Recommend
42 
 Thumb up
 Hide
47 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Race for the Galaxy» Forums » Reviews

Subject: It's great AND it has flaws - a mixed review rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Filip W.
Sweden
Linköping
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Euros are better with dice!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Saying that there is something wrong with Race for the Galaxy is a flame war invitation on the scale of slapping Mike Tyson. How can this fantastic/magnificent/eloquent/RftG-for-president game be anything but perfect? Sure, Race for the Galaxy is a good, and in some aspects great, game but it does have flaws that limit its enjoyment for certain people.

Personal bias: At the time of writing I rate Race for the Galaxy as 8/10 (after approx. 80 games).


The good

Race for the Galaxy does inspire quite a bit of flutter in the gutter. Here's why:

1. Fast without being fluffy
For me this is the Holy Grail of gaming; a game that is fast yet heavy, that flows swiftly while offering intellectual challenge. Race for the Galaxy isn't quite at Holy Grail level but it's close, cramming a medium weight Euro into a coffee break. The playing time is on par with Quicksandwhile the complexity is about level with St. Petersburg, maybe even slightly higher; Race for the Galaxy is a filler with brains.

2. Great iconography
I'm a sucker when it comes to good components, not only in the sense of production value but in the sense that they help, rather than hinder, game play. The tiny resource and population markers in the first edition of Through the Ages had a high production value (I don't think that I've seen nicer looking markers) but they were horrible to use. Race for the Galaxy's cards are both good to look at and easy to overview, once you've gotten past the learning curve. The icons are quite clear on what they represent - no graphics included for their coolness factor, everything is functional while still looking good.

That's a difficult thing to pull off.

3. Thought out and tested

You can see if a designer has bothered to properly play test his creation, it's in the flow of the game, the way the mechanics cooperate, the way the corners are rounded and nothing catches, noting holds up the flow, the rhythm, the joy of the game. Playing Race for the Galaxy you can literally feel the huge number of play test sessions put into it. And that's the hallmark of designers and publishers who care about the players of their games.

4. High replay value

There are near endless combinations of cards in Race for the Galaxy, each more or less usable in any of the four major strategy types (military, trade, points and card drawing engines). Each of these strategies can then focus on multiple sub-strategies, or combine with other major strategies, each affected by the card combos in hand or drawn in the following turns. This makes each game of RftG somewhat different and the replay value very high.

5. Well balanced
If you've read the strategy discussions here on the 'Geek ("military is underpowered", "military is overpowered", "genes are underpowered", "genes are overpowered" (that last one I made up)) you might get the impression that RftG is anything but balanced. In my opinion there is a fantastic balance in RftG. There is no single card (like the Mistress and Observatory in St. Petersburg or any number of Magic cards when they first come out) that is a must have game breaker. Every cards has its place, from the cheapest of developments to the highest of scoring worlds. Even the silly Pilgrimage world that removes your victory points if you fail to utilize all your goods properly has a place in the right combo.

Considering how many cards there are in RftG and how mindbogglingly many viable combinations it's a feat of game design hard to surpass that the game is so well balanced.

6. Plenty of strategic depth
There is plenty of strategic depth in Race for the Galaxy, especially considering that it's such a short game. While there are only so many (four) major strategies, there are multiple ways of implementing and combining them (see "high replay value" above) and the key to winning in Race for the Galaxy is to know when a lucky card draw lets you shift into a different, higher yield strategy. You can affect this luck of the draw by keeping your options open for as long as you can, sometimes even foregoing to act in a phase in order to conserve cards and future options.

While not quite a brain burner, this strategic flexibility makes RftG more filling than your average filler.

7. High production value
The art in Race for the Galaxy blows me away. Not because it's spectacular on it's own, but because it conveys the feeling of the game in a spectacular way - it fits and carries the theme in an otherwise dry Eurogame. In addition to that all the chits, components, and cards are well made and feel solid. There's plenty of production value in RftG, and while it's not something that will make or break a game for me, I do appreciate it.

8. Great theme
This is an extension of the above - the great graphics, the names, the resources, everything combines to give the feeling that there's more than meets the eye, a whole world hidden behind the game - I can feel that if I stopped playing the world would go on, somewhere, with imperium agents and rebel sympathisers, with traders and black marketeers, with frontier worlds, decadent hedonists and thousands of other tiny moving cogs.

The bad

No pleasure without pain, no sunshine without rain, no game without its bad points. Here are the ones I find most disturbing in Race for the Galaxy:

1. No player interaction
This is the major issue with Race for the Galaxy: it's multiplayer solitaire if I've ever seen one - even more so than Agricola. There are only two ways in which to interact with others: to leech off their actions (or not take actions where they can leech from you) or to hold cards you can see they need in your hand. That last one is only marginally meaningful - games of RftG are rarely long enough to shuffle the deck more than once.

A side effect of this, and the fact that you're doing everything simultaneously and everyone finishes in about the same time, is that there is very little table talk. I've played hands of RftG where the only utterances were comments about whose turn it is to shuffle, occasional questions about the number of cards in a player's hand and the final announcement of your total score - so if social interaction is something you value in games, stay far, far away from RftG.

One solution (although I know that many people won't agree with me here) is to play 2-player games which become even more solitaire as you've get two (instead of one) actions of your choice. At the same time the game slows down some which, in my experience at least, leads to more table talk. Paradoxically you have more solitaire and more (meta-) interaction. Perhaps this is only because of the opponents I've played in 2 player games, but I because of it I have come to enjoy 2 player games more than 3, 4 or 5 players games.

2. High threshold / steep learning curve
Expect your first games of Race for the Galaxy to be awkward affairs as you're trying to learn the phases, special powers and what icon signifies which. Expect the games after that (up to, say, ten) to be rather awkward as you understand the icons but still grope for any type of viable strategy. I didn't mind this all that much, as I found RftG to be logical in its build and rather intuitive in both mechanics and graphics, but I've played with people who, after five or ten games, still fumble their way through while peering closely at the cards and the player aids. While most of them overcome their problems and are able to play decently after twenty games or so (if you can convince them to play that many games) I've met a (limited) few for whom RftG is beyond the limit of what they're comfortable with learning.

There's a flip side to this: if you've got a table of experienced players and one new, the game time will go from 20 minutes to the double or more - it's not uncommon for a first game to take up to an hour. This means that there's a definite sacrifice that has to be made by every experienced RftG player when admitting a new player for the first time and I've seen situations where people have declined to play because they felt like a few quick hands and not a teaching game.

3. You can get locked out
It's quite possible to get into a situation where you're either hopelessly behind or where every action you can benefit from will benefit another player even more. This is mitigated by RftG's short playing time - you can take consolation in the fact that the game will end soon - but on the few occasions where I've been in the hole and the game hasn't ended in short order I've felt that it dragged on and on and on while I grew progressively more frustrated about not having anything meaningful to do.

4. Lack of strategic depth

Didn't I just say that there's plenty of strategic depth in Race for the Galaxy? Yes, that's true - but there are only so many strategies to master and once you do master them, you'll see that in a way you're locked into the major ways of winning. And once you've internalized those ways and are used to seeing your cards the "proper" strategic way you can almost play RftG on automatic pilot, especially in the mid-game. While I enjoy this aspect of the game, I do occasionally miss the ability to succeed with crazy, long-shot type, it's-almost-suicide-but-let's-hope-it-works type of actions like doing a last ditch naval assault in East Front or stripping away all of your defences for a preemptive strike in Twilight Imperium 3.

5. Weakly themed
This is another one of those "what, didn't you just say the opposite?" items. Yes, I love the theme in Race for the Galaxy - but I don't think that it is very strongly tied to the mechanics (theme vs. themed). To me a strongly themed game is one where one can't exchange the theme without losing much of the logic in the game. In RftG, as in most Euros, the theme isn't what carries the game - you could switch RftG to a medieval setting and it would be just as enjoyable. Compare that to a game like East Front (a WW2 game), which I consider to be strongly themed, where you can't exchange Nazis and Soviets for, say, Elves and Orcs without losing a lot of what makes me like the game (as a WW2 geek, the Germans capturing Moscow is much more exciting to me than the Orcs capturing High Warden).

This isn't an issue for me - I like the theme and I like the game - but I've got friends who prefer their games strongly themed and they do turn up their noses at RftG.

6. Small type on cards
If you don't know the icons you'll need to refer to the help text on the cards themselves (there is a player aid but not everyone likes to use player aids). And if you're eyesight is anything but 20/20 you'll be in trouble.

One of my gaming buddies, who generally likes RftG type of games, can't stand it. Not because of gameplay, theme or mechanics but because he can't read the text on the cards. He's played RftG several times now and always goes away with a headache after a single round and I'm pretty sure that he'll reach his limit of how many times he's willing to try it before he manages to learn all the card mechanisms by heart.

If you've got trouble with reading tiny type, expect a lot of annoyance when learning Race for the Galaxy.

7. Colors are hard to tell
This is the other part of the visibility problem: RftG is color coded and the colors seem to be chosen for their aesthetics rather than legibility. While I appreciate the look of the different goods, I can't play it in anything but bright, white light. Some of the worlds I know by heart, others I can figure out from the text (if it says "uplift" it means "genes") but even after all my games there are still worlds whose production I can't differentiate from each other unless I've got good lightning conditions.

For me this isn't all that big a deal - I just avoid playing RftG when the light is bad - but for someone like my dad, who could learn to like it but is color blind, it's a definite deal breaker. I don't know whether I'd suggest doing what Eagle Games did with the third edition of Through the Ages (having very distinct but butt ugly colors) but for some people the ability to tell resources apart (perhaps with tiny icons like in Ticket to Ride) might have meant the difference between enjoying RftG and not being able to play.

8. Slightly too short
I'm a sucker for a working engine. I love to see my empire get past its initial hurdles and grow bigger, bigger and bigger until it encompasses the entire world. MWAHAHAHAHAHA!

Race for the Galaxy is all about engine building - but it stops right when the emotional payoff gets going. On a good hand I get one or two turns when everything is flowing, when the cards keep dropping into place, the points keep pouring in and everything fits together perfectly. It's a zen moment but invariably it gets interrupted by someone (often me) building their twelfth card or gathering the last victory point, it's "Game over, man!" and there I stand with my big slam-dunk still about to happen.

As flaws goes this is a minor one. But once in a while I would like to get that emotional high I associate with a successful build engine and in RftG I never quite reach that peak.

Conclusion

Would I recommend Race for the Galaxy? Yes - if you're into Euros it's probably the perfect game for you. But if you're into tons of dice, games that weave a tale or games with memorable life-or-death moments, then you might learn to appreciate it but I doubt whether you'll ever love it.
30 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Snowball
Belgium
n/a
flag msg tools
badge
Gender: pot*ato. My opinion is an opinion.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: It's great AND it stinks - a mixed review
I also have mixed feelings towards RftG.
If I feel the strategies are balanced, the same cannot be said for cards. Some think it's a feature and I agree to a certain point, but things like the Alien Toyshop or the Galactic Trendsetters are gamebreakers for me; get them in your starting hand and you become nearly unstoppable. I know this has been discussed to death and the cards I mention imply a predictable strategy, but still: this makes the luck of the draw an important factor in the game.

Still, the gameplay is addictive.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Cameron McKenzie
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: It's great AND it stinks - a mixed review
I don't really agree with your con #4. A lot of intermediate players will look at their hand and think "This development will score me a lot of points, and I can afford to play it." and just call Develop right then and there.
The thing is, if you can afford to put it off, you should consider that. Develop is probably going to happen eventually, whether you call it or not, plus you can always call it later yourself if nobody else does. In the mean time, you can pick actions that have better benefits for you.

Exploring is usually preferable to developing unless, as I mentioned, you get a specific benefit for developing sooner rather than later.

It's just one example, but it's the kind of thing you watch out for. Even if it is obvious which cards in your hand you want to play, it is not always the best idea to choose the phase to play those cards.

As players start to realize the importance of choosing their phases with care, the interaction also becomes more interesting. Figuring out what your opponents are going to pick is really important, and if your opponents are good, it's not immediately obvious what they will pick (for the reasons I mentioned). Sure, this is just observation and doesn't really prompt any discussion between players, but a lot of Euros can end up like that. I've played a game of Puerto Rico in almost complete silence before and it was still plenty of fun.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: It's great AND it stinks - a mixed review
filwi wrote:
2. High threshold / steep learning curve


Woo hoo! Someone who agrees with me on the meaning of "steep". In the last thread, more people seemed to be voting for the opposite meaning (i.e., steep learning curve would mean it's very easy to learn quickly).
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Randall Bart
United States
Winnetka
California
flag msg tools
designer
Baseball been bery bery good to me
badge
This is a picture of a published game designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: It's great AND it stinks - a mixed review
DaviddesJ wrote:
In the last thread, more people seemed to be voting for the opposite meaning (i.e., steep learning curve would mean it's very easy to learn quickly).

I didn't disagree. I said it's a bad metaphor because it could be used either way. I call it a difficult learning curve.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Børge N
Norway
Porsgrunn
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: It's great AND it stinks - a mixed review
DaviddesJ wrote:

Woo hoo! Someone who agrees with me on the meaning of "steep". In the last thread, more people seemed to be voting for the opposite meaning (i.e., steep learning curve would mean it's very easy to learn quickly).


I agree with you too! Of course it depends on whether you put "time" or "knowledge" on the x-axis. I thought it was natural to put "time" on the x-axis. What thread are you referring to?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Børge N
Norway
Porsgrunn
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: It's great AND it stinks - a mixed review
borgemik wrote:
I agree with you too! Of course it depends on whether you put "time" or "knowledge" on the x-axis. I thought it was natural to put "time" on the x-axis. What thread are you referring to?


Wow, I confused myself here: Putting time on the x-axis creates the opposite meaning. Seems Wikipedia agrees on not to agree: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_curve#Common_terms.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kristjan Lennuk
Estonia
Tallinn
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: It's great AND it stinks - a mixed review
filwi wrote:

1. No player interaction

3. You can get locked out
It's quite possible to get into a situation where you're either hopelessly behind or where every action you can benefit from will benefit another player even more. This is mitigated by RftG's short playing time - you can take consolation in the fact that the game will end soon - but on the few occasions where I've been in the hole and the game hasn't ended in short order I've felt that it dragged on and on and on while I grew progressively more frustrated about not having anything meaningful to do.


Don´t these two complaints conflict with each other?

There is no direct interaction, but the subtle interaction is there. If you would play alone you could pick explore +1,+1 about 10 times in a row and not worry about how much others get ahead in this time. And while doing so, find the ultimate killer combo of cards and then start developing and settling those, and if you have to discard some essential card - whats the worry, just explore and trade a bit and it´s there again. And all the agonizing decisions of wheter to pick a role or not this round because the other player(s) could get an advantage - gone! 80+ points each time.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeremy Arcus-Goldberg
United States
Natick
MA
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Re: It's great AND it stinks - a mixed review
Quote:
8. Slightly too short
I'm a sucker for a working engine. I love to see my empire get past its initial hurdles and grow bigger, bigger and bigger until it encompasses the entire world. MWAHAHAHAHAHA!


My opinion differs on yours here. Through the first few dozen plays, I often felt like I was behind the leader and therefore never got my big play out or my big consume engine going. I had to do some homework (thanks Strategy articles! - a good example: "[thread=http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/434647/whos-the-beatdown]Who's the Beatdown[/thread]"). I rethought about the idea of the game as RACE and my gameplay improved. Now I am almost always the one pushing the game forward with more dev and worlds down in my tableau or getting chips off the vp stack. You may never find this to be to your liking, but I don't see it as a Negative of the game, since a race mentality over an engine or big final play (that you don't get to do because the game ends to soon) mentality is even in the title of it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Royce Hix
United States
Mequon
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: It's great AND it stinks - a mixed review
filwi wrote:

I've met a (limited) few for whom RftG is beyond the limit of what they're comfortable with learning.


I'm one of the limited few but for a different reason - the game just isn't enough fun or deep enough to warrant the learning curve of so many similar looking obscure icons. Sure, I could bash my face against it over and over until it sinks in and I play the game smoothly but the effort isn't worth it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
flag msg tools
badge
Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DaviddesJ wrote:
filwi wrote:
2. High threshold / steep learning curve


Woo hoo! Someone who agrees with me on the meaning of "steep". In the last thread, more people seemed to be voting for the opposite meaning (i.e., steep learning curve would mean it's very easy to learn quickly).


A learning curve measures changes in performance over a period of time or number of trials. How would you draw a learning curve for something that was difficult to master? Would it look steep?

The definition of "steep learning curve" has gotten muddied because many people using it don't know what a learning curve is, let alone how to plot one. Furthermore, they tend to favor the qualitative definition of steep as: "high" over the technical definition: "large angle with the plane of the horizon" which was the usage in the original phrase.

Try to imagine (if that's possible) if non-mathematicians started using the term factorial to mean determining the prime factors of a number, because they both include the word factor. How confusing would that be?

Randall is right; we should just abandon the term to the barbarians!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
out4blood wrote:
Furthermore, they tend to favor the qualitative definition of steep as: "high"


"Steep" has never meant "high".

It does, however, mean "difficult to climb".
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
flag msg tools
badge
Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DaviddesJ wrote:
out4blood wrote:
Furthermore, they tend to favor the qualitative definition of steep as: "high"


"Steep" has never meant "high".

It does, however, mean "difficult to climb".


Only in Jardinese.

Here's what it means in English.

Main Entry: 1steep
Pronunciation: \ˈstēp\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English stepe, from Old English stēap high, steep, deep; akin to Old Frisian stāp steep,
Middle High German stief — more at stoop
Date: before 12th century
1 : lofty, high —used chiefly of a sea
2 : making a large angle with the plane of the horizon
3 a : mounting or falling precipitously b : being or characterized by a
rapid and intensive decline or increase
4 : extremely or excessively high
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
out4blood wrote:
Only in Jardinese.


Wow, even for you this selective quoting is a true masterpiece of misinformation. If you continue reading a few more lines of your chosen reference:

STEEP implies such sharpness of pitch that ascent or descent is very difficult.

But no, I can see why you wouldn't want to include that.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
flag msg tools
badge
Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Note multiple uses of the word "high" in the definition. Did you miss that on purpose, or are you now admitting you were wrong?

Note that definition and implication are not the same.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Serge Levert
Canada
Vancouver
British Columbia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
filwi wrote:
1. No player interaction
[...]
A side effect of this, and the fact that you're doing everything simultaneously and everyone finishes in about the same time, is that there is very little table talk. I've played hands of RftG where the only utterances were comments about whose turn it is to shuffle, occasional questions about the number of cards in a player's hand and the final announcement of your total score - so if social interaction is something you value in games, stay far, far away from RftG.

That's interesting, certainly not the case with my playgroups. Might just be a more social atmosphere (FLGS), or less hardcore competitive players.

filwi wrote:
4. Lack of strategic depth[/b]
[...]
in a way you're locked into the major ways of winning. And once you've internalized those ways and are used to seeing your cards the "proper" strategic way you can almost play RftG on automatic pilot, especially in the mid-game.

I strongly disagree with this. You "can", but that's a recipe for losing. Predicting opponent phase choices is a meta-game in itself that is always changing. Optimizing your phase choice can thus be quite complex and rarely an auto-pilot decision. Also, every new card you draw and every new card placed by an opponent changes the game state and you must re-analyze what is your new optimum play at every point. Not to mention you can be extremely creative and play your second choice to often better effect than your "clear" first choice. This happens constantly as you get stronger and stronger over dozens and hundreds of plays.

filwi wrote:
8. Slightly too short
[...]
As flaws goes this is a minor one. But once in a while I would like to get that emotional high I associate with a successful build engine and in RftG I never quite reach that peak.

In 2pa at least, as one gets better and better at the game, you'll find that you very often end up with extremely explosive final turns - that emotional satisfaction you are looking for ensues. :)
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Filip W.
Sweden
Linköping
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Euros are better with dice!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
entranced wrote:

filwi wrote:
4. Lack of strategic depth[/b]
[...]
in a way you're locked into the major ways of winning. And once you've internalized those ways and are used to seeing your cards the "proper" strategic way you can almost play RftG on automatic pilot, especially in the mid-game.

I strongly disagree with this. You "can", but that's a recipe for losing. Predicting opponent phase choices is a meta-game in itself that is always changing. Optimizing your phase choice can thus be quite complex and rarely an auto-pilot decision. Also, every new card you draw and every new card placed by an opponent changes the game state and you must re-analyze what is your new optimum play at every point. Not to mention you can be extremely creative and play your second choice to often better effect than your "clear" first choice. This happens constantly as you get stronger and stronger over dozens and hundreds of plays.



I find that I can predict what the other players will do 90% of the time without any major thinking. I'm mostly stumped by newbies (almost random phase choices) and the occasion where someone switches from trading to 2 x VP.

Also, I sort my cards in order of value in my current situation so I know which cards to keep and which to throw. When I draw a new card all I have to do (mostly, sometimes I do re-evaluate) is put it in the correct slot in my hand. When I pay I simply count down from the right without having to re-evaluate at all.
Quote:


filwi wrote:
8. Slightly too short
[...]
As flaws goes this is a minor one. But once in a while I would like to get that emotional high I associate with a successful build engine and in RftG I never quite reach that peak.

In 2pa at least, as one gets better and better at the game, you'll find that you very often end up with extremely explosive final turns - that emotional satisfaction you are looking for ensues.


One of the reasons I like 2 player the most!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
SoCal
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
filwi wrote:
5. Well balanced
............

Even the silly Pilgrimage world that removes your victory points if you fail to utilize all your goods properly has a place in the right combo.
Pilgrammage World never gives you negative victory points. If you have 0 goods and it's time to do the Consume phase, then nothing happens. You certainly don't get -1 VP. IIRC, the reasoning was if you have 0 goods, it's not 0 - 1 = -1, it's just that you simply don't perform PW's consume power in that case.




DaviddesJ wrote:
filwi wrote:
2. High threshold / steep learning curve


Woo hoo! Someone who agrees with me on the meaning of "steep". In the last thread, more people seemed to be voting for the opposite meaning (i.e., steep learning curve would mean it's very easy to learn quickly).
I agree with you too. Both of you. Now I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around how "steep learning curve" could possible be a generally good thing, as in it being 'easy to learn'.

High learning curve is worse than a small learning curve. "Steep" to me implies high.

Reminds me of how a math teacher doesn't use "no slope" b/c "no" sounds like "0". Instead, he just says a vertical line is undefined as far as slopes go.

Similar concept in explaining Felix: Cat In The Sack. I explain the small dog goes after the worst cat, NOT the "lowest cat". For some reason, people think -3 is "lower" than -8, so I tell them to think of a number line like in math.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Serge Levert
Canada
Vancouver
British Columbia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
filwi wrote:
I find that I can predict what the other players will do 90% of the time without any major thinking. I'm mostly stumped by newbies (almost random phase choices) and the occasion where someone switches from trading to 2 x VP.

I think you might need some tougher opponents. :) Admittedly i have a very high prediction rate as well, prob about 75%, because none of my FLGS opponents have gone as crazy as i have. I've played 10-20x more games than most of them. BTW the Genie online server is a good place for high-calibre opposition if you don't have access to such IRL.

filwi wrote:
Also, I sort my cards in order of value in my current situation so I know which cards to keep and which to throw. When I draw a new card all I have to do (mostly, sometimes I do re-evaluate) is put it in the correct slot in my hand. When I pay I simply count down from the right without having to re-evaluate at all.

That's a good technique, but the rabbit hole goes deeper, believe me. Maybe it's because you don't use goals (do you?), but i find even every discard is constantly re-analyzed at all decision points. That makes for much better play than just discarding the X furthest cards on the left of my hand.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
out4blood wrote:
Note multiple uses of the word "high" in the definition. Did you miss that on purpose, or are you now admitting you were wrong?


I see two uses of the word "high". One is "used chiefly of a sea". I admit I don't understand what a "steep sea" would be. Do you understand that?

The other is "high" as in "high prices" (equivalent to "steep prices"). This is clearly a different usage of both "high" and "steep". It's not referring to things that are high above the ground (or sea level, etc.). It is true that I overlooked the synonyms "high prices" and "steep prices", but it's also true that neither of those usages have anything at all to do with "steep learning curves".
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Randall Bart
United States
Winnetka
California
flag msg tools
designer
Baseball been bery bery good to me
badge
This is a picture of a published game designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/steep%5B3%5D

Main Entry: 3steep
Function: verb
Etymology: Middle English stepen
Date: 14th century

transitive verb 1 : to soak in a liquid at a temperature under the boiling point (as for softening, bleaching, or extracting an essence)
2 : to cover with or plunge into a liquid (as in bathing, rinsing, or soaking)
3 : to saturate with or subject thoroughly to (some strong or pervading influence) intransitive verb : to undergo the process of soaking in a liquid
synonyms see soak
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Of course. A steep learning curve is one that has been softened or bleached. What was I thinking?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sean McCarthy
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just wait 'til you find out which definition of "curve" we're going to be using.
6 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
flag msg tools
badge
Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DaviddesJ wrote:
out4blood wrote:
Note multiple uses of the word "high" in the definition. Did you miss that on purpose, or are you now admitting you were wrong?


I see two uses of the word "high". One is "used chiefly of a sea". I admit I don't understand what a "steep sea" would be. Do you understand that?

The other is "high" as in "high prices" (equivalent to "steep prices"). This is clearly a different usage of both "high" and "steep". It's not referring to things that are high above the ground (or sea level, etc.). It is true that I overlooked the synonyms "high prices" and "steep prices", but it's also true that neither of those usages have anything at all to do with "steep learning curves".

Right. Because the original expression described a graphical relationship using the more formal definitions:
2 : making a large angle with the plane of the horizon
3 a : mounting or falling precipitously b : being or characterized by a
rapid and intensive decline or increase


Originally (and still to those who actually use them) a learning curve was something you went down, which is lost on a lot of people, and thus steepness was desired and denoted rapid learning.

Now, people seem to think of a learning curve as some sort of metaphorical hill to climb, where steepness is bad.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Randall Bart
United States
Winnetka
California
flag msg tools
designer
Baseball been bery bery good to me
badge
This is a picture of a published game designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
When I worked for Burroughs, the corporate style guide told me never to use "syntax" as a verb. This was stated without explanation, but the reason is simple. Some people say "the program syntaxed" meaning the program passed syntax checking, while others used the exact same words to mean the program got a syntax error. The expression is therefore useless.

Don't use "steep learning curve".
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.