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Subject: Im Schatten des Kaisers Question rss

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Becky Zamborsky
United States
Berea
Ohio
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Just finished my first two player game of Im Schatten des Kaisers. I was curious if anyone else has had an issue with an early lead being difficult to overcome? With four players this game seemed perfectly balanced, but my two player experience today was brutal. Thoughts/comments?
 
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Dane Peacock
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Stansbury Park
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Interesting. I have never played a two player game so I cannot comment on that.

However, in our first 4 player game (all newbies), the first emperor jumped out to an early lead and nobody ever caught him. We have come to realize that nobody really knew what they were doing. The strategies take a bit to wrap your head around. We have not had a the same problem since, but I would bet with two players there is more of a chance of it happening.
 
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Nomadic Gamer
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With 3, we carefully counted victory points, and it was so obvious what the rival should do, like counting votes and being able to elect or throw out the emporer. It was underwhelming.....I think it needs hidden cards or hidden something. I really admire the flow and actions but something is ajar...
 
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Scott A. Reed
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Lawrence
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I believe the VPs are supposed to be hidden, that's why they have a blank back.
 
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Charles F.
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Good question. I've extensively played the 3 and 4 player versions, but haven't yet had a chance for the two player version. A friend of mine (who already has played the two-player game near a dozen of times) and I are planning to have a go at it next week. I'll let you know how it went.

My guess is that you need players of an equal level and those remaining on top of their game throughout the game. Otherwise it may indeed lead to one building up a degree of dominance that may prove hard to overcome.

But hey, the same can be said about Chess, no?
 
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Ben .
United Kingdom
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Have only played a few times, so I am still in the early stages of understanding this game, but my observations so far:

In 4 player games, it is very difficult for the emperor player to hold onto a majority-sealing number of electors, as the three other players can easily focus on one electorate each and steal them off him.

In a 2 player game, with players of the same level, it is very difficult to do this as the emperor player can more easily counter each action made by his opponent. To this end, "stalling" (by choosing low-cost actions) seems to be a very useful strategy, as you really need to try and force your opponent to make their decisive moves before you have to. However, if both players are fully aware of this, the perfect information nature of the game makes it extremely difficult to engineer a superior action sequence and the player with the better set of elector special abilities (these are the real power, not the throne itself - although in 2-player you pretty much can't have one without the other) seems to have a definitive advantage for the duration of the game.
 
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