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Subject: Is the card constraint too tight? rss

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Rich Charters
United States
Chandler
Arizona
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After just one play my intuitive feel is that the card constraint might be too tight. How would the game change if you were allowed to hold 7 or 8 cards instead of 5?

My feel is that everyone ends each game with 5 cards (let me know if this assumption is faulty). If you card slots are full, you're less likely to go for cards since it's just an 'upgrade' not a total 'increase.'

What is your opinion: would more card slots enhance or detract from the game? and why do you feel that way?
 
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Jeff Kayati
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Worthington
Ohio
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Balancing the cards you take makes for some interesting decisions. You might also discard a card and put it back on the stack of cards to hinder an opponent.

I think the game works fine as is.
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Jeff Thornsen
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Nottingham
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Managing your cards is a really important part of this game. If you could keep more cards, players could be less picky about which cards they draw. Early card draws are already quite powerful, but the usual downside is you have to discard those cards at the end of the game to make room for the more valuable cards.

I think it would also make taking slavery cards much more attractive, since it's less likely you would be forced to discard them on the last turn.
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Ian Klinck
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Toronto
Ontario
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In my experience, it works well as-is, as well.
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Aaron Riggan
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It also might be a product of the number of players you had in your first game. In a 5-player game, usually every space is gone, most of the cards have been taken and turn 7 is full of attack actions. On the flip side, a 3 or 4 player game relies far less on cards and more on board position.

Like others have said, a discard can be a remarkably powerful attack. I distinctly recall one game where I had relied (perhaps a little too heavily) on the slavery deck. By discarding one of the early European cards, I successfully blocked the abolition of slavery and the win.

Yes the card play is tight, but the decisions are more interesting that way.
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alan beaumont
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LONDON
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Fast and Loose
richcharters wrote:
After just one play my intuitive feel is that the card constraint might be too tight. How would the game change if you were allowed to hold 7 or 8 cards instead of 5?

I assume you are suggesting increasing the holding at each trigger point on the Politics track, or further subdividing it, rather than extending it beyond the 15 limit.

The effect would be to favour a draw strategy and also accelerate the game.

Without tokens it takes at least 2 population to advance 1 on the tracks with shipping. With settling the pay off isn't generally greater than 2 (where you settle and a sandwiched connector). A draw, even at low levels, is advancing you at least 2, on average about 4, for an expenditure of 1 population which is generally coming right back to stock, rather than remaining in place on the shipping tracks or at risk on the board.
More population in stock generally translates as more actions per turn, so I would expect a game with relaxed card limits to run much faster and with 4 or 5 players to devolve into a brawl not so late on once all regions are open and occupied.
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Rich Charters
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Chandler
Arizona
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Yes. Thanks to all for the input. I guess my general impression was the politics track was the least important of the tracks....but adding a card to two could make politics more desirable....and put it on more equal footing with culture or $$.

But again, this is only after one play (and a 3P). I will play a few more times and see how I feel about it.

Again, thanks for the input.
 
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