$30.00
Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
37 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

The Voyages of Marco Polo» Forums » Variants

Subject: Lower luck variant, take two rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Steve Lalancette
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
I like this game a lot but I find that success is too dependent on dice rolls for my liking. The compensation in camels or gold only starts to kick in if you roll very low and wouldn't do anything to someone rolling 3s across the board, for example, placing that player at a distinct disadvantage compared to someone rolling very high.

I propose the following simple change to the rules to alleviate this. Replace the compensation bonus (1 camel or gold for each point rolled below 15) with a bonus of 1 gold (no camel) for every 2 points rolled below 30. I'm not sure about the actual number but this seems like a good start. This way, everyone gets compensated.

One side effect would be to introduce a lot more gold into the game and therefore making gold offers much less interesting. I would probably want to start all players at zero gold to compensate. I'm afraid of adding a choice of camels as adding so many camels might break too many things, but one option might be to let the player choose between 1 gold per 2 points below 30 or 1 camel per 4 points below 30.

Would this variant break the game? Do you have other ideas for house rules that would diminish the impact of bad rolls?

Note: I'm not interested in discussing whether or not you believe the game is too luck based, as that depends on personal preference. I'm only interested in discussing how to make it less so.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clyde W
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
Red Team
badge
#YOLO
mbmbmb
How about, instead of paying one camel to reroll, pay one camel to +1/-1 a roll, as many times as you like, so you can change any roll to whatever you need assuming you have enough camels.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kirk Thomas
United States
North Kansas City
MO
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I think a variant that increases cash or camels for low rolls will be hard to implement, as it throws off the value of that cash and those camels, both of which can be hard to come across at times.

One of the things I really like about this game is that not everything is interchangeable at all times - I can't trade dice for camels. I can trade dice for cash, but that is often suboptimal. But this also makes the value of your rolls more important.

To mitigate the effects of randomness on rolls, I would look to making the exchanges between dice, their values, cash and camels more fluid. I'm just throwing out ideas, but make a die worth 2 camels as an extra action. As previously suggested, make it one camel per pip adjustment. Allow for cash to buy a reroll or a pip adjustment. And possibly increase the limit from 15 to 16, 17 or 18 to infuse just a few more dollars and camels into the equation. I'm not sure what the right mechanisms and ratios would be, but this is the type of thing I'd look to tweak.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kelly Bass
United States
Venice
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Posted in the other forum, but OP may have unsubscribed:

Each player takes a standard deck of playing cards, removes all but the A,2,3,4,5,6 of each suit and a joker. Shuffle. At the beginning of each round, each player reveals 5 cards from his deck, and sets his 5 dice to those numbers. For the joker, actually roll the die (or alternative variant choose any number). Discard those 5 cards.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Morro Bay
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
I think the deck of cards is more promising than other proposals.

Increasing the compensation for low and medium-low rolls is going to have rippling effects on the balance of the game. City locations, characters, etc.

Have you (OP) done any statistics or recorded actual rolls within a game to identify your specific concern? For example, is it more of a problem when someone rolls a high total on their 5 dice, or is it more of a problem when someone does/doesn't roll 5's and 6's? Does the problem happen in 5% of the games you play, or 95%?

Have you considered playing one game where EVERYONE has the Rashid power (and no other power), to see how it feels to play without randomness? That would be an interesting look at how valuable high and low dice really are.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
alan beaumont
United Kingdom
LONDON
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Minor derail
Zombie69 wrote:
I like this game a lot but I find that success is too dependent on dice rolls for my liking.
You might find Tascini's previous design Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar more to your taste, there are few random factors.

The expansion Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar – Tribes & Prophecies introduced player powers which I never took to. I wonder if that was the general reaction, because in Marco Polo they are of course preloaded.

Apologies for the interruption.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
trevor

Missouri
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Actually there are a number of good replies in your other thread, but you seem to ignore them and now have made a new thread. Not sure if you really want a discussion or just people to agree with you.

But how does more money compensate bad rolls? You need money to do things with high value die, which is where the balance comes from. If you roll a bunch of 1s and 2s then sure, you have more money, but how does that help? You can place those 1s and 2s on camels, use the camels to re-roll dice, then use the better dice to take better actions with the money you got from rolling low in the first place? That seems incredibly pointless....
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Lalancette
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
chockle wrote:
Posted in the other forum, but OP may have unsubscribed:

Each player takes a standard deck of playing cards, removes all but the A,2,3,4,5,6 of each suit and a joker. Shuffle. At the beginning of each round, each player reveals 5 cards from his deck, and sets his 5 dice to those numbers. For the joker, actually roll the die (or alternative variant choose any number). Discard those 5 cards.


I like that idea a lot, but I have a few minor issues with it:

1- How do you handle the 5th round?
2- How do you keep players from counting cards, which would allow them to know their rolls on the fifth round before playing their 4th?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Lalancette
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
clydeiii wrote:
How about, instead of paying one camel to reroll, pay one camel to +1/-1 a roll, as many times as you like, so you can change any roll to whatever you need assuming you have enough camels.


It would help a bit, but would still leave the player who rolled a bunch of 3s at a disadvantage over the player who rolled a bunch of 6s as he'd end up wasting a lot more camels than the other player. It reduces luck compared to vanilla, but not as much as I'm looking for.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
bigGameGeek wrote:
But how does more money compensate bad rolls? You need money to do things with high value die, which is where the balance comes from.


You can also use the money in later rounds. Clearly, having more money is better than less money, so if the worse rolls come with more money then that reduces the luck factor. How much the right amount of money is, or how to measure better or worse rolls, or whether some other mechanism is better, are all reasonable questions. But they don't undermine the idea.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
trevor

Missouri
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Zombie69 wrote:

It would help a bit, but would still leave the player who rolled a bunch of 3s at a disadvantage over the player who rolled a bunch of 6s as he'd end up wasting a lot more camels than the other player. It reduces luck compared to vanilla, but not as much as I'm looking for.


I think most people are just confused what exactly it is you are looking for? That reduces luck some but not enough for you? So now what about the people who roll only 3s? What about the people who roll only 4s? or 1,2,3,4,5? Can't leave out the people who roll 4 1s and a 6, they all have to have an equal opportunity to win?

Basically, you don't want anyone to be at a disadvantage from luck ever?

Okay, then the ONLY variant you are looking for is just everyone set their dice to whatever value they want. Solved.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kirk Thomas
United States
North Kansas City
MO
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
A couple other permutations to consider. You could roll 5 dice each round and have everyone use those same values for their five dice. Additionally, you could roll a black die and have all black dice be worth that value when obtained.

Or, roll every player's five dice as a big pool. Then you can choose / use five dice as your turns allow, selected from the full pool. I don't know how this would affect player's willingness to go for the multi-die slots earlier in the round, but it would accommodate that different players' positions may value different values of die uniquely.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clyde W
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
Red Team
badge
#YOLO
mbmbmb
Zombie69 wrote:
I propose the following simple change to the rules to alleviate this. Replace the compensation bonus (1 camel or gold for each point rolled below 15) with a bonus of 1 gold (no camel) for every 2 points rolled below 30. I'm not sure about the actual number but this seems like a good start. This way, everyone gets compensated.
BTW, you might wanna say "money" instead of "gold" since "gold" is one of the resources in the games you use to fulfill contracts.

Anyway, giving out money doesn't seem useful, unless I'm missing something. Money is basically good for traveling 3-6 spaces, which requires you to have 2x 3-6 dice. What other uses for money are there in this game (other than a very limited number of action spaces in cities, potentially)?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clyde W
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
Red Team
badge
#YOLO
mbmbmb
Zombie69 wrote:
chockle wrote:
Posted in the other forum, but OP may have unsubscribed:

Each player takes a standard deck of playing cards, removes all but the A,2,3,4,5,6 of each suit and a joker. Shuffle. At the beginning of each round, each player reveals 5 cards from his deck, and sets his 5 dice to those numbers. For the joker, actually roll the die (or alternative variant choose any number). Discard those 5 cards.


I like that idea a lot, but I have a few minor issues with it:

1- How do you handle the 5th round?
2- How do you keep players from counting cards, which would allow them to know their rolls on the fifth round before playing their 4th?
Agree. Instead, I would grab two decks per player and have 6 copies of cards A-6, so you can never count cards.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
trevor

Missouri
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
DaviddesJ wrote:
You can also use the money in later rounds. Clearly, having more money is better than less money, so if the worse rolls come with more money then that reduces the luck factor. How much the right amount of money is, or how to measure better or worse rolls, or whether some other mechanism is better, are all reasonable questions. But they don't undermine the idea.


Yes but money cannot mitigate rolling poorly, if you always roll poorly an entire game then you are left with a bunch of money, no camels, and you will lose. Hence, this variant favors the lucky player
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
bigGameGeek wrote:
I think most people are just confused what exactly it is you are looking for?

Basically, you don't want anyone to be at a disadvantage from luck ever?


You're the only one who's confused, and you're only confused because you won't listen and keep putting forward strawmen. Can't you just take it somewhere else if all you want to do is complain that you still don't understand?

It's always going to be true that sometimes luck will outweigh skill. That's the nature of a game with dice. The OP's goal is to reduce the influence of luck and the disadvantage from bad rolls, not to eliminate it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon Bowker
United States
Durham
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Zombie69 wrote:
chockle wrote:
Posted in the other forum, but OP may have unsubscribed:

Each player takes a standard deck of playing cards, removes all but the A,2,3,4,5,6 of each suit and a joker. Shuffle. At the beginning of each round, each player reveals 5 cards from his deck, and sets his 5 dice to those numbers. For the joker, actually roll the die (or alternative variant choose any number). Discard those 5 cards.


I like that idea a lot, but I have a few minor issues with it:

1- How do you handle the 5th round?
2- How do you keep players from counting cards, which would allow them to know their rolls on the fifth round before playing their 4th?


6 cards in 4 suits + joker = 25 "rolls"
5 rounds of 5 dice = 25 rolls
I fail to see the problem. And if you buy a black die during the game you roll it like the majority of people that play Marco Polo does.

Edit: The people that would want to count cards in round 4 to plan out their actions of round 5 don't play with me.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
alan beaumont
United Kingdom
LONDON
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Made your bed
Zombie69 wrote:
chockle wrote:
Each player takes a standard deck of playing cards, removes all but the A,2,3,4,5,6 of each suit and a joker. Shuffle. At the beginning of each round, each player reveals 5 cards from his deck, and sets his 5 dice to those numbers. For the joker, actually roll the die (or alternative variant choose any number). Discard those 5 cards.

I like that idea a lot, but I have a few minor issues with it:

1- How do you handle the 5th round?
2- How do you keep players from counting cards, which would allow them to know their rolls on the fifth round before playing their 4th?
Why is this an issue? The longer the game runs the better idea you have of what your opportunities will be. Dammit I'm going to log my cards (and yours) not count them. Cue skilful play.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
alan beaumont
United Kingdom
LONDON
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
...take two
stlkt wrote:
A couple other permutations to consider. You could roll 5 dice each round and have everyone use those same values for their five dice. Additionally, you could roll a black die and have all black dice be worth that value when obtained.
I liked this idea better when I proposed it in the other thread.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clyde W
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
Red Team
badge
#YOLO
mbmbmb
misteralan wrote:
The expansion Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar – Tribes & Prophecies introduced player powers which I never took to. I wonder if that was the general reaction, because in Marco Polo they are of course preloaded.
Are the characters not a powerful as they are in MP? I enjoyed Tzolkin but never tried the expansion but given how fun the powers are in MP, maybe I should give it a shot...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
alan beaumont
United Kingdom
LONDON
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Back off track
clydeiii wrote:
misteralan wrote:
The expansion Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar – Tribes & Prophecies introduced player powers which I never took to. I wonder if that was the general reaction, because in Marco Polo they are of course preloaded.
Are the characters not a power as they are in MP? I enjoyed Tzolkin but never tried the expansion but given how fun the powers are in MP, maybe I should give it a shot...
Yes that is the point I am making. The tribes can be quite unbalanced in many cases apparently, check out the forums in the game entry for more informed opinions.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kirk Thomas
United States
North Kansas City
MO
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
misteralan wrote:
stlkt wrote:
A couple other permutations to consider. You could roll 5 dice each round and have everyone use those same values for their five dice. Additionally, you could roll a black die and have all black dice be worth that value when obtained.
I liked this idea better when I proposed it in the other thread.


I knew I was on a roll with ideas, I just didn't know why
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
trevor

Missouri
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
DaviddesJ wrote:
bigGameGeek wrote:
I think most people are just confused what exactly it is you are looking for?

Basically, you don't want anyone to be at a disadvantage from luck ever?


You're the only one who's confused, and you're only confused because you won't listen and keep putting forward strawmen. Can't you just take it somewhere else if all you want to do is complain that you still don't understand?

It's always going to be true that sometimes luck will outweigh skill. That's the nature of a game with dice. The OP's goal is to reduce the influence of luck and the disadvantage from bad rolls, not to eliminate it.


Not really, there have been other posts asking why he feels this way, so I guess I'm not the only one......

I have asked why he thinks money is an acceptable tool to decrease luck, others have offered suggestions, he mentions they don't go far enough. Therefore, I'm probing more into his idea of why he thinks luck is so prevalent.

In fact, I believe you are the only one actually that hasn't offered anything of substance relating to the original question, instead just quoting others and offering your usual condesending contradictions in an attempt to make yourself feel better about being smarter than others.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Marc Gilutin
United States
Alhambra
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
There's enough skill in this game to mitigate luck unless you're rolling absolute crap. I like house rules as much as the next guy but don't see them as necessary in MP.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Lalancette
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
clydeiii wrote:
Agree. Instead, I would grab two decks per player and have 6 copies of cards A-6, so you can never count cards.


But then you might end up with only one of your 6 6s showing up, while the other five remain in the unused pile.

I guess you could also pick cards from the deck for your black dice. If running out of cards at any point, reshuffle and pick again.

You'll still have the possibility of counting cards however. By counting them as you would in blackjack, you'll know whether there are good cards left and hence whether or not you should get some black dice in the last round. Still, it seems like a minor problem and I don't think a lot of people would bother counting them anyway.

It might be difficult to procure 8 decks of cards when playing with 4 players. To make it simpler, you might use just one deck per player and reshuffle as soon as it's empty.

You'll still have the possibility of getting poor dice in the last round, but it's still much better than vanilla.

I would even let people "reroll" a die using a camel as per vanilla, but instead of rerolling you pick the next card. Since there's a reshuffling mechanic, running out of cards wouldn't be an issue.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.