Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
4 Posts

Kontor» Forums » Variants

Subject: A completely different game using the same components. rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]

Lacombe
Louisiana
msg tools
badge
Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Caveat

I own the game and have played a few games by the "advanced" rules included with the game. I found the resulting experience dry and in all other ways severely lacking. Since the components are so great and I waited so long to get the game, I decided to home-brew a variant to make a better game experience rather than just give up on the game. Since there are a number of variants already listed in the rules and on the author's website, I felt justified in doing this. I think I've come up with something that provides a much more streamlined and much more dynamic experience, and, more importantly, a much more enjoyable game.

Components

For this variant, you will need two copies of the Kontor: Das Exportlager expansion. Fortunately, you can print these up for free from the picture here or the file at the author's website. If you're really fancy, you can even do like I did and print it out on label stock, affix it to some matte board, and use a rotary paper cutter to trim it down to size. This "export warehouse" expansion will be used in the variant in much the same way it is used with the regular game, so give each player their own warehouse before you start the game.

In addition, you will need to give each player one each of the three different types of special cards included with the base game (the customs house, bridge, and flood). You can assign the special cards randomly, or use the numbering system suggested by the author. I recommend giving one player the even-numbered special cards and the other player the odd-numbered ones. The players should shuffle the special cards into their dock card decks after dealing themselves their initial three dock cards.

Changes

I will outline the changes / clarifications that make this variant in roughly chronological order, starting with game setup and ending with victory conditions. Unless otherwise notated below, the "basic" game ruleset is used and changes explained below are changes to that ruleset. If there is a conflict or confusion, go by what is written here, then by the basic rules, and finally by the advanced rules if neither other ruleset answers the question.

Game Setup:

- The only card that begins on the table is the harbor card with the anchor.

- The boat is used (though differently, as explained below), and starts the game on the harbor card.

- The players receive two water cards and three dock cards, as usual. All draw decks are placed face-down after that.

- The players should each place their five warehouse keepers and their export warehouse in front of them.

- The players receive three coins to start the game, and should keep their money supply open at all times.

- The size of the finished game board will be 7x7 cards; the harbor card could end up on one edge, depending on how the game unfolds.

Selecting Cards:

- The players each secretly select a card to play and then reveal them simultaneously. The player with the higher number card plays first.

- The players may opt on any turn to not play a card. They instead receive one coin and their opponent may play (or also pass).

- There are no taxes to be paid during the card selection phase. If a player plays a card with a coin symbol, his opponent does not pay a tax.

Playing Cards:

- A player always plays his card first, then resolves any icons on the card that he played. Opponent's icons are ignored.

- A card may be played orthogonally adjacent to any card already on the board, providing it is not played outside the 7x7 grid or next to an opponent's crane.

- A player must pay a coin to the bank for every dock or special card that they play. They must have this coin at the beginning of their turn.

- If a player does not have a coin to pay for a dock or special card, they must take it back into their hand (it's possible to have a coin when selecting a card, but not have one when it comes time to play it).

- If a player plays a card (water or dock) with a coin icon on it, they receive a coin after playing the card. Only cards with coin icons grant coins (not all water cards grant coins). It's possible to play many docks for "free," but you must first have a coin to pay to build them, and then receive the same coin back. If you do not have a coin to pay, you may not build the "free" dock.

- If a player plays a card (water or dock) with a ship icon, they may move the ship after playing the card to any other water card on the board. (What the ship does will be explained later; it is different from what it does in the "advanced" game rules.)

Placing Warehouses:

- There are no "distribution centers" in this variant. All warehouses depicted on a just-played dock card are placed directly on that card and remain there (possibly to be removed later due to various other actions, explained later).

Special Cards:

- A crane card does the same thing it does in the regular game, prevents the opponent from building any docks orthogonally adjacent to the crane.

- A tavern card prevents any adjacent dock cards (of either player) from counting toward the scoring of the area (scoring method is described later). (The warehouses, if any, on the dock cards remain there, however.)

- A flood card may be played over any previously-played dock card with only one good pictured on it. If there is a warehouse currently on that dock card, it is removed from play (not exported, explained later). The dock area containing that card may now be fragmented into two areas, which may need to be re-scored (explained later).

- A bridge card may be played over any previously-played water card that lies directly between (north/south or east/west) any two previously-played dock cards. The bridge is placed over top of the water card, and the two dock areas are now connected as one. The bridge only connects north-to-south or east-to-west, and may not connect docks kitty-corner or on three sides. (Look carefully at the graphics to see how the bridge works; the opposing sides with mostly water are considered water and may not connect the bridge to a dock.)

- A customs house card may be played as any other dock tile would be played. It counts as an additional victory point to whichever player controls the dock area containing the customs house at the final scoring.

- Remember that all special cards must be paid for with one coin before being played. If you do not have a coin, you may not play the special card.

Moving The Ship:

- After a player plays any card with a ship icon on it, they may move the ship to any other (may not "move" it to the same water tile, although you may pass and not move it) water card on the board, including the one just played.

- When the ship is moved to a new water card, all docks orthogonally adjacent to the water card with the ship and still containing at least one warehouse will now "export" goods on the ship to the export warehouse. Every dock, of either or both players, with a warehouse still on it must export, whether the player owning the dock wants it to or not.

- To "export" a good from a dock next to the ship, the player owning the dock chooses one of two things: 1) Remove one (there may be two or three, depending on the dock) of the warehouses from the dock and place it on the player's export warehouse card (you made these earlier) in the appropriate (i.e. matching good) circle; or 2) Pay one coin to produce a new resource that matches one (again, may be two or three to choosen from) of the warehouses (not resource icons; if there is not a matching warehouse for a good, you may no longer export that good from that dock) on the dock and place a new warehouse, from the supply, on the export warehouse. Think of this as a port of Yspahan's supervisor/caravan mechanic, which this idea is blatantly stolen from.

Drawing Cards:

- After playing their card and resolving any icons, a player refreshes their hand by drawing a card of the same type as the card they just played, either from the communal water card deck or their own dock card deck. (Remember that all draw decks remain face-down throughout the entire game.)

Scoring Docks:

- As soon as a dock area of any size becomes completely enclosed by water cards or the edge of the board (defined not just as empty space, but empty space that may never be filled because it falls outside the 7x7 grid as it is currently defined by the cards already played), it is scored and possibly assigned a warehouse keeper.

- Do not consider the sizes of majorities (the first step in the four-step scoring system from the base game), only numbers and then types. If a player has more majorities, of any size, than the other player, they place one of their warehouse keepers on the dock area. If the players have the same number of majorities (it will always be 1 and 1), you must compare the types of goods each player has a majority in using the supplied reference cards. The player with the better good as their majority places one of their warehouse keepers on the dock area. If the players are completely tied, no one places a warehouse keeper on the dock.

- Closed dock areas may be affected in every way that open dock areas may be (with the obvious exception of being expanded through further dock card placement orthogonally adjacent to the dock area). Goods may be exported from closed docks, and bridges and floods can modify closed docks as well. The control of any given dock area must be kept up-to-date with the current game status. If a good is exported through the removal of a warehouse from a closed dock area and this causes the number or type of majorities in the dock area to change in favor of the player currently not in control of the dock, the player controlling the dock removes his warehouse keeper and the other player places one of theirs instead on the dock area. Similarly, if a closed dock is broken up by a flood or connected to another (closed or open) dock area with a bridge, control of all of the resulting dock areas must be updated. If a closed dock area is connected by a bridge to an open dock area, all warehouse keepers are removed from the connected dock area until the new larger dock area is itself enclosed.

Winning The Game:

- At the end of the turn in which the full 7x7 grid is realized ("at the end of the turn," because it is possible, though unlikely, for one player to fill in the grid with a customs house, for example, while the other player is holding a bridge or flood card that they selected to play that turn; you must finish the turn), the game is over and the winner will be declared.

- All dock areas with at least two dock and/or special cards will score. Each dock area is worth 1 victory point to the player who controlled the dock area at the end of the game (remember to keep all dock area controls up-to-date with the current game situation), plus an additional bonus point (or 2 bonus points, possibly) for a customs house (from either player) in the dock area.

- Any majorities in any type in the export warehouse are worth 1 victory point to the player with the majority. (For example, the red player has 2 wine, 3 spice, and 4 tea in their export warehouse at the end of the game, while the black player has only 2 of each good in their export warehouse; the red player receives 2 victory points for their majorities in spice and tea in the export warehouses, while the black player receives no bonus points from their export warehouse.)

- The player with the most victory points wins.

- In the event of a tie, the tie-breaker is money left over at the end of the game. In the event of a tie in money, the second tie-breaker is largest dock area controlled at the end of the game. In the event of a tie for largest dock area, the third tie-breaker is shortest distance from largest dock area to the harbor card (count orthogonally). In the event of a tie for shortest distance from largest dock area, the fourth tie-breaker is number of dock areas controlled. In the event of a tie for number of dock areas (of at least two cards) controlled, the fifth tie-breaker is number of majorities in the export warehouses. In the event of a tie for number of export warehouse majorities, the sixth (and final!) tie-breaker is the type of good in majority in the export warehouses as compared on the summary cards. In the event of a tie here (i.e. no player has any export warehouse majorities), the game is a draw (this would be quite an accomplishment... heh).

Conclusion

The above wordiness makes this variant sound more confusing than it actually is. In fact, this is a much simpler and less convoluted version of the game. I like that this version has a much more intuitive scoring system (number of majorities, then type, that's all; also, all areas score, with the minor caveat that they must be at least two cards large). I also like the very tight economy in the game as the possibilities for gaining coins are few and far between and the uses for coins are varied and very common. Go ahead and try it out and let me know what you think. It turned the game from something my wife didn't understand and didn't want to play with me into something she understood, almost won our first time through, and will now play with me. Even if nobody else likes it, that's good enough for me.









2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Mumford
United States
Somerville
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
ceci n'est pas une pipe
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nate,
I love that you are trying to revive this almost-dead relic from an earlier generation of euros. I just got the game and played it for the first time yesterday. I am not sure yet how to rate Michael Schacht's game yet, but I actually think it has potential.

I will keep your variant in mind. The change in your variant that is most immediately appealing to me is the face-down stacks of cards. The part I don't like is having to buy or fabricate more components.

BTW, for an excellent pitch from someone who loves the original game, read Robert Rossney's colorful description:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/21005/item/412140#item...
It was this piece that made me seek out the game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

Lacombe
Louisiana
msg tools
badge
Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
photocurio wrote:
The part I don't like is having to buy or fabricate more components.


You don't really have to buy anything. The only extra components that you need are two print-outs of the "export warehouse" card over in the export warehouse expansion's image gallery. You can print it out on regular paper and cut it to size and it'll do fine. I just got fancy and printed mine on label stock and affixed it to matte board. There aren't any other new components at all.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Rider
United States
Mount Prospect
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think that this is a cool idea, and you've put a good bit of thought into it.

I'd love to see a version that is a complete ruleset, rather than "read the regular rules, and them apply these differences". How about a document that is a complete "How to play this game", your way?

Layover rules like this inevitably lead to confusion as you try to look up a rule and have multiple documents to search through.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.