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Gravwell: Escape from the 9th Dimension» Forums » General

Subject: Variant options for less randomness? rss

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Scott Bordelon
United States
Deerfield
Illinois
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Hi Corey and all,
I just ordered the game after watching a number of reviews. Haven't played it yet, but was wondering about a couple of ideas I had, and thoughts if that would still work for the game (and/or maybe already has been tested).

1) Play 5 out of the 6 cards you draft. i.e. one of the cards you draft you dont have to play. You still get an emergency stop.
- seems like will allow you to not get stuck with something you really dont want

2) Draft Cards are all Face Up
- what would this do to the game? Would it make the game less fun because everyone has potentially perfect info on what others have, and make it too much of a memory game then?

Of course, I will play the game by the rules and assume that will be the best way to play. This is more for a discussion on why those rules are probably the best to play with.

Thanks,
Scott
 
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Corey Young
United States
Dayton
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Great questions. The latter is actually in the rules as the "No Secrets" variation. I tend to play with this option, but not everyone is crazy about it. It does lead to more AP.

The draft is nice because it can be customized to suite your tastes with regards to the amount of shared and hidden information. Here are a few other options.

Okay, let's set up for a 3 player game. A standard draft pile will look like this:

UD UD UD
UD UD UD
UD UD UD

So "No Secrets" will look like this:

UU UU UU
UU UU UU
UU UU UU

We do a variation called "House Draft" that looks like this:

UU UU UU
UD UD UD
DD DD DD

You can choose any pile. This lets you decide how much information you want to share with other players. You can take your chances on a DD pile and keep your cards close to the vest or you can go for the known quantity (UU), taking the risk that your opponents will remember your cards.

Another draft that I've been tinkering with involves 3-card piles. You'd only draft 2 piles each round, so you still end with 6 cards.

UUD UUD UUD
UUD UUD UUD

Still some hidden information. It's also interesting because you have to consider the value of the two up cards combined.

The option to only play 5 of the 6 cards is interesting. Several people have suggested it. I originally had this mechanism. It resembles the play from 7 Wonders. The Emergency Stop card provides the same result, but it allows 2 additional features. First, it lets you choose when the card to be ignored is ignored, rather with it being one of your last 2 cards. Second, it lets you actually play the 6th card if you like. You never have to use the Emergency Stop.

I haven't played with both the Emergency Stop and the 5/6 rule. Let me know how it works for you. It would certainly decrease the chaos, but you may find that a highly controlled game of Gravwell isn't as satisfying or funny.

I hope you house rule the game to whatever style suits your group. If you come up with any interesting variations, please be sure to share them on BGG.

Enjoy the game!

Corey
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Scott Bordelon
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Thanks very much Corey for the quick and quality response!

In truth, I bought the game because of the videos I have seen you demoing it and playing it, and how active you are in these forums. It is much appreciated and the game looks like alot of fun. Can't wait for it to arrive.

I will test out the house variant for the draft after playing the official rules. Looks interesting!

-Scott
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