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Subject: Double deck variant rss

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David Whitehouse
United States
Highlands Ranch
Colorado
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A few of our normal crew were playing Hanabi Saturday night (what else would you do on a Saturday night?) and I told them I had been toying with a double deck variant. They were game, we had two decks, so it was on!

We love rainbow, so we included it (all 10 cards), so a 120 card deck!

There were four of us, and we decided to use 4 cards drawn per player. It seemed like it would be more difficult, so we elected for 9 clue tokens instead of 8.

We would be trying to complete 12 distinct piles. However, if two blue "ones" were out, and someone played a blue two, it could go on either pile.

I must say, we had a blast, and it felt really epic. It was harder to "kill" a card (four threes in the deck instead of two), but it was also harder to make deductions based on what was out and what was left. Fives became a bit more precious and harder to play.

We played twice and got two "60's". This might suggest it needs some tweaking to make it more difficult. Although we have a very experienced group and pulled off a few fancy moves (finesse, etc.)

I definitely want to play this again. In fact, we joked it would be hard to go back to "normal" hanabi after this.

There was a conversation afterwards that it needs to be more difficult. I think next time we will only include 6 rainbows from each deck (12 total) to accomplish that. It's also possible 8 clues is enough instead of nine.
Lastly, we considered only 5 copies of the ones instead of six. (But I think we'll be dropping rainbows down first)

If anyone else tries this, I would be interested in their experience and thoughts. I'm a huge Hanabi fan, and thought it was a lot of fun. Everyone commented how it was refreshing in how it forced us to think in different ways than our usual game.

Cheers,

David W.
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Pierre Beri
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Sounds really nice. I would try if I had an opportunity.

Removing 1 card of each (except for 5s) would sound good to make it reasonably hard.
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Paul Mason
United States
Centennial
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I was thinking the same thing. the second deck should have 2 ones 1 two, three, four, and fives... That might be tricky enough. As it was We got 60 twice... It was a little too easy.


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David Whitehouse
United States
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A few weeks ago, we tried double deck again, removing 1 card from each except the 5's. So five 1's, three 2's, 3's, and 4's.

It was a 3 player game. We each were dealt five cards, gave ourselves 9 clues (1 extra), and 3 strikes. I lobbied for an extra strike but was voted down.

We got murdered.

About a third of the way through, we entered a Hanabi swamp there was no getting out of. We were tired so called it a night.


Fast forward to two nights ago, we tried it again. This time we only took out one sets of 1's. Everything else was the same.

We got 60, but just barely. We hit our 2nd strike half way through the game, which made it really tense. We also lost two sets of 4's early on, which meant one more would kill a pile. We won with three cards to spare.

Personally, I think this may be the sweet spot. Paul is not yet convinced, and believes one more notch of difficulty may be needed.

Either way, it was a great time and everyone enjoyed it. There were so many interesting spots and jams we had to crawl out of.. which for me is Hanabi heaven.


If any of you are thinking about this, this is the setup I would start out with. Start with 120 cards (two decks), and take out six cards, one of each "1" for each color.

For 3 players, deal 5 cards each. For 4 players, I would still deal 5 cards each, even though the rules say 4. The reason for this, is that with so many more 5's, your queue can get clogged more easily.

I think 9 clues is good. Also, I would go with 4 strikes, but do 3 if you're feeling brave.

And don't forget the extra benefit that, if a red "1" is out, then playing either a red "2" or "1" is legal and playable (you don't have to specify which red "pile" you are playing to).

Cheers,

David

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