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1775: Rebellion» Forums » Variants

Subject: Reducing the luck of the draw while keeping the spirit of the game intact rss

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Moe45673
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These ideas are inspired by the Battlelore Command app (and how that switches it up from the boardgame), as well as the idea of "bombs" in card games like Haggis.

All event cards for your faction(s) are laid out in front of you at start of game. This is your visible Tableau. These are visible to your opponents and can be played (by the faction controller) at any time from the start of the game. Of course, all text on the card must be obeyed (eg "play during the reinforcement phase"). As usual, once used these cards are discarded and unavailable for the remainder of the game. *EDIT* Until further playtesting is done, I recommend only allowing up to 2 Event cards to be played in a turn.

*edited the following to make simpler* Your hand size limit is now two (and now only consists of movement cards). If during your Move Phase, one of your two cards is the Truce card, you have the option to lay it out in front of you and it no longer contributes to your hand limit (however, your opponent now knows you have the option to play this card). You then play your movement phase as normal. At the end of your turn, draw your hand back up to 2.

Example: I draw my truce card at the end of my turn in round 4. In Round 5, I decide to place the card in front of me. I then play my other movement card. During the Draw Phase, I draw 2 cards.

In the same game in Round 6, I elect to ignore the two cards in my hand and play my Truce card for movement.



In short:
1) Event Cards are separated out of your deck and laid out in your tableau from the start and are not part of your hand. You can play 0-2 in a single turn.
2) Your hand size is now 2.
3) If the Truce card is one of your hand cards at the beginning of a Move phase, it can be laid out in front of you and is no longer part of your hand limit. At the end of your turn, draw back up to 2.

Thoughts?
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Jim McNaughton
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I'd much rather just play the rules as written. One of the beauties of this game is its simplicity, so I do not see how complicating the card play would help. 'Luck of the draw' is part of the spirit of the game.
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Moe45673
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Valuable thoughts.

I don't feel its complicating the rules at all. In the normal rules, Events can always be played in addition to the one and only one movement card per turn. Explaining that can be a little tough to wrap your head around for a newbie. My variant makes them available from the beginning and you can easily explain: "You're only ever allowed to play one card from your hand but as many cards from the tableau as you like". These all fit neatly under the rule that once a card is played, it's gone from the game. The normal explanation is "You are only ever allowed to play one Movement card but as many Event cards as you like. Additionally, if you ever have three Events in your hand, show them to your opponent, shuffle them into your deck, and draw three more cards. Repeat until you have at least 1 movement card". The newbie has to keep in mind the difference between Movement and Event cards; considering this is a game touted as a wargame anyone can play, simplifying things is key. A physical separation of the hand cards and the Event Tableau makes it much easier to wrap your head around.

Regarding the Truce Card: you're brought down to two movement cards in your hand which, in an average turn using the normal rules, is what you'd have anyhow (two movement cards and an event). In the normal rules, the truce card usually isn't played on the turn it is drawn, especially earlier in the game, meaning it clogs up your hand until the right moment to play it. In my variant, You still have a truce card and two other movement cards by endgame (if you reveal to your opponents that it's available by placing it in your tableau, rather than choosing to play it from your hand) and you still have the exact same difficulty in the base game explaining that a truce card IS a movement card, in addition to its special status.

My reason for coming up with the variant was not to simplify the game (it doesn't really need it); however, I intentionally kept it simple mechanically. My point in writing the preceding paragraphs is to respond to Jim's comment and illustrate that, from a rules standpoint, my variant is simpler to explain not any more complicated than the normal rules.
 
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Don Smith
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Howdy Moe,

I think the suspense inherent in the timing of the Event cards (and the movement/Truce cards to a lesser extent) is an essential "plus" for this game, making it infinitely replayable.
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Moe45673
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I agree! I feel that this variant switches it up a bit but doesn't make it any less replayable nor any more predictable. When to play an Event (remember, 8 events per side) and keeping in mind your opponents' events and what they have and have not played and anticipating that still leaves infinite room for tactics.

Sure you can blow all your events in the first turn but then you'll lose. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. And just because your opponent can do something (and you totally see it and plan for it) doesn't mean he will.

A great game is one where you analyze every move your opponent can make, plan for every eventuality, and then he does something completely unexpected that you never saw coming. This variant doesn't take away from that in the slightest.
 
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Jim McNaughton
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Moe45673 wrote:
Valuable thoughts.

I don't feel its complicating the rules at all. In the normal rules, Events can always be played in addition to the one and only one movement card per turn. Explaining that can be a little tough to wrap your head around for a newbie. My variant makes them available from the beginning and you can easily explain: "You're only ever allowed to play one card from your hand but as many cards from the tableau as you like". These all fit neatly under the rule that once a card is played, it's gone from the game. The normal explanation is "You are only ever allowed to play one Movement card but as many Event cards as you like. Additionally, if you ever have three Events in your hand, show them to your opponent, shuffle them into your deck, and draw three more cards. Repeat until you have at least 1 movement card". The newbie has to keep in mind the difference between Movement and Event cards; considering this is a game touted as a wargame anyone can play, simplifying things is key. A physical separation of the hand cards and the Event Tableau makes it much easier to wrap your head around.

Regarding the Truce Card: you're brought down to two movement cards in your hand which, in an average turn using the normal rules, is what you'd have anyhow (two movement cards and an event). In the normal rules, the truce card usually isn't played on the turn it is drawn, especially earlier in the game, meaning it clogs up your hand until the right moment to play it. In my variant, You still have a truce card and two other movement cards by endgame (if you reveal to your opponents that it's available by placing it in your tableau, rather than choosing to play it from your hand) and you still have the exact same difficulty in the base game explaining that a truce card IS a movement card, in addition to its special status.

My reason for coming up with the variant was not to simplify the game (it doesn't really need it); however, I intentionally kept it simple mechanically. My point in writing the preceding paragraphs is to respond to Jim's comment and illustrate that, from a rules standpoint, my variant is simpler to explain than the normal rules.


I can't agree about simplicity. The rules as written are very, very simple. Three cards in hand, play any event card in the correct phase, must use one movement card which might have to be your truce card. Three events in hand? Shuffle'em back into unused cards and redeal. I've never found anyone, 'newbie' or not, have a problem understanding this.

I don't feel that the truce card 'clogs up' a hand. It's part of the replayability of the game that sometimes you'll have to play it early, sometimes you can genuinely strategise when to get it out, and sometimes you'd love to play it early but it damn well won't turn up.

... and events are just that, a circumstance that as the overall commander you have little control over, but make best use of when they occur.

I clearly have a very different perspective on the game.
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Moe45673
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Nope, I agree with you. I think the base rules are excellent and I enjoy them a lot. My variant is to switch it up, not to "fix" the game. I still believe that the replayability of the game is maintained with these rules. Try them yourself and let me know if the game is any less tense
 
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Moe45673
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Btw, for anyone following this, I changed up the Truce card rule. It still does the same thing but is much simpler to read now.
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Moe45673 wrote:
Try them yourself and let me know if the game is any less tense

Do you really think people will spend time testing a variant after saying they think the game is better without it? Maybe there's somebody who thinks it's a great idea and will want to give this a go, but all the comments and thumbs seem to be going the other direction.
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Moe45673
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I'm not asking him to playtest my variant. I think it's solid and a nice way to switch up the normal game. However, if he really wants to tell me why he thinks my version is inferior, perhaps he might want to do so from experience, rather than speculation.

Nobody has actually given me any tangible reason why my variant makes the game worse. Everyone is simply saying "Luck of the draw keeps replayability going" or telling me why the normal rules are great, both of which I agree with.

Here, there is still luck of the draw (as you can only have max 2 movement cards instead of 3), plus dice rolls and turn order as usual. The metagame, however, will change fairly dramatically as you try to figure out if your opponent will play one of their event cards that are so readily available.

The only thing that really changes is that you can now play all 4 event cards at once. This might break the game (haven't tested enough yet to know for sure), but I think the flexibility to choose to do so and save them for a key moment would be fun. However, if they do actually break the game (eg players have a tendency to hoard them until the final round when they blow them all), a simple "you cannot play more than 2 event cards in one turn" addition fixes it.

I've given my reasons why my variant doesn't significantly change the game. All I've heard is that I'm wrong but not why. In fact, the only person to give a concrete criticism of my variant is myself, just now.

*edit* I've added in the "2 Event Cards Max Per Turn" rule until I am convinced that the lack of such a rule won't break the game.
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Jim McNaughton
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I've not made any comment even suggesting inferiority, just my preference for the rules as written.

I clearly have a different perspective on the game.

I'll choose not to switch it up because it has the strengths I want in this type of game already.
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Moe45673
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Fair enough and can't argue with a preference. I was responding to Sphere's use of the word "better", which implies superiority.

 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Moe45673 wrote:
Fair enough and can't argue with a preference. I was responding to Sphere's use of the word "better", which implies superiority.

I said what I meant, and stand by it. I do think the game would play better with the written rules than with your variant, and have no intention of playing the variant to verify that impression. That's based on my experience as a gamer, and belief that a greater level of control would work to the game's detriment.

If comments were allowed only after gaining first hand experience, you'd still be waiting for your first response.
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Moe45673
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I don't necessarily write things on the internet to garner responses. I put them up there and hope that someone finds it useful. Sometimes I get messages that are posted years after I contribute something somewhere.

Quote:
If comments were allowed only after gaining first hand experience, you'd still be waiting for your first response.

All I've gotten for my trouble are a bunch of comments from the audience I clearly didn't think up this variant for. Your hypothetical scenario itself might have been preferable!

Btw, I don't feel that you necessarily have more control in my variant. Less luck doesn't mean more control.
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Lewis Karl
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More control over when the Truce cards are played is a fundamental change and IS more control.
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Moe45673
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Except it's counterbalanced by your opponent knowing you have the truce card. If you choose to keep that knowledge from him, you then only get one other movement card per turn (luck of the draw that everyone seems to think I am so against). Getting the Truce card way before you want it is still detrimental and getting it later than you want it is still very possible. The only difference is that you'll never be forced to play it until Round 8.

You also lose control in a very significant way: In the normal rules, during the draw phase it's possible to draw 2 or 3 movement cards in one turn. In this variant, you can only ever draw one movement card in a turn (unless you put the truce card into your play area) and only ever have 2 movement cards available to you (ditto).

Additionally, everyone else has more control as well, meaning that the level of control you have over the game state doesn't change.

 
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Kevin Duke
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Being able to play the event card whenever you want to is also more control.

This idea completely ruins the spirit of the game.

So let me ask two questions--

1. How many times you could actually play the game with the rules as written?

2. How many times have you actually play this variant?

Because this variant has the aroma of someone who has hardly played the game at all, but thinks they see "flaws" in it that they can fix because they're so smart.

Oh, a new post while I was writing. So "you will never have to play the Truce card until Turn 8.

No need to answer my questions. I know the answer to both already. You have hardly played this game at all but by God you're going to "fix" it.


No, thank you. Stop bothering the adults by trying to attract attention to yourself.
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Moe45673
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You're quite welcome!

Quote:
Because this variant has the aroma of someone who has hardly played the game at all, but thinks they see "flaws" in it that they can fix because they're so smart.


And thank you for reading my post earlier about how I don't think the game needs to be fixed and how I love the game with the rules as written (you did, right? I'm so smart, I just know these things).
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Lewis Karl
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Okay so you have more control over when event and truce cards are played, exactly the opposite of what you would expect historically, but you have less control over what a military leader would actually have control over, which is represented by movement cards. This changes all three aspects of the game in the wrong way for me to take this variant seriously.

Thank you for posting your idea though, but it's not for me.
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Roger Reisinger
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Thx for posting but I also have to agree that I like the card play rules as is. The only complaint I have with the game, and 1812 as well, is the random turn order.

In every game Ive played the winner is the side who can do a double move at the end of the round, which can be frustrating if the side who moved first is in a strong position and playing well but a few simple moves takes VP's away without any real conflict.

The game works fine and is great the way it is and I enjoy playing it, but if I could change one thing this would be it. Unfortunately, I havent thought of a good way to stop those end game rushes without altering the fun aspects of the randomness of the game. I think banning double moves would work, or maybe you cant win the game if you act last that round. /shrug.
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Moe45673
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Lowecore wrote:
Thx for posting but I also have to agree that I like the card play rules as is. The only complaint I have with the game, and 1812 as well, is the random turn order.

In every game Ive played the winner is the side who can do a double move at the end of the round, which can be frustrating if the side who moved first is in a strong position and playing well but a few simple moves takes VP's away without any real conflict.

The game works fine and is great the way it is and I enjoy playing it, but if I could change one thing this would be it. Unfortunately, I havent thought of a good way to stop those end game rushes without altering the fun aspects of the randomness of the game. I think banning double moves would work, or maybe you cant win the game if you act last that round. /shrug.


I think the Siege of Quebec scenario handles that in an interesting way.

Thank you very much for posting!
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Tim Earl
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Lowecore wrote:
In every game Ive played the winner is the side who can do a double move at the end of the round, which can be frustrating if the side who moved first is in a strong position and playing well but a few simple moves takes VP's away without any real conflict.

The game works fine and is great the way it is and I enjoy playing it, but if I could change one thing this would be it. Unfortunately, I havent thought of a good way to stop those end game rushes without altering the fun aspects of the randomness of the game. I think banning double moves would work, or maybe you cant win the game if you act last that round. /shrug.


I have not found this to be the case. You know it can happen, so you prepare for it. The last game I played, I had actions 2-3, and I gambled by playing my truce card, since I thought my opponent couldn't take enough territory from me to win. (I just barely won).

It all depends on the situation, and each game is different.
 
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Nomadic Gamer
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I like evaluating any variants. The game is too simple.
Control is ridiculous. (We play with the "southern Campaign variant in the file section) Every player laughs at 1 cube in upstate New York wilderness denying control when the Brits own all the cities. Cities are OBVIOUS objectives & this variant is understood by every player we've had & also gets rid of the "Don't forget to leave a garrison unit behind so a CD move can't negate your entire march". So we look at all variants with a grain of salt..or two...or three...laugh
 
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Lewis Karl
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Other OBVIOUS objectives are control of the St Lawrence Seaway, Lake Ontario and access to Lake Erie, as well as Native American alliances and other obvious things not printed on the map such as roads, commerce etc.
 
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Tyler DeLisle
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Wow, what a hostile community for this game. Poor Moe comes in here suggesting a variant and gets nothing but people shooing him away. And those people telling him they don't care about his variant get loads of thumbs and tips... this is strange to see. This should be an open community and if you feel a variant is not needed, offer some constructive criticism or just ignore it.

Personally the random draw for game end win, and the random turn order draw ruined what otherwise seems like a great game for me. So I welcome the idea of people trying variants to curb what I feel was a less enjoyable aspect of the game.
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