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Subject: Some Misplayed, Forgotten or Misunderstood Rules or Situations rss

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Ben Bateson
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allstar64 wrote:
I was under the impression that the discussion that we were having was specifically related to whether Side A of Ephusus is inferior to side B of Ephusus


If that is the case then this is a pointless discussion.

A) Obviously, Ephesus A and Ephesus B will never take part in head-to-head competition under normal rules.

B) As I've been trying to point out throughout, the interactions and large-scale ramifications of picking each one are probably incalculable and therefore either one could be better depending on the table situation and the opening deal.
 
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Jacek Deimer
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Ben it's a bit sad that you are avoiding discusion after you made some bold statements without any reasonable arguments that they are valid.


Maybe you could answer this few questions and enlighten all of us:

1.
Quote:
I'm getting a bit tired of banging on this same old point, but every argument that has been posted states that 3 = 1VP.

THIS IS ONLY TRUE AT THE FINAL SCORING

It is not the case during the game, and until Jacek, Martin etc acknowledge the fact then this debate cannot go any further.


Could you explain us how you value money DURING THE GAME? How should we value it. Mybe this will tell us why we have arguments here!

2.
Quote:
Every argument I have seen is attempting to mathematically prove that Side B is better, with no appreciation that there is dynamic between you, the neighbouring Wonders and indeed the people at the other end of the table.


And what if I told that I (and propably rest of people who argue with you) took into consideration and deeply appreciate all interaction and dynamics between you, your neighbours and rest of people you play with? I think we all do this kind of calculations, and taking them into account we can compare 2 sides of single wonder.

I. Maths don't lie, and it clearly shows that Ephesos B will provide you with more points at the end of game than side A.

II. Now we will use our knowledge and experience about interactions and dynamics in 7 Wonders. This tells us 3 things:

A.Cost that include 2 of a single manufactured good is very difficult to pay. This makes Epheoses B better than A.

B.Generally money is better than raw VP, bacause it gives you flexibility, it has a lot of added value. Epheoses B has more value in the form of coins. This mean more options. B is better than A

C.Having extra money early gives your more flexibility early. Generally it's better to achieve flexibility sooner than later. Epheoses B is better than A in doind this.

III.We add some common sense here:

We are comparing both side of Ephesos, we are not comparing it to other boards at the moment. Both sides add money to economy. We know that, we acknowledge that, its clear for us!

Quote:
You simply cannot carry out 'what would be of most VP benefit' calculations without acknowledging that this is an interactive game.


Doing all analysis abowe we can clearly state that Ephesos B will be superior to Ephoes A in almost any situation.
You don't get any extra benefits when you play A over B.
I'll repeat that I took all the interactions between players into consideration.
And I will admit there can be some fringe situations when side A could be better, but it's like 99% vs 1%( It's only rought estimation)

Now, could you explain me in detail where is a flaw in my logic? I can't find it, so please enlighten me.

3.Could you answer my previous questions? I think it's very important because it asks about big hole in your evaluation of wonder boards!


Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
I would probably take A over B if my neighbours had an opening resource I didn't need, in order to weaken the economy of the game.



What are you trying to say? How are you going to weaken economy by taking side A? Both side A and B have the same resource costs. Difference is that with B side you get money sooner. It doesn't mean that you have to throw them away into "the economy" as soon as possible. What does it mean is that you get more fexibility in your plays with your 1st stage, not second like with A side.

The other difference is that 3rd stage of B side is actually buildable and overall you will get 1VP/3 more than with side A. With again mean more flexibility. Remember you don't have to throw this extra coins into "economy", you can save them and be happy with VP they provide.

So Ben, could you once again explain me (and others) in detail, how are you going to: weaken the economy, maximize your chance of winning or even make a good decision by choosing side A of Ephesos that is so strictly inferior to the side B? It's hard to imagine for me, but maybe I'm missing something?


Do you have any arguments to back your quoted statement. Other than saying we don't know dynamics of he game or that we play solitaire...
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Ben Bateson
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Well, I thought I'd made these points clear, but to reiterate:

Quote:
Could you explain us how you value money DURING THE GAME?


That depends entirely on how much money I have, how much my neighbours have, and the resources available to me. Admittedly, I don't have an algorithm to plug all those numbers into because wasting that amount of time doesn't endear anyone to other players during a half-hour game. But there are clearly game situations where it's necessary to value money highly, and others where it's not. It's not a question where I can give you a mathematical answer - it wouldn't surprise me if it were not actually possible to formulate a mathematical answer.

Quote:
I'll repeat that I took all the interactions between players into consideration.
And I will admit there can be some fringe situations when side A could be better, but it's like 99% vs 1%( It's only rought estimation)
Now, could you explain me in detail where is a flaw in my logic? I can't find it, so please enlighten me.


Right there. There is no evidence that you have taken all interactions beyond the three that immediately occurred to you into account. All your inferences are completely correct if you are the only player in the game.

And 99%? I think not. I could possibly accept that B may be a better choice than A 60% - maybe 75% - of the time. But I don't believe you can prove it by making these assumptions and neglecting the other factors at work.
 
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Another way to look at it is if you have 1G and a resource you know your neighbor needs to purchase a card you just gave him in Age 3, then is that 1G equal to 1VP because you know your neighbor is going to buy that resurce for 2G from you? Of course not.

But, do you "count your chickens before they hatch"?

I would not. to me, it's a potential VP, not a guaranteed VP. What if he misplays it, cashes in for 3G or does some other crazy-ass thing, and you lose by 1 VP?

Blue cards are Guaranteed VP's, though, once in play. Gold is not and should not be 'counted' as guaranteed until final scoring. I think that is what he means.


It's not an insane way to look at it. It's just 'different' and a more conservative approach to VP estimation during the game.
 
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Greg Wilson
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ousgg wrote:
I'm getting a bit tired of banging on this same old point, but every argument that has been posted states that 3:gg: = 1VP.

THIS IS ONLY TRUE AT THE FINAL SCORING

It is not the case during the game, and until Jacek, Martin etc acknowledge the fact then this debate cannot go any further.


markgravitygood wrote:
Blue cards are Guaranteed VP's, though, once in play. Gold is not and should not be 'counted' as guaranteed until final scoring. I think that is what he means.


I don't see how three coins is ever worth less than a VP, though. At worst, you put it aside and never spend it and it's worth one VP. At best, you spend it for something better, use it to buy off debt, or double/triple its value with Leaders cards.

Plus, in the final scoring three coins beats 1VP on the tiebreak.
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Jacek Deimer
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ousgg wrote:
allstar64 wrote:
I was under the impression that the discussion that we were having was specifically related to whether Side A of Ephusus is inferior to side B of Ephusus


If that is the case then this is a pointless discussion.


No it isn't, we can easily compare them, and your points below are not relevant or flawed.

Quote:
A) Obviously, Ephesus A and Ephesus B will never take part in head-to-head competition under normal rules.


This doesn't stop you in any away from doing reasonable and valid comparison. If it does, please tell me WHY?

Quote:
B) As I've been trying to point out throughout, the interactions and large-scale ramifications of picking each one are probably incalculable and therefore either one could be better depending on the table situation and the opening deal.


Well, have you ever played this game? It's quite easy for me to estimate implications of choosing one side of board to another. Look at a basic situation.

1.Start of new game (no expanions). Ephesos B puts you in better position than A because:
It gives you more potential options , that are easier to achieve than options provided by side A. Owerall you can get more points from it with less effort

2.When you build your 1st wonder stage of B side you will be in better position than if you build 1st stage of A side. 4 coins can make big difference!

3.If you would like to build 3rd stage of wonder, it's easier with B side. Even if you don't plan to build 3rd stage, it will be easier with side B to do it, if you are forced to because of bad hand or desperate need to deny a card. And if something goes wrong extra coins provided by 3rd stage may still save your game!

As you see it's all about potential value, and what's potential value of side A? That you willl have to srew yourself to build your 3rd stage, that you have less options, less flexibility?

When you face side B, you see a potential with steady income of gold and light costs of wonder stages!
When you face side A, you see a trouble (2xPapyrus) from the beginning!
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Greg Gresik
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BlackSheep wrote:
ousgg wrote:
I'm getting a bit tired of banging on this same old point, but every argument that has been posted states that 3 = 1VP.

THIS IS ONLY TRUE AT THE FINAL SCORING

It is not the case during the game, and until Jacek, Martin etc acknowledge the fact then this debate cannot go any further.


markgravitygood wrote:
Blue cards are Guaranteed VP's, though, once in play. Gold is not and should not be 'counted' as guaranteed until final scoring. I think that is what he means.


I don't see how three coins is ever worth less than a VP, though. At worst, you put it aside and never spend it and it's worth one VP. At best, you spend it for something better, use it to buy off debt, or double/triple its value with Leaders cards.

Plus, in the final scoring three coins beats 1VP on the tiebreak.
This is obviously not where I intended this thread on going, but as long as it has, I will throw in my 3 cents (pun intended).

I beleive part of Ben's point is that if you have 3 coins, they could certainly be "wasted" to yield fewer than 1 VP in the long run - especially if you hand them to an opponent(s). For example, if I spend 1 in each direction (1 to my left neighbor, 1 to my right) and those happend to give them EACH an extra VP at the tend of the game - and the 1 I keep gives me 1 extra VP, I have netted -1 VP versus my opponenets - especially if the resources I ourchased didn't help me significantly in the long run.
 
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Ben Bateson
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Reid666 wrote:

When you face side B, you see a potential with steady income of gold and light costs of wonder stages!
When you face side A, you see a trouble (2xPapyrus) from the beginning!


To be honest, I'm more likely to flip it randomly because Ephesos is a weak (and boring) wonder, but that's a whole different argument.

For a start, I'm not sure I accept this argument about the stage 3 costs. Is papyrus-papyrus really a harder cost than papyrus-glass-loom? Obviously, there is a good chance that I will get shut out of the second papyrus, and I am quite likely to shut myself out of it anyway (I don't think there is any other use for a second one, there are plenty of other ways to earn 7VP and I could well pick up a Forum in round 2 in any case). With two manufactured resources to collect for side B, surely there is an equal chance that I could be shut out of one of them?

This recurring theme of 'potential value' doesn't add up for me either. It's impossible to reasonably assess the potential value of any card you receive during Age I, which negates any calculations you are doing re: your money.

 
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Jacek Deimer
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Quote:
I beleive part of Ben's point is that if you have 3 coins, they could certainly be "wasted" to yield fewer than 1 VP in the long run - especially if you hand them to an opponent(s). For example, if I spend 1 in each direction (1 to my left neighbor, 1 to my right) and those happend to give them EACH an extra VP at the tend of the game - and the 1 I keep gives me 1 extra VP, I have netted -1 VP versus my opponenets - especially if the resources I ourchased didn't help me significantly in the long run.


I completely agree with this, but... it's just bad play or mismanagment of money. The debate Ben started is not about good or bad plays, but about direct comparision of balance and power level of 2 sides of a single wonder board. Having Ephesos as nice example. (But it's nice only because we can very easily calculate this difference in most situations and use math to show itclearly. Personally I think that other wonders have bigger imbalance between A and B sides)

And I'm very sorry for hijacking your thread (albeit with others)...
 
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Ben Bateson
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Yes, apologies for hijacking the thread, but this is interesting discussion.

Quote:
(Personally I think that other wonders have bigger imbalance between A and B sides)


Halicarnassus was the first one that came to mind for me. The actual Halicarnassus, not the one we got wrong before. I'm currently of the opinion that, playing against strong opponents, Side B is next to useless.

I'm pretty sure I'd rather play Side A of Babylon, too.
 
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Jacek Deimer
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First of all, Thankyou for your answers, let me reply:

ousgg wrote:
Well, I thought I'd made these points clear, but to reiterate:

Quote:
Could you explain us how you value money DURING THE GAME?


That depends entirely on how much money I have, how much my neighbours have, and the resources available to me. Admittedly, I don't have an algorithm to plug all those numbers into because wasting that amount of time doesn't endear anyone to other players during a half-hour game. But there are clearly game situations where it's necessary to value money highly, and others where it's not. It's not a question where I can give you a mathematical answer - it wouldn't surprise me if it were not actually possible to formulate a mathematical answer.


But do you value it less than 3=1VP, ever? This was only question I wanted to ask, if not them everything is fine with mine and others calculations. We took it as basic value of gold when we've compared both sides of Ephesos. It's a bit irrelevant for this comparison how much more gold can be worth. (It would only make Ephesos B even better).


Quote:

Quote:
I'll repeat that I took all the interactions between players into consideration.
And I will admit there can be some fringe situations when side A could be better, but it's like 99% vs 1%( It's only rought estimation)
Now, could you explain me in detail where is a flaw in my logic? I can't find it, so please enlighten me.


Right there. There is no evidence that you have taken all interactions beyond the three that immediately occurred to you into account. All your inferences are completely correct if you are the only player in the game.

And 99%? I think not. I could possibly accept that B may be a better choice than A 60% - maybe 75% - of the time. But I don't believe you can prove it by making these assumptions and neglecting the other factors at work.


I have to admit that I took factors that would prove that one side of Ephesos is better than other. I've got conclusion that B is the winner. Please tell what kind of factors I've missed that can make Ephesos A better?

About the percentage, it's much closer to 99% than to 50% for Ephesos B.

This is the only example I could imagine when Ephesos A will be better:

All 3 things have to happen for A side to be better:
A. You are in desperate need of 1 extra coin when building 2nd stage.
AND
B. You have access to 2x Papyrus
AND
C. You don't have access to 1 of 2 other manufactured goods: Loom or Glass or both of them.


It's extremely unlikely situation and also is almost irrelevant. Why irrelevant? Because in situation described abowe you are almost for sure completely screwed. Without access to one of manufactured goods it's hard to do very well in Age III. And if you are in such shortage of resources, discounts and coins, that difference between 8 and 9 gold when you build 2nd stage is so important for you tells that you are propably already in trouble.


And could you answer my last question from that post:

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
I would probably take A over B if my neighbours had an opening resource I didn't need, in order to weaken the economy of the game.



What are you trying to say? How are you going to weaken economy by taking side A? Both side A and B have the same resource costs. Difference is that with B side you get money sooner. It doesn't mean that you have to throw them away into "the economy" as soon as possible. What does it mean is that you get more fexibility in your plays with your 1st stage, not second like with A side.

The other difference is that 3rd stage of B side is actually buildable and overall you will get 1VP/3 more than with side A. With again mean more flexibility. Remember you don't have to throw this extra coins into "economy", you can save them and be happy with VP they provide.

So Ben, could you once again explain me (and others) in detail, how are you going to: weaken the economy, maximize your chance of winning or even make a good decision by choosing side A of Ephesos that is so strictly inferior to the side B? It's hard to imagine for me, but maybe I'm missing something?

?
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My hair hurts.surprise
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Jacek Deimer
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Quote:
Halicarnassus was the first one that came to mind for me. The actual Halicarnassus, not the one we got wrong before. I'm currently of the opinion that, playing against strong opponents, Side B is next to useless.

I'm pretty sure I'd rather play Side A of Babylon, too.


I.Halicarnassus - it's a bit tricky to evaluate, but I still think that Side B is better than A.

Main points why:

1.Again, very hard to build 3rd stage on side A.

It's a big issue, neighbours won't build Loom for 2 reason: They can buy it from you or even from their other neighbour. And because by not building it, they will hurt your plans.

Forum could save your day, but it will be higly contested card because: It's usually highly contested. And in this situation both your neighbours will wan't it, as they don't plan to build a Loom.

2.Difference between A nad B:

A: 10 points, 1 play from discard
B: 3 points, 3 plays from discard

So, with side B you need 2 discards worth of 3,5 VP each (on average) to break even with points on side A. It's not so hard to get some unwanted Pawnshops,Gardens, some yellow or low scoring guilds or even your own discard from age I or II. So in bad scenarios you should at least break even. But it can be much much better, especially if you build your 2nd and 3rd stage in Age III.

3.The best moment to play a card from discard is the last move in Age III. You will have best choice and should get something nice. But with side A you can't do that if you wan't to build your 3rd stage. You have to build 2nd earlier without such a good choice of discards.

4.Hali scales with number of players, the more players in game the better choice you have and higher chance to get something really juicy.

5. It depends on strategy, it will help every strategy, but science will get most from it. It's quite acceptable to discard science cards that you can't build in Age I & II and get them back later. this way you get money that science strategy generally need and "protect" valuable symbols from being put under other players wonders. Also discarding military and getting it back at the end of Age I or II isn't a bad move.

But, yes, it is harder to evaluate this Wonder because you have take into account more factors than with Ephesos.

II.Babylon - here difference is even harder to evaluate.

I would say it depends on strategy:

1. If you play heavy science strategy they are more or less the same:

Side A: 10 points, wild science symbol
Side B: 3 points, wild science symbol, at least 2 points from 2 last cards ( if discarded for money and it's a bit unreasonable to build 2nd stage in Age I, so usually you will play last cards at end of Age II and III).

So side B may provide you with less points, but it's a bit of gamble, you may get something usefull or valuable. If not you can just build your 3rd stage with this extra card. On the other hand side B has easier costs of each stage so for me it evens out.

2.. If you play mixed strategy, with only one set of green card, them Side A should be better. You can easly get this set before end of Age II.

3. If you don't plan to build science at all, them Side B is clearly better as you only have to leave your 3rd stage and you get some use from 1st and 2nd stage.
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J
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I too apologize for hijacking the thread and take responsibility for being the one who first opened pandora's box. My intent wasn't to start a massive discussion but to bring attention to an issue which bugs me a lot.

Namely the (IMO) rumor that the side As and Side Bs of all the wonders are balanced. The fact the rulebook says this too makes it fairly difficult to convince some people. The reason I hate this is cause I regularly see more experienced players telling new players (I go to several public game meetups)to play the A sides cause they are easier to understand whereas I believe in some instances (like Ephesus, Rhodes, and Alexandria) not only are both sides very easy to understand but you have a clear advantage playing the B side vs the A side. In my eyes its almost like tricking new players to play with a disadvantage in some instances.

Also thanks Jacek for taking over the "value of money" debate since your opinions on the matter seem to directly line up with my own. While our views on it are the same I think you did a much better job explaining it. And thanks for helping show very clearly that as far as benefits go Side B Ephesus is superior to side A Ephesus.

I'll tackle this argument

Quote:
For a start, I'm not sure I accept this argument about the stage 3 costs. Is papyrus-papyrus really a harder cost than papyrus-glass-loom? Obviously, there is a good chance that I will get shut out of the second papyrus, and I am quite likely to shut myself out of it anyway (I don't think there is any other use for a second one, there are plenty of other ways to earn 7VP and I could well pick up a Forum in round 2 in any case). With two manufactured resources to collect for side B, surely there is an equal chance that I could be shut out of one of them?


This is actually a valid argument for side A vs side B on which I'll gladly address. I'm going to look at it from 2 different angles, one being your priorities and one being how blockable it is.

I. Resource priorities

Now first of all I don't think anyone will deny that no experienced player wants to go into stage 3 lacking any of the developed resources (and to be clear when I say lacking I mean 100% lacking, no forum, no commerce, no city, no leaders which can get you it). Lacking just one developed resource instantly makes several cards impossible to play.

Therefore experienced players will (should) play very carefully to make sure they end up with access to all 3 resources going into stage 3 no matter what wonder they are playing making a cost of "all three developed resources" slightly redundant since you really want all 3 developed resources anyway.

Now a comparison of costs. Given that you already have 1 scroll is getting a second scroll a steeper cost or is getting a Loom and a Glass a steeper cost?

Equipped with the knowledge that you should be getting access to all 3 developed resources anyway I would rule that getting a second scroll is the steeper cost. While your wonder may not need the loom and the glass it doesn't change the fact that you should still be trying to gain access to them going into the third age so by requiring two scrolls it changes your overall "developed resource priorities" from trying to get access to all three to trying to get access to all 3 AND an additional scroll.

On the other hand side B has no need for the second scroll and just wants one of each... which you pretty much want anyway hence its resource priority is trying to get access to all three and is relatively unchanged.

II
If it were just for the priorities I would select B over A but when you get to being blocked it just becomes even worse (or better). If it was simply "Side A needs access to 1 scroll while side B needs access to one loom and one glasss" than yes side B would be easier to block but this ignores a few key things.

Remember all players want access to all 3 developed resources however you are correct in think that there is nothing else in the entire game that needs 2 scrolls and that includes all the current expansions and it is this fact that is a death sentence to Ephusus side A.

In regards to Side A By virtue of being next to you your opponents will have access to 1 scroll. Also assuming competent opponents they will be aware that a second scroll is useless to them but valuable as gold to you and as such should avoid building a press. Basically they can block you without even trying cause you are supplying to them the very resource you are desperate to get a second of. You can double up yourself but baring the forum this is not a great move since nothing else in the game needs 2 scrolls.

On the other hand side B wants a loom and a glass. If the opportunity is there your opponents will of course try to block it from you but this is no different from normal. If the opportunity presents itself your opponents will try to block you from a developed resource regardless if your wonder needs it or not so no big change there. However unlike side A you are not providing them with the resource that you are desperate to get. Your opponents are not going to deny you a glass if it means they themselves are denied also.

Hence while both are blockable side A is pretty much always blockable without really trying while side B is blockable only if the opportunity is just right.

Another reason I hate Ephusus, Alexandria, and Halicanarsus side A is cause I basically feel I'm gambling on getting the forum or I can kiss stage 3 of my wonder goodbye

If people want to talk about other wonders when we're done ripping Ephesus apart I'll gladly partake in that although on the subject of Halicarnassus I would say Side A is one of the worst (if not the worst) Wonder in the game while Side B is one of the best.

EDIT: oh hey look I was too slow. lets see if there's anything I can add.
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J
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1. Babylon
Personally Babylon is my least favorite wonder from the base game cause I find it the least flexible. I have no specific reason why I think Side A or B is stronger but I always play side B because if nothing else I find it much more interesting however this is purely my opinion and if people want to argue that side A is stronger and should be the side played if you want to win I have no obvious counter arguments to present.

2. Halicarnassus is a completely different story. I find its B side far superior to its A. I view its A side as being possibly the weakest wonder in the game and its B side being one of the strongest.

Quote:
1.Again, very hard to build 3rd stage on side A.


Agree nothing to add

Quote:
3.The best moment to play a card from discard is the last move in Age III. You will have best choice and should get something nice. But with side A you can't do that if you want to build your 3rd stage. You have to build 2nd earlier without such a good choice of discards.

Super agree nothing to add
Quote:
4.Hali scales with number of players, the more players in game the better choice you have and higher chance to get something really juicy.

Still agreeing, still adding nothing

Quote:
2.Difference between A and B:

A: 10 points, 1 play from discard
B: 3 points, 3 plays from discard

Agree again but will add this time.

In regards to Halicanarsus B
For the most part you only want to build stages of Halicanarsus on the 6th turn of a given age. Doing so guarantees that the card you take back will be of the same age as the turn you spend building your wonder. If I say use turn 1 of age 2 to build a stage of my wonder I have most likely spent a age 2 turn to build an age 1 card. Usually pretty poor. There are exceptions but for the most part its all about turn 6.

Another nice thing about building on turn 6 of an age is you are guaranteed at worst to take back the better of the last two cards remaining in your hand (use the other to build your wonder stage and discard the better of the 2) so you actually sacrifice very little when you build your wonder during turn 6

Although Halicanarsus has 3 stages it is the only wonder whose wonder stages become strictly weaker at each stage. Interestingly the power of "taking back a discard grows in strength as the game moves into later ages hence why it works out. Why is this important? Halicanarsus B has one of the most expensive first stages of its wonder needing 2 of a resource that pretty much no other wonder requires in the early game. It is very possible to find yourself in age 1 unable to build your first stage. Other Wonders are hurt by this. They need to finish their wonder to claim that juicy Giant prize (usually about 7 points) at the "end of the rainbow" (final wonder stage)

However Halicanarsus just shrugs it off. Its stages 1 and 2 can very easily be played in stage 2 and 3 while it can just ignore its final stage. Unlike the other wonders there is no urgency to make it to the end.

Now as we've tried again and again to illustrate side A is very much in danger of losing its 3rd stage due to the double loom cost so if you are (forced to) play side A and you sense this happening you can save your second stage for the final turn of the game and forego your third stage.

Thus I believe its worth noting that if you finish only 2 stages (very possible with either side) that the benefits are

A: 3 points, 1 play from discard
B: 3 points, 2 plays from discard

An outright win for B.

Quote:
5. It depends on strategy, it will help every strategy, but science will get most from it. It's quite acceptable to discard science cards that you can't build in Age I & II and get them back later. this way you get money that science strategy generally need and "protect" valuable symbols from being put under other players wonders. Also discarding military and getting it back at the end of Age I or II isn't a bad move.


Here I disagree with you (a little). Personally I think that Halicanarsus favors no particular strategy above any other and has pretty unique advantages no matter which way it goes. It's weakness comes from losing the flexibility of when it wants to build its wonder stages (turn 6)

Science: Can pilfer discarded science cards plus starts with a developed resource.

Military: Gets (almost) last say in any military fight if at least one military card has been discarded

Resources: gets one last chance in age 2 to recover a resource that you are chronically short on.

Guilds/Commercial(yellow): Possible for one to be bad for another player but good for you hence might be left over.

However you must select your path carefully based on what other players are doing. If 2 other players are going science than science is out. If your neighbors are spamming military than that's gone too.

Personally I see discarding cards to build them back later a very poor move since it basically halves the value of the card you discarded. Its much better to aim to set yourself up to build the card and take back something else when you do build your wonder.

However I will concede that I play a lot of games with 5 players +/- 1 so usually there is something good there and that it might be worth it to discard a valuable card if you are very committed to a strategy and there is really nothing better you can do.

6. Hallicanarsus B playing against strong opponents is next to useless

Here's something I hear a lot which I say no it isn't. Note my comments will mostly cover 4-6 players. In 3 player I still think its good but definitely takes a dive.

Now I'm a big advocate of building your wonder only in turn 6 of an age unless you know there is definitely something good for you in the discard. Using 5 players as an example with no Babylon B on turn 6 of an age you build your wonder. Of the cards matching the current age you are are guaranteed to get the best card of your 2 remaining cards + 1 card from every other player (6 cards total) minimum. The best card out of 6 isn't too bad (yes I know the obvious comeback I'll address that in a second). The worst is 3 player with Babylon B which has a minimum of 3 cards if no one discarded. The best is 7 players with no Babylon B in which case the minimum is 8 cards to pick from (matching the age) and can even be more if people discarded.

Now the obvious comeback is that "you might have a wider choice but its just the trash that no one else wanted". The thing I find silly about this is how much garbage do you think is in the game? its not like there are any really really bad cards (though there are cards bad in certain situations)

Going Age by Age now
Age 1: Lots of opportunities. Maybe a science, maybe a military but the least useful cards are probably the Blue cards or a lone resource.
Regardless of what you take back you are getting 2 points plus a free build. There are a few cards in age 1 that are worth just 2 points so this alone is ok however lets say you take back a blue card worth 2 or 3 points. This makes your first stage worth 4/5 points which is superior to several other first stages. Even just taking a resource isn't bad if its one you need/don't have.

Age 2: Again maybe a science or military depending but more importantly it gives you one last scan for resources (which I would think are common last turn discards) that you are missing and on top of that 1 point.

Age 3: Now here's where Hallicanarsus has it made. It still has chances for military or science but on its last turn it has a choice of I'd say around 5 age 3 cards (adjusted for player number, discards during the game and wonders present). You are pretty likely to find something good out of 5ish age 3 cards and I've taken back some pretty good stuff from civilian structures, to commercial buildings to guilds to cities or even military. Even if its the last pick of the litter picking your final card from 3-8+ cards while ignoring price is very strong when most of the other players must pick from 2 cards.

Oh and I'll also note that Hallicanarsus is very good with leaders that give bonus points for having certain card sets (like one of each color) since it plays more cards on average than any other wonder and has increased flexibility at the end.

Now I have been praising Hallicanarsus a lot (I like the wonder and have won several times with it) but I will also admit its not all sunshine and rainbows. It is possible to get screwed and there are situations that turn out pretty badly for Hallicanarsus.

In a game where no one went science Hallicanarsus can expect to find a lot of science cards in the trash which if you weren't going science is pretty bad. However in this situation the fault is more with you since you have one of the best science wonders and if no one else was aiming for it you should have been.

The worst situation is where you have a few other science players making science a weak choice but you also have a lot of people ignoring military for whatever reason. Unlike science cards military cards are not good in bulk and if a lot of people are ignoring it than it doesn't get played that much in age 3 and a lot of discards will be red cards that are no use to you. I've had this happen from time to time and is the only time i felt really burned by Hallicanarsus.
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Jacek Deimer
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@allstar64

Great and extremely detailed analysis of Halicarnassus. I agree with pretty much everything you wrote. Both, the analysis why side B is better and "players guide" are very thorougt and it would be hard to add anything else!


I have only few comment here and there:

1.
Quote:

Its stages 1 and 2 can very easily be played in stage 2 and 3 while it can just ignore its final stage. Unlike the other wonders there is no urgency to make it to the end.

Now as we've tried again and again to illustrate side A is very much in danger of losing its 3rd stage due to the double loom cost so if you are (forced to) play side A and you sense this happening you can save your second stage for the final turn of the game and forego your third stage.


An outright win for B.


I've almost forgotten about this case .
Usually I build 1st stage of Hali at the end of Age II. This gives me a knowledge about cards that are left in discard pile. If there is something valuable here like Science or a good black card (mask,tabularium, military from Age II, diplomacy, Sepulcher) or even Aqueduct , I'm very happy to get it back in the middle of Age III when I've got very weak hand. 3rd stage is of course waiting until end of Age III.

I just mention it to show that sometimes it may be reasonable choice to build a wonder stage in the middle of Age and not only at the end.


2. Here is this one case where we disagree a little:


Quote:
Quote:
5. ... It's quite acceptable to discard science cards that you can't build in Age I & II and get them back later. this way you get money that science strategy generally need and "protect" valuable symbols from being put under other players wonders. Also discarding military and getting it back at the end of Age I or II isn't a bad move.



Here I disagree with you (a little)...

Personally I see discarding cards to build them back later a very poor move since it basically halves the value of the card you discarded. ...


Here I agree with you and disagree a bit at the same time.
Generally discarding for money is a bad move. But how bad it is depends on how many points you have give up. This depends on current Age. My own benchamarks how many points an Age card should give you are as follows:

Age I - 2 points on average
Age II - 4 points on average
Age III - 6 points on average

I don't take into consideration Age I & II cards that prowide resources (or discounts) as they are necessary to advance your development.

Taking into account that each discard is worth at least 1 point, you are giving up 1,3 or 5VP respectively.

With all abowe in mind, here is my attitude to discards:

Age I - NOT THAT BAD, 3 coins may have more added value than 1VP you are giving up. Especially valid with Leaders.

Age II - ACCEPTABLE in some situations, when you extremely need coins and know that lack of money will cost you even more points in next round or Age. -3VP is painfull but may be worth it. Especially valid with Leaders.

Age III - ALMOST ALWAYS TERRIBLE, losing 5VP may cost you a game, avoid at all cost. So don't discard Palace to get it back with your wonder



Quote:
... Its much better to aim to set yourself up to build the card and take back something else when you do build your wonder.


I completely agree that it's better to be able to build every science and/or military card in Age I & II, but my experience is that it may be hard to have an economy that allow you to build every science card in Age I or at the beggining of Age II.

I mentioned especially science and military cards because:

A. For science symbols it doesn't matter from which Age they come. And if you go heavy science this extra symbol discarded in Age I or II and returned later can make a difference of 7,9 or even 12 (if it completes 3rd set) points in your score. In other words still very good points, even taking in consideration VPs lost because of discard.

B. Military - in right situation it can make a difference of 8-12 points, still well worth of giving up 1-3Vp beforehand.

Rest of my opinion comes strictly from the perspective of science strategy (and mostly with Leaders and Cities expansions):

Money is much more valuable for science strategy than for other strategies. It just really hard to build great economy when playing science. On the other hand it's also very hard to asssemble perfect resourceless chains. This means that science player will have to spend money from time to time. But the other side is that he usually cannot expect to get too much money from his neighbours.

Expansions makes money even more important:

Leaders - Science has best leaders possible in the game, they also tend to be most expensive. But they have great conversion of gold to points. I think it's reasonable to give up few VP and discard for coins that will allow you to play a leader card providing 9+VP.

Cities - First of all money works as a "debt shield". From my experience science is most hurt by debt as usually it has least money (or none at all). Second, you may wan't to play few black cards that require coins (masks,secret warehouse, architect gabinet).



Quote:
However I will concede that I play a lot of games with 5 players +/- 1 so usually there is something good there and that it might be worth it to discard a valuable card if you are very committed to a strategy and there is really nothing better you can do.


I on the other hand almost exclusively play 3 and 4 player games. They are for sure different than 5+ but offer better knowledge of what will be passed to you. But with less discards to choose from... Propably that's why I try to avoid building 1st stage of Hali at the end of Age I (unless I discarded something valuable myself) and wait until end of Age II just to have better choice.

All in all it comes to maths, if you still get decent points, taking into account what you've lost by discarding and gained by bringing card back ( of course in raw VP/gold, not taking into account any added value), them I'd consider it a good play.


Now let's talk about Olympia A and B, or maybe another time...
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J
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Reid666 wrote:
@allstar64

Great and extremely detailed analysis of Halicarnassus. I agree with pretty much everything you wrote. Both, the analysis why side B is better and "players guide" are very thorougt and it would be hard to add anything else!

Hey Thanks


Quote:
I've almost forgotten about this case :).
Usually I build 1st stage of Hali at the end of Age II. This gives me a knowledge about cards that are left in discard pile. If there is something valuable here like Science or a good black card (mask,tabularium, military from Age II, diplomacy, Sepulcher) or even Aqueduct , I'm very happy to get it back in the middle of Age III when I've got very weak hand. 3rd stage is of course waiting until end of Age III.

I just mention it to show that sometimes it may be reasonable choice to build a wonder stage in the middle of Age and not only at the end.


Yeah I forgot to include that in my writeup. I said there were exceptions but I never said what they were.


It's also been a long time since I've done a Halicanarssus science strategy and I have admit the wife and friend of one of my regulars plays with us sometimes and they are quite literally the robotic science types. It doesn't matter what wonder they have or what other people are doing they WILL play science. The wife even teaches new players... and goes all in science (in my eyes one of the most scarring experience you can give a new 7 wonders player) so yeah my play style shifts when they are in. They don't always play but I have gotten used to science being a dead end strategy when they are in.

Quote:
Age I - NOT THAT BAD, 3 coins may have more added value than 1VP you are giving up. Especially valid with Leaders.

Age II - ACCEPTABLE in some situations, when you extremely need coins and know that lack of money will cost you even more points in next round or Age. -3VP is painfull but may be worth it. Especially valid with Leaders.

Age III - ALMOST ALWAYS TERRIBLE, losing 5VP may cost you a game, avoid at all cost. So don't discard Palace to get it back with your wonder :P


That's actually very fair. Never really thought about it that way. My issues with discarding stem from "experienced players" telling new players playing Halicanarssus (PS when I'm in command new players never get Halicanarssus or Babylon) to discard high point age 3 cards to build them back. You know a watered down version of Olympia A

Oh and speaking of Olympia we need a finale and I think you and I both know that Olympia makes the best finale. I'd suggest doing a Rhodes Alexandria Combo next cause they are quite easy to do. I'll do it now actually.
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Adam Kazimierczak
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Halicarnassus B is much better with expansions, specifically Cities. I think the addition of expansions does alter this discussion a bit. I personally like Halicarnassus, but it shines with 5 to 6 player counts. It also preys on noobs.

Giza B is also better with Cities. In a vanilla game of 7 Wonders it takes a fair amount of planning to finish off Giza B, but with 3 more turns it is really no big deal. That makes Giza A slightly inferior, unless you have an alternate play that will net you 10 more VPs.

As for Ephesos, I will always take 3 coin over 1 VP with the Cities expansion as being out of coin makes you ripe for debt. And players with the right black cards in hand watch the table to see who has no coins. devil

Rhodes B seems inferior with Leaders and Cities. You're telegraphing a military strategy, and between military leaders, dove tokens and black 5 x military card in Age I it's really a crap shoot. You're giving up 7 VPs for essentially the hope that your neighbors let you win.

And don't get me started about Catan...




 
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I. Ephesus: Argued into the ground
II. Babylon: Somewhat covered
III. Halicanarsus: Completly covered

IV. Rhodes


This one is pretty easy.
Side A---------------------------Side B
Stage 1: 3 VP--------------------4 VP (3 Coins) +1 Military
Stage 2: 3 VP 2 Military---------9 1/3 VP (7 Coins) +2 Military (total)
Stage 3: 10 VP 2 Military

Ok this one mostly speaks for itself. Side B gives almost the exact same benefit as side A in 1 fewer stages. If you consider that your extra play is at worst "discard for 3 coins" Side B is clearly superior in the end.

As for the cost although their costs are slightly different Side A comes off as being more expensive. Both have a 4 ore stage and a 3 "other resource" stage but A had an additional "2 resource" stage that B does not.

As for the benefits themselves Side A makes it very very slightly easier to get an extra military since building its first two stages is slightly easier than building Side B's first two stages.

However this doesn't come close to making up for the benefit that side B has with granting you money bonuses.

I could go on but this one really speaks for itself.

V. Alexandria

Alexandria is the last of the Wonder's whose side A is so unbelievably inferior to its side B that I cannot fathom anyone even considering playing side A.

Interestingly Side A is actually worth more points than Side B but the benefits of Side B far far outweight anything Side A has.

First off the benefits of the 3 stages:

Side A starts off with 3 VP stage. This is about equal to the Age 1 Pawn Shop. An alright VP count but by no means a strong card.

Side B starts off with a caravansary for the same effective cost (2 of the same resource). Ok stop right there. We are effectively putting one of the strongest cards in the entire game up against a card that "not-even-close" to being a strong card. Nuff said

Stage 2 A gets its caravansary while B gets a forum. Unlike the Caravansary from B1 side A doesn't get a free forum. The forum is another brilliantly strong card which all but guarantees that you will not be developed resource screwed in the end game. Again Side B clear winner.

Stage 3 is the same for both so nothing to say here.

Now we clearly see that benefitwise B blows A out of the water. How about costs? It's even more pathetic here.

Stage 1: is effectively the same.
Stage 2: B is 1 resource cheaper thanks to it's stage 1 caravansary.
Stage 3: Not content with B kicking A around in every way possible up to this point A was granted the cursed double developed resource while B just needs 2 non-developed resource.

B is so unbelievably superior its not worth talking about it.
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Henrik Johansson
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Nikoms wrote:

12)According to the rules, Wonder Side A and Side B are balanced, meaning some players can play A while others play B during the same game. This is highly debated.

I have tried to evaluate the different A and B sides objectively and mathematically in this old thread, "Ranking the civilzations special abilities...". It was so obvious that B sides are a bit stronger than A sides that I did not even remember to mention it in the text. Only Babylon A and B are equally strong (or weak). My evaluation is indirectly backed up by threads based on experience, referenced from the thread.
 
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allstar64 wrote:
IV. Rhodes

As for the cost although their costs are slightly different Side A comes off as being more expensive. Both have a 4 ore stage and a 3 "other resource" stage but A had an additional "2 resource" stage that B does not.

While I agree with your general point that Rhodos B is often a little stronger than Rhodos A, I feel that this resource comparison needs a little elaboration.

I find that 3 stone + 4 ore is often not the most efficient combination of resources to have (unless you are buying off your neighbour's pyramids). Usually 1 stone ought to suffice for Rhodos.

The main benefits of the extra 2 stone are: Aqueduct and Walls, and Circus in 4+ players.
The other cards rendered playable by the extra two stone are:
Town Hall, just an average Age 3 card
Arena is not so good for Rhodos B
Library and Academy are Science cards which Rhodos often does not have much use for
That leaves the Guilds:
Craftmen's (grey resource), usually solid but unspectacular; and
Builder's (wonder stages) which is usually very good; but you cannot be sure that it is in the game.

However, the fact that Rhodos has access to a lot of ore negates the main benefit of Walls, ie. the chain to Fortifications. Rhodos will be able to build that with resources. A nice tactical play by Rhodos A is to stuff Walls under the Stage 2 wonder.
On the other side of the coin, the Circus should ideally not be built with resources by Rhodos but rather as a chain from Training Ground.
Aqueduct is, of course, a strong Age 2 play but its main drawback is that it is a dead-end card, with no powers and enabling nothing further.

Whereas on side A, the resources required are:
Stage 1: 2 wood - wood is an important resource anyway
Stage 2: 3 brick - which allows, significantly, the Siege Workshop (and to a much lesser degree, the Forum)

Basically, I feel that the resources needed for Side A are more balanced and give greater flexibility than those for Side B.
 
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Jacek Deimer
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I'd like to encourage everyone interested in this kind of discussion to take part in a poll running here:

How would you rate the Wonders?


Results can give a much more broad view about the power level of different wonders/sides.


 
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I came unto an unsettling situation yesterday : in the final point count, a player had 2 venetian masks, 3 same science cards and Babylone (I'm French so I don't know the exact english names). He said he scored 36 points, but in the rules it says you can get up to 4 science cards and ONLY the science guild and Babylone.
Is the scoring right? Or should he have 3 for same science card, 1 for a mask and 1 for Babylon so 25? or even just 16? Where in the rules would be a clear explanation?
 
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With each mask he could copy a card with a right symbol from one of his neighbours. If they had right symbols to copy, then yes he could get 6 of the same symbol and score 36 in the end. The phrase in rulebook is only an example of possible combinations in base game.

Both expansions, Leaders and Cities include more science symbols and more combinations. In theory you could get 10 of the same symbol: 4 green cards, 1 leader, 3 masks, Science Guild, Babylon.

Just remember, when using multiple masks, you can't copy the same physical card twice.

EDIT:

CLarification is in Leaders rulebook, page 9, FAQ section, second column, 3rd entry:

"Scientific Symbols

Q: Do the scientific symbols given by leaders
also count in the composition of the sets?

A: Yes, each scientific symbol, no matter where
it comes from
(green cards, guilds, Wonders,
Leaders), counts for both scores (identical
symbols and sets of 3 different symbols)."

I think it's pretty good and broad clarification, that covers any future sources of science symbols as well.
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