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Subject: Can you use the rough road cards to handicap one person? rss

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Ryan Morency
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I've been playing the base game with my girlfriend and it seems I just have an easier time of building ships than she does. I'm looking for a way to make the game harder for me so that she might enjoy it more. I don't care if my ship gets blown up.
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Paul Grogan
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Sure you can.
There are also the evens Stevens cards if you have them too
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Steve Wardell
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Odinsfury wrote:
I've been playing the base game with my girlfriend and it seems I just have an easier time of building ships than she does. I'm looking for a way to make the game harder for me so that she might enjoy it more. I don't care if my ship gets blown up.


Yes, I frequently do this when playing with new players. There are a few Rough Roads cards that don't make sense unless applied to the entire group, but you can just re-draw if you get one of them.
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Ryan Morency
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Well I only have the base right now, but I have been thinking of getting the first big expansion to help with this. How often do you apply a rough road card to an experienced player? Is it just something you experiment with?
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Paul Grogan
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Just experiment.

I'd also personally recommend Missions as the first expansion to get.
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Pete Martyn
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I've taken the Rough Road approach to handicapping before and it tends to work pretty well.

With just the base game, the easiest way to handicap would probably be to allow your girlfriend a set amount of time to build before you start jumping in. You could do it based off the timer, or start building when she has placed (x) number of components on her ship.
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Ben Kyo
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I started adding rough road cards as a handicap, and found my enjoyment of the game with new players increased immeasurably. I think I have found my sweet spot to be 4 cards per run - sometimes I get a relatively easy run, sometimes I have to agonise over my build so much that everyone else has enough time to even build better ships than I do... every game is different, and losing is fun!

For instance, I played a game today and first run went flawlessly, people joked about me having played too much. Second run I forgot to make a perfect ring around my central cabin, and the first small meteorite landed a parasite that found its way to the centre of my ship, where the crew blew themselves up, and I dropped straight out of the race. Third run I had to contend with ensuring that nearly all my universal connectors were only connected to universal connectors, along with the fact that my ship would flip 180 degrees after every open space, which led to the most ramshackle hulk I have ever built. Psychotic crew blowing themselves up didn't help either (I can't remember the fourth card). I came last.

In short, the rough road cards are amazing, and even if you never each touch any other expansion content, they alone can totally revitalise the game if you find yourself winning too easily.
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Ryan Morency
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the pete wrote:
I've taken the Rough Road approach to handicapping before and it tends to work pretty well.

With just the base game, the easiest way to handicap would probably be to allow your girlfriend a set amount of time to build before you start jumping in. You could do it based off the timer, or start building when she has placed (x) number of components on her ship.


In the last game I gave her one full timer of building before I even looked at the pieces. I think she spends too much time trying to make the perfect ship, which in turn lets me make a really good ship. Another thing I thought of trying is to let her look at all of the card piles while I can't look at any of them.
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Alison Mandible
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Odinsfury wrote:
Another thing I thought of trying is to let her look at all of the card piles while I can't look at any of them.


That seems like it will sometimes ruin your flight and sometimes have zero effect. I would go with Rough Road cards or Even Steven-- something that's guaranteed to affect you but also designed to be copable with.
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J White
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Benkyo wrote:
I started adding rough road cards as a handicap, and found my enjoyment of the game with new players increased immeasurably. I think I have found my sweet spot to be 4 cards per run - sometimes I get a relatively easy run, sometimes I have to agonise over my build so much that everyone else has enough time to even build better ships than I do... every game is different, and losing is fun!


This really echoes my experience perfectly. I'd emphasize that how much of a handicap this amounts to will vary drastically from round to round, but in ways that really suit every other unpredictable and wacky element of this game.

JJW-T.C.H.
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Jabagi K
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I have separated the RR cards into two decks, those that apply to all the players and those that can be used as handicaps for a single player. For example the cards that say shoot players that land on planets or every time the race order changes are only meaningful if all the players apply that card. But cards such as piercing projectiles and paying of your dead astronauts' wives are applicable for handicaps because they don't slow the game down for other players.

We had games in the past where 2 players had no handicaps, 1 player had 1 RR cards apply to her and 1 player had that RR card + another RR card. Inexperienced players in that game had a lot of fun watching my ships blow up since I was the one with 2 RR cards.
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Dav Bud
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Odinsfury wrote:
In the last game I gave her one full timer of building before I even looked at the pieces. I think she spends too much time trying to make the perfect ship, which in turn lets me make a really good ship.


My Wife likes to build the perfect ship as well so what we do is I will time myself 2 full timers in round 1, 3 full timers in round 2, and 4 full timers in round 3. She gets as much time as she wants. This made the game so balanced that she beat me by 1 credit last time we played.
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Nicola Bocchetta
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A quick note: even-Steven cards are not a strong handicap/bonus, while some rough Rough Roads cards are rather impacting.

So if you think that the difference is small, you can use the former, but if the experience gap is larger, use one or more of the latter.

If you have access to both, you can give an even Steven card to the inexperienced player, and take a RR for you.
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