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Hands in the Sea» Forums » General

Subject: Would this be playable with the event deck? rss

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Miles Stevenson
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I'm interested in picking this up, but I don't know if I'll like the random event deck. I know some of you who have played the game might be tempted to sing the praises of the event deck. And maybe you're right, maybe it's awesome. Buuuut....

I'm just wondering how easy you guys think it would be to play without it? Would it throw off the game or complicate things significantly? Would other parts of the game need to be adjusted?

Thanks.
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Judd Vance
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You could play without it. I think it takes away something from the game that as a history-loving wargamer, I prefer, but it is certainly playable.

Keep in mind that the expansion pack offers 5 alternate toned-down random events. You replace the ones in the deck with these. Those were put in there specifically for those who don't like to unleash the dogs of the war. You might prefer that option.
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Miles Stevenson
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airjudden wrote:
You could play without it. I think it takes away something from the game that as a history-loving wargamer, I prefer, but it is certainly playable.

Keep in mind that the expansion pack offers 5 alternate toned-down random events. You replace the ones in the deck with these. Those were put in there specifically for those who don't like to unleash the dogs of the war. You might prefer that option.


Thanks, Judd. I agree, I might like the events. But I'm at that stage where I'm not going to buy a new game unless I get rid of something else, so having that option makes it less risky for me.

Do you think anything else in the game would been to be adjusted or re-balanced without the event deck? Should it really be as simple as just skipping whatever phase/step calls for an event card to be drawn & resolved? That would be pretty great actually if I could treat the event deck like an optional module.

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Thomas Leitner
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I played once, and really disliked the events, but I tend to dislike that sort of randomness in games. I feel like it makes the game far too swingy.

I will likely play without the events next time. I seriously doubt it will affect balance. I have no idea why the author chose to include this deck in the first place.
 
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Jon McVety
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Part of the issue with A Few Acres of Snow was the very static nature of the game, which allowed for exploits that were very difficult to counter. I loved (and continue to love) AFAOS but play it in spite of its issues.

The event deck adds some flair, forcing on-the-fly adjustments to strategies; like when your best laid plans are suddenly thrown into disarray because the city you were planning to use in your grand campaign has suddenly revolted. Makes the game more fun and adds to replayability.
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Stephen Jacobsen
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MDJD wrote:
I played once, and really disliked the events, but I tend to dislike that sort of randomness in games. I feel like it makes the game far too swingy.

I will likely play without the events next time. I seriously doubt it will affect balance. I have no idea why the author chose to include this deck in the first place.


I remember reading in some thread that the designer actually disliked events in general as well. He chose to include them because as he did research into the history of the conflict, "random events" actually had huge impacts on what happened during that time. He chose to include them in order to more accurately model the conflict.
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Daniel Berger
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The random events are tilted slightly against the Roman player, so removing them will probably make life more difficult for the Carthaginians.

Also, several of the strategy cards will be affected. Without the random events there's no risk for taking the Corvus, for example.

I don't think it would work very well without them. As Judd mentioned, you can always play with the "wimpy" alternate events instead.
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Miles Stevenson
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djberg96 wrote:
The random events are tilted slightly against the Roman player, so removing them will probably make life more difficult for the Carthaginians.

Also, several of the strategy cards will be affected. Without the random events there's no risk for taking the Corvus, for example.

I don't think it would work very well without them. As Judd mentioned, you can always play with the "wimpy" alternate events instead.


Thanks! I'll mull it over for a while and see if there is something on my shelf I'm willing to get rid of to try it out.
 
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Luke Heidebrecht
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I was a little turned off by the randomness of the events after my two plays. I played Carthage - and, while Daniel is probably right that the events are tilted towards punishing the Romans - the vast majority hit me pretty hard as Carthage.

My thought was that rather than have the events impact only one player on a die roll that they either impact both players or don't happen at all based on a die roll.
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Tim Park
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I enjoyed the Strategy and Event cards, but myself had the impression that this could be played without either, though the balance might depend on someone getting one. But so far, I have no desire to.
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Judd Vance
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MDJD wrote:
I will likely play without the events next time. I seriously doubt it will affect balance. I have no idea why the author chose to include this deck in the first place.


I don't speak for Dan, but I'm guessing because it makes it a 1st Punic War game. Rome invented the corvus and it made them a real powerhouse at sea. They were unbeatable at naval battles. However, it made their ships top heavy and less seaworthy. They lost almost their entire fleet due to a bad storm. If you don't include the Corvus, you don't really have the 1st Punic War. But if you don't have a way to wipe out the fleet, you lose the history that swung the naval advantage back to Carthage.

When we were playing the game, I was reading Goldworthy's book on the Punic Wars. When I learned about Hanibal the Rhodian running the blockade at Lilybaeum I started pestering Dan about making a strategy card based on that. He did: and thus, the seamanship strategy card was born.

If you get the Companion Guide, he talks about the random events related to the history.

Remember: the random events can hurt you, but the game is lengthy enough that you have time to overcome them and the events tend to shake out. You get screwed. Your opponent gets screwed. Like a sporting event, you tend to only remember the time the refs screwed your team and not the times you benefitted.

In my last game, I had Carthage. My opponent took the Ship Building event to build his fleet up and then the Corvus event. He was ready to put a beating on me when the Naval disaster hit. And I rolled a 2: it happened to me. I lost my entire fleet. I stayed in port and didn't build a single ship until the last turn of the game. And I won the game by 10 VPs.

The magic of the game is digging deeper into the numerous strategies and see how to improvise, adapt, and overcome.
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Steve Carey
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I also really enjoy the Events for the uncertainty and history that they convey.
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Thomas Leitner
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airjudden wrote:
MDJD wrote:
I will likely play without the events next time. I seriously doubt it will affect balance. I have no idea why the author chose to include this deck in the first place.


I don't speak for Dan, but I'm guessing because it makes it a 1st Punic War game. Rome invented the corvus and it made them a real powerhouse at sea. They were unbeatable at naval battles. However, it made their ships top heavy and less seaworthy. They lost almost their entire fleet due to a bad storm. If you don't include the Corvus, you don't really have the 1st Punic War. But if you don't have a way to wipe out the fleet, you lose the history that swung the naval advantage back to Carthage.

When we were playing the game, I was reading Goldworthy's book on the Punic Wars. When I learned about Hanibal the Rhodian running the blockade at Lilybaeum I started pestering Dan about making a strategy card based on that. He did: and thus, the seamanship strategy card was born.

If you get the Companion Guide, he talks about the random events related to the history.

Remember: the random events can hurt you, but the game is lengthy enough that you have time to overcome them and the events tend to shake out. You get screwed. Your opponent gets screwed. Like a sporting event, you tend to only remember the time the refs screwed your team and not the times you benefitted.

In my last game, I had Carthage. My opponent took the Ship Building event to build his fleet up and then the Corvus event. He was ready to put a beating on me when the Naval disaster hit. And I rolled a 2: it happened to me. I lost my entire fleet. I stayed in port and didn't build a single ship until the last turn of the game. And I won the game by 10 VPs.

The magic of the game is digging deeper into the numerous strategies and see how to improvise, adapt, and overcome.


You present a reasonable argument. I'll try again with the events deck. Our first experience with the game was a bit of a mess anyway due to a few serious rules errors, so maybe I should hold off passing judgement on any aspect of the game right now.

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