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Subject: Prospecting = Not worth it? rss

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Pater Absurdus
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When I first played Nefarious I loved Prospecting. It just seemed like a great way to get extra income.

It just doesn't seem worth it anymore. It costs a whole action and some $ to get them and the minion get taken away frequently by the inventions of others. Is there a strategy (barring Twist cards which manipulate their value) in which prospecting is an action worth taking?
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G. Gambill
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Redward wrote:
When I first played Nefarious I loved Prospecting. It just seemed like a great way to get extra income.

It just doesn't seem worth it anymore. It costs a whole action and some $ to get them and the minion get taken away frequently by the inventions of others. Is there a strategy (barring Twist cards which manipulate their value) in which prospecting is an action worth taking?


I have the same question after three plays. In two of the three, the player who had no minions deployed won the game. I think your question of the cost of the loss of action vs. the reward (as opposed to just taking more work actions) seems like it is not as valuable as saving the action used to speculate in the first place. I'd be curious to see what the designer has to say about it. Maybe more plays will show more advantages? Maybe the secret is in deploying multiple minions to one or two areas alone? I'm not really sure yet.
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Pater Absurdus
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ggambill wrote:
Redward wrote:
When I first played Nefarious I loved Prospecting. It just seemed like a great way to get extra income.

It just doesn't seem worth it anymore. It costs a whole action and some $ to get them and the minion get taken away frequently by the inventions of others. Is there a strategy (barring Twist cards which manipulate their value) in which prospecting is an action worth taking?


I have the same question after three plays. In two of the three, the player who had no minions deployed won the game. I think your question of the cost of the loss of action vs. the reward (as opposed to just taking more work actions) seems like it is not as valuable as saving the action used to speculate in the first place. I'd be curious to see what the designer has to say about it. Maybe more plays will show more advantages? Maybe the secret is in deploying multiple minions to one or two areas alone? I'm not really sure yet.


I have deployed multiple minions to the Invention slot just to have them taken away again in a couple turns. I think that this gets way rougher with multiple players. It may not be worth the action to Prospect because various inventions may give and take away minions so that it ends up on really being worth the time. At least not worth the effort consistently enough to merit doing it as a strategy.
 
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Donald X.
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ggambill wrote:
I have the same question after three plays. In two of the three, the player who had no minions deployed won the game. I think your question of the cost of the loss of action vs. the reward (as opposed to just taking more work actions) seems like it is not as valuable as saving the action used to speculate in the first place. I'd be curious to see what the designer has to say about it. Maybe more plays will show more advantages? Maybe the secret is in deploying multiple minions to one or two areas alone? I'm not really sure yet.

I am satisfied with how often I think minions are worth having. Specific strategy advice will have to come from other players.
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T C

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Think of 7 Wonders. In some games, taking that Science card is really valuable, and in other games the opportunity costs you spent paying for it doesn't seem worth it. The Speculate card is a little bit like that. I've seen judicious use of Speculate be a useful part of a winning game, and I've also seen winning games use planning that involves little or no Speculation. The number of players, the play style of the particular players, the twists that are in play, the cards you've been dealt, etc. all play a role in determining to what extent Speculate will be useful during a particular game. (i.e. Speculating on Invent gets different results against an opponent who saves up to build expensive inventions vs. an opponent who build lots of little inventions. And of course, if you have a neighbor who avoids playing Speculate altogether, you can see what they tend towards instead and speculate on that.)
 
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Icesun
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I think it depends both the players around the table AND the twists cards. In our games, it's the twits which make viable or not the use of minions (ex: double the gain of the minions when you used the research card, etc.). Also, if I'm with players who often use the action work, place one or two minions on the work place can be very cost effective!
 
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Mik Svellov
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I rarely use the Minions, but that doesn't mean that I win more often than those who use them frequently.
 
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Teddy Winand
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I think prospecting can be very worth it. I've played invent actions without enough money banking on the investments to push me up to what I need to play the invention, which has led me to two victories. I thoroughly enjoy this game.
 
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G. Gambill
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Icesun wrote:
I think it depends both the players around the table AND the twists cards. In our games, it's the twits which make viable or not the use of minions (ex: double the gain of the minions when you used the research card, etc.). Also, if I'm with players who often use the action work, place one or two minions on the work place can be very cost effective!


Upon more plays since my initial post, I find you are quite right. Some twists make the minions not only helpful, but necessary. We played with embezzling minions, for example, which means that you wll never get to keep the money from the work action since you only get to keep multiples of five money without also getting some income from a minion or two. Other times, minions are nt needed much at all. It really does seem to depend largely on the twist cards.
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Chad Ellis
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I've only played once but that fits with my limited experience. I figured on basic principles that if there was an investment option (e.g. Speculate) that it's generally overpowered on the first turns and then weak later so my initial plan was to start with Speculate. Then we turned over Mob Influence (when you choose an action, lose $1 for each other player who also chose it) as a twist in a six-player game. I figured that would make money more valuable which spoke in favor of Speculate in general but also Speculate on Work in particular. I ended up leeching a ton of money off of the other players and won despite two players having a generally superior understanding of the game. (One of them was very close, the other four players were all comfortably behind, largely because of the money gap.)
 
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Joey Miseirvitch
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I have played this 10 times now. It's worth it and it's not. Like someone else stated before - it's a gamble based upon what inventions people play, and what world events are in place. In some cases, it can pay off big! In others, you can lose out quickly! And that may be the nature of the money gen engine of the minions - you are betting on what other people MAY play.

I have played several different strategies and combos of minions, limited minions, and no minions. In all cases, it had varying effects. Sometimes I scored huge with a build up of minions in Invention when money was tight and the card draw worked in my favor. In other instances, I lost huge trying to place minions at all. Sometimes I won with no minions at all, and sometimes I won with minions spread or concentrated - and sometimes I lost no matter what happened! I think this adds to the theme of random "nefarious" behavior within the game. Not sure if the game would be the same without this integral part in my opinion.

The only strategy I have yet to try is to invest in speculate minions to then move them around later with the use of inventions. I can see the viability of early money bonus, but it may be faulty venture considering the random draw of cards you are likely to get.
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Gar Per
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To some degree, I think it is just a "group-think" killer and has a bit of metagaming aspects to it. If everyone at my table starts thinking minions are worthless and they are just going to take a ton of work actions, then you'd better bet I'm going to put a minion (or more!) on Work. Conversely, if everyone thinks speculating is the bomb, then I am going to put a minion on speculate in the first round or two and maybe I'll take a lot of work actions. And it adds a bit of game-to-game thinking. If you guys were all doing something a lot last time, is there a way I can take advantage of it assuming you will do it the next game as well? I think in the first couple of plays this won't show, but with more plays becomes a bit more viable and interesting.
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