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Subject: Variant for added difficulty/clarification rss

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ArmyChief J
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If this is TL;DR for you, just focus on the bold parts.

I have really enjoyed this game. In fact, I feel like it’s the best Kickstarter game I’ve gotten so far, with the best staying power. Yet, the rules feel a bit lax at least for playing with adults only (the rules seem great if playing with kids/preteens). So here is a list of house rules I have put in, along with my thinking for why.

1. RULE CHANGE: After the requisite number of piles are emptied, finish the ROUND (dealer is last player) regardless of which player empties the pile (similar to Kingdom Builder rules).

a. The first player has the advantage of being the only player to never have to deal with claimed tiles. I have playtested a few different rule changes for this. One is to simply let the last player (the dealer) claim a tile, but not take a turn. That however results in that player having the advantage of getting a cheap tile on their first turn, that no one else gets. You could say the claim is a weakened one that makes everything more expensive but does not result in a cheapened tile for the player, but that just overly complicates things.

b. Another advantage is that the first player will almost always have an extra turn compared to the last player, whereas the last player can never hope to have more turns than everyone else. In a game in which the number of tiles you buy is how you score, this gives another massive advantage to the first player and weakness to the last.

c. This rule does not change the first player’s initial advantage, but gives the final player his/her own advantage of being able to end the game immediately without allowing the other players to get one more turn and being the only person who can hold the PRINCESS until their final turn to avoid the risk of her being plagued. IMO, This is not particularly unfair as the number of tiles in piles is known to all players and they can adjust accordingly.

d. This also has the tendency to shorten games as people will be more likely to buy the final tile to end the game so they can control the ending. As it stands, at least in my gaming group, people are loathe to end the game because in essence they are penalized for doing so as they don’t get one more turn but everyone else does.


2. RULE CHANGE: As with completed buildings, do not allow pieces to be taken out of incomplete buildings (though they can obviously be rearranged within the building).


a. The way the rules are written say to score differently for an incomplete building versus something left in the stockpile. Yet, as you can start building with any piece (i.e. a roof tile), and you can remove tiles from incomplete buildings, and what constitutes an incomplete building (versus just a collection of parts) is never defined in the rulebook, there seems to be no practical difference between the two, or any reason anyone would ever have pieces left in their stockpile when scoring, especially if the rule for game end has not been changed as suggested above.

b. This increases difficulty by creating a risk/reward between freedom in building and risking being caught with pieces in the stockpile.

c. This also avoids the unclear rule issue when the scoundrel takes a tile from a complete building and whether that building then counts as incomplete or complete as far as the construction rules are concerned.

3. RULE CHANGE: The number of stock pile tiles that can be added to buildings are limited to 3 total (not per building) per turn. All tiles purchased on the current turn DO NOT count towards this limit (though they are a part of the stockpile for the purposes of the Alchemist).

a. The way the rules are written, there is no limit on how many tiles you can build in a turn, and, without my tweak to game end, you always know you can build on your next turn. Thus, other than the ability to use the Merchant and Baron, there is no compelling reason to build except on your last turn, thus escaping the problem of being stuck with pieces in a complete building.

b. This further reduces the issue of stockpile/incomplete building, and with the above rule change, creates more need for strategy in building, as well as luck in getting the pieces you want to complete the building as you initially envisioned it.

c. EDIT: Just before posting this, I noticed that Jason posted in the rules forum that he was missing one rule in the rulebook that rewards you for building complete buildings by giving you an extra card per two complete buildings. This clearly is a much more major incentive than simply the baron or merchant. Yet, I still like this variant to encourage the need to choose between immediate building and waiting for just the right piece (or a unique piece to use instead).
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Jason Glover
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Those are some very nice house rules for a more advanced setting! Thanks for posting. The included rules are certainly more geared towards family play!

Please rate the game when you feel you have experienced it enough. Thanks!
 
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Birder
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armychiefj wrote:

2. RULE CHANGE: As with completed buildings, do not allow pieces to be taken out of incomplete buildings (though they can obviously be rearranged within the building).[/b]

a. The way the rules are written say to score differently for an incomplete building versus something left in the stockpile. Yet, as you can start building with any piece (i.e. a roof tile), and you can remove tiles from incomplete buildings, and what constitutes an incomplete building (versus just a collection of parts) is never defined in the rulebook, there seems to be no practical difference between the two, or any reason anyone would ever have pieces left in their stockpile when scoring, especially if the rule for game end has not been changed as suggested above.

b. This increases difficulty by creating a risk/reward between freedom in building and risking being caught with pieces in the stockpile.

c. This also avoids the unclear rule issue when the scoundrel takes a tile from a complete building and whether that building then counts as incomplete or complete as far as the construction rules are concerned.

a. Jason mentioned somewhere that a completed building has a door and a roof and is comprised of at least two tiles. An incomplete building has at least two (connecting?) tiles.

I agree that the rule book is lacking. I'm hoping he will tweak it and make it better and better for new players. As is, it's not very clear in parts.
 
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