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Jenseits von Theben» Forums » Variants

Subject: Artifact Junk rss

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Steve Perucca
United States
Colorado Springs
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In my opinion, Thebes is beautifully themed with only one flaw - that of getting artifact junk, but not getting anything in return. So, I've considered the following variant to reduce the frustration factor of finding junk. It's similiar to the food stamp variant in Settlers of Catan.

- While excavating, for each piece of artifact junk pulled, you get a junk counter. Junk counters can be anything such as chips, money, glass beads, etc..

- The blank artifact junk discs are returned to the bag as before.

- Junk counters can be used in a later action or for points at the end of the game.

- Besides the original 4 actions, a new action is as follows: While at a dig site, a player can buy artifact junk discs from the matching bag at a cost of 10 junk counters and 1 week per disc. These blank discs can be used to satisfy exhibition requirements in a later action. Spent junk counters are returned to the general supply.

- At the end of the game, junk counters are worth 1 point for every 10 counters. Any remainders are worthless.

- At the end of the game, purchased blank artifact junk discs are worth no points.

Justification for this variant is a follows:

1) Frustration over drawing junk is reduced in two ways. a) You get something for your efforts that might be of value later, and b) by purchasing blank artifact discs, the odds of pulling junk on future excavations is reduced - for all players.

2) Purchasing blank discs increases the ability to do exhibitions. In the few games we've played, very few exhibitions, if any, were ever bought.

I'm going to try this variant the next time I play and report back.
 
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Mario Aguila
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Puerto Montt
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It would be interesting to see that report, probably, with more than only one game
 
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Will
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Performing exhibitions is only one path to obtaining victory in this game, and is usually accomplished by doing shorter length digs and not spending too much time gathering research or doing lengthy excavations. I found myself in the last few games to have completed many exhibitions. In one game I actually performed all five small and three large. This however eats time itself, and neglecting research prevented me from getting both the end game bonuses in most fields and also less valuable, and less in general artifacts. I can only understand the levels of frustration you have had if you approach this game expecting something rather different than what this game provides. Luck is a major equation, and managing that luck by taking the risk of digging without much knowledge or by ensuring yourself the best hope of finding valuable artifacts is ultimately the core of the game. The variant you propose reduces some of the flavour for me, as the reducing rewards for late digs is essential for the theme (and yes sometimes a late discovery of riches will be made). However, the idea that over digging a site not slimming the chance of discovery seems against the grain. I would first approach playing the game with different strategies before making such drastic alterations, but if it allows you to enjoy the game more by all means go ahead.
 
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Swood
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I appreciate the effort you put into constructing your variant, however, I think that the game function fits the theme extremely well as is. And that is very important to me.

Personally, I would have to construct thematic reasons why someone would purchase junk items for exhibitions. And having the overall odds of finding antiquities do anything other than decrease with time just seems odd.
 
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Steve Perucca
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Skadar wrote:
Personally, I would have to construct thematic reasons why someone would purchase junk items for exhibitions. And having the overall odds of finding antiquities do anything other than decrease with time just seems odd.

True, the valuable artifacts are the big-ticket items at exhibitions. However, occasionally at exhibitions you see a display or two of what it's like at a dig site, what kind of items where found. Those displays hold no real value other that to educate. Nevertheless, they DO attract readers, which can equate to a good exhibit.

In my variant proposal, maybe it would be best to limit the blank junk discs you can use to buy an exhibit to 1 disc. No one really wants to see an exhibit with mostly junk displays.

Anyway, my idea is that archeological junk, in quantity, might have value. For example, 10 pieces of broken pottery that can be jigsawwed together might be of interest.
 
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Steve Perucca
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frogmind wrote:
However, the idea that over digging a site not slimming the chance of discovery seems against the grain.

Think of it in these ways:

"The more you play, the better your odds are of winning." (Lottery logic)

"When you illiminate the innocent, you're left with the guilty." (Holmes logic)

If you know there's something valuable buried at a site (which you DO know for this game), in real-life, you'll most likely spend time REMOVING the junk from the site rather than throwing it back into the hole just so you can dig it out again.

I'm not an archeologist, but isnt' that REALLY the way it is at an excavation site?
 
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Will
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Quote:
If you know there's something valuable buried at a site (which you DO know for this game), in real-life, you'll most likely spend time REMOVING the junk from the site rather than throwing it back into the hole just so you can dig it out again.

I'm not an archeologist, but isnt' that REALLY the way it is at an excavation site?


I don't see the locations as individual sites but areas in which excavations are occuring; Greece or Egypt for example. These countries have a lot more than just one area in which to explore, but as discoveries are found the less there are to be made - hence the growing number of junk in relation to artifacts.

I don't mean to come across as someone shooting down your idea just because. I think you obviously spent a lot of time working through it, however, I appreciate Thebes for what it is a relatively light, but highly thematic game. I just felt like you were wanting more from this than it offers. There are many other games out there that will not be so dependent on luck, but Thebes is not one of those, nor, in my opinion, should it be.
 
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