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Subject: 2 player variants? rss

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Damien
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I bought this game to play 2p with my wife. Unfortunately, she has found it pretty unsatisfying in our handful of plays. In part that's because of the, ahem, strange theme (it's as if the publisher got a good deal on the gems from Escape: Curse of the Temple and tacked on the theme accordingly). But another factor is that the game seems to lack enough interaction with only 2 players, especially early on. I have played 3 and 4 player games on BoardGameArena that have been much more interactive and interesting.

I have two thoughts on making the game a bit more satisfying for 2:

1/ Raise the initial meeple count to 4 and the initial money count to 15. That will create more competition, especially for early rounds of the market. To compensate for the higher meeple count, a few of the extra worker cards (the "rowhouses") could be dropped.

OR

2/ Drop the number of market cards in each round down to 6. This will inject significantly more competition in the market. But it may introduce too much randomness in the market setup and unbalance the game, so it might be necessary to remove some of the cards.

If any one else has good ideas of their own or thoughts on these, I'd like to hear them.
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Jonathan Maisonneuve
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2player game are fine. The gems make their appearance in many more games, like Istanbul. You can even buy them (3$ for 125) at Dollorama in red, purple or transparent color.
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Damien
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opinions obviously vary, but no reason not to try a few variants. interesting re the gems.
 
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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This is what I play.
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My wife and I played a game earlier today, and we both thought the 2-player game was great. It was tight, some hard decisions and I won only by a few points (I had accumulated most of my points during the game while my wife gained most of hers with end of game scoring).

I don't think a 2-player variant is needed. Of course, this was just after one play, but I don't think I change my mind after more plays.
 
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Ned Ludd
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foldedcard wrote:
2/ Drop the number of market cards in each round down to 6. This will inject significantly more competition in the market. But it may introduce too much randomness in the market setup and unbalance the game, so it might be necessary to remove some of the cards.

Which cards or what type of cards would you recommend for removal?

Thank you.
 
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Damien
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Ned Ludd wrote:
foldedcard wrote:
2/ Drop the number of market cards in each round down to 6. This will inject significantly more competition in the market. But it may introduce too much randomness in the market setup and unbalance the game, so it might be necessary to remove some of the cards.

Which cards or what type of cards would you recommend for removal?

Thank you.


The reason the extra cards are a problem in a 6 card market is that you will sometimes get too many of one card type in the market and more cards won't come out at all. This can make the game more varied so it's not necessarily bad, though it does mean a strategy that depends on a particular patent coming out is more likely to be ruined because there's a higher chance it won't come out.

Removing cards makes setup more fiddly, but if you wanted to try, the most logical thing is to remove some of the duplicate (or near duplicate) cards.

Remove from the A deck:
Architect
Apprentice
Miner
2x5 pound mine
2 pound mine
2 pound factory
Residence
Rowhouse

Remove from the B deck:
Geologist
Engineer
7 pound mine
5 pound residence
6 pound lab
6 pound factory

My inclination is to leave the C deck. It actually benefits from being more varied, IMO.

Another option: use all of the cards in the deck, but deal out a 3x2 market of 9 cards in this pattern

X Y
Y X
X Y

where X = 1 card from the deck, Y = 2 cards from the deck. The player who uses their worker on a 2 card spot chooses which of the two cards to buy/activate.
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Jon Vallerand
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I play Spyrium with 2 by making each meeple worth two when considering the money you get from one, or the extra cost of an action. It aligns the costs to the 3-4 player experience.
 
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In a 2-player game we play with a dummy player. The dummy starts the game with 3 (or 4) workers and increases that number by 1 each round.

When it is the dummy's turn, we roll a 12-sided die to determine where he is going to place his workers. See diagram below:

CARD---1----CARD---2---CARD

-3---------------4------------5---

CARD---6----CARD---7---CARD

-8---------------9------------10--

CARD---11---CARD---12--CARD

The dummy does so until he runs out of workers to place or until one of the human players decides to move to Phase II.

After that the dummy starts collecting his workers (one on each turn) together with a card next to which his worker was placed (without paying any costs).

The order in which the dummy does so is the following:

1. Technologies with tokens.
2. Technologies without tokens.
3. Characters with tokens.
4. Buildings with tokens.
5. Buildings without tokens.
6. Characters without tokens.

Check if it works. If you're not sure about the order in which the dummy collects cards, change it

Have fun.
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