Recommend
93 
 Thumb up
 Hide
32 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Founding Fathers» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Founding Fathers Review: Good, solid - but ultimately disappointing - game rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Dirk Knemeyer
United States
Arlington
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yesterday I had the opportunity to be one of the first people to play Founding Fathers, part of a small bunch of the games sent via air mail from the Chinese printers to arrive in time for Origins. (I will write a review of Origins once it is all done).

Founding Fathers is the newest game from Christian Leonhard and Jason Matthews, the co-designers of 1960: The Making of the President. Matthews was also the co-designer of Twilight Struggle. I have a special place in my heart for this design team, as 1960 was one of the games that got me back into gaming - even though my affection for it lessened with each play.

Again dipping into U.S. history, Leonhard and Matthews have created a game about the authoring of the U.S. Constitution. You play one of five of the Founding Fathers of the United States, attempting to be the primary influencer of the document in order to be recognized as the "father" of the country. I thought this was a super theme and was certainly intrigued to play.

Play centers around three primary mechanics: voting on issues, deciding issues in committee, or having the most influence in debate across the four factions in the game (Federalists, Large States, Small States and Anti-Federalists). Each of these are largely straightforward in their mechanics. Similarly straightforward are the four actions each player can take on their turn: to have a delegate vote "Yea" or "Nay" on the current issue, to commit delegates to the debate tracks for the four factions, to use the Action on the card of a delegate, or to jettison your delegates and redraw. Each player starts with three delegates in their hand: the Founding Father they are playing and two other delegates. These cards have flavour text, action text and clarify which state and faction they are affiliated with.

Players earn victory points based on how successfully they commit delegates to winning issues, how well they do in the debates at the end of the game, and based on special actions on the delegate cards. Thus you are trying to come in on the "right" side of issues - yea or nay - while steering the faction control behind the issues and debates in a way that proves advantageous to your debate equity at the end of the game. Nice, clean, simply.

Overall I like the game and plan to buy it, but that is largely because I think my children will benefit from the theme and history - not because I see it being a fixture in my personal play. Don't get me wrong: it has a lot going for it. But ultimately I think it has myriad problems that keep it in the realm of being a "good" game as opposed to being "special" in a way that it seductively at times seems to be.

Starting with the things I like about it, the basic actions and mechanics of the game are nice and smooth. What you're trying to do, and how, is crisp. There is also a nice layering of strategic and tactical considerations, with multiple paths to victory. I suspect that with a group of 5 smart, cutthroat gamers who learn the system this is going to be a deep and challenging game with various levels of meta-gaming possibility. As mentioned before, the theme is really attractive as well. While these are just a few points in favour, they are all really important points and before going into the litany of problems I have with Founding Fathers I want to emphasize that.

The first problem and biggest disappointment I have with the game is the graphic design. Ever since the gorgeous cover art was first published I expected this game to set a new standard in graphic design. Unfortunately there were a variety of failures with the bits; here are my biggest gripes:

- The card design has information on the back of the card - the state of the delegate and the faction they represent - intended to be viewable to all other players while being held in their owner's hand during the game, to help them make strategic decisions. In trying to be slick with the graphics they made these card backs unusable. While the faction icons are nice, crisp, light coloured and a very visible contrast to the dark cards - and in the upper corner to boot! - the state name runs down the side of the card and the font is poorly chosen in terms of its weight and colour. I could rarely-to never see what state the cards my opponents were holding was. They include some little flag-like things but who is going to know what all 13 of those different, arcane symbols represent? That is an absolute critical fail, given that the designers felt it important enough to include the information for all to see to begin with! Trying to make it "slick" became the enemy of the usable, and players of the game are the losers.

- The small cards with each player's Founding Father on one side and the overview of play on the other was just...sloppy. The information on the Founding Father's side was near-useless. There is a matrix showing how many cards of each state or faction are in the deck but I don't see how this information is going to matter other than in extreme circumstances. It is a waste. The overview of play on the other side is jammed into too little room and needs white space. They are also flimsy and weak. They just aren't very well done

- The colours of the influence cubes, which players use to execute their primary actions, do not match up correctly with the card backgrounds as they are supposed to, according to the GM who was an early and ongoing playtester of the game. This is simply sloppy and adds ambiguity to game set-up

Now, graphic design a game does not make, and let me repeat that this came first for me only because it was such a big disappointment compared to my expectation. And, frankly some of the other design such as the FRONT of the delegate cards were pretty slick. But the issue with the graphic design for me - as with the entire game - is the great promise it shows and the let-down for missing that promise.

The other real issue I had with the game, and this is a big one for me in historical games, is the way it ultimately felt like a theme was pasted on mechanics. I'm guessing they started with theme and the mechanics grew out of it which makes that an even harder criticism to levy. But "what" we are doing and "why" just don't seem very related to the history. The basic process around voting on the issues worked really nicely. But there were parts that were done for gameplay and balance that just didn't fit the history. For example, whichever side LOSES an issue, all of their delegates get dumped into Committee where extra victory points can be had and the second issue of the round can be influenced. That reeks of play balance and has no bearing on reality. The "losers" of voting on different issues did not get a golden ticket to be the lone power brokers of the next issue.

Another issue with the theme and mechanics not syncing is with the debate track. It is far too abstract, and has no concrete connection to the process of penning the Constitution. It is simply racing up a track to get chips, and trying to do so in alignment with the factions that are best getting their way. It sounds nice to have the "debates" influenced by the "delegates" to mean something, but it is abstract to the point of meaninglessness. This is in direct contrast to the voting on issues which is incredibly concrete and literal. Either concrete or abstract are OK but mixing both simply waters down the cohesion of the design.

It was disappointing as well how the TEXT of the issues became absolutely meaningless. Mechanically all that mattered to the game was which faction's icon was on each side of the issue. That is a shame; it reduces one of the most compelling parts of the game - the philosophical wrangling of one of the most important documents in world history - down to simple A/B comparison and min/maxing gameplay based on that little icon. While some play groups may lovingly read both sides of the card and bring their own immersion into the game the system as it was created allows the gorgeous details to be wholly ignored. It is an injustice to the vision of the theme.

A final issue was the way you play "your" card, the card of the delegate you represent in the game. After you play it, it gets discarded and then comes up randomly again in the deck upon re-shuffle, being given directly to you and allowing you to exceed your three card hand limit momentarily. What I didn't like about this is the schizophrenia it creates in player identity: if I am playing "James Madison" then why am I getting shuffled back in a deck to randomly get played again? It doesn't make sense in terms of the narrative of the story and object of the game.

I want to commend the designers on picking an excellent theme for a game and putting together a nice system of mechanics that are very playable yet with depth. Unfortunately the game does not realize that potential, instead settling into an increasingly crowded, upwardly mobile middle class of gaming. Lots of good games are being made these days, and this is one of them. It is too bad it did not ascend to be something that is truly special.
72 
 Thumb up
1.52
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Morris
United States
Raytown
Missouri
flag msg tools
2nd, 6th and 7th Wisconsin, 19th Indiana, 24th Michigan
badge
24th Michigan Monument Gettysburg Pa
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dknemeyer wrote:

- The card design has information on the back of the card - the state of the delegate and the faction they represent - intended to be viewable to all other players while being held in their owner's hand during the game, to help them make strategic decisions. In trying to be slick with the graphics they made these card backs unusable. While the faction icons are nice, crisp, light coloured and a very visible contrast to the dark cards - and in the upper corner to boot! - the state name runs down the side of the card and the font is poorly chosen in terms of its weight and colour. I could rarely-to never see what state the cards my opponents were holding was. They include some little flag-like things but who is going to know what all 13 of those different, arcane symbols represent? That is an absolute critical fail, given that the designers felt it important enough to include the information for all to see to begin with! Trying to make it "slick" became the enemy of the usable, and players of the game are the losers.


I haven't played the game yet but I read this paragraph and it struck me that you were leaving something important out in terms of the card backs. You mention about the back of the cards being hard to read in terms of the name and icons. That I would agree with if that were the only differences between the cards. I looked at the pictures for the game here on BGG and the cards are color coded by state. Wouldn't a player's ability to identify these cards be based more on color than the icon or text?

I can't speak for the art designer but I look at the photo here of the card backs and I honestly don't think it was intended that players would identify the cards in an opponent's hand sitting across the table from the state flag or name on the card backs. I suspect that the card's color is what a player is expected to use to determine what cards an opponent has.





* edited twice. Once because I screwed up the cut and paste for the first picture and the second to add the second picture *
27 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matias D
Finland
Raseborg
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
I release my anger through writing.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
And if you can't see the back properly but for some reason want or need to know you can always, you know, ask.
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin G
United Kingdom
Bristol
flag msg tools
badge
Don't fall in love with me yet, we only recently met
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
The other real issue I had with the game, and this is a big one for me in historical games, is the way it ultimately felt like a theme was pasted on mechanics.


As a huge Knizia fan, I'm now looking forward to this even more

34 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darrell Hanning
United States
Jacksonville
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
We will meet at the Hour of Scampering.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dknemeyer wrote:
The other real issue I had with the game, and this is a big one for me in historical games, is the way it ultimately felt like a theme was pasted on mechanics. I'm guessing they started with theme and the mechanics grew out of it which makes that an even harder criticism to levy. But "what" we are doing and "why" just don't seem very related to the history. The basic process around voting on the issues worked really nicely. But there were parts that were done for gameplay and balance that just didn't fit the history. For example, whichever side LOSES an issue, all of their delegates get dumped into Committee where extra victory points can be had and the second issue of the round can be influenced. That reeks of play balance and has no bearing on reality. The "losers" of voting on different issues did not get a golden ticket to be the lone power brokers of the next issue.

Another issue with the theme and mechanics not syncing is with the debate track. It is far too abstract, and has no concrete connection to the process of penning the Constitution. It is simply racing up a track to get chips, and trying to do so in alignment with the factions that are best getting their way. It sounds nice to have the "debates" influenced by the "delegates" to mean something, but it is abstract to the point of meaninglessness. This is in direct contrast to the voting on issues which is incredibly concrete and literal. Either concrete or abstract are OK but mixing both simply waters down the cohesion of the design.


After playing 1960 a couple of times, I can understand your reservations about some elements of the design. It sounds like the same kinds of simple solutions to deeper, thematic problems.

However, that is probably the best you're ever going to get, until the likes of Phil Eklund decides to tackle the same subject. (At which time, mind you, you'll have gone through his rulebook 8 times, played the game 4 times, and still not be sure you're doing everything the way he intended.)

As much in game design as in life, sometimes I think you cannot get the "happy medium", but have to instead settle for something closer to one end of the trade-off spectrum or the other. At least this game seems inclined toward the playbility end of the spectrum.
19 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dirk Knemeyer
United States
Arlington
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mrbeankc, there are 13 states. Are we to memorize all 13 colours? This simply does not solve the problem.

residue, if I am planning a diabolical maneuver I don't want to be forced to ASK players for what is supposed to be public information, it foreshadows my intent!
19 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joshua Gardner
United States
West Henrietta
New York
flag msg tools
Bah da da da da da da... da da da da da da da... DAH dah DAH!
badge
Gabriel Knight. Check it out at GOG.Com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Excellent review of one of my most anticipated games of this year. You seem to confirm some of the fears I have, since I too am attracted to the realization of the theme than the actual mechanics.

I'd be curious to see how the community accommodates for some of the deficiencies in the production. It sounds like the color coded card backs are begging for a quick player aid.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh Cappel
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dknemeyer wrote:
mrbeankc, there are 13 states. Are we to memorize all 13 colours? This simply does not solve the problem.

residue, if I am planning a diabolical maneuver I don't want to be forced to ASK players for what is supposed to be public information, it foreshadows my intent!


There are only 12 states. As we all know, memorizing 12 items is much much easier than memorizing 13.

The colour of the card backs is intended to be the main distinguisher at a distance; the flags and state names are there to reinforce and to support players with colour-blindness.

There is a voting track on the board that displays all 12 states with their colours, and each player's reference board shows all 12 colours on the grid. So that should help limit the need to memorize anything.

~Josh
39 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dirk Knemeyer
United States
Arlington
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bullseyetm, the matrix on the card for your Founding Father does show the colours of the different states.

But, having played it twice now, it is realistically difficult to know what anyone else has. You could, if one specific thing is really important to you, easily figure out the colour it is and squint around the table at everyone's hands. But again that is a failure of the graphic design: if that should be public information then it should be easily discernable without cross-referencing a matrix. The simple solution would be to have the two letter abbreviation "MA" right above/below/next to the faction designation, again in a LIGHT colour that contrasts with the slick/high design back. THAT would make it usable in the way the game intends.

The bottom line is if the states of the delegates each players hold are intended to be open information for all then the design should make it EASY for players to glance around the table and get a sense of things. Currently that is impossible, unless or until the same group of people play the game many times and learn it through brute force. The current scheme, no matter what apologists might argue, is simply broken.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Morris
United States
Raytown
Missouri
flag msg tools
2nd, 6th and 7th Wisconsin, 19th Indiana, 24th Michigan
badge
24th Michigan Monument Gettysburg Pa
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dknemeyer wrote:
mrbeankc, there are 13 states. Are we to memorize all 13 colours? This simply does not solve the problem.

residue, if I am planning a diabolical maneuver I don't want to be forced to ASK players for what is supposed to be public information, it foreshadows my intent!


Actually there are only 12 as Rhode Island didn't attend the convention and thus there are no cards for Rhode Island Delegates.

My point was you purposely left out the fact that the cards were color coded to help people distinguish between them. This is sort of a Michael Moore thing to do. You left out the rather important fact of the cards being color coded because you felt it might weaken your point if people knew that.

As for remembering the colors it hardly seems that difficult. Especially as you have cards you're holding in your own hand that you can easily use as reference. It's not rocket science.

I'm not saying your review was a bad review and in fact I thumbed it. I just had a problem with that one criticism you had there,

Quote:
The bottom line is if the states of the delegates each players hold are intended to be open information for all then the design should make it EASY for players to glance around the table and get a sense of things. Currently that is impossible


I think you missed something in Josh's post. As he says (and as you know having played the game) this color coded system is on the game board in several places right in front of the players. I would have to say that since you can see the colors clearly on the cards and on the board there is more than one place where you see the name of the state and what it's corresponding color is I don't think the term impossible describes how hard it is for players to be able to figure this out.
21 
 Thumb up
0.27
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dirk Knemeyer
United States
Arlington
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mrbeankc: I did not purposely leave out the fact there were different colours on the back of the cards: I didn't even realize it! And you cannot "clearly see" the colours on the cards when they are being held fanned in a hand across the table. Ya just can't. Remember I had only played once when I wrote the review. I have nothing against the game or designers, my review was not a flame it was honest and true, with the intent to give others a picture into playing this game. To imply I'm doing a "Michael Moore thing" is a bit inflammatory, no?

To your last point, I've played it twice. I'm a reasonably smart guy, I win games I play more often than not. After two games I gave up trying to figure out the states people held. For me that equates to "impossible". If there are others out there who can read the cards and make sense of it, God bless you all! But if I and the people I play with in two different play groups can't figure it out the art is, in this sense, broken.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bill Abner
United States
Johnstown
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Really appreciated this take, thanks Dirk.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom
United States
Plainfield
ILLINOIS
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I bought this game at Origins on Thursday, played it three times and sold it that day. I thought the game was terrible and I love the designer's other games.
Why did I not like it?
1) Runaway leader problems each game.
2) The three areas are not balanced (and that might be the point) so if you are not concentrating on the votes and instead focus on debate good luck.
3) Can only hold three cards at a time which is not an inherent problem; however, there are some uber nuke cards that come up and you can't keep them in your hand for more than a round if you plan on doing anything. One of these cards lets the user end the round immediately. So one player was winning and we had one round to go. He got that card the last round and went first, played the card, and bam the game is over. No more points for anyone. So you just ended the game 20 minutes early and won..how fun.
4) Some other really powerful cards that seem extremely random given once again you can only have three cards. This does seem "fair" because anyone can have them but it also seems silly because once players figure out which cards they are they will always pick Virginia cards for example because of the potential to get that really power card out.
5) There are cards that flip what is being voted on that someone can play with all but one vote left to cast; this means that a vote by the next player ends the round and suddenly what you spent the whole round working hard to vote yes on so you could get a ton of points is suddenly not what was passed...goodbye bonus points and hello 10 point negative swing...all with one card and no planing. Wonderful!

I am so glad I sold this. I am quite sure there are plenty of people who will like it (flavor of the month, history, author's previous games, Jolly Roger fans, etc) but it almost felt like playing Flux with how powerful the cards are and how random it is when they come up and are available to play given what a player might need to accomplish.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Shaw
United States
Cleveland
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There are colors that are very similar to one-another as well. I agree with the OP that there is little practical way to tell the states that are in your opponents' hands (other than to ask, which telegraphs your intention to play into the assembly -- and you often have to ask while picking up new cards at the end of your turn, so telegraphing is unfortunate).

I played it twice at Origins and feel the same way as the OP -- a good game in a sea of good games, with pasted on mechanics and no real innovation. It's really too bad, too, as clearly a ton of research went into this game!!

All of the cards have delegates on them, their action text is related to their historical role in the constitutional congress, and there is a historical blurb about what impact they had. And you wont read any of it, except if you REALLY want to, and that would be on your own time - there's no time in the game.

Gameplay is fast, and so youre really matching colors and symbols to play blocks in certain areas of the board. When one area (yay or nay vote in the assembly) fills up, the round (one of four) is completed, and players collect points and/or markers. Another round begins, play matching colors (states) or symbols (political affiliation) to areas of the board to later collect points and markers. After four rounds, those markers are worth points of you have the majority in any of four types.

The only real impact all of that historical research has on the game is when you play a delegate for his action (instead of voting, debating, or tossing him to get more delegates), which is indeed nicely related to his historical role. But even that involves putting your blocks on the "two" marker, or whatever.

I am glad to have already sold mine in the marketplace, but look forward to future releases by Jason and Christian!!
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walter Hunt
United States
Bellingham
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dknemeyer wrote:
mrbeankc, there are 13 states. Are we to memorize all 13 colours? This simply does not solve the problem.


12, actually. Rhode Island stayed home.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My question is- does the game include any zombies, robots, or scantily clad fantasy women? Otherwise, I don't think I can justify the purchase price.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom
United States
Plainfield
ILLINOIS
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Zaphod wrote:
My question is- does the game include any zombies, robots, or scantily clad fantasy women? Otherwise, I don't think I can justify the purchase price.

Unfortunately they left out the part where Ben Franklin comes in naked with a beer in one hand and a horde of women in the other and with Jefferson not far behind ...so much for realism.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Ameer
United States
Medina
Ohio
flag msg tools
Very nice review. I agree with most of what you say. The game can be fun but maybe more should have been done to make it more historically accurate. I too felt there were problems with the point system. In particular, it seemed like if you put alot of influence in the debate area and stayed out of the voting on the issues ( which should be the most important thing to do ) you could score some serious points at the end of the game if opponents ( more than one )don't work to stop you. Points at the end of the game made a big difference in 2 out of the three games I played. Any other thoughts on this?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom
United States
Plainfield
ILLINOIS
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jeff ameer wrote:
Very nice review. I agree with most of what you say. The game can be fun but maybe more should have been done to make it more historically accurate. I too felt there were problems with the point system. In particular, it seemed like if you put alot of influence in the debate area and stayed out of the voting on the issues ( which should be the most important thing to do ) you could score some serious points at the end of the game if opponents ( more than one )don't work to stop you. Points at the end of the game made a big difference in 2 out of the three games I played. Any other thoughts on this?


I had quite the opposite experience. I was struggling against three other players that were working part time on it but each one concentrated on one thing so it was me against three. There are cards that move everyone down one slot, as well as canceling the card "ties go to you".
In one game I focused on debate and I got absolutely creamed. Here is the problem. Depending on card selection, you will put one card on debate, they will put two to three cards on voting (just need states they don't have to agree with each other as long as they are not the opposite of what is being voted). When you can get two or three cards out of your hand each turn you have more opportunity to pick the cards you want. Plus, you will get a card every three or four turns that will let you do multiple actions (well if you are lucky) or let you vote with other people. And with enough players, one of them will get a card that will screw the debate area. Debates are important no arguments but things are so chaotic that if you play with good players, they will just ignore it till they get a power card and then bone you big time. Plus, the other problem, if they see you are getting the bonus cards, they will just play a card to switch the vote to a token than won't help you with bonus points.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Stein
United States
Westerville
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have a better opinion of the game than the reviewer (good, not great), but I can see several of his points. I guess they didn't bother me as much as him.

But I did want to bring up one thing:

dknemeyer wrote:
But there were parts that were done for gameplay and balance that just didn't fit the history. For example, whichever side LOSES an issue, all of their delegates get dumped into Committee where extra victory points can be had and the second issue of the round can be influenced. That reeks of play balance and has no bearing on reality. The "losers" of voting on different issues did not get a golden ticket to be the lone power brokers of the next issue.


From what I've read it was actually a common tactic that if you lost a vote on the main floor you'd try to fix things in the Committee meetings. It wasn't uncommon to wind up voting on essentially the same issue four five six or more times.

Admittedly there was no guarantee that the Committee vote would go the way the losers of the floor vote wanted it to. But then you can put influence markers directly into the Committee room so there's no real guarantee in the game either. And don't forget- the losing markers are stuck in there (well you can get them out if you've run out but they're not where you want them to be).

The Washignton card- Yeah I got it at the start of the game and saw the same potential you did. Funny thing is I never got to play it because either I didn't like the way things were going on the floor or I'd come up with something to do before I played it and then the situation changed and I'd want to do soemthing else etc etc. At the end of turn 2 I really needed to change VA's vote so out he went.

7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Miller
United States
Oklahoma City
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
johnnyspys wrote:
1) Runaway leader problems each game.


Really? How? Aside from the below example of the leader having a sizeable lead and being able to end the game immediately (my group never saw that card played), there's nothing that reinforces a position of being in the lead in the mechanics.

I had three points going into the third round but pulled into the lead with a twelve-point round on the assembly floor only. The lead in our game switched VERY frequently, and only at the very end did someone run away with it because nobody challenged him on the debate floor for an entire round.

Quote:
2) The three areas are not balanced (and that might be the point) so if you are not concentrating on the votes and instead focus on debate good luck.


The debate floor can only get you, barring event cards, fourteen points (depending on how you deal with ties). The committee room may only get you a handful of points. This is all public knowledge before the game starts, so if you're concentrating on those two anywhere near as much as the voting floor, you're just dumb. That's not the game's fault.

Quote:
3) there are some uber nuke cards that come up and you can't keep them in your hand for more than a round if you plan on doing anything. One of these cards lets the user end the round immediately. So one player was winning and we had one round to go. He got that card the last round and went first, played the card, and bam the game is over. No more points for anyone. So you just ended the game 20 minutes early and won..how fun.

4) Some other really powerful cards that seem extremely random given once again you can only have three cards. This does seem "fair" because anyone can have them but it also seems silly because once players figure out which cards they are they will always pick Virginia cards for example because of the potential to get that really power card out.


Now there's a legitimate complaint. I disagree with how long you can reasonably hold onto a specific event card, but nonetheless, the right card getting into the right hands at the right time can be devastating to any carefully constructed plans.

Quote:
5) There are cards that flip what is being voted on that someone can play with all but one vote left to cast; this means that a vote by the next player ends the round and suddenly what you spent the whole round working hard to vote yes on so you could get a ton of points is suddenly not what was passed...goodbye bonus points and hello 10 point negative swing...all with one card and no planing. Wonderful!


We had a card played that both flipped the article and switched everyone's side. So, we had a lot of federalists voting yea on a federalist article, then the card was played and we thus had a lot of federalists voding nay on an anti-federalist article. That doesn't change any points. The article, being voted down, will flip back to the federalist side and all the federalists who were yeas-turned-nays will get their originally expected two points.

If there's a card that JUST flips the article, then pay me no mind, but I can't imagine there is, as that would lead to federalists voting yea on an anti-federalist article, which just ain't right.

There should have been no point swings due to that card's being played.

--ElSoy
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom
United States
Plainfield
ILLINOIS
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ElSoyokaze wrote:
johnnyspys wrote:
1) Runaway leader problems each game.


Really? How? Aside from the below example of the leader having a sizeable lead and being able to end the game immediately (my group never saw that card played), there's nothing that reinforces a position of being in the lead in the mechanics.

I had three points going into the third round but pulled into the lead with a twelve-point round on the assembly floor only. The lead in our game switched VERY frequently, and only at the very end did someone run away with it because nobody challenged him on the debate floor for an entire round.

Quote:
2) The three areas are not balanced (and that might be the point) so if you are not concentrating on the votes and instead focus on debate good luck.


The debate floor can only get you, barring event cards, fourteen points (depending on how you deal with ties). The committee room may only get you a handful of points. This is all public knowledge before the game starts, so if you're concentrating on those two anywhere near as much as the voting floor, you're just dumb. That's not the game's fault.

Quote:
3) there are some uber nuke cards that come up and you can't keep them in your hand for more than a round if you plan on doing anything. One of these cards lets the user end the round immediately. So one player was winning and we had one round to go. He got that card the last round and went first, played the card, and bam the game is over. No more points for anyone. So you just ended the game 20 minutes early and won..how fun.

4) Some other really powerful cards that seem extremely random given once again you can only have three cards. This does seem "fair" because anyone can have them but it also seems silly because once players figure out which cards they are they will always pick Virginia cards for example because of the potential to get that really power card out.


Now there's a legitimate complaint. I disagree with how long you can reasonably hold onto a specific event card, but nonetheless, the right card getting into the right hands at the right time can be devastating to any carefully constructed plans.

Quote:
5) There are cards that flip what is being voted on that someone can play with all but one vote left to cast; this means that a vote by the next player ends the round and suddenly what you spent the whole round working hard to vote yes on so you could get a ton of points is suddenly not what was passed...goodbye bonus points and hello 10 point negative swing...all with one card and no planing. Wonderful!


We had a card played that both flipped the article and switched everyone's side. So, we had a lot of federalists voting yea on a federalist article, then the card was played and we thus had a lot of federalists voding nay on an anti-federalist article. That doesn't change any points. The article, being voted down, will flip back to the federalist side and all the federalists who were yeas-turned-nays will get their originally expected two points.

If there's a card that JUST flips the article, then pay me no mind, but I can't imagine there is, as that would lead to federalists voting yea on an anti-federalist article, which just ain't right.

There should have been no point swings due to that card's being played.

--ElSoy


So you want a reasonable reply and decide the best way to do this is state "you're just dumb"....brilliant.



3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Miller
United States
Oklahoma City
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
johnnyspys wrote:
So you want a reasonable reply and decide the best way to do this is state "you're just dumb"....brilliant.


Do you have a better way to describe someone if they purposefully ignore primary, clear avenues to victory in favor of secondary, risky, low-return avenues?

You made that problem sound like a fault of the game, or at least an issue that one would see frequently in plays or expect from logical players. Excepting newbies and, say, children, I wouldn't expect a logical player to follow the path you complained about. If one does, I have no choice but to call him dumb.

--ElSoy
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Travis
United States
Fremont
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
It was those overly powerful cards mentioned in #3 of Tom B's response that kept me from rating this very high. There's even a card in there that is just to stop one of them, which seems more an admission that George Washington is too game changing than a proper fix for the problem, since it requires you to draw and play it before Washington comes up. Still liked the theme and would play again, just not going to be raving over this one.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Gicante
United States
Peculiar
Missouri
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
residue wrote:
And if you can't see the back properly but for some reason want or need to know you can always, you know, ask.

Asking? Wouldn't that just take you right out of the theme. I mean political types never seem to ask each other questions.
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.