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Subject: Completely running out of cards to draw from rss

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Nathan Sharpe
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What is the appropriate course of action if the allies are so yellow-bellied that they delay attacking for long enough for all four of the decks to be drawn into the players' hands?

This came up in a game with beginners. I taught them the rules and told them to not commit too early and they took my advice to heart. We played that if there were no cards to draw, the player whose turn it was to draw wouldn't get any. However, if that player then fought a battle and used some cards, the next player would be able to draw up to the number of cards used for his or her turn. Something I didn't like about this was that the players started planning on how to deprive Prussia of cards through this rule. It turned out to be very hard on France, who hardly drew any cards for 8 or so turns in the game.

I wish that the 4 cards removing the allies from the game weren't all in the last six of the cards of fate.
 
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Mark Delano
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Fletchard wrote:
What is the appropriate course of action if the allies are so yellow-bellied that they delay attacking for long enough for all four of the decks to be drawn into the players' hands?

This came up in a game with beginners. I taught them the rules and told them to not commit too early and they took my advice to heart. We played that if there were no cards to draw, the player whose turn it was to draw wouldn't get any. However, if that player then fought a battle and used some cards, the next player would be able to draw up to the number of cards used for his or her turn. Something I didn't like about this was that the players started planning on how to deprive Prussia of cards through this rule. It turned out to be very hard on France, who hardly drew any cards for 8 or so turns in the game.

I wish that the 4 cards removing the allies from the game weren't all in the last six of the cards of fate.


I believe Richard Sivél has recommended added more decks of cards, taking out the aces and treating J, Q, K as 11, 12 and 13. Use two jokers as Reserve cards.

Personally I'd adjudge it a Prussian win, as it's likely the Allies won't have enough time to take their objectives anyway.
 
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richard sivel
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If there are so few fights that you run out of TC's, then indeed you should take a standard cardgame (with 55 cards), remove one joker and all aces, and treat J=11, Q=12, K=14.

(Alternatively, you can remove all Kings, and treat Ace=11, J=12, Q=13, if you prefer)
 
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Mark Luta
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Heh, what sort of card decks do you have in Germany, Richard? Even with two Jokers, a 'standard' playing card deck would only have 54 cards!

Since not everyone will keep the Jokers in their decks (hopefully at least a few Bridge players will come join us in playing Friedrich, hey?), I would suggest good standardization would be do not use the Jokers, remove 3 Aces=49 cards. 2-10 printed value, J=11, Q=12 and K=13, the one Ace is the Reserve Card. (To keep consistent with the theme, we really ought to rank the Queens above the Kings, but I expect that would be overly confusing since in nearly every other game, the King ranks above the Queen!)

A top of my head calculation posits this situation could occur in 9 turns of no battles, assuming no national draw reductions and no nations exit the war. So it is a bit more likely to occur than I would have thought at first. Though if I saw this happen as the Prussians, I would probably try to go attack one of the major nations in Clubs or Diamonds, just to pull some of the Hearts or Spades out of their hands when they rebuilt the lost army points....
 
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Nathan Sharpe
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Good idea to attack in clubs or diamonds as Prussia. Didn't realize this could happen in only nine turns, but that seemed about right for our game in retrospect. Thanks for the answers!
 
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Anton Telle
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Quote:
I would suggest good standardization would be do not use the Jokers, remove 3 Aces=49 cards. 2-10 printed value, J=11, Q=12 and K=13, the one Ace is the Reserve Card.

Keep 2 Aces! There are always two Reserve Cards per deck!
 
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Mark Luta
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Aha, that may explain the '55 card deck' discrepancy, then. Do your card decks in Germany have 3 Jokers? Because Richard said remove the Aces and one Joker...But would this have meant leave 2 Jokers in? Card decks sold here generally come with the 52 cards and 2 Jokers.

So, I suggest remove the Jokers (if any) and 2 Aces, for the reasons described above, leaving a 50 card deck. (Shows I never yet went through the deck and counted the cards!)
 
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richard sivel
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Yes, in Germany, the standard deck comes with 3 jokers. IIRC, it is for the game Romme, while Canasta uses only 2 jokers (or the other way round?) ...

Anyway: Players should find solution to turn a 52 or 54 or 55 card deck to a Friedrich-deck with 50 cards (with values from 2-13, and 2 wild-cards).

 
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Yep that happens from time to time.
I will never again play the game with less than 5 decks.

With defensive players the cards might run out, BUT this could also happen as a result of the cards of fate. It has happened to me many times that not a single allied has left the game after more than 16 rounds and this will effect the available cards a great deal. If this happens the game will feel a bit strange so i strongly advice playing with a fifth deck.

Since getting the right colours play an important part, adding a fifth deck, will also have the positive effect that it makes it easier to get the cards you want.

I wasnt very keen at start to add an extra deck but after i have experienced several games when we have ran out of cards, especially in games where not a single allied has left the game, I changed my mind about adding a fifth deck.

 
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Mark Luta
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Thanks for the explanation on card decks, Richard--I guess we learned to always specify how many cards to keep...

I am curious about these games where the four decks are depleted, with regards the anti-Prussian allies: Do they ever win these games? It seems to me allowing Prussia to get a hand of 60+ cards or more, while Austria has only 45 (assuming no hand draw reductions from cards of fate) after turn 9, and the other Allies even fewer, is a sure prescription for a runaway Prussian victory. Not only will Hannover potentially be a real threat to France by then, depending on the relative card draws (Hannover draws 1 less card per turn, but effectively has 2 more cards if attacking France during their turn, so France has less an advantage in numbers than the 3-2 draw would imply--The quality of the France hand should be higher, due to the discard, but this cannot be relied upon.) The Allies in total will have many more cards, but cannot combine resources and so Prussia can defeat each piecemeal. And even if the Prussia hand does become drained over a few turns of sledgehammer attacks from all sides, they ought to be able to put 3 maneuver elements on many objectives, forcing the other nations to win 3 battles the same turn, and by large enough margins to drive all 3 Prussian armies away--if the Prussians can put their armies on sector boundaries so a nation is forced to attack from the same suit against different defending suits, this would seem nearly insurmountable.

Actually, this sounds more like the War of Austrian Succession, where armies would march around, no one wanted to attack, eventually Maria Theresa would get annoyed enough in Vienna to send out direct orders for her generals to attack!

Anyway, just curious if long delay in attacking has ever worked out for the Allies?
 
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richard sivel
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Generally spoken: Periods of no (or few) attacks are bad for the allies -- even if they would have endless time.

But, I have seen rare cases where the big Prussian hand suddenly crumbled, also due to the fact because Prussia felt too safe and invincible and simply became uncautious.
 
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Nathan Sharpe
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I lost my game. I made all sorts of mistakes. My generals were too weak for one. I had one near-full-general army in East Prussia to face the Russians with, and two in Silesia. That left the rest of my generals with 1 army each basically. Secondly,I did not move my strong armies around. I just camped them in a sector and waited for an assault, because they had to attack eventually. The problem I ran into was that Austria and Russia gave up on their eastern objectives and went West: Austria to help the Holy Roman Empire out and Russia to force a battle somewhere outside of spades (which my army was waiting for him in). One of his generals ran down to Silesia. Third, I also didn't see the HRE victory coming until too late. Through their cumulative maneuvering the allies were able to get my supply trains and weak armies and eliminate them. I eventually sent my Prussian army holding the French off in their part of the triangle to deal with the HRE, but it was a turn too late and I lost to the Elizabeth player who took over the HRE that turn.

Given my mistakes, one thing that gives the allies a chance is their saturation in Prussian territory late in the game. They had each lost their battles in the respective suites I assigned to defend against them, but through sending their armies to help each other they limited my room for maneuver. That allowed the HRE to win, and would have worked against me for any other power whose objectives they had happened to surround.

I thought the Austrian aiding the HRE to the extent that it did was annoying, and it did lose the game for the Theresa player, but none of the allies had enough cards to beat me in the sectors where I was waiting for them.
 
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Mark Luta
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It is actually a legitimate strategy for Austria to try to win with the Empire, in exactly the case you describe, where there is no chance of clearing out Silesia. And it does risk losing the game as Austria--I have done this, was about to win with the Empire as Austria (after the Prussian sent a massive army to Silesia), when Empress Elizabeth died, and Russia won...

But interesting, then, that Prussia does need to be sure to force some battles if the allies hang back. Just in case the cards dropping them out are at the bottom of the fate deck.
 
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