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The Resistance: Avalon» Forums » Variants

Subject: random Merlin or Vanilla Variant rss

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Cam P
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Kew
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Generally with new people I start by playing vanilla resistance with no special characters and then later introduce Merlin and the Assassin but I find that Merlin almost always unintentionally reveals himself so I was thinking about a variant so that people unsure how to play Merlin could better hide themselves.
At the start of the game you shuffle the Merlin card with a single loyal servant card and then randomly place one of these cards with the rest of the cards you are playing with and deal them out. At the end of the game the Assassin can either accuse someone of being Merlin or state they don't believe there is a Merlin. If they are right the minions of Mordred win.

Really all this does is allow someone that is Merlin to not worry about giving hints to others. Typically not subtly giving hints will give the minions of Mordred an advantage as they get a chance of randomly assassinating the right person but this way Merlin can hide and the Assassin will have to decide whether they choose someone randomly or state that there is no Merlin.

I'm not sure if this variant is useful or just overcomplicates things but I thought I'd throw it out there to hear people's thoughts as I do like the idea of players not only having to deduce who is who but also whether a certain character is even in the game.
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GeekInsight
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Whittier
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Actually, I think that could be very workable - especially with new players.

Even though I really like Avalon, a valid criticism is that, in a five player game, Team Evil has a 33% chance of victory just on random chance. Of course, Team good has to lower that chance with good play, but it can be kind of a bummer in smaller games.

And, I've had one new player get Merlin for the first time and simply keep his eyes closed during the Merlin phase. That way, he couldn't give out any secret information.

I think your variant adds an interesting layer to the game. The only concern might be what happens if Merlin isn't in the game. Since the game is presumably balanced with a Merlin helping Team Good, does the lack of a Merlin make it easier for Evil to win the missions? And, how would that interact with Percival and Morgana? If only one person raises their thumb, then Percival knows Merlin is out and the one with their thumb up is evil.

That said, I think it's worth experimenting with.
 
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Clinton Sattler
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I think that change might make things a little harder for the resistance, but not game breakingly so. At first blush, it would seem that a game without merlin would be no different than the vanilla resistance. The difficulty would come from a clever spy acting like merlin to claim some confidence from the resistance.

Make no mistake, I think this adds an awesome layer to the lower player count games. To be honest, when playing this game, I'm in it for the experience more so than the winning, so even a change in difficulty for the resistance is worth it for the added layer of intrigue and doublethink you would get in this variant.

Awesome suggestion, in my opinion.
 
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Krawhitham B
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Napier
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I think instead of all this messing around, just say "if you are merlin and unsure how to play him then just play as normal".

The other thing to try is to explain what Merlin might do as you play your vanilla game.
 
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Pasi Ojala
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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Playing Merlin well depends on good play from other good guys.
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Kārlis Jēriņš
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This sounds like a fun idea. I'll try to remember to give it a try the next time I play!
 
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Jake The Pirate
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I like this idea very much, my one change (which would be annoyingly hard to implement) would be to have like 4 Merlin cards (or cards which are Merlin) and use them to ensure that there is an equal probability of every choice.
For example, in a five player game (2 spies, 3 good guys) you would get 3 of the Merlin cards, shuffle in one regular good guy card and pick one to be shuffled into the deck for a 75% chance that Merlin is in the game. This means that there is a 25% chance he's not and a 25% chance that he's a particular good guy (3/4 * 1/3 = 3/12 = 25%).
For a 6 or 7 player game (both of which have 4 good guys) use 4 Merlins and one basic good guy (so a 20% chance of no Merlin and a 20% chance per good guy {4/5 * 1/4 = 4/20 = 20%}).
For 8 players and up there's no simple way that I can tell to do this.
Edit: I'm an idiot and it just follow the pattern, you use as many Merlin cards as there are good guys, and one generic good guy card. It's that simple.

The reason for this suggestion is so that at the end of the game the Assassin doesn't just guess "There is no Merlin" in the game for a 50/50 chance of winning. Though I suppose this may be reduced slightly, as the Assassin guess only happens if good guys win which is more likely if Merlin's there to help them. So perhaps reduce the cards in the initial Merlin shuffle by one to account for this *shrug*

Regardless that's my suggestion and to get the required cards it may be simpler to use a standard deck of cards to represent the character with a different suite representing each unique roll.
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Michel Yannakis
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Terrebonne
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JakeThePirate wrote:
I like this idea very much, my one change (which would be annoyingly hard to implement) would be to have like 4 Merlin cards (or cards which are Merlin) and use them to ensure that there is an equal probability of every choice.
For example, in a five player game (2 spies, 3 good guys) you would get 3 of the Merlin cards, shuffle in one regular good guy card and pick one to be shuffled into the deck for a 75% chance that Merlin is in the game. This means that there is a 25% chance he's not and a 25% chance that he's a particular good guy (3/4 * 1/3 = 3/12 = 25%).
For a 6 or 7 player game (both of which have 4 good guys) use 4 Merlins and one basic good guy (so a 20% chance of no Merlin and a 20% chance per good guy {4/5 * 1/4 = 4/20 = 20%}).
For 8 players and up there's no simple way that I can tell to do this.
Edit: I'm an idiot and it just follow the pattern, you use as many Merlin cards as there are good guys, and one generic good guy card. It's that simple.

The reason for this suggestion is so that at the end of the game the Assassin doesn't just guess "There is no Merlin" in the game for a 50/50 chance of winning. Though I suppose this may be reduced slightly, as the Assassin guess only happens if good guys win which is more likely if Merlin's there to help them. So perhaps reduce the cards in the initial Merlin shuffle by one to account for this *shrug*

Regardless that's my suggestion and to get the required cards it may be simpler to use a standard deck of cards to represent the character with a different suite representing each unique roll.


Is it just me or is that method a bit complicated?
Never played with Merlin before, but if I do, I might just shuffle one more good guy than normal, put one card asside in the center of the table, shuffle the rest with the foes and distribute. Merlin has an equal chance being dealt to each indivual player or being left in the center of the table.

What do you guys think?
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Jake The Pirate
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Wow, I am an idiot. That is by far an easier method for (I believe) the same result. Yeah, just do that.
 
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