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Subject: Fastplay rss

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Some rule clarifications for the unwary (and after long arguments over the subject, believe me):

-The dragon's effect is stopped by a mountain
-The dragon's effect only works on castles in its row and column, it does not extend outside it. (IE: Squares affected by the dragon are not considered inert when scoring a castle outside the row and column the dragon was played in.)

Our variant:

Instead of your options per turn being:
1. Play your saved tile
2. Draw and play the tile you drew
3. Place a castle

We changed the rules. The tile you get at the beginning of the game constitutes your 1-tile "hand" which you can hold in reserve. So the options become:

1. Play your saved tile (almost no one picks this option, but we left it in for completeness's sake)
2. Draw and choose between the two tiles you have, play one
3. Place a castle

Not only does this let you keep a strategic card reserve, but it allows you to change it as the game progresses. It was playtested in a three and four-person setting, and sped up the game quite readily. It makes turn order a little more important than one might think...

I consider this game on a par with Settlers for strategy, even if the social aspect is lacking. (trade tiles, maybe?)
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Tony Wai-kit FUNG
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I once explained to my game group that such variant is not favored. It weakens the game's strategic perspective. The change of reserve tile apparently gives you more choices but it also make the late game too dramatic, because one would always optimize the card reserve. It becomes much a tactical game rather than strategic game. And it becomes too casual like as Carcassonne's.

With the original rules, the game is more cut-throat. You have plan ahead how to utilize your card reserve from the beginning of the game. Even you hold a undesirable tile, you may bluff and pretend ongoing with a hidden evil agenda. I don't have trouble or bad luck issues about my reserve card draw. By applying appropriate strategies, it's not difficult to counter the luck elements.

Besides, I highly recommend the variable round game end condition as suggested by the English original rulebook. It gives the game another dimension and wider strategic capacity than the fixed 3 rounds game.

Just my little piece of opinions. As I personally prefer a game with tougher decision makings. I would like the original rules much more.
 
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