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Subject: Exciting "Random Terrain and Sudden Death" Rules Option rss

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King Cheung Bassanio Kwok
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
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Hi, these is the "Random Terrain and Sudden Death" Rules Option which will generate a great deal of excitment, fun and strategic decisions in the game:

Condition before adopting this option-
i. must play with the Auction Version provided in the original rulebook;
ii. should play with 4 players to achieve the maximum effect.

Rules-
i. the 3 volcano terrain hexagons are taken out, whilst the remaining 33 terrain hexagons (regardless of the set letters) are shuffled altogether to create the main stack;

ii. adopting the auction rule, the hexagons in a group of 4 (as it assumes 4 players in the game) are drawn and displayed for auction by the players;

iii. after the first 8 terrain hexagons are used, i.e. after 2 rounds of bidding, the 1st volcano hexagon is added to the remaining 25 terrain hexagons. These 26 hexagons are to shuffled again. 4 hexagons will be drawn and displayed for bidding as normal in the 3rd round and so on. If the volcano hexagon is drawn, the scoring round will proceed normally;

iv. after another 8 terrain hexagons are used, i.e. after 2 more rounds (no matter if the 1st volcano hexagon has been drawn or not), the 2nd volcano hexagon is added to the remaining 18 hexagons which will be shuffled again. 4 hexagons will be drawn and displayed for bidding as normal in 5th round and so on. If any volcano hexagon is drawn, the scoring round will proceed normally (Remarks: there is a chance that 2 volcano hexagons will be drawn in the same round for bidding if the 1st volcano hexagon has not been drawn in the 3rd or 4th round. This is OK, scoring may occur 2 times in the same round. But subject to the agreement of the players before the game, the players can restrict that scoring can only happen once in one round. 1 of the 2 volcano hexagons drawn out in the same round may be returned to the main stack of terrain hexagons which would be shuffled again, whilst another terrain hexagon is drawn to replace this volcano hexagon before the bidding starts.

v. after a further 8 terrain hexagons are used, i.e. after 5th and 6th rounds, with only 11 terrain hexagons remaining in the main stack, the final 3rd volcano hexagaon is added to the remaining terrain hexagons which will then be shuffled again.

vi. the game will continue until the last volcano hexagon is drawn, bidded and placed. The scoring round will happen normally. But when the player places this last volcano (i.e. the 3rd volcano hexagon) on the board, the game ends immediately. There is no more than action points for this last player after the scoring.

As summary, under this "Random Terrain and Sudden Death" Rules Option, there are only 3 scoring rounds in the game and the game may end without using all 36 terrain hexagons.

Test play of this option has been satisfactory and produced the following results:
a. as the terrain hexagons are drawn out randomly and some of the terrain hexagons (depending when the last volcano hexagon is drawn) may never be drawn, the players find the game more exciting and demanding (as the players cannot wait for the hexagon of sets C-F which carry the temple hexagons with most points);

b. because the scoring happen only 3 times in one game, the competition is serious. With "sudden death" after the final placement of the 3rd volcano hexagon, the last round can be the peak of tension, as players very close in victory points would try their very best to manipulate this round to their advantages, e.g. some want to end the game as early as possible but some want to delay the ending to the last hexagon of the 4 hexagons being drawn out and bidded.

c. this option can also apply to a game of 3 players who may discuss when the volcano hexagons may be added to the main stack, after drawing reference to the present arrangement for 4 players.

Further comment on this option is welcome!!!

King Kwok
from Hong Kong
2 October 2003
 
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Clinton Paris
United States
Post Falls
Idaho
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Re:Exciting "Random Terrain and Sudden Death" Rules Option
This is quite the variant! We will have to give it a try and see how it goes...

I like the idea of making the game a "sudden death" affair for a change of pace. At first glance, the game may end up rather unbalanced, but I think that the auction element can keep this in check. I would have to say that the game may be played MUCH more aggressively when players know it could end at any moement.

Good work! I am eager to give it a try!!

--Clinton
 
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King Cheung Bassanio Kwok
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
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Re:Exciting "Random Terrain and Sudden Death" Rules Option
Hi Clinton,

Thanks for the comment and support.

The "Random Terrain and Sudden Death" Rules Option is to increase the unpredictability, and hence the excitment and replayability of the game. With the auction rule, the factor of luck is minimized.

If you would give this rules option a trial, I would like to point out the following supplements which would make the game more enjoyable and balanced (especially among the veterans and beginners playing at the same time):

1. List out the distribution of temple hexagons with different points for reference so that all players, no matter experienced or not, would know the relative scarity of the various temple hexagons in the game.

2. If there is more than 1 volcano hexagon being drawn in a round, at least 1 volcano hexagon shall result in a scoring round in this round.

For example, for the 4 terrain hexagons being drawn out of the main stack in a round, there are 2 volcano hexagons. At least 1 of these 2 volcano hexagons must be used to produce a scoring round. Therefore, subject to which player wins the first in the bidding, this player may pick up 1 of these 2 volcano hexagons and declare that this volcano hexagon is used to result in a scoring round or not. If he/she decides to use this 1st volcano hexagon for scoring, the scoring round will proceed. Then, this volcano is placed on the map and the player would perform the subsequent 10 action points.

Nevertheless, this player may also declare that this volcano hexagon is not used for scoring. Then, there is no scoring round. The player will place the volcano on the map and then proceed with the 10 action points.

If this first player does not use the volcano for scoring, the subsequent player who has the 2nd volcano must use this 2nd volcano for scoring. If the first player has already used the 1st volcano for scoring, then the subsequent player who has the 2nd volcano has the discretion to use this 2nd volcano for scoring or not.

3. The 3nd volcano hexagon drawn out must result in scoring and the "sudden death" of the game.

For example, though the probability is extremely low, if all the 3 volcano hexagons are drawn out in the same round. The player who has the 3rd volcano must use this hexagon for final scoring (with no action points after the placement of this hexagon on the map). However, as under the above rule that at least 1 volcano must be used for scoring in a round, the players who have the 1st and 2nd volcano hexagons in the bidding of this same round have the discretion to use these volcano hexagons for scoring or not.

In short, with the above supplement, the factor of luck in the game is minimized. With the auction rule, the players are held totally responsible for their choice and placement of the terrain hexagon. Even the number of scoring in the game is under the players' competition in the game.

Please let me know the result of your trial.

All the Best!

King Kwok


 
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