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Subject: Partners? Automata? rss

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Frank M.
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I'm thinking about the possibilities of playing this as a partners game: two or three pairs of partners working to develop a single player board, which may really make the longer scenarios a lot more fun? Or maybe even two teams of three on the double-page scenario?

Also, I'm wondering about solo play with an Automata -- a much more ambitious project!

Anyone want to try out these ideas and see what we can come up with?

My grandfather was editor of our hometown paper for 30+ years, my father worked on layout (among many other things over the years), and I have many fond memories of watching them work -- and repair those linotype machines! -- and set up ad pages, and the roar of the presses, and the smell of the paper and ink, and the games of dominos over breaks... Yeah, I have to make this game work out, even if I have to develop an Automata and play it solo.
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Andrew Bond
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skifreak737 wrote:
I'm thinking about the possibilities of playing this as a partners game: two or three pairs of partners working to develop a single player board, which may really make the longer scenarios a lot more fun? Or maybe even two teams of three on the double-page scenario?
What a great idea! It's not something I ever considered when designing the game, so I've got no playtest feedback to give you.

However, here are some initial thoughts:

1) I like the idea of teams of two competing together. Because the game has been designed to support six players, you have everything you need to play 2 or 3 teams of 2.

2) I suggest that members of the same team do not have consecutive turns. So, if the teams are A, B, C, I would get them to takes turns as follows:

A1, B1, C1, A2, B2, C2, then repeat.

3) You should play the team game on the two-page spread, either cover pages or centre-spread.

4) Each team would have one (shared) newspaper between them. Both players would place all their stories onto this shared newspaper.
So, in a 6-player (3 team) game, there would be only 3 newspapers in play.

5) Each player would have their own colour reporters and would bid separately for spaces on the board. One of the team's players would take reporter in the colour of their shared newspaper; while the other player would take reporters in the colour of an unused newspaper.

6) Players would presumably not want to overbid their team-mate's reporters on the game board - although I can already think of situations where they might want to! Therefore this should still be allowed.

7) Speciality bonuses and Headlines may only be claimed for the newspaper that is in play - but either player in a team could claim them.

8) Other than the above, all the regular rules of the game would apply.


I'd be interested to hear what you think of these suggestions (especially if you get to play the game this way). Unfortunately, because of my current work commitments, I will not be able to try these new rules anytime soon.

If this turns out to be a successful way to play the game, I'll ask Mayfair if we can make it an official variant.
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Frank M.
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Sweet! Thanks so much for your support of the idea and for mapping out the "first draft" rules -- which sound like they should work very well.

My copy of the game is due to arrive in a week, and it will be the next game I play. I'll set up a schizolo 2 teams @ 2P game, then 3 @ 2P game to get some initial reactions, then report back here.

I am very excited about this idea because the larger pages appeal to me, yet I worried about the "build time" and frustration trying to accomplish my goal. To work with another player or two to bring it all together might well be my preferred method of playing, especially since it will feel like I am doing twice as much as I could accomplish alone.

EDIT: Another interesting aspect of team play might be the veiled communication between team members trying to avoid giving away planned moves that the other team might try to block or make more expensive.

 
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Andrew Bond
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skifreak737 wrote:
... the larger pages appeal to me, yet I worried about the "build time" and frustration trying to accomplish my goal...
I wouldn't be worried.

A good way to learn the two-page scenarios is to start with the Tabloid layout. The overall size of two pages Tabloid is the same as a single page Broadsheet. You need to use different tactics to win a two page scenario compared to a single page. But, once you are familiar with the game, it plays quickly.
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Frank M.
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Thanks for the tip. I'll probably wind up playing this schizolo most of the time, during which I'll try to develop ideas for an Automata -- I'm guessing there will be deadlines to meet and stories that "expire" if they aren't developed etc. Have you given any thoughts to a solo mode? (I'll message you with any ideas I come up.)

The board layout is brilliant -- one of my all-time favorites, by the way.
 
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Frank M.
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I'm going to pick up a few of those yellow reusable inter-office Mail envelopes and add a blank planning sheet partners can use to pass between them to communicate secretly. Or maybe just print out some generic memo sheets. I think either way it would add to theme.
 
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Frank M.
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I did a six player, three partnerships schizolo play. Game lasted four rounds. One of the partnerships got it's headline and column by the 3rd round. One of the partners had hired two more workers by then and on the 4th round bought four ads to rush the end game. Since three of their stories also had Extra Extras, they won by 5 points.

I very much like the partnership variant!

Should the players who are using the "extra" colors ALSO get their specialty card? I'm thinking that would be a good idea.

I had wondered about pooling finances among the partners, but then I realized that wouldn't be a good idea because then the bidding and rebidding would go on inordinantly long! (Thematically, then, the extra colors represent satellite offices with their own budgets and specialty.)

The tactic of using the end game by having one partner sell advertising may need to be compensated for by limiting ads to once per round per color.
 
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Andrew Bond
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skifreak737 wrote:
The tactic of using the end game by having one partner sell advertising may need to be compensated for by limiting ads to once per round per color.
You've missed a rule in the core game. Each newspaper can only have one advert of each size on it. So a maximum of three ads worth $6 in total.
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Frank M.
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I did miss that rule, thanks!

 
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