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Subject: Variant for Ending the Game rss

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Jan Hus
Germany
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My group has plaid several games and we have enjoyed this beautiful, engaging gem of a game very much. However we were unhappy with the way the game ends. It is too aprubt for our taste. And there are other problems whith it which have been broadely debated in this forum.

We have developped and tried the following variant. When a player places his sixth star every player INCLUDING the player who has triggered the end get another turn.

We are very happy with this variant. Due the extra-turn triggering the end is still very attractive. As another round is plaid, it is not possible to calculate the exact end game scoring before placing the star. So we have not to worry about the problem to which extent such calculations are allowed / should be tolerated.

On the downside this last round can degenerate to a point-squeezing optimation math exercise.(I'm sure the designer had this in mind when he designed the abrupt end as it is written in the rules)

In order to limit this effect we have tuned our variant further and came up with the following subvariant: As in the base-variant every player including the player, who has triggered the end have another turn. However only a player who

i) has placed six stars
ii) has placed at least five stars AND completed one of his
objectives
iii) has at least five stars AND controls the factory when the game
ends

is entitled to take part in the end-game-scoring. A Player who does not accomplish either of these conditions cannot win the game, even if he has the highest score.

This way most of the players, who did not trigger the end must focus on placing stars which narrows down the options. Furthermore this subvariant has two side-effects which I personally appreciate.
- pursuing the objectives becomes a little bit more attractive
- the condition iii) gives incentive for fighting for the factory.

One problem of this variant is of course that all players (with the exception of the player who triggered the end and placed the star who gets an extra-turn) get the exact same number of turns. Therefore the small benefits for the high-numbered player-mats desigend for balancing out the risik of having one turn less than other players could in this variant disrupt the balance. We try to counterbalance this with the following drafting-variant:

Player-Mats are randomly shuffled and dealt to the players as in the rules. The Fraction Cards are however drafted as follows: First shuffle the fraction card and randomly select one card per player (in a two and three player game plus one card extra) Then the player who got the player-mat with the lowest number can choose from the selected fractions first. Then follows the player with the second-lowest number and so forth. This way the low-numbered player-mats get a small benefit. This variant also helps to prevent that player feel forced into a fraction/mat combination which they consider as “unlucky”.



 
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Jonathan Er
Singapore
Singapore
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Wieacker wrote:
My group has plaid several games and we have enjoyed this beautiful, engaging gem of a game very much. However we were unhappy with the way the game ends. It is too aprubt for our taste. And there are other problems whith it which have been broadely debated in this forum.

We have developped and tried the following variant. When a player places his sixth star every player INCLUDING the player who has triggered the end get another turn.

We are very happy with this variant. Due the extra-turn triggering the end is still very attractive. As another round is plaid, it is not possible to calculate the exact end game scoring before placing the star. So we have not to worry about the problem to which extent such calculations are allowed / should be tolerated.

On the downside this last round can degenerate to a point-squeezing optimation math exercise.(I'm sure the designer had this in mind when he designed the abrupt end as it is written in the rules)

In order to limit this effect we have tuned our variant further and came up with the following subvariant: As in the base-variant every player including the player, who has triggered the end have another turn. However only a player who

i) has placed six stars
ii) has placed at least five stars AND completed one of his
objectives
iii) has at least five stars AND controls the factory when the game
ends

is entitled to take part in the end-game-scoring. A Player who does not accomplish either of these conditions cannot win the game, even if he has the highest score.

This way most of the players, who did not trigger the end must focus on placing stars which narrows down the options. Furthermore this subvariant has two side-effects which I personally appreciate.
- pursuing the objectives becomes a little bit more attractive
- the condition iii) gives incentive for fighting for the factory.

One problem of this variant is of course that all players (with the exception of the player who triggered the end and placed the star who gets an extra-turn) get the exact same number of turns. Therefore the small benefits for the high-numbered player-mats desigend for balancing out the risik of having one turn less than other players could in this variant disrupt the balance. We try to counterbalance this with the following drafting-variant:

Player-Mats are randomly shuffled and dealt to the players as in the rules. The Fraction Cards are however drafted as follows: First shuffle the fraction card and randomly select one card per player (in a two and three player game plus one card extra) Then the player who got the player-mat with the lowest number can choose from the selected fractions first. Then follows the player with the second-lowest number and so forth. This way the low-numbered player-mats get a small benefit. This variant also helps to prevent that player feel forced into a fraction/mat combination which they consider as “unlucky”.





It doesnt make sense to me that you are trying to fix a problem that your variant itself has created

Wouldnt that tell you that the variant is then either
1) not feasible
2) not to your liking in the first place to be worth implementing

I am actually ok with the variant, dont get me wronng
Giving everyone another turn to do stuff instead of an abrupt ending is something i can accept, but then forcing them on how to play the game completely is just flat out wrong for me

Who is to say that i cant win by not placing stars?
Do i need 5 stars to win?
What if i want to try to win by hoarding resources and building my structures for the structure bonus and also controlling a whole bunch of territory and accumulating wealth?
I think thats a viable way to win which may not lead me to having have placed 5 stars
I could be tremendously efficient in other ways and sneak a win from under everyones' noses

So yeah, i think the variant is fine, but imposing rules to ensure that you qualify to score points is just bonkers to me
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François Mahieu
Belgium
Rhode-Saint-Genèse
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Are you sure youn need those sub-variants? Less stars mean less VP. The player triggering the end might put a 7th star...

By the way, I wonder what would happen if the ending was triggered upon a 7th star being achieved (instead of 6). This is something we'll try as well.
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Mathue Faulk
United States
Cedar Park
TX
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I understand the point of the subvariant since I'm sure that last round could take forever as players just try to milk the game for points....but I don't like the subvariant as it is.

The objectives aren't perfectly balanced, and players can sometimes just get really really tough objectives. This hasn't bothered me too much since there are so many ways to get starts. With this variant, however, you are forcing people to complete there objectives, which just introduces a huge element of luck that I don't like.

The factory is already worth 3 hexes, so I would think it would be a point of contention for that last round regardless. 3 hexes plus a possible combat star? Whenever someone brings up extending the game with a variant like this, that's the first hex that I think about.

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Lori MacKenzie
Canada
Regina
Saskatchewan
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That just sounds like a hot mess.

If you don't like the ending, why not just keep playing til everyone has placed all 6 stars and the person with the most money wins - or something equally as arbitrary!

I personally think the ending is just fine as it is, but creating random ending conditions to appease your own group seems like something that would only work for that particular set of players. Yours creates more problems than it "solves".


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Paul Newsham
United Kingdom
Halifax
West Yorkshire
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Wieacker wrote:
One problem of this variant is of course that all players (with the exception of the player who triggered the end and placed the star who gets an extra-turn) get the exact same number of turns.


Only if the first player is the one to trigger the end.
 
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Dave E
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
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The variant seems a little complicated with those extra rules added in.
If you don't like the abrupt end and the possibility of some people having less turns I'd suggest a simpler variant.

Why not have a set number of turns? I'd suggest you try 20 and if you find that is too little or too many you can move it up or down for subsequent games. You play 20 turns and then the game is over regardless of whether someone has placed 6 stars. This would allow everyone to know exactly when the game is going to end so you can plan out your last couple of turns and would ensure everyone gets an equal number of turns.

The only change I would make to the rules when playing this variant is that you are not limited to 6 stars. If someone can meet the criteria they can place a 7th, 8th, 9th or 10th star.

I think this will give you what your group is looking for with less alterations to the game.
 
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Darrell Goodridge
United States
Windsor Locks
Connecticut
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If the variant itself didn't break the game enough, the rules for scoring are ridiculous. The one game I've won I had 3 stars. According to your rules I wouldn't have even qualified to do endgame scoring. This is not an equal turns game. If you can place your 6th star just before the person to your left has a 3-4 star turn, then you've done well. They shouldn't be allowed to have a compensatory turn in a ruleset not designed for it.
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Jan Hus
Germany
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Thank you for your replies and your interesting thoughs. I feel that some of you misunderstood the thread.

First I know that Scythe is not an equal turns game. With my variant is not such a game either. Because the player who has placed first the sixth has one more turn than every other player.

Second: With my variant I just try to adjust a wonderfully balanced game to my PERSONAL taste. Im very aware of he fact that my ideas are not just a slight tweaking of he design but a significant change oft he design which changes a bit he character oft he game.

For my PERSONAL TASTE (and the taste of my group) I do not like the abrupt ending (therefore my variant).

For my PERSONAL TASTE (and the taste of my group) a race for achieving concret goals is more attractive than a race for he biggest bowl with point salad (therefore my subvariant). It is my intention to prevent people just going für point neglecting the stars from winning although it is in the original design a viable strategy.

In another thread the geek David des jardins wrote „You're forgetting that different people like different things. If I think my dish needs more hot sauce, that's not an insult to the dozens of people who ate it and liked it exactly the way it is. It's just a reflection of different things being more or less important to different people. If some people prefer the game with a different ending than what was published, that doesn't mean the designers and playtesters screwed up or didn't try hard enough or that their effort was in vain, but neither is it true that just because they played the game more times that what they settled on should be what everyone else wants too“

There are variants which aim at fixing some design issues. And there are variants which do not want to „repair“ the game, but want to change the game in order to adapt in order to adapt to peronsonal preferences. My ideas fall into the second category. I just wanted to share my thoughs with people who may have a similiar taste. But I did not want to say that the game ist unbalanced or that I’m smarter than the designer or the playtesters. They did a wonderful job and have delivered a very balanced and polished game.
 
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Paul Newsham
United Kingdom
Halifax
West Yorkshire
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Wieacker wrote:
First I know that Scythe is not an equal turns game. With my variant is not such a game either. Because the player who has placed first the sixth has one more turn than every other player.


This isn't true for the variant as you described it. The player who placed the sixth star, and everyone earlier than them in turn order, get one more turn than everyone else.
 
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