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A Few Acres of Snow» Forums » Variants

Subject: My suggestion on a HH fix based on limited experience. rss

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Adam Cirone
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I have read the forum posts. I have played the game only three times. I have never seen the Halifax Hammer strategy used. But I have played other card games before (Magic, Star Wars CCG, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Dominion), so I understand the problems related to thin deck strategies.

Here are my suggestions, using in-the-box components, the original rules, some guesswork, and a little creativity:

1. Both players begin with only 5 money.
2. Remove from the game all the non-location cards from the French starting deck .
3. Remove from the game all other copies of Trader and Bateaux.
4. Set aside from each players' available empire cards all copies of Regular Infantry and Siege Artillery.
5. Add this new rule... Trader: As an action, a player may play any number of cards with Fur icons. For each card played in this way, collect 1 money if the corresponding location has a village and 3 money if the corresponding location has a town.
6. Add this new rule... War: When a state of war is reached, add 3 Regular Infantry cards and 1 Siege Artillery card to each player's available empire cards.

Alternative to #5: Trader: As an action, a player may play any number of cards with Fur icons. Collect money based on this chart:

1 card = 1 money
2 cards = 3 money
3 cards = 6 money
4 cards = 10 money
5 cards = 15 money
6 cards = 21 money
7 cards = 28 money

I am not sure which version I like better. The alternate may be too powerful, but the chart could be adjusted. The one listed above still makes it hard for the French player to get early money.

Obviously, I have not stated what causes a "state of war" to trigger #6. At first, I thought that if your opponent had captured at least 6 points of your villages and towns, then for an action you could declare war. But that is not thematically correct, as war in the colonies was based on the outbreak of European conflict. A dice roll each turn is possible, but I don't want it to happen on turn one. I am tempted to go with the capture points option, as it just makes sense to me gameplay-wise.

Let me know what you think. I haven't even tried these yet myself.
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Ken Dilloo
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I've never done brain surgery before, but I should think using a rusty shop knife would be good.
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Clyde W
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One house rule I've been playing with is that in order to suggest an HH fix you must play the game at least as many times as Martin Wallace has, which to my knowledge is, as of yesterday, five.
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Eugene
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LOLLSSLLLL!!LLL!

Really guys, maybe we should just go all out Fantasy Flight on this thing. Martin's random dice setup. This OP's triangular fur-trading scheme. Some crazy-ass Cosmic Encounter player special powers. Random event cards. Schools of magic from Wiz-War. "I fireball Ticonderoga!"
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Cole Wehrle
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garygarison wrote:
LOLLSSLLLL!!LLL!

Really guys, maybe we should just go all out Fantasy Flight on this thing. Martin's random dice setup. This OP's triangular fur-trading scheme. Some crazy-ass Cosmic Encounter player special powers. Random event cards. Schools of magic from Wiz-War. "I fireball Ticonderoga!"



What about some kind of role-selection mechanism with a card that granted victory points...that way the French could keep up.

And this is a game about empires right? I guess we could call that card "Imperial."




 
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Adam Cirone
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Thank you so much the... uh, helpful comments?

So I have things to do with my life besides play this game hundreds of times... does that exclude me from participating in the discussion about this game in a meaningful way?

I might as well present the reasoning behind my ideas.

The changes I have brainstormed fall into two main categories, those with seek to balance the two sides (1-3, 5) and those which attempt to slow the early game and re-introduce narrative (4 & 6).

Since one of the issues with the game seems to the imbalance between starting positions (British efficiency vs. French clutter), I suggest options to make the French a little more efficient, dropping unnecessary cards from the start deck and making their money engine something that can compete with the British.

Why slow the early game down? Because it might force the British to play more to the intended narrative of the game, that of early settling and expansion, with some raiding, followed later by more direct siege attacks against strong locations. By removing the most powerful military cards, the British player cannot go for an early, direct military victory. Without at least Regular Infantry, a fortified Quebec is impossible for the British to successfully siege.

If the British player sits idle (to keep his deck small and efficient), waiting until he can access the military cards, the French player will walk away with the game. The British player is forced to react to this possibility by threatening victory himself through expansion, raids, and minor location sieges. But building a deck that can accomplish these goals (the intended narrative of the game) will cause the British player's deck to become less efficient. By the time the military cards are added to the available empire cards, the British player might not be in a position to use an abusive thin-deck strategy.
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Eugene
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Please don't take our joshing at your expense personal, Adam. The FAoS forum is overflowing with suggestions for fixing the inherent flaw in the game's system, many from well-intentioned users with less experience with the game than even you. It's not a simple fix, otherwise Martin Wallace himself would have offered one when the degenerate HH strategy made itself known months ago.

Perhaps more helpful than constructive feedback would be for you to first familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the HH and then consider ways to address it.

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Joseph Ellis
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Wow, I didn't know so many A Few Acres of Snow fans were such a-holes.

Next time if you're going to post in a forum, discuss the OP's ideas rather than insulting them. This is Adam's thread not yours so be polite or get the eff out.

If the forum is "overflowing" it's because Martin Wallace screwed up, so blame him. Adam's solution is, at worst, as broken as the original design. He qualified his post as with limited experience right in the title, so stay away if you don't want to hear it. Most likely he's trying to come up with a solution now so he doesn't have to play a broken game 100 times before playing a fair one.

I hope you don't expect this kind of abuse when you post your ideas in other game threads... I know for games Adam is a fan of he replies to threads with thoughtfulness and respect regardless. You couldn't even just come up with a quick link to another "fix" thread that you think is best so far. BGG fail.
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Clyde W
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Oh alright to prove I'm not an a-hole and merely an ass, here's my feedback: your fixes are ineffective. Only the removal of the Trader card and the addition of the Trader action will help, but as you discover when trying to fix the HH it's quite easy to tip the scales to 100% French win. If the fix were simple, you wouldn't need to be the one to offer it up. You realize this, yes?

Play the HH a few times then revise.
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Ken Dilloo
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Right, I apologize for the off-the-cuff interwebz comment. All gravitas implied. On the flip side, though, since people have been playing, posting, and trying to figure out a solution to this fairly complex problem, for months on end; it is silly at best, and arrogant at worst to propose a solution (especially one that isn't even in the ballpark) after a couple plays.
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Cole Wehrle
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bigloo33 wrote:
Right, I apologize for the off-the-cuff interwebz comment. All gravitas implied. On the flip side, though, since people have been playing, posting, and trying to figure out a solution to this fairly complex problem, for months on end; it is silly at best, and arrogant at worst to propose a solution (especially one that isn't even in the ballpark) after a couple plays.


Right, and especially bad timing given Wallace's own fix which doesn't seem as rigorous as many of the other variants purposed.
 
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N S
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The changes the OP is suggesting are so radical that it basically amounts to just designing a whole new game from scratch.

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Joseph Wisniewski
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I haven't played the game, so I am less qualified to judge your ideas than you are to have them, but it just seems like too many changes, which introduce too many possible additional problems.

Best thing to do is figure out the HH, then playtest your changes against the HH. Maybe do a session report of one of the games so more experienced players can analyze whether your changes are balancing the game. This would help since you don't have time to play 10's of games with your new rules. If you had an example session report that shows a game where both sides are playing well and the game is balanced, that might encourage people to try out your rule ideas.

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