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Duel of Ages II» Forums » Variants

Subject: Time variant rss

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Rob Judy
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The way I like to play is with variable time length. I take a std deck of cards and pull out the ace-10 spades and put them in order, followed by the ace-3 of diamonds - face up. At the end of each turn, remove the top card, when you get to the diamonds, roll a d6. On turn 11 (Ace of diamonds), the game ends on a roll of 1. Turn 12 (2 of diamonds) the game ends on a roll of 1 or 2, and on turns 13+ the game ends on a roll of 1-3.

The game can go on for a while, which makes the players have to consider some more long term plans vs. immediate benefits as the end nears.
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David desJardins
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I find I'm quite satisfied with playing a fixed number of turns (typically 16). As the end approaches, you can see things that are worth doing and things that aren't worth doing any more. Drawing cards on the last turn can still affect the outcome (just this past weekend, my opponent drew a Lith card on the last turn that gave him the extra VP to win).
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Rob Judy
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I just finished a 4 platter game solo (12 characters each). I got the subdue rules right, and everything worked great!! I still like the little unsure game end time.
Making a run hoping to have time to get one more point as the clock ticks down.
It also helps alleviate the game coming to a close and players constantly counting points and possibly knowing the game is lost and forfeiting the last turn.
With some lith cards, there still can be some surprises at the end, but that is pretty rare.
The feeling that "if I just have a little more time, I can do it"... appeals to me.
So,I'll keep my house rule as an optional variant when I play. I understand it won't appeal to everyone.
 
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David desJardins
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Bassfisher44 wrote:
It also helps alleviate the game coming to a close and players constantly counting points and possibly knowing the game is lost and forfeiting the last turn.


It's pretty hard to know the game is lost when you can draw cards that are worth immediate VPs. You would have to be down by multiple VPs even with everything going right, in which case we would often give up sooner. Of course it is true that the chance of a comeback is always better if you might have several turns than if you have only one.

If you're playing solo then of course it's somewhat more likely you know the result going into the last turn because you know your opponent doesn't have any surprises.
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David desJardins
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BTW, I'm not criticizing the variant, I think it's very reasonable. I just don't find it necessary. Some games do suffer from knowing what the last turn will be and planning for it, but I don't think this one really does.
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Rob Judy
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The other issue this variant fixes for me is, at the last turn of a known time limit game I find that many of my characters can do nothing. They may be in a dome and unable to reach anything. So, I would just pop them out of the dome 1 space and leave them watching the scoreboard. For me, it lead to an anti-climactic ending of the game.

If the end isn't quite sure, characters may make an "overtime" dash trying to grab a point or obtain a secret card.

 
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Allen Herring
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I think this variant sounds great. Statistically speaking, on average this would usually add no more than three rounds.

I think I would rather use a four sided dice. This would give you a 25% chance to end as scheduled but(if my math is correct) only a 12 % chance of having a second round. While unlikely, it is still possible to go to a round three, but would definitely end after.

The game can be pretty long as it is, adding only a round or two, I believe is better than the chance of adding up to six. Playing 10 rounds, six additionally turns significantly adds to the length.
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David desJardins
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16 rounds is the standard ("medium") length. I find that about right. Of course, the variable ending can be combined with any number of base rounds.

I find it fine that there are several characters at the end of the game that aren't doing anything. It makes those turns go more quickly. I think I'd like it less if I had to spend time planning their actions just for the unlikely possibility that they might have to do something. I'd rather spend my thinking time on things that are more likely to matter.
 
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Rob Judy
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Like David pointed out, you can use as many "base" turns as you want. In my example with 10 turns rolling on 11 on, that would replace a 12 turn game for me. So, on a roll of 1 in turn 11, the game ends earlier that normal.

For a fixed 10 round game, I would start rolling on turn 9.
 
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Chris Kessel
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Yep, we've always used a similar variant, but with a Joker. If I'm playing a standard 4-platter game medium length is 16 turns in the rulebook. I put the first joker at turn 14. Then another Joker is randomly shuffled with 3 other cards for the turns after that.

So, the game runs 15-18 turns.

Easy to tweak base length and random ending length as your group likes
 
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