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Subject: An Already Suggested Variant--Feedback Requested rss

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Huzonfirst
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Got to play Imperial for the first time last weekend and really liked it. We played with the investor card and it worked very well for 95% of the game. My only reservation was at the very end, in which some players got to use the card to invest in bonds (at an almost certain profit) and others had to sit on their cash. This wasn't a big deal, but it did seem a bit artificial.

This got me to thinking of a potential variant, in which after a nation reaches 25, each person, starting with the player with the investor card and continuing clockwise, gets to buy or upgrade one bond (making it like repeated investor phases, except that no one gets $2 million). After looking at a few of the threads here, I see others have thought of this variant as well, but I couldn't find any mention if people had actually tried it or how well it worked. So: have people actually tried it? If so, how well did it work?

I know this issue would go away if we played without the investor card, but I really thought it worked great in our game. It made things very dynamic, but didn't slow things down since there were only a limited number of investment decisions. It's far from an elegant rule, but it seems to do its job very well. The only potential issue is the end of the game and the variant has the potential to handle that in a simple fashion. But I am curious if anyone has actually tried the game this way.
 
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Ralph H. Anderson
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Its worth a try, but I wonder if you are just changing one problem for another. Obviously the best buy will be to get the biggest available bond in the country that is at the x5 modifier. Whoever gets that is getting the best bang for their buck. This may be whoever has the most money anyway.

I know the last game I played I had a lot of money and the investor card when the game ended. Would one more purchase have won for me? It would have been close- but if everyone else also had a buy would it have mattered? That is very tough to tell.

I'd be interested in hearing how it turns out if you try it.

cheers!
DragonCat
 
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Huzonfirst
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I very well might be exchanging one problem for another, Ralph, although it isn't clear to me what that second problem would be. My reasoning is just that for most of the game, you're pretty much ploughing your money into investments, trying to choose the most valuable ones. At the end of the game, though, several of the players won't have that opportunity. The ones who did have the chance to do so managed it through the timing of the Investor card. I don't know how much good play can affect that timing; all I know is that one player (the last player to invest) will probably have a significant advantage over another player (the one stuck with the unused Investor card at the end). I'll need more plays to determine is if this is an unfair or undeserved advantage. Since this has evidently been discussed earlier, I was just wondering if anyone had actually tried such a variant (or at least had thoughts on why they didn't think it would improve things).
 
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Mark Bigney
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One point of the endgame, I think, is to reward the player(s) who are able to correctly predict which country will hit x5. If you let everyone invest in that country after it has ended the game (as Ralph pointed out) it would defeat the purpose. When the endgame approaches, everyone would hoard their cash for the final investment round, as opposed to trying to invest with foresight.
And when you play with the investor card, timing becomes a very important part of the game--you have to play such that you know you will have cash when it comes to be your turn to buy. You also should try to make sure other people don't have cash when it's their turn.
 
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Darrell Hanning
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I'm not clear to me why it is you aren't just using the included variant rules, with investment in a country occurring for each player, when that country takes an action. I think this would solve your problem in the best way.

Have you tried this? My group tried it once, and none of us like the investor-card system anymore.
 
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Tony Chen
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This may be trading one problem for another. As is, basically the last player with the investor card gets the advantage. However, no matter what you do, there will always be a LAST person to buy the last big bond from the winning nation. That player may be a different one, but there will always be one.
 
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