I am a huge fan of Agricola, and would love to try Caverna one day (though I suspect Agricola is a bit more to my taste). I find the cave element to be quite interesting, and keep thinking it could make quite a neat two-player game, with the focus on the cave excavation and ore/ruby mining, similar to how Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small distilled Agricola to just the pastures and animals.
Though a long shot, I am curious if there has ever been mention of plans to make a two-player, short Caverna style game...anyone know of anything?
I don't think there are plans for a 2 player version of Caverna. ACBaS already takes some elements from Caverna: improvements are available to both players from the start, instead of the private hand of cards that Agricola has.
I could envision a stripped down version of Caverna though, that focusses on cave excavation and mining on one side and farming and adventuring on the other side. I think I would strip away family growth and feeding, adding an action cards each round, rubies, all animals except dogs and sheep and vegetables. Here's how it would work:
- Each player (not necesarrily limited to 2p) starts with 3 workers and a 2x1 tile: an empty cave and a meadow.
- There is a supply of 1x1 square tiles: cave furnishings and mines to be connected to the starting empty cave and fields of grain, meadows and adventures to be connected to the starting meadow.
- On meadows, you can keep sheep if you have dogs (like in caverna). If you have more than 2 sheep, you get an extra one after each round. For each 4 sheep, you get a gold after each round (selling wool).
- A field of grain gives a grain after each round.
- An ore mine gives 2 ore after each round
There would be a central board action spaces like in ACBaS. The actions would be:
- couple of action spaces to take resources (wood, stone, ore)
- furnish a cave + take a dog
- build an ore mine (not sure rubies would be a good addition)
- pay grain to create a grain field
- pay 2 ore to forge a weapon (a dwarf without weapon has strength 1, with one weapon has strength 2 and with two weapons has strength 3)
- start new adventure (Take adventure tile and connect to your outside tiles. Each adventure tile offers different resources. The stronger the dwarf you take the action with, the more/better resources you get.)
- go on existing adventure (Take resources from an adventure tile you played earlier).
At the end, you get points for dogs, sheep, grain, furnishings, gold and adventure tiles.
Obviously I haven't thought of what kind of furnishings would work with this idea and how to balance the action spaces. It's just an idea I had while commuting to work this morning