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Alcatraz: The Scapegoat» Forums » Variants

Subject: One winner/non-Scapegoat/2-4 player variant rss

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Colin Nordstrom
United States
Fairfield
CA
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After playing one game, I was left with this less than ecstatic feeling about winning. I understand it's prison (because I work in one), but the way the game is written, it's just not fun for me. Also, I play most games with just my wife, so 2 player games are big in my book.

Here's my variant:

1) There is no scapegoat. The first player/scapegoat token is passed clockwise after every round. The "+ action" scapegoat card will not be used. A player can play a blackmail card at any time.

2) There is only one winner, who has to complete all 6 elements on his/her own to escape.

3) 3 AP per turn for 2, 3, and 4 player games.

4) During initial game setup, all players will randomly draw a location card and place one of their unused player cubes in that spot. This cube will represent an anonymous inmate who will be vital in completing tasks that require 2 prisoners. When you use the location where the cube is placed, you will have two options: (1) pick up your anonymous inmate cube (for 1 AP), place the cube on top of your pawn, and use the cube/inmate for your next plan; or use the location as normal. However, you can't do both. Also, if you decide to take the cube and the task you complete only needs one prisoner in the location, you still must sacrifice the inmate cube and randomly place it back on a location as stated earlier, where it will be free to be taken again in another round.

5) The blackmail card limit will be raised from 2 to 3. Once per game, you can trade in 3 blackmail cards (for 1 AP) while in the warden's office for an element of the plan that you're missing. Stick one of the promo prisoner cards (available in the Geek Store) under your board to signify you have taken this action. Also, you will only be allowed to spend 1 AP at the warden location on your turn to take a blackmail card. Achieving a task in this manner should help solve the problem of needing task collaboration for escape.

6) Each time a person completes a task, he/she places one of their colored cubes (that isn't being used) on their player board. This will represent an extra action that can be used at any time during the game and discarded. The player then draws the top 2 cards of the task deck. He/she then chooses 1 of the 2 cards and gives that reward to the other player(s).

7) As long as you have at least 1 stamina point you can block others from stealing from you, including a swipe of a blackmail card with the Chapel. Also, you can use as many stamina points on your turn as necessary.

The rest of the game will remain as written.

Cheers,

Colin
 
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RafaƂ Cywicki
Poland
Cracow
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Hi, have you actually played this variant through?

At first glance I think your concept changes so much (no scapegoat, no rewards) that you might just created whole other game rather than a variant. The whole dynamic of unwilling cooperation changes disappears and players just run around the prison making chores. Whats worse is that once a player is behind the others (letter-wise), he'll actively play only to ruin others plans. Actually most of the time players will actively ruin others plans and I doubt anyone will ever have a chance to complete a part of the plan (think 4-player game). Those are my main doubts. Share how it plays, maybe with some tweaks it could work.
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Colin Nordstrom
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My wife and I played it last night; and I won handily, so there definitely is a strategic element. I completed my escape with two cubes left, so the timing mechanism worked well.

I'm going to play with 4 to see how it works in that scenario. I might change the blackmail card rule so that anyone can play a card on their turn regardless if they are the first player.

Thanks for your feedback Rafal. I do enjoy the game, I just didn't enjoy the look on my daughter's face when she got left in prison

Best,

Colin
 
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Colin Nordstrom
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We played 4 player and it went too long and didn't work well.

So here's a change to add a bonus for the person completing a task and a controlled reward system for the other players.

When a person completes a task, he/she draws and keeps one blackmail card and then draws the top 2 cards of the task deck. He/she then chooses 1 of the 2 cards and gives that reward to the other player(s).
 
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Gregory Mucklow
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Swindon
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Interesting tweaks. Anything that lets me play games when there's only 2 players is a bonus for me!
 
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Colin Nordstrom
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Yeah, I haven't been able to work on the variant much lately (too many summer activities). Just got the Maximum Security expansion, so I want to incorporate that into my variant.

In the few times I've played it, it's worked pretty well. However, I definitely need to playtest it more and continue to tweak it.

I'm a big 2 player gamer, and I think this variant will work eventually.

Let me know if you try it, and how it works for you. Or if you have any suggestions.

Cheers,

Colin
 
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Colin Nordstrom
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Played my "variant" this weekend. It worked really well (my wife enjoyed it very much). We added in the 10 roles, which lowered the game time to 30 minutes (game ended in about 7 rounds).
 
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