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Subject: Rules changes from Martin Wallace rss

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Andrew Wright
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It will be interesting to play out the rules changes.

First off, I never saw the argument that HH breaks the game. Not playing it, and not being forced to play it, I never felt the loss.

The no locations in reserve rule sounds cool and logical. It plays into the difficulty in planning that the game purports to embrace. Same with the limitation on Home Support.

The French Bateau becomes a non-card in the deck. Maybe a good thing?

The increase raid distance may change the dynamics of the game considerably. Given that the French have better access to raid resources and protection, this may channel the French strategy to set up advance posts and raid like hell from the start, getting 10 captured town VPs as early as possible.

I agree with Mark Kwasny's speculation that the French could be overly strengthened (though I do not share his disappointment with the big picture). The fact that their militia can protect raids, the fact of the free cost regular infantry, the fact of the free cost Couriers d'Bois, the Intendant card, and the 12 VPs for Quebec are all pretty formidable on their own.
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Ken Dilloo
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I don't think the French will be overpowered, as the British already have several card advantages. The lack of multiple settlers, for the French, is very limiting.

Seems as though the British now have a bunch more interesting decisions to make. Seems as though at least threatening Halifax/PR is a must. Must force the French to decide between full settle/raid approach, or all out defend Novia Scotia.
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bigloo33 wrote:
I don't think the French will be overpowered, as the British already have several card advantages. The lack of multiple settlers, for the French, is very limiting.

Seems as though the British now have a bunch more interesting decisions to make. Seems as though at least threatening Halifax/PR is a must. Must force the French to decide between full settle/raid approach, or all out defend Novia Scotia.
Agree Ken. The game is now as it should be...the Brits are strong militarily, and the French are good at raids and ambushes...very asymmetrical, should make for amazingly fun games.
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Clyde W
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Amaranth wrote:
On a first glance, I think the change to Home Support might make it a bad card in a thin deck. If you don't get it immediately after the reshuffle, you won't be able to draw cards with it, and it'll just clog your hand.
But it's a free action to play (slash discard) so it's not so bad. I think the card is still a must-draft card for both sides, even weakened as it is.
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Mark Kwasny
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I played four games over the past couple months against a very good player. We were both aware of the Halifax strategy and both chose to ignore it (in particular, we kept the decks larger than 10 cards - and though we did not discuss it, we never put location cards in Reserve). The French won 3 of those 4 games, and the liost the fourth by 2 points in a game that could have just as easily ended in a French win (I was the French and he outplayed me there at the end brilliantly!). He doesn't agree with me on this, but I feel the French have an advantage in the game (at least avoiding the small deck approach). Most of these changes (not the location card ban on the Reserve - that makes game and historical sense) are going to help the French. These changes limit British strategy. They will probably have no choice now but to go all out for money and military. Whereas the Halifax approach was a choice, now it will probably become a necessity to have any chance. Try as the British might, they will not be able to keep up with the French on Native allies, which means that enhanced raiding power alone may be a big problem. The British will have to fortify every avenue of approach or risk early destruction. I think that is the change that is too much. Combined with the slightly more streamlined French deck, and the French can go for the (raiding) throat fast and early.

Personally, if I play this game any more, I will continue to use the original rules. I think the British need that ability to raise lots of money and protect their military from raids. Hopefully the players who believe they broke the game with a British stratgey will now go gung-ho to see if the French can now overpower the British. My gut says the "fixes" have simply opened the door for worse problems. This is why I kept arguing against the need for a fix - many "fixes" from designers end up worse than the problem they are supposed to fix.
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mvkwasny wrote:
Personally, if I play this game any more, I will continue to use the original rules. I think the British need that ability to raise lots of money and protect their military from raids. Hopefully the players who believe they broke the game with a British stratgey will now go gung-ho to see if the French can now overpower the British. My gut says the "fixes" have simply opened the door for worse problems. This is why I kept arguing against the need for a fix - many "fixes" from designers end up worse than the problem they are supposed to fix.
Unless the fixes have created literally unbeatable very simple strategies, then no, they're not worse. Good thing is you can continue to play with the old rules and your unwritten rules layered on. Maybe your way is the absolute best way to go, but I find that most people seriously overestimate how good their house rules/unwritten rules are, so I'll stick with Wallace.
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Mark Kwasny
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AstroLad wrote:
Unless the fixes have created literally unbeatable very simple strategies, then no, they're not worse. Good thing is you can continue to play with the old rules and your unwritten rules layered on. Maybe your way is the absolute best way to go, but I find that most people seriously overestimate how good their house rules/unwritten rules are, so I'll stick with Wallace.

By admitting the original game didn't work, Martin Wallace has lost his credibility with this game. If the months or years he spent designing and developing the game produced a mistake, why would I assume his fix that he developed over a month or two will work?

I don't think the game needs any unwritten rules. We used them because we simply chose to try other strategies. But whether the Halifax strategy really was unstoppable or not, even I have played the game enough to know these fixes are likely a problem.
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Alex Rockwell
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mvkwasny wrote:


By admitting the original game didn't work, Martin Wallace has lost his credibility with this game.

No he didnt. Fixing a game flaw is a job of the designer/developer. It shows that he cares. The people who are opposed to this change are the ones without credibility.


Quote:
If the months or years he spent designing and developing the game produced a mistake, why would I assume his fix that he developed over a month or two will work?
It might not, but maybe it does, and all of the changes nerf the HH strategy, so its very promising. Even if it doesnt, trying to fix something broken is better than doing nothing.


Quote:

I don't think the game needs any unwritten rules. We used them because we simply chose to try other strategies. But whether the Halifax strategy really was unstoppable or not, even I have played the game enough to know these fixes are likely a problem.

The game was broken because there was a >90% win strategy. This change nerfs the most broken (small deck based) strategies on both sides and thus means that more other strategies are viable. We cant know yet if things are fixed, but thats way better than it definitely being broken. From my initial plays with it, I find the changes extremely interesting.

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mvkwasny wrote:

By admitting the original game didn't work, Martin Wallace has lost his credibility with this game.

LOL! I'm glad one of us is perfect.

Played with the modified rules against my wife, and I like. It feels like I think the game should feel. No locations in reserve slows down the French expansion and fur machine where you keep 8 cards on your deck playing home support every 1.5 turns and bringing in 6 to 8 gold as you expand.

Getting quebec raided 3 moves in was a wake up call too.
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Alex Rockwell
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mvkwasny wrote:
These changes limit British strategy. They will probably have no choice now but to go all out for money and military. Whereas the Halifax approach was a choice, now it will probably become a necessity to have any chance.

My experience is the exact opposite of this. Previously, there was one strategy for the british, and it always won. If you ever did anything else you were being terribly suboptimal.

Now, I find British develop strategy to be pretty strong, while going for the military is risky.

Quote:

Try as the British might, they will not be able to keep up with the French on Native allies, which means that enhanced raiding power alone may be a big problem. The British will have to fortify every avenue of approach or risk early destruction. I think that is the change that is too much. Combined with the slightly more streamlined French deck, and the French can go for the (raiding) throat fast and early.[/quote]

There are no areas where they can raid you early on at all, and if you go for a develop strategy, a fort on albany and deerfield will hold off ANY early raiding. And later one on Fort Duquesne. You are immune to raids with this. It weakens the Halifax settle because if you do that, you open yourself up to raids. But you can always let the french take halifax, and ignore nova scotia while settling/developing the main area.

To protect against ambushing, getting Rangers and keeping a moderately sized deck works very well. If they go ambush crazy their deck is full of indians and they make little progress.

[q]
Personally, if I play this game any more, I will continue to use the original rules. I think the British need that ability to raise lots of money and protect their military from raids.

This still exists. You can easily keep getting $6 as British, and getting Rangers and Fortification protects extremely well.

Quote:
This is why I kept arguing against the need for a fix - many "fixes" from designers end up worse than the problem they are supposed to fix.

I think if you were to play before against an experienced Hammer player, and you lost 10 straight (which you almost certianly would - or anyone would), you wouldve been calling for fixes.
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Dmitry Klyuykov
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The only complaint about new rules I have - is prohibition of putting location cards to reserve. Now settling and developing actions became more slow or luck dependent. In former version I could put St. Mary to reserve as boat and Quebek as settler. Now I should keep them in hand and wait when another suitable location will come...
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Alex Rockwell
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MoriQuessir wrote:
The only complaint about new rules I have - is prohibition of putting location cards to reserve. Now settling and developing actions became more slow or luck dependent. In former version I could put St. Mary to reserve as boat and Quebek as settler. Now I should keep them in hand and wait when another suitable location will come...

Not being able to reserve Pemaquid and St Marys as British is the change that stops the HH. It stops the super small deck broken strategies for both sides.
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Jim Leesch
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Oh, 24 hours too late for my 2 player games evening! Oh, well, must try again tomorrow. Thanks for the patch, Martin!
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Thanks Martin. We appreciate the solution.
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It makes much more sense to settle "useless" locations now, to be used as staging points for raids.
I burned down Quebec twice as the Brits by settling Fort Halifax!
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mvkwasny wrote:
By admitting the original game didn't work, Martin Wallace has lost his credibility with this game. If the months or years he spent designing and developing the game produced a mistake, why would I assume his fix that he developed over a month or two will work?

If a buggy video game came out, and was never patched or addressed, I would be concerned. Since Wallace answered calls of a 'broken' game shows that he has credibility.

We all know that Home Support and the reserve were the major issues here, and they have been addressed. My only agreement with you is that perhaps the raiding boost really pushes the momentum the other way towards the French.
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Ken Dilloo
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Yeah, but it cuts both ways. As people have already mentioned here, the Brits can nip Quebec from Fort Halifax, and do it early without Kennebec, that is huge.
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Gavan Brown
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When I saw this:



The "no locations in the reserve" is extremely interesting. I love it!
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RoosterJuice wrote:
When I saw this:



The "no locations in the reserve" is extremely interesting. I love it!

thumbsup - just for the "vic"...
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mvkwasny wrote:
If the months or years he spent designing and developing the game produced a mistake, why would I assume his fix that he developed over a month or two will work?
I'm a software developer by profession. The software my group creates can take months or years to develop. No matter how much we test it, it's inevitable that when we release it there will be bugs. That's just the nature of designing a complex system. Sometimes a seemingly small bug can create large problems. But typically, the fix for such a bug is trivial to implement. Just because a bug causes severe problems doesn't mean that the solution needs to be complex, or that it should take a long time to implement.
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Do we agree that Magic, the gathering is brilliant? Nice piece of work by Richard Garfield, huh?
Well the expoitations couldn't be avoided and "broken" cards were printed out on release, but the PLAYERS broke it, not the DESIGNERS. Deck building games are prone to be "broken" by experienced players but you cannot flame and blame the designer!
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Alexfrog wrote:
MoriQuessir wrote:
The only complaint about new rules I have - is prohibition of putting location cards to reserve. Now settling and developing actions became more slow or luck dependent. In former version I could put St. Mary to reserve as boat and Quebek as settler. Now I should keep them in hand and wait when another suitable location will come...

Not being able to reserve Pemaquid and St Marys as British is the change that stops the HH. It stops the super small deck broken strategies for both sides.

Sometimes you must sacrifice something useful for the greater good. It hurts but not as much as a HH.
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Pierre Philippe Goyer
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Thanks Martin for the fix.

Although I am not sure that the game deserved a fix:

- I appreciate that the changes will now force players to be more cautious about what is going inland: Settling, raids, fortifications, priest, indian leader...

Great game

Owll
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I know Chris wrote:
Dearlove wrote:
I will, once the new year is over and I have consulted with Martin, add these to the FAQ list. The main issue is exactly how to present them, including wording. I guess this will take a week or two (but don't hold me to that).

but has anyone else noticed rule 4 as currently worded is a bit buggy?

Frog1 wrote:
4. Home Support - you can only take cards from your draw deck, so if you had fewer than three cards available you would only be able to draw these. Consequently, the only time you shuffle your discard pile is when you need to refill your hand at the end of the turn and your draw deck is exhausted.

Specifically i thought the reshuffle rule was when the draw pile is empty (without regard to needing to draw at that moment as the rule is "As soon as your draw deck is exhausted you shuffle your discard pile and place it face down to form a new draw deck.") so if i home support to empty the deck before or after using an action to draft a card into the discard results in it being in or not being in the shuffle. (and the above rule's wording of consequently the only time you shuffle isn't quite right as its not a given consequence). If the rule wants to say also only reshuffle in phase 3 its one thing but it doesn't as reshuffle is worded now.

or maybe I've just missed something as admittedly I've not read all the threads.

edit: The fix may be to say if anytime during phase 3 the deck is empty reshuffle (before during or after drawing) -- and notice that fixes home support as reshuffling waits until phase 3 and home support can still only draw whats available in phase 2 without having the reshuffle to bring in more cards.
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Christopher Dearlove
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wtrollkin2000 wrote:
I know Chris wrote:
Dearlove wrote:
I will, once the new year is over and I have consulted with Martin, add these to the FAQ list. The main issue is exactly how to present them, including wording. I guess this will take a week or two (but don't hold me to that).

but has anyone else noticed rule 4 as currently worded is a bit buggy?

Frog1 wrote:
4. Home Support - you can only take cards from your draw deck, so if you had fewer than three cards available you would only be able to draw these. Consequently, the only time you shuffle your discard pile is when you need to refill your hand at the end of the turn and your draw deck is exhausted.

Specifically i thought the reshuffle rule was when the draw pile is empty

An earlier change by Martin that is in the FAQ list changed this to reshuffle when you need to draw from an empty draw deck (to avoid a different messy case) and the new rule 4 is (obviously) intended to be played with that. (This is a, but not the only, reason why a little care is needed in updating the FAQ list.)

Putting those two together you draw in two ways:

Normal end of turn draw, up to five cards. If you need more cards then are in the draw deck then reshuffle to discard pile and carry on drawing, but if you run the draw deck out and don't need any more cards, stop. This is the only time that your discard pile is ever shuffled to form a new draw deck.

Home Support. Draw three cards, except stop when the draw deck runs out. Never reshuffle your deck. Note that the previous complication of only adding Home Support to your discard pile after you finish drawing is now unnecessary.

Note that I am not suggesting those are final wordings for the FAQ list or for any other purpose. (That would be true even if I had the final say, which of course I don't.)

If you think with that clarification there's still a problem, do let us know.

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