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Five Tribes» Forums » Variants

Subject: "Reveal tiles as you go" variant (WIP) rss

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Juan Crespo
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First of all, let me start by saying that I’m not trying to fix the game, in fact I haven’t even tried it yet. I’m just learning the rules in anticipation of my pre-order copy. But going over the rules, the idea of what could be an interesting variant popped up in my head. I just want to share these ideas here.

In this variant, essentially you'll start by blindly moving around an unknown sultanate early in the game, exploring it as you go.
Proceed to set up the game by placing random groups of three meeples in a 6 X 5 grid pattern corresponding to the normal tile position in the tableau, but WITHOUT laying down the tiles yet. You get to reveal a tile when you pick up meeples or when you place meeples on them, drawing the tiles and laying them on the corresponding space. As the game progresses, the sultanate will unravel under your meeple’s feet. You could also use an assassin to kill a meeple and reveal the underlying tile.

As you might have guessed, blue meeples would initially be less valuable when playing this way. This could lead to interesting choices early on in the game, like whether or not to reveal tiles next to blue meeples.

Granted, I haven’t tried it yet, but the limited amount of starting information in this variant might potentially help with AP-prone players, as you’d mainly focus on meeple actions initially. It would gradually present the players with an increasing number of options as the game progresses, balanced by the diminishing number of legal moves later in the game. It could also add interesting dynamics, as taking certain actions could potentially lead to better opportunities for the other players.

Alternatively, if you'd like more control, you can make three piles of tiles and choose out of those your next tile. This would actually give players a bit of more control over the game.

Thoughts?

**Disclaimer- I initially envisioned this variant thinking that the tiles were not double-sided. It might prove to be too fiddly as it is, but I’ll regardless try it when my preorder copy arrives.
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Der Malte
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You can not fix anything you don´t have. So do not worry. The question is whether you can create a variant of a game you never play? I would say: NO

So first let us play the game (& you 2). And come back in some weeks.
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Juan Crespo
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I have to disagree in needing to play something in order to think of ideas for potential variants and sharing them. All you need to come up with an idea is the rulebook.

That's all I'm doing here, hence the disclaimer that this is NOT a "fixing the game" type of variant.

Just some brainstorming for fun.

But you're absolutely right about needing to play to see if it is a viable variant. And I intend to do it, do not worry.
 
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John Richard
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It's an interesting idea, but it would really throw off the balance of the game, and here's why: the initial bid for turn order is often decided by determining how many points you think you can get on that turn. If you think you can pull off a 20 point turn, bidding 12 coins for turn order might be reasonable, but, if you can only get 5 points, that would be a really bad bid. Not being able to see all of the tiles would make this decision far more arbitrary. Also, many of the djinn cards have abilities that would be greatly reduced by not being able to see the whole board.

Each decision is very important in this game, and not having all of the board information would make those decisions harder (and perhaps less strategic) by having to base them on incomplete information.

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Juan Crespo
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IndianaJohn wrote:
It's an interesting idea, but it would really throw off the balance of the game, and here's why: the initial bid for turn order is often decided by determining how many points you think you can get on that turn. If you think you can pull off a 20 point turn, bidding 12 coins for turn order might be reasonable, but, if you can only get 5 points, that would be a really bad bid. Not being able to see all of the tiles would make this decision far more arbitrary. Also, many of the djinn cards have abilities that would be greatly reduced by not being able to see the whole board.

Each decision is very important in this game, and not having all of the board information would make those decisions harder (and perhaps less strategic) by having to base them on incomplete information.



Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Indeed the dynamics of bidding might change in this variant.

I'm inclined to having three (or X number) of open piles from which to choose landing tiles. It would be even less restrictive than the official game and potentially make the bidding more cutthroat. This would actually open up the game, as the starting player would have X number of choices per any given position, as opposed to only one.
 
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Juan Crespo
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Regarding the incomplete information leading to less strategic gameplay, keep in mind that it won't be too long before most of the tiles are revealed. In the first turn only, you'll reveal at least 4 tiles. And in most turns at least 1 or 2 tile would be revealed.

So if anything, it will make it more strategic in my opinion when and where to reveal. But it would be definitely a variant for more experienced players.

I do agree that the points granted by the tiles and the genies' powers might be unbalanced when playing this way.
 
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Gláucio Reis
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gastgast wrote:
The question is whether you can create a variant of a game you never play?

I think the real question is why one would want to.
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Juan Crespo
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GSReis wrote:
gastgast wrote:
The question is whether you can create a variant of a game you never play?

I think the real question is why one would want to.

The "realer" question is why NOT? devil

Joking aside, as someone who is constantly thinking of ways to play multiplayer games solo, it's hard for me to read rulebooks and NOT think of potential variants. Sharing them oftentimes leads to better understanding of the official rules, and what makes the game "tick".

In the case of Five Tribes, I read or heard someone discussing that some AP-prone people could have a difficult time from having all those options in front of them at the beginning, and this idea just came up.

Again, I can't stress enough that this is a mental exercise for my own amusement, not a variant that I think it's necessary to play the game. Heck, I don't even know if it would be fun at all!

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