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Blueprints» Forums » Variants

Subject: Ideas to fix the geometer's prize rss

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The Chris
Japan
Kanagawa
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It's been a while but our game group just played this one again last night.

We still enjoy the game, and think it works out well most of the time. And yet, after playing the game twice nobody ever won, or even attempted to win, the geometer's prize. We discussed that unlike the other prizes only needing 4 or 5 dice to complete, the geometer's prize required all six to work. However, it only awards the same number of points as any of the easier to win prizes. It's difficulty was higher but the reward was the same.

Therefore, we adopted a new rule of only needing 5 out of 6 unique numbers to win. You could attempt to win the geometer's prize with one doubled number. This means that players no longer need all six dice to be in sequence, any five different numbers would qualify.

This brought the difficulty inline with the other prizes, and made the geometer's prize a competitive option again.

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Andrew Kreps
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I haven't noticed that prize being harder to win than the others. It might seem the hardest, but it is also much harder for your opponents to track your progress! It is fairly easy to notice when someone takes multiple dice of the same value or the same color. Tracking the geometer's prize means remembering every die each of your opponents has taken. Of course, if you are playing with people that can do this easily, then Blueprints is simply not the best game to play with them. Games with hidden goals work best when the goals stay hidden. Otherwise you might as well play without the screen!

Andrew
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The Chris
Japan
Kanagawa
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Well the other three prizes only require 4 or 5 dice to win. You could have one bad turn and still try to win. However, as the geometer's prize needs all six dice to win you cannot make a single mistake.

That absolute zero margin of error makes it the most difficult award to win, but the points you'd get is the same. Therefore, because all prizes offer the same points, the most logical move is to go for one of the others that are easier to achieve than the geometer's prize.

This was true in our games as nobody won the geometer's prize, and nobody even tried to win it. But once we changed the win conditions to 5 out of 6 different dice numbers then it became more possible to win and so people actually started to try.

This also took some of the pressure off the other prizes as the competition was finally spread across all 4 awards, instead of being concentrated on the other three.


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Mick Sullivan
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thechris01 wrote:
nobody even tried to win it.


Yes, I imagine not trying would make it very difficult to achieve. I bet not trying would make the other goals pretty tough too.

Edited to be a little more useful:
There was some discussion about the difficulties of the different goals in this thread, including an alternate scoring structure.

My group enjoys the game as-is, and the geometer's prize scores about once per game.
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The Chris
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You are right, that is exactly my point.

There is a difference between trying something and failing and not even trying at all. All the players decided independently that the risk vs reward of the geometer's prize just wasn't worth it compared to the other prizes. However, when we adjusted it to only needing 5/4 dice the prize suddenly became a better option and players were attempting to win it.

I've also seen that tread from the designer introducing an alternate scoring system, and it looks very cool, but we were looking for a very simple one-card variant as I didn't sleeve all the cards, and we didn't want to keep referring to a whole list of changes.

If your group only manages to score it once per game, how often are they scoring the other prizes? Do you find the the geometer's prize is consistently won the least out of all the other other prizes? If so, I'd recommend giving this variant a try the next time you play. You might also see an increase in people attempting to win it.

Finally, the other option we discussed would be to keep the the geometer's prize as is, still needing all six dice to be perfect, but raising the points to 3 to better reflect the increased difficulty in getting it. We did not have an opportunity to play it this way, but it was discussed. If a player is going to commit their entire round to only achieve a single prize, then it should be worth it.

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Mr. Orange
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I'm late to the discussion but I find the Geometer's Prize to pair nicely with the Materials Prize and the Skyscraper Prize. If you can start your strategy with two prizes in mind, sometimes you win only one and sometimes you get both for twice as many points. It can even fall into your lap kind of as a bonus. Changing the reward in this case might be too much.
 
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