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Jamaica» Forums » Variants

Subject: The final/missing piece(s) expansion/variant. rss

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Austin Andersen
United States
Berrien Springs
Michigan
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Jamaica is a fine game. It is near perfect for what it is. It is however missing one piece or two that could make it perfect, at least perfect for me.

After playing it on numerous occasions over the past year, I have come to the conclusion that the game needs one or two more decision points to make the game a tad bit more tactical/strategic.

As the game is a gateway at heart, any change made to the game should be simple, easy to remember and to implement. So what is Jamaica lacking?

Jamaica needs more dice, one or two more.

As the Captain (person rolling the dice), you get to decide where the dice get allocated, but it is always a matter of choosing which die goes where. With 3 or 4 dice, all of a sudden it becomes which dice should I choose in addition to which die should go where. If your hand is terrible or you want to favor just the day or just the night, now you have a better chance of doing so as you are in more control what goes where.

As smarter dice play becomes possible, the card play becomes smarter as well.

My preferred way of playing is rolling 4D6 for navigation.

For those opposed to adding additional components to a game, allowing the Captain to re-roll is an option. The reason I chose more dice over re-rolling existing dice is that re-rolling takes time and adds to the overall length of the game. As much as I like Jamaica, the last thing I want is to make it longer.
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Austin Andersen
United States
Berrien Springs
Michigan
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Playing with extra dice also allows more design options as the remaining dice, after allocating dice for navigation could be used for other abilities.

Another possible use for the extra dice could be to assign one special hold for both the day and evening. Players would then be allowed to move/remove one item from that during that time of the day or at night.

Removing an item can be thought of thematically as you are lightening the ship by dumping things overboard to gain a boost to movement for that time of day. It can only be done if a player had movement to begin with.

Instead of dumping things overboard, a player may choose to move one token from selected hold to another hold of their choice as long as maximum capacity isn't exceeded in the chosen hold.

The problem with creating more options for players with the dice is that it will create more decision points that could possibly induce AP causing the game to slow down. These more advanced design considerations should only be attempted by players that have played the game numerous times and are seeking something deeper and can quickly assess game states. In other words, don't try this with people that suffer AP (analysis paralysis).

I am aware that there are only 5 hold locations unless a player gets the extra hold. I play with holds being numbered 1 through 5 with the extra hold being number 6. It is thus possible to assign 6 to a hold in most instances thus preventing people from boosting or moving items.
 
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Jason
United States
Brooklyn Center
Minnesota
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While I may not go with the specific suggestions you had, I like the way you're thinking.

I'll throw other possible decision points for the captain:

* deciding whether cards will be played clockwise or counter-clockwise
* deciding who should play the first card
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