$30.00
Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
10 Posts

Caylus» Forums » Variants

Subject: Handicap for expert player? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ken Bush
United States
West Linn
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi:
Caylus has been my favorite game for most of the time I have been into euro/strategy games. I love the simplicity of the design, just a few possible actions but depth in every choice. I think the provost mechanic totally rocks. I have logged about 500 games on-line & another 20 or so in person. I've gotten good enough that my normal gaming groups don't want to play anymore as they feel like the outcome is predetermined due to my skill level. So in order to rekindle some interest in playing I'm looking for ways to handy-cap me. I've though of a few but wanted to get some feed back from others as to the likelihood that they would balance the game against inexperienced players. Possible options:
1. Limit to 5 workers
2. Reduce income to 1
3. require 1 extra favor before starting to move on the favor track.
4. Letting my opponents pick a favor track that I can't use.
5. Giving them a 10 point head start

What do you think? Are any of these worth exploring? What do you think the consequences would be? What level of player would you suggest for each handy-cap? Are there others that might work better?

thanks for your thoughts
Ken

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve
United States
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I suggest you wear this during games:



And give them points.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Jones
United States
Wilsonville
Oregon
flag msg tools
mb
I don't like option one, only because that sixth worker usually doesn't get used until the last half of the game. Its also not much a handicap in a four player game when there aren't enough spaces to go around (or the last spaces available are already weak).

I like option two. Part of me wonders if its enough of a handicap, but no income would certainly be too limiting.

On option three, are you saying one extra favor per track or just one favor over the whole game? In principle, I like this idea, but my worry is that once you've paid the up front cost of getting one track moving, you're disincentivized from using the other tracks due to the startup cost. Maybe I would rather prefer you to take a weaker favor than continuing to power through one you have maxed out. I wonder if a better option would be to say that your first two favors don't count and then thereafter you can promote on the tracks as normal. As an aside, I have to admit that you are much better at squeezing favors out of the castle than I am. If we both took this handicap, I wonder if it would hurt you more than it would my usual "go for the gold" strategy. Another idea in this vein would be to simply start without any resources. You'll have to work harder to get those first stage favors.

If I recall correctly, the last time you and I played with Jeff or Liz our margin over theirs was over 10 points. I'm not sure the point handicap would be enough until they get more experience.

Another idea might be block yourself out of the first player space, so at least one other person is guaranteed first action. That might be a bit more painful if both of us take that handicap; if we're both fighting for second action, that means we'll often end up in third.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
david landes
United States
oak hill
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
On a different note, I had the same thing happen with Caylus (albeit several years ago now). Our group never played again (Thank goodness there are a lot of really good games in the world). When I want to play, I play online or at conventions. Ever since, I am careful to NOT play any games online that I think my usual group will like.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Bush
United States
West Linn
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Davy:
Thanks for the response. Nice to get some feed back and an additional thought.

davypi wrote:
I don't like option one, only because that sixth worker usually doesn't get used until the last half of the game. Its also not much a handicap in a four player game when there aren't enough spaces to go around (or the last spaces available are already weak).


Yeah, this one probably is only suitable for more advanced players. People who are "in" the game near the end would benefit.

davypi wrote:
I like option two. Part of me wonders if its enough of a handicap, but no income would certainly be too limiting.


This one is very limiting. would range from $12-$18 less than opponent. Rather a harsh handicap I think unless playing against a total newb. I might consider this, or at least starting with this but letting it increase to 2 after the first castle scoring or something like that.

davypi wrote:
On option three, are you saying one extra favor per track or just one favor over the whole game? In principle, I like this idea, but my worry is that once you've paid the up front cost of getting one track moving, you're disincentivized from using the other tracks due to the startup cost. Maybe I would rather prefer you to take a weaker favor than continuing to power through one you have maxed out. I wonder if a better option would be to say that your first two favors don't count and then thereafter you can promote on the tracks as normal. As an aside, I have to admit that you are much better at squeezing favors out of the castle than I am. If we both took this handicap, I wonder if it would hurt you more than it would my usual "go for the gold" strategy. Another idea in this vein would be to simply start without any resources. You'll have to work harder to get those first stage favors.

Well I was thinking about either one. Depending on the level of the opponent both could be valid I think. Against experienced, just the first one would be wasted, against newbs, maybe the first in each track.

davypi wrote:
If I recall correctly, the last time you and I played with Jeff or Liz our margin over theirs was over 10 points. I'm not sure the point handicap would be enough until they get more experience.

Yes but this is the simplest handicap there is. Have to determine at what level each player is and adjust amount of points to be fair probably.

davypi wrote:
Another idea might be block yourself out of the first player space, so at least one other person is guaranteed first action. That might be a bit more painful if both of us take that handicap; if we're both fighting for second action, that means we'll often end up in third.


Don't really care for this much. It alters a basic game mechanic that newbs need to learn.

Thanks again for your thoughts
Ken
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Bush
United States
West Linn
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
dklx3 wrote:
On a different note, I had the same thing happen with Caylus (albeit several years ago now). Our group never played again (Thank goodness there are a lot of really good games in the world). When I want to play, I play online or at conventions. Ever since, I am careful to NOT play any games online that I think my usual group will like.

Yeah, I was "over zealous" with Caylus in the begining. So I have self limited most other games on-line so I don't learn them "to well". Games that are significantly luck based don't fall in to this catagory as much so those are still open game. But like you said, "(Thank goodness there are a lot of really good games in the world)" for my face-to-face groups to explore.

One game that might continue to get a fair number of on-line plays is Through the Ages-New. It takes so long in person that it'll hardly ever get to the table so I invite my gaming group friends to play on-line to satisfy that itch, and likely always will.
Ken
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Jones
United States
Wilsonville
Oregon
flag msg tools
mb
klbush wrote:
davypi wrote:
I like option two. Part of me wonders if its enough of a handicap, but no income would certainly be too limiting.
This one is very limiting. would range from $12-$18 less than opponent. Rather a harsh handicap I think unless playing against a total newb. I might consider this, or at least starting with this but letting it increase to 2 after the first castle scoring or something like that.


I think I've adjusted my play enough to know that hitting one of the two selling markets is important. So a different way to think of this is that it takes three or four sell actions to make up the money and then two or three actions to make up the resources you had to sell. This roughly amounts to a six action handicap over the course of the game. So its probably on par with your suggestion of dropping the sixth worker, but since you suffer this penalty out of the gate rather than in the late game, it is admittedly a bit more punishing. I think this is the one I would be most interested to try. However, unlike with favors or resources, this isn't a handicap that can be scaled if it doesn't fit.

Quote:
davypi wrote:
Another idea might be block yourself out of the first player space
Don't really care for this much. It alters a basic game mechanic that newbs need to learn.


Agreed. I did not think of it in this light.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Bush
United States
West Linn
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
davypi wrote:
However, unlike with favors or resources, this isn't a handicap that can be scaled if it doesn't fit.

Underscoring is mine. I didn't think of limiting starting resources. This is a rather good idea I think. The better player could start with only 1 or 2 resources which would give the other players a significant castle advantage in the first section. This may not be enough in a 2 player game, but in a 4 or 5 player game this could delay castle building by 3 or 4 rounds. In 2 & 3 player games maybe a combination of reduction of starting resources and money would be reasonable.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
sonny sonny
Austria
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
my 2 cents on an old topic

if a VP penalty is ok with your group, go for that. though i think it's kind of lame, because people can just add them at the end and know that you're actually the winner. getting locked out of favor tracks or certain (or even one color of) buildings is more interesting, because it forces you to play different strategies. it may not be sufficient to make you lose, but it still gives them an incentive to play with you.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Bush
United States
West Linn
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
letsdance wrote:
if a VP penalty is ok with your group, go for that. though i think it's kind of lame, because people can just add them at the end and know that you're actually the winner.

The reason I don't care for this is that it doesn't require any change in game play on the part of the experienced player. All the same strategies and tactics will work exactly the same so not really providing a harder game playing handicap.

letsdance wrote:
Getting locked out of favor tracks or certain (or even one color of) buildings is more interesting, because it forces you to play different strategies. it may not be sufficient to make you lose, but it still gives them an incentive to play with you.

These are more along the lines of a playing handicap. But locking a player out of certain building types alters the game enough that it might not feel as much like Caylus anymore.

From my perspective, resources and money reduction at the start of the game are the best & easiest to manage. Restricting favor tracks sounds like a good thing, but it really cuts into a lot of alternate strategies so if the game has 3 experience levels of players it would be too much to come to terms on I think.

Appreciate your thoughts.

I'm still thinking about how to gauge how much handicap is realistic. A 1 cube reduction and $1 reduction at the start seems reasonable if playing against someone with limited experience, but maybe 2 of each if playing against a total newb. Should provide an early advantage in the castle and with the first wood buildings.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.