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Subject: Game speed on medium objectives + unhappiness issues rss

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lemmy lemmy101
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Hey everyone! Just got the game last week and had our first proper game (after a small few turns to get used to the mechanics)

A few things confused us. Firstly, we played on a medium game length and we basically stopped playing without the end game conditions been reached, since we'd been playing (taking into account breaks and things) about 7 hours, and were not even 50% of the way to any of the three end game conditions and are convinced we're missing a vital rule of some kind.

They were IIRC 8 character cards, 8 progress cards, and ALL explorer tokens depleted. Now the first two, perhaps we just weren't buying enough of them. To be honest the pressure not to was too high a lot of the time since doing so could have ended the game in an immediate crisis. The explorer token one though, I find it hard to imagine how we could have possibly reached that end condition under any circumstance.

Reason being is that the population increase and unhappiness was LETHAL. From the get go with 6 on each domestic market and the row effects of them, already the population would balloon out of control within a couple of turns. It's great that it kept the pressure up but I'm convinced we could not have been playing right, since the only way we could find to stop the game ending in rebellion on about 10 different occasions was to explore to get less than 3 meeples per hex, hope the amount of huts was less than the 3 we could recruit after, recruit population. And that was with only exploring about 10 hexes. The domestic market at the start leads to a massive swelling of population from the get-go, and from that point on doing any exploration only makes it worse. By a couple of turns we were creeping up the unhappiness track at an alarming rate and were always one turn from rebellion, with the only way to avoid it being tapping the couple of unhappiness reducing evolution cards we'd bought, or purchasing new workers, since that both lowers the population of unemployed and raises the population.

It got to the point where two of the three players had pretty much used all of an additional set of worker pieces, and the thought of exploring more was just not feasible.

Thing is we had a couple of churches, and these so called crisis' actually were nowhere near as deadly as the population effect phase, which was the one we genuinely worried about each turn. It became easier once the domestic market had been diminished. But still very difficult to keep in check.

What's worse is we discovered post game that we were forgetting to put a resource on the domestic market each time you explore. So playing properly, from what I can see, would only make domestic crisis' even less severe and population effects moreso even so.

It was a wonderful game, but I can't help feeling we're doing something wrong. I know the pressure is supposed to be on but from everything I heard prior to buying it was the crisis' that were the main things to worry about and where some of the most interesting trading and double dealing would take place. But the population effects were just so damn brutal throughout the game when it turned out we'd accidentally left out a rule resulting in them being *easier* to deal with.

Not sure what I'm missing and have poured over the rules several more times.

I read elsewhere of the double church opening strategy that said that you would be freer to tax in the early game due to the churches, however I'm confused how this would make a difference. It would make crisis easier to deal with but do nothing to stop the ever increasing stride of that black pop counter and to be honest we didn't use taxation once because any single thing that bore the + unhappiness icon would have been suicide for all of us. the idea of leaving a single meeple in revolt was not even on the table, so no negotiating either way. that entire element of the game didn't exist for us. One crisis that wasn't 100% resolved meant game over. Not from the crisis, but from the population effect phase of the next turn (unless we all went explore / recruit crazy, since that was the only possible way of countering the effects of the population effects).

Thanks!

EDIT: Occurs to me I shoulda probably posted this in strategy, but it started with me asking what we're doing wrong ruleswise. Apologies for that.
 
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John Bradshaw
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There's a lot of writing there - not sure I understand everything but a couple of things stand out:-

lemmy101 wrote:
From the get go with 6 on each domestic market and the row effects of them, already the population would balloon out of control within a couple of turns.

If I understand you correctly that sounds like a major error right there. 6 on each market? The set up is 6 in total - 1 on each resource.
lemmy101 wrote:
It got to the point where two of the three players had pretty much used all of an additional set of worker pieces, and the thought of exploring more was just not feasible.

An additional set of pieces?? You're only allowed the pieces of your own color, except in the 2 player game.

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lemmy lemmy101
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Haha WOW that explains a lot. THANK YOU.
 
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John Bradshaw
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lemmy101 wrote:
Haha WOW that explains a lot. THANK YOU.


Oh good - I'm glad we've identified the problem!

It says a lot about just how good this game is, that you actually enjoyed the experience, despite the massive handicap you gave yourselves at the start.

Not only enjoyed it - but enjoyed it for SEVEN HOURS!!! I hope the enjoyment increases with the proper rules.
 
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Dan Regs
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I also noticed this:

Quote:
to explore to get less than 3 meeples per hex, hope the amount of huts was less than the 3 we could recruit after, recruit population. And that was with only exploring about 10 hexes.


Just wanted to make sure that you were also exploring properly. IE Huts on a tile = additional unemployed workers (tracked on board IV with the grey meeple). Your use of the term meeple here makes me imagine a worst-case scenario where you were adding meeples to the population track/board for huts.
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