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Sheriff of Nottingham» Forums » Variants

Subject: Alternate Scoring rss

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Vince Ferguson
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UPDATE: After watching the "Board with Life" cast play the game, I agree with you guys that the scoring isn't really a problem, and that simplifying it wouldn't improve the game.

________________________________________________________________________

I haven't played this game yet, but I saw some complaints about the scoring system being a little too complicated.

Would something like the following work as a Beginner or Casual variant?

- All Legal Goods have a Value of 3 and a Penalty of 2.
- All Contraband Goods have a Value of 7 and a Penalty of 4.
- The King/Queen bonus for all Legal Goods is 15/10.
- Add a King/Queen bonus for Contraband Goods(?)
This way, you win by being the best smuggler, not by smuggling the best cards.

Would this streamline the game and keep it fun, or would it make the game too simple/repetitive?
And would the reduced randomness make it the type of game where that one person always wins?
 
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Tom Reuhl
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Scoring is not complicated. You add the value of the cards and then if you recieved the king/queen bonus and then the money. It comes with extra coins if you wanted to cash each king/queen bonus out but it's just easier to pull up a calculator on your phone and punch each category in.

There's no score tracker so the only complicated scoring would be at the end. But if the scoring is complicated, you're not going to win the game as you have to manage your inventory of each category and HOPEFULLY get some contraband in.

It seems maybe the complaints are in the inconsistency of the values of contraband? Which is just luck of the pull for any card game.
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Greg
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Scoring's not complicated, just takes a couple minutes. No big deal.
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K T Magiosnik
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Hahma wrote:
Scoring's not complicated, just takes a couple minutes. No big deal.


Agreed. Take cash from the bank for king/queen bonuses, and then just add. Scoring is addition. Not complicated.
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Allen Michaels
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I don't think the scoring is bad...not as bad as 7 Wonders!

But, watching the SUSD review where Matt complains you do 'all this maths'...i think the entire game IS math. And that is what I'm struggling with. Example:

You say 4 apples, but you really have 3 apples and an X-bow. Sheriff is looking like he wants to open the bag, as pretty much lots of bag openings have been happening. You are close to top in Apples, so no matter what, those are getting through (i think I have the rule right)...but it's a matter of point now.

Ok...you think he's gonna open it, so you say "Hey, I understand you want to open this...that's fine. But here is X coins, and let me pass. You get money, and I go to market."

What is X? If you get through, it's 2x3 (apples) + 9 for xbow, so net +15. If he opens, the apples still get through (which is why it's always good to be truthfull in some respect, but -4 for the xbow. So net +2. So even if I offer 12 in a bribe, I'm am still ahead.

But wait...if 12 is my max, wouldn't that tip off the Sherrif that there is DEFINITELY something bad in there? What's his break even? Well, if he opens, he's getting +4, you are getting 2, and apples of course. If he let's you walk, you get 15, he gets nothing or bribe, so the equal point is something like 7.

Of course another player can swoop in depending, on the score at the point, which no one knows. But offering 7 as a bribe announces you have contraband - -which would be a good bluff. So what would you say if you really had 4 apples? Nothing! You'd say...go ahead! I'll get my apples (+8) AND you'll give me +8 in penalty. That's huge! That's better than the real thing!

And such, you have to do this math on the fly. It's fine bluffing on (go ahead open it). But what is the amount to bribe that makes a good break even...it's TOO MUCH MATH at the start! The scoring is easy, compared to figuring out what the right bribe might be (truthfully or not).




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Greg
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IMO, this is supposed to be a light and fun game. People can make it more complicated by doing all that math on the fly if that's their thing, but that would suck the fun out of it for me. I'm playing this game to laugh, bluff and lie. To me that's where the fun is, not in running all those calculations.

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Big Rob
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I think the game is so great because you can do the "math" side of the game, or simply eyeball the King/Queen status, or simply play to be the best bluffer, etc. I also like that if you really do have a card counter you can blind pull X number of cards from the deck and throw them off.

The math really isn't that hard, and I'm willing to bet that plenty of people who don't obsess over each round's math will have no problem winning games.

People who have OCD when it comes to the math, just might want to try a different game if it really bothers them that much.
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Craig Hogan
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How much would it change things to simply nix the King/Queen bonuses?

I'm tempted to do it.
 
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Mitchell Miller
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Doomjester wrote:
How much would it change things to simply nix the King/Queen bonuses?

I'm tempted to do it.


You want to nix the easiest thing to calculate?
 
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Big Rob
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I can't understand how anyone finds the game is complicated to score. My 9 year old step daughter easily counts up points and grabs coins from the bank as she hits each sub total, then adds up her coins when she's all done. I really can't wrap my head around this complaint against the game.
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Derek M
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Doomjester wrote:
How much would it change things to simply nix the King/Queen bonuses?

I'm tempted to do it.


I would't do this, as I think it would affect the gameplay. Sometimes going for or protecting those bonuses has an impact on the Sheriff's decision to open a bag, or on what people declare.

 
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Craig Hogan
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It's not that calculating King/Queen is hard: it adds a level of tedium to the scoring part of the game which (in my one experience) dragged a bit.

I can see that it would remove a layer of strategy and make contraband much more valuable, but it might not be a completely bad thing.
 
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Vince Ferguson
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I get where you're coming from, but I think the king/queen bonuses and the ability to win without contraband are essential.

If everyone has to smuggle something in the majority of rounds to win, then the sheriff isn't taking a risk by opening a bag, which means the central tension of the game gets watered down. Bluffing only works when there's a plausible chance they're telling the truth.
 
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