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Subject: Official Variant 1 rss

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Ender Wiggins
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Variant 1: It is forbidden to draw two cards on your turn. One, at least, of your two actions must be playing or exchanging a card. In the next print run, this will be the official rule.

Source: http://www.faidutti.com/index.php?Module=mesjeux&id=326&fich...
 
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Ender Wiggins
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I posted all the official variants so that people can discuss them separately. The above variant is, I think, a definite improvement to the printed rules. Under the existing rules, it seems that the optimal strategy will mostly be to draw 2 cards each turn, in which case all players might as well put all their cards straight into their hand. See discussion on that here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/130614
To prevent this, the above rule change makes a lot of sense, i.e., players are limited to drawing one card per turn.
 
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Ender Wiggins
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I do wonder, however, if this variant has the disadvantage of decreasing your hand size when you use your actions to play two cards. If you are drawing a card and playing a card each turn, your hand size will stay the same. But if you play two cards in one turn, your hand size is reduced by two! I realize that your hand size will increase if you use a turn to draw a card and trade one with the Exchange, but as a rule you'll try to avoid trading with the Exchange, in preference to playing a card. So if you play two cards in a turn, eventually your hand size will become very small, and this limits the choice of cards you can play. That can be quite limiting, and I can't see that I'd want to play two cards in a row if it means my hand size would basically go from 6 to 4 for the rest of the game, since it would give me less choice of what cards to play. Wouldn't the net result of this variant be to discourage playing two-card combos, and instead encourage players to draw and play each turn? That would be a pity.

If that's the case (and I could be wrong!), I wonder if the second variant is better than this one, i.e. impose a hand limit the same as your starting hand plus two. Then at least if people have played two-card combos, they can take the next turn to draw two to get their hand back to size. With a limit of drawing one per turn, it seems difficult to overcome the disadvantage of a smaller hand that will be inevitable if you play two cards in a row as one turn.

I haven't played either of these first two variants, so I submit the above for comment!
 
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Gary Pressler
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I have not tried this variant, although I probably will for my next game. Shrinking hand size may seem like a concern, but don't forget that your opponents will be sending cards back to your hand soon enough.
 
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