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Subject: A variant to allow a little more specialization in scoring rss

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Houserule Jay
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Some people are noticing that specialization or having a completely different pathway to scoring points from your opponent isn't really possible, I discussed this in some detail here http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/338121/page/1

For me, I think the game is awesome just the way it is and don't feel it needs any changes at this point (20+ games which is a high number for me as I get bored easily, this really says something about the game). However, I do like to tinker and eventually it might be nice to change up the game a little for future plays.

As I mentioned before, adjusting the game to accomodate this desire really doesn't take much but it will require a fair bit of play-testing to assure balance which will be critical to its success. Here is what I have proposed:

Points:_______________-1___1____2____3____4_____5_____6____7_____8

Ploughed Fields:_______0-1___2____3____4____5_____6_____7_____8____9

Fenced Pastures:_______0____1____2____3____4_____5____n/a___n/a___n/a

Grain:________________0___1-3__4-5__6-7___8-9__10-11_12-13_14-15_16-17

Vegetables:____________0___1____2____3____4____5-6___7-8___8-9__10-11

Sheep:________________0___1-3__4-5___6____7_____8_____9____10____11

Boar:_________________0___1-2__3-4___5____6_____7_____8_____9____10

Cattle:________________0____1___2-3___4____5_____6_____7_____8_____9


Everything else about the game remains exactly the same. What this allows is further focus on some categories while being able to ignore others without as much peril. This has so far not been playtested, as I mentioned I have not got to that point yet and maybe I never will but at any rate this is what I will try if I do. I think the balance between paths will be pretty close in what I have set out.

Why this is cool is you could now focus on plowing and sowing a lot more and possibly neglect animals a little more than you might otherwise. We had someone the other day end a game with 17 grain, he got nothing for it and deservingly so, that was his fault as scoring will not reward you for this in the original game. With a variant like this, something like this can now become a viable strategy. The extra points you get from growing your goodies will now make up for your animals, and vice versa for the opposite path if you try for more animals, which I find to be the more difficult approach. This more or less can allow for 3 different main paths to scoring, the two obvious paths plus you will still have the balanced approach of everything which should still score high and hopefully all three will be viable. In order to ensure balance, I think it is important to leave the amounts and negatives just how they are for the most part while maybe having to scale back grain and veggies a little which I did, the reason for that is that those things are available earlier in the game and so a bit easier to get multiplying versus animals which come out much later in most cases (except 5 player and again much playtesting would be needed) and the reason I scaled up animals just a little.

This looks to me like the most practical approach to achieving this goal. There are other things you can do such as giving points for clay and stone for example, this would not be too hard to implement either but probably not necessary. I also thought about giving some bonus points for certain amounts of cards played as these cost valuable actions (there is one card that does this now but I'm proposing it could be for everyone and remove the card) and while they score you some points now, it is often at the cost of not building a good enough farm to win, here is what this option could look like:


OPTIONAL ADDITION:

Points:_______________-1___1___2____3___4____5____6____7____8

Cards played:________0-4__5-6__6-7____8___9___10___11__12__13-14


This also brings us to the next point and a potential trouble point for this whole variant, cards. Some people have realized that in a varaint such as this some of the cards if not removed could potentially unbalance the game. Well that would not be surprising, some cards potentially unbalance the game now with no changes...Chamberlain anyone? Well, simply going through the decks or playtesting a little would not prove to be too difficult for locating these potential unbalancers and removing them if necessary.


There you have it. If anyone gets to try this please do post results, of course I will as well. If you like Agricola just the way it is, great! I know I do so I may never feel the need to use this but it is something I came up with day while thinking about the game and I wanted to share it.

Cheers

Jay
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Mil Myman
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Interesting ideas

jayjonbeach wrote:
Grain:________________0___1-3__4-5__6-7___8-9__10-11_12-13_13-14_15-16

Check this row - you've got two 13's

Also is seems to me that these should stick with the established pattern:
Quote:
Vegetables:____________0___1____2____3____4____5-6___7-8___8-9__10-11

Sheep:________________0___1-3__4-5___6____7_____8_____9____10____11

Boar:_________________0___1-2__3-4___5____6_____7_____8_____9____10

Cattle:________________0____1___2-3___4____5_____6_____7_____8_____9

Why should the veggie progression slow down, but the animal prgressions speed up?
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Houserule Jay
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Interesting ideas

jayjonbeach wrote:
Grain:________________0___1-3__4-5__6-7___8-9__10-11_12-13_13-14_15-16

Check this row - you've got two 13's

Also is seems to me that these should stick with the established pattern:
Quote:
Vegetables:____________0___1____2____3____4____5-6___7-8___8-9__10-11

Sheep:________________0___1-3__4-5___6____7_____8_____9____10____11

Boar:_________________0___1-2__3-4___5____6_____7_____8_____9____10

Cattle:________________0____1___2-3___4____5_____6_____7_____8_____9

Why should the veggie progression slow down, but the animal prgressions speed up?



Thanks I fixed that double 13 error.

Well I thought about following the current trend BUT as you are increasing the amount of points that can become available or the cap if you will, you can throw off the balance if your not careful. I mentioned this in my post above:

Quote:
I think it is important to leave the amounts and negatives just how they are for the most part while maybe having to scale back grain and veggies a little which I did, the reason for that is that those things are available earlier in the game and so a bit easier to get multiplying versus animals which come out much later in most cases (except 5 player and again much playtesting would be needed) and the reason I scaled up animals just a little.


When things are capped lower the scale is not quite as important as making all the grain you want will get you nothing extra in points. With what I have proposed, without changing the grain scale it will be the easiest route to points for reasons mentioned above which is why I changed it, vice versa for the animals, getting more than 4 cattle for example is pretty damn hard already. Its possible that further scaling is needed but this should make a good start.

J
 
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