Oden Dee
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The player without an alliance has limited political mandate choices, finding it hard to gain Strongholds, Harvest, and Recruit multiple Shinto to the Kami to avoid ties and win favor.



1) If you are the only player not in an alliance AND you haven't had your turn this season yet...

2) Then after another player plays their Mandate tile you may INFILTRATE ALLIANCE (once per season only).

3) You are now briefly considered part of their alliance and can gain the ally bonus for this one Mandate (Not considered an Ally for Form of the Kindred).

4) After the Mandate is completed you must remove one of your figures from the Map (because s/he was caught and disciplined).



Inherently the first player in each season has no time to gain this benefit.

+) Additional rule: In a 5 player game, the second player in each season is not allow to use this option.
 
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Chip Crawford
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How does the odd one out have a harder time gaining Strongholds?

Doesn't the Marshall mandate allow you AND ally to build? If you don't have an ally, YOU still build.

Then when one of the allied players play Recruit... ALL players summon, so the odd one out benefits from having been the only player to build a stronghold in the previous mandate.


I can see how, at face value, folks are concerned about alliances and odd numbers. I was too, until I researched it deeper and thought it through.
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BG.EXE
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Favor Euros + Ameritrash, but I like pretty much all games.
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This alliance panic is really overblown.

As you said, the lone player benefits more from choosing Marshall. The lone player also benefits greatly from Betray. The lone player is also not giving advantages to an opponent (only one player wins, NOT one alliance).
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Eric Matthews
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Oden, have you played the game yet? I know I keep giving you a hard time about these variants, but I do think it's a valid question.



 
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Oden Dee
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@Chip - eg 3p, it is possible that a lone player has only 2 advantaged turns vs the 5 an alliance has, thus your political choices are much more limited, and consider you likely play one as betray, you're only playing one of the remaining 4 mandates (rarely receiving that sweet advantage).

I'm aware of all the cool things you can do as a lone-wolf, the strategies were explained months ago.

This is about providing an option to have more political mandate choices as a lone-wolf. So you can experience more of the standard strategies.

Have you played the game Chip 3 games in a row as the lone-wolf for every season? I want to get more of the mandates advantages (-1cost,+1fig,harvest,stronghold)!

This is merely an optional Variant. It depends on the playing group you are with.

I've also played rotating alliances variant in a 3p game (everyone has one season as the lone-wolf). That is a great training wheels variant.

@Eric - playing it and loving it. Awesome game. Have you played the game Eric?
 
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Chip Crawford
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What do you mean when you say “advantaged turns”?

Help me understand your picture of that.

Because I don’t see the alliance as an advantage as alliances don’t win. Single players win. So one part of that alliance is disadvantaged.
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Oden Dee
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"Advantaged" is just a term I came up with to describe those extra bonuses you get for playing the mandate card.

This variant isn't because I think the game is unbalanced. It's about giving you the option for a different play style when you are always the lone-wolf.
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Eric Matthews
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Warlock00 wrote:
"Advantaged" is just a term I came up with to describe those extra bonuses you get for playing the mandate card.

This variant isn't because I think the game is unbalanced. It's about giving you the option for a different play style when you are always the lone-wolf.



Nope, I'm not playing yet. I wish I were.

Oden, If you don't think the game is unbalanced then why do you want to give one player a pretty low-cost bonus for choosing to not make an alliance? Can you elaborate on what you're seeing in your games that all these 3/5 player variants are intended do?

Are you trying out your variants? Do people still want to make alliances in your three player games when a "lone-wolf" can basically chose when to get an ally mandate bonus anyway?

I play games with a bunch of cutthroat negotiators who never like to give bonuses to their opponents. Making alliances already gives something to an opponent and your variant makes alliances slightly more costly in giving something to a player who isn't giving the allies anything. I predict this too will disincentive players from forming alliances.

In itself that's fine. What I am missing is why? If the game is not unbalanced, then why rock the boat? What am I missing? If betrayal and keeping the others from gaining a bonus isn't enough for the "lone-player", why wouldn't they join an alliance next season?

Are you getting forced into this "lone-wolf" position and not negotiating, bribing, threatening, or pointing out why one player in an alliance is losing out on the deal?

Are your players remaining in the same alliances for a full game and shutting someone out, the same person every season, every game?

e


 
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Oden Dee
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Can vary by play group, some people like to stay allied. A father vs 2 daughters. A single person vs 2 married couples. A couple of great buddies. Sometimes you enjoy working with one person.

For information:
In a 3 player game: the allied two could have 5 shared advantaged turns. The solo player 2 advantaged turns.
In a 5 player game: each pair of allied players could have 3 shared advantaged turns. The solo player 1 advantaged turn.

The decision making of Mandates for the interesting advantage (you&ally bonus) they give is fun.

The purpose of this variant is to increase your Mandate choices when you are the only player out of an alliance so you can enjoy that aspect of the game.
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Eric Matthews
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Warlock00 wrote:
Can vary by play group, some people like to stay allied. A father vs 2 daughters. A single person vs 2 married couples. A couple of great buddies. Sometimes you enjoy working with one person.

For information:
In a 3 player game: the allied two could have 5 shared advantaged turns. The solo player 2 advantaged turns.
In a 5 player game: each pair of allied players could have 3 shared advantaged turns. The solo player 1 advantaged turn.

The decision making of Mandates for the interesting advantage (you&ally bonus) they give is fun.

The purpose of this variant is to increase your Mandate choices when you are the only player out of an alliance so you can enjoy that aspect of the game.


This was super helpful in understanding the thinking behind these variants. Thanks.

I don't run into the relationship meta you brought up often so it was probably harder for me to see (Luckily my favorite couples to game with are all competitive with their partner. I am with mine as well.)

Don't get me wrong I am still skeptical of what this does to the game, but if you're determined/forced to play a negotiation game with those kinds of "colluding couples" groups instead of playing a coop, some kind of house ruling might help with that kind of meta.
 
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Oden Dee
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Something to consider: If you are trying to convince a new play group to like this game, there is a real fear that someone won't like it if they don't get into an alliance.

If you watch this review: https://youtu.be/0eNIX8WT9Oc?t=3h5m40s
You will see that even though Dave came 2nd he was alone in 2 seasons, and he didn't enjoy the game (could be a multitude of factors). One of the other players was alone for 1 season and he made mention that he only had one mandate choice.

If you can manage to play with 4/6 players you can really avoid this discussion
 
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