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1969» Forums » Rules

Subject: Last player's Moon mission - somewhat unfair? rss

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Julian Clarke
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In the last turn, players each run a moon mission (usually). Before you launch your own mission, you probably want to keep your cards to ensure your mission achieves maximum success. So apart from the cards which take the total past a multiple of 3 (ie are not helping the above position) players are unlikely to play cards against another player's moonshot.

However, once their mission is complete, any cards they did not use are now available to play against subsequent players' missions. Going first in the final turn seems like a huge advantage & the last mission is going to get everyone's left-over cards dumped against it.

This has certainly influenced the outcome of most games I've played. Has anyone recognised this as an issue & is there a suitable adjustment. I thought that maybe players should not be able to play negative intelligence cards on the moonshot. Thoughts?
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Doug Adams
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Unhalfbricking wrote:
This has certainly influenced the outcome of most games I've played. Has anyone recognised this as an issue & is there a suitable adjustment. I thought that maybe players should not be able to play negative intelligence cards on the moonshot. Thoughts?


With my vast experience of one game, I was player four (four player game) in the final turn and was totally nobbled. All the scientists were bought out by players 1 and 2 (thanks to heavily insured failures, the game was swimming with cash), and players 2 and 3 then went into the spy game, so my rocket stack was swarming with spies.

Players 1 and 2 easily accomplished the moon mission, player 3 didn't quite make it back. I (the USA) just made the slingshot and was about a third of the way back (yes, cards were dumped on my mission as they were no further use).

Houston, I strongly suspect we have a problem, but I want to play it again to see if I can avoid that outcome by playing better in the early/mid game.
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Steve Duff
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In our 4 player game at bgg.con, we ran into much the same thing. The game end is fraught with kingmaking and metagaming.

I was the 4th player, and I knew I had no shot (heh) at winning. I essentially had the choice of playing my cards against the second player, allowing the 3rd player to win, or save them to play against the third player, allowing the 2nd player to win.

We all basically decided not to sabotage on the final round, and just played our cards for our own efforts. But it definitely felt like a problem.
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Ian Powell
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Maybe that's the answer - house rule that no cards can be played for or against on the moon run?
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ɹǝsɐɹɟ
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We talked about it a bit during and after the game with Julian last night. All comments on the basis that it is a four player game.

no cards can be played after you have completed your own moonshot. On the face of it this sounds good, but the problem I see with this is that it actually swings the pendulum the other way and would give an advantage to the 4th player. People could, and probably would, play against player 1, 2 and maybe 3 but not against player 4. Thus player 4 would dump any excess cards on player 3 knowing there is no further use for them (after doing appropriate calculations of any that should be kept of course).
No cards for or against the moon run, is going to influence strategy for the whole game and possibly rule out the technology that gives you extra cards. Phil went the high card gambit and was drawing three cards each turn. The no cards on moonshot would be a big negative for that.

In our game the fourth player actually had quite a few cards. As player 3 I did dump my excess cards worth 6 points on him, but he could counteract them.

On the face of it, it seems like the best plan is to work out if you are going to be player 4 and bank some (good) cards. A bit of an artificial solution, but it would keep you safe(r).
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Doug Adams
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I am interested to see if this can be saved, as it is teetering on the edge of the trade pile. I had much more fun with Kosmonauts, with its thrusters and planetary motion
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Gerald Squelart
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Karlsen wrote:
no cards can be played after you have completed your own moonshot.
No cards for or against the moon run.

How about something in between:
In 1969, cards can only be used positively on your own mission.
This way, the turn order is now irrelevant*, but cards are still useful.

*[edit] irrelevant regarding card play, it is still very relevant for buying the last few scientists!
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ɹǝsɐɹɟ
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I think Gerald is on to something here!
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Julian Clarke
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Unhalfbricking wrote:
I thought that maybe players should not be able to play negative intelligence cards on the moonshot. Thoughts?


Yes, Gerald is on to something there!

J
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Ian Powell
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The problem with only allowing "positive" cards on the Moon run is that there are a only maximum of 20 spaces to cover to get to the Moon and back. To get there you can use a combination of technology bonuses, dice rolls and cards:
A technology of +10 seems fairly reasonable to achieve
Getting a least 3 green on the dice is fairly reasonable (with re-rols etc)
This moves you 13 spaces on the track - all you then need is to get a total of 7 in your cards and you have achieved the objective.

Getting 7 in cards is again quite reasonable given that you simply buy cards during the last turn as there is not much else to buy by then.

Furthermore, if you complete some of the missions you get to start closer to the moon.

This makes "landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth" fairly easy - I don't think this should be the case - it was a tough assignment.
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Julian Clarke
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harlequin1 wrote:
This moves you 13 spaces on the track - all you then need is to get a total of 7 in your cards and you have achieved the objective.


Not quite that simple, Ian. Each space on the moonshot track requires 3 card-points -- in either direction. Therefore, using your assumptions, you'd need 21 points from your 6 cards, which is not possible, even 18 is unlikely.

However, getting more than 10 component 'greens' is not hard & at least a couple of perfect test flights seems reasonable to expect.

I agree that it makes it less difficult, but we have to find a way to be able to play negative points without it impacting the last player harder than the others.
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Gerald Squelart
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Unhalfbricking wrote:
harlequin1 wrote:
This moves you 13 spaces on the track - all you then need is to get a total of 7 in your cards and you have achieved the objective.


Not quite that simple, Ian. Each space on the moonshot track requires 3 card-points -- in either direction. Therefore, using your assumptions, you'd need 21 points from your 6 cards, which is not possible, even 18 is unlikely.

However, getting more than 10 component 'greens' is not hard & at least a couple of perfect test flights seems reasonable to expect.

I agree that it makes it less difficult, but we have to find a way to be able to play negative points without it impacting the last player harder than the others.


How about that then:
1. Each player in turn starts their mission, rolls dice, adds scientists, and moves their rocket on the track.
2. Then when all rockets have moved, each player simultaneously selects where each card goes.

Probably fiddly though!
Also, players lose the ability to defend themselves if they see a number of cards played against them.

Another way:
1. (as above, roll dice, add scientists, move rockets)
2. Going around the table, players either play 1 card face down (in front of them or another player) or pass, until all players have passed.
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Julian Clarke
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Another way is maybe getting there.
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Ian Powell
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Unhalfbricking wrote:
harlequin1 wrote:
This moves you 13 spaces on the track - all you then need is to get a total of 7 in your cards and you have achieved the objective.


Not quite that simple, Ian. Each space on the moonshot track requires 3 card-points -- in either direction. Therefore, using your assumptions, you'd need 21 points from your 6 cards, which is not possible, even 18 is unlikely.

However, getting more than 10 component 'greens' is not hard & at least a couple of perfect test flights seems reasonable to expect.

I agree that it makes it less difficult, but we have to find a way to be able to play negative points without it impacting the last player harder than the others.


Oops, forgot about the 3/space ruleblush
I guess I need to play more than once!
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Luigi Pasato
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Off-topic

Julian Clarke
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ɹǝsɐɹɟ
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Wow, five australians interested in this topic! surprise

Mmhh, same group of game, right?

Sorry, I could not resist!
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Doug Adams
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Luigi wrote:
Off-topic

Julian Clarke
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Ian Powell
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Gerald Squelart
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Wow, five australians interested in this topic! surprise

Mmhh, same group of game, right?

Sorry, I could not resist!


I'm not part of that group, I played with a Roger, Kylie and Nadine.
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dougadamsau wrote:
I'm not part of that group, I played with a Roger, Kylie and Nadine.


Of course, I know! laugh
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ɹǝsɐɹɟ
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And I only played with Julian out of the people mentioned cool Although I do know and have played games with Gerald and Doug, just not 1969 yet ninja

Oh and Roger and Kylie too.
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I have played the game twice, so maybe not enough to be sure if this is a good suggestion or not, but how about this:

On the last turn:
1.) Let all players play all actions but NOT the moon mission (this so that all players can accrue all the mission cards that they can before attempting the moon mission).
2.) Then let every player separate their cards into two piles, one pile which they may only play on their own mission and one pile which they may only play on other players' missions.
3.) Then all players do their moon mission, starting with the first player and continuing until all players have finished.

Another suggestion to add to the above is that players may move cards between piles during the moon mission attempts (theirs or other players) at some cost (maybe one or two victory points per card moved, if they want to risk the gamble of losing victory points now for possibly more points on the moon mission or possibly to prevent another player from getting one or two more points and winning).

Not sure if this will work, seeing as I haven't played the game very recently, though.

My 5 cents
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Julian Clarke
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I experimented with a new final round rule last night. There were 5 players, 2 experienced & 3 newbies.

Mission Phase for 1969:

1 Add all technology from component scientists & move the rockets along the moonshot an appropriate distance.

2 Go through the standard die-rolling procedure & move the rockets to the relevant space.

3 Players split their cards into face-down 2 piles; those to play on others & those to play on themself.

4 Starting with the start player, players play cards singly from the appropriate pile onto other players, continuing around the table until everyone has played all theirs.

5 Apply the cards for then against, per the original rules, to give the final positions on the moonshot.

This certainly is a bit more convoluted, but it did remove the inequality inherent in the final round. The fact that the deck ended up containing only 1s seems to be a common situation (maybe there should be 2x the number of cards in the deck).

We discussed swapping 2 to the point after 3, or even 4, but it seems that the sequence suggested here is the most equitable. I wish the designer would chip in here. It is possible that we are missing something.
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Although I didn't really see this as an issue in our 5 player game, I would suggest a simple solution. Once you've done your mission in 1969, you can no longer contribute cards to any subsequent missions. That way the turn order disadvantage is slowly mitigated as 4, then 3, then 2, then 1 other players can sabotage your mission. It's also easy to remember and implement.
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