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Subject: Duplicate Technologies rss

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Joe
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If I draw a duplicate technology, I understand I can sell them for their aggregate value, but does it also count toward the 3 technology limit?
 
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Eric Salyers
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Yes it does - think of it as a monopoly of that particular tech, or more of a controlling role in its development. Some techs this is a good thing... others not so much.

Cheers,
Eric
 
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Dan Keller
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I've house-ruled that if you draw a duplicate technology, you discard it and draw a new one until you draw a technology you don't currently own and is not in Public Domain. Keeping duplicates lessens the usefulness of technologies, and makes the Research phase much less appealing if you're paying Resources for something you already own. Plus, from a thematic standpoint, why would you research something you already know if it provides no additional benefit, and can even lose you money?

Since technologies are probably the most appealing part of the game, it doesn't make sense to hamper their effectiveness by forcing you to keep duplicates.
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Wombat Sanders
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Forcing you to keep duplicates is the trade-off for guaranteeing a monopoly. If one player were to find the first copy of a valuable technology and then discarded the rest as well as getting another new one, they're immediately at a huge advantage; nobody can force them to sell, there's minimal penalty for maintaining the monopoly since it's only taking up one technology slot, and they potentially just got a second valuable technology.

The obvious example is Mass Containment. If one player in your house-rules, by luck, draws into all of the Mass Containment cards, the other players would have no reasonable alternative to licensing Mass Containment several times each throughout the game.

Following the logic to its extreme, simply imagine the scenarios that could arise if every technology were unique.
 
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Dan Keller
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wombatsanders wrote:
Forcing you to keep duplicates is the trade-off for guaranteeing a monopoly. If one player were to find the first copy of a valuable technology and then discarded the rest as well as getting another new one, they're immediately at a huge advantage; nobody can force them to sell, there's minimal penalty for maintaining the monopoly since it's only taking up one technology slot, and they potentially just got a second valuable technology.


But that doesn't guarantee a monopoly anyway. If you draw two, another player may still draw a copy, and can force you to sell anyway. I think it depends on how you view the License Technology mechanic. I view it as a viable means to get a little economic engine going, whereas the original intent appears to be a way to mitigate one person having a powerful technology until it gets forced out into the Public Domain. Plus I find paying 9R-12R for technology research, only to pull a duplicate of a low-value tech, much more punative than keeping a valuable tech that others can still choose whether or not to use.

Quote:
The obvious example is Mass Containment. If one player in your house-rules, by luck, draws into all of the Mass Containment cards, the other players would have no reasonable alternative to licensing Mass Containment several times each throughout the game.


That doesn't preclude other players from having useful technologies as well. My games have had players licensing technologies back and forth throughout the game because one player may have the Teleporters while another has Mass Containment.

Quote:
Following the logic to its extreme, simply imagine the scenarios that could arise if every technology were unique.


But you still have the limiting factor of just three tech slots. Yes you're more likely to ditch a lesser technology to Public Domain, but you also have to take into account the Resource value of the technology if you need an infusion of cash, you may want to end up selling it for the sale value. We've had no problems with our house rule in our games, and find that any downside is minor in comparison to be forced to keeping duplicates in one of your valuable tech slots.
 
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Wombat Sanders
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chopperdan wrote:
But that doesn't guarantee a monopoly anyway. If you draw two, another player may still draw a copy, and can force you to sell anyway. I think it depends on how you view the License Technology mechanic. I view it as a viable means to get a little economic engine going, whereas the original intent appears to be a way to mitigate one person having a powerful technology until it gets forced out into the Public Domain. Plus I find paying 9R-12R for technology research, only to pull a duplicate of a low-value tech, much more punitive than keeping a valuable tech that others can still choose whether or not to use.


It depends on the tech, there isn't an even distribution. Getting both copies of Aggressive Franchising or Warp Gates in the base game is so potentially powerful that an event was created for the C Deck just to break those late-game monopolies.

The original intent for the technologies was to act as a balance to help keep players who are struggling with planets in contention with alternative income and prevent snowballing advantage for the wealthiest players.

It acts as a strong economic engine if you're behind in resources, while offering the possibility of stabilizing your position if you're in the lead by hoarding a valuable technology. Some techs are intended to be held for at most a turn or two before being sold for a cash infusion (Brand Loyalty) while others offer significant returns in licensing fees by holding onto them (Tourism). For the base game, the mean resale value of the technologies is set to return just under 3R in Deck A, 4.3R in Deck B, and 5.1R in Deck C, meaning it's only ever profitable to churn through techs if you're not holding any or you're in the research nebula. Common technologies also tend to have the lowest resale values, which means your house rule pushes the expected resale value much higher.

The drawbacks of holding multiple copies of a technology, especially early technologies, are to encourage the player in the lead to relinquish their monopolies in hopes of acquiring more powerful technology in a cost-effective manner. Having 3 copies of Mass Containment means you're guaranteed regular licensing income, but you're giving up all other new technology to get it. Having 1 copy and discarding 2 only removes the disadvantage.

Quote:
That doesn't preclude other players from having useful technologies as well. My games have had players licensing technologies back and forth throughout the game because one player may have the Teleporters while another has Mass Containment.

But you still have the limiting factor of just three tech slots. Yes you're more likely to ditch a lesser technology to Public Domain, but you also have to take into account the Resource value of the technology if you need an infusion of cash, you may want to end up selling it for the sale value. We've had no problems with our house rule in our games, and find that any downside is minor in comparison to be forced to keeping duplicates in one of your valuable tech slots.


It doesn't preclude other players from having useful technologies, but it grants advantage to the wealthiest players. You may be undervaluing the advantage in holding a monopoly, especially for some of the technologies that are priced for regular licensing.

I'm curious what the final scores look like in your games, if you happen to have a rough idea or remember to make note of it next time you play. If everybody in your group is happy with it, absolutely stick with it, but I suspect that the change you've made would lead to a much bigger gap between first and last place.
 
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