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Subject: Tweaking some of the base 6-devs rss

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Some of the 6-devs in the base set rely on specific cards to get victory points, such as Artist Colony for Galactic Renaissance. With a bigger deck after adding both expansions, I figure maybe these need a boost to increase the odds of running into an appropriate card; I find these 5-devs to be weaker than the rest in any case, so if I'm over-correcting, that's maybe not a bad thing. I've tried to remain true to the theme of the cards. I realize this might slightly change the value of the additional cards, but this is mostly for fun anyways.

Galactic Renaissance -> Add Galactic Studios as another 3-point bonus. This feels like the weakest 6-dev to me of the 4 here, and Galactic Studios is expensive to place.

Free Trade Association -> Merchant World for 2 points, or possibly Galactic Bazaar (but that's already a Novelty world)

Mining League -> Replicant Robots for 2 points (it's a development with "Robot" in it...)

Pan-Galactic League -> Wasn't sure what to add for this one, any ideas? I was thinking the other -1 Military cards, but it doesn't quite work; Empath World is already a Gene world (too confusing/good), and Refugee World doesn't quite fit thematically

Or is it all moot because the final card mix was accounted for when designing these cards?
 
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zurn wrote:
Free Trade Association -> Merchant World for 2 points, or possibly Galactic Bazaar (but that's already a Novelty world)

They might need some tweaking but I just wanted to anecdotally refute this. Just today I powered my way to a win not once but twice (playing with both expansions added) with Free Trade Association, once with Consumer Markets and once without. In the game with CM, FTA was worth 9 points itself, not to mention the mountain of x2 VPs it allowed me to suck up.

I think this one is still pretty powerful because it lets a player churn blue goods for VP and cards, and it makes blue planets, which tend to be cheap, worth extra VP.
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Dave J McWeasely
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Galactic Renaissance: no comment.

Free Trade Association: Well, Expanding Colony has always sucked. The chances of needing it with FTA - which already has a windfall produce and a vastly superior consume power - are zero. So this 2-point bonus was really only there for the very, very, very, very, very rare cases where you get Expanding Colony before FTA. Until we get a novelty windfall homeworld, that will remain almost unheard of. So the 2 points other reason for being there was symmetry with Mining League / Mining Robots.

Mining League: This one does feel a little deflater-mouse to me, largely because the Rare windfalls only score 1 point. However, how good should it really be in light of the excellent new Prospecting Guild? Do we really need two full-fledged brown 6-devs?

There's also the issue of the "engine" card's scarcity. FTA wants Consumer Markets. Mining League wants the Conglomerate. Galactic Exchange wants Diversified Economy. Tough cookies! Those combos are exceedingly good. We don't really need more occurrences of them cropping up.

Pan Galactic League: Well, the density of Contact Specialist isn't really decreasing, since they threw an extra in in Gathering Storm. Given that and the huge boost Green monogood strategies have gotten recently, I'm not crying for Pan Galactic Gargleblaster League.

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Todd McCorkle
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MrWeasely wrote:
There's also the issue of the "engine" card's scarcity. FTA wants Consumer Markets. Mining League wants the Conglomerate. Galactic Exchange wants Diversified Economy. Tough cookies! Those combos are exceedingly good. We don't really need more occurrences of them cropping up.
I'm not sure I follow here. What exactly are the combos you're talking about? (It doesn't help that I'll have to look up mining league/conglomerate to remember exactly what they do).

FTA and Consumer Markets have very similar abilities. How often do you need to consume 6 blue goods? Even when I had the opportunity to play markets after having FTA down, I usually had something that would earn more points.

Same with Gal Exchange and Diversified Econ. If you have the multi-colored production worlds, Div Econ is all you need consume wise (with produce card draw to boot!). Gal Exchange does the same thing, slightly better, more flexible, and even scores bonus points. Having both seems redundant to me in most cases.
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Tom Lehmann
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Obviously, 6s that depend on specific cards score less for them, on average, as the deck gets larger (note that third Contact Specialists and Research Labs was added in the first and second expansions respectively, so PGL and Gal. Ren. are less affected by this deck dilution).

However, a 6 that scores slightly less on average in one area may, in fact, improve overall due to increased synergy with other cards added in expansions. The Mining League, for example, gains from synergy with Prospecting Guild; PGL from the Galactic Genome Project; and Galactic Imperium from both Imperium Lords and Imperium Seat. Galactic Salon tends to help Consume-Produce strategies and therefore, implicitly, Gal. Ren. The increased number of Explore powers on cards helps SETI, etc. Goals can also help a given 6 -- ATI gains from the 3 ***Alien*** cards goal, for example.

As we develop expansions, we try to keep all the 6s balanced in various ways, though this isn't always possible.

As a teaser, I will say that the third expansion adds several 6s that help FTA and Merchant Guild; two 6s that got a bit weaker after the second expansion.
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kusinohki wrote:

FTA and Consumer Markets have very similar abilities. How often do you need to consume 6 blue goods?

Same with Gal Exchange and Diversified Econ.

Well, actually it happens pretty often that people need more than the ability to consume 3 blue goods. But that's not the main reason. Nor is it the 2-3 point bonus explicitly spelled out in the 6-dev.

The reason you want both is because it lets you draw cards both on the consume and the produce phase. With both and - say - 3 production worlds, you're drawing 3 cards each and every turn. Its extremely hard for your opponents to call enough builds to run you out of cards, and there's no cracks in your cardflow, regardless of the position of the crank arm.

Once this combo comes out, the game is all but over. The production player just robotically calls 2x/Produce for the rest of the game. It degenerates into a card-drawing contest for the producer - can s/he draft builds well enough to keep the builder players from catching up? And if the builder players foolishly call Settle before the last turn - watch out!
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Thanks for the teaser.

I was trying to remember if there were two Contact Specialists; I guess adding one takes care of the odds of finding it. I'd forgotten about the additional Research Lab (which I'm liking a little more now that I've experimented with it in Keldon's AI, although usually for the explore power and nothing else; produce power if I'm lucky or start with the Alien world).
 
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zurn wrote:
Some of the 6-devs in the base set rely on specific cards to get victory points, such as Artist Colony for Galactic Renaissance. With a bigger deck after adding both expansions, I figure maybe these need a boost to increase the odds of running into an appropriate card; I find these 5-devs to be weaker than the rest in any case, so if I'm over-correcting, that's maybe not a bad thing. I've tried to remain true to the theme of the cards. I realize this might slightly change the value of the additional cards, but this is mostly for fun anyways.
Some mention of exp #1, but exp #2 as well? Either way, I'll likely spill into those respective territories

zurn wrote:
Galactic Renaissance -> Add Galactic Studios as another 3-point bonus. This feels like the weakest 6-dev to me of the 4 here, and Galactic Studios is expensive to place.

This sure as hell wouldn't be the 1st gripe against GR.
My stab would be (untested) to give within the following range:
1pt per world with produce power and/or 1pt dev with produce power.

That may seem steep for a card that wasn't meant to score as high and that easily/often, so to tone it down, 1p/3 produce powers on devs and/or worlds

Perhaps add an OPTIONAL 1 good into 1 VP power, which would aid in its cause in scoring VPs. As mentioned, Artist Colony and GT fuel GR, but those are only 2 cards in the whole deck. RL comes in qty of 2, or 3 in the 2nd exp, but only fuels the Explore part of it. This does make New Economy a better "scorer"

I think it's worth noting that it's distant cousin, Pan Galactic Reasearch from exp #2 (on account of having that groovy +2 look, +1 look explore power) is more often a no-brainer must build while GR requires some planning and anticipation to even see if it'll work out
Same great I power, a small but still significant II power, and a good V power. I and V each are 6-cost level dev powers. It's also worth straight up 4pts, of which I find myself lucky to get even that many pts from GR. (Sometimes ditto with Merchant GUild, with the draw 2 crads produce power.) That, or I have the VP, but not GR specifically. GR's saving grace can be if you just need pts and are set up with a combo of the 3pt-ers and decent amt of VP



In fact, one way to "balance" GR is to have another card that scores pts for VP, as all the other types come in plenty. Some tweaking needed to make it practical if possible of course. Or apply the converse of the paradigm.... devs like like FTA provide bonus pts for cards that already serve a function. E.g. ELC produces blue goods for one funcion.

VPs just get you more VPs with GR. That's great, but not flexible. Perhaps a way to turn in VPs to further your engine in some way?


zurn wrote:
Free Trade Association -> Merchant World for 2 points, or possibly Galactic Bazaar (but that's already a Novelty world)


I think this is fine the way it is.


zurn wrote:
Mining League -> Replicant Robots for 2 points (it's a development with "Robot" in it...)


I think this is ALMOST fine the way it is. Moreso for theme than gameplay, grant 2pts for Terraforming Robots. Similar to your reasoning, I see Terraforming, think "earth", which is primarily the material that rare goods are, and instinctively tie it in with Mining League as well. IMO, RR is generic in both theme and gameplay, but that's just me line of thinking

Interestingly enough, Prospecting Guild already covers this. THe "Terraforming" part and not the "Robots" part



zurn wrote:
Pan-Galactic League -> Wasn't sure what to add for this one, any ideas? I was thinking the other -1 Military cards, but it doesn't quite work; Empath World is already a Gene world (too confusing/good), and Refugee World doesn't quite fit thematically


I think this is fine.

I would actually tangant off to it's sister card Galactic Genome Project and grant that a Produce on green windfall power, as green has fewer of that than brown worlds (which I acknowledge is probably intentional)

zurn wrote:
Or is it all moot because the final card mix was accounted for when designing these cards?
Tom and team mentioned through various articles and podcasts that some of these cards are there to balance gameply, while others are moreso for thematic reasons.

Others are there for "zen" reasons. They're intentionally not as preferred over other cards (e.g. Gal. Seti Survey is more preferred over GR, Terraforming Guidl from exp #1 is preferred over Merchant Guild). This is such that not every single card is meant to EXACTLY BALANCED.
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MrWeasely wrote:
kusinohki wrote:

FTA and Consumer Markets have very similar abilities. How often do you need to consume 6 blue goods?

Same with Gal Exchange and Diversified Econ.

Well, actually it happens pretty often that people need more than the ability to consume 3 blue goods. But that's not the main reason. Nor is it the 2-3 point bonus explicitly spelled out in the 6-dev.

The reason you want both is because it lets you draw cards both on the consume and the produce phase. With both and - say - 3 production worlds, you're drawing 3 cards each and every turn. Its extremely hard for your opponents to call enough builds to run you out of cards, and there's no cracks in your cardflow, regardless of the position of the crank arm.

Once this combo comes out, the game is all but over. The production player just robotically calls 2x/Produce for the rest of the game. It degenerates into a card-drawing contest for the producer - can s/he draft builds well enough to keep the builder players from catching up? And if the builder players foolishly call Settle before the last turn - watch out!
Another being is if you need some way to get VP (chips) and have another blue, I personally would love to have the ultimate blue setup of Cons. Markets + FTA. FTA giving Cons. Markets an additional 2pts is almost icing on the cake.

However, if I'm only able to get CM -or- FTA, I won't be picky. I'll build one of them to enable my blue worlds to start earning VP chips. Cons. Markets is still the only dev that costs 5. It's practically a 6-cost dev in several ways.
 
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MrWeasely wrote:
Well, actually it happens pretty often that people need more than the ability to consume 3 blue goods. But that's not the main reason. Nor is it the 2-3 point bonus explicitly spelled out in the 6-dev.

The reason you want both is because it lets you draw cards both on the consume and the produce phase. With both and - say - 3 production worlds, you're drawing 3 6 cards each and every turn. Its extremely hard for your opponents to call enough builds to run you out of cards, and there's no cracks in your cardflow, regardless of the position of the crank arm.


Fix that for you!
 
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alex1326 wrote:
MrWeasely wrote:
With both and - say - 3 production worlds, you're drawing 3 6 cards each and every turn. Its extremely hard for your opponents to call enough builds to run you out of cards, and there's no cracks in your cardflow, regardless of the position of the crank arm.


Fix that for you! ;)

He was referring to non-2pa.
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
Obviously, 6s that depend on specific cards score less for them, on average, as the deck gets larger (note that third Contact Specialists and Research Labs was added in the first and second expansions respectively, so PGL and Gal. Ren. are less affected by this deck dilution).


To paraphrase Tom:
"Galactic Renaissance is not weaker! In the second expansion it gets 50% more poison pills to pair itself with, thanks to the extra Research Labs!" Gee thanks. If I build this I pretty much lose the game, so now there's 50% more temptation to do something stupid and lose.
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Only 50%??? Man, I'm slipping... ;-)
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. IMO, the best way to balance 6 devs is to draw a line between power and chances of it being useful with a random set of cards: Imperium lords is crazy powerful, but only in some scenarios. Something like trade league is useful most of the time, but it's not a game-ender if you randomly draw it.

The Renaissance sure gets worse with every expansion, and probably needs some improvement. I'd also argue that the same thing, to a lesser extent, happens to Merchant Guild. The worst part about Free Trade association is not the fact that it's not all that useful by itself, but that consumer markets is so much better it makes it look bad.

On the other end of the spectrum, we all know about the Terraforming Guild lottery: The powers are good, the VPs it can produce near the top of every category, and it's often enough a top 3 6 dev with any random set of cards in front of you. Exp2 weakened it a tad IMO, but it's still too good.

Now, if I had a computer with more ram, so that that darned python xml parser didn't take a million years to parse the online game statistics, I'd like to try the following: For every single ending tableau we have access to, check how the final score would change after adding each 6 dev. The shape of the points distributions would be interesting indeed.
 
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hibikir wrote:
.
Now, if I had a computer with more ram, so that that darned python xml parser didn't take a million years to parse the online game statistics, I'd like to try the following: For every single ending tableau we have access to, check how the final score would change after adding each 6 dev. The shape of the points distributions would be interesting indeed.


If you write Python code to score an arbitrary tableau, I'll compute those stats for you.

Scraping the data is unnecessary, you just need a JSON parser in your favorite language.

http://rftgstats.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/genie_analysis/con...

It should take, I don't know, 15 seconds to parse the data. Certainly much, much less time than it will take to implement a tableau scorer.

Edit: Maybe you were trying to use a json (not XML) parser? If your machine is choking parsing that data (I feel sorry for your utter lack of computing power, my $400 3 years ago crappy dell desktop has no problems), you could always just sample 1000 games or 10000 games.
 
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MrWeasely wrote:
Tom Lehmann wrote:
Obviously, 6s that depend on specific cards score less for them, on average, as the deck gets larger (note that third Contact Specialists and Research Labs was added in the first and second expansions respectively, so PGL and Gal. Ren. are less affected by this deck dilution).


To paraphrase Tom:
"Galactic Renaissance is not weaker! In the second expansion it gets 50% more poison pills to pair itself with, thanks to the extra Research Labs!" Gee thanks. If I build this I pretty much lose the game, so now there's 50% more temptation to do something stupid and lose.


I think you're underestimating marginal bonus points. There are a lot of ways that Research Labs and Galactic Renaissance could be worthwhile to you. Most Developments goal, Most Explore Powers, First 6 Bonus Development, Galactic Bankers, Galactic Federation, SETI, keep 3/4 on explore. I'm not saying I would play it every time but there is a lot of potential for points there.
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fargus9 wrote:
MrWeasely wrote:

To paraphrase Tom:
"Galactic Renaissance is not weaker! In the second expansion it gets 50% more poison pills to pair itself with, thanks to the extra Research Labs!" Gee thanks. If I build this I pretty much lose the game, so now there's 50% more temptation to do something stupid and lose.

I think you're underestimating marginal bonus points.


I think he's underestimating EXPLORE.
 
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Many Bothans died to give us this information:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
RESEARCH LABS = TEH SUK!

Believe you me, I have tried many times to have a powerful "explore" phase advantage in TGS. I won't say I've lost every time ... but it basically requires mass incompetence on the part of the other players, or horrifically bad luck on their part. In RvI I've been having better luck, partially because of the goals, and partially by pairing it with the new and robust develop strategy.
 
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smestorp wrote:
fargus9 wrote:
MrWeasely wrote:

To paraphrase Tom:
"Galactic Renaissance is not weaker! In the second expansion it gets 50% more poison pills to pair itself with, thanks to the extra Research Labs!" Gee thanks. If I build this I pretty much lose the game, so now there's 50% more temptation to do something stupid and lose.

I think you're underestimating marginal bonus points.


I think he's underestimating EXPLORE.

Not to mention the 1VP green consume, to kick those awesome UPLIFT consume/produce engines into high gear.
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Yeah, EXPLORE was a little weak before RvI, but who plays without both expansions these days? I've had some games where I just explored every round and won convincingly - it doesn't matter that everyone else is getting 1 card off it when I'm getting 4-5 cards of my choice. Awesome, especially with Pan-Galactic Research Labs.
 
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smestorp wrote:
Yeah, EXPLORE was a little weak before RvI, but who plays without both expansions these days?
Uh, you mean besides the 500 games per day on Genie?
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In my very first game of RvI, I had every single explore power in the game, and I called explore every single phase (except the first one) due to a lack of other useful things to do. I got third out of three, against a develop strategy that drew 3 cards/ develop phase, and some weird produce hybrid strategy.

And I still don't play much with RvI. Admittedly I've been slacking lately on Rftg in general, but that's due more to losing for dumb reasons than anything else.
 
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The explore power is strong, but you don't develop a 6-dev that scores with VP just to explore. Explore is more often used for military in my opinion, so that galactic renaissance explore power is more of a "leech" power.

I find that in a 2-player game, Gal Ren didn't give me enough points so consider skipping a consome cycle. (I need the cards in hand but that's usually ok, I need to delay the last produce/consume by 1 turn, which might allow my opponent to score even more, and I find it even worse in a 2-p adv.). I usually play galactic renaissance during a dev of my opponent, while i have the cards in hand, and i finish my consume cycle. If I have the choice between produce/consume for 8 points and finish the game, or do a dev to get me max 7 points (21+ chips, I rarely play the labs, and usually never in a consume strat).

BUT now with prestige, the extra 5 chips AND THE X3 CONSUME, it starts to be more and more interesting. I once had 33 chips, once 37. Yet.. 11-12 is far far far away from those 16-18 you can sometime get from those "rebel 6-devs"...

In 3-p games (I too rarely play 4 or more player games), the renaissance gets more and more into play (all depends how many chips the opponents took, if few, like when both are military, you might be able to stock a lot of them and so score very nicely with the renaissance)

Gal Ren, for me :
- is a dev to play during your opponent dev, especially in a >3-p games
- has a very bad synergy with labs, because labs cost is expensive, green consume without giving cards is rarely needed and never better than other consume you might have, and cards on produce is barely used in consume strats - I'm thinking alien toy shop and alien factory home world - the rest sounds too situational.

Gal Ren would have been nice with a consome-related power, especially since its score potential isn't that high on 2-p game. Like : good for 1 point + 1 card, or produce fill a windfall or some utility like consume cards in hand to draw new card (like the research project), so that would help you search or extra consume power, cheap production world, or 6-dev. Btw gal ren would then bring 2 points to the "consume powers" 6-dev. While synergy with SETI is a bit of a waste (since you rarely place 10 worlds in a consume strategy, and because most +explore worlds are not production worlds).
 
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