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Subject: Team variant (2 vs 2) rss

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Jose Olivas
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What about a team variant where players are part of 2 teams and at the end of the game vivtory os decided by adding the points of the players of the team?
This removes the negotiation element for those groups where people don't like to engage in the negotiation-betray dynamic (some people like the mechanics of the game but dislike the backstabbing induced by the fact that there is only one winner. At the same time it adds another stratefic layer on deciding how to coordinate efforts to maximize team points. Betray action would work as it does in the regular game, and could be use in a low honour strategy. No changes to the rules, but I believe the change to the victory condition may create a very different type of game (much less aggressive in social terms)
Thematically it may make sense as in history sometimes opposing clans have merged in the end, despite having build their riches and reputation fighting sometimes to each other (dynastic union). Maybe this variant could make 6 player games work better (now IMHO six player games are veey unbalanced)
Any thoughts about this variant?
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Nick Szegedi
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holywolfman wrote:
White Elk wrote:
John_VW wrote:
thanks for the suggestion, but neither of us enjoy any game where we each need to play/control more than one hero/character/faction/etc...


Are you absolutely sure....? I only ask because ~~~>
I would think the easiest way to adapt this for two players
would be for each person to simply control two clans each.
Alternating honor would be best, I think, and perhaps random assignment?

The natural strategy would be to have one players two factions 'locked' in as allies,
a sort of Mythic Sengoku,
but I could certainly see using one clan as a catspaw for the other.
I think it is worth trying, myself: I'll let you know if it ends up either tedious or broken.

{ EDIT }

Well of course, someone has already worked through this idea more thoroughly:
Two player variant without an automa


...actually I was thinking to try this with my brother (as a learning game as we did with Cthulhu Wars)... Control 2 random factions each .. but each season (3 im thinking).. roll a die.. even your factions are allied and odd roll... No allying takes place... Makes tea phase quick! ๐Ÿ˜

I know it is not intended for this game but may work just as good! (Oh and you would add up pts for both factions together..this way if you "feed" one clan the other would prob lack in pts)...

Thoughts?๐Ÿ˜‰
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Jose Olivas
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holywolfman wrote:
holywolfman wrote:
White Elk wrote:
John_VW wrote:
thanks for the suggestion, but neither of us enjoy any game where we each need to play/control more than one hero/character/faction/etc...


Are you absolutely sure....? I only ask because ~~~>
I would think the easiest way to adapt this for two players
would be for each person to simply control two clans each.
Alternating honor would be best, I think, and perhaps random assignment?

The natural strategy would be to have one players two factions 'locked' in as allies,
a sort of Mythic Sengoku,
but I could certainly see using one clan as a catspaw for the other.
I think it is worth trying, myself: I'll let you know if it ends up either tedious or broken.

{ EDIT }

Well of course, someone has already worked through this idea more thoroughly:
Two player variant without an automa


...actually I was thinking to try this with my brother (as a learning game as we did with Cthulhu Wars)... Control 2 random factions each .. but each season (3 im thinking).. roll a die.. even your factions are allied and odd roll... No allying takes place... Makes tea phase quick! ๐Ÿ˜

I know it is not intended for this game but may work just as good! (Oh and you would add up pts for both factions together..this way if you "feed" one clan the other would prob lack in pts)...

Thoughts?๐Ÿ˜‰


Thanks, they are very similar variants, but I think that it would work much better in teams where a player controls one faction than if one player controls 2. The game is already AP-ready and playing in teams you keep a bit of the discussion element. Also, scoring the lowest player will boost the AP problem as it is already a but difficult to calculate exactly the points so players would go crazy trying to count 4 clans points. It is much easier just to maximize total points. I don't think that alternating turn would be completely necessary between teams either (but probably not a bad idea).
 
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Miika Oksanen
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You can't have both betray working as normal, and war between players who are in the same team working as normal. It would lead to silly explotations during war phase. For example, the teammates could fully plan the war advantages and benefit hugely from fighting each other: "I put 1 in seppuku, you put 1 in imperial poets". Additionally, the teamed players could shift coins between each other during the war phase when it's the last war for either player in the team.

One simple, but unthematic way to fix this in terms of balance would be to have betray only replace the figures and do nothing else (no breaking of alliance nor honor loss). Betray would probably be weaker than in regular games, as the other mandates are much stronger with team victory. But it could still be pretty useful.

A more complicated and more thematic way to solve the issue is to make betray work just as with normal rules (with the exception of automatic remaking of alliances at the beginning of seasons), and let teammates fight each other, but throw away the bids of the losing team member as well if his teammate wins. The cheap seppuku & poet combo would still be there, but at least both would lose a coin, and losing ally bonuses in this variant is costly. Maybe either seppuku or imperial poets could be completely disabled in wars between teammates (and no others) though to tune the balance.

I think both ways could work, but need testing.
 
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Jose Olivas
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Lofski wrote:
You can't have both betray working as normal, and war between players who are in the same team working as normal. It would lead to silly explotations during war phase. For example, the teammates could fully plan the war advantages and benefit hugely from fighting each other: "I put 1 in seppuku, you put 1 in imperial poets". Additionally, the teamed players could shift coins between each other during the war phase when it's the last war for either player in the team.

One simple, but unthematic way to fix this in terms of balance would be to have betray only replace the figures and do nothing else (no breaking of alliance nor honor loss). Betray would probably be weaker than in regular games, as the other mandates are much stronger with team victory. But it could still be pretty useful.

A more complicated and more thematic way to solve the issue is to make betray work just as with normal rules (with the exception of automatic remaking of alliances at the beginning of seasons), and let teammates fight each other, but throw away the bids of the losing team member as well if his teammate wins. The cheap seppuku & poet combo would still be there, but at least both would lose a coin, and losing ally bonuses in this variant is costly. Maybe either seppuku or imperial poets could be completely disabled in wars between teammates (and no others) though to tune the balance.

I think both ways could work, but need testing.


I am not sure I understand your concern. First of all. If people in the team are allied, they do not fight in battles so they could not so easily plan what to do to optimize battles. Second, if the betray each other before battle they would lose honour and get their figures killed in the bettles among themselves. Third, staging battles is something that already happen in most games. In my view the dynamics of the game from this point of view do not change much.
Thematically I see as two noble families plotting to take control over Japan. You can assume they marrige their children at the end of the winter season and become a single clan (that is what happened in feudal Europe for instance). Also Seppuku in my view does not only represent people killing themselves ritually. In this game thematically is more like corageous / suicidal displays in battles. In the history of Japan there are several of these. Such assaults to castles by Samurais without proper plan. Or fights against far superior armies. I really don't find anti-thematic the variant or prone to dominant boring strategies. Most of the game will be decided like in a regular game. The other team can also enter a battle if the other two are planning to stage one of these "honour battles"
 
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Miika Oksanen
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JJOO wrote:


I am not sure I understand your concern. First of all. If people in the team are allied, they do not fight in battles so they could not so easily plan what to do to optimize battles. Second, if the betray each other before battle they would lose honour and get their figures killed in the bettles among themselves. Third, staging battles is something that already happen in most games. In my view the dynamics of the game from this point of view do not change much.


If the betray mandate and alliances work as normal, then the teammates would indeed fight each other after betray, as the alliance would be temporarily broken. I thought that was what you meant? When I said teammate in that post or this one, it shouldn't be confused with ally, as the former is just who you automatically ally and share victory with, and the latter works as in normal game.

But you are right on your other points. The differences are that you can't trust anyone you are fighting against in a normal game, but in a team game you can fully trust your teammate, and that your teammates points are your points too. My suggested fix was pretty subtle, just making bids of both go to discard when there are only teammates fighting.

JJOO wrote:

Thematically I see as two noble families plotting to take control over Japan. You can assume they marrige their children at the end of the winter season and become a single clan (that is what happened in feudal Europe for instance). Also Seppuku in my view does not only represent people killing themselves ritually. In this game thematically is more like corageous / suicidal displays in battles. In the history of Japan there are several of these. Such assaults to castles by Samurais without proper plan. Or fights against far superior armies. I really don't find anti-thematic the variant or prone to dominant boring strategies. Most of the game will be decided like in a regular game. The other team can also enter a battle if the other two are planning to stage one of these "honour battles"


This I fully agree with, and think it's pretty cool. That's why I said that the version where the alliance really is broken (but automatically remade and vps added together in end anyway) from betray is thematic. The version where betray doesn't actually do any betraying would kind of hurt the theme though.
 
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Josh Humbert
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Has anyone tried Jose's Team Variant? Or does anyone else have thoughts on a team variant that may work (2 vs 2)?
 
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Jose Olivas
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2v2v2 works great, much better than a regular 6 player game.
I will always play teams if 6 players involved
 
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