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Power Grid: The First Sparks» Forums » General

Subject: A mammoth problem? rss

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brent edington
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We've played First Sparks twice now at work (it's great to have a PG game that can be played in an hour!) and have had a runaway leader problem twice. Both times we opted for a random set up. During the first (4 player) game there were 3 mammoth nodes and only 1 player was able to purchase a spear (the lvl 14 starting card). The 23 and 40 were never revealed and the (33?) never dropped (yes, we were burning the highest value card during beauracracy). The other players didn't have a chance. We played a 3 player game today with 2 mammoth nodes and the exact same thing happened. Again, the non mammoth hunters were crushed.

Anyone else see this as a problem? Granted, 2 plays isn't exactly a valid sample pool, but in both of these sessions everyone else was really just fighting for 2nd.
 
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Fraser
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
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Did you check that you weren't using the tile (or maybe tiles, but I think there is only 1) labelled 5-6 (it is in small writing). From memory that has a mammoth hunting area on it, but should not be used for four or less players. There's at least two tiles labelled for specific player counts.
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Throknor
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Not sure what you mean by 'random'. Did you observe the player counts on the tiles? The third mammoth spot doesn't appear until 5-6 players, probably for this reason. For the 3-player game I'd need more details, but you probably could have blocked him to make it more expensive to get to both mammoth spots.

Of course, if the two mammoth spots were next to each other it would argue against using a 'random' approach to building the board. Any player that willfully makes the board with two like locations adjacent should be slapped.
 
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brent edington
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Hmm, I didn't notice that some of the tiles were excluded based on number of players. I need to go look at this - that could fix the problem.As for placing 2 mammoth nodes next to each other, they weren't, but it's not that difficult to bridge that gap in a 3 player game. It only takes 3 clansmen. And placing them next to each other is allowed by the rules anyway.

As for blocking to prevent a player from getting 2 mammoth slots, I don't think that really matters in this case. With only 1 player harvesting mammoths and 3-4 mammoths being added to the supply each turn, the +1 or +2 virtual mammoths in the supply quickly don't matter - he's pulling 2 / turn without that bonus. The problem is that the mammoth supply is growing fast b/c of the multiple nodes.

Btw, by random I mean player selected build not the recommended starting build.

Thanks all.
 
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