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Subject: Winning has never been less fun rss

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Darren Nakamura
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Just got done with a big board game night at a local coffee shop. We got some strange looks from the other patrons, but it was worth it. After some Dominion, 7 Wonders, and Wasabi!, we capped the night off with Revolution! We were playing without the Palace expansion, and the four of us have only played once or twice before.

I think it's because they expected others to go for the valuable top row characters, but during the first round, I won the influence of the Captain, Innkeeper, and Magistrate, and nobody bid on the General. Additionally, I got the Aristocrat, so I had a surplus of tokens going into the second turn.

At that point, I inadvertently started one of the infamous "engines," with force from the General and Captain buying me Blackmail from the Innkeeper and Magistrate, and vice versa. Meanwhile, the other players kept pushing on the bottom row characters, spending their tokens and getting nothing in return.

One of my favorite strategies (though I doubt it will work in the future, since I told them about it after the game) is to fill up the Tavern as quickly as possible, and then continue to bid on the Innkeeper with a single coin for the rest of the game. It was almost like free Blackmail, with some bonus Influence along with it. The Plantation always seems to get overlooked as well.

Anyway, after about five rounds, I realized that I was far in the lead, with my Influence token on the other side of the board from the others. I should have considered holding back a bit to make for a closer game, but I suppose I was still afraid of the very first game I ever played, where I had only coins to spend throughout most of it and ended up in dead last by a longshot.

So I soldiered on, doing my best to anticipate moves and maximize my points, but my wife, who was sitting across from me, was getting visibly irritated with the game. It was at that point that I decided to just try to end the game as quickly as possible.

Somehow, I managed to finish it off with all 25 of my influence cubes on the board, and control of the Plantation, Tavern, Cathedral, and Fortress. Each of the other players had control of one building to themselves, but the disparity in the score at the end was enormous. I don't remember the exact numbers, but I ended up with about 240-something, and the next person didn't even break 100.

The other players were good sports about it, but I am fairly certain that despite what they said, nobody at the table had fun with Revolution! tonight. Others have talked about getting an early lead and becoming a runaway winner, and that definitely happened with us. I mentioned it before, but afterward I shared my strategy, with the hopes that if we do play again, I will be thwarted.

It's a bit ironic, but the first game I played (the one in which I got crushed) was far more exciting than tonight's. Tonight, I did the crushing, and it was as boring as it could have possibly been.
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Eric Johnson
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I think you just need to have the group give it a few more plays so everyone can get the strategies down. If the others had been aware of the strats you were using, then I doubt they would have let you get away with it for so long
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Derek Thompson
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This game is too easy to break, and way too random. It's all psychology, and when you're both on the same "step ahead", you lose everything and the person a step behind in the mental game gets everything. It's just not that fun, IMO. I'd play 7 Wonders again instead.
 
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Randall Bart
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Dexter345 wrote:
It's a bit ironic, but the first game I played (the one in which I got crushed) was far more exciting than tonight's. Tonight, I did the crushing, and it was as boring as it could have possibly been.

This game can go that way. I won a three player game where the final score was about 207-122-38. Mr 38 was nearly in tears. He was too predictable. Revolution is never more than two turns from a complete turn around, but he never turned it around.
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Ryan B
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I have yet to win at this game after playing some 5-7 times with my friends. I don't particularly like it, but I feel like my opinion is biased because I can't win!

I do believe that just because there are no dice rolls or card drawings that doesn't mean that this game isn't random... because whenever I do win a bid I don't think it was because I outsmarted the other players- more just because I happened to pick what they weren't going to pick.

Having said that, my friends love the game, so I can't say it's bad.
 
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Ben Smith
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I had almost written this game off at one point myself, and then just recently played it again (also after some rounds of 7 Wonders!). This time, we had a lot of fun with it! The best game took place with just 3 of us, and it was a very tough game since each person knew what they were doing. What is interesting about this game is that, as all players figure out more advanced strategies together, the mind-game of guessing what they will do also gets elevated.

For instance, I had some fun plays where I was the only one with force, and everyone knew I wanted the spy. And so, I put just one coin on the spy since everyone would avoid it, and used my force to guarantee a different spot for me. It worked! And then the fun question for the group is, would I try that trick again next time I was the only one with force?

So yes, I think the game is more fun the more everyone is at the same skill level and know strategies, so talk a lot about strategies and that will elevate the game for everyone playing.

Also, I feel like for just 4 players you maybe should not play with the expansion, as that creates too many different places to bid on and does not focus competition enough.
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Daniel Blumentritt
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Quote:
It's all psychology, and when you're both on the same "step ahead", you lose everything and the person a step behind in the mental game gets everything.


I'd say that person was really a step ahead then.
 
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Philip Reed
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I also find the table talk/diplomacy during the game can really swing things around.
 
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Ryan Kelly
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I've played Revolution twice. Lost both times, though not by what I would consider a groteque margin. Just some semi-random thoughts.

Revolution is "random" in the sense that games like Diplomacy are random. I can't personally see any situations that I would consider "bad beats" in the sense that someone defies the odds to win the game (like in poker or cribbage), but the success or failure of your actions is entirely dependent on what the other players do.

The most memorable games of Diplomacy I've played were the ones that I've lost. I think as I gain some experience with Revolution, this game will prove to be the same. Then again, Diplomacy isn't for everyone -- and neither is Revolution.
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