Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
16 Posts

Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery» Forums » General

Subject: Liked this game until it turned into a 3v1 rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Darcy Hartwick
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Played this game on the weekend and thought it was pretty cool, except there was one thing I thought would happen and when it did I just lost all interest in the game:

The inevitable gang-up on the leader.

There is literally nothing you can do when all 3 other houses expend their schemes and reaction cards to prevent you from winning. nothing.

What does that mean? There's no point in trying to win. If you do well, the pack will just drag you down. Your goal is to be average, and stockpile schemes/golds so that you can try and suddenly take down 2 influence to win the game - but everyone else is trying to do the same thing... so it becomes 2+ hours of a quest for mediocrity that is then decided by a random sequence of events of who counters who's schemes in what order, and who ends up slipping through and getting their final influence.

Honestly this game was really great until it turned into a 3v1, because once that happens you might as well not even play, there is no way you can be equipped to survive it and there's no reason for anyone to help you if you're on the brink of winning.

Negative influence and the ability to single-handedly counter schemes at no cost to yourself kind of ruin this game from what I experienced. Countering a scheme should be chance-based or costly (i.e. how guards work)

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Giacomo Peroni
Italy
Milano
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
aitrus wrote:
Countering a scheme should be chance-based or costly (i.e. how guards work)

How does this help?

If you make foils chance based, you'll have a winning player that won only because of luck with foiling rolls (and you seem against "random" when you talk about "stockpiling" schemes and gold to burn them all at the end... Something I don't consider too random, but instead planned carefully).

If you make them too costy, you'll end up with a player getting the lead and the others being unable to catch up.
With only 2 played games, I just realised that the final part of the game is the one that must be planned very carefully. I lost both the games because I wasn't able to prepare myself properly for the final showdown.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darrell Hanning
United States
Jacksonville
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
We will meet at the Hour of Scampering.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I guess I'm wondering what the motivation is, to continue playing, for the other three players, if they can't do crap about the leader.

Maybe they can all walk away from the game, and let the person in the lead finish up solo.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Padraic Kirby
United States
Crown Point
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You plot your revenge for the next game, just like the series. Today you lose, tomorrow you get even.

Pat
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darcy Hartwick
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Imagine you can't lose influence. If someone gets a lead, you can still stop sending them to the arena. You save gold to prevent them from getting host. You don't offer them any deals. You don't give them the extra influence to play the big schemes. If they are going to win it'll be a slog, but they can still do it with shrewd play and the right cards.

I'm not a big fan of luck or politics in my games, but a little bit of either (or both) can add some spice.

Luck-wise I like things like ghost stories where you can have certainty if you want it, but you can also gamble or just try for a cost reduction with the dice. I'm actually okay with the arena and guard dice-rolls as they don't determine the entire outcome of the game and they can be mitigated fairly well.

Politics-wise I like things like collosseum, where trading and emperor-movement can become political but its fairly minor in the grand scheme of things and can't really completely derail someone. I liked the balance in spartacus up until the point where I got slammed with triple rounds of counter-schemes and negative-influence schemes in one phase, dropping me from brink of victory to hopelessly losing.


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Romeo
Canada
Chicoutimi
Quebec
flag msg tools
mbmb
Hartwick :

First plan in consequences!!!

Second : when you play well sometime you can win even if everyone is against you, especially near the end.

Third : If everybody is agaisnt you then you will fall behind a new leader will become the target! So pretend you forgive the other players, go with them agaisnt the new leader and when this new leader as been taking care of get your revenge!

In fact this game is bagning and plotting agaisnt other!!! When its 3v1 try to get someone with you by giving him slaves, gold, influence etc.! If you can't try to resist as much as you can not fall to far behind and bang the new leader! Plot Carefully, secretly and time your things!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mb
As others have said, being ganged up on is part of the game, and as soon as you are no longer the leader, you can join the other players in ganging up on the new leader. Doing down other players is what this game is about!

I would also point out that sometimes ganging up on the leader can only delay things for a turn, after which the leader might be even better off than before. For instance, if the other three players pool all their gold to buy the Host token, all that gold is now in the bank whereas you still have yours for next turn!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darcy Hartwick
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Whoever does good becomes the loser due to gang-bang is not what I call good game design. It doesnt make me feel better knowing it should happen to the next guy, I think its just as stupid when its his turn.

And if that's the mechanic, we might as well roll the dice because the question is simply who can get to 10 or 11 influence and then have other players come up short with counterspells, coins, and/or negative influence schemes on the next turn.

As it is its the shell of a really neat game that devolves into the strategic depth of risk as it approaches its finish.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Bishop
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Pretty much all games that involve direct player interaction/conflict/screwage "suffer" from 'bash-the-leader'.

It's simply the nature of the beast.

There is still a great game within these confines however, you just can't play your hand too early. This is not a multiplayer solitaire game where you can climb the ladder quick as you please. In this game like so many others, you need to use some subtlety in amassing the resources needed to push for a win whilst staying within the pack. Only once you have strengthened yourself to withstand a fight on multiple fronts, or maneuvered yourself to a spot where you can can race/quick-strike your way to victory do you stick you head out.

It's not for everyone though, that is for sure.

MB
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Syn Egg
msg tools
My group has gotten so good at this game it is always a pretty even game and almost impossible for a runaway leader to emerge. Everyone's influence goes up at about the same rate.

Our games usually end on big combo plays to get +3 or +4 influence at once so the others can't stop you even if they team up. Getting to 12 no longer cuts it, you have to get all the way to 13 or even 14 influence and it's pretty hard to bring someone from 14 back down to 11.

It's all about deception. You are right about the bash-the-leader thing but who do you bash when everyone has been saving a hand of intrigue cards for the final push? If you use your foils to stop 1 guy another will probably make his play and try to win in the same turn.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Egan
United States
New Jersey
flag msg tools
So you liked the game before skill became involved?

Honestly, because racing out front is pure luck of the draw/house selection. If you get good opening cards you can amass more gold buy nice things, win host, and win fights. Then you don't have to pander to anyone to play cards since you have the influence and you just keep on going.

Without the game allowing the three other players to bash down the front runner, the game takes no skill. It is all who gets the best starting hand.

You are mad the game has depth that you don't seem to get. The game would be very stupid if there were not sure fire ways to dump a player down an influence (many which can be guarded) or stop schemes.

It be all luck no skill.

Stop playing foolishly and just running out ahead.

We play a ton at my LGS lately and two of my recent wins have been vastly amusing as I go for broke to the finish, usually pillaging my house's assets to do so, only to get dumped back down to 10 or elven.

I lost the bid for host at 11 influence by 1 gold. I then bought an invite to the arena for all of my 33 gold needing a win to seal the game. I get sent in far overrmatched, with my gladiators death already paid for if I lose. Now I pulled out the fight, but had they killed my gladiator I still would have won the game with my last reaction card.

In another game I pledge my holdings and future support for the last invite my Gannicus vs a better equipped Shadow of Death. I won and had a championed crowned to win me the game.

Now neither of these climatic endings would have been possible without the ability to drop someone down or counter schemes reliably. I would have easily won with power players no one could stop in the influence phase.

Don't ask for the game to get dumbed down.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Péter Csontos
Hungary
Budaörs
Pest
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Synegg wrote:

Our games usually end on big combo plays to get +3 or +4 influence at once so the others can't stop you even if they team up. Getting to 12 no longer cuts it, you have to get all the way to 13 or even 14 influence and it's pretty hard to bring someone from 14 back down to 11.


I'm pretty sure that you can NOT go beyond 12 influence (or down to 0). You must track your ludus' influence at its board which only have the range 1-12.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Harris
United Kingdom
stevenage
hertfordshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
csonti wrote:
I'm pretty sure that you can NOT go beyond 12 influence (or down to 0). You must track your ludus' influence at its board which only have the range 1-12.
I think what he means is you have to amass enough resources to get big bunch of influence at once (theoretically enough to get to 13-14 influence if no one stopped you and it was possible) - so that even after everyone blocks and subtracts stuff you still make it up to 12.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Syn Egg
msg tools
jorum wrote:
I think what he means is you have to amass enough resources to get big bunch of influence at once (theoretically enough to get to 13-14 influence if no one stopped you and it was possible) - so that even after everyone blocks and subtracts stuff you still make it up to 12.


This.

It's so much easier making the final push if you are 3rd or 4th in the intrigue phase. If you were last round's host then you have to finish on 12 influence and then pray your guards/foils can defend 3 ppl bashing you down. So far no one has managed a victory going first and we have a nice inaugural award waiting for the day someone finally achieves that feat.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darcy Hartwick
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
ScottieATF wrote:
So you liked the game before skill became involved?

I laughed.

Quote:
Honestly, because racing out front is pure luck of the draw/house selection. If you get good opening cards you can amass more gold buy nice things, win host, and win fights. Then you don't have to pander to anyone to play cards since you have the influence and you just keep on going.


Wait.. you amass so much gold that you win all the auctions AND the host? and then next turn you do it all over again? I'd like to see that game. From what I saw you get enough gold to either win the auctions you want or win the host, not both. This is balanced because your gladiator improvements don't necessarily pay dividends if you can't get in a fight. The skill is in figuring out how much to bid on what, and when you can beg for coins/cards in exchange for an arena invite. Sure, if you draw non-stop coin cards during the first 3 turns of the game and everyone else draws completely dead you can get a runaway victory. What are the odds of this actually happening?


Quote:
Without the game allowing the three other players to bash down the front runner, the game takes no skill. It is all who gets the best starting hand.


No. It's who bids most efficiently and is able to beg/borrow their way into or out of the arena at the right time. Having gold certainly makes it easier, but its not like one player is regularly going to come screaming out of the gate with 30 coins while everyone else has 2. The advantages are incremental.

Quote:
You are mad the game has depth that you don't seem to get. The game would be very stupid if there were not sure fire ways to dump a player down an influence (many which can be guarded) or stop schemes.

It be all luck no skill.


Depth being you play for 2+ hours with absolutely no hope of actually winning until you come to the last 20 minutes where everyone has finally balanced out at 10-11 influence each and then you have the showcase showdown of who counters what in what order to see which player ultimately resolves his stockpile of influence cards in the lucky sequence? Yeah, all skill there.


Quote:
We play a ton at my LGS lately and two of my recent wins have been vastly amusing as I go for broke to the finish, usually pillaging my house's assets to do so, only to get dumped back down to 10 or elven.


Obvious strategy is obvious. Of course you pillage your resources when you think you can win. But then you get countered. So the next guy pillages his house - oops group used all counters stopping you since you went first, now the other guy wins. SKILL!

Quote:
I lost the bid for host at 11 influence by 1 gold. I then bought an invite to the arena for all of my 33 gold needing a win to seal the game.


wait... you had 33 gold and lost the bid for host? I laughed. Then you got lucky dice rolls to win the game, and you consider that skill? I laughed some more.

Quote:
In another game I pledge my holdings and future support for the last invite my Gannicus vs a better equipped Shadow of Death. I won and had a championed crowned to win me the game.


So you got lucky dice rolls to win a game - skill amirite?

Quote:
Don't ask for the game to get dumbed down.


Just to clarify, replacing luck-of-the-draw and impossible-to-stop gang bangs with incremental advantages is dumbing down the game?

Luckily for you nothing I suggest will ever actually happen as the game is already out. Those are simply the flaws I see with the game that make it a small step above playing risk, and they could have easily been mitigated by the designer to have a game with actual strategic depth as well as all the fun elements they built in.



 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Muziq
Netherlands
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Oh man, this thread will be even more hilarious starting now...subscribing!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.