Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
37 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

DinoGenics» Forums » General

Subject: Runaway Leader? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Randolph Bookman
United States
Los Angeles
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't own nor have I played the game. I see that people complain about a runaway leader issues. Are they just inexpereienced? I saw there was a tour bus which seemed like it was a catch up mechanic for people in last place.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Kudzma
United States
Millsboro
Delaware
flag msg tools
designer
People are...
badge
SPOCKED!!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
To me, the game doesn't appear to have a catch up mechanic at all. It doesn't hold your hand. Certainly, it seems designed in such a way that you must play well, or be left behind.

In my few plays I have seen someone get a big dino (bronto or t-rex) early, but the overall point curve usually balances out, as the investment of time and resources to the more valuable dinosaurs balances itself.

The Secret Cabal podcast was addressing the runaway leader idea in Dinogenics, and their feeling was similar; play well, or find ways to mess with the opponents through taking the spaces they need or playing unfavorable cards for them.

I cannot speak to messing with opponents. I'm still in of the mind that you just have to play better.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dustin Crenshaw
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Thematic Colors of Gaming Blog
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I wouldn't say runaway leader, just extremely hard for anyone to make significant gains after 3 rounds.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Mavis
msg tools
The catch up mechanics seems to rely on doing the more underhanded things in the game. Which makes sense thematically. If you are a poor startup you are probably not going to be able to take Disneyland head on.

Mutants are easy to make and allow fast gains because of their self-replicating mechanics. Taking chances with rampages and willingly taking scandals seems like another way to gain ground. Scandals are negative points but are pretty easy to get rid of and gets you very powerful manipulation cards that can either help you directly or hurt your opponents.

Getting big dinosaurs early also seems to balance out. They give players an early lead for sure but because most of them require more work to keep up you spend a lot of time taking care of them for just a couple extra points a round over the smaller dinos. I’ve seen other people on here complain about a T-Rex or bronto in turn one but I honestly don’t think they are worth the hassle until you get your extra worker at the midpoint of the game.

I've played about 6 times now and the point spread for similarly experienced players seems to be about 10-15 points from first to last place.
2 
 Thumb up
5.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joel Berg von Linde
Denmark
Copenhagen
flag msg tools
badge
when are we getting an expansion for Yedo?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In our first 4p game, a couple of the players got pretty far ahead from the start. Since none of them won, I don’t think it was an actual problem?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Grenard
msg tools
publisher
joelpetersen wrote:
In our first 4p game, a couple of the players got pretty far ahead from the start. Since none of them won, I don’t think it was an actual problem?


That mirrors our playtesting experience. Early leads tend to cost you later meeple moves, which causes great early parks to slow down.

In my experience, it's almost detrimental to get a T-Rex prior to getting your extra worker later in the game. That's just my opinion, however, and I'm eager to see what some serious math-heads can figure out for strategies.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joel Berg von Linde
Denmark
Copenhagen
flag msg tools
badge
when are we getting an expansion for Yedo?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah, I think some people might just give up to easily? If someone is used to Feld-like scoring where everything score the same to keep scores close through the game, it might be demoralising to see other players ahead, leading to self fulfilling prophecies?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Désirée Greverud
Sweden
Stockholm
flag msg tools
Keeper of the Sacred Aardvark
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
JohnMavis wrote:
I’ve seen other people on here complain about a T-Rex or bronto in turn one but I honestly don’t think they are worth the hassle until you get your extra worker at the midpoint of the game.

except a first turn bronto require zero upkeep. just stick him in a corner that will never get fenced and run a safe park and in a 2 player game, you will have the lead from turn 1 and never give it up.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Griffin
United States
Marietta
Georgia
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah, I got ahead in my 1 2 player game and the other player was catching up. He just didn’t have time and that is really the issue. There are only a maximum of 6 rounds and one sort of 1/2 round in the whole game. In order to have a catch up mechanism, you have to have time to catch up. It’s like flipping a coin. One person flips and wins. How does the other player catch up? He can’t!

That said, you can play better dinos later on but if you leave it for a few rounds, there just isn’t time. There are also manipulation cards that can change the game somewhat.

I guess you could play it 12 rounds or something but I’m not sure there is enough to do?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Giampaolo Brunetti
Italy
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
i did a 4p game.
one plyer made mutants and was first till the 4 round when i put in game my brntosaurus and my 2nd triceratop

he ended 3rd and i win

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Grenard
msg tools
publisher
DragonsDream wrote:
JohnMavis wrote:
I’ve seen other people on here complain about a T-Rex or bronto in turn one but I honestly don’t think they are worth the hassle until you get your extra worker at the midpoint of the game.

except a first turn bronto require zero upkeep. just stick him in a corner that will never get fenced and run a safe park and in a 2 player game, you will have the lead from turn 1 and never give it up.


First turn bronto is nice, but that player effectively just removed their ability to play risky. From that moment on, every rampage would cascade in his/her park. Another player who doesn't have a Bronto can allow the occasional raptor or Pterodactyl to escape, with minimal consequences. Try it out!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Griffin
United States
Marietta
Georgia
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My latest 2 player game kind of has to be considered as evidence of the runaway leader issue being a real thing. My opponent got ahead in the second turn and never looked back. Despite anything I did, there was just nothing I could do. More visitors, more victory points, first player grabbing the best stuff, etc. I was scrabbling to try to stay at least in the running when he got the steal DNA (my T-Rex) and that was all she wrote. Very frustrating.

He wants to buy the game now though, so there’s that.

Seriously though, the first player has just too much advantage unless the luck really really turns to the other player’s advantage with a vengeance.

I’m not sure what I’d do if I was the designer. After all, a few games doesn’t really prove anything, it’s just a data point.

Maybe just swap first player from player to player every turn? Or maybe swap the awarded visitors but let the first player still pick first (which is still an advantage)? Don’t know but it’s a problem I think.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joel Berg von Linde
Denmark
Copenhagen
flag msg tools
badge
when are we getting an expansion for Yedo?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sounds more like a 2 player problem than a general problem then?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dustin Crenshaw
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Thematic Colors of Gaming Blog
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
joelpetersen wrote:
Sounds more like a 2 player problem than a general problem then?


Since none of the scores changed after round 3 in both my 5 player games I played, no.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Keene
msg tools
designer
carbon_dragon wrote:
My latest 2 player game kind of has to be considered as evidence of the runaway leader issue being a real thing. My opponent got ahead in the second turn and never looked back. Despite anything I did, there was just nothing I could do. More visitors, more victory points, first player grabbing the best stuff, etc. I was scrabbling to try to stay at least in the running when he got the steal DNA (my T-Rex) and that was all she wrote. Very frustrating.

I am watching this thread with interest. Playtesting did not reveal an imbalance at two players but it is possible that some of the ways to contest a leader are not immediately clear or more confrontational than people are used of in a worker placement game.

For example, you mentioned that your opponent copied your T-Rex. This would give him a scandal. In a two player game, there is only one space to get rid of a scandal so you could block that for the remainder of the game unless he goes to the Uplink first. The manipulation cards you get blocking him are powerful, but more importantly they are versatile.

If he does go to the uplink first, consider blocking the farm since he also needs 2 goats a round plus whatever other carnivores he has. Getting goats even if you don’t need them is not a waste of a turn. Get a mutant, start replicating them every round. That is an extra 2 points per mutant and they don’t require DNA past the first one.

If your opponent takes the farm first then he is not getting first pick of the facilities. You should grab those up; sell some DNA to do it if you are short. The money from a sold T-Rex plus the income from your visitor center alone is enough to buy 60% of the facilities in the game.

If you are short on visitors, use the time share, that board space is worth 3 points if you have an odd number of visitors. That is the same as having an extra stegosaurus in your park.

Also, don’t be afraid to build a dinosaur that isn’t safe in your park. The best example of this is a pterodactyl. One of the biggest mistakes new players make is to only build this if they have a biodome. Building a free range pterodactyl will result in rampages but that is OK! At worst you lose a visitor and maybe flip a facility. A pterodactyl is worth 5 VP every round; a scandal is worth -6 VP and you might be able to discard it entirely. That is only a net loss of 1 point. The pterodactyl is also worth a whopping 4 reputation which means that will easily catch you up to an opponent.

The point being, you should never feel like you have no option to catch up because your opponent should never be able to do everything they need or want to do. You may need to change your strategy, be more aggressive towards your opponent, or make some risky maneuvers by getting dinosaurs you can’t safely contain, for but there should always be a way.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Malte Hue
Germany
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
SeerMagic wrote:
joelpetersen wrote:
Sounds more like a 2 player problem than a general problem then?


Since none of the scores changed after round 3 in both my 5 player games I played, no.


I had the exact opposite experience, so yes!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Désirée Greverud
Sweden
Stockholm
flag msg tools
Keeper of the Sacred Aardvark
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
lordnine wrote:
carbon_dragon wrote:
My latest 2 player game kind of has to be considered as evidence of the runaway leader issue being a real thing. My opponent got ahead in the second turn and never looked back. Despite anything I did, there was just nothing I could do. More visitors, more victory points, first player grabbing the best stuff, etc. I was scrabbling to try to stay at least in the running when he got the steal DNA (my T-Rex) and that was all she wrote. Very frustrating.

I am watching this thread with interest. Playtesting did not reveal an imbalance at two players but it is possible that some of the ways to contest a leader are not immediately clear or more confrontational than people are used of in a worker placement game.

For example, you mentioned that your opponent copied your T-Rex. This would give him a scandal. In a two player game, there is only one space to get rid of a scandal so you could block that for the remainder of the game unless he goes to the Uplink first. The manipulation cards you get blocking him are powerful, but more importantly they are versatile.

If he does go to the uplink first, consider blocking the farm since he also needs 2 goats a round plus whatever other carnivores he has. Getting goats even if you don’t need them is not a waste of a turn. Get a mutant, start replicating them every round. That is an extra 2 points per mutant and they don’t require DNA past the first one.

If your opponent takes the farm first then he is not getting first pick of the facilities. You should grab those up; sell some DNA to do it if you are short. The money from a sold T-Rex plus the income from your visitor center alone is enough to buy 60% of the facilities in the game.

If you are short on visitors, use the time share, that board space is worth 3 points if you have an odd number of visitors. That is the same as having an extra stegosaurus in your park.

Also, don’t be afraid to build a dinosaur that isn’t safe in your park. The best example of this is a pterodactyl. One of the biggest mistakes new players make is to only build this if they have a biodome. Building a free range pterodactyl will result in rampages but that is OK! At worst you lose a visitor and maybe flip a facility. A pterodactyl is worth 5 VP every round; a scandal is worth -6 VP and you might be able to discard it entirely. That is only a net loss of 1 point. The pterodactyl is also worth a whopping 4 reputation which means that will easily catch you up to an opponent.

The point being, you should never feel like you have no option to catch up because your opponent should never be able to do everything they need or want to do. You may need to change your strategy, be more aggressive towards your opponent, or make some risky maneuvers by getting dinosaurs you can’t safely contain, for but there should always be a way.

In a 2 player game the board simply isn't tight enough to effectively block someone out especially with the Outsourcing space. The 2 coins, to someone already in the lead, isn't a real hindrance. Sure, everything you mention could catch a player up but all of that is available to the person in the lead as well, who is in a better position to do the things they want.

Effectively, what you are saying is the person in 2nd needs to either take long shot risks (allow some rampages, which will set them back even further) and/or spend their actions denying the leader (difficult and largely unproductive). And everything the 2nd place player does is equally available to the leader anyway, who will be able to do those things even easier.

When people speak of a catch up mechanism (or a reign in the leader one) in a game like this, they mean something available to players not in the lead in a way that isn't available to the player in the lead. Here, there is nothing that player in back gets to keep them in the running. The leader gets more and more compounded benefits and nothing really slows them down in comparison to the other players.

Something as simple as placing workers in reverse order (start each round with the player last in rep) at least gives some help to the trailing players and makes that decision about how soon to jump out ahead of the pack in terms of reputation a little more challenging.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Pye
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DragonsDream wrote:
lordnine wrote:
carbon_dragon wrote:
My latest 2 player game kind of has to be considered as evidence of the runaway leader issue being a real thing. My opponent got ahead in the second turn and never looked back. Despite anything I did, there was just nothing I could do. More visitors, more victory points, first player grabbing the best stuff, etc. I was scrabbling to try to stay at least in the running when he got the steal DNA (my T-Rex) and that was all she wrote. Very frustrating.

I am watching this thread with interest. Playtesting did not reveal an imbalance at two players but it is possible that some of the ways to contest a leader are not immediately clear or more confrontational than people are used of in a worker placement game.

For example, you mentioned that your opponent copied your T-Rex. This would give him a scandal. In a two player game, there is only one space to get rid of a scandal so you could block that for the remainder of the game unless he goes to the Uplink first. The manipulation cards you get blocking him are powerful, but more importantly they are versatile.

If he does go to the uplink first, consider blocking the farm since he also needs 2 goats a round plus whatever other carnivores he has. Getting goats even if you don’t need them is not a waste of a turn. Get a mutant, start replicating them every round. That is an extra 2 points per mutant and they don’t require DNA past the first one.

If your opponent takes the farm first then he is not getting first pick of the facilities. You should grab those up; sell some DNA to do it if you are short. The money from a sold T-Rex plus the income from your visitor center alone is enough to buy 60% of the facilities in the game.

If you are short on visitors, use the time share, that board space is worth 3 points if you have an odd number of visitors. That is the same as having an extra stegosaurus in your park.

Also, don’t be afraid to build a dinosaur that isn’t safe in your park. The best example of this is a pterodactyl. One of the biggest mistakes new players make is to only build this if they have a biodome. Building a free range pterodactyl will result in rampages but that is OK! At worst you lose a visitor and maybe flip a facility. A pterodactyl is worth 5 VP every round; a scandal is worth -6 VP and you might be able to discard it entirely. That is only a net loss of 1 point. The pterodactyl is also worth a whopping 4 reputation which means that will easily catch you up to an opponent.

The point being, you should never feel like you have no option to catch up because your opponent should never be able to do everything they need or want to do. You may need to change your strategy, be more aggressive towards your opponent, or make some risky maneuvers by getting dinosaurs you can’t safely contain, for but there should always be a way.

In a 2 player game the board simply isn't tight enough to effectively block someone out especially with the Outsourcing space. The 2 coins, to someone already in the lead, isn't a real hindrance. Sure, everything you mention could catch a player up but all of that is available to the person in the lead as well, who is in a better position to do the things they want.

Effectively, what you are saying is the person in 2nd needs to either take long shot risks (allow some rampages, which will set them back even further) and/or spend their actions denying the leader (difficult and largely unproductive). And everything the 2nd place player does is equally available to the leader anyway, who will be able to do those things even easier.

When people speak of a catch up mechanism (or a reign in the leader one) in a game like this, they mean something available to players not in the lead in a way that isn't available to the player in the lead. Here, there is nothing that player in back gets to keep them in the running. The leader gets more and more compounded benefits and nothing really slows them down in comparison to the other players.

Something as simple as placing workers in reverse order (start each round with the player last in rep) at least gives some help to the trailing players and makes that decision about how soon to jump out ahead of the pack in terms of reputation a little more challenging.


This is a very good point about the outsourcing space. Maybe in a 2 player game it could also be blocked off?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gabriel Kitterman
United States
Silverton
Oregon
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
"Sure, everything you mention could catch a player up but all of that is
available to the person in the lead as well, who is in a better position
to do the things they want."


That is the real crux of the problem. The leader gets more money AND they get to go first. From a game balance point of view, is just a brutal situation.



2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Désirée Greverud
Sweden
Stockholm
flag msg tools
Keeper of the Sacred Aardvark
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Bobagabe wrote:



Sure, everything you mention could catch a player up but all of that is available to the person in the lead as well, who is in a better position to do the things they want.
[/q]

That is the real crux of the problem. The leader will have more money AND they get to go first. From a game balance point of view, is just a brutal situation.



[/q]
I've been thinking on this more and I think the issue I really have with the proposed solution is it basically amounts to "play smarter." That is, it relies on a player having a better strategy in order to surpass a leader. That simply isn't a good way to design a game - create a runaway leader issue and then put the onus on the players to solve it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gabriel Kitterman
United States
Silverton
Oregon
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm fine if a trailing player needs to play better to catch up.

My problem is when the game system if geared to make the rich get richer.

It is never fun to be in last place but it is that much worse when you realize that the game is actively helping the winning player. Many games avoid this by giving the winning player victory points but not giving them more in-game power. This game does both.





1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Grenard
msg tools
publisher
Bobagabe wrote:
I'm fine if a trailing player needs to play better to catch up.

My problem is when the game system if geared to make the rich get richer.

It is never fun to be in last place but it is that much worse when you realize that the game is actively helping the winning player. Many games avoid this by giving the winning player victory points but not giving them more in-game power. This game does both.


Actually, it's quite viable to have low reputation Dinosaurs win the game. Mixing herbivores and mutants is often a winning strategy, even if you have much less money and facilities than other players.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Désirée Greverud
Sweden
Stockholm
flag msg tools
Keeper of the Sacred Aardvark
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
goldfenix wrote:
Bobagabe wrote:
I'm fine if a trailing player needs to play better to catch up.

My problem is when the game system if geared to make the rich get richer.

It is never fun to be in last place but it is that much worse when you realize that the game is actively helping the winning player. Many games avoid this by giving the winning player victory points but not giving them more in-game power. This game does both.


Actually, it's quite viable to have low reputation Dinosaurs win the game. Mixing herbivores and mutants is often a winning strategy, even if you have much less money and facilities than other players.

but that's strategy, available to everyone. a leader could do that as well once ahead and stay ahead of anyone else trying it. "pla better" works as a catch-up mechanism when everone is on even footing. when the game actively gives more to the leader, it sucks to be last
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gabriel Kitterman
United States
Silverton
Oregon
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
goldfenix wrote:
Bobagabe wrote:
I'm fine if a trailing player needs to play better to catch up.

My problem is when the game system if geared to make the rich get richer.

It is never fun to be in last place but it is that much worse when you realize that the game is actively helping the winning player. Many games avoid this by giving the winning player victory points but not giving them more in-game power. This game does both.


Actually, it's quite viable to have low reputation Dinosaurs win the game. Mixing herbivores and mutants is often a winning strategy, even if you have much less money and facilities than other players.


If we were to reverse the initiative player order (leader goes last), do you think it would break the game or mess up any of the mechanics?

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Malte Hue
Germany
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
DragonsDream wrote:
goldfenix wrote:
Bobagabe wrote:
I'm fine if a trailing player needs to play better to catch up.

My problem is when the game system if geared to make the rich get richer.

It is never fun to be in last place but it is that much worse when you realize that the game is actively helping the winning player. Many games avoid this by giving the winning player victory points but not giving them more in-game power. This game does both.


Actually, it's quite viable to have low reputation Dinosaurs win the game. Mixing herbivores and mutants is often a winning strategy, even if you have much less money and facilities than other players.

but that's strategy, available to everyone. a leader could do that as well once ahead and stay ahead of anyone else trying it. "pla better" works as a catch-up mechanism when everone is on even footing. when the game actively gives more to the leader, it sucks to be last

But the game doesn't give more to the point leader but to the reputation leader who is more often than not not in the lead in points.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.