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Empires: Builder Expansion» Forums » General

Subject: National bonuses ... when would you ever take... rss

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D P
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Portugal - reduce native rating by one?

vs Using the captain does the same thing and is more versatile because you can use it on the merchant ship space.

Spain - $5 per discovery?

vs Why not get the extra soldier for flexibilty and regularly the soldier bonus on discovery is worth a few bucks anyways

France - +1 colonist in newly colony

vs Missionary provies +1 colonist anyways and can be done more regularly than a successful discovery

Italian States - +1 gold for every 2 trade goods

vs Merchant allows for $5 a turn meaning you'd need 10 trade goods every turn to equal this. Plus the merchant can be used for gaining the merchant ships


Seems like the only real choices are with Holland and Britain, but Britain only if there are lots of players in the game (ie: take the cash) vs a low player count where you benefit from the extra colonists.

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Bill Morgal
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Some are much better than others. We now have six games under our belt. We being my two sons myself. We handle the bonuses by first determine player order. This we do based on the order of finish of the last game we played where first place goes last, second place goes second, and last place gets the coveted first play.

The player going first randomly picks two bonuses. He then chooses the one he wishes to use. The process is repeated for the next two players. This keeps us from always using the same bonuses and forces us to make do with some we might not have ordinarily chosen.

If you wish to see how the games turned out, my eldest son has recorded the outcomes including who used which bonus and what the score was. You can see the results if you check out his account and look at his play history: Bill_morgal (son of bill morgal)
 
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Lawrence Davis
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I think all of the National Advantages are worthwhile in certain situations and in different strategies....all except Portugual of course, where the captain is far better in every scenario I can think of. (Not sure why the playtesters let the 1 less native NA through without modification of some kind)

Also, are you reading France's +1 colonist right? Not sure if you meant to word it the way you did, but from my understanding France get's a free colonist in every newly discovered region, regardless of who discovers it. This effectively gives France a presence in every region (and if you add it up, like 6 or 7 FREE colonists during the course of the game). That's a pretty good NA if you ask me.
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D P
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Yeah, I totally missed that the French one allowed for a colonist in EVERY discovery, not just its own.

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Thierry Camprubi
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Yes, but is it an interpretation of the phrasing or the REAL rule?
I really love this game but I don't understand why there isn't an official FAQ with the answers and precisions we all need.
We don't even know if the game has been tested and played with sufficient involvment...
Let us know Glenn please!
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Mike Smith
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I think you should give the Portuguese native reducing national characteristic some money each turn also so that its not obviously inferior to the other one. Lets say a bonus of $2 per turn?
 
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Jakub Muranty
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I don't think the French should get a colonist for discoveries that others make - the rulebook is a bit ambiguous, but given the exact wording ["+1 Colonist in each newly discovered Colony (immediately after a successful Discovery expedition)], if one chose to award the Blue player an extra chump in every newly-discovered region, they would then have to necessarily interpret the Spanish advantage as "5 dollars per every successful discovery expedition that anyone makes" and, funnily enough, the Portuguese as "all discovery tiles and cards are -1 Native".

It seems to me that the intent of the tiles is quite clearly to benefit players only for the things they do personally, if only due to the fact that such an interpretation is much more straightforward. Also, the bonus French Colonist isn't necessarily worse than a Missionary, as you don't have to use up a dock space and each region you discover already has two of your guys.

Anyway, I'd be very happy to read an official FAQ, but more to find out whether the British "+1 dollar from each player" and Papal Edict are one-time or constant.
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Aaron Malek
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hvcfl wrote:
I don't think the French should get a colonist for discoveries that others make - the rulebook is a bit ambiguous, but given the exact wording ["+1 Colonist in each newly discovered Colony (immediately after a successful Discovery expedition)], if one chose to award the Blue player an extra chump in every newly-discovered region, they would then have to necessarily interpret the Spanish advantage as "5 dollars per every successful discovery expedition that anyone makes" and, funnily enough, the Portuguese as "all discovery tiles and cards are -1 Native".

It seems to me that the intent of the tiles is quite clearly to benefit players only for the things they do personally, if only due to the fact that such an interpretation is much more straightforward. Also, the bonus French Colonist isn't necessarily worse than a Missionary, as you don't have to use up a dock space and each region you discover already has two of your guys.


I totally agree - I can't imagine the intent of the French NA was to add in a French colonist with other player's discoveries, and Jake's logical argument that such an interpretation would have to extend to the Spanish or even Portugese makes it clear. I would add that simply adding a second colonist to one's own discovery is plenty powerful, as the French player would be two out of three colonists towards picking up the trade good from the colony (not a bad deal, really) and making the colony eligible for scoring.

hvcfl wrote:
Anyway, I'd be very happy to read an official FAQ, but more to find out whether the British "+1 dollar from each player" and Papal Edict are one-time or constant.


I'm fairly certain that the British $1 from each player is intended to be each turn - the comparison between it and Privateers is no more extreme than the specialist-granting NA's and other capital buildings. And I'm strongly in the camp of those that feel Papal Edict is a constant - as generous as it seems, it would be absurdly weak as a one-time use, and there is simply no wording limiting to one use. (I would expect the one-use language to be needed, as capital buildings are expected to be used in the capital buillding phase.) That said, I would be thrilled to see an official FAQ as well.

(Finally, I would add that I, too, am befuddled by the -1 Native NA for the Portugese - not only does it pale before the add'l captain, it pales before any other NA of any nation. Seems to be the biggest gaffe of the whole expansion, though I'm willing to see if it surprises me.)

 
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George
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For Britain's income, Glenn did confirm that… "The National Advantages are treated just like Capital Buildings, so the money is collected during the Capital Building Benefits Phase (after Income)."

I put my thoughts on France and Spain in that thread, but I'll repeat my thoughts on France here…

I would agree with you guys if the rulebook was more carefully worded… but it's not, so i think France could have been intended differently, without necessarily applying that to the other country's abilities. I think France's power is just too weak if you only count France's discoveries.

+1 Missionary a turn would give France up to 14 colonists in the New World over the course of the game (7 turns x 2 colonists). That assumes you're shipping the Missionary every turn, and there is definitely some opportunity cost in that, but still. Also, you can ship these to specific colonies which lets you "focus fire" for specific majorities.

+1 colonist only in your own discoveries would only give you up to 8 colonists if you discovered every region. Realistically, you'll probably only discover maybe 2 or 3 depending on number of players. Also, getting the jump with 2 colonists in the new region isn't that great considering you can do the same thing with shipping your +1 missionary to your newly discovered colonies to claim the trade good.

+1 colonist on anyone's discoveries would give you 8 colonists over the course of the game. That's still less than 14, but they'll likely get placed much earlier in the game which helps with colony scoring, and the free placement doesn't rely on the colonist dock so you'll be able to send other additional colonists when you can grab a dock slot. I also like that number of players doesn't really affect this… you're getting 8 additional colonists in the new world regardless.

So power-wise, I think placing on every newly discovered region makes more sense. Both National Advantages for France seem appealing this way.


As for the other countries... I can't think of any other game I've house-ruled, but I'm going to push in my group for Portugal reducing the native rating by 2 instead of 1. The only other one that bothers me is the Italian $1 for every 2 Trade Goods. I'm not sure how that will ever get picked if kept as is.
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Jeff Thornsen
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What about changing Portugals power so that, in addition to lowering the native rating by 1, any excess colonists are returned to the Discovery box and not lost. In this way Portugal never "wastes" extra colonists by sending too many on an easy discovery.
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A.J. Sansom
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Faranim wrote:
What about changing Portugals power so that, in addition to lowering the native rating by 1, any excess colonists are returned to the Discovery box and not lost. In this way Portugal never "wastes" extra colonists by sending too many on an easy discovery.


I like this and may use it; or perhaps we'll try allowing the Natives to be reduced by 1 and allow the Portugal player to try for up to two discoveries in a single turn to allow them to bank some points that way if they end up with extra people they can throw in the box.
 
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