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Subject: Single-action turns rss

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The variant

On your turn, don't automatically roll the dice. Instead, make zero or more trades (including to the bank), and then take one action. Possible actions:

* Build one structure.

* Buy one development card.

* Play one development card. (If playing Road Building, place both roads in this action.)

* Roll the dice one to three times.
- Roll once, then decide whether to roll again, then decide whether to roll again.
- When you roll 7, move the robber and steal as in standard Catan.
- When you roll 7, only you have to discard from a hand of 8 or more.
- When you roll non-7, resources are produced as in standard Catan, but only for your buildings.

Benefits

In a nutshell, this variant keeps the game going at a livelier pace and it gives you more control over what you get from the game. There's less sitting around waiting for random things to happen, and more active and strategic risk management.

* Reduces downtime by reducing turn length.

* Reduces the dull and frustrating moments when several turns pass and you can't do anything. Gives you meaningful options every time you act. Lets you mitigate resource famines by greatly speeding up production (by rolling the dice 3 times per action), without feeling like a cheap catch-up mechanic.

* Improves sense of player agency by making resource production an active choice. Adds a new dimension of strategic depth to the game: the tradeoff between developing faster and getting exactly the resources you need.

* Reduces the frustrating moments when the robber blocks critical resource production. First, because 7 is rolled more often; second, because you have slightly more control over when you do roll 7. The robber is less of a showstopper and more of a nuisance that you can use against your opponents.

* Eliminates the frustrating moments when you produce resources on someone else's turn and then have to discard half of them before your own turn. Instead, you decide when to take the risk of rolling the dice. Discourages hoarding just as effectively as standard Catan, while giving you more control over your fate.

* Further discourages hoarding over standard Catan by removing the incentive to save resources to build a lot in one turn.

* Slightly reduces the frustration of unexpected number frequencies by letting you increase the sample size (i.e. roll the dice more often so the distribution of results approaches, but never exactly reaches, the expected distribution).
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Sean May
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Do resources and robber trigger for every dice roll or only for the last one of your possible three?
 
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Captain Maybe wrote:
Do resources and robber trigger for every dice roll or only for the last one of your possible three?
They trigger on every roll.
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Jörg Baumgartner
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Sounds to me like the path to multi-player solo games, except for the initial trading and a little bit of moving the robber.

On the other hand, you spread out what amounts to a single player turn with an unlimited number of actions to four or five player turnlets, with other players taking their turnlets in between. This does shorten inactivity periods.

When rolling thrice, do you apply all die rolls, or just the latest one?

Reducing risk of some other player rolling a seven on you lets you decide whether to risk another roll or whether to trade towards your next building project. The only danger in a basic game remains the monopoly card.

Playing knight cards will be accelerated in this variant, as you can play any number of such cards in the turnlets between your production roll turnlets.

Build one structure only penalizes players going for longest road or for distant sweet spots.

 
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