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Subject: OBG 053: Free Parking rss

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Donald Dennis
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Erik, Donald, and Scott discuss variants in games.

Erik reviews Ascension: Chronicles of the Godslayer
Jonathan reviews 8 iPhone apps
Erik reviews 7 Wonders


http://onboardgames.libsyn.com/obg-053-free-parking

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Jason Lott
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Could we get a list of the games Jonathan reviewed? A couple of the names went by so fast I missed them.
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Donald Dennis
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Perhaps!

Once I've listened to it I'll try to post them.

Edit to add:

Poison
Money
Ingenious
Roll through the ages
Zooloretto
Neuroshima hex
Tichu

And to add:
Ooh, sorry about the strange buzzing noise. Apparently I forgot to shut of my 360 before we recorded, and when it went through Levelator it made that sound louder when none of us talking.
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Donald Dennis
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I dunno why, but apparently I was in quite a mood when recording this. Apparently I lots of attitude to share.
 
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Donald Dennis
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What game variants do you prefer? What games need variants?

How do you feel about house rules?
 
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Michael Denman
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A yellow light for 7 Wonders? A bold declaration... and one which I agree with. I also played it at BGG Con and while it was okay, it wasn’t nearly as amazing as the hype would have you believe.

I’d also agree with being irritated at games that are fixed by their expansions. If you can’t get it right the first time, maybe you should consider more playtesting in the future. FFG, I’m looking at you!

I can only think of one variant I tend to play with and that’s for Puerto Rico. I flip the cost of the University and Factory. I believe it’s an "officially sanctioned" variant, but I could be wrong. I can’t say that it really seems to make a big difference though. I’m not sure how cheap the University needs to be before it’s appealing.

I also pick and choose the rules I'll use for Doom/Descent, but as this game is a bit more akin to an RPG, that's really not that strange to my mind. Does anyone play an RPG without any house rules?
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Jason Lott
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I think beyond variants there are just styles of play, or subtle rule changes that the group accepts which don't really affect gameplay. That's what my group terms as "house rules."

For example, when playing Modern Art, we ask that the auctioneer name the painting being sold, and feel free to add in any additional information about the artist. That has helped turn it into a bit of a party game layered onto an already excellent auction strategy game.
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Donald Dennis
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Trump wrote:
I also pick and choose the rules I'll use for Doom/Descent, but as this game is a bit more akin to an RPG, that's really not that strange to my mind. Does anyone play an RPG without any house rules?


I haven't run a RPG in years, but when I was running Pendragon I think I used the rules as written. However I tend to tweak games like Heroquest when running them, to make them more exciting for the players. (Are they doing too well? I'll add extra monsters or start making the existing monsters tougher.)


DancerInDC wrote:
For example, when playing Modern Art, we ask that the auctioneer name the painting being sold, and feel free to add in any additional information about the artist. That has helped turn it into a bit of a party game layered onto an already excellent auction strategy game.


It sounds like how we play Aunt Millie's Millions, or even Cash n Guns. The more a game encourages player interaction, the more it probably benefits from adding some RPG character elements.
 
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Jonathan Bishop
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DancerInDC wrote:
Could we get a list of the games Jonathan reviewed? A couple of the names went by so fast I missed them.


Sorry about that--I will work on saying the name more than once and hopefully not rolling through quite so fast in the future.

I'm also looking for any suggestions on apps to review.
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Magnus Esko
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The only house rule I can think of that we use is to lower the required points to win in Catan on 4 players by 2. We do this because we find the map a bit too small on 4 and playing to the full amount of points tend to drag the game out too much in the end.

Well, not sure if I should call this a house rule or not. In Dominion the looser gets to pick 2 cards to remove after each game and then we draw 2 cards we haven't played with from the randomizer deck. We do this because it takes too long to add and remove too many cards, at least with zip-bags.
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Michael Denman
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Ah, the mention of Dominion reminds me of another house rule that I don't tend to use but many in my group do.

Instead of taking your normal first two turns, everyone just makes two buys using either 2 and 5 or 3 and 4.
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Magnus Esko
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Trump wrote:
Ah, the mention of Dominion reminds me of another house rule that I don't tend to use but many in my group do.

Instead of taking your normal first two turns, everyone just makes two buys using either 2 and 5 or 3 and 4.


Personally I would just go with 3 and 4 because getting a 5 card early can sometimes be very advantageous. However, the guy I play with didn't agree.
 
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Donald Dennis
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I just saw a post about variants for Shark, and the three rules under Variant 1 are rules I thought were part of the game from when Flying Turtle produced the game originally. I guess when Ravensburger produced the game later they changed some of those rules. (Or I've misremembered how to play, which is possible.)

Reading the other variants I'd really like to try variant 2 - where the black on the color die means the lowest value gets placed.

Shark post:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/5906416#5906416

Between that post and the Lords of Vegas game, I'd like to try a variant that allows players to somehow get one (or possibly more) re-rolls over the course of the game.

How would I make this work?

Version 1
Each player starts the game with 1-3 tokens that allows them to do a re-roll one or both of their dice once.

Version 2
Players pay for re-rolls. Perhaps on a sliding scale, first re-roll for $1,000, second $5,000, third 10,000 and so on. I like this solution because players are spending points for a chance at higher performance.

Another variant I'd like to try, is to replace the pawns you place on the board with dice. The value of the dice would replace the size of the cluster when determining strength. This would mean a 6 on a one square cluster would beat out a three space cluster with 1,1,2.

What do you think?
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