Tom Ballou
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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We played 2 games this weekend, a 5 player game and a 3 player game. In the second game, I noticed the the last paragraph on the special hire card. Where if you steal someone's talent, and they still have their special hire card in their hand, they have to discard it.

Wow that is harsh, and double deadly in the last months, where you may need to hire some talent to make the big bucks in the last Performances, and your card sequences are now changed, so you will have to play a third set of wages.

Some thoughts on final month scoring.

Animal detriment, FWIW we think only Big Cats and Elephants should count, since you can pick up horses at the start of the game.

During the design of the game, had you looked at there being points for biggest circus (largest train) and most diverse circus (most talent types)?

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Tom Decker
United States
Foothill Ranch
California
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You raise some great points and I appreciate your input and ideas. I'll try to answer everything below, explaining the design decisions, but feel free to make your own house rules and scoring additions as you like.

The Overnight Hire card is meant to be especially harsh. I wanted to add more interaction and ways you could affect what your opponent's were doing with more players. You can choose to play without it if you want a friendlier game. Although it doesn't have to be used aggressively. I had to put in the discard element because otherwise people who were attacked with it would just play theirs right back, which wasn't any fun. And as you mention, by forcing the discard, it could wreak havoc on your opponent's deck, making it an even better move.

It shouldn't happen that it makes a player have to play an extra Wages card, but depending on how you manage your hand, I suppose it could have that affect. With 27 turns and 9 cards, you should be playing 3 Wages anyway, unless you delay a turn...and you can delay two turns if you want to anticipate treachery.

We had so much fun with the clown rule that we put in the animals, too. But these penalties were not intended to happen to a careful player. It takes a concentrated effort by the opponents to force them. By eliminating Horses from the mix, it makes this a lot easier to have to take this penality because Big Cats and Elephants don't come out as much and can be much harder to find. Plus, Big Cats and Elephants are generally part of the "big score" strategy, and by not allowing Horses, it penalizes the person playing the "collection" strategy.

Finally, as for the additional bonuses, I had not played it with the ones you mention. I was actually trying to limit them because for each one I added, it took away from the core game play of trying to achieve high performance scores. I put them in to help deal with a runaway leader problem...so that somebody who has fallen way back can try for some different ways to get points, but not to take away the focus of the game completely. I also was trying to stick with ones that a player who had lower performance score could still achieve.

I tried to be brief here, but it looks like I wrote a lot. If you want any further details about these or other design decisions, feel free to ask. I hope this helps!

Tom

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Tom Ballou
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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Hi Tom

Thank you for your response. I have no problem with the Special Hire as written merely commenting that its harsh (but fun).

I see your point on the animals. So far I had been try to collect sets on the cheap, Clowns and Acrobats, I've avoided sets of Horses and Freaks, as they get expensive fast, and without World Famous status they don't earn their keep.

From my limited experience, I had not found the end game viable without either an Elephant or a Big Cat. But thinking about it, I could see how it could work, excepting you will not even be close in the Performance battle, but you could be banking a lot of VPs during the game for Most Of scores. Still passing on 14 VPs in the last two months is tough to recover from.

As for the other final Scores, the guys thought they should be patted on the back for doing unique things. But as they say: "Just because you are unique doesn't mean you are useful" shake

bp2.blogger.comhttp://bp2.blogger.com/_vd7RChZkRWE/Rvw4Okra4VI/AAAAAAAAC1E/...

Anyhow thanks again for a Fun game Tom!
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