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Subject: Reduce card randomness ? rss

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PY D
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We played a first game of A Feast of Odin last night and it was a really good experience, the game is great.

One minor inconvenience to me was about the randomness of the occupation cards draw: sometimes you end up with completely useless cards for you, sometimes really good ones.

Would there be a way to decrease that randomness without breaking the game too much ? I fear that even a "pick 2 choose 1" option would make the 3-workers spaces too good.

Does anyone have a better idea about this ?
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Aernout Casier
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I guess drafting would work. As might building a deck to meet your requirements.
For me, I enjoy the challenge of working with what I get. At least for the first dozen or so games.
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Rob van Dalen
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You're absolutely right not all occupations are equally useful. Personally I don't really mind (yet?).

Perhaps let everyone draft about 10 cards to create a personal deck, from which you can take the top card whenever you need to draw an occupation?

It would be a bit more agricola-like this way as you can plan ahead to a certain extend, but still quite different since you don't know beforehand which card you're about to draw.

I might give this a try, actually
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PY D
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What I fear is that, if you do it like that, you might be too sure to draw a really good card which would give another incentive to the 3-workers spaces, especially as there are already a few really good ones with some competition to get to them first (like whaling or crafting special tiles with ore).

Anyway, the only way to know if it works is to try it.
 
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Andreas Vecstric
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kettch wrote:
I fear that even a "pick 2 choose 1" option would make the 3-workers spaces too good.

Maybe something like:
pseudocode wrote:
if cardsPlayed + cardsInHand < 6
{
numberOfCardsToDrawAndChooseFrom = 6 - CardsPlayed - CardsInHand
}
else if
{
numberOfCardsToDrawAndChooseFrom = 1
}



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Rob van Dalen
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Ezel wrote:

Maybe something like:
pseudocode wrote:
if cardsPlayed + cardsInHand < 6
{
numberOfCardsToDrawAndChooseFrom = 6 - CardsPlayed - CardsInHand
}
else if
{
numberOfCardsToDrawAndChooseFrom = 1
}



I like this as well
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Jeremy Avery
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Wouldn't the answer be found in Agricola? Take 10, keep 7. You pick one to start with, the others are in a personal deck. When you "draw" a card, you may take one out of your deck. When you play a card, you play a card.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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kettch wrote:
We played a first game of A Feast of Odin last night and it was a really good experience, the game is great.

One minor inconvenience to me was about the randomness of the occupation cards draw: sometimes you end up with completely useless cards for you, sometimes really good ones.

Would there be a way to decrease that randomness without breaking the game too much ? I fear that even a "pick 2 choose 1" option would make the 3-workers spaces too good.

Does anyone have a better idea about this ?


In Feasts you can make nearly any card work for you if you get it early enough. I've played 5 games so far and will be playing five more in the coming days. I see absolutely no need for this variant. I think Uwe has learned a lot about cards since Agricola.
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Andrew Brooks
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jschlickbernd wrote:
In Feasts you can make nearly any card work for you if you get it early enough. I've played 5 games so far and will be playing five more in the coming days. I see absolutely no need for this variant. I think Uwe has learned a lot about cards since Agricola.


I agree with this, if you want to be able to plan around your cards (rather than hoping to draw into good ones) they should be taken early. Late game draws are a calculated risk. Once you realize this I don't think there's anything that needs to be fixed.

One thing I do like about the random card draw, both for weapons and occupations, is they may encourage you to diversify your actions. This is particularly important when it comes to blocking. If strategies are too specialized then players will potentially have less overlap in their actions. If you get cards that don't synergize perfectly with what you're already doing you can still take advantage of them by blocking spots that others would otherwise have to themselves.
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PY D
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Yes but the issue I have with this is that you sometimes do not choose to draw, this comes as an additional bonus of playing 3 vikings. And you can either get a for example a 0 points card with a useless effect or a 3 points card with a nice effect. Even in the late game it can make a difference (and the winning player yesterday had a 2 points advance on the second one).

As I said it is minor and I didn't mind the randomness of the weapons draw nor on the dice throws but for the occupations it was a bit more annoying.

And indeed you're right, it can force you to diversify which is a good thing.

Maybe I'll try a few things in solo games and see how it goes.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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Giving up three vikings particularly early is painful. Going first in this game is important and you are far less likely to do that at nearly any point in the game if you use the three viking spaces unless it's the sixth or seventh round. I don't know how the solo game works though.
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Trey Chambers
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jschlickbernd wrote:
kettch wrote:
We played a first game of A Feast of Odin last night and it was a really good experience, the game is great.

One minor inconvenience to me was about the randomness of the occupation cards draw: sometimes you end up with completely useless cards for you, sometimes really good ones.

Would there be a way to decrease that randomness without breaking the game too much ? I fear that even a "pick 2 choose 1" option would make the 3-workers spaces too good.

Does anyone have a better idea about this ?


In Feasts you can make nearly any card work for you if you get it early enough. I've played 5 games so far and will be playing five more in the coming days. I see absolutely no need for this variant. I think Uwe has learned a lot about cards since Agricola.


I agree for the most part, but getting a card in the last couple of rounds that may be in the opposite direction of your established strategy can be kind of useless.

I don't think it's a big enough problem to need a variant necessarily, but I can also understand why someone would complain.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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The more useless ones are often 3 pointers so that helps.
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Mark Gerrits
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Shampoo4you wrote:
jschlickbernd wrote:
kettch wrote:
We played a first game of A Feast of Odin last night and it was a really good experience, the game is great.

One minor inconvenience to me was about the randomness of the occupation cards draw: sometimes you end up with completely useless cards for you, sometimes really good ones.

Would there be a way to decrease that randomness without breaking the game too much ? I fear that even a "pick 2 choose 1" option would make the 3-workers spaces too good.

Does anyone have a better idea about this ?


In Feasts you can make nearly any card work for you if you get it early enough. I've played 5 games so far and will be playing five more in the coming days. I see absolutely no need for this variant. I think Uwe has learned a lot about cards since Agricola.


I agree for the most part, but getting a card in the last couple of rounds that may be in the opposite direction of your established strategy can be kind of useless.

I don't think it's a big enough problem to need a variant necessarily, but I can also understand why someone would complain.

Honestly, I think my variant would be to no longer give a free card draw for the 3-viking actions in the last two rounds (of the full game).
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Jeff Plummer
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Having just played this for the first time last night, that was my biggest complaint with the game. I got an excellent combination of cards with synergies, but my opponent had cards that did not go together well. I feel that this situation is especially unfortunate, since there are many cards that are very specific to a strategy.

My suggestion (that I will make sure to test soon) is to add a bonus for taking an action in the second column similar to the ones for the third and fourth column. When playing in the second column, a player may discard a profession card and draw a new profession card (if they do not discard, they may not draw). I think this power is very limited, but provides players a way to cycle enough to find synergies or at least mitigate their luck in drawing cards. It also seems to be a good fit with the existing mechanics.
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Chad Ackerman
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Rob0Rider wrote:
You're absolutely right not all occupations are equally useful. Personally I don't really mind (yet?).

Perhaps let everyone draft about 10 cards to create a personal deck, from which you can take the top card whenever you need to draw an occupation?

It would be a bit more agricola-like this way as you can plan ahead to a certain extend, but still quite different since you don't know beforehand which card you're about to draw.

I might give this a try, actually


This.

However, I see no reason to make Occupation cards blind draws. When you take a 3-Worker action you should just be able to choose from one of the cards you drafted at the beginning of the game (or draw blindly from the top of the leftover Occupation card deck).
 
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Michael W.
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Evenhope wrote:
Rob0Rider wrote:
You're absolutely right not all occupations are equally useful. Personally I don't really mind (yet?).

Perhaps let everyone draft about 10 cards to create a personal deck, from which you can take the top card whenever you need to draw an occupation?

It would be a bit more agricola-like this way as you can plan ahead to a certain extend, but still quite different since you don't know beforehand which card you're about to draw.

I might give this a try, actually


This.

However, I see no reason to make Occupation cards blind draws. When you take a 3-Worker action you should just be able to choose from one of the cards you drafted at the beginning of the game (or draw blindly from the top of the leftover Occupation card deck).


Has somebody tried this so far? It sounds very interesting. But I have a problem to houserule a game from Uwe Rosenberg because I think he knows how to design a game in a clever way. On the other hand I think the random card draw doesn't fit to his style of board games. I thought about that. Maybe there were other original rules for the occupation cards (like some of the suggested variants here) but he wanted to streamline them. Or I haven't played enough games of Odin to understand that the rules for drawing cards are perfect for this game. whistle
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Chad Ackerman
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The main problem is the added AP you get from all the options. Now that you know what 10 Occupations you have there is a lot more thinking and planning involved to try and get the best usage out of them.

I'd say it's worth trying once everyone has a few plays of the main game under their belt.
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Balázs Nagy
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MadPuzzler wrote:
Having just played this for the first time last night, that was my biggest complaint with the game. I got an excellent combination of cards with synergies, but my opponent had cards that did not go together well. I feel that this situation is especially unfortunate, since there are many cards that are very specific to a strategy.

My suggestion (that I will make sure to test soon) is to add a bonus for taking an action in the second column similar to the ones for the third and fourth column. When playing in the second column, a player may discard a profession card and draw a new profession card (if they do not discard, they may not draw). I think this power is very limited, but provides players a way to cycle enough to find synergies or at least mitigate their luck in drawing cards. It also seems to be a good fit with the existing mechanics.


This variant is interesting, but a bit too much change in the game for my taste by giving some extra benefit for the second column.

What would you say about this:

If you are using the 3. action column, you can discard maximum 1 card before the draw, to draw 1 more.

It is not so powerful, as to draw 2 and pick one, so it will not change completely the balance, but helps a bit against the randomness.

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Jon G
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Why not just have 3-5 face-up cards at all times? You can choose any of the face-up's, or a face-down card.
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Chris Smith
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I'd be in favour of something requiring your precious foods, like you can draw an additional card by discarding a red or orange tile (Repeatable, but only if each tile is bigger than the last).

I think it has the right air of evil about it in making it harder to feed if you want more card choice ;P

Edit: Still only keep 1, just more choices.
 
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Ernesto Pavan
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I was thinking about this myself a few minutes ago. "Pick 2, keep 1" seems good to me. I can't see why this would make the three vickings spaces more useful, no more than it would make any draw more useful (in fact, right now the action that allows you to draw a card is essentially a wasted viking).
 
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ErnestoPavan wrote:
I was thinking about this myself a few minutes ago. "Pick 2, keep 1" seems good to me. I can't see why this would make the three vickings spaces more useful, no more than it would make any draw more useful (in fact, right now the action that allows you to draw a card is essentially a wasted viking).

I don't agree with the bolded. If you draw a 1-2 point card that you can play later as part of another action you wanted to do anyway, that's 3 points for your viking which is pretty ordinary for efficiency purposes.

That space is also useful if you only have 1 viking and need exactly 1 silver. There are only 2 1-viking spaces where you can get 1 guaranteed silver without paying something.
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Ernesto Pavan
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GAFBlizzard wrote:
ErnestoPavan wrote:
I was thinking about this myself a few minutes ago. "Pick 2, keep 1" seems good to me. I can't see why this would make the three vickings spaces more useful, no more than it would make any draw more useful (in fact, right now the action that allows you to draw a card is essentially a wasted viking).

I don't agree with the bolded. If you draw a 1-2 point card that you can play later as part of another action you wanted to do anyway, that's 3 points for your viking which is pretty ordinary for efficiency purposes.

That space is also useful if you only have 1 viking and need exactly 1 silver. There are only 2 1-viking spaces where you can get 1 guaranteed silver without paying something.


The problem is: there are other spaces that give you 1 silver, and they all give you something useful as well. The card, on the other hand, can be incredibly useful or completely useless, and you still need another action to play it. At least the 3-vikings spaces give you useful stuff as well as the (potentially useless) card.
 
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John Wimbush
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Deliberately drawing cards as an action in itself is the result of a change of fortunes tantamount to finding yourself the support act for the puppet theatre. "We hope you like our new direction..."
 
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