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SteelixEX

Faction Agenda Cards - Potential Solution

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Hey,

Summary - Read the faction agenda cards as "+1 influence for each color grouping [x faction] has advanced farther than [y faction]..." on the faction tracker instead of space.

Much has been said about the faction specific agenda cards. I have played 5+ games now with all the different numbers of players solo, 2-player, 3-player, 4-player. The 4-player games seem to end very quickly. Someone gets over 8 influence points usually within an hour. The game feels like its only about half way done (most of the quest chains are just under half way completed and the factions are only about halfway down the track). This usually is a result of someone having 2 or more faction agenda cards and one of the factions is advanced 2 or more spaces than the other giving the agenda cards a value of 3+. Much has been said about balancing these cards by taking some out of the box or limiting the value of any beyond the first per player. I tend to defer to the printed rules before making house rules and I think we may be interpreting the agenda cards incorrectly (or maybe they are worded badly). The faction agenda cards read "+1 influence for each space [x faction] has advanced farther than [y faction]...". Now look at the faction tracker. See how there are 7 spaces but they are grouped into 4 colors? What if the "spaces" the agenda card is referring to are actually the color groupings? "+1 influence for each color grouping [x faction] has advanced farther than [y faction]." This would slow down the game just enough that everything else falls in line with the pace of the these faction agenda cards. It would mean players would have to work just as hard as the other agenda cards to make the faction agenda cards worth 3 points and only in rare cases would they be worth more than 3 (all of the quests completed for only 1 faction). Also the risk of advancing the factions closer to the last space (immediately ending the game) would be higher.  The length of the game would line up closer to the length of the quest chains and the target 2-3 hour timeframe. 

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There are really two issues working against each other wrt the faction cards. The game works best, and is the most fun, if there are two groups of players pushing two different factions. So, in the situation where only one faction is advancing the game ends rather quickly which might be a good thing as the game isn't very much fun if everyone is working together. I don't know if extending the game in the least interesting situation would be a good idea. 

One suggestion I've seen is to limit the faction cards to 3 points each. This means that once a faction is +2 spaces ahead, there isn't much pressure for the winning team to advance it which might give the losing team a chance to get back in the game or allow players to focus on their own personal objectives. 

The other option is wait to score until the end of the game rather than stopping it abruptly. This might be the easiest but it does make it more likely that the winner will be determined simply by how many of the winning faction cards he or she has. 

 

I don't know if the answer can really be found in adjusting the scoring method as what this game really needs is to have some sort of system that encourages the players to be playing on different, hidden, teams. 

 

The method I use is to have all the players secretly pick four objectives for the game only two of which can be faction cards (including the same card twice). Each Agenda card you receive in the game activates one of your pre-chosen objectives. By limiting the players to two faction cards, each player on the winning team will score the same number of faction points so the winner will still by up to whomever does the best getting Agenda cards and doing their non-faction objectives. 

Edited by Hedgehobbit

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19 hours ago, SteelixEX said:

"Summary - Read the faction agenda cards as "+1 influence for each color grouping [x faction] has advanced farther than [y faction]..." on the faction tracker instead of space."

 

I haven't played that many games yet, but what immediately struck me was that it seemed impossible to reach the score limit as a solo player. This would make it harder.

I think the game very much requires the other players to actively try to stop someone from running off with the victory due to having more faction objectives. It takes some aggression, and if you are getting the notion that one player is actively sprinting for a huge gap for one of the factions, you might want to close that gap fast.

With the amount of Agenda Cards I hope that collecting specific same-faction cards is hard - maybe the players should be aware of the type of cards are flipped at the end of the turn and know how many faction cards are actually in the deck. This would give a good idea if people are actually hoarding them.

 

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I've been really thinking about limiting the "bonus" influence (ie: anything that is +(thumb) on the card) to once. That is: if you have 2 Freedom agenda cards, you still get the 1 for each, but only score the difference of the factions once.

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Definitely needs to be more variety in the faction cards.  It's easy to win if you stockpile 3 of the same faction and advance it, but impossible to win if both factions are being advanced competently.  I'd have to re-check my notes, but I think I found a path in the Commonwealth questline that would allow for completion without either side actually reaching the end of the track, which would mean the game might not EVER be able to end.  You can't really win with 4 non-faction agenda cards, right?  So if the two factions end in a near-tie, the whole game would be stalemated.

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Hi all!

This has been bothering me also. I just won a game because I had 3 institute faction cards, which gave me 3 influence per card (1 base plus 2 for the difference in faction progression).

How sure are we that the additional influence points are supposed to stack? Has anyone asked FFG? (I’m sick of games ending mid-quest!)

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On 1/5/2018 at 3:51 PM, Almeric said:

You can't really win with 4 non-faction agenda cards, right?

It depends on how many players you have, but its possible (just not likely) since they're worth up to 3 points each. If you are playing solo there are only 3 in the deck, but then you shouldn't have to worry about both factions being tied. Otherwise there's enough neutral cards to win if only one player is drawing them (which is a pretty big if).

 

3 hours ago, WTBenji08 said:

How sure are we that the additional influence points are supposed to stack? Has anyone asked FFG? (I’m sick of games ending mid-quest!)

If they didn't stack, it would be extremely hard to win. One player would have to draw and fulfill at least 3 neutral cards to win in most games.

Edited by DarwinsDog

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On 1/11/2018 at 8:15 AM, DarwinsDog said:

It depends on how many players you have, but its possible (just not likely) since they're worth up to 3 points each.

Waiiiiit a second. 3 points each?

Untouchable:

+(thumb) if the (defense) of your Apparel is exactly 2

+(2 thumb) if the (defense) of your Apparel is 3 or higher

 

I'm pretty sure all the cards are written like that, making them worth one or two points each, but never more. 

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On 1/5/2018 at 0:51 PM, Almeric said:

 I'd have to re-check my notes, but I think I found a path in the Commonwealth questline that would allow for completion without either side actually reaching the end of the track, which would mean the game might not EVER be able to end.  

the game would end eventually, because whenever you completely cycle through the agenda cards and have to reshuffle them, the factions move forward. so even if you stall, the game will end, and if nobody has themrequired influence when that happens, everyone loses

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23 hours ago, Almeric said:

Waiiiiit a second. 3 points each?

Untouchable:

+(thumb) if the (defense) of your Apparel is exactly 2

+(2 thumb) if the (defense) of your Apparel is 3 or higher

 

I'm pretty sure all the cards are written like that, making them worth one or two points each, but never more. 

The default value of each card is 1 influence. Meeting the conditions is additional on top of that first point.

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16 hours ago, schwade said:

The big thumbs up at the top of each card is the first influence.  The other conditions can net 1 or 2, or more, in the case of faction cards.  

*runs off to check Rules Reference*...

 

Quote

Each agenda provides one influence and provides conditions for the survivor to gain additional influence.

 

*MIND BLOWN*

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On ‎1‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 3:59 PM, Almeric said:

*runs off to check Rules Reference*...

 

 

*MIND BLOWN*

Yeah... happened to me too.  I missed that on my first game and I was really shocked. 

It really seems like it needs a final quest line, what I man is something like when you hit the target influence you trigger a new quest {ex. add cards 200 to 205 complete these to trigger the end and do a final influence tally to complete the game.} I'm not sure exactly what the quest would be but this would give all players time to wrap up their personal goals and maybe give an outside chance at a co-victory.

Just some ramblings of a board game newbie....

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How I came to understand the rule about activating a faction card is that you can only have one activated, and thus can only draw points from one. This makes it so that you can choose your faction and then forces the players to exchange the cards when they draw, which encourages longer play.

That being said, know that I typically play without the rule that the faction victory ends the game, as I found that it was a really cheap way to make the game end with no one winning, so me and my friends embrace the wander spirit and just continue to wander around and do side quests until we decided to see if anyone's won, so rules are kinda flimsy in the face of us just having a good time.

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