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Subject: 2-Player Rules rss

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Dan Zielinski
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We've been liking these rules but I share to get more plays from the community. Please report.

[This is based on Retail Version with no expansions.]

Set-up

The islands (Kyushu, Shikoku and Hokkaido) are not used. Home Province for Bonsai (Yellow) becomes Kansai (Orange) and Home Province for Dragonfly (Blue) becomes Oshu (Grey)

After both player's Honor markers are placed... place a Ronin token in slot 3. This acts just as another Honor marker making it possible to be two honor spots below or above the other player.

Only display 3 Kami instead of 4.

A sea lane connects Nagato (Purple) and Oshu (Grey).

Season Set-up

Shuffle only the 5 War Province token matching those in the game and only reveal 4 of them.

When placing out Season Cards... don't put out any duplicates. Have only 1 copy of each card.

Tea Ceremony/Negotiations

Both players begin Allied.

In this version of the game, (while Allied) players may barter for the mandate's privilege and even the order in which it is performed.

Example: If Player A plays Marshal, Player B may offer up coin or ronin for the ability to build the Stronghold instead of Player A.

Example 2: Player B plays Train. Player A may make an offer to pick their card first.


Political Phase

Changes to Mandates:

Recruit: Only you OR your ally may summon extra figure.

Marshal: Only you OR your ally may build a Stronghold

Train: Only you OR your ally receives the 1 coin discount.

Harvest: Active player can Harvest from 2 Provinces they have superior Force at. Ally can harvest from 1. (Allied players are allowed to negotiate to change these numbers but never more than 3 total Provinces can be harvested.)

Betray: Removes "different players" restriction. So, 2 figures may be replaced. However, the player getting Betrayed gets paid X coins/ronin from the supply. X is equal to the number of remaining Mandates to be played this season.
Example: If Player A plays Betray as the 4th Mandate in the round... then Player B will gain a total of 3 Coins and/or Ronin.

The Alliance is broken and the Player still loses honor for playing this mandate. Once the alliance is broken, no longer can mandate privileges and order of operations be negotiated.

Also... Betray may only occur once in a season. This includes Lotus's ability. If Betray has already been played... Lotus can not pick Betray.

Kami Phase

No Change

War Phase

At the beginning of the War Phase, the alliance (if still together) is broken.

No other changes.

Seasonal Cleanup

No Changes

Winter Season

When counting "Number of Different War Provinces"... any Provinces you have all 3 tokens in is counted as two "different" Provinces.

Example: If player A ended with Nagato (x1) Kyoto (x1) Oshu (x2) and Edo (x3) then Player A scores 20 points for 5 different Province Tokens. Edo counting as 2.

Season Card Explanations

Path of the Patron: The Ronin Token counts as another player that you are higher in Honor than. So, having top honor is having higher honor than 2 players.

Way of the Righteous: The Ronin Token counts as another player. Thus a player at top honor can gain 2 coins. The coin from the Ronin comes from the supply.
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Lorenzo Fiocchi
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We tried the game in 2 yesterday with this variant and was surprisingly awesome!

I have just a couple hints:

I got utterly crushed with koi (62 points) vs dragonfly (85 or more can't remember), even if I was having more WPT than my opponent he managed to keep control of the kami that gives you the opportunity to buy 1 card each kami phase and stocked up with virtues (we used the teapot set of cards).

I noticed that in this set there are 2 cards that makes you score points when you are allied which are (can't remember the name)
- score 2 points when you play a non betrayal mandate and you are allied with somone (potentially 8-6 points/season)
- score 3 points for every season you've been allied with somone (9 points)

I think might work better with "1 point every mandate" and "2 points each season you have not used a betrayal mandate" but that's just my opinion on this particular set.

Let me know if this somehow makes sense XD

Awesome variant nonetheless

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Dan Zielinski
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Awesome. I glad you found it worked well.

Quote:
- score 2 points when you play a non betrayal mandate and you are allied with somone (potentially 8-6 points/season)
- score 3 points for every season you've been allied with somone (9 points
)

As with these two cards... we keep them as is for they lead to great negotiations and a higher reason to betray earlier.

Honesty: 2 Points/Non-Betray Mandate. I love the tension this brings once it's in play. I think greatly on Betray as early as possible knowing I may give him 5-6 Coin/Ronin just to prevent him from that many points. Or what I can negotiate out of him to not play Betray.

Form of the Kindred : 3 Points/Per Season you had an ally does equate to 9 points for the buyer. But I have used my position to reap from the other player wanting to buy it. I don't remember exactly how much I got but I played Train and my opponent gave me some very nice things for the chance to buy first. I let him have the 9 points and I think I ended up better in the end.


Thanks again for the report and please report more. The community is able to give it more plays than I can alone with my group.
 
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Dan Zielinski
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ADDED:

Way of the Righteous: The Ronin Token counts as another player. Thus a player at top honor can gain 2 coins. The coin from the Ronin comes from the supply.
 
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Christopher Thomas
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rent13579 wrote:

Tea Ceremony/Negotiations

Both players begin Allied.

In this version of the game, (while Allied) players may barter for the mandate's privilege and even the order in which it is performed.

Example: If Player A plays Marshal, Player B may offer up coin or ronin for the ability to build the Stronghold instead of Player A.

Example 2: Player B plays Train. Player A may make an offer to pick their card first.


Political Phase

Changes to Mandates:

Recruit: Only you OR your ally may summon extra figure.

Marshal: Only you OR your ally may build a Stronghold

Train: Only you OR your ally receives the 1 coin discount.

Harvest: Active player can Harvest from 2 Provinces they have superior Force at. Ally can harvest from 1. (Allied players are allowed to negotiate to change these numbers but never more than 3 total Provinces can be harvested.)

Hey Dan,

Can you tell us your thinking behind these design decision?

Specifically, as to why you wanted the players to start in an alliance -- the original RAW benefit of which is only to share in the mandate special bonus -- and then revise the mandates to remove sharing the special bonus.

Does the negotiation for Mandate bonus come into play often enough to make this worthwhile? I would imagine that almost all of the time whoever played the mandate is doing so because they want the benefit and would deny to trade it away. Or, would only trade it away for an offer so high that it would be unprofitable for their opponent to pay.

Thanks!
 
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Dan Zielinski
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The forced Alliance and altered Mandates were done as such to provide more negotiation opportunities among two players by creating imbalance.

Imagine the game played with normal rules but with only two players:

If they choose to Ally... then every mandate is equal... except Betray. But even still, the other player can simply Betray in return (given the option, of course) and nothing is accomplished. Since both players benefit from everything... the need for communication and negotiation is greatly reduced.

If they choose to not ally... then every mandate is different and now betray is penalty-less and becomes boring. Since you know you can't help one another with privileges and such... communication and negotiation is greatly reduced.


In this version... the alliance is forced and the mandates are changed to create imbalance and terms to negotiate.

Forced Alliance keeps Betray suspenseful and meaningful. It effecting 2 figures is powerful but is it worth the definite drop in honor and the possible Coin/Ronin Bonus given to the betrayed.

Having the ability to negotiate the privileges and order of operations of the other mandates but only when you're allied: 1) increases negotiation opportunities and 2) gives a reason to stay allied.

Quote:
Does the negotiation for Mandate bonus come into play often enough to make this worthwhile? I would imagine that almost all of the time whoever played the mandate is doing so because they want the benefit and would deny to trade it away. Or, would only trade it away for an offer so high that it would be unprofitable for their opponent to pay.


Did this happen with your play of it? I guess it could happen if the two players are sticklers with each other. With the persons I've played with deals stayed very reasonable. "I'll pay for your Train Card if you let me pick mine first." "I'll pay for your stronghold if you move your pieces first." "I'll play harvest now and let you have 2 gathers while I have 1 if you give me the privilege of (next mandate)."


Hope these explication made sense. I'd love to hear about your plays.
 
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Christopher Thomas
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I understand now your intention of wanting a mechanic that encourages negotiation between opponents who otherwise wouldn't have a reason to negotiate. Thanks!

I haven't played your 2-player variant, yet. But in trying to mentally put myself in the game, I admit that I am having a hard time seeing why it would be in my interest to negotiate much. However, I'm open to trying it and seeing if it clicks.
 
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Dan Zielinski
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Thank you those who have tried this and contacted me. Please, continue to do so to further tighten up the system.

I want to propose to the community a possible additional rule that my partners have split opinions on:

Should the first player to act in each season be the one with the highest honor?

Those that like it say:

1) Puts more emphasis on keeping higher honor
2) The clan with highest starting honor is not automatically getting one extra play.


Those that don't say:

1) It makes it possibly to gain 3 extra plays over other person.
2) High honor becomes too powerful as tie breaking already with two players is strong.


Thoughts?
 
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