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Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends» Forums » Variants

Subject: Starting Variant rss

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Michael W.
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Hello to all the geeks out there!

My Girlfriend and I think, that the start should be changed, because of the fact, that the starting hand of your beeings can be really an advantage or a really BIG disadcantage. So we came up with the following variant:

1. Starting Hand:
Each player draws 5 cards of YOUR Deck and shuffles 2 cards back to your deck. So you have a little bit more control of your starting hand.

2. First player action:
In the rules the first player has the disadvantage that he has only 1 action and the second player has the normal 2 action. We think that the second player should get an advantage instead of the first player getting an disadvantage.
So the first player gets 2 actions like the rest of the game and the second player gets 3 action in the very first turn.


We playtested this a few times. But let us know what you think about our ideas.

P.S.: We love the games of Vlaada
But this is the first game we thought about a variant because the start is too random and not very balanced for us.
Sorry Vlaada blush
 
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Are you talking about DM or High Form?

I agree that starting hand can be a problem. We solve it the least invasive and wildly popular way - by allowing a mulligan before play. Also remember that you still have discard action during the game - it's vital to know when it makes sense to use it.

But overall, your variant is probably fine, though 3 actions can stretch into a very powerful combo in certain cases.
 
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Michael W.
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This variant is meant to be for High Form and DM because in both it can be really painful to start with a bad hand of cards.

We know, that you have a discard action. But this is only usefull during the game. If you do the discard action at the very first turn, you have quite few chance to win anymore.

Because it can be really powerful I divided my variant in two parts. So you can decide to play with both or only one variant-part.
 
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Vlaada Chvatil
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Hello all,

feel free to add any muligan or "pick from more cards" rule. It is a long scale, from random setup to "pick any three cards you wish", and it is just matter of personal taste where you want to be on it. Also, it should not break anything (except perhaps very slight disbalance of she schools).

However, I strongly recommend against the second rule you mentioned, as it breaks the game.

Let me explain. You cannot summon anything with your first two actions. If having two tokens pattern, you can summon something by your third action. With the rules you mention, the chance you can have such card in your hand gets higher.

You changed 1-2-2 rule to 2-3 rule. To make the comparsion easier, we may say it is 0-2-3 rule (instead of saying the first player has 2 and second player 3 actions, we can say the first player has 0, second player has 2 and then the first player has 3 actions). It is sure the same.

Now compare these two cases:

1-2-2
0-2-3

In both cases, the first player is the first one who can summon two- token-pattern being on his second turn. However, in the original rules, he has to place one token before the second player, so that player has at least some control of the situation, where in your case, he plays all three actions after the second player.

Leg me give you an example:

The first player (the one who will play fifth action of the game) has Wild Eagle in his hand. In your case, the other player has no chance - no matter where he puts his two tokens, his opponent may just put two tokens next to one of his tokens, and by third action, he may summon the eagle and kill one token by summoning and the other by combat move. The player is three tokens behind, and he couldn't do anything to prevent it.

In original rules, he may place his two tokens the way that none of them is diagonally adjacent to the oponent's first token. This way, he prevent both eagle and axeman from destroying both of his tokens.

Also note: The starting moves are more important in Deathmatch. That's why there are some tokens placed on the board. With these tokens, you may imagine it as 2-3 rule, except it says "first token must be placed on the mark". That's there to prevent too agressive starts.

With High Form (which I consider main gaming mode for two player or two team game), the starting moves are not so important as in Deathmatch. You may play flares with no penalty, and actually, many types of Tasks are easier to fulfill when slightly behind (with help of Flares).

Of course, it is now your game and feel free to play it any way you like, I am just explaining why I think changing the starting sequence is not a good idea.

Vlaada
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Vlaada wrote:

You changed 1-2-2 rule to 2-3 rule. To make the comparsion easier, we may say it is 0-2-3 rule (instead of saying the first player has 2 and second player 3 actions, we can say the first player has 0, second player has 2 and then the first player has 3 actions). It is sure the same.


I'm reading this 5th time and I still don't get it. He changed 1-2-2 rule to 2-3-2 rule. How is this equivalent to 0-2-3? Unless you shifted the order "bitwise" to the left, which means that first player from original example becomes second player, etc?

In the original OP post, it's the second player that is first to summon a 2-token creature (Sapling etc.) - and it happens in his first turn, because he gets 3 actions.

But I also agree with Vlaada, that this seemingly innocent change could influence the starting game too much (that's what I meant when writing about 'powerful combos'), especially when he designed (and scaled) the game around having 2 actions and getting more actions only via a specific card effects in the mid-game.
 
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Chris
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rattkin wrote:
Vlaada wrote:

You changed 1-2-2 rule to 2-3 rule. To make the comparsion easier, we may say it is 0-2-3 rule (instead of saying the first player has 2 and second player 3 actions, we can say the first player has 0, second player has 2 and then the first player has 3 actions). It is sure the same.


I'm reading this 5th time and I still don't get it. He changed 1-2-2 rule to 2-3-2 rule. How is this equivalent to 0-2-3? Unless you shifted the order "bitwise" to the left, which means that first player from original example becomes second player, etc?


You're missing the sequence

1-2-2-2
v.
0-2-3-2

And yes, it means first player becomes the second player to place a piece.

As for house rules, I understand the desire to reduce starting draw, or change the opening, but it's out of the theme of the game.

Thematically, magical energies are unpredictable and wild, you don't always get to decide what shape the stones will take.
 
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Chris
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rattkin wrote:
Vlaada wrote:

You changed 1-2-2 rule to 2-3 rule. To make the comparsion easier, we may say it is 0-2-3 rule (instead of saying the first player has 2 and second player 3 actions, we can say the first player has 0, second player has 2 and then the first player has 3 actions). It is sure the same.


I'm reading this 5th time and I still don't get it. He changed 1-2-2 rule to 2-3-2 rule. How is this equivalent to 0-2-3? Unless you shifted the order "bitwise" to the left, which means that first player from original example becomes second player, etc?


1-2-2 vs. 2-3-2 vs. 0-2-3

In each, how many actions does the first player get during the first three turns?

1-2-2 (three actions for player 1)
2-3-2 (four actions for player 1)
0-2-3 (three actions for player 1)

Vlaada's suggestion maintains the 3 actions AND is game breaking. Thus four actions in the first three turns is even more game breaking.
 
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Chris
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The thing I think you're missing is that 2-3-2 is the same as the 0-2-3 in his example. He's adding a hypothetical first turn with zero actions.

2-3-2 is actually hypothetical turn 2,3 and 4.

To put it another way, consider the scenarios in which 5 total actions (by both players) are consumed.

1-2-2 (rules as written)
0-2-3 (the OPs suggested variant)

Vlaadas argument is that the variant gives one player 3 uninterrupted actions, versus adding a half turn in the beginning to spread out the actions.
 
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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alenen wrote:

And yes, it means first player becomes the second player to place a piece.


Ok, that's what I thought. It wasn't super obvious at the beginning.

alenen wrote:

As for house rules, I understand the desire to reduce starting draw, or change the opening, but it's out of the theme of the game.


There's a fine balance between the theme and game stability. Theme won't save the game, where player starting with worse hand is in significantly worse situation - especially in a game, that attempts to create environment for balanced games, maybe even tournament-ready. Picking cards from opponent and shuffling feels a little bit abusive mechanics-wise (and would be totally broken when using deckbuilding), but I feel that mulligan is just fine for this (almost every card game allows for it, to mitigate bad luck with card draw).

"The magician quickly shakes his head and makes a complicated hand gesture. The air gets very thick around him for a brief moment and one can hear a quick and sharp crackling sound. He is revealed again and ready for battle. Maybe it was just another form of preparation".
 
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Chris
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rattkin wrote:

"The magician quickly shakes his head and makes a complicated hand gesture. The air gets very thick around him for a brief moment and one can hear a quick and sharp crackling sound. He is revealed again and ready for battle. Maybe it was just another form of preparation".


I like it! Mulligan is IN!
 
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Michael W.
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@Vlaada:
Thanks for your answer! I'm very , that you take your time to explain why my idea is not so good as I thought before (not many Designers do that!!)
The point is, that we use all the actions in the first round (as mentioned: first player 2 actions, second player 3 actions) to put only common beeings on the board. The players are not allowed to play a card in the very first round. So the first round is only to build up your starting patterns. I apologize that I forgot to mention it. Sorry

But I understand your point very well. It seemed for us, that the first player has a disadvantage and nobody wants to be the first player. So I came up with my idea. Maybe we see the whole thing wrong with the disadvantage...

P.S.: My girlfriend said the same to me as Vlaada. So now I have to agree with my girlfriend AND Vlaada
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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snikla wrote:

But I understand your point very well. It seemed for us, that the first player has a disadvantage and nobody wants to be the first player. So I came up with my idea. Maybe we see the whole thing wrong with the disadvantage...


I think you do. Actually, it's the second player that is in slight disadvantage, as it will be 1st player who can summon beings first. This is balanced by 2nd player maintaining some kind of control of his placement and possible reaction. In other words - it's all fine, don't worry about it and play :)
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