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Subject: rule variants to improve the game rss

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Mark J
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
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I've played this game enough to realize its two big problems.

1) Idle time. When your turn is done you know what you're going to do on your next turn without needing to know what your opponents do on their turn. So you're just sitting their with nothing to do until your next turn.

2) Low interaction. Basically this game is multi-player solitaire. Oh there's a few things that another player can do to inconveniences you but it doesn't influence your strategy significantly.


To help with 1 our house rules are you build track first then you move. That way when you pick up a new demand card there is no need to study it and decide what to build in the middle of your turn while the other players do nothing but wait.

If you want to keep the order of move then build track then you just say when you pick up a new demand card you may not look at it until your turn is over.

For 2 the game needs new mechanics.

The best thing I'd say is a stock market system. You could invest in the goods. That way when a player delivers a good that you're invested in you get a percentage. The worth of the delivery would change based on the stock market. Every round that a certain good isn't delivered somewhere its value drops. If you're not invested in some good you might intentionally pick up that good and never deliver it in an attempt to drop its value.

So someone in San Fran that has a 30million delivery of Sugar to Maine will see the value drop for every round that no Sugar is delivered anywhere else.

This would make you care a whole lot more about what goods your opponents are delivering. And give you the chance to influence the price they get for their delivery.


 
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Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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DiploGuy wrote:
If you want to keep the order of move then build track then you just say when you pick up a new demand card you may not look at it until your turn is over.


That's what we often do. I recommend it. However, the most important thing is to pay attention and be ready when your turn comes.
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Daniel Corban
Canada
Newmarket
Ontario
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DiploGuy wrote:
1) Idle time. When your turn is done you know what you're going to do on your next turn without needing to know what your opponents do on their turn. So you're just sitting their with nothing to do until your next turn.

I don't understand how this is possible. If everyone is usually sitting idly, then why wouldn't the turns be completed very quickly, therefore eliminating the idle time?
 
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L H
United States
Lehi
Utah
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To reduce idle time, we allow Player 2 to move while Player 1, who just drew a new demand card, decides if and where to build. Player 1 can then build after Player 2 has moved but before Player 2 builds. If Player 2 does not build, Player 3 can then move before Player 1 builds...
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Tomello Visello
United States
Reston
Virginia
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DiploGuy wrote:
1) Idle time. When your turn is done you know what you're going to do on your next turn without needing to know what your opponents do on their turn. So you're just sitting their with nothing to do until your next turn.

alternate solution: computer play
http://www.railgamefans.com/ebp/ebp.htm

 
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Daniel Corban
Canada
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Ontario
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xldh wrote:
To reduce idle time, we allow Player 2 to move while Player 1, who just drew a new demand card, decides if and where to build. Player 1 can then build after Player 2 has moved but before Player 2 builds. If Player 2 does not build, Player 3 can then move before Player 1 builds...

I once played a game in this fashion and it was very frustrating. I often had times where the turn had completely passed around to me again, and the person right after me still hadn't finished building. So, I basically had no idea what track would exist at any moment I was making a movement decision. Never again.

If you did do this, you would have to have some sort of limit, such as only a single person in the build queue. To use your example, player 3 could never move before player 1 is finished building.
 
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Russell InNC
United States
Charlotte
North Carolina
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Build then move seems pretty reasonable.

However, I don't think you want to try to add to a game that is Long. If your group doesn't like the game then find something else to play.
 
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Rob Bradley
United States
Belleville
Wisconsin
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Our house rule is when you make a delivery you can not look at the new demand card until after you declare your turn is done.

This substantially reduces idle time and doesn't change the game as much as the build first variant.
 
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Daniel Corban
Canada
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Ontario
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I personally would refuse to play in a game where you can't look at the new cards until the end of your turn. Quite often, I am relying on the new information from those cards to decide where to build, or even which direction to travel. Delaying it until end of turn would actually slow the game down, as I have to wait an extra turn before I can implement my plan.

The only house rule should be "don't play too slowly".
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