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Subject: Building roads vs the High Priest rss

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Kurt R
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So in our first game (3P), one person went hard and fast after the HP and the other two of us went for buildings and roads. We built some really nice resource regions which the HP was able to use. In fact, she cheered when we announced we were building a road b/c she knew she'd benefit as well. She used our resource regions to great effect to collect resources, and she ended up running away with the game by 40+ points.

In our second game (also 3P), we were aware of this benefit such that one person went after the HP on the first two builds of the game so the other two players simply built buildings and never built one road in the entire game. The HP player (ahem, me) who had sunk a lot of resources into getting a bunch of temple tokens (in order to make it harder to take away) now didn't really have a great benefit to show for it. I then had to try and catch up in buildings while using my HP benefit for one little resource space per turn. Not the big payoff I had hoped for. The result was that at one point, a player lapped me in VPs(!), 122 to 19. That player ended up winning by a 50 point margin over the other two of us.

So, two games, two big winners. I really want to like this game but I'm not sure what we're doing wrong. I thought I'd start with the roads question: I'm not sure I (or anyone in my group who's played this) will ever want to build a road b/c we just feel that we're enabling the player who jumps out to the lead in the HP to benefit. It seems after my two plays -- and I may be wrong here -- that you can go for buildings or the HP but it's really hard to do both. Once one player jumps out to 5 or 6 temple tokens, the effort to get it back from them means you have to forego buildings and channel your resources into the temple. Better to let someone control the HP but deny them the benefit of using your resource regions by not building any roads.

Perhaps the idea is to go for 1 or 2 temple tokens instead of 5 or 6 (I wanted to lock it down for a while) and get a nice little benefit and then go back to buildings(?), but I still don't see why anyone would want to build roads. One player scored 185 points without any, so he didn't see the need to ever do so.

A lot to like in this game. I Kickstarted it and I really want it to take off with my group, but with two blowouts, it hasn't made a great first impression.

Note: Just to be clear, I understand that you can still use your resource region if the HP does; you just can't use the space that they occupy. The benefit was that while we were pouring resources into roads (they ain't cheap!), the HP player could choose from two different regions that she did not build herself.
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David Larkin
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Were you playing that the HP can only take one action per turn so can only take advantage of one road network once per round (leaving all the others unaffected)?

I haven't found it too overpowering, but then I have only played a couple of times
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Kurt R
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Zark wrote:
Were you playing that the HP can only take one action per turn so can only take advantage of one road network once per round (leaving all the others unaffected)?

I haven't found it too overpowering, but then I have only played a couple of times

Yes, the HP could only use their power once per turn. The other player and I each had a 5-space region whereas the HP player had one 3 space region. She was able to use one of our regions as well as her region to great effect.
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Jens KH
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Essentially, the HP player sacrifices immediate VPs for the privilege. What exactly that privilege should be worth depends on how contested the resource spaces are and which (if any) roads are being built. If you acquire 5-6 temple tokens right away (especially without competition) I think you're overpaying greatly. That's at least 25 VP and possibly more you toss out for a return of 20 VPs at game end and a small advantage gathering resources. If the other players don't build roads that's a really small advantage.

Roads can be helpful for sure. For what little that is worth, 185 points wouldn't have won my only 3p game so far.

And although I'm aware that's not what you meant, your posting reads a little like you're complaining that becoming HP is not an auto-win.
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Kurt R
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fizzle wrote:
Essentially, the HP player sacrifices immediate VPs for the privilege. What exactly that privilege should be worth depends on how contested the resource spaces are and which (if any) roads are being built. If you acquire 5-6 temple tokens right away (especially without competition) I think you're overpaying greatly. That's at least 25 VP and possibly more you toss out for a return of 20 VPs at game end and a small advantage gathering resources. If the other players don't build roads that's a really small advantage.

Agreed. That's precisely what I'm saying. I overpaid *assuming* the other players would chase me AND that I would reap a great benefit. So I took up the foundation spots thinking I was clever when, in fact, nobody was chasing me and then nobody built roads. D'oh!

Quote:
Roads can be helpful for sure. For what little that is worth, 185 points wouldn't have won my only 3p game so far.

And although I'm aware that's not what you meant, your posting reads a little like you're complaining that becoming HP is not an auto-win.

Not sure how that came through but that's not my intent at all. What I'm really driving at is that I'm not sure about the roads aspect of the game (haha, driving at ... roads). For the next few plays at least, I expect me and my group to eschew them, and I'm wondering if other people have a similar or different perspective.
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Jens KH
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In my games we didn't have any really large resource regions. It was mostly two spaces, and once three IIRC. In many cases, other playerscould benefit from those roads as well (either because they were HP, or because the road was built into neutral territory) but in the long run the builder should benefir most, ie. as long as you are consistently reaping the rewards and everyone else only has a shot at it every now and then (also depending on turn order), building that road wasn't a totally bad idea.
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James Mathe
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I think your two plays suffered from a large swing... the first time you had regions that were 5 spaces? We rarely see them more then 3. The second game you blew a lot of resources to lock down the temple - well that only TOLD the other players to stay away from it and the roads... you need to ease into it. Get 2 at first maybe add 1 later.

In short, I think you guys had to swing games and haven't found the right way to play yet. Hopefully you'll give it another chance now that you understand the implications more.

James
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Kurt R
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RPGShop wrote:
I think your two plays suffered from a large swing... the first time you had regions that were 5 spaces? We rarely see them more then 3. The second game you blew a lot of resources to lock down the temple - well that only TOLD the other players to stay away from it and the roads... you need to ease into it. Get 2 at first maybe add 1 later.

In short, I think you guys had to swing games and haven't found the right way to play yet. Hopefully you'll give it another chance now that you understand the implications more.

James

Thanks, James. I do look forward to trying it again.
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Kurt R
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Hold the phone; we found we were doing something wrong! The board says the HP can place "in an opponent's space, making full use of any Roads/Region he might have there." We took this to mean that the HP could place in a space where a player might be connected to via a road but does not have a building (as it's part of a player's Region afterall). The rulebook more clearly says that the HP can place "in a space containing an opposing building." That narrows down the places where the HP can place. Our misunderstanding was giving the HP way too much leeway in placing their once-a-turn pawn.

Tonight's game was MUCH better. 175 to 162 to 158 and a more favorable reaction. I'm re-energized about this game now. Roads don't seem so pointless b/c you can block the HP if you take your building space before he/she does.

FYI, we also played with the variant that any two of the three super bonus action spaces could be taken as opposed to automatically removing the Tribute. It sure put a lot more resources into the game, but it seemed to work fine.
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Jens KH
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enzo622 wrote:
We took this to mean that the HP could place in a space where a player might be connected to via a road but does not have a building (as it's part of a player's Region afterall).


Not sure if I am misreading you (again), but you don't have to be High Priest in order to do that, right? As I interpret the rules anybody can place a pawn in a resource space where there is no opposing building (and, automatically, also no building space), no matter if it is part of a region or not.
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Kurt R
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fizzle wrote:
enzo622 wrote:
We took this to mean that the HP could place in a space where a player might be connected to via a road but does not have a building (as it's part of a player's Region afterall).


Not sure if I am misreading you (again), but you don't have to be High Priest in order to do that, right? As I interpret the rules anybody can place a pawn in a resource space where there is no opposing building (and, automatically, also no building space), no matter if it is part of a region or not.

Yes, the HP can build where there is no opposing building. What we were interpreting the instructions on the board as saying was that the HP could place in such a space but then benefit from another player's region if that player's region was connected to that space via a road.

Example of what we were doing incorrectly: Player A has a building in a stone space and a road connecting to the one gold space. The High Priest (player B) places in the gold space and gets gold AND stone. Again, we thought this due to the wording on the board ("take advantage of any roads/regions there").

It's one of those deals where you go to pick up the rulebook to check but then someone says, "Oh, it's right on the board" so we missed the important part about the HP must place in a space where an opponent has a building. I realize (now) that "opponent's space" means that an opponent must have a building there, but the wording on the board could be tightened up to match that of the rulebook IMO.

So that out of the way, now the HP cannot take advantage of roads as easily, especially if you build small resource regions of 2-3 spaces.
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enzo622 wrote:
Example of what we were doing incorrectly: Player A has a building in a stone space and a road connecting to the one gold space. The High Priest (player B) places in the gold space and gets gold AND stone. Again, we thought this due to the wording on the board ("take advantage of any roads/regions there").


According to my interpretation of the rules this is actually correct. And you can even do the same thing and benefit from both spaces if you're not the High Priest.
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Kurt R
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fizzle wrote:
enzo622 wrote:
Example of what we were doing incorrectly: Player A has a building in a stone space and a road connecting to the one gold space. The High Priest (player B) places in the gold space and gets gold AND stone. Again, we thought this due to the wording on the board ("take advantage of any roads/regions there").


According to my interpretation of the rules this is actually correct. And you can even do the same thing and benefit from both spaces if you're not the High Priest.

Ah, see you got tripped by the wording as well. The wording on the board implies that you can do that, but the wording in the rulebook says that the HP can place "in a space containing an opposing building." That narrows down the places where the HP can place (for the special ability).

Per my example above, the HP player could place in the stone space b/c player A has a building there and get a stone and a gold, but if he places in the gold space, he only gets a gold.
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enzo622 wrote:
Ah, see you got tripped by the wording as well. The wording on the board implies that you can do that, but the wording in the rulebook says that the HP can place "in a space containing an opposing building." That narrows down the places where the HP can place (for the special ability).


Well, yes, that's the HP special ability, but any player (including the HP I would presume) can place a pawn on an empty resource space and reap the benefits of the entire resource region. Disallowing that move for the HP player doesn't make sense, IMO.
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Kurt R
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fizzle wrote:
enzo622 wrote:
Ah, see you got tripped by the wording as well. The wording on the board implies that you can do that, but the wording in the rulebook says that the HP can place "in a space containing an opposing building." That narrows down the places where the HP can place (for the special ability).


Well, yes, that's the HP special ability, but any player (including the HP I would presume) can place a pawn on an empty resource space and reap the benefits of the entire resource region. Disallowing that move for the HP player doesn't make sense, IMO.

Wait, I'm not sure what you're saying now. Any player cannot place in an empty resource space and reap the benefits of the entire region -- only the person who owns the resource region can do that.

So let's go to my example above. Player A has a building in the stone space and a road to the gold space.

1) Player B as the HP can place in the stone space and get both stone and gold (assuming, of course, that player A hasn't done so already).

2) If Player B or C or D places in the gold space, they only get a gold. They don't use player A's road to get a stone as well.

Again, the rulebook says the HP can place in a space where a player has a building and take advantage of any roads/regions that player has. If the HP places in a space with no opponent building, they don't get any sort of benefit.
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enzo622 wrote:
Any player cannot place in an empty resource space and reap the benefits of the entire region -- only the person who owns the resource region can do that.


I think this is where you are wrong. If you look at the rules, the only restrictions when placing pawns are

* not in a space (not region) containing another player's building
* not in a space with another pawn

Nobody "owns" a resource region. You can only own the resource spaces.

Edit: Hm, but then under "restrictions on roads" it says you can't use opoonents' roads. So it looks you're correct after all.
 
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Kurt R
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fizzle wrote:
enzo622 wrote:
Any player cannot place in an empty resource space and reap the benefits of the entire region -- only the person who owns the resource region can do that.


I think this is where you are wrong. If you look at the rules, the only restrictions when placing pawns are

* not in a space (not region) containing another player's building
* not in a space with another pawn

Nobody "owns" a resource region. You can only own the resource spaces.

Wow, I disagree completely. Yes, those are the only restrictions as to placing but that doesn't mean you collect for the resource region.

Playing that way would make everyone similar to the HP power in that they could take advantage of roads built by other players. It would make roads a really bad idea to build since you're just helping everyone in the game. If anyone can use my resource region then why the hell would I bother building it? And what would the extra benefit of the HP be?

It's my take that players definitely own resource regions. You can only build roads from a building space, so it's clear whose roads are whose. If you want your own resource region, you have to build your own. The HP is the only one allowed to break this rule by placing in a space where there is an opponent's building and collect resources for the entire region.

At the same time, more than one player can build a road into a non-building space such as the gold space in order to build their own resource region.

We need a ruling on this. And I have to say at this point that I'm very disappointed with these rules. Between omitting the part about building roads and now this ambiguity, they need a rewrite.

Edit: As to my last complaint, the rules do say that you can't use other players' roads, however, I still feel that these rules could use a rewrite. I also wish the wording on the board re: the HP was exactly the same as in the rulebook.
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Kurt R
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Also: could a mod move this to the RULES section, please? I started this off as a strategy discussion but it's turned into more of a rules one.
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Yeah, see the edit to my last post. I concede the point.

Nevertheless, roads would still be helpful although weaker than they are now.
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Kurt R
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fizzle wrote:
Yeah, see the edit to my last post. I concede the point.

Nevertheless, roads would still be helpful although weaker than they are now.

Actually, now that I understand the HP placement rule correctly, I think roads are stronger than I originally thought they were. I can build a road from stone to gold and as long as I beat the HP to my stone space, only I will benefit from that road. They make much more sense to me now and add yet another tempting choice to worker placement.

In any case, Jens, let me know how your next play goes!
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Once more, let me apologize for the ambiguity of the rules. For the record, I usually do allow the HP to utilize an opponent's region even from a space without a building. However, I am good with limiting the HP to only spaces containing an opposing building.

This issue snuck up on us--we did not immediately understand all the implications surrounding the HP. And we may still not! So, to sum up, I'm okay with playing it either way. Perhaps we will be able to settle on a consensus in the near future. One day, we may be able to release a better, more specific version of the rules. In the meantime, thanks for playing the game and continue asking questions and arguing your points!
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For the record though, the current rules are that the HP only makes use of the roads of your opponent if it is placed in a resource space with an actual ownership token (building). So placing the HP in the gold region not only does nothing but technically is not possible as it can't be owned and you can't use the roads leading out of it as the HP.

To be clear, anyone else placing in the Gold region can use their own roads to collect multiple resources but no one else's roads. Thus its most often wisest to place your pawn there first instead of a resource space you already claim ownership of that roads into the gold. This way you block all other players from getting gold unless they own some roads leading into the space. The reason you might choose your own territory over the open gold one, is if you wish to block the HP from using it as it has maybe more roads leading elsewhere.

James
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Sounds like a consensus to me!
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Kurt R
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RPGShop wrote:
For the record though, the current rules are that the HP only makes use of the roads of your opponent if it is placed in a resource space with an actual ownership token (building).

My $.02 after only a couple plays is that this is the best way to go. The closest thing to a no-brainer in the game seems to be the first player taking the Thief space as you can nip off a resource from another player who carried it over from the previous round and you protect yourself. Making the HP place in a building space means that if they're the first player and take Thief, the other players can then protect their areas by placing a worker in their building spaces. I think this adds another tempting decision in the game.

Quote:
So placing the HP in the gold region not only does nothing but technically is not possible as it can't be owned and you can't use the roads leading out of it as the HP. To be clear, anyone else placing in the Gold region can use their own roads to collect multiple resources but no one else's roads.

Right. The HP player can place in the gold space but won't get the HP benefit.

Quote:
Thus its most often wisest to place your pawn there first instead of a resource space you already claim ownership of that roads into the gold. This way you block all other players from getting gold unless they own some roads leading into the space. The reason you might choose your own territory over the open gold one, is if you wish to block the HP from using it as it has maybe more roads leading elsewhere.

James

Agreed. As per above, it adds more tempting decisions to the game this way. When we were allowing the HP to place in a non-building space and get the benefits of the entire region, it made using the HP power too easy. This game should not be about easy choices in any way.
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RPGShop wrote:
For the record though, the current rules are that the HP only makes use of the roads of your opponent if it is placed in a resource space with an actual ownership token (building). So placing the HP in the gold region not only does nothing but technically is not possible as it can't be owned and you can't use the roads leading out of it as the HP.

To be clear, anyone else placing in the Gold region can use their own roads to collect multiple resources but no one else's roads. Thus its most often wisest to place your pawn there first instead of a resource space you already claim ownership of that roads into the gold. This way you block all other players from getting gold unless they own some roads leading into the space. The reason you might choose your own territory over the open gold one, is if you wish to block the HP from using it as it has maybe more roads leading elsewhere.

James

That's how we played, seemed to work well!
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