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Carolus Magnus» Forums » Variants

Subject: "Turning a very good game into an excellent one!" rss

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Flix
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The following variant, originally posted in the German Spielbox forum years ago, has become highly praised and appreciated among those gamers who found the influence of the dice too high.

As it obviously has stood the test of time I'm trying to translate it for you:

1) Start by regularly determining the 7 (9) cubes for each player (roll of dice).

2)
Then, all remaining cubes are put into a bag.

3) Randomly draw a set of 3 (4) cubes out of the bag and place it in the center; repeat this until you have one more set than participating players.

4) After one player's turn (i.e. after moving Carolus) he/she can freely choose any one of the cube-sets for replenishing (no dice needed).

5) When all players have taken their turns, at the end of the round only one set of cubes remains.
Add one randomly drawn cube from the bag to this set and additionally draw as many new sets of 3 (4) cubes as players participate (resulting again in one more set than player number)

6) Any time during a following round a player chooses one cube-set containing more than 3 (4) cubes, he/she is allowed to select which 3 (4) cubes he/she keeps while returning the remaining into the bag.

This makes for a more tactical gameplay (and playing first is even more crucial because you have the largest variety of cubes).
Make sure you have the same amount of cubes in each color to keep the odds even!

Have fun,
Flix

(Numbers in parenthesis apply to the 3 player game)
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Jim Cote
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Very cool.
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Chris
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Many thanks. I've got this game coming soon - this is very helpful.
 
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Flix
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cvlw wrote:
Many thanks. I've got this game coming soon - this is very helpful.

You're welcome!

I hope my words were clear and understandable - please contact me for further questions!

Flix
 
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aristides mytaras
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A variant I just thought up (havent tried):
Player who played first in round rolls 5 dice and keeps 3,
2nd player rolls 4 and keeps 3 etc.
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Robert Aube
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Ste-Julie
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Very interesting variant. And it finally gives a purpose to the bags
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massimiliano tamagnini
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flix variant is a very good variant but I place a question. If the dice are used in order to restore the cubes the probabilities of every color are equal to every launch.If the cubes are caught by the bag not. the purpose of the variant is to equalize the different colors of cubes ?
 
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Flix
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max3232002 wrote:
flix variant is a very good variant but I place a question. If the dice are used in order to restore the cubes the probabilities of every color are equal to every launch.If the cubes are caught by the bag not.
Not sure if I get what you're aiming at...but you're right: theoretically the chances for each color are the same on every turn when rolling the dice.
However, for many there's too much luck in it nevertheless because you rely on a single dice roll when it's your turn - the purpose of the variant is to offer more choices among randomized constellations of cubes.
 
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Tom O'K
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Sounds like a great variant!

max3232002 wrote:
flix variant is a very good variant but I place a question. If the dice are used in order to restore the cubes the probabilities of every color are equal to every launch.If the cubes are caught by the bag not.

Seems like this could be fixed by forgetting the bag and determining the sets by rolling dice (re-rolling any crowns).
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Steve Cox
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These are interesting alternatives, viz.
1. Create the sets of cubes by drawing cubes from the bag.
2. Create the sets of cubes by rolling the dice, re-rolling crowns.
It seems to me that option 1 is preferable. This is because you are less likely to draw a colour that everyone has invested in and/or placed on the provinces than you are to draw a colour that has been ignored. Consequently, a player who has fought hard to gain the advantage in a particular colour will find that the pressure on him eases off and he can give more attention to stopping an opponent getting a sudden win (which becomes the main focus of the game towards the end).
On the other hand, the standard game is more like option 2, where the past frequency of a colour is no guide to its future frequency. And the standard game works fine, because you can't assume that just because you have built up a 4 or 5 point lead in a colour, you are safe. The variant just lets you plan a little bit further ahead, which is no bad thing.
Perhaps an option that combines both of the above would be better than either:
3. Create the sets of cubes by rolling the dice, drawing a cube randomly from the bag for each crown.

[Edit - Option 3 is not effectively the same as Option 2, because the probability is usually different for each colour of drawing a cube of that colour from the bag.]
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Daniel Indru
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We played a 3 player game the other day and used up all the cubes. We had 6 islands in play.
We decided to stop and declare winner the player with the smallest number of remaining towers.

Is there a way to add more cubes to the bag if they run out?
 
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Steve Cox
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In a 2 or 3 player game, if you run out of cubes, then it is likely that the colour that you run out of is one that everyone has some influence in. In that case, just ask everyone to return N cubes of that colour to the pool, where N is the influence level of the player with the least influence.
If that isn't sufficient, ask each of the players with the 1st and 2nd most cubes to return a number, M, to the pool. The player with no cubes then takes M cubes from the pool and lines them up on the opposite side of his court card to the influence side - these represent 'negative' influence. M cubes remain in the pool.
 
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