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Subject: Rules change for more strategic play. rss

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Joe McKinley
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When I heard the learn’d astronomer; When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me; When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them; When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with
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I have adopted the following house rule in order to increase the strategic elements of the game:

Players may NOT make change at any time.

In my opinion, this simple rule change makes the game much more interesting. In the dragon caves, players are not always fighting to get the biggest prize. Often players will be attempting to get a smaller prize that has the small treaure(s) that they are going to need in order to make correct change in palace. Players that only have large treasures cannot use the ability of The Market. The Market becomes much more important for getting proper change. Players can be forced to pay extra in order to pass the palace guard if they cannot or choose not to do it with correct change. Similar things can happen with spells that cause players to lose treasures. When players get to the palace rooms, if they do not have the correct change, they cannot purchase the artifact.
This rules variant allows a lot more opportunity to mess up the others players' plans. The game takes a little longer, because it is more difficult to get the atrifacts.

Opinions?
 
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Randy Cox
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Re:Rules change for more strategic play.
I couldn't play this way. This is a great 5-or-6 turn game, but extending it anymore would be painful. This rule change doesn't make the game better or more difficult, but rather more tedious. I don't see the point in making something take longer just for the sake of making it longer.
 
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Douglas Kaufman
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Re:Rules change for more strategic play.
I was considering a rules change too...we've felt that by getting treasures, you get more powerful (using their powers) and therefore get more treasures...which means whoever gets off to an early start really has no brakes and can sometimes steamroll to a win.

I was considering something like the following: In any round in which you score a treasure, you may "bank" one of your influence chips. These become victory points. At game end, the player with the most victory points is the winner. The treasures are only good for the powers they grant.

I imagine that this might help put brakes on the early leaders, because if they bank a high-numbered chip, they are without that chip for gameplay in the next 5 or so turns. If they bank a low chip, they score fewer victory points and someone who gets a treasure later in the game might be able to catch up.

I have no idea if this would really work. Anyone else found a "steamroller" effect for this game? Any suggestions for a fix?
 
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Bruce Glassco
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Re:Rules change for more strategic play.
Randy Cox (#23233),

Why would this rule make the game longer? I thought that artifacts that no one purchased just got set aside.

I think the rule might be interesting to try. I'd still let people pay MORE than they bid in the palace, though.
 
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Bruce Glassco
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Re:Rules change for more strategic play.
Big Huge Doug (#28722),

I don't see the "steamroller" effect you're talking about, Doug. For one thing, no matter how many artifacts you have, you only can use one per turn (or two with the Djinn's house). Also, if someone isn't getting a lot of artifacts earlier, it's typically because they've been getting more treasure, so they can afford to bid higher in subsequent rounds.
 
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Brad Miller
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Re:Rules change for more strategic play.
Bruce Gee (#28772),

"Why would this rule make the game longer? I thought that artifacts that no one purchased just got set aside. "

Wrong. Artifacts that aren't purchased stay right where they are and are available for purchase on the next turn, (no new artifact is turned up in that room).
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Douglas Kaufman
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Re:Rules change for more strategic play.
Bruce Gee (#28773),

I agree that it's not a totally overwhelming steamroller due to the two-artifact limitation, but it seems like someone who lucks or finesses into two good artifacts early has a tremendous advantage over the other players. If he can then use the powers of the two artifacts to simply pace along at one additional artifact per turn while using his powers to disrupt anyone who tries for a more risky play to catch up, he can never be caught (and he's the only one who gains anything by occupying the Djinn's house, so others have to waste tokens to try to keep him from using both powers).

Maybe the best solution for our group is to simply play the Basic game, although I do enjoy the spell cards. There are only 4 or so spell cards that relate to artifacts; I wonder if one could play the basic game but with spells by removing those cards. The only inert space would be the Djinn house, then.
 
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Randy Cox
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Re:Rules change for more strategic play.
Big Huge Doug (#29055),

I, too, don't see the steamroller effect. Even if someone gobbles up 3 artifacts on turn 1 (and two other players get one apeice, since almost every turn, every artifact is purchased), everyone still has their magic lamp and three of the players have more than that.

I just don't see people using their artifacts all that much, except for the key and every now and then the doubler or the magic carpet. But usually, people refrain from using those because they need to use their key or magic lamp during the turn.

So, in essence, most players are going to use either a key or lantern on most of their turns. Since everyone has a lantern from the get-go, I don't see early accumulation of artifacts as shifting the balance of power in the game. Can't say that I've ever seen a runaway leader effect in this game (of course, how would you know, since victory points are hidden?).
 
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