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Subject: This Game is Hard, Players need Help rss

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Paul Grogan
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Check out all my instructional How to Play videos at youtube.com/GamingRulesVideos
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Carver wrote:
I see nothing whatsoever wrong with the rule book, which I see has been criticised in this thread. The game is complex - yes. But I found the rules to be perfectly clear and if I personally made mistakes it was not due to badly written rules.


I know I can be overly fussy with rules, but maybe you have a different rulebook to me. There were definitely parts of it that really didnt make any sense to me after reading them twice and setting it up to help me learn it.

For me, the game isnt overly complex, it is more fiddly. Vinhos is heavy and complex. CO2 in comparison is a lot easier ruleswise, but there are a lot of fiddly bits that are easy to get wrong on the first couple of plays.

The scientist moves are badly explained in the rulebook, there are threads discussing this in detail already, and no matter what anyone says, if 10 people read the rules and it is interpreted in three different ways, then the fact is that is could have been clearer.

Remembering to spend a CEP when installing. Remembering that this can come from a region you control.

Remembering you have to have expertise to build. And then remembering that you get an extra expertise after you build.

And this is with VERY experienced players who are used to playing VERY COMPLEX games. The player aid is essential and apart from the lack of proofreading (i.e spelling mistakes), it is good.

I'm still on the fence if CO2 is a good game. Our second game was with 5p and as I posted in my other thread, I dont think the 5p game works too well. All of the people who played that game would not want to play it again with 5 unless it was tweaked.
 
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unkle
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PaulGrogan wrote:

I'm still on the fence if CO2 is a good game. Our second game was with 5p and as I posted in my other thread, I dont think the 5p game works too well. All of the people who played that game would not want to play it again with 5 unless it was tweaked.


I would expect the 5p game to be much more difficult to grasp than the 4p game. I have yet to play it with 5, though I would guess it would be the player count with the stronger pressure from loosing the game...

What did not really work with 5 ? I have only played it with 2 and 4 and it was very good each time.
 
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Clyde W
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Best to learn with 3 is my guess.
 
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Richard Ham
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CLICK THIS BEAGLE if you're looking for in-depth gameplay video run-throughs! :)
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Regarding the non-intuitive nature of CEPs, it's actually very intuitive if you think about it in thematic terms. And in fact, with thematic reasoning in place, the rules become very intuitive across the board. It's a shame the rule book doesn't explain things in terms of theme, but rather in terms of arbitrary rules. The notion of an almost closed economy is pretty rare in boardgames, but it's not rare in real life. If you explain the market in real life terms, it clicks pretty well, I found (teaching the game to my wife)
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Clyde W
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rahdo wrote:
Regarding the non-intuitive nature of CEPs, it's actually very intuitive if you think about it in thematic terms. And in fact, with thematic reasoning in place, the rules become very intuitive across the board. It's a shame the rule book doesn't explain things in terms of theme, but rather in terms of arbitrary rules. The notion of an almost closed economy is pretty rare in boardgames, but it's not rare in real life. If you explain the market in real life terms, it clicks pretty well, I found (teaching the game to my wife)
I agree...played this multiple times at BGG.CON and found the rules to be pretty intuitive if you think in terms of theme (which is pretty fantastic for such a heavy Euro-ish game, to be honest).

Richard, your rules video is also excellent, but just in case people are still confused, would you care to explain to explain CEPs to us as you did to your wife?
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Richard Ham
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Here's how I did it:

these purple CEPs (which i constantly call CEFs for some reason) represent the amount of pollution a country (or a player's corporate entity) is allowed to dump into the atmosphere. spending CEPs is a bad thing for the world, but sometimes it's necessary to do it.

now here we are setting up the game, and all these countries, based on their relative population, have a certain number of permits, granted to them by the UN (or something like that). the UN will never let them have more than this. and if they use them up to build polluting coal plants, then they have fewer and fewer over the course of the game.

and what's the first thing they do? each of these countries builds a fossil fuel plant, which costs them one of their permits, because they've just polluted the world a little more. booo! and of course, now that they've built the powerplant and done their polluting, they've permanently used their permit, so it's gone, out of the game. and if we ever need to do anything polluting (like starting a project) then we'll have to pay one of our CEPs too, just like countries do.

now, the CEPs are valuable on the world stage... there's only so many of them allowed by the UN (or whatever governing body administers this). and countries (as in real life) can engage in trading for these polution rights. it's a currency, just like money. at the beginning of the game, there's 2 additional permits that we can buy.
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the market works pretty normally. if we sell our CEPs in, the market becomes oversaturated, and the price drops. pretty standard. OTOH, the prices rises more slowly. when the market gets completely emptied, the UN decides they have to issue more CEPs. They don't want to do it, because that means giving more license to pollute, but they recognize that it has to be done. necessary evil and all that. but they're not happy about it, so they only create 2 new ones, and hope that everyone can just use the one's they've already got. and the price rises back up

(this was all i needed to set the stage of the game. but later on...)

...so that's how we can 'gain control' of a country's energy supply. and what that means is, if we do, we get control over all of that countries CEPs. Think of it this way: the regional government is so happy with us providing green energy, they're willing to donate their CEPs to help us spread green power elsewhere in the world (you need to spend the CEP because you have to pour a LOT of concrete when you set up one of these projects, which unleashes TONS of carbon into the atmosphere). we're all in this together... no one wants to the world to die. That's why we can use one coutry's CEP to help another country, which is cool.

Now, otoh, you can't sell a country's CEP to the market, because that's you being greedy. They country agrees to share the CEPs if your'e using them to actually build green powerplants, but if you're just trying to get rich, they they're not going to donate to that cause. that's why you can't sell a the CEPs of a country you 'control' (i.e. are friendly with), you can only use them to start up new projects.

(later on, as you get into higher levels of expertise)
So this bonus to add a CEP: you got this because of some big technology breakthrough that your company made, but this breakthrough doesn't change how many CEPs the UN wants in circulation, so the CEP comes from the market, not from off the board. think of it as the market rewarding you for your scientific discovery... remember, this isn't a cut throat capitalism market. it's altruistic. it's about the world working together to stop climate change. so the market will reward discoveries like this, almost like a bonus paid to your company. that's why the CEP comes from the market, not from off the board. no one wants them to come from off the board, because that means we're increasing the cap on how much pollution can be released, and that's bad.

.
.
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and so on not sure how well that reads here, but it makes sense when you're pointing to stuff on the board, I found. thinking about it, i think one of the mistakes of terminology in the rules is referring to the 'bank' a source for CEPs. that makes it sound like it's a place you expect to get things from, to make withdrawls. but it's not really a bank. it's a worldwide organization that's very reluctant to allow more CEPs on the world stage. so there's an implicit need to use the CEPs alreayd in play... it's in the world's best interests to not add more. If you keep that in mind, everything makes more sense, I think





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Vital Lacerda
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2010 - Vinhos, 2012 - CO2, 2014 - kanban, 2015 - The Gallerist, 2016 - Vinhos Deluxe, 2017 - Lisboa, 2018 - Escape Plan, CO2 Second Chance and Dragon Keepers - Maybe: 2019 - ROTW Portugal and On Mars, 2020 - Kanban Deluxe Edition, Mercato
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Thank you Richard. Thats why you did not make big mistakes in your video. I'm happy now. You got it.
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Daniel Corban
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Big Bad Lex wrote:

I'd be interested to hear what others think

Now that you have officially sold your copy of the game, I will offer my thoughts.

I played this for the first time last week. I had absolutely no idea how the game played or any of its rules. We started a five player game with three of the players knowing little to nothing of the rules, and everyone apparently knowing nothing of the strategy, because we lost at the start of the third decade.

The rules explanation went well, but I could tell this was a complex game. Certainly easier to explain than Vinhos (the game that took the "never want to explain this game ever again" crown from Leonardo da Vinci), but definitely has a lot of details to track. Quite a few things needed re-clarified during our first play.

Four of the five initial players re-started the game later in the day, so I took the opportunity to read the rulebook for myself during the break. We had gotten every rule correct, but reading the rulebook for myself helped immensely.

This is also when I discovered the player aids. Simply reading the player aid once was sufficient to explain most of what I needed to know. If these had been handed out in our first game, it would have gone much more smoothly.

Our second game went without a hitch, and we played it to completion. However, I can certainly see the urge to "police" the game. You always have to watch:
Did he pay the CEP to propose, and did it go to the bank, not the market
Did he gain expertise for building a plant
Does he have enough expertise to build that plant
Did he pay his tech cubes
Did he do any action more than once in his turn

And so on. I wouldn't say that policing the game slowed it down any or caused any undue grief. It is no more here than in a game such as Through the Ages, Mage Knight, or any similarly complex game. By the final couple decades, I believe we all trusted that each of us had become sufficiently self-policing.

Having someone at the table who has the rules internalized and can police the new players for half the game is probably required. Also, follow the player aid exactly when doing the supply phase at the start of each decade.

I will also say that this is one of those games that I suspect is easier to learn with more players. I can see how learning this in a two- or three-player game would lead to rules mistakes and omissions, especially if the isn't a "guru" at the table. With more players, you have more "police" as well as more questions being asked and more edge cases being brought to light.
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Paul Cockburn
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I've only played this solo so far - twice. The second time I found it very helpful to use my discs to cover up the icons in the corner of the board every time I took a main action or free move. It's surprising how easy it is to get lost in planning strategy and then think "where had I got to?" This tracking method was really helpful and I'm planning to suggest it when I get to play it multiplayer.

Each turn ended with my own little mantra to keep me on track: "Gain expertise; score summits; sweep counters off icons; advance round marker."
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