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Subject: A variant thought...any opinions? rss

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Mark Crocker
United States
Westland
Michigan
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I just traded for this game a couple of weeks ago. I plan on playing this tomorrow, with my gaming group. I've read every thread and review here and elsewhere, and there seems to be two major complaints about this game. The first is regarding the endgame attacks on Jerusalem...where people say that if you are the first attacker, you are almost guaranteed not to win. But I'm not so sure that the problem cannot be overcome by strategy and hand management. We'll see.

The second complaint is that it is too easy to keep your army's morale at a high level. Here is my proposed solution. If you sack a Christian city, your army's morale gets reduced, not by 2 as stated in the rules...but morale gets reduced by half, rounded down. If your army's morale was 10, then after the plundering, it becomes just 5. If it was 9 or 8 (pre sacking), then it is reduced to 4...and so on. If that sounds too severe, the reduction number could be rounded up. 10 and 9 morales become 5 after sacking. 7 and 8 become 4, after the plunder...and so on.

No doubt, this would make the game somewhat longer. Does anyone have an opinion as to whether this is a valid thought?
 
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Bryan Johnson
United States
Salem
Massachusetts
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It's an interesting idea, although I agree it could make the game a bit longer. I haven't played this one in a while, but I would be interested to hear how your game goes if you play it that way. It sounds like you've never played this before, so I would recommend that you play the game as the rules indicate first, then the next time play it with your modified rules. At least that way you'll have something to compare it to.
 
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Mark Crocker
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You're right, I've not played before........but you've got to start somwhere. And I intend to play by the printed rules, and then when it's over, ask the players about my idea. But frankly, I'm not yet convinced, that this game is as broken as some people think. Thanks for the response.
 
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Inno Van
United States
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Try playing the game vanilla and by the rules. There's quite some fun in there. Particularly when you assign city values face down (as per the advanced version) so you don't quite know what value you're facing until someone makes a probing attack.

The strongest proposal I've heard so far is making conquering Jerusalem more like the end game in Talisman to reduce the incentive of waiting for someone else to take the damage of clearing the way for you

First square you'd need to defeat a muslim army outside the gates of the city of value 5, second square you'd need to posess a Holy Relic to cross (donate 5 gold and pray in any Christian city, which also restores full morale, but can only be done once per army), and third square you'd need to defeat a Muslim army of 15. All muslim troops added go to the outside the city gates army, but you can get the Pope's bonus for engaging in combat with the army on either square.

Ultimately though it's a light game and stretching out the end game by making it more of an endurance test with more complexity makes it less attractive. Keep it light, keep it fast, keep it fun, and you'll enjoy the game.

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Stephen Meyers
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Frederick
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did not quit understand your proposed variant?

what did you mean by "first square" "second square" ??
 
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Kevin Whitmore
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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...there seems to be two major complaints about this game. The first is regarding the endgame attacks on Jerusalem...

The second complaint is that it is too easy to keep your army's morale at a high level...



I think both of these complaints have some merit. But my chief quibble with the game is the difficulty in moving. I've spent three turns drawing cards just to move a single space. After our last game we discussed a simple variant. You may turn in 2 cards to move 1 space. Now those nearly useless event cards and mismatching terrain cards will have some use.

This should speed up the game a tick - which I think would be a good thing.
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