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Subject: Dealing with Goods Tile Imbalance in two player games rss

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Carl Garber
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Thanks for this post Peter! I felt shipping was a bit underpowered in 2p because the goods are worse less and are only worth 1 more point than if you kept them unshipped. The fact that you will get more of these tiles I guess makes up for this.

This game already doesn't have balanced tiles(and its the fact that they are not balanced that helps drive the game) so if they are a bit stronger in 2p than it will just mean they are competed for that much more!
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Andrew Walters
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If the knowledge tiles are more powerful, that only gives an advantage to the player who a) realizes that, and b) puts the effort into placing ships so they go first and can grab those tiles.

Remember that shipped tiles are only worth 2 points in a two players game, but 3 or 4 points in a three or four player game. Certainly you're more likely to ship all four colors of goods in a two player game compared to a four player game, but I shipped all six colors in a four player game last night.

Also, half the knowledge tiles don't even appear on the board in a two player game.

There's no question that the game feels different when it's played by two versus four players, but I don't think any of those tiles actually break the game.

If you reduce the number of goods tiles you might also need to bump the per-tile VPs back up to four, otherwise the warehouse building becomes less valuable, which also weakens the four-points-per-warehouse knowledge tile, etc. If the goods are worth four points I think you could halve the number of goods without breaking the game, I think.

Still, having played a lot of two player games, I don't think there's a problem.
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Drew Gormley
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In my 20+ plays, I have never once felt this as an issue. I think a better way to look at it is that in the 4 player game, those things are less powerful and goods are "worth" more. Either way, neither player count needs a change.


petercox wrote:
Quote:
If the knowledge tiles are more powerful, that only gives an advantage to the player who a) realizes that, and b) puts the effort into placing ships so they go first and can grab those tiles.

That's partly true, but a lucky draw and roll does the same thing. Plus, if one element becomes obviously too powerful, it makes the game about 'who gets that thing first', which to me is not an especially interesting game.

I like the nuance of multiple equally viable paths. To me that's the intended spirit of the game, not getting in first position to grab the most powerful tiles. I appreciate there's a little bit of that anyway (ie getting 4 animal tiles as opposed to 2 for example), but tiles 15 and 25 together can easily become overwhelming in a way no other tiles can. YMMV - others may even prefer it that way, and that's cool.

Quote:
If you reduce the number of goods tiles you might also need to bump the per-tile VPs back up to four, otherwise the warehouse building becomes less valuable, which also weakens the four-points-per-warehouse knowledge tile, etc. If the goods are worth four points I think you could halve the number of goods without breaking the game, I think.

Very good point, yes, it will need to be bumped to 4 points. I'll make a quick edit in above post.

Quote:
Still, having played a lot of two player games, I don't think there's a problem.


It's not usually a problem, but I just had a couple games in a row where I got lucky draws/rolls and managed to easily snag both of 15 and 25 knowledge tiles. It's not insurmountable, and won't happen every time but it did feel VERY unbalanced to me.

If other people can live with it/don't really notice it's all good. I did search through the forums and it has been mentioned by a couple of people, so I guess it does bother some others.
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Andrew Walters
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Certainly if one tile or pair of tiles is so powerful that the game becomes all about who happens to get it, the game becomes dull. But until someone does a significant number of trials, it's a matter of judgement whether or not the increased potency of 15 and 25 make them dominate the game. I haven't played twenty games with two players, but for my money the tiles are not overpowering. Perfectly used they may be thirty points: that's a lot of points, but that's a lot of actions, and you can earn thirty or more points a lot of ways with that many actions.

Give it a go and we'll read the results, but I don't plan to fiddle with it. I might ask my wife what she thinks...
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Chris Johnson
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petercox wrote:

LOL, there's always a few of these posts on every variant page. Categorical statement that they know the game better and nothing needs changing.

No one's forcing you to do anything, mate. Like I say: people have different views on the topic, and how they prefer to play. This sort of 'no, you're wrong' response is a bit tiresome, particularly when it engages with the points made at an entirely cursory level.

Doesn't really make for a very pleasant community.


As opposed to those people, who after a handful of plays with a limited group of opponents and their associated groupthink, somehow believe that they can trivially "improve" the output of a professional game designer and one of the best developers in the business.

Riiiight. :P

Play more. With different and/or better players.



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Chris Johnson
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petercox wrote:
Wow and LOL

Thanks for reminding me of the many unpleasant people out there who I luckily manage to avoid in every day life.

Really don't understand people getting their knickers in a twist. Might make an interesting psychological paper maybe...


No one's knickers are twisted; we're just pointing out that you very likely don't know what you're on about (at least not sufficiently to know better than Feld and Brück). Get back to us after a couple of dozen more plays of the rules as written against varied opponents.

Quote:
Like I say: people have different views on the topic, and how they prefer to play. This sort of 'no, you're wrong' response is a bit tiresome, particularly when it engages with the points made at an entirely cursory level.

Doesn't really make for a very pleasant community.


The irony you are demonstrating is breathtaking. :)

P.S. *All* of the knowledge tiles are potentially game-making-or-breaking (especially the black-backed ones). Better get busy nerfing and/or buffing them for the various player counts...oh, wait, Feld and Brück already did that... ;)

P.P.S. Randomly leaving half of the tiles out of the 2-player game has far larger impact on the game than any possible issue with the tiles you are concerned about. Any plans to address that? :P

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Drew Gormley
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petercox wrote:
Okay, well this thread is clearly going to be a trainwreck. Thanks to those who bothered to engage with the point I was trying to make.


Hey Peter,

I'm not really sure why you are upset. I, personally, did engage in your topic. I didn't support your decision, and I offered a different point of view. I certainly didn't say you were wrong, simply that as an experienced player, I could say the game doesn't NEED a change. The game needing a change and you feeling a need to change it aren't the same thing. It seems like all Chris did was respond to you in the same manner you responded to me, while also offering a solid point about the intention, as it were, of knowledge tiles. You make it seem like you try and avoid people who respectfully voice disagreement with you; if I've missed something, would you please help me to see that, preferably in a private message?
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Drew Gormley
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Thanks for responding. I wasn't being passive agressive at all. I was stating that in my plays, I hadn't noticed it as an issue. If I wanted to say that you haven't played the game enough to notice this issue, I would have actually said that. Supporting my reason for being "right" doesn't need to be an attack at yours, or proof that you are "wrong". I'm actually somewhat frustrated myself that you would just assume my comment to be an attack and passive aggressive. I feel that by saying "I don't agree with the point you are making/I haven't noticed it as a concern" has very much to do with the point you're making, but you disagree, and I understand that. No one has said that you don't have sufficient exerpience to notice that things are worth more in one situation than another, simply that if you played more, perhaps you wouldn't feel it to be an issue, as you'd see another side of things (and, for the record, I wasn't even the one who stated that, Chris was).

Burgundy, from all points I can see, was intended as a two player game that also supports three and four (the same as War of the Ring, the opposite of, let's say, Fresco, or Hansa Teutonica). I think the issue isn't that things are more powerful with 2, but less powerful with 4. I understand that there, to some extent, isn't a difference with those two comments, but I think it's clear that the desginer wanted there to be the "scramble" to get those tiles if they come out. I think it gives more support to the shipping/player order track, as going first in these situations REALLY gives you a benefit.
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Stephen McHale
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petercox wrote:
Well no, your comment had nothing to do with the point I was making actually.

Anyway, not upset, just a little irritated to find myself in a somewhat boring and vaguely passive aggressive discussion about whether or not I have the sufficient experience to point out the fact that 2 knowledge tiles are worth twice as much in a 4 player game as a 2 player, and whether it matters.

But anyway, yeah - I try to avoid people who engage with others in the kind of passive aggressive nonsense that is often all too much the default way of engaging with others on the Geek, so I'll save myself the hassle and just not bother.


I had to re-read this entire thread because I figured I must have missed something that got you "irritated" about a discussion that had turned "passive aggressive".

I still don't see it. Just looks like people offering different opinions to me.

One of the many problems with the Internet I guess, sometimes intent gets lost.

I agree that a change is not needed but I can see why you might want one.

Either way it is just a great game.
 
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bchlax944 wrote:
Thanks for responding. I wasn't being passive agressive at all. I was stating that in my plays, I hadn't noticed it as an issue. If I wanted to say that you haven't played the game enough to notice this issue, I would have actually said that. Supporting my reason for being "right" doesn't need to be an attack at yours, or proof that you are "wrong". I'm actually somewhat frustrated myself that you would just assume my comment to be an attack and passive aggressive. I feel that by saying "I don't agree with the point your making/I haven't noticed it as a concern" has very much to do with the point your making, but you disagree, and I understand that. No one has said that you don't have sufficient exerpience to notice that things are worth more in one situation than another, simply that if you played more, perhaps you wouldn't feel it to be an issue, as you'd see another side of things (and, for the record, I wasn't even the one who stated that, Chris was).

I wouldn't worry too much about it, bchlax. You've been entirely reasonable on this thread. Also, OP seems pretty touchy, given that two (2) people disagreeing with him appears to be enough to drive him to abandon the entire BGG community. Rather silly, IMO; BGG users are definitely on the nice side when it comes to Internet discussions. Reading YouTube comment boards would probably make petercox spontaneously combust.

As for the discussion at hand, those knowledge tiles are definitely powerful, but not so much that they require tweaking. In order for them to be truly abused in a 2-P game, you'd have to 1) actually see them show up at all, 2) get them early enough that you can base your strategy around them, and 3) be playing with an opponent who's oblivious to what you're doing and not competing for goods. I'm not saying that it never happens, but it doesn't come up frequently enough in my experience to warrant house rules.
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Adrian Todea
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Since we're talking yellows I think that the tile that gives you 2 extra VP per each Bonus Colour tile you have the the end of the game is less valuable than other yellow tiles and to me this doesn't seem to change much with different player count.

Now, I understand that all tiles are not created equal but every time I see this tile I get excited about it and want it because I always race to get the big (or small) bonuses for the 6 available colours but then I realize that other tiles can give more points with somewhat less effort.

In my last 4 player game I managed to get 3 big bonuses (dark green, gray and yellow) and played right after the player who got the big bonus for buildings so I only got the small bonus instead, and all this means is extra 8vp with the +2 / bonus tile. In the end I replaced it with the one giving +3 / type of goods sold as I only had room for one more yellow on my board. I had 5 tiles sold at that time all different colours (as I was selling at high profits of 2 silver and 1 worker due to yellows) so that's 15 points vs 8.
 
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Drew Gormley
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In the scheme of things, though, that tile you ended up taking is one of the "most powerful" in the game. Otherwise, 8 points from a yellow tile is a decent amount, in my opinion.

tzutzy wrote:
Since we're talking yellows I think that the tile that gives you 2 extra VP per each Bonus Colour tile you have the the end of the game is less valuable than other yellow tiles and to me this doesn't seem to change much with different player count.

Now, I understand that all tiles are not created equal but every time I see this tile I get excited about it and want it because I always race to get the big (or small) bonuses for the 6 available colours but then I realize that other tiles can give more points with somewhat less effort.

In my last 4 player game I managed to get 3 big bonuses (dark green, gray and yellow) and played right after the player who got the big bonus for buildings so I only got the small bonus instead, and all this means is extra 8vp with the +2 / bonus tile. In the end I replaced it with the one giving +3 / type of goods sold as I only had room for one more yellow on my board. I had 5 tiles sold at that time all different colours (as I was selling at high profits of 2 silver and 1 worker due to yellows) so that's 15 points vs 8.
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