Michael Weaver
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Maryland
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Fortune and Glory:
The Norgano Blitz Game
Version 1.1 Updated July 24th 2014
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/16390382#16390382

Based on new testing and BGG community feedback, this set of house rules has been updated and is likely to receive additional updates to further fine tune and clarify this house rule set.

In what situations should one use this set of rules?
-As an alternative to the regular basic competitive game for introduction purposes/with someone who's never played FANG.
-When playing with someone who is not a gamer or a fan of long American style games
-When less time is available to explain rules, nuances, and intricacies even to serious gamers.
-When a faster, easier, less punishing game is desired.
-When playing with someone who has been turned off by FANG before and cited any of the following complaints: high downtime, clunkiness/cumbersome mechanics, too many rule exceptions, easily misunderstood or confused rules, too much bookkeeping in between rounds, too much potential punishment from individual die rolls, or not fast paced enough.
-(Cooperative optional rule set only): When playing with someone who likes the idea of the cooperative version but has found (or is likely to to find) the cooperative rules in the rulebook too clunky, cumbersome, and slow-paced.

How should these rules be used?
-Except where otherwise noted as optional or optional after first game, these rules should be combined together as a single set.
-The core rulebook and this variant set should be understood ahead of time and kept available during the game only as a reference. The new optional rules for Temple collapse from the “Crimson Hand” expansion should be understood and available, whether or not the expansion is owned. Having knowledge of the game’s FAQ is also preferable.
-A single player should have all of the previous information memorized ahead of time and printed out so that they can explain it to all other players.
-This variant most closely resembles a modified version of the competitive game with elements from both basic and advanced games. There are also modifiers and extra rules added and some mechanics from either which have been removed.
-There are optional rules to include expansion mechanics and/or a modified cooperative game (see coop game below) later on after all players have already played the game with this variant. The optional should and coop game modifications are described at the end. Start with all the rules that are not listed as optional when playing a game with that includes any players who have not already used this set of house rules.
-Gamers who play this game regularly with their groups and are fully satisfied by the game as it is and do not cite any frustration or dissatisfaction with the game’s mechanics as described in the previous section probably will not need to try this set of house rules except, perhaps, out of curiosity. This version is chiefly designed to appeal to gamer’s who enjoy the game’s theme and inspiration but find the rules (or are likely to find the rules) too overwhelming, sluggish or punishing. Therefore these rules should be considered an alternative to the designer’s rules for some players, and should not be taken that I intend these rules to be an overall improvement for everyone.
-Some of the rules have been listed as (optional) as the reasons for not using them, even in the context of this variant are significant enough that the house rules could work either way. Some are listed as (optional after first game). This means that the rule can be introduced if players want, but should not be used the first time this set of house rules is used (or whenever there is a new player who has not used these house rules before)
-The rationales explain the reasoning for the rule alteration. If you want to dive quicker into this set of house rules, simply read and understand the rule changes while skipping the rationales. They are chiefly there as an explanation for the modification for the purposes of this gaming style.


Philosophy Behind Some of the Modifications:
How much you enjoy this variant will depend largely on how much you share certain philosophies about games with me. I feel that:

-Losing turns, whether out of bad luck or punishment for failure is not fun and does not add to a game. Even taking damage can be an exciting form of “punishment” in the context of the game, but losing an entire turn is never fun.
-Downtime between rounds should be minimized wherever possible. The fun part of a game is where actual decision making by real players is occurring.
-Rolling for movement, fighting, and adventuring is fun, tense, and thrilling. Rolling for bookkeeping such as secret bases, the zeppelin, the vile tactics chart is not terrifically fun; it feels more like upkeep and work while you wait for the real turn to come about. It slows down the time in between actual player turns. Rolling dice should be used to move the action forward in a dynamic way, not simply deciding determining basic “maintenance” (though this is sometimes inevitable
-There is often a cost-benefit analysis between removing clunk and hurting theme. The goal with these variants is to remove as much clunk as possible while hurting the theme as little as possible. Obviously some theme and flavor suffered as a result but for many players this will be well worth it.
-Not being successful is punishment enough. When players feel like they are getting “slapped” by the game when they’re already behind, their enjoyment falls that much more.
-Whenever possible, it is helpful to remove exceptions, nuanced rule applications, and easily forgotten rules when they don’t add a great deal of fun and quality to the game. Having less to remember that isn’t obvious is generally a good thing.
-Often, less is more even in a sprawling American style game.

—————————————————————————————————————————

RULES:

Initiative Phase: No dice are rolled for initiative. The person who held the first player marker last round passes it to their left at the end of the round. All players draw one event card for free. Before the first round, players can decide amongst themselves based on any criteria they choose or roll off to see who goes first and is therefore initially holds the first player marker.

Rationale: While good in principle for the “cliffhanger” theme, the initiative phase was one more hurdle that got in the way of the action. Only deciding who went first and whether one was lucky enough to get an event card, it streamlines the game to get rid of this phase. Removing the initiative phase may hurt the theme, but it is my opinion that it strengthens the pace and accessibility of the game enough to be worth it.

Movement Phase: Players roll two dice instead of one and choose the higher of the two. No event cards are given for rolling 1s or doubles. Movement bonuses apply to the die they chose for movement. Any card or ability that would add a movement die simply adds another.

Rationale: It is unfun and frustrating for players to be stuck simply because they keep rolling 2s and 3s. However, rolling dice for movement is still a fun thing to do. This retains the luck factor of the roll and move but mitigates it some by giving the advantage of choosing from two. This also doesn’t add much time to the game as the decision would be quick and easy. This makes it easier to travel but not so easy that travel bonuses are not still worth it. No event cards are given for poor rolls because they have been replaced by the free event card every player gets per round. This has an equalizing effect for total event cards given in a game that already had plenty of luck.

Land or Sea Space: When a hero lands on a regular land or sea space, he now has the choice between drawing an event card or fighting a random enemies card. He does not roll a die.

Rationale: The game already has plenty of die rolling to make determinations that are not directly related to adventuring or combat. This is one more luck mechanic that adds a dose of bookkeeping where it is not essential. Allowing players to choose an event or enemy scales well for the beginning of the game to the end of the game. At the beginning, accumulating event cards is more important and giving players the choice to do so is both satisfying adds to long term strategy. Likewise, a player may choose to fight an enemy so that they can earn the glory for necessary purchases (especially later on when they are well equipped with event cards or more than prepared for a fight) This is less thematic as the hero wouldn’t really have a choice, but it helps the player feel more in control and less punished if they are already behind. It also removed one more situation where the player is at the mercy of a single die roll.

Event Cards: There are now only two ways to get event cards: the event card everyone receives at the beginning of each round and the event card one gets on a regular land/sea space if they choose an event card rather than a fight with an enemy. Dice rolling never causes an event draw.

Rationale: This simplifies and streamlines the process of gaining event cards. Statistically, players are also likely to receive significantly more event cards this way (despite not getting any while rolling for move on an adventure--something that is no longer necessary). This also adds an element of choice over how many event cards one receives and ensures that players are less likely to feel as though they’ve had a “wasted” turn. It’s frustrating for players to repeatedly not get an event card while other players do just because of luck. It is also frustrating for players to encounter enemy after enemy without a choice when they are simply not ready. This mitigates this factor and changes a die roll/bookkeeping mechanic with a real choice.

Getting KO’d: When KO’d roll a die, lose that much glory. If you don’t have enough glory to pay the full amount, simply lose what you do have in glory and return to your home city. You’ll return to play next turn. You will never lose an artifact because you were KO’d A hero never loses a turn because they are KO’d even if it is during the end phase.

Rationale: To have 3 glory, be in last place, then roll a 6 when KO’d and be forced to lose all your glory along with your only ally and only gear item is not only frustrating, it’s overkill. Being sent home and failing to get what you were seeking after traveling there and adventuring is punishment enough. You can still lose up to 6 glory this way, but the game will be much less frustrating and punishing, especially players in last place (often new players). Losing turns does not add fun to the game and usually punishes the person who is already doing the worst.

Deep Jungle: Deep Jungles no longer have an affect on find the adventure site. They still are subject to cards and effects related to jungles, but the deep jungle mechanic is no longer active.

Rationale: This mechanic, while highly themed and logical doesn’t involve any strategy and meaningful decision other than making these spaces more difficult. While interesting, it does not add much fun to the game. When players have their turns skipped because of the die roll and have to do additional book keeping to see when they can play again, it hurts the flow and fun of the game. No one likes having their turn skipped. The deep jungle mechanic is not suitable for a fast-paced blitz game.

Temples: The new streamlined mechanics for temple collapses from the “Rise of the Crimson Hand” expansion are used (regardless of whether one has that expansion) All other temple rules apply but the revised temple collapse rule should be used. It is pasted below:

“When a Hero goes to a Cliffhanger in a Temple, roll as many dice as the Temple’s Danger value. Each 1–2 rolled adds an Instability Marker to the Temple. When the number of Instability Markers reaches or exceeds the Temple’s Danger value, it immediately collapses. Villains have no effect on Temple Instability.”

Rationale: The game designers explain the reasons for this change as being more streamlined. This should be made standard. They only use collapse markers instead of using both danger and collapse markers. You don’t have to check for collapse or keep an eye on how close it is to reaching it’s danger level. You simply have to remember to roll for collapse after each cliffhanger which is easier and more intuitive to remember. It also feels more climactic and sudden rather than a slow build. Less bookkeeping is involved because danger tokens no longer need to be placed.

Gear, Allies, and Common Items: You may now carry three of each. Common items are no longer considered gear for maximum carry purposes. Other rules that apply to “gear” still use keywords for those purposes, but for purchasing and carrying limits, you can now simply have three from each stack of cards maximum. Items that let you increase how much gear can be held, can be use for common items or gear.

Rationale: It is easy for new players to forget that common items often count as gear for carrying purposes. It also always seems too stingy when there are so many useful cards. In most cases, it doesn’t even feel thematic to only be able to hold 3 items. This modifies and simplifies the rules slightly so that in total, a player can simply have 3 of each.

Deadly Tests: The deadly test mechanic is not used in this variant. Danger cards with deadly tests are simply treated as regular dangers/cliffhangers with a proportionately higher reward. Players are not taught the deadly test mechanic.

Rationale: It’s a good mechanic and good for seasoned players, but keeping this simple helps streamline the game and makes it that much more accessible to new players as well as removing one more thing to remember.

Shuffle Icon: Shuffle icons are ignored. Decks are completely reshuffled when they run out of cards.

Rationale: Rather than seeing the same card you already experienced, it’s more fun and interesting to experience new cards. If the decks were shuffled properly before the game, this should allow enough randomization. Having to shuffle the cards during random times simply adds more bookkeeping and game management instead of adding to the action. This makes it so that random areas are more equally used. The downside is that someone could try to remember and count up which areas are left, but this is probably not the kind of person who would be fun to play this with anyway. They should play pandemic.

-Exchanging gear, common items and allies: Heroes may exchange gear, common items, and allies even when on a cliffhanger

Rationale: Thematically, perhaps the other player saw your struggle and swooped into help. Mechanically, this just means one less exception to remember.

-The zeppelin always moves 4. No dice are rolled. (Note this is slightly more than the expected average of 3.5 of a single die roll) You can modify this number to make the game easier or harder.

Rationale: One less die used for bookkeeping rather than fighting, moving, or adventuring which are the fun times to roll dice arguably. This also makes the villain/end phase go faster. Thematically, the zeppelin may have to deal with weather patterns, yes, but generally speaking it doesn’t have a lot of obstacles (such as those one would encounter when traveling across land) and it’s not implied that the Zeppelin is at this point fighting a lot of aircraft (this is still before WW2) therefore, unlike hero movement over land, it makes sense that the zeppelin would move at a relatively consistent rate.

-Villain from particular faction If a card asks you to take a villain from a particular faction and all of the villains of this faction are already in play, discard this card and draw another

Rationale: This is much simpler and less time consuming than the systematic criteria for what to do in the case that all relevant villains are already in play.

-If a villain is on an adventure and a temple collapses, The villains do not roll D6 to see how many wounds they take. Instead, they simply are KO’d no matter what. All Villains on a Temple when it collapses are KO’d. The heroes can try to escape as normal.

Rationale: Thematically, this feels better because the hero often escapes while the Villain either dies in the temple or gets brutally wounded (and we only think he’s dead). Also, the Villain being so greedy would not turn to try and escape in time and got killed (or severely wounded) because of their greed and arrogance. THINK: “I can almost reach it…” Also, mechanically, it’s faster to do (you don’t have to do anything) simpler to remember and therefore speeds up the pace of the game.

-Flying: Flying to all cities now cost 2 fortune, whether or not it is minor or major

Rationale: There would be less access and therefore more expense to fly to a minor city, but this rule doesn’t add a lot of fun to the game and it is one more thing to remember. Having less of these kind of nuances and distinctions is useful for simplifying the game and how teachable it is.

Selling Artifacts: All artifacts are sold for their base value. Auctions still work normally but selling in a major city no longer gives a +1 bonus.

Rationale: Like with flying, this may seem like a thematic rule, but it doesn’t add much to the game other than making you keep in mind that for traveling and adventure purposes, the Northern Hemisphere is generally better than the Southern Hemisphere. This simplifies and streamlines things by removing another rule exception/nuance that isn’t totally necessary. Flying to a city cost 2. Sell your artifact in any city for it’s fixed cost.

Cities: as a result of these new rules, the distinction between major and minor cities has been largely erased unless the optional rule of major city events are later used.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Optional Rules for this Variant Set
It is recommended to play this variant set first without any optional rules

Turn Order (Optional): Players no longer take turns moving, then take turns adventuring. They now move, do their adventure one after the other. I.e. In a two player game, you no longer move, then wait for the other player to move before adventuring. You now move then adventure, following all normal adventure rules. Turns no longer feel “segmented” and now take on a more traditional style.

Rationale: The reason why the game makers did this is obvious: it lowers downtime, it forces everyone to stay focused on the game, it makes each player feel more involved in what the other players are doing. It also allows for players to simultaneously compete or cooperate on the same adventure.These are all laudable goals with an innovative mechanic. However, in many circles, this rule comes across as wonky, counter-intuitive and as a result leads to confusion and bewilderment--especially with new gamers. Making this change will hurt the “cliffhanger” thematic feel a bit but the reward is making the game a few notches easier to teach and being more accessible when relearning. The normal cliffhanger mechanic during an adventure still works and therefore the theme is not greatly harmed.
-Remove all secret delivery cards from the game (Optional)

Rationale: These cards seem to be less exciting than one would imagine. The other city cards are more interesting and these cards simply encourage players to go from city to city rather than adventure which is the heart of the game.

Docks, Major City Events, Deadly test mechanic, and Personal Missions (Optional, only after first game): These mechanics are all optional but they should only be played if everyone playing has played Fortune and Glory at least once before. They should be not be introduced in a player’s first game. If used, the mechanics are unchanged except where otherwise mentioned. Even with exclusively seasoned players, it is not recommended to play with all of these mechanics at once.

STREAMLINED COOPERATIVE GAME (Optional, only after first game):

How to use these cooperative modifications: This optional rule set should be used with all other previously described non optional rules. Use cooperative features such as being able to adventure and fight with other heroes, being able to trade and share collective fortune for victory as a team, and all other rules that let you work together or benefit from the other players. The game should be treated in the spirit of a cooperative endeavour and the players win or lose together.

Changes: No vile organization is selected or used. There is no villain phase as described in the original cooperative game. Use the competitive side of the player reference cards instead of the cooperative side. No villain event cards are drawn. The regular zeppelin is used. During the end phase of each round, move the villain track by 1; this occurs as a separate occurrence before all other end phase mechanics. The villain track moves at this steady rate and no other effect can move the villain track (including enemy unit placement). It works like a regular timer and heroes are working together to race against the clock. Once it has met its goal, the dark forces of the earth prevail and the heroes collectively lose. The heroes must collect enough fortune as a team and return to their home cities before this occurs. Also as a new last step added to the end phase, roll a D6. If the result is 1-2, place a Nazi in a random location. If the result is 3-4 place a mobster in a random location. If the result is 5-6 place an order of the crimson hand acolyte in a random location. Acolytes do not work as described in the Crimson Hand expansion rules. Instead they work like regular enemy combatant; when encountered, they stop movement and initiative a fight. Reference the Crimson hand enemy card when you encounter them to do combat. If you do not have the Crimson Hand expansion, then a die results of 1-3 places a Nazi and die result of 4-6 places a Mobster. If there are not enough units available, choose another type of enemy unit of any kind (no villains). If no units are available, place nothing. If the random location drawn already had a unit, do not place one. Neither of these move the villain track extra steps.

Rationale: This variant is good for those who still wish to work together to play cooperatively, but found that the original cooperative rules and vile organization systems required too much bookkeeping, down time, clunkiness, and sluggishness. You can also easily modify the required collective fortune to win and the villain track goal in order to adjust game difficulty and game length. A lot of the flavor, theme and atmosphere of the original cooperative game/vile organization is lost using this variant. However, the result will be a game that is much faster-paced with significantly less downtime and a greater focus on player decision. This makes the game more exciting and also much more accessible as many players have a great deal of difficulty fully grasp all the interactions and nuances of the rules involved in the Villain phase of the original cooperative game.
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Mattias Elfström
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norgano wrote:
Fortune and Glory:
The Norgano Variant Game

Version 1.0 Updated July 21st 2014

"How to make FANG actually accessible and fun the FIRST time a new person plays in a way even better than the original quick-start/basic ruleset."



I like your variants. Many of them will serve to speed up the game in a good way. A few observations follow:

norgano wrote:
Initiative Phase: No dice are rolled for initiative. The person who held the first player marker last round passes it to their left at the end of the round. All players draw one event card for free. Before the first round, players can decide amongst themselves based on any criteria they choose or roll off to see who goes first.


This is a very good variant that should probably have been in the game from the start. Eliminating the initiative roll saves time and doesn't affect the game at all. Automatically drawing an event brings more events into the game and will give players more to consider and more ways to affect the game.

norgano wrote:
Movement Phase: Players roll two dice instead of one and choose the higher of the two. No event cards are given for rolling 1s or doubles. Movement bonuses apply to the die they chose for movement. Any card or ability that would add a movement die simply adds another.


This variant may actually increase the clunkiness of the game. If the movement roll bothers you, I suggest going with the fixed movement rule in the game.

norgano wrote:
Land or Sea Space: When a hero lands on a regular land or sea space, he now has the choice between drawing an events card or fighting a random enemies card. He does not roll a die.


I like this idea. It will save some time by avoiding yet another die roll and will also provide a decision opportunity and more events.

norgano wrote:
Turn Order: Players no longer take turns moving, then take turns adventuring. They now move, do their adventure one after the other. I.e. In a two player game, you no longer move, then wait for the other player to move before adventuring. You now move then adventure, following all normal adventure rules. Turns no longer feel “segmented” and now take on a more traditional style.


I would not use this variant. It will make it much harder or impossible to compete (or cooperate) for the same artifact. The point of the split movement/adventuring is so that you can go to the same adventure as your adversary (or teammate). Removing this element will make the game less exciting.

norgano wrote:
Getting KO’d: When KO’d roll a die, lose that much glory. If you don’t have enough glory to pay the full amount, simply lose what you do have in glory and return to your home city. You’ll return to play next turn. You will never lose an artifact, allies, gear, or common items because you were KO’d A hero never loses a turn because they are KO’d even if it is during the end phase.


This is a good variant for a quicker, less frustrating game.

norgano wrote:
Deep Jungle: Deep Jungles no longer have an affect on finding the adventure site. They still are subject to cards and effects related to jungles, but the deep jungle mechanic is no longer active.


The deep jungle is a simple mechanic that adds some decision making to the game. I don't think removing it is useful in any significant way.

norgano wrote:
Temples: The new streamlined mechanics for temple collapses from the “Rise of the Crimson Hand” expansion are used (regardless of whether one has that expansion--see Rise of the Crimson hand optional new rule for collapsing temples for details)


I don't think the Crimson Hand mechanics for temples are much simpler or more intuitive than the original ones. I recommend sticking to the original rules.

norgano wrote:
Shuffle Icon: Shuffle icons are ignored. Decks are completely reshuffled when they run out of cards.


On the other hand, shuffling the deck now and again will prevent knowledge of what is in the discard pile. This is especially useful for the locations deck.

norgano wrote:
Cooperative gameplay, Docks, Major City Events, Optional Rules and Personal Missions: These mechanics are all optional but they should only be played if everyone playing has played Fortune and Glory at least once before. They should be not be introduced in a player’s first game. If used, the mechanics are unchanged except where otherwise mentioned. Even with exclusively seasoned players, it is not recommended to play with all of these mechanics at once.

RATIONALE: Aside from the cooperative game which is complex, these mechanics are easy enough to implement have fairly good theme but are also one more mechanic to learn in a game that plays best when light, fast-paced, and low on bookkeeping. It is not recommended to play with all four systems and none of these mechanics should be introduced to players playing their first game of FANG as they can be bewildering, complex, or sluggish when not implemented and understood extremely well.


On the other hand we have found that even if the game has a lot of details it is not a difficult game to understand. We frequently play with children (9 to 11 years old) and they can easily grasp even the challenge of using a vile organization in a competitive game (our preferred way of playing).
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Mattias Elfström
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By the way: Have you read the Complete Rulebook?

May I add your initiative rule to the list of options in the Complete Rulebook?
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Guillaume Zork
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Some idea are nice. However, all these rules make the game too easy against vilains.

Specific points:

* drawing 1 event card each turn (your suggestion) vs 1 every 3 turns on average (original) is more than a slight increase.
* The limit of "Gear" and "Ally" refers to what is printed on the item itself, not on its back. Most (if not all ?) common item are "gear". I enjoy more a gear/ally card like the "mule" of talisman that allow you to carry more objects.
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Markus Weihrauch
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amikezor wrote:
Some idea are nice. However, all these rules make the game too easy against vilains.

Specific points:

* drawing 1 event card each turn (your suggestion) vs 1 every 3 turns on average (original) is more than a slight increase.
* The limit of "Gear" and "Ally" refers to what is printed on the item itself, not on its back. Most (if not all ?) common item are "gear". I enjoy more a gear/ally card like the "mule" of talisman that allow you to carry more objects.


That's what I felt too. Some of the rules are pretty nice for the competitive game but would make the coop game way too easy, especially as 99% of the Event cards are actually good for the players (I believe with some of the expansions some not so nice cards entered this deck).

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Michael Weaver
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Thanks everyone for the quick and excellent responses!

I thought I'd wait until later to make a follow up but you have all brought up some great points.

a quick clarification/admission:

This variant is really suggested with people in mind who have an aversion to Ameritrash (I use that term affectionately) or are non-gamers. If your group already is comfortable playing the full cooperative game with the vile organization, this variant is mostly not necessary. However, I do recommend this variant if you have a group of newer players or as I said, ones who aren't as familiar with sprawling American style games and are perhaps less comfortable with it. If your playing with children who already understand and enjoy every aspect of the vile organization, this variant would be unnecessary. However, if you're introducing this game to players others wary of games they consider too frustrating or clunky, this may be a good variant. It's also good for players who have tried FANG before and were dissatisfied for these reasons. Obviously, I have very personal reasons for creating this variant (for some of my friends) but I hope it's useful for others too.

This variant has really been conceptualized with the competitive game in mind without a vile organization. Adding as an option to introduce the vile organization and coop later may not have been thought out thoroughly enough as all these variants may not adapt themselves perfectly. However, I do maintain that as for difficulty, the coop game is easy to scale difficulty by changing required fortune and shadow track goal.

Now to address the points because I think they're really good. I'll first preamble my saying that each of these variants comes with a downside (a price to pay, if you will--even the removal of the initiative phase, as some people find it exciting, while others don't)

@Markus and Guillaume

-It's true. More event cards are drawn and used in this version. Therefore they're not just less randomly dispersed among players. There are simply more of them. This does make it overall easier. This either would make it too easy against villains in coop or require shifting overall game difficulty. I may need to update my original post to reflect that this is really based on a the competitive game sans vile organization.

-You are quite right that "gear" refers to the keyword on the card front, not the back. However, I find this concept more difficult to teach and again more stingy. It's easier to just use game backs as the marker for the sake of carry limits and more fun too to simply say you can have up to three "from each stack".

@Mattias

-Consider these ideas free to share and utilize. Ah, are you one of the ones who crafted the excellent complete rulebook I recently downloaded? Feel free to include anything from this variant and well done. It's been great for me to brush up on vile organizations/coop as I obviously am more rusty on those as my groups like competitive more. I'm flattered if anyone wants to include any of these rules in any capacity.

MOVEMENT: I've tried fixed movement and paradoxically (considering I've spoken so much about how players like less dice rolling for book keeping purposes), players really like rolling to see how far they move. They just become frustrated when they get only 2 or 3 and they need 4. It doesn't make total logical sense but rolling (in this case) may serve an emotional need. Admittedly, rolling two dice and choosing the higher does add some clunk (where otherwise I'm insisting on reducing clunk) but my ultimate goal in reducing clunk is to make the game feel more smooth and less frustrating. Having more movement options/power reduces frustration "ah darn, I can't make it there AGAIN!" and therefore I think is worth the added clunk. However, as with any of these variants, I can understand why players would choose not use them. NOTE: I used the internets and they told me that the average result of the higher of two dice is about 4.5 This seems like a good generous amount to me while still allowing for random variation.

LAND OR SEA SPACE: This is the variant I feel most strongly about. I hope people try it because it scales well and is more satisfying I think.

TURN ORDER: This is the variant I had the most doubts about it. I maintain that for the group(s) I introduce this game to, the increase in intuitiveness (they're SO used to rolling, moving, and doing the action all in a row to the point that changing this almost can feel abrasive or off-putting). However, you're absolutely right that this can reduce adventure interaction when players are on the same adventure. As for coop games, again, I didn't really design this with those in mind and this variant should probably not be played with the coop admittedly where players want to adventure together.

DEEP JUNGLE: It is true that this mechanic is simple, easy to teach, and adds decision making. By all accounts I should love it. But again, my ultimate goal is reducing frustrating where you feel "helpless" because of luck. People simply don't like "missing" their turn. Any chance I have to remove mechanics that skip players turn, I find almost always improves the game. I stubbornly maintain this recommended variant even for coop games though I know I'm probably in the minority among regular FANG players.

TEMPLES: I think we may just have a difference in taste. I like that because you have some control over whether there's a cliffhanger or not (in the form of how cautious you are with pressing on) it feels more thematic--you want to tread carefully through the precarious temple. More importantly, the book keeping is reduced to an action only when there is a cliffhanger rather than adding a danger token each time you take a fortune and checking or keeping in mind the temples danger value to make sure you have not met it with each fortune grab. The new system takes away something you have to consistently "keep in mind" while adventuring and now you know you only have to worry about it when a cliffhanger occurs. I think new players will find this easier and more understandable while still being equally thematic.

SHUFFLING: This is a very good point about shuffling the deck so that you don't know what cards are already out there. Like the other variants, this is an example of a trade-off. You lose out the virtue of having that mystery but you gain one less thing you have to worry about and "maintain". With players that I've shown this game too, the biggest thing that destroyed their fun-factor and enjoyment of the game wasn't one single clunky bookkeeping mechanic but "Death by a thousand pinpricks" as far as little nuances, rules, exceptions, and tidbits of bookkeeping. Removing reshuffling doesn't speed up the game ten fold or instantly transform the pace, but it is one less "pinprick" in the bookkeeping and "maintenance" of the game. Shuffling a deck properly takes more time for the average gamer than most people give credit for. A minute here, a few extra seconds here, etc. These things add up in slowing down what should be a fast-paced game. Anything that can be done to streamline the game without sacrificing TOO MUCH, I think is really worthwhile.
------------------
These variants are not for everyone. People who don't find the full cooperative game with vile organization sluggish to play or difficult to teach to new players without frustration probably don't have a group that will require or benefit from most of these variants. However, if your group resembles SOME of the players I've tried to introduce FANG to (non-gamers, many euro gamers, people generally averse to Flying Frog style) this set of house rules should mitigate some of their frustration and make the game more enjoyable. Soon, I will update my original post to reflect some of the admissions from this post and feedback in this thread. As an experiment, I still encourage next time you're teaching a NEW group the game. Play the competitive game without the vile organization and use these variants and see how much easier it is for them to start having fun right away than the alternative. That is the chief goal I have.

Thank you all very much.
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Michael Weaver
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@Mattias
I'll be darned, that is you on the complete rulebook I downloaded! Read a bit more on break. Should finish the rest tonight. This thing is SOLID, my friend! Well done and thanks for crafting it.
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Mattias Elfström
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norgano wrote:
@Mattias
I'll be darned, that is you on the complete rulebook I downloaded! Read a bit more on break. Should finish the rest tonight. This thing is SOLID, my friend! Well done and thanks for crafting it.


cool
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Benj Davis
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I've been thinking about combining the Initiative and Movement rolls, so you roll two dice and pick one as your Initiative and one for your Movement (and draw an Event for each that rolls 1).
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Mattias Elfström
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Here is one way to speed up movement a little:

At the start of the movement phase, roll one die for each player in the game. These are the movement rolls for the players. Now everyone can start thinking about how to use their movement points while players move in turn order. To be really effective use dice of different colours and let the starting player roll them all (we always use a dice tower). Any player whose die comes up "1" can immediately draw his event card and start reading it, it cannot be played until his turn comes up however.
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Michael Weaver
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Thank you everyone for your excellent input! I've made a few significant changes after testing, added some additional variants, reformatted the introductory items/preambles, and reorganized the house rule set.
 
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C Cooper
New Zealand
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These are all excellent ideas to streamline the game. I think you have identified most of the main 'clunkers' in the gameplay - the most important being just how much time is spent rolling dice when simple - and more engaging - decisions could take their place.

And more event cards is a definite plus - more theme and more decisions to be made by players.

The only other main area where things fall over IMHO is with the down time in competitive games when playing with more than three. Someone can spend a turn just moving and finishing in a land/sea space, while the next player could face four dangers including a fight and bag a stack of glory and an artefact in the same turn.

I will post some ideas I have used for this under Variants, but in the meantime thanks for the great ideas!
 
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Michael Weaver
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Thank you for the kind compliment. Both in terms of content and formatting, they still need a lot of work, but these house rules are essentially 95% finished.

I definitely can't help but agree about downtime. I own three of the flying frog games: FANG, Conquest of Planet Earth, and Touch of Evil and all their respective expansions. I love these games but pretty much with all of them, coop or competitive with the possible exception of competitive conquest of earth which could maybe have +1, I'd max all these games out with 4 players maximum. With more than 4 players and especially with more, you really start to feel that drag of downtime. If we have 5 players available, we'll almost always play something different.
 
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Thomas Stevenson
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Here's some possible variations on the Norgano Variant;

Deep Jungle Change:
Roll 1D6, 4+=success
If failed the player may take a wound and roll again (repeatedly).
At any point the player may camp down and heal 1/2 wounds (round up).

Movement Change:
No initiative/free event card. Players roll 1d6 for movement, on a 1,2 they get an Event card. Players may take a wound and roll a second dice and total the two. A player may always move one space regardless of cost (i.e. sea areas).

Adventure Change;
On camping down only 1/2 (rounded up) of wound tokens are removed.
The current rule seems overly generous.
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Kerrin 2
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Very nice variants! I'm probably going to use several of them in our games of FANG (we usually play cooperative mode).

When not using the roll-for-initiative from the official rules, an alternate variant I've been considering for movement is: Roll 2d6, pick which die to use for movement. For any 1s rolled, take an Event card.

This keeps the odds of getting an Event card the same as the original game rules, but addresses the same concern addressed by your movement variant.

Thanks again for the cool variants!
 
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João Carvalho
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Barreiro
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FANG House rules
2 years later I'm posting something in this thread.
Your house rules definitely improves the gameplay. I agree with most of them (I'm still unsure about the deep jungle rule and about the zeppelin fixed movement).
My main issue is in the cooperative mode. I see why you're rules provide a more streamlined game, but excluding the villains from it would take a deep "piece" of flavor and theme.
I'm still researching for a more streamlined cooperative mode, with the villains but without that many rules. Either way, you have my deepest thanks for making this house rules. They allowed me to play this game more often than I was expecting, and to provide an enjoyable time to gamers and non-gamers in my group.
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Michael Weaver
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Random I checked here because I don't often look at subscriptions but this just made my day! Looking back on it, I agree with you that they can be taken piece meal per your taste. Unlike a Touch of Evil which I also love, one thing thats bad about FANG is just how big of a jump in rules is from competative to coop, almost to the point that I've advocated only playing competitive to not turn people off (despite being less deep) and playing A Touch of Evil for the coop flying frog game. Thanks for making my day, friend!
 
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Adrian Pirciu
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Hoofddorp
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Hi Michael

I recently got FANG and I would really like to try this variant as I don't want clunky rules and nonsensical gameplay. I see that I first need to learn the main game and then apply your rules, is there a way I can avoid that and somehow learn your ruleset directly?

Thanks
Adrian
 
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Michael Weaver
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Hi Adrian!

That sounds awesome! My recommendation would be to read and understand only the Competitive and Advanced rules from the core rulebook but forego everything to do with cooperative section, THEN apply the variant.

Happy Hunting!
Michael
 
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Mattias Elfström
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Or just read the Complete Rulebook (on the files page) and pick the variants you like from above
 
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Adrian Pirciu
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@Michael: That's already better! thanks for the suggestion.

@Mattias: I saw the complete rulebook but for some reason it seemed that is has more rules than the original, maybe I misread it (just sifted through).

 
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Mattias Elfström
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adixor wrote:
@Michael: That's already better! thanks for the suggestion.

@Mattias: I saw the complete rulebook but for some reason it seemed that is has more rules than the original, maybe I misread it (just sifted through).


It has the same rules as the original, but in a more logical form. It also has the expansion rules integrated. There is a two page summary available separately. If you read the rules once the summary should be enough for play.
 
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Adrian Pirciu
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Thanks, will see how to compile all these resources in something easy to process and enjoyable :)
 
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