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Ora et Labora» Forums » Variants

Subject: Variant card set: Flanders and Normandy rss

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Jon W
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I uploaded OeL: Flanders and Normandy set, an alternate card set for Ora et Labora. The two card sides represent (ahem, very loosely) monastic buildings in Flanders and Normandy. It's intended to be played using the following rule: During setup, shuffle each stage's cards (Bible, A, B, C, D), then flip one half of each stage over. This puts a random mix of Flanders and Normandy cards in each game.

I think OeL works very well as is: the emergent complexity creates significant variation despite the fixed card sets. However, I enjoy tinkering, and I like the idea of facing a slightly different tableau each game, with different stress points, incentives, etc. So to that end, I took the France and Ireland sets and basically mashed them together. Wine, flour, bread, whiskey, malt, and beer are all available each game, but the differing conversions will change how effective each path is. I mostly went with variations on existing effects, so the game should feel very familiar, but there are a few new effects sprinkled in. I hope it's all self-explanatory, but let me know if otherwise. One shortcut I employed (for layout and aesthetic reasons) is that "&" always means "and/or".

I picked Flanders and Normandy as mostly fitting within the current theme and graphics of OeL. Whiskey in France is a bit of a stretch (as is, perhaps, wine in Flanders), but then I read that the site of Mont Saint Michel in Normandy was founded originally by an Irish hermit. Since monks will be talking, and drinking, well, good enough for me.

I apologize for any graphical and layout shortcomings. I created this using the wonderful nandeck program, but I found it challenging to make the layouts work perfectly (it was my first time using nandeck, and frankly I was more interested in the variant design than in mastering all nandeck's many nuances). Some of the cards are a bit busy. I might have made them graphically cleaner if I was better at nandeck (or at graphic design), but I wanted to keep it (mostly) automated via nandeck. I believe it's quite playable as is. Let me know if you want to use the my source files to create your own variant, as it may save you some time.

Hopefully some OeL fans out there find this a fun diversion. Let me know how it plays! I may modify this set some, or I may create a new set someday, so feedback is appreciated. I've found it an enjoyable variant so far.

Edit: Also, a big "thank you" to
Grzegorz Kobiela
Germany
Hanover
Lower Saxony
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for helping me secure Lookout's and Mayfair's approval/disclaimer requirements.

Further edit: If it's not clear from the PDF, this is intended to be printed and then glued "back to back". I use this deservedly popular method, but obviously sleeves or some other way would work fine.
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Matthew Banner
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Just downloaded this this morning. Thank you for two reasons. One, your addition intrigues me about adding variability and replay-ability. Two, between your file and finding another file with resource tracking sheets (to cut down on the fiddliness of so many resource counters) I finally decided to pull the trigger and ordered this game this morning.

Lack of variability and perceived fiddliness of all the resources counters were the reservations holding me back for a long time. Looking forward to trying your cards.
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Ben Bateson
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Very interesting. I'll be trying this.
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Mark C.
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In terms of the setup, are you saying that we should shuffle all of the France deck with either the Flanders or Normandy deck and then discard half of the cards for each stage back to the box?
 
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Jon W
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bankerboymark wrote:
In terms of the setup, are you saying that we should shuffle all of the France deck with either the Flanders or Normandy deck and then discard half of the cards for each stage back to the box?

No. You don't use the France/Ireland cards at all, replacing them with the cards in this set (Flanders/Normandy). You do use the original settlement cards.

Once you have only the Flanders/Normandy cards, you separate each subset like you normally would (Bible, A, B, C, D). Then take each subset and shuffle it (overhand, whatever you like). Then, cut that shuffled subset in half, flip one half over, and there you go.

The idea is that you'll always use every card, but which side of each card is used will be determined randomly.
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Dustin Gervais
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Any chance of someone converting this into an Artscow or CowCow deck for printing there?

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Jon W
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ZargonDDG wrote:
Any chance of someone converting this into an Artscow or CowCow deck for printing there?

I've never done this for any service (and I think there are others that can do euro-size cards, such as printerstudio and makeplayingcards), but I would love to have this available. Is it difficult? I will look into it.

My home PnP is decent, but nothing like a nearly pro-quality print would be. I'm just nervous treading into uncharted waters. Don't want to blow too much time and money with experimental failures.

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