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Viticulture Essential Edition» Forums » Variants

Subject: New Owner - solo variant rss

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Roger S
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Bolingbrook
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I haven't play-tested this, so I'm just thinking out loud. Sometimes I feel like I worked too hard building up my engine, er, vineyard, and then the game is over. So here's what I'm thinking:

You play 7 years as normal, and then you decide to retire. You put your vineyard up for sale and quickly find a buyer. The new owner (of course it's you) runs the vineyard for another 7 years, but starts out with the following:

-all bonus markers are reset
-all SOLD fields are restored
-previous owner kept all his money, so the new owner starts out with no money (he spent every last dime to buy the place)
-one disgruntled worker decides he doesn't like the new owner and quits
-the rest of the vineyard, including grapes, wine bottles, buildings, and all cards remain unchanged. (Make sure you aged after that 7th year.)

Now, the question is - what final score do you need to beat the automa? It can't be 40 since the new owner starts with a big advantage. Should it be 50?

Another big question - where does a guy who spent his life in the rolling hills and warm sun of Tuscany harvesting grapes and making wine actually retire to?


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Loud smoker
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schiavonir wrote:


Another big question - where does a guy who spent his life in the rolling hills and warm sun of Tuscany harvesting grapes and making wine actually retire to?




Alps or Dolomites .... and hunting and chopping wood for the winter ... plenty of food and beer ... ahhh my dream .

By the way I think I will try your Variant sound cool .

Thank you

 
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Jeffrey Spenner
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This sounds interesting. I'll give it a play test the next time I play.

Also, I-L-L...
 
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Roger S
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Bolingbrook
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HvKjr wrote:

Also, I-L-L...


I-N-I!

Oh, and Muck Fichigan.
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Jeffrey Spenner
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schiavonir wrote:
HvKjr wrote:

Also, I-L-L...


I-N-I!

Oh, and Muck Fichigan.


Yeah...my wife and I are both from Michigan and she's a rabid U of M fan. We don't love each other this weekend.
 
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Mike Williams

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Great idea, thanks! I tried it and scored 68. I got lucky with a couple of combinations from visitors, so I think 60 is a nice goal. I'm looking forward to trying this with the Tuscany Essential Edition board!
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The Redheaded Pharmacist
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I thought 60 would be an appropriate goal for your score. And he should retire to Vegas!
 
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Roger S
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Well, I played this over the weekend and score 62. 60 probably is a good base score, with an eye toward getting 70 or more.

I found it a bit boring after year 10 or so. A lot of the tension just wasn't there, since I had most everything built up, I had lots of workers and a ton of money. Most years, I skipped the summer workers and just focused on harvesting, bottling, and selling.

I'm glad you guys had fun, but I think this needs a little more work. Maybe the contract on the residual payments doesn't survive new ownership and that goes back to zero. Or maybe all the workers except the Grande walk out (or they were family members to begin with, so they retired with the owner.)

Bottom line is that there needs to be a way to preserve most of the infrastructure, but not make it so easy for the new owner to just pick it up and prosper. He needs a little kink in his plans that he needs to overcome.
 
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Darin Bolyard
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schiavonir wrote:
...I found it a bit boring after year 10 or so. A lot of the tension just wasn't there, since I had most everything built up, I had lots of workers and a ton of money...

I have been watching this thread with interest, but I wondered if someone would report this↑ happening. I'll probably still try it out myself. I was thinking of increasing the automa's presence on the board during the second go-round. That is, draw 2 automa cards in either summer or winter each round. Alternate which gets 2 or choose randomly. On the same token, a die could be rolled to determine if one or two cards are drawn for every summer and every winter during the game. This would likely produce a reshuffle of the automa cards. But it would certainly amp up the tension.
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Jeffrey Spenner
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Or, for those of us who love the game so much and are crazy enough to have both the EE and have gone out and bought the full Tuscany...just add the second Automa deck.

Love your idea, though.
 
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Roger S
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dbolyard wrote:
I was thinking of increasing the automa's presence on the board during the second go-round. That is, draw 2 automa cards in either summer or winter each round. Alternate which gets 2 or choose randomly. On the same token, a die could be rolled to determine if one or two cards are drawn for every summer and every winter during the game. This would likely produce a reshuffle of the automa cards. But it would certainly amp up the tension.


Not a bad idea, and thematically, we can say there's more competition out there after the sale of the vineyard.

Another thought I just had - what if the new owner doesn't get bonus tokens? (You would still use the glass beads to track which position you chose each year)
 
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Darin Bolyard
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Ooh, I do enjoy the bonus tokens. Not sure I'd want those gone personally.
 
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Roger S
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dbolyard wrote:
Ooh, I do enjoy the bonus tokens. Not sure I'd want those gone personally.


I agree, that does take a lot of the fun out of it. I'd like to try your idea. Alternate seasons/years and Automa plays 2 cards.

Year 1 (which is really Year 8): 2 winter automa cards
Year 2: 2 summer
Year 3: 2 winter
Year 4: 2 summer
Year 5: 2 winter
Year 6: 2 summer
Year 7: maybe 2 summer AND 2 winter?

Or is that too hard in Year 7? Would nearly kill any chance of a last minute point grab.


 
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Darin Bolyard
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I'm going to try it tonight. Instead of alternating, I'm going to roll for an extra automa card each season of the second go-round. The only thing I have to decide is the outcomes. 50/50 (1/2) seems the way to go and is easily accomplished with a d6, but I'm thinking it may need to be more like 60/40 (2/3) in favor of drawing an extra card, which is still easily done with a d6.

And I like your justification that it represents more competition in a larger market.
 
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Roger S
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dbolyard wrote:
I'm going to try it tonight. Instead of alternating, I'm going to roll for an extra automa card each season of the second go-round. The only thing I have to decide is the outcomes. 50/50 (1/2) seems the way to go and is easily accomplished with a d6, but I'm thinking it may need to be more like 60/40 (2/3) in favor of drawing an extra card, which is still easily done with a d6.

And I like your justification that it represents more competition in a larger market.


My only problem with the dice roll is that you're adding luck to luck. There's already a chance that you get a benign automa card, and with the dice roll, there's a chance it doesn't come at all. And you could have several seasons like that making for a pretty easy (or hard) game depending on how the dice fall. But that's just me, I don't care for a lot of luck in a game. (Luck is okay in my book if you can mitigate it.)

Try it out and let us know!
 
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Darin Bolyard
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So I didn't get to it last night, but did tonight. Yet it all went out the window, minus the extra automa card. So I'm not sure how useful my report will be since I didn't even really follow your variant... Here's what went down:

-I played a 14 round game instead of essentially two 7 round games. That is, I didn't concern myself with reaching the 20 points by the end of the 7th year, but instead focused on building an engine that I could later "turn loose."
-I didn't reset anything after 7 rounds.
-I rolled a d6 after drawing the initial automa card for both summer and winter. On a 1-4, I drew an additional automa card. On a 5 or 6, I didn't. The latter result only happened 3 times during the entire latter half of the game. So I drew 2 automa cards for nearly every season of the last 7 years.
-I allowed my residual income to continue increasing past 5. It hardly mattered, as by the time I reached 5, the regular income was enough to supply all I needed.

I finished with 64 points, but I admit that the tension that normally comes with playing the automa wasn't quite there
-I had every structure built.
-I had plenty of cash by a certain point.
-I had more grapes than purposes for which to use them.
-It was fun, but not really tense.

If I want a tense game, I'll probably just play the automa as it's written, since I don't want to go 14 rounds at the risk of losing in solo play.

If I want a relaxed, enjoyable game where I get to see my vineyard take off, I'll probably go the 14 rounds again. And I'd like to alter some things like you did. But I'll just eliminate the dice rolling and draw 2 automa cards each season. Drawing 2 cards definitely limited my options. And it caused me to hold onto my grande worker for dear life until I reached winter--especially in the latter half where I was trying to fulfill at least one order during each round.
 
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