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Subject: Broken military and science scoring? rss

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W S
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IMO, this game has a big flaw, and that is that the last player has a huge advantage in scoring for military and science rating. Since he has the last turn, he can just check what the highest science / military rating from other players is and than get his rating 1 higher (when possible).
Unless I'm missing something, that's a big imbalance. I'm considering changing the military/science scoring card so they just give 1 point for each military/science rating.

Thougts?
 
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Geoffrey Engelstein
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Military and science are only scored in the Simple game. It is not intended to be balanced and is only for learning the rules.

You should play the Full game, or the Advanced game if you don't have enough time.

Geoff
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Jimmy Okolica
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You're assuming they previously played the Impact of Science and/or Impact of Strength cards?

In that case, yes, if you're the last player and if you've got the rock and people to boost your military/science in that final round and nothing else you need to do with that rock/science, you can guarantee getting the points from those cards. However, that's a lot of ifs.
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Jimmy Okolica
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engelstein wrote:
Military and science are only scored in the Simple game. It is not intended to be balanced and is only for learning the rules.

You should play the Full game, or the Advanced game if you don't have enough time.

Geoff



aaah... that makes more sense.
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Chris Berger
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Butterfly0038 wrote:
You're assuming they previously played the Impact of Science and/or Impact of Strength cards?

In that case, yes, if you're the last player and if you've got the rock and people to boost your military/science in that final round and nothing else you need to do with that rock/science, you can guarantee getting the points from those cards. However, that's a lot of ifs.


That's also why endgame ties in the impacts are resolved in favor of the first player.
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Nacho Facello
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That assumes that:
a) it's possible for him to do so.
b) he knows for a certainty that those scoring cards have been played.
c) he has nothing else to do that would give him certain points.

Yes, there's a certain advantage in going last because of that. There's also a certain disadvantage in going last in that you lose the ties in those scoring cards in the end game. Also, you have to account for the fact that the last player was a turn behind everybody else during all the game. None of these break the game, and I find that the advantages and disadvantages given by position complement each other pretty nicely.
 
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Nacho Facello
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Ok, after reading this, I got curious, so I went to the results table for the BGO 4 player league. I took the positions of the winners for all games in seasons 2 to 6 in the top division (so I get seasoned players — that's why I ignored season one, it would be more random).

This is the raw data:
2 4 2 2 1 2 1
2 3 4 1 2 1 3
2 4 4 2 3 1 4
1 4 1 1 2 3 3
4 1 4 1 4 2 1

So, winners:
First players: 11
Second: 10
Third: 5
Fourth: 9
Total: 35

Of course, it's a very small sample (I'd love to get my hands on the full set of game logs from BGO), so there will be a huge error margin. But the data seems to point that there's no particular advantage to going last. There seems to be a disadvantage to going third, but of course that could be just random noise.
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Chris Berger
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nachof wrote:
Of course, it's a very small sample (I'd love to get my hands on the full set of game logs from BGO), so there will be a huge error margin. But the data seems to point that there's no particular advantage to going last. There seems to be a disadvantage to going third, but of course that could be just random noise.


I don't have time to look for it now, but I seem to remember someone doing an analysis of a slightly larger data set (I think it was in a thread polling what people thought was the best place). I think the data showed a fairly even distribution with a possible slight advantage for player 2 (in both 3 and 4 player games). Too small to be conclusive, but large enough to say that there it's likely that either no player has an advantage or the 2nd player has an advantage, albeit probably a small one.
(I could be remembering this wrong or even making it up entirely...)
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W S
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Firstly, why are people saying military and science do not score in advanced and full war? There are scoring cards for each, no?

Next, even if the big picture average this advantage out, it is still a lame advantage, imo. Imagine you bieng the first player and having a good military that is pretty equal to the military of the last player. You can practically forget about winning on the military scoring card, just because the other player can match&exceed your military score.
 
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Chris Berger
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Wakke wrote:
Firstly, why are people saying military and science do not score in advanced and full war? There are scoring cards for each, no?

Next, even if the big picture average this advantage out, it is still a lame advantage, imo. Imagine you bieng the first player and having a good military that is pretty equal to the military of the last player. You can practically forget about winning on the military scoring card, just because the other player can match&exceed your military score.


Only if that card gets played and the scores are close going into the last round, and if the last player has enough rock to be able to increase their military enough, and if there aren't other impacts seeded (that they know about) where they can get the same point swing cheaper.

Really, it's not much of an imbalance. You'll rarely see it come into play, and most of the time it does come into play, it's a tradeoff between increasing your military/science (assuming you know that impact was seeded), increasing your ranking for other impacts, and finishing off Age III wonders.
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Daniel Corban
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I have played many four-player games of this and find your theoretical situation to rarely come up in actual games. Unless the final player has nothing else to do to gain points (which they almost always do), and that player knows for sure that the related impacts have been played (which they rarely do), then your situation will not arise.

I will say that if someone is able to bump up their science and they suspect the Impact of Science has been played, then yes of course they will raise their science level.

If the two Impacts in question were lowered so they gave a flat one point per science/military, then there would be little reason to play or strive for them. If I were a few points behind the leader in science, why would I waste resources and actions to raise my science? A few points means very little to my final score, especially if there is something better to do. These Impacts would fall flat and be ignored.

In short, I find absolutely no imbalance between the Impacts, and no one I have ever played with has ever suggested one.
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W S
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Hmm, strange that no more people experience this. In our group, the last player has won most of the time, each time getting either or both his science/military 1 or two higher than the other players in his last turn. The net point difference of just exceeding your opponents rating is huge (14 in 3 player game, etc).
 
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Geoffrey Engelstein
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Wakke wrote:
Hmm, strange that no more people experience this. In our group, the last player has won most of the time, each time getting either or both his science/military 1 or two higher than the other players in his last turn. The net point difference of just exceeding your opponents rating is huge (14 in 3 player game, etc).


Ahh... you are talking about the cards.

We exclusively play the full game. In the Full game you don't know what Age III cards are in play, unless there are so many events played that they start to come out, and we never (well, very rarely) have that happen. The folks that are ahead in military are usually playing aggressions or wars in the last few turns, and those that are behind are afraid of getting wacked by events, and don't play as many bonus cards.

If you want to take a chance on the last turn and change your civilization around to get extra science or military, than you are taking a risk that may not pay off. You could have used those resources to build mines or farms in case those cards were in play. You could have gone for extra civil/military actions in case that bonus card was in play.

But you don't know for sure unless you put it in the deck. And if you did put it in the deck then by all means you should maximize those points. But we've never seen an issue where someone 'snipes' a bonus card at the last minute because they are hidden.

Geoff
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Nacho Facello
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Wakke wrote:
Hmm, strange that no more people experience this. In our group, the last player has won most of the time, each time getting either or both his science/military 1 or two higher than the other players in his last turn. The net point difference of just exceeding your opponents rating is huge (14 in 3 player game, etc).


Maybe you're playing all the impacts, even if they don't work for you? In my group, the most common political action once you get to Age III many times is "pass". It's better not to put an impact you aren't sure you can win (or at least get second best).
 
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Brian Schroth
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4th player needs this advantage. The earlier players win tiebreakers on events, and are much more likely to win strength-based events (which are imo probably the most important things in the whole game) due to having, on average, had an extra half of a turn to build up when those events come up. They also get the best choice of first round Age A card drafting.

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Einmal ist keinmal
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Don't forget the easy-to-miss rule that no Military cards are drawn once Age III ends. This means that if Age III ends before the last player's turn, those players ahead of him in turn order got an extra turn of military cards than him.

This, along with the tie-breaking rule, makes the slight advantage you are complaining about offset.
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W S
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engelstein wrote:

If you want to take a chance on the last turn and change your civilization around to get extra science or military, than you are taking a risk that may not pay off. You could have used those resources to build mines or farms in case those cards were in play.


There is a big difference though: the 'mines' scoring card gives you points for each mine you have. The military/science scoring cards give you points for your relative position on these tracks. This means that just increasing your military / science by 1 can make a huge score difference. Building 1 extra mine won't.
 
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Grant
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Wakke wrote:
engelstein wrote:

If you want to take a chance on the last turn and change your civilization around to get extra science or military, than you are taking a risk that may not pay off. You could have used those resources to build mines or farms in case those cards were in play.


There is a big difference though: the 'mines' scoring card gives you points for each mine you have. The military/science scoring cards give you points for your relative position on these tracks. This means that just increasing your military / science by 1 can make a huge score difference. Building 1 extra mine won't.

It's interesting that you're still not convinced. You realize you got a UNANIMOUS response that there is no imbalance. On the internet. Unanimous. Consider that.

Just to throw in my two cents...
I assume you're talking about a situation where another player has seeded the impact but the last player gets it. For one thing, if the player who seeded it wasn't sure they would win it uncontested then they made a mistake by seeding it. Second, it seems to me that it is suboptimal play to work towards unknown impacts rather than known impacts. I'm not saying these things never happen, but the game doesn't typically reward this type of play. Players should be looking for good synergy between their leaders, wonders, and impacts. That is how you score big in Age III. Not by hitting on a lucky guess and edging someone out of first on Military or Science.
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Andrew E
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Yes, it's an advantage. No, it's not a problem, because other seats get other advantages, and it's all reasonably balanced.

By the way, I consider having the most control over when the game ends to be the primary advantage of 4th seat, rather than the last move on impact of science and strength.

---

I remember that poll asking which seat people preferred as well. Funny thing about that - 3rd seat was the most preferred starting position in 4 player games, and yet when the ~250 4p league games to date were tallied up, 3rd seat had won the least, with about 21.5%. I don't know if that trend will continue to be so, but it certainly made me reevaluate my belief that 3rd seat is the best.
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Daniel Corban
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I believe the seating position opinions were strictly regarding the initial card draw, not the overall game.
 
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Andrew E
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We may be thinking of different polls then. The one I'm looking at (and commented on at the time) is for the game in general.
 
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W S
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Let me rephrase the issue. The last player knows how much science/military points he needs to obtain in order to be 1st (or 2nd,..). The other players don't. That's bad design in my book (other wise the game is excelent)
 
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Petri Savola
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Wakke wrote:
Let me rephrase the issue. The last player knows how much science/military points he needs to obtain in order to be 1st (or 2nd,..). The other players don't. That's bad design in my book (other wise the game is excelent)

It's not really an issue because the last player has huge disadvantages in other things.

Last player has also one disadvantage in this particular thing because he will lose impact of military/science when military and science are tied. It's very annoying to lose impact of military with superior military only because military is capped to 60.
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Nacho Facello
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Wakke wrote:
Let me rephrase the issue. The last player knows how much science/military points he needs to obtain in order to be 1st (or 2nd,..). The other players don't. That's bad design in my book (other wise the game is excelent)


Again: But he doesn't know that those impacts are in the deck.
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Daniel Corban
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It should also be noted that in a four-player game, several Impacts are usually triggered before game end. This would negate this supposed "fourth player advantage".
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