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Depleting piles?


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#1 Osaka

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 02:51 AM

We've played a few games now, and one thing we've noticed is that certain buildings will disappear in the blink of an eye, and certain players will be left without the capacity to build them.  Also, in our latest game, myself and the guy next to me developed flight in the same turn.  We managed to completely empty the aircraft unit deck.

I can understand placing limits on units and buildings, but why place a "global" limit?  What, my buddy can't build planes any more because we already depeted the world of qualified pilots?  The germans can't build any barracks because the americans and the egyptians built them all?

What are people's thoughts on this mechanic?



#2 mastabou

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 04:41 AM

I feel that its completely fair the way it currently stands.  All players understand there is a limited quantity of resources available.  As far as buildings go, there are methods available to destroy them and make them available to be built.  Resources can be traded, so you can wheel'n'deal to try and get what you need there. 

If you see that a particular resource/building is going fast, you need to make that a priority if you want to receive any. 

I personally feel no changes are necessary.  Just my two cents...



#3 Osaka

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 02:19 AM

In our last game, the barracks were depleted on the second turn, and the harbours on the third (I think)  One player in particular had three of the barracks, so he was pretty hard to win battles against, especially once he researched the upgrade.

I was thinking that an alternative method of handling things (house rule, to be sure) would be to have each player have access to one or two of each building as their personal supply, and leave the rest in the general supply.  You have to build from your personal stash first.  This way, researching the tech early still gives you first crack at those public stores, but you can't completely deprive a player of building a particular building type.  Giving them one or two "personal" buildings will determine how big that bonus is.

You talked about the buildings, but I was also talking about units as well (namely the fact that the aircraft unit pile can get depleted mighty quickly has anyone seen the other piles become depleted?)  Not sure if the situation has ever (or will ever) come up, but is there a ruling on what to do if a unit deck is depleted when you attack barbarians?  Are they just weaker as a result?



#4 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 05:51 AM

Osaka said:

In our last game, the barracks were depleted on the second turn, and the harbours on the third (I think)  One player in particular had three of the barracks, so he was pretty hard to win battles against, especially once he researched the upgrade.

Are you sure that you are playing right?

You can't have 3 barracks on the second turn. It's a starred building, so there is only one per city, so you need 3 cities (and the 2nd tier tech irrigation) to do that.

You can't even have a second city on the second turn, since you need at least 3 movement to reveal a new tile, then move the 2 spaces away from your capital. Earliest you can do that is on the top of turn three.

There are 5 barracks. Even if everyone made a beeline to getting one, they would each have 1 at the end of turn two. Then it becomes a race to get their second city planted to get the 5th. (this also means no one is getting any markets or temples [at least for a while], since they are flush with barracks)

After all that, how do they have the resources to both research navigation, and then build all 10 harbors (between 4 players)?

 

 


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#5 Osaka

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 08:32 AM

Perhaps I misjudged on the timeline...  It's been almost a week since our last game.  Still, if the first thing you research isn't the Barracks, then it's quite likely that there won't be any available by the time you do research it.  It's that "first out the gate" aspect that I'm debating.  In our games, workshops and barracks disappeared almost immediately, and harbours were not soon behind.  It meant that anyone who tried doing anything else couldn't build them later.  This just strikes me as a big price to pay for making a different choice early on, and I don't think it makes much sense thematically.

This is particularly noticable when it comes to flight, when the plane deck can be depleted insanely fast, so if you're one turn behind in researching it, and depending on who's first player, the deck can be depleted before you get the chance to buy.



#6 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 08:46 AM

Osaka said:

Still, if the first thing you research isn't the Barracks, then it's quite likely that there won't be any available by the time you do research it.  It's that "first out the gate" aspect that I'm debating.  In our games, workshops and barracks disappeared almost immediately, and harbours were not soon behind.  It meant that anyone who tried doing anything else couldn't build them later.  This just strikes me as a big price to pay for making a different choice early on, and I don't think it makes much sense thematically.

That is only the case if everyone is racing for that one building. One person cannot solely deplete a stack. If someone has 3 copies of a starred building, that means his opponents had plenty of time to see it coming and adjust while they built the other two, researched Irrigation, and then moved to build the 3rd city. 

Again, this kind of strategy also is limiting, since there is only 1 starred building per city. 

It just sounds like it's more that your group favors military more than most.


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#7 scimon

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 01:59 AM

Doc, the Weasel said:

Osaka said:

 

In our last game, the barracks were depleted on the second turn, and the harbours on the third (I think)  One player in particular had three of the barracks, so he was pretty hard to win battles against, especially once he researched the upgrade.

 

 

Are you sure that you are playing right?

You can't have 3 barracks on the second turn. It's a starred building, so there is only one per city, so you need 3 cities (and the 2nd tier tech irrigation) to do that.

4 players? One German and everyone else researching Metalworking on turn one? Barracks inevery city on turn two is simple enough.

Doc, the Weasel said:

You can't even have a second city on the second turn, since you need at least 3 movement to reveal a new tile, then move the 2 spaces away from your capital. Earliest you can do that is on the top of turn three.

Sure you can have a second city on the second turn. If you start in the top left corner of the 4 starting squares and put your army nad scout in the square above then the army can move first and scout the tile above. If you get lucky you'll get a tile that you can move your scout into and not have any thing stopping your building.

Admittedly you have to get lucky, but someone could get that lucky easily enough.

 



#8 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 05:27 AM

scimon said:

Sure you can have a second city on the second turn. If you start in the top left corner of the 4 starting squares and put your army nad scout in the square above then the army can move first and scout the tile above. If you get lucky you'll get a tile that you can move your scout into and not have any thing stopping your building.

Admittedly you have to get lucky, but someone could get that lucky easily enough.

 

Fair enough.


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#9 scimon

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 09:24 PM

Just to say. I posted that at work as a theoretical point. This morning I took a look at the tiles and there are 3 you could manage to pull this trick of with. And for one of them you'd need to have a Republic as your Scout would need to capture a Hut. The other two have huts are the edge of the board but in different places so you need to be lucky enough to have picked the right one.

So technically it's possible, but you wouldn't want to plan on it.



#10 Osaka

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 07:08 AM

Sooo, back to the original topic; do you feel that buildings and aircraft get depleted too quickly?  Do you feel it works as a game mechanic?  Does it make ANY sense thematically?

Personally, I feel that someone shouldn't be penalized for the entire game because barracks/workshops weren't one of the first techs purchased.  It doesn't make a lot of sense to me that even though I develop the tech, I can't build that type of building because you did already...

What are your opinions on the subject?  What are some ways one could handle things differently?



#11 dune

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 10:46 AM

If I may pose the question in a different way: Why are we all limited to one global wonder of a specific kind? I noticed that you didn't question the validity or effectiveness of this rule at all when essentially it is the exact same thing.



#12 Bleached Lizard

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 11:30 AM

dune said:

If I may pose the question in a different way: Why are we all limited to one global wonder of a specific kind? I noticed that you didn't question the validity or effectiveness of this rule at all when essentially it is the exact same thing.

Because wonders are supposed to represent a specific one-of-a-kind construction.  Buildings are generic.



#13 dune

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 02:37 PM

Bleached Lizard said:

 

dune said:

 

If I may pose the question in a different way: Why are we all limited to one global wonder of a specific kind? I noticed that you didn't question the validity or effectiveness of this rule at all when essentially it is the exact same thing.

 

 

Because wonders are supposed to represent a specific one-of-a-kind construction.  Buildings are generic.

 

 

Why are wonders considered one-of-a-kind construction, but other buildings not considered four-of-a-kind or eight-of-a-kind &c? It just seems an odd dichotomy - just because someone is able to produce a circle of large stones called Stonehenge doesn't mean that I wouldn't be able to do the same, surely.



#14 Osaka

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 02:27 AM

Ah, but with wonders of the world, it's not a question of the building itself so much as the unique culture and philosophy behind it.  The building is just the symbol of the accomplishment.  If the US decided to build pyramids in the Mojave Desert, it certainly wouldn't have the same meaning and impact as the originals, would it?

As for why there can be only one of a particular wonder?  I'll counter that by saying that I seriously doubt there will ever be a game where I can't build a wonder because they've all been built. :-)

Really, though, it boils down largely to mechanics.  For me, anyway.  If you build a particular wonder before me, that's not a game breaker.  BUT, if all the barracks/workshops/aircraft get snatched up before I even have a chance because I researched something different on the first turn?  Then I'm smurfed over for the later game when such buildings become more essential to being able to survive.

That, in a nutshell, is the core of the difference I see between unique wonders and limited buildings.



#15 dune

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 03:43 PM

You seem to be missing my argument. I recognise that there are cultural influences in wonders, which is why they are so. What if, as you complain in your OP, the only thing stopping me from building a wonder is the turn order? A perfect case in point (for a real example) are the Pyramids in Egypt versus Chichen Itza in Mexico. They were built in vastly different era and by two separated civilizations. They are, essentially, a similar structure, yet the greatness of one does not diminish the other. Translating this into gameplay: Why should someone building a wonder simply because they have the 'first player' token in front of them stop me from building the same wonder in the same turn?

 

Again, by categorising them as 'wonders' as opposed to 'the pyramids' or 'stonehenge' you are undermining your own argument. I could respond, along the same lines of logic, that 'you can always build a different building' or 'you can always train a different unit'. I doubt there will ever be a game where you won't be able to build a building or a unit. So again: Why are wonders accepted as 'one-of-a-kind' buildings but others not considered 'four-of-a-kind'? It's an illogical double-standard.

 

Equally, you say that not being able to get barracks or aircraft is a game-breaker, but surely this depends entirely on the dynamic of the game. In some games, not being able to get Uranium must be a 'game-breaker', or being unable to build the Sydney Opera House. If someone relies on building any specific building in their strategy, then being denied it will evidently ruin their strategy. The simple solution is to adapt your strategy to the dynamic. If it is clear that you are going to be beaten out when it comes to getting the barracks and aircraft, then research faster and hold the world ransom with nukes. Or ruin their games by culture-bombing and utterly screwing their plans.

 

The game deals with finite resources, it is how it was designed such that players must be sure to obtain these finite resources before they are depleted. Complaining about two specific resources whilst ignoring the rest is an incredibly odd dichotomy.



#16 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 05:58 AM

It works fine as a game mechanic. It forces you to make decisions on strategy, and adjust it based on the other players. It may not even be 

I think this is more of a strategy issue. Everyone in your group is employing the same strategy, and no one has found (or has looked for) a suitable counter to it. That counter exists, though.

Barracks aren't "super buildings"; they can be blockaded. For every barracks they build, that's a workshop they can't (to build the units and armies). If you are worried about defense, there are other things that can save your cities (walls, culture cards, great people). If your opponent has all the aircraft, then you should be far enough along in tech to destroy his barracks/academies outright.

In buildings alone there are a number of options your group is ignoring in their pursuit of barracks and workshops (i.e. the other starred buildings). Look to those for a new strategy. See what they are doing, and then dominate the areas that they are weak in.

 


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#17 Thundercles

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 09:50 AM

Focus on trade and culture, get the culture cards that let you destroy buildings and the Gunpowder tech, and go to freakin' town on their buildings.

The point is that there are many paths to victory.  If the harbors are gone, the trading post is a good way to tech and culture up instead.  Then you can use culture events and resource abilities to hamper your enemies.



#18 Wybird666

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 11:56 AM

I agree - you are missing the alternative strategies to military.

Don't forget about trade. Make alliances, work together. Think laterally. Make your own "UN" - make non-binding promises to prevent people building it. Don't forget you can trade one non-binding promise for another (e.g. don't attack me for x turns and I'll give you this culture card at the end of x turns [on the trade phase of course], use language like trust me you will want it, where appropriate). You can always change a promise (they were non-binding after all). Try not keeping them and see what happens (you might find this affects future games).

If everyone elses strategy is military, I would have thought this would make it easy to open up the other strategies.



#19 MegaBearsFan

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 04:26 PM

I am OK with the idea of hard limits on buildings and resources (its one of the things that makes the game fun and challenging). My big problem with the market board is that the number of buildings and units available doesn't scale with the number of players in the game. In a two player game, you have two players with a max of 6 cities total having access to the same number of buildings as 4 players with 12 cities total. We played several 2 and 3 player games and didn't really have a problem with two many buildings being depleted (although it did happen a few times). But in our first 4-player game, all of the Trade Posts, Harbors, Granaries, and Workshops became depleted within two turns of the first person building one of those buildings.

I honestly don't think there are enough buildings for a four player game. The number of buildings currently in the game seems like it was only balanced for a 2 or 3 player game.

That's my two-cents.






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