Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
4 Posts

Freedom: The Underground Railroad» Forums » General

Subject: Adjustments for playing with younger players? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Mr. Blue
United States
Orange County
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I am a bit of a history buff and am very interested in purchasing this game. One of the major reasons I want to get it is that it looks like this game does a fantastic job of integrating historical theme with solid game mechanics. This is something I want to share with my kids: having fun while learning a bit about an important aspect of American history. Many of the reviews I have seen, however, have commented on how difficult of a game this is to win. For me personally, that's great. I love a challenge. But this is a game that I would want to play with my kids, and I have learned through experience that getting trounced in a cooperative game is a quick turn-off to my kids (and actually, my wife, who doesn't really love coops in the first place). They simply won't want to play it if they feel that victory is too hard to achieve.

So, I'm curious about slight tweaks to make the game a bit more "family" friendly for younger players. Yes, basically making it easier -- but not so easy that it's not a challenge at all. Options could include (1) lowering the number of "saved" cubes needed for a win, (2) increasing the number of "lost" cubes required for a loss, (3) reducing the number of support tokens that players need to acquire, and/or (4) reducing or eliminating the "bad" event cards. I haven't studied the game enough to know which of these tweaks (or others) might be most effective and least intrusive on the overall game experience. Any thoughts?



1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Minken
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
flag msg tools
badge
Connect More to your family, friends, and community over a board game.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm just thinking on the fly here, but I know the stress for me always comes from adding new slaves from the slave market to the plantation. When you see all the slaves just waiting to fill your still full plantations it can be stressful.

One idea might be to take 1-2 slaves off of each slave market card and then add 1-2 new slave market cards where these slaves will be added onto (so the # of slaves in the game remains the same). Since the slave market cards act as a timer, you will now play 9-10 rounds (instead of the normal 8). Keep everything else the same. This will keep things slightly less stressful while still managing to maintain the feel of the game.

If this becomes too long, then perhaps you could scale everything proportionately back to a time (i.e. # of rounds) that is suitable for you. This would require a little thought (because everything would have to be scaled).

Just thinking out loud...good question!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sam Cook
United States
Denton
Texas
flag msg tools
*beep*
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I would suggest taking out the "bad" event cards for starters. Some games you won't even see much of them if you are lucky, but others they can ruin all your carefully laid plans. Also, after you take them out at the beginning, you won't have to change anything else for the rest of the game. If you change some of the other victory/loss values around you are going to have to remember what they are during the game.

I think the game also suggests treating the "3 arrow" sides on the slave catcher movement die as a freebie turn where they don't move.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Mayer
United States
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Not listed in the rules, but a very good approach for your situation might be the following modifications:

Skip rolling the slave catcher dice at the beginning of each round (or only count single movement rolls) and remove one opposition card per era deck. If you really would like increase the odds, then remove two opposition cards per era.

This lessens the number of the curve balls and allows you to focus on working together. I would not recommend using this with any other variants as you would still want the other pressures.

There are a few variants I included in the rules too. You can start with the middle plantation empty to lessen the tension on the helping people move and/or treat triple movements as safe rolls too. yYou can use one or both of these together if you wish.
6 
 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.