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Scythe» Forums » Variants

Subject: Has anyone tried drafting factions and player mats? rss

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Anthony Faber
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Our group is going to play our first game on Saturday and I've read the rules backwards and forwards. My one concern is that the random distribution of factions and player mats may give different players advantages and disadvantages.

As the title of this post asks, has anyone tried drafting factions and player mats in a snake draft (in a four player game, this means 1/2/3/4/4/3/2/1, for instance)? While random seems fine for our first game, I think that later on players may want more choice and more balance.
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Patrick G.
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maxlongstreet wrote:

Our group is going to play our first game on Saturday and I've read the rules backwards and forwards. My one concern is that the random distribution of factions and player mats may give different players advantages and disadvantages.

As the title of this post asks, has anyone tried drafting factions and player mats in a snake draft (in a four player game, this means 1/2/3/4/4/3/2/1, for instance)? While random seems fine for our first game, I think that later on players may want more choice and more balance.

I am intrigue by this. But honestly I think it would take many people at least two plays to start to see the synergies between the boards.
 
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Alex Ronke
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I think this is a solid idea.

I would even take it a step further, using a system like that of Risk Legacy.

Scythe Snake Draft Rules

Pick a random order for your snake draft, then lay out all the following on a table:
- Faction Mats
- Player Mats
- Something to represent the 7 Starting Locations (and some way of covering/replacing the symbols on the board)
- Something to represent Player Order (cards numbered 1-7)

The snake draft will have four passes total. Note that the 2nd pass repeats in the third rather than snaking back.

1234567
7654321
7654321
1234567

In each pass, a player can pick up any element from the set from a type they don't have yet. In the first pass, one player might get a Faction, while another player gets a Player Mat, and so on.

Play no longer starts with the lowest numbered faction mat, but rather with whoever took Player Order 1. Players should arrange themselves around the table in that order instead of board starting location.
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Patrick G.
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I like this idea.
Although isn't there a link between starting location and the waterwalk abilities?
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Pauly Paul
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maxlongstreet wrote:

Our group is going to play our first game on Saturday and I've read the rules backwards and forwards. My one concern is that the random distribution of factions and player mats may give different players advantages and disadvantages.

As the title of this post asks, has anyone tried drafting factions and player mats in a snake draft (in a four player game, this means 1/2/3/4/4/3/2/1, for instance)? While random seems fine for our first game, I think that later on players may want more choice and more balance.


I think if your group wants to have a little more control over their mats than the snake draft (I didn't know it had that name, thanks) is an excellent and simple way to deal with it.
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Alex Ronke
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corkysru wrote:
I like this idea.
Although isn't there a link between starting location and the waterwalk abilities?


I'm quite sure Mr. Stegmaier definitely had some intention there, but I'm not sure it's too disrupted by allowing a choice of starting location ...especially when those locations aren't just being handed out randomly.
(Edit: this apparently isn't the case, as discussed below)


It might be smart to omit the two expansion starting locations (green & purple) for games where those factions aren't an option. One may need to see what rules come with the expansion before making that call.

After work today, I'll see if I can put together some rough cards and tiles to use for covering up the Faction Symbols on the board, making them more generic.

Ideas for new names below. They come from a book that also deals with fictional Eastern European locations.

Orig. Color Pos. New Name
======= ====== ==== ===========
Polania White W Cavedagna
Albion Green NW Kauderer
Nordic Blue N Örkko
Rusviet Red E Porphyrich
Togawa Purple SE Takakumi
Crimea Yellow S Uzzi-Tuzii
Saxony Black SW Vandervelde
 
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timbob1907 Tim
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I've wanted to do this but I'm worried that it'll throw something off in the game. I might give it a try next time. I'd like to add more to the draft but I think starting territories are too closely tied to faction abilities and riverwalk. So I'll just stick with player and faction mats
If there was a legacy version of Scythe where you could draft all of the starting bonuses that would be sick. But again balancing would be an issue
 
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Stephen Eckman
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venrondua wrote:
snake draft (I didn't know it had that name, thanks)

Also sometimes called serpentine draft.
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Alex Ronke
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timbob1907 wrote:
I've wanted to do this but I'm worried that it'll throw something off in the game. I might give it a try next time. I'd like to add more to the draft but I think starting territories are too closely tied to faction abilities and riverwalk. So I'll just stick with player and faction mats
If there was a legacy version of Scythe where you could draft all of the starting bonuses that would be sick. But again balancing would be an issue


I wouldn't use any form of draft for the first playthroughs. This is more for players who know the game well enough to know what Riverwalk abilities would be a blessing or curse for particular positions on the board.

You could also have the Riverwalk abilities themselves drafted, but that seems a bridge too far in terms of keeping track of it.
 
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Jamey Stegmaier
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I think a draft would work fine for people who already know how to play Scythe. But you definitely need to stick with the same home bases for each faction--please don't start from another home base. Riverwalk is very carefully calibrated so you can't move out of your home area and then move directly into an opponent's home area. We tested that significantly, and it was very frustrating to players (the original version of Riverwalk allowed you to cross any river, and playtesters did not like it for the reason stated here).
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Alex Ronke
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jameystegmaier wrote:
I think a draft would work fine for people who already know how to play Scythe. But you definitely need to stick with the same home bases for each faction--please don't start from another home base. Riverwalk is very carefully calibrated so you can't move out of your home area and then move directly into an opponent's home area. We tested that significantly, and it was very frustrating to players (the original version of Riverwalk allowed you to cross any river, and playtesters did not like it for the reason stated here).


Interesting. What if, in the variant, Riverwalk abilities are paired with starting location, but not with faction?
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Alex Ronke
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Something along these lines:

Orig. Color Pos. New Name Riverwalk
======= ====== ==== =========== ==================
Polania White W Cavedagna Villages & Mountains
Albion Green NW Kauderer Farms & Tundra
Nordic Blue N Örkko Forests & Mountains
Rusviet Red E Porphyrich Farms & Villages
Togawa Purple SE Takakumi Forests & Villages
Crimea Yellow S Uzzi-Tuzii Farms & Tundra
Saxony Black SW Vandervelde Forests & Mountains
 
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Patrick G.
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jameystegmaier wrote:
I think a draft would work fine for people who already know how to play Scythe. But you definitely need to stick with the same home bases for each faction--please don't start from another home base. Riverwalk is very carefully calibrated so you can't move out of your home area and then move directly into an opponent's home area. We tested that significantly, and it was very frustrating to players (the original version of Riverwalk allowed you to cross any river, and playtesters did not like it for the reason stated here).

HA! I called it! I figured there was!
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timbob1907 Tim
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jameystegmaier wrote:
I think a draft would work fine for people who already know how to play Scythe.

That's all that I needed to hear! Next time I play with experienced players I'll suggest doing a draft for the faction and player mats. I like the excitement of having to work with what you get, but sometimes it's nice to have a little more control
 
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timbob1907 Tim
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kingalces wrote:
Interesting. What if, in the variant, Riverwalk abilities are paired with starting location, but not with faction?


I think there are also other factors that balance the factions with their starting locations. For example the Nordics don't have villages close by and I think Polania is close to a useful lake. You would be tearing down a lot of balancing just to try and build it back up.
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Alex Ronke
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timbob1907 wrote:


I think there are also other factors that balance the factions with their starting locations. For example the Nordics don't have villages close by and I think Polania is close to a useful lake. You would be tearing down a lot of balancing just to try and build it back up.


That's fair. It's probably more hassle than it's worth to make all that modular and draftable.

 
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