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Subject: 3-4 player variant - "Kraken Awakens Early" rss

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Yours Truly,
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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I've played with 3 gnomes twice so far, and the kraken is added to the event deck right at the end of the game, with no chance for it to enter the game. The chances are so small that the card will be drawn, and even if it is drawn, since it's a +15 it will be ignored b/c it would be placed beyond the "rescue" point. So I don't anticipate any kraken action in a 3-player game, which means the kraken-guns are pointless and the aqua-lung is only for "abandon comrades".

I understand why the kraken is not in the deck at the beginning - otherwise, the kraken might be drawn before anyone has an aqualung, which spells automatic doom.

I have two ideas for those who want to play a 3-player game with the kraken actually (potentially) coming into play:

1. The game plays as normal, except that if anyone at any point owns an aqualung, they can voluntarily (or this could be made obligatory) state this, at which point the kraken is shuffled into the event deck.

2. Game plays as normal, except that the 2 tiles per gnome at the beginning include an aqualung. So you take 5 tiles randomly, shuffle them with an aqualung, and deal out the 2 per player. Then, you include the kraken in the event deck from the very beginning of the game.

Comments?

Edited for spelling.

EDIT Jan 4 2009: As franchi mentions below, 4 player games also have slim-to-none kraken action, so this variant is good for both 3 and 4 players.
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Orin Bishop
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Re: 3-player variant - "Kraken Awakens Early"
That's an interesting idea to have it in the starting items.

My first thought was to shuffle the kraken into the bottom half or so of the deck.
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Miguel (working on TENNISmind...)
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Re: 3-player variant - "Kraken Awakens Early"
I finished my first game, solo, with 4 gnomes. Everything went "well" until about 15 min for all of them, when they (I) failed to stop the missile countdown.

I had just finished the deck, but even if I had stopped the countdown the Kraken would not have appeared, going into the deck at 15 min to the end. So even in a 4-player game it seems that the Kraken will hardly appear.

I'm going to try your variant #2: 4 gnomes, 1 aqualung + 7 other tiles to begin with, and the Kraken in the deck from the start. The Kraken WILL appear, now the question is what to do once you kill it. I guess you discard the card from the game, 2 Krakens would be too much?
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Miguel (working on TENNISmind...)
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Re: 3-player variant - "Kraken Awakens Early"
I finished the game, 4-player with aqualung among the starting 8 tiles and Kraken in the deck. The Kraken appeared early, about 40 min, and they didn't have the gun, so Red drank 1 grog and went out to kill it... and didn't faint!

About 15-20 min to rescue, the deck run out and I re-shuffled, leaving the Kraken inside. It appeared a second time, but at less than 8 min to rescue, no effect (Red had the other aqualung and a gun and was waiting for it!).

I think I'll definitely play this way for less than 5 players. Ah, I lost (again missile countdown, just 8 min to rescue with 2 gnomes already at 0 min)...
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dypaca
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The only problem I see is that you are guaranteeing that the Kraken will show up, so you know to hold onto your aqualung. In the 5-8 player games there's always a chance to not see him, so if you're feeling brave you can dump the aqualung.

It seems to me the 6 and 7 player game have just over 50% chance of seeing the Kraken, a little more for 8, a little less for 5. You can recreate this by discarding some random cards at the start of the game. Discarding 83 - 16*(number of gnomes) should give you exactly a 50% chance of having to fight the Kraken.

So start by discarding 35 cards for 3 players or 20 cards for 4 players.

Of course if you use the variant of drawing an event per gnome at the start that will increase your chances of seeing the Kraken. Also, drinking grog and making faint checks while you're still in the first deck will call the Kraken closer. On the other hand, an untimely death will make you less likely to see the Kraken (assuming you aren't playing the less deadly variant).

Having said all this, I've played alot of 3 player games with the base rules and I wouldn't mind using your variant a few times, cause I'm eager to kill that squid.
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Benj Davis
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I rather like the idea of shuffling in the Kraken when someone draws an Aqualung. I might try this next time I play, as we've yet to actually have the Kraken occur in any of my games and it does seem like either never happening or likely doom, if no-one has an aqualung. Although admittedly, you could race to the equipment stores and frantically draw tiles, hoping to get one, I don't like your chances.
 
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Heroic Monkey
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I like the ideas in this thread. I'll definitely try them out some time.

One variant I thought of would be to shuffle the Kraken card into the deck before the game begins and place one Aqualung in the Captain's cabin (separate from the grog pile). Instead of spending 1 minute to take the Aqualung, maybe 2 or 3 minutes should be required.
 
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Benj Davis
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Game Guardian wrote:
I like the ideas in this thread. I'll definitely try them out some time.

One variant I thought of would be to shuffle the Kraken card into the deck before the game begins and place one Aqualung in the Captain's cabin (separate from the grog pile). Instead of spending 1 minute to take the Aqualung, maybe 2 or 3 minutes should be required.


An interesting idea, but perhaps an alternative: Placing it in the top room, which only connects to the central corridor. This room currently serves no purpose, so this would make it a little more important, rather than just an extra room to get lit on fire.
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Lauren Neeff
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Thats what I did as well. I placed The aqua lung and spear in room 6, then they can be drawn as your action and for 1 minute each.
 
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