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Arctic Scavengers: Recon» Forums » Variants

Subject: "Blizzard Mode" / Set-up option rss

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Artemus Maximus
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Firstly, full credit for the White-Out Blizzard goes to Pat Connolly (patcon) who first suggested the idea of using the white card as a blizzard in this thread: the white card.

Thank you, Pat, for the great idea!

This is a set-up option in order to systematically provide more variation game-to-game and within games with the same exact set-up even. This increases set-up and put-away time, but worth it in my opinion. I've been playing around with AS all weekend since I got the new set and thought I'd share what I've decided is my preferred set-up for those interested. I imagine that, after I teach people the game using the guidelines the rulebooks set forth, I'd set it up like this:

After a devastating blizzard that lasted for weeks on end and put everything on hold, conditions are now once again conducive for tribal development. Your losses were considerable but your small tribe has managed to hold together. Unfortunately, the blizzard has made the recruitment of new tribe members unpredictable compared to the past, as the whereabouts of certain types of mercenaries is no longer dependable. The weather has also driven some refugees into The Junkyard to seek shelter and supplies, while others have taken the opportunity to claim key vantage points in order to improve their defenses once visibility improves. Your tribal leader also perished during the storm; the time for mourning is over and now is the time to appoint a new one and claim critical resources…one of the old refugees in your camp insists that you’ll be hit by yet another blizzard sooner rather than later…


SET-UP

STARTING PLAYER DECKS

Set up the player decks as normal (as described on the set-up card).

MERCENARIES

1. Draw a single card from each Mercenary type, except Refugees, Scavengers, Scouting Refugees, and Hardy Scavengers. Shuffle and choose 9 at random, then take their corresponding cards from the box. Return the unused Mercenaries to the box.

2. Take a number of Hardy Scavengers equal to the number of players x4.

3. Shuffle all of the 10 selected Mercenary types into one large pile.
Create 10 face-down piles of 7 cards each, then reveal the top card of each pile. Return the remainder to the box w/o looking at them.

4. Take a number of Scouting Refugees from the box equal to the number of players x4, and create a face-up pile of these to the right of the randomized Mercenary piles.

LEADERS

Shuffle all of the Leaders and place them in a face-down pile to the right of the Scouting Refugees.



JUNKYARD

1. Take all the JY cards from the base set and HQ and Recon expansions, 2 Shovels and 2 Spears, and 4 Refugees (if playing with 5 players, 1 shovel and spear and 0 Refugees), then shuffle these all together to create the JY pile.

* This makes the ratio of JY cards come out to Med = 26%, Tools = 55%, Junk/Fugees = 19%, which is where I like it, but less than designer intended, I think, for Meds. Choose 15 Tools at random (and/or remove Refugees) to make Meds much easier to find (Meds & Tools = 41%, Junk = 19 then). I just like the JY to be filled with Junk and bums, and not so much medicine lying around...dig hard for those drugs!

BUILDINGS

1. Shuffle all of the Building cards from the HQ and Recon expansions together to create this pile. (If neither the Engineer nor the Tinkerer were selected, there's no need to include buildings)


CONTESTED RESOURCES

1. Find the white “Blizzard” card and set it aside.

2. Take the remaining CR cards from the base set and shuffle together with the CR cards from the Recon expansion. Draw 14 cards and return the rest to the box without looking at them.

3. Shuffle the Blizzard card into the 14-card CR pile, then place the CR pile.

GANGS


1. Shuffle all 4 of the Gang cards and randomly choose a number equal to the number of players minus 1. (If neither the Engineer nor the Tinkerer were selected, do not include The Masons)

GAME PLAY

DRAW PHASE

After players have drawn their cards and the timer die reduced:

1. Reveal the top card in each Mercenary pile that is face-down.

2. If the Blizzard card is on top of the CR pile, reduce the timer die by 1 (and remove it and the Blizzard card if it reaches zero).

3. Initiator does not reveal/peak at the top card of the CR pile when the Blizzard is not in effect (players must use the Recon action in order to earn the privilege to see this card).
 
MERCENARIES

- After you Hire a Mercenary from one of the 10 randomized piles, do not reveal the next card in its pile yet (this is done during the Draw Phase).

- Players will always be able to Hire Scouting Refugees, until that pile is depleted.

- If you did not to Hire a Mercenary during your turn, you must choose one revealed Mercenary (you may choose the Scouting Refugee), and remove that card from the game. As when hiring a Mercenary, if the next card is face-down, do not reveal it yet. Bribing a Leader does not count as hiring a mercenary.

LEADERS

Use the “Leader Drafting” variant described in the Recon rulebook, with one exception: if you appoint a new Leader and already had one, the old one is removed from the game.

THE BLIZZARD

When the white “Blizzard” card is revealed during the Skirmish Phase, a severe Blizzard hits, causing white-out conditions, heavy snow accumulation, and a drastic drop in temperature:

- End the Skirmish before any effects take place. It will not be resolved this round. Discard all cards used for the Skirmish.

- Remove a number of Scouting Refugee cards from its pile equal to the number of players from the game.

- Remove any other revealed Mercenary cards from the game.

- Take the next CR card, and, without looking at it, place it on top of the JY pile.

- Shuffle the JY pile, Building pile, Leader pile, and each remaining randomized Mercenary pile (may not need to shuffle Merc piles if no one has been Reconing them).


- Keep the Blizzard card on top of the CR pile and place the timer die set to ‘3’ on top. The Blizzard is now in effect until the timer die is removed during the Draw Phase.

While the Blizzard is in effect:

- The Skirmish Phase is skipped (like at the beginning of the game).

- Subtract 1 from players’ total Dig and Hunt values (e.g. a minimum of 2 is required to Dig).

- The Recon action may not be used.

 
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Micah Wilberg
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I like this a lot. I am all for any type of variant that extends game time. I have been toying with a version were the 16 Contested are broken up into a 2 year cycle (every 2 cards/rounds is a new season). During the fall and spring time there are no penalties, during the summer hunt/dig/recon get reduced by 1 because it is too hot and it is lighter outside longer, and during the winter there is no digging for contested and no building.
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Guy McCann
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This sounds pretty awesome, and I have yet to get a gameday together to try this out. I would love to hear anyone's experience with this variant.
 
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Nathan Gustafson
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I played a much simpler version of the Blizzard variant. I put the white card in the CR deck, making sure it wasn't part of the top 3 cards

When the Blizzard is revealed after a skirmish, all participating cards are shuffled into the Junkyard.

We haven't played with the recon cards yet but I can only imagine it would work really well

Next time I plan to throw the possibility of the Blizzard card not even being in the deck, so no one would know when or if it would turn up.
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Artemus Maximus
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that sounds good too for a minimal change in pace!

it [blizzard card] actually works even better with the Recon expansion, as the new Recon action allows you to look at the top cards of piles...including the CR pile possibly, so you could know when a blizzard is coming if you Recon at the right time. The new building is awesome here. As are Binoculars.

the main idea of the variant in its entirety is Scarcity.

"if I don't recruit those Thugs now, I don't know when i'll be able to again..." And "if I Dig with just 2, there's a good chance I won't find the Meds I need"

Since merc piles are randomized and not all are included, other players can buy or 'burn' top cards to prevent other players from getting them. and of course the blizzard can devastate plans. if the Humanitarians Gang is out, do you try to exhaust the Scouting Refugee pile ASAP? If you have Assassins/Sniper Teams in your deck, and can't buy anything, do you burn a Medic during your turn to prevent it from being recruited and used against you or something else cheaper to try to force more resources being dedicated to recruiting?

Lower ratio of Meds in JY also provides higher scarcity, along with starting with Refugees in it to act as 'Junk' for some, or fuel for others.

When I played last night, I was getting screwed with Mercs. One guy was getting all the Sniper Teams and Assassins it seemed, and was on a roll with his overall fighting power. He won a few CR in a row. Then the others caught up and a few rounds went tied. Since my best options were the Tinkerer and Scrappers, I went with a strong digging/recon strategy. Well when the Blizzard hit, nearly everyone else couldn't do much because they were so invested in fighting. a couple players got nothing on a turn. Whereas I was able to dig with ease, found some CR in the JY, and by the time the Blizzard was over, felt like we were all on par again.
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Guy McCann
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Quick question about the Blizzard.

Quote:
"When the white “Blizzard” card is revealed during the Skirmish Phase, ..."


Do you change the Skirmish rule such that the CR is revealed just before the Skirmish actually begins or do you mean that if the Blizzard is "won", you perform it's actions?
 
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Artemus Maximus
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yes, sorry, I do.

instead of no one except the initiator (if peeking is allowed instead of requiring a Recon) and winner knowing what exactly everyone's fighting over, it's always revealed at the beginning of the skirmish phase.

If it's the Blizzard, do blizzard part.

If it's a normal CR, resolve the skirmish as normal.
 
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Guy McCann
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Gotcha! Thanks for the prompt reply!
 
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