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Scythe» Forums » Variants

Subject: new Trade rules variant rss

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javier al
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Hey,

I am thinking to implement a good trading system for this amazing game, as it is the only missing piece for me in this game.

I know, many of you will tell me: "trade is not for Scythe", or "play catan" or what ever. Please, to those those, avoid it. I am just trying to integrate a working trading system in the game.

So the first changes is related to Coins-income.
I think coins would be more useful during the game if players had more units of them. So, I think to double the number of coins each time coins are earn. Instead to be in the Bank, player will have money to play with them.

In "Trade" action, current player will be able to trade with other players resources for resources or money, in the way they want: 1 coin 1 resource, 1 resource 1 resource, 2 resources 1 coin etc. Resources, of course, should be under control of player who are trading. The new resources must be placed in the hex they pick one of the exchanged resource. If a coin was payed, place the resource in one Village under control. Other case, another hexa under control (Note: a extra rule can be, onle trade are allowed if the player has a village under control - it can represent the "market" in his empire).

Trade with the Bank. Now, to get two resources from the bank, player should pay 4 coins instead of 1. Also, two resources can be sold to the bank for 1 coin.

What do you think about this rule? It has not been tested yet. I want to check how it with double income works (maybe, should be 3 times higher instead) and how good the bank trade with 4 rate goes.

Any improvement and suggestion is appreciated
 
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Domenic
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I think you want to double the number of coins so that the units of currency for trade can be more refined, but this has a lot of knock-on effects. For example, with just the rules you've proposed, the cost of the Trade action would also be doubled, but you haven't specifically addressed other times that coins are paid (e.g., for Produce or Factory actions).

Instead of doubling everything in the game (and making every reference to coins on cards player boards, etc. incorrect), consider just adding new fractional currency units. Then any coin could be broken into two 50p pieces when needed, and if players want to make trades using the fractional units, they'll be free to do so.

A lot of people have compared Scythe to a puzzle game, in which your particular faction/board combination has a huge impact on your optimal strategy. If trading is advantageous in your variant and trading is only allowed when the Trade action is used, then faction/board combos that already frequently use the Trade action will get essentially free access to the new trading features, but other combos will have to adjust their strategies to get the best benefit. My intuition is that will unbalance the game in favor of the already-Trading strategies. Accordingly, if inter-player trading is added, I wouldn't attach it to any particular one of the four actions.

Requiring a village to trade is interesting. Villages are useful early in the game (hard to win with just 3 workers) and late (if you don't go to full production early, you might still try to get the star at the end), but not so much in between. Giving a bonus for controlling a village introduces new trade-offs for mid-game play. Since all factions need to get out a few extra workers already, this doesn't seem like it would particularly favor some combos over others.

From a practical point of view, the thing I like least about trade is how much time it takes. Unlike Catan, though, in Scythe all the resources are plainly visible on the board. So you don't need to ask "does anyone have any metal?" - you know exactly who has metal and how much. That will help. But if trading is before your turn starts, you end up saying things like "Okay, I need 1 oil or 2 metal or 3 wood" and then you have to prioritize your shopping list, and then try to negotiate for the items. Not too much better, in the end.

I point out this out because your proposal of tying to a specific action does have the benefit of minimizing the problem: players could trade only every other turn at most (Rusviet aside), and they can trade only when they're already locked in to their bottom-row action for the turn. But upsetting game balance is too high of a price to pay for these benefits. What if you added a trading phase at the end of each round? All players (or all players will villages) could engage in free-form trading at that time.
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