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Diamonds: The Thief» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Comparison of Diamonds with and without the Thief rss

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Sam Lam I Am
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Rules Explanation

Under regular Diamonds rules, a player with a club action gets to steal a diamond from any player's showroom.

Tournament rules in 2016 required a player with a club action to steal a diamond from the player with the most diamonds in his showroom (ties broken by stealing from the player closest going clockwise from the player with the club action).

The Thief is a large token that starts in front of the player to the left of the first dealer.



When the Thief is added to the game, a player with a club action must steal a diamond from the showroom of the player with the Thief. Then the Thief passes clockwise to the next player. If you have the Thief when you have a club action, you just pass the Thief clockwise. If the player with the Thief has an empty showroom, no diamond is stolen and the Thief passes clockwise.

Comparison of Rules


The original rule is simple, but unpredictable. It can be problematic (especially in a tournament setting). Players may steal from anyone, which can lead to sub-optimal play. They may steal out of spite, to avoid hurting a particular player, etc.

The 2016 tournament rule makes club actions predictable - steal from the player with the most diamonds in his showroom. The downside was that this rule devalued the club and heart suits and made spades more valuable. Players fought to empty their showrooms and an unlucky player with a hand full of hearts (and clubs) early in the game could do little as they watched their showroom fill only to be raided by players with clubs.

The Thief also makes club actions predictable, but spreads the pain of club actions evenly among all the players. A player with a lot of hearts and clubs can amass a large number of showroom diamonds without fear that a quick barrage of club actions will completely empty his showroom.

Conclusion


I think the Thief is a nice addition to Diamonds. It balances the suits. Hearts and Clubs are on a more equal footing with Spades (especially early in the game) because the effects of club actions are predictable and spread evenly among the players.
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T W
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Thank you for this clear explanation of this rules change/expansion.
Cheers!
 
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Chris Schenck
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With the possibility that you might get nothing from your club action (if the player currently with the thief has an empty showroom ... or if you're the player with the thief), this rule does devalue the club suit. But I guess the argument is that the upsides are worth it.

I wish the rule would have been that you raid a diamond from the central pile if the thief owner has an empty showroom, before passing the thief along like normal. It seems like this would maintain the value of the club suit while still providing the balance of the thief.

 
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Gregg S.
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I guess one "house rule" version of this variant would be that a club action steals from the player with the thief token. If that player does not have any diamonds in their showroom, steal a diamond from the showroom closest to the thief in a clockwise direction.

It is less strategic then the official variant, but a little friendlier in that your club action still gets a diamond if there are any in the showrooms somewhere.
 
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Sam Lam I Am
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Kursplat2 wrote:
I guess one "house rule" version of this variant would be that a club action steals from the player with the thief token. If that player does not have any diamonds in their showroom, steal a diamond from the showroom closest to the thief in a clockwise direction.

It is less strategic then the official variant, but a little friendlier in that your club action still gets a diamond if there are any in the showrooms somewhere.


Interesting thought. Seems like a harsh penalty to the player sitting next to someone with an empty showroom. They get hit twice in a row.
 
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Gregg S.
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Maybe after stealing from the first storefront containing a diamond, the thief moves, not to the next player, but to the next player after the victim of the theft.
 
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