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Subject: Did We Play Incorrectly? rss

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Ryan Molony
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My friend and I just tried Innovation for the first time yesterday. It took us a while to get the hang of it, and we're far from grasping the full strategy, but the way we were playing some cards seemed "broken".

In particular, I had Machine tools down and I had a 5 in my score pile and a 7 Melded, so each turn I was able to score a 5 and then achieve the next level of achievement up to 7, allowing me to effectively win the game in a few turns. Did we do something wrong? This seemed broken. Then again maybe there were several effective ways to combat this that my friend simply wasn't aware of or able to complete.

To be fair, with the exception of one 5 most of his top cards were 2s and 3s which may have contributed to his downfall.

Overall the game seemed fun but my runaway victory had us a bit perplexed.
 
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Chris Cieslik
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Typically, when one player's doing a string of score/achieve actions the other player(s) have time to build a response or do something to prevent it from happening. It sounds like in this case you were so far ahead of your opponent that there was nothing he could do, and being able to deal out a finishing blow to conclude the game in this situation is intentional.

Innovation is a game that ends as soon as one player is sufficiently far ahead -- which in this case you were! It was core to the design of the game that we not have that coasting period in many games where one player is way ahead, but the last 3-4 ages of the game have to be played out to confirm it.
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El-ad David Amir
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Check out some of the strategy post on the forums since they will do a better job than me. Innovation has two basic routes to victory: fast achieving or fast teching. If you get a sufficient technological advance on your opponent, and he did not achieve several early achievements, he has a limited window of opportunity before you win. This is especially true in the two player game.

In other words, if you're getting Factory techs while he's still messing around with age 2-3, he's in trouble. There are many ways for him to solve this (Mathematics, Archery, and a bunch of other early game techs) but he needs to be aware of his plight and seek the solutions.
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B C Z
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angelkurisu wrote:
Typically, when one player's doing a string of score/achieve actions the other player(s) have time to build a response or do something to prevent it from happening. It sounds like in this case you were so far ahead of your opponent that there was nothing he could do, and being able to deal out a finishing blow to conclude the game in this situation is intentional.

Innovation is a game that ends as soon as one player is sufficiently far ahead -- which in this case you were! It was core to the design of the game that we not have that coasting period in many games where one player is way ahead, but the last 3-4 ages of the game have to be played out to confirm it.


Chris:

This is a REALLY good way of describing the situations that occur. If someone pulls way ahead, they're going to win.

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Chris Cieslik
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Yup -- and making the decision on whether to swing for the fences and go for the immediate win is an interesting risk, because doing it and failing can be quite damaging!
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Ben Bateson
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Every game, you find one Innovation card that's broken.

Amazingly, it's never the same card twice...
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Yoff Lag
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^
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This
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Ryan Molony
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Thanks for all the great feedback, I look forward to future plays!
 
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El-ad David Amir
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ousgg wrote:
Every game, you find one Innovation card that's broken.

Amazingly, it's never the same card twice...

Except for Clothing. Clothing is always broken. Unless people know how to counter it. On which case Mathematics is broken. Always. Unless people know how to counter it. And then there's Statistics. Statistics is ... ahhhh ... nevermind.
 
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Andrew Foerster
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Well, can we all at least agree that Societies is NOT broken?
 
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El-ad David Amir
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andrewfoerster wrote:
Well, can we all at least agree that Societies is NOT broken?

Are you joking? It STEALS cards!!! With Lightbulbs!! And if your board is Lightbulb heavy, there is no way you have enough Crowns to counter it. Societies is most definitely broken.
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Kris Wiggins
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Just about the same exact experience here as the OP. In our case we were just about at the start of the game (our first one at that), and I had the Currency card out. I don't remember the exact text, but it was something like "draw and score a 2". I might be way off the text of the card, but it was something like that. I also think Castle was the icon, and I had beau coup castles out.

Ok, so I draw a 2 and score it. Next turn, draw a 2 and score it. 2s are out, draw a three and score. Etc., etc, 7s are out, draw a 7 and score it. Let my opponent do all the work drawing cards and such, dwindle the piles, move through ages, maybe draw here and there, but mostly just sit back and reap the rewards! Is that right?!? If so, that just seems broken. I stopped using Currency out of courtesy! I mean, it was an age 2 card; we weren't real far in the game.

Possible ways for an opponent to combat this???
- Opponent pulls out beau coup castles as well so they get the action also?
- Opponent does... something to cover up my card?

We started thinking about maybe turning "I Demand" dogmas sideways after using them once or something (and not being able to use them again), or taking the text literally, so if 2s were out the card couldn't be used anymore.

Comments? Corrections?
 
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Kris Wiggins
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krakrs wrote:
I had the Currency card out


Well, it might have been Oars. I don't remember. The effect was as described though, more or less.
 
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Matt Connellan
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krakrs wrote:
krakrs wrote:
I had the Currency card out


Well, it might have been Oars. I don't remember. The effect was as described though, more or less.


If he had age 7 cards out and still couldn't do better than your scoring one card a turn, I guess you winning was pretty much preordained.
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Kris Wiggins
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Pintsizepete wrote:
krakrs wrote:
krakrs wrote:
I had the Currency card out


Well, it might have been Oars. I don't remember. The effect was as described though, more or less.


If he had age 7 cards out and still couldn't do better than your scoring one card a turn, I guess you winning was pretty much preordained.


I see. Well, it WAS our first game, we were trying to get the hang of it as we went. But my larger question was whether or not we were playing correctly in the first place by my drawing up beyond the Age 2 cards, and apparently we were. Thanks!
 
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Thomas Brendel
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Here's the full text of Currency:

Currency wrote:

Age 2 - Green
[Leaf][Crown]{Hex}[Crown]

- You may return any number of cards from your hand. If you do, draw and score a [2] for every different value of card you returned.

While it is correct that Currency can draw and score higher cards after the 2's are gone, it doesn't score anything if you don't have cards in hand to return. (Edit: You probably got that part right; you were using one action to draw and the other to play Currency. Next paragraph still stands.)

Also, remember that just having a high score doesn't mean you're winning. You need to be claiming achievements, which requires an action and a sufficiently-high top card on your board, or you need to be pushing the game toward the other end condition (draw past Age 10) before someone finds a way to destroy your score (of which there are many).
 
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Kris Wiggins
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Squidd wrote:
Here's the full text of Currency:

Currency wrote:

Age 2 - Green
[Leaf][Crown]{Hex}[Crown]

- You may return any number of cards from your hand. If you do, draw and score a [2] for every different value of card you returned.

While it is correct that Currency can draw and score higher cards after the 2's are gone, it doesn't score anything if you don't have cards in hand to return. (Edit: You probably got that part right; you were using one action to draw and the other to play Currency. Next paragraph still stands.)

Also, remember that just having a high score doesn't mean you're winning. You need to be claiming achievements, which requires an action and a sufficiently-high top card on your board, or you need to be pushing the game toward the other end condition (draw past Age 10) before someone finds a way to destroy your score (of which there are many).


Seems like having one top card remain a level 2 card (Currency), especially one that earned you points throughout the entire game wouldn't be a bad thing (although you'd be missing out on some icons). Once you got to age 5 it seems like you could score achievements at least every other turn if not more often. Seems too powerful to me. At least in a two player game, with 3 or 4 there would be more going on that might hinder Currency's effectiveness a little. Although I've only played once against someone also playing for the first time... Maybe after honing our strategery and understanding of the rules a bit it won't be such a big card in the end. Thanks for the reply!
 
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Russell Martin
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Kris, stick with it. Innovation is a game that definitely gets better over time with more familiarity with the cards (and rules). As Ben suggested above, one game a particular card might seem "broken" and the next game a completely different card is now "broken". (And wait until you get into the cards in ages 9 and 10, those are really insane!)

As you can gather by reading this thread and others, Innovation is a very situational (i.e. tactical) game, although there are opportunities for more long-term planning (again, once you know the cards somewhat better).

Enjoy!
 
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Robb Effinger
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krakrs wrote:

Possible ways for an opponent to combat this???
- Opponent pulls out beau coup castles as well so they get the action also?
- Opponent does... something to cover up my card?

- Opponent attacks your score pile
- Opponent finds a better way of scoring points, and claims achievements before you
- Currency lets you draw an score a 2. Opponent finds a way of skipping an Age (eg: Mathmatics), which will leave full piles behind when they tech up - so the ability of draw an score a 2 only score ~3 points even when you're in age 5.
- Opponent returns cards to the piles, so that you score less on currency.

A couple of points:
Scoring is supposed to be a good action. Both players should be trying to score points.
And many of the early (age 1-2) cards are balanced around the assumption that you're still in those ages, and yes, they becomes stronger when you're in future ages. However, you are paying a cost to keep them around - You can't meld other green cards if you want to keep currency on the top of your stack, so you can't take draw-and-meld actions, you can't build a larger stack for purpose of splaying , etc.

As Kris says, keep playing. You'll keep finding broken cards, and counters to broken cards. And useless cards, that turn out to occasionally be useful.
 
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