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Innovation: Figures in the Sand» Forums » General

Subject: Why so many Rules Questions! rss

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Jonathan C
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I have FitS on order, but am beginning to get this daunting feeling as a result of the deluge of rules questions being asked and answered on this forum. I wonder, perhaps there will be diminishing returns in enjoyment as Innovation becomes a more and more rules-heavy, complex beast? And yet as I write, that 3rd (red?) expansion is already waiting in the wings!

For those of you that have played it a few times, how well do you feel it integrates with the base set? With Echoes + Base? Is typical game length severely affected? Is it more or less "fun"? Would you rather play with, or without, more than a single Innovation expansion?
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Bryan Maxwell
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I'm only using 1 expansion at a time. The additional overhead and table space seems like more bad than good. I've only played twice. I like it so far, but it definitely adds more complexity than Echoes did.

I might feel differently somewhere down the line, but at the moment I can't see wanting to mix them together.

I'd really like an expansion that simply added more cards without a bunch of new mechanisms.
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Alex Brown
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I love the complexity!

I'm always surprised by complaints of complexity; the base game had a lot of 'innovative' processes you had to internalise because typically card games borrow 90% of their structure from Magic (which most of us know).

The expansions definitely add more complexity, but I don't think any of it is out-of-step with how the base game was when we started.
 
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Chris Cieslik
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There's been a lot of crazy edge case rules questions. FitS is complex because it is standing effects that combine with other effects. A careful reading of the card text should result in not needing a clarification in almost all cases.
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Mike Smith-Stoe
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I'd say it's still fun. But it's a different kind of fun. So not so much "more or less", mostly just different ... okay, a little less.

Avoiding getting into a full on review of FitS I'll say that there have been moments when playing with the new expansion that I wished I was playing a 'simpler' game. Then again there have also been times recently when playing only with the base set that I missed what the expansion brought to the game.

I think I know what you're worried about. My family played Race for the Galaxy like crazy for a year. We added expansions throughout the year until we finally added Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War. Something about that last expansion tipped the game into being too much to handle. After about two years we are only recently starting to bring the base RftG set back to the table. There is a risk of adding complexity to a game that you're already very happy with as is.

The FitS expansion does add complexity to the game. However that complexity can be slowly introduced by playing as Bryan does with just two decks in play at a time, and maybe by limiting FitS plays to larger player counts.

I'm one who is guilty of asking a lot of rules questions. During the beta I stayed out of asking questions about certain cards because I didn't have much to add to the creative or even the feedback process. So I'm starting to ask those questions now as they come up. I think that will help with my long term enjoyment of this expansion. Hopefully it will also help others along the way.
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Chris Cieslik
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If you saw things that were potentially unclear during beta and waited to launch a salvo of questions right after release, I'm not thrilled! I suppose it's too late to change that now though, so it's good to get all the edge cases out.
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Mike Smith-Stoe
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Chris, I'm very thankful for being included in the beta release. That said it wasn't the best fit for me: nobody's fault. I was in the conversation for as long as I thought I was useful, and I posted questions about specific cards that may or may not have been fully addressed. That's as much as I'll say in a public forum.

Through all of my FitS beta games I have not been keeping notes. So I have not been waiting in the wings with a load of questions. Every question I have posted to the forum has followed comparing the beta cards to the actual cards, or followed the three games I played today.

It's true that I'm excited to ask questions, but only because that means I'll be playing the game in order to encounter those questions. Also I know when I do encounter those questions they can now be addressed quickly and meaningfully, for the benifit of others as well as me.
 
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Jon Ward
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A friend of mine introduced me to Innovation a year ago. Since then I have purchased the base game and the expansion. After playing a fabulous Echoes game last night, we are up to 40+ plays of the original and 10+ with the first expansion. So we love this game. I am very excited to receive the second expansion in the mail in the coming days.

But I will admit to the same feelings as Jonathan C/looleypalooley. SO MANY QUESTIONS ABOUT RULES! Is it really that confusing/unclear? I almost wonder if the fabulous responsiveness of the designer is actually adding to the number of questions that may/may not require clarification. Do people think, "This card seems so powerful...or....this is marginally unclear...wouldn't it be fun to write and get a quick answer from the designer (and get that fleeting feeling of brushing with celebrity)....so I'll just write a question on BGG and get a quick answer."

It's great when game designers humble themselves to communicate directly with us mere mortal beings (just being facetious) to write in the forums on BGG - especially on rules clarifications. But I wonder if Chris and Carl should back away for a few days and people will start READING THE RULEBOOK!
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Josh
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After four plays with Figures, I think it's too soon to tell. I don't think we (my group) have reached a level of familiarity with Figures that allows a firm opinion yet.

We play with all expansions, and I think the addition of Figures is an increase in complexity greater than that after addition of Echoes to the base game. Part of this is that the effects of more than one card in your tableau must be considered at a time. Before this expansion you decided which of your top cards you were going to use, and then most everything was based on that one card. Now you have that top card modified by a Figure. The interaction between the Figure and the top card is not always clear, and that's where all the questions are arising. Prior to Figures, for a game with so many cards with so many interactions, Innovation was impressively clear in the resolution of those interactions. The level of complexity has been reached where this is no longer true.

In terms of gameplay changes, the Figures are very strong, and the result of this primarily seems to be to allow advancement through Ages more quickly. I think all of our Figures games have ended in 9 or 10, which was not always the case previously. The fact that the game is ending in the highest Ages means games are ending based on the wacky winning conditions such as number of leaf icons etc. Game length seems not to have changed much.
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Jonathan C
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JoshBot wrote:
After four plays with Figures, I think it's too soon to tell. I don't think we (my group) have reached a level of familiarity with Figures that allows a firm opinion yet.

We play with all expansions, and I think the addition of Figures is an increase in complexity greater than that after addition of Echoes to the base game. Part of this is that the effects of more than one card in your tableau must be considered at a time. Before this expansion you decided which of your top cards you were going to use, and then most everything was based on that one card. Now you have that top card modified by a Figure. The interaction between the Figure and the top card is not always clear, and that's where all the questions are arising. Prior to Figures, for a game with so many cards with so many interactions, Innovation was impressively clear in the resolution of those interactions. The level of complexity has been reached where this is no longer true.

In terms of gameplay changes, the Figures are very strong, and the result of this primarily seems to be to allow advancement through Ages more quickly. I think all of our Figures games have ended in 9 or 10, which was not always the case previously. The fact that the game is ending in the highest Ages means games are ending based on the wacky winning conditions such as number of leaf icons etc. Game length seems not to have changed much.


Useful response. Your description makes it sound pretty interesting--I look forward to trying it out now! Glad to hear game length hasn't gotten longer in your experience.
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El-ad David Amir
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angelkurisu wrote:
A careful reading of the card text should result in not needing a clarification in almost all cases.

That statement is unfair, in my opinion: Innovation is inherently a complex game and Figures adds a whole new level of complexity through Karma effects. I can see how the result is daunting for someone with limited experience with the game. I agree that if you played dozens or more games of base and Echoes (as I did), figuring Figures is more manageable. On the other hand, someone with less plays behind them who still likes the game and wants to support it by purchasing the expansions might need help with Figures.

(With that said, I want to add that in my opinion you've done a splendid job with Figures, and I feel a consistent improvement in writing style from base to Echoes and from Echoes to Figures.)
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Matt Kearse
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I've read all the Figures rules questions and I think the answers to most (but not all) of them are clear from the rules and the card texts. However, not everyone who plays has access to the printed rules while they aren't playing and the online rules at http://asmadigames.com/innovation/FiguresRules.pdf contain a few differences from the printed rules despite both versions being v1.0. Furthermore, Carl is working from a version of the rules that differs again from both of these when he answers questions.

I think it would help reduce questions if the v1.0 online rules match the printed rules and the version of the rules available that Carl is using, maybe called v1.1, were available online too. Carl's rules even conflict with this rule from the player boards:

Any time a player claims a standard achievement, all other players draw a Figure (equal to their highest top card).

See Johannes Vermeer and number of Figures drawn
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Anders Olin
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Innovation is not only one of my favorite games but also (Praises!) my Wife's favorite game of all time ! (along with Tichu)

Now my wife doesn't play that many (complex) games but we had no major problems playing through this (playing a game as I type this down)
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Brad Morgan
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I don't want to get into a full-on review, but I wanted to try to answer your questions...

looleypalooley wrote:
For those of you that have played it a few times, how well do you feel it integrates with the base set?

I can't answer this, as we have only played it with Base + Echoes.
looleypalooley wrote:
With Echoes + Base?
I think it does a fine job of integrating both the Base and Echoes cards. At first I was skeptical of the different drawing mechanics, but I like the way it causes a random amount of Echoes cards to come out each game. I wouldn't say FitS really changes the Base game (or the Echoes expansion) so much as it adds little enhancements. I really like how the FitS drawing mechanic encourages "sharing" effects. This adds a new strategic layer to the game, without changing the core gameplay. The Decrees offer a different strategy path (albeit one I haven't had a chance to try yet), again without forcing you to abandon the core gameplay if you don't want to.
looleypalooley wrote:
Is typical game length severely affected?
In the interest of full disclosure, I have only played FitS twice now. The first game was much longer than a normal game, but I think that had to do with working out the new rules, etc. The second game we played was a bit longer than normal, but it was "good" longer. It was added tension, which is personally one of my favorite things in a game.
looleypalooley wrote:
Would you rather play with, or without, more than a single Innovation expansion?
I thoroughly enjoyed this with Base + Echoes. I don't think there would be anything truly lost by playing with just Base + FitS, I just enjoy the extra complexities that Echoes offers (forecast, echoes, etc). I also enjoy Base + Echoes a lot...it's just that my wife and I play a TON of Innovation, most recently Base + Echoes, and FitS is a welcome addition and update to the game for us.

Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions...although I will admit, I may be biased as I am a bit of an Innovation fanatic!
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Vince Lupo
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looleypalooley wrote:
I have FitS on order, but am beginning to get this daunting feeling as a result of the deluge of rules questions being asked and answered on this forum. I wonder, perhaps there will be diminishing returns in enjoyment as Innovation becomes a more and more rules-heavy, complex beast? And yet as I write, that 3rd (red?) expansion is already waiting in the wings!

For those of you that have played it a few times, how well do you feel it integrates with the base set? With Echoes + Base? Is typical game length severely affected? Is it more or less "fun"? Would you rather play with, or without, more than a single Innovation expansion?



I predict that when the 10th expansion is released for Innovation real world society will have reached the real life singularity point and life on this planet, as we know it, will be changed forever or plain gone. Game over.
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