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Subject: 2s and 12s?? rss

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Scott McGill
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Hi guys,

For a number of years now my groups have been playing 2's and 12's as equal.. So when a 12 is rolled, the 2 hex also receives production, when the 2 is rolled the 12 receives production.

This effectively makes the 2 and 12 as common as the 3 and 11.

We've found that this speeds the game, and livens it up in terms of resources but doesn't shift the balance of the game at all. It certainly hasn't hurt our close finishes. We often end up with one or more players on 9 points apart from the winner on 10.

Does anybody else play this house rule?

Scott
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Edward
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I haven't tried this variant, but I wouldn't want to.

The whole point of the number tiles in this game is to reward those who build next to the tiles representing the more probable die rolls, and to provide a disincentive to building next to the less probable ones (which you might still want to do anyway, for other reasons).

This variant flattens one end of the natural bell-curve distribution of the die rolls. This is against the spirit of the game design, and in my opinion it makes the game less interesting. If you want to flatten the curve, why not go all the way and just play with a D12?
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Sean Conroy
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Interesting rule change and I can see that it would speed up the game. But I'm wondering if the speed diference could be likened to choosing to cook a Pop Tart in the microwave or toaster laugh

The only downside I can see is it would take the fun out of the games where 2's and 12's hit more often than the 6's and 8's. "They laughed at my 2 settlements and 1 city encircling the 12 ore hex, who's laughing now? Mwahahaha!"

Seriouly though it's a decent idea.
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Todd McCorkle
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I'm wondering what the effect would be if this was taken to extremes.
roll 2, 2 and 12 produce
roll 12, 2 and 12 produce
roll 3, 3 and 11 produce
roll 11, 3 and 11 produce
roll 4, 4 and 10 produce
roll 10, 4 and 10 produce
roll 5, 5 and 9 produce
roll 9, 5 and 9 produce
roll 6, 6 and 8 produce
roll 8, 6 and 8 produce

This would REALLY speed up the game! I think it would also effectively reduce the robber in half.

I doubt I would ever play this way, but I'm not a big fan of house rules.
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Philip Thomas
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Its a fair variant. For those of you complaining that it alters the numbers game, of course it does, but since this alteration is known in advance that just means you have a slightly different distrubution to work with.
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I have a 5- and a 7-sided die, and I've been wanting to put them together for a unique game of Settlers. It wouldn't do anything to the bell curve but flatten it a bit (making the 6, 7, and 8 equally likely to roll), and I think it would be an interesting experience.
 
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No, we do not play it.
 
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Becky Bates
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We play the following rules for 2's and 12's: If a person loses cards because they have over 7, we put those cards all in a pile. Then, the next person to roll a 2 or a 12 gets to take those cards and use them. This can really help you if you get lucky. If we are limited on the number or resource cards in the bank, or if the pile gets too big, however, we return the cards to the stack. If you are the lucky one to get the cards, you can sure have a fun turn.
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Chris Ferejohn
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batesbj wrote:
We play the following rules for 2's and 12's: If a person loses cards because they have over 7, we put those cards all in a pile. Then, the next person to roll a 2 or a 12 gets to take those cards and use them. This can really help you if you get lucky. If we are limited on the number or resource cards in the bank, or if the pile gets too big, however, we return the cards to the stack. If you are the lucky one to get the cards, you can sure have a fun turn.



Bleah. Bet you put money on Free Parking in Monopoly too.
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Scott McGill
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Spire wrote:
If you want to flatten the curve, why not go all the way and just play with a D12?


Well the whole idea was to flatten the curve, but only a tiny bit.. So we still want the variation on the rolls.

Sometimes we play with this, sometimes without. It doesn't seem to have much effect.

Thanks for all your comments everyone.

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Aaron Tubb
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I've played with it. I don't think it changed play time or anything, but it did make the two crappiest hexes a bit less crappy. Not a bad thing at all, IMO.

Quote:
Bleah. Bet you put money on Free Parking in Monopoly too
Money on free parking makes an already long and random game even more long and random. Letting 2s and 12s collect on the same rolls just gives a slight boost to the players stuck with the crappiest spots on the board. Not similar at all.

Edit: didn't read what spire quoted
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Edward
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Aarontu wrote:
Money on free parking makes an already long and random game even more long and random. Letting 2s and 12s collect on the same rolls just gives a slight boost to the players stuck with the crappiest spots on the board. Not similar at all.

The "Free Parking" crack was in reference to a different variant:

batesbj wrote:
We play the following rules for 2's and 12's: If a person loses cards because they have over 7, we put those cards all in a pile. Then, the next person to roll a 2 or a 12 gets to take those cards and use them. This can really help you if you get lucky. If we are limited on the number or resource cards in the bank, or if the pile gets too big, however, we return the cards to the stack. If you are the lucky one to get the cards, you can sure have a fun turn.

Very similar, I think. (And "bleah" is right.)
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Aaron Tubb
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Spire wrote:
Aarontu wrote:
Money on free parking makes an already long and random game even more long and random. Letting 2s and 12s collect on the same rolls just gives a slight boost to the players stuck with the crappiest spots on the board. Not similar at all.

The "Free Parking" crack was in reference to a different variant:

batesbj wrote:
We play the following rules for 2's and 12's: If a person loses cards because they have over 7, we put those cards all in a pile. Then, the next person to roll a 2 or a 12 gets to take those cards and use them. This can really help you if you get lucky. If we are limited on the number or resource cards in the bank, or if the pile gets too big, however, we return the cards to the stack. If you are the lucky one to get the cards, you can sure have a fun turn.

Very similar, I think. (And "bleah" is right.)

Oops. Didn't read the quote on that one.blush

Yeah, that does sound like a Settlers version of "free parking". yuk
 
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Philip Thomas
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Actually the Settlers Free Parking has a different game effect from its Monopoly cousin. Since Settlers plays to a win by having the most stuff, Settlers Free Parking speeds up the game on average. Since Monopoly plays to a losss by running out of stuff, Monopoly Free Parking slows the game down on average.
 
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Greg Jones
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Spire wrote:
This variant flattens one end of the natural bell-curve distribution of the die rolls.


Actually the sum of two dice is not a bell curve; it looks like an upside-down V. Flattening the tails actually makes it look more like a bell curve, which has flattened tails. Of course, I couldn't say what's so desirable about a bell curve or the alternative. As long as the probability varies and is predictable, the game works.

I like the variant, because as is, I consider 2 and 12 pretty useless. For example, if I have no wheat in my initial placement, but I can build toward a 2 wheat, that's not particularly exciting. I don't count on that tile ever being rolled in the game. It may as well be a desert as far as I'm concerned. A 3 wheat, I might consider worthwhile. It's expected to roll twice as often.
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Edward
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Philip Thomas wrote:
Since Settlers plays to a win by having the most stuff, Settlers Free Parking speeds up the game on average.

True.

Note that the payoff happens in a totally random way, because the cards just go to the next person who rolls a 2 or 12. That person might not even have any settlements on the 2 or 12 hexes, so he's not necessarily someone who needs any help.

That aspect of it, at least, is just like the Monopoly Free Parking variant.
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Philip Thomas
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Well, we can bring them back to the same meta-effect by saying that in Settlers you want the game to last longer rather than be ended by random gifts from heaven, while in Monopoly you want the game to end as soon as possible rather than be prolonged by random gifts from heaven.
 
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Edward
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morningstar wrote:
Actually the sum of two dice is not a bell curve; it looks like an upside-down V.

My use of the term bell curve was really just shorthand for approximation of a bell curve. With two dice, the probability distribution does indeed look like an upside-down V, but as you add more dice, the shape gets closer and closer to a true bell curve.

morningstar wrote:
Of course, I couldn't say what's so desirable about a bell curve or the alternative. As long as the probability varies and is predictable, the game works.

Variety in die rolls is good thing; I think it is antithetical to the spirit of the design of the game to reduce that variety. Combining the 2 and 12 makes their combined probability equal to that of the 3. This makes 2/12 more attractive to build next to, but it also eliminates whatever marginal strategic advantage the 3 hexes are intended to have. Overall, this reduces the strategic possibilities in the game.

I am not dismissing this variant outright; I'm merely saying that I wouldn't want to use it or recommend it.
 
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R. L. Loughlin
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I like this varient a lot. I've always felt that the (single) 2 and 12 hexes were a somewhat forced solution to the problem of using a pair of 6d dice with the 18 (plus 1 desert) hexes. This varient brings the 2 and 12 "back into the game" and makes the whole board more "playable".

The bottom line for me is that this makes the game more fun to play, IMHO.
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Lacombe
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You shouldn't be playing Settlers looking at the individual production possibilities of any one given hex, but the production possibilities of your hex "portfolio" as a whole. Given the choice between having duplicate 3's and having a 3 and a 2, I'll choose the 3 and 2 almost every time, even if the combination of resources is different in each respective configuration.

The 2's and 12's should not be used near the beginning of the game, but they are great later in the game to flesh out your production possibilities frontier. You could, and should probably often aim to, collect resources on every single turn, regardless of the outcome of the dice, if you build wisely. Sure, the 2 and the 12 are weak, but that's part of the charm of the game, and they're certainly not worthless.

I've seen games won by the one or two rolls of 2 or 12 that occur during a game, because only one person actually spread out to build on the full range of numbers while the others consolidated on high-probability hexes. The high-probabilities are fine on average, but no isolated game is ever truly average. You've also got to look toward the possible future, instead of looking back and saying "Darn, that 12 was worthless to me! It never got rolled!" Building on a 2 or 12 is a bit like hedging your bets. It may not matter, but you'll be very thankful if it ever does.
 
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Lacombe
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kusinohki wrote:
I'm wondering what the effect would be if this was taken to extremes.
roll 2, 2 and 12 produce
roll 12, 2 and 12 produce
roll 3, 3 and 11 produce
roll 11, 3 and 11 produce
roll 4, 4 and 10 produce
roll 10, 4 and 10 produce
roll 5, 5 and 9 produce
roll 9, 5 and 9 produce
roll 6, 6 and 8 produce
roll 8, 6 and 8 produce

This would REALLY speed up the game! I think it would also effectively reduce the robber in half.

I doubt I would ever play this way, but I'm not a big fan of house rules.


That would not change the probability distribution at all, at least not across different categories / levels of probabilities. That is to say, an "8" would still be just as much more likely to be rolled as a "2" under this system (10/36 to 2/36, compared to 5/36 to 1/36), whereas the 2/12 system makes the 8 less "more likely to be rolled" than the "2". All it would do is reduce the number of distinct outcomes. There'd only be six total possibilities now, but the 2/12 would still suck just as much. With fewer distinct outcomes, it would probably be even more important to have high-probability numbers, I'd imagine.
 
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I've thought of playing this variant to cut back on the frustration of trying to throw a 2 or 12. I think the low odds of these two numbers are too extreme.

Actually, there's another kind of number tokens I thought of using as well to throw into the mix, possibly replacing the 2 and 12. These would be written on any supplied blank number tokens.

They are "6+1", "5+2", "4+3". They have the same chance as an 11 or 3 (1/18).

This means that, even with a 7 thrown, it is possible to collect resources depending on the dice combination. The resource would be collected AFTER the actions of the robber are completed. I think it would put a unique spin on it.

Replacing the 12 and 2 with a couple of these might be worth trying.
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