Place: Scythe and Teacup Gamers Cafe Liverpool UK
Game: Manhattan Project with the Nations Expansion
Time played: around 2 hours
Players: Paul(owns the game)- GREAT BRITAIN, Maria - JAPAN, Simon T - USA, Roy - CHINA(me)
In a nutshell: great game, we all loved the worker placement, the theme, the many balancing mechanisms (spies, bombers) and most especially the artwork.
We all got a little confused about the rules, myself especially - and I ended up winning the game ( despite being bombed numerous times by ALL the other players) because we all misunderstood the wording of the special ability of the CHINA card.
Thus instead of just being able to withdraw the WORKERS, on my nations playmat when I used the ability, I also withdrew the SCIENTISTS and the ENGINEERS as well!! AND... I figured I could remove the worker that had activated the nation's special ability after he had triggered it... Which meant that I was triggering the ability EVERY turn without withdrawing any of my guys.
After reading the forums and FAQS I can see what a huge mistake this was, but honestly, the wording for first time players is ambiguous enough that 4 experienced gamers ALL made the same call.
Anyhow, my ridiculously powerful industrial machine rapidly and quite obviously took to the lead, which is where the beauty of the balancing mechanisms in this game (and especially where the NATIONS expansion comes in), as the other players bombed and spied me temporarily into the stone age - fair enough we all thought - bomb the leader is fun for all the family
This was especially the case as the other three players's special abilities involved fighters or bombers and it seemed to me that the winner would have been Paul as he built the first bomb ( a high scoring uranium bomb) and had another in reserve that would have easily gotten him to 50 VPS.
Simon had a great economy going and was bombing me senseless, and Maria was a quiet achiever but also had a lovely economy sorted out.
But the weight of my unbalanced advantage won through.
I also found the Grey Contract workers a bit confusing, and was clearing them off my home sheet and re-using them along with my native workforce whenever I triggered my special ability.
This was picked up by Paul, and when he explained my error, I declared that I should be disqualified because I had been doing it for half the game already. As it was, the others didn't mind too much (my factories were in ruins at this point) and we all accepted such blunders as normal for a first run-through of any game.
Any way, great game- will be very keen to play it again properly now that I have given the Rules FAQ a good read through.
Well done to the designer
Yep, we played China wrong like this our first time too
Just a bit of clarification and some background... the card says you can retrieve your Permanent Laborers from your Buildings.
There are 3 types of Workers in the game: Scientists, Engineers, and Laborers.
Then you also have the Contractors and your Permanent workers.
It was not intended for the Nation Cards to be considered Buildings, which is what would stop you from retrieving the worker from the Nation card itself. Regrettably, though, the brief rules included with the Nations cards did have an ambiguity there. They say you can place a worker or workers on the Nation Card "just like a regular building." This incorrectly suggests the Nation Card is a sort of "special" building, when really the intent was that it should not be considered a building at all. The wording should have been "as if it were a building."
We've now learned the hard way that newer players don't always have all the terminology straight, so it would have been better if we had packed some more text on the card like "Do not remove Scientists, Engineers, or Contractors. Do not remove the Worker from the Nation Card.
The way you played it (and it sounds like the way many others might have played it too) China would almost never have to retrieve workers at all. That would indeed be extremely overpowered!
- Last edited Sat Sep 8, 2012 5:33 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sat Sep 8, 2012 5:32 pm
Thanks for your reply Brandon and congratulations on designing such a smashing game!
Yes, the way I played it China was so overpowered it broke the game - and even through the concerted bombing efforts of the other players I still managed to win because of this.
Thanks you also for the clarification regarding the definitions of the Workers - I am positively itching to play this again and play it correctly this time
Indeed, the various powers of all the different nations really add to the experience and I am keen to see how they all work.