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Subject: Auren too weak ;) rss

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Daan haeyen
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Okay, I propably just played them wrong and got boxed in too, but I don't get these Auren folks. No special ability, and a stronghold ability that I don't think is that supergreat. Any thoughts?

Grtz, Daan
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Thomas Büttner-Zimmermann
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I'd say their strength is the progress in the cults, as you can see in the Strongholds special ability, BUT I think they need a second, general special ability: To advance into the 10th space of the cults even without a town!

But I haven't played them yet and if you got boxed in - well, every race is weak then. Also, the combination of other colors in the game is important, too...
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Dvonn Yinsh
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I think there are going to be 14 different threads titled "Xxxx is too weak". This actually supports that they are balanced.

I've played 11 different races so far, they do seem fairly balanced. How well you do depends on your timing, planning, and playing to that race's strengths. Some races you want to build their strongholds in the first round. Others you want to get to temples first. The same race will do better in some games than compared to other games, as it depends on the availability of certain bonus tiles and on the sequence of round scoring tiles.

Specifically with Auren, I actually think they are one of the strongest races to play. If you build their stronghold in the first round and pick a certain favour tile, they are really tough to beat. They move up the cult tracks very fast, thereby picking up a lot of power and end-of-round bonuses The highest scores I have seen are with the Auren.

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Shawn Fox
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You are right Daan, the Auren are weak. Most of the time when anyone says something like "X is too weak" you get a lot of people replying saying 'blah blah blah you are wrong', those types of posts can generally be ignored unless they provide some logical reason for what they are saying. Especially posts which just say stuff like 'well I played X and I won' as that type of post is especially meaningless and completely uninformative. For a fairly pure euro like Terra Mystica it is pretty easy to break down the math to show why one race is better/worse than another.

So with that said, the Auren stronghold is basically a very expensive and crappy temple. If you build a temple you get a priest and a favor tile. You could take a favor tile that produces 4 power (2 more than the Auren stronghold produces). The favor tile will also move you up a cult track (1, 2, or 3 spaces) when you take it. You can use the priest from the temple and place it on the cult track to advance 2 or 3 spaces up a track. You could also use the priest to improve your transform ability or to improve your shipping. Getting 1 priest per round is much better than getting +2 on a cult track each round due to the extra flexibility it gives you. You also get flexibility in choosing which favor tile you take and pretty much every favor tile is better than the +2 power per turn you get with the Auren stronghold anyway.

So the point of this is that some races clearly are weaker than others if you just do some basic analysis of their stronghold ability and any other powers they get. The Auren are not as bad as the giants but they are clearly much weaker than the witches.

The witches get a 5 point bonus when building a town (worth at least +10 to their score and quite possibly +15). The witches stronghold ability is worth 1 worker and 2 coins (effectively the same as around 8 to 10 power per turn) as well as the nice flexibility it gives you of guaranteeing you can build a dwelling every turn without having to transform a tile (that is worth a lot in itself early game). The witches are far better than the Auren, it isn't even close.

The only reason to play races like the Auren, Giants, etc is to handicap a stronger player when they are playing weaker/less experienced opponents. Maybe that is why they are there as I have trouble believing the designers didn't see that some races were inherently weaker than others. Certainly good play can overcome the handicap, but with equal skill levels the scale is pretty weighted against some of the races
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Jonathan Ramundi
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sfox wrote:
You are right Daan, the Auren are weak. Most of the time when anyone says something like "X is too weak" you get a lot of people replying saying 'blah blah blah you are wrong', those types of posts can generally be ignored unless they provide some logical reason for what they are saying. Especially posts which just say stuff like 'well I played X and I won' as that type of post is especially meaningless and completely uninformative. For a fairly pure euro like Terra Mystica it is pretty easy to break down the math to show why one race is better/worse than another.

So with that said, the Auren stronghold is basically a very expensive and crappy temple. If you build a temple you get a priest and a favor tile. You could take a favor tile that produces 4 power (2 more than the Auren stronghold produces). The favor tile will also move you up a cult track (1, 2, or 3 spaces) when you take it. You can use the priest from the temple and place it on the cult track to advance 2 or 3 spaces up a track. You could also use the priest to improve your transform ability or to improve your shipping. Getting 1 priest per round is much better than getting +2 on a cult track each round due to the extra flexibility it gives you. You also get flexibility in choosing which favor tile you take and pretty much every favor tile is better than the +2 power per turn you get with the Auren stronghold anyway.
But...building the Auren stronghold gives you a favor tile as well.
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Shawn Fox
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Jotora wrote:
But...building the Auren stronghold gives you a favor tile as well.


You are right, I had forgotten about the favor tile they get from the stronghold. That still makes their stronghold just an expensive temple that is less flexible than just getting a priest. You do get the +2 power but that is a pretty weak advantage compared to what other strongholds get, and to get that +2 power you had to pay +2 workers and +1 coin vs a temple. It is a bad deal and compares very unfavorably to what other races get.
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Shawn Fox
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What the Auren stronghold ability should have been is instead of just giving +2 on a cult track it should instead allow you to trade in one of your favor tiles for any other favor tile. You would get the cult bonus on the new favor tile when you do this (and you wouldn't lose the cult bonus on the favor tile you had before).

So effectively this would give the Auren +3 on a cult track when they build their stronghold (since you would almost always pick one of the +3 favor tiles), then you would take the bonus action to swap the +3 tile with some other tile (such as the 1 worker/1 power one, or whatever, and also get that cult bonus). You would then just get the income or ability of the new favor tile instead of your old one.

This would give the Auren an ability that is truly unique and it would be on par with other races due to the huge flexibility they would get. It would take some play testing to verify this isn't too powerful, but from an initial analysis I don't think it would be. It still might not quite measure up to some other races, but certainly would be better than what they currently have and it would be fun to play.
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Mc Jarvis
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Remember that it's a game primarily about timing. If the ideal time for the Auren to build their Stronghold is after building a few temples and clogging up the inner bowels of the cult track, then you want to pick them when bonus points for building a stronghold are delayed until the 4th/5th/6th turn.

Every race has a configuration of bonus progression that it's really good for. A challenge of the initial race draft is figuring out which race to play. The game is NOT about playing all races equally in all situations.
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Shawn Fox
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McJarvis wrote:
Remember that it's a game primarily about timing. If the ideal time for the Auren to build their Stronghold is after building a few temples and clogging up the inner bowels of the cult track, then you want to pick them when bonus points for building a stronghold are delayed until the 4th/5th/6th turn.

Every race has a configuration of bonus progression that it's really good for. A challenge of the initial race draft is figuring out which race to play. The game is NOT about playing all races equally in all situations.


Thank you for stating the obvious. That said, races with inherently weaker abilities are going to lose vs races with better abilities given equal skill among the players. This is a euro not an ameritrash. There is no randomness or ability to attack other players to balance out stronger vs. weaker races.
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Dvonn Yinsh
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sfox wrote:
You are right Daan, the Auren are weak. Most of the time when anyone says something like "X is too weak" you get a lot of people replying saying 'blah blah blah you are wrong', those types of posts can generally be ignored unless they provide some logical reason for what they are saying. Especially posts which just say stuff like 'well I played X and I won' as that type of post is especially meaningless and completely uninformative. For a fairly pure euro like Terra Mystica it is pretty easy to break down the math to show why one race is better/worse than another.

So with that said, the Auren stronghold is basically a very expensive and crappy temple. If you build a temple you get a priest and a favor tile. You could take a favor tile that produces 4 power (2 more than the Auren stronghold produces). The favor tile will also move you up a cult track (1, 2, or 3 spaces) when you take it. You can use the priest from the temple and place it on the cult track to advance 2 or 3 spaces up a track. You could also use the priest to improve your transform ability or to improve your shipping. Getting 1 priest per round is much better than getting +2 on a cult track each round due to the extra flexibility it gives you. You also get flexibility in choosing which favor tile you take and pretty much every favor tile is better than the +2 power per turn you get with the Auren stronghold anyway.

So the point of this is that some races clearly are weaker than others if you just do some basic analysis of their stronghold ability and any other powers they get. The Auren are not as bad as the giants but they are clearly much weaker than the witches.

The witches get a 5 point bonus when building a town (worth at least +10 to their score and quite possibly +15). The witches stronghold ability is worth 1 worker and 2 coins (effectively the same as around 8 to 10 power per turn) as well as the nice flexibility it gives you of guaranteeing you can build a dwelling every turn without having to transform a tile (that is worth a lot in itself early game). The witches are far better than the Auren, it isn't even close.

The only reason to play races like the Auren, Giants, etc is to handicap a stronger player when they are playing weaker/less experienced opponents. Maybe that is why they are there as I have trouble believing the designers didn't see that some races were inherently weaker than others. Certainly good play can overcome the handicap, but with equal skill levels the scale is pretty weighted against some of the races


As one example, when you build the Auren's stronghold, you could pick the advance-one-cult-track-per-round favour tile. This would effectively make the Auren's stronghold abililty to advance 3 cult tracks per round. That is a total of 18 cult tracks in the game. This could minimally secure a 10 VP difference for end of game cult scoring. It could even be worth possibly 18 VP difference. This is easily equal, if not better than the Witches' 5 VPs per town.

The Witches' stronghold receive one free dwelling per round which is worth one worker and 2 coins. I do not understand your math that this is worth 8 to 10 power tokens per round. At worse, you could burn 3 power to receive one worker and pay 2 power to get 2 coins. At its most expensive it is worth 5 power per round. Alternatively, buying those resources with power actions, (2 workers for 4 power, and 7 coins for 4 power) would cost 3.14 power tokens for 1 worker and 2 coins. Regardless, the net total is 6 workers and 12 coins for the Witches.

If I continue my example I gave above, crossing 18 cult tracks with the Auren will generate power, minimum of 16 powers, possibly 21+ power tokens (depending which levels of the cult track you have crossed).
Through power actions, those 16 to 21 power tokens can purchase 14 coins and 4-6 workers.

Additionally, those 18 cult tracks boost your end of round bonuses. 18 cult tracks could be worth:

a) 2 terraforms, 2 workers and 4 coins
b) 4 terraforms, 2 coins
c) 10 coins 4 workers
d) 5 workers 8 coins
e) etc, depending on which end of round bonuses appear and in which order

So by my "providing some logical reason", I can demonstrate that the Auren's stronghold alone is 'mathematically' better than the Witches' stronghold PLUS special ability combined. So, does that make the Witches too weak?
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Mc Jarvis
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sfox wrote:

Thank you for stating the obvious.


What's obvious to you isn't necessarily obvious to all. I could have said the same about the +2 cult/Priest comparison, yeah?

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That said, races with inherently weaker abilities are going to lose vs races with better abilities given equal skill among the players.


I don't believe there is some sort of objective scale where you could say "The Auren are a 1 race, which can be beaten by any race with a rating of 2 or greater."

I do think that certain races being in the mix weaken the Auren, and many races(like the intro game races) are much more ambivalent to the presence of other races: they do what they do, and don't care about the competition.

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Shawn Fox
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candoo wrote:
sfox wrote:
What the Auren stronghold ability should have been is instead of just giving +2 on a cult track it should instead allow you to trade in one of your favor tiles for any other favor tile. You would get the cult bonus on the new favor tile when you do this (and you wouldn't lose the cult bonus on the favor tile you had before).
So by my "providing some logical reason", I can demonstrate that the Auren's stronghold alone is better than the Witches' stronghold PLUS special ability combined. So, does that make the Witches too weak?


I don't think you are playing the game wrong, but your math is way off.

It takes 2 power to move 1 power token from pool I to pool III, not 1, so you need to double your value, it is 10 power, not 5, to get 1 worker and 2 coins using the default conversion. In the best case 8 power can give you two workers, meaning workers cost 4 power each. Also 8 power can give you 7 coins, meaning coins cost 0.875 each. So even by that conversion 2 workers + 4 coins costs 7.5 power. Therefore my statement that the witch stronghold ability is worth 8 to 10 power is correct as the power actions are fought over a lot so it is pretty unlikely that you'll always get that higher conversion rate when you need it.

Looking at the cult track, you have to compare the value vs just building a temple. Looking only at cult track bonus, if any race builds a temple and takes the 2 water cult favor tile on the first round they would get 5 priests, 2 water cult, and 6 any other cult, for a total of at least 18 cult track. The Auren would get 10 power and 20 cult track movements by building their stronghold. Thus the Auren stronghold is only 10 power and 2 cult track movements better than a temple that any other race could build, but it costs 2 workers and 1 coin more than a temple, which we have already said in the best case can be bought for 7.5 power, thus the Auren stronghold as currently implemented is +2.5 power and +2 cult track movements over the course of the game better than building a temple.

There is no reason to play the Auren over any of the standard races that use normal costs for their buildings. Even with the change that I proposed they don't gain any extra cult track movements, they only gain flexibility. As has been stated before by another poster, the timing of what powers you have can be really important, so being able to swap powers each round would give a good reason to play Auren over other races. Without that power, there is no reason to ever play Auren vs playing the witches (except as a handicap) since if you just play the witches and never build the witch stronghold it is basically the same as playing the Auren, but you also get +5 points for each town you build with the witches.
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Dvonn Yinsh
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I don't think we can compare a temple to the Auren's stronghold, otherwise you would have to do the same for all strongholds.

Other than the Chaos Magicians and the Engineers' 2nd temple, all temples generate a priest and a favour tile. So most temples in a game are comparable.

It would be better to compare stronghold + special ability between most of the races.

I grant you that power requires 2 movements before you receive it. I don't think you've accounted for the favour tile that comes with the Auren's stronghold. I chose the advance-one-cult-level-per-round tile. In this one specific instance, I have made the Auren's stronghold worth 3 cult levels per round for a total of 18 in the game assuming I build it in the first round.

In our discussion, the Witches and the Auren have identical temples. The only difference is their stronghold + special ability. Between these 2 races, we can compare their differences:

The Witches get :
5 VPs per town = typically worth 10 VPs, sometimes 15 VPs.

The Auren (including the above favour tile) get 18 cult levels. I argue that this is worth 10 to 18 VPs on the end of game cult scoring, relative to the Witches.

Assuming the Witches build their stronghold in the first round, will get 6 dwellings, worth 12 coins and 6 workers.

The Auren get the 18 cult levels. These convert during end of round of bonuses. So depending on when scoring tiles come out, could generate 5 workers (1 worker per 2 white or red cult levels) and 8 coins (1 coin per brown level).

Crossing 18 cult levels will generate 16 to 21+ power. I will adjust this by half as per your calculation, since it takes 2 movements to get to bowl #3. So I get 8 to 10+ actual power tokens to use. Using the power actions, you can purchase 2 workers and 7 coins.

So the grand total for the Auren is approximately 7 workers and 15 coins, depending on game conditions.
This is comparable to the Witches' 6 workers and 12 coins (for their 6 dwellings).


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Kaiwen Zhang
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really?

I won with Auren with a score of 124, I think by a margin of 40+ points.

Dominated cultist track (3 1st, 1 2nd) and tied for largest cluster.

I managed to hit every single end of round bonus.
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Also, when comparing with the Witches, don't forget you need actual forests to build on. In my last game the Dwelling scoring tile was out in round 1 so I took the +1 shipping bonus tile and advanced shipping 1 in the first round. Then I spread dwellings to all the forests I could reach (as the Auren). This left only maybe 5 forests on the board that I didn't have dwellings on. Certainly some of these were terraformed by other players before the end of the game.

I really think it's fruitless to make balance claims without a known set of scoring tiles and bonus tiles. Given a particular set of these, I would argue almost any faction can be strong. (Possible exceptions to the Engineers and Cultists, who seem weak to me. I haven't tried them, though).
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sfox wrote:
Looking at the cult track, you have to compare the value vs just building a temple. Looking only at cult track bonus, if any race builds a temple and takes the 2 water cult favor tile on the first round they would get 5 priests, 2 water cult, and 6 any other cult, for a total of at least 18 cult track. The Auren would get 10 power and 20 cult track movements by building their stronghold. Thus the Auren stronghold is only 10 power and 2 cult track movements better than a temple that any other race could build, but it costs 2 workers and 1 coin more than a temple, which we have already said in the best case can be bought for 7.5 power, thus the Auren stronghold as currently implemented is +2.5 power and +2 cult track movements over the course of the game better than building a temple.


I agree that you shouldn't compare strongholds to temples...or apples to oranges.

But if we were to, don't forget that strongholds net 3 power instead of 2 for building a town, and also the spots for priests and your priests figures are limited. If you build a temple on round 1 and devote all 5 priests you get over the course of the game to the cult tracks, this means you won't be advancing your shipping/digging tracks more than twice during the game. Also, you can be blocked by players filling the spots before you get there. This is particularly likely on a track that is being fought over for top spot. And if you are building temples instead of strongholds, you are less likely to be able to build the town that allows you into the 10-spot.

Another thing to keep in mind is this: There's nothing stopping the Auren from both building their Stronghold and Temples. Maybe not in the first turn, but getting an early Temple and then dropping their Stronghold in round 3 when the Stronghold scoring tile is out is going to net them a lot more cult advances total than other players. There simply aren't enough priest meeples for someone to beat a concerted effort by the Auren to max out the cult tracks. That extra +2 per round is going to give them the edge.

In short, there's a lot more to this game than simply taking two buildings and comparing them in isolation.
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QBert80 wrote:
sfox wrote:
Looking at the cult track, you have to compare the value vs just building a temple. Looking only at cult track bonus, if any race builds a temple and takes the 2 water cult favor tile on the first round they would get 5 priests, 2 water cult, and 6 any other cult, for a total of at least 18 cult track. The Auren would get 10 power and 20 cult track movements by building their stronghold. Thus the Auren stronghold is only 10 power and 2 cult track movements better than a temple that any other race could build, but it costs 2 workers and 1 coin more than a temple, which we have already said in the best case can be bought for 7.5 power, thus the Auren stronghold as currently implemented is +2.5 power and +2 cult track movements over the course of the game better than building a temple.


I agree that you shouldn't compare strongholds to temples...or apples to oranges.

But if we were to, don't forget that strongholds net 3 power instead of 2 for building a town, and also the spots for priests and your priests figures are limited. If you build a temple on round 1 and devote all 5 priests you get over the course of the game to the cult tracks, this means you won't be advancing your shipping/digging tracks more than twice during the game. Also, you can be blocked by players filling the spots before you get there. This is particularly likely on a track that is being fought over for top spot. And if you are building temples instead of strongholds, you are less likely to be able to build the town that allows you into the 10-spot.

Another thing to keep in mind is this: There's nothing stopping the Auren from both building their Stronghold and Temples. Maybe not in the first turn, but getting an early Temple and then dropping their Stronghold in round 3 when the Stronghold scoring tile is out is going to net them a lot more cult advances total than other players. There simply aren't enough priest meeples for someone to beat a concerted effort by the Auren to max out the cult tracks. That extra +2 per round is going to give them the edge.

In short, there's a lot more to this game than simply taking two buildings and comparing them in isolation.


No, there isn't a lot more to it. I could build two temples instead of a stronghold + temple, which is the same thing as the Auren stronghold + 1 temple. There are plenty of priests for me to place one each round on the cult tracks, and I'd almost certainly get +3 at least twice if that is what I wanted to do.

Regardless of what you think, that is just the facts. I'm not expressing an opinion.
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johncraven wrote:
really?

I won with Auren with a score of 124, I think by a margin of 40+ points.

Dominated cultist track (3 1st, 1 2nd) and tied for largest cluster.

I managed to hit every single end of round bonus.


As noted originally, stating that "I've won with X" is useless. I've won with 3 different races that I have scored over 130 points with. I got 141 points with the cultists. A score without a lot more information is meaningless. I could win with any race, probably by a dominant score, against weak players. Play against 4 or 5 other players who have played a few times and who are not idiots and that won't happen (that is, you won't win by 40 points). I never said you can't win with Auren, but I did say that if you won with Auren you could have won with the Witches and scored +10 or +15 more points while doing it.
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QBert80 wrote:
sfox wrote:
Looking at the cult track, you have to compare the value vs just building a temple. Looking only at cult track bonus, if any race builds a temple and takes the 2 water cult favor tile on the first round they would get 5 priests, 2 water cult, and 6 any other cult, for a total of at least 18 cult track. The Auren would get 10 power and 20 cult track movements by building their stronghold. Thus the Auren stronghold is only 10 power and 2 cult track movements better than a temple that any other race could build, but it costs 2 workers and 1 coin more than a temple, which we have already said in the best case can be bought for 7.5 power, thus the Auren stronghold as currently implemented is +2.5 power and +2 cult track movements over the course of the game better than building a temple.


I agree that you shouldn't compare strongholds to temples...or apples to oranges.


It isn't comparing apples to oranges, they both give you exactly the same thing, that is the entire point. The value of the stronghold counting as a 3 value building means something, but I'd balance that against the added flexibility you get with a priest vs the +2 cult track movement which is why I said they are pretty much equal.

Quote:

Also, you can be blocked by players filling the spots before you get there.


Always possible, but I could also use a priest to move up by +3 early vs the +2 the Auren ability gives, then late game I can use a priest for +1 by discarding it even if the track is full. Again this roughly balances out.

Quote:

Another thing to keep in mind is this: There's nothing stopping the Auren from both building their Stronghold and Temples.


Sure, but there is nothing stopping the witches from building two temples either. What is your point exactly? I guess you would have a point that the Auren could build 3 temples + stronghold whereas the witches only get 3 temples, but that last temple would come very late in the game and would be very marginal.

Quote:
There simply aren't enough priest meeples for someone to beat a concerted effort by the Auren to max out the cult tracks. That extra +2 per round is going to give them the edge.


They don't have an extra +2, they have the same +2 I can get with a priest using any other race. The Auren can't win every cult track, this is a multi player game and everyone has incentive to move up the cult tracks. The Auren aren't any better at it than anyone else, and are in fact inferior to the Cultists in that respect. The only advantage they have is being able to move up +2 in a track that has 4 priests on it already whereas someone else can only move up by +1. Maybe that helps them to win one additional track, so you can say it is worth 4 points, but I find that logic questionable.

Quote:
In short, there's a lot more to this game than simply taking two buildings and comparing them in isolation.


There is no isolation, you are ignoring the advantages of temples vs the Auren stronghold. Their stronghold has some minor advantages over a standard temple, and a temple has some minor advantages over the Auren stronghold. In the end they are pretty close to equal making the Auren a pointless race to play, especially when compared to the witches.
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sfox wrote:

No, there isn't a lot more to it. I could build two temples instead of a stronghold + temple, which is the same thing as the Auren stronghold + 1 temple. There are plenty of priests for me to place one each round on the cult tracks, and I'd almost certainly get +3 at least twice if that is what I wanted to do.

Regardless of what you think, that is just the facts. I'm not expressing an opinion.


You're arguing that you could get an income of 2 priests/round by round 2 and place all those priests on the cult tracks? You know each player only has 7 priests, right? That's just the facts, not an opinion
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QBert80 wrote:
sfox wrote:

No, there isn't a lot more to it. I could build two temples instead of a stronghold + temple, which is the same thing as the Auren stronghold + 1 temple. There are plenty of priests for me to place one each round on the cult tracks, and I'd almost certainly get +3 at least twice if that is what I wanted to do.

Regardless of what you think, that is just the facts. I'm not expressing an opinion.


You're arguing that you could get an income of 2 priests/round by round 2 and place all those priests on the cult tracks? You know each player only has 7 priests, right? That's just the facts, not an opinion


No, I'm arguing I could use one priest to place on the cult track and use one to advance digging/shipping. Maybe early game I place my first few on the cult tracks and late game I advance shipping.
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sfox wrote:
No, I'm arguing I could use one priest to place on the cult track and use one to advance digging/shipping. Maybe early game I place my first few on the cult tracks and late game I advance shipping.


Sure. And then the Auren, who have their stronghold ability and their temple, can now slightly edge you out on the cult tracks. Getting "a little extra" is important in a race to the top.
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QBert80 wrote:
Also, when comparing with the Witches, don't forget you need actual forests to build on. In my last game the Dwelling scoring tile was out in round 1 so I took the +1 shipping bonus tile and advanced shipping 1 in the first round. Then I spread dwellings to all the forests I could reach (as the Auren). This left only maybe 5 forests on the board that I didn't have dwellings on. Certainly some of these were terraformed by other players before the end of the game.

I really think it's fruitless to make balance claims without a known set of scoring tiles and bonus tiles. Given a particular set of these, I would argue almost any faction can be strong. (Possible exceptions to the Engineers and Cultists, who seem weak to me. I haven't tried them, though).


I've never seen every forest on the board covered. Maybe very late game, but you can always use one action to terraform a forest and then a second action to use their special ability.

Not trying to be offensive here, but you are way wrong if you think Engineers and Cultists are weak, they are both very strong. The Engineers take a bit of skill and the right conditions to do well, but the Cultists are dead simple.

The Engineers are dependent on having the bonus tiles available which give you extra workers though (the +2 workers bonus which gives you 4 points for stronghold/sanctuary is amazingly good for Engineers). In the best case for Engineers you want to have the +2 workers bonus tile, the free terraform tile, and the other tile which gives +1 worker and +3 power. The Engineers can have a tough time getting going early game but once they are going they are amazing because everything is so cheap for them. It is easy to get 3 bridges out by the 3rd or 4th round, that should be worth at least +30 points for them. I've personally scored 130 points with the Engineers, but that sort of comparison is meaningless. The power the Engineers have is that they don't need many workers and if they can get extra workers via bonus scrolls and the 4 power -> 2 workers action they are extremely good.

The Cultists are dependent on other players taking power when they build/upgrade. If other players take the power, the Cultists can easily get 3 or 4 cult track moves every turn. This is of course a meta game issue. If all other players decide to screw the Cultists then yes they suck. On the other hand, if all players always take power when the Cultists build they will dominate the cult tracks. The bonus 7 points the Cultists get means you don't bother building the stronghold until late game as building it early is meaningless. This can be a nice advantage as you can time when you build it to match a round when building your stronghold gives you +5 points whereas races which have really powerful strongholds want to build their stronghold on the first round to get good use out of it.
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sfox wrote:

Not trying to be offensive here, but you are way wrong if you think Engineers and Cultists are weak, they are both very strong. The Engineers take a bit of skill and the right conditions to do well, but the Cultists are dead simple.

The Engineers are dependent on having the bonus tiles available which give you extra workers though (the +2 workers bonus which gives you 4 points for stronghold/sanctuary is amazingly good for Engineers). In the best case for Engineers you want to have the +2 workers bonus tile, the free terraform tile, and the other tile which gives +1 worker and +3 power. The Engineers can have a tough time getting going early game but once they are going they are amazing because everything is so cheap for them. It is easy to get 3 bridges out by the 3rd or 4th round, that should be worth at least +30 points for them. I've personally scored 130 points with the Engineers, but that sort of comparison is meaningless. The power the Engineers have is that they don't need many workers and if they can get extra workers via bonus scrolls and the 4 power -> 2 workers action they are extremely good.

The Cultists are dependent on other players taking power when they build/upgrade. If other players take the power, the Cultists can easily get 3 or 4 cult track moves every turn. This is of course a meta game issue. If all other players decide to screw the Cultists then yes they suck. On the other hand, if all players always take power when the Cultists build they will dominate the cult tracks. The bonus 7 points the Cultists get means you don't bother building the stronghold until late game as building it early is meaningless. This can be a nice advantage as you can time when you build it to match a round when building your stronghold gives you +5 points whereas races which have really powerful strongholds want to build their stronghold on the first round to get good use out of it.


Awesome, I'm glad to hear you've been having success with these factions, as there have been a lot of complaints about them here on the message boards. The flexibility of being able to build your stronghold late is really nice for the Cultists, I admit, but I'm a little less convinced about their primary ability. Being the player in my group who wins this game the most (for now), if I were stuck with the Cultists I would indeed expect the other players to conspire against me and avoid taking power from my builds. I'm not sure at this point how much they would be hurting themselves by doing so and whether or not it would be worth it for them.

I think the Engineers look really cool and different from the other factions, so I'm looking for a setup that favours them so I can give them a shot. Like you say, it sounds like which bonus tiles are in play is really important for them.
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QBert80 wrote:
sfox wrote:
No, I'm arguing I could use one priest to place on the cult track and use one to advance digging/shipping. Maybe early game I place my first few on the cult tracks and late game I advance shipping.


Sure. And then the Auren, who have their stronghold ability and their temple, can now slightly edge you out on the cult tracks. Getting "a little extra" is important in a race to the top.


They are not going to win every track in a multi player game. So maybe they score more points on the cult tracks than anyone else. They are then going to score far fewer points than other players elsewhere since they have an inferior ability and will be behind on total network size and may not get the bonus points for upgrading their spades or their shipping track since they used all their priests on the cult track.

Getting first place in a cult track is only worth 8 vs 4 for second place, it isn't the end of the world. In a 4/5 player game it is extremely unlikely for any race to win all 4 cult tracks because it is almost impossible to build 4 towns (especially in a 4/5 player game, I could maybe see 4 towns in a 3 player but I think that is extremely unlikely). It is very difficult to build 3 for that matter (especially for the Auren), so the best you are usually going to do is 24 points on the cult tracks against others who have a clue what they are doing. The net effect is that you probably gain 10 to 16 points on the other players by being the most dominant in the cults while finishing dead last in the network scoring since the Auren compare poorly since they have no special abilities that help them build/terraform/expand
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