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San Juan» Forums » Variants

Subject: Any suggested changes, or is standard great? rss

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Blue Jackal
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I've read about how the Library is typically removed in the 2P game, but I typically don't play with just myself and another... So more importantly, is there any changes people would suggest when playing with 3 or 4?

I read someone mentioned Guild Hall/Smithy is a very 'autopilot' strategy (which is bad)... but what do other people think? Is there any house rules which are widely regarded as 'nifty'?
 
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Billy McBoatface
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I play mostly 2p, but I'd say: Play it with rules as written a bunch of times, then decide.

To me, it has been just fine with rules as written, so I have felt no need to change. Yes, once you know you are going guild hall your decisions are simple (always make the moves that let you build a production building this turn). But it's not the only strategy, so the game is still fun even after all players have figured this out.
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Bas van der Meer
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I recommend (for 2/3/4players games) that for the guild hall you only get 2 vp for each type of production building (since there are 5 different production buildings, you still can get up to 10 vp's).

Concerning the library with 2player: remember that during a turn you may only use the library once, so if you are the governer and you get to choose two characters, you only can use your library once.
 
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William Attia
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In my opinion (after several hundreds of games of San Juan on BSW, and a few dozens face to face), the game is very well balanced as it is and no building is broken. I see no reason to remove the library in a 2p game, nor to change the VPs for guild hall.

As it has been suggested already, I think you should play with the rules several times, and consider tweaking them only then, if you and your play group think it is really needed.

William
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Blue Jackal
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I did suspect I'd play it as written several times first, but sometimes a game really does need a house rule or two. (Typically less of a problem with Euros, but A Game of Thrones and Twilight Imperium, while I love them, really do need a house rule or two.)
 
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Fraser
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I'd vote with both William's it plays perfectly well as written.
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John Harley
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San Juan is a great game and doesnt need any house rules to balance it.

If you want to change the feel of the game - play a different version of San Juan, then how about these changes:


Goals of this variant are to promote production, promote crane and archive, and to reduce common purple and common guild hall strategies.

Guild Hall and City Hall cost 7 to build.
Achive: Change ability to: increase maximum hand limit by one.
Trading Post: worth 2 points.

If you want more mods than that change the Trader privilege to:
Player's choice of either the original privilege OR sell ONE good for one more than regular price (Like Market Hall).

(Goal is to improve attractiveness of Trader, even if going with a purple strategy)
 
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Steve M
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JeremiahClayton wrote:
but people who complain about the guild hall or the library.. and modify the game in an effort to "balance the game".. are basically admitting they're not strong players.


Ok, I'm quite happy to declare myself as a weak player of the game. Please, though, PLEASE, could you suggest a good counter strategy to the Guild Hall?
 
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James
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shteev wrote:

Ok, I'm quite happy to declare myself as a weak player of the game. Please, though, PLEASE, could you suggest a good counter strategy to the Guild Hall?


Remember, even though Guildhall/Smithy can be powerful no strategy is foolproof. My most recent win in a 4p match was against 2 other players running the guild hall strategy basically from turn 1. I went purple and started building in the following order: Quarry, prefecture, library, points. This was literally 1 build a turn and I pulled off a completed triumphant arch by the time they ended the game with builds.

Guildhall/Smithy usually concentrates on producing/trading so take advantage of that by: 1. selecting builder when they have few cards (duh, and with Quarry/library your cards are cheaper than theirs as an equalizer), 2. council a lot to search for what you need, 3. grab trader occasionally as needed to prevent them from using the favor for that action. In other words, control the flow of the game as much as you can to deny your opponents rather than solely maximizing yourself. That and lots of practice!

send me a PM if you want to chat some more, I would be happy to offer what I can...

Cheers and Good Luck,
 
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Justin Redd
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dilago wrote:
I recommend (for 2/3/4players games) that for the guild hall you only get 2 vp for each type of production building (since there are 5 different production buildings, you still can get up to 10 vp's).


I recommend a slight variation on this. For the Guild Hall score 2 VPs for the first production building of each type and 1 VP for each additional production building of the same type. So if a player has a Guild Hall, 3 Indigo Plants (IP) and a Coffee Roaster (CR) they'd get 2 VPs for the first IP + 1 VP for the second IP + 1 VP for the third IP + 2 VPs for the CR. This Guild Hall scoring brings in 6 VPs instead of the 8 VPs it'd get as printed on the card.
 
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