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Amerigo» Forums » Variants

Subject: Using "Canons" to attack and take over rss

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The Idea:

If your harbor, or established land tiles are touching an opponent's land tiles, you can take the Canon action and spend Canon points to take over one land tile. You spend Canon points equal to the points the land tile is worth. If you are encountering a land tile that is worth more points than your available Canon points, you can't do anything. You then claim that tile as yours and score the land tile points. Then for the real kicker - your opponent now loses those points, since they no longer control the tile.

Example:

Player 1 has placed a land tile on an island and scored the points. This tile touches Player 2's land tile (adjacently). On the next turn, Player 2 has an opportunity to take the "Canon" action. He gains "X" number of Canon points. And additionally, now has the chance to spend "Canon" points to take over his opponent's tile. The tile happens to be worth 8 points. Player 2 spends 8 "Canon" points and takes over the tile, and scores the 8 "Land" points. Player 1 now loses 8 points.

Canons are now more fun!

My Motivation:

Recently, I played a game where we had one large island, several medium size, and a few small islands. My brother somehow managed to take over the majority of the large island and a couple medium islands quickly. He made the smart move of getting land tiles out first and blocking a lot of our other harbors. It was a 3 player game and we were all sailing from the start of the game. My brother picked the best places to start sailing from, and I picked the worst. LoL. I couldn't get my boats around quick enough to catch up. But I had harbors established that were blocked off and touched by his land tiles. A new "Canons" take over rule would have allowed me to take back the land he stole.

My Thoughts:

I think this "Canon Takeover" variant will work because it doesn't appear to unbalance the game too much because if you want to perform a take over, you have to waste an action phase doing it. And you can only takeover 1 tile. I don't think you will be able to win the game, just taking over tiles because you will then be neglecting other actions. Also, if the pirates are strong, you will not want to give up all your "Canon" points if you are close to the end of the round. Though, I could see one using the "Land" points you gained as buffer to giving up to the pirates. For the most part, this rule variant is to help players out of bind of getting "locked" out. I think it's a rule that may add "balance" as opposed to unbalancing.

I think, LoL. Haven't play tested this yet. But I really like the idea.

What do you think? Sound like some extra fun? Certainly adds interest to Canons, which can be boring. Pirate strength is zero, and everyone has to take a Canon action worth 6 points - Yippee!
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Neil Blaiberg
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Hmm - what would you do with neutral land? Or can you only take over your opponents colour? Do you also get any resource tokens that the land tile was covering from your opponent?

If pirate strength is 0, it's the first year of the game. Cannons can be saved between years to save up for when you are fighting 8 or 10 pirates in later years.
 
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Jason Kratz
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It seems like this would add a good deal of unnecessary bookkeeping, and may be broken.

Do you replace the tile with your own? If so, does it need to be planned already? Where does the replaced tile go?

If not, how do you show who is the current owner?

Also, this would affect games differently based on the number of players - in a two player game, you (effectively) get 2 points per AP spent - which is a pretty good ROI. In a 4 player game, you get 2 points per AP spent against one player, and 1 point per AP spent vs the other 2 players - This is less good, but could easily lead to a kingmaker scenario.

Additionally, why would you ever not do this? If you use all of your cannons for this instead of fighting off pirates, then you get the same amount of net points, and you will also hurt another player, and they can't stop you - there is no real downside. There is no reason to fight off pirates as you can get as many points as you would lose by taking over opponents.
 
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Jonathan Degann
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Since canons are getting you about 1 point per AP against pirates, this rule would dominate all use of canons, as Jason points out. Not only does it create imbalance, I think it does not add any strategic nuance.

Certainly to make any sense at all you'd need to have planned the tile in advance, and the lost tile should be returned to the owner's planned tiles, or this becomes CRAZY powerful.

A way of mitigating it and adding a little nuance might be that in order to use canons in this way, your ship needs to be parked at an opponent's harbor that connects (directly or indirectly) to the tile you want to take over.

Another possibility is that after you spend your canons, your opponent can also spend canons in defense.
 
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These are all great thoughts, and I appreciate the "challenges" to the idea. I need to play test this and figure out further how this idea can work. I agree with most of the counter points. You have to admit it brings some needed interest to "Canons", don't you think?

 
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TheRiddler1976 wrote:
Hmm - what would you do with neutral land? Or can you only take over your opponents colour? Do you also get any resource tokens that the land tile was covering from your opponent?

If pirate strength is 0, it's the first year of the game. Cannons can be saved between years to save up for when you are fighting 8 or 10 pirates in later years.


Hmmm, good point about neutral land, and maybe you can only take over another player's color?? It might get messy switching out tiles, but not completely unreasonable, I think.

I would say you can't steal resource tokens because they are already "harvested".
 
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@Jonathan -- your avatar pic creeps me out, lol! ((just a side note))
 
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Neil Blaiberg
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vfxtrev wrote:
TheRiddler1976 wrote:
Hmm - what would you do with neutral land? Or can you only take over your opponents colour? Do you also get any resource tokens that the land tile was covering from your opponent?

If pirate strength is 0, it's the first year of the game. Cannons can be saved between years to save up for when you are fighting 8 or 10 pirates in later years.


Hmmm, good point about neutral land, and maybe you can only take over another player's color?? It might get messy switching out tiles, but not completely unreasonable, I think.

I would say you can't steal resource tokens because they are already "harvested".


Hmm - thematically I always thought of a resource tile as something that was a source of the resource - ie. a plantation, or a field etc.
Now if you could steal the token as well that could be a nice way to target runaway leaders.

However I think this makes the cannons way overpowered, and the pirates become irrelevant in the grand scheme of things - as always though, it's your game, play it how you like, and let us know how it goes.
 
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Jason Kratz
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I've thought about this a bit more last evening - some more thoughts:

vfxtrev wrote:
Hmmm, good point about neutral land, and maybe you can only take over another player's color?? It might get messy switching out tiles, but not completely unreasonable, I think.


Actually, this would possibly help balance things a bit more - Since the colored tiles are only worth 1-2 points it would make things less swingy, and since the points from this can't make up for the point loss from pirates - it might work - it would be worth doing to get into areas that you have been blocked off from, but not as a point engine.

Actually, would it make sense to not have any points change hands? It would still be an action you can take when you take the cannons action - but it would have more of a cost if you don't get points - there is still the large benefit of getting into areas that you might not otherwise get, but getting points for it seems like it might be too good.
 
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I don't like it, sounds far too powerful, and I wouldn't want to place one action that much in the centre of attention.

It does also sound a bit as hoc to me:

vfxtrev wrote:
[...] He made the smart move [...] My brother picked the best places to start sailing from, and I picked the worst.


That does not sound like the game needs any fixing.

If you want to do it, I would at least make it a seperate action, ie. one black action to get the cannon, a second one to do the piracy.
 
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