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Athens & Sparta» Forums » Variants

Subject: Balancing idea rss

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Niko Ruf
Germany
Schönaich
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Like most people playing A&S I am convinced that Sparta cannot really get to 30 VP with the rules as written. A simple fix is to give victory to the player with the most VP at the end of the game. But that changes the intended dynamics quite a bit and makes for a sluggish game. What bothers me the most is that Athens has a lot more build points than they can actually spend.

Yesterday, we tried a different approach to balance the game. Victory conditions were as per the rules (30 VP for Sparta, Athens wins by default), but Athens had a build point handicap of 8 BP at the end of each Olympiad. Meaning e.g. that if they have 20 BP, they can only spend 12 BP on troops.

That variant opened up the game quite a bit for Sparta. They still lost, but made some pretty impressive conquests. Athens could never field all available blocks and it was a tough decision where to reinforce, given that a revolt can strike anywhere.

Another advantage of this variant is that you can use it to bid for who gets to play Athens. Both players secretely write down the handicap they are willing to risk, and the higher bidder gets Athens.
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Adam McLean
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We haven't tried it yet, but what about only allowing for 1 BP per city value, rather than double in the major cities. So a city like Athens would get 4 points instead of 8. It would also handicap Sparta, but it seems that there is just too many BP's to go around at the end of each turn for both players. As soon as you make headway on a city, they are able to build it up too quickly.
 
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Niko Ruf
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Limiting builds to 1 BP per city value would mean that you could hardly ever spend all of your points, thus removing a lot of decision making from the game. Also, the 1 VP cities could not rebuild their own fleets.

In my experience, the 8 BP handicap already prevents Athens from reinforcing depleted garrisons every turn. They can improve some, but an aggressive Spartan player will soon find the weaknesses (use revolts for scouting).
 
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