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Subject: Two player variant without an automa rss

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Becq
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Cerritos
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I'll lead this off by saying that I really feel as though the heart and soul of Rising Sun is the alliance mechanic -- or perhaps more importantly, the constant threat of betrayal. As such, this game is likely to need 4+ players to really shine. But as is often the case with games requiring three or more players, there has been many requests for a two player variant. What follows is my attempt to produce a two player variant that retains the betrayal element of the game. It's based on the information that is currently available, and while I think the gameplay video does give a feel for the bulk of the rules, I don't know yet how complete that information is. This variant does not use an automa.

In any case, let me know what you think!

* Each plays two factions. (You can't have alliances in a two-faction game!)
* Score is tracked independently for each faction. At the end of the game, the winner will determined by comparing each player's lower-scoring factions. (This is for the usual reason this sort of rule is used -- to prevent a player from simply sacrificing one faction to improve the other.)
* A player's two factions are played independently. They are not considered allied. No trading or other voluntary exchange may be made between the two factions controlled by a single player, though factions may make any exchange normally allowed by the rules with a faction controlled by the other player. (This is to prevent players from boosting their weaker faction using their stronger faction's assets.)
* The turn order for the game will always alternate between the players in "Z" fashion. At the start of the game, establish the order of the factions, with the most honorable faction first, then the more honorable of the opposing player's factions, then the remaining two factions, alternating between players. (Note that this may result in an order that is not in order of highest to lowest honor.)
* During the tea ceremony, each faction must form an alliance with one of the *opposing* player's factions. If the two players disagree on the pairing, then they bid for the right to dictate the alliances. The bid is made in terms of victory points which will be awarded to the player losing the bid to distribute between his two factions as he sees fit. The player winning the bid doesn't lose or pay any victory points. (This is the core rule intended to preserve the betrayal theme of the normal game. Much like in the normal game, you know your opponent is working against you ... but who will do a better job of picking one-sided mandates, and who will choose to make the possibly inevitable betrayal?)
* When a player plays the Betrayal mandate, one of the two figures chosen to be replaced *must* be chosen from his own other faction. (Because of the way the alliances are set up, Betrayal would be a required play without a rule like this. This rule makes it cost something -- though you can certainly pick the 'friendly' target to greatest benefit or least harm.)
* During battles, all factions will fight each other, with the exception of unbroken alliances. If a player's factions are present in the same territory, they will fight normally. Each player bids independently for each of his factions, and makes decisions for each bid one of his factions wins. (Coordination between a player's two factions is unavoidable here. However, only one faction can ultimately win the battle, and if the other player is stronger only one faction can Seppuku, so the downsides of this aren't .)

Other than the above, the game proceeds normally.

Any thoughts? Did I miss anything?
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Nate Parkes
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I like it. I like the "using the lower of two scores" effect to force a player to spread their focus.

Forcing a player to make an alliance with another player does make the "Loyalty" virtue (If you have an Ally, whenever you get any points, you get on more point) and "Honesty" virtue (When you have an ally, gain 2 points each time you play a non-Betray mandate) stronger. Since clans don't have the option to NOT ally, they have to betray to deny you those points (and often, betray won't be available).

Ultimately, I don't think I can convince my significant other to control two different factions, so this isn't going to be the variant for me, but I think it's an interesting concept.
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Philip Mazzone
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I appreciate the very strong effort. Personally, Im backing this solely in the hope a good playable 2 player variant eventually is introduced.
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Rune Ørum
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Xhawk wrote:
I appreciate the very strong effort. Personally, Im backing this solely in the hope a good playable 2 player variant eventually is introduced.

It won't happen dude! Get Star Wars Rebellion instead for that. whistle
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Christopher Thomas
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Xhawk wrote:
I appreciate the very strong effort. Personally, Im backing this solely in the hope a good playable 2 player variant eventually is introduced.

Have you looked at the other 2-player concepts posted? You might find something you can tweak to your sweet spot.

I do like this version for preserving the alliance mechanic between opponents who don't necessarily have each other's best interests in mind. And taking the lowest score of your two clans is a good way to keep each of your two clans fully vested -- Tigris & Euphrates has a similar mechanic to insure players invest equally in each of the four spheres of civilization.
 
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G G
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I think this is good and well considered. Good points:
- Scoring the lower faction
- Preventing self-ally, self-trade, etc.
- Betrayal must hit self

I wouldn't necessarily require double Alliances be formed - I'd just require at least 1 Alliance, which forces the negotiation and allows for Betrayal, but also drives that Alliances are entered voluntarily.
 
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Dan Mo
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I do encourage people to try as many variants as they want, despite what the BGG guardian trolls say, but it is my opinion that to balance simplicity and game, we need to let the "alliance" mechanism go... I like the variant in the following link... just food for thought...

https://boardgamegeek.com/article/28134713#28134713

ps: I absolutely dont get why people come into forums like this with the sole intention of shutting the conversation by "reminding" everyone this is a 3 player game while providing no useful input for the conversation, apart from only providing the absolutely wise suggestion: "you should look for a proper 2 player game"... Wow...
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J. C.
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* During battles, all factions will fight each other, with the exception of unbroken alliances. If a player's factions are present in the same territory, they will fight normally. Each player bids independently for each of his factions, and makes decisions for each bid one of his factions wins. (Coordination between a player's two factions is unavoidable here. However, only one faction can ultimately win the battle, and if the other player is stronger only one faction can Seppuku, so the downsides of this aren't .)

I would recomend when your facing a battle between your two factions, to pass one faction of your choice to the other player so you have to fight in every battle and those are intersting too.

For the rest a quite interesting 2 players variant.
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