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Subject: 4-5 Players Variant rss

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Shlomi Atia
Israel
Deganya B
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Hi,

I read some other proposals of variants for games with more then 3 players, and I would like to propose a variant that try to address issues raised with them.

I have 2 goals

1 Let each player have at least 2 turns per round, like the 1-3 players games
2 Try to change as few other things as possible

The core idea of the variant is to have 11 turns per round (prime number, to prevent players from always adding the same goods to the supply on their turns). This allow 2+ turns per rounds for 4-5 players.

Now let's solve the problems.

What supply tiles are used for the 8-11 turns? We just warp around. At the beginning of the game, we put a beginning marker where the ships are, and an ending marker 11 places after. If you wrap around, the marker will end up after the 4th supply tile. After all players pass the ending marker, you move the beginning marker to the end marker. When any player end his turn just before the 2 markers, the round ends. You then move the ending marker 11 places forward (it will now be after the 1st supply tile). You now start the next round, and the first ship will start after the beginning marker.

Now the problem is that if we play the same number of rounds, we'll have many more turns. The idea is to reduce the number of round so that we'll have similar number of turns. We'll also want that the number of rounds will divide with the number of players, so that each player will have the same number of turns. For example, a 5 player short game lasts 15 rounds, which are 105 turns. If we'll reduce it to 10 rounds, we'll have 110 turns, which is very close.

This present with a new dilemma. What should we do at the end of the round, in regards to food, harvest, buildings and ships? We can solve this by saying that at the end of the round, we look at everything that should have happened up until now, or should have happen very soon, and do it.

I'll illustrate this with an example: in a 5 players short game, after 11 turns we should have had 1 round. There is no food requirement, and no building, but we do have a harvest, and 1 wooden ship should be out. We do exactly that after 1 round in our variant. After another 11 turns (22 total), we should have had another 2 rounds. The combined food requirements for those 2 rounds is 2, with 1 of them having an harvest, and another 2 wooden ships should be out. We do exactly that for the second round in the variant. After another 11 turns (33 total), we should have 1 more round, but because we're so close to the next one, we'll include it too. Food requirement is 3, we have the first building built by the town, and a wooden and iron ships should be out.

I continued this for the rest of the rounds, making sure that the food requirement is never decreasing, and ended up with this table for 5 players short game:

Round | Food | Building | Harvest | Ships
==========================================
1 | 0 | No | Yes | W
------------------------------------------
2 | 2 | No | Yes | W+W
------------------------------------------
3 | 3 | Yes | Yes | W+I
------------------------------------------
4 | 3 | Yes | Yes | W
------------------------------------------
5 | 4 | Yes | Yes | W+I
------------------------------------------
6 | 4 | No | No | S
------------------------------------------
7 | 7 | Yes | Yes | I+I
------------------------------------------
8 | 7 | Yes | Yes | S
------------------------------------------
9 | 7 | No | Yes | L+L
------------------------------------------
10 | 8 | No | No | L


We have the same total food requirements, and each round we have roughly similar requirement as the regular game. The same number of buildings are built, roughly at the same time. This is also true for the harvests and the ships as well.

So in conclusion, we have a very similar amount of resources, events and options, and the timing of their availability resemble the timing in the original game. However, each player have at least 2 turns per round. The sane method can be applied for 4, 5 short and long games. The price we need to pay is the fiddliness of managing the different starting and ending times of rounds, and it is up to you to consider if it's wroth it.

Any feedback will be appreciated
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