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Subject: Do you feel the advanced boards are balanced? rss

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David Debien
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I have played with several of the advanced boards now and I am starting to feel that some of the boards are clearly superior. Last night I played board 8, which has a large animal pasture in the center and I made a ton of points there and in the end won by a mile with a personal best of 240 points.

Thoughts?
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Drew Gormley
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I think they're all pretty well balanced. How many people were you playing with? If just one other, your opponent definitely shouldn't have let you have all those animals. Or should've capitalized on other areas you couldn't utilize due to taking those animals.
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BibKamp318
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It is clear that this is advantageous:
- you can score many bonus points by always adding the same animals in that region
- there is no limitation on doing this

If you have a board with an 8 region for buildings you
- either have to be very lucvky to grab ALL 8 different buildings
- or have that special tile that allows you to build the same building in the same region
I think these boards are definitely the more difficult ones
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John-Paul Pizzica
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What I like best about that expansion is the rule that they created regarding the placement of tiles. Are you playing with that new rule? I find it makes the game far more strategic, as you have to build around your castles and then out, as opposed to the original rule, where the "fingers" of your kingdom are a bit easier to build.
 
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Shane
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Mozart78 wrote:
What I like best about that expansion is the rule that they created regarding the placement of tiles. Are you playing with that new rule? I find it makes the game far more strategic, as you have to build around your castles and then out, as opposed to the original rule, where the "fingers" of your kingdom are a bit easier to build.
The original poster may not be discussing the Spielbox expansion boards, as he said he played with #8. The expansion boards are numbered 10a,b, etc. I really do like the new rule that came with the expansion boards.
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John-Paul Pizzica
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SD40 wrote:
Mozart78 wrote:
What I like best about that expansion is the rule that they created regarding the placement of tiles. Are you playing with that new rule? I find it makes the game far more strategic, as you have to build around your castles and then out, as opposed to the original rule, where the "fingers" of your kingdom are a bit easier to build.
The original poster may not be discussing the Spielbox expansion boards, as he said he played with #8. The expansion boards are numbered 10a,b, etc. I really do like the new rule that came with the expansion boards.


Ah, good catch! Sorry about veering off topic
 
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Drew Gormley
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Could someone please supply said rule?
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David Debien
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bchlax944 wrote:
I think they're all pretty well balanced. How many people were you playing with? If just one other, your opponent definitely shouldn't have let you have all those animals. Or should've capitalized on other areas you couldn't utilize due to taking those animals.


It was a 3 player game.They did try to block me on animals. I went cows originally and then they grabbed cows to stop me. So, I switched to chickens and they grabbed chickens to stop me. Eventually I switched back to cows. I usually had good cash flow so I was able to get a 4 cow and a 3 chicken in the black market. In the end, I had 4 cows and 2 chickens in that region. As I said, the socring in that region alone made the difference.

One of my opponents had a board with mostly 2 and 3 regions which he was closing pretty rapidly but he could not keep up with my animal scoring and when I scored the 6 region with more cows, it was game over. The 3rd player had the board with the big 7 region city in the center and she did pretty well, scoring 210ish, which for us is usually a winning score.
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John-Paul Pizzica
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bchlax944 wrote:
Could someone please supply said rule?


From the new player board entry here on BGG:

"In the original game, you have to lay all tiles in the princedom next to at least one already laid-out tile. Now, not only do you have to place them as just described, but in addition, the tiles always need to be connected - directly or indirectly (i.e. by the same color) with at least one castle.

In other words: If you add a new tile, it must lie either directly next to a castle - or at least be connected with a castle by the same color (as the tile); a different color is not allowed.

This rule doesn't apply to new castles; they may be added as before."
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Chris Johnson
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Mozart78 wrote:
bchlax944 wrote:
Could someone please supply said rule?


From the new player board entry here on BGG:

"In the original game, you have to lay all tiles in the princedom next to at least one already laid-out tile. Now, not only do you have to place them as just described, but in addition, the tiles always need to be connected - directly or indirectly (i.e. by the same color) with at least one castle.

In other words: If you add a new tile, it must lie either directly next to a castle - or at least be connected with a castle by the same color (as the tile); a different color is not allowed.

This rule doesn't apply to new castles; they may be added as before."


Please note that a number of the "Advanced Boards" simply will not work with the Spielbox rule, and that it effectively cripples even more of them. The Spielbox boards were explicitly designed to work with that rule.

In regard to the OP; yes, of course the "Advanced" boards are pretty well balanced. However, as always in this game, for good play you need to 1) play to your board's strengths, 2) do what you can to hose your opponents, and react to their shifting priorities. Failing to do either is a recipe for losing.

In regard to your win with board 8, it's down more to your oppenent(s) not doing what they should have been, rather than to the strength of the board.

P.S. 240 is not a particularly high score, depending on the player count, so it's likely everyone involved has some learning curve left.
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David Debien
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fnord23 wrote:
P.S. 240 is not a particularly high score, depending on the player count, so it's likely everyone involved has some learning curve left.


240 is my personal best and I usually win (with a total of 11 plays thus far). Have played with several groups now and it is the highest score I have seen. Most games have been 2 player with several 3 player games.

My board was nearly complete, I had good cash flow the entire game and bought something like 8-9 tiles from the black market. I also had several yellow scoring tiles which I netted nearly 30 popints from. Not sure how many more points I could ring out of a game.
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Drew Gormley
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I don't mean this offensively, but it just doesn't sound like you were playing against people that had any clue what was going on. Perhaps I'm just being conceited though. You don't make it sound like they did much to play interactively.
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David Debien
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bchlax944 wrote:
I don't mean this offensively, but it just doesn't sound like you were playing against people that had any clue what was going on. Perhaps I'm just being conceited though. You don't make it sound like they did much to play interactively.


One player was on his second game, the other has played about as many rounds as I have, but we tend to not play agressively with each person focusing more on their board.

That said, if everyone plays that way, I fail to see how it makes a difference.

The fact is there are boards with many small 2 and 3 tile regions which have a hard time scoring the same as a board with a couple 4's and 5's and a 6 or 7 tile region, especially if one of the larger regions is an animal region.
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Steve Duff
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casualgod wrote:
In the end, I had 4 cows and 2 chickens in that region. As I said, the socring in that region alone made the difference.


I don't think the board has much to do with it.

You would have got pretty much the same scores on the other boards. On a 4/2 split, you get the identical animal points, but two completion bonuses instead of one, which might be 6+4, instead of 2. That makes up for the size 6 bonus vs size 4 + size 2.

Similarly, on base board 1 with 5/1, you probably get an early completion for 10, and maybe a 4 or 2.

Depending on the board, you gain a little here, lose a little there, it's all pretty much equivalent. That's the entire point of the completion speed bonus for each area, small areas complete faster, giving you more points to make up for the smaller size bonus.
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Jeff Kayati
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I played on board 8 just last night and won the game without ever placing a single animal.

Do I think the boards are balanced? No, I don't. A big part of that though is some boards are easier to play than others.

 
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Jarkko Heino
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My opinion concerning board 8 might be similar to the original poster. So I think the big pasture board is somewhat better than the others. I also think that the boards with big towns (7 or 8 spaces) are a bit worse than the others.
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Kevin M.
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jaolhe wrote:
My opinion concerning board 8 might be similar to the original poster. So I think the big pasture board is somewhat better than the others. I also think that the boards with big towns (7 or 8 spaces) are a bit worse than the others.

I've only played a handful of times, but it seems to me that you shouldn't be going for region completion on the boards with enormous cities (7 or 8 spaces). You should probably just be using those spaces for two things:

1) Placing buildings that you've taken as a blocking maneuver
2) Stringing together combos that make use of building abilities

On such boards, I'd be focusing on banging out points from animals, early region completion, and trading. If your opponents are lax and don't block you from getting the building variety you need to fill out the city, then you might be able to switch gears in the late game and go for the completion. However, that should be more of an "oops, I win" contingency, not a strategic focus.

If you're playing with smart opponents, they should be blocking you from advantageous animal tiles left and right, EVEN MORE SO if you're the guy with a 6-space pasture. If they don't, they're being negligent and therefore deserve what they get.

Congrats on the 240 score. My best is only 210, though perhaps 4-P (which I haven't tried yet) is where the high scores are.
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Carl Garber
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Looking at the boards I feel like 3 and 8 are stronger while 5 and 7 are weaker. For those that view the boards as balanced, what advantages do 5 and 7 have over 3 and 8? These are the advantages of 8:

1) a bunch of small regions that can get completed early game for big completion scoring.

2) a big pasture section that gives a lot of options for big animal scoring. Also, this same pasture is a size 6 region which is good for late game scoring.

3) 6 different city sections that make it easier to score any building knowledge tiles that you get of a particular building type.

the main disadvantage I see for board 5 are:

1) that it doesn't have any region bigger than 3 thus making it weaker in the end game when the completion bonuses are low.

2) farm sizes of 3 means limited pasture potential.

3) a lack of single tile sections that can be taken advantage of early game.

Any rebutals?

I also agree alot depends on how you play, but it seems some boards have way more potential than others(especially board 8 vs. 5). Among equal players I wonder how often board 5 would beat board 8?
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Chris Johnson
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CarlG wrote:

Any rebutals?


Play more. With better players.

Experience is the best teacher. :)
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David Debien
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fnord23 wrote:
CarlG wrote:

Any rebutals?


Play more. With better players.

Experience is the best teacher.


So, no rebuttal then.
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Chris Johnson
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casualgod wrote:

So, no rebuttal then.


Wrong. :)

My rebuttal is implied: he doesn't have enough experience with the game to make those kind of judgements accurately. With more play (against good players), he'll be better qualified. And at that point, I tend to doubt he'll be making statements like that.

There's a reason people with a lot of quality play of dBvB tend to stay out of threads like this. It's just not productive; if you understand the game, it's not necessary; if you don't understand the game, it's difficult to make you understand.

You just need to play more. With better players. ;P

Strangely, the better players seem to do well more often, no matter what board they have.
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Carl Garber
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Chris: I am in full agreement. I have only played 9 games and have lost all but 2(and one was against a noob). I normally have a good grasp of a game by now(or sooner) but so far good play has alluded me. In my last couple plays, though, things have started to become clearer(I think I was overthinking the game).

In my last game as I was analyzing how I could play better, it seemed to boil down to the board. Now I know you will obviously disagree. But the above mentioned aspects are some that I noticed. I listed my specific judgements so that better players can help me see what I haven't been able to thus far. Playing more will obviously help, but I'm hoping others might be able to help me along

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Chris Johnson
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Sorry for the delay in responding...meant to do it, then lost track of it. But my snarkiness in another thread brought this one back to mind...

CarlG wrote:
Chris: I am in full agreement. I have only played 9 games and have lost all but 2(and one was against a noob). I normally have a good grasp of a game by now(or sooner) but so far good play has alluded me. In my last couple plays, though, things have started to become clearer(I think I was overthinking the game).


Yeah; it's easy to over-strategize and/or lock yourself into a failing path. I think the keys are efficiency, flexibility, and paying attention to both the shifting tile mix and what everyone is doing/needs.

Quote:
In my last game as I was analyzing how I could play better, it seemed to boil down to the board. Now I know you will obviously disagree. But the above mentioned aspects are some that I noticed. I listed my specific judgements so that better players can help me see what I haven't been able to thus far. Playing more will obviously help, but I'm hoping others might be able to help me along:)


As I said above:

However, as always in this game, for good play you need to 1) play to your board's strengths, 2) do what you can to hose your opponents, and react to their shifting priorities. Failing to do either is a recipe for losing.

That means before starting, take a look at your board. If you have large areas, consider how you are going to fill them. Then get started on it ASAP. Little is worse for you than a large area that is short 1 or 2 tiles at the end of the game.

Similarly, keep track of what everyone else needs and is trying to do. A well-timed snarfing of a key tile can cause a world of hurt.

Try to decide early on whether you're going to compete in ships, mines, castles, etc. You can win with no ships, you can win getting to 6 early, and everything in-between, but your play will differ depending on your priorities, so it's better to have an early idea of how you intend to go.

It's similar with everything else. I've won with minimal selling, and won by selling constantly. I've won never building a mine, and I've won building all 3 mines in round 1.

Of course, it's a dice game with random-ish tiles, so your plans must be adaptable to the whims of the luck gods.

Don't be afraid to take workers early if there is nothing "good" to do; the flexibility is great later.

I'm increasingly coming around to believing the knowledge/bonus tiles are key; people who build all 6 tend to do quite well. Every round, look at what came out, see who would like them, and decide if you are going to snarf the tiles before they do. There are a number of them that are so good you probably want them, if only to keep them away from your opponents. Once you have a tile; abuse the hell out of it.

Try to have 2 silverlings and a free space in your staging area when a new round starts, even if you are late in turn order, just in case.
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Drew Gormley
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For what it's worth, lately I've played two boards with all small sections on them, and I absolutely destroyed my opponent, scoring something around 216 (in a 2player game) which is one of my highest scores. As Chris said, the same can be doable when you have larger sections if you plan for them, or inversely, if you are playing against someone with lots of smaller sections and you do what you can to take things from them whilst gaining for yourself. There really isn't much in this game that I can take away from you without somehow directly assisting my own play.
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Nadine W
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The boards have different advantages depending on turn order. If you're first, you have more control over implementing the strategy you select. For example, if you're going last, you're unlikely to get even one gray tile, much less three, whereas if you're first, you have a chance.
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