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Subject: Deck Set up question rss

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Byron Brown
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In my first plays of this game, I found that placing the game over card as directed in the rules (on top of the 4th roughly equal deck) created a situation where the game end was precisely defined in a way that resulted in an unequal number of turns, but it appeared random because of the remaining cards under the game over card. In addition, we found it frustrating to see STRIP cards come out as set up cards or on the first round before some owners had a chance or the money to build on the strip.

As a result, I House-ruled the setup and inserted the Game Over card into the top half of the 4th deck, trying to make the ending anytime from where there are 10 cards left to 5 cards left. I also added the strip cards to the middle two decks, ensuring that all strip cards do come out during the game and all pay off. After my latest game, I plan to totally remove the last 5 cards from the bottom of the deck so that it clear for everyone to see when we are down to the 5 cards that include the Game Over card.

I now play the UP expansion exclusively, and usually have 5 players, and there is always angst over timing of the game end. Just wanted to check if anyone has tried any similar modifications to the card set up process or to the game end.
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Cardboard Hustle
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PepsiFizz wrote:
In my first plays of this game, I found that placing the game over card as directed in the rules (on top of the 4th roughly equal deck) created a situation where the game end was precisely defined in a way that resulted in an unequal number of turns, but it appeared random because of the remaining cards under the game over card. In addition, we found it frustrating to see STRIP cards come out as set up cards or on the first round before some owners had a chance or the money to build on the strip.

As a result, I House-ruled the setup and inserted the Game Over card into the top half of the 4th deck, trying to make the ending anytime from where there are 10 cards left to 5 cards left. I also added the strip cards to the middle two decks, ensuring that all strip cards do come out during the game and all pay off. After my latest game, I plan to totally remove the last 5 cards from the bottom of the deck so that it clear for everyone to see when we are down to the 5 cards that include the Game Over card.

I now play the UP expansion exclusively, and usually have 5 players, and there is always angst over timing of the game end. Just wanted to check if anyone has tried any similar modifications to the card set up process or to the game end.


I find your changes interesting for the following reasons.

You wanted the Game Over to be less predictable. So, you insert the game over card randomly to the fourth deck. However, you wanted The Strip cards to be MORE predictable. So, you started feeding those into decks two and three.

So my first impression was "He wants the game to be more Ameri-trash random". But then my second impression was "He wants the game to be more Euro predictable." But what I really think you want is all the players to experience a sense of parity in the game. You want every player to feel that they have the same opportunity to take advantage of the same in game events. Is that accurate?

If that suits your group better, I say go for it. However I find the stress of missing out on a windfall is my favorite part of the game. I play most of the game thinking. "The next card is all I need!" or "This re-org roll is all I need!". That's what a game about the gambling capital of the world should feel like in my opinion.
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Tim Fisher
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We do the same thing. The game over card is mixed somewhere in the last deck; i like in the top half of last deck like your set up, another in our group likes it that its possible to be the very last card. But we like it varied. And we don't want to count cards to calculate when the end will happen.
Same as you for strip cards during set up. Nothing worse than seeing one as a starting lot. So we make the starting cards strip card free but mix them freely in the deck so we maintain the possibility of having strip cards buried under the game over card (and we're very dissapointed when it happens). We do it because we love the payouts! Big swings happen on strip cards and it keeps everyone engaged and its just more fun for our group.


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Byron Brown
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acedaryl1 wrote:

So my first impression was "He wants the game to be more Ameri-trash random". But then my second impression was "He wants the game to be more Euro predictable." But what I really think you want is all the players to experience a sense of parity in the game. You want every player to feel that they have the same opportunity to take advantage of the same in game events. Is that accurate?


Thanks for the feedback and I think this is a good analysis. It is not that the Game Over card should be less predictable... it is just that if it is fixed, then it should be fair, but I am not sure that an equal number of turns in itself is "fair." Plus, I think that the game end favors the player who just took their turn and really screws the player whose turn is to come next, even more so in a 5 player game, where the next player may have thousands of dollars of income ready to spend.
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Byron Brown
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soylentgreenismeeple wrote:
So we make the starting cards strip card free but mix them freely in the deck so we maintain the possibility of having strip cards buried under the game over card (and we're very disappointed when it happens). We do it because we love the payouts! Big swings happen on strip cards and it keeps everyone engaged and its just more fun for our group.


Thanks for the comment! I like your point about making it possible for the strip cards to be buried. You are correct that making that potentially HUGE payout uncertain makes that investment in strip casinos a somewhat less definite strategy, and gives the owner who lacks a big strip casino a prayer. Have you had 2 strip cards show up in the buried cards? I would think that would be close to tragedy for some.
 
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PepsiFizz wrote:
acedaryl1 wrote:

So my first impression was "He wants the game to be more Ameri-trash random". But then my second impression was "He wants the game to be more Euro predictable." But what I really think you want is all the players to experience a sense of parity in the game. You want every player to feel that they have the same opportunity to take advantage of the same in game events. Is that accurate?


Thanks for the feedback and I think this is a good analysis. It is not that the Game Over card should be less predictable... it is just that if it is fixed, then it should be fair, but I am not sure that an equal number of turns in itself is "fair." Plus, I think that the game end favors the player who just took their turn and really screws the player whose turn is to come next, even more so in a 5 player game, where the next player may have thousands of dollars of income ready to spend.


I agree with you that an equal number of turns is not inherently fair in the game. It really comes down to the distribution of card colors in the game. For example, If someone invests hard in Silver casinos, because they have the lowest number of cards in the discard stacks, that seems like a good move. However if 3 or 4 Silvers are in the fourth deck their investment will pay very small dividends.

You are right about the player after the final playing getting screwed as well. They have had 4 turns to gather casino payouts and empty lot income, but lose the opportunity to spend it.

However, like any good Las Vegas casino pit boss would say to an unruly gambler who just lost it all. "That's life kid. Here's a voucher to the buffet."
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