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Subject: Number of ages used in 2-player rss

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Brent Wenerstrom
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I have only played this game twice total, 2-player both times. What surprised me was that in both games the game was won by age 6.

Is it normal to only get through 6 ages? In 2-player games are ages 8-10 used very often?

Also, I think I saw in an earlier version of the rules that said to remove 2 cards from each age for 2-player games. Is this somewhere in the current set of rules? Is this common practice?

Thanks for any answers in advance.
 
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Hunter Bennett-Daggett
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I have largely played this as as a two-player game. We have never removed cards from the ages and I'm not aware of that as an option (maybe something from playtesting?). In my experience, it's unusual to have the game end that early. I'd say, off the top of my head that most of our games end in Ages 8 and 9, with the occasional foray into Age 10. A few end earlier. I would attribute the difference in your case to these being early games. While we were learning there were more runaway games because the other player didn't know how to stop/stall the leader. We also got some rules wrong, like letting people achieve standard achievements without using an action. Mind you, I'm not saying you're doing anything wrong.

I'd recommend trying a few more games. I think you'll end up going higher, since in general the higher ages require a closer game. I know not everyone around here agrees but I love this game for two players, and I'm glad we stuck with it!
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Michael Denman
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If your games are ending by Age 6, I believe you're playing wrong. It is a very common error for new players to buy Achievements before they are able to. Remember that you need to have enough Score AND you need to have a top card of the same age or higher.
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Hunter Bennett-Daggett
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Trump wrote:
If your games are ending by Age 6, I believe you're playing wrong. It is a very common error for new players to buy Achievements before they are able to. Remember that you need to have enough Score AND you need to have a top card of the same age or higher.


Yes, good point. Another mistake we made in OUR first couple of games. The rules are simple. Unfortunately, it appears I am too.
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Brent Wenerstrom
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Trump wrote:
If your games are ending by Age 6, I believe you're playing wrong. It is a very common error for new players to buy Achievements before they are able to. Remember that you need to have enough Score AND you need to have a top card of the same age or higher.


I remember the requirement to have a top card being bolded in the rules and yet that is a rule I did forget. Thanks for the reminder.
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Brent Wenerstrom
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DiAtros wrote:
I have largely played this as as a two-player game. We have never removed cards from the ages and I'm not aware of that as an option (maybe something from playtesting?). In my experience, it's unusual to have the game end that early. I'd say, off the top of my head that most of our games end in Ages 8 and 9, with the occasional foray into Age 10. A few end earlier. I would attribute the difference in your case to these being early games. While we were learning there were more runaway games because the other player didn't know how to stop/stall the leader. We also got some rules wrong, like letting people achieve standard achievements without using an action. Mind you, I'm not saying you're doing anything wrong.

I'd recommend trying a few more games. I think you'll end up going higher, since in general the higher ages require a closer game. I know not everyone around here agrees but I love this game for two players, and I'm glad we stuck with it!


The first game did have a run away leader in my wife earning achievements 1-6 and me getting an achievement through a dogma. The second game I stopped my wife's scoring machine.
 
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Bobby Clark
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My wife and I play this one a lot 2 player and we found the games to end early most of the time. We resolved that by doubling the points needed to get an achievement. Makes it a bit more of a challenge.
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Jeff Pratt
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Our early games never made it much past Age 6-7 either...but that's largely due (as previously mentioned) to not being familiar enough with the game to understand how to shut down your opponents scoring engines or which technologies to use to manipulate the draw piles and race up the tech trees. After 10 games or so, we started to see the full range of end game triggers...
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Hunter Bennett-Daggett
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SumoBobFrisco wrote:
My wife and I play this one a lot 2 player and we found the games to end early most of the time. We resolved that by doubling the points needed to get an achievement. Makes it a bit more of a challenge.


Doesn't this just provide a huge incentive to end the game by other means, like racing to get through the 10's? It seems like it would imbalance the game, but then you've tried it and I haven't... whistle
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Jordan " ; " Czop
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I primarily play Innovation with 2 players. I have played close to 20 times and I often end in the age 5-6 area. We haven't been playing it wrong either. It all depends on who you are playing with I guess.
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I used to try to play Innovation with more players, and other than using the team variant, it was generally a disaster every time.

That said, I've played it quite a bit 2p, and see 2 types:

1) There's a run-away leader, the game is over by age 6
2) There's a lot of back and forth and it goes until ages 8-10

If you're seeing them all end by age 6, then you guys are either playing a rule wrong or not really grasping the strategy of how to handle opponents setting up different engines at different times and how to react to them.

(or, occasionally, one person just gets INCREDIBLY unlucky on draws and no matter what, is just beat down the whole game)
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Jerry Martin
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I have played about 10 games with a variety of # of players but usually 2 and I have never seen anyone go past 8. Typical games end in the 6-7 ages.
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Bobby Clark
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We have only had the game end by running out of 10's a couple of times.
It has not been a factor.
 
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Andy Latto
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Syvanis wrote:
I have played about 10 games with a variety of # of players but usually 2 and I have never seen anyone go past 8. Typical games end in the 6-7 ages.

In my experience, about a third of games end by trying to draw an 11, and another third end in age 9 or 10.

If your games end frequently in age 6, it's probably because you and your opponents are both focussing on score and achievements instead of technology level. The next time you draw an early Mathematics or Tools, try ignoring score and achievements entirely, and playing as though the object of the game was "whoever melds a 10 first wins". Don't waste any actions all scoring or achieving. If you're careful about not dogma'ing cards that let your opponent catch up in tech level, you should often be able to get to level 10 while your opponent is still at level 5 or 6; after all, if your opponent is wasting 4 or 5 actions achieving, and 6 or 7 actions scoring, you have a lot more actions devoted to increasing your technology level than he does. Once you reach the 10's, you'll find a bunch of cards that let you destroy your opponent's score, or score 40 or 50 points yourself, and end the game by drawing an 11 when you're ahead in score.

If you don't try to reach the 10's, you won't reach the 10's. But trying to reach the 10's will often win you the game, so it's worth putting in effort to accomplish it.
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Sean McCarthy
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Just want to add to what Andy said, don't go too far, I'd instead aim for the 8s or 9s. The 10 deck has a tendency (heh) to end the game really fast, and if you didn't stop in age 8 or 9 you often are just handing your opponent the game on score.

Furthermore it's possible to aim for the various special victory conditions. If you're melding/tucking/splaying a bunch including a lot of bulbs, Empiricism from age 8 may mean victory. If you can meld 8 green cards and then Measurement from age 5 on top, you can skip ahead to age 9 where there's a green card that wins the game if you have 10 green cards (I forget the name). Happens more easily than you might think.
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Chris Hawks
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The first time we played, we ran out the 10s in a 3-player game (partially thanks to my wife nuking everything.) I don't think we've made it to that Age since.
 
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Greg J
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stormybriggs wrote:
I have only played this game twice total, 2-player both times. What surprised me was that in both games the game was won by age 6.

Is it normal to only get through 6 ages? In 2-player games are ages 8-10 used very often?

Also, I think I saw in an earlier version of the rules that said to remove 2 cards from each age for 2-player games. Is this somewhere in the current set of rules? Is this common practice?

Thanks for any answers in advance.


This was our experience even after 20+ plays. We adopted the 2p variant described in this thread and it has been great for us. Actually, I was ready to sell off the game but this variant has saved it for me. My comments on playing the variant can be found on pg. 2 of the same thread for more detail. ymmv
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