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Maharaja: The Game of Palace Building in India» Forums » Variants

Subject: A Simple Expansion rss

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Chris Williams

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Only playtested once so far, but there were three of us (in a five player game) who had played Maharaja before and all agreed that it was a great experience. It makes the roles more even (every character was competitive) and it adds an alternate win condition.

Create the following 12 cards:

1X You move last this round
1X You may move one dial before beginning your turn
1X You may swap the 2nd & 3rd upcoming governors, or the 3rd & 4th
1X You may move one of your houses to a village or city
2X You may ignore village costs for 1 road when traveling*
2X You may take one house from the supply
2X You may take one gold from the bank
2X You may build one house in a town or city

* Including if you double back on that road

Rules change:

1) The "Move one house" ability on the spinner becomes "Spend 3 gold and swap the location of any two houses on the map. Neither house has to be yours".
2) Character 4's power shifts accordingly, "When swapping one pair of houses, swap another for free".
3) Before players dial in their actions, the deck of 12 cards is shuffled and one card more than the player count is drawn and placed out on the table. In turn order (e.g., lowest number character first), each player takes one card. The last card will be returned to the deck.
4) At the end of the round, all cards are returned to the deck.

End Game Scoring:

1) PALACES: Every palace built counts as 1 Prestige.
2) CONTROL: Every city in which you have the most points (using normal point scoring and character-based tie breaking) gains you 1 more Prestige.
3) DOMINANCE: For each city you CONTROL, if you also have a house in 3 of the nearest villages, you gain 1 more Prestige.

The player with the most Prestige wins.
 
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Tim Schmitt
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AnalyzerOfGames wrote:
1) The "Move one house" ability on the spinner becomes "Swap any two houses on the map for 3 gold. Neither house has to be yours".


This confused me for a minute; I was trying to figure out how you could fairly trade somebody else's houses for gold (as in, remove them from the map and take three gold.) But after a minute I understood your intention to be "Spend three gold to swap the locations of any two houses on the map."

This sounds like an interesting twist. I'm curious to hear how others react to the suggestion.
 
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Chris Williams

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Whangdoodle wrote:
"Spend three gold to swap the locations of any two houses on the map."

Yes.

Quote:
This sounds like an interesting twist. I'm curious to hear how others react to the suggestion.

I looked at a few reviews of the game after posting this and noticed a lot of people saying that the first player always wins. In my experience, the player who gets character 4 early (and earns a steady income off roads) or keeps 6 (cheap palaces) through most of the game is usually the winner. This is playing across a number of different groups, and many people have hit on those two strategies. The only way I could see the first player always winning, in the base game, is if no one ever mucks with the governor track. There's no reason for that not to happen, but maybe people aren't using the power for some reason?

But so I could see some people complaining that this expansion makes the first player even stronger. If there's a strong first-player lead in your games, then of course you should feel free to swap the order of card selection. Though you may need to flip it back again, if people discover the value of manipulating the governor track.
 
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