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Corporate America» Forums » Variants

Subject: Drafting Starting Businesses? rss

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Mike Lee
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What are the most common variants to reduce some of the luck with the starting businesses?
 
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Jim Hansen
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I don't think the starting luck is too bad as long as you remember do draw cards on the first turn in addition to your starting hand. However, if that's not enough for you, you can either draw/discard extra cards or draft.

I typically draw one or two extra businesses and discard down to the normal starting hand. This allows for a little more flexibility/strategy in the beginning. One downside is that it means you'll probably run through the business deck in the middle of the game and have to reshuffle. Not a big problem, but someone might draw the same business twice.

It's probably best to do a 7 Wonders-style draft, although you don't want to do that with first time players that don't know what their picking. Every game I've played has had at least 3 new players, so I haven't tried this out yet.
 
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Nothing Sacred Games
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I haven't had much opportunity to playtest this, so I'm eager to hear what people are doing as well. Here are my thoughts on the subject:

I think Jim is right that when introducing new players to the game, drafting might be a bit overwhelming. Players will be making uninformed decisions that are going to affect them for the next 90 minutes or so. But for people who have played the game once or twice already, or who are fairly game savvy and have experience with 7 Wonders and the like, I think drafting starting businesses will make the game more fun.

I just tested a few solo 7 Wonders style drafts to determine starting hands, and I found that players tended to get more powerful starting businesses with more synergy. There was still variance between how good the starting hands were, but it wasn't as extreme as starting randomly.

I recommend drafting hands including the two cards you would normally draw on the first turn, so start with 7 cards for a 3-4 player game and 6 cards for a 5-6 player game. After drafting, still discard on the first turn, but don't draw an extra two cards.

If you try this out, please share your thoughts on how well it works. Once I get more feedback and a chance to test a few times myself, I'll post something to the official webpage on a suggested gameplay variant. If the game ever gets reprinted and/or expanded, I will include something in that as well.
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Dan King (The Game Boy Geek)
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Is this what you mean?

For example

Each player starts with 7 cards (3-4 players) or 6 cards (5-6 player).

They select 1 card and pass the rest to their left.

This continues until everyone has 7 cards (3-4 players) or 6 cards (5-6 players).

Then on their first turn they must discard 1 business and then start 4 businesses (3-4 players) or 3 businesses (5-6 players).

In following rounds in the Wall ST phase draw two businesses, discard 1 from your hand, and start 1 as usual.

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Nothing Sacred Games
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Yes, just like that!
 
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Dan King (The Game Boy Geek)
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Ok I will try this and let you know how it goes.

Dan
 
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Ingólfur Valsson
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What about a Power Grid style auction.

You can have future market or not. You can order them as they come out of the deck or according to price.

President picks first for one company to auction and mentions a price (at minimum the normal buy price). Take turns bidding until someone gets it. Then president or next inline who hasn't already got a company auctions another etc. When all have got 1 go another round until set of companies has been achieved. You can then do again each Wall street phase. This will of course make the game longer.

This could make it so you would pay more for something that gives you synergy or the other bid higher to ensure you do not get it.
 
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Nothing Sacred Games
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My main concern with a Power Grid style auction is time... as you mention, it would really extend the game. In the earliest versions of the game, players did a similar style draft, which definitely felt like the slowest part of the game (there was no bidding, though, which could make everyone feel more involved).

All that said, different game groups have different preferences for game length, so I encourage you to experiment with this and let the group know how it goes! I could see this adding a whole new level of strategy to the game and being an awesome fit for more hard core gamers.
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