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Subject: Draft Variants? rss

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Duncan Anderson
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So, my group is a few games in to Farmageddon and the most common complaint is that it's too easy to feel like your opponents drew all of the "fun cards". Now, Farmageddon is a light, quick game with a heavy dose of variance, so that's a bit par for the course. Still, it led to some discussion about possible variants. These are untested variants that could be used together or separately.

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1) There are certain situations where you're only chance to win is to draw a specific farmer card. In those cases, it would be nice to have something you could do to help you find it.

The rule I'd like to test is this:

Almanac - Instead of playing a farmer card, you may look at the top two cards of the deck. You may choose one of those cards to put into your hand. If you do, it counts as your farmer draw for the turn. Put all the cards you don't keep on the bottom of the deck.

You can do this once and then play the farmer card you drew. Or you can do this twice, look at effectively 4 cards, but not play the card until your next turn. Or your can just play other farmer cards and take your one random card for the turn.

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2) The distribution of synergistic cards can be very lopsided. Fortunately, we can fix that with a pre-game draft. Drafting cards allows players to wind up with more focused cards in their hand. Here's a first set of ideas on how this would work:

The draft will take place over three rounds: crops, farmer cards and then crops. The first round players will draft crops. Players will start with a number of Crop cards based on the number of players, take one card and pass the rest to the player on the left.
Two players - 10 cards
Three players - 10 cards
Four players - 7 cards

The next round, deal out an equal number of farmer cards to each player. Return the last card to the deck with 2/4 players. With two players, the players just remove 7 farmer cards back to the box and keep the rest. For three or four players, draft the cards as you did in the first round except you'll pass to the player to your right.

The final round uses the crop cards with the following differences.
Two players - 20 cards, although you'll pick one card to keep and discard one card to the box
Three players - 10 cards
Four players - 8 cards

The game play is the same as the original game, except that each player has their own personal deck of farmer and crop cards they'll be using. The game ends when any player exhausts their crop deck, with each other player taking one additional turn like normal. If a player runs out of farmer cards, they reshuffle their discard pile of farmer cards into a new deck.


Has anyone else tried anything like these? Thoughts/suggestions?
 
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Grant Rodiek
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Redwood City
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I disagree some with the notion the game has "good" and "bad" cards. All are balanced to work in a variety of circumstances. Some are destructive, but don't earn points, some have higher opportunity costs, etc.

But, your mileage may vary, of course.

I don't think a draft involving basic crops is compelling. One that has you choose FCs or Farmer cards would be interesting.

Having not testing anything, I'd suggest something like:

Shuffle al FCs and Farmer cards. Players draft and draw up 5 until every player drafts X cards. 6?

Shuffle these cards and deal yourself 4. The rest form a personal deck. Shuffle Crop cards and Farmer cards normally. Everyone gets 3 Crops to start.

At end of your turn, draw 1 from personal deck or 1 from Farmer deck.

Not sure the complexity is right for the game, and I probably wouldn't prefer it, but perhaps it's a better fit for you?

 
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Duncan Anderson
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Yeah, I tried to be careful to clarify that it's not really about good/bad cards as much as how well the cards synergize together. A hand full of super worms without any other cards to play on your crops feels pretty unfun, even though it can situationally be a very strong card. Likewise if I'm drafting a farm futures deck I might value wheat just because it's another crop type I don't have.

I like the mini deck idea, especially because I'm concerned with how long the game will be with a shorter crop deck. I worry that could be exploitable even if it's theoretically the same number of cards per person.
 
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