Recommend
8 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

Hermit» Forums » Variants

Subject: If 2 Hermits walk home alone in the woods... rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Kenny VenOsdel
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Strange things happen when you are working 12 hour overnights shifts in the mental health area of an emergency room. Sunday night I was doing just such a thing when the voices my patient was hearing told me, "You can play Hermit with 2 players." Being the tolerant type I didn't freak out, rather I simply said, "How?" Here is what those voices told me, and what my wife and I played this morning:

Playing Hermit with 2 players follows nearly all of the basic Hermit rules but there are a few things added to provide tension that is often elusive in a 2 player trick taking game. The following is written as if you had a basic understanding of how to play Hermit.

Setup
Shuffle and deal 4 cards off to the side (we'll call this pile The Cottage) and the rest evenly between the players; they should each have 16 cards.

Gameplay
Follow normal rules with one exception: Whenever all the tricks are cleared from the table, each player selects one card from their hand and secretly adds it to the Cottage. They then proceed to start new tricks.

Note: This does not include the very first trick of the game

It is helpful to keep track of how many tricks each player takes as that will affect scoring.

Scoring
Scoring works as normal except that the player who took fewer tricks will also score points for any personalities in the Cottage. If both players took an equal number of tricks the Cottage is discarded.

After a hand the deal switches. Play until each player has dealt twice with the winner being the player with fewer points. If there is a tie the player that last took the cottage loses.

Variant adjustments
These are pretty much unchanged, but may require some further explanation.

Shoot the Moon/Sun - These can still only be achieved if a player takes all 4 of either personality cards. If you are trying for it you must be aware that some of them might be in the Cottage, and you need to get those to satisfy the requirement. This is likely going to be difficult and risky.

House Party - The rules for this are slightly clarified to work with the Cottage. If only one player takes points during the play* their opponent scores those points instead and the Cottage is discarded.

*If you are the only player to take points you likely won't take The Cottage so it becomes necessary to exclude the Cottage from playing a factor in this otherwise the variant is really pointless to have. The Cottage is discarded so the other player doesn't take the full 66 points, which is too devastating especially considering the House Party is easier to achieve is personalities are initially dealt to the Cottage. This could be played to your preference though.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Musings

We played it today and it was quite fun. It's not as wild as a game of Hermit usually is but I found it actually took a fair amount of thought on what you wanted to do. There is a really interesting tension created since you want to avoid tricks to avoid points, but also need to take tricks to avoid taking the Cottage. It was not uncommon to purposefully take points in order to avoid the Cottage and it also backfired where we took too many points and ended up worse off.

Since each player has 16 cards there is a maximum of 8 tricks to be played but it would be rare to ever reach this. 6 completed tricks would probably be the most common outcome of a hand. Of the 5 hands played we only tied for the Cottage once.

Not knowing 4 of the cards in the Cottge is interesting, and of the 5 hands we played all 5 had us each place 2 more cards into the Cottage. Points were sometimes placed there, but not always. It all depended on whether or not we felt like we could take more tricks or potentially give them to the other player. I did manage to have a House Party once, but in my wife's defense she forgot about that rule.

All in all its a pretty simple variant and I found it quite engaging. Obviously there could be some major flaws lurking about under the surface. If you happen to notice any please point them out. As it is we will keep playing this since I really love Hermit and often don't have 3 or 4 players.
3 
 Thumb up
5.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
P.D. Magnus
United States
Albany
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I really like this.

My impulse would be to try it without the Moon/Sun and House Party variants, to see if there was enough interesting strategic stuff going on without them. With the Cottage in play, there is already an incentive to take some small points so as to take more tricks.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kenny VenOsdel
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
pmagnus wrote:
I really like this.

My impulse would be to try it without the Moon/Sun and House Party variants, to see if there was enough interesting strategic stuff going on without them. With the Cottage in play, there is already an incentive to take some small points so as to take more tricks.


This is my instinct as well. If I would add them in it would just be the House Party just to keep people on their toes. Thanks for looking
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kenny VenOsdel
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
After playing it again today I think 2 deals each is sufficient. It equalizes any advantage that may be gained by playing second and takes a reasonable amount of time to complete.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kenny VenOsdel
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just a quick post to anyone wondering about this variant. We have continued to play it occasionally and 2 deals each is the best. I also recommend keeping the House Party variant as it adds a nice timing element and adds a few more strategic elements. All in all this is my favorite 2-player, cards only decktet game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clark D. Rodeffer
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I played this two-player version of Hermit with a co-worker over lunch yesterday, and we both enjoyed it quite a lot. Pressing your luck by taking tricks during play to avoid the cottage brought extra tension to the game.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.