Ted Duby
United States
Honolulu
Hawaii
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Here is my solution to the problem, particularly in 2 player games, to play whack-a-mole in the later rounds in an attempt to get to level 10, which often leads to a longer than desired game. In addition, it addresses a scalability problem that this game cries out for.

I have tested this in a 2 player game and found that I liked the game better using this method.

In the Criminal Plot deck, there are 31 Income cards for Money (divided among 6 blocks), 29 Income cards for Information (divided among 6 blocks), and 24 Bat Signal cards.

All the blocks have 5 cards for Money or 5 cards for Information, except for the Amusement Mile (which has 6 cards) and The Hill (which has 4 cards).

So I propose scaling the game as follows:

For 2 player games:

--Randomly remove 3 cards from the "Amusement Mile" Criminal Plot cards
--Randomly remove 1 card from the "The Hill" Criminal Plot cards
--Randomly remove 2 cards from all other blocks in the Criminal Plot card deck
--Randomly remove 12 Bat Signal Criminal Plot cards

This creates a 48 card Criminal Plot deck with each block having 3 cards.

For 3 player games:

--Randomly remove 2 cards from the "Amusement Mile" Criminal Plot cards
--Remove no cards from the "The Hill" Criminal Plot cards
--Randomly remove 1 cards from all other blocks in the Criminal Plot card deck
--Randomly remove 6 Bat Signal Criminal Plot cards

This creates a 66 card Criminal Plot deck with each block having 4 cards.

For 4 player games:

No changes, use all 84 Criminal Plot cards.

Note that with this scaling, it is highly unlikely that anyone can reach level 10, so the game will likely end when the deck runs out.

In addition, since it is less likely that players will reach higher levels, it is likely that they will only activate 3 special abilities during the game. Therefore, for all player counts, I randomly deal one special ability card to each player to start the game. This adds thematic flavor from the start (and could help speed things up at least a small bit).

So, assuming no one reaches level 10, in a 2 player game each player will have 20 turns, in a 3 player game 18 turns, and in a 4 player game 17 turns.

Any thoughts?

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Josh Look
United States
Coventry
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I haven't played my copy yet, but I really want it to make good first impressions with everyone, so I will likely try this out. I've heard that cutting the deck down is the best way to fix the playtime, especially in a two player game, but it seems to me that removing random cards would mess things up. Thanks for this!
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Ted Duby
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browncoat2814 wrote:
I haven't played my copy yet, but I really want it to make good first impressions with everyone, so I will likely try this out. I've heard that cutting the deck down is the best way to fix the playtime, especially in a two player game, but it seems to me that removing random cards would mess things up. Thanks for this!


Tell me how it goes for you.
 
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Josh Look
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Tried it out tonight with a 2 player game. We both liked the game, and I _cannot_ imagine the game going longer than it did. Perfect length. We both got to level 7 (or whatever the level before having to have four henchmen is). I want to say that getting four henchman in extremely tough with this variant, though I'm not writing it off as impossible. Will have to play again, and will certainly use your scaling when I try it with 3.

I personally don't find it necessary to start with a random ability card, at least in the 2 player game, but I dunno, YMMV.
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Ted Duby
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Thanks for the report. Yeah the random ability is mainly to add some theme from the start instead of waiting until level 2.
 
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Steve Ramsey
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Great minds must think alike as my 2-player version is almost exactly the same as yours. The only suggestion I would make is to which 12 bat-sigmal cards you remove for 2-players. I remove any cards that have the words "every other player" as they fall flat with only 2 players. I recommend you review all 24 bat-signal cards and remove the 12 just don't make sense for 2 players.

Edit: We also collect income equal to the total number of threat plus henchmen on a block (but only if you rule a block).
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Ben Argo
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Durant
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If game length is a problem, perhaps one could simply increase the size of draw hands? Not only would that thin the deck out that much faster, but the increased options would lead to more players engaging in Criminal Plots instead of just chucking cards for resources.
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Ted Duby
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I like that idea.

And yes, game length is a problem.
 
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Victor Puente
United States
Lexington
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My solution was to trade the game for something I could play in less than 3 hours.
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Glenn Dudley
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I really like your approach. I generally play the 3-player game so I followed your suggestion but rather than randomly remove cards, I was very selective. There were some cards I didn't like, which seemed to give one player an unfair advantage, and some were simply confusing to implement. I also removed any Bat Signal cards that referenced city blocks (I find those a disincentive to play if you don't control those blocks).

These are the numbers I removed: 1,19,22,24,30,37,38,41,43,50,58,59,61,63,72,74,78 and 82.

Thanks for posting your adaptation.
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shawn
Canada
westbank
BC
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Well Victor I was going to warn you if that is your solution don't trade it for Firefly.....to late
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Nick Hercules
United States
Land O' Lakes
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Never really had issues with length where I play. We just set a timer for however long we have to play. When the timer goes off and the player who went last has finished his last turn, the game is over and we use the scoring system to break any ties. Level>Henchmen>Intel>Money as described in the instructions.
 
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