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Subject: CEP discs limiting? rss

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David Wheatley
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Heya all.

Having played a couple of games of CO2, there is one issue that seems to have cropped up that we can't figure out within our player group.

There seems to be a situation where the bank fan run out of CEP discs due to player hoarding, and regions having lots. What happens when the bank runs out of CEPs, and indeed if there is only one left, for purposes of refilling the market?

Much obliged!
 
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David Wheatley
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We've come up with a small fix, as it really seems like CEPs running out breaks the game - whenever the bank runs out of CEPs, we have an immediate tax of the world and take one CEP from all nations. Sadly, this has also presented problems.
 
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Daniel Corban
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In each game, it will be in the interest for someone to sell CEP. The price drop should entice at least one other player to sell. To put it another way, players who sell during the game are taking away money from those who do not. I would assume that with experienced players, the price will drop or at least hover at a mid-low level.

Also, remember that regions are limited in how many CEP they may have. Regions cannot have "lots". They are limited to the number of spaces. For example, Africa can only hold three.

You are given 40 discs. The max that could be on the board is 26, plus two if you count a fresh market. It is very unlikely to have even close to the max CEP on the board. You'd probably have around half. That means you have 25 CEP in players' hands. That seems rather unlikely as well.

In summary, it sounds like your players are doing something either against the rules, or not in their best interest.
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Ben
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This should be extremely rare with experienced players. As Daniel noted, CEP prices usually hover around $2-3.
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Vital Lacerda
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Are you taking CEPs from the regions everytime dirty power plants enter in game? Are you paying instalations to the bank?
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Jack Francisco
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As Vital points out, if you don't pay out from the regions/players upon building fossil plants or pay out upon installations, that will lead to running out. Not that this has ever happened to me, mind you. whistle
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Sam Hobday
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Hiya, I was also in the the games that Bernkastel mentioned.

It was odd that this happened, but it really didn't feel like selling was the right option. Unless 3 of the players combined to hurt the price, it was better to just horde them. One player who has more might end up better overall, but unless there is a deliberate co-op

Ok, so first, let's check we're getting the rules right.
CEP movements - am I missing any?

From Regions to bank:
* Whenever a region builds a non-green power plant
* Whenever a player that controls that region pays a CEP from region instead of from their own supply

From Market to Region
* Whenever someone overbuilds an old non-green power plant in that region
* Whenever an expertise track tells a player to add a CEP to a region

From Players to Bank
* When you install a project (may also come from controlled region)
* If a controlled region builds a non-green power plant and there are no disks in the region

From Players to Market
* When you sell a CEP

From Market to Players
* When you buy a CEP
* When you get CEPs as benefit of installing
* When you get a CEP from a Lobby card

From Bank to Market
* When it's empty

From Market to Bank, From Region to Market, From Bank to Region, From Bank to Player
ALL NEVER

-------

Assuming that's correct, then the original question still stands.
It's all very well saying "This shouldn't happen". What if it does?
Ok, so we're playing the game suboptimally. I'll buy that.
What actually happens when the CEP disks run out. Are the disks meant to be limiting?

Cheers,

Sam
 
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Sam Hobday
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Vital,
Yes we remembered to pay CEPs for installing to the bank.
Yes we remembered for regions to pay a CEP if they built a fossil power plant.

Basically, the games we had, everyone for the most part had a fair bit of money. As such, it was easy enough to buy a CEP. There was no need to sell a CEP to get quick cash very often. Additionally, we did reasonably well at building eco power plants and only 1 or 2 fossil plants got built each decade and some were overbuilt. I think we hit 340 CO2 level maximum.

It never just seemed the right tactical move to co-operatively work to lower the market price by selling to screw one player who had slightly more. Because cash wasn't limiting, it seemed more beneficial to buy as many as possible because if you didn't you'd just lose out.

samurite wrote:
Hiya, I was also in the the games that Bernkastel mentioned.

It was odd that this happened, but it really didn't feel like selling was the right option. Unless 3 of the players combined to hurt the price, it was better to just horde them. One player who has more might end up better overall, but unless there is a deliberate co-op

Ok, so first, let's check we're getting the rules right.
CEP movements - am I missing any?

From Regions to bank:
* Whenever a region builds a non-green power plant
* Whenever a player that controls that region pays a CEP from region instead of from their own supply

From Market to Region
* Whenever someone overbuilds an old non-green power plant in that region
* Whenever an expertise track tells a player to add a CEP to a region

From Players to Bank
* When you install a project (may also come from controlled region)
* If a controlled region builds a non-green power plant and there are no disks in the region

From Players to Market
* When you sell a CEP

From Market to Players
* When you buy a CEP
* When you get CEPs as benefit of installing
* When you get a CEP from a Lobby card

From Bank to Market
* When it's empty

From Market to Bank, From Region to Market, From Bank to Region, From Bank to Player
ALL NEVER

-------

Assuming that's correct, then the original question still stands.
It's all very well saying "This shouldn't happen". What if it does?
Ok, so we're playing the game suboptimally. I'll buy that.
What actually happens when the CEP disks run out. Are the disks meant to be limiting?

Cheers,

Sam
 
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Jack Francisco
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Sam,

I asked Vital this question. He said that if the market empties and the bank is empty, you raise the price as normal and the market stays empty until more CEPs return to the bank.
 
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Daniel Corban
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In my recent games, I have been taking VP for income, and selling CEPs to earn money. If your group had plenty of money going around, it sounds like some of them should have been doing the same thing.

I do still have to wonder if your group has pockets filled with four-leaf clovers and rabbits' feet, as hitting 340 at your peak seems very low.
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Jack Francisco
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Daniel - I agree with you. I like to take at least half of my income as points unless I'm totally tapped out and I need to make a big move. We're usually at 340 ppm on the 2nd turn.
 
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Ben
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Quote:
Assuming that's correct, then the original question still stands.
It's all very well saying "This shouldn't happen". What if it does?
Ok, so we're playing the game suboptimally. I'll buy that.
What actually happens when the CEP disks run out. Are the disks meant to be limiting?


Yes, the disks are limiting. When the market runs out, you refill with two disks from the bank. When you refill, the price increases by one.

If there are not two disks in the bank, you do not refill and the price does not increase. In this latter case, you refill and increase the price as soon as there are ever two disks in the bank.
 
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Ben
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senorcoo wrote:
Daniel - I agree with you. I like to take at least half of my income as points unless I'm totally tapped out and I need to make a big move. We're usually at 340 ppm on the 2nd turn.


This is generally my experience. I would love to watch others playing the game, so I could understand how their sessions come out so differently.

In my games, money is very scarce, the majority of income is taken as points unless people are really struggling, and CEPs are sold frequently to supplement income (and to generally keep the market price low for others who need money). Pollution generally rises very close to 500 (except in 3-player games, where I will usually increase the difficulty for that purpose).

A game flush with cash, where everyone is hoarding CEPs, and where the pollution is low sounds like such a departure from my experience that my first instinct is to assume rule mistakes. However, if no rule mistakes are being made, I find the scenario analytically fascinating. How are people getting the money without selling CEPs? If pollution is low (because many plants are built) aren't people using all their money on plants? Aren't CEPs constantly being spent on installations?
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Jack Francisco
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chally wrote:
Quote:
Assuming that's correct, then the original question still stands.
It's all very well saying "This shouldn't happen". What if it does?
Ok, so we're playing the game suboptimally. I'll buy that.
What actually happens when the CEP disks run out. Are the disks meant to be limiting?


Yes, the disks are limiting. When the market runs out, you refill with two disks from the bank. When you refill, the price increases by one.

If there are not two disks in the bank, you do not refill and the price does not increase. In this latter case, you refill and increase the price as soon as there are ever two disks in the bank.


Ben - Vital had mentioned that as soon as the market empties, the price goes up.

Edit: Strikethrough for wrongness. Bad memory.
 
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Ben
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senorcoo wrote:
Ben - Vital had mentioned that as soon as the market empties, the price goes up.


Thanks, Jack. I was basing my answer off of Vital's answers in this thread.


newrev wrote:
The components are limited.

newrev wrote:
But what happens is that the market does not rise anymore until he receives new CEPs from the bank. The procedure should be, refill the market then rise the price. If the market is not refilled you don't increase the price.

newrev wrote:
matthewr wrote:
(This actually happened in our second game.) Should we assume then, in this case, that as soon as a CEP is spent and returned to the empty bank, it is automatically placed on the market and the CEP price is increased by one?
Thank you for your further clarification.


Two, you need two to refill the market.

 
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Jack Francisco
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Ben - actually, I was thinking of that thread and from memory, I got it wrong. The rules also echo this.

"Refill the market with 2 CEPs from the bank, and increase the price by 1. Otherwise the price does not increase." Sorry for the confusion I may have caused.
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Daniel Corban
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chally wrote:
senorcoo wrote:
Daniel - I agree with you. I like to take at least half of my income as points unless I'm totally tapped out and I need to make a big move. We're usually at 340 ppm on the 2nd turn.


This is generally my experience. I would love to watch others playing the game, so I could understand how their sessions come out so differently.

In my games, money is very scarce, the majority of income is taken as points unless people are really struggling, and CEPs are sold frequently to supplement income (and to generally keep the market price low for others who need money). Pollution generally rises very close to 500 (except in 3-player games, where I will usually increase the difficulty for that purpose).


My experience is the same. In my last two games, I have taught a few people, so I started the game with the "normal" difficulty preset (two of each fossil fuel type for 180ppm). In the four-player game we went over 350 at the start of the second decade. The five-player game had us at 340. The peak was around 480 in both games.

 
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Sam Hobday
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Thanks all. Very helpful.

The second game we played where this happened, we were pretty lucky in that most of the fossil plants that came out were the 20 ones. Additionally, we did play on EASY because it was 3 people's first games.

And, yes you are right, people took money instead of VPs until Decade 4 so there was a fair amount of money going around

I will see if I can give it another go this weekend and let you know the outcome if the same things happen.

Cheers,

Sam
 
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Jack Francisco
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Sam - took me until the 3rd play before we played with the correct rules, but once we did, there was a tremendously rewarding experience at the end of it. This one is definitely in my top 10. Vital should be very proud of himself.
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Vital Lacerda
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senorcoo wrote:
Sam - took me until the 3rd play before we played with the correct rules, but once we did, there was a tremendously rewarding experience at the end of it. This one is definitely in my top 10. Vital should be very proud of himself.


Thank you very much Jack. As long as people are playing and enjoying the game, I'm proud.
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Sam Hobday
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Some feedback. Managed to get another game in yesterday.

I'm afraid to say the same thing happened - we ran out of CEP disks.
I was very careful to check all the rules thoroughly. There were 2 new players who also checked the rules at various points. I've now played with 8 different players over 3 games and the same thing has happened each time. We are all solid gamers so tend to pick up rules issues quickly.

The main reason this time was that most of the regions were up to their full complement of CEP disks by game end. A couple were due to overbuilding fossil fuel plants, but most of them were because everyone was very high on the reforestation track which adds CEP disks to regions.

Now, the main "use" of the CEP disks is installing projects, and it just seemed less advantageous to install projects than to propose more. If one did get installed, it usually got constructed very quickly by another player. Although the rewards for installing are better than proposing, it just seemed too advantageous to the next players in line because one of them at least could construct it.

One player was hoarding them a bit, but he had the company goal giving him bonus points for up to 8 of them so that was expected.

So, there are 40 disks in total. 21 of them were on the board in regions. 10 of them were in one players hand. The other 8 of them in the other 3 players and one in the market.


I am enjoying the game to an extent, but it still feels like something is going wrong and none of us can work out what it is. Given the praise the game has gotten, I really want to like it more, but until I can work out how this bit is going wrong I'm struggling.

Comments appreciated.

Cheers,

Sam
 
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Daniel Corban
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A few things come to mind based on your comments. The people who would benefit from selling CEPs must not have been. At least half of the table should be selling each turn. Second, the value of installing is equal, or sometimes higher, than constructing. Read other threads to find out why. Third, why was everyone so high on reforestation expertise? The game strongly rewards diversifying through the UN goals and income distribution.
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Sam Hobday
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Thanks Daniel,

Why should half the table be selling each turn?
If you do not need the money immediately, what is the benefit? If they do happen to be cheap (say 2 or 3), why not buy one in the hope that they'll actually be worth more later.

The point about installing vs. constructing is well made but I think the problem is that is not obvious at all. You have to think about it (or read about it) quite a lot to work out exactly why and when this is the case and with new players this isn't going to happen irrespective of how good a gamer they are.

Everyone was high on reforestation because it was always closely fought over for 1st and 2nd place. In fact this was the same for most of the tracks. There was a constant fight (except for Biofuel IIRC) to make sure you were not 3rd so that you would receive income.

In fact, overall everyone was pretty high on most of the expertise tracks. Generally each person was about 2/3rds the way up 4 of the tracks.


I'm getting the impression for the game balance to work well, each player has to have already played it quite a few times, by which point you've had to suffer a few too many games of not knowing what you are really doing and the game breaking down a bit. That certainly seems to have been the case.

Anyway, glad to have everyone else's opinions. Thanks all.

Sam
 
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Vital Lacerda
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Hi Sam.
To not see the real value of installation in the first game is a problem that i'm aware of. Many players rate the game lower because of that. I totaly assume the responsability about it because it was my design choice. Why? Well, I though that it will give more room to players to explore the game a little more. I really like to discover new and less obvious paths in games. Maybe I was wrong, I don't know.
 
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Daniel Corban
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samurite wrote:


Why should half the table be selling each turn?
If you do not need the money immediately, what is the benefit? If they do happen to be cheap (say 2 or 3), why not buy one in the hope that they'll actually be worth more later.

The point about installing vs. constructing is well made but I think the problem is that is not obvious at all. You have to think about it (or read about it) quite a lot to work out exactly why and when this is the case and with new players this isn't going to happen irrespective of how good a gamer they are.

Everyone was high on reforestation because it was always closely fought over for 1st and 2nd place. In fact this was the same for most of the tracks. There was a constant fight (except for Biofuel IIRC) to make sure you were not 3rd so that you would receive income.


The price of CEP will benefit one player over the others. The other players should be selling their CEP to lower the price. By selling, they get the "full value" now in exchange for lowering the value of everyone else's CEP. At least two players should have a strong incentive to sell. If someone at the table has the company goal to either hold CEP or hold control in regions, they will have big smiles if you buy CEP or do not sell, as they will undoubtedly end the game with anywhere from 30-50 points just from CEP if the price is high.

The true cost of construction should be obvious, but you are right that players don't seem to see it. You are paying cash, which is worth .5 VP each. Even if you do not factor in opportunity costs or tech cube costs, you can see that you ultimately only receive roughly half of the VP from construction. The main reward for construction is region control and UN goals. The main reward for installing is an influx of money, in the form of cash or CEP that can be sold. This money allows you to take VP as income instead of cash.

The reforestation track is the least profitable in regards to income. It should have been the least fought over! Once you have a few expertise and construct a plant, there is no need to fight over it. Focus on the other tracks to be more efficient with income and also to complete the UN goals.
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