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Saint Petersburg: New Society & Banquet Expansion» Forums » Variants

Subject: A few variants rss

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Mike Mayer
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A few variants.

Two-player game variant: The Tax Man with its 1 ruble for every worker card, and the Mariinski-Theater with its 1 victory point for every aristocrat are powerful cards in the two-player game, since the player obtaining either of those cards is likely to have a bunch of workers/aristocrats to draw on for a pay out. A way to bring down their power is to have those cards cost their stated cost plus 1 ruble for each corresponding card the buying player currently possesses.

So if a player has 8 workers and wants to buy the Tax Man, he pays 25 rubles: 17 (stated cost) + 8 (number of current workers) = 25

And if he wants to by the Mariinski-Theater when he has 10 aristocrats, it'll cost him 30 rubles.

Starting Upgrade Variant: This variant gives players a goal to shoot for. At the start, pull out the Tax Man, Mariinski-Theater, Mayor, Guild Hall, and Textile Factory from the Trader deck. Starting with the player going last in the first phase and working backward, each player may chose one of the above cards to add to his hand. He does not have to take a card if he doesn't want to, and if there are cards left over when the turn comes back around, he can choose a second. Cards not chosen are returned to the deck. The taken cards are built as normal during the game.

Alternately, you can give out these cards to balance the game if you have weaker players.
 
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John Anderson
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Have you tried the variant Tom posted for a two player game? He said to try removing one each of the "standard" workers, buildings (market thru library I believe), and aristocrats (author thru warehouse manager I think). This should result in about the same number of cards as before the expansion, so it should go about the same number of turns, and thus won't lead to the kind of card-creep you're seeing that may over-value those upgrades. I haven't tried either one, but I'm curious to see if that resolves it at all (if there is actually a problem with those, which I haven't seen myself).
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Mike Mayer
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Thanks for the comment!

No I haven't tried Tom's. I'll check it out.

I offer my variant just as an alternative. I'm not convinced it's necessary, just different. Having those powerful cards adds a bit more luck to the game, which I kind of like, since it gives a player who's fallen behind a chance to catch a break. And it adds some excitement for evenly matched players.

Also, I'm liking the longer game.
 
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John Anderson
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Yeah we're kind of liking the longer game too, but we're going to try to tone it down a bit by taking out most of the Banquet cards.
 
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Jonathan Franklin
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John (and others),

Which Banquet cards are people using along with the base game and New Society?
 
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Mike Mayer
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I'm using all the cards that came with the expansion. I've played about ten 2-player games and one 4-player, and I'm really liking it.
 
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John Anderson
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I think next time we're going to try using all the New Society cards and just Away With It, the Donkey, and Czar Superstar from Banquet.
 
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Nomadic Gamer
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I only use the New Society cards- it fixes most of the boo-boos.
meeple

edit: and replace Debtor's Prison with 2 Black Market cards.
 
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Hank Meyer
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Re: A few variants (and tweaks)
My wife and I, when playing StP two handed w/the expansion, treat the New FArmers slightly differently...normally they cost 9, pay 3 rubles and 1 VP...still pretty steep at the beginning of the game. So, we play that any NFs that surface during the first TWO worker rounds cost 8, but are worth 9 when being upgraded (sort of like a 'Potemkin's Village Farmer!) AFter the second worker phase, NFs cost 9.
Another tweak we tried was having the NF pay 4 the first time, 2 the second (still netting 6) and 3 thereafter so as to defray the initial cost a little. It seemed to us that having the NFs cost 8 (but be valued as '9') during the first two phases was sufficient motivation to spend the extra $ early on, or at least causing some decision angst.
 
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