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Subject: Helping players that fall behind rss

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Franklin Lautert
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In the advanced game there is a good remedy to players which fall behind - the advance Cosmopolitanism, which give a discount to get advances owned by another player. The player Raphael gave me a good suggestion for the basic game: give all players the ability from Cosmo, the same way they they have a power from Logistics (summoning). What do you think?
Do you guys have any other suggestions to help players to get back to the fight, or for the game to be less unforgiving?
thanks
 
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Mike Tomashewski
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That might be a good idea, it scales up nicely with multiple players as well. It also gives more depth to the Starting player temple, like you if go last you get a discount based on other player's advances.

I think it should not be as big of a discount since there are fewer advances to purchase in the basic game.

The biggest accelerator I see in the game is the Double Farm temple... if you can get that early on you can ramp up your population rapidly and have more people to do everything. Maybe revise what that does if you feel like that is helping people jump ahead too much.

Likewise, maybe expand the power of the Dead Army temple... so it gives you some more benefits based on your dead guys. The biggest things that surprise players seem to be from Zeus and the death that follows.

To an extent, though, this game is all about Engine making, like St Petersburg. If you make your engine less efficent, there is no way you will catch up in either game.
 
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I'm not sure that giving all players Cosmo would be a good solution. If I go first and buy, say agriculture, all players that follows could get it for 4 the same round. I am not necessarily "in front" (leading), and I am also in the situation of going first, which is bad in it self. It could lead to weird strategy where players are waiting for others to be the first to buy an advance.
 
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In my opinion the basic game is nearly perfect.

So I'd like to beg you, not to implement big changes like the suggested one in the basic game, if the main reason for these changes would be, to help unexperienced players.
 
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Raphael Lehrer
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boardeze wrote:
I'm not sure that giving all players Cosmo would be a good solution. If I go first and buy, say agriculture, all players that follows could get it for 4 the same round. I am not necessarily "in front" (leading), and I am also in the situation of going first, which is bad in it self. It could lead to weird strategy where players are waiting for others to be the first to buy an advance.




I don't know if you've played the advanced game much, but this dynamic plays out there - and it's a great part of the game - it's only "weird" if you haven't done it. It is not at all paralyzing. Let's take an example like you give above, where everyone's ready for an advance (e.g., agriculture) on the same turn - which is obviously hypothetical. Then there should be intense competition for Poseidon. If you are the last player, and everyone else is waiting, then you should build it for full price - and expand your pop faster than everyone else. So what if you're 2nd to last? etc. A real strategic decision.

It's also simpler with things other than agriculture, say, navigation and metalworking, bcs of the buildings associated with them (shipyard/forge). Do you have a shipyard and the wood to start shipping people? No? Then why on earth are you getting navigation now? (Well, maybe you want to get to a key spot before anyone else does...but this is a good reason to pay full price.

 
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Raphael Lehrer
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Freudenreich wrote:
In my opinion the basic game is nearly perfect.

So I'd like to beg you, not to implement big changes like the suggested one in the basic game, if the main reason for these changes would be, to help unexperienced players.


The basic game is a way for people to learn the game. If you are experienced, you should be playing the real game. This is my opinion, of course. There are those who prefer to play the "family" version of Agricola forever, even after 100 times - these people will disagree with me. I haven't met anyone who plays the "advanced" game of Through the Ages after getting enough experience to "graduate" to the full game, but there may be someone out there who prefers it.

Basic games turn into slaughters far too often because there are no catchup mechanisms. Advanced games do too - but if you think you are winning, you may just not have seen the surprise coming.
 
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Raphaell wrote:
The basic game is a way for people to learn the game. If you are experienced, you should be playing the real game. This is my opinion, of course. There are those who prefer to play the "family" version of Agricola forever, even after 100 times - these people will disagree with me. I haven't met anyone who plays the "advanced" game of Through the Ages after getting enough experience to "graduate" to the full game, but there may be someone out there who prefers it.

Basic games turn into slaughters far too often because there are no catchup mechanisms. Advanced games do too - but if you think you are winning, you may just not have seen the surprise coming.


Some years ago I probably would have agreed without qualification. But meanwhile the "elegance" of game mechanisms is at least as important for me as the complexity of a game. Advanced game versions are not automatically better than the basic game versions. Sometimes less is more (maybe this is not a very elegant translation for the german expression "Weniger ist manchmal mehr").

In Atlantida I definitely prefer the basic game, because in this version Atlantida is a very elegant and perfectly balanced game. There are no elements of luck (being the starting player is much less powerful than in the advanced game). And although it is "just" a basic version, the games are always different, because the hexes disposition is never the same.

Flautert asked us for even harsh criticism, so I do not hold back my opinion about the advanced game:

In my opinion the advanced game has not a good balance (mainly because of the statues), and it is overloaded with "bad" events (I guess, in the whole human history, there never was a civilization, that suffered so many bad events in a row).
In addition - but this is only a question of my personal predilections - there are too aggressive elements (theft by Statue of Hermes and pillage by Fanaticism), which normally will do much more harm to an opponent than attacking him directly with troops.
 
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