Benoit Pilotte
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(First of all, English is my third language, sorry for the inconvenience...)

The question asked in the subject of this thread is principaly for the designer of the game, or playtesters, or players with experience.

I would like to exchange some duplicated cards from the original game for cards from the Afterlife expansion.

For example, in the Amulets / Chambers category, I have in mind to try playing with two copies of Died Pillar Amulet (Level III; cost 6; give 3$) and two copies of Tyet Amulet (Level II; cost 5; give 2$), but with only one Heart Scarab Amulet and one of his "remplacement", Burial Chamber from Afterlife (both are Level III; cost 7; give 3$). Same thing with just one Weres Amulet and one Offering Chapel from Afterlife (both are Level II; cost 4; give 2$).

So, instead of playing with:

3 Sarcophagi
4 Canopic Jars
5 Amulets
6 Books
7 Statues

the ratio will be different:

Sarcophagi / Mummification: 3 --> 5
Canopic Jars / Jewelry: 4 --> 5
Amulets / Chambers: 5 --> 8
Books / Weapons: 6 --> 11
Statues / Tomb Art: 7 --> 8

Because the value in Victory Points cares about the number of different cards in a set you have in your tomb, I would like to know if changing the ratio matters with balance. Is it better to keep the "3-4-5-6-7" or the "6-8-10-12-14" with one single copy of any cards, or if the "5-5-8-11-8" could be ok?

***
Two other questions:

2- How about exchanging the ratio between Level II and Level III in the stock?[/i][/size]

3- How about increasing (or decreasing) the cost of the cards in the stock? For example: Removing all Amulets / Chambers cards "Level II; cost 4; give 2$" from the game (in other words, playing with 0 Weres Amulet and 0 Offering Chapel), but instead, playing with both two copies of "Level II; cost 5; give 2$" from both the original game and Afterlife (two copies of Tyet Amulet and two copies of Grand Gallery).
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John Burt
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I'd be curious to know what Tom Cleaver has to say about this. It seems a mystery to me as to why the set sizes are 3,4,5,6,7. I've played this game a lot and my attitude is that this is a fully customizable game: do whatever you want and it's all good as long as you enjoy playing it the way you do.

The set of cards we play most is a combo of both game decks, with 6 card types for each set (the number in parentheses at the bottom of each card). My biggest concern when assembling a deck is to balance the powers and include the cards that allow players to take/move cards between tomb, pyramid, draw pile, and bone yard. Some cards, like Goddess Nut and Book of the Dead, speed the game up too much IMO, so I leave those out.

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David Jones
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Well, my primary thought in this is that you don't want to have two sets of the same size. Part of the tension in the game is that all players want to complete a blue (7) set because its worth the most points. But at some point if the competition gets too high, when does it become better to focus on green (6)?

I wouldn't say that your set is unbalanced without actually playing it first, but I really don't like that you have a size three gap between your highest and next highest set. Because of the squaring nature of scoring The focus on the largest set (11) is going to be much more fierce than in a regular game. The next problem is that because you have two sets tying for second highest (8) you are providing less encouragement for those sets. Players may be content to let you complete your Amulet/Chamber set because it means you aren't competing for their Statues/Art set. Without disparity between the sets, you are encouraging... multi-player solitaire isn't the right phrase, but when both alternatives have equal scoring potential I suspect it devalues the competition for those sets.

Having unique cards probably changes some of the thinking above, particularly because you've not specified how many uniques are in each set. For example, a set of eight with one unique and seven duplicates is different that a set of three uniques and give duplicates. In the former, whoever captures that unique has greater scoring potential than the other players, but its probably not that big of a deal. In contrast, suppose that set of 11 has eight uniques; you again strengthen competition for that set. If one player is able to acquire most of the uniques, they have a scoring opportunity that other players simply cannot duplicate with the "eight" decks. This then reinforces the need to have a set of size 10 in the deck so that somebody else can compete with that score by having similarly large scoring set.
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Benoit Pilotte
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davypi wrote:
... you've not specified how many uniques are in each set.


I didn't change the card total in each superset, so they have the same number of cards in total than in the regular game, and so the stock contains exactly the same number of cards than in a regular game (is it 60, I never count?...).

In my exemple above, the Amulets / Chambers set has 8 different cards (instead of 5 in a "regular" game). Because this superset "should" have 10 cards in total (5 X 2), I currently have in it 2 cards duplicated (2X2 = 4: Two Died Pillar Amulet and two Tyet Amulet) and then one copy of any other card in this superset (One...: Offering Chapel; Weres Amulet; Burial Chamber; Heart Scarab Amulet; Serdab; Wadi Amulet).


So:

Sarcophagi / Mummification: 3 --> 5 = 1 duo and 4 uniques
Canopic Jars / Jewelry: 4 --> 5 = 3 duos and 2 uniques
Amulets / Chambers: 5 --> 8 = 2 duos and 6 uniques
Books / Weapons: 6 --> 11 = 1 duo and 10 uniques
Statues / Tomb Art: 7 --> 8 = 6 duos and 2 uniques


davypi wrote:
Well, my primary thought in this is that you don't want to have two sets of the same size. Part of the tension in the game is that all players want to complete a blue (7) set because its worth the most points. But at some point if the competition gets too high, when does it become better to focus on green (6)?


Thank you for your comment. I understand what you say, and your concern is what I'm asking in this thread. Some part of the game is a "set collection" and my change affect that. But other part is a "deck building / combos". So if all players (2 or 3) know the changes and the new ratio... maybe it could still enjoyable. Even if two sets have 8 different card, the strategy to buy 5 of them (in a two-players game) seem to be effective... But maybe I'm wrong.


 
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Tom Cleaver
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nimzo28 wrote:

The question asked in the subject of this thread is principaly for the designer of the game, or playtesters, or players with experience.

I would like to exchange some duplicated cards from the original game for cards from the Afterlife expansion.

Because the value in Victory Points cares about the number of different cards in a set you have in your tomb, I would like to know if changing the ratio matters with balance. Is it better to keep the "3-4-5-6-7" or the "6-8-10-12-14" with one single copy of any cards, or if the "5-5-8-11-8" could be ok?

***
Two other questions:

2- How about exchanging the ratio between Level II and Level III in the stock?[/i][/size]

3- How about increasing (or decreasing) the cost of the cards in the stock? For example: Removing all Amulets / Chambers cards "Level II; cost 4; give 2$" from the game (in other words, playing with 0 Weres Amulet and 0 Offering Chapel), but instead, playing with both two copies of "Level II; cost 5; give 2$" from both the original game and Afterlife (two copies of Tyet Amulet and two copies of Grand Gallery).


Question 1: You can do whatever you want. If it works for you, do it. I don't think that playing with unbalanced sets is a problem, since the same number of cards are in each set as in the original game. For example, although you have a 14-card set with 11 uniques cards, It's unlikely that anyone will get all 11 and rack up an enormous score.

Question 2: Exchanging between Level II and Level III could be a problem if you take away too many Level II cards. If you do that, players might not have enough cash to purchase the Level III cards when they come out early.

Question 3: The exchanges you propose sound just fine.

...

Thanks to all of you for trying out new ways to play Valley of the Kings.

Tom Cleaver
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