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Subject: Adding some hand management to Le Havre rss

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SPACEBOY
Ecuador
Quito
Pichincha
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Hi there

Le Havre is one of my favorite games, I own it since 2010 and have played it +30 times. Even though I like it a lot, I miss the hand management part of Agricola; moreover, through all my plays I've realized that the special buildings (SB hereafter) are barely used, so I thought about this variants:

Variant A.- Instead of following the official rules for SB, each player starts the game with 5 SB in hand. During the game a player may put into play one of his/her SB into his/her playing area paying its cost to the bank. This works exactly as the normal buying action in the rules (e.g. Isn't considered a principal action and can be executed at any time during a player's turn).

Clarifications and suggestions to play using this variant:
-Players (maybe) should start with $10 instead of $5 in order to make it easier the construction of their first SB.
-All SB with a lock icon in its top right corner* (Stadium, etc.) maybe should be removed from the SB deck before dealing starting hands.
-Immediately after a SB is put into play, players (including its owner) may use it normally.

Variant B.- Similar to variant A, except that players may put into play, in a common area, one SB from their hands without paying its cost.

Clarifications an suggestions to play using this variant:
-Thematically, this would represent the political influence of the players on the city, deciding which projects will be built by the municipality.
-Each player may only use this "political action" up to 3 times** per game and maximum once per complete round (so, at the end of the game each player should still have at least 2 cards in hand).
-The SB played this way should be placed in a common area where all players can make use of them following the normal rules (e.g. paying the entrance costs, if any).
-As per the official rules, at any time during their turn, players may buy one of the SB in the common area.
-All SB with a lock icon in its top right corner* (Stadium, etc.) maybe should be removed from the SB deck before dealing starting hands.
-Immediately after a SB is put into the common area, players (including the one who put it) may use it or buy it normally.

*About removing SB, I suspect only Stadium and Luxury Yatch would represent a problem.
**I'm not sure about the number of SB each player should be able to put into play in the common areas in the whole game

_______

That's it. So, what do you think? What variant (if any) do you think would work better? Please let me know.

Now, please guys, don't tell me there's an expansion deck of SB, I know that meeple
The thing is I live in Ecuador, South America where there's not a single board game store, so I'd like to work with what I have at the reach of my arm

Thank you for reading. Any feedback would be very helpful to me... Would you like to try my ideas to see how they work? Do you wanna share your own? Please feel free to do so.

Thanks again!
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David Jones
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The main problem I see is that there are some buildings that are clearly better than others in the special deck, especially if they come out early. In particular I am thinking of the Farm and the Iron Mine/Coal Seam. If either of these were in my hand, my first move on the first round would be to get that building out because I would be reaping in the free resources and/or the entry fees for the rest of the game. If my opponent(s) don't have a building this good, you've effectively given one player an advantage based on the luck of the shuffle.

I remember one variant a friend of mine and I played a long time ago where we each started the game with eight specials. We then picked one and passed, and repeated this until we had each picked four buildings each. Those eight were then shuffled and then used for the special deck and the other eight were put back in the box. This is really a draft and not hand management, but it allowed us to have some knowledge/control over what special came out, but not so much that it gave either of us an advantage. I could similarly see having a variant where each player has eight cards and at the end of a round when the city would build a special you instead let both players (in a 2P game) could play one from their hand to the city. So each player at least has a chance to build a strategy around special buildings, but again, with the city having ownership you at least mitigate some of the bias that could come from a lucky shuffle.
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Michael W.
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davypi wrote:
The main problem I see is that there are some buildings that are clearly better than others in the special deck, especially if they come out early. In particular I am thinking of the Farm and the Iron Mine/Coal Seam. If either of these were in my hand, my first move on the first round would be to get that building out because I would be reaping in the free resources and/or the entry fees for the rest of the game. If my opponent(s) don't have a building this good, you've effectively given one player an advantage based on the luck of the shuffle.

I remember one variant a friend of mine and I played a long time ago where we each started the game with eight specials. We then picked one and passed, and repeated this until we had each picked four buildings each. Those eight were then shuffled and then used for the special deck and the other eight were put back in the box. This is really a draft and not hand management, but it allowed us to have some knowledge/control over what special came out, but not so much that it gave either of us an advantage. I could similarly see having a variant where each player has eight cards and at the end of a round when the city would build a special you instead let both players (in a 2P game) could play one from their hand to the city. So each player at least has a chance to build a strategy around special buildings, but again, with the city having ownership you at least mitigate some of the bias that could come from a lucky shuffle.


A few days ago I had pretty the same idea. But there was no time to try yet. But it looks very interesting and should be tested.
 
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Grant
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There is also the Construction Site Variant in which you can use a proxy of the Construction Site if you don't have it (it was an Essen promo):

Ponton wrote:
There are people constantly complaining that there are too few special buildings each game. This is an untested proposition to allow for more of them. Also, this variant allows for special buildings in short games.

Setup: Place the Contruction Site to the start buildings. It's available from the beginning. Randomly choose 6 special buildings and place them on the proper space on the board. These are the regular special buildings to enter the game as usual. If you play the short game, skip this step. Place the shuffled deck of remaining special building cards face-down next to the board. Deal 3 cards from this stack to each player.

In-game: Whenever you enter the Construction Site, play one of your cards to the town. Enter the new building, if possible. As usual, you may buy that new building to avoid the entry fee. The Construction Site stays where it is. Do not take it in your hand and do not remove it from play. At the end of your turn, draw a new special building. Do not draw from the special buildings on the board.

If you don't want to allow for special buildings from the beginning of the game, take 5 random special buildings at the beginning of the game and put the Construction Site on top, or shuffle it in. Deal hand cards when it enters the game regularly and proceed like described above.
 
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