Postgame Comments - 30 Jan - THE NEW SCIENCE
In THE NEW SCIENCE, players are a famous scientist trying to get the most prestige by researching, experimenting, and then publishing scientific results. The historic scientists are asymmetrical with benefits for certain aspects of the game and there will be a dose of randomness (“happening” cards as well as a die roll for experiments). To mitigate the “randomness” of the cards, we did opt to reveal the top card of the deck to allow players to plan for the card before it arrived. We couldn’t do anything about the die roll, but then again in real life, experimentation is not a certainty.
Looking through the forums, it does appear we did make a few minor mistakes. Only one cube per REST action. (As an aside, the publisher has admitted their intention was that the cubes are placed 1-2-3 as players vie for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place and that the choice of words in the rule book wasn’t the best.) Another mistake is that the REST action is resolved before the CARD action. As a result, Robert Hooke (move another player’s energy cubes) cannot affect the Rest cubes as they have been resolved. Otherwise, we got the rest of it spot on.
The game does have a bit of a balancing act. Players can gain knowledge of a technology via experimentation. That knowledge is sufficient to move up the technology tree, but awards no points. Publishing the experimental results gains points, but also shares the knowledge with the other players who now can build upon the published results. As a result, part of the game is in managing the choke points in the tech tree to one’s advantage.
As the game nears its conclusion, the decision space actually narrows down quite rapidly as there are very limited options to all the players. As a result, there is a bit of jostling for turn order as well as action denial. This happened in our game as Dave was on the brink of publishing the last top level advancement to end the game. Rich did take the publish action to at least try to eke out a few more points before the end of the game. (As it happened, the “happening” deck also ran out at the same time, so both game clocks were in sync ending the game at 14 turns). On the last turn, Rich saw a chance for a final publish for points, but overlooked that when Dave published his results, his prerequisite experimental results (where Rich was trying to publish) would also become published automatically. Better for Rich would have been to acquire Rest points to gain influence for their end game bonus. It wouldn’t have affected the relative places in the game, just tightened up the final scores:
Tim: 33 / Rich: 27 / Dave: 25
Tim did a good job of publishing along the way including one each in the top two levels of the tech tree. Dave actually had the most published discoveries/inventions which did net an end game bonus, but quite a few were pre-requisite publications that were automatically published with a higher level publication. No points for publication, but adding to the publication count.