15 games.

There are 4 resources in the game that are getting recycled and it is really just colors but the pictures add to the theme and I think are very nice pictures. But when I look at them more closely I wonder if the pictures are a cultural issue?

here are the 4 cards ( there a bunch of each and some that will have a picture of 2 resources on the same card )



Paper, aluminum cans, Plastic, and Glass?

The Glass makes everyone I have played with think of plastic ( the bottle shape? When you have the cards with 2 bottles on it it looks even more like plastic bottles there ), and no one can really figure out what the plastic is suppose to be ( old plastic binders, or maybe lap tops )? I know this is not a big deal and it doesn´t matter, but it is kinda funny to play a game a bunch and be thinking the whole time you are playing plastic cards to find out they are really glass, but a minor point. It just got me thinking does Japan have different shaped glass and plastic bottles verses other countries?


OK, so that is not the broken part. You collect point tokens as you go along in this game and the tokens included are for each color and they get stacked so you know which one you are going for. In the game you get these tokens -2,0,1,2,3,3,4,& 5 ( so you have 4 sets of these tokens in different colors )

so in the 3 or 4 person game you stack them 0,1,2,3,-2,4,5 and leave one 3 out ( with the 0 on top and the first token you can collect - at the end of the game the guy with the most points win, and you can lose points by having to dump excess cards from your hand - you can only have 5 cards in your hand and it is pretty easy to get to many).

In a 5 person game you stack them 0,1,2,3,3,-2,4,5

In the 2 person game it says you take out the 3´s so you would stack them as 0,1,2,-2,4,5


So I have only played the 3 & 2 person variety of this game, and mainly 3 person but we have found that who ever goes last wins? The game ends when someone picks up the last token of any pile, meaning the first person to get a 5 point token wins and ends the game. But 5 is enough that it has tipped the scales of every game we have played, which I think is a very bad thing. Only one 5 point token is ever taken so this is the big big big pay off, but I think may be to much?

Here we have an article That BigWoo wrote where he made a version of the 2 person game that fixes the problem - I think it does at least:

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/4014853#4014853


I was thinking the same thing and we have already played with a different token order. I was thinking of doing what BigWoo did but did not want to change the order of the tokens to much, but now I am leaning toward his idea for the 3 person game also. Part of it is simply this: I really feel this is a very good game and I love how the mechanics of it work, but as is it feels broken and just needs a little over-haul to make it run right.


Looking at the games and the instructions, from the view point of a want to be game designer I see that all the tokens are only used for the 5 person variant of this game? They have instructions for 3 and 4 that take out one token and then at the very end of the game, as an add on it has 2 person rules? This gets me thinking that maybe this game was made for 5 people and it might work well there, not sure since I have not played it with 5 people yet - but man I really want to so I can hopefully be proven wrong, but I am thinking it is not meant for 3 players and wonder if with 4 the guy who picks up the last token is basically almost always going to win? I wonder if the designer or maybe Z-man through on the 2 person variant just to help sell the game? IF so they should have play tested it more I feel. I wonder these things as my game to be is for 3-5 or maybe 3-6, I was trying to make it a 2 person variant but feel it will need to be changed drastically to pull this off - part of teh game mechanic for my game is the interaction between people and with only 2 there is just not enough interaction ( there is just enough with 3 people and it works well there, but its sweet spot is with 4 or 5 players I feel )

I also see no credits for play testers and wonder if they play tested this game. I have been looking at this a lot lately, as I play test my own game, and the games I have from small companies that just seem OK or below par also are lacking credits for play testers, which makes me wonder how much people play test their games. So many articles say that is one of the most important things when designing a game and I am way into the process and loving it - not to mention learning so much from it ( a game that is easy for gamers who have grown up as geeks and know the D4 - D20 is not always a easy game for someone who has never seen a D20 ). But I also figure since this is a Japanese game maybe Z-Man just didn´t list the play testers to save room on the instructions.

While I am ranting, what is up Z-Man - the rules are so small, do you not want adults over 40 to play this game - have you figured out that your eyes start to go at 40 and all of a sudden you can not read those tiny rules anymore, or you gloss over something really important because the rules are so small nothing stands out as bold or underlined to old eyes? Meaning I played a few games with out the important rule of you must have at least 2 tokens of any color to score points, if you only have 1 token of any color it is not scored and is discarded. And any game with a couple or at least one reference card always makes a game better for everyone ( the new guy gets the reference card/sheet right in front of him so he feels like he at least has a chance to understand what is going on ). This game is very simple once you learn it, but having a quick set up and refence card would go along way ( even more so if you put the rules for winning since they are so so small in the instructions ).

So basically I am asking if anyone else who has played this one feels the same way as I do? That it is a great game it just needs the tokens in a different order.

And has anyone played it 5 person and found it to be a great game where the guy picking up the last token is not always the guy winning the game ( I am thinking it must be less of a problem with 5 people, but am not sure till I play it with 5 people ).


OK

Game On´

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W. Eric Martin
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I've played 20+ times, all with 2-4 players, and have not noticed a pattern of the last player winning the game. I can see how such a thing would happen, though, since the point totals are open. If I'm not winning and taking the 5 won't let me win, then why would I take the 5? I should try to take something else first, so I then have a chance to win when I take the 5. While doing so, someone else might take the 5 first and win, with the 5 providing the margin of victory. Such a result would fit your theory, yet the real problem isn't with the 5 – it's with my play earlier in the game that put me so far behind that taking the 5 wouldn't give me the win.

Instead of changing how the game is played, I'd suggest changing how you play the game. If you feel the 5 token is that important to winning, then play to get that 5. Watch the cards that other people are collecting so that you can anticipate where they might play. Avoid situations in which you set up another player to grab the 5. All easier said than done, of course, but it seems a better course of action than deciding that the fault lies with the game.
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tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
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Henry - I agree with you to an extent - I feel a lot of your options are dictated by the cards you get more then what you want to get into your hand. I am usually the one winning in my group so I am fine with my strategy. But when my friend does win it is close enough that I would have also won by getting the last token.

I had a feeling it may not be as bad with 4 people, and even less with 5, but pay attention to the 3 player games and see if you notice the last guy drawing the 5 token wins it?
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Alex Eaton-Salners
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Hendal wrote:
Paper, aluminum cans, Plastic, and Glass?

The Glass makes everyone I have played with think of plastic ( the bottle shape? When you have the cards with 2 bottles on it it looks even more like plastic bottles there ), and no one can really figure out what the plastic is suppose to be ( old plastic binders, or maybe lap tops )? I know this is not a big deal and it doesn´t matter, but it is kinda funny to play a game a bunch and be thinking the whole time you are playing plastic cards to find out they are really glass, but a minor point. It just got me thinking does Japan have different shaped glass and plastic bottles verses other countries?

The resource names you are familiar with are an artifact of Z-Man's localization. In the original Japanese version the resources are: (Japanese rules) Paper, Steel Cans, Plastic, and PET Bottles; (English rules) Paper, Steel, Plastic, PET Bottles; and (German rules) Paper, Metal, Plastic, PET Bottles. I'm not sure who made the choice to change the name, but it was likely done because in English the term PET Bottle is not used in daily conversation as much as it is in Japanese. A more natural English name for the blue resource would, of course, be "Plastic Bottles", but that choice would conflict with the name "Plastic" for the red resource.

Plastic bottles in Japan look similar to the ones used in other countries.

Hendal wrote:
Looking at the games and the instructions, from the view point of a want to be game designer I see that all the tokens are only used for the 5 person variant of this game? They have instructions for 3 and 4 that take out one token and then at the very end of the game, as an add on it has 2 person rules?

The 2-player rules are not part of the original Japanese game, but were added by Z-Man during the localization process.

Hendal wrote:
I wonder if the designer or maybe Z-man through on the 2 person variant just to help sell the game?

Yes, I think so.

Hendal wrote:
I also see no credits for play testers and wonder if they play tested this game. I have been looking at this a lot lately, as I play test my own game, and the games I have from small companies that just seem OK or below par also are lacking credits for play testers, which makes me wonder how much people play test their games. So many articles say that is one of the most important things when designing a game and I am way into the process and loving it - not to mention learning so much from it ( a game that is easy for gamers who have grown up as geeks and know the D4 - D20 is not always a easy game for someone who has never seen a D20 ). But I also figure since this is a Japanese game maybe Z-Man just didn´t list the play testers to save room on the instructions.

There are no play testers listed on the Japanese version either, but that is typical for Japon Brand games. If you want to contact the original author of the game, according to the Japanese rules his email address is odaiba (at-mark) mvb (dot) biglobe (dot) ne (dot) jp. The Japon Brand website is at http://japonbrand.gamers-jp.com/ and lists additional people involved in the company, some of whom may have helped playtest the game.
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tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
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Alex- Thanks that rocks, great info!

I just got done playing this with new friends last night and of the 3 games with 3 people, who ever picked the last 5 point chip won the first 2 games - meaning who ever picked it up would win, the last game the guy was killing us and would have won no matter who picked it up, so I am happy I got in a game where it did not matter and the last person to go was not assured a win.
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Andrew Brown
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Hendal wrote:
Henry - I agree with you to an extent - I feel a lot of your options are dictated by the cards you get more then what you want to get into your hand. I am usually the one winning in my group so I am fine with my strategy. But when my friend does win it is close enough that I would have also won by getting the last token.

I had a feeling it may not be as bad with 4 people, and even less with 5, but pay attention to the 3 player games and see if you notice the last guy drawing the 5 token wins it?


To distinguish your point from Martin's. What I hear you saying is not that whoever takes the 5 will win (bc as Martin points out, if you WONT win then you WONT take the 5). Instead, you are arguing that point totals are so low and close that WHOEVER takes the 5 will win.

Right?

P.S. good post. I have wondered if 4,5 are simply too high of point totals to end this game on. I would like to see it climb up and then back down toward the end. Of course, this will lengthen the game some.
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tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
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played 2 last night and I won both and both I took the 5 pt. to end it, the 2nd game I would have lost if not for 4 bonus pts for not Illegal dumping - got 4 int he 3 player game.

0,1,2,5,-2,4,3

is how we will put the tokens next time

And Andrew - not really, my group is not counting pts and such if we can take a 5 we do. I like that games are close, I just think it rewards the guy who goes out first. In the 2nd game last night 1 row never got past -2, so with my above stack 3 of the 5 would have been out there and the scores who be different, but more points would be out there and me ended would not swing the score so much.
 
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