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Subject: Building Owner Rewards Even for Owner Action rss

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Keith
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Hi, Just bought LoW at PAX and love the game. We played two games and I see now that we got a few rules wrong. None of them made much difference, except that we did not distinguish whether a building's owner was the one who activated the building...we gave the owner rewards to the owner even if the owner activated his/her own building. It seemed to work great, making building ownership even more important--i.e. more important to go early in a round, etc.--and was a nice way for folks to get just a bit more resources than otherwise. Has anyone else played this way? Am I going to seriously bork the game by continuing to ignore the "other than the owner" rule?
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Chris Berger
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Buildings are already pretty good. There is even one thread insisting that they are broken (spoiler alert: I disagree). It's my feeling that activating your own building is better for you than having someone else activate it, so giving you the owner benefit as well seems a bit like overkill.
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Mike Stevens
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Keithustus wrote:
Hi, Just bought LoW at PAX and love the game. We played two games and I see now that we got a few rules wrong. None of them made much difference, except that we did not distinguish whether a building's owner was the one who activated the building...we gave the owner rewards to the owner even if the owner activated his/her own building. It seemed to work great, making building ownership even more important--i.e. more important to go early in a round, etc.--and was a nice way for folks to get just a bit more resources than otherwise. Has anyone else played this way? Am I going to seriously bork the game by continuing to ignore the "other than the owner" rule?


In the first game we played, we also gave the building owner the owner bonus whenever they placed an Agent on one of their own buildings. I had the Lord card that gave 6 vp for each building you owned so I built and owned the most buildings. Even though I was benefitting the most from it in that game, I asked the owner of the game to please double check the rules as I thought it seemed a bit over powered. Once we found the rule that explains that the building owner ONLY gets the Owner Bonus when other players place Agents on the building, we immediately started playing the right way.

I think the game is more balanced by using the correct rule.
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John Sugden
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In a 4 cost building you tend to get 150% of the resources from using it that you do from a basic space on the board. That increases to 200% if you give the owner benefit to an owner user, too - which is very strong. It makes a strong advantage even stronger.

Does it destroy the game? No. The game still works. 200% of what you get from a basic building is exactly what you get from an 8 cost building under the normal rules.

However, when an 8 cost building gets used by an owner you'd be giving them triple the normal amount of resources. That is a lot.
 
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Chad Miller
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There is already a strong incentive to build buildings that produce resources you want so you can benefit as much as possible from the owner bonus or the actual building effect. If you can get the owner bonus when using it yourself, this means that there is generally no disincentive to grab the buildings you built at every opportunity.

The way the game actually works, you already want to build buildings that do things you want, but then there's an interesting tension between activating it yourself, or hoping someone else activates it so you can benefit from its effects without spending an action. I don't see any compelling reason to remove that tension, especially since in my group the builder's hall is already hit every turn.
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Keith
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SlebRittie wrote:
There is already a strong incentive to build buildings that produce resources you want so you can benefit as much as possible from the owner bonus or the actual building effect. If you can get the owner bonus when using it yourself, this means that there is generally no disincentive to grab the buildings you built at every opportunity.

The way the game actually works, you already want to build buildings that do things you want, but then there's an interesting tension between activating it yourself, or hoping someone else activates it so you can benefit from its effects without spending an action. I don't see any compelling reason to remove that tension, especially since in my group the builder's hall is already hit every turn.


Why should there be a disincentive to grab the buildings you built at every opportunity? In the games I've played, all in which activating your own building yields the owner bonus, a fair share of players' turns have been spent activating their own buildings, but it's hardly reasonable even near the end of the game, when it is possible, to only activate buildings that you have built. Somehow it seems missing in this conversation that EVERY player is trying to maximize using their own buildings, such that there is a scramble to build and activate specialty buildings by all players, so it's in no way unfair or unbalanced.

I am disinclined against using the "except the owner" rule because there would then be generally no incentive to grab the buildings you built at every opportunity. As we have been playing it, it is only advisable to use an opponent's building when absolutely necessary. It is best to use your own, or the basic buildings on the board, and that preference gives great incentive to construct buildings. If owners didn't get their own buildings' owner bonuses, it would be too tempting to use other players' buildings instead, and give them their owner bonuses. It seems much more fun and predictable for each owner to get their own owner bonuses, at their own choosing, instead. Are you guys saying that you prefer the unpredictability and flatter reward structure for owners not earning their own rewards?

Is there anyone who has played a few games both ways, and can help us all fully understand how each system affects behavior?
 
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Mike Bliss
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We've been playing incorrectly up to now. I look forward to trying it with the right rules
 
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EnderWizard
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For prosterity's sake for anyone down the road searching for the exact rule, it is found on page 9 under "Owner Benefit" in the section "Builder's Hall"

Lords of Waterdeep Rule Book Page 9 - BUILDER'S HALL - Owner Benefit wrote:
Once a new building is in play, it is available for anyone to assign an Agent to, just like any other Building on the game board. However, when someone other than the owner assigns an Agent to that Building's action space, the owner gains the benefit described in the tile's "Owner" line.


Bold emphasis is from the text of the rules, not mine.
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Chad Miller
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Quote:
Why should there be a disincentive to grab the buildings you built at every opportunity?


Because games aren't interesting when plays are automatic.

Quote:
I am disinclined against using the "except the owner" rule because there would then be generally no incentive to grab the buildings you built at every opportunity.


Of course there is an incentive to grab your own buildings; you get the effect of the building. Sometimes you can't guarantee someone else will trigger the owner bonus. Sometimes you need the main effect badly enough to give up the owner bonus to get it. Since there are incentives in both directions this means that people who build buildings for themselves still have interesting decisions, instead of boring automatic ones.

Quote:
As we have been playing it, it is only advisable to use an opponent's building when absolutely necessary.


Why? If I can guarantee the owner bonus myself, why would it matter if you trigger it instead of me triggering it?

Quote:
If owners didn't get their own buildings' owner bonuses, it would be too tempting to use other players' buildings instead, and give them their owner bonuses.


Yes, this is exactly why the Builders' Hall is already good!

Quote:
Are you guys saying that you prefer the unpredictability and flatter reward structure for owners not earning their own rewards?


Yes, I would rather the owner bonuses not be a guaranteed buff in addition to giving the owner equal opportunity at taking the building's benefit itself. Buildings are already strong.
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Chris Berger
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SlebRittie wrote:
Of course there is an incentive to grab your own buildings; you get the effect of the building. Sometimes you can't guarantee someone else will trigger the owner bonus. Sometimes you need the main effect badly enough to give up the owner bonus to get it. Since there are incentives in both directions this means that people who build buildings for themselves still have interesting decisions, instead of boring automatic ones.


In fact, even without getting the owner bonus, there's an argument that using the building yourself is better than having someone else get it. For most buildings, using it gives +50% effect of using a printed board space, and gives the owner 50% of the effect of using a printed board space (the conversion to VP's is based on the way quests convert cubes to VP's, though those usually have a bonus when more than 3 cubes (or 2 cubes + money) are involved). When you use your building, you get 150% of a normal activation. Whereas if someone else used your building and you had to use a printed board space instead, then they get 150% of a normal activation and you get 100% for your activation + 50% for their activation = 150%. So even though you get the same bonus regardless of who activates your building, someone else also gets a bonus, so you're not as far ahead as you would be if you had used your own building (most of this comes from the "buildings are broken" thread - he has some mistakes in his calculations that lead to the conclusion that they are broken, but part of his math at least is sound).

Of course, considerations of using your own building also have to take into account how much you need the resources it produces, what other spots are available, and also issues like progressive buildings and buildings that don't directly produce resources. But in general, there is already plenty of incentive to use your own buildings and to build the buildings that you will be likely to use. Adding another +50% (or +100% on the 8 cost buildings) of an activation on top of that means that there's no other choice, and makes buildings actually overpowered - and if you're one of the unlucky ones who doesn't get an early building, you almost have to go on your opponent's building to block them even if you don't need that building that much.
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Josh Kaufman
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Sorry I don't buy there is a disincentive to use your own building. Some buildings give a benefit not even associated with the owner bonus. So if that benefit is useful to you, you are telling me you aren't going to do it? Buildings by definition are for the most part more effective use of an agent than going to a basic building. So why wouldn't you want to go to a building and get a more effective use of your agent, provided that building did help you?

 
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Scott Wishart
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When we initially played with the incorrect rule of allowing the owner to get the reward when assigning an agent to his own building, not surprisingly, the strong incentive was to try to assign to your own buildings. I agree that it doesn't necessarily "break" the game to play it incorrectly, but it just seems like playing the rules correctly is more interesting than everyone assigning to their own buildings.
 
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Joe Bowers
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The person that taught me how to play said you got the owner bonus when you purchased the building and when other people go on your building, but not when you go on it yourself. That's how we have been playing and that way has been strong incentive to buy a building without being overpowered.
 
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