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Subject: Is this really a game about turn order? Did we do something wrong with sales? rss

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Don D.
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When selling, can a player execute one sale at EVERY locomotive type he or she is producing that also has demand, or is it limited? The rulebook seems to indicate that you can sell every type you have (each sale of course limited by the highest single die in existing orders), but does have some slightly odd language. It says " in addition he may sell more than one locomotive type before the next player begins his sales." I think the implication is clearly there that it's every type that you want to sell, but its odd that the rules wouldn't just say "may sell as many types as he wants" instead of "more than one"

As we played with players selling every type on their turn, the game really just became a sort of procedural activity about turn order that required some very counterintuitive -thematically speaking- maneuvers to manipulate turn order.

Oh, and I read in another thread that there is a runaway leader problem with this game. My retort there is - what game were they playing?!?!

 
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J C Lawrence
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On their turn the active player produces against one die for every factory they own (assuming a die is available). If their capacity perfectly matches a die, they produce that die entirely, otherwise the largest die is reduced by their capacity (potentially to zero).

If after all other players have also had their turn, this sequence repeats for each player for their factories which still have unused capacity and which still have unproduced dice.

Yes, deliberately manipulating turn order is critically important. Know when to advance technology versus to consolidate capacity tends to be rather more important.
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Don D.
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Thanks, JC. I need to give the game another shot. The final turn was brutal to the point of being not fun. Two players substantially behind me 278-201-151 and the dice mostly rolled 6/5-6/5-2/1 for those that had 3. End result was me making about 40 dollars while the other two made well over 200 while having very similar production capacities and factories. I contemplated after that being third in the prior turn I could have deliberately shorted myself by a boatload of money, but that just seems very odd to do in an economic game. Is that what the game is really about? I'm supposed to deliberately short myself by almost a third of my cash just to be able to win if the dice go a good way? I suppose those rolls we had were outliers as well, but sheesh. I'd love to hear your thoughts as you've played dozens of times and surely have a better grasp on strategies than I do.
 
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David desJardins
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Normally not everyone is producing all of the same things.
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Don D.
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Normally not everyone is producing all of the same things.


Maybe we just all bought too many factories then. I'm quite comfortable concluding that we just didn't play at all very well as it seems more reasonable than the game being poor. I'm usually fine making fairly confident assessments and opinions about a game after one play- that is not the case here.
 
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David desJardins
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I think you might find the game to be poor in a second playing, but in a completely different way than it was poor in the first playing. Maybe that's the mark of an interesting game---it's always unsatisfying, but in a different way every time. laugh
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J C Lawrence
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dond80 wrote:
Maybe we just all bought too many factories then.


That is the normal newbie mistake: to buy the largest factory they can afford every time, and then buy capacity to maximise their this-turn income. In doing so they reduce a skillful game to luck-of-the-roll (and usually lose badly against even a slightly attentive player).

There are two core decision spaces in Lokomotive Werks:

- When and which factory to buy (or not)

- How to allocate capacity.

Buying factories is often not an automatic decision. Many newbies always buy the newest factory they can afford. I regularly decline to buy a new factory I can afford (slowing the train rush so that it will move even faster next turn, and instead putting my money into capacity), or even buy into an older and about-to-rust factory (often to steal dice from another player and thus slow their position). Similarly I regularly buy capacity I can't employ (so as to secure a better turn order position in the next round), or deploy my capacity so that not all orders for a given factory are consumed (so that the left-behind dice with low values are not re-rolled in the next round as I abandon the factory and another player is stuck with poor orders). Etc etc etc -- there is quite a bit of decision-richness to the game when all the levers are in play.

BtB expect to end the game with 14-18 total productive capacity. You can plan around those numbers. Doing well with less capacity is unlikely. Doing well with more than 20 capacity is possible, but not common.

That all said, this is a push-your-luck game, but one in which risk profiles are complex. Understanding your risk profile, whether it is broad or narrow and thus your position's variance etc, and similar for all the other players at any given time, can be critically useful.
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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This game is like a race up a down escalator. You have to step on some heads.
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Andrew Young
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We played this one last night and it fell a bit flat in where players rub up against each other. It doesn't hold a candle to Automobile, IMO.

Still, I'd like to play it again.



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Jason Reid
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medievalbanquet wrote:
We played this one last night and it fell a bit flat in where players rub up against each other.


Laff. Ok, what does that mean? Because the imagery it conjures for me isn't helpful
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Andrew Young
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jasonwocky wrote:
medievalbanquet wrote:
We played this one last night and it fell a bit flat in where players rub up against each other.


Laff. Ok, what does that mean? Because the imagery it conjures for me isn't helpful


goo

Just didn't seem to have a lot of tension- its pretty obvious that when to buy newer train factories as well as market/turn order manipulation were decision points. But, no one had a hard time deciding what to do and when, it seemed. It wasn't 'brutal'.

Maybe, it was the night and celestial positioning...

Andy

 
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Jason Reid
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medievalbanquet wrote:
But, no one had a hard time deciding what to do and when, it seemed.


But only one person won (I assume it wasn't a tie).

Quote:
It wasn't 'brutal'.


[WARNING: assumptions follow] I take that to mean that as long as you don't make any tremendous mistakes, about the only punishment that LW metes out for poor play is "not winning". There are no waste cubes, loans you can't repay, begging cards, etc. Cash ebbs and flows for much of the game and serves as a poor positional indicator. It can be tough to valuate yours vs. your opponents positions when they're not radically different, etc. All in all, there are very few signposts that the game offers up to warn players (especially new ones), "You're sucking right now!" and to make them feel bad.

Overproduce in Automobile, and you get a personal waste cube. Underproduce in LW, and demand for that factory type will suck next turn...both are generally penalties, but one might feel more personal and 'brutal'.

Anyway, I think such poor-play signposts are nice things, though I do find LW's rather lean design quite refreshing.
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J C Lawrence
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medievalbanquet wrote:
But, no one had a hard time deciding what to do and when, it seemed. It wasn't 'brutal'.


That will happen when a) players default to always buying a new factory when they can, and b) players always optimise their this-turn income over expenses. Both are Bad Play.
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J C Lawrence
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jasonwocky wrote:
All in all, there are very few signposts that the game offers up to warn players (especially new ones), "You're sucking right now!" and to make them feel bad.


Play sufficiently badly and you'll own no factories with capacity that have production dice.

We once had a player end the game with a total score of $17.
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Jason Reid
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clearclaw wrote:
jasonwocky wrote:
All in all, there are very few signposts that the game offers up to warn players (especially new ones), "You're sucking right now!" and to make them feel bad.


Play sufficiently badly and you'll own no factories with capacity that have production dice.

We once had a player end the game with a total score of $17.


True, tremendous mistakes (like buying +5 Green-1 capacity on Turn 1 in order to fulfill a 6-die) will be pretty obvious shortly after they've been made. But they're more of a signpost that "You've already lost!" rather than "You're playing poorly!"
 
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Andrew Young
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clearclaw wrote:
medievalbanquet wrote:
But, no one had a hard time deciding what to do and when, it seemed. It wasn't 'brutal'.


That will happen when a) players default to always buying a new factory when they can, and b) players always optimise their this-turn income over expenses. Both are Bad Play.


OK, but how are they bad play? Take a) for example. If all players do this when they can how is that bad?

 
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David desJardins
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medievalbanquet wrote:
OK, but how are they bad play? Take a) for example. If all players do this when they can how is that bad?


It's bad because sometimes you're buying a factory that isn't going to give you a good return on investment, and you aren't accumulating cash that will let you make a more profitable investment later.

If everyone does the same thing then you can get a stable game, but the player who is more discriminating will do better. At least, that's the claim---and it seems right to me.
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Don D.
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medievalbanquet wrote:
jasonwocky wrote:
medievalbanquet wrote:
We played this one last night and it fell a bit flat in where players rub up against each other.


Laff. Ok, what does that mean? Because the imagery it conjures for me isn't helpful


goo

Just didn't seem to have a lot of tension- its pretty obvious that when to buy newer train factories as well as market/turn order manipulation were decision points. But, no one had a hard time deciding what to do and when, it seemed. It wasn't 'brutal'.

Maybe, it was the night and celestial positioning...

Andy



Either you and your group are just substantially more intelligent than I or you had a "la la land" experience with your first game.
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Andrew Young
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dond80 wrote:
medievalbanquet wrote:
jasonwocky wrote:
medievalbanquet wrote:
We played this one last night and it fell a bit flat in where players rub up against each other.


Laff. Ok, what does that mean? Because the imagery it conjures for me isn't helpful


goo

Just didn't seem to have a lot of tension- its pretty obvious that when to buy newer train factories as well as market/turn order manipulation were decision points. But, no one had a hard time deciding what to do and when, it seemed. It wasn't 'brutal'.

Maybe, it was the night and celestial positioning...

Andy



Either you and your group are just substantially more intelligent than I or you had a "la la land" experience with your first game.


No, on the contrary I think we could have missed a lot with it. I do think the people at the table are highly intelligent (except for me, I'm usually just high) and we play tons of extremely complex and nuanced games. But, we could have missed something huge.

Or, it could have been the emotional level of the night. Just a 'blah' type night.

I want to play again.
 
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J C Lawrence
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A few questions to help your research:

0) When is it the right choice to not buy a new factory you can otherwise afford?

1) When is it the right choice to buy into an older factory, perhaps even one whose dice are about to start rusting?

2) When is it the right choice to buy capacity that won't produce on this turn?

3) When is it the right choice to choose not produce all the order dice on a factory (so that some dice are not re-rolled), even though you could have?

4) Which factory is the clear best of all the factories in the game and why?

5) What can you do to put the lie to that claim?

6) How many capacity will you likely you end the game with and why?

7) How should that number factor into your early and mid-game planning?
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Jason Reid
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clearclaw wrote:
3) When is it the right choice to choose not produce all the order dice on a factory (so that some dice are not re-rolled), even though you could have?


By "choose" here, I assume you mean to do so by manipulating your capacity? I'm under the impression that once you're in the production phase, there are no player choices to make, correct?
 
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Andrew Young
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jasonwocky wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
3) When is it the right choice to choose not produce all the order dice on a factory (so that some dice are not re-rolled), even though you could have?


By "choose" here, I assume you mean to do so by manipulating your capacity? I'm under the impression that once you're in the production phase, there are no player choices to make, correct?


me too, not sure how one manipulates their capacity… this could be a huge thing we missed b/c everyone has to sell the capacity on their turn, right?
 
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Andrew Young
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clearclaw wrote:
A few questions to help your research:

0) When is it the right choice to not buy a new factory you can otherwise afford?

1) When is it the right choice to buy into an older factory, perhaps even one whose dice are about to start rusting?

2) When is it the right choice to buy capacity that won't produce on this turn?

3) When is it the right choice to choose not produce all the order dice on a factory (so that some dice are not re-rolled), even though you could have?

4) Which factory is the clear best of all the factories in the game and why?

5) What can you do to put the lie to that claim?

6) How many capacity will you likely you end the game with and why?

7) How should that number factor into your early and mid-game planning?


Can you answer these and assume I have no idea? I'd like to know your thoughts.

 
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J C Lawrence
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jasonwocky wrote:
...I'm under the impression that once you're in the production phase, there are no player choices to make, correct?


Yes. There are zero decisions in the production phase.

Players may move production capacity between factories (always up), or my buy capacity, in such a way as to not produce all the orders on a factory, even though if they had arranged their capacity otherwise all the orders on the factory would have been satisfied.
 
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J C Lawrence
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medievalbanquet wrote:
Can you answer these and assume I have no idea? I'd like to know your thoughts.


No, not in a way that I think would be useful. The hope is that by you (and other new players) working on the questions, you'll also better understand the game.
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