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Subject: Seriously considered options rss

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Christopher Dearlove
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AndrewE wrote:
People don't buy massive militaries before a siege. But who's to say they shouldn't?

Probably history. Building up large standing armies to have them sit around doing nothing is not my understanding of how things were then and there. OK, I'm anything but an expert on the subject, so I'm open to correction there.

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As for theme, I think throwing theme under the bus in the pursuit of better flow, better balance, and better anything else is a trade to make every day and twice on Sundays.

I think you are in a minority there, and more importantly I'm sure Martin doesn't see it that way. If you're looking to help create a solution that all can agree on, I think that approach won't be useful.

And I really don't see "we have too much military in decks after a siege" is made better by "let's have more military in decks before a siege as well". I think you are going down entirely the wrong road there.

 
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Christopher Dearlove
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skipsizemore wrote:
As for how to deal with lost towns and forts, I don't see why it has to be complex. Units are lost from time to time in the normal course of the game, anyway; if the player is limited at the moment that he proposes to buy a new unit, I would think that should be sufficient.

If I were introducing this, I'd probably agree (though I'm not sure the version proposed is exactly right). But it's a question that needs thought, partly based on what the rationale for this is.
 
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Dearlove wrote:
skipsizemore wrote:
Until you figure something out, though, I'm content to play the game with people who haven't read this whole debate, and to play as if I hadn't read it myself.
You can even play with people who have read it all - provided you play British, and don't go down the thin deck route (except to point out to the French player that if he tries it you will, and will be better at it).
This is tantamount to playing Race for the Galaxy and all agreeing to not pursue a Settle/Develop rush strategy -- it corrupts the very nature of the game itself. Much like you cannot build anything in RftG without settling or developing, you cannot use military effectively with a big bloated deck. How thin is thin?
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Ken Dilloo
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Wouldn't "too much military left in your deck after seige" be part of the risk equation for going this heavy military route? Wouldn't this be especially true if you can hold them off as the French? It can be done, with that small tweak to HS, ya know.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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skipsizemore wrote:
AndrewE wrote:
As for theme, I think throwing theme under the bus in the pursuit of better flow, better balance, and better anything else is a trade to make every day and twice on Sundays. Of course, if you can have all that and theme, even better, but I think a good game should be generated first, and then theme made to fit, rather than the other way around.

So long as the bare essentials of thematic consistency are observed (e.g., a strong army beats a weak army, money doesn't grow on trees, etc.) I agree completely. And I think Martin Wallace would agree, as well.

I think I have a better understanding of Martin's views here than you do.
 
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bigloo33 wrote:
Wouldn't "too much military left in your deck after seige" be part of the risk equation for going this heavy military route?

Yes, except that (it is argued, and I have sympathy with the argument) that it makes the only sensible play after one siege to be a second siege, and so on, thus further limiting the variety of play.

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Wouldn't this be especially true if you can hold them off as the French? It can be done, with that small tweak to HS, ya know.

That small tweak to HS is a good start, but I don't believe anyone who has tried it has felt it sufficient. (Some would start with a different start, and that's also an option.)
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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garygarison wrote:
This is tantamount to playing Race for the Galaxy and all agreeing to not pursue a Settle/Develop rush strategy

I don't agree with that analogy in several ways. But if that's not satisfactory to you, don't do it. If it is satisfactory to someone, they can do it. The latter may either be as a short term measure or longer term, up to them.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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out4blood wrote:
skipsizemore wrote:
I don't have a copy of the game in front of me to look at the numbers, but #10 actually sounds fairly brilliant to me, in theory. It's thematically satisfying, and makes it difficult to push the broken siege strategy without also pushing the settle and improve strategy (and fluffing up the deck). One would have to do some analysis to see whether this would put a sufficient brake on the military build-up, but it sounds like the right direction.
This doesn't work for pretty basic reasons. British have a develop advantage and they already start with +1 disks.

The +1 towns is easily sorted, by not counting the free French regular infantry. The develop advantage is trickier - though if you count forts, less so, as the French want some forts. But overall I think this is a good point. But note that the point here is to collect proposals, they are definitely not all equally good.
 
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A good selection of alternatives for consideration.

How do you suggest that we sort these out (serious, not sarcastic) and "rank" them, if possible?

As you have good contacts with a core group, perhaps you should ask certain groups of people to try these out and give a session report.

goo

 
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How then do you suggest someone opt for the siege Quebec strategy without pursuing the straight path from Halifax and Louisbourg? Or are you proposing that the endgame conditions of laying siege to Quebec/Boston/NY be ignored?
 
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Dearlove wrote:
And I really don't see "we have too much military in decks after a siege" is made better by "let's have more military in decks before a siege as well". I think you are going down entirely the wrong road there.
Well, it obviously isn't. But I'm looking at the problem differently. The problem I see isn't too much military, it's too much military-caused-deck-screwage. I think making the game such that it's optimal to hold a massive army in your deck (10+ symbols) isn't good. I think making the game such that it's optimal to hold zero army in your deck also isn't good. To that end, I actually don't much care whether additional military is lost after a siege. Thinking about it now, it's an almost entirely orthogonal idea to my idea of reducing the maintenance of military in deck, and I see no reason why using both rules wouldn't be perfectly fine.

And I think Martin Wallace is perfectly willing to throw theme under the bus when it's necessary to do so. Brass (the one I'm most familiar with) has several examples, including but not limited to "iron flies". Sure, he'll never produce an entirely abstract game like Hansa, but there's no way any number of changes here will make AFAoS that abstract. There's a solid amount of theme baked right into the premise that will never go away.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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bentlarsen wrote:
A good selection of alternatives for consideration.

How do you suggest that we sort these out (serious, not sarcastic) and "rank" them, if possible?

My first step was going to be to discuss them with Martin - I expect I'll find an opportunity in Essen - who I suspect is likely to rule out several as not fitting his vision, and have preferences among others. And may have more ideas. Beyond that, I don't know.
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AndrewE wrote:
And I think Martin Wallace is perfectly willing to throw theme under the bus when it's necessary to do so.

Apart from that you've moved the goalposts (now it's only if necessary) I think throwing under the bus is too strong. And I am doing more than just speculating.

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Brass (the one I'm most familiar with) has several examples, including but not limited to "iron flies".

Rationalised I think by "it's worked iron products and a lot less massive than coal". Though re-rationalised in Age of Industry. (Who was it produced the Arkwright teleportation pastiche?)

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Sure, he'll never produce an entirely abstract game like Hansa

La Strada is pretty abstract.
 
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garygarison wrote:
How then do you suggest someone opt for the siege Quebec strategy without pursuing the straight path from Halifax and Louisbourg? Or are you proposing that the endgame conditions of laying siege to Quebec/Boston/NY be ignored?

What's that a reply to?

Actually it has been proposed that the endgame conditions be modified to game end rather than win. I haven't listed that as no one has been able to argue convincingly that the 22 point swing (plus Halifax and Louisbourg) isn't the win anyway.

I've also seen a proposal (not listed as no one has picked up on it beyond the first mention - by me here, but someone else's idea) to remove the Louisbourg to Quebec link. But that has bad effects of modifying a card and possibly being unhistoric.
 
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Dearlove wrote:
garygarison wrote:
How then do you suggest someone opt for the siege Quebec strategy without pursuing the straight path from Halifax and Louisbourg? Or are you proposing that the endgame conditions of laying siege to Quebec/Boston/NY be ignored?

What's that a reply to?

This:
Dearlove wrote:
garygarison wrote:
This is tantamount to playing Race for the Galaxy and all agreeing to not pursue a Settle/Develop rush strategy

I don't agree with that analogy in several ways. But if that's not satisfactory to you, don't do it. If it is satisfactory to someone, they can do it. The latter may either be as a short term measure or longer term, up to them.

I'm reasonably confident that Martin Wallace will eventually restore Few Acres back to being a playable game. In the meantime, you suggest that the game is still playable as long as no one jumps down the rabbit hole of the thin deck. How then does one opt for the siege instant win without resorting to thin, military, and Halifax->Louisbourg->Quebec?
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Ken Dilloo
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Dearlove wrote:
bigloo33 wrote:
Wouldn't "too much military left in your deck after seige" be part of the risk equation for going this heavy military route?

Yes, except that (it is argued, and I have sympathy with the argument) that it makes the only sensible play after one siege to be a second siege, and so on, thus further limiting the variety of play.

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Wouldn't this be especially true if you can hold them off as the French? It can be done, with that small tweak to HS, ya know.

That small tweak to HS is a good start, but I don't believe anyone who has tried it has felt it sufficient. (Some would start with a different start, and that's also an option.)
Ah, that is very reasonable, and I do agree. What if, after losing a seige, you didn't lose just one Empire card, but some number proportionate to the total number of cards committed to the seige? That would make this path a much dicier proposition, and a thematic fix. The more aggressive the gambit, the more risk involved.
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Are we voting?

I vote for both...

2. Give the French two action in their first turn.

and

6. Drafted cards do not go into the discard pile until after end of turn draw. [Variants of this have been suggested, but this is the version with most support.]

I would also include captured Location cards as well. Anything "acquired" is placed in front of you on the table (not on the board) and then put into your discard at the end.

The rest seem too restrictive and/or fiddly.

-2 Pesos
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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garygarison wrote:
How then does one opt for the siege instant win without resorting to thin, military, and Halifax->Louisbourg->Quebec?

Option A: You don't.
Option B: Down the middle of the board (via Albany).

Note that Option A doesn't exclude sieges - I've fought them over Fort Duquesne, Albany and Oswego among other places.
 
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eekamouse wrote:
Are we voting?

No.

For two reasons.

The votes of anyone who hasn't tested the option they vote for and found it to work are worthless. I think that makes for a very small electorate. (No one to be precise.)

There's only one person whose vote might be widely accepted, and that's Martin Wallace.

Of course we can discuss whatever we like. But the people doing the work are unlikely to be guided by simple votes.
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Christopher,

This is a good list and thank you for sharing publicly and being open about what you're about.

Under #1 you might add "Start with a Fort in Quebec". This is an obvious additional deterrent to the thin deck military approach.

Under #6, a recent proposal, which might have significant effect but is simple to implement, is that Drafting cards must be the FINAL action of a turn (whether drafting one or two) including Free actions like Home Support. So it would be expressly prohibited to draft an Empire card and then Home Support it into your hand.

Under #6 as well, what about Home Support being a regular action (not free). Drawing three cards is still a powerful thing (but not overpowering).

Thanks again for sharing.
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bigloo33 wrote:
What if, after losing a seige, you didn't lose just one Empire card, but some number proportionate to the total number of cards committed to the seige?

Disaster. If Louisbourg falls after a long siege then the fall of Quebec will just be a formality.
 
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Dearlove wrote:
bigloo33 wrote:
What if, after losing a seige, you didn't lose just one Empire card, but some number proportionate to the total number of cards committed to the seige?

Disaster. If Louisbourg falls after a long siege then the fall of Quebec will just be a formality.
Oh, I guess so, wouldn't it. Guess I wasn't thinking in terms of losing. Maybe only the agressor loses that some number? Either way, this is an all or nothing type proposition. Guess the French could also let Louisbourg fall to gear up for Quebec.
 
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Dearlove wrote:
I think I have a better understanding of Martin's views here than you do.

I'm sure you do. But I see this philosophy reflected both in his designs and in his designer's notes. It's really an essential part of the game development process, unless you're out to create a pure simulation. Even then, I suspect, there are many happy accidents where a mechanical compromise can be justified by a real-world explanation.

Some solutions may suggest themselves from the theme (e.g., by asking "why couldn't the British actually have saved their money up and then blitz-sieged around Newfoundland?"). But this usually leads to bloated rules like those that Avalon Hill was so famous for. So far more often one fixes the weakness in the mechanic and then superimposes a thematic rationale over the fix.

There are limits to this, of course, and it may be that a perfect mechanical fix has to be abandoned because it flies in the face of the observed facts about the theme. But I stand by my statement.
 
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Don Smith wrote:
Under #1 you might add "Start with a Fort in Quebec". This is an obvious additional deterrent to the thin deck military approach.

Under #6, a recent proposal, which might have significant effect but is simple to implement, is that Drafting cards must be the FINAL action of a turn (whether drafting one or two) including Free actions like Home Support. So it would be expressly prohibited to draft an Empire card and then Home Support it into your hand.

Under #6 as well, what about Home Support being a regular action (not free). Drawing three cards is still a powerful thing (but not overpowering).

All reasonable suggestions. There is a danger of option list expansion if every possible suggested option is added, though these are sub-options. I'm not going to add them now for two reasons, the more important one being the need for sleep. I'll think about adding some or all of these tomorrow (actually, later today for me). Comments in favour of adding or thumbs to Don's posting will bias in favour of adding them.
 
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Dearlove wrote:
garygarison wrote:
How then does one opt for the siege instant win without resorting to thin, military, and Halifax->Louisbourg->Quebec?

Option A: You don't.
Option B: Down the middle of the board (via Albany).
And how thin a deck is allowable for Option B?

I'm not trying to be difficult here. I'm merely questioning whether the game is in fact playable if one opts to put on blinders to the thin deck military strategy.
 
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