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Subject: Player-driven dice roll randomisation. rss

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Brent Pollock
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
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Here is an idea (possibly very bad) that occurred to me last night. It is a general way of changing and 2d6 result with three or four players, but I thought I would use SoC as a test model. Each player gets the following five cards (you’ll need two decks of cards):
a red ace
a black ace
a red deuce
a black deuce
any face card

During the dice roll phase, the dice always start as a 7 and each player secretly chooses one of their cards which will modify the dice roll. The modifications are as follows:
ace = 1
deuce = 2
face card = 0
red = subtract the value
black = add the value
In a four player game, only the currently active player may use a deuce; if another player forgets and plays a deuce by mistake, count it as an ace instead.
In a three player game, the currently active player may not use a deuce; if that player forgets and plays a deuce by mistake, count it as an ace instead.
Once all players have chosen their card, reveal them and modify the 7 to its final value.

Examples:
3 player game
Active player = black deuce (an error)
2nd player = black deuce
3rd player = face card
Final result = 7 +1 (erroneous deuce counts as ace) +2 + 0 = 10

4 player game
Active player = black deuce
2nd player = black deuce (an error)
3rd player = face card
4th player = red ace
Final result = 7 + 2 +1 (erroneous deuce counts as ace) + 0 - 1 = 9

Cities and Knights Tweak
The dice roll starts as a white 1 and a coloured (the card activating die) 6. Each black ace or deuce will increase the white die while the coloured die decreases for each red ace or deuce. Each face card played will swap the two dice results (so, an odd number of face cards will flip them while an even number will keep them in their starting assignments). Of course, the ship/city die will still need to be rolled and this should be done after the cards have been revealed.
Example:
4 player game
Active player = black deuce
2nd player = black deuce (an error)
3rd player = face card
4th player = red ace
Final result =
White = 1 + 2 +1 (erroneous deuce counts as ace) = 4
Coloured = 6 – 1 = 5
Odd number of Face Cards = swap the dice results =
White 5, Coloured 4 & Total = 9

Possible up-side:
Less concern about not controlling your fate.

Possible down-sides:
Drag the game out due to Analysis Paralysis.
Might end up being not all that random for distribution compared to the normal 2d6 probability.
 
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Thorfinn Tait
Japan
Akita
Akita
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I don't think this would work with Catan. Imagine what would happen if one person settled only (or mainly) lower numbers, and played a -1 or -2 modifier every time. It would be impossible to roll a 12 in four player, and an 11 or 12 in three player. And there would be zero motivation for them to ever change their play to a positive modifier.

Worse, if another player has only higher numbers, they could do the same thing in reverse. Sure, they'd neutralise each other, but that would leave a very narrow spread of possible results: +/- 2 in 3 player, +/- 3 in 4 player.

This kind of pattern of settlement is not that rare in Catan, so choosing numbers would always be strategic.

Another scenario: player 1 is winning, so the other players deliberately prevent the number he needs from ever coming up. This would not be that hard to do.

It's a great idea, and may well work in other games, but I can't see it working in Catan.
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Ariel
Chile
Vina del Mar
V. Region
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Just use the "poverty is no shame" variant.

Problem solve.
 
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