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Lost Cities» Forums » Variants

Subject: Four Players? rss

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Jeff Khoury
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I've been thinking about picking this up. The only problem is my group is actually too large for 2-player games. We also generally prefer 4-player card games (Spades, Hearts, etc).

Looking over the rules, it seems entirely possible to combine two copies and play 4-players. Essentially you'd still be getting the exact same number of card draws (approx one half of one deck depending on how you play it) to work with, but you'd have to worry about what 3 other players are collecting.

Of course, that might make discarding TOO agonizing, so what about team play? If teammates sit opposite of each other, you only have to worry about 2 opponents. Then part of the strategy could be trying to "feed" your partner discards without them getting intercepted by the other team. (You might even be able to toy with a bidding system, but that's beyond the scope of this article)

But in a four player free for all I like the following idea to ease discarding panic ("I can't discard this because player x is collecting that, AND I can't discard this because player y is collecting that! Arggg!!!!") How about, for an extra penalty, say 5 more points, you can play an expidition and all its cards FACE DOWN. That way, your opponents can never be sure if all those cards you're picking up are for your hidden expedition, or something else you're scheming.

Just some ideas I wanted to throw out. I really want to know if any one's tried this 4-player and how some of the people who have actually played the game (I am not one of them) think a 4-player variant might affect the flow of the game.

Sorry if any of these ideas have been suggested before, I browsed the variants and general threads and didn't see anything.
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J
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Chris Lawson's Reiner Knizia site has a 4p variant for Lost Cities (designed by Knizia himself). It requires two copies of the game. It used to be at http://freespace.virgin.net/chris.lawson/rk/lostcity/lostfou..., but it seems that's down. The Wayback Machine is good:

http://web.archive.org/web/20021019162723/freespace.virgin.n...

Tabula Rasa, recently reprinted (as Camelot?), has been described as 4p Lost Cities.
 
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Frank Teplin
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The game comes with an "official" four-player variant for team play. I've tried it and it's a lot of fun! You only add in the 2, 3 and 4 of each color from the other deck. You and your partner sit across from each other and play to the same side. You can also, instead of playing and drawing a card, pass two cards to your partner, but you can never bring yourself below six cards when doing so.

I would HIGHLY recommend Lost Cities for two players, and recommend it for four just as well.

If you enjoy games such as Spades and Hearts, you may also enjoy Tichu.
 
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Jeff Khoury
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Thanks for the info guys.

Looks like I could be picking up yet another game in the near future. I'll probably put together a proxy deck w/magic cards first to see how the group takes to it.
 
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I'd forgotten that the official variant was in the Rio Grande rules now. It's the same as the link that I posted to.

If you want an even easier way to test out Lost Cities (or play it when you don't have the "real" one with you), use a standard deck of playing cards. Aces mark the discard piles. Face cards are investment cards. You only have four suits (rather than five), so reduce your hand size to six (from eight). I've played probably a couple dozen times using this method, and it works very well.
 
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