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Subject: The 2 Player Experience? rss

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Nicolai Broen Thorning
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I am very interested in the game, which comes off with a strong theme and thorough execution. That said, having read the rules, I am also a little apprehensive.

First off, it is recommended that the 2 player game should not be attempted before we have a few 3-5 player games under our belt... I would appreciate comments from the designers/ testers/ publishers as to the reason for this statement.

I am also curious about the workings of the neutral architect in the 2 player game. Initially I was under the impression it would be a tension point. If I contribute twice, what is to stop the other player moving in and claiming all the points - in which case I would feel cheated.

Re-reading the rules it seems that every time a new building (by either player) is begun, the neutral architect is evaluated and - if contributions have been made - the building is completed and scored. Any thoughts on how this feature works in the 2P game is much appreciated.

Thank you.
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Dom
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I can throw in what I remember.

I was involved in the playtesting of the first draft of the 2-player variant, and if I recall well it has not changed that much since I've tested it.

The "play the 3-5 game first" is just a generic statement like you'd find in most games, because the 2-player game introduces new elements to the game, playing the "base" game lets you learn all you need prior to jumping into a head to head duel.

As for the neutral architect, not sure I understand your question correctly, but

1 - yes, it is "scored" every time you or your opponent scores its own architect.

2 - the player getting points is the one who last contributed to the neutral building. Thus the statement where it is important to place workers in the spots from left to right in order to determine the last contributor.

so, if the opponent decides to, as the single action of his turn, move his own architect, he would also get to move the neutral architect BUT you would be the one scoring points as you would be the last one who contributed. If instead he chooses tocontribute to the 3rd slot of the neutral building, the next player to move his architect would trigger the scoring of the neutral one, your opponent would get the points. It is not majority-driven, only the last contributor gets points.

It does introduce a lot of pressure, when they say the 2-player game is a totally different experience it is not an understatement.

Hope you enjoy the game, a lot of work was put into it to fine tune the experience!
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Nicolai Broen Thorning
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unity wrote:
I can throw in what I remember.

I was involved in the playtesting of the first draft of the 2-player variant, and if I recall well it has not changed that much since I've tested it.

Much appreciated.

unity wrote:
The "play the 3-5 game first" is just a generic statement like you'd find in most games, because the 2-player game introduces new elements to the game, playing the "base" game lets you learn all you need prior to jumping into a head to head duel.

Ok, in which case we will just learn the other way round, might make for a fun game if we get to play the 3 player game one day then...

unity wrote:
As for the neutral architect, not sure I understand your question correctly, but

1 - yes, it is "scored" every time you or your opponent scores its own architect.

2 - the player getting points is the one who last contributed to the neutral building. Thus the statement where it is important to place workers in the spots from left to right in order to determine the last contributor.

so, if the opponent decides to, as the single action of his turn, move his own architect, he would also get to move the neutral architect BUT you would be the one scoring points as you would be the last one who contributed. If instead he chooses tocontribute to the 3rd slot of the neutral building, the next player to move his architect would trigger the scoring of the neutral one, your opponent would get the points. It is not majority-driven, only the last contributor gets points.

It does introduce a lot of pressure, when they say the 2-player game is a totally different experience it is not an understatement.

It just seemed to me at first that it might have the effect of stalling the game in the sense that one player will work to complete the neutral building and the other would do something else.

Initially I forgot the fact you do not have to contribute 3 times in order to complete a building and that there could at most be 3 buildings under construction at any one time. So it would be in both players interest to move things along.

unity wrote:
Hope you enjoy the game, a lot of work was put into it to fine tune the experience!

My early impression from the rules was of one game and (as you also state) the 2 player game seemed to be a very different game, so I was/ am having a hard time evaluating the game as a potential purchase based on the rules. Time will tell...
 
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Philippe Beaudoin
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Thanks for your interest Nicolai... Let me try to answer your question.

Personally, as the game designer, I was a bit doubtful we could develop a two player version of the game since the 3-5 player version has some elements of a commerce game. After all, the game is partly about figuring out which building is of greater interest to the others and balancing that decision with a couple of other factors. This commerce aspect would most likely be lost in the two player game.

However, the two player game quickly made it apparent that these "other factors" still make for a very deep game -- although it definitely shifts the focus from interaction/commerce towards tactics/strategy. Personally, I like my 2p games to be tactical and strategic with good readability. I honestly think that Québec gives you all three. I'd say it's slightly biased towards tactics. That is, it's important to plan an overall strategy but good tactical decisions make it or break it.

Bottom line: I believe people who enjoy that type of 2 player game will be quite satisfied with Québec. However, these people are not necessarily a subset (or a superset) of the players who will enjoy Québec in its 3-5 player version.
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Philippe Beaudoin
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Regarding the "feeling of being cheated" you associate with the 2p neutral architect. I confess that I myself doubted the rule would work based on a similar feeling. But in truth it works really well. You never feel cheated because it's so easy to read-ahead and see that your opponent will get it. That is: you can always see that if you fill the second spot your opponent will fill the third and get the building.

This might lead you to think that the second spot will never be filled, but it's not what happens in practice. For example, you might fill it if you're sure your opponent can't play the third spot in his next turn (i.e. he has too little active cubes). Or, sometimes, the building is of little value to your opponent (not connected to his group) and its special action has a lot more value to yourself than to him...

In short, the 2p neutral architect is a very different mechanics than the regular architects but it works really well and offers many very difficult choices. Trust me, you'll like it.
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Nicolai Broen Thorning
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Philippe, thank you very much for the comments - biased or not - I appreciate the perspective and your thoughts on the development of the 2 player game.

I am intrigued and will continue to follow the game.

Thank you.
 
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