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Subject: Prevailing Wind Rule - to Tame Windshifts rss

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Cad Yellow-Light
United States
Texas
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Windshifts of 135-180° over the course of a race are rare in real life, but common in Regatta.

Normally, courses are laid out so that the first stage is upwind, then windward and across the wind for the intermediate stages, after which the yachts streak to the finish line with the wind behind them, spinnakers flying, for a fast and glorious finish. But the 3M rules often result in the wind's shifting so far that the final stage is also an upwind battle. The result is a frustrating game without the satisfying release of tension that the final downwind stage brings.

I place the windshift island with its pointy end toward the start-finish line to indicate the prevailing wind. The wind can shift up to 2 points (90°) from the prevailing wind direction. Any S roll that would shift the wind farther than that, instead drops the wind back two points to the prevailing wind position.

At our club, I often introduce Regatta to first-timers, and it makes for a much more satisfying game for them (and for me also).
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Ryan Keane
United States
Medford
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Sounds interesting. I might implement that: the wind can't shift more than + or - 90 from the starting wind direction.

However, I wouldn't shift the wind back 2 point (90) on an "S roll that would shift the wind farther than that." That seems too big a swing.

Another idea is to redo the die to have 3 faces with wind direction - 1 for the starting wind, one for +45 from starting, and one for -45 from starting. The die roll tells you where to set the wind, not how much to turn it (so if the wind was a -45 and you rolled +45, you would shift it 90 to +45). That way the wind always stays in a 90 degree window around the starting direction.

I already play the game using a custom d10 with 1,1,2,2,2,2,3,3,CW,CCW (this already reduces wind changes to average once every 5 turns) so it would be an easy change.
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Cad Yellow-Light
United States
Texas
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Ryan -

I probably should have said this mod was intended for 3M's version with the single die that controls both windshifts and number of legs with a single roll.

When I first tried this modification, I thought that any windshift when the wind was at 90° should simply shift the wind one point back toward the Prevailing Wind direction (0°). Naively, I assumed that the wind would tend to hover around the PW most of the time. But playing it out a few times showed me my error --

In play, once the wind hit 90° it tended to stay on that side, mostly at 45°. The reason: If the wind is at 90°, it will certainly return to 45° on the next shift. Once at 45°, it has a 50% chance of changing to 90° again, whereupon it will certainly be back to 45° the next time. If it shifts to 0° (Prevailing Wind), it still has a 50% chance of coming back to 45° on that side. Then it has a 50% chance of going to 90°, and then inevitably back to 45° again.

The result is that the 45° wind will occur much more frequently than either 90° or the Prevailing Wind (0°). If the wind does manage to shift to the other side, then it will tend to oscillate around that 45° direction for the near future.

I first worried that a 2-point windshift (back to 0° from 90°) would be too much, but it's the same as rolling two consecutive windshifts in the same direction, which is fairly common in the game. And it does make the Prevailing Wind the most common wind direction, as it should be. In play it has caused no significant problems, and so far players have not objected when it happens.

I really like the simplicity and quick flow of 3M's Regatta, and definitely don't want to introduce a separate roll with a non-standard die just to refine the wind shift for one point of the compass. Fans of the AH version, who are used to looking for, and interpreting, multiple results in a 2D6 roll may feel differently.

-- David
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Ryan Keane
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Thanks for the explanation. I am also playing as per the 3M rules: 1 die is used. I just use a custom die. If it rolls wind change, then it is rerolled to determine # of legs. Consecutive wind results are ignored, so the wind can't change more than 45 in one round. But I like your rule and will implement it with my custom die.
 
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Aaron Thorp
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Rochester
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Nice analysis!

I substituted an 8-sided die for the 6-sided die in my games and that seemed to work well to slow down wind shifts, but I'm looking forward to trying your approach.
 
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Ryan Keane
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I had another idea of creating 5 different custom dice, one for each wind direction: prevailing wind, +/-45 and +/-90. Then, depending on the current wind direction, I could vary the probabilities of wind change CW or CCW as well as the probabilities of 1, 2, or 3 legs. E.g. the +90 die would have no sides for CW wind change. Thank you again for the inspiration Cad!
 
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Aaron Thorp
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Ryan,
I've always found it really tempting to make lots of custom changes to 3m games. It never turns out well, even though I have some experience with game design.
One of the best parts (if not THE best part) of these old 3m games is their simplicity... so tread carefully! :-)

Also, I've had just one opportunity to play this game with 6 players, and it is so much better than 3-4. Try it if you can.
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Ryan Keane
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I already play with custom rules. That's how I've always taught it to new players, and they've always really enjoyed my version. With the various versions, and confusing points among their rules, I'm not even sure what the official rules are. Most of my games are either solo with 6 boats or with 6 players. If I had more boats, I would play with more. It plays a lot faster than Formula D for example.
 
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Aaron Thorp
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Very nice!
I used an eBay saved search to locate an incomplete game and picked up a couple of extra boats that way very cheaply. Had to paint them, of course, but I took the opportunity to paint all the boats in pairs for team play. I haven't had the opportunity to use them that way yet.
 
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