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Scythe» Forums » Variants

Subject: New rules, for a better and more interesting game rss

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Victor Pluntky
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Though this game looks good (visually) it lacks in its mechanics for me with not many interesting choices and your starting position and action board dictating pretty much all your moves during the first half of the game. I.e. just try to maximise action efficiency by being able to perform both top and bottom actions, especially the bottom action that gives you three coins (if you have one) dictating even more what you "should" do.

So here are some improvements that made this game more interesting for my gaming group. Feel free to try it yourself and comment. I will upload a file of the redesigned action board as soon as I can.

1. Action boards bottom actions are all the same.
This simplifies the Enlist ability which is very annoying to keep track of when everyone's board is different.
It balances the otherwise unbalanced Boards where 3, 2, 1 money tends to be better than 2, 2, 2, the one with 3 on the upgrade action is also too strong as this can be performed with use 6 times instead of 4.
Speeds up the game.
No bonus money for no reason, forces you to use the Gain action as well and upgrading it might actually be a good choice (not is is just redundant).
Unified action board bottom actions:
Upgrade: 1-4 oil
Mech: 1-4 Metal
Building: 1-4 Wood
Enlist: 1-4 Food
Not every action can be upgraded to the last possible spot creating interesting choices as to which path is the most efficient, still has a minimum cost of 1 resource.

2. Tokens for marking controlled territory where there are no citizens or buildings.
(will upload a file with these simple tokens later as well, wooden tokens in the appropriate colour also works).
This would make the move action more interesting as spreading out to control more hexes would actually be beneficial for scoring points at the end of the game.
A controlled area with no workers not mechs or characters would of course be lost as soon as an enemy moved into it.
Makes map awareness and area control more interesting and thematic as it increases potential for scoring points. Also might make it worth attacking a region to break a defensive line that protects unguarded areas worth many points.

3. Give all buildings an added bonus other that that it provides to it's associated action by removing it.
The Mine already has this but the others could use it too.
Monument: Enemy troops that move int this area loose 1 popularity.
Armoury: +1 to combat where you are the defender in this hex.
The Mill: it is the opposite of the above two buildings as it only produces one item of the area where it is located and is probably the worst building. Giving it the ability to produce one resource of your choice as well as one of the resources of where it is located makes it stronger.

4. Other things. (ideas not yet implemented)
- Some redesign of the player powers might be fun too.
- Ability to attack but only suffer 1 popularity decrease total by letting the citizens retreat to an adjacent hex and keep any resources.
- Stronger Factory cards, so far these have never decided a single game played since they are all pretty weak. The only reason for getting to the factory now it to complete an objective and the end game points.
- Mines are one-way or only work to move to closest other mine, right no it feels to strong like some weird teleporter
- Add a more graduated popularity track with more bands in between the current ones that award half point increments.
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Jason Miller
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So, you propose making the game "better" by removing asymmetry?

That's a bold strategy, Cotton.
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Mathue Faulk
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I recommend softening your subject line. Otherwise, you're just inviting antagonism...
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Mathue Faulk
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binnet wrote:

The Mill: it is the opposite of the above two buildings as it only produces one item of the area where it is located and is probably the worst building. Giving it the ability to produce one resource of your choice as well as one of the resources of where it is located makes it stronger.

It doesn't just activate a single resource. It activates an entire hex. If you control 3 hexes with 2 workers each, and you haven't upgraded your production...but you have a Mill, then you can produce 7 resources instead of just 4. Granted, if you don't have any other workers on that same hex, then it's only a single resource....but that's poor planning.
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Victor Pluntky
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laserjudas wrote:
So, you propose making the game "better" by removing asymmetry?

That's a bold strategy, Cotton.


You might want to be more specific with your statements as to what you are referring to.

The player powers are enough asymmetry. Right not the actions boards are more "imbalanced" than "individualistic".

Having to pay 2 or 4 for a certain action hardly makes it an interesting player power. At least giving the player the choice of which action to upgrade and how put some choice back in the game.
 
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Victor Pluntky
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mfaulk80 wrote:
I recommend softening your subject line. Otherwise, you're just inviting antagonism...


People who are fan boys and love the game it is can stay clear of this post if they wish. =)
The post is true to the title.
If they can't back up their claims with some actual reasoning I will assume they know nothing or value.
 
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Mathue Faulk
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binnet wrote:
mfaulk80 wrote:
I recommend softening your subject line. Otherwise, you're just inviting antagonism...


People who are fan boys and love the game it is can stay clear of this post if they wish.
If they can't back up their claims with some actual reasoning I will assume they know nothing or value.

Well, you're not exactly inviting discussion with that attitude.
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Derry Salewski
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binnet wrote:

People who are fan boys and love the game it is can stay clear of this post if they wish. =)


Cutest. Post. Ever.

(Unless someone puts up a cat banana which would probably be cuter . . . )
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Jason Brown
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binnet wrote:
mfaulk80 wrote:
I recommend softening your subject line. Otherwise, you're just inviting antagonism...


People who are fan boys and love the game it is can stay clear of this post if they wish.
If they can't back up their claims with some actual reasoning I will assume they know nothing or value.

Honestly, all your ideas would make the game worse for me. But, it's your game and you can play it however you want.

Calling folks names isnt going to invite friendly discussion, and neither will dismissing opposing opinions as not using reason.

Edit: I predict this thread will be locked before it reaches the third page...
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Mathue Faulk
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How does your first variant make Enlist any easier to keep track of since the bottom row actions are already all in the same order? You're only eliminating a money reward which doesn't change anything regarding Enlist.
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Victor Pluntky
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mfaulk80 wrote:
How does your first variant make Enlist any easier to keep track of since the bottom row actions are already all in the same order? You're only eliminating a money reward which doesn't change anything regarding Enlist.


I could probably have been more clear on that point. I have all the sets of actions the same for the players boards. I.e. Production is always followed by upgrade.
 
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Mathue Faulk
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binnet wrote:
laserjudas wrote:
So, you propose making the game "better" by removing asymmetry?

That's a bold strategy, Cotton.


You might want to be more specific with your statements as to what you are referring to.

The player powers are enough asymmetry. Right not the actions boards are more "imbalanced" than "individualistic".

Having to pay 2 or 4 for a certain action hardly makes it an interesting player power. At least giving the player the choice of which action to upgrade and how put some choice back in the game.

By equalizing the coin values of the bottom boards, you are only highlighting certain combinations of actions. The coins are not the only driving force for action selection...the action combinations are just as important, if not more so. Certain top row actions combo better with certain bottow row actions, but this was previously balanced a bit more. Additionally, and more easily discussed, certain top row actions were combo'd with certain coin values more often.

For example, you've made Trade a much more viable option to Production, which eliminates some of the needs for board control. Before, Trade was always combo'd with the weakest lower action in terms of coins, so it was not a very efficient action to take for the most part. Meanwhile, Production always produced 2 coins. You've completely leveled the field and made the less interesting action just as strong. Sure you can Produce more than Trade, but it comes with a cost....you've only made Trade more appealing and Production less appealing.

Meanwhile, Bolster has become MUCH less attractive. Previously, it was almost always combo'd with the 3 coin action (except the Mechanical board which doesn't have a 3 coin). You've eliminated that strength of the Bolster ability. Since this action is now less attractive, you may also be messing with the balance of the military aspects of the game.

In other words, I don't think you've thought through the ramifications of your proposed variant. It's not as simple as you're making it out to be...
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Richard Sampson
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binnet wrote:
laserjudas wrote:
So, you propose making the game "better" by removing asymmetry?

That's a bold strategy, Cotton.


You might want to be more specific with your statements as to what you are referring to.

The player powers are enough asymmetry. Right not the actions boards are more "imbalanced" than "individualistic".

Having to pay 2 or 4 for a certain action hardly makes it an interesting player power. At least giving the player the choice of which action to upgrade and how put some choice back in the game.
Those prices are in conjunction with the top/bottom pair which is different on all of the boards. For instance the things below produce and trade need to be priced differently from the others since those bottom actions are inherently easier to do in an efficient manner. The symmetry you are creating actually creates a more clear cut efficient advancement that does not exist in the original game.

Also you need for 3 is strictly a by product of making 2. The building already provide a marker for holding territory that is limited and provides interesting decisions via the placement bonus.
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Mathue Faulk
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binnet wrote:
mfaulk80 wrote:
How does your first variant make Enlist any easier to keep track of since the bottom row actions are already all in the same order? You're only eliminating a money reward which doesn't change anything regarding Enlist.


I could probably have been more clear on that point. I have all the sets of actions the same for the players boards. I.e. Production is always followed by upgrade.

So you're not making the bottom row actions the same...you're making the entire action board the same? Is that correct?

In that case, I have to argue that the players are absolutely not enough asymmetry IMO. You're free to play how you want, but to me, that just seems bland.
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James Mathias
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How many times did you play the game before you decided to redesign it?
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Victor Pluntky
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mfaulk80 wrote:
binnet wrote:
laserjudas wrote:
So, you propose making the game "better" by removing asymmetry?

That's a bold strategy, Cotton.


You might want to be more specific with your statements as to what you are referring to.

The player powers are enough asymmetry. Right not the actions boards are more "imbalanced" than "individualistic".

Having to pay 2 or 4 for a certain action hardly makes it an interesting player power. At least giving the player the choice of which action to upgrade and how put some choice back in the game.

By equalizing the coin values of the bottom boards, you are only highlighting certain combinations of actions. The coins are not the only driving force for action selection...the action combinations are just as important, if not more so. Certain top row actions combo better with certain bottow row actions, but this was previously balanced a bit more. Additionally, and more easily discussed, certain top row actions were combo'd with certain coin values more often.

For example, you've made Trade a much more viable option to Production, which eliminates some of the needs for board control. Before, Trade was always combo'd with the weakest lower action in terms of coins, so it was not a very efficient action to take for the most part. Meanwhile, Production always produced 2 coins. You've completely leveled the field and made the less interesting action just as strong. Sure you can Produce more than Trade, but it comes with a cost....you've only made Trade more appealing and Production less appealing.

Meanwhile, Bolster has become MUCH less attractive. Previously, it was almost always combo'd with the 3 coin action (except the Mechanical board which doesn't have a 3 coin). You've eliminated that strength of the Bolster ability. Since this action is now less attractive, you may also be messing with the balance of the military aspects of the game.

In other words, I don't think you've thought through the ramifications of your proposed variant. It's not as simple as you're making it out to be...


I think you missed the part that bottom row actions don't provide coins. This makes trade a hard choice as it costs you your heard earned money. How the game was you always had money and paying a cost never meant you were close to going broke. You never had to take a top row action that provided coins because you didn't have any.

By limiting money in the game you actually have to make interesting choices between the top row actions that costs money, do you really need the power bolster provides or would you rather have two resources of your choice.

It feels like your whole argument is based around the fact that money is never a limited resource (it ever was before).
 
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Mathue Faulk
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binnet wrote:


I think you missed the part that bottom row actions don't provide coins. This makes trade a hard choice as it costs you your heard earned money. How the game was you always had money and paying a cost never meant you were close to going broke. You never had to take a top row action that provided coins because you didn't have any.

By limiting money in the game you actually have to make interesting choices between the top row actions that costs money, do you really need the power bolster provides or would you rather have two resources of your choice.

It feels like your whole argument is based around the fact that money is never a limited resource (it ever was before).

I didn't miss that. That was my entire point. The game as is does not willy nilly add coins wherever it wants. Those coins are there for a reason. The cost of coins for the Bolster action AND the loss of 3 coins with your variant completely slows down the military aspects of the game. My argument is that you're not understanding how deep your variant reaches into the basic gameplay.
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Richard Sampson
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binnet wrote:
I think you missed the part that bottom row actions don't provide coins. This makes trade a hard choice as it costs you your heard earned money. How the game was you always had money and paying a cost never meant you were close to going broke. You never had to take a top row action that provided coins because you didn't have any.

By limiting money in the game you actually have to make interesting choices between the top row actions that costs money, do you really need the power bolster provides or would you rather have two resources of your choice.

It feels like your whole argument is based around the fact that money is never a limited resource (it ever was before).
I am pretty sure you just doubled the length of the game for no reason other than to make people take the money action sometimes.

It doesn't make sense to go broke in a game where money is the victory condition. Any spending of money, regardless of how many you have is a cost of points at the end.
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Victor Pluntky
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jmathias wrote:
How many times did you play the game before you decided to redesign it?


5 plays that all felt very similar and mechanical. All with experienced players (in terms of modern boards games) Tried all different player counts (other than solo).
 
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Victor Pluntky
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mfaulk80 wrote:
binnet wrote:


I think you missed the part that bottom row actions don't provide coins. This makes trade a hard choice as it costs you your heard earned money. How the game was you always had money and paying a cost never meant you were close to going broke. You never had to take a top row action that provided coins because you didn't have any.

By limiting money in the game you actually have to make interesting choices between the top row actions that costs money, do you really need the power bolster provides or would you rather have two resources of your choice.

It feels like your whole argument is based around the fact that money is never a limited resource (it ever was before).

I didn't miss that. That was my entire point. The game as is does not willy nilly add coins wherever it wants. Those coins are there for a reason. The cost of coins for the Bolster action AND the loss of 3 coins with your variant completely slows down the military aspects of the game. My argument is that you're not understanding how deep your variant reaches into the basic gameplay.


I do understand that it removes a lot of the game. And I didn't much care for the game and rather play this new game using the components (which is by far the things with most value in the box).

It DOES just deal out coins here and there in its current format and all the costs paid in the game never feel like a cost at all
 
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Richard Sampson
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binnet wrote:
It DOES just deal out coins here and there in its current format and all the costs paid in the game never feel like a cost at all

The real cost in the game is resources, not money. Money = Points. You get points for being able to take the bottom row action.
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Stephen Miller
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binnet wrote:
laserjudas wrote:
So, you propose making the game "better" by removing asymmetry?

That's a bold strategy, Cotton.


You might want to be more specific with your statements as to what you are referring to.

The player powers are enough asymmetry.


Combinatorial variability is so much more interesting, though - Be it the 81 possible start set ups in Roll for the Galaxy's base set or Scythe's 25 possible combinations.

Quote:
Right not the actions boards are more "imbalanced" than "individualistic".


I... Think I'll take 750+ multiplayer playtests, plus enough solo playtests to push the total number of blind playtests to over 1000 over... Whatever you've got.

Now, obviously, no playtest catches everything, but... The player boards are probably roughly balanced, short of an as yet undiscovered Infinite Ore Combo or something like that Few Acres of Snow thing.
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James Mathias
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binnet wrote:
jmathias wrote:
How many times did you play the game before you decided to redesign it?


5 plays that all felt very similar and mechanical. All with experienced players (in terms of modern boards games) Tried all different player counts (other than solo).


5 plays isn't enough to determine that the game is flawed enough to warrent redesign, or have the experience necessary to make changes that won't have deep affect on purposeful game design decisions made by a person that spent 100s of hours working on it.

But it's plenty to know you don't like it.

So if after 5 games the game isn't something you enjoy, without gutting it. Why not play something else that is more appealing to you?
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Victor Pluntky
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jmathias wrote:
binnet wrote:
jmathias wrote:
How many times did you play the game before you decided to redesign it?


5 plays that all felt very similar and mechanical. All with experienced players (in terms of modern boards games) Tried all different player counts (other than solo).


5 plays isn't enough to determine that the game is flawed enough to warrent redesign, or have the experience necessary to make changes that won't have deep affect on purposeful game design decisions made by a person that spent 100s of hours working on it.

But it's plenty to know you don't like it.

So if after 5 games the game isn't something you enjoy, without gutting it. Why not play something else that is more appealing to you?


As I said I like the shell of the game but not the game itself. However with the changes I feel the game is more fun and I will actually play it again instead of getting rid of it.

I do play plenty of other games.
 
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Mathue Faulk
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binnet wrote:

It DOES just deal out coins here and there in its current format and all the costs paid in the game never feel like a cost at all

It's not here and there.

Bolster is always accompanied by a 3 coin action except the Mechanical Board which doesn't have a 3 coin action.

Trade is always accompanied by a 0 coin action.

Produce is always accompanied by a 2 coin action.

Move is always accompanied by a 1 coin action, except the Mechanical Baord which doesn't have a 1 coin action.

It's not willy nilly. The coins are associated with the Top Row action.
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