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Subject: Oh dear - what a shame rss

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Tony Cotterill
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I just downloaded the rules of the z-man version of this. It looks great fun and interesting.
However as soon as I saw the turn-hand / take-hand rule I was instantly put off.
I really don't like games that penalise or reward people whose mind just happens to work in a different way.
I hate memory games for this reason even though I have quite a good visual memory.
Factory Fun, though, seems to require a fast pattern recognition and reaction kind of mind set. The more thoughtful players are at a disadvantage. Personally, I'm of the second type which is what raises the alarm bells. It would be very annoying to have players grabbing machines from under your nose before you've even had a chance to see them properly.

As you may deduce, I haven't played the game - just read the rules, so my question to those that have is: could you envisage a more sedate mechanic for the selection of machines while still maintaining the flow of the game?
 
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Bruce Murphy
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Don't forget that it's absolutely critical to preserve the last player bonus. I've seen a lot of turns where people hang about waiting to be the last person to take a pieces, simply to get the free discard option.

In practice, this isn't the problem you make it out to be after the first few turns after those quick-grabbing people start to realise that they _wish_ they'd thought a little bit more about the placement possibilities before grabbing that tasty machine.

B>
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Marius Roth
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Although I haven't played the old game myself, what about this idea:

Every player places not one, but three machines face down into the center. Afterwards all machines get flipped face up and each player may still choose only one machine. All elft over machine tiles get shuffled together and dealed back to each player equally.
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Eugene van der Pijll
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Nanki-Poo wrote:
could you envisage a more sedate mechanic for the selection of machines while still maintaining the flow of the game?

That would be difficult. If two players want the same machine, there must be some way to decide who gets it. You could add an auction to the game, but my guess would be that that would take far too long: too many opportunities for AP.

The fun part of the game for me is that most of the analysis comes after you've taken a machine, with potentially disastrous effects. A more sedate selection process would have all the analysis before machines are selected; that would lose much of the charm of the game (i.e. those disastrous picks where a machine just does not fit, and you have to discard it for a penalty).
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david landes
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You are correct. The game intentionally rewards people who can quickly assess the relative directions of input needs versus their ability to supply those inputs in their current factory floor. The quick piece grab is a differentiator in winning the game. However, it is not the only differentiator.

I believe there could be any number of solutions, some of which would introduce a little luck. For example, each player flips two pieces for themself and selects whichever one they want. Alternatively, some type of bidding mechanic could easily be used (though you'd want a time limit for AP players). If these would make the game fun for you, no reason not to.

However, some of what people really like about this game is the "quick grab" mechanic. It creates funny moments where someone tries to fit a piece they mispredicted and also creates good tension as the pieces are flipped. Zack and Pack has a similar mechanic, and Galaxy Trucker also puts time pressure on people to solve their puzzle (build a ship). For me, these games are more fun with the mechanic, as the chaos/snap decision making is part of what makes the game different and fun.
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B C Z
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Placing out more than one machine breaks the selection mechanic and isn't necessary. It will also lead to too much information being available and will have the effect of these 'thoughtful' players taking even longer to run through their infinite permutations list. The last player bonus is enough compensation for getting stuck with a machine you didn't necessarily want.

In general, you know where the spaces and holes in your factory are and are looking for "I need a red input with a brown output" or "I can use blue/yellow inputs across from each other" or worse "I can't take any more red inputs".

You'll eventually learn the painful difference between a left handed input and a right handed input, and the first to grab is often not the highest payout. Further, the first to grab only has a 25% chance to take that perfect tile, leaving you with less competition for a tile you wanted anyway. Knowing the needs and limitations of your opponents factories helps in this regard.

If you are not a fan of games akin to Galaxy Trucker then this may not be your cup of tea - but the turn and take mechanic is a central part of the game and really should not be circumvented.
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Tony Cotterill
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Thanks for the responses, chaps.
I shall ponder on't (like a 'thoughtful' player)

 
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Nick Case
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You wouldn't decide to retune a car before you've driven it would you? Either realise its not for you or give it a try, don't deconstruct it before deciding to do either.
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David F
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This game is about fast pattern recognition, laughing at your haste to grab a machine that turns out to be the worst for you, laughing at other people's pipes, and is just a casual game in general with lots of laughs and groans.

If you're looking to sit there and "solve" a puzzle, then this is not for you. There are lots of other games that can do that for you.
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Olav Fakkeldij
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pijll wrote:
The fun part of the game for me is that most of the analysis comes after you've taken a machine, with potentially disastrous effects.

Also for me. This is really a fun part of the game!
 
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Steve Duff
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I see little reason why a standard clockwise turn order that rotates from turn to turn can't be used for those who don't like or want the time element (which I would probably include myself in).

It'd be easy enough to turn up some amount of extra tiles more than the number of players, so that the last player at least gets some choice. Then either remove or reshuffle the extra ones back in, depending on what you prefer or if the tile count needs them to make things work, etc.

This game definitely has an appeal to those who like puzzles, and a great many of those folks don't like time based elements.
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B C Z
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
I see little reason why a standard clockwise turn order that rotates from turn to turn can't be used for those who don't like or want the time element (which I would probably include myself in).

This means that the 'thoughtful' player has zero incentive to choose quickly when they are on the button. Worse, the player to that person's right has no incentive to stay at the table for the fifteen minutes it will other players to decide which machines to take.

What was a quick and enjoyable frenetic game would turn into a plodding exercise in patience.

Quote:
This game definitely has an appeal to those who like puzzles, and a great many of those folks don't like time based elements.

If that is the desire, play it solo where there is no time pressure. Deal yourself ten machines face down and each round pick one to incorporate or discard. At the end of ten rounds determine your score.

When playing with others, this game is about quickly assessing your options and picking the one that works best before someone else takes your piece. That is at the core of the game, and the simultaneous play is a self correcting group-based timer. A speed element introduces errors, which is good because 'perfect' play in this game would reduce the fun factor. Errors make this game interesting, and bad grabs are an equalizer.

In practice, players are not usually grabbing a machine in the first few seconds of a reveal. Most of the time the options sit out for a few moments and maybe one person is able to take a tile quickly that they can incorporate. More often than not it is likely that one player will quickly take something they think fits well and everyone else will be looking up/down at the offerings and their board in an attempt to fit one of the machines into the assembly line.

In summary, a turn based mechanic would, in my opinion, place too much of an emphasis on position versus rewarding quick assessment of available options. Removing the time pressures diminishes this type of game. As the game stands, every player has equal access to every piece. In any turn based variant, position will, by definition, determine which machines you have access to, and it is possible that another player wanted that piece but could not take it due to their position. To me that'd be an entirely other experience.
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[maˈtiːas]
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Trust BT Carpenter and David F. Their descriptions are adequate. Just take FF as that what it is: a lighter game with some twists that's an excellent filler.
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Steve Duff
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byronczimmer wrote:
This means that the 'thoughtful' player has zero incentive to choose quickly when they are on the button. Worse, the player to that person's right has no incentive to stay at the table for the fifteen minutes it will other players to decide which machines to take.


You could say that about any turn based game. Players could take 10 minutes each to choose a role in PR, or to place a single guy in Stone Age or Agricola.

There's no reason that folks couldn't choose quickly in turn based play. It's entirely up to those players and how they choose to play, or normally play.

If I'm a real AP'er that would make turn based machine selection glacial, aren't you still going to be sitting there bored out of your skull watching me take 20 minutes to calculate how to best put my new piece in?

byronczimmer wrote:
As the game stands, every player has equal access to every piece.


Technically, but I suspect in reality some pieces are already gone before a player like myself would have even had time to consider them.
 
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Chaddyboy
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Due to the speed aspect of the game, I think the game would have been more aptly titled:
Factory FffffffuuuuuUUUUUUUUUU...
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B C Z
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Previous reviews have touched on the potential AP aspects of the game and have recommended a 60-90 second timer be activated when only one person remains for 'incorporation'. If they've not incorporated the new machine by the time runs down then the pay the penalty and the game moves forward.

Note: I was not the first to bring up 'AP', and was perfectly happy to dance around the concept by calling them 'thoughtful players'.

If you absolutely had to make this a turn based game I envision something like this:

Players A, B, C, D

A choose one of four tiles and begins incorporating it.
B flips over a new tile to replace the one A chose, chooses a new tile and begins incorporating it
C flips over a new tile to replace the one B chose, chooses a new tile and begins incorporating it
D flips over a new tile to replace the one C chose, chooses a new tile and begins incorporating it
A is active again, announces their score from the previous incorporation round and continues the process until everyone has had access to 10 machines.

It is close to, but not exactly, the game experience intended and is certainly not a way I would consider playing since the Factory FfffffuuuUUUUUU is a part of the game that I enjoy.

The problem I mentioned, that of positional bias, means that helpful tiles, such as those which provide extra supply tanks or very high incomes, will be snatched up quickly when they become available. The decision tree of what I leave my opponent creates further opportunities for analysis, which is also not necessarily a good thing. If I luck into the draw of a good tile, no-one else will have the opportunity to take that tile. That type of positional bias in this type of game is not fun, it is frustrating.

In my experience, the player type that you're trying to accomodate won't even look at the board position or plan potential moves until it is their turn anyway, so all you'd be doing with this variant is adding positional bias and significantly more time to the game. In all honesty, this is a game that the 'thoughtful player' should play Rules-As-Written in order to help them accept that sometimes you can't make the perfect play and need to react quickly instead of being 'thoughtful'.

 
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David F
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Rather than take the Fun out of Factory Fun, you can try Thurn and Taxis, Maori, Vikings, FITS instead.

Same idea, just no recognition/speed aspect.
 
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Corné van Moorsel
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I remember such discussings from the first release of the game. So people were reluctant and it took some time before the game got known better. But ... any players who think after playing that you should get the chance to choose without pressure?? I hope not.
With the prototype the game was first planned with rules without time pressure. When I changed that, the test players first worried, but all were quick convinced by playing.
No, I will not write the older rules here. Trust me.
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That is not Depeche but rather
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chaddyboy_2000 wrote:
Due to the speed aspect of the game, I think the game would have been more aptly titled:
Factory FffffffuuuuuUUUUUUUUUU...

I LoL'd. Outloud. laugh
 
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Joe Wyka
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Remove the time-element? Oh my god. How dreadful.

The game would be:

Turn over machines.
Player 1, stare at machines for 5 minutes. Take one.
Player 2, stare at machines for 5 minutes. Take one.
Player 3, stare at machines for 2 minutes. Take one.
Player 4, stare at last machine for 5 minutes, decide to take or pay to leave.
Turn over machines.
Player 2, stare at machines for 5 minutes. Take one.
Player 3,...

ARGH! Shoot me!!!
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Pieter
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One thing to add to this discussion:

I played Factory Fun today for the first time (and we played it 4 times in a row, that's how much fun it was), and I noticed that it is certainly not the case that there is one "best machine" which everybody should be quick to grab (except maybe in the very first turn). There probably is one "best machine" for you. Quickly managing to grab it (if you recognize it) will avoid another player taking it, of course. But I noticed that quite often one player grabbed a machine "intended for me", and then could not place it, netting him -5 points, while I could place my second-best machine for a profit. Quickly grabbing has more risk to it than being thoughtful.
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