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Subject: A major flaw within the game? rss

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Jeff Shaeffer
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Let me start off by saying that I love the game. It is very inventive in so many ways. Let me also say I don't mind a certain amount of luck within the structure of a game. Any time you have dice you will invite luck as part of the outcome.

The issue I have concerns the VPs you get after a battle. I have played 2 & 4 person games and it appears that no matter what angle I choose or how I spend my time building ships or engaging in battle the game is always won hbased on those random points gathered from the little black bag.

Am I missing something here? Does anyone feel the same as I do?
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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It's an incentive to fight early and fight often. The more fighting in any given game, then less luck plays a factor...
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budarooski wrote:
Let me start off by saying that I love the game. It is very inventive in so many ways. Let me also say I don't mind a certain amount of luck within the structure of a game. Any time you have dice you will invite luck as part of the outcome.

The issue I have concerns the VPs you get after a battle. I have played 2 & 4 person games and it appears that no matter what angle I choose or how I spend my time building ships or engaging in battle the game is always won hbased on those random points gathered from the little black bag.

Am I missing something here? Does anyone feel the same as I do?


Just checking in to make sure that you are only keeping one of the tiles. You can draw up to 5 tiles, but only get to keep 1.

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Sky Zero
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Still not sure why they just didn't have a fixed value for victory. Such an epic game with some very odd luck mechanics thrown in...like this one.
 
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Loren Cadelinia
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And the more often you fight, and more successful your battles, the more and more often you draw tiles to pick from.
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Jae
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mfaulk80 wrote:
It's an incentive to fight early and fight often. The more fighting in any given game, then less luck plays a factor...


unless you always draw 1's

which I do.

F this game.
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James Fung
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There is some variance in what you draw from the bag. I've drawn 3 chips early in the game and got 1, 1, 2. I've drawn 1 chip late in the game and pulled a 4 (this was a 2-player game, though, so we hadn't pulled that many chips, let alone all the good chips). However, by the end of the game, I don't think there's that much variance, mostly because by the end of the game you've had a chance to replace any crappy draws you've had. Usually I end up with my share of 4's, mostly 3's, and maybe a 2 or two. This can easily be outweighed by, say, a monolith or losing ring 1 hex. If your games are being decided by reputation draws, your group must be really good at balancing each other.

I like the reputation mechanic. Firstly, it is the only victory component that is hidden and variable. This keeps people from calculating exactly what is needed to win the game. Secondly, it motivates fighting early. Eurogamers have the tendency of build now, fight later (or never). Gearing up to take on ancients within the first few turns means players have the capacity to war on each other pretty much as soon as they make contact. This leads to a more interactive, dynamic game.
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Jason
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Improve your odds by upgrading + to hit on your ships.
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Andrei Ivanesei
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Just fight more! By the end of a game, you will usually end up with at least half of the tokens as a "4".

This is a great idea, because it gives everyone an incentive to be aggressive, to interact with the other players. Usually, the VP gathered this way make up 25-33% of a player's total VP. So if you dont fight often, you are missing out on a huge scoring opportunity.
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David desJardins
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HolyGigi wrote:
Just fight more! By the end of a game, you will usually end up with at least half of the tokens as a "4".


Completely impossible, there are only four "4" tokens, how could six players all have two each?
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Andrei Ivanesei
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I didnt say all players will get them, I said that if you fight more, you will usually end up with them.

The fact is, the more you fight, the more chances you have of getting a 4 or a 3. If you only engage in 3-4 fights the entire game, you are at the luck of the draw.
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Mathue Faulkner
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skyzero wrote:
Still not sure why they just didn't have a fixed value for victory. Such an epic game with some very odd luck mechanics thrown in...like this one.

Fixed scoring wouldn't award early combat, but most importantly the current rules don't allow for counting every single point at the end of the game which creates significant AP and a King of the Hill scenario...
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Matthew Hart

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I think there is something to be said about the reveal at the end of the game. You can have an idea of what others are scoring, but those hidden VPs prevent you from knowing exactly what the score is. I like the fact that there can be a point swing that changes the result.

 
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Randall Monk
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I don't see how this is a flaw. Not broken, no fix needed.
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David desJardins
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HolyGigi wrote:
I didnt say all players will get them, I said that if you fight more, you will usually end up with them.


Can't be. What if everyone fights more?
 
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stephen biggs
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Combat rewards are random, which is bad. but palyer skill can still apply.
If you get above average combat rewards, you can settle for average VP's score from the rest of the game mechansisms.
If you get below average combat rewards, you need to take more risks from other options.

Whilst it's random, you do know you own combat rewards, as per other players advice, fight early. And then adjust stategy depending on the result of the early reward draws.

A lot of races only have 4 places on their reward track and some of those will be diplomats. For those races the total contribution to game score is rarely high.
It's only for races like Orion (5 rewards) that combat becomes dominant. Orion really should be fighting early & often.
 
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John Cosgrove
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I can understand the sentiment, but this is actually one of the less appreciated masterstrokes of the game.

What you're seeing here is the probability and dynamics of blind draw without replacement. It isn't used in many games at all and certainly not to achieve what Eclipse does with it.

In its simplest form, the odds are weighted to reward the following behaviour very highly:

+ launch a large PvP attack as soon as one presents itself (by which I mean BOTH SIDES are sizeable)
+ Take the galactic centre early

Then the following behaviour:

+ Destroy ancients very early
+ Harass players regularly and as early as possible

Then, interestingly, the following behaviour:

+ Deploy enough early defence to invite potential attack but win decisively (using tech switch can be devastating here)

And, finally, this behaviour:

+ Ensure you can attempt any of the above multiple times if required. Because when you DO get a bad outcome, if you've got it under the above circumstances, you've just removed poor results from the bag and if you've moved quick enough, another shot at the bag just got MORE valuable.

It DISincentivises the following:

- Building up medium-large fleets that you cannot reliably use aggressively
- escalate forces into end game without engagement
- invest heavily in forces after turn 8 starts (assuming that the other players have been responding according to the incentives above and with the noted exception of where a critical VP location must be held)
- Ignore technology-based upgrades
- Suicide missions
- Extensive use of sacrificial pinning to steamroll
- Extensive preparation for a 'one trick pony' attack


This is the genius of a system that uses an easily learned blind distribution on a non-replace pull, where the scale of the victory adjusts the hand drawn. While simple, it actually generates COMPLEX player incentives, partly BECAUSE the outcome is uncertain each time. I know of no other system that so effortlessly generates such a rich spectrum of viable strategic motivations for combat from such a simple base.

So, in short, I understand WHY you think that. But I think if you look deeper, you'll see why I disagree.


- Omni
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Marcelo Trein
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DaviddesJ wrote:
HolyGigi wrote:
I didnt say all players will get them, I said that if you fight more, you will usually end up with them.


Can't be. What if everyone fights more?


This is impossible. How can everyone in a game "fight more"? Who will, then, have "fought less"? The ancients?
 
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Jim Richardson

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There's plenty of flaws within the game. I don't find this to be one of them though. If you don't want rep tile luck, why would you want any luck? So then why are you playing a game with luck in it?

BTW the main flaws are the imbalances in alien races and in missile combat.
 
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David desJardins
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mtrein wrote:
This is impossible. How can everyone in a game "fight more"? Who will, then, have "fought less"? The ancients?


I though he was recommending that people "fight more than they otherwise would", in order to get more draws.

It's not a possible strategy to "fight more than everyone else", because what if all of your opponents decide to do that as well?
 
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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ParticleMan wrote:
There's plenty of flaws within the game. I don't find this to be one of them though. If you don't want rep tile luck, why would you want any luck? So then why are you playing a game with luck in it?

BTW the main flaws are the imbalances in alien races and in missile combat.


I haven't used the alien races yet.

Combat with missiles is unbalanced. That's not a flaw.
 
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Andrei Ivanesei
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Uh... no! I recommended to fight more in order to get more VP draws. If you only fight 4 times the entire game, you would have seen 4 tokens at the end of the game (give or take, based on you destroying something)

Probability tells us that you will average 6VP from them. If you want to increase these odds, all you have to do is engage in more combat. Simple as that.
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David desJardins
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HolyGigi wrote:
Probability tells us that you will average 6VP from them. If you want to increase these odds, all you have to do is engage in more combat. Simple as that.


But if all six players use this strategy, it's impossible that they will all get two "4" tokens each. There aren't enough---not even close.
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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DaviddesJ wrote:
HolyGigi wrote:
Probability tells us that you will average 6VP from them. If you want to increase these odds, all you have to do is engage in more combat. Simple as that.


But if all six players use this strategy, it's impossible that they will all get two "4" tokens each. There aren't enough---not even close.


So you're saying it's going to come down to luck of the draw again?

If everyone else is fighting, maybe you should be the one not fighting... I don't know. I don't think it's a flaw.
 
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jay cutler
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instead I thought that you shouldn't take reputation tiles just for participating in the battle, in this way, also who make a defensive play, gets points just because it is attacked!!

thoughts?
 
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