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Ethnos» Forums » Variants

Subject: Different End Age Condition? rss

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Ben Stanley
United States
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Ethnos is a fun game, but on more than one occasion I've seen players (particularly at higher player counts) getting totally shafted in the dragon draws during the third age, leaving the best laid plans totally futile.

Dragons can came up early in second half of the deck, more than one can show up before a player's next turn, and an inability to play a key band or two (with centaurs) hurts a player on multiple levels (the pain is compounded when he or she both misses out on points for the band still in hand, the tribe bonuses, and the possibility of scoring more of the points for control of a region).

I understand the push-your-luck element of the three dragons, but when an unlucky dragon sequence can devastate a player's entire efforts the rest of the game, I wonder if there isn't a better way to end the age.

What if every player got one last turn?

What if there were no dragons and the age ended when all players had taken all possible actions and the draw deck and all selections were exhausted? At least that way players could count the cards with some confidence.
 
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David A
United States
Yorktown
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My groups that I play this with have no problems at all with how the Ages end. Have there been times when folks have pushed their luck too far and had that 3rd dragon ruin a play? Sure, sometimes that's going to happen....but that's part of the game and it doesn't happen all the time nor to the same people.

The fact that there are 3 dragons gives every player the same warning and amount of time. First dragon: everyone's on notice. Second dragon: better be ready! Third dragon: Gotcha!

If players are continually having their plans foiled, then I have to say, it's their own fault. Part of playing a game involving strategy of any sort is to be flexible and not rooted in one and only one path.
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Damien Cosgrove
United Kingdom
Bury St Edmunds
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Any time after 1/2 the deck in that I keep collecting rather than playing is a risk, especially in 5/6 player games. that's exactly the nature of the game and I'm comfortable with it, giving the "don't worry you'll get one chance to empty your hand" simply takes away any push your luck element.

It really feels like a downgrade to me.

If you / friends don't like the push your luck element, this probably isn't the right game for you.

And just to be clear, I'm the player in our group most likely to get hosed for pushing my luck
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Mitch Lavender
United States
Fort Worth
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If anyone finds they are busting often in a push your luck game, I don't think that's the fault of the game.

I do think it's important that new players are aware of how the round ends (i.e. 3 dragon cards shuffled in the bottom half of the deck and when the 3rd one comes up, round stops right there.) but I think the push your luck mechanic works very well, here. Sometimes, it just won't go your way.
 
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