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The Scepter of Zavandor» Forums » Variants

Subject: Get rid of the mathiness ---> shorten the game rss

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Matthew M
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It strikes me that much of the downtime in the game is due to players needing to add together a bunch of numbers in irregular intervals, then find the best way to pay from the denominations they have, then check their 'hand size' and possibly figure out something else to buy to get under their cap.

I don't find any of the above particularly important the the really interesting choices in the game - ie which tracks to advance on and how to play the auctions.

Has anyone considered making an open resource track to replace the clunky cards and chits? You lose some hidden information, but again I don't find that it plays into my decision making anyways. In return you streamline a lot of the math one needs to do in an average turn.

Obviously the handsize mechanic will need to be replaced. This could be done by marking the track at a number of increments that cap how much can be carried over to the next turn. Using a separate marker it would be an easy thing to otherwise manage this just like the way the current handsize mechanic works.

So have at it. Tell me how the above destroys the game

-MMM
 
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Sterling Babcock
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That is an interesting idea. I will have to give it some thought when I get the Z-Man copy of the game. Let me know what you find out.
 
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Alan Kaiser
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Having 'money' open in a game like this will take the constant counting out of the game which would be a good thing but it would also essentially break the auction process for artifacts and sentinals if you knew exactly how much money each person had at any given point in the game. Imagine PowerGrid with open cash! I think the better solution is to keep the 'money' hidden but give each player their own little board to track it all on. Then come up with some sort of hand limit solution which I think is an important limitation.
 
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Nathan Hoffmann
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Income is essentially open already, not counting the relatively minor variance in card value. If you wanted to just track your energy with pen and paper, I don't think the game would be effected much at all.
 
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Jonathan Degann
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I agree that you want some closed information on asset holdings. I've proposed a simple solution - after you collect income, just write down how much "money" you have, and keep it to yourself. Personally, I'm ALWAYS forgetting, causing recounts galore.
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Daniel Staub
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Octavian wrote:
It strikes me that much of the downtime in the game is due to players needing to add together a bunch of numbers in irregular intervals, then find the best way to pay from the denominations they have, then check their 'hand size' and possibly figure out something else to buy to get under their cap.

-MMM


I am very interested in speeding up the game and reducing the pain of tracking what your total bank is and what denominations you have. I read up on this and designed a player aid to help. I printed six up, laminated them and bought a pack of dry erase markers. We can test them tonight and see if it helps.

Dan
 
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Matthew M
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After playing again it is clear that more a fair amount of time is spent figuring out how to achieve a certain expenditure figure without wasting extra points of magic due to the limited denominations available for change. I don't feel those mental gymnastics really add much to the fun of the game itself.

My minimal proposed variant currently is to keep the cards and concentrated magic, but ditch the dust tiles entirely. Replace them with poker chips and have the complete range of making change available. Hand size remains unchanged with the exception that one point of hand size will accommodate 3-points of magic in the form of poker chips. This is ever so slightly more generous than the as-published system, but doesn't produce a difference of more than one in either direction.

This should maintain the problems of managing hand-size (which I think is worthy of keeping) while getting rid of the mini-maxing encouraged by the current limited change options.

-MMM
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Daniel Staub
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I think this will help a lot.

Pros
Faster payment calculation times.
No more loss of 1 dust when your cards are not in the right denominations.

Cons
Slightly longer hand size calc.

I can also see this helping out the Mathiness of figureing out how much money you have. Using the 'poker dust' allong with the energy cards will allow me to group things in units of 10 a lot faster.

Dan
 
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Wei-Hwa Huang
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Octavian wrote:
After playing again it is clear that more a fair amount of time is spent figuring out how to achieve a certain expenditure figure without wasting extra points of magic due to the limited denominations available for change. I don't feel those mental gymnastics really add much to the fun of the game itself.


An even simpler variant might be just to add some 1 chips for magic dust, which count as 1 towards the hand limit. This way, players will never need to lose points due to making change, but might still lose points due the the hand limit.
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Brian M
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After the first few games we've been playing with players able to have a '1' dust chit (counting as 1 card). That tiny change saves a lot of fiddliness in itself.

We also generally keep paper or dry erase material around to jot down money on, though we've found its not needed all that often.
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