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Messages - ksasaki

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Innovation Game Reports / check out turn 16
« on: September 08, 2015, 08:39:58 pm »

I've played so many games now that not many games have that "wow" factor for me, but this turn was really ridiculous HG Wells Bifocaled Huygens madness with a little Marie Curie sprayed in.  I wasn't actually expecting to win, just a last ditch before my opponent achieved two standard achievements for the win.

Innovation Game Reports / Re: SPACEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!
« on: September 01, 2015, 09:18:21 pm »
nice to see you back bittorrent.  I knew I sensed a strong presence in the Force with your arrival :)  Love competition, and well played indeed.

Innovation Game Reports / Re: 10 achievements in one turn
« on: May 28, 2014, 12:31:42 pm »
I'm around, if I see you we can play.

This was in the E+F configuration, I dare anyone to beat this blue stack (I attached two screenshots because it couldn't fit in one even on my screen!)

Innovation General Discussion / Re: Making the jump to figures/cities?
« on: April 25, 2014, 03:33:40 pm »
Figures was a big jump for me.  Yes the sharing does add a new wrinkle, but I feel like it makes the game more balanced.  You know how in base how an early metalworking / clothing gives your opponent 1-3 or 1-4 and now they are just spamming pottery while you sit there helpless because they have the leaf lead?  Well now each of those achievements gives you figures to use.  I feel the same way in echoes but not in a scoring sense.  If someone has built up a powerful board of echoes (I'm looking at you blue splay left stack of doom), it becomes very difficult to do anything because they are basically getting 7-8 actions worth for your paltry 3-4.  The inspires are great too, because you can chain them and even if you are way behind in symbols.  I think E+F is the most balanced configuration of innovation.

Cities is not actually that hard to learn, the new achievements are simple to understand, and cities basically "endorse" other cards, which means you activate it twice (second activation not shared even if behind in symbols).  Endorsement is ungodly powerful with old base favorites like fermenting or paper.  It's fun when you're ahead, but it can be a drag if you fall behind.  I'm talking about all four at once.  Even those figures bonus draws seem paltry compared to the power of endorsement, because now they are using that uber powerful echoes stack 3 times in a turn.

I never play without echoes anymore: any game without echoes just seems like a scorefest.  But any game w/ echoes is a power fest.  So I guess it depends on what you like to do more.  Personally I like to build a massive board of death.  But that's just me the optimization player...

Innovation Game Reports / crazy game
« on: February 11, 2014, 09:47:01 pm »

Innovation Articles / Re: tips / tricks for echoes / figures
« on: January 23, 2014, 04:16:36 pm »
oh you guys, I said IN GENERAL about the echoes cards being more powerful.

also, i said critical mass for foreshadows to be about 3-4, implying you shouldn't foreshadow too much.  Also, if you've already seen the best cards in your forecast, chances are foreshadowing more will give you the less desirable ones.  So if you've found the almanac or the machinery, I suggest trying to get to that age ASAP and grinding that crap for all its worth.

Foreshadow is two actions, but what makes it more powerful than simply melding is you can execute it immediately after you meld it.  Thus, you could hit out with medicine and claim a critical achievement, or slam machinery down then meld the best card before they spam you with alchemy.

Innovation General Discussion / Re: My First Game of Innovation
« on: January 23, 2014, 03:59:17 pm »
Someone actually told me after I played a game, I had no idea before and honestly after you play enough you will have them committed to memory.  But every once in awhile I wonder how many cards can let my watermill or almanac get rolling, and actually 60% of all echoes cards have bonuses (ages 2-10 have 4 bonus cards = to the current age, and 2 bonus cards 1 age higher, in age 1, you have puppet the only 3, 2 2 bonuses, and 6 1 bonuses, again following the 2/3 are from the same age, and 1/3 from 1 or 2 ages higher)

Let me know if you have any other Qs, I'm happy to help.

Innovation General Discussion / Re: My First Game of Innovation
« on: January 23, 2014, 11:39:14 am »
Be careful about sargon and hatshepsut, they can be good situationally but they can also screw you up, esp sargon!

However, sargon tucked left can give you a "inspire" chain, similar to the echo chain you can achieve with a ruler / chopsticks.

One of my favorite theoretical "inspire chains" is shennong + sneferu + whatever yellow figure with an inspire on top. 

Btw if you were ever curious!

Innovation General Discussion / Re: My First Game of Innovation
« on: January 22, 2014, 02:34:11 pm »
I used to be scared of giving achievements away too.  But achievements last forever, and it's just one closer to a victory.  If I can achieve and only give my opponent age 1 or 2 figures, I am generally OK.  They really start to get wild around age 3 IMO.

There is a way you can actually do achieving offensively.  Say your opponent sped ahead in the tech race ~4-5 ages by math.  Chances are their hand is tiny.  If you have archery / construction you can achieve, forcing them to draw a figure, then immediately archery / construct their figure away!  Neat huh.

Getting a lot of those decrees is awesome, I am especially worried about an early expansion paired with sunglasses, or an early tigernmas war wiping out my board.  Other notable cool stuff is rhazes and ANY drawing mechanism card (novel, paper, lever).  Alhazen with a bunch of castles in red can zoom you up in ages really quickly as well.

I agree that industrialization in echoes+ would be a lot weaker if you drew X cards first, then tucked them.  The ability to tuck multiple echoes allows one to collect all the special achievements from both base AND echoes in short order (in addition to drawing those key 6 cities which start splaying things right / flag achievements in cities).  I felt that industrialization wasn't actually that strong in base, it was stuff like coal and canning.

Measurement is kinda the same idea; with base alone, it is a pretty good but not game-breaking card, simply because the stacks don't get that large in base.  But add even echoes and I felt like measurement was already kinda OP.

I felt like figures was a good expansion in the sense of balance (boy am I glad that figures was implemented online though, keeping track of all the figures exceptions in real life is a nightmare), and had less of a "runaway leader" phenomenon.

Cities, however, says here, have DOUBLE the effect of the ridiculous card.  So now the runaway leader is running twice as fast...

It is admittedly difficult to seamlessly integrate a new expansion while overlooking some OP possibilities from the base set.  But almanac came in OP, and now with endorsements, it is majorly OP.  Even figures is useful to almanac, because shared almanac is a figure share, so you can spam it even shared without having to rid your hand of the bonus echoes draw from before.

I also liked the initial city cards as non-achievements, and so your opponent had to be careful about putting cities out.  Now it's just a race to who can reach the ages of the special achievements  first (and it's usually the runaway leader....)

Innovation General Discussion / Re: My First Game of Innovation
« on: January 10, 2014, 04:05:19 pm »
welcome markusin, it's always nice to get new players.

a few quick tips i've learned from playing 1000s of games:

base: seems very scoring-centric.  Try to build up a score pile as early as possible and start achieving.

echoes: scoring still important, but pay particular attention to the echoes cards with left splay echoes (means the echo is on the right hand side of the card, as to be visible by a left splay).  Domestication / chopsticks tucked and wheel / umbrella tucked are two of my personal favorites.  Also, there are a LOT of left splay blue echoes cards.  They allow you to get a LOT of bang out of your actions.  Code of laws / flute are the cards you are looking for.  You heard it here first!

figures: good for balancing out if the other person starts claiming standard achievements like crazy.  Also, try to share if it doesn't give your opponent too much of an advantage

cities: endorse ALL THE TIME.  there's not much else to it.

I'd be happy to play a game with you and teach you some of my tricks.  I find that is the best way of teaching new players.

Even if you jump only one age at a time, almanac is still too overpowered.  Simply having the means to end the game in age 3 is ridiculous. 

I remember that game!  dougz had moved the inspire to the top of the cards, and I was still hunting around the left corner.  Nevertheless, it was pretty epic as I recall.  I remember that pressure cooker to remove 30 cards or so....

Innovation Articles / tips / tricks for echoes / figures
« on: December 10, 2013, 10:49:34 am »
Maybe we should make this an ongoing topic for anyone to add to?

(Note about comments, sorry about changing the topic, but this is in the "innovation articles" section)

This article is optimized for Echoes or Echoes + Figures play.  Your mileage may vary in other variants.   Sorted by E (echoes tricks) and F (figures tricks).

I might update this from time to time as I think of more...

E1) Never open with a bonus 2/3 card
Candles will be an instant tech up for your opponent to 3 on turn 1.  Not a good thing.

E2) Always open with a bonus 1 card
Or risk losing it to turn 1 flute.  Caveat of course is if your base 1 has at least 1 crown on it.

E3) Try to get either flute or code of laws
The splay left is enormously important in this configuration.

E4) Acquire 1 or more of flute / umbrella/ chopsticks / ruler
These are the first echoes in age 1 that can be used with a splayed left stack (relating to E3).  Domestication / chopsticks and umbrella / the wheel are ideal combos

E5) Resist the urge to tech up too quickly.
Realize that by leaving the 1 stack alone, you are giving your opponent all the good cards I have just listed.  Writing is a no-no, I'd say.  However, a turn 1 ruler can be a worthwhile risk.  Again, I advise staying in age 1 until you've got a good splayed stack ready.

E6) As a general rule of thumb, always try to draw echoes cards
In general, echoes cards are far more powerful than base cards.  The biggest potential is the killer splay left stack that can give you many many actions per turn.

E7) foreshadow, foreshadow, foreshadow
The power of foreshadow is enormous: 2 cards melded, 1 immediate effect.  Linguistics, bangle, and bell are the early ones, all excellent cards.  As far as a foreshadow size, I'd say 3-4 is a critical mass before you are really wasting actions IMO.  You will usually never realize the effect of all the cards before they become obsolete.  Yes destiny is nice, but also consider that you are wasting tempo that you could be using to build your board / find useful cards.  Also, try to foreshadow echoes (E6).

E8) The "drawing" cards to look for (ages 1-3)
wheel (1 green base), flute (1 purple echoes), comb (1 green echoes), fermenting (2 yellow base), lever (2 blue echoes), paper (3 green base), novel (3 purple echoes)

These cards allow you to draw 2+ cards, and are far more efficient that just straight up drawing.

E9) The "build power" cards to look for (ages 1-3)
domestication (1 yellow base), masonry (1 yellow base) mysticism (1 purple base), sailing (1 green base), perfume (1 blue echoes), code of laws (1 purple base), road building (2 red base), Pagoda (age 2 purple echoes), Optics (age 3 red base), Deodorant (age 3 yellow echoes)

E10) color themes (age 1 and comb ideas)
want to splay, pick purple
want to build power quickly, pick yellow
want to tech up, pick blue
want to catch up in tech, pick red
want to draw quicker, pick green

E11) The 3 "golden" cards to remember: almanac (3 blue echoes), measurement (5 green base), industrialization (6 red base)
These three have the ability to turn the game on its head.  Almanac, besides foreshadowing and a sweet left splay echo, can literally end the game in age 3.  Measurement can end the game (make sure you have a higher score) or give you a massive tech-up.  Industrialization while tucking echoes will give you ALL the special achievements in no time.  Watch out for these, and consider ways to remove them (road building an EXCELLENT low tech option hits measurement and industrialization, just make sure you have a red to throw to them so they don't boomerang it back to you).

E12) If behind on symbols, troll for all you're worth.  You might even cover their "engine" cards
Most if not all of the E9 cards become troll cards in later ages.  In figures you even get a bonus for sharing!

F1)* If you have a relatively harmless share, spam it for all it's worth
Some things that come to mind, perfume, horseshoes, sailing, mysticism.  Figures cards are VERY powerful indeed.  I haven't had enough experience with them to give a detailed run-through

F2)* Quick tech-up trick
I don't know if this has been addressed before, but if your opponent had an early lucky writing / ruler into a runaway tech lead, one viable tactic is what I call the achieve / steal trick, which is claim an achievement then immediately steal the bonus figure with archery.  The other card I always search for is perfume, but then if it was math they can just give you that, and your tech catchup is thwarted.  This trick can also be used with construction, because techers usually have no hand.

nobel is pretty good, but rowland can save you even if you're up shit creek in symbols.  I mean nobel is basically icing on the cake for your industrialized / reformed board.

In cities, it's easy enough to claim one of those flags or splay in some direction achievements, without cities maybe not so much.

If there is one card I wish were nerfed though if there could be only 1, it would be almanac.  I mean losing in age 3 is pretty demoralizing, and without many options to get rid of it.  Compass / horseshoes, perfume?  The point is there shouldn't be a card in age 3 that can end the game immediately, it's just silly.  Age 5 is even pushing it.  That's why when I made my list of 3 OP cards I said Measurement, Industrialization, and Almanac.  At least those OP heroes are in age 7, which is not particularly easy to get to.  Sure a lucky math maybe, but I found if the other player stays in 1 for awhile, there are enough weapons (archery and construction with the famous achieve / steal trick, perfume, horseshoes) that you can catch up fairly easily.  Almanac is fairly immune, kind of like fermenting.  Fermenting is definitely way OP in the cities version; however, before those 4 leaf cities and endorsements I'd say it's fine as is.

Innovation Game Reports / Re: Order is important
« on: December 05, 2013, 05:35:25 pm »
that's a funny point you bring up.  When I was playing with a friend the base game many ages ago before we knew all the rules, we thought "return" cards meant returning cards to the "TOP" of the stack, not the bottom.  This led to some very funny pottery / sailing trolls.  In some ways it's actually funner with our *WRONG* return rule than the correct one.  I know all about that order thing but I usually don't bother, for things like alchemy and comb it could prove very useful indeed!

As far as I am concerned, I don't think there should be any "instant-win" cards before age 8.  Age 8 just kind of makes sense for it to start working.

Almanac - instant win card, bad
Measurement - instant win card, bad
rowland hill - instant win card, bad
the weird archimedes / kepler + clock is weird, I've actually never been able to win with it, you have to draw both AND have a higher score, I'm ok with it ruining games once in awhile.

Anyone notice freaking fermenting is so sick now?  It's horrible....

Interestingly, I never got into dominion.  I remember playing it one evening at a friend's house, of course I got crushed (I believe it was a 4P game).  The whole deckbuilding theme is interesting to me, but I never did grasp the strategy like I did with innovation.  It was like magic, you needed some kind of ratio of "lands" to "enchantments" and "creatures" and I could never figure out what was the right balance.  I also feel like I tended to get hand screwed more often than not.  I think the other thing is I tend to do better in zero-sum games (innovation / chess), and this whole 3-5 player aspect just throws me off.  Maybe if I played more 2P dominion I would like it more, but apparently according to BGG it is best with 3....

AHoppy: I would be willing to give strategy primers to people including yourself.  Echoes was a little hard for me to pick up too (we went back to base after playing like 10 games initially back before online, we only revisited it after they amended the rules). 

But a couple simple rules to consider in echoes:
- In general, try to draw the echoes card
- Look for splaying left cards early (code of laws and flute), also look for the "golden four" flute ruler chopsticks umbrella which have echo effects that are visible on a splay left.  Wheel / umbrella and chopsticks / domestication.  Perfume is a perfect card for tucking those useful echoes.
- teching ahead is fun and can cascade, but it is dangerous because you leave all the juicy age 1s for your opponent.  An early writing I would not recommend.   However, a turn 1 ruler I would say is a reasonable move, since you can hope for linguistics, watermill, horseshoes, lever.
- NEVER EVER open with an echoes card with bonus >1.  The danger of turn 1 candles into an age 3 is way too dangerous.

I wish the log was a little more "interactive" so it would be easier for me to annotate it, so I could maybe circle moves and try to explain my rationale behind it.  However, my strategy is definitely a "power and control" strategy, there are scoring strategies like an early chopsticks / pottery that actually work.  I'm just not very good at it.

Innovation General Discussion / Re: Rule Change Proposal: Drawing Beyond 10
« on: November 27, 2013, 12:40:05 pm »
Measurement and Almanac are stupid.  I was thinking maybe measurement works for n/2 cards in the stack (or just a splay right and drawing an age 5 card would be plenty sick already, not to mention the bonus city card you get from splaying...), and almanac instead of scoring and drawing 1 age higher, just foreshadow a card EQUAL to the bonus that you scored, not one higher.

I love archery and perfume, can really equalize a very lucky teching streak, especially combined with that achieve forces you to draw, so your opponent can't do the draw / advance cycle with math or some other tech card and keep their hand empty.

Industrialization NEEDS to be changed, there is no doubt in my mind.  Since echoes it is so sick, I always have this horrible sense of dread when I see coke or my opp draw an age 6.  Change to for every 3 factories, or maybe even for every 4 factories :O.

Measurement NEEDS to be changed, it's the perfect recipe for your freshly reformed board to end the game, maybe something like the total number of cards divided by 2 (rounded up).  The stacks get so insane these days even that would be pretty powerful.

Almanac is just ridiculous, I think it should be score it and draw a card of the SAME value as the bonus (not one age higher), then it would be ok in my mind.  Not to mention almanac's echo is perfectly left positioned...

I think teching up only 2 ages a turn should be some kind of built in rule, it does feel like it spirals crazily out of control quickly now.  Age 4-5 cards are the ones where things really start to spiral out of control.

You guys think those cards are overpowered?  How about Fermenting / Reformation?  How about an early flute or lever?  I got lever on the 2nd turn was in age 4 getting age 4 cities by turn 3.    Fermenting with some of those leafy cities is especially OP.  If you got toothbrush too somehow, or flute under the reformation to splay the yellow stack left and right continuously....

Actually yesterday I was using a flute with machievelli endorsed to splay two colors right, then left again for 4 cities (up to 6 cities if you use it 3 times), then just toothbrush to tuck all the cities.

Archery: I agree with is quite powerful, especially a well timed achieve 1 + steal their forced draw.

Machinery: was always powerful, but endorsing it?  not really.

Slide Rule: has always been kinda OP, I'd say a more likely scenario though is all age 3 cards into age 8, which is still very powerful.

Measurement: I've been arguing this card is OP since echoes because of the instant end conditions.  Adding more cards is not really making it less powerful...

Rowland Hill: guy is just sick....just sick, most of the Age 7s are pretty sick, Darwin, Maxwell, etc.   If my opponent is in age 7 I make it a point to not achieve unless I will lose otherwise...

Bell: a good card, but not overpowered. 

Innovation General Discussion / Re: Cities! :O
« on: October 01, 2013, 02:09:16 pm »
I think the achievements should be attack cards to fit into the general theme.

Think about it:
echoes (blue) - light bulbs became that much more important
figures (green) - lots of culture / trade (scoring became more important again)
no place (red) - war, destruction, attack, burn
?? (purple) - purple feels like civics / religion, later more science
?? (yellow) - yellow feels like farming / agricultural later medicine

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