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Suburbia 5★» Forums » Variants

Subject: Suburbia 5 Star Second Row Modification rss

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Brad McNellen
United States
Michigan
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I now play Suburbia, Inc. exclusively with the Second Row Building Tiles Variant (http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1114866/second-row-building-...).

The situation that prompted that variant -- more tiles but only so many slots available for a game -- has become even more pronounced with Suburbia 5 Star: not only are there even more tiles, but half of the tiles used in any game have to be the new star tiles, in order to keep the new game mechanics properly functional.

In turn, this means that in a 5-player game, barely one third of the tiles from the first two Suburbia games will ever be available, with that percentage dropping for fewer players. Already, a number of players have wondered about such "dilution" effects; would it ever again be a feasible strategy to build airports and schools?

So far, we've liked a simple modification based on the discussion of the Second Row Variant. This is to set up a game of Suburbia 5 Star as usual, but whenever a non-star tile is placed in the market, draw a second non-star tile from the unused ones with same letter to stack with it. A player may take and pay for either of the non-star tiles in a stack (or turn it into a lake), but must discard the other one. If a player chooses a marketplace space with a stack to void from a border or basic tile purchase, both tiles in the stack are discarded.

In the event that an identical tile is drawn to accompany a non-star tile, remove it and do NOT redraw. (It's just tough luck, and in one game this happened FOUR times!)

The star tiles remain unaffected; do not draw a non-star alternate choice for them. (This is to prevent an overly artificial strategy of killing star tiles from being too easy or rewarding.)

This gives players more of an opportunity to pursue the usual combos/goals, but also provides more of a competitive decision-making aspect to the game, especially when two desirable singletons are stacked with one another.

Of course, one can always prefer to pre-construct tile pools, but I've always found that to be too much of a hassle, and somewhat out of character with the appealing random nature of the game.


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Adam Green
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Dayton
Ohio
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Thanks for posting this variant idea. I think my group and I will give it a try next time we play. It may help us recover from the poverty our first game of 5★ caused from buying all the star properties with no real money making properties showing up until we hit the B tiles.
 
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Jake Fernandez
Philippines
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Anybody else tried this variant? To the OP, have you tried this further? Has it held up so far?
 
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Brad McNellen
United States
Michigan
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Yes, indeed. We've played several more games, and so far it's been working very well. It has helped to counteract the problem that Adam Green pointed out: the increased difficulty of building income at the outset. The variant doesn't entirely eliminate that difficulty, but the chances of getting quick cash influx tiles such as Homeowners' Association, County Assessor, and Waterfront Realty have gone up, to help finance the inevitable "star grab".

There's also a new kind of tension when it's clear that different players are eyeing different tiles in a non-star stack ...
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Chris Christopher
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Avon
Ohio
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https://boardgamegeek.com/article/20205704#20205704
 
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Dan Zielinski
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Jenks
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Didn't buy 5* when it came out because of the report of Tile Dilution.

Came across this variant and found 5* on sale and got it.

Have only slight adjustments to this variant (for less complexity) but we like 5* because of it.

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Setup both Suburbia Inc and the Suburbia 5* tile boards with tiles.
The "One More Round" tile is mixed into the Suburbia Inc C-Tiles. Both B and C tile piles on BOTH boards will receive a Bonus/Challenge. Players are welcome to try to fulfill both.

[4-Player Example: Suburbia Inc board will have 22 normal A-tiles, 20 normal B-Tiles and 28 C-Tiles plus the "One More Round Tile." The Suburbia 5* board will be set up with 11 normal A-Tiles and 11 Star A-Tiles, 10 normal B-Tiles and 10 Star B-Tiles, and 14 normal C-Tiles and 14 Star C-Tiles.]

In a 5-Player game ... sum up the two numbers from the 5* board to determine how many tiles are placed on the Suburbia Inc board.

All Borders (regular and stars) are mixed together but 4 are reveal instead of 3.

The Inc board tiles will always refresh the top row of the market. The 5* board will always refresh the bottom row.

When a tile is bought/removed... the other tile in the column is also removed. Both rows are slid and refreshed from their respective piles.

We play with Suburbia Inc. Turn order (around table) and for tied goals (Law Office is only way to brake ties) but we do reward top star(s) with 1 populations and lowest star(s) with a lose of 1 population at the end of every round as in 5*. [The most powerful (and thematic) effect of tourism.]

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This way seems straight forward and more congruent with the rules than the other versions we read. But thanks to Steve99 for the original idea that fixed what has become a great expansion for us.
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