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Subject: Prestige too strong in a 2 player game? rss

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Jan Richter
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After 10-15 games (all 2 player (normal) - no goals - with take-overs) I have the feeling that perstige is quite strong - possibly too strong.
The player with an early perstige lead benefits quite a lot from this. It is hard to beat this advance (4-5 VP + Perstige) and commiting to much to the prestige race is not a good idea. The best way to beat someone with an early prestige lead is to end the game as fast as you can via VP.

What is your opinion/experience?
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I thought the previous expansions were required to play BoW. That would seem to me that goals would be required, and the goals would provide proper balancing.
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Mark Delano
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Dreamdealer wrote:
After 10-15 games (all 2 player (normal) - no goals - with take-overs) I have the feeling that perstige is quite strong - possibly too strong.
The player with an early perstige lead benefits quite a lot from this. It is hard to beat this advance (4-5 VP + Perstige) and commiting to much to the prestige race is not a good idea. The best way to beat someone with an early prestige lead is to end the game as fast as you can via VP.

What is your opinion/experience?


I've found it's not too difficult to beat the prestige lead, what is difficult to beat is a prestige engine. If they start generating vp, cards and/or more prestige on a regular basis using prestige you are probably in big trouble.
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Mark Delano
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out4blood wrote:
I thought the previous expansions were required to play BoW. That would seem to me that goals would be required, and the goals would provide proper balancing.


I like goals, but I've found BoW quite enjoyable without goals. I'll probably switch back to playing with goals after a hundred or so plays.
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out4blood wrote:
I thought the previous expansions were required to play BoW. That would seem to me that goals would be required, and the goals would provide proper balancing.


Goals are an optional component of TGS, just as takeovers are optional for RVI. Previous expansions being required doesn't imply that optional components of previous expansions are required. Tom has said that they've playtested with all combinations of goals on/off and takeovers on/off.

How often are you seeing the different end conditions come up? (cards/vps/prestige)
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out4blood wrote:
I thought the previous expansions were required to play BoW. That would seem to me that goals would be required, and the goals would provide proper balancing.


goals are optional. for example I don't like them and play without them. Furthermore if Prestige is a problem, it becomes worse if the prestige goals are in.
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Michael Christenson
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Dreamdealer wrote:
After 10-15 games (all 2 player (normal) - no goals - with take-overs) I have the feeling that perstige is quite strong - possibly too strong.
The player with an early perstige lead benefits quite a lot from this. It is hard to beat this advance (4-5 VP + Perstige) and commiting to much to the prestige race is not a good idea. The best way to beat someone with an early prestige lead is to end the game as fast as you can via VP.

What is your opinion/experience?


Playing with no goals to offset the prestige advantage? Yes, I think that WOULD be too strong. Fortunately, you're playing with takeovers, which should give you at least one path to try to slow down your pretige-heavy opponent. You might try the 2p-advanced and see if prestige makes as big of a difference. The one 2p game I played of BoW I felt the same way you do - early prestige led me to a heavy win. That said, it takes time to develop strategy and counter-strategy, so one must be patient.
 
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I posted something very similar in this forum when I first started playing BoW. My first game someone started with Rebel Freedom Fighters and made a prestige on turn 1. She won. Next game Pan-Galactic Mediator+Contact Specialist and a steady stream of prestige won. Prestige is certainly powerful and I suspect you aren't giving it enough weight in your decision-making. Especially in 2p, it is very important to get a prestige early in the game. Fortunately, this is not hard. Nearly every BoW card gives you prestige in some way, which means nearly 1/5 of the deck grants prestige. If both players prioritize getting prestige, it is not that good anymore. I'm really enjoying the prestige mechanic, it adds another dimension of decision-making to the game and leads to yet more tough choices.
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smestorp wrote:
How often are you seeing the different end conditions come up? (cards/vps/prestige)


Last game I played (2-player) ended by all 3 conditions on the same turn. I'm not sure when I'll see that happen again....
 
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smestorp wrote:
out4blood wrote:
I thought the previous expansions were required to play BoW. That would seem to me that goals would be required, and the goals would provide proper balancing.


Goals are an optional component of TGS, just as takeovers are optional for RVI.

There's nothing in the rules that says anything about goals being an optional component of TGS. In the RvI rules, takeovers are explicitly noted as being an option, as is playing with or without TGS. TGS is only recommended. In the BoW rules, however, it says that both TGS and RvI are required. Now, obviously, you can play anyway you desire, but goals are part of the intended design of the game, and, according to the rules, aren't optional.
 
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Tom Lehmann
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out4blood wrote:
There's nothing in the rules that says anything about goals being an optional component of TGS. [...]

Correct. When doing TGS, I asked the lead publisher, Jay Tummelson, whether we needed to indicate any "official" way to play the game. His reply was no, that expansions, by definition, are optional, so that what items players used from an expansion was also optional. He gave one of the expansions for Carcassonne as an example, where some players use both the big Meeples and tiles, while others use just the tiles. Nothing in the expansion tells players that the big Meeples are "optional". Players do what they want to do when it comes to expansions.

Given this publisher decision, we have always tested RFTG expansions with goals on and off and takeovers on and off and offer no "official" way to play with regard to these items. It's up to the players.
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Tom,
Have you tested TBoW cards with prestige "off"? That seems cRaZy.
 
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It doesn't seem to be any different then when a player gets a killer VP chip engine and racks up the pts there. With PP, only difference is there are other benefits
 
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And so it begins... :/

In addition to Prestige, I'm pretty sure there's at least a half-dozen cards in tBoW that are going to get the usual suspects (and the occasional noob) bleating about "brokenness".

They'll be wrong, as usual.

tBoW works just fine without goals; indeed, some would say it works better without goals, particularly if you haven't yet made it past the "first/early prestige wins" stage. The prestige goals are just going to exacerbate the issue for you.

Honestly, y'all go through this phase with every expansion...hasn't it sunk in yet..with experience, it all works just fine.

Personally, I'm actually a little amazed at just how much new play/strategy/tactical space tBoW has opened up; there is a lot there to play around with and explore.

The intellectual-curiosity question for me is whether one can use the tBoW cards, and leave prestige "off"...
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fnord23 wrote:
The intellectual-curiosity question for me is whether one can use the tBoW cards, and leave prestige "off"...


Not much debate on that I think - it's just too ingrained in the expansion to be switched off. By my reckoning only 12/40 unique cards in tBoW have nothing to do with prestige, meaning you'd have to either modify a lot of cards, make them weaker or omit them entirely.

Edit: the number increases to 20/40 if you include the ones that give you a Prestige when played, but have no Prestige-related power (e.g. Galactic Markets, Black Hole Miners). The Prestige icon could just be ignored, just as you do with cards like that in RvI.

Some of the cards become essentially meaningless without prestige (e.g. Federation Capital, Pan-Galactic Affluence, Pan-Galactic Mediator). Removing PGM means you'd have to remove, weaken or house-rule modify Universal Peace Institute. No doubt there would be other similar knock-on effects if certain cards were removed - either directly as in that example, or indirectly in terms of balance of cards remaining in the deck.

Others are less clear-cut: e.g. Alien Research Team. Do you ignore its consume power, therefore weakening one of your start worlds? Do you house-rule a change to it and try to keep the power level similar, e.g. consume 1 Alien for 1 VP + 1 card?
 
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fnord23 wrote:
And so it begins... :/

In addition to Prestige, I'm pretty sure there's at least a half-dozen cards in tBoW that are going to get the usual suspects (and the occasional noob) bleating about "brokenness".

They'll be wrong, as usual.

Then why else would we be on here? To bleat like sheep? It's just interesting to debate some of these things.

Also, the discussion still only pertains to 2pa games. I'm sure everything else is just as fine and dandy as can be.
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Dana Lacoste
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So I remember back when details were first emerging that there was a general statement that:

1 - This expansion has a MUCH higher "mastery" learning curve than the previous two (or the base game). This means it will take quite a while for things to balance out and to figure out which is the "best" strategy. In my experience with the two previous expansions, I've come to the conclusion that the "best" strategy varies considerably on your personal play style and what cards you're dealt.

2 - Early on, Prestige will seem like "THE" power play and will be a bit overly powerful, but once experience is gained, things will balance out a bit.

I'm still waiting for my order to arrive, but when I look back: remember how "strong" military was in the base game for new players? In other words, "how easy it was to get up and going with military"? And eventually the produce/consume overpowered military? Then the expansions came out and upset things? I think this will happen again here: there are simply SO many options available and with search not requiring prestige.... I can see Prestige taking a back seat later on (just as the goals can take a back seat.)

In the end: is it fun to play?
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Tom Lehmann
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fnord23 wrote:
Personally, I'm actually a little amazed at just how much new play/strategy/tactical space tBoW has opened up; there is a lot there to play around with and explore.

Thank you. So am I! ;-) Despite roughly 1000 plays of TBoW during the last two years, I'm still having fun trying various combos.

(For the curious, the first TBoW playtest was 4/27/08, about two weeks after the publisher requested a 3rd expansion: 6 games, 3x3P & 3x2PA, 1 card broke immediately and was fixed during the session, 7 others were revised afterward.)
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The intellectual-curiosity question for me is whether one can use the tBoW cards, and leave prestige "off"...

26/48 cards involve prestige in their powers or VPs; another 9 provide a prestige when played. Ignoring prestige makes some cards pretty silly -- such as the Rebel Freedom Fighters -- and who would take the Alien Burial Site over Spice World? TBoW was certainly never tested that way...
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
(For the curious, the first TBoW playtest was 4/27/08, about two weeks after the publisher requested a 3rd expansion: 6 games, 3x3P & 3x2PA, 1 card broke immediately and was fixed during the session, 7 others were revised afterward.)

Wait, are we to surmise that the other 4032 cards were kept as is, never needing to be fixed from your original vision? That can't be right... can it?

Edit:
QBert80 wrote:
I posted something very similar in this forum when I first started playing BoW.

Prestige Leader Always Wins?
 
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entranced wrote:
Tom Lehmann wrote:
(For the curious, the first TBoW playtest was 4/27/08, about two weeks after the publisher requested a 3rd expansion: 6 games, 3x3P & 3x2PA, 1 card broke immediately and was fixed during the session, 7 others were revised afterward.)

Wait, are we to surmise that the other 4032 cards were kept as is, never needing to be fixed from your original vision? That can't be right... can it?


He means just from that series of play sessions, I think.

Comparing my first version to the published version, I think only one card is completely identical as far as powers are concerned.
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Jan Richter
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QBert80 wrote:
I posted something very similar in this forum when I first started playing BoW.

Prestige Leader Always Wins?
[/q]

Thanks for the hint - the one thing i found most amazing was this:

onigame wrote:
The short answer to your main question is: "Yes, the early prestige leader will always win... until his/her opponents get more familiar with the other strategies available in TBoW."

The learning curve has been lengthened. Enjoy your journey.


I´m looking forward to learn and adapt to beat "the early prestige lead". It is certainly possible (i´ve done it once or twice) but i feels (as of now) too much of an uphill battle. I don´t mind loosing once in a while, but it is quite frustrating to see you have no chance of winning after the 1/3 of the game.

I´ve wondered would you rather fight for the lead or try for a quick end via consume or settle. Which would mean something between 5-8 unopposed VP for your opponent. Without the right cards this can be though.
 
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I played 4 times last night - twice with just goals, twice with goals and takeovers. All three expansions.

Early prestige leader won every time, although at least one of those games was skewed by my some rather ridiculous card-drawing luck (like I saw exactly zero Prestige cards on my first six turns). Granted I am not as skilled as he when it comes to the game, having played far less, but it was still somewhat grating to watch the rich get richer Prestige-wise.

(In one game, though, it sure sucked to have topped out at 8 mil and be stuck with both Rebel Stronhold AND Alien Guardian in my hand with no way to get them into play. I kept them since the early game and, apart from the Imperium Troops I Searched for, I never saw another 1+ or 2+ mil dev ALL GAME. Ditto with any of the Alien mil chain. Gah! Bah! Snort!

I'm finding it challenging (in a 2p game, multiplayer my win rate is much better) to catch up / pass in Prestige without sacrificing too much tempo in building out my tableau.

If one guy drops Pan-Galactic mediator turn one and you're stuck with Imperium Invasion Fleet as your only Prestige card, it'll take a long time to recover from the card cost...

Of course, I look forward to figuring those kinds of things out, but for now 2p seems pretty Prestige-loaded.

pk
 
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PatK wrote:
[...]

I notice you're in BC, did a local store receive Brink of War?
 
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No, I was fortunate enough to attend the Gathering of Friends, where Jay Tummelson had advance copies of BoW (along with Dominion Alchemy, which I passed on) available for sale.

pk
 
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Tom Lehmann wrote:

Thank you. So am I! ;-) Despite roughly 1000 plays of TBoW during the last two years, I'm still having fun trying various combos.


Yeah, at this point, pretty much every game still gets an "A-Ha" moment as some new little trick or finesse occurs to me.

Quote:
TBoW was certainly never tested that way...


And that was the real question. ;)

Thanks for this game; 1200+ plays in, and it is still challenging and entertaining.
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